Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Party Over Here!

With Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and birthdays and barbecues on the horizon, what better way to decorate your house, porch or yard, than some fun and unique pennants? A made a few myself out of scrap book paper, twine or yarn, alphabet stencils, a hole punch and permanent marker. I may try making one for our back yard with cut up plastic tablecloths that can be purchased at the dollar store! Be inspired to buy one or make one yourself! The possibilities are endless!

Friday, March 26, 2010

what I got at the "My mother's treasures" yard sale

2 vintage tablecloths and vintage fabric

Vintage counted cross stitch "Fruit Salad" and 5 knitting needles

a display I could use to show my wares at a craft fair and 7 embroidery hoops...

For a grand total of......$8.00!!! Not too shabby!

what to do...what to do...

OK, so...My daughter Christina will be in India until almost three weeks from now, and although it is the usual time frame between visits, it feels much longer. Knowing that she is on the other side of the world with her wonderful husband and delightful 2 year old son, makes it seem like an eternity. I usually call her everyday and I always say hi to my little Kavi and that is just not possible for these weeks ahead. So.. I must patiently wait for an occasional e-mail updating us on the visit with family there. Suj's family only gets to see Kavi once a year, and he has changed so much, I am sure they are partying down with him in Mumbai!
I figured that if I try to distract myself with projects, perhaps the time will go faster, so I rearranged some shelves, cleaned some corners, mopped a floor, planted some flowers...but...that was all just on the day they left on the plane, so...almost three weeks left!
I have been contemplating what to do with my second etsy shop, "The Lilly Of The Valley" which is at bare bones now with a few hand stamped gift tags. Angela from
Pickles on Pizza recently opened a vintage etsy shop and is doing real good and loving it and she had suggested I might try selling vintage too. I also love to thrift and garage sail and I already have several frames and pictures that I have no room for on my own house walls, so maybe...
I also crocheted some pillows and throws for my own house and could possibly make some to sell...hmmmm
well, that is what is on my mind today, after showering, I am going to a yard sale that is described as "All of my Mother's Treasures" which advertises all sorts of crafts supplies. Should be interesting to see what I can come up with! Have a great day today!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Springy Scarves!

These scarves are light and airy and in the most cheerful spring hues!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Salvaged Road Trip

So....today me, my husband Ray, daughter Jenny and friend Rachel went on an almost 2 hour road trip to Huntsville to eat lunch and browze through a fancy outside mall. Well, all week long I have felt rumbly stomach things and had some "issues", but yesterday I thought I was doing better. You see my husband had an awful stomach virus last week, really bad and I thought I had just gotten a milder version of it. Well, just as we arrived at our destination and went in to a restaurant I started to feel queezy and like something was rumbling around inside, so after eating , the girls walked quickly through an Antropologie store and then we headed towards home! I felt really bad, but the mall didn't seem all that promising to us anyway!
The GPS led us home a different way and when about 8 miles from our home on a backroad we passed a yard that shot waves of adrenaline through my soul resulting in a turn around and look see! It was like a scene from "American Pickers" which I have recently become addicted to. Piles and piles of junk for sale! An old fashioned enamel covered stove originally caught our eyes along with several metal gliders, chairs etc.,etc. After being greeted by a fine gentleman named Clint we began to peruse and ask the prices. My husband found some old Coca Cola crates for ten dollars each but he didn't want to spend that so Clint pointed out some Pepsi crates for only five each and Ray snatched up 5 of them. He likes to use them for storing paint bottles for his auto exterior paint business.
After asking about several different things, my heart became set on an old Singer sewing machine base with an enamel table top for forty dollars! I love it because it reminds of two things about my Grandpa: he used to be a tailor and had an old, not electric, Singer with the foot pedal, and he also had a few enamel topped tables at his farm. So good feelings from this purchase! Just like in "American Pickers" there was an old rusted car in the yard, a 1956 Packard that had been a hearse that was cut down to be an ambulance for the army. And....of course....an out building filled with tons of "stuff", a word that Clint jokingly said should not be used for his precious inventory! Of course I accidentally said it about three times, and he reminded me of it each time by saying, " now don't go calling my things, stuff!" A really nice gent he was and only 8 miles from my home! We will be stopping by there again!
Incidentally, I didn't feel rumbly the entire time there but upon leaving the rumbles returned!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Spring Break, Summer Vacation, Long Weekends, all excuses to buy some nice vintage luggage! Be inspired to buy some at a thrift store and embellish them yourselves!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A New Store in Town!

