Free Thrifting

I can only imagine what you are thinking..."Rocks, Sonya?"

Yes, Rocks.

These are three that are located on the back splash in the kitchen. The first is a rock we picked up at the Betsy Tacy House in Mankato as a souvenir. The next is a saying that I try to think about often when people are acting out or being difficult to be around. The third is a heart shaped rock that caught my eye when we were landscaping our backyard and is to remind me to do just that.

All at no cost, but meaningful. You simply need a rock and an extra-fine tipped Sharpie marker...they are small little buggers to write on!


Snake Eyes

Ok, have you heard of this before? I had not until I found The Thrifty Chicks and Shopping Golightly talking about Snake Eyes
Click Here

You simply HAVE to try this technique because it works!

I used it the other day when Bud and I went to Goodwill looking for a new (to us) toy for him since he had been so patient at the first Goodwill and didn't find a treasure worth taking home.

So we walk into the other Goodwill and I march (still lady-like, always lady-like) over to the toy bin. And BAM! Out comes the huge bag of Weebles! I reach into another area of the toy bin and BAM! Out comes the Learn Thru Music player! I narrowed my eyes and below it were all the learn thru music cartridges...BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM! And then finally I walked to the other bin and lifted up the giant teddy bears and BAM! There was the Thomas the Train toys.

I haven't tried Snake Eyes yet for my other treasure thrifting yet, just the toys, that day with Bud.

It almost seems unfair to other thrifters to use this technique too often...like they are wanting the same stuff I am, HA!

Memory Lane

I found out last weekend that the wonderful woman, Deb, who has a booth across from mine is so crafty! It only took me a few months, but I finally figured out that she made a couple things that I have been oooohing over in her area:

Isn't this great? She used small black frames from Dollar Tree and then some white sticky letter cut-outs to form a very cool welcome sign...the ideas with this are simply endless! We were talking about how easy it would be to hang or even to prop up on a mantle...ohhh, I am getting tingly ideas for next Christmas from this!

And here are some photo's of my area:

Lu has been coming with me to Memory Lane every Sunday afternoon and re-arranging the booth. I go several times during the week to drop new items off and make sure all looks well, but I love that she arranges all the items differently than I would, which gives it a whole new look each week.


Shelter Magazines

I am truly, truly saddened about so many of the 'shelter magazines' closing up shop. One of my all time favorite magazines Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion finished out the year with their Dec/Jan issue being their last. Such inspiring photos, articles...I never subscribed to it because each month I would anticipate seeing it on the magazine rack in the store and I could grab the third or fourth copy in. Never the first copy, because someone might have looked in it and I wanted to open it fresh!

Yes. I do have issues.

And then seeing Country Home will be shutting down production after their March issue...deep sigh

These are the magazines that help inspire me to dream big dreams. All I can hope is that if they can bring back Victoria, these others still have a shot at coming back again someday.


Thinking Spring

I am finally finding a way to beat the cold, blah weather...browsing through the Gurneys Seed Catalog and dreaming of warmer days ahead.

It all started with the Sunday paper and seeing a flier for a Blueberry Plant! If you have been with me since the blog-beginning, you might remember that last summer was my introduction to gardening and we used some old window boxes, set on our patio, that worked like a charm. The feasting on green peppers, sweet pea pods, basil and tomatoes was fabulous. We are going to use those window boxes again, but I wanted to expand my green thumb horizons by taking on berries this year. Hubby said "Um, no" when I approached him about starting some various berry vines growing on our fence line..."too close to the grass and mowing...and we CANNOT be encouraging the @%&*! rabbits, they are rodents! And they MULTIPLY quickly Sonya! That is NOT a MYTH!" Somebody has bunny issues. And moles. If you are keeping a list, we don't like moles.

But having POTS OF BERRIES! What a fabulous idea! No grass will be harmed in the process and if rabbits want to swarm the brick patio to share in a berry picnic, I am fine with that...I think.

