Saturday, September 28, 2019

Happy Birthday Party

I just turned another year older.  I don't know how old, but one more than last year.
I decided to do a much smaller theme this year to make it a bit simpler for me, after all it is my birthday.  I also could not think of a particular theme I would like.  I always tease PB and Mr. Husband and say I am going to just buy a set of corresponding party goods at a party store (Shirt Tales, He-Man, Pound Puppies...etc.  It's been a while since I have been to those stores! Ha!) and be done with it.

Then that gave me the idea to have a vintage themed birthday party like one from the mid century.  I am sure there were some party supplies with famous kiddy cartoon characters but not as overly abundant as today.  I searched on ebay for a bit until I came across this partially used set (only 6) of party napkins.  I absolutely love the illustrations so I decided to make them my theme.

I scanned the image and made my own decorated paper cups and banners along with using the colors of the napkin in the paper products.  I stuck the images to the cups using  double sided tape.
Since the vintage napkin shows bits of square confetti, I made my own by cutting up crepe paper streamers.

I bought a yellow bed sheet from a thrift and used it as a table cloth.  Next I laid out the vintage napkins, opened, and some confetti sprinkled about, on top of the fabric.  I then covered everything with a clear vinyl table covering, which I also picked up new in it's package at a thrift.

For party hats, we made our own from newspaper, like the kiddies on the napkin.  Mr. Husband also wrapped my gifts in newspaper.

I made the cake topper from printed images of the cutie birthday kids and laminated them for icing protection and stability.  I made the cat and dog "balloons" like the ones they carry on the napkin from bits of crepe paper streamer and the wire "string" is from bread ties with the paper stripped off.  I also did some DIY on the cake sprinkles.  I already had some orange sprinkles in my stash but not yellow or blue.  I knew that I would not use these colors in the future so best not to buy them.  I made my own by dying some white sprinkles I had the two colors.  I did it the same way you dye coconut.  I placed some of the white sprinkles in a little glass jar with a lid and dripped in a bit of food coloring such as the type used for dying Easter eggs and then gave it some shakes to distribute the color.  I then poured the sprinkles out onto a cookie sheet to let them air dry.  They worked really well I thought, cheap too!

I only decorated the dining room table instead of my norm of removing everything in sight such as wall hangings, plants, lamps, and nick knacks.  This did help with simplifying matters for myself.

It was fun finding a cute vintage birthday piece to use as inspiration.  I think I may do this for my future birthdays, then when I have a decent sized collection, showcase all of them together for my birthday decor, there on out.

Here are the scans from the napkin, all four sides, if anyone would like to use them in their own birthday ornamentation!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

PBN DIY Bostie Babies

I'm super excited to show off this set of Paint-By-Number crafties I did showcasing my favorite critters, Boston Terriers!

These were not a vintage unfinished set that I just merely painted.  The story starts with my trying to locate/obtain wall art for our still in the midst of decorating, living room.  The main focal wall needed something spectacular and you can't get anything better than Boston preciousness contained in the format of PBNs.  I started my search on ebay and miraculously there was a set!  Only they cost 120 bucks.  That's a bit steep for me, as you all know of my extreme tight wadding ways.  I put them in my 'watch' list and periodically checked for a more reasonable set to pop up for sale...which never happened, these were the only ones.  So I got to thinking, PBNs were made for the amateur to do as a simple hobby past time, so surely someone with a bit more advanced talent (with a even stronger desire to pinch pennies) such as myself should be able to just make a set. And that I did!

The above photo is from the ebay listing and happens to be a good quality, fairly straight-on photo shot with very little angle distortion of the subject matter. Perfect!  I already had a set of large metal frames I wanted to use.  I then purchased a pack of cheap canvas boards in a size that would work with them.  I then saved the PBN images and lightened them up a bit in an image editing program so I could distinguish each color and it's borders better.  I printed the images the size of my canvas board using a wide format printer (they were bigger than a sheet of regular paper) at our public library.  Then came the task of tracing each color block and working out the paint colors.  I was able to differentiate 8 colors, 5 of them being shades of black, white, and greys.

