Monday, August 31, 2009

Art Class

I took a watercolour painting class on Saturday afternoon. It was taught by the artist Kathryn McHolm, who had hosted the "In the Garden" event I attended in July. Not only is she a very talented gardener, with beautiful blooms to prove it (see photo, right), she is also an accomplished watercolourist.

I, on the other hand, am not. At least, not yet and not likely ever, based on this first lesson. I have a feeling that in the end, I will do better to try to capture what I see by camera rather than by paintbrush. And that's okay, it was a very pleasant experience regardless. We started off in Kathryn's studio, which I deeply covet, it is situated in a lovely little old barn at the back of her garden. Then we took our lawn chairs and headed across the road to her brother's farm, where we set up on a ridge overlooking a vast expanse of countryside and settled down to paint the view. Here is a picture of us getting our chairs organized. You can get an idea from this photo of the weather and the landscape we had to work with.

It was a very grey and cloudy vista to begin with but the longer we sat there, the more the weather cleared up, although it was quite windy and several times, my paint and/or my picture got blown over. I guess that is just one of the hazards of working outdoors. I can see why people enjoy the act of painting though, it was very relaxing and so nice to spend a few hours outside in the warm, fresh air.

Kathryn's sister, Lois, painted a picture of two rusty, old trucks that were sitting in a nearby shed. Here's what they looked like:

and here's Lois' painting which she very kindly let me take a photo of - isn't it wonderful? I especially like the colours she used.

We are planning to have another session sometime in September. I'd like to learn a bit more about mixing colours, getting the right combination to create the shade you are looking for. I know the basics of red plus yellow equals orange, blue plus red equals purple, etc. but somehow in the end, I usually end up with brown. I found the greens we needed to use for this landscape to be especially hard to create, so it would be nice to know how to mix the paint to get the right colours. In the meantime, I know learning any new skill takes practice and I shall play with my paints and just have fun with them.

Here is Kathryn's website, if you'd like more information on her work or her workshops: If you're in the Port Hope area on the weekend of September 12th and 13th, she'll be taking part in the Northumberland Hills Studio Tour - I highly recommend that you stop by to enjoy both her art and her garden.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Wrench By Any Other Name

Do you remember when you got your first apartment? If you were like me, you got all this inexpensive stuff from Ikea that had to be put together with a funny little thing called an Allen wrench? Also known as a hex key, inbus, zeta or unbrako according to Wikipedia. It is designed to fit into hexagonal shaped sockets to tighten them.
The Allen wrench name came about as the result of a trademark that was taken out by the Allen Manufacturing Company in 1943 - the tool became so popular, many now think this is the true name and that the tool was invented by someone named Allen.

It took me several years to discover that these little wrenches come in different sizes, that one size does not fit all, as my experience with Ikea furniture had suggested.

I also never knew what to do with the wrench once the bookcase or whatever was put together, because in my experience, you never took it apart again, even when you moved, so what did you need to keep the wrench for? Next time you bought something at Ikea, there would be another one in the box anyway!

Nevertheless, at the farm auction a few weeks ago, I picked up this lovely collection of wrenches. Like I said, I don't have any hexagonal sockets that need to be tweaked but I had to have these, mostly because of the wonderful wire wrapping that holds the wrenches onto the ring.

Here's a closeup photo of the wire wrapping. Aren't they fabulous?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fan Expo Toronto 2009

Are you a fantasy, science fiction, anime and/or comic book geek? Let me make it simple for you - are you wearing a Star Trek or action figure uniform while you're reading this? If so, the answer is a resounding yes.

If so, you might be interested to know that this weekend is the Fan Expo in Toronto. I don't know much about these events, waht they do there. I have visions of a bunch of people hanging around, discussing whether Superman or Batman would win a fight. I know there was something similar in Montreal a couple of weekends ago, the Worldcon science fiction show, because a photographer named Kyle Cassidy (whose blog I read now and again, mostly because he likes to post pictures of his cat Roswell, with whom he is writing a cookbook. I kid you not, would I make this stuff up??) attended that show and took photos of a number of the fans, some of whom were dressed in costume. Here's the link to one of his blog postings with a few sample shots: or you can check out the full set of photos on Flicker:

I always thought science fiction fans would be predominantly male but this does not appear to be the case, judging by the number of women Kyle photographed. Also, very few of them are in costume, which is probably a good thing. I find the idea of anyone spending large quantities of their free time dressed as Darth Vader somewhat alarming.

