Gini--I know, I am nuts. I probably couldn't do baby bedding, I mean, how do you even make a fitted sheet? I think that involves elastic, and that scares me! Yeah--make your pillows already!
Hey Mom- I need more buttons! Yes, I remember that one bracelet you made with all of the hearts and flowers and dogs--way cute!
Alice--I think black and white would be great. Maybe with one fun RED button thrown on!
Jo2308 - thanks for visiting! Yes, looks like primary colors are getting a big nod. I was thinking about what you said with yellows and orange for spring, and that is why I went with the yellows and greens.
Redhead - those little shiny buttons make very cute wrap rings. You should get started again. Isn't it fun?
Stephanie- the buttons are so pretty. James likes to play with them, and then I have to re-order all of them by color (and I end up sucking some up in the vacuum!) Thanks for the book suggestion--I think I'll take a look at it this weekend.
Amy!! - Hi! Thanks for commenting! Luv u! Wow-I don't even remember you being there at the gym. How did Mom keep you entertained? And J.S.??!!! You freaking remember that? That is NUTS! You should be making tons of button jewelry--after all, you have access to some of the best vintage buttons in the world! Some I got from Mom, most I got from E-bay.
A couple of years ago I was visiting my Mom and Dad back in Maine, and hanging out in their shop. My Mom was showing me these really beautiful bracelets that she had been making out of old buttons she has in her shop. She has tureens FILLED with buttons of every kind, material, color, you name it. She said I should try making one.
I spent the next couple of days sitting on the floor in the shop, combing through buttons like I was hunting for Easter eggs. I would pull a button out and say "Can I use this one?" I would get a "Sure, that's fine." or a "No, are you crazy? That one is so rare!" or a "Mmm . . ., well, I GUESS so." Let me tell ya, those rare "Well I guess so's" are the BEST buttons on my bracelet!
Here it is:
I love the color palette, mostly greens and purples, and the exquisite buttons on it. Every time I wear it I get compliments, and people want to know where it came from, so needless to say I have made a few since that first one. But of COURSE, this is my favorite!
I have been thinking that it is time to make another one. I have been CRAZED with this desire to make something lately. I have always been interested in drawing and painting, and some amateur sewing. I think my need to make something is my version of what some pregnant women call nesting. I am pregnant with our second child, and I am just compelled to create.
When I was pregnant with James, I took up knitting. On another trip back East, I asked my Mom to teach me how to knit. She did, and then later that same vacation my SIL Kimmy refined what I had learned (and spottily remembered) from my Mom. Kimmy is a pro-knitter, and has made things that I could never even dream of attempting, like actual sweaters and cable throws.
After that, I spent months knitting baby blankets, (5 of them) baby hats (6 of them), baby booties (1 set, those were HARD), and three lap throws. After I had James I struggled thru a blanket for my husband who was a slave driver. Every night I would show it to him and he would say "NO! It must be LONGER!" and I knitted until I couldn't stand knitting anymore. I haven't picked up the needles since then.
Pregnant again (but flatly refusing to knit) I have considered taking up sewing. I have been talking to Mom about what would be a decent beginner's sewing machine to purchase. I used to help her sew quilts in high school (I know, I was SO COOL). That reminds me of a time when we needed a really big space to finish a quilt and so we went to my high school to lay it out outside the gym, and there was cheer leading practice going on right next to us . . . OMG I felt like such a DORK I would way rather have been on the top of that pyramid then sewing. Oh, the things you take for granted. At 34, I don't imagine I would be doing any cheering, but I could definitely be sewing my ass off. Thanks Mom, I do love you for that. Really. You are the best.
SO-I think it is time to make button bracelets again. Until I find a good sewing machine and start making my new baby's crib bedding. (I have to find out the gender first, and that won't be for another month, so I've got some time.)
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Hmmm . . let's take a look at what I've got.
Should the bracelet be blue?
I am leaning toward blue and brown, or white. What do you think?
What can I say? It is a two post kinda day. (It must be going around.)
Anyhow, James and I took our once a week grocery shopping trip to Fresh and Easy today. I know that you know that I am just enamored with that store. When we got home, I felt compelled to post.
First of all, I find something new and amazing every time I go there. Like today, for example. I found this whole end cap filled with ready made sandwiches. Some were red onion, roast beef and arugula, some were chicken salad, some were Italian BMTs, and then I found the one that was calling out my name: A mozzarella, tomato and basil on fresh focaccia. YUM!
I added a dash of balsamic to it when I got home.
Now TELL ME that you wouldn't just reach right thru your computer screen to grab this?
Way back at the beginning when I was dating Chris, his cousin Paul took us sailing off of the Connecticut shore. He had packed these AMAZING little sandwiches, the likes of which I have never been able to find or re-create on my own. Well, I just found it. So, from here on out, this Fresh & Easy sandwich will be known as the "Paul's Sailing Special."
I do our grocery shopping once a week, and try to stay within $100 bucks. I am always with ten dollars of doing that. AND I am not tempted to buy a bunch of crap that you find in the regular grocery stores (crap meaning crappy produce, crappy deli meat, crappy baked goods, crappy meat).
Here is a little collage of our favorite F&E items, (otherwise known as the things that MUST MUST MUST be on our grocery list every week.)
