Monday, February 27, 2012

On the side of the road today

Today was one of those days that cemented my belief in op shop karma. You know, that positive force whereby if you declutter and donate to worthy causes, the goodness just finds you. Liongirl and I took three bags of books and toys to her childcare centre today, for their baby room. Then we trotted off to a lovely playdate. On our way home via a suburb we don't normally travel through, council cleanup was in progress so I just did a little slow driving to scour those piles of stuff destined for the dump. And look what I found.  It has had an unfortunate spray-makeover but it works well and fits both my children. Would you believe I had actually been looking  for one on ebay for the last few months but these vintage trikes are like hens teeth and when they do come up they are either needing structural repairs or cost a fortune. I'm picturing it red with white wheel rims and seat but suggestions are welcome.

As I was happily zooming home, something caught my eye under a pile of detritus. Poking out the end with grotty mattresses and junk piled on top. Lucky I have beady little eyes and superhuman strength when excitable.

Can you believe that someone would just throw this out? Solid wood school desk for two? Very minor rust on the legs, a few nasty Bratz stickers to remove and some gorgeous wood to sand and oil. I think I just flung it in the boot with one hand. That superhuman strength and all. Legoman could not believe I lifted it by myself. Dammit. He will now expect lack of whinging next time we have to move the TV.
The kids were all over this like a rash. Roboboy likes to order and organize. Liongirl is happy to just fling it all in.

A quick clean, then inside. Work to do. Yes, I know that wall is STILL custard. Look away quickly.

Linking in with Sophie to peek at everyone else's finds. Still cannot believe this was the SIDE OF THE ROAD. Anyone else had a roadside find that generated superhuman strength?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Crafting the rain away

It has been raining almost solidly here for the last two days. Nothing better for a spot of crafting than the steady thrum of raindrops on an old tin roof. I have had this idea percolating in my brain for while now, the final inspiration came from this page of my Womans Day Handicrafts circa 1978..

A cup of tea, some toast and jam and a little bit of fiddly snipping and gluing of some wonderful vintage wallpaper samplers that I found on Etsy. Despite having all the precision of a moose in a china shop, teeny tiny intricate fiddly little creations have always appealed to me.( By the way, if you want to see a genuine moose pop over here, this thrifty girl  has one in her backyard from time to time).

As part of my Grateful project I knew some handmade cards would be required. This one is for this lovely lady. She is hosting the Fat Quarter swap and other than the joy of vintage sheets now covering her whole house, she sorts, counts and re-posts out of the goodness of her heart. Get those sheets in swiftly girls, it's finishing soon. Here is one of my contributions, all the way from the great Warrigal Oppie Warehouse adventure of September 2011.

I can't remember where this one came from, but I started chopping into it while the glue on that card was drying. Multiple projects on the go here at Betsy's. Would you believe this one is already half finished. (no guarantees for the other half).

And look what turned up at the oppie. I just cannot seem to walk past a dolly cradle. I think Nurse Nancy Liongirl and I might be opening a dolly hospital shortly. Not sure whether to de-sticker, clean and leave in the original orphanage lavender colour, or repaint.

And this little print, will be going straight to a certain little girl's room.

And I seem to be just stumbling across vintage toddler clothes galore lately. This one is sized 18 months.

Lucky miss Liongirl is expert at squeezing herself into too small clothes. If they are pink of course. Bet you had never previously considered scootering in a tutu.

Back soon, hopefully with another 100% completed project.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Birthday week gala festivities

It was my birthday this week. And somehow it did kind of stretch itself out all week like some kind of gala event. I had sanity sewing circle with the girls and was given handmade gifts and a wonderful hand created cake.

I wangled my way out of cooking for three nights in a row as we had dinner out with family from interstate, girlfriends and Legoman and the kids. I haven't been in my kitchen long enough to road test my pyrex presents.

I even managed to squeeze in some op shopping and came home with a spectacular pile of corduroy. I have had corduroy love since I was a little girl, one day I will share my whole floral stash.

And my mum fought off other crazy possessed women desperate to bag the last one of these on sale in Laura Ashley.

Nothing better than getting  a few gifts that you really really love.

I'm off to stack my pyrex, plump a few cushions and finish cleaning that wonderful present from the Salvos that my boys brought home in the trailer.  Linking up with all the other thrifty finds care of Sophie.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cheese and Pam

Well it's been a full on week or so here at Betsy's. Miss Liongirl finally started her much longed for ballet classes.  Not only has she been wearing a tutu every possible day for weeks, she has been sleeping with the ballet bag every night. And most surprisingly, she agreed to let me do something with her wild nest of hair, because that's what ballerinas have to do.

The best part, is now I have real leverage because  that ballet class is gold. Yes, ballerinas do have to brush their teeth, yes ballerinas must wipe AND flush every time they do a wee and most importantly ballerinas have to control their wild nests of hair and produce either piggies or a ponytail. GOLD I tell you, only four sleeps to go.

Roboboy on the other hand is having a hard time settling into Grade 1.( It didn't bode well when on day two he asked to go back to prep so that he could have a nap).  He manages to hold himself together all day.......until I get there and then it ALL comes out. All afternoon. And it's not pretty. I did feel for the poor kid when I discovered that his little 5 year old soul is doing the same curriculum dished up to grade twos last year and the first topic in his science journal was " External Features" of animals. In his scratchy writing. Cripes.

