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the secret is out … plus my Sweet Salvage finds…

I can now share with you some exciting news about another big party scheduled for my new back patio.

In January, I’ll be throwing a baby shower for my dear friend, Tram Mai. She and her husband, Stephen, are expecting twins in March!

Beautiful Mommy to bePhoto credit

Yep, petite Tram is carrying twins! Crazy Wonderful! She and Stephen shared the glorious news with Dave and me over the weekend. Then Tram announced it on her show, EVB Live, yesterday. You can watch her sweet surprise live-on-air announcement HERE. I could not be happier for her!

Since it is now quite obvious that I’m not posting a recipe today, how about I also share with you my fun finds from last week’s Sweet Salvage sale?

fairbank precision scale

This is the porcelain enamel scale that I so badly wanted to get.

0 on the mark

Maybe I can incorporate it into the baby shower decor.

porcelin scale

Until then, it has found a new home in our breakfast room.

new home for vintage scale

I promise you that I will not be incorporating these creepy freaky doll parts in the baby shower decorations…

freaky stuff

They, along with the skull and flashcard, are for my Halloween mantel.

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September 26, 2013   3 Comments

Best day of the month – Sweet Salvage opening day

Today is my favorite day of the month! It is the third Thursday and that means one thing – it is opening day for the 4-day Sweet Salvage Sale!

The theme this month is “Hallowed Haven” and I’ve already had a sneak peek at all the wonderfulness!

Sweet Salvage preview party

Yep, last night, Peggy and I attended the Preview Party. We and 98 other guests scoped out all the fabulous finds and made long lists and strategic plans on what we wanted and just how we were going to get it!

preview party

Our personal strategy? Peggy goes one direction and has 6 treasures on her list (2 for her and 4 for me) while I go the opposite direction and snag 7 finds (4 for her and 3 for me). I hope our plan works, I shall keep you posted!


Remember how I was one of the lucky VIP 15-minute early entry recipients last month?  This month they had a really fun theme game going – it all centered around the board-game CLUE. You must to go to their Facebook page and see how amazingly creative these women are. They blow my mind!

top hat skull

Here is your own personal sneak peek – the doors open at 10 AM, I hope to see you there. Look for me, I plan to be at the front of the line!


scaredy cat [


September 19, 2013   3 Comments

Sweet Salvage purchase update

salvaged tin

After the July Sweet Salvage sale and in my subsequent “what I bought” post, I promised to show and tell you what I did with the tin molding piece I purchased. You may recall that I wanted to use it as a window valance.

The need for a valance arises from that fact that I can’t stand looking at the nasty metal venetian blinds in our master bath for another minute.


Problem was – the tin piece was about 10-inches too short to cover the full width of the window. It took over a month, but I finally solved the length issue when I found two square tin ceiling tiles, one for each side of the long piece.

vintage tin valance

Since this window is in the shower/toilet/tub area of the bathroom, full coverage is needed in the morning and at night, but during the day I like to pull up the blinds to bring in light and see out onto the backyard.

tin valance

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August 22, 2013   2 Comments

the Sweet Salvage occasional sale

place cards


If you’ve read this blog for more than a month or two, you already know that I adore Sweet Salvage and their occasional sale. I’ve written about my monthly obsession nearly two dozen times in the last two years. Sweet Salvage is only open the 3rd Thursday of each month for four days. The rest of the month the über-talented “Sweet Gang” are out “picking” new merchandize and using it to create mindbogglingly beautiful vignettes – all centered around a fun monthly theme. I’m consistently blown away by the gorgeous scenes these ladies set with their well-priced vintage finds.

sweet salvage storefront


This weekend, Sweet Salvage celebrates its 2-year birthday with the “Chapter Two” themed sale.

pig mold


Each month on the Sweet Salvage Facebook page, there are questions posted that followers may answer to then be entered into a contest. The names of a lucky five are drawn. Then the chosen few receive VIP 15-minute early entry into the sale on the highly anticipated opening day.

mustard pot


Guess who was one of the lucky five to be drawn as a winner this month.  Yeah, ME!


I didn’t realize I’d won until I was sent an alert that blog-follower, Betsy, had tagged me in a FB comment. Thank you Betsy for the heads up!

shopping bag

I invited Sheila as my BSB (best shopping buddy) and we had the best time with our 15 minutes of stress free, first pick, shopping spree. Maybe too much fun in my case. Here is part of what I snagged this month at Sweet Salvage. Ooh, and they gave us a burlap shopping bag too. Sweet!

