Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter from the Easter Jack-a-Lope!

Good day, dear viewers, I hope everyone is having a grand weekend! I had a whole little series of pictures planned for you with my various vintage flocked animals but I caught a bad cold again and I could only manage this Easter Jackalope :)  Me thinks my body is telling me to stop eating so much starch and start mowing down on the greens. Tis the season! Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thrift Therapy---She's Just a Devil Woman!


This has got to be one of my all-time coolest (hottest?) finds. A 1960s heat lamp box with a go-go devil girl!
I found this at a garage sale---I was just about to leave when I saw this poking out from behind something else. My jaw dropped. For 2 dollars it was mine, all mine.

                                                     Heat lamps are sexy, you see...

                                                Made in Salem, Massachusetts!

I am linking up with Wendy over at YoungHeart for the Weekly Thrift. and also Sir Thrift a Lot
What have you found lately?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thorin is Hot---or, I Finally Saw "The Hobbit"

I wore my vintage Gollum belt buckle to the theater

So, I finally went to see The Hobbit. I like to wait until the hubbub has died down and I can have a seat with no one sitting in front of me.

Thorin is hot. Anyone else with me on this? I actually typed that into the search engine to see if anyone else was on my wavelength and I came up with this hilarious blog entry:
Thorin Dreamboatshield: An Unexpected Hotness of Dwarves

I was raised on the 70s Rankin/Bass animated Hobbit, which will always be dear to my heart, and which I still watch with some frequency. The Thorin of that version is much older and somewhat more whiny.

As per the new Hobbit movie---Radagast is a bit too goofy for my taste, but I can accept him (and I actually thought he should hook up with Aughra from The Dark Crystal. They'd make a good couple).

The rabbit sled was cool, I immediately loved it, but I was worried that there are no giant rabbits in Tolkien. My husband said "There are giant spiders, right? There are giant elephants. There are giant eagles. Why not rabbits?" Giant rabbits accepted.

I was less than impressed with the troll segment---Rankin/Bass does it better.

The music is great, Howard Shore never disappoints.

Thranduil with his "battle tiara" and great stag is intriguing.

I am looking forward to seeing what they do with Beorn. He never made it into the Rankin/Bass version.

I approve of bringing in things from the appendices even though sometimes it seems like the movie makers were straining because they knew they had to fill 3 movies.

I read a couple of reviews which used the words "garish" and "bloated" to describe the movie and in many ways I agree with that characterization. Why does everything have to be so loud, over the top and in your face these days? Yes, there is a lot of action in the book but there are also some very introspective and atmospheric moments which seem to be mostly missing in the new movie's telling of the story.

On the other hand, stories are told and retold and they gain and lose things in the retelling and it has been that way for thousands of years.

So, I will go see the movie again and, if they ever make a Radagast figure with his rabbit sled, well, I will get that and add it to my other figurines. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have always been very important to me since I first read the books long ago at the age of 12. I have a certain reverence for them, but I am also open to newer incarnations.

Bring on the spiders, Peter Jackson :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring Equinox

   I love this time of year---today was rainy and windy and full of promise. I can smell the new shoots and the open flowers on the breeze. Yesterday I thrifted the lovely pair of photo clips you see above. I put pictures I cut out from magazines in them---I think they make good seasonal display pieces.

The forsythia is out in force. 

                                           My green hellebore is going crazy!

My peas are planted.

 And my cabbage!

Got the potatoes in as well, and some chives from starts.

Tiger Baby is supervising the construction of a new garden bed.

Did you ever plant something and then totally forget about it and then plant something else over it? I planted a bunch of pansies and then these crazy iris-like flowers sprang up through them in the same bed. I have a very dim memory of maybe planting these but I can't remember what they are. Love 'em, though!

Here is some other super easy stuff I'm going to plant. Nasturtiums are tasty! I love their slightly peppery flavor. I try to plant them every year. 
 This is the first time I will be growing "grass" for Tiger Baby from seed. She is very excited :)

Best Spring Wishes to you!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Gettin' Lucky With The Green: And A Shortbread Recipe!

I totally forgot that it was St Patrick's Day until my husband mentioned it. Another excuse for baking, says I!
I looked through my recipe books:

I wanted to make cupcakes and use the vintage cupcake picks you see at the top---but I finally settled on an old handwritten recipe stuffed into an ancient recipe folder.

