5.31.2011

Style Spots: Small-Town Victory

Happy Tuesday all! So you might have noticed I took full advantage of the three-day weekend and was fairly absent from the land of social media. I think it's important to give yourself a teeny break now and then, and I usually take holidays as my excuse to do so.

I am glad to be back, though, and excited to share some thrifted finds! My parents and I headed to Union and Washington, Mo. (about a 40-minute drive) to check out there rummage sale and thrift store action. We learned a valuable lesson about calling ahead, though; when we got to Union and headed to the church where the sale was to take place, we found out it'd been canceled due to a funeral. So we hopped back on the highway and headed north toward Washington, where we went to the local Goodwill. And there I found...


A set of 6 glasses with stainless steel holders

That have a neat leaf-esque design on them

A vintage kitschy tablecloth

A handmade patchwork blanket that is baby- or small child-sized

And 11 quilting squares with flowers sewn on them using vintage fabric

I'm thinking of dropping them with my grandma's quilting club and having them finish it

After that we drove to a resale boutique in downtown Washington (which is really cute, by the way), and I bought a necklace there (forgot to take a picture). We went further up the river to try another thrift store, but it was closed on Saturdays (boo). So then we headed back to St. Louis, stopping at one of my favorite thrift stores in Ballwin, where I found...


Two copies of Ladies' Home Journal...

From 1928!


And a bag of thread/yarn in all the colors of the rainbow (for a crafty project).

That was it for Saturday. Yesterday, all the local Value Villages were having a 50% off sale, so went went to a couple close to our house and found...


A nut dish that I've seen around a lot, but finally bought one since it was so cheap. I can't resist animal kitsch.

Another vintage tablecloth (this one round)

A really nice linen pillow for the guest bedroom

Two vintage straw clutches, perfect for the summer!

And a stack of clothes (6 shirts and 1 skirt) for $12!


What goodies did you find this weekend? I would love to hear about your success stories! In the meantime, I'm going to hop over to Thrift Share Monday, Flea Market Finds, The Penny Worthy Project, Thrifty Treasures and Magpie Monday to see what's been unearthed all over the country!


{Images by me}

5.27.2011

DIY Friday

Happy Friday! Are you ready for a nice long weekend? Any Memorial Day plans? I know I'm hitting up the 50% sale at Value Village on Monday, dinner with my parents tonight, and then some creative time in between that involves rearranging furniture (already!). Whatever you're doing, I hope you have a blast. And should the crafty bug come nibbling, here are some great projects to inspire you over the next three days!

Chalkboard Cookies via Sweet Tooth

Industrial Table via papernstitch via Lowe's

DIY Sputnik Chandelier via Pearl Street Interiors

Chalkboard Wall Calendar via Little Miss Holls via Martha Stewart

Fabric Button Necklace via Ucreate via Fiskars

Wallpapered Dresser via Spearmint Baby via Norske

It's Friday. I'm in Love. {With Games}






{All pinned here}

5.26.2011

Oh Deer

Remember these plastic deer heads I picked up at an estate sale this past weekend? I was going to paint them white, but 10 seconds into painting the first one, the can ran out. So instead of making a trip to the hardware store, I improvised with a dark teal and an aqua that I had on hand, and I must say I kinda like the pop of color! I promised Callie that I'd post the results, so here they are!




Right now they're situated at the top of the stairs on the second floor, but I'll probably move them elsewhere once the walls start coming together in the downstairs rooms. Not bad for $4.50, eh? 

{Images by me}

The Thrifted Kitchen {White Cake + Lemon Cream Filling}


Good morning & happy Thursday! The workweek is almost over (hooray!), and I think that calls for a celebration. Perhaps cake? :)

You can thank the hubs for this week's tasty treat. He had a hankering for cake, and when that happens, there's really no further discussion. Usually it's a white layer cake with a strawberry jam & almond filling, but I convinced him to peruse the possibilities in my thrifted copy of The Good Housekeeping Cook Book from 1949. He didn't stray too far from his favorite, still choosing a white cake. But this time it has a lemon cream filling, topped with a lemon butter frosting.

Now, I could put on a happy disposition and tell you how splendidly the whole process went...but what fun would that be? The cake itself and the frosting turned out fine, but the filling kinda kicked my butt. It didn't set very well, which I'm thinking is because either 1) it didn't cook long enough in the double boiler,  2) I didn't let it rest long enough in the bowl as it cooled or 3) I didn't whipped the cream long enough before I added it to the rest of the filling.

