Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Thrift Finds

This past Saturday we went to a Church sale with the intention of finding one small item and coming home. It was close by and why wouldn't we find this one small always available item. Well, we didn't so we moved on to a thrift store. We found that item and it was only .99 and then the hunting bug hit her like an F4 tornado and look what she did!

She hunted and hunted and kept putting things in that cart. It was fun to be out, but I think that short trip turned into two thrift stores on top of the Church sale. 

She found a wooden box, bar ware that she sold within minutes of her purchase, shipping envelopes, a spice shelf, sewing notions, the card board book which was the reason for the adventure and a framed print of a female artist she adores, but cannot find any information about.

She continues to bring home vintage sheets and pieces of fabric to sooth her addiction and we found a primary print JC Penny Snoopy drape.

And may I say yes, she got me 15 more canning jars and let me tell you the Good Will was loaded with them, but we play the color tag sale for the 50% off items and the one's we left were not that weeks color. The cashier tried to say they may not be there when we come back, but anyone who pays $1.99 for a used canning jar can have them when you can get a new case with rims and lids for a lot less. I have not filled these. I washed them and put them on the shelf because fruit and vegetable season is coming and we are trying to get some empties on the shelf. This is what happens to her when she needs one very small, always available, most anywhere item. 

Thank you for stopping by my post and have a great week.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday's Threads

So much going on that it's getting harder to keep up with the blog. My daughter collects vintage fabrics and linens and cuts them into fat quarters to sell on her store This is what will be listed in the next few days. They look so pretty all together.

I've been trying to get some of the projects done in the sewing room that have just been sitting there waiting. One of the biggest projects has been cutting down my collection of tee shirts to make myself a memory quilt. I need to purchase a tee shirt from the college my son graduated from before I can complete it and that's getting closer.

After cutting them down and making the squares so they will fit together I'm cutting down the excess pieces into ten inch squares for future projects. It's really beginning to look a lot more organized and uncluttered in my small bedroom/sewing room.

A couple of weeks ago my daughter traded a piece of her Pyrex for this wonderful skein of yarn. It comes from the Knitted Wit in Oregon and I have enjoyed making this fun pair of socks. All I need to do is weave the toe and they are ready to wear. That's pair number five this year since learning.

I'm going to use up more leftover skeins of yarn with the remainder of the rainbow to work on the next pair. It's been quite relaxing to me. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my quick blog post and  have a great weekend. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Yesterday a two page notice was slipped into our townhouse door to remind us about the clean up rules and the time frame we have to do it along with all the demands that no one enforces or follows. On the list in bold capital letters were the words "NO VEGETABLE GARDENING ALLOWED". I will put my herbs out again and I am going to sneak in carrots in a large pot on my tiny deck. I will tell them it's parsley. I really would love to find a place to grow more, but this too shall come and in the mean time I will use our farm markets. I did start tomato seeds thinking they wouldn't grow. I guess I was wrong and if I can't find somewhere to garden I will grow them in my window. These are container tomatoes. 

On the pantry supplies and canning end of the homestead I finished up my vegetable soup stock and ended up with six quarts. I can now take a jar off the shelf and make a meal in less than an hour start to finish. I have been trying new things and will continue working on my meal plan.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thursday's Threads

There are a lot of evenings around this townhouse homestead when I am ready to turn in at the early hour of 7:30 p.m. but when I post to my blog, which has literally become my diary, I understand why I am tired. I am learning to make myself stop and sit, but to do this I have to have something to do when I'm sitting. Knitting is that thing. I would like it to be sewing, but sitting at the machine isn't quite as restful as knitting. 

I have absolutely no idea where this lovely and very soft coral colored yarn came from, but it's never ending and I still have a bit more to use. This week I came across a vintage knitting book and found the pattern for cuddle mocks, so I knit a pair. I made so many of these in every size when my children were younger, but this pair is for me. 

My new venture this year has yielded another pair of socks. This pair is a low cuff pair to wear with my sneakers. I have a very special skein of yarn coming to me via a trade my daughter made and I am so excited. It is multicolored and hand dyed. This pair makes my fourth pair, so that means I am averaging one pair a month. Not bad for a craft that is forcing me to stop and relax. 

Thank you for stopping by and peeking into my diary. Have a wonderful weekend and take the time to relax. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thrift finds and thrift economics.