The recipe is called "Real Petticoat Tail Shortbread" and I have no idea where I first got it. But, it is one of the best and easiest shortbread recipes I have ever used.

 I also have a recipe for "Green Tea Shortbread" that I found in Martha Stewart's Living. I was never impressed with the end result of that particular recipe---however, today I realized that I can combine these two together and make something special. There is just a hint of green tea taste (in my opinion)---you can add or subtract tablespoons to suit your own tastes  Don't like green tea that much? Just add one tablespoon.

Tilda's Updated Green Tea Petticoat Tail Shortbread

1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Matcha green tea powder
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly butter two 9 inch pie pans.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until the two are well-worked together.

Add the flour, green tea powder, and salt about 1/2 cup at a time, sifting it into the butter/sugar mixture and mixing together each time:

At the end, you will work it into a ball with your hands:

Split the dough into two parts and pat evenly into the two pie plates.

Prick and score the dough.

Bake for around 28-30 min. Do not let the top get too brown. Its a good idea to start checking on the shortbread a few minutes before the time is up. Cool on a rack for at least 15 min before eating.

The baking process will mostly obscure the scores you made---there will be enough of them left to give you a guide when you are cutting the shortbread.

No St Pats is complete without some beer. This is one I find very appropriate:

And for a toast, here is classic one, shown here on a vintage trivet:


Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Little Bit Maudlin, A Little Bit Rock n Roll

David Byrne is coming to town in the summer. As I checked out the price of tickets (55.00 seated, 35.00 general admission, GROAN) I realized that this would be an interesting anniversary for David Byrne and I.
Because I first saw the Talking Heads on the "big suit" tour, in 1983. 30 years ago. 30 YEARS AGO!!!!!

Good Gods. How does this happen? Once I realized the full impact I started to get all sentimental and teary-eyed and I dragged out my tickets stubs to various shows saved over the years:

These are some of the first shows I saw, back when I was just a little kitten. And apparently, I have been seeing shows continuously for 30 years.

Here are some from the 90s/early 2000s. The Cramps, Nirvana, Motorhead, The Screaming Trees, White Zombie, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave....I want you to notice the Soundgarden/Alice in Chains ticket. That show cost 11.00.  11.00, people! You can barely get a fancy drink in a bar for 11.00 anymore!

I saw many, many rock shows. Everything from hardcore punk to alt country to experimental noise music, to pop, to folk, to metal. I've slacked off a little in the last decade or so simply because it is awkward sometimes to be around a bunch of 20 year olds. When I saw the Pixies reunion tour several years ago I was standing next to a guy who couldn't have been more than 18. When Kim Deal said something about a song on their first record, the kid went, "record?", like he didn't even know what that was. And he may not have. I've been feeling like the freaky older person at shows. Although there were a lot of freaky older people at that particular show.

Still, I haven't totally given up. Last year I saw, in no particular order:

Mark Lanegan
The Afghan Whigs
Accrassicauda  (an Iraqui heavy metal band, that now lives in the US. All you metal dudes who think you are so tough, shut up, take off your spiked armbands and septum rings, and go home. These guys survived raids and death squads to play their music!)
Lafa Taylor
The Ginger Ninjas
The Shook Twins
Weird Al Yankovic

I also watched the entire Wagner's Ring Cycle, the amazing Robert Lepage version, on PBS. I'm counting it because you can occasionally find me at operas as well as rock shows :) I'm also counting it because although it was pretty cool, it was hard work to watch the entire thing! And no, I did not watch it all in one sitting. I'm sure there are some Ring-heads out there who have, but I'm not one of them.

Anyhow, here I sit, dithering over whether to see David Byrne, 30 years later from when I first saw him, and be another freaky older person in the audience. And you know what?

I'm going.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bees, Screamers and Skirts

bee image from TheGrapicsFairy

Today was a lovely warm day. I drove past the swan area again (see here), but the swans were all gone.
Instead, there was a coyote in the middle of the pasture! I don't know if the swans left because of the coyote, or whether it was just time for them to move on, but I've gotta say, that is one happening pasture :).

The most exciting part of the day was when I decided to go to a thrift store in the next town over. I like to drive with the window down (even in winter--I'm a freak. Hey, I like fresh air!) and today was no exception. However, today a bee flew in through my window and started buzzing around the back of my head. I drive a very vintage pickup and the cab is only about 4 feet wide, so we were getting very close and personal. Taking some deep breaths, I found a place to pull over. I couldn't find the bee. I'm not allergic, but I also don't like stings, so I was in a quandry. Should I continue on to the thrift? Should I abort the mission and go home?

