Blame the vampires.

So, I basically spent the entire month of March submerged in the “Twilight” world. I hadn’t read the book, despite reading about it on several blogs (crafty mommy blogs, mind you), nor did I see the movie when it came out. I was planning on reading the book at some point, but the library waiting list was outrageous.

THEN, my girlfriend invited me over to watch the DVD, and after a bit of wavering, wondering if I should be seeing the movie first, before reading the book, I decided to go ahead. Kristen Stewart’s acting bothered me a bit, but all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So my girlfriend lent me her book, and I started it the next day. I ended up blowing through the entire series in 17 days. I’ve never read so much in my life. I stayed up MANY nights until 4, 5, 6, 7 AM. One morning I even went to bed at 8. Needless to say, I needed a rest when I was finally done. I needed to recover, both physically and mentally. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself, which I’ve learned is common among “Twilighters”. Even though, I guess technically, I AM a “Twimom”, I will NOT be calling myself that, thank you very much.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

My beautiful new antique

I love old things! I love silver, too. Hate gold. And I love fairies. So it was love at first sight when I happened upon this:

I think it was earlier this year, maybe in the spring. This particular one wasn’t for sale, but my interest was piqued. I must’ve googled it then, and learned you could find them on eBay. So I searched every once in a while, and even kept some in my “watched items” list, so I could find out how much they went for. Their condition really varied, and I was only interested in the ones with clean, intact mirrors, powder sifter, and original powder puffs. Some had one puff, very few had both. I bid on, and lost, the one I REALLY wanted this summer. It was the best I’d seen so far. I think the maximum I was willing to spend was $40… it went for $45. I was LIVID. So angry with myself. Some time passed, and I’d almost given up.

Then I won this!!! It is so amazing in person, I can’t even describe it. Tiny, yet heavy, and so old (it’s 83 years old!). I freakin’ love it! My original plan was to actually use it, replacing the rouge with one of those new magnetic makeup tins, but I don’t think I can bring myself to use it. It’s too precious.

Djer-Kiss was a brand of toiletries – perfumes, powders, and such, manufactured by Kerkoff of Paris through the 1920’s. The front side of the mirror is normal, and the back side magnifies. But it actually seems like the front side makes you look smaller! It’s weird and cool at the same time. Tee hee! And the back side magnifies ever so slightly… you don’t end up looking scary huge, like you do with other magnifying mirrors! Agh, I can’t express how much I love this thing. SO glad I finally got one.

Now… onto antique pencils! Thanks A LOT, angry chicken. Now I’m on the lookout for something like this:


*Image from ebay.com

Here we go again.

Lockets

Remember my little tantrum about the locket I wanted on eBay? Well, being as obsessive as I am, I looked & looked for another one. I found 2 that had been sold recently! One here in the States, the other in New Zealand. That did not make me feel any better. Anyhow, in the meantime, I found a brass one that I really liked, and placed it in my “watched items list”. Then, lo and behold, I found another art nouveau locket! Exactly like the one I didn’t win. BUT, this one definitely looked cheaper. I could almost guarantee it was a knockoff. It was, however, in my mind, the closest I’d ever get. So I bid on it, and won it. I also won the brass one. Yay for me! Now I’m done with lockets. Phew.

The one I didn’t win was similar to this (the photo of the one I bid on is no longer available):


*Image from ebay.com

The one I did, at $9.99:

The brass one, at $11:


*Image from ebay.com

Beauties!

My favorite brownies, from my favorite panaderia, or Mexican bakery. It’s Panchita’s, in Golden Hill. Isn’t it a beaut?

brownie.jpg

Look at what my daughter made in art class at school today, I love it! What a great project! It’s perfect for a birthday party activity. I will definitely attempt it, when I throw either one of the girls a Japanese-themed birthday party, such as the one in Martha Stewart Kids. Remember that one?

japanesedoll.jpg

dollback2.jpg

I found this today, bid on it with 2 minutes left (without permission!), was the high bidder, then got beat with seconds to spare! Ugghh, I will beat myself up for that for the rest of my life. IT’S GORGEOUS! Effing gorgeous! I’m so mad at myself. It sold for $122, and it so would have been worth spending (just a little) more. Now I’m obsessing over vintage art nouveau lockets, and probably won’t rest until I have one in my greedy little hands!

*Edit: The original locket photo is no longer available, but you can see more here.

Harry Potter on the brain!

Dude! I’ve been so immersed in Harry Potter today, that I totally forgot about my 10:45 PM blog posting deadline. If I don’t sit down to post by then, it ends up being posted as the next day. Drives me nuts! Ughh!

