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Because You Asked

a "free" box from the flea market 

Well, it seems that some of you have a very keen eye (of course you do!) when it comes to a good thrifty find. I've posted a few times recently with a photo showing a lovely hand crocheted doily. Not surprisingly, I've gotten questions about it each time. It has a simple story, but one that is a great lesson in you must always scope out the "free" stuff when thrifting...

I was just going for the box. I liked the pattern and colors, and thought it was perfect to keep who knows what little things tucked away. Then I opened the lid... inside the box

... oh my. Isn't that something? Just the sort of thing to make my day, and looking back on my thrift season overall, I'd say it was a highlight for sure. Does anyone make doilies anymore? My great-grandmother made them and they covered every surface throughout her home, many of them live with me now. I am so happy to add this collection to hers, I don't know why this sort of thing gets to me the way it does. But I know that many of you would understand the misty-eyed moment (literally) that took place when I first lifted the lid of this box.

And those pumpkin muffins from yesterday, sorry I didn't post the recipe, it can be found here. They were perfect! I made only two changes; I substituted sucanat for the sugar and whole wheat pastry flour for 1/2 of the all purpose white. And the frosting was amazing but really just consisted of me throwing a bunch of yummy ingredients into the kitchen aid mixer and letting the paddle attachment whip it all up for about 5 minutes. In the bowl went cream cheese, butter, lots of cinnamon, maple syrup, and a bit of confectioners sugar. Chopped walnuts were sprinkled on the tops of a few for those in the family who like that sort of thing (me!).

We went to the Christmas tree farm today and came home with a beautiful frasier fir. Now I'm looking forward to the puttering and decorating that lies ahead. Puttering is my favorite speed.

Enjoy your weekend!

From Our Home to Yours

happy thanksgiving! 

Today we cast aside struggle, focus only on our blessings, and feel tremendous peace and gratitude. May your day be filled with the same... and your belly filled with all things homemade and yummy. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Shoes and the Dress

dress and shoes 

Today I had plans to share the project(s) that came from the tattered, thrifted quilt. Hopefully it will all be ready to share tomorrow, but it doesn't look like today will be the day. Lots of work took place yesterday though... and things are looking pretty good!  

So, I'm a little pressed for time this morning but wanted to answer your questions to all of the dress/shoe love that was expressed last week. The dress is several years old. I bought it at a little shop in Chester, New Jersey when Emily was a baby, I guess I really hang on to things. The brand is Aly Wear, made in Pensylvania. I couldn't find a website to link to, I hope they are still in business. This dress is the softest linen imaginable, I've always thrown it in the washing machine, it has held up beautifully to everday use over the years. This dress is so well made, it isn't going anywhere... and if you can't tell, it's two pieces, so sometimes I just wear the brown linen by itself.

The shoes are about seven years old, and are my favorite brand of shoes ever, Born. They are the kind of shoes that once you buy them, you'll just have them for as long as you like. They don't seem to wear out, and might even get a little better with age. Right now I am loving these and these.

patchwork 3

A friend of mine believes that as far as things go, all you really need is good food and good shoes. Everything else is fluff.  Amen.

Nothing Says Thank You Like Pie

sunday afternoon


Pie is the perfect thank you gift. Last week our friends went to a book signing for Rick Riordan, one of Emily's favorite authors. They surprised Emily with her own signed copy of The Lightening Thief, she was so excited and spent most of the weekend living inside it's pages... this marked her third time through this book. The full series in hardcover is one of the few things on Emily's Christmas list this year. She really loves these books, and the gift of a signed copy was very special and exciting.

How to say thank you...? Pie!

Remember all the fillings that I stocked the freezer with? Wouldn't a freshly baked pie make a lovely thank you gift? I had yet to test the results of my grand experiement, so Saturday I made pie... I did let the apples thaw for a little while on the counter... but not completely, they were still cold and somewhat frozen when I filled my crusts, the results?


So far, looking good... but what about the inside?


Well, wouldn't you know, it worked like a dream. Do you have appples still growing in your area? If so, you might want to get going on filling up your freezer with ready to go pie filling. I'm so excited about this concept while at the same time completely amazed that I hadn't figured it out years ago. I used (basically) this recipe for my filling.

I hope my friend doesn't read this before I make and deliver her apple pie on Thursday (act surprised Kathy!). I sense there are many apple pies to be gifted in my future. Next up, a friend who is just moments away from having her fourth little babe. Hello baby girl, welcome to the world... this is pie. 

sunday afternoon

In other weekend news, the baking needs to stop. Or, more truthfully, the consumption of baked goods needs to stop. Pronto. I have come to the harsh realization that my metabolism has officially shifted to that of a woman in her mid thirties, I don't seem to have anything positive to report about this.