I really don't know much about the science fiction or fantasy genre. My comic book experience is pretty much limited to Archie and Richie Rich from way back when, before they were called "graphic novels." A friend of mine very kindly lent me the graphic novel prequel to the latest Star Trek movie, it's called "Star Trek Countdown". It's very cool, with glossy pages and very detailed drawings, and helps to explain the background of the movie which I find quite interesting, but in the end, I still find myself wondering why anyone would pay $22.95 for a 100 page comic book.

Spock himself, a.k.a. Leonard Nimoy, will be at the Fax Expo this weekend. If you are interested in attending, you can get the details here:

Or, if you're interested in a different type of fantasy genre, I hear they are selling tickets to the Bill Clinton appearance tomorrow at the CNE for only $5.00! ;)

P.S. Speaking of Star Trek, Max's Tribble reappeared tonight. It's been missing for a couple of weeks now, we found it tonight in the hall closet. I couldn't figure out why he was sitting in front of the open closet door, waiting patiently and watching something inside; I was afraid he had found some sort of bug but it turns out, he could see the tribble. He's been chasing it around ever since I pulled it out and I think he's even learned to play fetch, he has brought it to me several times for me to throw it for him! Such a clever boy. Here he is, looking nonchalant about the whole thing, although he's really just waiting for the Tribble to make the first move so he can pounce.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Watching the Clock?

The other day, Rachel Nelson-Smith posted this photo on Facebook of her bead bench (photo used with the artist's permission). Within a 3 minute window, 3 of us had commented back to her, "hey, what's with the stopwatch?!?" We all wanted to know if Rachel kept track of how long she had been beading. One woman advised that she likes to note how long it takes her to finish a project. It seemed to me that I remembered Rachel blogging once about how she doesn't usually bead for more than 2 hours at a time, in order to make sure she gets up and does something else for a while to give her muscles a rest.

It's important to stretch while you're beading. Lately, I've been suffering from very sore shoulders, which I think are my rotator cuffs, possibly rebelling at how much bead embroidery I've been doing lately. Or it could be an ergonomics issue, with the way my keyboard is set up at work or at home. Hard to say for sure, I just know my shoulders have been pretty darned sore. I'm going to avoid beading this weekend (if I can, it seems hard to imagine not doing anything for the entire two days!!) and see if that makes a difference.

At the Techniques nights at the Toronto Bead Society meetings, Marilyn Parker always stops the session after about half an hour or 45 minutes to lead everyone in stretching exercises, which always feel really good! I really should start doing that on a regular basis when I'm beading on my own.

The funny thing was, Rachel replied that she was using the timer for her morning tea, which needed to steep for 5 minutes. :)

Although she did advise that she tends to stop and stretch, especially her wrists, whenever she changes thread in a beadwork project. Not a bad idea, except that it seems to take me a long time to finish a thread if I am working on an embellishment, more quickly if I am making something out of square stitch or peyote. But it's definitely a good practice to stop every little while and stretch, take a little walk, do what you need to do to give your body a little break from the focused beading, whether you do or don't use a stopwatch.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BOGO at Beadfx

Speaking of BOGO (buy one, get one) as I was yesterday when discussing the Jangles Etsy sale, they are doing the same thing at Beadfx on Thursday nights, only they call it "Happy Hour Torching". You pay for an hour at the torch and get your second hour free.

I believe (but don't quote me) that you can buy a studio card for 10 hours for $100. As far as I am concerned, this is a great deal. For those of us who enjoy making lampwork beads but don't have the money, the desire or the location to set up our own studio, Beadfx has a great, safe and clean facility that you can use and if you're only paying $5 an hour, it's a tough deal to beat!

I just got back from a session there tonight, where I learned that the Happy Hour Torching program, which started this past spring, will be continuing on into the fall. Some Thursday nights are busier than others so it's always best to call ahead and book a torch in advance (there are 6 available in total).

The other benefit of HHT evenings is that resident lampwork artist extraordinaire, Dwyn Tomlinson, is there from 7 to 9 p.m. and is always willing to give pointers, answer questions, solve problems and/or let you watch while she creates her fabulous beads. If you're very lucky and ask her nicely or bribe her with cookies, she's also happy to give the occasional demo or two about a technique or a type of glass.

