Thursday, December 29, 2011

...and the winner of the Facebook Giveaway is....

I am still on holiday with my family so no real blogging for another few days, but I couldn't enter 2012 without announcing the winner of our last Facebook drawing. 

We asked folks to "Like" our Facebook Page and a bunch of you complied---thank you, thank you, thank you!   We used the awesome Research Randomizer to pick our lucky winner this week....I just didn't have the time or inclination to make a bunch of paper slips like I did last time!

Yup, we got real official-like, as you can see from the report below:

Research Randomizer Results
1 Set of 1 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 115 -- Unsorted
Job Status:
Set #1:   64

Congratulations #64:  Pat Becknell Lorentz

We are going to be sending Pat one of our felted hoop earring kits!   

Stay tuned for our next Facebook Giveaway....but remember....YA GOTTA "LIKE" US TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN!

Monday, December 19, 2011

...and the Winner of the Giveaway is.............

Nancy, from NED Beads!

Please send me an email with your shipping info so that I can mail your goodie package!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Skinny Dresses, Mayonnaise Biscuits, and a Giveaway, too!

I love estate sales and I love chickens.  This past week-end proved to be a delightful mix of both....

On Saturday my husband and I went to a sale in one of the area's most exclusive know, the "old money" kind of community.    There was a realtor's sign in the yard and I imagine the neighbors will be thrilled to see it sold.  The formerly gracious estate was in complete disrepair, something that  is very much NOT the norm in this particular neighborhood, which features crazy expensive waterfront homes sporting landscapes that resemble botanical gardens.  The home we visited bore the scars of years of neglect, with weeds and grass growing out of the roof!  However, upon walking through the front door, we could see that at one time the house had been  a showpiece.  Vintage floral wallpaper and beds with handmade lace canopies could have been the setting for a Martha Stewart photo shoot.  Expensive furnishings and Turkish rugs hinted at better times.    I meandered through the house and started to form a mental picture of the inhabitant. 

Hmmm....lots of clothes...but nothing for a man.  An elderly woman, residing alone, her husband long since dead.  The contents of the home were very high quality --- the sort of stuff that the kids would certainly have snagged for themselves, if there were any kids.  Instead, a savvy antique shop owner bought almost everything.  The hundreds of gourmet cookbooks in the kitchen revealed a love for cooking and I scored a nifty vintage cookbook for only fifty cents!  It is from 1967--back before we avoided lard and carbs---you know, the good old days.   I am making the gumbo on page 117 for dinner tonight.

I left the kitchen and made my way upstairs, on the prowl for wool sweaters.   I am building up a sizable sweater stash to be recycled into a rug, so I rummaged through the closets.  No wool sweaters, but I did find something that resonated with me....


You know the one I mean.... that one article of clothing that we hold on to for years, the lone garment that represents who we were and maybe even who we long to be again.  I still have a pair of  teeny weeny Bill Blass  jeans from the late 1970s.   I cannot squeeze them over my cankles, but I hold on to them, nonetheless.  It is reminder of who I used to be and proof to disbelieving children that I was young and tiny once!  The jeans are hidden in the WAAAY back of my closet, next to the hot pink minidress that I bought in New York on my first trip away with my husband after we had the kids.  I had worked hard to get my body back and was feeling frisky.  The dress reminds me of that sassy girl and I like having it around. 

So, back to the estate sale....the closets were stuffed full of clothes....I waded through a sea of  size 3x dresses and high end Mumus and was about to call it a day when I hit upon a real gem.   It was the only garment in the house that was smaller than an extra large and I am guessing that it was her Skinny Dress...the piece that reminded her of a younger, saucier self.  The human experience is such a trip---so many commonalities.  It was like a peek into her head and I wanted that dress in my closet.    It is a stunning lime green 100% wool Jackie O-ish confection from the early sixties.  The dress is in mint condition, features Swarovski Crystal banding around the collar....and it is  MY size!  It set me back a mere $2.50 and I love it!  It needs to be hemmed, and could use a black belt and some heels, but I think it is going to work.   Long Live the Skinny Dress and Long Live our Sassy Selves!

The next sale we hit provided more giggles than introspection, and centered around the kitchen.  This home was filled with cookbooks, too, but bespoke of a smaller budget and a much less discriminating palette.  Most of the titles featured casseroles, canned food creations, or the microwave.  Yuck.  I did find a killer Better Crocker cookbook stuffed with handwritten recipes.  The graphics are adorable and I get a kick out of thumbing through recipes that others consider real keepers, often trying them out at home.  I don't think I will be trying too many of these, however!  The Mayonnaise Biscuit recipe scared me the most:

Three simple ingredients:  flour, milk, and mayo.  M'mm, M'mm, Good....not.  The part the killed me was where  the amount of mayonnaise was crossed out and then doubled, evidence that someone was working to refine this recipe.  Ugh...Why?   I actually contemplated whipping up some Mayo Biscuits, just because, but found that I simply couldn't go there.  Frankly, I think that my chickens might even turn up their beaks at the thought of Mayonnaise Biscuits and they eat everything!

Those of you who visit my Studio know about Cooper, my slightly "Out of Balance" dog.   Cooper is a sad sack...a timid, silly boy who we rescued many months ago.  Cooper is afraid of everyone outside of the family, and flinches if you reach out to him.  He often crawls rather than walks in an effort to demonstrate his complete submissiveness...unless you are a piece of furniture or a chicken.   Yup, old Cooper turns into a fearless warrior when faced with a couch or a hen in need of a good eating.  He tears apart either with equal vigor, tail wagging all the while.  Frankly, it is the only time we see unadulterated joy emanating from the little guy.  Unfortunately, the chickens aren't fond of being attacked, and my husband is not fond of ruined furniture, so we are doing our best to keep him under control.  

Cooper managed to dig under the fence a few weeks ago and killed three hens and a huge rooster before I noticed anything amiss.  Sigh.  We filled the hole with concrete and reinforced the coop.  Yesterday I went to my first livestock auction and came home with four hens and a spectacularly fluffy rooster.  
So far, so good.  


Leave a comment and tell me about YOUR version of the skinny dress...what do you have hiding in YOUR closet from yesteryear?  I will pick a winner at random to receive a selection of Swarovski Crystal Beads and a copy of Taking Flight, Inspiration & Techniques to give your Creative Spirit Wings, by Kelly Rae Roberts!  The winner will be announced on Sunday, December 18, 2011.
We are having a FREE workshop at the Studio this week!  If you are in the Tampa area, join us for an evening of community and crafty education as we learn to make wet felted poinsettias.  We only have a few spaces left....Reserve your spot HERE.  Wednesday, December 14 from 7-9 pm
Happy Stitching!