Friday, April 22, 2011

Feedsack Friday! and a few Victory Garden Photos!

Hello Everyone!

I hope all of you readers are  having a fabulous holiday weekend! In honor of Earth Day and the Spring-like weather (or technically more Summer/desert-like here in Texas at the moment...) I have a few photos of one of my favorite floral feedsack designs photographed in my garden.

The Tomatillos are plotting to take over the entire porch!
So far the Victory garden is going quite well, I have only had one casualty. One of my tomato plants is mysteriously dying. I am not quite sure why but the Roma tomato plant as well as the cherry tomato plant are thriving. I have tomatillos setting right now as well, I cannot wait to make home made salsa from them in a few weeks! More of my recent photos can be found on my Flickr AND my tomatillo bloom photo I posted a few weeks ago was featured in a post on Offbeat Home! *insert bragging link here*

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday and now it is time to go make a pretty drink and go sit out on the porch!  I will leave you with one last photo of the eggplant that is about to bloom...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The last memory of the cool season...

The summer heat has officially arrived in Texas. Lately it feels like the whole world is on fire, mainly because of the 90 degree weather and because I have been waking up to ash covering my garden each morning from the fires spreading across the state.

 Today's outfit post is of the last "cool" day that I expect to see until November. It was taken a few weeks ago at the local winery where we went out for birthday drinks with a friend. I am still getting used to this whole posing for photos aspect of this blog but eventually I will get better. Here I am wearing my favorite Nudeedudee rayon puffed sleeve blouse, denim sailor style pants from Allure Original Styles, vintage Orlon sweater, Miss L Fire shoes, and snood from Arthelia's Attic!
Hope everyone is having a lovely week! Here's one last photo of the vinyards. As you can tell it is a bit dry here, hopefully we will get rain soon...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Round Top Madness! Part 2

So now the post that you have all been waiting for - the goodies!

My first purchase of the day I do not have a photo of because it's in the sink waiting to be washed, but I was able to get an awesome deal on a Fire King Jadite mixing bowl! It's the same style as this one seen here on Etsy. I'm really excited, I love jadite. When I get a bigger kitchen I'm hoping to get a whole set of them in different sizes to use for my everyday baking.

Next I hit the Bakelite shop while the boys were off looking for camera parts. Here I purchased one bangle and two broaches.
Green carved bangle and AMAZING pineapple broach.

I could not resist this tropical wonder, I can't wait to wear it out!

And another photo of the great anchor I found.
 After chatting for a while with the Bakelite lady, I wandered down to find one of the vintage fabric stores that had an amazing collection of feedsacks. I was good and only purchased two that I absolutely love for less than what I would have paid if they had come up on eBay which made me really happy. This red and blue cactus feedsack below is absolutely outstanding. The color is perfect, I don't know any other way to describe it AND it is still in feedsack form. I think this is one that I will keep in the collection rather than use as a project it's so beautiful.
I do love my southwestern prints....
 The other feedsack I purchased was the cutest novelty print I've seen in a while. It's not still in the sack form but it will be great for a project. I'm thinking it would make a gorgeous puffed sleeved blouse from Miss Kim....
Isn't this adorable?
 Those were my "big" purchases for the day, my husband on the other hand found all sorts of goodies. He got a new vintage leather camera bag (which I don't have a photo of) that's got some great leather tooling with a southwestern theme. He also purchased two large ceramic crocks, a 1960's Navy wool coat, and this amazing photo album that he wants to use for some form of art project, which means I get dibs on all the awesome photos! This is filled with vintage photos from vacations that appear to be from the early to mid 1950's. I'm planning on scanning some of these in, there are some great photos of the Redwood National Forrest in here.
 Last but not least, we also purchased a pair of these chairs seen below. They're absolutely gorgeous. We've been needing two extra kitchen chairs for some time as we have only had 3 that function so it makes for some awkward situations when guests are over. These we got for a great deal, $50 below the asking price.
Overall we had a great time and I cannot wait to go back next year! Hopefully I'll take more photos of the festivities rather than just running around and looking at things (even though that was lots of fun...)

Round Top Madness! Part 1

Tents and buildings line the sides of the road for miles and miles.
 Thanks everyone for all the great comments on my last post! Last night while looking through all the photos I had of our adventure as well as all the goodies we bought I figured I would break this up into two posts. If you love antiques and all things vintage, Round Top is definitely one of the events you must go to at least once in your lifetime!

Anyways, we arrived Saturday morning on the next to the last day of the show around 10 A.M. We decided this year to hit Warrenton first, as it was the farthest away and traffic at the Round Top Festival is notorious for being horrible. Last time we went, we made the mistake of stopping at some of the surrounding towns first and ended up sitting in a line of traffic so slow we moved less than 3.5 miles in an hour. By going to Warrenton first (which was farthest away from home) we were able to hit some of the most popular shops early in the day without sitting in traffic. Our choice of going on Saturday this year rather than Sunday also improved the selection. We discovered that most of the vendors pack up on Saturday before the last day of the show (Sunday) so that they can leave quickly, because of this everyone was willing to "negotiate" or "make a deal", unlike when we went on Sunday last time. It was bargaining heaven, I did not pay full price for anything we purchased!

