Friday, February 27, 2015

Rest in Peace Grandma

My sweet grandma passed away this morning.  We have been by her side since Wednesday and it wasn't until today, when all the grand kids were out of the house and it was just her and her 3 kids, that she finally made her way to heaven.  When I got to her house Wednesday morning, I told her that I loved her and she did her best to tell me I love you too.  She knows I was there and she knows that I love her.
I know that my grandpa was waiting for her on the other side.  He has been waiting for her for over 30 years.  They were engaged to be married after dating for only 3 months.  They had 3 children and most of their marriage dealt with my grandpa's illness.  I like to think that when they saw each other for the first time today, they started just where they left off.
My grandma Noreen Theresa Kealy Zahm was a full-blooded Irish woman with a temper to match.  She attended Catholic schools in Seattle all the way through high school. She was the craftiest lady I knew and I know that I got my craftiness from her.  She used to make all of us Christmas ornaments every year and I still treasure those every time I see them. The above picture is at my wedding in 2009, just a few years before her health started to really go downhill.  
Last night, all the grand kids wrote down their favorite memories of our grandma.  We read the memories to her before we went to sleep.  My cousin and I prayed the rosary with her and a priest came in to give her her last rites.  It has been an emotional week for sure.  In fact, the last few years have been.  This picture is from Christmas 2012. 
Grandma suffered for a few years and even though we are heartbroken that she is gone, we are happy knowing that she is in a better place, no longer suffering.  We have so many wonderful memories that we will carry with us always.  This picture was from last Christmas...just 2 months before she would pass away.  We love you so much Grandma Noreen.  We will miss you forever and love you for always.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Scholarship Gala 2015

My first Scholarship Gala is now under my belt!  It was a very LONG day but I made it all in one piece.  We got some rave reviews about the whole thing and several people have said it was by far the best one.  I will take that!
My centerpieces turned out AMAZING!  I took this picture with my phone and shared it on Instagram and Facebook and people were so complimentary.   
I didn't get a true before picture, but this one is before everything was all set.  We set up in record time as well! 
Here are all 45 tables set and all 450 chairs decked out in their finest covers and bands.  It's a lot of work but it is so worth it! 
The centerpieces were so great that I had to stop several people and tell them that they couldn't take them home!  We had the boxes specially built and borrowed the books from a library on campus.  I made the medallions but by the end of the night, I didn't care if we saved them or not! 
The VIP Tables had 5 books and the regular tables had 1.  The ferns also had a little purple tealight inside of them and you could really see it when the lights went down. 
I didn't get any pictures of any of the baskets that I put together and neither did the photographer we hired.  I had an amazing sushi basket that I loved and the person who won it took it apart at the event.  I was sad that they didn't love it as much as I did! 
 We got to the venue at 9 am and were out of there by midnight.  My whole body was sore and I was exhausted.  I didn't do much moving at all on Saturday!  My FitBit has the proof that I worked my bootie off that day, just look at these stats:
But oh my gosh was it worth it!  We blew all of our goals out of the water and knowing that the first gala that I did was the best yet, makes it all worth it.  Ready to do it again in another year!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Six ways to use a vintage egg basket