Old Postcard Of Downtown Gadsden

Downtown Gadsden Now

An Anthropologie Display

Yahoo!! Finally, a new store, "Let There Be Light", has opened on Broad Street in the downtown area of our town which is only half a mile from my house! When a friend told me about it about a month ago, my heart started to flutter since it was a used furniture and home decor store with a very cute window display. Brown paper covered the door so I couldn't see in until this week when I passed by and saw a "YES WE ARE OPEN" sign! I speedily parked right in front and happily walked in to the great unknown. And a lovely place it was, small but filled with some cute things at very reasonable prices. I bought an old basket made of chicken wire for only $6.00 and promptly put it in front of my dining room fireplace where it is destined to hold sticks or pine cones. (I only pretend that it works, I have THREE non-working ones that look awful pretty but don't give me that cozy warm and wood burning feeling )
The gentleman running the store was very nice and told me that the vision for the store was to have Anthropologie inspired things at reasonable prices! I could hardly contain my excitement as that is one of my favorite stores to browze in, and although I have snatched some sweet cups, mugs and plates on clearance there, it is mostly way out of my price range!
He said that his wife spruces up some of the furniture with paint or fabric, which is the very thing that I also love to do! Paint is a very powerful medium!
Now, we just need oh, about 5 antique shops or vintage consignment shops, and a killer coffee shop ( we have one downtown, but one more with really good strong coffee would be even better) and some good lunch cafes and this town would just explode! The bones are already there, but there are many vacant places just waiting to be filled!
There is a nice shop , "Alabama Gift Company" where everything in the store is made in Alabama or by an Alabama native and they sell some nice Birmingham roasted coffee beans that are really good. There is also an old 5 and 10 called "Gadsden Variety" which is exactly like Woolworths from when I was a kid in New York. And a candle shop where they are made on the premises and have a zillion choices, among many other shops and places including the Cultural Arts Center, Gadsden Museum of Art, and Imagination Place, an interactive children's play area and learning place.
Anyway, I am not complaining, I am just dreaming of what could be expanded in this quaint and cozy town!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fun and a Bug In Florida!

This past weekend my husband Ray and I went to visit our daughter Christina, son in law Suj and grandson Kavi in sunny Florida. We were having a grand old time for the first two days and then an awful virus hit Ray which resulted in projectile vomiting and projectile... well... other stuff! Let's just say that he had a room at the "Poop and Puke Hotel"! So the last day of our three days there were not fun for Ray although he was sitting with everyone in the living room so he could watch our sweet little Kavi play.
Kavi has officially called us "Pa Pa", and Na Na" which made us very happy! He is 2 years old now and is so sweet and affectionate. It was a great visit except for the bug and having to drive back 10 hours when not feeling well. I only had some digestive issues when almost home but we learned that while we were driving, Christina had checked into the aforementioned Hotel, then this morning we learned that Kavi had also experinced this awful malady although not as severe as he was still able to play! Yikes!!!
The first day after we arrived, I was showing Stina my new glasses with black rims which were similar to hers and Kavi ran to pick up Pa Pa's reading glasses that matched, so I had to snap a picture! All these pictures were taken before checking in to you know where!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

spring is in the air, so...

I organized my yarn in my back room today! I wish I was a more organized person, but alas, I am not, although I love it when things are orderly! What is that old saying..."things go from order to disorder." Oh how true, especially when it comes to me! I had put all my yarn in plastic bins with drawers a few months ago which was an improvement over rummaging through countless plastic bags, but another old saying..."out of sight, out of mind" happened. I would buy wool and acrylic on clearance in lovely shades of coral or turquoise, stash it away and get amnesia about the purchase. Then I would see some more skeins in those color schemes and think, Oh should should buy some! When I went through the drawers today I was startled by the amount of unused skeins I had! I ran out to Walmart to get some simple plastic milk crates that I could stack together with most of my yarn visible. (I had hoped that 5 would hold all of it but I still had to use the bins for the partial skeins) Well it took a while, but I like the way it looks and I think it will be more workable. This day re-confirmed that I must not go to the new yarn shop in town until I use up much of what I already have. At least I hope I can stay away from it! Argh!!
I also spent Monday, spray painting random objects around my house a cheery peachy coral, including my new male deer plaque that I got from Gingers Girl to go with the one I already bought!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Curry Sweet Potato Soup

