Still No Armadillo

Remember Gourdy?

I got a friend for him today.

DSC00245

His mustache reminds me of Snoopy’s brother, so I named him Spike.

He is Gourdy’s Uncle Spike.

DSC00246

He makes me laugh.

I also picked up a few children’s books (big surprise).

I found two small Wilton cake pans too.

The pans are oval – perfect for making Easter egg cakes next spring – and they were a steal at two for a dollar.

The price was extended to me because the vendor was an acquaintance of my brother’s.

It pays to hang with a sibling who knows the sellers by their first names.  🙂

My favorite find of the day is this chippy yellow bundt pan.

DSC00238

It was dirty and neglected when I found it.

It astounds me that people can’t be bothered to scrub a bit before tossing things into the donate pile.  Gross.  Sad.

I’m not sure how well it will actually bake, given the abuse it suffered from its previous owner, but I love it up there on the wall above my spice rack!

I will try it out over the holidays, for sure.

A few months ago, I bought a small red bundt pan that hangs on the opposite wall.

DSC00240It’s chippy too.

I love them both.

That’s all.

Happy Sunday!

P.S. Look at this:

DSC00234

I tossed some leftover ground cover into a planter pot a few weeks ago.

I actually thought it was dead.

I guess I was wrong.

Happy Surprise.

♥♥

Spice Storage

If the cute vintage spice cupboard holds fewer bottles than the ugly wire racks from Home Depot, then you get rid of some spices.

That’s what I think!

I was more than happy to sort and toss when I found this cheery yellow cabinet at a thrift store a few days ago.

DSC09984

I cleaned it up with Murphy’s Oil Soap, but I left the paint as-is.

It was already chippy happy.

I love its curvy profile too.

DSC09985

I tucked things like yeast packets and bouillon cubes into the little drawers.

Now, I just need to find another one!

I still have one last ugly Home Depot rack on the wall below it.  😦

DSC09987

What are you up to this week?

♥♥

Jelly Bean Eggs

We made our construction paper Easter eggs this week.

DSC09191

I think we did more this time than ever before.

DSC09204

The first year, we mostly just decorated the eggs.

Now, our tradition is to write on them.

The boy does most of it.

Here are a few of my favorites:

DSC09195

DSC09193

DSC09196

DSC09197

DSC09205

DSC09206

DSC09207

DSC09210

DSC09209

He also made a couple of really LARGE eggs:

DSC09199

DSC09200

I wrote on a few of them too:

DSC09198

We also played with balloons this week.

DSC09202

DSC09189

And we made a bed on the stairs.

DSC09174

DSC09177

What did you do?

♥♥

Rose Bowl Flea Market & Thrift Store Treasures

I met some friends in Pasadena last weekend.

I spent Saturday night by myself at the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia.  This hotel is right on the 210 Freeway – convenient, but kind of loud.  If you’re a light sleeper, this may not be the place for you.

On the upside, the room was super clean, the hotel was nicely decorated, the service was excellent, and this was the view from my room:

0112131611

0112131611a

I didn’t mind the traffic noise at all and I felt very safe in the area too.  There are a ton of large chain restaurants and stores nearby and parking is free and plentiful, even at the hotel.

I thoroughly enjoyed moving at my own pace, wandering around a couple of stores, then going solo to a late evening soup and salad dinner at Mimi’s before heading back to the hotel for the night.

I found these four huge, sparkly ornaments on clearance at Kirkland’s for $1.24 each:

DSC09015

On Sunday, I met my friends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.  Have I told you how much I love that place and wish, with all my heart, that I could go to it every month?  Sigh.

I picked up an odd assortment of things this time.

First, there’s this:

DSC09019

He is missing a foot (fin?) and has been wrapped in the middle with fishing line to keep from coming apart, but I love him.

He’s made from a gourd or some kind of seed pod and he is filled with little stones that make a very pleasant rain stick kind of sound when you move him.

Um…yeah…if you know me, then you know it was not possible for me to leave without this guy.

I’m not sure what to make of the mermaid and her friend on his back:

DSC09020

I also found my favorite ribbon vendor and picked up a few things in her 3/$5 bin:

DSC09018

I found two more Delft-style milk maids too.  I don’t know if I really love these ladies though.  Their faces aren’t as sweet and well painted as the other two I have, so I’m not sure I will keep them.  For the moment, they are in the china hutch with the others.

