Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Decorating on a Budget

One of my favorite things to do is decorate. I don't write too much about it but the bug is there once I get going.

And even more fun is finding ways to get the job done without spending very much. Kind of like a champagne design on a beer budget.

And speaking of great bargains, we are still in the process of working on the downstairs laundry room/bathroom. It is almost finished...but there have been other projects we started working on and didn't quite finish. I can take a couple of photos here and there to show some mid-way results...or I could just wait until it really looks right? This was the room we painted with our 1.00 can of paint and the 10.00 countertop....obviously the BEFORE photo.

The other project we are working on is getting the guest room ready for a visitor. And while I am doing that we've freed up another room since my step son has gone to be in the army. He has been at boot camp all this time and we are keeping him in our prayers. I'm sure it was quite an adjustment....going from high school to boot camp!

Anyway, I've been trying to decide what colors to paint these two rooms. One room I'd love to go "patriotic" and do white wainscoting on the lower wall and navy blue on the top portion. We come across so many antique prints, etc in our auction and estate sale travels, I'm sure we could find something great to decorate the room with.

The other room I am doing shabby chic. (See above....remember this was the chandelier chain cover I was making?) I know, shabby chic has been around for awhile but I've never really been able to do it quite the way I wanted to, until now. In fact, it may not be the "normal" shabby chic. I'll show you pictures when that is complete, too. For now here is a "before" shot. Hmmmmm....what are we up to?

Lots and lots of new projects going on...isn't summer great?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Family Tree - A Gift for Dad

Ever delve into your family history? I've always had a fascination for it. I guess there is usually one or two people in the clan who take it upon themselves to do the research. My Dad and I have been looking into his side for the past eight years. We've uncovered a lot of information!

This is a photo of my Great Grandfather Benjamin standing out in front of a Brooklyn, NY fire pumper. After living in NY for many years as a fireman, he decided to take his three sons and get away from the city and the gangs, etc.

Here he is again (man on the right) on the boardwalk ... I'm guessing somewhere along the coast of New Jersey. (Atlantic City?) After his wife died, he married this sweet, sweet lady who became the grandmother everyone knew and loved. I heard so much about her I named my cat, Minnie, after her! (Wonder what she would have thought of that????)

And this is a picture of my beloved Grandmother. She was only 18 years old at the time. She was born in Massachusetts and met my Grandfather (one of the three sons from Brooklyn) after her family moved south to New Jersey. Isn't it weird how it all happens? If neither family had moved south, they never would have met.

It was after my Grandmother went into a nursing home we really started researching. I had always kept lists and hand drawn family trees but this was something more. We found cemetery and funeral documents, certificates, and newspaper clippings. She had saved everthing that she could, lucky for us. Many other important family documents were supposedly lost in a fire back in Brooklyn. (Ironic since my Great Grandfather was a fireman...)

What I'm working on currently is a compilation of everything we have learned. It's my Dad's birthday in about a week and I'm hoping to surprise him with a family tree "book." Although this version is a work in progress, a rough draft of sorts, it is a start.

It takes all kinds of ways to gather information. Things like family documents that you have in your possession, interviewing relatives, writing letters to churches, and retrieving archives, just to name a few. I'm no geneologist, but I've learned a lot by trial and error.

I've had a lot of help from the new Family Tree Maker software program and I highly recommend it if you are also trying to compile your family's history. You can download census records and more from the internet through the program. And to think I used to travel to Washington, D.C and sort through microfilm to find these documents! This is much easier now.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Brilliant Award & Tomato Sightings!

Look at this! I've been given a Brillante Weblog award by fellow blog pal, Oliver Rain. An honor and always a nice way to start your day. Thank you for thinking of me!

So before I start babbling about a bunch of things today, here are the gals I'm passing this award on to:

My Little Cottage in the Making

Niesz Vintage Home

From My Cherry Heart

I'm A Little Teapot

Millefiori Favoriti

The rules...1. Please put award on your blog. 2. Add link to the person who awarded you. 3. Nominate 5 fellow bloggers for this award. 4. Add links to recipient. 5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

To all the lovely bloggers I have passed this award to...I did go ahead and look on your blog to see if you were already presented this award...and if I somehow missed it, I do apologize!

And now for my tomato sighting! Look what is growing on my tomato plant vine!

These are our regular tomato plants...nada, zip, zilch as of yet. We planted them too late. Hopefully soon!

