Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Sneak Peek - My Jewelry

Here we go again.   As you may know, MMM and I are crazy for each other - so crazy, in fact, that we've decided to tie the knot in September.  But we're not so crazy as to run up any debt at all to get that done.  We're having a pretty little wedding for family and old friends only, and we have committed to doing it, within reason, entirely via thrift or handmade.  You can look at the full collection of all my sneak peeks to see how far we've come. 

I have been collecting pieces that are inexpensive (for my wallet), but wonderfully expensive (in appearance only). 

I don't think there's anything more apropos for a wedding than pearls.  Very pretty, very elegant, very understated.  But I'm the kind of girl that likes a little bling with her elegance.  That said, today, I'm sharing my wedding jewelry with you.

My earrings are just cubic zirconia - I'm no snob when it comes to jewelry.  I like pretty things, but outrageous price tags just do me in!  So CZ is fine with me.  And aren't these a pretty pair?  I bought them on the clearance rack at Shopko. They're set in sterling silver.

Here, you can see how large they are, in comparison to my thumb - they'll make a nice sparkle at the juncture of my ear and throat, and look at that price tag:

You can't beat that with a stick!

Remember when I went to Reno for that work conference for a week in May?  In amongst the shops around the casino, there was one little shop where everything (all fashion accessories) was $10.  Their stock was lovely, though generally, the quality was a bit obviously on the poor side.  But I found this lovely headband.  I am not convinced yet that I should wear it.  Maybe it's over the top?  Also, the metal is more bronze in color, which I'm not really sure about.

Tell me what you think....should I wear it?

I found this amazing bracelet on  Did you know that you could even shop Goodwill online?  This bracelet was brand-spanking-new, from J. Jill, and I bought it for $10.

I really love the rows of pearls.  And that pretty rhinestone brooch to crown it? Swoon.  I had to have it.

This necklace is the piece de resistance.  I bought it locally, at my favorite thrift store, for $1.  It's vintage - quite old.  The pearls are not real, but they are glass.  This weighs a ton. and it's just lovely.  Each individual pearl has such a nice sheen.  And the catch is beautiful and well-made. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again - if you are patient and go often, eventually the thrift store will give you exactly what you've been looking for.

So there you go.  Every piece of my wedding jewelry (except that all-important ring!) - even the optional headband.

I spent a grand total of  $8.99 + $1 + $10 + $10 = $29.99!!  Can you believe it?

(Seriously - tell me what you think about the headband.)



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sass's Sunday Salvation Show

Today's been one of those days, where I did a bit of everything, so at day's end there's not a lot of anything to show for it, but I sure am tired.

We had our first day of real summer - the weather was hot, hot, HOT!  I think it hit ninety-seven degrees, and the wind blew like a sonofagun all day long.  I'm afraid we may have a fire season yet.  We hit it lucky last year; it was rainy and cool for most of last summer and we managed to avoid huge fires. 

But this year we have lots and lots and lots of beetle killed trees in the forests around Helena, and I think it may just be a matter of time before opportunity and bad luck meet.  

 There's just so much standing fuel. I see reports of terrible forest fires in other states, and I hold my breath, knowing that could well be our future.  The last really bad fire season, the air quality in Helena dropped to 'just plain awful' (not that that's an actual category).  My sister is the State's lead air quality specialist, and so I hear about "unhealthy for sensitive groups" (an actual category) quite often.  This extreme heat and the lack of precipitation we're experiencing feel like stage-setting for a fire of biblical proportion.  I sure hope not, but I know that our luck has held about as long as is likely.

Ooh.  Gloom.  Doom.  Aren't I 'Little Mary Sunshine'?

Let's change the subject, shall we?  Let's talk about adorable baby sweaters!  That's a pretty significant change!  Roberta, at A Little Bit of Everything has  concocted not one, but TWO truly adorable little sweaters.  And I have to confess that I'm a fan.  Roberta is not your everyday knitter, oh no, she's not.  She's an artiste with her needles.  Look!

