This part of my blog is all about the things I collect or the things I make myself. I love so many things, I paint and draw and want to learn oils and pastels. I knit and crochet but want to learn tatting. I embroider and can turn my hand to most things given a chance. So much still to learn and do. I live in hope of some day reading all my books, learning all I want to learn and now I am learning to blog. You will often find my original poems, poor as they are I offer them here. I also appreciate other people art and will feature things I find that I have enjoyed. That includes pictures of fairies and fantasy or maybe just anything beautiful.
I try to use my own photo's as much as possible, sometimes I borrow from the web. If I inadvertently use your picture without giving credit, please do let me know and I will either credit or remove it, I hope you will do the same with mine.
If you wish to leave comments on my blog you can do that by joining google if you do not have a blog yourself, please comment if you can I appreciate that.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Out With Edna.............

I had a free day with Tristen at his Aunt Laura's for the weekend. He was excited to have Cooper there to play with. Gerry had a job to do with his brother so I did not feel bad going out for the afternoon. Edna had some ideas what she would like to do and that worked for me too. Edna had said she would like to go to our fav Thrift Store and in the same area a Dollar store she needed to pick up a few things. I looked at prices and think I will be going back at least to get some of the packaged and cleaning items.
Anyway, I was not disappointed at the Thrift store and found several things.
I think my last post, or at least a recent post showed how I use some of the things I find. Well I did find another glass jar with a lid. That completes a set of 3 for buttons.
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There were a lot of nice crystal and cut glass vases, but those I resisted. Maybe when I get back into making garden things but not right now.
How about this really pretty Hummingbird feeder? That will go in the garden next year isn't it lovely?
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I got these two tiny glass swans. I have a swan theme in my bathroom but for now they sit in my living room.
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I found this for my daughter Laura a cat addict.
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This bird is for the garden also. I intend on doing a renovation of the garden this year. I wont have money to spend and so I will be thinning out and moving things.
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I actually found a piece of pink glassware that I have a few pieces that match. I did have a cake plate but it broke, so what I have left is a glass tray and a dish on a stand..........this will go well and who knows, I may even find more some day.
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This is the new find.
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Well the good thing was all that I got was also on sale. So I spent maybe 21 dollars in all.
From there we went to The Quilting Bee and had a look around. I got a couple of magazines that I think I left in Edna's car. I took some pictures for later ideas. I won't share those.
Next door is "Hunan" a Chinese restaraunt. It's got an awesome buffet and I treated Edna to lunch because she is always driving me around. When we go a long way I share the gas money but we do a lot just around town so its always nice to say thank you now and then.
After that we went to a few more Thrift shops and I found some dishes that were only a dollar each. I bought all 6 of them. I have been looking for some bowls to use for stew. I have soup bowls but sometimes one needs a big dish to maybe put mashed potatoes in the middle and stew all around. Yum........or as in today we used them for soup and home made bread.
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While they may not have been exactly the pattern I would have chosen its pretty enough and if I find something better then I have not lost much and can pop them in a garage sale next time I have one. Hope to do that in the Spring.
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This year is going to be a tough one. We have to actually pay taxes because I took my retirement money. So its going to be a very tight budget this year. No more spending frivolously. I need to find ways to make money instead. Got to work on that one.
I do know a Spring Yard sale is in order.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cooking today.....................

Today we had chicken breasts. I braised 4 small ones in butter. Added a can of stewed tomatoes in little chunks. Then added some Kale. I keep a bag in the freezer to add to dishes, it freezes well. The herbs and spices, salt, cumin, garlic salt and onion salt. I let that simmer until the chicken was done. Now normally I would add cheese to melt on top but I didnt have any. It was just as good without.
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I added some mushrooms. Then I made some of the Red Lobster bisquits. They are really good.
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It was certainly good.
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During the afternoon I made cookies. I had a box of peanut butter cookie dough with chocolate kisses. I bought it at Christmas and never did it.
Tristen helped me.
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His job was to unwrap the kisses and make sure they were still good (eye roll here).......he did about 1/2 of them. It's a big job.
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There was a lot in the box.
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Tristen was my taster. Said they passed muster. Then Gerry came in and half the first batch was gone. There were plenty more so I froze 1/2 and the rest will be to eat this week for snacks.
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So it was a good days work. I still have some bisquits left so I think it will be a soup day tomorrow. I need to get to the store and get some yeast then I can make some bread.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

More Ideas........................

My last post was to show how I use some of my finds. I can get things at garage sales or thrift shops and often can not resist buying them. I also have a friend Nancy who loves to finish furniture, she often finds me things. She has such luck, she can find a broken down piece by the side of the road. Know it's Oak or something good and will strip and mend it till its a wonderful piece of furniture again. Thats not something I have any desire to do but she is a wizard.
Well, the small things I find will fit in or replace something, or just disappear into the mess. I must say it is an organized mess. So, here is a look at some more things I have found uses for.
Wicker picnic baskets. I have a few, they hold odd stashes of fabrics. I often do forget what,s in things but I am working on that problem by moving stuff into a common area. Anyway these two have things in them, while I have several others that are just display on the top of a cupboard.
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I have, over the years, picked up many old stone crocks. Some I use for flowers, some for plants and some to put my onions or potatoe's.
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One of my boxes became a toy box for the poodles. Yes they have way too many toys and some are just rags now but those are the best loved ones.
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This table was one of Nancy's finds. On it is one of my fish float collections in a wire basket.
I have several collections of glass balls and will be collecting more because I love glass so much. Two sets are in crystal bowls I found at thrift shops and two are in wire baskets. I have the swan I found a couple of weeks ago awaiting some new glass balls, so I will be looking for more.
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This old tool box holds some of my teapot collection. Some of those will be off out to make garden ornaments come Spring.
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A colourful flower pot makes a place to put kitchen spoons and stuff for easy access next to the stove.
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I have cans that store things like OXO cubes and tea bags handy when needed.
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The old crocks hold my dog food, onions and potatoes
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Old bisquit container now holds dog bickies.
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The bread box holds all my flours and the bowl above it (one of my fav finds) holds my battery charger and cables to all things needing to be recharged.
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I love old things and want them on display, but I also like that many have a practical use too. I am sure if I go upstairs I would find many more examples but this will do for now.

