Saturday, February 28, 2015

Random Ramblings

I found this fun blog party, Random 5 Friday at Nancy's blog, A Rural Journal. I thought I could come up with five things....

Just some random tidbits of life here in Upstate NY....

1. ......where we are still under 3 feet of snow!

Here's my husband Frank and daughter Jena trying to get the heavy snow off of our side porch roof, which is groaning under the weight!
2.  I was in the mood for some good trail mix. The pre-packaged ones in the grocery store are so full of junky chemicals and salt, not to mention too expensive. I decided to make my own. With ingredients I got at Aldi's and the bulk section of my local grocery store, I mixed together coconut flakes, sweetened banana chips, raisins, unsalted peanuts, mini M & M's, wasabi peas for a little heat and mini dark chocolate chips. Can I just say....YUM!!
3. My friend Bonnie and knitting mentor came over Friday to hang out, drink coffee and knit. She brought a fun project to teach me. Arm knitting! I had been wanting one of those thick, cozy scarves and this is the way to get one. It was a little frustrating for me to do and once you start you cannot stop. You are literally tangled up in yarn on both arms, but just look at the result!
When it is doubled around your neck, you are literally encased in warmth and softness!
4. On the way home from picking my granddaughter Cassidy up from school she mentioned that she wants to switch her instrument in band from saxophone to flute. I mentioned that I played the flute at her age and still had it. That is all I had to say! Do you know about 10 year old girls? When they want something they can be quite persistent until they get it.
I searched the house and found my flute. I figured out that it is about 48 years old....YIKES! At least that is how long I've had it. We put it together and it all came back to me. The brain is an amazing thing. I was able to play Mary Had a Little Lamb without thinking!
Cassidy tried her best to get her lips just right to get the sound out. She did pretty good!
5. I haven't thrifted in a week! I must go take my temperature!
But here are a couple cool items I got last week....
A very cute Walt Disney Dumbo creamer from the 1950's. He is quite collectible and is listed in my shop.
Also listed is this great Aladdin Stanley thermos, complete with rust and grunginess!
Did you have a good week, with some fun random tidbits?
AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:



Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Tribute to Miss Kitty

My beautiful Maine Coon kitty is gone.

I named her Miss Kitty. My daughter had Mr. Kitty. He's gone too.

I had to put her down last week after she suddenly became lethargic, disoriented and stopped eating. She was a vibrant kitty of a little over 15 years just a few short weeks ago....

This picture was taken when Miss Kitty finally came upstairs after hibernating in the basement for two weeks. She did that every now and then but this time I was fearful she was sick because of her age. During that time she only came out from on top of the duct work long enough to eat, so my husband was the only one to see her.
You see, 15 years ago he surprised me at Christmas with the most adorable kitten I had ever seen, and I have had cats all of my life. He said that he would take care of her by feeding her and taking care of her litter for the rest of her life.
 And he did. She would run upstairs every morning around 6:30 a.m. to have her scratching time with him.
When it came time to take her to the vet, knowing she was dying, I was the one to do that.
She spent the last month of her life upstairs everyday and was the most cuddly, loving kitty. She seemed to want to be with us! It did cross my mind at the time to take note of this because she could be gone at anytime. As I look back, I am so happy for that extra time with her. It was too cold to go outside so she spent all day and night inside with us, occasionally gazing out the parlor windows.

I always thought of her antics as her being just a silly kitty. But I think most kitties are silly and do weird things. Like if there is even just a corner of something to sit on, she will.
Or if she sees an open computer, and especially with paper on it, she's there!
I told the story in a recent post of how she just had to lay on any box that was around. It was her favorite thing to do.

One year I decided to bring all the boxes of Christmas decorations up at the same time. She was in her glory!

She was the typical aloof, couldn't care a bit cat, but she had to be in on the action wherever it was taking place. The baby doll is one my son had to take care of for a weekend as part of a Health class project. We were all avoiding it because it was so annoying, but she was right there with it. Sitting on a piece of paper on the floor no less. Did she want to be near the doll and the action or did the piece of paper just happen to be near the doll??!!

She only hung out in my work packing station once! I had to get a picture before I chased her away!

How can I stay mad at this kitty?


I had a scare a few years ago when she disappeared for almost two weeks in November and it just happened to be the year when we had unusually cold temperatures. I looked everywhere for her but living in a village, it was too much ground to cover. I finally put a flyer up in a local gas station and I got a call from a girl who thought she saw her. Across Main St. behind some apartments is an area where a lot of kitties hang out, mostly because this girl feeds them. I never got to talk to the girl, it was all through phone messages and we kept missing each other because she worked odd hours.

