Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thrift finds.

This is going to be the shortest thrift post I probably will ever do. We were taking plastic bottles to a bottle return facility and just half a block down the road was an antique mall. We enjoy this venue, but hadn't visited in a while and we decided since we were that close we'd get some exercise and walk around for a bit. So much beauty. We walked and looked and got ideas and only found three items, but good items to us.

Well here it is. Our big shopping trip. The skein of baby blue yarn was $3 dollars, but it is a vintage seven ounce skein which I'm sure will produce three pairs of knitted socks. I may have to make one pair with a white cuff, but that's okay by me. The vintage salt and pepper shakers are plastic and so adorable. We just couldn't resist. The pink Pyrex pie plate is in mint condition and my daughter's first piece of pink. The price of this item was $3.75 because the booth we got it from was having a sale. Original price was $3.99. She's added it to her collection. That's what a walk through an antique mall yielded. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and we hope all of you finds as fun as ours. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday.

This is a picture of Karen's garden. She is a first time gardener and doing so well with it. These plants she started from seeds and discovered she has a green thumb after all. There's a row of cucumbers, broccoli and beans and a couple of pepper plants. I think it's a job well done. The fence is up to keep a hungry ground hog out. 

In her yard are my container tomatoes. They are larger every time I visit them. There are tomatoes appearing already and they are so happy among the flowers. It's mostly waiting now for the crops to come in and making sure they are fed well and watered but for now we still use the farmer's market I continue to harvest my herbs to build my supply for the winter months. Not much else going on hear as far as gardening. I'm working on a meal plan to help our budget and I've been trying new recipes to add to it and give it a good variety. Thank you for stopping by to visit and have a geat week. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thrift Finds

It was planned. Yes I found a need to go to a Church sale. It came to me that my rosemary plant was being squeezed between my basil and not growing as it should so the need came up for a larger pot to transplant the rosemary and add to my container herbs growing here at the townhouse. We had no intentions of getting up this past Saturday to search this sale, but I refuse to pay top dollar for what we can pick up for nearly nothing. Call me cheap, call me frugal but I prefer to be called thrifty. I was very successful. I found two twelve inch dirty flower pots with saucers and they were $1 each.

Here they are after being scrubbed clean and disinfected with bleach and the rosemary now has a pot of it's own and is doing much better. I may cut a few stems to propagate new plants so I have some growing inside through the winter. 

It looks so very happy doesn't it and I am ready to harvest a little for cooking and when it gets a bit larger I'll dry some.

We found a Martha Stewart colander for $1 which will be used for our cheese making and a few more canning jars. On the way back from the Church sale we stopped at a thrift store and found the lime green desk lamp and vintage sheet.

The Church sale was over loaded with books and my daughter found a couple she liked. The wooden doll she spotted on the first table just inside the door. She brings home many new faces. The apple corer, shot glasses and cookie cutter she got at the thrift. The apple corer is heavy plastic/Plexiglas with red handles and is very strong. She got this item because she saw that she could cut potatoes for baked french fries and have a more consistent size. 

Lastly she found many vintage patterns at the thrift store. She chose several coat patterns and a foundation ware pattern. She also found the large Georges Briard plate and two suction handles. One has been added to the shower for my benefit. I get the help I need from them getting my old knees and bad hip in and out of the shower. One handle she attached to her cutting ruler for a more ergonomic way to use it cutting fabric. Works great. So for something that was planned, but not intended we found what we needed and a few extras to make living easier along with a few items of pleasure and store inventory. Thanks for stopping by and visiting. Have a great week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

As summer progresses the desire to have a garden of my own strengthens and keeps the motivation strong for what may be in the next two summers. Here's hoping we can find that something that will fill that desire when we start our search for a home. For now I just keep going and appreciate friends who are letting me share theirs and for all the farmers that bring their goods to the markets.

The herbs on my small deck continue to do well. I harvested yet another bunch of basil that I used to add to my delicious stuffed portabella mushrooms for lunch and dried the rest for future cooking.

Last years tomatoes were approaching their expiration date so I use them up in this roasted garlic and basil tomato sauce. It was a low yield, but I have not lost them and wow did it come out great.

My Cilantro bolted with all the heat we've had but I am going to collect the seeds to start some more a little later this year and put the rest of the seeds in the cupboard in an up cycled pepper grinder so when I need coriander I can grind it fresh.

My parsley is providing an awesome amount and I've had it fresh and dried it for future use. It's nice to have for when I make my garlic bread. It looks like I may have to harvest more before the last bunch is fully dry.

My covert carrots have company. Temporarily any way. I started some butternut squash seeds that I'm hoping will be strong enough to transplant tonight when I go to my friends house to check on my tomatoes. I saved the seeds myself and was glad to know they will germinate. My container carrots are being called parsley so I can sneak them in on the deck. 

