Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thrifty Thursday-A Cache of Treasures

Thrifty Thursday -head on over to Bloggaritaville to check out the bargains!

Being self-employed paychecks don’t arrive on a normal schedule. Sometimes it is “feast or famine), so I have learned to look for treasures in all avenues to fuel my shopping passion. My mom is my “junking” buddy. She is 84 years young and still can shop with the best of them.

I just have to show off a few of my favorite junking buys! The first is this fabulous red & mustard tole cachepot. I bought it at a Salvation Army thinking it was a knock-off made in China, but it was pretty, so for $3.99 it was a deal. When I got it home and cleaned it up, I was pleased to find in neat black script on the bottom, Made in France. The Francophile in me was thrilled! It now graces the table in my family room. I filled it with pears, but will change it with the season. Maybe someday I will use it for an arrangement.
The second is this Mason’s aqua jug. I bought it to sell, but it has not made it to the co-op just yet. I am still enjoying it. Thrift find, it also cost a whopping $3.99.

On a $3.99 roll, my mom bought me this fabulous antique reproduction sheep at Goodwill.
I also found a Crate & Barrel tablecloth and matching ten napkins for $10.00. It is a jacquard fruit print in my favorite shade of mustard.

I am just crazy for mustard right now! I bought this clock-(originally from Target in original box) at a thrift store for $9.99. Sold “As Is”, I just had to tighten the hands, pop in some batteries and it works great.

The first yard sale of the season is coming up Saturday. It will be a little chilly, but I’ll fill my thermos with some nice hot English Breakfast tea and be off at the crack of dawn. (I’ll probably make it home before my husband has his first cup of coffee), loot-(I hope!) in tow. Last year I found a huge, wicker peacock chair for $10.00. It has become my favorite place to read on my front porch.

Happy thrifting everyone!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday, Hydrangeas

Ah Wednesday again! Be sure to drop by A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday. It has been lovely the past two days with weather reaching almost 60. With a little rain which we will be getting buckets of any day now, the blooms should finally show their spring finery. I have one lowly daffodil blooming and some lovely lavender heather keeping my yellow pansies company.

With Easter right around the corner, flowers are popping up everywhere. It’s hard not to fall in love with one and give it a good home. I have to add to my Hydrangea “collection” every year. They are everywhere for Easter, grocery stores, home centers, garden shops, & street corners. Here are a couple rules of thumb-(green)! To make you a happy Hydrangea owner.

Mop head Hydrangeas are the fickle ladies of the garden. One year they are prone to blue couture & pink the next. They embrace a woman’s prerogative of changing her mind.

If your garden has acid soil, your hydrangeas will sport a wardrobe of blue. If you have base, sweet soil, she’ll deck herself out in pink.

If you desire that coveted blue finery, check the pH level of your soil. You can get test kits at most garden shops. A pH of 6.5 is considered in the neutral range. If your test indicates a reading below this level, your soil is considered acid. Lady Mop head will produce blooms in a blue hue in acid soil.

Alkaline soil, with a pH above 6.5, will dress the ladies in pink or red.
Working lime into neutral or acidic soil will turn the soil more alkaline or sweet. Lime may be applied around the base of the shrub in spring & fall.

But like most Grande dames, they are slow to change their favorite attire. They will not make a dramatic change overnight. It may take them several years to change their frocks.

Even though that showy lady was dressed in blue at the garden center, like a leopard she may change her “spots” in her own home, based on where her “feet” are planted.

I try to choose a place in the garden where they get morning sun & afternoon shade. My grandma always planted one near a down-spout, because they like lots of water.

Hydrangeas make excellent cut flowers. Cut blooms in early morning before mid-day heat has caused their floppy heads to droop. I lightly spritz them with water from my sprayer at the sink to dislodge any little uninvited guests. Cut the stems on an angle underwater on the green growth, not the woody stems. Remove any leaves that will be below the water line. Leaves left underwater will produce bacteria & shorten the life-span of the arrangement. Cutting the stem underwater allows water instead of air to travel up the stem. Fill a bucket with several inches of water & place your cut flowers in a cool, dark place for a few hours before arranging. I have found cut hydrangeas are not fond of the floral food that comes in those little packets with cut bouquets. To keep my bouquet looking its freshest, I re-cut the stems every few days & change the water in the vase. I have had bouquets of hydrangeas last for up to two weeks.
Get outside & enjoy this lovely Wednesday!

Happy Birthday-Bonne fête à tous mes amis

Happy Birthday-Bonne fête à tous mes amis!

I'd like to wish my two friends Donna & Joyce a Happy Birthday!

Bonne fête!

And a happy Birthday to all who are

celebrating! Much Joy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Blue Monday with "Glass"

Oh My! I am late to the party today! Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally has rolled around again. I have to make a quick post then run to the antique mall so I won’t be able to visit till later. I am posting some of my favorite pieces of blue glass. Some I still own and others that now someone else enjoys. I have a friend who says “You never really own an antique. You just borrow it”. How true!

I wish I would have taken a photo of the fancy little Victorian stand that holds my Blueberry Fruit Dip. When I bought the silver plated frame, it was bent almost completely in half. I had it restored and replated. They did such a good job you can’t tell it was ever damaged.

Happy Blue Monday. Be sure to visit over at Smiling Sally’s and see who else is “blue”!