And this is Dear Hubs getting the sweet corn ready for dinner. We have this about every other night in the summer because HE LOVES CORN ON THE COB. His Father grew it on their farm and he just can't seem to stop eating it. It IS good, especially when he comes home from an Amish farm where they just went out into the field and picked it for him.

I'm a zucchini girl myself...but hey, we can't get this during the winter so we might as well enjoy it now!

And can I just say I was surprised Dear Hubs finally left a note on my blog yesterday....but I think I have created a "monster." He couldn't stop checking to see if anyone left a comment.

He did get one marriage proposal.

Tee hee!

And as far as the bunnies are today...I need to go out and check on them. I'm sure Momma B and Papa B are taking good care of them. But pictures of cute little babes are always a nice addition to the blog. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Cottontails Play Hide & Go Seek


After yesterday's post about the bunnies and the thunderstorm, I of course, was a bit concerned about what happened to them. Dear Hubs went outside to check on them in the morning. They were ALL GONE. Did the storm wash them out? Did they drown?

We could only hope that Momma Buns had scooped them up in the middle of the night and taken them to safety.

It wasn't until dusk when Dear Hubby saw them again...this time a Momma AND a Pappa...

Except guess what the Pappa was trying to do all over again.... oh NO. I would have said "HONEY, I DON'T THINK SO!" (Or should that be "not tonight, I have a headache?") And you can't see it very well in the picture but guess who is sitting under her ... having their late night snack!

Yes! It's the wee ones! They were all doing fine and they were scampering about in this picture. TALK ABOUT CUTE! They looked like little mice that hopped. Fast little buggers!

So I leave you all with this last cutie picture of a darling baby bunny. (I should have tried to get the red eye out?) So so cute.

And DH is a bit blog shy and I can't seem to get him to sit down and type (or to let me post his picture) maybe next time!

Until then, have a bunny good day!


This is DH.....WOW! I can't believe that I am actually doing this...but had to check in. You..Blog Ladies are so wonderful with your comments! Thank you. Now I can understand why my DW
(dearest wife: for those of you like me who don't understand blog lingo) gets into these blogs. Yes, the bunnies as of last night are doing fine!! yay They were all eating dinner with MaMa last
night when I saw them. That poor mama...could you imagine 8 little ones nursing all at once...trying to get the last drop! Now for more news...we had bad storms again last night. Soooo we'll keep you posted ....stay tuned for the next update of "WHERE ARE THE BUNNIES".
DH now signing off...H and K to all you wonderful ladies!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hunny Bunnies

Aren't they adorable? Yes, we have had a bunny nest in our front yard. My own Honey Bunny has been giving me an update on their progress for awhile now. Normally I would be running outside to take a peek and "ooooh" and "awww" myself, but I have actually had a bad experience with a bunny nest before, so I've kept my distance. He loves the outdoors and all kinds of animals so this has been fun for him to watch them grow.
Now what bad experience could I possibly have, you ask? Well, in our other house, we had a bunny nest in the front yard and I went out there and took all kinds of pictures. Lo and behold one day they were out of the hole and I took more pictures. The next day they started dropping like flies! (They all went to that great bunny place in the sky.) I was sooooooo upset, thinking it was my fault and the mother had abandoned them. So, I vowed never to go near another nest! But, Dear Hubby says it was a terrible rain we had that made them cold and they died.

Either way, I have stayed away.

These pictures were taken by Dear Hubby yesterday and he insisted it was ok...even though I've been hollering "don't get too cloooooooooooooooooose!"

But last night, we had a horrible thunderstorm. I hope they are ok. They sure are cute! It is very rare when my DH takes pictures and then hands me the camera card and says "you should blog about this." So, today's post is for him. Maybe I can even get him to type a line or two later on in the day. Stay tuned on the bunny update!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Good 'Ol Days

There's something about a diner. Is it the cheeseburgers, the french fries, and the milkshakes? The love for the "all American fare?"

Recently we took my Sister and her family to a local burger joint ...we thought the kids would like it...and they did, but I think it was the adults that could appreciate it more. We grew up going to these kinds of diners in NJ. This one in particular is fun because it is decorated in the 1950's style.

They even have vintage car shows on their grounds every year. Car collectors and fifties buffs gather from all over. This is of course, what attracted my husband to it. We also found our "wedding car" by visiting this diner during one of their car shows. As antique dealers we thought this would be perfect for the drive from the church to the reception...and it was! An aqua blue FORD Fairlane with the convertible top.