You must go visit her and slather her with bloggy love.  Roberta, I loved your sweaters and I'm dyng with envy for your talent!  Here's my featured button:

Sassafras Salvation

Time for this week's 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

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Sneak Peek - The Guestbook!

I thought I had a plan.  I had found a plastic canvas book cover with a spot to insert a picture and some potential.  Admittedly, not a lot, but I figured I could work with it.  But I have to say, I wasn't much inspired.  Plastic canvas is so.....80's, and even then, never really found its way out of "old lady crafts".  And this was peach yarn in plastic canvas.  But I figured - what the heck - it's a guestbook.

Then one day, on the phone, MMM said to me, "I've been meaning to talk to you about that.  I mean, is that really 'you'?"  As in, is that reflective of your style?  Really?  And, of course the answer was no.  I found the thing at thrift - remember that's my watchword - everything about this wedding has to be thrifted or homemade, within reason.  Thrift?  Check!  Will it suffice?  Check!  Wait, wait!  SUFFICE?  This is our wedding.  Do I want stuff to just suffice, or do I want it to be special and memorable?  Duh.

Then MMM said something inspirational (and you might think this is no big inspiration, but sometimes I just need a little push to get my brain cells to line up in a row).  He said, "Why don't you just carve up some old book?"  By that, he meant - tear the pages out and replace them with blanks.  But then my brain cells lined up, and I could hardly wait to go to the Good Samaritan.

I dug through their shelves of antique books until I found just the right one.  It's an old school book about the journeys of Lewis and Clark.  It was the right color and size, and it was just $0.75!  Actually, I felt a little sad about what I was about to do, but now that it's done?  No regrets!  And look at the title.

If that's not apropos for a couple about to take the leap, I don't know what is!  LOL!

I traced a rectangle on the opening page of the book, and then used an exacto knife to just slice that rectangle down through all the pages.  I probably should have glued all the outside edges first, so that they wouldn't slip and slide as I was cutting.  Oh, well, you live and you learn.  I used Mod Podge to glue all those outside edges after I finished the interior box, clamping the pages so that they dried tightly together.  

I bought scrapbook paper to match the turquoise of the wedding doilies, and cut pieces to fit the inside.  Before I glued in the one in the bottom of the box, I added a script-y 'P', for my soon-to-be surname.

 The front of the book has this cool stylized bison, which has no particular significance, but I do really like it.  It adds a certain charm.

Below that, there was a perfect space for our names, so I added them with a Sharpie.  Here's your chance to note that My Montana Man has an actual first name.  A nice, manly one. 

I drilled through the cover, attached a faucet handle, and added a braided length of the same turquoise crochet thread I used for all those doilies.  I simply used hot glue to attach it to the back of the book, then added a flat orange button to disguise it a bit.

Lastly, at thrift, I bought a never-opened package of scrapbook pages.  These were the old kind - before everyone and their dog took up scrapbooking.  This is heavy old paper, and I liked the way my cutter cut through it - kind of leaving a sort of deckled edge on each of the 3 x 4 1/2" cards.  I added an embellishment to each card.  Folks can leave us a wish or a blessing for our marriage and sign the card.  I made enough so that each individual wedding guest can do that.  

After we're married, I can open this guestbook and see all the lovely things folks wrote and remember the day as we live out our own highest wishes.

Do you like my guestbook?  I think it's special.  And like MMM said, it really is 'me'.



Friday, June 22, 2012

A Trio of Growler Totes

MMM's favorite beer, by far, is the Blackfoot Brewing Company's India Pale Ale.  In truth, we infrequently stop by for a couple (with free popcorn for me, because I don't like beer - I think we've established, however, that I do like margaritas), but he likes to pick up a growler on the occasional Friday evening.

One day, as I sat in the recliner, crocheting away, as is my wont, he asked, "Do you think you could crochet a growler tote out of parachute cord?"  Parachute cord, as it turns out, is second only to the dog as man's best friend.  If ever you find yourself in a real fix, your situation could not help but be better if you had a growler tote constructed of parachute cord.  And thus, this project was born.  

