Friday, October 31, 2008

DIY: New Window HTML Code

Hang in here with me for a minute.... HTML code to me, is like trying to learn the russian language combined with math, while wearing a blindfold. I'm probably not gonna get it. However, sometimes I need it to do things.

If you have a blog, this should prove useful to you. If you link to another site, from yours, readers can accidentally wander away on the net. They usually want to finish reading what you have written, therefore, they would appreciate a new window opening for that link. To create one, here's what you need to do:

Copy the following code somewhere easily accessible: target="blank"

Type your post as usual, set up your link, then enter the dreaded "Edit HTML" area of your post editor. Find your link. It will look similar to this:


Insert your new code between the end quotation marks (") of your link and the end bracket (>).

It should now look like this:

href=" target="blank">website

Your readers will thank you. Well, subconsciously anyway. If you mess up, your computer will not explode. Just delete the link/sentence/paragraph and start over. Be sure to test it. Be sure to save it. You can do this.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Delicate Aprons

Is it a crime to forget that you own vintage aprons?? Well, I did. I've had these sheer aprons for about 10 years. I don't really remember when or where I bought them, except that it was an antique store. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted an apron collection. (I wanted to start with my mother's apron.) I guess that I picked these up in hopes that my dream would start to become a reality.
A white background doesn't do this apron justice, but that's the color of my laundry room. Picture, if you will, a light blue background.... ahhh, much better. These aprons have little wear, and the lace is very soft.

A close up of this pocket makes it seem quite bridal. I have no idea what era they're from, but they're definitely part of my budding collection.
To see many more vintage thingies, please visit The Apron Queen.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Camoflage Hat

I just finished my first crocheted hat. It's snuggly warm, has a cute flower and is considered camoflage because it's the exact same color as my hair. I guess my hair will now just look nubby and like I wove part of it into a flower...

The pattern was purchased from JJCrochet via etsy. It's a versatile hat pattern because one can make a beanie with or without a flower. Or one can make a beanie with a brim or without. For yarn, I used Patons Shetland Chunky Tweed in Earthy Brown. I'm really all about the speckles.

For me, this was a challenge because I'm new-ish to crocheting. You'll see that I'm beaming because I only had to rip out rows of stitches 7 different times. That was after completing 1/4 of the hat incorrectly and starting over from scratch. The flower within the pattern was a total failure for moi, and searching for another flower in the perfect size was fruitless. I just made one up.

Special thanks to my aunt for coming out from Pennsylvania to show me how to properly hold my crochet hook. (Now it makes sense!) I'm looking forward to having "hat hair" from keeping warm in my chunky, tweedy, speckley crocheted hat.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Falling (tea) Leaves Swap

I've decided to host my very first swap. If you're new to swaps, here's the lowdown: A swap involves signing up, putting items together that fall within the theme, then shipping the goodies to your swap buddy. You will, in turn, receive a package from your swap buddy. It's very easy.

The theme is autumn/fall and tea.


1. Sign up by leaving me a comment that you would like to participate. (Be sure that I can contact you via email. I promise not to sell your address :)

2. Be creative with the theme.

3. Spend $10 or less! Swap packages should consist of at least 3 items. Thrifted items work well. Making an item adds a personal touch.

Consider autumnal colors, items or recipes. Think of anything to do with tea, tea cups or tea parties. Your imagination is the limit.

Sign ups end November 4, 2008 - election day!

You'll be notified of your swap partner on November 5th.

Packages should be mailed by November 17, 2008.

For now, we are limiting this to U.S. participants only.

** If you sign up, PLEASE follow through with your swap. It's unfair to be flakey for a swap.

Let the swap begin!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Found It!

Thanks to Lisa, The Apron Queen, for hosting another week of Vintage Thingies Thursday. Be sure to check out all the other great items by visiting her blog.

What does a dollar buy you anymore? Well, three vintage books, if you're at the right yard sale. That's right, these were only 33 cents each. Did you notice Bambi in the middle? It wasn't long ago that I saw a vintage copy of Bambi through a vtt posting (can't remember who!) I drooled. "Wouldn't it be great to have a copy of such a classic?" I thought. Why yes, it would. Just several weeks later, there in a box at a lonely yard sale sat an item from my wish list.
This copy of Bambi is from 1929. The books are well worn - some pages even have a little water damage. It only adds to the charm.
Unleavened Bread by Robert Grant is from 1900. The Shadow of Ashlydyat by Mrs. Henry Wood is from 1908. This glorious artwork was covered with a tissue page.
Thanks to the mystery blogger who inspired me to hunt down my own copy of the beloved classic.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Butternut Squash Bisque

This looks like a fried egg, doesn't it? I assure you that it tastes nothing like an egg. A recipe for my butternut squash was found here at yesterday. It was delicious. Unfortunately, my daughter decided not to eat the bisque (even though it strongly resembles the butternut squash baby food she used to frequently eat) and opted, instead, for eggs.

