Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where Art thou

(Kentucky Fun Finds! Log cabin is marked something Brown, hillbilly guy reminds me of my childhood and the bunny is MIJ cuteness!)

Man, what a couple of busy weeks I've been having. I missed thrift show and tell again this week (too tired to even lurk about on here). Life is crazy. I have two weeks of treasures to show y'all, but I am just not feeling up to messing with photographs tonight. In fact, most of it is still in the trunk. I have to fly out to Minnesota in the morning and still need to pack. So, I will just give you a lil' teaser now and then, when I have all my projects caught up this weekend (LOL), I will photograph and do a post a day next week (Ok, in theory anyway).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dropping Balls

Well, I still need to do a Thrift Share Monday post. I dropped the ball on getting it done by Monday and, hopefully, I will be able to get it finished by Wednesday. I have one or two or five cool finds to share. Life is exciting (good and bad ways) and hectic at the moment. I also dropped the ball on dates and found out this weekend that my child's 1st communion is NEXT SUNDAY. I, for what ever reason, memorized MAY (not March) and now I am scrambling to send invitations to family and friends (we are having a fiesta afterwards at the in-laws home).

I have to travel again next week (Minnesota-never been there) and it was a rushed plan of action (dread the rush travel). This has meant I had to alter my regular schedule on top of the news I had erroneously heard the wrong dates for my son's event (as an aside, part of the issue is I am not Catholic and the tradition is somewhat confusing to me. Plus, I am away during the week right now. My husband was suppose to be spearheading this important cultural thing and never told me any dates at all except a May date. Sadly, we dropped another ball when we did not finish an art project son was suppose to have at his retreat on Saturday. He was the only one without the project and I felt really bad for him-stupid parents! We have remedied this with a planner strictly for his church events).

I am still working on getting us organized to sell and buy a Louisville area home. Hard. When I returned back to KY from No.IN on Monday I was utterly speechless because the trees had leafed out and were in full-flowered beauty. It is actually spring here!*

*Meanwhile, back home, they are calling for snow this week. :(

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thrift Share Monday: Weekend Thrift Finds

When I manage to go thrifting, I see tons more that I want than what I actually end up buying. Sometimes it is price or condition, other times I am concerned I am just acquiring too much stuff, I am not a ReSeller (yet) so I don't normally buy 'good deals' to sell, nor are artistic notions the goal for my junk. And then there is the constant relocation. The many, many moves I seem to be doing in my adult life (oddly enough I grew up in one house that my parents bought when I was 10 months old-the one my mom still lives in today) can really curtail my behavior whenever one is eminent...like now. I dread all the de-cluttering and packing!

Alas, I still manage to find something to share almost every week! Above is a spring related groupings of tchotchkes (all oddly priced at the magic number of 0.50) I found this past week (well, except for the two winter skaters): a cute ewe (too bad her once chained babies are MIA); a flower print that matches the two bird prints I found a couple of weeks ago; and a duck planter that was made by Avon (!) in 1984 (usually avoid the 80's look, but his guy looks even older vintage than '80's and it is even a teeny bit chipped). My mom was an Avon fanatic and even sold it successfully in the '60/'70's. I always used to look through the catalogs, but I do not remember this mama duck and babies. I would have been 13 if it was released the spring of 1984-must have been too cool for school for it then...two years later I was totally into thrifting, but probably still not into Avon! Recently, however, I have found not only the ducks, but a bunny candle holder. Times do change! ;)
Found the woolly "Handmade in Wales" money box ram at the GW. I know I said I resisted temptation on buying any vintage clothing yesterday, but I forgot about this wonderful pleated tartan skirt I found. Oh, and not pictured, I also found a great vintage kelly green wool cardigan with little gold shell buttons-all at thrift store prices (different thrift than the one I mentioned)!

Oh, one more picture of the cute ewe! I love these two tiny prints with the black detail (sorry about the flash). I think they will look good with the silhouettes I plan to group on a wall some day. Also (barely pictured) are three books: a Hardy Boys series, 1st edition Tale of Despereaux, The Children's Hour: School and Sport (this one has great graphics, I love the little Boston terrier peeking out beside the locker).

