Mad Money March

I realize it’s now March and in anticipation of the spring, and this horrid, cold and damp winter ending, I dragged out my seed catalogs.  Oh fun!  It was fabulous to look at and plan, while there’s still snow on the ground.  Vegetables galore, and from a great company–  Pinetree Garden Seeds out of New Glouchester, Maine.  I’ve been ordering from them for years and I love their seed packets.  Cute little plain colored paper packets (no fancy glossy images there!) and a cute stamp on the front.  More than likely hand filled, too.

Pinetree is all about sustainability and non-GMO seed.  In fact, their mission statement is right inside the front cover, and you really have to read it to get the feel of what they are about.  Tactile learning!

Just to let you know what kind of winter we have had–over three weeks now and temps below zero (Fahrenheit) overnight.  Zero in Fahrenheit is zero; zilch, nada, ball of the thermometer.  Not below 32 degrees, which is freezing but 32 degrees below freezing.  And just how low did it go?  Well, it’s been as cold as 28 below.  And I’d like to share with you a photo I took of two detergent bottles filled with dish detergent I ordered (can’t find organic detergent here and everything else makes my hands smell like melamine).  The one on the right is the most frozen; the one on the left is warming up.  This is what they look like when they’ve been left out overnight on the doorstep at 9 below ZERO.  Which as of late, was a heat wave..

Oh my!  It was cold out there!

Oh my! It was cold out there!

So in light of the frigid temps, I’m having a special sale in my Etsy shop for all my Etsy newsletter subscribers.  I’m calling it Mad Money March and it’s honoring my Mad Money fund that allows me to purchase things I want, such as garden seeds, and other very special things in my wish list.  What’s the sale, you might ask?  Ten dollars off any purchase of $40 or more; a 25% savings on your total purchase!  Howsa bout that?  But you have to be a newsletter subscriber.  How do you sign up?  It’s easy.  Just email me.

Have a look at my newest items:

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HC-16 (2)  PilC- 8 (3)

Do any of these entice you?  If not, stay tuned.  There will be more!

Yours truly, truly

Beth

The Making of a Hippie Chick Laptop Tote From a Reclaimed Vintage Pillow Sham

Today I thought I’d get down to business and create a laptop tote bag I’ve had rolling around in my head for a while.  You see, I stay awake nights thinking about things to make and when this gets me to the point I’m frustrated, I settle down and make it.  I had a goal to get this done before Christmas, and today was the day.

I started off with a vintage pillow sham I found somewhere (yard sale, garage sale, antique store–those places I frequent) and removed the lining on the back, as well as the beautiful corded trim around all the outside edges.

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Top of pillow sham; note the cording on the outside edge,

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The white is what remained after I removed the tan lining

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Cording removed; saving it for something else

Then I folded the bag in half (with the folded part at the bottom) and sewed up the sides.  (I also made a lining using the same shape as the outside of the bag, as well as a welted zipper pocket, but I don’t have pictures of those–too complicated and I didn’t want your eyes to glass over)

Next up was making the silk sari ribbon roses I wanted to use for embellishments for the front.  I purchased a skein of the silk sari ribbon from again somewhere I can’t remember, but I do remember it was online!  And I had to wrap it in a ball to use it.  Luscious pinks, rose and tans–just right for my bag.

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Cool bits of silk strips, wrapped into a softball size ball

If I wrapped pieces of the ribbon around my fingers,

Ribbon around my finger

Ribbon around my finger

then smooshed it and ran a thread through all the layers,

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I would come up with a few cute little roses!  I fused a doily down first, fastened it by stitching around the edges.  I hand stitched through the roses to attach them to the top of the bag

Roses on top of doily

Roses on top of doily that is fused to front of bag

Next came the brown suede leather handles and stitched them to the top of the bag, not sewing through the lining I made earlier.  I did reinforce the area where the handles would be sewn with durable interfacing to help reinforce the stitching area so it wouldn’t tear.

Handles

Handles

Handles being stitched

Handles being stitched

Stitched in a separating jacket zipper to the top edge, and what I wound up with was a cute little tote bag large enough for a laptop

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It’s done! Tadah!

Okay, now what would you pay for a well padded, but not heavy, laptop tote such as this?