Here's the recipe as I made it:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced carrots
4 cups peeled butternut squash
3 cups vegetable stock
salt and ground black pepper to taste
ground nutmeg to taste (go easy)

First, quarter the squash.
Bake quarters at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in the butter and oil until tender.
When the squash is fully cooked, cut away from peel. Mix the carrots and squash into the pot. Pour in vegetable stock, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender.
In a blender, puree the soup mixture until smooth.
Serve warm with a dash of nutmeg.

For me, this was a full meal. For many others, it may require a salad first and possibly some bread. It's light, but filling. Best news: leftovers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Springtime in October

These petite fleur bobby pins are just what a gal needs as she heads towards winter. Happy. Little. Flowers. I whipped these up from some buttons that I found irresistible.

I'll be keeping myself busy as H has gone fishing with the guys. A few things have been added to my shop. The latest text bangles just made it into another treasury! Yay! You can view it here until wednesday about noon. Thanks to my sister-in-law for the inspiration.

elf hats have appeared and may go in the shop too. Whew. Is everyone up to their knees in projects right now?

The weather here in California is in the 80's. You call this October?! Now I'm off to find a recipe for the butternut squash I just purchased. Maybe we're in fall afterall...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Favor

Fall decor? Sort of. This is part of my kitchen landscape year-round. I reeeeally like pumpkins. Especially white ones. The smaller white pumpkin was a gift. The large clear pumpkin was a thrift store find for $3. Lastly, the small orange pumpkin was only 40 cents at the thrift. It's instant pumpkin happiness every morning when I work around these ceramic and glass gourds.
One of my recent prize finds at a yard sale was this water jug. H and I had been wanting a large glass container to store our drinking water, but at Sur La Table this was $70! Never. gonna. happen. So, with a 19 liter water jug on my mind, the Lord brought me right to it for only $5. Perfect condition. The exact one we wanted. Only 12 times less!
Lastly, I found a much needed platter in our every day dish pattern (Mikasa Italian Countryside) for only 50 cents. It's currently on sale at Macy's for $69.99. For all you statistics junkies, that's 1/140 of the new price! Just in time for the holidays.

It's fairly simple to be thrifty, especially with God on your side. "...And He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Lil' Dress

This pink baby dress hangs on the wall in my daughter's nursery. It was passed down to my mother from her sister. My two cousins took turns wearing this sweet little dress first, so it dates back to, at least, 1966. Here's a close up of the detail:

Next, I wore the dress in 1973.

Then my daughter wore it on mother's day in 2007.

It remains in excellent condition - hopefully, to be passed down again and again.

Thanks to The Apron Queen for hosting Vintage Thingies Thursday each week. Please visit her blog for more great vtt!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Words and Music by Phoebe Buffay
I found you in my bed...
How'd you wind up there?
You are a mystery
Little black curly hair

Little black curly hair
Little black, little black
Little black, little black
Little black curly hair

We've all had unfortunate interactions with hair. There's the time that I closed mine in the car door. Or the time when I turned to talk to a friend when it was windy outside and a clump of my hair went down my throat. But, most unfortunate is when hair causes the drain to slow to a trickle.

Here's my easy, non-toxic drain cleaner recipe:
1 cup of salt
1 cup of baking soda
Mix, then pour over drain
Follow with 1 cup of vinegar
Let stand 3 minutes
Rinse with hot water
Drain well. Breathe easy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

There Are Elves About

On Friday, C decided it was time for another trip to the park. No problem. We stepped outside... there was a problem. It doesn't seem possible in California, but I assure you that there was an artic wind blowing. Cold. To. The. Bone.

We wore our coats, ski caps and one blanket (see above). But, by the time we arrived at the park, C's beanie hat had slipped above her ears and she pointed to her cheek saying, "Ow!" Yes, the wind was so cold that it hurt. She definitely needed a hat with ear flaps.

This hat from Angry Chicken has been lurking in my mind for quite some time. So, I sketched. Fleece was cut. A feminine elf cap emerged. Her ears are now covered. Hooray for the elves and their stylish hats.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Tea Anyone?

