Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Injustice!

In the interest of keeping this a wholesome, family friendly blog, i will not share my thoughts on this post other than to say in this day and age when we are all trying to be a little more environmentally aware and doing our part to reduce our impact on our Earth, WHY IN GOD'S NAME are local governments trying to impede the process.

Ivory and Tomato Lady are two women, who to a lot of their fans, are bigger and better than Martha. Ivory has posted here in Little House in the Suburbs: Goat Update: Papers Served
about her town council's complete overreaction to the new addition to her family: a goat.

My hope is that someone who may read this will have some ideas to share with Ivory and can help save the goat and her effort to keep one.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Yard Work

We did a little work in the garden yesterday. It was a beautiful sunny day and warm, as long as you stayed in the sunshine. :o) Looking out across the neighbourhood and the Valley, all you see are snow covered mountains, so it's still pretty cool here (especially because when we woke to head to Mass, there was a slight dusting of icy snow on the grass.) Arrrgh!

That didn't stop us from some yardwork though. Hubbie got the raspberry supports built and set. Now he needs to thread the wire thru the eyebolts and then we'll be anxiously awaiting the arrival of the ruby red candies from Heaven.

The rhubarb is off to a nice start! We just planted this last year, so hopefully this year we will have a ton to use/freeze.


The Chicas got a few hours out in the yard while i dug up some of the garden and prep'ed it for planting.

And i got this bean/pea support built and planted some Alderman Peas on the North side. That is the side that faces away from the sun. I'll grow the Blue Lake Pole beans on the South side, in hopes they will shade the peas a bit and help extend their growing season if we get a warm summer. (a girl can dream, right??)

And today, under this structure, i planted Walla Walla sweets (onions). Trying to conserve my space as much as possible because i am hoping to try a new squash this year--sweet meat. My mother in law turned me on to it the last time we stayed at her place. She served some for dinner that she had frozen from her last summer's harvest. It was soooo tasty--like a butternut squash and sweet potato all rolled into one.

Life's Is Good At Achoo and Poppa's

After you see these pictures, we'll all be wishin' if we could be spending a week of good ol' fashioned spoilin' at Poppa and Achoo's. :o)

Ri was treated to a fine burger at the local Irish pub,

followed by a fabulous looking dessert.


Hey, Riona, the cows called...they're running out of cream!
Then Achoo gave her the little sewing machine that G'ma and G'pa bought for her so she could get to work on her doll quilts (4 of them have been "ordered".) Ri love this sewing stuff! She told Grandma it was really fun!!

You'll notice the walkie talkie...Achoo said Ri was paging Poppa everytime she finished sewing a strip together. And once Ri found out the phones have intercom on them, she'd page him on the intercom too. So Poppa was weighted down with the phone and the walkie talkie so he could stay informed with the progress on the doll quilt.

Here is the finished front sewn by my little seamstress. Today they are going sew a back on and hopefully i'll get some pictures from them and be able to post some pictures of the finished product tomorrow.

And while Ri been gone, we've been sending her "Tommy Dispatches"--updates on the adventures her stuffed bear, Tommy, has had with us while she's been away. She left him here for us incase we started missing her something awful, then he could cheer us up. So we've been taking him with us and photo-documenting some of his whereabouts. Then he's been writing a note to her about his adventures on the family blog so she can see what he's been up to. Here are some of his goings-on:
climbing a tree in the front yard

going for a walk with our chickens


and checking my email for emails from Ri.

He even helped iron Hubbie's clothes and watched a little tv last night. He's been a very busy little bear!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

For the Love of Spring

We are on the cusp of two majour events in our household--travelling and sewing, two of our favourite things!

Ri is going away for her first big girl trip with Pop and Achoo (aka G'ma and G'pa) this weekend. They are coming over to pick her up later this week, and she'll be staying with them for three days in snowy Idaho while Hubbie and i get our acts together, seriously, and clean up this hot mess of a pigsty we live in. :o) And do some touch up work to paint &/or move furniture ...