And, last but not least, another temptation I lied about yesterday (because I forgot!). A gorgeous Calvin Klein blazer. Yes, this is my cheesy attempt at a self-portrait. Obviously need to practice a bit and clean that blessed mirror! (I am really camera shy!)

Check out thrifty fun across the globe at both Apron Thrift Girl and Her Library Adventures. ATG also is donating proceeds from her Little Shop (an online thrift of sorts!) for Japan earthquake relief. So scary and tragic what is going on over there. I plan to donate to Red Cross, but maybe I will buy something from Selena as well! Also, if someone wants those Pyrex cups (the Trade Me Up ones) and is willing to make and show me the donation receipt as a trade (to either Japan Relief or for an animal rescue agency-another tragedy I read about yesterday that brought me to tears), I will send them out to you pronto (first come, email on side bar)!

So, Remember When...

(Husband notoriously takes horrible photos of me...or maybe it's just me. I swear I do not look like this here! ;)

A while back I mentioned a New Year's goal to visit/try something new in Louisville (or KY). Do you remember? Well, I am happy to say I spent the weekend trying new things (and, the places we visited were free!) The boys and husband came down from the cold, snowy (yes, again) North to beautiful, there-is-actually-spring South to look at houses. We did look at houses and found some lovely one close to Louisville, but on acreage (a compromise to the city/country debate I have in my head). Unfortunately, all were too good to be true and needed much more work than I am willing to put out. I don't have the time and I would just buy that first Victorian we looked at if I wanted work.

So, onward...after business was out of the way, we did the following:

(God, I hope Louisville cleans this mess up. Please don't throw your trash out your window! Recycle!)

*Walked along the Wharf (isn't the garbage sad? The river is really up right now and much of the park is under water. We met an old riverboat guy who kindly took a quarter chance in Lyndon's thrifted toy slot machine and then told us stories of barges going up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This guy is one of the reasons I love Louisville-the kindness of strangers that, by the end of a great tale, feel like friends).

*Got my bangs cut even shorter than normal (just cut my all one length hair to bangs in October and they keep getting shorter). Husband says I look like Betty Paige.

(What do you think? I look just like her here more than that weird girl in the first photo...JK! Source)

*Checked out the Louisville Bats (both the giant wooden one and the great animal one over on the west side of Broadway). Wish I had taken a couple of photos.

(Do you think he got the leading position because he actually resembles a leprechaun?)

*Observed the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Highlands. OMG. I thought Zombie Night couldn't be topped, but...we loved this event! I would love to live in this area. Love the culture!

*Thrifted (of course!) at this shop (clothes are a bit expensive, but great vintage garments to be found there; I was tempted, but did not buy any clothing). I'll share my finds tomorrow! Husband complained about the smell which I love (like old house smell...he says it smells dirty. Now can you understand the almost divorce???) We also hit a GW in a nearby town while waiting to see a house (Big No on the house!)

*Got caught in Lady Gaga traffic downtown, but people watching was fascinating (forgot she was in town!)...Oh, to be young again! :)

*Listened to this great CD. I cannot wait until April 26 for the concert at this wonderful Louisville park (designer the same as the NY Central Park designer). Plus, a bonus, I heard that Sarah Jaffe (great new young artist) will be at Waterfront Wednesdays on April 27 (free concerts downtown by the river). Wow. Wow! (Lyndon tells Mr. Gobbles Gobbles how fun the day was...OK, actually they were arguing like usual, but a mama can pretend!)

The brood is returning North today and I have a busy work week ahead of me. First, I need to clean up the tornado debris my sons left me.

Linking up to Penny Worthy Project because it was un el cheapo weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My (Dis)-Organized Life

(Check out this great "free blog stuff' designer...I love her stuff!)

OK, I just got another promotion at work. This one is big, but will require more...yes, more from me. I will be traveling soon west of the Mississippi for more training and events. I may (please, please, please) get to even go to Oregon (dream for a long time!) I am really excited to be part of the team I was selected for, but...

