Tag Archives: thrifting

December…Already?

naoto at thanksgiving thanksgiving table, vintage tablecloth, vintage dishes, table settings thanksgiving table, vintage tablecloth, vintage dishes, table settings thanksgiving food thanksgiving food naoto at thanksgivingIs it too late to share a few pictures from Thanksgiving?

It’s that time of the year again where I can’t believe it’s already December, yet this year seems like the loooooongest ever. My friend and I were talking about the famous Beyoncé pregnancy photo last night and I couldn’t believe that picture was from this year. (February to be exact.) Aren’t those twins toddlers by now? At the same time, I feel like summer was just here and we didn’t enjoy it enough and fall flew by in a blink.

Now we’re in the middle of the holiday season and time isn’t slowing down. The house is all decorated, but it’s still a mess because I haven’t put the decoration bins away yet. My goal for today is to get that done, vacuum and be ready to finish my cards in front of a Hallmark Christmas movie tomorrow afternoon. As far as other holiday goals go, I’d like to:

  • bake cookies
  • make some Chex Mix
  • host a tiny gathering (mostly because I want to make a cheese ball)
  • finish my cards by the 10th (and spend out most of my holiday sticker and card stash)
  • mail gifts to faraway friends before the 15th
  • rate all of the Hallmark Christmas movies
  • paint one of those ceramic Christmas trees
  • go to Chris & Heather’s 20th Anniversary Calendar Show
  • make some holiday cocktails for Hasegawa Happy Hour

Let’s see how I do with my list. Anything special on your holiday wishlist?

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Paper Antiquing in Princeton

vintage foreign language teacher stickers, vintage Eureka patriotic seals, vintage librarian record After we checked out the covered bridge and ate lunch in Princeton, we went antiquing. Princeton has several little antique and gift shops, but we stopped into the large Sherwood Antique Mall and decided to save the little shops for our next visit. Sherwood is basically a big building with loads of independently operated booths to poke through. It offered a nice variety of antiques and price points. Actually, I thought it was a little bit pricey for its location–some pricing was on par with Chicago antique shops. (Usually in my experience, the lower rents away from Chicago reflect in lower prices for the goods.) But, for the most part, prices were fair and I found some really fun things.

I’m always on the look out for vintage paper bits and dishes to add to my collection. I picked out these sweet vintage Hallmark teacher stickers with “Good job” written in a variety of languages. I especially love the little Japanese girl (top right corner) and the German boy (carrying milk pails?) I also scored a full book of patriotic-themed Eureka seals which were only a dollar, making them basically the deal of the century. vintage USPS puzzle postcard, Vintage Berghoff chicago postcardI poked through hundreds of boxes of postcards throughout the mall. I actually had to stop myself because my parents were with me and I didn’t want to slow us down. Sadly, I didn’t find any good Princeton, IL postcards to send that day, but I found a USPS hot air balloon puzzle postcard and an old Berghoff postcard. vintage chicago postcardsAnd I picked up some other vintage Chicago postcards. I love the scalloped edges! (Seriously, can you find edges like these on modern postcards?)vintage playing cards, horses and hawaiiI thought the horse cards would be fun for mail art in May (for the Kentucky Derby, which I’ve only seen once on TV.) And Naoto and I have been to Hawaii a few times but I’ve never made an album of our adventures, so I thought maybe some playing cards would help make that project happen. vintage Dennison labels, vintage Dennison gummed foil starsThe money I saved on the Eureka seals was wasted on these Dennison stars. They were packaged in a sealed bag and labeled “almost full” which was less than truthful, especially as far as the blue and red boxes were concerned. You win some, you lose some I guess. And, last but not least, this box of Dennison mailing labels! There are more than 200 in the box (which was also in sealed packaging) and it was definitely a winner!

I also found a couple of fun dish sets, but I’ll share those soon.

Have you found anything fun in a thrift shop or antique store lately?

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Thanksgiving Mail

Thanksgiving Inviation 2015, paper leaves, vintage ledger paper, vintage Avery metallic tape, Japanese stampI finally finished my Thanksgiving invitation…about three hours before Thanksgiving. I wasn’t feeling very inspired in November but I really wanted the invitation to include the vellum ledger paper and vintage Avery metallic tape I bought on Instagram. (Note: Vintage paper sales on Instagram are very addictive. And fun.)