Below are a few of my terrible photos I took while running around shopping that day. My husband took more "artistic" photos but since he has not edited them I'll wait to show you the links to those later. I think the most important thing to remember if you go to Round Top is to have a specific list of items you want to buy and a budget of what you want to spend on each item. This is really what kept me in check all day. There were home accessories, vintage western items, cooking equipment, furniture, and gadgets everywhere so it was easy to get distracted.
$60 Vintage Mixer with original instruction book - My husband would not let me take it home :(

Bakelite Heaven
 For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have seen some of my live Tweeting about the Bakelite vendor I found. She had some of the most amazing pieces I had ever seen in person and I'm really glad I had put a budget on what I was allowed to spend. Since I bought several pieces (which I will post in a little bit), she gave me 20% off each piece and I was able to stay in my budget (YAY!). She had some of the most beautiful items, one of which was the carved clamper bracelet with matching earrings. They were absolutely gorgeous to look at, but way out of my price range. What I did fall head over heals in love with was the red anchor pin which I was wearing in my last post.
I loved it so much I had to wear it!
 She also had a large selection of bangles and necklaces as well as some great books on identifying different styles of Bakelite. I stayed and chatted with her for a good 45 minutes until it was time for me to meet up with the men again for lunch (they thought Bakelite was boring so they had left me to go search for vintage camera equipment). I am hoping to run into her again in a few weeks at the City Wide Garage Sale in Austin which she recommended I go to. Apparently it is a great place to find even better deals than Round Top....

 Here are a few more photos of how some of the shops were set up and some of the goodies I saw like the vintage girls sunglasses on the original card seen above. One thing about Round Top though is there is never a shortage of glass collectibles. It is literally EVERYWHERE. This year I was not really focusing on it as much as I had on our previous adventure when I was shopping for centerpieces for our wedding but I still grabbed a photo so you could see what it looked like.
Who needs Anthropologie when you can stock up on kitchen accessories here?
 In terms of vintage clothing, we saw lots of late 1890's through early 1920's items but from what the Bakelite lady told me, we missed out on most of the good stuff from the 1930's - 1950's. Apparently the opening weekend is the time to come for the good vintage clothing deals because they sell rather quickly.

The furniture we saw was fantastic. I could have furnished 3 houses with everything I fell in love with that day. One piece in particular was the one seen below. I absolutely love this style and one day hope to own something similar but for now I have no room! 

Here's an example of one of the outdoor tents filled with hidden treasures.
 I think one of the greatest things about Round Top is all the hidden gems you can find. A lot of the times some of the vendors who are not experts at every item they have can overlook a few things. For instance our friend Ivan who came with us found 2 working vintage light meters for his camera worth 5 times the price he paid for them as well as a rare vintage camera in working condition worth over $350 that he paid $60 for. If you search through some of the more cluttered and random shops you can find some spectacular deals.
I love the stuffed vintage horse!
 Finally I shall leave you with a photo of my favorite item that I have no room for but one day would love to own of the day! It's a piece from one of the old grocery markets or feed stores that serves as a counter top as well as drawers holding stock. The glass squares on the front would be filled with whatever item was filled in the drawer, and when people would come into the shop they would point at the drawer, tell the worker how much they wanted and the worker could pull the drawer out from the other side to fill the order. Growing up the feed store we went to had something similar, but not nearly as fancy as this. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of going in and looking at all of the current seeds available for planting in one of these. One day when we get a "real" house and get out of grad school I would love to have one of these in my kitchen to store dry goods.
Thanks everyone for reading this! I'll have another post up soon with photos of the goodies we bought!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

End of Day Outfit Post

A few weeks ago my husband, a close friend, and I braved the crowds to go to the Round Top Antiques Festival. For those who have never been to Round Top, it is a 2 week antique and vintage festival similar to a roadside antiques show with miles upon miles of vendors. This is one of my favorite shows to go to since there are always great deals to be found and this year was no exception. Over the next few days I'll be posting photos of some of our finds and photos from the event, however tonight I'll be posting my only outfit photos of the day.