The whole reason I came up with the idea of using a vintage car was because in my parents wedding album there is a photo of them up close in the back of an old car...and I always loved that photo and wanted to recreate it in my own wedding album. The only problem was my Mother said to me...."but Jillian.....that was a BRAND NEW car at the time." To me, it looked "old" and it spoke volumes to me about a time when I wasn't born yet and a time I wanted to visit because it looked FUN.

So is this the appeal? The unknown? Why does a former time seem like the "good 'ol days?" Above is a copy of an old Woolworth's menu....with prices so cheap for things like sandwiches and shakes for a quarter. But if we put things into perspective, isn't it all relative? We're making more money now because things cost more and so on. Do the 80's seem like the good ol days to our kids? Will the times now seem great?

Only time will tell.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chandelier Chain Cover or Cozy

Now most of you who read my blog regularly (not sure how many really) know that I am not a crafter. I am an antiquer, a sometimes who likes to cook (SOMETIMES), and a story teller. Oh yes, and in my last career job I was a television producer. One thing you don't really see much of on my blog is crafting.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy crafting. In fact, in my much younger days I crafted a lot! But lately, it's just usually things to sell in my booth, like refinished furniture, etc.

Yesterday, I actually started sewing. SEWING! And I use my Mother's old sewing machine, above. This machine is great! Keeps singing along with a happy tune after all these years. (I'm going to hear from my Mother about how often I am referring to its age! LOL!) And all I have is the one stitch because over time and moving around, the book and attachments have disappeared.

What sparked the whole thing was a chandelier chain cover. I wanted one....and after looking for them online, I decided "hey, I can make that."

So off I marched to Joann Fabrics. Where was I going to find the right stuff? What was I doing? I didn't know how to make one....I was just winging it. So I did what I normally do...I headed to the clearance isle. It didn't take too long....I found a last, barely hanging off of the cardboard, piece of moire pink fabric. (And I just learned what moire is! Ooh la la!) It was damaged in two places. A big black grease mark and a large cut in the middle.

The gal who cuts and measures your fabric for pricing gave it to me at 75 percent off! SOLD! This is enough to have me dreaming of sewing and making projects all summer long. But, I of course, get ahead of myself. I still had to figure out how to make the first project.

I decided to just sew a tube to slip over the chain, since my chandelier hasn't even been hung up yet. (I'll have to show you my plans for it soon.)

And a few swooshes through that good ol SINGER and it was all over. It was done. Easy as PIE. (I don't make pie, either.)

Now some of you crafty/sewing experts are probably having a good chuckle about this is probably a beginner's project. I have sewn other pillows. (Very basic styles.) But for some reason I was tickled about this project and I love it! I had wanted to cover the chain to tone down all the silvery metal and I think this did the trick.

So now I'm looking around the house to see what else I can zip zip zip through the machine.

Curtains anyone?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Award Goes to.... and a Christmas in July Sale!

This is a very unique and elegant looking award...and I have received it from Ms. Daisy over on The Daisy Chain.

This award comes from
Uruguay and you may click on the link to see it's origin...

To pass along the honors I give this award to these fellow creative and artful bloggers:

Jen of
Sanctuary Arts because her handpainted furniture is just beautiful and inspiring.... And I also pass this award along to Natasha of Natasha Burns Artistic Creations because her work is GORGEOUS which matches her lovely personality! Also to Liz of Mabel's House for her talented writing which keeps us all entertained.

Rules of the Award:
1. Choose 3 super blogs!
2. Publish on your blog and add a link to each of the winners' blogs.
3. The winners must show the elegant trophy and add the name and link of the one who awarded you the prize.
4. Acknowledge also the link to the Arte Y Pico blog. Gracias, Arte Y Pico for a lovely tradition.

I do want to apologize in advance if any of the bloggers I have chosen have already received this award...but you can feel honored all over again! I really do think you are wonderfully talented ladies and each of your blogs inspire me. Thank you for that.


And now, I'm excited to share with you my latest project for my virtual antique store. Since I love summer and Christmas I decided to have a Christmas in July sale over at Bella Rosa Antiques. I've listed and discounted all of our Christmas inventory to 30 percent off! From now until July 20th! Apothecary jars filled with baubles n beads, mini trees, mini ornaments, collectible ornaments, some jewelry, paper items, and more.