When we picked up these vintage egg baskets last weekend, Cody questioned me and what I planned to do with them.  He thought they would just sit there going unused and getting in the way.  I told him there were lots of things I could do with them and since he challenged me to prove it, I did!  Challenge accepted! 
There are 2 baskets here (I couldn't pry them apart).  One has a handle and one does not.  The first thing I did was rolled up some towels for the guest bathroom.  The basket holds 4 bath towels perfectly and are in plain sight so guests don't have to look all over for them. 
Next up, I filled the basket up with rolls of toilet paper for the guest bathroom.  The worst thing ever is running out of toilet paper so this should help solve that problem! 
 We could use a basket to hold dog toys.  They are clearly spoiled!
 It could hold extra pillows for the daybed out on the patio.  Spring will be here soon and I am sure many naps will be taken out there.  
 I can use a basket to hold root vegetables in the kitchen.  Having them in the basket will let me see if I need to get more and obviously I do!
 I could also use it in the kitchen to throw all of my dirty towels and rags in.  So many uses for these baskets.  One thing I won't be using them for is collecting eggs...I am afraid of chickens so that's not happening!  What are some ideas you have for my vintage egg baskets?
Speaking of baskets, I picked up this pretty French laundry basket at Hobby Lobby.  It was originally $149.99 and was in the 50% off aisle.  Someone mislabeled it at $22.50 so of course I grabbed it as quick as I could.  It lives in our bathroom and collects our dirty clothes.  I love that I can wheel it across the house to the laundry room so easily.  Now if I could just get Cody to put ALL of his dirty clothes in here! 
I don't think I ever showed you this adorable wheeled tiered cart thing I bought last fall.  I couldn't resist it when I saw it even though I have no idea what I am going to do with it.  It may go up camping with us this summer and be put to good use! 
I made Creme Brulee for the first time last night as our Valentine's dinner dessert.  Oh it is so yummy and now I am going to need to get a kitchen torch so that I can make this all the time! 
The dogs got their own Valentine treats too!  Homemade peanut butter dog bones.  I am thinking that I am going to make all their treats from now on because I like knowing what they are eating and it makes me happy to bake them treats!

Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Teacup One from Grandma

My grandmother is nearing the end of her life so she has started to give us things that she wants us to have.  The last time I went to visit her, she told me to pick out 2 teacups...one for me and one for Cody.  Who are we kidding?  We all know they will both be mine!  
My grandma Noreen is a pure-blooded Irish woman.  Her mother gave her teacups all the time so she has a very large collection.  It was hard for me to pick only 2 because I love them all.  They are all beautiful and they all came from someone she loved. 
This is the first one I picked.  The soft aqua, pretty pink roses and silver scrolls are what got me.  I don't even mind the gold.  When I picked this one out, my grandma said it was her favorite set.  It was given to her by her mom when she was first married.  
I searched and searched for this pattern and didn't find a name for it.  I believe it is from the 1950's.  It is Paragon Fine Bone China made in England but that is pretty much all I know.  If you happen to know the name, please do tell me!
My grandma is a fighter and even when we think she is not going to make it, she always does.  She fell a little over 3 years ago and it has gone downhill from there.  She can't stand or sit up without help and she has lost control of most bodily functions.  I hate seeing her this way. 
She also has a piano and a hope chest that she is giving me but I have nowhere to put these things just yet.  I am looking forward to having more of her things one day. 
I will share the other teacup soon.  I am getting a nice little collection of special teacups going and I love it.  I think a tea party is in order soon! I am also going to need a beautiful china hutch to put all these pretties in.  For now, these are sitting in my white cabinet and I just couldn't resist snapping a picture of this teacup behind the chicken wire!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Winter Carnival 2015

My mom's birthday was on Saturday so we all decided to take a trip up to McCall for the Winter Carnival.  We hadn't been in years and my mom was so excited to get to spend the day with her kids.  I am sad to report that the carnival was a bust.  There weren't very many sculptures and there were so many people you could hardly walk.  We did have fun just being together.  
This of course was my favorite sculpture for obvious reasons...it looks just like my camper but in snow!  This was the only one we got close to and took a picture with.  What a fun idea!  
There was a bear, a pine tree and even a fire pit made out of snow.  I made Cody come take a picture in front of it with me.  He is always a good sport for me! 
When we were walking back to our cars, there were 4 little deer in a field.  They were pretty tame and let me take their picture.  I have seen a million deer in my life but I am always captivated by them. 
We saw several more on the drive back to my parent's house.  We made dinner, played games, told stories of growing up together and then my sister, her husband, Cody and I went to the bar to sing karaoke.  Too bad the guy was sick, otherwise that little town wouldn't have known what hit them!  It was a great weekend even though I got no sleep. 
Here is a little Valentine's Day wreath that I made for my office door.  I bent a metal hanger into the shape of a heart, wrapped it in bubble wrap and pink ribbon and then made some flowers with felt, tied a big sparkly bow on it and hung it on the door.  It makes our office a little more festive and I used scraps so it didn't cost a dime! 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Vintage TV Tray Makeover & Arctic Boy Water Cooler Find

