I can't even remember the last time I went to a yard sale. But that hasn't prevented me from acquiring some very cool little (and not so little) things. With some of these last finds, I'm met with a roll of the eyes from Nate and the question, "where will that go?" And sometimes, I'll admit, I'm not really quite sure. But the sweet vintage baby doll buggy with original bedding is an easy one. The answer is--it goes everywhere; upstairs, downstairs, inside and out. This buggy holds babies, and bears and all manor of other treasures. It's just the right size for these two little girls--the only problem? There's just one.
These three pieces of vintage flannel fabrics are just calling to me to make some warm nightgowns for the girls this winter.
And I've been on the look out for quite a while for a chair to tuck into my dad's boyhood desk that we have in our bedroom. It's a very special desk and needed a very special chair. The oak wood of the chair matched perfectly, the funky royal blue vinyl was somehow appealing to me but the real selling point was the little metal plate on the side of the chair "Property of Ogden City." And at five dollars it was an easy "Yes."
These lovely ladies came from a house close by. Over a year ago I spotted them on the side of a yard in what appeared to be a junk pile. I got up the nerve and knocked on the door. The lady said she'd sell them to me for twenty-five dollars for the pair. I know they don't look like much now but I assure you that twenty-five dollars is a steal for these vintage lawn chairs. For some reason the deal wasn't finalized and when I went back to her house a while later they were gone. I was sad but moved on. Then a couple of weeks ago she called me--a year later. And asked if I still wanted them. Now we just have to build the hot tub and deck and they'll have the perfect home.
A week later this same woman gave me a call to see if I wanted some other stuff she was getting rid of. I don't know whether to be excited or a little worried that I now don't even have to make the effort to go out and buy junk--it just comes to me. But when it's such cool junk and the price is right (free) how can I say no?
Here are my gifts from the junk fairy:
One large spool--a kids table waiting to happen.
One rusty vintage bed frame--something will surly enjoy growing on that in a garden somewhere--right?
One rusty but very cool small wood burning stove--I don't know where or what this will heat but I'm excited to burn some wood in it.
It was another fantastic year at Black Island Farms. My little candy corns are the perfect age to appreciate the activities this agri-tourism farm has to offer--although I don't know an age that isn't somehow entertained here. I keep waiting for the year that my big kids say they don't want to return. But so far it seems we barely see the first yellow leaf outside and they're asking when it's going to be time for our all day fall event. Yes, all day. The kids and I arrive before lunch with friends and stay until we're exhausted and sunburned. Then we come home for a healthy dinner, a brief rest and to pick dad up for the second phase. The evening visit involves more slides, the hard corn mazes, hot mini donuts, live music, ribbon fries and a bonfire.
I dare say my kids look forward to this day only second to Christmas Day itself. At the end of the day we come home with a pumpkin for everyone, kernels of corn hiding in pockets, underwear, diapers and shoes, sticky fingers, a bit of a belly ache and another year of great memories.
One of the most rewarding things I've learned to bottle is salsa. Compared to some of my other canning endeavors, it takes the most time, and costs the most money since I've never been able to get all my ingredients for free. But I got a good load of tomatoes from my sister's garden this year and found jalapenos 15 for a dollar and well, that seemed like the start of some pretty inexpensive salsa.
Aside from the cost of ingredients, however, I really much prefer homemade salsa to the store bought stuff. I know it's a bit juvenile but at nearly 40 years old I still don't like onions a whole lot. I've gotten better during the past 14 years that I've been married but I still prefer to eat them cooked and pureed--or at least chopped small. So the store salsa boasting of "thicker, chunkier salsa" just turns me off. And since I have yet to find a salsa offering up "thin and runny" I'm happy to be making my own.
The recipe I used this year I got from a friend. I made a few different variations since the first try didn't seem spicy enough and the third batch I added some frozen peaches. So with some slight changes of ingredients, here is the base to my "Sweet, Spicy and Peach" salsas.
30 cups chopped tomatoes
20 yellow peppers (or whatever kind I have)
20 jalapeno peppers
15 tsp. salt
30 cloves garlic
5 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 bottle ketchup (I used tomato paste)
Put it in a big pot and simmer for 4 hours. Process in water bath for 25 minutes.
I ended up with 27 pints. Not a ton, but it might get us through the winter.
When I saw this "Itsy Bitsy Spider" fabric while surfing pinterest for girls dress patterns I totally fell in love. I started searching for this beautiful whimsical Heather Ross fabric to find that there are many "Nursery Versery" prints including "This Little Piggie" and others. I also found that these dear fabrics are also very dear in terms of money--twenty dollars a yard! I've never bought fabric that cost that much before. But here was my reasoning. I could get buy with just half a yard (though it's tight). And while ten dollars for half a yard of fabric is mildly crazy--ten dollars for a sweet sweet toddler dress is actually not too bad. I also figured that if I'm ever going to make them dresses with "This Little Piggie" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider" on them, this would be the time. The twins love both of those nursery rhymes and I loved the idea of them wearing them. I went for it. And I'm glad I did.
The fabric arrived and was just as I had imagined. It's a cotton linen blend--not exactly fall and winter weight. But I lined the dresses fully and made them just a little bit big so that I could layer them with a long sleeved shirt. I used the Geranium Dress pattern for the top but then not wanting to interrupt the print at all, and in order to get maximum use out of the mere half yard of fabric, I took the dress straight down for an A-line fit. It worked out great. It's still more of a tunic length than a dress since I was limited on my yardage but I'm totally fine with that. I think it will continue to "shrink" with the girls just great so that next year they'll have little swing tops.
I dare say that I think these little tunics are well worth the ten dollars they cost.