In this housing market, we are noticing a need to be sans house in order to make an offer that will please sellers, because around here, people selling farms are getting really tired of making contingent offers--especially because they've lost so much money due to updated changes in flood plain maps (so the developers won't come knocking on their doors to purchase the property as potential short plats for a million or 2 dollars.) Real estate agents aren't really encouraging either when they give you "that look", you know the one that you'd give your child when they are caught playing with dried doggie doo, when you tell them you have a house to sell. So as you can imagine, a house still full of stuff that needs to be packed, purged, and cleaned is causing me a great deal of anxiety!

And after 3 days of a great deal of cleaning, i will be driving over myself to collect my little cookie monster and enjoy a couple more days in ID with the parentals.

While she is at P&A's, i think some serious biz is going to go down. Achoo has a little surprise for Ri...not that she will get it this trip, but that eventually P&A are planning on gifting a small Singer to Ri. This was all borne out of our last visit when Ri shared her ideas with Achoo about dolly undies. Two of Ri's beloved dollies have no britches to wear under their skirts and that caused a great deal of distress for Ri. So down they went into Grannie's sewing room and stitched some up. Ri's traced the pattern on several scraps of fabric while Achoo sewed. I'll have to post a picture of them...they are super cute!

Well, now Ri would like to do a little sewing of her own. While thrifting with me one day, Ri and i found a doll quilt. She loved it from the moment she saw it, but there wasn't anything special about it in terms of vintage-y-ness or style. So i asked her would she rather make one herself? Almost instantly she was on the phone with Achoo, asking if she would help her make a doll quilt. :o) And of course, grandmas are obligated, by law i think, to always say "Yes" to their grandchildren's wishes (as long as no bodily harm is to come from it.)

Yesterday, with the help of my friend, J, Ri and i happily ended up sidetracked in a cute little quilt shoppe located in large retail craft center. And she picked out the greatest fabric:

Initially, we were on the hunt for a few more bird prints, as we had a bit of this cute chicken print (don't you just love that black spotted white chicken with all the feathers?)



and a bit of pink flamingo print which inspired Ri to want to create a bird quilt. However, penguins, parrots, et al evaded us, so we were perplexed as to what we would do next. Especially because Ri really wants to use that chicken fabric.

Then, as if delivered by Devine Intervention itself, we found this

which Ri *immediately* fell in love with because it reminded her of our chicks.

Then i found this and we both started giggling!


So yes, Ri's quilt will look like this: an homage to the lifecycle of a chicken. :)

And i think this gent is totally diggin' the vibe the fabric is giving him...i couldn't believe while i was photographing this fabric, he was sitting on our phone wire watching me through the window in our dining room!


So, we were all ready to stop there--one doll quilt would be enough for a short trip like this, i figured--but then Ri found the good stuff! Repro-vintage *FAB*ric.
She picked these doggies


adorable koalas and bunnies with balloons

these cute kittens
And this favourtie find of mine...

the circus!
so if all goes well, she will hopefully come home with 2 new doll quilts for Lorali and Lola.
Ri has such a good eye for picking out colours that work together. Like today, she wore my favourite punk rocker red plaid pants with her dark/lite pink and brown striped (and ribbed) shirt. And she looked totally cool. When is it in the process of growing up that we dumb down our child-like sense of adventure with pattern and textures? Because i want to prevent that from happening to my little "haute quilterist".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Signs of Spring from the Pacific NW

The climbing rose is leafing out...The Lenten Rose is in bloom...


It's just warm enough to take a family bike ride together along the Green River...

and on a clear, sunny day the mountain is out!

Mt. Rainier from Kapowsin, WA




How Worms Came To Live Under My Kitchen Sink

AKA Adventures in Vermi-composting

Some may think its creepy; others plain gross with a capital G.

Or if you are like me, you'd think both initially.

Last year, our world grew a little bigger--and so did our household's "critter count" when friends gave us an old sour cream container that had been converted into a shack cozy enough for a family of baby red worms.