I went looking for my kitty behind those buildings and although there were a lot of cats, none were Miss Kitty. At least I hoped she was being fed.  I wanted to give the girl some money for feeding the cats and to encourage her to keep doing it since mine was one of them, but I never connected with her. I tried to get her to try and catch my cat and call me but after a while of not hearing anything I kind of lost hope.

Then one warmer day, I was getting ready to go out when I heard a car drive up outside, the door opened and then shut and the car drove away. I went to the door and there she was! Miss Kitty was home and not in bad shape at all. I didn't even see a car drive off down the street. To this day I believe an angel brought my kitty home! I don't remember giving the girl my address, yet she was dropped off in front of my house. She didn't stray too far from our yard from then on.

Miss Kitty had her cat friends too. She was the queen cat and the others were her subjects. Two or three cats would hang out on the lawn around the chair she was perched on. They would all just sit there and .....sit there! It was the funniest thing!
If she wasn't outside she would keep track of her friends through the windows on the side of the house facing the yard and front porch. She would run back and forth from one end to the other to see where they were.
For several nights after she was gone, her Tabby kitty friend stood outside our windows on the porch meowing very sorrowfully. Somehow she knew.

Her favorite Summer lounging spot...

It is too soon to get another kitty or two (one for me, one for my husband!) but maybe by this Fall.

I have to think about Miss Kitty and let the memories play around in my mind a little longer.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fine blog parties:

Pink Saturday
Best of the Weekend

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Thrifty Finds and a Sweet New Find

I went back already! Yup, to my new favorite picking spot that I discovered on my birthday. You can read about it here if you'd like.

I went looking for ONE specific thing and I invited my junkin' friend Susan to join me. I really was not buying anything else....wasn't even going to check out the $5 a box section. I still haven't gotten through listing my original found treasures!

We got there early and had to wait to get in. On the door was a sign stating that today was 50% off day! Oh boy, I was going in already in trouble. You had to look for the sticker with the four digit number with the period at the end. Sure, not too hard to do in a HUGE warehouse!

I was determined to look for a vintage, metal garden trellis first. I wanted to get one for my daughter for her birthday along with a Sweet Autumn Clematis. They are so pretty! She admired mine in my garden last Fall when it finally bloomed on my trellis and hinted that she'd love one.

Sweet Autumn Clematis
They didn't have even one trellis so what was I to do but check out the 50% off items?
I picked up the rest of the wooden pant hangers I didn't get last time because they were now 50% off.
Not too exciting. It gets better though.
I had been wanting to find a pair of white ice skates to use for décor and/or crafting. I have a pair but they are mine from when I was a kid and I don't want to alter them in any way. These were 50% off and Miss Sue DePrez inscribed her name and the year 1975 on one of the blades. It still gets better.
 I came across this cute cast iron kitty doorstop for a really good price. I sold one last year but this one is older. Not 50% off but a great price.
 My next treasure was found in an odd spot and when I picked this beauty up, she had a price tag with four numbers and a period! 50% off! She is heavy chalk ware and in perfect condition. I love her!

Okay, I was done. Susan got a cool rug with a corvette on it for her son. I went up to pay and then carried the stuff out to the truck. While I was gone Susan spied this fabulous set of parrot creamers at the checkout counter. They are all stamped Made in Slovakia and Czech and numbered. They are all in perfect porcelain condition. They were all 50% off!

I found out through research that they are from the 1930's. They are highly collectible. I decided to list them all together in case someone wants an instant collection. The numbers are for those that want to choose which one they want. They are so unique and different from each other. Just look at the backs!
Although I never found a vintage, white metal trellis there, I found a new one at Hobby Lobby later that week and it will work great.
Have you ever been to Hobby Lobby? That place is phenomenal! Tons of vintage looking stuff I love, mostly new reproduction items that have been rusted and chipped up to look old. I rarely buy anything new anymore but I had to look at their great assortment of signs.
When I saw the one above, I just had to have it. You see it is the scripture verse that is inscribed on my wedding band, Song of Songs 6:3. The colors match my room and it was 50% OFF!
Here is my ring, front and back.
It was meant to be.
That's how I justify all of my fabulous purchases!!
AnnMarie xoxo


I am linking up with these great blog parties: 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Best Thrifting Week Ever!

I had the best thrifting week of my picking career! And, it happened to be my birthday week. Who knew, in the middle of winter?!

As promised on my Birthday post, here are all the fabulous finds from the whole week.