Looking through the catalog has me drooling at all the types of potted berries we can raise.

How do you beat the January cold?


Friday Thrifting

As you know I typically don't hit any thrift stores on Friday or over the weekend, only on occasion. Which is funny because during the nicer months here in the Tundra, we rummage on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

But apparently I was feeling adventurous or at least all buzzed up on Burger King coffee (it is oddly amazing, try it!) and Bud was all sugared up from an order of Cinnamini's so we threw caution to the wind and set out. At our first Goodwill stop, here were the treasures that were just sitting on the shelves quietly waiting for me:

The white metal drinking glass holder is most likely going to get a coat of dark brown paint or else I will put it away until summer when I start to think more in creams and whites.
The plaid thermos had never been used! I have a weakness for thermos bottles. Dreams of taking them filled with soup or chili with a warm blanket to sit on to a State Park in the autumn...eating our soup and then gathering the colorful fallen leaves to make a craft out of. Haven't done it yet, but that little daydream is pretty darn strong in my head!

This little silver box will be used to put jewelery on the bedroom dresser OR to keep little treasures in on one of the island shelves in the kitchen.

And the colors in this English biscuit holder just made me tingle...I don't know if its the fascination with the colors, the English-ness of it all or if I just like containers. That found its home in one of the bottom shelves along the side of the island in the kitchen over the weekend.

Bud, however, was not as impressed with our finds as I was. And upon leaving that Goodwill he casually suggested we visit one of the other Goodwill's. I am raising these children right! So of course, we had some time, let's browse another. And there, we found fabulous toys! Toys I had no problem purchasing because they went with other toys we own! Thomas take-along train set toys, Weebles (don't you just love Weebles??) and a Learn Thru Music toy with all the cartridges ever made!

Then we both came home and played with our new-to-us treasures and continued to do so the rest of the weekend.

The End


I know its January...

But when I saw this adorable little wooden nativity, I grabbed it to hold onto for next year. It reminds me of those russian nesting dolls and are just so child friendly!

The little stable behind it has a removable roof for all to be stored inside.


Should've Gone To Goodwill

But Noooooooooo. Instead I had to go to Target. Had to do a run through of one of my favorite happy-places and get some much needed Kleenex, napkins...just some basics.

I was making my purchases when it happened.

The adorable little check out girl asked me about my necklace that has Lu and Bud's names engraved on it, very Lisa Leonard style, I get comments on it all the time. She told me she LOVED my necklace...And then she said:



"Um, No, They are my children"

She was all apologetic and the woman behind me was just cracking up as was I...At least she didn't ask me when I was due, right?? Then I might have had to raise an eyebrow at her and twitch my eye a little to get her to STOP TALKING.


More Thrifted Goodies

Tuesday, I went to my top secret Thrifting spot, the one I am hesitant to tell anyone about. I've never run into anyone I know there, but they seem busy enough so its not like they need me to advertise for them. I know, shameful on my part.

Here are some past finds that have made their way back into the dining room corner hutch now that my snowman herd is packed away for the season:

I think one of the funny things about these goodies is: I am truly not a teal nor turquoise kind of person. But some items were bought in other places and it just works in there.

A sweet gathering of flowers that just begs for Spring to arrive and soon, please.

Glass lidded pedestal candy dish

Glider Gracie was a little card that I found at Hunt and Gather last summer in Minneapolis, I assume from an Old Maid set?

A tiny glass rock from Sister 2's fire pit and Girls Weekend last July

A rawther cool metal tin that I believe held English biscuits at one time and was found while rummaging one weekend a few years back

Such happy little shelves all geared up for warmer weather! And the last item that was actually found in that shop is this:It won't go in that corner hutch even though it would look nice in there...instead I will curl up with it in the evening and dream of the ocean.

Summer is coming right???


The Making Of The Soup

Wild Rice Soup!