So we have been spending all our outside of school time trying to do things that help us relax. Calm down.
How about making our first chatterbox, with a bird theme. Then testing it out on little sisters who think every thing we do is just very impressive. She tends to copy him word for word. If we ask her how her day was at kindy, she puts her hand on her hip and says " My day was QUITE good". Word for word.

She does have a few of her own words. The sort that I wanted to record for posterity sake, because they are too cute.

Mama, I neeeeeed Nax. (what the?) NAX, I NEED NAX! (Oh, you mean SNACKS?)
Mama, I need Nuggles. (ok now I get it) You need snuggles?
Mama, lets have a pikpik. ( a little picnic with a rug?)
Mama, can I have a sandwich pweeese? (what sort minxy?) Cheese and Pam. ( he he he - Ham)
Can I watch Angeleeeenja Ballerina? ( makes me think more of Angelinja the Ninja ballerina)

If we are really out of sorts, best to whip up a quick cubby. Or "Dreamhome" as Roboboy has been calling it. A nice vintage sheet, some crochet rugs, and all mama's recent projects.

The cat is impressed, she thinks it is all for her benefit. I can't help thinking about everything I need to move before I start painting that exact wall. But it seems to helping, with the calming down part. As well as a few good books, that usually helps too.

Grateful for one child being in a happy place. Hopefully back soon with two calm children and some op shopped treasures. May the force be with all mothers of grade 1 children, as I think we are all needing it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Curves in all the right places

I hit the op shops with a good friend this week. We programmed her navman and hit a suburb I have never been to before. Despite the awful cream of mushroom soup colour, the shape  of this  little table caught my eye straight away. I seem to have a bit of a thing for asymmetrical structures with curved ends, remember the curbside find?

I also really love a small project and tackled it with gusto yesterday, a few coats of white paint and isn't she beautiful now? The blue dish was an oppie find from a while back that I could not bring myself to photograph with a custard yellow backdrop. So nice with a freshly painted white wall behind it.

While I think of it, I did also learn a super cute crochet edge, and of course had to attack that pillow in a frenzy to test it out. Very much looking forward to doing a few more with this trim.

So while I had the white paint out today, I suddenly realized the day was warm, the breeze was decent and the paint was drying pretty quickly. No better time to get stuck into that huge dragging project to de- custard my living room.

The undercoat is done on that whole wall now, another corner is complete. Legoman thinks I am nuts as the renovation we are planning will require for some of these walls to be removed or replaced. He just does not understand what even another 6-12 months of daily custard will do to my sanity.

Lucky for op shopping, look at the rest of the haul from this week. A little pile of Golden books, a gorgeous blanket and a teeny tiny teacup set for miss Liongirl.

Hoping to be back soon with some white white white walls. In the meantime, linking in with Sophie for more glorious treasures,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thirty One Thankyous

Well before I get  to the summing up a month of gratitude part, just had to share what Liongirl and I fossicked up at the op shop today. We were, in our favour, dropping off some baby toys, curtains and a big bag of miscellanea. It does appear to take two of those whopper D batteries so we are not sure if it works but for $3 it had to come home. In fact even the box was cute.

Unbelievably something amazing popped up at the Salvos just in time for my birthday in a few weeks. Cannot wait to bring it home, just need to find the right moment to tell Legoman that he needs to nip down there on the weekend with the trailer........

We had a girls crafty kind of day today. Very much inspired by our other op shop find-  a very cool retro book all about shapes. Time for a shape inspired art work. I helped with a lot of the snipping but miss Liongirl's prowess with the scissors is quite astounding. The only problem is that she does tend to just keep going and going until all that is left is a pile of confetti.

So, what about my pledge to 365 days of thankyou notes? Handwritten snippets of gratitude snail-mailing their way around the country. Well amazingly I am on track, thirty one cards completed. I have taken time to appreciate and thank friends, family, kindy teachers, swim coaches and neighbours. Many of these wonderful people have then taken the time to either phone, text or email me with gratitude for the kind words that I have sent their way.

I have not written one a day, usually I will sit down at night, get in the zone and write three or four. Being in the zone of this concentrated positivity seems to be having a very powerful flow on effect on my general thinking about my life. I would not describe myself as a natural optimist. I am enthusiastic and love to see change and improvement but the analytical aspect of my personality means that I am prone to dwelling, ruminating and preparing for the worst possible scenario. Only now I am learning to focus the intensity of my thoughts in a stronger, more positive and meaningful way.

I have a huge list of people still to thank, but little worried thoughts do crop up. Will  I run out of people to send cards to? Will it diminish the value and meaning of my cards if the recipient knows I am doing a gratitude project? Most amazingly, some very positive moments have also popped into my life this month.

After nearly a year completely stalled on what to do with Betsy, in the last month we have installed new blinds, met with a building designer, picked and eaten our first cucumber and surprisingly, I won a fantastic blog giveaway- something I really wanted and needed. And just wait until you see that Salvos special coming home for my birthday. These experiences were by no means the desired intention for this project, but they are greatly appreciated. Anyone inspired yet? Perhaps just start with one card and see where it leads you.

Gratefully yours, Mel.