Saturday, April 30, 2011

Vintage Kitchen Signs

I love signs...especially scruffed-up old signs...and advertising signs...and humorous signs. I  can't seem to resist buying them. Here are the signs in my farmhouse kitchen...

This is my very favorite...maybe because I have had it the longest and I worked so hard to get it. It is a vintage country store sign advertising Pillsbury's Best Flour. The sign itself is painted on tin and framed in wood.
In 1973, I was very young and worked part time in a Country Store in Connecticut. They decided to sell this sign and wanted $75.00 for it. At the time, that seemed like a million dollars to me but I just knew I had to have it.  So I made an arrangement with the owner to pay off the sign for $5.00 a week out of my pay. When I finally took it home, I was so excited...and it has hung in every home I have had since.

 Here it is in my kitchen today...along with other vintage signs I've collected since...

 Like this one for Lobsters...after all, we do live on the coast of Maine!

 And this one advertising Corn...for 5 cents 'n EAR!

Here's another of my favorites. As the oldest of four sisters, I have always needed to give advice (even when I didn't know what to do). So this one hangs right over "my" chair at the kitchen table. A lot of problems have been solved sitting under this sign.

 This one sits on my kitchen shelf...not old (from Home Goods actually) but it makes me laugh...

I also love my vintage "Diner" hangs above the door to the kitchen.

My sister, Nancy, loved signs too. Here are a few over her kitchen booth...
She had a "Diner" sign too, as well as one that says "Luncheonette" and another that says "Gone to Moody's".  Moody's Diner, in Waldoboro, is a Maine landmark and we used to love going there together.

Nancy bought this sign in New Hampshire on our 2009 "Sister's Road Trip". She loved what it said: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares".

We bought this sign together too..she hung it over the door to her pantry.

When I started this post, I was going to show all of my signs but, as I photographed them, I realized the post would be so long that you, dear Reader, would likely be asleep by the time I got to the end. So, another day, I'll post vintage signs from other rooms of our house...and garden...and camper.
 Did I mention that I love signs???
Here's one more sign...
This post is linked to these fantastic blogs:
Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints On the Frige
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday at Bargain Hunting With Laurie
Show & Tell Saturday at Be Different, Act Normal
Vintage Market Saturday at Southern Lady's Vintage

Friday, April 29, 2011

One More Road Trip

On Fridays, I like to visit Lisa-Jo's blog, Gypsy Mama, because that is when she has her "Write for 5 Minutes" linky party. She challenges fellow bloggers to just write, without stopping to edit and obsess over each word...just to let the ideas flow...for five minutes and stop. Then the scary part: you have to post what you wrote. 

Lisa-Jo's 5-Minute writing prompt this week is "If I knew I could, I would"...kind of a fun one, don't you think?  So, here I go...first time trying this...


If I knew I could, I would pack up my little camper and drive it up to heaven. Once there, I would pick up my sister, Nancy, for just one more "Sister's Road Trip". Off we would go, through the clouds, to a remote lake where we could set up camp for a few days of quiet time together. We would bring a big stack of books with us, our cans of Tab, our matching "Sisters Road Trip" t-shirts, and a tub of  "Cheese Balls" to share... like we always do. We'd start a campfire, unfold our gravity chairs, choose from the stack of books, and sit together reading until it gets too dark to see.

Then we would set our books aside and talk. I'd ask her what heaven is like. Has she seen Grammy and Grampa? She'd ask me how everybody back in Maine is doing. Is Kit OK? How was Christmas? Did Hank make his Grasshopper Pie for Easter? Did William ever marry Kate? Who are the finalists on American Idol? We'd talk until we were almost asleep and the fire had burned out....just remembering what it was spend one more precious evening together.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Simple Pleasure of Sisters

For the past few Thursdays, I've checked out Dayle's blog, A Collection of This and That, and enjoyed reading the entries on her linky party, Simple Pleasures.  Dayle says, "What I'm looking for here is a pure 'simple pleasure' theme". Well, my life, probably like yours, is pretty complicated, so the idea of blogging about a simple pleasure is appealing.

