Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thrifted Thursday: Blowmold Bonanza!

I know it's a tad early for Halloween stuff, but I just got these yesterday. If I don't share them today, I'll forget about them. Of course, the best time to buy seasonal decorations is always out of season!

I picked these three up for about 50 cents each. They all light up, but my favorite is the witch in the middle! They're the perfect size- about 18 inches- to sit on a windowsill or front steps. They will go nicely with our trash-picked Pumpkin Man from last year.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Make it from scratch Monday: Pickled Watermelon Rind

One of my tastiest childhood memories is of my Grandma's pickled watermelon rind. I remember eating it like candy. It was so tasty- sweet, syrupy and a little spicy, something that I have not had since she passed away. Surprisingly, with all my recent adventures in canning and preserving I have never tried making them until now. It's the perfect way to use up a part of the melon that you would ordinarily discard!

I couldn't find her recipe in my files, so I found this tutorial online which is just about right. It gets the flavor I'm after and as a bonus, it doesn't even need to be canned, although if I had a large batch I'm sure it could be done.

It requires more time than anything else. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand if you do much cooking.

I bought a 6 lb watermelon, and used the inside for watermelon and feta salad. I then cut the outer peel off the rind and followed the instructions given in the video.

First you cut the rind into cubes and mix it with 1 cup kosher or pickling salt. Let stand overnight.

Drain the water and rinse the cubes. Bring 8 cups cold water to a boil and add the cubes. Boil for 10 minutes and drain.

Make the syrup: combine 1/2 c water, 2 c white vinegar, 3 c sugar, a few cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp of whole cloves, 1/2 tsp whole allspice and 1/2 tsp of whole mustard seed (I substituted cardamom seed). Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Let stand for 1 hour.

Add the watermelon rind cubes and simmer in the syrup for 2 hours. Pour into a clean glass jar and you're done! If you had a lot of jars, I'm sure you could can this for about 10 minutes, but I only got one jar out of it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vintage Souvenirs!

The always fabulous Zootsuitmama posted on some of her travel souvenirs, so I thought I'd pick up on that as well. Since I just listed these in my Etsy store they're all photographed and ready for their close-ups!

These are 1950s/60s souvenir postcard hot pads, made of layers of cardboard with a postcard image on the top. They usually come in sets of three, one large, medium and small. I recently came across two different sets, one of the Wisconsin Dells and the other Tombstone Arizona. Since I've never been to either place I don't really have any reason to keep them, so you can buy them (with your special bloggy friend 25% off discount code: PIT25OFF) from me right now.

The Wisconsin Dells:

Tombstone, Arizona. These would be great Halloween decorations as well!

Love the 'Tombstone Epitaph'!

And the back. These table mats Insure Your Table Finish (even if it's Formica! ;) 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trash Picked Tuesday: Cage Free

I have been looking for the right object to use as a side table on my patio for quite a while. I have tried various items, like old wooden milk crates (too small) and upside down galvanized tubs (too low). I kind of like a vintage/industrial/found object vibe outdoors, but nothing really worked.

Until I found this out by the curb a few weeks ago:

At first I thought it was an old lobster trap. Then when I actually got the car turned around and pulled over (in, like, 15 seconds), I realized it was an old rabbit hutch or chicken coop. It's made of weathered teak with wire sides. After a thorough hosing down (it wasn't really bad- hadn't been used in years, I'm sure,) it fits perfectly, and I love its rustic look!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Big Announcement and a Sale!

Kate is officially out of diapers!

Thank goodness! Between Kate and Jayson, we've had at least one child in diapers for 6 1/2 years. I hated changing diapers, buying diapers and toting around a diaper bag. No more!

And she's got a new outfit to celebrate: we picked up this adorable 2 piece ruffled cherry print ensemble yesterday for 75 cents.

To help us all celebrate, I am having a Friends and Family sale in my etsy store. For those of you with kids of your own or with anyone close to you with little ones, I've started listing children's vintage:

Enter coupon code PIT25OFF for 25% off any item in the store!

As I have been listing these things, it's been bringing back memories of my kids wearing some of these (like the sailor suit above- Jayson wore that often) and I am having a hard time letting go of some. But I really don't want to be a hoarder and would love to see them go to a great new home. I'd love some of my blogger friends to get them- so grab them before I change my mind, LOL!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thrifted Thursday: Atomic Starburst Lamp

I picked up this awesome starburst lamp today at a thrift store. It is the defintion of "atomic starburst" (a phrase that it way over-used IMHO). But in this case it's true.

It really does have a starburst where the base meets the neck, and miracle of miracles, all the points are still intact. The base lights up on its own as well- it is gold-flecked frosted glass, and it even has its original label on the back of the glass globe.

I do need to find the perfect shade for it- a tall skinny one I think. Good thing I'm going thrifting again tomorrow! :)

Oh, and the best part was it was marked down from $5.50 to 99 cents- can't beat that! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Outfit Post

This has been my best accessory this past week:

Hey, everyone loves a little bling, right? ;)

But seriously, I have been very busy this week in my "other job" as a musician- 4 concerts, a parade, a wedding, two rehearsals and two lessons taught. It's one of those rare weeks where I feel like I'm almost making it financially as a professional musician. I just wish every week could be like this one!

