Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday Sneak Peek

Today's the first day of my new series: "Saturday Sneak Peek"!  Each Saturday, I want to give you a little peek at the preparations I am making for my upcoming wedding, September 1st, 2012.  If you had not previously known that I was engaged to be married, you may want to read the post entitled "My Sweet Little Christmas Surprise".  MMM and I have made a few plans - setting, colors, guest list, etc.  But the decor is primarily up to me.  He has a few items on his 'to do' list, and they're really pretty vital.  My list is filled with somewhat 'non-vital' items, but I want it to be pretty and memorable, so I'm working hard to do things that are personal reflections of both of us.

On of the first things we decided was that we wanted a location that was inexpensive, comfortable, attractive, and personal.  My sister's yard is all of that.  Plus she has great overhanging trees and a lush lawn.  We asked.  She said yes.  So a backyard wedding it is.  On the lawn.  Whatever shoes I chose would simply have to be a wedge.  No aerating her grass with my wedding shoes.  Wedges.  Requirement #1

I am very short.  I have to take a deep breath to claim 5'2".  That's short, I tell you.  (And I've seen my grandmothers.  Things are not looking good for the future.  I expect to shrink....!)  MMM is eight inches taller.  Even in my tallest heel - and I have some four-inchers - I don't outmatch him.  So I expected that heels were going to be necessary - Requirement #2.

I committed to doing as much of the entire wedding via thrift or hand/homemade.  And we WILL NOT acquire any debt in order to have this wedding.  The shoes had to be inexpensive.  Requirement #3.

I want pretty shoes.  So many wedge heels are wrapped in rope.  That may be fine if you are in the salt spray, on the beach, at the baseball game looking hot - whatever.  I did not want rope or jute.  Too casual.  The heel had to be something wedding appropriate.  Requirement #4.

So, look here!  A pair of BRAND NEW BANDOLINOS!  Yes, I know I'm shouting.  They are cute, are they not?  I found them at my favorite thrift store, Good Samaritan.

Cork-wrapped heel?  Check?

Could the price be more right?

There simply is no wear whatsoever.  These are new, new, new!

There's that brand name.  I did a little research and found a similar pair at Zappo's for $47.99.  But these could not have more perfectly filled the bill.

I am pretty much convinced that, if you are patient, thrift stores can provide just about your every wish and whim.  Takes some looking; takes some time.  But it's very rewarding to find just the right thing.

So there it is - my first little sneak peek.   We'll keep looking forward, shall we?



Sass's Sunday Salvation Show #9

It's Sunday again.  Lazy daisy Sunday --- except that I've got too much to do to spend too much time being lazy!  First, I want to tell you all that I'm starting a new series this coming Saturday. 

It's Sneak Peek Saturday, and, from now until next September, I'm going to give you a little 'sneak peek' into my wedding preparations.  I'm not sure that I've shared this, but I have committed to doing (within reason) every part of my wedding as either thrift or handmade.  I am already knee deep in preparations, and I have so many pretty things planned.  I hope you'll stop by and see what I have first. 

Last week was a bit of a slow week for the Salvation Show, but that's OK with me.  I'm willing to go slow and steady and bring it along.  I enjoy every single post, regardless.  They're all so much fun!  Here's my favorite for this last week (and it turned out to be the most-clicked, as well)!  It's from The Crafty Blog Stalker and it's for the best lotion ever.  

I haven't made this yet (my daughter gifted me with an enormous and lovely bunch of body butter from The Body Shop for Christmas), but I seem to be part lizard, at least during the winter.  Montana winters can be notoriously dry and harsh.  So, I'm sure, when I get through that supply, I'll be mixing up a batch.  In the meantime, I have to remember to save those Body Shop containers, right?

Let's get on with Sass's Sunday Salvation Show.  First, a few rules:

Share something you've done recently.  Take a moment to look at and comment on someone else's link - we're all in this together!  Please consider becoming a follower of Sassafras Salvation and take a Sunday Salvation Show button to remind yourself and others to come back again and again!

