Wednesday, July 28, 2010

etsy solutions

There is a lot of amazingly beautiful stuff on Etsy. Many of the items are way more than I can afford. Many of them I tell myself that I can afford and have therefore indulged until I have to remind myself that I don't really have any more available wall space nor do I need more pretty smelling bath and body stuff (actually I do always need this).

But, there is something that Etsy is so great for that I feel like gets overlooked. Etsy is a place where people sell their handy and useful crafts that they make in their spare time. I am not talking about people with art degrees working on their art or jewelry full time. I am talking about the kind of things you would find at church sales and local gift shops. The thing that makes you think, wow, that is clever, I really need one of those.

Things like these really nice cast iron skillet handlers I got a while back. I needed them, I looked them up and there they were on Etsy, just like I was hoping.

They're well made and totally reasonable price and just what I needed. You can see more on HomeDeconomics site

Or something like a crock pot handle knit cover (I have one I got at a senior citizen's craft store and it is very useful). Or a crock pot cozy.

I love these kind of crafts. Ones that are created from a need that makes things easier. I recently found such a great one of these kinds of crafts, that it prompted this whole post.

Being a large person, my clothes are bigger than most people's. I have trouble getting them to stay on hangers that aren't fabric covered (Not satin. Who's idea was it that satin is a good fabric to cover hangers? It makes clothes slip off easier). Cloth covered hangers are expensive and actually not that easy to find (unless you want satin). Sometimes you can find crochet covered ones. I got some of those at the previously mentioned senior citizen's store. My mom got me some felty hangers for Christmas and they are good, but I already have used them and needed more good hangers.

So, I went back to Etsy and searched again. I was looking for some crocheted ones and I found this awesome solution!

brandimcline makes the crochet covered hanger covers and sells them to you without the hangers. So, all you do is use them on any of your existing hangers. I was excited to try these and ordered a batch. You also get to pick your colors, so I got green and yellow, of course.

they arrived fast and they are perfect. I used all of them today and I covered plastic hangers and satin hangers and both worked great.

What a perfect solution and what a brilliant idea! And the best part is that the cost is only $6.00 for 5! It's a win win. Such a simple idea and so useful. I love that. I am planning on getting more. Here is a picture of them in my closet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

such a girl

There are a lot of typical girly things I am not into: doing my nails, shopping for shoes, handbags, dresses, pedicures, most romantic comedies, getting my hair done (or even cut)...there are other things, too, that I can't currently recall. Just know there are many times that I feel completely alienated from a group of "typical" women.

However there is one way (okay, more than one) that I'm totally a cliche girly-girl and that is that I love all those costume dramas. Yeah, I like Austin, but it isn't just Jane Austen or the Bronte Sisters. It is all of them, even the American ones, in fact one of my favorites is Little Women (and of course Canadian ones. Oh, how I love Anne of Green Gables).

These films are usually well written and wonderfully acted, but it isn't just that. I love how they look. They're all so beautiful: the costumes, the sets, the props and landscapes. The music is always lovely and in the British ones they are always having tea - another totally girly thing I love.

Tonight I started watching the mini-series Lark Rise to Candleford. It just came out on dvd. I have only watched one episode and I am already hooked and am looking forward to watching them all - maybe with a cup of tea and a "biscuit".

Thursday, July 15, 2010

essentials and extras

There are a number of things I like to have a good supply of in the house. Just knowing they are there makes me feel better and more secure. If I have an extra extra amount in the house I feel downright wealthy. Some of these are constants in life like postage stamps, shampoo and soaps and quarters for laundry.

Some have been around for quite a while and are approaching life status - like Chipotle Tabasco Sauce and Annie's Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette.

Some are seasonal, like this summer I felt nervous if I didn't have strawberries in my fridge for the last few months. Now that has transferred to just summer fruit in general and fresh lettuce. Also it looks like I am just starting to get over a strange 3 month obsession with chocolate pudding.

About a month and a half ago the mister showed up at my door with 5 bottles of my precious Homade Chili Sauce. I had mentioned to him how Safeway stopped carrying it, so now only Zupan's was left. He had been there and brought me 5 jars! I felt rich! I felt like a bootleggers wife! I thought it would last me forever.

Well several weeks later and I am halfway through the jars. I pretty much only use it on breakfast items, but I use it almost every morning.

Homade Chili Sauce is something that is made in Southern California and we always had it in the house during my tween and teen years (I grew up in Southern California). Homade was there for many omelet and scrambled egg mornings. Also, we probably used it on hamburgers, too. I seldom found it later in adult life (by then in Northern California) and kind of forgot about it until I moved up here and saw some in my mom's fridge. She picked me up a bottle once and I was hooked again and then I finally found it at Safeway.

Maybe some of what I like about the condiment has to do with childhood memories. A high school friend of mine said once that she loved making sandwiches at our house because we always had such "interesting" things to put on them. My mother does like her condiments and so do I.

Homade Chili Sauce is not hot at all and really more like a dressed up ketchup. But, no high fructose corn syrup. I think people would like it for shrimp, too. There is very little on the internet about it, but I did find this page that had recipes for the chili sauce.

What kinds of things do you feel better having a good supply of in the house?...or is it just me?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Summer has finally hit Portland and in the last 10 days it went from rainy and grey to 100 degrees!

My garden is finally blooming, although my hydrangeas are quite singed from all that heat. I like the contrast in this marigold pic above. The poppies are my neighbors.

I have been active with my vintage postcard and ephemera hobby. Last week I posted on The Cedar Chest blog about a whole box of damaged postcards that I got at an auction and the surprising family history I found in them - all verified and supplemented by the internet. I adore Google street view.

This month is International Zine Month. I want to actually work on a zine, but I just can't seem to do it. I sit down to work and I end up remembering something I need to do, to order, a blog post I want to do, all kinds of things. Every year I seem to lack even more focus for my own projects. However, at my day job I have become way more focused and creative there than in previous years, so maybe there is only so much to go around.

Not even the deadline of the Portland Zine Symposium is motivating me. And I pretty much mostly get things done because of deadlines. I have lots of ideas! I am hoping to take a few days and go somewhere to focus - my own mini writers retreat.

Last week my friend and I went to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. I have posted about it on here before. It is always different. It changes so much with the seasons. Cheslea is a great photographer and got some good shots you can see on her blog AnimalKind.

I was playing with my camera and found some setting I didn't know existed. You can choose a setting that will pick one color and replace it with another color. This is the result:

We saw some tons of these amazing caterpillars (you can see on AnimalKind) and a raccoon and some sweet birds. We also saw three Great Blue Herons. My camera's battery ran out right after we spotted the first one.

That is the only picture I got. Right after this shot these sweet little red wing blackbirds came down on the Blue Heron pestering it till it left. It got mad and flapped it's wings and made a sound. It was neat to see.

The other wildlife that we actually saw far too much of was the mosquitoes. We tried to go for a little hike on this one trail they have for this purpose and the mosquitoes were completely surrounding us. It was way too much. I think I swallowed one! I recommend that if you want go here this summer you either stay in the car, take lots of bug spray or just wait a couple months.

There were lots of pretty daisies all over and yellow flowers, too This picture below was a mistake, but it's my favorite.

Hope you all are having a nice summer so far!

july is a great month for.............

Here is the July installment of Glamour's How to Do Anything Bettter series from the late 70's. Wondering what I am talking about? Only a few months left....

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