Sunday, November 25, 2012

Small Business Saturday Shopping (& yard sales)

Duane and Linda and I all like shopping at small locally owned businesses.  Not that we don't like department stores or malls but we like to support local merchants.  We decided to shop and eat at only small local places yesterday -- mostly in Duane's neighborhood -- and, yes, that did include a few yard sales, too.  We decided to hit the yard sales first since some of the stores hadn't opened yet.  All three of us found things at the yard sales.  I bought  some DVDs and (my cool scores) an old metal/cardboard matchbox featuring Allegheny Airlines DC-9 VistaJet and a cigarette holder.  Although I don't and never have smoked, I thought
there was something neat about the cigarette holder.  It reminds me of Lucille Ball on "I Love Lucy" whenever she was play-acting as a vamp.  It's part heavy stiff cardboard and part some type of resin.  But it also has advertising on it -- "Furs by Gaylon.  Create Warm Friends.  Ardmore, PA."  I would also never wear fur but this is vintage stuff we're talking about here.  I think it'll look neat inside my living room glass display table with other 'finds' and gifts. I also nabbed a full skein of pretty variegated yarn that I'm going to use for some items for The Humble Stitch Project. 

Duane found a ceramic pitcher, two attachments for her mixer, and some books.  Linda found a movie she wanted so none of us were empty-handed even before we hit the local stores.  We walked through Sherry's YesterDaze shop first.  It's always fun to pop in and see what she has among the tons of items she carries.  Apparently, she had a very busy day the day before, on Black Friday, which was a pleasant surprise.  Linda bought some lovely vintage embroidered handkerchiefs from Sherry.  After doing some window shopping, we hit a new store that we'd never been in before called Cleanse.  It's an apothecary type store and they were serving champagne to their customers.  They also had the sweetest dog, a Shar Pei, who allowed himself to be petted.  We all found things to buy at Cleanse.  Besides handmade soaps and lotions, etc., they also carried really cute Christmas ornaments.  Linda and I both loved the 3-D pinecone ornaments made of wood and each bought one.  Linda also bought a painted wood star ornament and some cleansing items.  Duane purchased some darling make-up items.  This is a store that we'll definitely return to when we shop.

We were all ready for lunch by then so we decided to hit Nicko's Diner.  We sat in the "Elvis" booth and had a great lunch.  Next weekend we plan to go to a huge arts and crafts sale being held in a suburb of Tampa near where Linda lives.  I will, of course, report back here.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Semi-Annual Parking Lot Sale

One of the stores that my friends and I like to check out is in Duane's neighborhood.  Sherry's YesterDaze is a cool vintage boutique that features a little bit of everything from jewelry to housewares to furniture and clothing.  Twice a year Sherry has a sale in her parking lot where she puts out items from her store and also has other artists/merchants/friends set up tables.  There's always a great variety of stuff so we always try to make these sales.

Linda's buys.
Today, Duane and Linda and I hit the sale a little after 9am.  Linda and I both bought stuff for ourselves and as gifts.  She bought a "Life" magazine in terrific condition that was published after President Kennedy was assassinated, a fab enamel bowl, a folk CD, a pair of bottle top candles and she got a great deal on a vintage 'moonbeam' clock.  L.L. Bean sells new versions of the clock but Linda scored this vintage one for a lot less money in working condition.  She also bought a pretty signed sketch of a cat that she plans to frame. She and I both also liked these woven bracelets made by children in South Africa.  Beautifully made in bright colors, they can also be used as bookmarks.  I bought three for my three nieces in their various favorite colors and Linda snagged one, too.  I also bought a cool little china dish made in England by Staffordshire with an outline of Charles Dickens on it.  I've put out a few little dishes that I've come across and like in my guest bedroom for people to use as coasters. 

My buys.
Then we hit a couple of yard sales that we happened to pass on our way to get some coffee.  We were waiting for the store that Sherry's husband, David, owns to open at 11am.  I've mentioned A Modern Line a number of times on this blog and all three of us have purchases from this store in our homes.  I bought a bark cloth pillow that goes great in my guest room on the sofa bed.  It picks up the colors of green and yellow in the room.

Another fruitful morning with good friends.

Mr. Dicken's dish.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My latest recording -- a new mystery available on Audible

My latest recording has just been published on Audible.   Edited for Death by Michele Drier is a mystery told mainly through the eyes of the narrator, Amy Hobbes.  Amy is the managing editor for a local newspaper in a small town in Southern California.  She and her best reporter, Clarice, are covering the death of a U.S. Senator and World War II hero when a couple of other deaths in the area appear to be linked in some way to the Senator.  All of the victims had ties to the local hotel that the Senator's family owns.  Pretty soon, Amy, who is also aided by a Holocaust survivor and her old friend (and, now, new boyfriend) Phil, gets in pretty deep as things begin to heat up.

It was an enjoyable experience 'playing' Amy for this book.  She's smart, savvy, and independent but finds herself involved in a dangerous situation.  I believe that Michele Drier has a sequel planned for Amy which has an approximate due date of Spring, 2013.  In the mean time, you can get to know Amy Hobbes by purchasing Edited for Death here on Audible.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ready for The Humble Stitch and a Fashion Show Birthday Party

My buddies Linda and Duane and I have a box ready to ship to The Humble Stitch Project this week.  We have caps, scarves, fingerless gloves and squares for Knit-A-Square to be made into blankets.  You can find out more about both projects by clicking on the titles.  We also have a nice selection of extra skeins of wool and acrylic yarn that we're sending for other stitchers to use to help out.