When dressing for Round Top this year I decided to go for what seemed comfortable and functional to me. These photos were shot at the end of the day after traversing the heat and wind of central Texas.
 Looking back, I totally should have worn my hair in my navy blue snood from Arthelia's Attic since my curls turned into a giant fluffy poof, but other than that my outfit choice was perfect for the day.  I was able to move around without becoming too hot or miserable and I still got lots of great compliments from all of the vendors. Here I am wearing my navy blue culottes, Nudeedudee blouse from her new Ready to Ship styles (that are now on sale!), my favorite handbag which I have mentioned before, as well as my favorite pair of Miss L Fire shoes!
You can also see the lovely Bakelite anchor broach I picked up from a fantastic vendor while I was there, but I will save the rest of the photos of our purchases for tomorrow.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's the little things in life...

that get me through the work week. Here's what I've been dancing around to while doing my scientific baking thing at work this week...

With any luck I get to go see them live next Monday night in Houston!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Feedsack Friday!

Ok, so I know it's technically Saturday Central Standard Time but I didn't get home till super late tonight. This week has been super crazy at work so I've been short on posting but I promise posts of our recent adventures soon!

It has been quite hot here already. Today it hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit so I figured this south of the border feedsack would fit in well with our current weather.

Until next week!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

V is for Victory Garden

Well spring is officially here in Texas and I have finally gotten my porch garden in good working order. This year I am dubbing my porch the "Victory Garden" not because I have the idea that we're going to go into a food shortage or that it's a great throwback to older times, it's going to be a Victory Garden because this year I am determined to overcome my arch nemesis - the mealybug....

For those not familiar with the mealybug it is an evil white little fuzzy creature that can infest plants and multiply rather rapidly. They're a huge problem in container gardening here in Texas and this year I am determined to keep them at bay with constant pruning, checking of the leaves, and spraying with a natural repellent when they do appear. Anyways enough talk about awful bugs on to garden photos and discussion of what I have planted!

Gardening is a very personal thing. Everyone has their own method, secrets, and ideas on how to achieve success. I by no means am an expert gardener, but I have kept a garden in this space for the past 5 years and will continue to until we move. Over the years I've learned my lessons on what areas get more shade and which get more heat in the summer. 

Our Porch!
As you can see from this photo, I've only got about 40 square feet to work with which can be a challenge. When planning out what I wanted to grow this year I decided to focus on three specific things.
  • Production Level
    • I chose certain vegetable plants based on how high of a yield I expected from the crop. For instance our two Black Beauty Eggplant will hopefully be high yielding. I also have three varieties of tomatoes right now with two more varieties on the way. The hanging tomatoes I purchased because they were already in steady production of small red cherry tomatoes and should continue to yield a crop throughout the rest of the summer. Even though we do not have an ideal space for a hanging plant, I was able to attach it to the trellis we will hopefully be using for cucumber (that are yet to be planted... whoops!) Our two other tomatoes which I planted last weekend are also already producing fruit which is very exciting because I have not tried these varieties before. 
    • Sometime this week we should have Green Zebra and Black Cherry tomato plants as well as Nepalese Bell Chili Pepper plants arriving from JBF Farms on Etsy. This is the first time I have ordered live tomatoes from a farm on Etsy before so I am quite excited for them to arrive. JBF has had a great selection of tomato starts as well as unusual varieties of peppers and eggplant. 
    • In addition to the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, I have also planted tomatillo plants. For those not familiar with tomatillos they are one of the main ingredients used in many salsa recipes. The easiest way to describe them is a cross between a tomato and a pepper. They have round fruit with thin husks surrounding it and have a unique flavor. I have planted two this year, hoping that they will be enough for harvesting to make some home made salsa this summer. This is the first time I have grown tomatillos in a container so it should be pretty entertaining.
    Black Beauty Eggplant
    Mi Roma Italian Tomato
    Rambling Boy Striped Tomato
    Blooms of the Tomatillo
    • We also have a large start of rosemary, oregano, basil (which is still inside), and mint for our kitchen garden. I am hoping to start some more seeds for a kitchen herb garden sometime this week. I would really love to make home made pesto some time this summer! My goal is to avoid purchasing as many herbs from the store as possible due to the high cost these days.
  • Color
    • I love color. When plotting out my garden this year I wanted to choose some brightly colored floral plants that would accent the rest of the vegetables while also being able to cope with the extreme heat here in Texas. Below are just a few of what I have planted, I will do more posts later featuring individual plants (when I get good photos of course).
    Lantana are great for attracting butterflies
    Mr. Flamingo and the Bougainvillea
  • Family Favorites
  • Maybe we will get Strawberries this year?
    • These include some of my favorite things to grow each year like strawberries, mint, "shrimp plants" (will post photos once he blooms so you can get a better idea of what that means) as well as unusual varieties of peppers for my husband. 
This is all for now! I have so many other blog posts to catch up on too. Yesterday we went to the Round Top Antiques Festival and a blast! Will hopefully do a post on all the goodies I purchased there soon. Hope all of you lovely readers have had a great weekend, I'm now off to get some stuff for work done! Feel free to share some of your summertime favorites in your garden as well. I'm always looking for new ideas.