To start this blog out I'm going first to thrift economics. I received a pressure caner for Christmas and it has earned it's keep already and it's only April. However, it did not come with a second shelf so that I can stack jars. The manufacturer says that it's okay to put the jars directly on top of each other, but that wasn't pleasing to me and I wasn't spending $12 plus shipping to get one. I searched high and low at all the thrift stores we went to and kept hoping I'd find something that would work even if it was a small pizza pan that needed holes drilled in it. Well everything was too large or too small until...

some imaginative sorter at a VOA thrift store put this wire rack together with a Pyrex pie plate. It was the correct diameter, but I only wanted the rack, but for $4 I took them both home and rushed to see if it would fit the caner. Needless to say it did. The rack has a one inch rail on one side and a half inch rail on the other. I used it in the caner with the one inch up and could put 7 wide mouth pints on top. One short but that was okay. I now had my extra rack, a holder for the pie plate and when I took the jars out of the caner I reversed it so I had a cooling rack one inch off the counter for my jars. I think I got my $2 out of the rack and imagine using it with vintage glass for a table centerpiece. Now about the pie plate. Yes it's Pyrex, yes it's vintage and I didn't really want it, but it happens to be an 11 inch pie plate. The retail value on line runs between $8 and $24 dollars. I'd say that this was a great find and I am keeping the pie plate.

After a great early Saturday breakfast out we headed off to spend the day thrifting and having fun. The findings included some doilies, plastic Easter egg rabbits, a stacking doll, vintage snowman and the most important find was the wooden shelf. It's been on the list for months. My daughter wanted something heavy duty enough to hold her essential oils and there it was. For $2.99 and with a little spray paint it will do the job. We also found a vintage red bed cover a very large yellow bath towel and a bright floral bed sheet. The color scheme here is yellow, orange, green and aqua. Can you tell?

We found a few books. The "Putting Food By" book I already owned, but it was 50% off and a big update from my version. We found wooden pant hangers, zippers, iron on patches and knitting needles and that bright flowered scarf. 

We came home with four dozen more canning jars. Here some have been washed, others in the box to be cleaned and as of yesterday and today twenty of them have been used. 

My favorite find was the heavy duty aluminum colander. It was $2 and now I have something to strain large amounts of food instead of a little at a time. There's the pie plate and rack under that wonderful Pyrex Butterfly Gold divided dish with a cover and we found another set of vintage lazy Susan pieces.

And look at the wonderful score of other Pyrex pieces. Cinderella bowls, regular bowls, another cover, and refrigerator bowls. I think it was an awesome day out and I think we found a well rounded assortment of goodies. Thank you for stopping by to visit and I hope all your thrift finds are good too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

How busy this little townhouse kitchen has been. It's been busy taking care of leftovers from Easter dinner and preparing more for the pantry. When I want to cook I would love to have all that I need ready so I am trying to go through my recipes and see what I need to do to be ready for summer. 

This week green bell peppers were on sale so we bought three pounds. It was seven large peppers in all and I cleaned them and chopped them and put them in the dehydrator. Away I go. Three pounds of peppers condensed to one pint dehydrated. Great way for me to store them in this little space.

If anyone was wondering if dehydrating vegetables works here you go. I needed carrots for my soups so I put one cup of dehydrated carrots in water and within two hours they were back to normal. I could have just added them to the soup, but I needed to take a few pictures for some skeptic friends. 

Also if I may point out that I put my daughter's Pyrex to good use here. I'm waiting for her to break one first. That way I won't be so stressed while I'm using them. I do have to say though that it's fun to use them and they add nice color to my preparations.

I have three kinds of soup underway for today and tomorrow. The first is white bean and ham and this one came out so good that I didn't want to can it all, so we are eating some too. I filled the crock pot with split pea soup and I finally cleaned out my tiny freezer and put all the vegetable scraps I saved for broth on the stove top to boil to make vegetable soup. 

Split pea along with white bean and ham are in the pressure caner as I am writing this post and tomorrow I will finish the vegetable soup. Adding these soups to my shelf is helping with my meal planning menu. It's easier to take something off the shelf than it is to stand and cook after a long day. That's what's been cooking this past week at the townhouse homestead, Going to start my tomato seeds shortly and have them ready, but I may be lucky and found someone who wants help with their garden and will share what is grown. That's a future post. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week.


Fresh from the caner 10 pints of split pea soup and 4 pints of white bean with ham. Yummy!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Thrift finds.

We headed out to do errands this past Saturday and for a break in the routine we visited three thrift stores. Lots of stuff in the stores but we continue to be selective about what we're buying. It was just a fun hour and a half fit in to a routine trip, but what good finds.

We found this darling set of bowls that are decorated with Shamrocks. We will add them to our St. Patrick's day decor. My favorite thing about them is that they are small and fit right in with our small space. We found yet another lime green Pyrex 024, 2 qt. casseroled bowl. My daughter now has three for her collection, but she may use it to trade for something later.