I'm particularly proud of my first broomstick lace scarf.  It was really fun to make and I plan to make more of them.  I chose a pretty mocha brown for this one and made it approx. 6 feet long.  I may make the next one a little wider so that I won't need to make it quite as long.  I just wanted to make sure that it would be warm enough for the lady who wears it.  I looked at a number of sites while trying to learn how to work with this stitch.  The best instructions I found were at this site: Speckless by Heidi Hengel.  She has her own wood 'pins' that she uses to make her lace.  I used a size 35 wood knitting needle to make my lace.  Heidi's easy to follow steps, complete with pictures, really helped me and I wanted to point anyone her way who might like to learn this stitch.  So pretty!

Now, for something completely different, I attended my niece Ava's 6th birthday party last Sunday and, as usual, my sister Carol (Ava's mother) pulled out all of the stops.  The theme was 'A Fashion Show' and the guests, along with Ava, modeled outfits on a runway built by Ava's dad and a friend.  Carol made all of the decorations and the food including the fashion doll cake and the cupcakes.

The tables set for the party.

Cake and cupcakes

Included in the activities, before the 'fashion show' began, Carol had set up three different 'stations' for girls to 1) have their nails painted, 2) have makeup applied and 3) have their hair styled by three lovely girls who were all part of 'Salon Ava' -- yes, my sister actually embroidered that on their aprons with her sewing machine.

Ava having her hair 'done' at the hair station.

A guest having her nails painted.

There were also tables set up with flower shaped sandwiches and cheese doodles for the party-goers to have for lunch.  And, there was a candy table with tiny cardboard purses for each girl to fill as she liked with the various candies on the table.

The 'fill-your-purse' candy table.
Ava's big brothers, my nephews Sam and Ben, were able to make it home from college to attend the party.  Sam also served as 'emcee' for the fashion show.  He entertained us with a little Bobby Darin while we were waiting for the girls to start coming out.

Big Brother Sam as Emcee
Ava's Runway Sign

Ava's entrance.

Ava posing.

One of the guests strutting her stuff.
Finally!  Time for cake and cupcakes.
Ava opening presents.
Mommy helping Ava read the cards.
Big Brother Ben wondering, 'How did I get here?'
As usual, the kids had a great time and took pink or purple gown shaped plastic bottles filled with candy and small toys home as party favors.  Carol never does anything half-way.  I was so tired, it's taken me a week just to blog about it.  Heh, heh, heh.   I wonder what Carol has planned for Ava's 7th birthday...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seminole Heights Community Yard Sale

Yesterday morning, Duane, Linda and I hit the community yard sale being held at various houses and places in Duane's neighborhood.  This included a church sale and a Friends of the Library sale, too.  We each found a few items along with meeting a lot of nice people and, best of all, we found more yarn to send to The Humble Stitch.  Duane bought some figures that light up along with some books.  Linda bought some books and a CD and I bought an easy primer on crocheting (with basic stitches and patterns) AND we came across a box of yarn -- almost all of it 100% wool.  It's a little unusual to see people selling wool yarn in Florida.  It's mostly cotton and acrylic.  The lovely lady I bought the yarn from only charged $1 for the box and wanted to let us have it for free when Duane happened to mention that we were buying it to donate or make items for The Humble Stitch.  I insisted that this lady accept the dollar.  She was already practically giving it away.  Oh, and I found something else for George this time.  A nice Vivitar zoom lens with it's case for only $4.  It's in excellent condition and George can add it to the lenses he uses for his photos.    

After a few hours, it warmed up outside and we were getting pretty tired so we ended up at Starbucks for some refreshing iced coffee and treats.  Great time to gab and relax at the same time.

We did have one other treat (for me, most of all) when I spotted a classic Mini in the driveway of a house we were passing.  Linda was nice enough to get out and take a picture for me to post.  This one reminded me of Mr. Bean's car.  Steering wheel on the right-hand side of the car, driving lights and in beautiful condition.  Obviously someone loves this Mini as much as I love mine. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

I hate to paint but love the results AND an Amigurumi Angel Fish

I've been meaning to redecorate our guest room for several years now and I'm finally in the process.  I finished repainting the room yesterday so the worst part is over.  The rest will be fun stuff -- decorating, etc.  The walls in the room were white so I chose Benjamin Moore's Spring Bud -- a lovely green to cover the walls.

I'm using some yellow in the room, too, and the trim is all white with large white closet doors.  This color really pops against the white and I love the way it turned out.  Then, because I follow
the wonderful blog Young House Love, I discovered that the designer Nate Berkus was releasing a line for Target.  I would
have realized it eventually but you really do have to be fast on your feet when designers license items for Target (thank you, Sherry of YHL!)  I checked online and found that the Target closest to me had two items that I wanted for the guest room.  (Ironically, they turned out to be the same two items that Sherry of Young House Love  also purchased for her home!)   The tortoise shell, which even George loved, looks gorgeous against the green wall.  I also purchased the white urchin to place on a mahogany side table.  
I plan to hang botanical themed items and probably some of  George's nature pics to finish off the room. 

Tomorrow I'm hitting some estate sales with my buds, Duane and Linda.  I may find something else for the room then.  On Sunday, I'm attending my niece, Ava's, 6th birthday party.  My sister, Carol, always goes all out when she throws a party -- her daughter and both of her sons have reaped the benefit for their birthdays.  This year the theme is a fashion show.  Big brother Sam will be home from college to 'emcee' the show.  Should be fun.  I blogged about Ava's party last year here.  I'll probably post photos again from this year's 'do.
Oh, and, of course, I had to make something for Ava to go along with what I bought for her from the store.  This year I made her an Amigurumi angel fish.   Makes a nice stuffed toy for her bed.  The pattern can be found here.

After this weekend, it's back to work.  My next audio project is a sweet, funny and short Christmas book.