For example, tonight Dwyn was giving someone a quick demonstration on how to make a round bead, something I am not consistent with at all (I'm kind of partial to the irregularly shaped ones anyway!). Since I happened to be sitting at the torch next to her, I got the benefit of the lesson as well. Even though I've heard the technique before, seen her do it and even tried it myself before, tonight for some reason, it worked for me and I think I made at least 3 or 4 perfectly round beads. I'm so excited! I'll have to wait until I'm back at the store to get the finished product to be sure (did I mention that the Beadfx Bead Fairy is responsible for taking your beads out of the kiln the next morning after they are properly annealed and removing them from the mandrell? Again, you get a lot of value for your $5!!)

So I ask you:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jangles Etsy Sale

For those of you who enjoy ceramic beads and/or who admire the work of Jennifer Heynen, as I do, you will be interested to know that Jennifer is having a sale on her Jangles website. The sale starts today and runs until Monday the 31st.

For every item you purchase, you get a second item of equal or lesser price for 50% off. I've already checked out the items she has posted and yes, I did make a purchase!
I really like Jennifer's work - it's colourful, it's happy and her pieces are easy to incorporate into any number of designs. She made the green daisy bead I used in the pendant pictured above. If you're looking for ideas, you can check out her blog for ways to use her beads:

Here is the link to the Jangles Etsy site: http://http//

As you may recall, I took a class from Jennifer at the Bead and Button show this past June and learned how to make my own ceramic beads. Here's a picture of the necklace I made using one of the beads I made in her class (yes, I did copy her idea to use a peace sign, she told me it would be okay!):

I also had some fun with wire, creating a bail for this ceramic bead. Here are pictures of each side of the bead, so you can see my wire wrap creation:

Sadly, I learned that there is a downside to working with ceramic beads. If you drop them on another ceramic surface, they might chip. That is what happened to this bead with the wire bail, the necklace I made slipped out of my hand and landed on one of those large, antique ceramic crock pots and a piece of it broke it. Talk about heartbreaking! So don't say I didn't warn you, handle your jewellery with care and especially the ceramic beads.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

Do you remember that Steve Martin movie where he was jumping up and down with excitement and yelling, "The new phone book's here, the new phone book's here!!!"? (I never actually saw the movie but I believe he was excited to see his name in print.) I felt a little bit like that today, only in my case, I was excited that "Marcia's new book is here! Marcia's new book is here!"

That's right, I picked up my copy of Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence today (and I got my exercise in by walking to the post office to pick it up, a distance of 40 minutes or about 2.5 km.)

I had ordered the book when I took one of Marcia's classes at the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee this past June. She had an advance copy of the book with her at the class, as well as several samples of the actual pieces with her, which were just delightful to touch and hold. The photographs in the book are fabulous but it is just that much better to see the items in person. The designs are so rich, so beautiful and yes, so opulent.

Naturally, I couldn't resist, I just had to order a copy of the book for myself right then and there. The book I received is also signed by the author, personalized to me, now that we are close, personal friends (see photo on the left, taken in Milwaukee), which is also quite lovely to have.

The focus of the book is patterns made with the right angle weave stitch, which I don't have much experience with as yet. I tried it a couple of weeks ago and it wasn't really coming together, so I'm looking forward to reading this book and getting the lowdown on the technique from someone who is a master at it!

If you'd like to see some of Marcia's designs, you'll want to cruise your mouse over this link and check out her blog posting from August 24th:, which showcased 3 of her beautiful pieces.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Outdoor Antique Show

I attended another antique show this past Saturday. It was held at the Brampton Fair Grounds but unlike the one I went to in May, this one was quite pleasant weather-wise. It was a cloudy morning, which meant it wasn't too hot and there was no rain, so everything was dry and well displayed. I did notice that there weren't nearly as many vendors or attendees as there have been in years past, no doubt that is a sign of the times.

I really admire the way some people go to a lot of trouble to present their offerings in an appealing way. A lot of vendors sort of jumble everything onto a table, and if it is something like these bits and pieces of hardware, that makes sense (I'd love to see what Susan Lenart Kazmer could do with that assortment!) But others take the time to arrange things very cleverly. For example, I had to take a picture of this display - there was just something about the silver tea service on the ice cream parlour table with the fishing poles leaning up against it! Surely Beatrix Potter wrote a story that could use a setting like this?