Our local Ag Extension hosted a series of classes for kids, and since we were unable to attend the worm bin class because of a road trip to Idaho, Ri's bff thought it would be great to make her a "welcome home" gift. Since he's a 6 year old "All American" boy, i bet some of his willingness to piece together two bins was really just an excuse to play with more worms. :o)


Although i faked graciousness at first, i was truly grossed out and perplexed. How are you supposed to look at a thoughtful 6 year old who thinks he's done something so cool for his friends and say, "Uh, no thanks, Junior"? How can you also say, "Forget it!" to a 5 y/o daughter who thinks its the bee's knees that her and her friend will get to raise worms together? We've already deprived her of the dog she's always wanted. :o) And moving to more practical matters, we have a finished basement and no garage, so i had no idea where our vermi-composter was going to find a "cool" climate (and one that didn't lend itself to finding little shriveled up twig like corpses on the Berber.)



(the little ripple-y, segmented body there in the black next to the spinach is one of our resident worms)
So, my friends, this is how we entered the world of worm keeping. I figured after the newness wore off, and we'd fattened up the little ruby wigglers, we'd be giving them the ol' Bugs Bunny send off "Bon Voyagee" in the garden or feeding them to our chickens. But....
(there always is one, isn't there?)

instead of Ri becoming attached to the little guys, i grew to love them.
They certainly are more rewarding for the little amount of work that goes into their care.


  • They make "worm tea" (pictured above), which is the nutrient rich liquid that pools out of their home. It smells clean enough to use on indoor plants--a great alternative to synthetic plant food.
  • Their castings (a worm's equivalent to a cow's meadow muffin) are nutrient powerhouses for your plants and great soil builders. The other day, i saw a 12 quart bag of casting selling for $16! Why not make them yourself for the cost of a sour cream container and some wet cardboard and shredded newspaper?
  • They eat what your chickens shouldn't: citrus, tomatoes, onions, banana & potato peels. And like chickens, worms should NOT be fed meat, dairy. or oily food (that will make your composter stink and attract unwanted pests)
  • No trips to the compost pile! (Especially rewarding if you live in a home like ours where the kitchen is on the 2nd floor and you have to descend 1.5 flights of stairs to get outside.) We really haven't had success with our pile to begin with. Area where our compost would cook away nicely all day are too close for my comfort to the street (those pesky nocturnal foragers could meet their demise in the road while making a bee-line for our fresh from the kitchen scraps.) And, since our front yard is our "backyard" equivalent, i am sure our neighbours wouldn't delight in the sight of a compost bin in their line of sight. :o)

If my agrument for keeping Mother Nature's lil garbage disposals under your kitchen sink has convinced you to try your hand at worm farming, here's what you'll need to do:
1. Find an old yoghurt, cottage cheese, etc container and poke a few small holes in the bottom.
2. Soak shredded cardboard for 15 minute, and wring out until it has the feel of a wet sponge.
3. Place cardboard bedding in container, mixing with shredded news and dry leaves (if you desire, you can leave our the leaves.) Make sure to place these materials with a light hand--packing material into the container will be devistating to your worms. Imagine you in a heavy duty sleeping bag that is wet and too tight for you to fit comfortably in. :o)
4. Add your family of worms on top of the material--they'll dig their way down on their only. You'll only need a few red worms, which can be acquired through a friend that has a vermicomposter, at the bait shop, or a gardening store.
5. Slowly add food scraps to your bin the first couple weeks. The worms are still adjusting to their new surroundings. You'll need to dice up peels and such bigger items at this point because they just won't eat that much, but in about a month, you can just add the whole peel, etc. to the bin.
Now you need to place your container in a plant saucer (so you can collect the worm tea.)
These little guys will live on a night's worth of scraps for at least a week. Once we were gone to ID for 5 days--i placed a hand full of potato peels in the container with some onion ends, and when we came home, i still didn't need to feed them for another week. :o)
Once the bin begins to fill up, you have two options: you can move them to a bigger indoor bin (like a rubbermaid storage bin--remembering you'll need something that big to collect the worm tea too) or you can build a wooden 2'x4'x16" covered worm bin (recommended for a family of four) using the same specs as our plastic container (minus the collection bin, because the worm tea will just run out into the ground) outside in a shady and protected area. As the bin fills, you'll move the compost to one side, filling the bare side with more bedding and food scraps. In a few days, the worms should have migrated to the new bedding and you'll be able to apply your compost to your garden.
If you choose to keep worms outside,
during the summer you'll need to add a layer of damp bedding on top of the scraps each time you make a deposit in the bin to help keep fruit fly populations down. Some have found covering the outside with a sheet of plastic helpful too.
during the winter, bales of hay will need to be placed on the sides and top (or solid core blue insulating foam can be used) to keep your wormies warm during those snow storms.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Kid Rocks My Socks!