Saturday morning we got up early to go to a Church sale. The intention for going was large flower pots or containers for growing. I found two, cleaned them up and rinsed them with bleach and transplanted my rosemary. I sure wish I could bring these in for the winter, but I'm afraid I'd bring in insects and we don't need the problems. 

One of my daughter's co-workers sent her home with a large container of black berries and I got busy making black berry pancake syrup. It is so good and I was so grateful. Yes, I did send her some for her pleasure. This townhouse farm girl is doing the best she can with the space she has and it can be done. Thank you for stopping by to visit and have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Thrift finds

This past weekend's adventure took us to a church sale and we found some great items. Some that we will add to our home and some to sell. It was a huge sale with furniture and everything under the sun. I was amazed at how organized it was and the amount of people working it. They were friendly and helpful. I will watch for this one next summer. They seemed to be experts at it.

We found the spice shelf that was in good condition, but the bottles, salt shaker and pepper mill were not useful. It was the shelf my daughter wanted so the bottles were re-donated and the salt and pepper were recycled. The stacking doll was imported from Russia and there were six dolls altogether. I found a Georges Briard linen towel and a couple other vintage linens and a new package of sewing wax.

The large enamel kettle was $2 and I couldn't have been happier. I got it home soaked it well and it came very clean. The handle on the top has been replace, but I cook in the pot and it didn't matter to me that it wasn't original. Now the universe can bring on the tomatoes because I have something to cook them in. We found vintage glassware of all kinds and she's already had requests for the staircase shelf.

When we find these vintage plastic shopping/beach bags they are usually broken or not in good shape, but this one was in very good condition. We found valentine's day, new in package, cupcake liners along with a canning jar and a hand embroidered brush and comb holder that has grommets for hanging.

This was our favorite find. It's a vintage metal plant rack that my daughter will put in her "coming to her soon" home with plants in vintage planters. It is in excellent condition and sturdy. We had a wonderful time rummaging and it was great to find things that we know we will enjoy and use. Even though we are not out thrifting often we are having a great time.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Thrift finds and freebie economics.

With an extra day off for the holiday we headed out to get our errands done and did a little thrift shopping. We found a few things that were on our personal list and some items to add to the store.

These darling bottles are vintage Avon product bottles. Some were perfume, some were lotions, and some were bubble bath, but my daughter got them all for $1 and will put them on a shelf with her other people. 

Already sold are the two matching vintage cocktail glasses and the multi colored geometric glasses that are Georges Briard. The bar ware is new and stainless steel and my daughter will add them to her vintage collection. She also found a large cocktail glass with recipes on it and a Flintstones Betty glass. She added it to her collection and she now has eight. 

A couple of items on our list were the gallon jug for our sun tea and a meat grinder. The jug was $1.99 and the meat grinder was $5 and after I cleaned it up it was in great condition. The vintage nursery lamp was $1. We always pick up Pyrex covers and the measuring cups and spoons are vintage Rubbermaid and she will be adding them to her bee keeping supplies.

The hand held blender we got for $3 and it will make it easy for me to puree those winter soups. We found a package of cast iron owls, an unopened package of classical music and a few more books for our safer home and natural medicine shelf.

We had good luck with fabric and linens. We found a vintage set of pink double size sheets, one flat and one fitted that are new in the package. A vintage garden girl sheet, the bright orange, green and yellow floral table cloth and some cotton print fabrics. I also found a Vogue pattern for two different style Kimonos for $.99.

She found some heavy green cotton duck fabric, a yard of rainbow print stripe fabric and three new summer tops.

She found these three bundles of fabric samples that coordinated. I know there are some bright fun projects that will come from these. All in all the prices were crazy and we think we did exceptionally well. We have been very selective lately, but when you find good stuff you just can't leave it behind.

For freebies this week we got four dozen regular mouth canning lids. These were purchased with the Walmart savings catcher dollars that had added up. We usually let it accumulate to a larger amount, but the lids were needed because I was running low. That's the exciting thrift finds and freebies that we got this week. To some, not special finds, but we really have more than we need at this point and just getting out to look is the best part. Have a great week and thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Townhouse Homestead TuesdayThis

It always amazes me when I open the freezer to add reclaimed veggie scraps to my collection for vegetable stock. I manage a good eight plus pints every three months and I am saving money and using my vegetables to the fullest. When we are in a home of our own and not renting these scraps will continue in the compost pile. Here's another batch and the bag is filling up again in the freezer. I have to wonder why anyone is going hungry today. I simply open a jar of stock add half a bag of frozen vegetables, my choice of noodles, rice or potatoes and I have soup. Probably a lot of work for soup, but to just take it off the shelf and instantly have a meal is awesome.