Remember my metal TV tray that I wanted to paint after finishing my aqua bar cart?  I had every intention of refinishing this tray a lot sooner than this, but it is finally done!  Here it is before.  I found only one similar online but there was no price.  It has been sitting outside all winter and was a rusty mess.
 Cody and I went to his shop and got to work yesterday.  My first job was to get all the rust scrubbed off.  Can you believe the rust that was pouring off this thing with every spray of the degreaser?  It was crazy.  There was even more than that after I sanded it.  
 In to the paint booth it went to get a coat of primer.  Cody even let me spray it!  Here we are all decked out in our spray masks in the paint booth.  Those masks are no fun and the paint booth gets really hot...it makes me admire Cody even more for the hard work he does everyday.
After the primer was dry we mixed up this sweet pink color.  We painted it white first because I wanted to adhere this doily onto it and spray the pink over it so it would look like it had a doily on it at all times.  Unfortunately, the air pressure was too high and it didn't work so we just painted the whole thing pink.  I still want to put a fake doily on it though...somehow! 
 Right now it is inside with some pretty Valentine's Day decorations on it, but soon enough it will be out on the patio being put to good use.  I am sure it will still be a few more months until it is warm enough to be enjoyed outside, so this will work for now.
 I have to say, being in on the whole process from start to finish makes me want to do even more projects like this with Cody at work.  I want to buy all the metal things and paint them!
Here is another fun vintage treasure that needs no refinishing whatsoever.  We found this in an old abandoned shed.  Why would anyone leave this?  I wasn't sure if it was really old or not because it has a plastic lining, but sure enough, it is vintage! 
Arctic Boy water coolers were used in the 50's and 60's.  The outside is a lovely galvanized metal and the inside is white plastic.  I won't be using it to cool any water, but I do think it would make a lovely planter.  As soon as the warm weather gets here, I can't wait to add some pretty bright flowers to put in it.   
Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Vintage Meets Work & Save Family Photos

It is fantastic when your love of vintage can come into play with your job.  We are exactly one month away from our Scholarship Gala and my centerpieces are ready to be assembled and put on display for everyone to see.  I can't show you yet what they will look like, but here are a few of the things that will be used in them.

 Seam binding!  It was so exciting when I got the go-ahead to order and use seam binding in my centerpieces.  My manager had never heard of it and when I showed it to her she said "How have I never heard of this stuff before?"  It will really "tie" all of our centerpieces together, if you know what I mean!
Vintage paper medallions!  We needed a way to incorporate book pages into our centerpieces as well as something to make table numbers.  This medallion was the perfect solution.  After 3 different attempts, I finally made one that was the perfect size.  And now I have to make 50 more! 
And vintage books!  I love book bundles but that isn't what we will be doing with them.  There are many little libraries on campus and instead of going out and buying a bunch, we will just borrow what we need.  I think we will be using around 175 books total.  Sounds like a heavy job to me!  I can't wait to show you the venue after we get it all set up.  I am really excited for my first gala and hope that it is a big success! 
I have shared this picture before of my dad, my aunt and my grandparents and now I am sharing it again.  I wanted to tell you about Save Family Photos.  It is this amazing site on Instagram and Facebook that shares vintage photos for others to see.  Today, this photo was featured and it means so much to me.  If you don't already follow them on Instagram or Facebook, I suggest you do.  They post vintage photos daily and they are so much fun to look at and hear the story behind them.  Go give them a like right now!