Last weekend, Ri was pretending we were at a fair, where i submitted my bread into a competition and she and her imaginary friend, Ruby, were judges. While she was judging the seed bread i made, i was talking with my uncle. I was winning with 900 points against other entries made by Barbie, Cinderella, Prince Charming and Hunt (Ri's best friend in real life). That is until Ri heard that Great Uncle Mike (whom she refers to as Orca Mike) makes banana bread. Then Orca Mike and i were neck and neck with 900 point each. But guess who got this:


Ri's made me a badge to wear while i am making homemade bread. (An official member of what, i am not sure. Maybe that might be a good question to ask?!) :o)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Patrick's Day Images

Cause it just a common fact
We hope your St. Pat's Day was filled with fun, good food, and lots of luck and laughter!

Top O' Da Mornin' To Ya!

HappySt. Patrick's
Day-ie-eh-ie-eh!


Nothing like waking up early thing in the morning, combining pantry staples with abandon in a bowl, and mixing up a loaf or two of soda bread. I was up at 3:30 this morning, mixing away and baking 4 loaves, so believe me when i tell you it is easy to do! :o) Soda bread is the best--i don't know why i don't make it more during the year but a couple times. Maybe being from the "Land o' Plenty", we didn't have to worry of going hungry so bad as they did back in the time of the Great Famine, and so, we never needed a loaf. :o)
When it comes to soda bread, i am a minimalist. The traditional way of soda bread isn't too fancy, and can pretty well be whipped together straight from the pantry--heck, you could eyeball most of it. Although i have to admit, it's good with currants too...i've added those when trying to use up a little left here and there.
The best recipe i've found being is from http://www.sodabread.info/ . There you can even link to their Facebook page, if you're a tried and true Facebooker and all that.
And, since in me own home, i know i keep nothing of the buttermilk sort around every day, here are some substitutions for it:
1 cup of buttermilk is equal to:
1 cup of yoghurt or sour cream (people will say this is not traditional, but if it's what you have on hand, then it tis your only choice, eh?) OR
1 cup of milk + 1 TBSP lemon juice or cider vinegar (leave set to sour for at least 5 minutes) OR
1 cup of milk + 1 & 3/4 TBSP cream of tartar OR
a quarter cup of buttermilk powder + 1 cup of water (i, myself, prefer the latter.)
Now, you'll find that buttermilk powder packages "directions of use" may differ from the recipe above. I've tried the packages direction that require more than 1 cup of water, and i think it's just too runny.
Here's what ya do:

Sift 3 cups wheat flour (i like a whole wheat pastry flour like Bob's Red Mill) together with 1 cup of soft white flour (like a cake flour), 1tsp salt, and 1 & 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Finger in 2 oz. of butter till crumbed. Then add at least 14 oz of buttermilk SLOWLY, stirring it into your dry ingredients until you have a wet, sticky mass. Knead ever so slightly here (you don't want to defeat the purpose of the soda.) And place in a cake tin or on a cookie sheet and cover lightly with aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, then uncover and let brown for another 15 minutes.

Bread is done when it lends a swallow, hollow sound when thumped.
Let cool and enjoy with some strawberry jam or mint jelly (which is probably a No. Ireland thing, because mint jelly is a British favourite.)
Any leftovers can be fried in a pan of butter in the morning for a tasty breakfast of "brack".

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh. (The Blessings of St. Patrick upon you)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Making Conventional Cliched Wisdom Work For You

We are taking matters into our own hands around here. The old saying "If you build it, they will come" has me thinking...