This photo leads me to a question for mothers. Is this what the experts are talking about when they refer to a certain age group as tweens? I just read through the description on the site the link takes you to, thankfully we aren't there. But this photo made me think of that funny little word. Labels...

Hey girl... when you're done playing, please make sure your toys make it back to your room and my boots make it back to my closet. Thanks a bunch.

Wow, that was a whole bunch of topics for a single post. Sorry! Have a great Monday, I think I'll go about mine trying to focus on just one little thing at a time.

If I Could Bottle One Single Day...

in the pantry she was so proud so good gifts from our girl fireside

... yesterday would have been it. It is a beautiful thing to pause and reflect on special days throughout our lives, days such as birthdays and anniversaries. But it is all too much for this mother's heart to witness that somewhere in this thirteen year marriage, a beautiful girl was born, one who changed the lives of everyone around her - and then, without any warning, this once young and dependent child shows you that she is quickly becoming more than you were ever prepared for. She shows you that she is capable of taking an entire day under her wings, orchestrating special moments throughout to show her parents her appreciation and love.  She makes breakfast that is not simply cold cereal and burnt toast (though how great are those), but a full meal cooked on the stove. She spends hours of her time pouring through cookbooks, selecting the perfect recipe, preparing an amazing chocolate layer cake and setting the table just so. Then there were the handmade gifts, completely done in secret. Camping pillows created with intention for the hunter man daddy and the flower child mama, how perfect. And at the end of the day, watching her curled up by the fire, tuckered out completely from a day so full and satisfying, I soaked it all in. And I fell in love with our little family all over again.

Our Anniversary

corner Today is my wedding anniversary. It's pretty wild to think Adam and I have been married for thirteen years... I was thinking about what I might write here today, if anything at all. But the words I wrote last year on this day still hold true, just one year richer. So I thought I'd let it be and allow the day go by quietly. Then, I was in the kitchen with Emily a little while ago, talking about how my actual wedding day was much warmer than it is today... it's freezing here this morning! Getting dressed today was one of those New England experiences... where you just keep adding layers until your bones are no longer cold. I realized one of the layers I'm wearing is a pair of brown, cashmere sweater-like leggings... that I also wore on my wedding day! Not the ceremony of course... but underneath something else as I ran around with the girls during the day getting our hair done and things like that.

It's a tiny, little thing. But it's the tiny things that I look for every day, the simple moments and connections that tie it all together. The idea that I would unknowingly slip into the same clothing on this day as I slipped into thirteen years ago... well, there really are no words. 

And on this Veterans Day, in honor of every soldier who serves, I find this beautiful, sad, heartfelt, and genuine. It is no tiny thing that you are all willing to give and sacrifice it all.  I wish more was offered for you and your families as you return home. You deserve the life of Kings and Queens...

A Day at the Flea Market

flea market In my area, the local Flea Market is in it's final weeks of the season... that means these are very serious times for thrifters. This is the point where I start making a list and try to be a little more focused on finding a few of the things for our home that we have only casually searched for over the summer months (although I did score a fantastic $8.00 food processor back in May!). If by chance I find some vintage fabric to sew with for the shop, great. If I can't pass by a perfect item or two for Mayberries Vintage, who am I to resist. But what about us, our little family? Are there any final items needed? I think every thrifter is working off of a mental list, or many in my case! I really should get it all on paper.

Yesterday, I thought it would be fun to take the camera  along, I don't think I've done that all year! And it was a good call because I think Sunday's market was a pretty great day for a few photos...

Are you ready? flea market tail gating

The day began with a little pre-game breakfast tailgate. Have you made these donut muffins yet? If not, it's just crazy to wait any longer! final days of the flea market guys thrift flea market what size would you like? 

I'm fortunate to have a partner that has just as good a time thrifting as I do. Though our game plans are quite different from one another, take these comments for example...

The Mr... "Does this motor still work?... Can I test how sharp this blade is?... Is this fly rod made of bamboo?"

The Mrs... "Oooh, bobbins... Oooh, knitting needles... Oooh, wool sweaters...Oooh, enamelware..."


Alrighty, on to the goodies then. Would you like to see the days treasures?  thrifted warmth I have talked before about how one of my very favorite things to buy second hand is sweaters, preferably wool. There is no better way to tell how a sweater will hold up to washing and wearing then to buy it already washed and worn. Pretty good logic, yes? If it looks great and is not pilly on the rack at the thrift store, it will continue to stay looking great at home!a few thrift finds Of course I had to take a little selection of those knitting needles from that pile shown above. I am trying very hard this year to embrace and seriously practice my knitting skills, Emily and her friends always have a few projects going at once too. Needles always come in handy! And some fabric because, well, you know.thrifted mountain hardware!