I like the challenge of taking on new materials.  The parachute cord was not easy to crochet - it doesn't want to twist along easily, like yarn, so I had to man-handle it a bit, but I have to say, if the cord could talk, it probably would prefer that.

Then, when we were at Home Depot, I noticed mason's string, which is used to string a level line for a mason while building a brick wall, and thought, "Hey, I'll give that a try - orange is MMM's favorite color, after all."

Lastly, I crocheted one from the sturdy cotton twist I usually use to make my many crocheted dishcloths from.  I am very used to working with this stuff, and that tote just flew along!  So here's a nice collection, in manly shades of orange, blue, and green.

MMM likes them very much, and Mr. Waddles is apparently taken with them, as well.  As soon as I set these out on the steps to photograph them, he plunged into their midst and made himself comfortable.  He's quite the little photographer's model, and he's got the pretty-boy looks to hit it big-time!  He hung in there pretty well, while I snapped away.  He actually loved every minute; he loves being the center of attention -- the prince of the household.

One more, to make even the coldest heart melt.  Look at those big brown eyes! He's a charmer!




Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sass's Sunday Salvation Show

Hello there!  I have been having a really busy day -- but the sort where, at day's end, I've impressed myself with all I got done.  here's what I did today:

I woke up at 4:00 a.m., finished one book and downloaded another: 7- An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  She writes compellingly of a life-changing series of events that led her to sacrifice many of the things that we, as Americans, take for granted as our entitled birthright, in order to clear her mind, her body, and her spirit - to literally make room for God to move.  And she's funny.  I'm only four chapters in, but I can already recommend it, and I know that the next book I download will be her Interrupted. [Hold the phones.  I just found out it's $1.99 for Kindle at Amazon.  Now, it's downloaded!] 

I climbed out of bed at six, checked both my email accounts and Facebook, then checked a website or two.  I have recently started playing The Grocery Game on a four-week free trial.  So far, it's been pretty remarkable.  I'll let you know how it goes by the end of my four weeks.

At seven, I was out the door to buy two copies of the Sunday newspaper. Back home, I made a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal (Special K High Protein with vanilla soymilk - yum!), then spent a few minutes looking through the paper and organizing my coupons for shopping later in the day.  By 8:15 I was in the shower.  Got to church by nine - fellowship hour with the women's Sunday School class.  Church is at 10:30 - a very good sermon on Psalm 23.  

At 11:30, I was off to the Helena Clay Arts Guild, where MMM was opening two kilns.  He was up all night the other night, babysitting the firing, making sure the process was just right. It's much more complicated than I ever imagined.  He and a crew of potter friends unloaded beautiful piece after beautiful piece (I should have taken my camera with me - I know!).  I ran and grabbed a little lunch, then MMMom and I hit the thrift stores, where I scored on a drum shade, an old yardstick,  and some other cool stuff. I am developing a plan for one more wedding project (which, of course, I need like I need a hole in the head, but I can't seem to help myself!)

I dropped MMMom back off at the Guild, then went grocery shopping.  I am really pretty amazed at how well this Grocery Game system works, so far.  It's not really like "regular" grocery shopping; it's more like finding amazing deals so you can stock up and create a hedge against inflation.  For instance, today I pretty much just bought hamburger buns, canteloupe, and lots of  individual Yoplait yogurts.  I had a whole cartful of stuff, but it only cost me $21.  When I got home about 4:00, I processed the canteloupe for the freezer, and froze about half the yogurts, too. I put all the rinds and seeds into the compost bin.

Then I fixed and ate supper (homemade sloppy joes, southwestern quinoa and black beans, and canteloupe).  I worked a little on my wedding guest book.  Now, I'm here, talking to you.  