"If i design a logo for our family business, the perfect farm for us will be placed on the market soon."



So, here is the resurrection of the farm logo i designed for Ri's farm-themed birthday party. I made it up and transferred it onto some shirts. Hubbie and i liked it so much, we decided to adopt it for our farm when we get one and we're marketing our organic rhubarb, or whatever it is that we'll grow. Definitely would be keen on a carton of eggs, eh?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Busy Saturday

Today started off real slow. We didn't have much planned except for parade attending...until we discovered that the parade isn't until tomorrow (oops). Oy! So i had to make a quick recovery before my family declared mutiny. :o)


While Hubbie and Ri built a tractor from her erector set, i puttered around the house a bit. Got some things done too. Now, i don't know a single person who would want to see before and after pics of my toilet cleaning, kitchen floor mopping, or bedroom dusting--so i didn't take any. HA! Although those were also chores that got done today, here's some pictures of the fun things i accomplished.


I finished a pillowcase for Ri for St. Patty's Day. I just loved this Alexander Henry fabric i found with all the leprechans and harps. Sadly, the Irish flag on it looks more like an Italian flag, but the overall cuteness outweighed that "technicality", so i purchased some. And i loved the Celtic Knot fabric. I am thinking i'll try to buy this out on Tuesday when it goes on sale. I love Celtic Knots sooo much....

as you can see. These knots on my wedding ring are eternity knots. Seemless and unending, such as love bounds two souls together.

Here's a full image of the pillowcase.


I also got my little All In One Fertiliser/Rototillers out for a walk in the garden today. It was a wet, soggy day here--four storms are rolling off the Pacific as we speak--so there were earthworms in abundance for these gals.
Who haven't been slacking over the past couple days, either. This morning i checked the nesting boxes and there were 5 eggs! We just checked them yesterday afternoon! I think the heat lamp is getting to them. I'll be really glad when it warms up enough to turn that lamp off. Poor chickens need their winter rest!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

If You're Grandma Achoo, Don't Peek Til After Pattie's Day!!

Again, if you're name is Achoo, look no further....







I had to share this with my web-friends though. Ri is too cute. These are the decorations she made for her grandparents. On the shamrock that says "Happy St. Patrick's Day", don't you just love the picture of the snake? Too adorable. The best part though is the back of the flag. It's signed "From Ri, Mom, Dad, Sadie, Tigger (our fish) and the chickens" :o) Hee hee







For Peat's Sake!

Dining room decorations for St. Patty's Day: potatoes, a can of Bewley's Irish Cream coffee, my seed packets and potatoes, and a picture of The Henry Whitfield House, Gilford, CT. The house reminds me of those little stone cottages near Blarney, Co.Cork.
Somewhere in the great "history book" of life, Mr. H. Whitfield and i are related.

What does it take to get a few of these little Bells of Ireland seeds these days? I've been scouring and my mom has checked her haunts in No. Idaho for me with no luck. They were quite elusive, like the wee leprechans.

