Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!


"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Late Summer Decor and Apple Cake

Well, it's the end of August and although we still have heat that's hovering around 100 degrees here in lower Alabama, it's somehow beginning to feel a tad bit like fall is just around the corner...I'm itching to get out the fall decorations, but I'm not quite ready for pumpkins and gourds just yet.  I decided to work with some natural, muted tones and textures that would feel a little fall-ish, but for some late summer color, I went with Granny Smith apples and yellow flowers. That bright green will be good until I'm ready to pour on the orange with pumpkins galore!  I thought I would look at the apples for a week or so and then make an apple cake. 

Around September of each year I start wanting to make Southern Living's Apple Cake  by their recipe that I pulled out of the magazine a few years ago.  (They give icing options, but I always use the cream cheese one and it's delicious.)  I'll share that in a future post, but if you would like to make one, follow the link that I've provided.  It's a little hard to see, but it's the words  "Apple Cake" and it should turn blue when you hover over it so that you can click on it.  
 


To go along with the green of the apples, I added some filler around the white candle in the same bright green.  I used glass nuggets, but you could also use coffee beans, dry corn kernels (popcorn), dry beans, rice, or candy corn closer to fall.

I added a few more elements that had a natural, organic feel- antlers and feathers in a glass cylinder.  

I also still have my orange depression glass candy dish with orange slices out...I think it will stay out as long as the color works, and it does for now.




I went by the library and picked out a few books that looked like fall.  Books are always a good addition to a table-top display...they serve as another surface on which to put something special on a different level.  The colors and the titles of these books seemed appropriate for the story I was trying to tell, and they actually look like pretty good books to read! At $1 per book, they were very budget friendly additions to my "almost fall" display on the table.  I put the feathers on the books, along with a magnifying glass.


And the little vintage bottles that I got at The World's Longest Yard Sale are in the window holding pretty yellow flowers.  



I think this will do until I put out the pumpkins!  

What do you do for late summer decor?  I would love to hear from you with your ideas...

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share  your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Worm Syrup - I Think It's My Favorite!


I think I'm starting a new collection...

When we started out to The World's Longest Yard Sale, I didn't have a clue that I would be looking for old bottles, but then... there they were- everywhere.

The more I looked at these antique bottles, the more beauty I saw; I had actually just never looked at old bottles before.  The colors and shapes are so pretty, with a patina that can't be duplicated...there is an iridescent sort of permanent film that nature paints on the glass when they are buried in the soil of the earth for decades....they just grow more beautiful over time while waiting to be dug up by a bottle collector.

They have such interesting things impressed into the glass...like this one- it's worm syrup! I think it's my favorite.


Dr. H S Thacker's Worm Syrup- Chattanooga, Tenn.

Now, the questions I'm asking myself are, "Do you want to just buy them from diggers?" or "Do you want to go digging for bottles?"...Hmmm.  We do have many acres of rural land.

Wait a minute... I hate snakes.

I think I just decided that  I will be shopping for my bottles. 



Wonder what was in this bottle from Dr. W.B. Caldwell
of Monticello, Illinois...

There are no markings on this cute little bottle, except for a triangle
on the bottom with something in it...it's hard to make out what it is.

The dreaded Castoria...I remember this stuff.


Yeah, this one brought back some childhood memories...Let's just say my mom bought a lot of this...and I wasn't smiling like this ad shows from 1956, Family Circle Magazine.  Yes, definitely false advertising.  Okay, Fletcher  family descendants...please don't come after me- I'm just being silly....But, that brings me to another thought-  I'm betting you guys are very wealthy if every mom in American bought as much of this "constipation correction" as mine did!  Now, I will admit that it tasted good, but once we figured out the whole story...umm... no more. Maybe this little girl in the ad has not yet figured out the rest of the story.


I'm not sure what this one held.  It has measuring marks on the side.



They are just so, so pretty.  The fancy one with the etching is not old...I just thought they were pretty together.


Now, I need to go out and find me some orange flowers.  I want a single blossom in each bottle. Don't you think that will be pretty?

I'm going to start trying to research the bottles.  It's fun.  I can now see why people collect old bottles.

Thanks for visiting, and hopefully, we will see one another again soon.

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share  your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Free Haircuts With No Guarantees And A Moonbeam Photo Shoot

Today was sort of a low key day around the house.  

I cut my nephew's hair...he really needed a haircut, but when I took him out to get it cut yesterday, he decided he didn't want to go into the barber shop...so, I decided I would try it myself.  If it goes well, then I saved myself a few dollars.  If it doesn't, uh well...we won't go there!

I'm sure I can do this!    Snip- snip-snip...



Wow!  It wasn't that hard!  Maybe I'll hang out my new sign...