Cut a pound of Bacon into pieces (kitchen shears make fast work of this little step) and fry until good and crispy~drain on paper towels

Chop Onion, Carrot, Celery and Green Pepper and saute until soft in a few tablespoons of the Bacon Drippings or a bit of Olive Oil...trust me and choose the Bacon Drippings

Add a can of drained Mushrooms, 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup, 4 cups Chicken Broth, a cup of Milk and a package of Wild Rice Mixture (uncle ben's, rice a roni, it really doesn't matter...)

Stir well and simmer on low for at least an hour (but I have been known to simmer it all afternoon and its still fabulous) and Voila! Supper is served...a nice green salad and some good bread round out the meal that is one of our family's favorites

And here ends the tutorial that has my family shaking their heads as I took photos while making our supper.


Monday Thrifting

My partner in crime to thrift with on Mondays is Bud...he is a good treasure hunter, yes he is! Yes he is! (Sometimes he needs a bit of encouragement...)

Today we hit one of the 3 Goodwill's in our area and this is what we walked away with:

Another (yes, yes, I know) tiny plastic nativity that was stuffed into a cocoa tin that I just happened to open thinking "Who donates old cocoa to Goodwill??" It was 75 cents, so how could I possibly not buy another?

Here is a box of 6 lacing cards from the 50's

A vintage cheese slicer! I actually needed one of these for the kitchen, whoooohoooo!

And a great old cookbook from 1960 entitled Menus For Entertaining that will be a good afternoon read.



Introducing the latest member of the family: "Fishy" the Beta Fish! Not bought on sale, but purchased because Bud's eyes filled with tears when we walked past the Beta Fish area.

"MOM! Mom, do you remember Nemo?! He DIED! Last summer!! Remember Mom?! And now we don't have a FIIIIIIIIIIIIISH!!"

Um. Yeah. Like I am going to continue to walk past and not get one.

Nemo, the fish who passed on last summer, only lasted about a year. The other Beta's that we had a few years ago (Sebastian, Flounder and Ariel) lasted at least 2 years. Ariel, the lovely red Beta and her fish home was knocked off the fireplace mantel rather violently by her:

And this was probably the last sight that Ariel saw. Poor fish.

Callie The Cat typically looks like this:

But don't let that soft, innocent look fool you.

After what we refer to as 'the fireplace fishbowl incident' we moved Flounder and Sebastian up to Bud's nursery where the fishies kept him company by swimming happily high up on his bookcase. Sebastian didn't care for the coolness in the room and, well, you can guess the rest. Flounder stuck with us about 6 more months. And then, a few days after walking past a 'leaf' on Bud's wooden floor, I, um, stopped and took a good hard look at why there was a leaf on the wooden floor over by the bookcase. In the Spring.

It was no leaf.

Flounder apparently jumped.

And we were done with being fish owners for awhile.

So fast forward to a Minneapolis trip and a awesome shop at Ridgedale called In The Afternoon and finding a fish bowl that could be hung on the wall! Almost like a porthole on a ship! It was quickly snatched up and and soon after Nemo came to live with us. You know the rest of the story.

And now we have "Fishy!"

Long live the fish.

It's Been A Busy Day!

So...I have been moving my Blog from the other site (Craft By The Light Of The Moon) to this site so I can just update one Blog and one Blog only. Whew! It took awhile, but I am glad to be moved over completely. Updating 2 Blogs was exhausting!

And I am rawther lazy.

If you have linked to the Craft By The Light Of The Moon site, please update to this one instead.

Thank you so much for visiting,



Toyland, toyland...

Dear little girl and boy land, when you dwell within it, you are ever happy there...
Toyland, toyland, mystical magic Toyland...once you pass it's borders, you can never return again.

What a sad bittersweet song Johnny Mathis sang! Geez...

Maybe this is why we have a bit of a toy problem?

Am I trying to hold on to my children's childhood hopes and dreams? Go back to my own childhood? Completion of 'sets' problem? Retail therapy? Too many garage sales?

And the funny thing about all this is...this is organized! This is everything put back in its place! These are the toys that are still played with!