The original painting had a lovely green background but since my walls are all ready that color I decided to go with a contrast and chose one of my accent colors, teal.  Next came the most tedious part which was transferring the image onto the canvas board.  I didn't have any carbon paper so I had to go low brow with it.  For this process you simply turn your paper over and cover the back with shading scribbles from a graphite pencil (6B).  Then place your image right side up, graphite scribbles against the canvas and use a ball point ink pen to trace around all the lines.  The graphite will transfer to the board faintly.  I went back over the lines on the canvas with a pen and numbered all the spots according to how I thought the colors translated. I then mixed up little containers of all of the paint shades, hoping I made enough to get me through both canvases.  Finally came the best part: painting, which was actually pretty fun!

Here they are on the focal wall as a set.
And below with the green display shelf (still working out this area decorating-wise).

I am pretty stoked with how they turned out...but even more so with how little they cost me to make...3 bucks!!!!  All I had to buy was the canvas boards and one thingy of teal paint.  I already had on-hand plenty of black and white paint.  I didn't even use 'artist paint', I used craft acrylics that come in those small plastic squirt bottles.

The vintage set of the Boston Terriers PBNs on ebay did eventually sell, I would guess to some Mr. Moneybags collector, but I am just dandy with my set because...

If you are gettin' the itchin' to do one yourself, check out
The Paint By Number Museum
for some inspo!


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird Cake.
It may be the best cake I have ever tasted or made.  Mr. Husband and I were first introduced to Hummingbird cake during our visit to Mammy's Cupboard.  I don't do many repeat recipes but this one has now made it as both mine and Mr. Husband's birthday confectioneries this year.

I found a basic recipe in a book I own called "The Treasury of White Trash Cooking" by Mickler & Mickler, but added a bit of my own this and that to it.

Hummingbird Cake Recipe
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups canola oil
3 pre-beaten eggs
22 oz can crushed pineapple, not drained
2 tsp coconut extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup mashed banana (about 2 bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in eggs and oil.  (Do not use an electric mixer for mixing this cake). Blend in extract, whole can of pineapple, nuts, banana, and coconut.  Spoon batter into greased and floured cake pans. Should be more than enough batter for three 9 inch round cake pans.

Hummingbird Icing
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
16 oz powdered sugar
(optional: 1 tsp coconut extract, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts)

Cream together butter and cream cheese, adding small amounts of powdered sugar to the mixture til all is cohesive. Blend in extract and add nuts. I like to add the nuts on top of the iced cake rather than mixing them in.  I think it looks better.

The cake pans I used were some I got from a 50 ¢ a pound bin sale from a thrift store.
They were a premium you could order from Spreckels Sugar Company (since 1898, still in business today).

Mine is missing the small top cake pan, it probably wound up on the bottom of the bin, or even in another bin across the store.  But it would be an easy fix using an empty potted meat can!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Estate Sale Scores

Here are some great finds Mr. Husband and I scrounged from a few estate sales and the flea market recently.
99 % of these things came from one sale.  It was listed as an indoor yard sale, no pictures, no hint of anything old or neat in the wording, but it was on my radar because everything was advertised as costing between 25¢ up to a dollar. I love cheap! It was the last stop of our Saturday morning saling trek, which had to that point been fruitless.  When we entered I could smell that old hoarded kinda aroma to the house but it wasn't piled up.  The first thing we found was this little vintage Florida water globe but not too much else.  I then noticed the garage and it was full of bags and boxes...and major evidence of rodents.  Mice in their "natural habitat" freak me the flip out.  I know that sheds and garages are the best places to find awesome stuff (if you are into junk like I am into)  but I will (and have) go screaming and running if I encounter one of these nasty beasts.  I figured since I had Mr. Husband with me I had back-up...only he is afraid of roaches...

So here are the things we found in the trenches:

Mr. Husband is a good scrounger and he found this cute old packaging of steel wool.  I love the "elephant" font and the elephant graphic!

Got the mother load of fruit/veggie magnets!

Some cookbooklets...never can have too many!

Love these!  Paper placemats!

Two queen sized flat sheets.  I like to use them for fabric for making clothes or mock ups.