Okay, this was a score to write home about... I know it is considered by some to be in poor taste if you mention prices when it comes to thrift finds (I am not one of those people... I LOVE to know), but today I am telling you a couple prices because they are just that good, there needs to be a communal celebration I think. This coat, are you familiar with the brand Mountain Hardware? Pretty serious gear for us outdoor enthusiasts... and pricey too. We love Mountain Hardware, but own just a couple of pieces. With this find yesterday, each of us now has a piece of this exceptionally warm and durable outdoor ware. The ladies size was small enough to fit Emily just fine. This $170 jacket? $5.00!!!i've always wanted one of these! 

Another really great find. I've been searching for the perfect one of these chairs for some time now. The sliding stool glides in and out perfectly, each of the legs still has the protective rubber bottoms, and the black rubber on the steps is in excellent condition with no tears or cracks at all. I'm pretty excited about this one, so cute and just $5.00 as well!

I have another find from the day that is not pictured here... it is something I hope to share later this week or next week... it's currently in Adam's workshop getting a little fine tuning. I can't wait to show you!

So, this is all fun and playful for us, but it's also an important and deliberate practice for our family. We have always loved antique and vintage things for their beauty, quality, and unique style. But it wasn't until recent years that we started shifting our thinking as consumers to the idea that buying second hand whenever possible was a responsible thing to do for our planet... and in turn, our children. Do you remember when The Story of Stuff started circulating on the internet? If you haven't seen it yet, please gather the children and take twenty minutes to view the film. It was such a lightbulb moment for our family, seeing that little movie made us feel so strongly about not being part of such a destructive, corrupt system, or at least decreasing our role in it significantly. 

We realize how fortunate we are to have such great thrifting in our area, it makes scoring an $8.00 food processor or a $5.00 top of the line winter coat totally within reach. So I can only speak from the ease of our own experience how these ideas can be put into practice. Sometimes it takes several weeks or even months.. but we find that with patience and a good eye, we will find that new set of glasses... or cast iron cookware... or drill press... or bookshelves. This isn't about filling our home with random, unnecessary things. It's simply about being more mindful of the things that we do bring into our home and the impact such things will have on our world and the people living in it.

She Finally has Curls!

Just a quick weekend post... pics of a certain girl who's hair is normally as straight and fine as can be. She was pretty excited to have it looking so extravagant! I figured her grandmothers would appreciate these photos... curls! curly! I took these rather quickly in the kitchen without thinking of the spice rack backdrop (oops). Emily had just returned from a birthday party at our friend's hair salon, so much fun. 

Happy Sunday afternoon!

Vintage Feedsack

feedsack pouches

After much time away from both of my etsy shops, I am finally going to try to get back into the swing of things. It's a little nerve wracking for me to mention shop updates here on the blog... it's been ages since I have. But this vintage feedsack fabric is far too pretty to only be seen from the thumbnail images on the right over there, wouldn't you say? feedsack pouch

I picked up a perfectly clean and pressed pile of these three (cute as can be) patterns over the summer at the flea market. It was one of those purchases that took me out of my normal thrifting habits, but one that I've never looked back on. The amount I spent on this one small pile of fabric would normally be enough to fill the back of my car on any given thrift outing. But are you with me on the beauty of all these prints, these colors? I should probably mention that Emily and I were fresh on the heels of seeing the Kit Kittredge movie... so many little feedsack dresses. feedsack pouch

The woman I bought them from is a regular stop of mine at the market, she is however in the very last aisle. My dollars always seem to be dwindling a bit by the time I reach her booth, but she always has something that interests me. On this day however, my cash was running very, very short. I had enough left to buy one of the patterns but really, it was such a Sophie's Choice moment, there was no way to choose one over the other. feedsack pouch

She sensed my struggle, told me she knows me well enough and would be happy to put them aside until next week... yes! I left briefly after that, excited about returning the following Sunday. Then I realized if I simply went and got more cash I could go back immediately and bring this heap of 1930's goodies home on the same day. So... I got more cash, payed my entry fee to the market twice that day, and have enjoyed immensely having this fabric in my life ever since. I could never part with all of it, but these little pouches are the perfect way to send samples of it's brilliance out into the world. And if I might suggest, tuck a little $10 or so gift card inside to your favorite bookstore or coffee shop and you have a perfect holiday gift to give! Emily's friends (all around age 10 or 11) love getting little zipper pouches with bookstore gift cards.

All of these can be found in the shop. I have more of each pattern, so don't worry if one that you like has disappeared, I will be restocking as needed. Just check back or feel free to convo me if my restocking abililities aren't quick enough for you! Thanks a bunch, it's fun to be adding things over there again, there is much more to come also.

Now, a little sprucing is in order at Mayberries Vintage... it's been far too long.

Also, if you have a minute... I've got some fresh reading over at The Co-op!