I’m going to begin with my favorite find this month, instead of close with it. That is how EXCITED I am to have found it.

crepe plate

It is a 12-inch round, 2-inch high metal plate with a list of recipe ingredients around the perimeter.

crepe ingredients

Can you figure out what these ingredients make?  (1  1/4 cups flour; pinch of salt; 3 eggs, beaten; 1  1/2 cups milk; 2 tbsp butter, melted)

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August 17, 2013   3 Comments

July Sweet Salvage


I know, I know – it would be nice if I’d post a recipe today since I missed posting so many days this month due to vacation. So sorry, but we ate the second foil packet for dinner last night, so I got nothing for you today … recipe-wise.

I have something WAY better!



My vintage finds from this month’s sale at Sweet Salvage! I was pretty bummed when I realized that I was going to be out-of-town for the 3rd Thursday of the month. I’m usually there, standing in line with the other Sweet devotees, when the doors open at 10:00.

Even though I’ve gone on Fridays, Saturdays, and even on Sundays in the past, I feared that all the “good stuff” would be gone by the time I got there this past Sunday afternoon.

Not so! In fact, I couldn’t even buy all that I wanted. I had to really edit myself and use every ounce of my limited self-control to not spend four times more than I spent.

want so bad


For instance, I did not buy that fabulous vintage “Log Cabin Bread” display stand at the top of the page. Oh, I wanted that so bad! And I did not buy the wonderful cabinet pictured above, although I went back and forth on “where I would put it” – I just couldn’t justify spending the money, so it was left behind.

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July 23, 2013   9 Comments

Sweet Salavage – May Sale

I bought a ton at the May Sweet Salvage sale. Wanna see it all?
YAY, I’m excited and happy to show you!

ironstone and more

Let’s begin with some of the more fragile finds.

late 1800's Gem Ironstone brown transferware covered dish

There were two lovely Ironstone brown transfer-ware covered dishes. I couldn’t decide between them – so I got them both.

ironstone transferware

I researched the markings on the bottom of each and found that they are from that late 1800′s.

marking and value

I further found a match to the second one for sale at an auction site online. Trust me, I paid nothing close to $150 for my two dishes!

3 pitchers

The three little Ironstone hotel creamers are adorable. Two of them have markings, I haven’t had a chance to look them up yet.

The creamer on the left is from the New Southern Hotel in Jackson, Tennessee – you can read about the hotel’s storied history HERE. The center creamer came from the Hotel St. Charles in Winnipeg, built in 1913. The one on the right is from The Belmont. There are many Belmont Hotels all over the world, I have no idea which one this creamer is from.

little plates

I actually purchased two of these little gems at the April sale, but since I didn’t post about it, I thought I’d share them with you now.

I especially love the Ironstone brown transfer-ware butter pat dish. Sheila picked up four of five of these cuties too. The adorable flower thing is about as big as my thumb. That is the marking on the bottom of it. I think it’s half of a salt and pepper shaker pair.

The small square dish is from the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, a 5-star hotel in Paris, France that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

heart of Paris map

Looking at the little hotel dish everyday, makes me long to be back in Paris!

The rectangular dish has the image of THIS on it.

Ready for more?  This batch is mostly metal stuff.

metal stuff

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May 21, 2013   1 Comment

package/wrap tote – courtsey of Sweet Salvage

Three weeks ago, my favorite lifestyle blogger, Heather Bullard, posted THIS.


Image via HeatherBullard.com

I was inspired to create a packaging/wrapping tote of my own. I decided to wait the three weeks until the next Sweet Salvage event to see if I could find the perfect container.


As always, the ladies at Sweet Salvage did not disappoint! Not only did I find this fantastic tote and vintage Arizona Winter Sweet Orange crate, but two dozen-plus additional treasures too!

Blue Goose Growers Inc

I’m not quite certain what I’ll do with the Blue Goose Growers, Inc. crate yet, but I couldn’t pass it up. Loved the imprint with Tempe, Ariz. on the sides. I found this 1950′s label for sale online. I’m tempted to purchase one and attach it to the front of the crate. I’ll have to sleep on that…

Arizona Citrus label

It was an especially good month at the once-monthly sale! I’ll show you my other purchases in the next post, but today I’m going to focus on what I’ve done with the wooden tote.

package and wrap tote

After stenciling on the front, I loaded that puppy up in no time!

shipping lables, muslin bags and glassine envelopes

Shipping labels, muslin and flat glassine bags.

vellum and glass

Vellum envelops and mini corked bottles.

clay tags

Clay kitchen tags for baked goods and other food gifts. Numbered clay tags and the entire alphabet for unique and personalized gift tags.