The tomatoes hopefully are doing well. I'll check on them in another week. I think if they were doing bad my friend would let me know. It's at the point where we are feeding them and waiting for them to grow and produce fruit. I continue to use the farmers markets for what I need and for $18 this week I got apples, strawberries, pears, peaches, plums, tomatoes, ginger and zucchini. Not small amounts either. Healthy helpings for the two of us to cook with and enjoy. 

This morning I gave my basil a haircut and filled my larger colander. Some of these leaves are four inches by three inches and I now have them washed and hanging to dry. I have a good harvest of parsley coming, but I want to wait until I have a good enough amount so I can make some garlic bread and parsley butter for my winter storage. My covert carrots are growing well too. Getting larger and stronger every day. For now it's just waiting for everything to grow and taking little steps to preserve whatever I can and enjoy as much fresh too. I wish everyone a great week and thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Thursday's Threads

Quite a few years ago now I downsized to move in with my eldest daughter. In the transition I believe many of my holiday decoration were accidentally donated and the items I thought were donated I'm still finding in buckets and boxes. I can only hope that someone else is enjoying the items. So that leaves me with the task of getting new decorations or decorating at all. Since fabric is the medium that I enjoy most and with a pile of scrap fabric that some times gets out of control I made one decoration.

I found this vintage doily that was a star. I decided to maybe make a dream catcher style decoration, but it wasn't working for me. Then I decided to mount it on fabric to put in an embroidery hoop. Well what color fabric? I tried everything and baby blue was the choice. Then I began folding fabric stars. They mounted nicely  on the hoop, but it needed a little something else. That something else was ribbon and I just tacky glued it on the back to hang down. Not fantastic, but one of a kind and it looks nice on the door. This is inside because we don't have screen doors and anything we hang outside has to be wired down to stay in place.

From the folded stars I have now created another pile of scrap pieces. I wanted to make holiday mug rugs, so I cut a few triangles and tried my hand at a star. I need to practice more because I had a hard time getting them to line up. This practice star will not go to waste. I'm sure it will be something, but the decorating is still on the cutting table and it may be next year before they become something. 

Then comes the socks. This is pair number 12 and I managed two pair a month for the first half of the year. My goal was to learn two new things this year. Socks was one and I think that's a success story. Now it's on to learn the second craft and that is cheese making. I am excited to try this and look forward to posting the progress. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Ours we are hoping is quiet and relaxing. We will have a few food treats and watch some movies, but will probably just enjoy the nice weather they are predicting and listen to the distant fire works. Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Thrift finds and freebie economics

Church sales have been plentiful this Spring and early Summer and we have found good, useful items. We stopped at one on the way home from the library a couple of Saturdays ago and did quite well. 

This particular sale was held in the Church parking lot and we rummaged and rummaged. We found some used garden picket fence pieces, a new unopened Scrabble game, a Smurf mug and a bundle of used candles to melt down. Along with our finds at this sale were 30 canning jars of various sizes. We got this total package for $2.10. Yes, $2.10. It should have been more, but the young man returned the wrong change and after we realized what had happened we were well down the road. Probably not a good thing for us to do, but we did not go back and make it good. We may pay for it later.

We visited a Goodwill store and found a few items including some t-shirt style tops for my daughter, a religious figure of Mary, a brass unicorn, coffee cup stand, egg slicer and a wonderful daisy print in a frame. the red candle plate was in the bottom of the box used to get these items home. No bag, a box. We have been a bit selective of what we buy and how much we pay and most of these items were 50% off with the color tag sale.

The week before last I scored what the grocery store claimed were free items if you purchased a family pack of meat, however they manage to raise the price per pound of the meat to cover the price of the free items. I know I probably wouldn't have purchased several of these items, but when money is tight and you need to stretch the budget it was worth it to me and I canned the meat I didn't need right away. 

I used a gift card to purchase the two bags of chicken breasts and the one pound of ground turkey. Final price to me was a few cents. As close to free as I could get. I made bourbon barbecued pulled chicken and ate some and canned some for future meals. Total servings for two pounds of chicken was 12 and I could not have been happier. I've stretched two other chicken breast into a wok full of chicken, broccoli and carrot stir fry and another into chicken wraps. Slowly learning to make it all count. The pound of ground turkey will yield 6 servings. Three beef, bean and cheese burritos and three servings of goulash. 

I think for this summers growing season I have acquired all the canning jars I need in quite a variety of sizes. Any more now would be used, but as far as purchasing they will all go to a friend who needs them and we will concentrate on purchasing lids so we have a good supply on hand. Here at the townhouse we are doing what we can to stretch the budget and do the best we can with what we have. We wish everyone a happy 4th of July and please stay safe.