So I’ve spent my entire Saturday either shopping for the Harry Potter party, at Joann and online, searching for the best deals and discount codes, or researching for all the props, d├ęcor, and activities. This has got to be the most expensive party, by far! I knew it’d be a hard one, but I didn’t think it’d be this expensive. I’ve made a vow that for the next few years, the girls’ parties are going to be kept simple. Cheap and simple. Like an ice cream party, a cupcake party, a rainbow party. I’m excited. Excited about not having to do tons of preparing and shopping and THINKING.

I have purchased so far:

robe
sorting hat
Harry's wand
Hermione's wand
hedwig
banner

frog mold

1. robe
2. non-talking sorting hat
3. Harry’s light up wand
4. Hermione’s wand
5. plush Hedwig
6. Hogwart’s banner
7. frog candy mold

Plus a pack of 3 iron-on transfer sheets, so I can make some Gryffindor badges; gold & burgundy fleece, so I can make Gryffindor scarves; white feathers, for quills; and sealing wax, for the invitations.

Still need:
black cauldrons from Party City
gold coins
gold plates + utensils
borrowed goblets or gold paper cups
baby food jars for potions class
potion ingredients
wood dowels for wands
composition books for each child’s “textbook”

Looks like I have a lot of work to do.

*Edit: I’ve noticed this post comes up when people search for “frog molds”, so I figured I’d help you out! I bought them through Amazon, from a merchant called “CybrTrayd”.

Hunting for books

The day I searched on amazon.com for the image of the book I bought recently, “Naturally Clean“, I read about several other similar books. The ones I focused on were:

The Naturally Clean Home
Better Basics for the Home
Clean House, Clean Planet
Clean & Green

I think I read every single review… then I went to Borders with my 40% off coupon in hand. Now, I normally search their inventory online first, to see if they have the book I want. Of course I didn’t do that this time, so of course they didn’t have ANY of the books I wanted. Brother.

They did have one tiny, attractive, water-proof book, full of natural cleaning recipes. It even had a glossary for all of those symbols on clothing tags, you know, the laundry care ones? I was about to buy it just for that, I’ve never seen that sort of glossary or guide anywhere! Man. I was pretty excited about that. The book is called “Green Clean”, it’s really neat, compact and concise, has a clean and easy-to-read layout. Anyway, I ended up not buying it because it was too beat up. It had a huge, dirty scratch on the cover, too. Unacceptable! Well, that, and there was a minimum purchase of $20 required to use the coupon. So I was pretty disappointed about going home empty-handed, especially since I had this awesome, once in a lifetime coupon! Ugh, I hate that. So I started speed-walking toward the exit (because I’d left my son at home, screaming – safe with his Dad, but screaming), glanced down at a book shelf, realized I was in the crafts section, and -rrrrrr!- slammed on the brakes. “Aha!”, I thought to myself… I should see if there’s anything I’ve been wanting from here! I looked for a book on needle felting, and they didn’t have any. Drat. Then a light went on, and I thought of Lotta Jansdotter’s pattern book, then Amy Butler’s book. I remembered I really love Amy’s clutch purse, so I looked for that one. Well, they had both. Decisions, decisions! I picked Amy Butler’s, for the purse, and the organizing bins. I’m honestly a little scared by the patterns, they look lengthy and complicated. I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

We had some spare time today between picking up big sis, and ballet, so I decided to go to the library. I looked for the books I’d seen on amazon, and they actually had one! Awesome. I checked out “Better Basics for the Home”. Can’t wait to read it. Oh, and would you believe that the book Borders had, “Green Clean”, is the only one with 5 stars on amazon? Geez. I might’ve asked an employee if they had another one in the back had I read that yesterday.

amy butler

better basics for the home

green clean
*Images from barnesandnoble.com

Christmas haul

We went shopping the day after Christmas 2006, and I ended up buying about a dozen pairs of socks at the Gap, all on clearance, most of them patterned (dots, stripes, argyle), some solids. They were all of different pretty colors, and so nice & comfortable! I was so excited to finally have nice, quality socks. I feel like that’s such a luxury, I don’t know why! Maybe because all I’d ever had are plain, ill-fitting, cheap white cotton ones from Mervyn’s. For those of you who’ve never been to Mervyn’s, it’s a not-very-fancy department store. I’d compare it to JCPenney, even though I can’t stand that store. Mervyn’s is great. I love their children’s clothing, toddler’s especially. It’s inexpensive, cute, and practical. They also sell name brands, such as Carter’s, Levi’s, name brand tennis shoes, a bunch more. Anyway, I bought so many cute and cheap things at the Gap that day, that I decided to go again, but by myself this time! I received a $25 gift card from my brother-in-law, and decided to look for a nice sweater. I did end up finding one, they were $22.99, and had some angora mixed in, so they were very soft. I picked a navy blue one, and I love it. They also had loads of cotton long-sleeved tees (with puff sleeves!) for $7.99. I chose a medium blue and a red one. The last thing was a long, winter/trench coat, in dark brown. I really wasn’t thrilled about the color, it’s boring, but it fit perfectly, was warm, and was only $41.99, down from $128! I couldn’t pass it up, and the shorter coat I bought last year at Anthropologie isn’t warm enough (although I still love it). So that’s how I justified that.