Sassafras Salvation

Friday, January 27, 2012

Valentine's 2012 Printable

I worked up a little printable for the Valentine season.  I hope you like it.  Go here, print it out, frame it, decoupage it, print out flyers, do with it whatever makes you happy.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gorgeous Faucet Set

All throughout January, I have been primarily crocheting and making jewelry. They're small projects, but I think they have pretty big impact.  I still see so many possibilities and I want to make the most of that stash of valve handles that MMM's mom acquired. I think this set is the prettiest yet.  

The centerpiece of the bracelet is, of course, the valve handle.  This one is black with a really nice rusty patina, lending itself well to this color scheme, all in shades of burnt umber, gold, deep brown, and bronze.  I set an antique earring into the center of the valve handle, where it shines beautifully.  The bracelet itself is four rows of beads strung on elastic cord.

The necklace is three strands - two of beads and one of simple chain.  It's about 20 inches long.  

The earrings dangle from the same findings that I used for the bracelet, and again, the beads are so beautiful.  They are about 2 inches long from finding to tip.  All the finding accents are silver and silver tone.

This one, too will be going in my Etsy shop.  Sometime, soon, I'm gonna make a set just for me.  Meanwhile, maybe this set will find its way somewhere just for Valentine's Day!  Wouldn't that be nice?



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Visit to Golden Girls Antique Mall

Mama Sass thinks I post these little reviews just to taunt her.  She lives in a tiny town in Eastern Montana, and antiques stores are few and far between.  One of our favorite things to do  when she comes to visit is to hit the antique stores.  

So, anyway, the other day, I went to a local antique store called Golden Girls.  It's situated on Helena's main street, Last Chance Gulch (so named because of Helena's gold-prospecting history), and it's really a sort of antique dealers' mall, in that various antique dealers each rent a certain square footage to display their wares, and the store management oversees it all. I saw some lovely things while I was there and wanted to share them with you.

(On a side note, I am not happy that Picnik is closing down.  I see that they're moving it to Google+, which, I hope, means that I will still be able to access it........ we'll see!  Why did I think of that?  Because I doctor my pics in Picnik a lot!  And as a sidenote to my sidenote, these pics were all taken with my camera phone - the only camera I often have with me.  I should remember more often how handy it would be to pack my little point and shoot around - grrr.)

The first thing I spotted was a whole row of jars - full of buttons! Couldn't we have a lot of fun with these?

I spotted this thing, and it triggered a memory from childhood.  This was a torch, lit to mark construction zones at night, so no one would blunder into them.  Literally, it was a lit torch.  Can you imagine such a thing today?  It would just seem like an opportunity for mayhem!  But I remember, as a child, thinking that this was some kind of bomb.  Looks like one, doesn't it?  You can bet I stayed away from them! (And doesn't the dealer have a cute tag?)

I spotted this handy little shelf/side table, made from what appears to be the base of an old treadle sewing machine.  I happen to have one of my own set aside to make a table from, and I never thought of painting it, but it sure does accent all that curlicue cast iron, doesn't it?

And forgive the blur, but each end of the table was adorned by this fiercely grimacing lion:  

I'm sure this little commemorative plate is from the '70's.  I thought it was sweet to look at - though it isn't my style.  Mostly, I loved the saying, because, yeah, the time to be happy IS now! 

I'm pretty much a geek for the rounded kitchen shapes of the '50's.  My own toaster at home is a genuine antique, right down to the cloth-covered cord (You can shriek in terror somewhere else later on, where I can't hear!).  I love these appliance silhouettes.   And the copper band across the bottom of this one almost makes me want to trade my existing one in.  But mine makes such beautiful toast - fifty years after it was built!  They don't make 'em like they used to, do they?

These cameras made me want to start collecting them, right now.  Wouldn't some of these be just gorgeous on a wall lined with shelves?  Why, yes.  Yes, it would!

This wise old owl cookie jar just needs a coat of paint and it could go right to work in my kitchen, without a peep.  Or a hoot:

 Last of all, I ran across a little grouping of brass hose nozzles.  They are heavy, functional, and beautiful.