My Simple Pleasure is my sisters....always has been...always will be...
"We know one another's faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortifications, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar. We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws."  ~ Rose Macaulay

"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time."  ~Clara Ortega

and Nancy, for whom this blog is named.

"Sisters are different. They heard the sobbing in the darkness. They lived through all your triumphs, all your favorites, all your loves and losses. They have no delusions. They lived with you too long. And so, when you achieve some victory, friends are delighted - but sisters hold your hands in silence and shine with happiness. For they know the cost."  ~Pam Brown

What is your Simple Pleasure?

This post is linked to:
Simple Pleasures at A Collection of This & That

Funky Finds & Bargain Bunches's that title for alliteration!  It's finally warm enough here to open up our screened porch for the season and it just so happens that I have a lot of flea market finds from our trip to Pennsylvania and Maryland to decorate it with.

I found this great old seedling carrier, with the baskets, for $15.00 at Renninger's Flea Market in Adamstown, Pa. On the way home, we stopped at IKEA in Connecticut where I found these potted herbs - not real but hard to tell - for $5.99 each. The basil and oregano fit perfectly in the baskets. The vintage cherry tea towel was another find from our trip...$2.00.

This is the booth where I bought a lot of my bargains. The booth was way off to the side and the seller was cold and anxious to dicker. He had some great funky stuff...fresh picked.

On my way home from school this week, I stopped to check out a Maine landmark, Marden's, a huge salvage store. They buy out stores that are going out of business or are overstocked and often have name brand items at ridiculous prices...if you can overlook the lack of "ambiance". (Marden's makes WalMart look like a boutique.) They had bought out a high-end floral company and the stuff was amazing...each stem not only looks, but feels, real...with perfect detail and color. I don't use artificial flowers often but decided to buy an assortment to have on hand for porch decorating and summer crafting.

This ribbon was from the same shop...$2.00 for a huge spool...I bought four.

Here are some of my floral finds...
a Narcissis bulb in bloom, perfect in every detail...$.89.  I'll "plant" this one in one of my McCoy pots.

This milk bottle carrier is from the same booth at Renninger's...$6.00, with the bottles. I replaced the bottles with Mason jars for this photos. It will live on the screened porch. And yes, the forsythia is finally out in Maine!

I loved the boughs of lemon leaf at Marden's...huge and the stems look and feel like wood...$2.59 a bunch. I think these will make beautiful wreathes...I'll use old picture frames as a base.

Couldn't resist a few red how "imperfect" the blossoms in nature...$.89 each.

I posed a stem of white lilacs on our porch futon for this photos. I love the futon cover...a splurge last summer from L.L. Bean.

I even bought weeds...

...and cherry tomatoes. These look so real I will have to be careful that one of the grandchildren doesn't decide to eat one!

Now all I have left to do is put out the porch furniture...

...and wait for the Chickadees to find their little camper outside the porch.

It's so good to be outside again...

This post is happily linked to:
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Transformations & Treasures at The Pink Postcard
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer
Time Travel Thursday at Brambleberry Cottage
Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Under $100. Linky Party at Beyond the Picket Fence
Friday Pretties at I Love Pretty Little Things
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Home Sweet Home Party at The Charm of Home

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jelly Beans & Grasshopper Pie

Every Easter, my husband, Hank, makes his famous Grasshopper Pie. This year was no exception and, as usual, it was delicious...light and minty after a big meal.  The "secret recipe" will not be a secret anymore because, with Hank's permission, I'm sharing it with you.


For each pie:

1. Make crumb Pie Shell:
2 cups chocolate crumbs (or crushed chocolate refrigerator cookies)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Press into 9" pie pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.