Some days, I feel like I am just faking that I am organized and in control! (Shhh...)

My desk is covered with mountains of papers, my email box(es) are a mess, and my to-do lists keep growing. I should probably bow out of some of these projects I keep getting tossed my way, but I really, really enjoy a wide variety of work (and home) projects! I thrive on projects!

Do any of you have any good work-geared organization books or blogs you recommend? I, obviously, do not fit the "file type" mentality (I am a pile-er and it is how I succeed). Maybe I just need a good read on time management. I am one of those go-go-go type people that would probably shrink and disappear if I didn't have 20 "irons in the fire". What I need is how to not get burnt by so many irons.

At 40 YO I don't think I am willing or able to switch myself into a file-er or super-organized picture of perfection. And, I have made disorganization work for me, but I definitely could use some improvement!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Thrift Therapy

ETA: I should play a give-away game called "I Spy Gina's Embarrassing Typos!"

Gloomy, rainy day here in KY so I stopped by a couple of thrift stores on my way home from work. Family is heading down tonight to spend the week with me and view houses (sigh, I'm already tired of house shopping). Apparently, they are bringing the cold down from the north and temps are expected to drop down to the low 40's (sigh again).

It was a good shoe day at the GW near my apartment (the sign says it is KY's 50th GW store. Hmmm, wouldn't be interesting to travel around to 50 stores?)
Nice shoes in my size are a rarity for me because I have the most average size feet out there which means I either miss out or the shoes are really worn. These are both nearly brand new! The boots are a strange golden brown and created by Sam and Libby. I will need to get some anti-slide-across-a-floor skid things, but I love them. The Mary Janes are American Eagle and look modern vintage (or stuck in the mid-90's as I have been accused of in the past...;)

Both look cute with the knee length skirts I've been thrifting in the past year.

The best part about these shoes? They were not marked UP!

Here are a few other treasures: the glass canister (love these and surprisingly find a lot of them in Louisville); two (not vintage) rice bowls; a vintage KY state plate (used to collect these, but paired the collection down a few years ago. Now I only collect states that mean something to me); and a Canada glass. Not pictured is a Billy Bragg CD (I always find great Indie music at this particular thrift), a nature guidebook (Shore birds of North America), a broken strand of pearls for a craft project, and a KY Derby glass I picked up for 50c (I see them all over Louisville, but never for 50c!) Cheap, but fun week day at the thrifts!

On the way back to the apartment, I travel through a really cool, historic Louisville neighborhood called Phoenix Hill. If you ever visit this wonderful, keep-it-weird city check out this area. I saw a junk store I need to get back to one of these days (unfortunately always closed when I am in the area).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Thrift Share Monday: March Roars

First up for my Thrift Share Monday show and tell are these boring soup mugs. The weird thing is I was thinking a couple of weeks ago that I wanted a matching set to replace all our odds and ends bowls. These were $1 each and fit the bill for our soup. Oddly, though they look new, these babies are almost 20 years old (made by Westwood in 1993). Realizing these mugs are almost 'vintage' makes me feel a bit old.

OK, I spent way too much for one of these items (hint, a very iconic item from the late 70's/80's). Definitely more than the 90c it originally cost someone. I used to steal my older brothers Mad magazines and fold the back pages! These will probably be gifts for both my brothers. I actually found 46 of them in perfect shape and in the end I couldn't just pick a couple (I bought them all!)

A whole bunch of odds and ends stamps (sadly, not a complete set). They are scattered on a great, unmarked chick transferware plate I suspect is not vintage.

