Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Range Games

Part Select is having a GE Appliance giveaway.  All you have to do is submit a blog post that relates to one of their topics.   This one caught my eye..   “If your appliance could talk, what would it say?”  See I know our oven has a mind of its own and in that evil mind it has devised a plot to drive me completely insane.    Here is our oven.  
It is a downdraft.  Because of the way our kitchen is laid out, it is the only type of range we can get.  Which limits us to two…that’s right just two models.  Our oven knows that my choices are limited as well as the fact that our budget is nonexistent.  It all plays into its diabolical plan to push me over the edge. 

What the Oven says: 
“Actually she is quite correct.  I do have plan.  I have to confess though it didn’t start out to be evil or diabolical.  In fact, in the beginning, it was just a simple malfunction of my sensor.  Sensor goes out and I start blinking F-3 and beeping nonstop.  Who could have predicted my owner would have lost her manual and have no idea what F-3 meant?  Really it is all her fault that things have digressed to this point.  She kind of hyped out trying to figure out what F-3 meant (and how to stop the insane beeping.)  The problem was easily solved by a visit from her local repairman.
It would have ended there, but I got a little bored.  After all, she really doesn’t cook all that much.  Let’s be honest here, the Food Network is not going to be calling her in the near future.  Besides, it is not my fault I seem to have a fatal flaw with sensors.  It was evitable that the sensor should go out again.  F-3 and beeping equals frustration and button pushing.  All in all, it makes for quite a show.  I must confess I did do a little messing on my part.  Sometimes, I would turn on and cook everything to perfection.  Sometimes I would start the annoying beeping halfway through.  Sometimes just for the heck of it I would start the beeping in the middle of the night when the stove wasn’t even on.  That little maneuver produced quite a show.
Now my owner is no dummy.  She did what every DYIer would does, she started researching me on the internet.  She ordered a new sensor and installed it herself.  She was so proud that I almost stopped the shenanigans right then and there. ..almost.   Instead I lulled her into a false sense of accomplishment and then BAM!  Beep, beep, beep.  I thought she was going to pick me up single handedly and toss me out the window.
Now we are engaged in the most satisfying game.  I let her start the oven, preheat and put her food in.  After about 10 minutes, I flash the code and start the beeping.  Now my owner is a tough cookie.  She has not yet thrown in the towel.  She plays with my buttons, turns on the fan and restarts me.  I give it a few minutes and then make my move.  She counters with a push of the broiler selection and then a quick push of her bake selection.  Sometimes I reward her inventiveness with a full 25 minutes of cook time.  But of course, I can’t let her think that she has won.  That middle of the night random beeping is by far the best move I can make.  I have also found flashing other random codes like F-0 also drive her crazy.
There are times I feel a little sorry for her.  Watching her trying to bake Christmas cookies did make me feel just a tiny bit ashamed.  However, the constant battle of wits every three minutes as she tried to keep me from beeping and shutting down was just too much fun.  Really it is not a diabolical plan…maybe if she would have used me more, I wouldn’t have gotten so bored.  Hmm….I wonder if the dishwasher and refrigerator would like to join in on all the fun. “           

 The Oven

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa Baby

       We had the best present of the year this past June....my niece Ady arrived.  Now I am not much of a baby person.  I have always said unless I can pop out a toddler without getting fat, I may just forgo the whole baby thing.  I must admit Ady has worked her way around my anti baby sentiments.
        Now I must explain my brother is my exact opposite.  He is sports loving without a lick of fashion sense.  My sister-in-law is wonderful, but she too prefers sweat pants and tennis shoes (she is after all a physical education major.)  So there I have this adorable niece and two parents who prefer her to be.....uhm....less ruffles and bows.  That just doesn't do it for me.  So when I was babysitting, I just had to break out a little tulle and flowers.   Now this is a Christmas imp!

     Now my sister-in-law when she saw the tutu just laughed and said, "Well you know what she will do with that, she will just eat it,"

     She may have been right, but just give me a few years.  I'll get her fashion sense humming!

Happy Thrifting!
Thrift Chick

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Every year, my fellow special ed teachers have a cookie exchange.  I must confess I am not excellent in the kitchen.  I have a few recipes I can make that people actually comment on.  But for the most part I am at best average. So for the cookie exchange, I am always looking for something yummy and easy.  This year I saw a recipe for chocolate pudding cookies at Chef in Training  They looked yummy and easy....and they were!  Nikki wrapped the dough around a Rolo.  I wrapped the dough around a half of Andes mint.   I also made half the dough plain and put in a candy cane Hershey's Kiss when I took them out of the oven.  Both were wonderful.
     For the exchange, you are supposed to bring the recipe.  I wanted to do something my fellow teachers would appreciate so I borrowed from this famous picture book:
    I created the recipe card tag with the recipe on one side and a quote that makes me smile on the other side.