Friday, January 22, 2016

How to use some of those thrify finds.......#1........

As you know I collect so much stuff, I often wonder where it all fits in. It does though. It disappears into the rest of the stuff. I thought it would be nice to show how some of these things are used. It will take a few posts to show it all so keep watching this space.
First off I love glass, can't say that enough. No one seems to enjoy Crystal anymore.So, when I see it I buy it, or cut glass or just anything pretty.
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I sit here in the evenings, either on my computer or painting, drawing or whatever. I have tried to keep all my art supplies handy. I have pretty boxes under the coffee table and I put the pencils in these glass jars I found that had no lids. The couple that had lids I put buttons in.
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This way I can see what I have and when needed, not very often in the case of buttons, I know where to find them. I also have Lavender in Mason Jars for when I make some sachets.
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Another thing I like, for some reason is old boxes. Now they are very handy. At first I put some in Tristens room for toys but took those away and replaced with plastic for him. I use the others downstairs now. Here are a few uses for those. I got at a garage sale a long time ago, some strips of cloth in balls for making rugs.
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You will also see I have baskets all over too, used for various things.
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A crystal bowl holds my glass fish floats.
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Other smaller ones hold beach stones that some day I may make something from.
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Old boxes are used for bird seed, kept handy by the back door.
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An old tool box becomes a laundry hold all put up on the wall.
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Another old tool box is used for some salt shakers I collected. This would also be awesome in a bathroom for a towel bar. Would not work in ours as not enough room.
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I will save the rest for another post so this one does not drag on too long. It's great to recycle and some things look pretty too. So use your imagination and see what you can do.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

More stuff...................

How much more can I fit in this house?. I can't resist, we took two of the poodles to the groomers and so I just had to stop in at the thrift. YES they had stuff. I was hoping not, but they did.
Teapots. I found two teapots.
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I love this small one. I do have one simular to this but this one is in better condition. At some point I will sell some off and just keep the best. In a year or two, when we get this house in shape we will sell the house and downsize.
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I will just keep the good stuff. I again found crystal. Crystal in the form of canisters. I got one with no lid and that I am using with another lidless one to put my colouring pencils in. I can keep them on the coffee table where they are handy.
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The other two are now holding buttons. Now I have most of my buttons in glass canisters or jars. Again, I can keep them in view as part of my decor.
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I think I have said a million times that I love glass/crystal. I found this heart shape box, and I don't yet have a use for this one so for now it sits on the coffee table. I am sure I can find some use for it. All my craft stuff needs to be where I can get to it. For one thing so that I can remember I have it.
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It can also be two dishes
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Oh I just had to have this frog. I have one simular to this (mine is better but still)
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Oh and I got a book
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I am planning on having a sale in the Spring. I know, I said that last year. Well when I am in the mood I will go through all my boxes, unpack price and repack ready for Spring. I can swap out things I have around here and replace. I will enjoy reorganizing stuff.My problem is I do so hate to get rid of things. It will take discipline. I will be able to use some of the stuff to make garden things so they are still around. I brought all the chickens inside and like them so they will stay inside next year.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Homemade .....................

This evening we had home made, from scratch Broccoli and Cheddar soup. It was so thick and yummy.
I always loved Cheddar and Broccoli and several local restaraunts serve a really good one. I often buy the packaged kind and it's nice enough. I don't like the canned.
I got this recipe off Pinterest and printed it out, but then could not find it again. I am not sure this is the same one but it was just about the same in the end.
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I was unsure how it would turn out but it was easy and tasted great.
Panera's Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 tablespoon of melted butter
1/2 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups of half and half (I used thick cream)
2 cups of chicken broth (I used one can)
1/2 pound of chopped broccoli
1 cup of chopped/julienne carrots
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8oz of grated sharp Cheddar cheese (2 cups) I used extra sharp
salt and pepper to taste.

Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter then set it aside.
Melt the 1/4 cup of butter and add the flour and stir using a whisk over medium heat, or lower it if it's getting too bubbly. Cook about 3 mins but stir constantly.Then add the cream (half and half or whipping cream if you want it thicker)
Add the chicken stock and simmer 10 mins.
Add the Broccoli and carrots and onions. Cook this about 20 mins. Add the salt and pepper and stir in the nutmeg.
When the time is up add the cheese and stir until it's melted, don't have the heat too hight or it will go grainy. Keep stirring.
Serve with crusty bread.
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For a very quick desert I made Lemon Cookies.
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Lemon Cake cookies

One box of lemon cake mix.
8oz container of cool whip thawed.
One egg
and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl.(to dip)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray your cookie pans.
In a medium bowl stir together the cake mix, Cool Whip and egg until combined.
This dough will be thick and sticky. Drop by teaspoons into the powdered sugar. Roll and place on the cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 mins (11 was perfect for me)
Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.