The sweet, wooden bird art was handmade in Somerset, KY. I love it. The little squirrel was a 79c bargain that had to go home with me for no particular reason. The Asian pot is missing its lid, but I plan to put a succulent plant in it anyway.
Lately, I have been finding silhouettes. This one has "circa 1880 P. Wolf" on the bottom. I think they mean the image as there is no possible way this is that old. Cute, nonetheless, and when I find a third one I will hang them somewhere (I have a girl with poultry somewhere around here).
I also found a great hippy sundress by a designer called Bila. Unfortunately, I did not try it on and it looks horrible on me (I was with youngest child so in a hurry; the dress makes me look like I have another on the way). And, not pictured, are the great vintage rabbit planters I found and made into a springtime display at the IN house (forgot to photograph). Chocolate eggs fit perfectly inside them! ;)
(Excuse typos tonight...tired and spellcheck is being a bear!)
Check out Apron Thrift Girl and Her Library Adventures for more wonderfully amazing thrift/flea market scores.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Trade Me Up Challenge

OK, so despite the fact my readership is really (really) small here :), I am going to participate in Trade Me Up challenge. I'll link it up here and there and maybe branch out into non-Internet sources. I love the idea of this challenge; it puts me in mind of the years I participated in Sharon Astyk's Independence Days Challenge where creating alternative economy in the face of hardtimes, including bartering, was an important aspect of being self-sustaining, independent. In fact, during those years of emergency preparation I stored away many bottles of liquor as my future currency figuring demand would be high. ;)

Basically, the challenge was created by Selena (Apron Thrift Girl) and Amy (The Thrifty Chicks) and involves using another form of currency (i.e. not money as we know it now, although I suppose in reality collector's coins or old money would be ok) to up trade for something more valuable to yourself. You can read the specific rules here. The bigger point, in my opinion, is that services and objects are more subjective than the green stuff and can be exchanged on a more individual level despite the current financial level of the giver or recipient (if that makes sense). This is not a new concept-many cultures in time and place have used this system and, really, it was the basis for our money system as we know it. Being able to use what you have on hand for needs (or in this case 'wants') in the form of bartering is a vital skill for surviving hardtimes.

As far as my wishlist, I think my aspirations are a lot lower than that paperclip guy. I definitely do not want any more blessed houses (unless, of course, it is that one in KY that I keep going on and on about), a buyer? Well, that is an entirely different 'want'! I can only think of a few larger items I would say would end this experiment successfully.

The big items I can think of needing/wanting:

1. A canoe
2. Small, vintage camper
3. Pay-off on one credit card (OK, I am stretching the "no money" thing a bit here).
4. Realtor services for my house
5. Stone for our driveway
6. Tractor
"Smaller" items I would be ecstatic receiving:

1. Russells Parson Terrier or Dalmatian (or mixes) male puppy
2. Siamese kitten
3. Vintage solid wood armoire
4. Someone to build me a better and prettier small chicken coop (this could be here in IN or in KY depending on...well, you know the boring story).
5. Large wrought iron bird cage (parrot type for a sweet dove I have had for years)

Perhaps trading up for animals is considered in poor taste, but I would offer either one a great home and lots of love and the love of a pet is priceless. I lost both a Dalmatian mix and a Siamese cat I loved. Both were adopted from the humane society and I had them for over 16 years. I miss them both terribly. We have other dogs, but I have wanted another Dalmatian for a long time. I recently started researching the Russells Parson Terrier (formerly Jack Russell) and I really am drawn to the wire-haired ones. I guess I have a thing for hyper dogs! :)

Of course, if I remember right and it has been years since I thought of it, that paperclip guy didn't have anything specific in mind. I am not sure he aimed for a house, but, when the trade ended, he had what he wanted. So, with that in mind, I will also leave it open. I may stumble upon something too good to give up!

Most of the items I wish for are things that can wait for a while. I figure this is a long-haul experiment. It sounds interesting and I can't wait to try it!

So, without further ado, here is what I am offering for my Trade Me Up fun:

Three Vintage Pyrex restaurant-ware coffee cups

I thought long and hard about this item. The point (or fun anyway) is to start small, right? I like Pyrex and have some items I love (e.g. the primary color set and a few other patterns), but I am not a fanatic. I can take it or leave it (personally, I am drawn to Fireking and type batter bowls more), but as an avid thrifter I have stumbled upon it along the way. I also stumble upon plenty of blogs where folks are in love with the stuff. I have had these great cups for some time and I do like them, but I think there is something out there I would like more. The pattern is really cute (I have no idea what pattern it is, but will research so to make it more obvious to someone out there wanting it). In theory, this challenge is not exactly money-free as I will need to spend to ship, so I would like to only ship in the US, but will consider International if the trade is too good to pass up!