We found a Pyrex butterfly gold casserole bowl that was in very "baked on" condition, but it got a basic cleaning and is now listed at and we always pick up Pyrex covers for future Pyrex discoveries. The aqua bowl has no name but my daughter has a collection of them that we use for soup and snacks so this one made number nine in her cupboard.

We found a large bundle of wooden and plastic pant hangers that we will sort through and clean up to list on the store and a vintage Strawberry Shortcake pillow case.

As we walked in the door and traveled to the first aisle of another thrift store there was an abundance of 8 oz canning jars and one lonely quart jar. I walked back for a large shopping cart to put them in. Conveniently there was a very large basket sitting next to them and we loaded it up and set it in the cart. If they are priced right they come home, get cleaned up and put away for when I need them. We actually found more, but didn't get them. We are following the sale tags and will wait for the right color to come up and if they are there when we go back they are, if not they weren't meant to be ours. Not a bad lot of finds for a short time looking. We are going out with friends this coming Saturday to search a few more thrift stores after we have breakfast. This is such an addiction.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope all your thrift shopping is as much fun as ours.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

We had a very quiet Easter here at the townhouse. Caught up with a few people we hadn't heard from in a while and just relaxed. Dinner was peaceful and it was prepared a bit ahead of time so it too was not time consuming and flowed smoothly. To brighten up our Easter dinner table we used some of the Pyrex collection and my daughter loves to collect misfit lazy Susan pieces. With the vintage table cloth that is by no means in perfect condition it made a setting for a lovely early Spring/Easter dinner.

This townhouse homesteader is trying to create a meal planner and build a stock so it is easier to combine the work schedule and have the best meals we can. This week the only addition we made to that stock up was onion rice mix. I made this with my home made onion soup mix and while I was putting it together I decided that this will be a side for roast pork. The fragrance spoke pork.

I put this up in 8 ounce jars. With just two of us one cup of rice is a lot so we can get four servings from each jar and of course they are vacuum sealed for a healthy shelf life. That's all that's new as far as the homesteading side of the townhouse for last week. We've done plenty more and have plenty more we can do. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. 

Recipes here:

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Thursday's Threads

Another of the things we are enjoying is our textile crafts. Up cycling, reducing, reusing and just using what we have at home without buying more. To start my daughter cut down a large bundle of tee shirts into long strips to crochet with. This is what she's produced so far with a skein of yarn and the strips.

A bowling ball size ball of tee shirt yarn with a skein of gray yarn and she's underway with a home made up cycled rug.

This package of mill ends from Joann fabric looked interesting and was a gift. Those funky skeins of yarn produced that crazy pair of socks, but they are for me to wear in my boots so it's not a big deal. Any way mismatched socks are all the rage today. It had four balls of yarn in the bag and I still have three plus left. I think that's enough to knit three more pairs of socks. I think my feet are going to be ready for next winters north east cold.

I finally completed my mittens and managed to make a pair of leg warmers to go with my hat and Dickie style scarf. It's been getting colder each winter, but I think that I am now prepared for it. My promise to learn how to knit socks is a success and I think the progress has been good. Knitting  is one of those things that's relaxing to me and I intend to keep going. Plenty of yarn to do more projects.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Thrift Finds and Freebie Economics

We haven't been intentionally thrifting lately. It's been unplanned stops and the purchases are very strictly monitored. We've been busy using what we find or reselling what we find and looking for items my daughter can add to her collections.

This plate is part of collection of cute little girls and sayings. They are orange and yellow and we hang them in our vintage bathroom. We always get Pyrex covers when we see them and lately natural health has been interesting learning and reading.

She found this white divided Pyrex dish and blue refrigerator dish that she's added to her collection. 

We've been trying to eat more vegetarian meals and this lovely book has quite a few recipes we are going to try and the "American Family Cookbook" is a Culinary Arts Institute recipe book and it's been added to the collection. The Knifty Knitter was an awesome find and a complete set and the price was to good to leave it behind. It has been resold in the last week. 

We will always grab canning jars. This one was $.29 so home it came. We found NIP vintage pink double sheets, a vintage yellow floral sheet and a lovely vintage geometric print scarf. Good pickings to us.

The only free item this week is this sample of Friskies cat food along with a $1 off coupon. I won it on an on-line spin to win game. This is all of the thrifting part of our lives this week. This blog is our diary and reminds us what we are doing., and how much we are growing and moving on a forward path. It's our tool to show others how you can live a frugal life and a bountiful life without large debts. Thank you for stopping by and I hope it's been a little inspiration for you.