Not seen in any of these photos are the boxes full of toys that are waiting to be taken to Goodwill and the boxes that will be stored for the Children's Closet sale in April.

My wonderful hubby put up the shelving a few years back which hold many, many toys. I can typically tell it's time to go through the toys when I start tripping over things trying to get into this room or go past it to my crafting area.

Yes, I share my crafting area with the toy storage area. And a weight bench. In the basement. But I am trying to block that out. I am grateful to have a little nook of my own, truly I am. I am just still battling with the dark area and cement flooring! This room was an added on addition in our basement, so thankfully I am not sharing it with the washer and dryer or the rest of the storage areas. Yes, there are more storage areas, yikes!

So you don't get to see the opposite side that is stacked with the Children's Closet stuff as well as that weight bench!

It is a nice sized room to do what we need it to do...We stuck our old dining room table there to use as a crafting table and the old china hutch and buffet from Big Brother 1 years ago stores all my craft supplies. I am so glad we kept it for this purpose. When I need to regroup, everything has a place that it can go to and I can start fresh again. But the table gives me enough space to keep things out for awhile if I need inspiration or am in the middle of something I need to work on a while longer.

This is 'picked up and organized'...someday I will post the photos that are more gritty and glittered after a big craft mess!


More On Hobby Lobby Thrifting

This is the enormously cool Santa piece that was 90% off and was a whopping $3. This makes me far too happy and I know the perfect spot for it in 11 months! Note the shadows from the late afternoon sun setting, didn't see that until just now!


90% Off Christmas Sales

Another fabulous way to 'thrift'! Hobby Lobby, a favorite haunt, is now 90% off, at least in our neck of the woods. While visiting the store last night, I picked up a few more of the poinsettia hatboxes for organizational purposes for less than a dollar. And found the coolest Santa that I will post pictures of later!

Yes, the after Christmas sales are fun to shop. It's mostly just a matter of only buying what you will truly be able to use the following year and have space to store the deals...something I have learned only recently.


Friend Thrifting

Girlfriend M is a really good cleaner-outer. How is that for a compliment??

When she is done with something in her home she is done with it! And if you want it she will be dropping it off within the hour or else it is going to Goodwill. The woman delivers to your doorstep, how great is that?

One of my favorite pieces of furniture came from her and is a staple in our front living room: An old black metal chest! I have it filled with photos and photo albums that need to be organized, but in the meantime are hidden in this functional piece of beauty.

It's C-C-Cold

Brr! I wish I had FUR!
I wish I were a BEAR with furry, furry HAIR
Because it's COLD!

Flashback to the good ol' Barney days and the big purple dinosaur doing the running man dance with a couple of girls dressed up as penguins...wow. Thankfully Bud was never that much into Barney, but we still break into this chant when one of us can't get warm!

And it is hard to get warm when you wake up to 18 below and unfortunately that is not including the wind chill. I am having visions of last summer on the Gulf in Florida and that hot, hot sand.

Saucy at Bloggedy Blog Blog asked recently what her readers were into these days. I type with a hesitant heart because what I get heavily into and obsessed about can change on a daily basis.

Such as:

Lady GaGa-Just Dance...what a great song!

Blackened Chicken over Spinach and Cheese Tortellini and Salad

Phillipa Gregory and her series of Tudor books

Hobby Lobby and the 66% off home decor that I am now waiting to become 80% off

Treasure Island, Florida and the realization we won't be going on vacation there again until June. JUNE!

Starbucks Milky Vanilla Tazo Hot Tea. Vente.


Again, this list might change by this evening, so don't have any high expectations from it!


The Mouse Ran Up The Clock

More on family thrifting...here is a piece Sister 2 passed on to me that was at one point going to make it's way to Memory Lane but is having a little time out in our dining room.

A very long time out. Naughty little clock.

Sister 2 is a very good shopper and a very good purger, something I am very grateful to benefit from. And to top it all off, she has excellent taste!
She is officially a triple threat.