   A few cookies, a tag and a little ribbon and I am ready for the exchange.  All in all, I think this time I may consider my kitchen experience a success.

By the way, the whole experience was made a bit more challenging by this guy who just couldn't stay away.
      Don't let the sad eyes fool you.  He has the same steely determination of his namesake the Leroy Jethro Gibbs. 

May your holiday baking go as well.

Mama Thrift

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Estate of Mind

Saturday we went to an estate sale.  I don't know about your neck of the woods, but in ours most estate sales are auctions.  However, about three years ago, my cousin and his wife began running estate sales as tag sales.  The entire contents are tagged down to the very last serving spoon.  On Saturdays whatever is left is half off.  (Of course we go on Saturdays...it is like double the bargain.)
Here is our haul:
Of course you know Thrift Chick is a vintage handkerchief nut.  How cool are the map ones? I thought she was going to have a seizure when she spotted them.  We have a special project in mind for those.
I am a sucker or pretty milk glass especially when they are steals.  Together the two were $6.
This leather frame is pretty beat, but I think I can refurbish it and bring it back to its glory
.Just another tarnished beat up piece of silver, but what a great shape.
Thrift Chick has been wanting an old quilt for her room, but her depleted bank account hasn't been able to handle the prices.  This one was less than $40.  She loves it because you can tell it was made from old clothes and leftover fabric.
The old grain scale was a last minute grab.  Thrift Chick has been after me to buy an old scale, but I just don't have counter space for one.  She spotted this one and said, ""No excuses."  Here is what I did with it.
Look closely and you will see that I first hung it upside down.  I proudly took my pictures and then my family pointed out my mistake...because that is families do.  All in all it was a great half off estate sale and worth the trek out in the icy rain.

Mama Thrift

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Silver and Gold

I have never been a fan of anything metallic.  I never wear any clothing item that sparkles or glitters (because let's face it there is not part on this body that I want to give any extra shine.)  I dislike gold and silver frames and only barely tolerate pewter ones. I will buy metal things with interesting shapes, but I grab my spray paint as soon  as I get home.

However, there has been a change in the past year.  Silver items have been creeping into my home decor.  It all started with this:
My husband saw this silver champagne bucket at an estate sale.  I wasn't a fan, but he thought it had a cool look.  Since he doesn't accompany us very often or express his opinion very often (and because it was only $4), we added it to our pile.  I stuck it on our buffet and over the year, it grew on me.  I started filling it with seasonal items like flowers, pumpkins and of course ornaments.  Then I spotted this at an antique store going out of business:
 I loved the unusual shape..  The price was $14, but when I went to pay, the owner said she would sell it for $4 because it was so worn (which was exactly the reason I would have paid full price for it!)  Soon I found my eyes being drawn to tarnished silver pieces whenever we were out thrifting.  Soon I found I had a bit of collection.

Who knows you just might find me wearing silver sequins and a festive air....but I highly doubt it.

Mama Thrift.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

O Christmas Tree

For the last few years I have decorated the Christmas tree in my bedroom with the ornaments from childhood..things I made in preschool, gifts from relatives etc.  This year, that look did not seem to fit the new vintage room.  Mama Thrift suggested I dip into the ever growing stash I have of vintage handkerchiefs. 
Don't tell her I said so, but Mama was a genius,  They looked so great.  However, the tree still seemed to be lacking something.  As a looked around my room for inspiration, I spotted these.
Vintage postcards.  About a year ago, Mama Thrift and I spotted a box of these at an estate sale.  We bought the lot and decided to split them in half.  Mine are in my room with my old cameras.  Mama Thrift's were here:
I rescued them and nestled them in the branches of the tree.

I wanted to add old fashioned lights as well, but this is one of those Jenny Craig trees (skinny) and I didn't think it would look right.  Anyway, I just love it.  I am not sure I will want to take it down in January.  What do you think? Can I leave my tree up all year?

Thrift Chick

I am linking up to:


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our thrifty little man!

Like Mama Thrift said November has been insanely crazy!  But what she didn't tell you is that we have a new member of our thrifty family and he has taken up quite a lot of  our time!  So it is my pleasure to introduce to the blog world for the first time......Gibbs!