I also liked the way this collection of items was displayed against the wall of one of the buildings - I thought the curling broom put together with the vintage curling sweater was a great idea!

I have one booth I always look for now, I believe I mentioned this couple when I wrote about the show in May - he has old tools and keys and things like that for sale, she has buttons and vintage fabrics and various knick knacks available. I picked some more buttons from her, again beautifully presented on decorated cards, and several skelton keys from him, plus a little wooden box to keep them in.

I have quite a few buttons collected now and I haven't done very much with them, I'm going to have to get busy and make something clever with them. I think these little pearl buttons will look pretty dangling off a piece of jewellery somehow, I'll have to do some experimenting with them. The two large red toggle buttons could very useful as well.

However, I did resist buying the collector edition of Elvis Pez dispensers. I know, I know, no home should be without something like this but really, I just had to say no. :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Something is on the way

The question is, is it snow or is it babies??

I know, it's still August and we've just had two whole weeks of super hot weather so I shouldn't even be mentioning the "w" word, but we had a visitor at the cottage today - a cute little red squirrel who was busy removing the soft cotton lining from our BBQ cover and carrying it off to her nest. We were sitting in the dining room playing Yahtzee near the screen door, when my sister heard this chewing noise (how she heard it over the clatter of 5 rolling dice on a wooden table, I don't know!). She went outside to investigate and the squirrel ran up the nearest tree but stopped to chatter at us with the white fluff still in her mouth. No doubt, she didn't want to show us where she was headed.

But what does it mean?? Is she getting ready for a new litter of baby squirrels or is she getting ready for an early winter??? I certainly hope it is the former, as the ever-informative Internet tells me that red squirrels have two breeding seasons per year, March to May and July to September.

I am praying it doesn't mean an early winter, we've just barely had a taste of summer. I know I'm not the only one hoping for a long, warm fall season.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mad Men Yourself

Do you watch the TV show "Mad Men", about advertising executives on Madison Avenue in the early 1960's? Season 3 started this past week. I've seen all of Season 1 and a few episodes of Season 2. I especially love seeing the recreation of that late 50's lifestyle, the clothes, the cars, the social interactions.

Did you know you can make yourself into a Mad Men character? The Dixon Chick did and has the result posted as her Facebook photo, she was the one who told me about this website:

You pick out your sex, skin colour, body type, shape of your head (?!), hair colour, whether or not you want a swanky hat, hairstyle (gee, only one available with super straight hair like mine? there's a surprise!), eyes (with or without glasses), eyebrows, the shape of your nose (this was the hardest, I found!), your mouth (with or without cigarette), the colour and style of your clothes (I picked an outfit similar to one I actually own! who knew capri pants have been around that long?) and your "extras" - which in my case, consisted of a necklace and a martini! Last but not least, you pick a scene - whether you are standing in a kitchen, at the Sterling Cooper office, in the boudoir, etc.

Here's the result: me dressed casually, having a drink with a handsome dude in a bar. Whaaatt??? Nope, that so didn't work. So I switched the scene to a more appropriate picnic setting:

and then went back to change my look for my date with Mr. Gorgeous (a.k.a. Don Draper, in my dreams!) - much better result!

Then, just for fun, I went back one more time and did myself up as the guy! Yes, I resisted the urge to choose the pirate eye patch (yes, Rachel, you know you'll want to pick that one!) and went with the more conservative, office look - with a pipe, just to be cool.

Isn't it time you Mad Menned yourself??

Friday, August 21, 2009

What a Storm!

In case you haven't heard, we had quite a stormy evening last night in Southern Ontario. Heavy rain, a little bit of hail and for some, tornadoes - as many as six, I heard today. Over 200 homes in the Vaughan/Woodbridge area might need to be torn down as a result. Worst of all, one poor 11 year old boy lost his life and several people were injured.

It's true that Nature can be a cruel and vicious visitor at times. And yet, just as there is often a silver lining to every grey cloud, so too can Nature provide us with some wondrous experiences. The double rainbow that appeared just after the storm passed through my neighbourhood is one such example. Hopefully, you can see it in this photo, it's very faint but it's definitely there, to the right of the more obvious rainbow:

Of course, I had to check this out on Wikipedia, which pointed out that the second rainbow has the colours in reverse order to the first one. I didn't notice this last night but now that I look at the photo again, I can see that! A rainbow appears when the sun shines into drops of water in the Earth's atmosphere. The second rainbow is caused by a double reflection of sunlight within the raindrops. It's all rather scientific, it's probably better if you read it for yourself, if you are so inclined:

It was certainly one of the clearest rainbows I have ever seen and I could see where it ended at ground level. As you can see from this second photo, it seemed to end right on top of this house, or at least, in the park across the street from it.