Goodwill Chic

We spent some time at Memory Lane this afternoon, re-decorating, dropping items off, seeing what the other vendors had stocked that might catch our eye. And there, in one of the other booths, was a fabulous looking woman wearing the most fabulous pair of long suede boots I have seen in a long time. When I commented on how truly fabulous they were (I am having difficulty thinking of another word to describe how awesome they looked...) she showed me her fabulous coat that went with it so well, you would have thought they were purchased at the same time. A vintage suede coat with toggle snaps going up the front, oh it was enough to make my heart pitter patter. And then she proceeded to tell me how every single thing she was wearing from her boots to her jeans to her adorable top to her coat were all Goodwill finds. She had such a distinct sense of style. And she had spent about $15 on her entire outfit including those fabulous boots and that vintage coat. I haunt Goodwill for my treasures, but this lovely woman used it to find her style. She said "My Mother always told me it's not how much an item of clothing costs, it's how you wear it!" And she looked fabulous.
I learned something today.

Seriously, I should have taken her picture and I would've if only I had my camera with me.

Dear Genevieve

I saw your show last night on HGTV. I would like you to come to our home and tackle the dismal laundry/craft/storage/toy room. I am at my wits end trying to figure out how to make it better. It needs to be brighter and more functional. No amount of de-cluttering is going to make it brighter and more functional. So can you come help out with this, tomorrow perhaps?

Do you think she visits my blog or should I send her a real letter? I watched her figure out a home office for a lovely family last night and simply need her to come into my home, figure out exactly who we are, what we need, along with any deep seated desires I didn't even know I had and make it all better.

Its scary down in that basement!


The Closet-Before and After

Here we have the right side of the closet area above my clothes...

And the left area...
I need a panoramic camera!

I love that I have this space up above the hanging clothes in our walk-in closet. It stretches the length of the closet and is just nice and out of the way. Mostly because I am short...what else am I going to stick up there that I don't need to reach on a daily basis? So it was perfect for housing my craft inspirations/magazine clippings/odd recipes to try...However, I did not love having Rubbermaid's in this area. Let alone clear Rubbermaid's. With marker writing on them. It made me feel like I was in a college dorm room whenever I took a good hard look at this space.

Hobby Lobby had some lovely poinsettia containers and hatboxes that had been marked down to 80% off and I picked up several in different sizes


I like the look of consistency and it does look rawther festive on my side of the closet!


Hobby Lobby 66% Off Thrifting

The only thing better than this is when it goes 80% off. But sometimes a girl just has to splurge and grab something at 66% clearance instead of waiting for a better sale to come along and finding out the treasure that I was holding out for is long gone.

I actually went back to Hobby Lobby this morning to grab this after daydreaming about it all day yesterday. Something was needed for the top area of the fridge and this was it! When its not posing up there, I will bring it down and stick a cupcake in it as a special treat for Lu or Bud. Or put glass orbs in it. Or vintage Easter finds...the possibilities are just endless with this gorgeous piece picked up for a mere $17. Worth every penny!


Family Thrifting

Another type of Thrifting that is fun to do is to what I refer to as My Childhood Thrifting From Mom's Treasures That She Is Going To THROW AWAY!! Things that have absolute zero value (well, let's face it, most of what I treasure has zero value, except to me...) but make a little ting inside my brain making me remember something from the past.

Case in point:

This is a set of paintings hanging on the left side wall of my computer area. They were originally at our summer lake home in Minnesota for as long as I could remember. No clue as to the artist or what village they are supposed to represent, but I spent HOURS staring at this painting when I was a child. I could see myself living there, playing there, raising a family, celebrating holidays, going to church potlucks, burning piles of leaves on the side lawn in the fall, pulling children on sleds. It was all in that painting for me! I grew up and am now living in a house that looks exactly like this house in front! When we were looking at houses 10 years ago, I just knew that this was The House We Were Meant To Live In Forever. Not realizing I had been looking at this house since I was a toddler inside a painting, for Pete's sake!