If you haven't made it over there yet (and you happen to live in CA, NV or AZ) take my word for it and do it. (They aren't paying me or anything). Which is why I can say that I think they must put CRACK in the OJ, because when we start running low Chris gets this crazed, worried, OMG ARE YOU GOING TO FRESH & EASY TODAY look on his face!
Oh, and you scan your own groceries, but an employee bags. James loves this part, because he gets to run his little motor mouth off to a captive audience. Today he said "Hi!" to the bagger like 40 times. And she was so sweet and say "Hi!" back every stinking time. LOVE HER! Then, when she put the last bag in the basket (in my post-consumer-waste, recyclable, reusable bag) he said "Thank you!" to which she said "Why you're welcome!"
Then, here is the cherry on top, he waved at her and said "Bye bye!" I am SO PROUD to be seem him be so polite and friendly. I basically left the store with a crazy case of happy tears!
When we got home, the sun was shining and so warm still for late in the afternoon that I set up James' swing. Here are some pics of the fun. ENJOY!
It is about 8:30 pm last night. Chris and I are watching Juno.
In a word--awesome.
My mind starts wandering towards images of the bundt cake that I made on Sunday.
Said cake is languishing in the garage fridge.
"Hon, can you pause the movie? I want some cake."
I go out to get it and bring it into the kitchen.
Now, I don't have photos for you that document the situation, so you'll have to bear with me and use your imagination.
I had decorated the cake on one of our William's Sonoma dinner plates. I didn't want to cover it with foil when it was time to go in the fridge, because I didn't want to ruin the fabulous frosting job that I had done.
I thought about putting it in my glass cake stand/covered dish combo, but I knew it would be too tall then to fit in the fridge.
Chris just took the glass topper and placed it over the dinner plate and it fit like a charm.
Until it was time to take the topper off.
You see, it turns out that the diameter of the dinner plate EXACTLY MATCHED the inside diameter of the glass cake topper.
Chris tried running warm water over the topper. The plate did not budge.
He tried sticking a knife between the plate and the topper to loosen the plate. The plate did not budge.
He tried gently knocking the plate on the counter to make it come out. The plate did not budge.
Imagine if you will, preggo me, standing by, watching with a combined feeling of "Oh my God I need cake and I need it now" and "Holy crap you are going to break one of my good dinner plates and my gorgeous glass cake topper!"
And imagine, here is the gorgeous, ever-so-moist, sweet cream cheese icing, delectably FABULOUS bundt cake staring out from the glass topper, mocking both of us.
I could just hear it saying "I know I'm beautiful, and tasty. How bad do you want me?"
And the question was, how bad DID we want a slice of that cake.
All of a sudden, Chris left the room and headed to the garage. He came back with this:
I look in horror at the hammer. "Oh my God, you can't use a hammer on my plate!"
He did it anyway. Let me tell you, those essential white dinner plates from William's Sonoma are THICK. After three pops with the hammer on the bottom of the plate, it burst apart and fell out of the topper's grasp.
Chris had cunningly orchestrated his hammer blows to ensure that at least 1/2 of the cake would come out edible.
That is to say--without ceramic shards.
So, I had to say good bye to one of my plates, but in the end, I did get a slice of cake.
Here I am, cutting two pieces, making sure they are shard free, and inspecting which piece has the most icing so I can give it to myself.
We head back to the living room to finish watching Juno and eat our cake.
I place the first bite in my mouth and DANG! I slice the roof of my mouth open! I am gagging and spitting and running to the sink and Chris is FREAKING LAUGHING! I pull a good 1" around piece of plate from my mouth (you know, the shard that is exactly the same color as the icing?)
Just goes to show you. That when SOMEONE does everything in their power to keep you from having your cake, and eating it too, you should LISTEN UP.
You should also be super nice and give the piece with the most icing to your husband.
I am so lucky to have wonderful parents back in Maine, where I grew up. Since 1993 they have had a little antique shop in Bath, Maine, where they sell lots of great finds. My mom focuses on Victorian smalls, textiles and dolls, and my father sells Civil War-era memorabilia, early American tools and holiday "stuffs" (everything from Victorian Christmas ornaments and garland to Halloween treat containers from the 1920s and bunting from the turn of the century.)
Together, Mom and Dad have been combing Maine for fabulous vintage items since I was a kid. While other children were at home on Saturday mornings watching cartoons and eating Fruit Loops, I was traipsing around flea markets, auctions and estate sales with my parents (and little sister in tow.)
I have decided that I will start to tell my faithful readers a little about growing up as an antique dealer's kid, and all of the amazing experiences that having led such a lifestyle afforded me. I will try to do this once a week in little installments.
In the meantime, I thought I would give you a little sneak peek into the kinds of things that they have on their Ebay site, and in their store. Later, I will tell you more.
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1920s silk and crepe art deco shawl
Recknagel bisque & camp girl doll c 1909
Wedgewood blue toile drapes-turn of the century--"Everglaze"
19th century linen and netlace wedding hankie
1900s Hungarian Matyo floral embroidery round
1920s piano girl
19th century Maine friendship/remembrance quilt
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Since putting public info on a family blog is pretty much a no, no, I will only share the specifics of my parents' shop with folks that I know. Needless to say though, that if you see anything you like on here, feel free to look the item description up on Ebay. Who knows! You might get a great deal!