Oh, I guess I would need proper certifications and licences and other such annoyances.  Oh well.  Maybe I'll just continue doing my other fun things!
   
It's not perfect, but it'll do until the next professional one. Tonya, what do you think?  Tonya is my hairdresser- they don't come any better!  If you are in Baldwin County, Alabama and need a good hairdresser, call her.  She would love to hear from you.  Tonya Presley is at Mane Event Salon, Bay Minette, 251-937-4348.



In other Pimperl house news, Moonbeam and I did a photo shoot this morning. I probably enjoyed it more than he did. 




...and, I even caught him reading my new Cottage Journal magazine...



...and, then he just wanted me to go away and let him sleep.



I'll be back tomorrow with a post about my new bottles- Come on back.  It'll be fun!

See you then!

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share  your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Aqua Zebra? Yes.

While wandering through my local TJ Maxx yesterday, I came across this package of shelf liner. It was the perfect color for my kitchen.  Don't you love it when you find something that you didn't know you needed until you found it?  I decided right there on the spot that I needed to cover the bottom shelves of my stainless steel work tables in the kitchen.  It would add another pop of color that I imagined would be perfect.  The tables looked  like this before:



The shelf liner seems to be very durable and I should be able to wipe it down to clean it.  It has adhesive on the back, but pulls right off when it's time to remove it.  Yes, I tried it...didn't trust it, but it worked.  It is part of the Macbeth collection of Decorate Your Life by Margaret Josephs. Many images featuring this line of products can be found by clicking on this link.  It was really inexpensive, at $5.99 for two rolls, each measuring 1.5' x 10'.  Pattern is zebra aqua pop.  



I'll have to admit that it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be to get it to stick on the shelf straight.  I finally figured out to use the straight edge of a six-inch ruler to "squeegee" out the air bubbles as I went, peeling back just an inch or two of backing at a time.  Then I used an Exacto knife blade and a long straight edge to trim the edges...it all worked out.  I trimmed all straight edges to 1/4" from the outside edge.  That way, a little metal still shows around the edge.   It's perfect!  Now, I just have to do the table on the other side of the range.







That was a quick and easy pick-me-up for the bland looking industrial stainless steel and galvanized metal work tables.

I can imagine many possibilities for this great product.  Now, hurry...run to your local TJMaxx and see if they have any left.  Check their sister store Marshall's, too.

Thanks for stopping in to see what I'm up to.  I always enjoy having you, and I LOVE nice comments...I feel like we're visiting!  I'll see you again in a couple of days!

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share  your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The World's Longest Yard Sale- Our Experience- Part Three

As promised, today I'm posting with tips for planning your trip to TWLYS, if you've never shopped it before.  Even if you have, you may find something helpful here.
  
I've included links to every map, website, or business that I've mentioned in this post.  Just hover over the lighter grey words (it's sort of hard to tell the difference, but I cannot change it.) until they turn blue, then click on them.

And, before I get started on this post, if you missed the first two posts of this three-part series, you can find them by clicking on these links:  Part One and Part Two.

Okay, let's get started...

Make a plan

Every successful venture begins with a good plan, and this is no exception. I sat down with the Hwy 127 yard sale map on the computer in front of me and started plotting out our shopping trip, one day at a time.  Because I had done the trip before, I had a good idea of the area we could cover in one day.  My very first trip was a few years back, and we started at the very beginning in Gadsden, Alabama.  We only made it up as far as Mentone (which is still in Alabama) on our first day!  We were almost running, and it would have been impossible to go any faster, so it doesn't look like you are covering much ground when you look at the map.  It measures on the map to be around fifty miles. The Alabama and Georgia part of the trail has a lot of twisting and turning with the roads, and if you're not watching a map carefully, it's easy to take a wrong turn and get off the trail. You have to get through Chattanooga before you actually get on the Hwy 127 corridor. So, with the estimate of around fifty miles per day, I started planning, beginning this year where we left off the first time in Mentone, Alabama.   We decided to stay in Fort Payne, at the Holiday Inn Express, which was the perfect place to get onto the yard sale trail the first morning.  There are many good restaurants and eating establishments located very close to the motel, so finding dinner was no problem.  We enjoyed steaks at Sante Fe Cattle Co. and then scoped out the local part of the trail (and made a few purchases) before retiring to our room.

Sign in Santa Fe Cattle Co.  celebrating the home of the
singing group, Alabama

Peanut bucket...