DSC08973

I love these little Matryoshka egg dolls:

0119131640

I’m not sure how exactly to display them, since they won’t stand up on their own, but they amuse me!

I picked up the sweetest little wooden duckling too, but the ten-year-old promptly claimed it on my return.  I haven’t seen it since.  😦

My favorite find of the day was this wire cake stand:

DSC09023

The seller wanted $15.

DSC09022
I offered $10 and hoped she would take $12.50.

DSC09021

She took the $10!  Yea!  The silver stand below it is another of my favorites from long ago.  Just one more and it’s a collection, right?  Uh oh.

When hunger hit us, I wasn’t in the mood for our usual Italian place, so we ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  I rarely go there, so I never know quite what to order.  This time, I copied my friend – faro salad and fried avocado egg rolls.  Oh my, was that ever a tasty lunch!

We wandered the shops for a while and then went to Goodwill and an unexpectedly large and interesting antique store in South Pasadena before parting company.  It was a disappointment to find the Out of the Closet thrift store closed for the day, but we all felt pretty good about our other adventures.

What a great weekend!  Good friends, good food, good finds, good fun.  Thank you, Leighann and Corina!!

Back on my home turf and apart from my son after three and a half long weeks of winter break, I wandered through the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores near my home yesterday.

I picked up a little wooden candle holder:

DSC09002

and I found this amazing little wooden stool:

DSC09003

At first glance, I thought it was painted.  It’s actually decorated with beads.  They are hammered into the wood.

DSC09004

I would love to know how the artist did this.

DSC09006

The wood seems soft, but surely there’s a secret.  The whole thing makes me swoon.  It’s clearly hand crafted, an interesting shape, probably Mexican or central American, colorful, detailed and lovingly made – just my taste!

And that’s it!

What did you do this week?

♥♥

Christmas 2012 Pictures

Fa La La La La, La La La La!

DSC08795

DSC08798

DSC08797

In case you were wondering, stickers go on your face.  🙂

DSC08800

The 400-piece Straws and Connectors set is a favorite this year.

DSC08805

DSC08841

DSC08810

Valentine’s Day decorations are in the works.
(Shh, don’t tell anyone that we haven’t taken down Christmas yet.)

DSC08829

DSC08825

Happy New Year!

♥♥

Meatballs, Sniffles & Christmas

My son just ate a meatball.  It wasn’t a homemade masterpiece, but I don’t care about that.  It was this…

abc123 can

and that is good enough!

When I put the bowl in front of him, he did his usual visual inspection and sniff test, but then he just popped the spoon into his mouth with a meatball on it!  Then he did it again.  And again!

He ate three meatballs and several bites of the pasta and sauce along with them.  For a child who exists primarily on crackers and chocolate milk, this is progress!

Sniffles

We needed some progress today because the morning hasn’t gone well.

The boy is home again with his constantly sniffling nose.  That nose drives all three of us absolutely batty.  I’ve written post after post about that nose.

It keeps us up at night and makes us nervous all day.  I swear, it sometimes seems that nose is just as responsible for my son’s challenges as any cognitive issue ever has been.

This morning, he was so annoyed by it that he started slamming his bedroom door to show his frustration.  Since we have such a tight, pressured schedule in the morning, I have no patience with that behavior.  Whatever the cause, I simply don’t have time to indulge it.  Unfortunately, I let stress get the best of me and I went overboard in response.

First, I yelled up the stairs and asked him to stop.  He slammed the door again. Then I heard myself asking him if I should call Santa and cancel Christmas.

Cancel Christmas!  Can you imagine?  I am horrible and I regret it.  It made him cry.  My lecturing loudly to him didn’t help.

What the hell is wrong with me?  After the events in Connecticut last week, what business have I to do anything other than hug my child and not let go?  I am weepy over my failure.

Cancel Christmas…sheesh!  Christmas pretty much got cancelled last year.  Remember?

There is no way I would take the joy of this season away from my son (or myself!).  So why did I say it?  Why?  Because I am an ogre.  I am a very stressed-out, over-tired ogre.

Back to the sniffles.

My son doesn’t like the doctor and he has a horrible time getting any medicine down his throat, so he just keeps sniffling.  It’s an impossible situation.

Yesterday, the school called me to come get him an hour early.  He was hitting himself, losing focus, disrupting class, all in frustration over that nose.  I didn’t get the message until it was time for him to get on the bus.