You Know Know You’re in a Small Town When…

Here’s an item.  Recently I went to my small town grocery store, a very quaint country store run by Mennonite women, and filled with shelves of bulk foods.  The store is not too far from my home.  And on the glass entry door, along with other ads for lost pets, babysitting, etc., was the following ad:

LOST HERON DECOY

Carried off by bear.  If found, call 505-2XX-3XXX

And a photo of the missing decoy was at the top.  I don’t know about you, but I found this quite amusing.  I mean, where else, but?  Now I’m sure many of you are wondering, “What’s a heron decoy and what is it used for?”  Herons, blue herons, travel through here on their way south, and manage to eat up fish in small ponds, creeks, etc., thereby frustrating fisheries and homeowners who want to raise their own catch.  So we humans got a little ahead of them.  Herons are also territorial, and won’t hang out if there’s another heron present.  Enter the wood Heron Decoy.  Placed in a strategic location, the impostor manages to keep several of its living marauders at bay.

Now why I found this funny was the “carried off by bear” part.  I didn’t grow up around here, (grew up in So. California with beaches, sunshine and very little fauna), so the idea of bears in my locale was at first unsettling.  And seeing one for the very first time several years ago, (in my backyard no less!) I had the crazy idea it was someone playing a trick on me.  Our minds do crazy things to rationalize, and sometimes mine gets on overload.  But eventually I learned to live with them.

So when I read how some dastardly bear had the gall to carry off a heron decoy, a picture came to my mind.  A 250 lb black bear, with this heron tucked under its arm, running into the woods, or even down the road, almost like something out of a King Kong movie.  All the while thinking he (and what bear isn’t a “he”?) had quite a catch.

What picture would this ad conjure up for you?

Winken, Blinken and Nod One Day….

Set out in a cardboard box.WBNPil (5)

Went through the mail all along the way,

To someone I hope who loves them alot.

I was sad to see them go,

Off on their little trek.

But the delight in the receiver’s face aglow

Would be enough for me to say, “What the heck?”


Yes, I sold it.  The Winken, Blinken and Nod pillow.  And my hometown hosts one of two bronze statues of the characters in this famous poem.  But, I couldn’t keep it any longer.  I wanted it to sit in a place where people would admire it, and love it for at least as much of the short time as I did.  I can imagine it in a child’s room, near a sunny window, window curtain blowing in the breeze.  Soft blue paint on the walls, a white crib and furniture.

The poem was my son’s favorite while he was growing up.  And, when he was about 40, he came here for a visit.  I took him to see the statue so he could stroll down Memory Lane.  And for the rest of his visit, he referred to it as “Winken, Blinken and Linken”, the same words he used as a child.

Bugsie, the dear person who sent me the embroidered piece, I’m forever indebted to.   Such a beautiful piece, and I’m happy I was able to touch it, feel it, and enjoy every stitch by the artist who hand embroidered it.  Thank you, Bugsie, for that opportunity.  And now it must be sent out into The Universe for someone else to love.

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Ahem…Drum Roll Please

Have you ever had a situation where something you wanted to work so badly, didn’t?  And didn’t that jade you a bit?  Sort of made you feel like you would never get anything you wanted?  And then you did?  It’s like the saying, “If you don’t get what you want, think of the things you didn’t want and got”.  Well, (where am I going with this?), I gave up having something turn out good, only to try again and have it turn out right.  (Am I making sense?)  It’s like computers and technology.  Can you imagine how many times we’ve been deflated over 1) pages not posting, 2) photos not being uploaded when we thought they were, 3) photos turning out crummy when we thought they weren’t, 4) software programs not working, etc., etc.  I’m sure you get the picture.

Well, I decided I’d try–again!  After such a difficult learning curve on Etsy using their apps, (such as the bulk listing editor consistently asking me for a token ring–Whaaa?  Why not a diamond ring?)  working on WordPress and trying to find out how to get to my old posts, and please don’t get me started on Facebook because that will bring me down (the learning curve is a mountain with that one!), I finally hit success!  I decided to use EtsyonSale for my Black Friday to Christmas sale, instead of using a coupon.  And….drum roll please…it worked!  All my listings have cute little redlined prices and a cute little first line title.  Oh fun, fun, fun!  Check it out by clicking on the box below.

The Really Big Sale

I admit it, I really wanted to write “shew” for “sale”, but I couldn’t–just couldn’t as that would date me. Many of us remember Ed Sullivan, and I didn’t want to show my age. But it’s coming up. Yes, my annual Black Friday to Christmas sale.

This year, I’m doing something different. Instead of offering a coupon during this period, which has worked quite well in the past, I’m going to mark everything in my shop down 25%. Why not use the coupon? I thought I’d try something different this year.