When I tried to find lodging for the second night, there didn't seem to be much available, and I was booking several months before the sale.  I decided to look at the Tennessee State Parks and see if they had rooms.  They did!  The closest and most convenient one was Fall Creek Falls State Park just outside of Pikeville.  This put us traveling a little over ninety miles from morning to evening, but I figured we could just shop until we were tired and then stop and drive on over to our room at the state park. It worked out with the schedule of the day perfectly.  As it turned out, most vendors and yard sales weren't even open until around 8:30, so it gave us time to drive and make it up the trail a little faster.  Now, we did skip some, because they weren't actually open, so I'm still sticking by my general rule that it's hard to do much more "shopping" the trail than fifty miles or so.  Also, make a note than motels are very expensive in Tennessee for some reason.  Holiday Inn Express (and all of the others) up around where I-40 crosses were wanting over $200 for the night, for regular rooms.  The state park room was just under $100.  Anyway, we estimated the next day that we could comfortably make it from Pikeville to Crossville, and then we would turn around, head back toward Alabama and catch some that we had skipped.  That was just over twenty miles, and it put us into the town of Crossville just at lunch time.  We found a great little Italian restaurant, Forte's Restaurant, that was just what we needed- chef prepared prime rib and pork loin.  It's worth planning a stop to this restaurant in your trip.  Click here for a link to their facebook page.  


The third night, we stayed in Fort Payne, once again, at the Holiday Inn Express.  The next morning, we shopped our way from there back to Gadsden, where we had lunch at Chili's. It was another nice place that I would recommend- good food and service, and really pretty setting by the river.


We covered  about 143 miles of the 690 mile long yard sale, and it took us three days.  That should give you some idea about how to plan.    The only thing we could have done to have shopped more would have been to eat only food from the cooler in the car, but you can only do so much of that (we ate snacks and lunch one day from the cooler)...  We spent maybe six or seven hours of the three days in restaurants, but that was time well spent to recharge our batteries!


Tips

  • It rains frequently, which it did during this sale, and it makes for messy feet.  Bring some rubber floor mats so that you don't trash your good ones in your vehicle.
  • Also, because of the rain, pack some rain boots (with socks!) and/or rubber shoes that can be thrown into the washer.  I have Crocks.
  • A cooler is a must.  It gets really hot and you need to stay hydrated.  You can find ice at your motel or gas stations all along the route.
  • Hand wipes- your hands get nasty from handling not so clean things.  And, you don't want to eat those snacks with dirty hands.  You will also most probably have to use porta-potties, and most do not have hand washing stations.
  • A hat, especially if you're bald like hubby.  A sunburned head hurts!  
  • Sunscreen.  I have sunburned shoulders because I did not take any.
  • Dress in layers.  It can go from cold (in mountains and after rain) to hot in a few minutes.
  • If you have multiple parties (I had hubby), it's a good idea to make sure that everyone has their phone in their pocket before getting out of the car.  It's easy to get separated and lost in some of the larger sale sites, and you can spend lots of precious time trying to find one another.  Yes, it happened to us- once.
  • Your smart phone is handy to check in on the World's Longest Yard Sale facebook page during the day for updates.  People get on there and post good sale locations, traffic updates, etc.
  • Your big map (can be copied from website I shared above) and local maps.  You can either print the local maps or pick them up in the motels.  Most will have them on hand for you.
  • Blankets, quilts or towels to wrap larger purchases to prevent damage.
  • Boxes to organize wrapped smalls that you've purchased, unless like me, you use that as an excuse to purchase cool old boxes.
  • Ladies, don't take your purse.  Leave it locked in the car, hidden, and take a large floppy style shopping bag, floppy style, so that it doesn't make you bump into things and people.
  • Keep handy your itinerary and reservation numbers, along with the motel contact information, just in case you need to call them for late arrival or to cancel.
  • I mentioned taking food along in coolers.  That's what we did, but you will find folks set up with bar-b-ques, and other food at various different places, if you should want to try that. It's hard to plan for meals that way though, because they are few and far between.

Well, that's all I can think of to give you to help you plan your trip.  I would love to hear from you with your tips or recommendations as related to this event.  We can all learn from each other.  

It is definitely something that everyone should do at least once. 

Thanks for following along- I appreciate every one of you!

Judy 

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share  your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The World's Longest Yard Sale- Our Experience- Part Two

Yesterday, I shared with you an overview of our trip to The World's Longest Yard Sale- If you missed it, click here.  Today, in Part Two, I will show you my treasures.  Let's go!

As I unpacked the car, what I bought was a mystery...it's funny how I forgot what was wrapped up in those bags and paper...



Here are some of hubby's treasures- man things- mostly tools.  He picked up some things for other folks who had asked him to look for certain things.  That pointed thing is called a marlinspike and was used by the Navy to mend cables...Our son is a tugboat captain, so we thought this would be a nice gift for him.  


Now, hubby did buy more than I've pictured here, but some things went straight to his office or shop outside, so I didn't get pictures.