Wouldn't they be the perfect thing to mount as hooks on a potting bench?  I love the idea.  I wish they weren't so expensive.  I don't recall exactly what these cost, but I know they were out of my range, particularly if I wanted all three. 

If you ever make it to Helena, Golden Girls deserves a visit.  But let me know.  I want to go with you.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beautiful Blue Salvage

I'm still at it!  Still making really pretty little items from that fabulous collections of faucetry that MMMom bought.  One by one, the valves are transformed into beauties like this bracelet:

 I also made a coordinating necklace.  Its centerpiece is an antique button that matches the valve handle perfectly!

 The beads are just an assortment - no real pattern here.  The necklace is about an 18-inch chain with a lobster clasp and all the metallic accents are silver. 

I just really like the way it turned out.  That faucet is so perfectly flower-shaped.  It's going in my Etsy store, and I hope it catches someone's eye!



Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter's Arrival

I'm a little late in reporting this.  Needless to say, the next time Donna at Funky Junk Interiors reports that Chilliwack, BC, has a significant snowstorm, I'm going to pay better attention.  I'm pretty sure that we got that same storm, and it had plenty of POW! left in it.  On Wednesday, January 18th, we received record snowfall.  Apparently, Helena received 3.6 inches on January 18, 1885 (and believe me, Montana was pretty rough and ready back then; I'm frankly surprised anyone was keeping track of snowfall).  That record stood until last Wednesday, when we simply got dumped on!  We got between 10 and 14 inches of brand new powder.  You can imagine -  the skiers at Great Divide were happy beyond belief!

I drove to work, looking in amazement at the powder lying in on branches, topping mailboxes, atop cars that hadn't been garaged.  The snow just lay in fluffy depths.  There was no wind to speak of, so no drifting (thank goodness!  If you live in snowy climates, and have ever had to drive in the stuff, wind is the worst thing imaginable after a significant snowfall.)  I kept thinking how much I wished I had my camera with me.  I would certainly have gotten some better pics than these for you.  Instead, I had to settle for the camera in my phone, which makes the photo quality marginal.  But you can see how beautiful it is.

In case you're wondering (now, don't be a hater), these pictures were taken from the parking lot of the building I work in.  I tell you, I live in the most beautiful state in the union, and if your work parking lot looks this pretty, well, you must live in Montana, too.  In fact, in the photo above, the mountain that rises behind that house at center?  That's Mount Helena and the whole mountain is a city park.  There are many trails that wind all over and many lead to the top, where the entire Helena valley is spread below in all its beauty.  I've climbed it, as have most of my fellow Helenans, and I love the view.  I'm also very glad to get to the top, find a nice rock, relax, and enjoy my water!

The temperatures were low, too.  We were below zero a couple of nights.  These pickups were parked overnight in the parking lot, and I snapped away before I went inside. I wonder if they started after the cold. 

I shoveled my share of this.  And - guess what?  Just my luck - my car was stuck for a bit.  I managed to get sucked into a ditch.  In the dark.  Beside a busy road.  But, after much digging and rocking back and forth (drive, reverse, drive, reverse), I managed to get un-stuck.  

Yesterday and today, the weather is more temperate, and we're seeing some melting.  There will be lots of new snowmen on my way to work tomorrow.  Wonder if I should take my camera?



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sass's Sunday Salvation Show #8

Welcome to the Sunday Salvation Show.  I'll tell you a little secret.  I have another ambition filed under the name 'Salvation Show'.  Someday, I hope to organize and host a regional junque and antiques fair and call it Sass's Traveling Salvation Show.  Someday................. *daydreaming*

Oh, what's that?  Oh, excuse me!  I sort of trailed off there into fantasyland, didn't I?  Yes, yes, let's get back to today and today's Sunday Salvation Show.  My favorite link from last week's Show?  No question!   It was Rebecca, at Potholes and Pantyhose, who packed plenty of pints of pickled peppers.

If ever you wanted to pack a pint of pickled peppers, you should scoot right over there and check out Rebecca's blog.  Her tutorial is wonderfully detailed, and her photos are sharp and beautiful.  And if you think she's hot, well, now you know why.