I decided to carry on.  I was ramrod straight, both hands on the wheel, nervously looking in my rear view mirror. I kept hearing a little "bzzzz" now and again. As I merged onto the main highway I kept having visions of having the back of my neck stung and wildly losing control of the pickup.

I got to the thrift, got out of the pickup and searched the cab as best I could, but no sign of the bee. Maybe it flew out again?

I went in the thrift and started my methodical shopping (I go through EVERYTHING, people!). My equilibrium was thrown off again by another patron of the store who periodically would shout out expletives. Okay, I thought, Tourettes perhaps? She looked fairly normal except for screaming out "F@#K" every now and again. The clerks were calmly going about their business.

Weird scenes in the goldmines, dear viewers. I think these two incidents caused me to buy something I normally wouldn't---a white lace skirt. I didn't even try it on. I think I have mentioned before that I wear a lot of black, and white hardly ever comes into the picture. Moss green, rust, yes, but never white. I carried it around the store for the 1 1/2 hours I was in there (screamers of "F@#K" do not deter me from my shopping) and ended up buying it for 6 bucks. The brand is Coldwater Creek so it probably cost 100.00 new.

Back in the pickup I drove home without incident. When I got home I tried the skirt on. Fits perfectly, looks great. It got me to thinking. Sometimes its good to be shook up, kept a little off kilter. Causes a person to stretch out a little in life, see something different. When we settle into the routines that we expect every day, our vision can narrow.

But I'll probably wear the skirt with these sandals just to keep a Tilda edge on things :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Thrift Store Therapy---Cat-tastic!

You've probably guessed I like cats---a clue would be the big picture of my cat TigerBaby off to the right :)
I thought I would share some vintage cat items I have collected for this week's Weekly Thrift over at YoungHeart.
Do any of you remember Morris the Cat from those 70s/80s  9Lives cat food commercials? I was so tickled when I found this mug:

 Here is one of the hilarious commercials from 1978:

 This is a pair of 90s Avon salt n pepper shakers. I LOOOVE depictions of animals dressed up in people clothes. Its part of the reason I love The Wind in the Willows so much :)

Here is another pair of salt n pepper shakers I found just recently:

And a super kitschy cats-in-a-basket brooch that I purchased from one of my favorite thrifts,
 a charity for local children's causes which is staffed almost entirely by delightful, mostly retired elderly ladies:

I had to include this, my ultimate cat-themed find, a fantastic mid century swinging cats sculpture I found for 1.99 last year:

Be assured, I have many more cat themed vintage items, ha ha! But this is it for today :) Go on over to YoungHeart and check out what the other hunters have found.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gazebo Dreams

As we edge towards warmer weather, my thoughts have been turning to pop-up backyard tents.  You see, dear viewers, I live in the city in a tiny, early 1900s cottage on a small, narrow piece of property. My house is the shrimp of the block and I am bounded on either side by 2 story behemoths. The folks in those houses just come out on their decks or look out their upper story windows and they can completely see into my backyard. And I'm a girl who likes to take a nap on my lounger in my yard---and sometimes I snore :) Also, I'm the kind of person who doesn't want to interact each and every time I go out into my backyard. Its my only sanctuary! So, a couple of years ago I saw this pop-up gazebo online and bam! Problem solved! I personalized it with a zigzag valance I found at the thrift store, and hung some vintage tablecloths on the sides. I also bought some ridiculously expensive new tulle netting to finish off the look.

Ahhh, it was a princess tent for secluded napping, and my cat loved it too! However, it died a terrible death at the end of the season last year when an overnight rainstorm caused water to collect on the roof and the resulting weight broke the structure beyond repair. Most of these temporary gazebos are for shade only.

So, I have begun combing the internet for a new gazebo. And I've been going crazy! There are some great structures out there. I would get this one from Home Depot if I could:

 But...I don't have 800.00.  I could try to build a more permanent structure out of wood, but then I couldn't move it around as easily. So I will probably get another cheaper one and decorate it like I did the last one.

I've started a gazebo board on Pinterest,  You could say I am obsessed!
Do you have a backyard sanctuary or a gazebo?