When I was in high school & college I wanted to play in symphony orchestras. I fully envisioned myself in a big city orchestra by this time in my career. Well, that didn't happen. What did happen is that I started teaching lessons and picked up freelance jobs here and there. I also play in a semi-professional concert band- which I enjoy more than when I was playing in orchestras.

That's me on the right, with my fellow trumpet section-mates Maynard and Pete playing a concert on 7/6.

So life brings change and I'm OK with where I am right now- just wish I had realized it would be like this back when I was 17. I would have gotten a Music Education degree (instead of a performance degree) and been a band teacher probably.

But what about the outfit?

With the Galena Brass on the 4th.

My go-to outfit all this week has been some variation of the standard musician's "uniform" of white shirt and black pants. I have always been fairly image-conscious when I play- I almost never wear vintage and rarely wear skirts or dresses to play. My goal was always to be known as a good player, and not "that girl trumpet player", or "that vintage girl trumpet player". So I guess I tend to play it safe.

What about you? In your professional life do you wear much vintage?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Flea Market Friday: Yard Sale Scores!

The best yard sales are held on Thursdays around here. I discussed this a little bit here, but I think it has to do with needing an extra day to sell a large volume of things. Usually Thursday sales are "estate" sales held by older people in older houses- just the kinds of sales I like! And to top it off the dear little old lady whose house it was (in her late 80s I think) commented on how much she liked my dress and that she wondered if I made it. (I didn't, but I have 5 day dresses all alike-just different fabrics- which I thrifted at one shot, which will be a Sunday outfit post one day.)

Yesterday's sale was no exception. I had been to a garage sale at this house a few years ago and bought some killer stuff. Mostly I remember buying stacks of vintage pulp mystery novels for 10 cents each.  I have been kicking myself ever since for not buying the whole lot of them- probably around 100 were left when I was done picking the ones I wanted. I was hoping there would be more this time, but sadly not.

But I did get some other cool stuff. Literally.

Did you ever wonder what people used before those re-usable blue ice packs came out? Me neither, but now we all know. All three of these are steel cans filled with some sort of liquid. I have one in the freezer now and will test it out on our next picnic. I thought I already had a complete vintage picnic set, with the basket and the thermos, etc., but now I know it wasn't actually complete until now. 

I got all 3 for a quarter- worth it for the graphics alone! I'm guessing these are from the 50s, going by the car and the clothes on the package.

I am such a sucker for vintage lamps, especially when they come in pairs and are cheap ($3). These did come with shades, but unfortunately not tiered fiberglass ones.  If I do decide to use these I might put the original burlap shades back on, or pilfer some of the tiered shades from my other lamps. 
Otherwise they might go to my Etsy store.

I also found these great 1940s vintage Christmas candles for $3 for all 4. The bases are bakelite, the "candles" are rolled paper and they all work. I have a bunch of vintage red window candles already, but didn't have quite enough. Now I have a couple to spare.

This was the most serendipitous find. My express purpose for going out this morning was to buy another blueberry bush for our berry patch. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of putting a rather large, wet, dirty and berry-stained plant in the car, so I brought a large trash bag along. But after stopping at the estate sale I had this great galvanized tub ($3) to carry it in. I always buy these whenever I find them (which isn't often) because they are so versatile (and did I ever mention that I have a love affair with galvanized stuff? :) Plus this has it's original label, and it's a shade smaller- 3 gal- than the usual wash tub.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's in Your Fridge?

Since it's 90 + degrees here I thought it might be fun to do something cool.  Like, open your fridge door and stand in front of it cool.

So let's see what's in everyone's fridges!

First, all the beverages are kept in the vintage fridge. Check out your local supermarket for throwback 7Up in glass bottles- I just got these recently!

Here's our "regular" fridge- some good stuff, like homemade preserves, mint iced tea, a pound of bacon (BLTs tonight!) and leftover fajitas from last night. A couple of little pyrex fridgies filled with sliced limes and lemons. Fresh-picked green beans in an enamelware bowl.

And some not so good stuff, like week-old mac & cheese and open containers of yogurt.

And yes, that is a pint of limoncello in the bottom of the door- going to mix some of that into my iced tea later on.... or maybe now... ;)

Leave a comment with a link to your blog below so we can all share!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Outfit Post

This is the outfit I wore to go see Cars 2 last weekend with the family. It's probably one of the very first vintage dresses I ever bought- so long ago I don't remember when or where I got it, and that's something I am usually really good at remembering!

It's leopard print with a shirtwaist collar and cuffed sleeves. It's really comfortable and I wear it often. The shoes are tan and white two-tone oxfords, and I'm wearing a yellow bead necklace and the red and yellow crocheted hair flower Miss Cherry Bubbles sent me!

This was the first time we have ever gone to a movie as a family. We just never go to the movies- we don't have a lot of disposable income and usually we prefer to do other things. But I had some really old (like from 2007) gift cards to use up so we took the kids. They were big fans of the first Cars movie and we thought we'd give it a whirl. (BTW, Cars 1 was much better.)  I think the last movie my husband went to see was Blair Witch (which we hated) so you can see how long it's been.

We went to the matinee just in case the kids got squirmy, but we didn't have to worry. They were both really good and my daughter kept herself busy by eating all the popcorn!