Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Romancing Olive" now available from Audible!

My latest recording was just published on Audible.  This one is a historical romance called Romancing Olive: Prairie Romance by Holly Bush.  I loved the characters and the setting in this book.  It's laced with humor but deals with a serious situation along with a developing romance.  Here's the blurb from Audible:

"1891... Spinster librarian Olive Wilkins is shocked to learn of her brother's violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law's subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother's life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.

Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.

Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John, while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?"

Hope you'll give this one a try.  To listen to a sample and/or purchase the book, head here

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Parking Lot Sale and a Library Book Sale

Saturday morning, Sherry's YesterDaze, had their parking lot sale.  This usually happens twice a year and Duane, Linda, and I rarely miss it.  Besides having items on sale in the store, Sherry has other sellers put up tables in the parking lot of her business for a nice variety of vintage items for shoppers.

There were quite a few vendors at this sale.  One woman had a ton of nice vintage costume jewelry.  If only I didn't have so many pieces already.  Sigh.  Duane found a cute blue and white pin in the shape of a Dutch wooden shoe.  It has the look of Delft although it's not marked.  Still a nice piece to add to her collection (and wear).  Duane also found a book at this sale.

Vendors at the parking lot sale.

After leaving the parking lot sale, we headed to the Seminole Heights Branch Library.  They were having their book sale which included DVDs.  This was a great sale if you're a book-lover -- a label that all three of us proudly share.  This is the first sale that we've gone to since the new library was built.  The sale was held inside, which was nice since it's already gotten pretty warm here. 

Seminole Heights Branch Library
None of us left this book sale empty-handed.  Besides books, I also purchased a movie.  Lots of recently published books for sale (due to donations) and all of the proceeds go back into the library.  Good for everyone.

We headed to Starbucks after the book sale and had refreshments and a good gabfest.  Needless to say, we'll be borrowing some of each other's books which makes it even more of a bargain.  Happy reading! 

Our purchases.

Duane's shoe pin.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hemp Easter bracelets

It's that time again.  We're approaching another holiday where I make something for my three young nieces.  I had purchased a ball of variegated hemp from Tuesday Morning in pretty pastel shades -- perfect for Easter.  I just needed to decide what I was going to do with it.  I've never worked with hemp before.  The type I purchased is pretty stiff but it stated on the label that it's great for jewelry making.  I decided to crochet Easter bracelets.

Since I was really 'winging it' on this project, I checked for ideas on how long to make bracelets for girls ages 5-8.  The suggested length is around 6 inches so I used a U.S. size H (5.0 mm) crochet hook and made a chain just over 6 inches long.  Then I turned after making the chain and crocheted using a slip stitch in the chain.  This worked out pretty well.  I was afraid that the hemp would begin to separate and/or fray if I tried to do anything more intricate.  After I finished each bracelet, I sewed a plain white button on one end and stretched the last loop from the other end to fasten around the button.  Then I sewed a charm in the form of a decorated Easter egg on the middle (front) of the bracelet.  I'm pretty happy with the results.  I would work with hemp again although I'm not sure what else I would make.  I think it would make a cool little basket.

These will be sent in Easter bags with a tube of mini M&Ms and an Easter card for each niece.  Hope they like them!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Two Friday Estate Sales

From sale no.1.

Yesterday morning Duane, Linda, and I set out for two large estate sales.  One was a 'living' estate sale because the owner, an artist, was in the process of moving to a much smaller place.  She had not only her own art and antiques but she was a collector, too.

Much of her own painting consisted of delicate work on pieces of white china.  It was a large house for one person but she had used one of the bedrooms as a studio.  Other rooms held a large number of vintage books, particularly children's books, along with various ceramics, clocks, and household items.

Linda found a beautiful enamel on metal shallow bowl made in Austria.
She also purchased a vintage book.  Duane found two small pieces to add
to her Delft ware collection -- a tiny hanging tile and a toothpick holder.

Sale no.1 -- lots of candlewick dinnerware.

I found a beautiful piece of coral -- it's a rose coral fossil.  This artist had collected fossils along with her other passions.

 Sale no.1 -- cabinet containing the fossils.

Sale no.1 -- the artist's home studio.

Sale no.1 -- lots of vintage books.

The first sale had begun at 8am.  After we left it, we were close enough to the second sale to make it before it began at 9am.  This was a 'dead' estate sale and everything had to go.  Lots of furniture, china, ceramics, etc.

Sale no.2 -- lots of everything.
The second sale had a lot of nice items, too, but Linda and I ended up buying a cache of yarn and some vintage needles.  The yarn we may divvy up or just send all of it to the latest place we've been knitting and crocheting squares to make blankets.  They'll take finished 8 inch squares and/or yarn donations and we're happy to oblige.  They're called Love-Squared.   Here's their Facebook page.  

After our shopping, we had lots of time for our usual refreshments.  We spent so long talking about various subjects that we were still there when lunch time rolled around to we had lunch together, too.  A terrific day!

Our purchases.
A closer look at my coral fossil and Duane's Delft pieces.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Friday Estate Sale and a Womans Club Flea Market

Wedgwood jasper ware.
Linda's mom, Jessie, is visiting from Michigan.  We're always  pleased to see Jessie and she accompanied Linda, Duane, and me on our estate sale excursion yesterday.   We began at an estate sale in the neighboring little town of Lutz.  It was in a retirement community of condos.  Lots of beautiful Wedgwood and some antique furniture along with nice women's clothing and accessories. I own several pieces of Wedgwood blue jasper ware, that I acquired over the years, along with a complete set of the white/cream flowers on blue version of the Queensware china.

More items.
The prices were very fair and I would have been tempted if I didn't already have quite a bit of it.  Jessie purchased a really pretty dish with the queen's initials "ER" made by Wedgwood.  Linda and I had both looked at the same dish so I'm glad that it went home with one of us!  Linda and Jessie were also both lucky in the ladies wear dept.  Jessie bought a shirt and Linda bought a new pair of red leather flats/loafers that were still in the original box and looked like they had never been worn.

Old Lutz School.
After this sale, we headed to the Lutz Womans Club Annual Flea Market held at the historic old Lutz school.  The school house is listed on the register of historic sites and was built in 1927.  It's always fun to attend the Womans Club's flea market -- held inside and on the grounds of the old school.  The flea market began at 8am and we didn't get there until around 11am so we missed a lot but there were still plenty of treasures to be found.  The ladies had the rooms inside the school divided into ladies fashion, housewares and (my favorite room) trinkets & treasures.


The trinkets and treasures room.

None of us left this sale empty-handed.  I found a beautiful matte white ceramic bird.  No markings of any kind but I just fell in love with it.  It reminds me of some of the expensive birds available from Design Within Reach (one of my favorite sites!).  I also found several books.  Jessie purchased a beautiful enamel box and a couple of pairs of earrings.  Duane lucked out in her quest for more Delft ware and found an adorable spoon rack.  She may use it to hang some of her necklaces.  She hasn't decided yet.  She also bought some books.  Linda found books and some VHS movies.

After the flea market, we were all ready for a treat so we headed to Panera's and had drinks and goodies and a really nice gabfest.  We'll miss Jessie when she heads back to Michigan on Monday but we're glad she's not going back empty-handed! 

Our finds.