That week included lunch with my girlfriend Bonnie and we had just enough time to stop in at Craft Bits and Pieces, which is a craft supply and home décor resale shop. All of the items to buy are donated and the sales benefit the Fairport/Perinton Senior Living Council.

I always find great vintage stuff there and it supports the older community of Fairport so it is a feel good place to go!

I'll start with those treasures since they are the ones I don't know if I can part with!

The framed cross stitch with the fabric house is so precious! Bonnie found it first and then realized she had no where to hang it. I don't know if it is old enough to put in my Etsy shop, but I bought it anyways. Until I figure it out, it is hanging in my dining room in a spot I didn't know I had!! It looks great. It may be a while before I figure out how old it is! ;-) It says "Peace to all that we hold dear and all that enter here". It also includes all the letters of the alphabet hand stitched.

The rooster bread board is quite the find too. It is thick and heavy, gouged and scratched up. Perfect! Someone stained and then painted it with a colorful, whimsical rooster.

The chamber candlestick has been painted at least 4 times that I can tell and I just loved the design of it. And that tree! It is a large ceramic tree from 1976 in perfect condition. I will probably wait till Christmas in July to list it. For a buck I had to grab the large piece of canvas. It is so versatile and there are so many possibilities for crafting with it, but I will figure that out later!

On the way to the main destination on my birthday, Rochester Greenovation, we just happened to see a VOA (Volunteers of America). We had to stop.

I found a great industrial metal file box, an atlas jar and a milk glass Tom and Jerry eggnog bowl and cups. Never heard of such a thing as an eggnog bowl, let alone with Tom and Jerry on it (not the cat and mouse in the cartoons, but two Uncle Sam looking guys). I got on Google on my smartphone while in the store (that is the main reason I finally went for the phone and it comes in handy!) and I found that it is from the 1950's and was used during the holidays. Another listing for Christmas in July!
I got it in my head that I wanted an old Hymn book. It didn't take long to find one there. Lots of crafts to do with those old pages, but I will figure that out later too!

Rochester Greenovation! This place was crazy! The final destination for all your picking, thrifting and junking needs! We hit the $5 a box area first and I am finding out that I made out pretty good! As I am slowly researching and listing some of the stuff I  picked and put in that box, I am realizing that they are not too shabby!
One of my blogging friends did a post on vintage trophies and I was so intrigued that I decided to keep an eye out for them while picking. Well, there was a whole table of them here! The ones I picked range in age from 1962 to 1974. Sweet!
The sweet pillow with the cherry sprig turns out to be a French Aubusson tapestry pillow with silk and wool tassels. The Bride book is from 1949 and is a how-to spiral bound book on planning your wedding, offered by Edwards, a popular department store that used to be in downtown Rochester, New York.
I thought the eagle whiskey bottle was so neat and I just had to have the Jacquin's Forbidden Fruit liqueur bottle. It has a crown on the top and since I dubbed myself the Queen eight years ago when I turned 50, I have a thing for crowns. It was not part of the $5 box. I paid $8 for it. I'm keeping it....for now!
More treasures in the box include this 11 1/2" diameter tin tart pan made in Germany and four seashell or clam shell dishes marked WP USA. Can't find what WP is for yet....anyone know?
Two more shell dishes, a little different than the set of four, are ovenproof and made in Japan. They are weighty and very nice! The aqua shell dish is from Catalina Pottery, made in the late 1930's - early 1940's. I think I have to keep that one too!

Some vintage kitchen items including a salt and pepper shaker set that look like whiskey jugs and are hand painted with Little Brown Jug on them. The trivets are tiles that have cooking measurements on one and a roasting timetable on the other. The sweet little rose colored crock is already sold!

How sweet are the bunnies coming out of the head of lettuce? It is a covered ceramic bowl. The bunnies are textured and have pink noses and ears. The 8 ounce glasses have white daisy graphics on them. The yellow centers are a little faded. I had to put them in the box since my favorite flower is the daisy.

These items did not fit in my box so my sweet husband let me put them in his $5 box.  The basket is so nostalgic for me since it is just like the one I hunted for on Easter morning as a kid. The cracker tin is a Blue Magic Krispy Kan. When it is new you have to take the knob and put it in the oven to activate the crystals inside. Once you do that your Krispy Kan is supposed to keep crackers, pretzels, chips and popcorn fresh, fresh, fresh! I just like the made out of the things that are crisp!

I paid separately for the hangers because I know they will sell in my shop. Customers buy them to display cross stitch and artwork. It is a really cute way to show off your handiwork!