Ri and i had this plan for a gift for dear friends of ours--she would like to paint a terracotta pot to look like a pot o' gold and stuff it full of seeds for their garden: potatoes, Bells of Ire, and Johnny Jump Ups (which is also the name for a special 200 proof brew--a cider--concocted around Co. Cork long ago--sometime around the war i think.) Then, my pop told me that he remembers my great-grandmother used to plant these Bells of Ireland in their yard back in Connecticut, and that made me want to find them even more. A few years ago, Hubbie made all my gardening dreams come true and built the Celtic Cross garden i designed out in our front yard. Last year it served as my kitchen garden, but the weeds are unforgiving in it, so i thought i would plant something more permanent. So Bells of Ire and Johnny Jump Up and maybe some Irish Eyes rudibeckia might work. I had found the Johnnies and the Rudis, but i couldn't find the Bells.
That is, until today!
Thee day, of course, when i had planned to stay home while Ri was at school and do a bit of cleaning up and decorating. After i dropped her off, something in my neurological circuits jolted the ol' memory box up there in me dense skull and off i went to the nursery just up the street from us.
Mind you, this isn't the most beautiful or relaxing of nurseries--it's the nursery for the 'burbs of So. Seattle. Nothing fancy. It's nestled between a Safeway gas station and a Schuck's Auto Store. And especially because it's practically at the end of the run-ways for Sea Tac airport. So, as you can figure, my hopes weren't high that i would find what i was looking for there.
Then, sure as sun follows moon, in the seed department then & there were thee seeds i was looking for. Wahooey!! Too magical it twas, as they only had a couple packets left--the exact number we needed! And from my favourite seed co., who hires an artist to draw botantical quality pictures of the mature flower of the seeds contained within. When i presented to the cashier, she started telling me about her trip to France last summer. She went to these gorgeous 16th century gardens where the Bells of Ireland grew like weeds and her description of the place--the warped panes of glass in the greenhouses that made it look like you were looking through an oil slick, the gardeners wheeling around their weeds like hand trollies built of woven willow branched, the Love Lies Bleeding flowers as big around as your biceps--i was completely mesmerised as if she had transported me to another time and place. My great-grandma's family was from the region of Alsace, back when the lines where France began and Germany ended were very blurred. I wonder if her family had great gardens of Bells of Ire that grew like weeds back then? I wonder what advice my great-grandma would give me for culivating my own little patch of the Bells?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Canadian Living: Country Seed Bread


Turkey and Veggie Cheese on Country Seed Bread









My dear friend, MacD, who is the author of Knitting This, had a recent homemade bread blogpost from a website called Smitten Kitchen! The recipe looked so delectable, but a few of the ingredients we didn't have (namely the powdered milk--anytime we buy powdered milk, it doesn't hang around the house long because Hubbie *hearts* making his Mom's famous Peanut Butter Candy with it.) I am also one of these people that feels if you have to make a special trip to the store for ingredients for homemade bread, then really, what's the point? Especially when a few bread heels could be dug out of the fridge and used if someone really craved a sandwich that bad. :O)

In the reviews of this homemade bread she found was a mention of country seed bread recipe at Canadian Living. So i thought i would give it a try today. That's what i am doing now...waiting for bread to rise....maybe instead of computin' i should be doing some laundry or something so i would really actually be accomplishing something like the housewives of the 20's and 50's, eh?

Here's the link to the bread if you'd like to try it yourself. I'll post pictures later of my rendition.

Canadian Living: Country Seed Bread

Baking Notes:

1. I used dry active yeast from the jar and warmed my water. I am not really sure what "instant" yeast is.

2. I used my trusty Kitchen Aid stand mixer to do all the kneeding for me. Half way through the 8 minutes of kneeding, it was evident that i needed to sprinkle a little of that optional 1/4 cup of flour in the bowl to get the dough to start sticking to itself rather than the mush in the bowl that it was. I ended up using 1/8 cup total.

3. I didn't have any poppy seeds today, so we'll see how it will come out. If nothing else, whomever eats my bread this week, will still be able to pass a drug test. :o) hee hee

4. I try not to use veggie oil--we are a house with many oils, but veggie is not one (except when it's homemade playdough making season.) I decided to forgo the olive oil and try the high heat tolerant sunflower oil.
This is the first time i've had my homemade bread actually resemble bakery bread results! It's not too too dense and it's got a nice moist texture. Even slices like a dream when it was warm!
Today i learned another valuable lesson or two!
1. The second time your bread needs to rise is not a time to hang around the kitchen, because it is in fact just enough time to whip out one of these that you truly don't need (especially if you are eating bread.) :o)

Bob's Red Mill Whole Grain Chocolate Cake with Hershey's Chocolate Frosting

Note: i didn't devour 1/4 of the cake all myself...Ri and Mike helped too. ;o)

