Friday, October 24, 2014

Decorating Elmer's Tool Box

In a recent post, Tool Caddy Triplets, blogger Donna from Distressed Donna Down Home showed how she transformed three vintage tool caddies. When I saw her post, it reminded me that I had stored this funky old tool caddy in the attic above the garage when we downsized last year.    

Here it is. I have no idea who Elmer was, but I love his tool box.
Stored in it were some rusty old tools I had collected over time: a broken saw from the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (I liked the handle), the tines from a well-used rake, and part of a rusty bridle I dragged home on the plane from St. Augustine last year.

A Nor' Easter has been blowing through Maine all this week with dark skies, wind, rain and heavy surf . . .just plain depressing weather. So, I decided to light up Elmer's tool box with a string of lights from the screened porch at our former home, Winn Farm.

Then the tools went right back in . . . along with some little pumpkins and gourds.

And voila . . . after rearranging the gourds more times than I care to admit, it's done!

Tonight we're going to lower the lights in the living room, ignore the rain and wind, binge-watch Netflix . . . and enjoy the ambiance of the little white lights in Elmer's tool box.


(and Elmer)
This post is linked to:
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Simple & Sweet Fridays at Rooted In Thyme
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors
Show & Tell Saturday at Be Different, Act Normal

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I Just Couldn't Stop

Sometimes I get so excited about a project that I just can't seem to stop making whatever it is I'm making . . .like these little zipper pouches.

You can find a tutorial on how to sew these little clutches in my September post, Got Zippers? . They were inspired by similar ones pictured in the May 2014 issue of Country Living.
When I saw them in the magazine, I couldn't wait to start making some.

But then the project became addictive.
 I started by sewing seven zippers together and, by the time I was done, had used 168. Each new color combination I thought up led to the construction of yet another little pouch.

Yesterday, after sewing 24 of theses babies,  I began to hear a little voice in my head repeating,  
"Put down the zippers. Step away from the sewing machine and put your hands in the air".
It just hit me that I had done it again: gotten totally carried away with a project.

Twenty-four zippered pouches? Really? What was I thinking?
Have you ever gotten carried away with a creative project?
How did you stop? Is there any hope for me?

This post is zipped to:
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
What's It Wednesday at Ivy & Elephants

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Ladybug Invasion!

According to our local newspaper, October is the season for ladybug invasions. The article explains that ladybugs try to come into our homes in the fall to stay warm for the winter.

We were happily invaded by ladybugs of all shapes and sizes yesterday afternoon when we hosted a birthday party for my daughter and her friends.

I decided on the party theme when I saw this ladybug partyware at, of all places, Walmart. I love how colorful and graphic it is.

DH made the cupcakes from a Wilton Ladybug  Cupcake Decorating Kit I ordered from

Here are Wilton's cupcakes . . .
And here are ours!
DH ended up with extra eyes so a few of the cupcakes ended up one eye right in the middle. . . pretty scary! I think DH decided to be creative and see if I'd notice.

It was a perfect fall day so for a little exercise between lunch and dessert, all the "ladybugs" went for a walk to the Applegate community garden for a scavenger hunt. Although we had to settle for a cardboard deer and plastic spiders, we did find everything on our lists!

Template from
Can you guess how many pieces of candy corn are in the jar? I'll put the answer at the end of this post so you can see how close you came!

I found the Hallmark ladybug gift card pouch on Clearance at Kohl's. It served as a centerpiece and gift card holder. Later my daughter can cuddle with it! Although these seem to be discontinued in the store, there are still a few available on ebay.

She was so surprised when she opened the zipper and looked inside the ladybug . . . gift cards to her three favorite restaurants!

And what birthday would be complete without a Muenster cheese "cake" (long story but my daughter's favorite) and ice cream?

Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

And there was plenty of ladybug love to go around!


p.s. The candy corn count was 646.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vintage Sunglasses as Wall Art

As some of you know, my sisters and I lost our mother in April. When we were going through her things we found that she had taken the time to write little notes on items that held special meaning for her. In the bottom drawer of her dresser, I found two pair of vintage celluloid sunglasses in a baggie. The note on these said, "June 1946 - His & Hers Honeymoon Glasses".
How sweet is that? 

I knew that this memory was a little gift from Mom to us and that I didn't want to hide the glasses away in a drawer. So I found this shadow box frame at Michael's, lined it with vintage-looking scrapbooking paper, and framed them.

To give the shadow box a sense of place and to add a little color, I put an old postcard of Wells Beach, where Mom and Dad spent their honeymoon, in the frame, along with Mom's note . . . and hung it in a grouping in my living room. With a little creativity, I've found that you can hang almost anything on the wall as art. (In fact I'm currently working on cleaning up and hanging my grandfather's 100-year-old violin; but that's another post!)

Here are Mom and Dad on their wedding day in Bradford, Massachusetts, June 29, 1946. . .

And a couple more old postcard views of Wells Beach back in the 40's.
Don't you love the cars?

Although we grew up in Connecticut, our parents rented a cottage for our family vacation at Wells Beach every summer. Those days were some of the best of our lives and left each of us with such a love of Maine that all four of us eventually moved here.