See it really was a lot!  But enough about my day - I want to see what's going on in your world.  But, before we do that, let's take a look at my favorite link from last week:

Katie, at The Crafty Blog Stalker, specifically points out that she cases others' projects.  Never fear - Katie also gives credit where credit is due.  Last week, she pointed the way to a recipe she spotted on another blog.  She'd given it a try, and made the most amazingly yummy-looking pepperoni roll-ups.  These look like they could be a great appetizer, or even a simple meal for those nights when a full-blown menu plan is out of the question.  Katie has some great content - you've got to go check her out.  While you're there, say hello from Sass, willya?

Katie, you Crafty Blogstalker, you, here's my featured button:

Sassafras Salvation

Time for this week's 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

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Sneak Peek - The Invite!

Many of you who've been readers of Sassafras Salvation for any length of time know that my fiance, otherwise known as MMM, has some mad skillz.  By that, I mean that he is pretty slick with photoshop - actually pretty much anything on the computer.  He designed my site, pretty much to my specifications, despite never having actually done one before.  And I think he did a really nice job.  I think my site stands out in the crowd.  (I like how dark it is.  I don't think I know of anyone else's that's got such a deep background.  And still it's very cute!)

Well, MMM outdid himself with our invites.  I pretty much put it all in his hands, trusting that he'd do a good job and take me into consideration.  You have to understand that, left to his own devices, he treads some pretty strange ground, creatively speaking, and that's cool and funky.  But I'm not really after that "Creatively Strange" vibe for our wedding.  He told me he had an idea, and he was looking for components.  And I pestered to see what he'd come up with.  One day, he called me at work and said, "Now you'll keep an open mind?"  I promised to, and he emailed his draft.  After all the final touches, here it is:

Needless to say, I LOVED it.  MMM told me that when he found that picture of the blonde with the books in her hand, he just knew it was right!  (I do have some details blurred out - the press corps with their hordes of helicopters would just be too much!  LOL!)

He and I worked together to get all of the details right, like the top-of-the-page placement of our names, the right fonts for a film noir style, the movie studio logo, the quote across the bottom, etc. We printed them on a color printer on white cardstock, and carefully cut the edges with a nice, sharp paper cutter.  It all came together so well.

Of course, our RSVP card had to be a ticket.  MMM managed to get it sized perfectly so that it printed on a laser cut business card sheet, making it extremely easy to separate them prior to mailing.  I just bought large gold paperclips, attached them to the invitation, then slid them, unfolded, into 9x12" white envelopes.  I hand addressed them - a simple task, since this is going to be a very small wedding.  Many of them were hand-delivered.  I probably only mailed a half-dozen.  The postage was just $1.10 apiece.  

I think our invitations are among the coolest I've ever seen!  I'd like him to print it out - full movie poster size, as an art piece for our home.  What do you think?



P.S.  I've been busy today working on our guest book - I think you'll love it!  Next Saturday!  Be there or be square!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mama Kat's Perfect Barbecue Writing Prompt

It's kind of amazing.  I guess I have a really dark side, when it comes to recalling things from my childhood.  I read through Mama Kat's prompts and decided to veer away from all that - all I could think of were deep, and rather dark, insights.  You all don't need that on this fine summer day, so I chose a different prompt:  

Share a list of seven things you need for a perfect barbecue! 

 Mama’s Losin’ It

1.  It's always better with a classic margarita in hand, blended, with chunky salt all around the rim.  The glass is so cold, it's sweating, leaving a ring wherever you set it.  The lime is perfectly tart, perfect sweet.  The tequila is the good stuff....positively golden goodness - all chill and warm at the same time.


2.  Lots of family all around.  I would say lots of friends, because I love my friends, but I have to say that the best times I've had at barbecues have been with family.  There's a comfort level that you don't have any other way.  They all know that you are divorced and what a dork your first husband was and what a silly young fool you were for marrying him and that's all over now and they love your new guy because you love him and he loves you.  And that's all that matters.  There's plenty of love in any case.  These folks have travelled the long road with you, helped you carry your baggage, moved your heavy dresser six times, and watched your kids grow up into fine people.  Yup, it'll make for a better barbecue if we have lots of family.  With margaritas in hand, so they're all mellow now, too.

