Enter creative thrifting headline here

I haven't been disappointed at all lately when thrifting. Must be Fridays and Saturdays are a good day to go out.

I got pants for each of my boys (no pictures) and a girls' kilt which quickly transformed to a boys' one by just moving the buttons so it opens on the other side. Now my 5yo won't be losing his kilt in parades because this one fits perfectly.

I found these 3 patterns for 19¢ each, unopened and unused. They will be perfect to use with my vintage sheet stash. The pink and purple fabrics in the background are new too.

Ever since I found this box and improved upon it, I've been looking for more inexpensive metal containers. This was my lucky week. I found the two gray ones on my Saturday outing and the other one at a used furniture/antique store. They were $2 each and will be decorated and put to good use. I can always use more storage.

Books, books and more books -- 25-50¢ each. I know I shouldn't be looking at anything Christmas-related but I couldn't resist. The smaller hardcover is a more recent printing of a 1976 anthology of Christmas stories and poems.

The larger, with poorly preserved binding, is "An American Annual of Christmas Literature and Art" from 1946. Pages full of every imaginable written word or pictorial description of the holiday you could ever want.

From the Bible to international Christmas carols to modern 1940's stories and poetry. From woodcut illustrations to color paintings to black-and-white photographs.

An article, and this illustration below, about Robert Louis Stevenson caught my eye as I skimmed the pages. I didn't know he spent a winter and penned his famed essay "A Christmas Sermon" in Saranac Lake, about two hours north of me.

These three books are each a little treasure. They must've just been put out since the illustrations are to die for and they are in mint condition, all by Elizabeth Gordon. (You know what else is really nice? The paper they are printed on. Smooth to the touch, nice and heavy.)

The first on the left is by far my favorite. Original copyright is from 1910 but this copy is from 1939. This illustration, the inside front cover, shows you just how fun the illustrations are.

It's subtitle is "The Little Cousins of the Field and Garden" and the drawings are by M.T. Ross.

The poems are just as darling as the illustrations and the layout and typeface choices inspire the graphic designer in me.

The other two books are from the 1920s, but again reprinted in the late 1930s. The illustrations are by John Rae and the second is co-authored by Jane Priest.

I haven't read them yet but the stories revolve around Billy who "likes to know about things that are really so" -- meaning non-fiction. They remind me of an earlier generation's Dangerous Book for Boys.

The first book explains about various holiday customs and things like pearls, coal, umbrellas and clocks.

The second gives information about more holidays, biographical sketches and scientific advancements like telescopes, aeroplanes, radio and moving and talking photographs.

The last stack of books aren't as interesting to photograph. They are "Peony" by Pearl S. Buck, first edition 1948; "Short Stories of de Maupassant" in English not French and undated; and "Gulliver's Travels, A Tale of a Tub, Battle of the Books, Etc." by Jonathan Swift, 1933.

The most interesting thing is what I found inside the the last book. It is inscribed "Evelyn Gibbs Rogers, Emory University, Ga. 1949." Pages were marked with bits of paper that say "Morehouse College, Report of Absences."

I did some searching. Since Emory didn't allow female students, could Ms. Rogers be a teacher? Did she also teach at Morehouse, a prestigious all-male, historically black college? I also searched her name and came up with two references, about teaching, in "JSTOR, The Scholarly Journal Archive." I wish I could learn more about her.


My littlest drummer boy

My dh might be lucky to have one of the four boys follow him on the pipes. The rest are destined to be drummers.
(Notice the drum kit on his shirt?)

Click on the image to see more views.
(Anyone know how I can get this GIF to animate here in this window?

Productive and fun family weekend

I don't know what has gotten into me in the last week. Spring fever? Reaching my limit? Total frustration? Don't know, but I've gone on a cleaning bender. First, it was my middle two boys' large bedroom, then on Saturday, it was the cabinet in our living room.

I wish I took "before" pics and not just "after." It was an overflowing jumble of game bits, cards, puzzle pieces and whatever the kids decided to shove in there when they were "cleaning."

While my boys were busy with their friends (the boy count here jumped from 4 to 8 on Saturday), I emptied it all out on the floor and started sorting, filling a 13-gallon kitchen garbage bag of stuff to be tossed and setting aside a stack of games that have never been played with.

There was enough room left over to put away the toddler sorting toys that tend to get lost in the bottom of his toy baskets. Once I was done, we actually put the games to use.

First it was a wild game of "Concentration" with a vintage "Go Fish" deck. I love this set, so does my kindergartener. Even though he kept helping me find matches, he won.

Later, my oldest and I snuggled under blankets, with Alice, so he could teach me "Othello." Good thing I have a healthy sense of self-esteem. He beat me too.

Even though I have yet to tackle the cupboard in the kitchen that holds art supplies, we got a bit crafty too.

We've saved empty coffee creamer and toddler snack containers for awhile now. We've used them for sorting items, dropping clothespins, even bowling, but I ultimately wanted to use them for this project.

With felted sweater and fleece scraps, buttons and beads, markers and scewers, I made snowmen with the two little boys.

I also got the opportunity to try something I read on a blog somewhere. My sister gave me these vinyl "lace" placemats years ago. I've always wanted to do something with them for Valentine's Day, just didn't know what.

Originally done on red fabrics, I chose to tape the placemats to paper and then spray them with a mixture of beach and water. Didn't work as well as I'd like, but I do like the affect. I'll cut them into small bits to use as backgrounds on Valentine cards.

I want to try it with paint next. How do you think using a dry brush like with stencils will work? I want to capture the fine details of the "lace." The water pooled too much with this try.


What is with some people?

Thankfully none of my children who can read were with me in the van today.

I pulled up behind a a vehicle that had one of those vinyl stickers on its back window. It showed a fish and said "Ditch the bitch, let's go fishing." Nice!

Oh, down lower on the car was one of those other fish decals. You know, the Ichthys symbol with the word "JESUS."


Pretty in pink

All the pink in my studio is rubbing off on me. Remember my previous post about these bags where I stated I wore mostly black? I actually looked at pastel floral clothing on my recent visit to Salvation Army.

I keep typing "precious" when I mean "previous," lol.

These ballet totes were listed on Collage at noon today. The first two have been sold already but the last two are still available at $18.00 apiece.

If you mention you heard about the listing here on my blog, I'll add one of these vintage books to your purchase. Just tell me which on you want. Happy Valentine's Day!!!

UPDATE: Sorry, the two ballet books have been spoken for.


Cold winter morning

Friday was the coldest morning so far this winter -- 13 below. Didn't stop me from taking advantage of the beautiful sunrise light and previous night's snowfall.


The pipes are calling

My oldest son's band is having a concert and I get to do the design work for it. This was a lot of fun. Above is the flyer. Next up is the program.

All of the parents put in many, many volunteer hours for the band. We are happy to lend our skills to the effort. Me on the design and photography front. Dh on the media and promotion front.


Let the band play on

My 9yo had his first band concert last night. For all fourth graders and first year students, they did amazingly well, even playing some songs in the round.

He got an award for memorizing, not only the required three songs, but all of the band's repertoire so far. My boys must get their musical talent from their dad because they certainly don't get it from me!

Just had to share the other boys while they were waiting for the music to start. What's with the 20 month old and winking for the camera? LOL

My oldest took this shot. He was a bit embarrassed when I encouraged him to go way up in front to get a good photo. He snuck through a side door and took this from backstage. What a great view!


Plant life in winter

It pays to always bring a camera. You never know what you may come across.

Took these shots, as the sun was setting, in the green space between two commercial areas.