If you'd like to join the mailing list for future sales, which I will be having from time to time, this will make it easy for you. This one has been fun so far...I love getting out my favorites.... Christmas decorations...both vintage and new! Get a jump start on your holiday shopping with great prices all this week at Bella Rosa!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Billy Joel Concert Tour ~ Still the Piano Man

What an evening. We arrived with much anticipation, to a packed parking lot and tickets clutched in our hands. We were going to see BILLY JOEL. It had been awhile since I had seen him in concert last. I was a freshman in college. And well, that was a long time ago.

But now these college kids (my two step-daughters and a friend who jumped at the chance to buy our extra ticket) were seeing him in concert too. After all these years, Billy Joel's classic songs are a hit among every age.

While we waited outside the stadium we could see the Hershey cocoa stacks standing tall, reminding us of how sweet the town is. It was a great evening, perfect for an outdoor event like this.

Once inside the stadium, we slowly made our way to our seats. Then we waited, and waited, and waited some more. Where was he? There was no opening act to keep us entertained. But there was plenty of people watching we could do. It was CROWDED.

Finally, the crew showed up and Mr. Joel entered the stage....the crowd started cheering. The video screens were amazing and we got some great shots of him via the screens. We could see him on the stage from where we were sitting, but we would have never been able to get these close ups without them. He apologized a little later for starting so late....they had decided to wait until the sun went down.

And he played, and played, and played. Tickling the ivories like only Billy Joel can. He is an amazingly talented musician. His lyrics are just as great which is why he has remained so popular for so many years. He even said to the crowd: "I haven't had a new album out in 15 years and yet you all let me do the best job in the world, thank you!"
He played and sang non-stop for almost two hours.

I was having a great time...which made Dear Hubby happy because when I first arrived I was UNhappy trudging through the crowds. It was all worth it.

He played my favorites, of course. New York State of Mind which was aided by the cool stage design, complete with a Miss Statue of Liberty crown that stuck out at the top of the stage roof. Images of NYC splashed all over the screens, bringing back memories of my trips to the big city. He played others like Keeping the Faith, Only the Good Die Young, Don't Ask Me Why, and Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.

There were many others, including We Didn't Start the Fire. I really like this song, even though I can't keep up with the lyrics! If you really take the time to actually study the words and look back on what went on in the news, there's a lot to gain from it. Here is a website that breaks the song down and gives the history behind the pieces and parts. I think schools use it to help teach! We didn't have cool stuff like this to learn from when I was a kid. Check it out here.

Then, probably to give his voice a break, Billy grabs a guitar and comes up to the front mic and introduces one of his road crew....a guy named "Chainsaw"....who comes out and sings a little ditty for us. Okay, it wasn't really a little ditty it was "Highway to Hell." But he was funny and gave us all a good laugh.

Then he was back on the piano...his home away from home. We hoped that each "next song" would be his theme song "Piano Man," which he saved of course, the best for last.

And Mr. Joel, sing us the song anytime, you ARE the Piano Man. Bravo! Bravo!

A great concert and I'm glad I got the chance to see him play for the second time in my life.

Thanks for following along with me...I enjoyed sharing the pictures with you. For my next post I have received an award from Ms. Daisy over at The Daisy Chain How cool is that?

Hope you're enjoying your summer!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fireworks, Baseball, and the Ultimate Yard Sale

Happy belated 4th of July! I have been very busy and away from my computer for a few days, and as promised, I said I would blog about my trip or the bathroom re-decorating project. Since the bathroom is ALMOST done, but not quite, I will go ahead and tell you all about the trip.

We went to my Dear Hubby's family farm for their annual family yard sale (they call it a garage sale.) Each summer they put on quite the display. Since my Dear hubby has many siblings, and we all bring things to sell, it is enormous.

You can find anything there. From baseballs to Coke bottles, to old lanterns. Lots of other antiquey things, too! After a long drive, Dear Hubby and I loaded up a bunch of items from our antique booth inventory and set up shop as soon as we arrived, adding to the mix.

People come from all over as my Father in Law sets out signs for miles around. Probably the best form of advertising ...cleverly placed signage and lots of it. I have posted about this event here, before. This year was no exception.

Three whole days of selling, shopping (yes, I can't resist picking up a few new treasures while I'm there!), and meeting new people. The photo above is where they keep "the good stuff" and this lady is trying to take it all in. My In-laws really enjoy this event, although there is a lot of work involved.

Aren't these children's chairs cute? I of course, love the pink one.

But at this point, I think I need one of these.