As I unwrapped things, I placed them on an orange throw on the pool table...(I think I'm looking forward to fall!)  So, it was here that I photographed everything...before even cleaning them. Some things are okay, as is, but others really need to be soaked in Oxyclean!


Now, I'll share pics of individual treasures and details.

I didn't know when I left home that I would be looking for old bottles, but there was something about them...I think I've started a new collection!  I'm decorating these days with blues and greens, and I just thought these would be really pretty on the table with individual flowers in each one...They are really dirty, so after soaking and cleaning them, I'll explore my options for these pretty bottles.  I did not pay attention to the "collectible" aspect of the bottles, just color.

The Bonsai tree book is for our grandson.  As weird as it seems, he asked for a bonsai tree for his sixteenth birthday last month.  I actually did find one for him, and then on our trip we came across this book.   Picked it up for him.

The crate...I bought it so that I could organize my small purchases, and it will be pretty in a display somewhere in the house too!



I'm always looking for nice pieces of Iris & Herringbone depression glass.  I inherited my paternal grandmother's tea pitcher, and that started the collection.  I don't like to pay too much for each piece, so these were all pretty good prices- not yard sale prices, but good prices.





I am also always on the lookout for things with character that I can use for storage in the house and studio. I LOVE sewing machine drawers, and this one was extra pretty with the fancy pull, so I had to have it.


...and, I found this wire basket that was the perfect color of blue!



Our daughter-in-law loves crocks, so this is for her next birthday in a couple of months...I picked it up at a great booth that I could have stayed in for hours!  It had all the things that capture my attention and imagination- vintage buttons, lace, glass, and oh, so many small things.  She had soldered pendants too...I do that kind of work, so I felt like she was a "sister" of sorts!  I'm talking about Rosa Bergen, of Rosa Bergen Antiques.  


...and that little oval frame was a bargain at $1.  I think I'll paint it- maybe.



This cool glass topped vintage canning jar will hold something for me...


And, I found many new shakers for glitter in the studio...and the silver plated piece with the glass insert (candy dish or relish dish?) will hold buttons or beads or something in the studio.





I found some really pretty metal pieces that I will probably use in some mixed media artwork...stay tuned to see what they eventually become!




A French souvenir of the Eiffel Tower...


...and a rubber glove form from a manufacturer.  I use these in the studio and at shows to display jewelry.


Remember this from yesterday?


Here's a closer look.  I LOVE the patina on the frame and the crazing and flaking of the silvering. 


You can see the waves in the old glass by looking at the reflection of the clock on the wall in this pic.



This is another item that I'm always looking for- textile mill spools.  I love to use them in the studio, where they are actually very functional.  This one came with the string, which right by itself is worth what I paid for the whole thing!



I mentioned Stone Ridge Soaps in the post yesterday.  I purchased four bars and I'm looking forward to opening the first one.  Sharon Tarver has certainly branded herself with a really cool artsy look.  She actually hand stamps all of her wrapping!  Her entire booth was well done and you can tell she loves what she does...She is VERY serious about her soap.  I enjoyed visiting with her and talking about her soaps and lotions at a stop in Fort Payne. She will be setting up a booth at Oxfordfest in Oxford, Alabama in October.  You can find out more about Sharon, her products, announcements and where she will be setting up next on her facebook page linked here.  I'm sure I will be looking for Sharon on my next TWLYS trip!


I also purchased the cutting board that I shared with you yesterday...Here's another look.



Being an artist myself, I really appreciate good work when I see it and the hands that lovingly created these items...I get what they do.  I hope to see both of these talented artisans  on the next trip...I'm sure I will need more cutting boards and soap by then!


And, I just have to include this because it helps tell the story...I brought along my copy of Where Women Create to look at on breaks.  Well, I never opened it- no breaks-  we even ate on the run!  I will get to look at it with a cup of coffee sometime during the next couple of days while I recover!


In part three, next post, I will share with you tips and information that you will find helpful if you plan to shop the World's Longest Yard Sale.  

It's raining now in Bay Minette, so I think I'll close this post now, go fix a cup of coffee, and curl up with that magazine.

Judy

If you like what you see here, I would love to have you follow along.  To make sure that you don't miss anything, you can follow by e-mail.  Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and put it in the space  provided, or you can enter it at the top of the sidebar.  I never share  your  addresses  with anyone, so  you  can  feel at ease by sharing it with me.  Also, your first mail from me will most likely end up in  your spam folder, so you will need to go look for that one, then click on my e-mail address and save it to your address book.  That will assure that all future e-mails will go  to your e-mail folder so that you can   actually  see them.  I would be honored to have you follow along as I play!


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