Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Junkin & Thrifting

I've been a Junker and a Thrifter long before Junking and Thrifting became popular.
Even when I was a child I remember collecting junk out of our creek bed at the ranch, usually an old tractor part that had broken off and been left there, or an old bottle of ? who knows what, and trudging my finds up to the house.
I started collecting crates and wooden boxes in my early teens.

When I was around 10 or so, my Dad would take trips to the dump on Saturdays, hauling our household trash to the local dump site.
Yes- we we're not so very environmentally conscious at that time. - ugh- sad, but true. 
I couldn't wait for Saturday mornings to ride along with Dad to the dump and see what treasures I could find. My Dad would get so irritated with me for bringing home more  'junk'. 
I would dig and search the whole time we were there, feeling so excited to find just the right thing. 

When Caveman and I were first married (1976) we had absolutely nothing to make a home with. 
We dug out this really old couch from his parent's barn, cleaned it up as best we could, and covered up the worn and tattered couch with a throw. 

Our first 'entertainment' center was made of bricks and 1x12 pieces of pine wood, which were stained, then  sealed with a clear coat of polyurethane.

We used an old picnic table as a kitchen table, and I covered it with a red checked cloth. 

We had this old Ben Franklin wood stove, which was never hooked up to burn wood, instead I used it for plants, setting them inside and the top of it. 

Caveman worked at a  lumber mill at that time, and I'll never forget when he brought home some scraps of wood and made some plant stands for me. 

This has nothing to do with thrifting,  but I remember having this VERY OLD canister vacuum cleaner that never really worked and the floor attachment part was missing. The only attachment it had left was the small upholstery type brush, which I would attach to the end of the hose, then I would vacuum the floor on my hands and knees pushing that small brush back and forth on the carpet.

For the first few months we had no washer or dryer, instead we went to a laundromat.
Finally, after a few months we were able to afford a second hand washing machine which we hooked up in the bathroom (so it could drain in the LARGE bathroom sink). I made a  makeshift clothes line in the bathroom to hang up our clothes to dry.
Man- did I ever feel like I was really "makin it' in the world.
The luxury of doing laundry at home was positively exhilarating!
 It wasn't a matter of choice, but rather one of necessity.

This crate started my first real  'official' collection of  junk....
I was about 12 years old at the time.
I've carried this with me almost my entire life.

I love it still to this very day.

( these aren't great pictures- sorry)

then came along this...

I'm in the process of doing some re-decorating, so they are empty for the moment.

This crate is holding books in my craft room. 

and this I got from my Grammy...
she added her personal touch with some paint here and there, accenting what was already on the crate.

Funny thing is I still thrift.
For instance, I wanted wood trim around my doors and windows, but honestly I just cannot afford it.
Yesterday I experimented on my front door, which looked like this

Let me tell  you it's really hard to take a picture of a window, my camera wanted to focus on what was outside. Anyways, you get the point.

I wanted to have the white window grids look like wood...
(another terrible picture)

A little CoCo ASCP, along with some Annie Sloan wax
= faux wood trim. 
I'm inspired and am now on a painting mission!

This picture is one that my Grammy painted in 1981. Originally it had a gold frame, which I wasn't wild about.
The picture however, I absolutely adore.

A little ASCP in Old White and some clear wax...

I love the Vintage look it gave the picture.

Today I am painting my old aquarium stand in the same Old White I used for the picture frame, and will be making it into a table.

Last weekend Beth and I went to the Roses and Rust Vintage show in Redding,
and I came home completely inspired to re-do and re-purpose several items I already had.
I brought home a few treasure as well.
I'll share them later.

 For now, I have a paint brush calling my name.

The Girasole Lady

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

High Hand Nursery & Spring Gardening

Saturday Beth and I took a road trip to the  High Hand Fruit Sheds in Loomis. 
To start the day we attended a class on irrigation systems.
The class was very helpful in understanding the actual mechanics of irrigation systems, watering tables and times, soil conditions, and what not. 

We had been to the Nursery once before, but this was the first class we attended. 
The class was free of charge, and we are already planning on attending another class in May about attracting beneficial wildlife life to your garden.

I learned something too, that I had forgotten for a bit, and that is - I really love learning, and how empowered it makes you feel. I've always been a sort of self teacher, in most aspects of my life. 

After the class we spent hours shopping in the Nursery.
When one shops for plants with Beth, you will learn ALL the scientific names of everything! 
Beth is passionate, really passionate,  about plants, and extremely knowledgeable as well. 

We both came home with arm loads of plants.
Upon returning home from the trip, I planted in the garden for the rest of the evening. 
I was so happy to have gotten everything, except one bush,  in the ground  as we had a good amount of rain on Sunday. 

My purchased included....

Ornamental Strawberries
planted in the raised bed in the small garden. 

Dianthus & Erysimum planted out front in the walkway. 


Georgia Blue Veronica
and Waterperry Veronica


Bleeding Heart

Sorbet Raspberry Viola

These were all planted in the little red bed in the small garden

This is a Ninebark 
I haven't decided exactly where to plant it yet. 

A few other things, not new, but looking good are my Japanese Maple and Sweet Peas. 
 This Maple tree began a number of year ago as a sapling from my Mom's garden. 
I never expected it to grown into a 'real' tree, but boy did it ever, and I love it. 
And Gosh... I never knew how expensive these trees were until a few years! 

We ended the day having a wonderful lunch at the

It was a very good day indeed. 

In other news...
this week I need to plant a few more seeds and fertilize the Orchard. 

I've been working on a quilt
(that should have been done in February)

Best of all..
My sister will be arriving this weekend and will be staying here for a week!!
I'm so excited, and can hardly wait for her to get here. I haven't seen her since New Year's. 
I'm hoping for sunshine next week! 

"We get up in the morning and we do our best, and nothing else matters"

The Girasole Lady