Five or six years ago, I bought this greenware tea cup and saucer at an antique store for less than $20. (A splurge for me!) I added it to my pink and green tea cup collection.
According to this site, W.H. Grindley and Co. of England made this cup and saucer to somewhere between 1891-1914.

I feel a little pampered when drinking my tea out of pretty little cups.
For more vintage thingies, please visit The Apron Queen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First Etsy Treasury

It's official... I've been included in my very first etsy treasury! You may view it here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

This picture probably doesn't do our dinner justice, but there's little time to take pictures when a hungry family sits waiting at the table.

Thanks to the budget section on the Whole Foods website, the enchiladas were filling and delicious. Their original recipe is found here. The recipe I am posting varies slightly from the original as I avoid spicy food at all costs and the sauce portion should have been doubled.

Topping sauce:
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons corn starch, dissolved in cold water
1 cup yellow peppers
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin or chili powder, hot or mild, to taste
Enchilada Filling:
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh lime juice from 1 big juicy lime
2 heaping cups cooked diced sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped yellow peppers
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder mild or spicy
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

8 white or yellow corn tortillas (or Trader Joe's Olive Oil Wraps)
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or mozzarella and cheddar mixed)
Peel and cube 2 sweet potatoes. Boil for 15-20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Choose a baking dish that would hold 8 rolled enchiladas. Make your Sauce by combining the broth, dissolved corn starch, yellow peppers, garlic and spices in a sauce pan and heating over medium-high heat. Bring to a high simmer. Simmer until thickened. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the Enchilada Filling, using a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans with minced garlic and lime juice. Toss to coat the beans and set aside. In a separate large bowl, combine the cooked sweet potatoes with the chopped yellow peppers; add the spices. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Pour about 1/3 of the Sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon 1/8 of the sweet potato mixture down the center. Top with 1/8 of the black beans. Wrap, roll and repeat. Top with the rest of the sauce. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are piping hot and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

With perfectly round eyes and eyebrows in exclamation, H gave this dinner a big thumbs up. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Yard Sale Loot

Ok, not the cleverest of titles... but I do feel satisfied with the goodies that I brought home after making the yard sale rounds on saturday. Who knew the back of the car would end up filled to the gills?

Yes, there are three booster seats that I purchased for a total of $6. C doesn't need them quite yet. I also found a children's art easel for $3 - chalkboard on one side, white board and shelf on the other. I've been looking for a camera tripod. Found this one for $1. (The woman begged me to take it to my car before her husband took it into the house again.) C's favorite items of the day included the Disney princess dress-up trunk full of clothes. For $2, she now owns several tutus, Snow White's costume, a genie costume and more. She layered them all on, then pranced around the living room. The books, doll stroller, bracelets, 90+ legos in carrying container, state capitol and trivia flash cards - all were $1 or less. Grand total $18 for the day!
By popular request, here's the 25 cent apron purchased last week while finding my Wuthering Heights book for free. It's a cheerful little apron, don't you think?
P.S. Last week's craft fair was pretty slow. The good news is that my etsy shop is now brimming with my wares.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Read It

After seeing so many great books for Vintage Thingies Thursday, sponsored by The Apron Queen, I decided to join the book club and find my own classic to post. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, appeared in my hands at a yard sale this last saturday.Feeling like my sweaty palms would burn a hole in the book, I tried to walk calmly towards the homeowner to inquire after the price. As I approached, an apron caught my eye. Without missing a step, it too was in my clutches. The woman saw me coming and offered the apron at 25 cents. Done. I'll take it. "And how much for this book?" I questioned. "Oh, you can just HAVE that." she replied. Yes, my mouth was ajar too.
So, my classic copy of Wuthering Heights from 1943 was free at a yard sale. It's a small victory of sorts, when you set out to find a very specific treasure and then it becomes a reality. Now if I could just stumble across a winning lottory ticket...

Ode To Lera's Ode To Candy Corn

Lera, over at The Sky Is Pink, recently made a candy corn tote bag. I could not stop staring at it. Just staring. More staring. And dreaming. I have never made a tote bag. I do not have a pattern. But, somehow I just willed this bag into existence. That was after the 17 times I failed at making this bag and the 8 times that I sewed it shut (is it supposed to open from the side??) Thank you for the inspiration (as usual) Lera!

I've also been very busy preparing for my first craft fair of the season. It's tomorrow. I'm not ready. I'm never ready. But, at least I have two bins full of my dolls.
Ten more pin cushion/mini dolls have been added to the lineup and also some Pride and Prejudice text bangles. All of this is in addition to my harvest and halloween clippies and miscellaneous other hair accessories. At the very least, my table will be full.

See you for VTT tomorrow.

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