OK, let's get on with #8 in the Sunday Salvation Show series.  First, a few rules:

Share something you've done recently.  Take a moment to look at and comment on someone else's link - we're all in this together!  Please consider becoming a follower of Sassafras Salvation and take a Sunday Salvation Show button to remind yourself and others to come back again and again!

Sassafras Salvation

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine Mantel

So here, at last, is the Valentine's Day mantel in all it glory.  I added one little thing to it - a printable I found somewhere a year ago (if you recognize it, please tell me so that I can credit it properly).  I popped it into a pink frame and propped it in its place by the antique love potion bottle.  I apologize for the dark and fuzzy photography, but I guarantee that if you take the time to read it, it will make you smile. 

And so - Voila!  (Sidenote:  I hate it when I read someone's blog and s/he types 'WAH-LA!'  Ack!  It's not even a correct pronunciation; the French say the 'v'.  Believe me, given the opportunity, I would drive most people insane with my persnickety grammar.)

Back to my point - Voila!  The mantel!  I know it's cutesy and inelegant, but most of Valentine's Day is, too.  I don't care.  I like cutesy once in a while.  It's good for the heart.  The whole thing is kind of a big smile with rosy eyes and a red heart nose, dontcha think? (And pointy teeth) Yup.  Cute and inelegant.  Love it.

So go be the bubbles to your Sweetheart's bath!  



Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentine Bottle and Topiary

Here are a couple of projects - one very quick and easy! And one requiring time and patience.  You can guess which I enjoyed doing as opposed to which I enjoy looking at most, now that the work for each is over.

I love me an antique bottle.  You may remember my Scary Apothecary bottles from Halloween.  I found  this little frame, filled it with a label evocative of Valentine's Day (in a little bit of a Rock-n-Roll, create my own destiny - kind of way), and used a bit of Mod Podge to secure it to an old pharmacy bottle.  I tied a bit of ribbon around the neck of the bottle, and TA-DA!  Another project complete.  Whew!  I think I may have spent two and a half minutes getting it done.  I need a nap!


Actually, here's the project that really absorbed a serious amount of time.  I saw a topiary tutorial over at The Sweet Survival, and knew that the budget for this beauty was just right for me.  I bought a roll of scarlet crepe paper streamers and went to work. 

When I finished the head of the topiary, I slid a dowel into it, placed it down into a glass vase from the Dollar Tree that I wrapped with jute and embellished with an antique heart-shaped cookie cutter.   There's a bit of dried moss to hide the floral foam that keeps that dowel standing upright.  I made two of these, to flank the mantel.

They are about 15 or 16 inches tall, so they're significant.  The foam ball was 5 inches in diameter to begin with, and considerably larger once the roses were added.  I'm loving the way the mantel is coming out.  We'll be seeing the whole thing tomorrow!  Stay tuned!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine's Wreath and Garland

This cute little banner is courtesy of Martha Stewart and Home Depot  - because it's nothing more than paint chips!  I really like the BIG Martha paint chips - and they made this cute banner easy.  And it was easy to pick out all the pretty pinks, purples, and reds.  It's not exactly professional, because I hand-lettered it, but I like it, nonetheless.

I swagged it across the mantel, and decided that it needed a little 'sumpin-sumpin' to jazz it up.  Fortunately, I had been to my favorite local thrift store - The Good Samaritan - earlier in the day, and picked up this dazzling Valentine's Day wreath.  For.  Three.  Dollars.  !

It's so pretty, with boa feathers twined betwen metallic shiny and matte hearts.  There was a lady in front of me who had picked up another wreath, examining it.  Apparently, she hadn't seen this one yet.  And I wasn't one to stand around and let her get a chance to change her mind.  I skinnied in there and snagged it.  And isn't it a lovely thing?  I was pretty tickled to see that $3.00 price tag on the back!

Well, the mantel is coming along.    MMM has only been around for one year, and I have to say that for the many intervening years, when I had no sweetheart, I did nothing for Valentine's Day.  It was just another day in the week.  These last couple of years have been so much sweeter than I had ever hoped.  This year, when I ask him to 'Be Mine?' - I am confident he'll say yes!