I was tempted to rush down and look for the leprechaun and his pot of gold that is said to be found at the end of a rainbow, but as Wikipedia points out, this is merely an optical effect - as the viewer walks towards it, it will move farther away. Good thing I didn't go chasing after it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Happy Anniversary

Best wishes to my friend Heather and her husband Andy, who are celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary today. Someone who makes beautiful jewellery with little birdies told me that Andy had ordered a very special gift for Heather to give her today (I'm guessing she has received it by now, so I don't think I am spoiling the surprise but I'm posting late, just in case) and now we are both anxiously waiting to see if she likes it (I know she will!). He sounds like a totally romantic guy - he went to great pains to special order this gift and make sure it was delivered by courier before they left for vacation 2 weeks ago, so he would have it to give to her on their trip and I'm told he plans to give it to her on the very spot where they got married, how sweet is that?? I'm trying to figure out how to clone him, but in the meantime, check out these pictures I took of them the other day - don't they make a cute couple?! Congratulations, lovebirds! xo

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beads of Colour

There is a lovely little bead store on the Main Street of Dundas, ON called "Beads of Colour", which my friend Heather and I discovered yesterday. It is filled with all sorts of bead supplies, either displayed nicely on the walls and tables within the store or very cleverly stored in space saving cabinets and drawers - they really do have a lot of stuff packed into a very small space. I don't mean to suggest that you feel cramped while you're in the store, you don't at all - it's just that if you look around for a certain something and don't see it, be sure to ask because they probably have it, it just might not be immediately visible to the untrained eye.

Heather and I spent at least an hour puttering about the store, checking everything out. They had some very unusual beads and components in stock, things that I haven't seen in other places. For example, these funky flower power sequins:

They actually had quite a big selection of vintage sequins, both Heather and I bought several in various sizes, shapes (i.e. round or star-shaped) and colours (pink, red, silver, turquoise, brown and gold). I'm not entirely sure what I will end up doing with them but I'm excited to add them to my stash.
I also picked up these unusually shaped beads, I think they are lucite. They came in all sorts of colours, but I picked these ones because I've been collecting components in pink, orange and white ever since June when I got some very special beads at the Bead and Button show. However, I haven't done anything with them yet and summer is almost over - must...get...busy on that project!!

They also have many interesting types of chain available, and again, nothing like I have seen before in other bead stores. Heather and I both bought a metre of this copper daisy chain to make a bracelet like one they had made up in the store. Perhaps I can prevail upon Heather to send me a picture of her finished piece and I will post it together with mine, so you can see what we made. I have a feeling both of us will make something similar to the store's sample and yet each put our own different twist on it. Stay tuned.

They also offer a huge variety of classes there. I picked up a copy of their brochure, which, amazingly, lists all of the classes they will be offering between October and February - 74 of them! Saturday, September 19th is registration day and the store opens at 9:30 that day so people can sign up. I have this vision of beaders lined up around the block, waiting to get in and register! I must just end up being one of those people when the time comes.

You can download a list of the classes and check out their website here: If you need to look up directions to the store, I would recommend using Google Maps and keying in "65 Main Street West, Dundas", which will give you accurate results, because Mapquest got us totally lost (turns out, both Hamilton and Dundas have Main Streets and they join together!).

All I can say is, I have a feeling it will be dangerous for me to know that I have yet another fantastic bead store located only about a 40 minute drive from where I live!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Road Trip With Heather

My friend Heather is vacationing here in Ontario with her family and we've been try to arrange getting together for the past week and a half, and finally able to coordinate our schedules to be able to spend today together.

We checked out a couple of bead stores in Oakville, one called the "Beady i" which was nice enough, if you hadn't already been thoroughly spoiled by the selection offered by Beadfx and Bead Junction, and the other called KnitOneBeadTwo (love the name!) which was primarily a knitting store but also sold an assortment of beads.

We had lunch at a very cool cafe on the main drag in Oakville called Isabella's Pasta Cafe. We poked around a few other shops there, including a kitchen store which had a large selection of cake decorating sprinkles - here's picture of them, all lined up on the shelf - don't they look like beads???