A couple of the newest vintage items are cups and saucers:
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And some really cute boxed blank note cards I made from vintage linens and a really cute Winken, Blnken and Nod pillow.  Totally one of a kind!

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A pocket camera pouch:
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And the list could go on.  But enough said here, it’s time to get back to sewing.

Oh, one more thing.  I’m close to 100 sales (my goal is to hit that before the end of the sale) and the lucky person who helps me reach that will receive a beautiful surprise gift.

Happy shopping!

Specially Marked Package(s)

If you’re as old as I am, you’ll remember the cereal boxes that would have great offers inside.  They could range from a toy plastic action figure to even free tickets to some semi-obscure amusement park.  Personally, I liked the toys the best.  And as always, the commercials would inundate the TV with loud dialogue, lots of loud noises, whistles, music and sound.  And finally before the end of the commercial, it would be announced;  “Now in specially marked packages”.

Well, that’s what I’m offering.  Let this post be a “specially marked package”.  I’m creating a great opportunity for my blog followers to get a start on their Christmas shopping a week early.  If you sign up for my newsletter by contacting me through my Etsy shop, I’ll send you a special coupon code that allows you to start your shopping before my Black Friday Sale.  But you must email me your email address and preferably through my Etsy shop as I can’t for the life of me figure out how to post that here.

To help you get there, I have a little button you can click on: Happy shopping!

Get Readddy!!!

All of my Facebook and Pinterest fans, blog followers, my Etsy shop favorite-rs, and my previous customers:

I’m here to announce a very special newsletter geared toward just you.  In it will be a special code to use one week, (yes, you heard me–one week!) before my annual Black Friday to Christmas sale. This is my way of saying “Thank You For Your Support!”

This is my second holiday season on Etsy, and I’m feeling lucky enough to get with the program.  I signed up for Facebook this year, last year it was Pinterest and my blog.  So it’s time to do something!

Want to be contacted about my newsletter?  Then sign up here, in my Etsy shop, or Facebook.

PINTEREST:  http://www.pinterest.com/auntmaymesattic
Visit Aunt Mayme’s Attic’s profile on Pinterest.
FACEBOOK:  www.facebook.com/pages/auntmaymesattic
ETSY:  www.etsy.com/shop/auntmaymesattic

Today’s the Day!

It’s a new month, and the beginning of a new fall, and I’m “back in the saddle” again.  Sewing like mad, coming up with more creative ideas.  Who says that having an active mind doesn’t keep away dementia?  Mine’s been on overload, and I’m sure I’m keeping the dementia away.

What’s been happening?  Well, for starters, Aunt Mayme’s Attic has some new listings.  A few more closet safes and a few other things.  Check them out in the first line of my Etsy shop, Aunt Mayme’s Attic.

Second, I”m on a gift tag spree.  Recently I contacted a woman whose gift tags I admired and found on Pinterest.  When I asked if she would mind me using some of her idea, she was so delighted that she helped me out tremendously.  Not only telling me how she made them, but also sending me a small package to get me started.  Such a kind soul!  And all because I asked.  We’re both from the same part of the country, and our correspondence has been wonderful.  I haven’t met her, but I feel like I’ve known her all my life!

So here are some samples, with more to come!:

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Sample Gift Tags

Next, I’ve opened a new Etsy shop called Beverage Tutus.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeverageTutus  Cute little beverage markers in the form of glass cuffs just right for your next party.  After going to a party recently, the hostess had plastic solo cups and no magic marker to write on them. So some of us decided to cut slots in the edge.  But that became messy.  So the idea of the Beverage Tutu was born!  So click on this little widget and it will take you there:

oakgreenrib

Oak Tutus

Four dollars each, but buy 4 and they are $12.00.  Fun and buy more than one and it’s free shipping.

So there you have it, blog watchers.  Keep in touch and keep watching!

Love,

Beth

Good Night, Sweet Girl

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It’s been often said that people come into our lives and touch it in such a way that we are never the same again.  Our lives are different, and more often than not, for the better.  And so it can also be said of our pets–those furry four legged animals that come into our lives and ask nothing, giving such love in return.  So it was with our collie/sheltie mix, Sara

Sara was a gentle soul from the day we brought her home from an animal shelter in a large metropolitan city.  My experiences with dogs, especially collies, were negative.  After having witnessed our family collie kill my cat, the event stood out in my 10 year old mind from that day on.  Collies were to be avoided.  But Sara was different.  A shy, quiet girl, beautiful coat, and a smile that seemed to perpetually remain on her face, her gentle nature won me over.

