Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I promised to post more Halloween decorations so here they are!

My homemade wreath!

I actually mildly electricuted myself on this project - not sure if it was worth the effort!
It's safe now.

I took these old lanterns out of my garage sale bin and decided to paint spider webs on them,
glued on a few spiders, added a mason jar with a candle inside! I like how these turned out. Though they look better in person.

This candle stick was a thrift store find. It was hunter green with old rose dried flowers and moss glued to it - which I removed and spray painted black. Then I bought these old photos at a flea market for .25 cents a piece.
I hope that one day old photos of me don't end up in someone's Halloween display!

More old photos and another spray painted thrift store candelabra.

My daughter wanted to be a Realtor for Halloween(don't ask me why), she collected candy in a brief case! Too funny!
My middle guy is a parrot and the little one is a pirate!

I'm linking up to Donna's Funky Junk Saturday night party!

Click on this link to go there!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award, Thanks Cindy!

My new sweet friend Cindy from cottage instincts has given me my very first award!
You must go say hello to her, she is an amazing person, mom of six, loves junk as much as I do (maybe more), home schooled her kids for 12 years (you've got to be kidding me),she is very talented, and kind and she cracks me up on a daily basis.

This award comes with homework so here goes!

Here's what I'm supposed to do to pass on the award...
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.

Here are seven things about me that you probably didn't know!

1. I collect blood for a living. I've been doing that off and on mostly part-time for almost twenty years now. I enjoy it there and I have basically grown-up with my co-workers. I have some really wonderful friends there and I get to see people at their best everyday while they donate a pint of their blood and save a life.
2. Many years ago I modeled for a really bad discount clothing store flyer. My husband thinks this is hilarious - you would too if you saw the pictures. (Think shoulder pads!)
3. I snowboard - but haven't since kids.
4. I've jumped out of a plane seven times! What was I thinking? I am way to chicken to attempt that now!
5. I taught Sunday school. My husband thinks this is hilarious too!
6. I love peanut butter! (I eat it by the spoonful). I actually could go through a whole Costco size jar in a week if I let myself, but I won't.
7. I like math! And I do Sudoku every morning!

I nominate the blogs below because I enjoy them all daily and when there have been no posts for a few days I feel like I'm missing something
1.Lessons & Obsessions - this is my darling nieces blog. She has been blogging for quite a while now (with little recognition) and she is an amazing writer and why someone hasn't discovered her talents is still a mystery to me. She is clever, witty and creative beyond belief. Check out her blog and find her post about living with spiders in her basement suite in Vancouver. Very funny!
2.The Magpie's Fancy belongs to a lady named Gigi who I've just met and admire already. She has an amazing way with words. In fact I believe my words could never do her words justice.
I believe her super power is seeing beauty in everything.
3.Junk Sophisticate is Candy's blog - she can make anything look good! Seriously you should see the junk she finds and then see what she does with it. She makes me look at everything differently! Truly inspiring.
4.betz white is the queen of repurposing old sweaters and her book "Warm Fuzzies" is what inspired me to start felting! Thanks Betz!
5.Funky Junk Interiors is Donna's blog, not only do I love everything she puts in her home but I am inspired daily and blown away by her kindness and energy! I really don't know how she does it! I treasure her for many reasons, one being that she's my only other Canadian junking friend!
6.Posie Gets Cozy is Alicia's blog - she inspires me daily in her honest writing, about life, her photos, and the amazing things she creates. She makes me want to wear vintage aprons, love my husband more than I already do, buy a dog, take a quilting class - oh yeah she's funny too!
7.Nesting Place is so filled with beauty and right now she is doing a 31 day series on decorating called "31 Days to a Best Dressed nest!" Check it out you are sure to be inspired, educated and impressed.

There I have finished my homework! If you are included in the above list I ask that you feel flattered I think so highly of you and if you choose not to do the homework I completely understand and will not be offended in even the smallest way!


When is it time to ask for professional help?

I went out for dinner with my non-junk collecting friends, I mentioned this garage sale I went to and their response was, "Cath, your not turning into a hoarder are you?" I've been asked this question a few times lately. The answer is "No, I'm not". I can assure you there is still plenty of room to move in my house - for now!
This weekend I had a load of fun at a yearly school fundraiser Garage Sale. I actually made three trips to my van! Pictured below are some photos of my vast haul!