I always try to add a quote to our Thanksgiving invitations. (Here’s a list of some favorites.) “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way” is a Native America saying and I love how optimistic it is. I typed it out on a leaf that I cut from patterned paper and layered it with some other leaves from my stash. I added a strip of the vellum and a bit of the tape and a Japanese stamp. Done, right? Well, no. I had to make a mess of things and try to stamp the year on the top with my giant number stamp. But I didn’t press down hard enough and the numbers were messed up so I had to write over the numbers…anyway…I’m trying not to dwell on the numbers…or the fact that I handed the invitation to my parents when they walked in the door on Thanksgiving Day…Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail artI did send some other Thanksgiving mail. A few weeks ago I attended the LWA letter social at my library and there were some vintage books available for mail art. I had too much fun choosing images for mail art. And when I didn’t use vintage paper, I had fun using postage stamps and turkey stickers to jazz things up. (That Write More Letters postcard is from Craftgasm. I added the turkey.) Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art 2 Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art 3 Thanksgiving mail, vintage book pages, mail art 4And now…holiday card season begins. Once I finish decorating, that is.

Have you started your cards yet?

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Our Thanksgiving 2015

Naoto, Trader Joes Turkey, Thanksgiving 2015Another Thanksgiving is in the books. Naoto cooked a perfect turkey, his famous stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I made Kathy’s grandma’s cranberries and my mom made a veggie tray and a caramel apple cheesecake. Everything was delicious and the day was relaxing. We watched a lot of Leave It To Beaver…you can’t get more wholesome than that! Thanksgiving Table 2015, vintage dishes, Taylor, Smith & TaylorThe table was really simple, just some paper leaves and the usual corn and turkey. Jackie gave me that fantastic pumpkin a couple months ago and it was perfect for the table! I found the candlestick holders at Goodwill last month and I loooooove them for fall. They fade from red to a golden yellow and are groovy-good. And I sprinkled my Field Notes Shenandoah leaf buttons on the table, too. sidecars, Thanksgiving cocktailBecause I already had the cognac out and lemons squeezed for the cranberries, I made us some Sidecars. I spend too much time scoping out seasonal cocktail recipes (usually on Pinterest) but I always find that those are too sugary for my tastes. I can always find a good classic cocktail that fits the bill just fine. Since even my mom enjoyed the Sidecar, I think it will become a new Thanksgiving tradition. thanksgiving table, thanksgiving plate, Taylor, Smith & TaylorI made new place cards with my Yellow Owl Workshop stamp and stuck a glittery turkey sticker on the plate this year. Presley's thanksgiving, thanksgiving place card, Yellow Owl Workshop stamp setEven Presley got her own place card and plate of turkey and gravy!

Today I’m going to finish putting away the Thanksgiving decorations and start pulling out the Christmas stuff. Naoto and I bought our tree last night so I’m excited to get started on the decorating festivities. I have strict feelings about waiting until after Thanksgiving to move into the Christmas season, but once Thanksgiving is over, I’m all in.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you try any new recipes I need to add to our list for next year?

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Vintage Ice Tongs 

vintage walnut ice tongs, Hasegawa Happy Hour, vintage barware My parents came up to visit over the weekend and brought our anniversary gift. Part of the gift was these fantastic vintage ice tongs that they found in a vintage shop. Don’t my parents know how to score a vintage treasure? (And they know me so well…and Naoto, too, though he didn’t squeal like a school girl when he saw the box.)vintage walnut ice tongs, Hasegawa Happy Hour, vintage barware The tongs came in their original box, an added bonus. (And yes, I will totally keep the tongs in their box!)vintage walnut ice tongs, Hasegawa Happy Hour, vintage barware I love the Mid-Century style illustrations of cocktails on the handle. I think they are going to make a great partner with my vintage penguin ice bucket at our next Hasegawa Happy Hour!

Thanks, Mom & Dad! xo

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New Vintage Stationery

vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and YellowstoneMy parents came up for a visit this weekend and they brought me a few vintage treats including these fantastic old souvenir stationery sets. The Yellowstone is almost full but sadly the Abraham Lincoln one has one sheet left of each design. vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and Yellowstone vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and Yellowstone vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and YellowstoneI’ve never been to Yellowstone, so I’d feel like a cheater using this stationery, but I think using it for a nature lover would be acceptable, right? (This stationery seems like a good enough reason as any to bump Yellowstone up on my travel wish list.)vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and Yellowstone vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and Yellowstone vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and Yellowstone vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and Yellowstone vintage souvenir stationery, Abraham Lincoln and YellowstoneI have been to Springfield, the state capitol of Illinois, several times so these Lincoln landmarks are all familiar old friends from school trips and family trips of my childhood. I think every child who grew up in Illinois has rubbed Lincoln’s nose at least once. Since there’s only one sheet left of each of these designs, I probably won’t be writing letters on this stationery, but maybe I could use them in a mini-scrapbook of my next trip to Springfield? (First I have to get Naoto on board with a mini road trip!)