Whether it was from the night she wore the pads off her feet from running in fear from a fireworks display and her licking my face when I was cleaning her wounds, or from the time she tore her cruciate ligament and came crying up to me, she knew I loved her.  We shared a bond, as all dog owners do, that would last a lifetime–and beyond.  Funny when I think of it now.

Of all her greatest accomplishments, none sticks out more clearly than the day of the chicken roundup.  My husband decided he would raise chickens on our little “farm” in the Pennsylvania mountains.  Several weeks after purchasing about 19 hens, he decided he’d take a cross country trip to see his family and left me in charge.  Me and Sara, as it turned out.

Night was approaching and several of the hens decided they wanted to stay out a little more.  Our home is prone to critters such as fox, weasels, fishers, coyotes, and bears.  So it was no wonder I wanted them back in the coop and quickly.  Several walked in on their own, and about seven remained.  And it is here where the bond between dog owner and dog became stronger.  I chased five chickens back into their fenced yard, by forcing them around the back end of the coop, down past the fencing for their yard, up the other side, and pushing open a gate to let them in.  But two remained.  Sara was watching my antics, and seemed to have caught on quickly, as out of frustration I looked at her and thought maybe she could help.

With a look of “Let me try, Mom” on her face, I replied verbally, “Okay, it’s your turn”.  With no further instruction, she corralled one chicken, then kept it along the long side of the chicken yard fence as she pushed it gently down toward the end, and up the other side, never letting it stray; much like a collie would herd sheep.  There I was waiting for it at the gate.  One down, one to go.  A repeat performance of the same tactic and all chickens were accounted for.  It was that one moment–that one snippet of time Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, talks about where you maintain your energy and the dog will understand, that she picked up on and knew what I wanted.  Really simple, really quiet but VERY effective.  We never trained her as this somehow came from within.

Remembering that sylvan day, a few years back, she and I decided we’d take a four mile walk up Broughton Hollow Road and return.  On top were fields of corn and hay, and the cerulean sky above with its white billowy clouds made the day more special.  I’m reminded of the album covers of the 1970’s rock group, It’s a Beautiful Day, every time I think about it.   While walking back, I looked over at Sara, who was happy, smiling, panting because she was worn out.  I swore  I saw a twinkle in her eye.  Coming home, she looked at me as if to say, “I’m exhausted but I’m happy.  Thank you.”

Her pleasant playful demeanor came out during two occasions:  One, if there was a half empty soda bottle nearby and the other was if it was snowing outside.  You couldn’t leave a soda bottle out for long.  She’d run by you, like a bolt of white furry lightning and snatch it, only to jaunt just a few steps away, out of your reach.  And then turn back around to taunt you with it.  When you’d try to grab it from her, she’d take off, galloping away, tossing the bottle in the air and catching it.

And the snow.  Sara was born in Southern California, and lived there with us for several years.  But when we moved to the Pennsylvania mountains, she was in her element.  From the first day we introduced her to the white powdery stuff, she was the most playful.  She’d stick her nose in the snow and toss it at you; then run off.  She soon acquired the nickname of Rocket Dog, because of her strong running, and jet action speed.

Sara never gave up.  With several trips to the vet for such things as her pads episode from the fireworks, the skin issues she was having due to the food I was feeding her (she was allergic to corn), to the tear in her cruciate ligament several years prior and our decision against surgery.  When the dreaded Geriatric Vestibular Disease diagnosis came down and we had to teach her how to walk again by carrying her with a sling, she never gave up.  The vet told us that collies live to 13, and we had her for 16, minus the two years she was when she came to us.  During the last two weeks before she died, she always managed to maintain her sense of spirit, trying to move her aging body just to be near us, but couldn’t.  We’d try to carry her as much as we could.  She was shutting down, and still, she  never whimpered, snarled or bit.  When I’d try to move her to make her more comfortable in those final weeks, she’d groan, but never hurt me, even though she was in much pain.

My life isn’t the same now.   I’ve lost the four legged daughter who taught me how to reach into that dark part of my soul where sadness and discord once reigned, and look beyond for something more—She taught me how to love.

Good Night, Sweet Girl.

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Christmas 2013 Our last one with her

First snow, 2002

Note the dog prints in the snow and their circular movements. Rocket Dog was at it.

 

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Just Chillin’ in Anza Borrego Desert

Sara and Santa2rev

Hey! I’m getting outtta here! This guy’s nuts!

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Sara’s first snow experience

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Such a doggie model!