Vintage RIT boxes.

Mr. Husband and I were the only ones scrounging in the garage and had a blast.  We never came in contact with any undesirables but made sure we didn't go digging in boxes that were clearly nothing but mouse nests.  We also found the 'end all to end all' of estate sale items at this sale however I have to save that for later.  Our total for everything above was 5 bucks.

The next day we decided to check out the flea market which usually doesn't turn up much.  But we did come across a big stack of 1944-1957 Better Homes and Gardens mags for only a buck each, we got 10.

And then, tacking this onto the end was an estate sale we went to the weekend before where we bought this amazing lampshade with finial (pictured in my house)!  It was attached to the world's ugliest lamp...which I'll have to photo another time.  I kinda have plans on making it a new lampshade worthy of it's hideousness.  When I asked how much it was, the guy retorted with "how much do you think?"  I didn't give an answer because I couldn't read if he thought it was a high dollar item....or a piece of junk. We looked around some more and asked him again which he said "how about 15 bucks?"  While that is high on my garage sale's certainly not when it comes to mid century lampshades!

But to round it all out he threw this in for no extra cost!

Recent posts have become a bit heavy in the estate/thrift score area but I'm sure I'll have some baked good or treat edging it's way in the near future again.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Woody Woodpecker's Up The Tree Game

I picked up this 1969 Woody Woodpecker board game from a thrift store for a couple of bucks, figuring if the game itself was a dud at least the graphics are pretty cool.
I was able to guilt PB into a round and boy howdy I think it will become a summer tradition for us.
The game is both frustrating and highly annoying.  For some reason those are two traits he and I enjoy in some games.
At first glance the game looks like it should take only about five minutes to make your way from the ground level trunk up the path to the tree top club house.
The colors on the spinner are only for figuring out who goes first and is really more useful as a how-may-spaces-do-you-move tool.  The game works a lot like chutes and ladders; land on a red space then you have to move to a blue.  Some are advancements and some take you back a few steps.  Not too bad, right?

The frustrating part comes in when you have to move back in a spot like the loop seen above.  It's just a few spaces but since the spinner goes no higher than 4 it can cause you to get trapped in those corners.  PB and I both spent at least 5 consecutive turns stuck in several loops.  And then for the annoying part...  As a player is moving to the blue spot "he must repeat Woody's song" Ha-ha-ha-hah-ha,  Ha-ha-ha-hah-ha, Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" every..single...time, or you lose a turn.

PB had never been exposed to the laugh so I had to pull up a Youtube video for him to know how to do it.  My word it is irritating.  It's irritating to do as well as listening to it.
I guess there in lies the draw for us with this game.  It's so annoying and frustrating that we must conquer it, while along the way reveling in the anguish Woody's "song" causes one another.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Estate Scores

Mr. Husband and I have really been having a good time over the last few months scrounging together at sales on the weekend.  Most everything in this post came from the same sale, but all of it was from the same day.
The handmade "Best Mother Award" was thumb tacked to a wall at a sale and I thought it was so adorable...I bought it for myself! Yes, I award me the Best Mother Award!

A cute graphic apparatus to inflate balloons, still need to try it out.  An 'on my list to get' wooden Fisher Price Cash Register.  "Lots to Color" coloring book.

This Weeki Wachee pennant was also thumb tacked on the wall near the Mother Award.

I used to have a set of these metal wall peacocks years ago.  When we moved into this house we had to get rid of A LOT of stuff because there was not as much space/storage here and for some reason the peacocks got the boot.  I have been wanting to replace them but was having a time finding some in a price range I would pay.  It happened that one of the sales we went to this day was by a family with the last name of "Peacock" and the house was f-u-l-l of peacock stuff.  I got this set for 6 bucks.  We don't like the iridescent gold/green going on with them so I plan of painting them black/gold.

A little cookbooklet for Teens to cook..."special recipes".  Exciting stuff like "Nibble Bait", "Trixies" and "oatmeal".
The floral background is wallpaper remnants.  Lastly are those squeezably cute satin ball dapper chicks.

