Orange Skies at Night, A Yard-Saler’s Delight

You know the old saying, “Orange skies at night, sailor’s delight.  Red skies in the morning, sailor’s take warning.”  Well, I like to believe that that saying applies to yard-saling as well, because there were definitely orange skies last night!  (Any irrational excuse to paw through other people’s stuff is fine by me!)  I happened upon one of those penultimate yard sales today.  The kind that comes around once every two or three years.  I am such a purveyor of fine yard sales.  I love good quality, inexpensive stuff!  I could probably maintain a blog on just that.  I could call it Second Handy Mandy.  Hmmm…Maybe not…But anyways, I love to share my finds with anyone who will give me the chance.  I scored an antique children’s book- perfect for mixed media collage.  Crisp, porous, and matte-finish paper, adorable pictures and vintage fonts.


The cover is quite perfectly tattered too:



I also found this very interesting card of jade stones.  It seems to have been some sort of jeweler’s catalog card or the like.



These stones will find their way into some sort of creation, eventually.  I couldn’t resist, it was only $1.00!

I also snagged this box of Japanese seed beads.  I do love Japanese seed beads, all well made and uniform in their sizing!


I found many more goodies, including an Olfa rotary cutter, a brand new shweeeet leather wallet, fun Zebra highlighters (did you know highlighters could be fun?), charcoal pencils and holders, and new art pens, to name a few.

Yard sale season is now winding down.  There will be more, but most likely it will be a year or two before we see a sale of that caliber.

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A Remarkable Post from Heather

“My Story”

On August 4, 2005 my sweet baby girl was born. Lily was the most
beautiful baby I had ever seen. I was sure no one had ever been
as happy as me, and I thought nothing could ever destroy this
newfound happiness.

Having a newborn is joyous, but also exhausting. At first,
I attributed my constant fatigue to the normal new parent
sleeplessness. When I continued to have no energy and difficulty
completing even the simplest of tasks without losing my breath, I
began to wonder if I had postpartum depression.

When my maternity leave ended, I returned to work despite the fact
that my energy levels were still terribly low. I finally decided to visit
a doctor with the hope that my fatigue could be treated and I could
return to my normal life.

After running a gamut of tests, my doctor came to me with the
news I never thought I would hear. “You have cancer.” I could
not have been more shocked. In just three short months I had
experienced the greatest joy and the worst devastation.

November 21, 2005, a day I will never forget. I was told I had
malignant pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer in
the lining of my lung. I felt like my world was ending. The chance to
see my little girl grow up was being ripped away from me because
of some asbestos exposure I had experienced 30 years earlier.

There was a small chance that my condition would respond to
treatment, but it meant going to Boston to be treated by one of
the worlds best mesothelioma doctors. It nearly ripped out my heart to
think of leaving my little girl to undergo treatment. Then I thought
of the alternative. I was determined that my baby would not grow
up without a mother. I knew she would be in the best hands at the
home of my parents, my childhood home.

As hard as this time was, it was made easier through the support
of my friends and family. My husband, in-laws, parents and

wonderful friends rallied around me. They all believed that I could
do anything, giving me strength even in my darkest moments.

My stay in Boston was full of such mixed emotions. I missed my
family and my home. The treatments were painful and exhausting,
but I met so many wonderful, supportive people. Through the
process of removing my lung and the subsequent chemotherapy I
underwent, their belief in me never flagged.

I was so touched to hear from my parents that my old friends were
stepping up to the plate to assist in caring for Lily. Knowing that
they cared so much was a constant source of comfort to me during
this hard time.

Today, I am home enjoying every moment of life with my family. I
never cease to appreciate them. Without them I may not have had
the strength to fight and win my battle with cancer.




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Guest Post Coming Soon

I must say that I am enjoying the new schedule of having both kids in school all day.  I wasn’t quite sure how I’d react.  I braced myself for tears but so far, all is good.  My daughter is loving her kindergarten teacher and my son, who usually feels somewhat nonplussed about the academic day, comes home with all smiles.  He has a brand new, fresh out of college, 23 year old forth grade teacher.  She is simply darling!

In a few days I will be publishing a guest post from a miraculous cancer survivor.  She has an amazing and uplifting story to tell and I can’t wait to share it.  Her words at first remind me sadly of my mother’s unfortunate battle with cancer but they also renew my hope. She has a wonderful story.

I leave you with a picture of my daughter.  She is longingly watching for the bus on the first day of school.  She dressed herself.  She thinks that everything that you wear must be all the same color.  That is what “matching” means to her.


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Etsy Bound

I posted stuff in my Etsy store!  Hooray for ambition!  Should you want to check it out, click on PeasPorridge in my sidebar.  Here are a few of the things you will find:



There are a few stitched and painted cuffs, including the beauty above.  As well as a few lightbulb assemblage trophies, such as this one below:




And this one too:

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I Have Some Lofty Goals

I’m in an accomplishing mood.  I have great ambitions for my “free” time over the next couple of weeks.  Or maybe just for tonight, we’ll see how long I last… I want to update my class page, actually list stuff on my Etsy site, submit proposals for CREATE Chicago 2013, and the list goes on.  The kids are in school now and I’m working half-time.  One would assume that with that kind of schedule I would have ample time for creating.  However, I find myself still searching for more free time and wondering where it escapes to.

Today it seems like I spent the whole day stringing beads.  I do love to string beads and construct large, often gaudy pieces of jewelry.  I worked on a new button bracelet design today and am quite pleased with myself.  It was one of those rare times when my vision materialized right in front of me.  I really get a kick out of that fantastic success feeling.


They have the same basic construction as my initial button bracelets but with two strands of beads and a two-holed spacer bead placed strategically here and there.  I sure do enjoy stirring up those bead stews.  I call them stews now instead of soups because they are so darn chunky!  Below are two separate bracelets:


I’m also thrilled with the double-loop/button toggle.  You slide one loop around the button at a time, making for quite a stable closure. These two sort of display that feature:


Well, those assemblage trophies and vintage knitting patterns won’t list themselves on Etsy and my class page is so outdated it’s embarrassing, so I guess I must get to it.  It’s time…

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