The crate, fuzzy felts, shrinky dinks, smokey the bear, travel bingo and a bunch of other retro fun things for my kids! I don't know why but I feel the need to buy up anything from my childhood. Does anyone else do this , or is it just me? Paid $4 for all that you see above!

Corning ware "Cornflowers" tea pot, Corning ware "Spice of Life" coffee perk, basket, Fireking mug, pyrex mug, mini Eiffel tower, Vintage chrome canister set, huge white Grip stand bowl, and wooden caddy thingy, all for $6.50!! Yay me!

Two Cinnamon brooms for $1, will use them with a "Park Your Broom Here" sign in my Halloween display.

A better photo of my $1 grip stand bowl!

A little sled, soon to be part of my Christmas display, $5!

My boys have a bit of a surf theme in their room so when I found these items I jumped on them. These five licensee plates and the UCLA pennant (my husband went to UCLA) total cost $2.50. Again, Yay!
These vintage travel bingo cards are too fun! You have to slide the red thingy over when you spot that particular car, but the cars are Mercury, Lincoln, Plymouth, Cadillac, Rambler, Imperial, Pontiac, Cougar, Corvette, Ford, Chevrolet, Buick, Dodge and Mustang and the only import is Volkswagen. It would be hard to play this game now. Don't you think it would be funny if I gave these to my kids for our next road trip? I think I might do it just for fun.
Smokey the bear and this batman tin - 75 cents total.

As well as buying up my childhood memories, I have also been subconsciously collecting things for a cottage that I don't have and may never own. I collect things like old mason jars for vases, old tins also to be used as vases, vintage sheets, vintage kitchen items and am now on the hunt for vintage aprons, tea towels and some jadeite mugs. Seeing as I may never have a cottage maybe I should just pack up all this really cool stuff with me next time I go camping. I'll be pouring coffee into my really cool retro mugs from my sweet little coffee perk made, lovely flowers in mason jars on my picnic table! Can you picture it? Maybe I can even turn those 70's floral sheets into sleeping bag liners for our tent! I'll see if my husband goes for that!

Thankfully I have a really big attic!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Little Boys and Their Many Toys

I love decorating my boys room! There are so many great little vintage toys that are so colourful and add great little bits of childhood nostalgia to a room.
There is nothing like a vintage toy to take you back to a simpler time - if only for a moment.
Below are my favorite boyish vignettes!

I'm a sucker for a VW!

A favorite colour combination - black and cream!

How could you possibly be mad at your child for drawing such a sweet little smiley face on your favorite old bookcase? To me this little drawing actually adds to its charm - that ridiculously sweet little first drawing preserved for a lifetime!

Balls, cars, and games! I love these storage bins!

My old teddy bear, an antique child's chair from a free garage sale (what a great concept), a surf board growth chart and a vintage wooden racket!

What lovely little things to be surrounded by while growing up!
I'm sure these toys don't bring nearly as much pleasure to my sons right now as they do for me, but it won't be long before they search out these little treasures for their own little boys!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Coming Home to Easy Pumpkin Scones!

It's a cloudy, drizzly day in Vancouver today and I was trying to figure out what I could make that was sweet and delicious for the kids when they get home. My mom worked when I was in school and most days I came home to chores and "Chips Ahoy"cookies, except for when my Auntie Ann came to look after us kids when my parents were away. I remember coming home on those rainy days and walking into the house where she had been baking cinnamon buns, I seriously thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I remember thinking this is why mom's shouldn't work. So since I have just given up my position and I'm now home way more often I am making it a point to bake for my kids on a regular basis. I do have to say I have been hearing a lot of "mom, your the best" lately! I'm sure the novelty will wear off but for now it's nice to hear.

Today I took a box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle mix and adapted it to make some easy pumpkin scones. Here is how they turned out.

Here is the recipe if you are interested!

3 cups Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancake Mix
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used buttermilk and milk mixed)
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F. In medium bowl, stir together Pancake Mix, flour and sugar. Cut in butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add cream and egg; stir until dough forms, (I needed to add a little extra drizzle of milk at this stage because it seemed a bit dry). Plop a good sized spoonful of dough onto a parchment covered or lightly greased baking sheet for a rustic looking scone. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. or drizzle with icing sugar glaze when done. Bake 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 10 scones.