When I finally spoke to the teacher, I felt the need to promise her something.  I said I would take him to the doctor.  Honestly though, I don’t really want to.

His pediatrician doesn’t have anything new to say about this, so going to her feels like a huge waste of time for all of us.  I requested a referral to a specialist instead.  The specialist can’t see us until January 7th.  Right.  Of course.  It’s a week before Christmas.  😐

Speaking of Christmas

On a lighter note, I had lunch with an old friend this week.  It was very nice to relax and chat without having to worry about my son for a few hours.  (Thanks for playing single parent all day, husband.  🙂 )

After lunch, my friend and I went to a new Goodwill store in my mom’s neighborhood.  Shopping the thrifters at Christmas is so fun.  You find the weirdest, best stuff ever during the holidays, and it’s usually marked way down so they can clear it out.  I went to the Spring Valley AMVETS store this week too – one of my favorites.

Here are my latest treasures:

seven sugared fruit
(They’re not strung for hanging, but I love them!)

DSC08766

a painted alphabet sign
(This is kind of hard to photograph since it’s already on my wall.)

DSC08772

When I mused out loud to my friend about why I was drawn to the sign,
she  immediately said “because it has cute sheep.”

DSC08778

So true.  So very true!  Baaa.

DSC08779

and a big purple ornament

DSC08768

Ornaments are a problem for me.  I can’t resist them.  They bring such excitement to my son, I find myself buying them all year.

Mostly I pick them up at thrift stores, so they’re not pricey, but they do take up space.  I try to weed out the broken, worn, or uninteresting ornaments every year, but I’d rather just add more trees, if you want know the truth.

I love ornaments, even the cheap kind that impress with only their immenseness.  Please note giant green, gold, and blue orbs personally selected by the ten-year-old:

DSC08781

I also have a thing for the painted tin ornaments from Bazaar Del Mundo.  Someday, I will have a tree just for them.  For now, there are a few on the big tree and a few hanging from the chandelier:

DSC08794

That’s All, Folks.

The child has discovered a long forgotten disposable camera.  He has decided that taking the entire roll of me is the thing to do.  Unfortunately, the flash is blinding me something serious.  Gotta go!

What are you up to?

♥♥

Some Christmas Stuff

The little boy and I made some of those glass “marble” ornaments last night.  I’ve made them every few years or so, but never been pleased with them enough to post photos or really even to keep them.  This year’s batch is making it to the tree!

Here they are:

DSC08729

It’s hard to get a picture of them actually hanging on a branch.  I think my camera is dying.  😦

DSC08701

To make then, you need some clear glass ornaments and a bunch of acrylic paints.

DSC08745

You just put some paint inside the ornament and swirl until it looks right and everything is covered.

DSC08743

On a few of them, I swirled in one color, let it set for a few seconds, then used a straw to scrape stripes in the first color before I poured in the second color.

DSC08736

You will waste some paint.  It takes more than a tablespoon to get the insides really coated.  I dump out most of the excess then put the ornaments upside-down on an empty egg carton to drain/dry completely.  We waited overnight before replacing the caps and hanging them on the tree.

I think they look like giant Italian marbles.  🙂

There are a few other decorations new to our house this year too.

– a huge glass strawberry that I picked up in one of my favorite Poway thrift stores:

DSC08719

– a fun felt garland from Michael’s:

DSC08708

– a paper garland, carefully handcrafted by the little boy:

DSC08695

– the usual menagerie of sticker-covered wrapping paper trees in the stairwell:

DSC08705

DSC08706

I’ve had that wire birdcage house on the shelf for a few years.  It came from one of my all-time favorite stores – The Vintage House in downtown Brentwood, California.  This year I filled the cage with a bag of those fragrant cinnamon pinecones from the grocery store floral department.  They smell so good when you walk by them to climb the stairs.  Ahh.

DSC08707

And last, but not least, I finally found a frame at Goodwill that was interesting and big enough to fit the little Mexican tapestry I bought a few months ago.  I did a really bad job of spray painting the frame – my Facebook friends already read my note to self about avoiding windy days and swarms of gnats next time.  😦  Ha!  But it will do.  I just wanted to get the cloth protected a.s.a.p. and onto the wall while I put more thought into the bigger picture redo of my bedroom.

DSC08711

So there you have it.  Christmas stuff.

How are you decorating this year?

♥♥