2. Also, when it's time to frost a cake, it's not a good time to be talking to your uncle who's describing to you how he and your aunt just devoured this chocolately brownie cookie with Reese's peanut butter chips in it. You know why? Because then you start thinking to yourself, "By George, i think he's on to something. I'll spread peanut butter on the first cake, top it with the second and then frost the entire thing with chocolate frosting!" And because you are the type of cook who likes there to be uniformity, or a roundness, so to speak, to your cake flavours, you top the thing with peanut M&M's, for goodness sake! As if the cake itself didn't have enough calories, but you were convincing yourself that a small piece wouldn't be "that bad" of a dessert because it is a whole grain cake afterall--you know the kind...they taste more like whole wheat out of the flour sack than they do chocolate?! But now you've just ruined your arguement by slathering it with peanut butter and adding M&M's. Sheesh! Uncles...you can't live with them...and you shouldn't talk to them when it's dessert night. :o) hee hee

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Girl Time is Always Productive

Today, Ri stayed home again (i am a little miffed at her school right now--their insensitivity to Ri's current medical condition has me so mad, i am ready to just pull her out of school now and homeschool the rest of Kinder myself. Then maybe she'd be able to work on some challenging material instead of stuff she already knows.) Anyway, i digress...

Thursdays are typically my days to meet up with my dear friend, J. Her son and Ri are like two peas in a pod, and so are their moms. :o) We met up at a local restaurant and chatted for hours over copious amounts of coffee and hot chocolate.

After we parted, Ri and i decided we should head over to the children's bookstore in our dismal little downtown area and acquire some supplies for making St. Patrick's Day decor for the grandparents.

Ri's Irish flags she made for her grandparents decorations

Well, after all that emersion in child related sundries, i decided i would like to look at a couple of the local trinket shops--an upscale resale is right across the street from a thrift store next to the children's shop, so between the two, you can usually find something.

Ri found this classy little red purse. She thinks it would go great with her new blue canvas Converse oxfords. (A fashionista at such a young age!)


And i was delighted to find something worthy enough of my M&M's....

A Muppets container (with the Muppets Inc. logo on it, back when "the Street" characters were known as muppets!)

Truth be told, i just couldn't resist any Sesame Street item that has Prairie Dawn on it. She's from back in the day when i used to watch SS and i just love her and that 3 wheeled bike!


Can't forget cute, adorable, lovable ol' Grover and Cookie Monster either!

The real gonga came from the thrift store--i spotted two acrylic bins on a desk in the back of the store. Once i got back there, i discovered this



And for $6, how could you go wrong?


Once we got home, the fun began. There are zippers galore! Knitting needles and crochet hooks galore (and those itty bitty hooks for lace work--yeeowser!) And sewing needles and DMC floss and embroidery hoops galore. It contains a virtual crafting smorgasbord!
And some of these lil' treasures:



After i saw this, now i know why my "tracer dohicky" for transfer paper never works quite right! Those people that wear numerous ear rings up their lobes could use this to pierce their ears! ;O)

And ric rac and binding tape galore! And most of it was sold for under 50 cents. Needles from Safeway!?! If anyone reading this knows someone named "Betty", i have some handmade by labels for them.

This was totally intriguing...


especially because all 70 needles are still in there. Really, i don't know who can keep track of a needle this well! After i'm gone and all of my craft notions go for pennies at the local thrift, there will be a ton of half empty needle boxes. :o) LOL

For some reason, this trim reminds me of Oktoberfest. Ri likes it too, so maybe i'll use it to jazz up some jeans or a cute jumper for her.

Lord knows what a waist shaper was used for! If you know, please pass it along.

And the last of the little treasures were a thimble from Toledo, a retractable measuring tape (you can never have enough of those!) and an orange applique.
It was something else going through two boxes so full and everything but the German-esque trim being made in the USA or made in England. Wow! Gives this gal a little perspective on how different things have become since around the time my parents were kids till the time i was a kid. I remember most of this stuff was foreign made by the 80's when my mom was introducing me to bias tape, ric rac, and DMC floss and needles.
I am so excited to get those knitting and crocheting supplies organised and box up my ric rac and bias tape for another crafting day. The only thing i was a little sad i didn't purchase was a crocheted apron for $7.95. It just seemed a little pricey to me...especially if i can find a pattern to make one. ;o)