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May 20, 2013   7 Comments

sweet salvage and souvenir

Yesterday was once again the third Thursday of the month, which means that I made my monthly pilgrimage to Sweet Salvage.

grocery scale

The March theme is “Backroads & Blooms” – absolutely perfect for the first week of spring. But of course it is, those Sweet Salvage women never disappoint!

silver stuff

Along with this basket full of little silver and glass trinkets, I purchased a super cool vintage industrial parts drawer chest.

my buy

The metal chest of drawers can be seen on the table top above, it is right there behind the glass pedestal dessert dome. And that’s all I bought. It may be a new record for the least amount of stuff I’ve hauled out of there at one time. Which makes me think I should make a return visit before the weekend is over!


I loved this other industrial find, a set of gym locker cubbies, but it’s just too big, I’d have nowhere to put such a thing.

clock base

I absolutely adore this idea of using a clock as the base plate for a tall cloche. I’ll be stealing this look for sure!

The awesomeness of Sweet Salvage has not gone unnoticed. As I mentioned a couple months back, my favorite lifestyle blogger and magazine editor, Heather Bullard, made the trip from California for a visit.

the magazine

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March 22, 2013   No Comments

meant to be…


At the January Sweet Salvage sale I spotted something “fabulous” as I was standing in the check out line. It was something very similar to a thing I’ve been dreaming about for months now. I looked at the price, looked at all the stuff I already planned to purchase, and knew I could not have it all. I let the “fabulous thing” slip away. 

Jan Sweet Salavage

(Hint #1 – the “fabulous thing” is in the photo above. I swiped this image from the Sweet Salvage blog. Can you guess what it is?)

For the rest of the month, I regretted not putting everything else I had in my hands down and getting the “fabulous thing” instead. But I held on to a glimmer of hope that “fabulous thing” would not be sold and would still be there when I returned for the February sale.

Kim and I walked into the door on the Friday morning of the February sale, and I headed straight for where it had been the last month.  And…

IT was still there!

Feb Sweet Salvage

(Hint #2 – the “fabulous thing” is also in the February Sweet Salvage photo above – this image is also swiped from their blog. Do you spot it yet?)

I was so relieved! After being filled with regret all month long, it was still there, a sure sign that I was meant to have it! At least that’s the ‘sign’ I read.

(Hint #3 – I’ve been dreaming of this fabulous thing ever since I first learned that such a thing even existed. I had seen something very similar to it on the blog of the talented person I  love to stalk.  A year and a half ago, I read THIS post on Heather Bullard’s blog and have been coveting the item ever since.)

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March 7, 2013   2 Comments

new view

This photo was taken during summer cooking classes. Although the two students in the foreground are fabulous – what I want you to focus in on is the background. The view through the window behind the kids.

It is the view I’ve looked at everyday for the last four years … ever since we did a complete remodel on our backyard.

In 2008 we expanded our backyard, taking down the existing block fence and pushing out to the back and to the west. Putting up a new block fence. In the process, as my neighbors probably recall, there was the unfortunate incident of hitting a gas line and closing down the street for a couple hours with the fire department on hand. (Good times!)

We dug out the existing kidney-shaped diving pool, filled it in and put in a new play pool with a spa, waterfall, and a swim up bar that has you eating and drinking while watching me cooking away into the new sunken outdoor kitchen.

We tore off the existing patio cover and deck, boarded up the two upstairs doors, so that one of us didn’t somehow forget there was no deck to step out onto and fall to our death! Making the back of the house look like a tornado had come through. Then put up a new patio cover, more than triple in depth. Tore out all of the existing landscape, except for four citrus trees, one fig tree, one queen palm, and the orchid tree.

Oh, and by the way, one very important note here – when I say “we”  – I mean that “we” hired FANTASTIC contractors to do all that. (if you need a general contractor, a plumber, a landscape designer, an electrician, a painter… let me know, because I love those guys!) We only lifted a finger to write out the checks. So many checks!

Here’s a very fuzzy zoomed in shot of what I see out that window. And it’s not the pool I’m focusing on today, it the patio furniture.

This is a photo of the remodeled covered patio, just after it was completed in April, 2008.

Dave and I received the patio table and four chairs (along with 2 chaise lounges and a side table) as a wedding shower gift, in 1985.

Yep, the set is 27 years old. I’ve had it repainted and re-strapped twice, so about every 9 years… making it again due for a makeover.

And although it has served us well, it is time for it to move on to another family… along with many other items from my home.

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November 8, 2012   3 Comments