So imagine my surprise a few summer's back when Mom handed me a large lawn bag of stuff that she wanted dropped off at Goodwill and when I opened it to see what she was getting rid of, actually gasped and lunged for the set of 2, rescuing them from never being found again.

So the moral of this story is: Always check the lawn bags of 'junk' that your family is letting go of as they might not contain simply 'junk'. (Pause for dramatic crashing cymbals...)They might contain your childhood hopes and dreams!

And you know what is funny is I don't recall ever telling anyone about these daydreams I had about living inside this painting. I just assumed everyone knew how important it was. Don't we all have childhood memories of something that ended up getting thrown out or passed on to someone else who couldn't possibly have the same strong feelings about such a odd item? Time to talk to Lu and Bud and see what they absolutely love in our home so I don't accidentally recycle it!

42 Videos And Then Some

We have been de-cluttering hard the past week. Something about starting the New Year fresh and simplified just gives me tingles!

Lu and Bud's rooms both look good (note to self, still need to go through Bud's 800 books...) and so we tackled the movie cupboard that was filled to the brim with DVDs and VHS movies. If we did nothing but watch movies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it would take us many weeks to resurface. What is UP with that? When did the movie collection get so out of control? Why do we need to own every movie we have ever slightly liked? Why are we buying movies before we even see them? Why do we own Shrek? And Shrek 2! I so dislike both of those movies.

Anyway, we went through the piles and piles and found 42 video's that can find new homes, new owners that will love them and enjoy them. Hurray! We will look through them again in a few months and see if we can find 42 more...and then 42 more...and then 42 more...


Breaking Out Her Paintbrushes

Not Me.


She has been doing far more creative work these days than I. For Christmas she painted a wonderful picture for me from Wicked (read about that here) as a much treasured gift from her heart. After she saw what I was doing with her paintings, it lit a fire to do some more for the walls in her room. She has always had her own artwork on her walls and the last few years we often supply her with blank canvases to tap into that creative side of hers. SO much better than seeing her walls covered with posters and it gives her such a sense of accomplishment. And since she is a bit obsessed about the musical, I love that she had a way to get more of it out.

And it also makes me want to light a fire under myself. Sometimes, actually MOST of the time, if I am thrifting (which is what I have been doing now for months), I am not creating. If I am putting the booth together, I am not creating. I know I am doing creative work but I am not actually creating from the ground up. You know that feeling of "I made this!" and wanting to show your parents for them to ooh and ahh over? I need to get that feeling again.

We had moved all my craft items downstairs to a corner of the toy room/storage area and sometimes I do get to create in that area, but for some reason its not really clicking for me. Is it too dark? No natural light? Too much other stuff in the room? Am I distracted by stopping what I am doing to reach the box of Bob The Builder toys down for Bud and having trouble getting back into the mode?

I typically liked to drag stuff from area to area in the house depending on my mood and where I wanted to be. One of my favorite places is the dining room table for its natural light and windows but having my 'stuff' out on the table for days on end has a tendency to drive the rest of the family nuts.

And you know what? The second I typed that I realized that I have a BUFFET in that dining room that is barely filled with anything! I could put some craft stuff in there! And it has cupboards and drawers that close to just set stuff inside when I need to clear off the table for supper!!

I am off to re-do...I will let you know how this turns out!


A Wickedly Good Gift

Most often, the best gifts come from the giver's heart and cost nothing...but mean the very most to the receiver.

Months ago when Lu was asking for ideas for us for Christmas, I asked her to paint me a few Christmas scenes and this is what I was thrilled to open on Christmas morning:

This is a view from my computer area...I put the 3 pictures she painted in a wire thrifted holder that was found this summer in Minneapolis. It feels like its just been waiting for these!

But the middle painting is the gift that surprised me most when I opened it...a memory of our trip to see the Wicked musical!
I will treasure this forever.