Gotta love comfort food on a drizzly Westcoast day!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Quick Halloween Mantle

My Daughter asked if I could please do a better job of decorating for Halloween - so I decided this is the year that I do more than just carve a pumpkin!

The pumpkin patch is the perfect place start.
Hard to get a bad shot a the "punkin" patch!

My middle child is the last of my kids to make it onto this blog.
He's a cutie don't ya think?

Simple! ... but nice.

Pesky little creature!

Halloween and costumes are keeping me from my other passions - sweaters & junk.
I hope to return to these passions soon,
but in the meantime stay tuned for more Halloween decorating!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Dream in Slow Motion

After a camping trip to Bayview Washington this summer I found myself longing for a slower pace. The thing about this particular camping trip was that it was soooo peaceful. (I really enjoyed myself!)

It began in the early morning with dew still on the blackberry brambles, the whistling of the kettle, the smell of the gas stove and coffee - everything was perfect. There is something so homey and calming about these things to me. Then there was time to sit and enjoy that cup of coffee while reading a little while. We had no agenda, no plans or goals set, we would simply do what we felt like doing each day. What a luxury! We'd end each night sitting around our campfire and talking - somehow you never say the words, "Not now I'm too busy" when you are camping. One of the many things that I love about Washington is all the little towns to poke around in - Coupeville, La Conner, Edison, to name a few.

My Family in Coupeville, Washington

There is something magical that you get from walking across a wooden porch and walking through an old screen door that we rarely get these days - and that is the slower pace that sits waiting on the other side.

My New Dream!

So, inspired by my camping trip and all the little sleepy towns I visited, I realized there is really nothing sleepy about my neck of the woods. There is no place to walk across a wooden porch, enter through a screen door, so that you might be transported to a simpler time. I have cultivated a new dream for myself, and that is to one day own this little beauty and piece of history in my neighbourhood. Then begin the loving transformation of her into a charming little country cafe, complete with penny candy for kids, a cutting garden out back - a place where the music and the food make you forget all the stresses of life for a moment, and make you feel like you're sitting in your Grandma's kitchen once again. (Perhaps a little hipper than my Grandma's!) And of course it would be tastefully decorated with all kinds of flea market finds!
Perhaps it's a bit of a romantic idea at this point in my life, but it's a good dream that I plan to keep dreaming for a while.

If you want to be transported to a simpler time visit
and make sure browse around long enough for the music to kick in. Sure to relieve some stress!
I hope you take the time to visit this very sweet and colorful blog!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Nature Girl!

Most of friends do not know that I was once part of a club called "Nature Girls". Why we called it that I don't know because my cousin Fred (clearly not a girl) was also in the club - it doesn't seem fair. I must call and apologize - poor Fred! As you might be able to guess this club was formed many years ago and no longer exists today. It was fun while it lasted though. My sister, cousins and I would hide from cars (they were unnatural), we'd build forts in the woods, give ditches beautiful names such as "Walking Waters", and the ultimate nature girl right of passage - go pee in the woods.
My daughter seems to be carrying some of the nature girl genes. I am often inspired by her creativity and her delight with nature. I think she often switches into a right brain mode and will come back into consciousness only to realize that she has smeared mud all the way up her arms. She's quite a little dreamer.

She amazed me with her little dragonfly picture. The wings are made from maple seeds, the body is a twig and the head is a little tuft of moss. I was blown away and had to frame it!

Ok, this is really not a good photo, but this is her first ever oil painting. She brought this for show and tell and had a crowd of moms around her saying, "Your kidding me right?"

On her ninth birthday she wanted to have a tree planting birthday party. I have to say it was such a great day. All her friends came and some brought their parents and siblings to help. Collectively we planted one hundred seedlings to reforest an area where a wind storm had blown down a good portion of the forest. It felt much more like a community event than a little girls birthday. Afterwards we barbecued hotdogs and drank hot chocolate, and everyone took home a packet of forget-me-not seeds (her favorite flower), and a green dog tag necklace that had the words "I helped make the world a little greener", and a few other goodies in a brown paper sack with a peace sign and a daisy painted on it. She is through and through a nature girl and always her own person - and for that I am very proud!

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