Is that it? Yes, for now. I am overwhelmed researching, cleaning and listing all this stuff. But don't worry. Once it is all listed I will have to go out and get more. My junkin' friend Susan and I have a date to go to Rochester Greenovation when the weather gets nicer!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:
Masterpiece Monday
Amaze Me Monday
Show and Share
Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party
Let's Talk Vintage
Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
Vintage Inspiration Party
Together on Tuesdays
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Home and Garden Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Share Your Cup Thursday
The Chain Linky Climb Party

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January One Day at a Time

Every once in awhile I like to do "a day in the life of" kind of post. It is fun to find something different to photograph everyday and I find them to be fun posts to read when others do them.

Here is mine for January....

January 1

While shopping after Christmas at the mall we came upon a Hallmark store that is going out of business.....50% off! I got this Cranberry Chutney Yankee Candle for a fresh scent to start the New Year off....heavenly!

January 2

I had promised my granddaughter Cassidy that we would go to the mall today while she was visiting me all day. She had a gift card to spend and I just wanted to shop.....again!

She got to ride the carousel twice....alone...because NaNa can barely even watch her go around let alone get on it!!

January 3

Been working on taking decorations down.....finally got the ornaments off the tree. It seems such a shame to throw it outside yet. It is as fresh and nice as the day we got it!

January 4

Basketball, basketball every weekend! That's my son Michael going for a shot.

Januay 5
My daughter Jena with her new haircut. She had been growing it long forever and then just decided to cut it off. A new baby will do that to you! It was long enough to donate to Locks of Love.
January 6
My kitty has been hiding out in the basement for a few weeks, never coming up to see the light of day. Then all of a sudden she made an appearance and spent the day with me. Welcome back Miss Kitty!
January 7
The great, huge northeast snow storm........that wasn't.
January 8
It is absolutely frigid out but the local VOA had a sale! I had to go!
January 9
I was in the mood for chocolate chip cookies after receiving my 50% off Food Network calendar in the mail. The picture for January is these cookies. They were supposed to be the best chocolate chip cookies ever. Eh, not so much!

January 10
The Health curriculum in our high school requires students to take this electronic baby home and care for it for a full weekend to teach the reality of having a child in the teen years. Either that for a grade or an extensive research and essay paper. My son chose the baby. It kept him up both nights and was generally annoying the rest of the time. I think the message got across!!
January 11
After two nights of a baby crying and limiting our social life, we decided to just take a down day on the couch with football on the TV all day. And of course with my computer by my side.
January 12
 As always, I am just trying to maintain my weight, so no resolutions on any great weight loss. I have had the weight loss cabbage soup in the past, just for a healthy meal. But this new recipe is a lot better with more veggies. It is called Magic Weight Loss Soup.  It doesn't feel like you are eating a diet food. I made a batch just to have for lunch.
 January 13
 Sometimes the snow is really pretty the way it settles on things. I never removed the dead bee balm stalks from my garden, vowing to move them in the fall to rearrange the garden. That never happened and they got left to winter over. I am glad they did so that I could capture this picture with the snow like icing on the very tips of them.
January 14
Cuties! Wednesday is the day for my granddaughter Chloe to come and spend the day with me. Today I had both Chloe and JC here, getting used to having both and giving my daughter Jena a break. JC is 4 months old today!
January 15
Frozen! It has been so cold here! I went to get my favorite carbonated drink, Cherry Limeade, in the back room and it was frozen almost solid. Our back room is not insulated so it serves as a huge extra refrigerator during the winter, which is usually a good thing!
January 16
A moment in the sun. The sun has been pretty absent in our frigid weather but it came out today and Miss Kitty found it on my parlor window seat. If there is something to lay on she will find it and so she squeezed herself on the corner of the placemat under my jar décor.
January 17
Morning light. I was walking through the dining room and the light on my pie cupboard caught my eye. I'm glad I grabbed my camera to capture it.....a little while later it was gone.

January 18
My son had another basketball game today. There is always the question of what and where we will eat after the game. This game was almost an hour away so there were lots of options on the way home. Some really nice person handed this coupon to my husband so we decided to try this new to us pizza place. When do you ever get $25 off a meal at one time, let alone a pizza place?! They honored it and the pizza and wings were phenomenal! We'll be back! We have another one of the same coupon!
January 19
I found myself making cookies again....this time for a school assignment for my son's health class. He had to make something healthy to eat or with healthy ingredients. What could be healthier than avocados.....and chocolate! You can find the recipe for these delicious, rich, Chocolate Avocado cookies here.