Then we headed to our main destination, Beads of Colour in Dundas - more about that tomorrow, I'm too pooped to write much more tonight - you know that weary feeling when you've had a long, lovely day doing something quite enjoyable? That's how I feel right now, too tired to use my brain much more but not quite ready for bed just yet.

Suffice it to say, Beads of Colour was a lovely shop, as Kate had told me back in May after she taught there. We met the delightful Barb but didn't meet the owner, Debi, because she was at home getting packed to go to Beadfest in Philadelphia tomorrow, lucky girl!

Here's a picture of me and my buddy at the end of our lovely day together.

We were sorry our other Puerto Vallarta beading pals, Colleen, Stefanie and Kate, couldn't be with us today. But we know they were there in spirit, especially when the first thing we saw as we drove into Milton, our first stop on our road trip, was this dragon lamp, exactly like the one Kate found in Mexico:

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Beat Goes On...

Kate McKinnon's Soul Cleaning Sale continues this week. I was up at the cottage for the weekend - two fabulously hot, sunny days - summer has finally arrived! About time too, it's the middle of August already!! But the joys of lakeside living mean no Internet access which meant I missed all sorts of goodies from Kate's sale over the past two days but I will continue to check back frequently this week to see what else is posted.

I'm checking her site so often, it's starting to feel like I'm stalking her beads stash. I guess that's one of the signs of a true bead addiction, someone tells you they are cleaning out their stuff and you are all over their website like a rash! I've been tempted by several things today but some more seriously than others. Some things have been sold before I make up my mind, and a couple were inadvertently lost due to a minor technological glitch that meant Paypal wouldn't recognize international shipping charges (but that minor problem has been sorted now), leaving me with a slight tinge of regret but knowing it only means those pieces just weren't meant to be mine. No doubt they have gone to a good home regardless. I just have to be patient and wait for the next treasure with my name on it to be posted.

Here's a couple of things I wanted but alas, didn't get: The Delicious Segment and the Mysterious Link, so named by Kate - one because it was made up of a bunch of small components, strung together to be one larger piece, and the other because the three pieces are joined together in a rather unusual fashion (which I really like for some reason).

Speaking of blogs - do you follow anyone's blog regularly, besides mine? :) (and thank you for reading!) I read Kate's every day and often several times a day, as she tends to post frequently about whatever is going on in the world and/or her mind. I have a list of blogs saved in my Favourites, mostly written by beady people, and try to read them every day. It's so disappointing when people don't post for a while (you know who you are!). I'm not saying people have to post every day, but for some bloggers, weeks and even months go by without an update and you think, hey, we're here, wanting to know what you're making or thinking or doing but you're ...not there, what's up with that?? Get writing, people! Show us what you're making, tell us what you're thinking about! Enquiring minds want to know!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Auction Purchases

The first thing I bought at the farm auction last week was a collection of pieces, consisting of a small lime green cupboard door with a vintage latch, the top of a 1960's or '70's school desk, a square piece of wood fashioned into a table top and a white box-like structure that might be an open shelf. All 4 pieces for $1. What a bargain!!

I quickly realized each of these items was bulky and I needed a way to get them back to my car, which was at least 100 yards away, so I bought a bundle buggy, complete with its own bungie cord and heavy cardboard liner, for $3.

Then I bought a bushel basket full of 18 quart-sized Mason jars, very clean but with no lids. I figure they'll be good for storing bits and pieces of my bead stash.

My beloved, very smart sister scored me this lovely, homemade trestle table. It was standing on a large piece of plywood and they auctioned both pieces together. Janine figured the guy who bought them, for only $7, was probably after the good price on the plywood and sure enough, he gladly sold her the table for $2. Isn't it the coolest? I especially like the ropes that keep the table legs from spreading too far apart.

I got this vintage metal plant stand as part of a job lot for a whopping $9.00, that was my most expensive item of the day. It came with a tray full of neat looking bits and pieces that I am looking forward to sorting through.

There were a few other small treasures combined with these purchases, but I'll save the details on those items for another day.

Don't forget, while I'm bringing more stuff into my collection, Kate McKinnon continues to cleanse her soul and her closets. Click the link on the right to see what is available right now and check back often for the next few days, rare treasures at bargain prices are being posted frequently!!