Have you seen any souvenir stationery lately? It seems like the best kinds of souvenirs (stationery, handkerchiefs, plates) are all things of things of the past now.

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Old Painting = New Art

P. Rambert oil paintingIn January when I went thrifting with my parents, I found this old painting. It was only twenty dollars, it’s an actual painting, not a print, and for reasons I can’t explain, I really liked it. The painting is signed P. Rambert, which means nothing to me, but apparently people on Ebay think some of his paintings can fetch $50-550…mmhmmmmm. P. Rambert oil painting I’ve been working on hanging up more art (again) and so I tried this one in the living room near the lamp. (I do think the matchy-matchy pillow looks a little ridiculous…an interior decorator I am not!) I didn’t plan to keep it there, but it’s grown on me and I’ve really liked having some color on the wall! (I think my desire for spring and something other than grey skies and a grey home is getting to me!)

Am I the only one who freezes and fears decorating decisions?

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Easy Printmaking For Kids (& Adults)

printmaking for kidsLast week, I quickly shared about my thrift store find, Tomie dePaola’s Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day. When I got to this printmaking craft, I was really excited because I’ve done something like this before. I think it’s a really fun project–for kids and adults–and a good introduction to block printing without investing in a ton of materials.

Here are the instructions starring Tomie’s cute kids and cuter cat:Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's Day styrofoam print project 2, Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's Daystyrofoam print project 3, Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's DayA few notes:

  • I know styrofoam is a horrible thing for the environment and a few cities in the U.S. are banning the use of styrofoam take-out containers. Think of this as re-purposing something evil. I got my styrofoam trays with fish and vegetables at Mitsuwa.
  • I used a brayer because I already had one on hand from a printmaking class, but a rolling pin works just fine and may be even better for kids since it’s bigger and easier to handle.
  • The book suggests poster paints. I used Martha Stewart craft paint because I had some already. It worked fine, but it did dry quickly. So, I tried oil-based printmaking ink, which I also had. It worked perfectly but I would highly suggest you don’t use it if you are working with kids. It’s messy, permanent and dries so slowly.

printmaking for kidsI made my “block” by tracing the outline of the Japanese character for “friend”. I flipped it around and traced it onto my styrofoam with a sharp pencil. I went over the outline a couple of times to make a deep enough channel to get a clean outline. If I had pressed too lightly, the outline would not be as clear.printmaking for kidsMy prints are imperfect, but that’s okay. It takes some practice to get the right amount of ink on the styrofoam–I need some more practice! And, if this oil-based ink ever dries, I will cut them apart into little cards and send them out as Valentines.

If you try this project, I’d love to hear about it! Happy Valentine making!

 

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Things To Make & Do For Valentine’s Day

Tomie de Paola Things to Make and Do for Valentine's DayI spent a few days with my parents last week and of course we went thrift shopping. I was in the store less than two minutes when this sweet book by Tomie dePaola jumped into my hands. It may be the best ten cents I’ve ever spent!

Tomie dePaola wrote Strega Nona and Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, two of my favorite books from my days working with children. His illustrations are charming and his stories are sweet and timeless. Things to Make and Do for Valentine’s Day is a how-to book with crafts, jokes, tongue twisters, games and recipes to share for the holiday.

The book is designed for kids, but I think some of the projects are fun for adults, too. I’m going to try one out this weekend and I will report back next week. If it works out, I may use the idea for my Valentine envelopes this year.

Have you planned your Valentine’s Day cards yet? I have my prototype ready…now the real work begins.

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Our Thanksgiving 2014

thanksgiving table 2014, centerpieceAnother Thanksgiving is in the books and the world (and our apartment) is moving on to Christmas. As usual, Naoto whipped up a delicious meal and my mom made a yummy spiced apple cheesecake for dessert. thanksgiving table 2014, table setting, yellow owl workshop placecard stampI wasn’t feeling especially inspired, so I set a simple table this year. I crafted a “centerpiece” from a turkey on a stack of books and some candles, similar to last year’s table. I used some thrifted paper turkey napkin rings and I made place cards with my Yellow Owl Workshop place card stamp. yellow owl workshop place card activity kit, thanksgiving placards, embossedI embossed the stamp in copper and typed our names. Simple…and with a table of four, it is really important that everyone can find a spot at the table! thanksgiving 2014, my mealIt was a delicious, relaxing day…I feel like Thanksgiving is the end of the calm part of the year, maybe that’s why it’s my favorite.

How was your holiday weekend?

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