2. Prepare Filling:
1 10oz. package marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
1/4 cup green Creme de Menthe
2 Tablespoons white Creme de Menthe

Place marshmallows and 1/2 cup milk in a 3 quart casserole. Cover. Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes, checking every minute or so, until mixture can be stirred smooth. Chill in frige for 30-40 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Whip 2 cups whipping cream. Add the green and white Creme de Menthe. Fold into marshmallow mixture and pour into crust. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

3. Prepare Topping:
1 pint whipping (heavy) cream
Baker's chocolate
Prepare whipped cream; sweeten to taste. Garnish pie with mounds of whipped cream and grated chocolate curls, as pictured.

4. Find a Grasshopper
Get him to stand still on the top of the pie!


This post is happily linked to:
The Best of Easter at Funky Junk Interiors
This Week's Cravings at Mom's Crazy Cooking
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
I hope you will take a few minutes to visit these blogs!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Homecoming Surprises

We made it home safely yesterday afternoon with our little Subaru totally stuffed with bags of dusty vintage treasures, suitcases full of dirty laundry, a box of empty Tab cans (Nancy would be proud!), the remains of multiple picnics in the car (our WW leader, Mary Elizabeth, would be proud too...lots of apple cores and banana peels!)...and five Easter lilies for good measure. Pennsylvania and Maryland were beautiful and we got the chance to visit special aunts and uncles in Connecticut on the way.

While we were unpacking the car, I noticed a cardboard box at the front door. It was from my new blogger friend, Paula Clare, at Paula's Palace of Altered Art. If you haven't visited her blog, you absolutely need to check it out. Paula combines her love of altered art with her love of vintage campers to create amazing pieces. Recently, she had a contest on her blog and I actually won! Since I also love vintage campers and altered art, it seemed almost meant to be. I was so excited when I opened my prize from Paula that I have to share it with you, my "blog buddies".

Paula created a scrapbook in the shape of a vintage camper using a variety of papers and textiles to reflect her artistic and camping passions. The amount of time that she put into this project absolutely humbles me as the recipient of it.

 Inside the front cover is a picture of  Paula with a few words that inspired her project. Isn't she cute?

 And here is a little denim pocket page she created...stuffed with photos of her vintage camper.

I love the sentiment on this page..."The road goes on forever and the party never ends." Hopefully, we'll never get too old to play!

Paula embroidered the little camper on this page....

 and added more embroidery and some vintage buttons on this one. I love "Camp Cute".

Here are Paula's "Camping Rules"...perfect!

After this page, she created some blank pages for me to fill in during future travels in our little camper. How thoughtful is that?

Paula even tucked in some camper stamps and a string of camper lights. Now I can create my own camper art. (That will go on the very long  "To Do" list in my craft many great ideas, so little time!) Thank you so much, Paula, for this amazing gift...I will treasure it.

I was also surprised to see that my blog about the "Home Educator" was featured on my new friend Denise's blog, The Pink Postcard. Denise blends contemporary and vintage styles with a creative eye and her blog is full of ideas. I love what she did with vintage shoe forms in this post. I have a box of these that I have been trying to think of a creative use for and can't wait to try Denise's project (add that to the list!)

Our vacation was perfect but I can't believe how much I missed all of you while I was away. I kept up as best I could on my laptop but it's nice to be home and have a chance to be back in touch with each of you. Since Nancy passed away, I've missed the hours I spent just sitting and talking with her so much. Having so many new blog friends has helped me to stay positive through the long days of missing my sister. Thank you all for that.

It's good to be "home"...Happy Easter!
This post is linked to:
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Favorite Things Friday at The Speckled Dog
Home Sweet Home Party at The Charm of Home
Show & Share Day at Just A Girl
Friday Pretties at I Love Pretty Little Things
Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different, Act Normal
Treasures & Trinkets Party at My Cottage Charm
Hodgepodge Friday at It's A Hodgepodge Life