He is our goofy, loveable, (when he isn't getting into mischief!) and tiny little basset hound mixed with something that we are not sure about!  We got him at the beginning of November and he is still trying to get the hang of things around here. We hope that some day soon he catches on to the idea that we only go to the bathroom outside and not on the carpet!  Mama Thrift has long conversations with him about it...she thinks that he understands her, but Patient Man and I just laugh!   And in case you were wondering, He is named after Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS....if he was a girl he would have been Zeva!  We are big NCIS fans. 

So there you go! I'll be posting in the next day or so about my newest project involving my collection of vintage hankies, vintage postcards, and my Christmas tree so be on the look out!

Happy Thrifting!  Thriftchick

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tablescape Contest: Home Goods and Centsational Girl

   Whew! Where did November go?  Thrift Chick was finishing up her student teaching and working on the last major projects of her college career.  I have been swamped at school working on a grant and proofreading all of Thrift Chick's papers.  All of the sudden, November is almost gone!  However, a sudden snowstorm tonight has given us a two hour delay tomorrow (I just love a school system that makes that call the night before!)  We decided to use the time to create our first ever tablescape and enter Censational Girl's Contest.
   It is just a simple red and white theme.  Nothing fancy because we just are not the fancy kind.  Everything but the tree is thrifted or handmade.  Last year we started a Christmas morning brunch tradition with our immediate family and we used these red dishes.  This year I will add a few more touches.  Check back in a few years, we might just make it to :"fancy."
     The base of the centerpiece is actually a vanity mirrored tray I got at Salvation Army.  I sprayed the frame white.  The reindeer were a Goodwill find.  They were brass and had these huge candle holders that I removed before I sprayed them white.  The trees were another Salvation Army find.  Two bucks for all three.  I love their shape, but let me tell you the glitter drives me insane.  They shed piles and piles of red glitter whenever you touch them.  I have tried and tried to get the glitter off, but I think it multiplies.
The ruby red dishes were one of my first thrifting purchases.  Thrift Chick had convinced me to join her at a half off day at Goodwill.  We saw the set but even with the half off, it was still $25 (I am really really cheap and hate to spend a lot at one place)  I debated and debated and at the last minute put them in my cart.  One of the best thrifting purchases I have ever made.  The set includes 8 plates, 8 fruit bowls, 8 glasses, the serving bowl, the pitcher, the creamer and sugar and a small syrup jar.   The white milkware dishes came from the last half off Goodwill sale I went to.  I had been buying  grapevine pedestal glasses whenever I saw one.  Then low and behold, there were the dinner plates, luncheon plates and pedestal fruit cups.  This time I didn't debate or hesitate...I snatched those babies right up.

  Okay I lied.  Not everything was thrifted.  The picture frames came from the Dollar Store.  I printed off old winter pictures of the family to put inside.  (My brother transferred 150 boxes of family slides to digital pictures and gave us all CDs...talk about a gift of love!  I now have digital files dating back to 1950.)
The scratch off card I made using the reindeer from Eat Drink Chic and the recipe for scratch offs from Martha Stewart.  Thrift Chick wants to know what you win, but it is a Christmas secret!

The Christmas tree is not part of my tablescape, but it is my favorite part.  My mom used cookie cutters like these when I was growing up.  A few years ago I saw a tree in an antique store that had red cookie cutters for ornaments and I fell in love.  They bring back memories of sugar cookies with rock hard icing.  (My mom was a fan of the powdered sugar and milk type of frosting.)  I have been buying them whenever I find them.  I finally have enough for a tree.  I think I need a lot more to be real impressive, but that just means the hunt goes on.  The white bells came from a bin at the Goodwill.  Twelve bells for a quarter.

Since I am throwing everything in but the kitchen sink, I will show you a picture of my counter.  It never looks like this.  Thrift Chick laughed when she saw it and asked how long I thought it would be before everyone started piling stuff on it.  I am a Dr. Seuss nut (it is my classroom theme.)  The white frame is really plastic and I cost me less than a dollar at the Goodwill.  White spray paint makes everything look better, don't you think?  The white pedestal vase and the round swing top jar were from a local thrift store.  The green glass jars were my best summer find.  Only $1.50 each at a Goodwill I stopped at while I was out of town. (Do you do that?  Do you look up thrift stores when you are in a new town?)  They look very vintage don't they?  I think they are reproductions, but I am not picky.  The hexagon large jar was a Home Goods clearance item.

My oldest son stopped by tonight.  He looked over our handiwork and said, "It would be a lot more impressive if there was food."  Sigh....like I said, we are just not fancy people.

Mama Thrift.

I am linking up to Censational Girl's Tablescape Party 
The Lettered Cottage