I just wanna say - these people are not my family, but they look like they love each other, all right!  Do you think they'd like a margarita?
3.  Great steaks.  For everyone.  None of this hamburgers and hot dogs for the kids.  Unless they really want them.  I don't know about your kids, but my kids have always known that hamburgers aren't steak, and never will be.  Steak.  Very rare for me, if you please.  Yum.  So yes, steaks even for the kids, if they want them.  And can I have a side of baked beans with that?  Yes, please, with pineapple.

4.  A big green, grassy yard with shady trees.  Plenty of room for the kids to run and the guys to throw frisbees or horseshoes or yard darts or whatever, and for the rest of us to wander around in the grass barefooted.  Except for you, April, because I know you'll break out.  Have another margarita, and don't worry about it.

5.  Sunshine.  Need I say more?  Ahh! 

6.  Saturday in the middle of a long weekend.  So you didn't have to work yesterday and you don't have to work tomorrow.  You spent part of Friday doing Saturday chores, so Saturday's just for the barbecue and not much else.  Sunday, you get to kick back a little more or finish up whatever didn't get done on Friday.  And you can have an extra margarita, if you want one.

Photo: Pool ready for summer.

7.  Could we have a pool, even if none of us actually has a pool?  And none of this kiddie pool stuff, OK?  If this is my perfectly imagined barbecue, we'll have us a big in-ground pool, like practically no one in Montana has, with a deep end and a slide for the kids, and a hot tub off to the side and an area with a quartet of lounge chairs and a poolside bar with plenty of little umbrellas, so we can pretend that we live someplace warm and haven't just lucked into the only day in Montana in June that the temperature bothered to climb above eighty degrees!

Pool house/pool

That's it.  A perfect barbecue.  Now, where'd I put my tongs?



Monday, June 11, 2012

Green Needlegrass

The other night, MMM and I went to have dinner at a local place called the Staggering Ox.  They're pretty well-known for their unusual sandwiches.  But the real draw was the band.  My sister plays guitar and sings with a little group called Green Needlegrass.  Their style is harmonic, easy, and folksy.  It was their debut.  Up until this particular evening, they'd been jamming at Deb's house, just enjoying each other's company.  Actually, I have two family members in this band.  The fellow on the drum is Charles, my brother-in-law.  They write much of their own music, as well.  I honestly haven't met any of the other members in the group, but there was a nice little gathering of locals who stopped by, like us, to enjoy the food and the music.

And, I'm sharing.  Deb knows that this is, in part, just for our mom to see.  But hit play, and you can see what wonderful talent they all have!  Deb is the woman just to the right of center and her voice is the highest one.  Enjoy!  

(By the way, do you think that annoying busboy could have walked through the frame just five more times? Grr.)



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sass's Sunday Salvation Show

Have you heard of the "Toilet Paper Philosophy of Life"?  Here it is:

The closer you get to the end, the faster it spins!

And if that ain't the truth, I don't know what is!  The days are spinning by faster and faster each week.  I realized the other day that we have less than three months to go to the wedding.  Monday at work, I look up and it's lunchtime.  I look up again and it's Wednesday afternoon.  Once more, and it's Sunday night, and a whole week has flown by, the weekend's gone, and I'm ready to go back to work again!  That's how my life feels these days.... It's just cr-az-y!

This last week, the Salvation Show was lightly attended, but Sarah, at Alderberry Hill knows how to greet the summer.  She's linked my favorite little project -  a stunning little printable for us all to celebrate the arrival (keeping in mind that it's 40 degrees with a 30 mile an hour wind here today, and feels nothing like summer!)  But Sarah's reminding me to stay hopeful, and I'll get some summer yet!  And don't you love those colors - so bright and happy!

Sarah, here's one for you:  my 'Featured' Button:

Sassafras Salvation

Time for this week's 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
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