Mom left us more than one gift when she tucked that little note away with the old sunglasses.  She left us a glimpse into her youth as well as a love of the ocean, and Maine, that will last each of us a lifetime.  And that's important enough to hang right out there on the living room wall!
This post is linked to:
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Monday, October 13, 2014

10 Tips for Dancing In Spanx

Do you wear Spanx???

We just returned from a beautiful wedding on Cape Cod and since I had to get into this knit dress...

I decided to expand (poor choice of words?) my selection of body armor undergarments by purchasing some Spanx for the occasion . Two pieces of Spanx actually . . . a top to "smooth out" my  tummy and waist . . .

And a "bottom" to contain . . . well, my bottom.

After I squeezed into those two pieces, I realized that you could see through the knit dress so I added a half-slip.

Once all of these layers, were in place, I have to admit, the dress looked pretty good. So off to the wedding DH and I went. That was when I realized that there is more to successfully wearing Spanx than Oprah would have you believe.

The ceremony and dinner went fine; I was sitting still. The reception, however, was another story. Dancing required frequent trips to the ladies' room to fine tune the Spanx. With each of my ridiculous retro dance moves the top half of the Spanx went up while the bottom worked its way down. End result? Total exposure of tummy section I was trying to hide. And the half-slip? Forgetaboutit. It ended up in my purse!

photo courtesy of Vintage Style Files

Here's what I learned the hard way:

10 Tips for Dancing In Spanx

1. When the DJ yells, "Let's Get Down!", don't do it!

2. Don't even consider trying to "Move Like Jagger".

3. During "Twist & Shout", don't try to see how low you can go. In fact, don't do the twist at all or your layers of Spanx will end up, well . . .  twisted.

4. When you are wearing multiple layers of Spanx and friends ask if you remember how to do the Swim, say "No"!

5. Don't try to keep up with the dance moves of  crazy BFF Karen while wearing Spanx.

6. When you're slow-dancing to a favorite oldie and start to feel all fluttery, it's probably just your Spanx coming loose.

7. When leaving the ladies' room, make sure all of your supporting layers are tucked  INSIDE your dress.

8. When you think your partner just said, "Thanx for the dance", consider that he may actually have just whispered, "Your Spanx are askance".

9. Stick to slow dances and your Spanx will thank you.

And finally . . .

10. When the band plays "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green, try not to take it personally.

Just for the fun of it, this post is linked to:
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Amazing Women: Life Is Made Up of Moments

I just got an e-mail from Kendra, the woman who hosted the group of Searsport women who sewed forty-two scarves for women with cancer in one afternoon.  Kendra wrote:
"I received this today from one of the ladies~ she calls the group Kendra's Angels and can not wait for the next adventure.  She took the day off work so she could be here." 
Beneath this, Kendra copied what her friend had written to her and forwarded it on to me. I was so touched by what this woman wrote that I really wanted to share it. 

Here it is:
" When I heard about this event  (Kendra's scarf sewing party) , I looked forward to it every day.  
When I got there (of course, a couple of minutes late) my chair and sewing machine awaited me.
The assembly line was in motion, and the time went by in a flash - I couldn't believe it when you said the top stitching was already done.

Then we adjourned to your backyard where I stood in awe of the beautiful weather, the mammoth sunflowers in bloom, and watched the dogs romping gaily across the manicured fields.

Life is made up of moments - and this was one of those that will stay with me forever. 

Thankfully your daughter contributed by artistically hanging the kerchiefs on the line and freeze-framing the event with her photos.

It's like want to grab and hold onto the foliage because in no time, the leaves will drop from the trees and time will march on with whatever is next.
But we can pull these photos up any time and go back to the magic of that day. We bonded within our group and now have bonded with women across Maine. Yes, there was energy in the room!"
Photo courtesy of  Fiber College, Searsport 2014

I'm tempted to blog my thoughts, too."

To Kendra's friend . . .
You just did!

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This post is linked to:
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Cozy Little House

Friday, October 3, 2014

Decorating with Chippy Old Shutters

Last week, while we were antiquing in New Hampshire, I found a pair of shutters from an old building in South Boston that just had to come home with me.  

I only wanted this half of the pair . It met all of my criteria: 1. Chipped and dented, 2. Turquoise, my new favorite color, and 3. 30" high.

The other half of the pair was not quite as appealing . . .

But it had great old hinges!

I hung the turquoise shutter inside the casement window in my front entry hall.
The antique apple print will probably move to another wall;  I chose it because our house is on Applegate Lane but I don't think it works now that the shutter is up.
Thank goodness for Spackle . . . a woman's best friend!

I think I'll use the other shutter to display some of my vintage postcards. I'll try to include photos in a later post.

The inspiration for this post came from Cassity at Remodelaholic; she's featuring window ideas all this month. She posted a tutorial on DIY turquoise shutters and wrote about using shutters inside windows. Ironically, I had just hung my turquoise shutter a few hours before. Great minds, right?

Happy window decorating,

This post is linked to:
"We've Got Windows" Link Party at Remodelaholic
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Flaunt It Friday at Chic On A Shoestring Decorating
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors
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