Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thrifting with Friends

A few days ago I made my way to Caimbridge to meet up with a long time flickr friend and blogger, Sheila. She took me on an antiquing/thrifting adventure, showing me all the tricks and tips in her area. I also got to play with her adorable pup Stella, and take a tour of her beautiful home and sewing space.

Our first stop was the Southworks Antique mall where we donned the nickname "the crazy Pyrex ladies". It was great to have two sets of eyes looking around. She found things I missed, and I found things she did. We came away with some great finds - a beautiful yellow quilt, a blue striped Pyrex bowl, a snowflake Pyrex gravy boat for Christmas dinners, lime green tiny Pyrex casseroles, some antique mason jars for wedding centerpieces, and a little blue vintage suitcase for me. She came away with some more Pyrex, and a mint condition Catherineholm Lotus plate. We almost missed that one!

Our next stop was the thrift shops in the area, where we found these Daisy casserole dishes for $1.99 and $2.99. I had originally thought the price tag said $7.99 because I haven't seen Pyrex that cheap in years. We also picked up some vintage sheets, some milk glass vases, and some more antique mason jars. I think Jer and I are all set in the mason jar department now.

Sheila gave me a great tip - if you want to find antique mason jars, head to the thrift shops in small towns. People out there will have kept them in their garages and basements for years, and will finally be getting rid of them. The larger ones were two for 99 cents and the smaller were three for 99 cents. A big difference from the $3-$10 per jar in antique malls. In Toronto I've only been able to find the newer jars in thrift shops, so I've been buying jars from antique malls for $3 a piece! I wish I had known this when we first started collecting them.

Afterwards we went to a local chain shop with a basement full of fabric. I could have spent days down there! I picked up some fleece to make cage liners, hammocks, and fleecey tubes for the chinchillas. I'll be going back to stock up when I need to, rather than buying online.

 We finished off the day with a craft room tour, a sneak peak of some quilting projects, some great conversation, and a visit to Sheila's vintage sheet "shop" (she sells beautiful vintage sheets on etsy). I picked up this great pile here. I'm tempted to use it to join in on the Oh My Stars! quilt along.

It was a great day, and I can't wait to do it again.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Pyrex Post

It's no secret that I love collecting Pyrex. It's such fun to seek out each piece, display, and mix and match them during dinner parties and even every day meals. When I first started collecting something I liked to do was search out pictures of stacks of Pyrex on flickr. I just loved the way the dishes looked all stacked up. Now that my collection has grown, I've been able to make some fun stacks of my own. I added two new spacesavers (that's the longer rectangle shaped dishes that come in two heights) this week, so it only made sense that I make a new stack.

I got the Starburst dish in the mail, and found this Black Rooster one in a thrift shop a few days back..

Both had been on my wish list for years.

A couple other stacks can be found here, here, and here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Right Now..

We are waiting for snow, although our garden thinks it's time for Spring. What strange weather we have been having!

Craft projects continue to grow, while others are just beginning.

New recipes are being tested out in the kitchen, while an illness calls for comfort food - and that means soup, and lots of it!

The holidays have been packed away until next year, which always leaves me feeling a little sad, but I am enjoying the handwork of others that has been brought into our home to enjoy for many years to come.

(Rainbow Dolls, Agnes Nyerges, and Bamboletta dolls)

There has been some thrifting, and hopefully soon some antique shopping.

There has also been the comfort of yearly traditions, even if this year is quite different from others and the winter doesn't seem so long and dark. Then of course there is the wonderful company of friends, family, and the furry ones who share our home.

I am trying to enjoy right now instead of only looking forward to what is to come over the next several months, which is a lot.

Homemade Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (cold)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut butter into cubes or small slices and squish together using your fingers. It should end up looking like crumbs.

In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and milk together with a fork. You're going to add this to the dry mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are coated, but don't mix too much. It should still be wet and chunky.

Cover your cutting board and your hands with flour. The mixture will be sticky. Move the mixture onto the cutting board and knead just a few times. I usually do it just four or five times. Flatten your mixture using your hands until it is about 3/4 of an inch thick. It doesn't need to be perfect. You want your biscuits to end up light and fluffy, and too much kneading and flattening will release too much air.

Cover a round cookie cutter or the open edge of a small cup (about 3 inches across) in flour and cut out your biscuits. You should hear a 'farting noise' each time you press down with your cutter. Place them in a lightly buttered pan and cook for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown).

Creamy Carrot Soup

1 chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
4.5 cups sliced carrots
1 large potato cubed
900 ml chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup fresh whipping cream
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pan or pot, and sautee the onions until they are transparent. Add the carrots, potato, broth, and ginger. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. Take off the heat source and let cool for about 20 minutes or so.

Slowly add 3-4 ladels of your mixture to your food processer. Blend until thick and creamy. Move the mixture to a second pot, and continue until you have finished with all the soup. Back on the heat source, slowly add in your cream and milk, and your salt and pepper. To make things more interesting you can add any other spices you like. Once heated, you're done!

*I find this recipe, as with most soups, to taste better the second day. It's also very filling, so don't be scared away by all the butter and cream. You'll probably only want a little.