Have you kissed your sweetie today?  No?  Well, go do it right away!  I'll be here when you get back!



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Valentine's Box and Birds

When I was a kid, I loved Valentine's Day.  I was a a super-sappy kid, prone to crushes and I valued friendship very highly.  Valentine's Day was that day when the cute boy across the room might scrawl 'From Roger' on the back of the card that said 'Valentine, Have a Whale of a Day!'  There'd be a picture of a cartoon whale, and that would be diehard evidence that Roger loved me and me alone.  Yup.  I had the card to prove it. 

Needless to say, Roger's mother had sat with him at the kitchen table, while he selected the Valentine for each kid on the class list.  Of course, I would not allow myself to believe that he chose the whale valentine specifically for the slightly chubby girl in the fourth row.  That crap hurts.  There was one girl in my fifth grade class that received only a few valentines.  I hope, if you're the mother of a grade-schooler, you make every effort to be sure that your child is kind.  Valentine's Day can be so hard on kids - and as a current human being and former schoolteacher, I can attest to that.

I always loved art class.  And on Valentine's Day, we always made a pocket, or a mailbox, or some such receptacle for the little cards we would be receiving.  I loved the day we made them and put them up.  I remember one teacher (I think it was Mrs. Lucas, in third grade) who figured out how to strap a lathe post to each little desk to hold up the box, just like a real street-side mailbox.  I cried when third grade was over and Mrs. Lucas would never be my teacher again.

This project was inspired by those old school Valentine boxes.  I found a small, red mailbox waiting for me at my local thrift store.  I played a while with my scissors, cutting out felt pieces, pom-poms, and lengths of cord until I had fairly covered the thing with pretties.  Here it is:

I also found a couple of after-Christmas birds in the clearance section - and they sure look like Valentine's Day to me, with their red-heart breasts.  Those stocking caps don't fool me!

Here's the reverse of the mailbox:

And when I post a love note, of course I'll raise the flag:

Here's all of them together, as the starting point for my Valentine's Day mantel:

Have you put out a few Valentine's Day pretties?



Monday, January 16, 2012

This Little Word of Mine

Layla, over at The Lettered Cottage, in her very sweet and thoughtful way, laid a bit of a challenge before me last week. 
 Her suggestion?  Find a word that you can embrace.  A word that can push you out of your comfort zone a bit.  A word that can bring you joy and make your life more than what it is.  I thought about this challenge a bit - really wanted to participate in it.  Some words were too pushy.  Too uncomfortable.  Too sweet or too prissy or too harsh for me.  But I found it.  I found my word.  Here it is:

I have spent a good deal of time just worrying about the present or regretting the past.  Believe me, that will get you nowhere.  The Bible is very clear on the subject of worrying (in case you are a worrier).  It says, 'Who will add one day to his life by worrying?'  I'm sure I haven't!  Regret is the same deal.  I certainly have made some bad decisions.  Who hasn't?  But today, I realize that even my bad decisions have helped to create the sum total of the person I am.  And God loves me and created me, and He guides my steps.  And I know that He can bring real and wonderful blessings from decisions that seem, at the time, unbelievably awful.  He's done it time and again.  

So today, I resolve to look forward.  This has been a really special year for me.  After 26 years of singledom, I have MMM, and he and I can look forward to the rest of our lives together.

I resolve to pay it forward.  I discovered blogging this year, and I have to say that Roeshel, at The DIY Showoff, has been an amazing friend to me - whether she's really aware of it or not.  She has been so kind to me, as a new blogger.  I have to remember that, and pay it forward, anytime I get the chance.

I resolve to move forward.  This year, I turned 50.  It's a big milestone.  But it's no time to look back.  Instead, I have a life to live.  I need to actively move forward into it, and I intend to.

No more looking over my shoulder, second-guessing, or doubting.  I need to shake free of old worries and put my eyes and my intent on the future.  It's forward.  

Forward - March!


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