tee.jpg

sweater.jpg

coat.jpg
*Photos from gap.com

Then I went to Anthropologie, and saw the sweater jacket I’d seen online, just the night before. I ended up buying that, at $49.95, and a long, white cotton skirt that was in the clearance section, at $19.95. Score!

red-sweater-jacket.jpg
*Photo from anthropologie.com

My husband gave me the 1st 2 things on my wish list: the Diana+ lomo camera, and Amy Karol’s Bend-the-Rules Sewing book. I was so excited. He says he was going to buy me the 3rd, “Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts”, but it wasn’t “perfect” enough for me (I’m super picky about the things I buy, they have to be in perfect or near-perfect condition, especially books and magazines!) So he went to 3 different Borders, and they were all the same. I went to our local one a few days ago, and found the only one they had. The dust jacket wasn’t perfectly smooth at the top, but I was OK with that, so I bought it with the $30 gift card my mom gave me. Oh, but get this… I had a 30% off coupon, and had my $5 in Borders rewards available to redeem, so I was able to buy another book, “The Daring Book for Girls”, which was 40% off! I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I love it when stuff like that happens. You know, like when you go to pay for something, and it ends up being even cheaper than you expected? Oh man, I live for that. Well, maybe I’m being a little over-dramatic, but seriously… stuff like that excites me. Oh ho ho, you know what else I’m excited about? The Le Creuset dutch oven I just bought online! I used some of the money my mother-in-law sent me. This could be an entire post on its own… I’ll try to keep it short.

We went to the mall on New Year’s Day, and I decided to walk into Williams-Sonoma on a whim, since it was a few doors down from Nordstrom, where I’d been looking at the tights that were on sale. Lo and behold, there was an entire table, piled high with discounted Le Creuset and All-Clad items. There were boxes upon boxes both on and under the table. I had an employee look in the back for a blue, round dutch oven, and he found one, a 5 1/2 quart. I should have just bought it then & there. I’m pretty sure the tag said $114.99. Well, I didn’t have my money with me, or my personal debit card. My husband would’ve had to pay for it, and I didn’t want to ask him. Men don’t understand these things! He was at the Apple store with the kids anyway. So I walked away. I could’ve gone back the next day, but no… I decided to see if my mom’s friend could give me his employee discount. Anything to save a buck! Geez. So I called the store to ask when he’d be working next, and they said he was still on the schedule, but didn’t have any hours. My mom hadn’t been keeping in touch, so that didn’t pan out. We could’ve pursued it further, but I was getting super antsy, so I just went back to the store. It’d been almost a week. You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? That’s right. IT WASN’T THERE ANYMORE. In fact, practically everything was gone. I had an internal hissy fit, which continued for the next 2 days. They checked the availability at the only other store in San Diego, and of course, they didn’t have any, either. I would have taken any size at that point. 5, 7, 9, 13 quart even. I just wanted my damn round dutch oven in Sonoma Blue!!! Ugghhh. I called the other store, in spite of what they told me, and the nice lady there checked what she had on her table. She had an oval dutch, and a bouillabaisse pot. She couldn’t quite describe its shape to me, so I decided to check it out for myself. Up I go, back to La Jolla, where I had just been earlier that day. The bouillabaisse was tapered, as I suspected, and I didn’t like that. The oval dutch I might’ve considered, but it was a little dinged up. Again, with the perfectionism. They checked the back for me, to no avail. I left, empty-handed and heartbroken. I had no choice but to pay the higher price online. Still on clearance, but add the shipping to it, and it’s almost $100 more than WHAT I WOULD HAVE PAID HAD I JUST BOUGHT IT THAT DAMN DAY. Oh, I was screaming and stamping my feet on the inside. Lesson learned. But hey – on the bright side, I finally have my dutch oven! Well, we’ll see what condition it’s in when it gets here. It better be up to my standards. Please, please, please.