January 20
I found these beautiful needlepoint pillows at my favorite thrift store last week. They have been on my parlor chairs since then because I can't decide whether or not to sell them or keep them! They match perfectly with the style and color of the room. Do I NEED pillows on my chairs? ( I have two matching for each!) What do you think?


January 21
I can't resist the antics of my kitty. This box is from something my husband ordered. While he was putting the item together she decided to lay on I said earlier, if it is there she will lay on it. When he decided he may want to return the item he picked the box up to repack everything. Kitty had a fit until he put the box back on the floor for her to lay on. She has been there everyday, all day, since. Can somebody explain this to me?! No, no one can explain the behavior of a cat!
 January 22
Baking again! I had some bananas to use up and some time today to bake. We never get tired of eating our favorite banana chocolate chip bread....

Hmmm, just scrolled up and there seems to be a lot of Miss Kitty and food in this post. Guess that means one thing.....I have been staying home ALOT this month!
January 23
I went into my back room this morning where there are a lot of random items that are listed in my shop. I spotted the gorgeous Victorian lamp just sitting there and decided that until it sells it would look just fabulous in my parlor. In this picture, taken early morning, I added the lamp and the pillows on the chairs are the ones I can't decide if I will keep or not. The needlepoint pillow on the window seat is newly listed. I buy what I love to sell so why not display them while they are waiting for a new home?

It was not on my agenda to stop at the VOA today since I had so much to do and so many places to go! But on the way home from knitting something just told me to stop there just to see. Well, I obeyed and I am glad I did! Look what I found!

 It is a 1956 Guild Country Belle Telephone Radio. It is made of pine and really looks like a real antique phone. I don't think this one works but it is quite the décor piece. Happy dance!
January 25th
My son Michael had a basketball game this afternoon, just before dinner. The plan was to go out to eat after the game to celebrate my birthday a little early. There is a fabulous Japanese Hibachi restaurant on the way home so that is where we went. He ate every last rice ball on his plate and then on the way home says "Can I get McDonald's?" What?? He's 16 and just played four quarters of basketball........
January 26
My knitting buddy Bonnie told me about these As Seen On TV copper hand gloves that help with arthritis.  I am having a painful time right now trying to knit or crochet. I went and got them today and I could not open the box. I. HAVE. ARTHRITIS. IN. MY. HANDS! Why would they make a box designed where all the edges are glued shut? After I got the thing opened I really needed the gloves.....hmmmmmm.
January 27
Today is my birthday! Yeah!
It's a little scary that Google knows that too! If you hover over one of the cupcakes it says "Happy Birthday, AnnMarie!"
That's my home page....I'm a Google girl
 January 28
As I was driving home today I noticed how bad everyone's vehicle looks from all the salt on the roads. It has been so cold that a lot of salt is needed to keep the roads from freezing. On a sunny, but cold day, living in Upstate NY, this is how we all look driving around. Yeah, black is not the best color this time of year!

January 29
Today my sweet friend Bonnie took me out to lunch for my birthday. We went to The Mad Hatter restaurant which is a cafe and tea place. They serve high tea daily.
She is my knitting mentor and so her gift to me is so perfect. A book on Prayer Shawl's, which we are currently knitting for her knitting ministry The Knit Whits, and a hand made pottery yarn bowl from a local potter that has been around since the 1980's. I love it!!

January 30
Another day out to lunch with girlfriends for my birthday (I am so spoiled!). We went to an organic bakery and café and had a delicious lunch.
I told them no gifts because I am so spoiled, but they couldn't resist! Irene gave me this fabulous, thick, cozy scarf that I had to put on even though it clashed horribly with my sweater! Yup, I did it! I wore the same outfit both days!!
Kim gave me a beautiful hand towel with an A on it.....she knows I have to have my own towel in the bathroom with two boys in the house!! Colleen is the only one who obeyed my wishes so she bought me a fabulous ginger molasses cookie for dessert! The greatest gift was spending 3 1/2 hours in the restaurant with all of them!
January 31
On this last day of January, we are hanging around home and my granddaughter Cassidy is joining us. Have you heard of Trivia Crack? You play it on your smart phone or I Pod. Both my son and Cassidy have an I Pod 4 so they are playing back and forth in the same room! They both are also playing my daughter Jena, who is in another town.  One day while texting back and forth with Jena I realized she was also playing this trivia game with my son who was in the same room as me. I don't get it but then, I don't want to!!!
 So long January! Hello February!
Oh, P.S.......I baked again today. Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bars....MmMmMm

 AnnMarie xoxo
I am joining these fun blog parties: