Friday, October 24, 2014

Around the House

I love me a Ryan Gosling meme.  When I came across this one I had a chuckle.  It is always situations that we can identify with that make us laugh the most.

I am often guilty of leaving my crafty stuff laying around the house.  Here's what can be found on any given day.

Two sets of fingerless mittens for Lisa sit on the coffee table in the living room.   It is the one item that she lets me knit for her each year.  They still need to be sewn up.  I have decided that if I put them in a yarn bowl, they serve as decor.  LOL

A pair of mittens in progress sit on the end of the sofa.

Maggie decides that they make the perfect head rest until I notice and snatch them away.

A tiny pile of memorabilia being collected for my art journal sits on the kitchen counter.  Family members have been educated that random piles such as these are not to be confused with garbage and disposed of.  This is art supplies and inspiration!

A quick trip to the basement is always a guarantee of finding a craft mess.  Why? Because this is where the scrap room is!  My desk usually looks something like this.  Yikes!  I really need to get back to that LO that I started two weeks ago.

Then there is Susan's desk too.  She usually has a project on the go too ready to work on if we decide to scrap on Crafty Tuesday and give our knitting needles a rest.

When I look at these little messes I feel happy.  I see many creative outlets.  I feel inspired.  I imagine hours of crafty fun to be had.  These "messes" make my house feel like my home.  

Hope you spend some time today creating some little messes. :)


Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Pyrex Wish List

When I was little, I remember being so excited every year when the Sears Wish Book catalogue came in the mail.  It always had a beautiful illustration on the front cover which usually included Santa Claus.  It was page after page of Christmas gift ideas and the toy section was huge.  I would look through each page carefully deciding what I would ask Santa to bring me that year.  Looking back, it was lucky for me that my mother always ordered our toys out of this book and had them delivered to our apartment.  Santa never let me down.

There is something exciting about having a wish list even as an adult.  You know that old saying about it being better to love what you have rather than have what you love.  It is the joy of thinking that one day you might actually have your wish fulfilled.  Loving vintage Pyrex is great for the wish list experience.  It isn't like you can just go out and buy what you love at the store.  You have to hope to find it one day while thrifting or even be lucky enough to find it on eBay and then pay the huge price.

Here's what's on my Pyrex wish list.

Above and beyond all wishes is the Butterfly Gold lasagna pan.  These pans are hard to come by and when you do they cost a fortune.  I wonder if they didn't produce as many back in the day.  Maybe people used them so much that they just wore out.  I actually make lasagna so this pan would be beautiful and useful.

The Pyrex refrigerator sets are something else.  There is just something about these tiny containers that have so many possibilities.  Again they are hard to come by.  You might find the odd one without a lid and even then they are pricey.  The Butterfly Gold set is beautiful!

Susan and I always joke that if we came upon a set while out thrifting together, the fight would be on.  LOL

The last thing that I dream of is the Pyrex bowl set from the 1940's in primary colours.  They go for about $75 a set.  Someone paid over $400 for a set that was brand new in it's original packaging! Although I love pattern and these bowls are solid, there is something so striking about the set.

I can see my Granny White in her kitchen baking up a storm.  This is just a dream as I don't know that she ever owned this set.  She was an amazing cook and baker.  Her shortbread was the best!  I love this photo of her sitting in her kitchen sometime in the 1950's.   I especially love the hand beaters mounted on the wall.  That cute little Boston Terrier in the bottom left hand corner is my father's dog, Tipper.

Granny Taylor must have had the pink set that was so popular in the 1950's.  The reason I think this is because Susan has the large pink bowl that was Granny's.  Maybe it was the only one left of the set.  Here's Granny Taylor in her kitchen on Easter Sunday of 1975.  She would be pulling the ham out of the oven.  How was she so calmly doing that with three grandkids running around her?  LOL  I loved Granny's kitchen and can remember it in vivid detail.

Well it looks like my love of vintage Pyrex has brought be back to kitchens of days gone by.  It's fun to remember.  It is also fun to wish.  I'm wishing for that piece of Pyrex at the end of the rainbow.  :)


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Tea Time

Susan came over today.  We did some knitting, met Rob for lunch at our favourite Chinese food restaurant and then did a bit of thrifting.  We always have fun on Tuesdays and one of my favourite things we do is have tea time.  Tea time usually happens between 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm.

Lately, tea time is much more enjoyable thanks to Susan's sweet cookie adventure.  Susan is baking her way through an entire cookie cookbook!  She bakes cookies on Monday's and then brings over a sample for Tuesday tea.  It is really fun to try so many different types of cookies from different parts of the world.  Susan has a blog detailing her adventure which you can take a peek at here.

Today's cookies were called "Piglets",  made from a recipe from Mexico.  They were so good!  They had a hint of orange and cinnamon,  a nice crunch and were great with tea.

Today's tea was David's Tea.  I had "Midsummer Night's Dream".  It is a delicious blend of citrus and mint.  Susan had "Orange Blossom".  A citrus delight.

We even had it Downton Abby style and served it on Royal Albert china "Enchantment".  We decided that tea tastes much better from a china cup.

We were feeling like queens!  The only thing we were missing was fascinators.


Monday, October 20, 2014

To the Antique Mall!

Oh the Antique Mall in Edmonton... it is becoming one of my happy places.  Aisles and aisles to slowly walk up and down looking for vintage treasure.  There are over 300 venders and each has it's own little spot filled with lovelies.  It is a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.  It used to be that when I went,  I was on the lookout for hobnail milk glass.  I have officially declared that collection as complete. One day I'll take some photos and share it on the blog.  These days I am looking for Pyrex!  Just a more functional kind of milk glass.  ha ha

As I have said before, there are pros and cons to shopping at the Antique Mall.  It's the perfect place to go if you are looking for that hard to find piece for your collection.  With so many venders there is a better chance that you just might find it.  But this convenience comes with a price... a  much higher price than if you found it yourself while thrifting.  One great thing about the Antique Mall is that the items are often in better condition than what you might find thrifting.  So it is a give and take kind of thing.  I find that I leave the Antique Mall with the thrill of that automatic gratification of scoring some great finds for the collections but I also leave with a bit of a let down feeling that it was just too easy and I paid more.

Here's what I paid too much for this time!  ;)

I found the middle sized bowl for my Pyrex "Woodland Brown" set.  It is pristine and shiny with not a scratch and for this I paid $9.

Oh they look so great together!

Next I came upon this medium sized casserole dish in the "Butterfly Gold 2" pattern.  This second release of the pattern has a different design and the colour is more yellow than the gold of the original pattern.  It is in excellent condition and cost $18.  Its size is the perfect addition to my vintage casserole dishes.  I guess I better start making casseroles.  LOL

My last find lead me to a personal realization about Pyrex.  It's a scary one.  I have discovered that there is no Pyrex pattern that I don't eventually fall in love with.  A pattern that I can originally look at and say "it's okay" will eventually turn into a feeling of, "I love it!", if I look at said pattern long enough.  This is what happened with "Forest Fancies".  This pattern was released in 1981.  The more I looked at it, the more I loved those adorable mushrooms and that surface splatter.  It took awhile though.  I was originally able to pass up casserole dishes at The Goodwill.  Then yesterday happened.  Rob spotted this complete set of 4 bowls,  never used with some of the original packaging in place.  They just seemed so perfect and yes, for $35 they are now living in my kitchen cupboard with the other bowl families.  I think I need an intervention and quick!

It was a successful antiquing day and that feeling of missing out on the thrift store hunt seems to fade more and more as I become distracted with the shininess of these new bowls.


*Diane's bowl collection was not forgotten on this trip.  I was able to put a lovely set of four together for her.  Unfortunately,  I went to her house right from the mall to give them to her and forgot to take a photo of the set.  Maybe one day I can do a photo shoot when I'm over.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading Challenge Update

Last month I decided to give myself a reading challenge.  I chose 5 books that were on the Giller Prize long list of 12 books, to read.  You can read about it here.

 So far I have read three of the five books.  Here's a quick review.

"Watch How We Walk" was a great book.  My favourite of the three so far.  It had me wanting to read more to find out what happened.  I loved how the narration changed back and forth between the main character as a child and then as the main character as a young adult.

"All My Puny Sorrows" was not greatly enjoyed by me.  I found that I really didn't like many of the characters in the book.  I found it dragged in the middle.  It was also full of poetry.  I think this book would be great for someone who reads a book looking for themes and deeper meanings along the way.  I'm sure it could be studied line by line for it's depth but I just like to read a book on a more surface level to find out what happens and be entertained.  I'm not interested in writing an essay on it. I had enough of that in my college days.  LOL

"Tell" was enjoyable.  It takes place after the First World War.  I always gravitate to books of this time period.  I like hearing what life was like then.  It did have lots of the everyday ordinary life stuff but also had a really strong ending.  I loved that it was set in the winter and described our Canadian winter so perfectly.

As for the Giller Prize of 2014, the short list of 6 books has been announced.  I am thrilled that 3 of the 5 books that I originally chose are still in the running for the award,  "All My Puny Sorrows", "Tell" and "The Girl Who Was Saturday Night".

I still have 2 books to read before the winner is announced on November 10.

But for now I am taking a bit of a literature breather and reading this!

I rarely read mysteries but got caught up in the movie hype and some good book reviews from friends.  So far I am really enjoying it.

I'll be back later with my final book reviews as well as the Giller Prize winner.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

That 70's Tangent ~ Mushrooms

Susan and I got together today for some crafty time.  We got a bit of knitting done, met Rob for lunch at a sandwich shop and got some thrifting in.  We love looking for treasure.  You just never know what you might find.  Today was a jackpot day for me in my quest for finding a few signature 70's pieces for the kitchen.

Some of you may remember that the 70's kitchen decor was all about ... mushrooms!  Mushrooms decorated everything from tea towels to salt and pepper shakers.  What really screamed 1970's was a set of mushroom canisters.  You can imagine my delight when I can upon this!

I am assuming that it was one of many back in the day.  Looks like the size that may have held tea bags many years ago.  It appears to have been made in a ceramics class by "Shirley".  Ceramic making was a very popular hobby back then.

I paid a whopping $1.50 for it.  Heck I would have paid $10!

Susan suggested using it to hold dog treats.  What a great idea to make this little beauty functional too.  Maybe with the dog treats up on the counter I will be more inclined to offer them to the pups more often.  Since Gus passed, dog treat time is minimal.  You see, it was Gussy's job to stand at (or in) the pantry to remind me that a doggie cookie would be greatly appreciated.  haha

It wouldn't seem like a 70's post without the mention of Pyrex.  LOL  I am happy to report that Diane has expressed an interest in owning a good set of glass bowls.  I was quick to suggest that I look for a thrifted set.  She loves the idea of a mismatched eclectic set and so I have a new reason to hunt for Pyrex.  Yay!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.  We celebrated yesterday!

The table was set... (with some vintage thrifted stuff.)

The candles were lit.

Family gathered.

It was a lovely evening.

Wishing all of my Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving!

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