One day last month I went with Jenny and Rachel to Urban Standard Cafe in Birmingham where the lunches are amazing and the coffee is the best I have ever had. Curried Sweet Potato Soup was on the menu that day and let me tell you, it was fantastic! I love Indian food and this soup tasted like one of my favorite dishes, Tikka Masala. I went home and searched the internet for a recipe and tried this one which came out really good! All the ingredients can be tweaked as far as amounts go, I like a lot of garlic and onion and I had to use more curry paste at the end.

SERVES 4 -6 , 7 cups



  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped onion (2-3 onions)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry paste (levelled tbsp, I used Pataks Tikka Masala Curry Paste but you could use any curry paste you like)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (levelled tbsp)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes ( I used 4 very large ones) I microwaved mine first for 6 minutes to partially cook them
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock(I used 4 cartons of veg broth)
  • salt

recommended topping

  1. In a soup pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add curry paste and onions and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat if necessary. Add garlic clove and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

  2. Add sweet potatoes and pepper. Mix. Add stock. Cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.

  3. Puree the ingredients in batches in a blender or puree the whole amount directly in the pot with a hand blender (if pot is high enough).

  4. Check if you like the consistency of the soup. Add more stock or water if desired and adjust the seasonings (check if salt is needed). You can add more curry paste if desired, but most pastes need to be cooked first before adding to a dish.

  5. Serve in individual bowls and top each with a tablespoon of sour cream and a sprinkle of sweet paprika.

Friday, March 5, 2010

my name is Darlene and....

...I am addicted to constantly changing my blog header! Perhaps you have noticed!? I don't know why but I think it is so fun to keep making new ones. I have probably had like 10 of them and it hasn't even been a year since I started a blog! I really like the one I have now because it is my house, and I enjoy the old timey quality of the picture. I guess that moving into this home in an area that is historic and picturesque has been the catalyst for my creative juices to begin flowing.
I love that my home has character, wood floors, high ceilings, old fashioned molding, six panel doors, glass door knobs three fireplaces (non working) and a fantastic front porch. When I lived in Florida, I pretended to have those things and decorated my square blockish homes accordingly. (that was not so common for homes in FLA!) So...even though I love this header...I don't know how long it will last until I make another one!
You see, I also really love bird images and any sepia toned thing, so who knows when everything will change again! (perhaps I can get a bird image on my sepia house image...hmm...)
Thanks for understanding my compulsions!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oh Deer...and Starline!

Today my mail carrier, a lovely lady who is ALWAYS taking on her ear bud when she brings my mail, had a wonderful package for me from Ginger's Girl, a lovely Etsy vintage shop. Last year I made a post about how much I love deer, the animal, and deer, the decoration so when I saw that Angela had listed a few plaques in that theme, I had to buy one! Well, after opening he box and immediately finding the perfect spot for it in my living room, I had to order the OTHER one before someone else snatched it up! Living with my Grandpa in rural Pennsylvania when a child, gave me an appreciation for the lovely creatures as they grazed at the end of his driveway each day at dusk. It is one of those endorphin releasing things for me when I see one in real life, which doesn't happen too much, so the next best thing is to have TWO not one decorations hanging in my home!
Later this morning I had to run errands at the post office and bank and thought I would swing by the Goodwill store. I haven't done too much thrift shopping since every corner of my house seems to be at the home decor limit, but I could use some ideas for displaying my goods when at a craft fair or flea market so in I went. At the craft fair I did in December, a few people had their wares displayed in vintage suitcases and trunks, so I have thought about doing that as well. However most vintage luggage is very expensive as they seem to be a hot collectible, but TODAY at Goodwill there was a pristine condition inside and out, Starline suitcase that was only 10.00, so....with a smile on my face and valise in my hand I left Goodwill a happy girl!