I didn't do a price break down of everything because this day wound up being a bit more pricey than we normally do, which is not something I like to brag about.  I like to brag about how little I spend.  The Weeki pennant was 10 bucks and the Fisher Price Cash registrar was with those two items we are already nearly my normal max allotment.  But for what it's worth everything else wasn't too much more....

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Estate Thrift Sale Finds Mixed Bag

Here is a real mixed bag of stuff I picked up over the last couple of months from estate sales and thrift stores, hence all the different backgrounds and photo qualities.
First off is this adorable pink vintage child's electric toy iron.  I haven't brought myself to plug it in but I do wonder how hot it gets.  Got it for 50¢.

This child's turtle sun visor hat I bought for the cute graphics mostly but it fits my head on a wearing-my-hair-down day.

I got these items from the same sale as the turtle hat.  A rusty metal dust pan, a rain bonnet, and a set of kitty cat? salt and pepper shakers.  "Pepper" was in need of some facial cosmetic repairs which I have since taking these pictures fixed him and "salty" up a bit.  I think I may have gotten a couple of other simple things too from this sale, but it all totaled 5 bucks.

I got both of these ash trays from the same thrift store, different times.  50¢ each.  I use the boomerang one as a spoon rest on the stove and the round one (which happens to match some of my dishes) I use as a craft paint brush rest.

These adorable plastic S&P shakers were a bit of a journey, similar to Angela and The General.  I found P first and spent quite a while scouring the store to find the match, which was no where to be found.  Weeks went by, and I had pretty much given up.  P looked fine by himself I decided.  Then one day while at the same thrift there was S, on a shelf at eye level in a different building.  I had asked one of the employees to keep an eye out for the match and she told me it's very common for boxes of stuff that are from the same donor to not get put out at the same time.  I guess this was the case here.  I am just glad I happen to stop in at the right time.  The set only set me back 1 buck.

We collect vintage Florida travel stuff and I happened to eye this glass in a yard sale listing.  Turns out the seller used to be a dealer that was trying to reduce her stock.  We picked up this glass for 5 bucks.  We also got this hair net, and salt and pepper shakers there as well.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Coral Reef Pie

When I first saw this vintage ad for Coral Reef Pie, my first thought was it had to be tuna fish. "Coral" is always code for fish in vintage recipes.  It even looks like a casserole of pink tuna with shredded kale, and probably some jello thrown in there for good measure. I think I even saved the image in a pinterest board for canned meat (see here if you need some ideas as to what to do with a tin of Spam).  I thought this even though there was clearly an ad for canned pineapple on the bottom.  I figured it was a pie made from pineapple and tuna, because why not?!  I then noticed, on closer inspection, Coral Reef Pie is really a true pie....sugary with delicious pineapple and coconut! Oh my word, two of our favorite things around here!  Not a fish fin in sight! I've got to make it!

My version did not turn out looking as pretty as the picture so I had the merkids come cute it up!

(click image for enlargement)

For the prebaked pastry shell I went with this Jiffy mix shortcake recipe.

My pink coral macaroon topping isn't as bright pink as the recipe's serving suggestion due to the outer layer being browned a bit from baking.  I would recommend scraping the top off a little to expose the lovely pink underneath.  I also figured the 'kale' was green tinted coconut meant to resemble seaweed so I added it as the original image suggested.

How did it taste?
Of course this dessert was yummy! 
You can't go wrong with pineapple, coconut, and shortcake pastry!

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Salt and Pepper Earrings

Check out my snazzy earrings I made from a pair of mini salt and pepper shakers!

This photo shows the construction.  I don't know what the proper names of all the different jewelry findings are so instructions may be odd sounding.  I started by putting three of those pin looking stem deals up through the bottom and out 3 different holes.  I did this to try and anchor the shakers from spinning around and to keep the front showing forward.  My plan kinda somewhat worked.  I then cut the stems and bent each into a loop.  I put a jump ring through all of these loops and an earring hook deal.  They still want to turn off to the side so I need to monkey a bit with the loops more.
I think this idea has a lot of fun potential for those minuscule shakers that only hold a couple of shakes of seasoning.