So, what do you have that you want to trade me for them (I'll consider just about anything and I have smaller wish items on my sidebar too!!!)?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I am in Love

Ok, I suppose it is bad to be in love with a house and land. Maybe it makes me seem materialistic, but...


I swear this place was built in mind for me in 1911. Is that possible. It has everything that I had placed on The List for the next house: wood burning stove, front porch, pond, mature nut trees, mountain, flat area, old barns, had-cranked wells for animals, creeks, chicken coop, hardwood floors, beautiful views, and room! The house even has that great "old house" smell of wood and ashes and age. I love it all.

I could have built this house from my dreams.

While waiting on the realtor (who got herself lost and was over an hour late), I prayed that my path would be revealed to me. I don't want to sound overly religious (I'm not, believe me and my potty mouth), but I believe (or at least hope) we have some spiritual guidance in this life and I hope we are being guided now.

When the realtor showed up, I told her I planned to offer something soon. I wanted to check out a few things first. She says,"You are the only interested buyers for nearly a year; no one wants to live out here. The owners are retirees living in FL. They want it gone." (She was calling the listing agent while I was there to ask him questions). She says, "Let's start low...like..." and it was EXACTLY what we paid for our house up north for 4X the land and a bigger house. I had told my husband I really would like to buy it for what we paid for IN house and land. Is this a "sign"?

While I waited for her I saw a murder of crow sisters, heard the sweet chorus of peepers, and felt the spring warmth of a southwesterly wind. I felt like I was home.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Maybe, the Regret

Oh, spring loveliness here today. Blue sky and reasonable temps, I just had to get out of the office and drive around. Days like today I love KY and am so happy I ended up here (pure luck, I say!) And, the fact I have been here almost three seasons is just amazing to me.

Other days (and even sometimes into the evening), I feel panicked. My husband is a lot more adventurous than I am. He says, "Sometimes you just have to take a chance..." He is excited and happy about the move. Me? I have always been at odds with 'chance'.

Tomorrow, I am setting off to see too-good-to-be-true house and land (I've been there several times now, but the realtor does not know this fact). I saw they reduced the price by $15,000. The place is beautiful, but remote...or at least it seems that way considering one has to track up a mountain and down into a hollow. You can only see other folks' houses way off in the distance on top of a different mountain (okay, hill, but a mountain to this former flat-lander). The house and property are just perfect. I think maybe too perfect.

I am on the fence about the location. I am not sure I want to be remote again. Back home in IN, our house is rural, but the in-laws live just down the road. We can't see our neighbors, but they are there. This weekend, back up North, I managed to get both my vehicle and our pick-up stuck in the blessed wet snow. Husband was at work. My eldest child had a birthday party to attend later and we needed a gift. I was able to call up my MIL and she took son to store and party and my FIL and step-BIL (also a neighbor) came to my rescue with a tractor. In KY, we will be on our own. And this scares me.

So, I found two other homes to check out near the edge of Louisville. Both are 'city' houses, but both offer large (as in 2+ acre) lots. Both are convenient to the city and decrease our work commute. Well, it will shorten my commute (the other house is actually closer to hubby's work) and I am not sure I want to go back to an hour one-way commute to work. I love being home quickly when the day is done. The closer city homes offer a chance to know our neighbors (possibly) and have someone to rely on if ever there need be a reason.

I think my worst fear is regret. Maybe I will regret selling our lovely 10+ acre lot in IN. Maybe I won't find anything in the same price range. Maybe my job here will end. Maybe I will have trouble with childcare. Maybe I will be lonely here...or maybe I will love it. Maybe I need to let chance (aka fate) have her way. Until we sell the IN property and get Dh down here, it's all just a pipe-dream anyway.