So after I put it on top of the bottom cake layer and then placed the second on top, most of the filling squirted out the sides. I tried to remedy it as best I could (which required my taking a 10-minute break in the living room, mumbling something about "...I never have problems with cake..." in my best Grumpy impersonation while the hubs tried to keep from smiling) and then relied on the frosting and some time in the refrigerator to help things come together.

Eventually it did, and it tastes delicious; it just isn't the prettiest thing to look at. :)

White Layer Cake
Yields 1 two-layer, 8-inch cake

2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
3 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two 8" layer pans, 1 1/4" deep, on bottom with waxed paper; grease paper. Sift together three times flour, baking powder and salt. With back of spoon, work shortening against sides of mixing bowl until creamy. (Note: I did this in my stand mixer because it's a heck of a lot easier.) To this, add flour mixture, alternately with milk, in small amounts, beginning and ending with flour, and beating smooth after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat egg whites with hand or electric beater until they form moist peaks. Add 1/4 cup sugar slowly, beating after each addition until sugar is blended. Beat well into batter with spoon. Turn into pans. Bake in moderately hot oven of 375 degrees, 25 minutes, or until done. Cool on wire cake rack 10-15 minutes before removing from pan and removing paper.

Fill and frost with...


Lemon Cream Filling
Fills two 8" or 9" cake layers. Yields 1 1/3 cups filling.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup heavy cream

Combine first three ingredients in double boiler. Slowly stir in water and lemon juice, mixing well. Cook over boiling water 10 minutes, stirring, or until a small amount dropped from a spoon mounds slightly. Pour slowly, while beating with spoon, over egg, beaten with 1/4 cup sugar. Return to double boiler; cook 2 minutes, or until a small amount dropped from a spoon mounds slightly. Remove. Add rind and butter. Cool. Fold in 1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped, just before using.


Lemon Butter Frosting
Frosts 8"x8"x2" cake, or fills and frosts single 9" layer, cur in halves, or 24 cupcakes. To fill and frost two 8" layers, double recipe.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
Speck of salt
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
About 3 tablespoons cream or milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Place butter in medium mixing bowl; let stand to soften a little.

Add salt; then work with back of wooden spoon, or electric beater at high speed, until light in color, fluffy and creamy.

Gradually stir in about 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar. Then add remaining sugar and cream, alternately, while stirring or beating until very smooth. Add only enough cream to make a spreading consistency.

When frosting is smooth, add lemon juice and lemon rind and spread on cake. 

{Images by me}

5.25.2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?



Just picked last night. I cannot tell you how much I'm loving growing our own fruits & veggies. Now...who has a great {vegetarian} recipe that includes chard and/or kale?

{P.S. I'm really digging the color palette of those chard stems... hmmm.}

Parsimonia on Thrift Store Confidential


Good morning all! Thought I'd start out the day with some exciting news: Parsimonia has been featured in a Sites You'll Love series over on Thrift Store Confidential, which is one of my favorite thrifty sites! Nicole provides amazing content, day after day, and I'm so honored and blessed to be part of what she's doing from up in the Big Apple. Be sure and check back as she continues to profile other people in the thrift community, because I'm sure you'll meet some blogs you're bound to love!

Cheerio!

5.24.2011

Shacking Up With the Styleses {Updates}

Hello my lovelies! So it's been a while since I gave you a photo tour of our new home, and I thought it high time I fill you in on some additions we've acquired and decor we've hung up! I've been starting with the smaller nooks because all this wall space seriously intimidates me, so first up is my little sewing nook.


I found this desk at a church rummage sale across the river in Illinois. It was a teacher's desk, so the back right corner has a pencil sharpener screwed onto the top, which I love. For now I'm keeping it as is. I might change the hardware at some point to break up all the brown, but we'll see!


The chair came from the Vallue Village in Fenton and was only $6! It is really old, and the wood is beautiful. Plus it fits perfectly into the opening in the desk, like they were MFEO (anyone else watch Sleepless in Seattle on TV last weekend?).


The wall on the right has become the proud host of that spool rack I thrifted this past weekend. The sewing table drawer you see on top of the desk will eventually be hung on the wall under the rack, then I'll have all my thread readily available!


Perhaps you'll recognize these beautiful wooden spools sporting beautiful 100% cotton thread from several months ago? I really love multi-taskers like this setup, where it's practical and visually pleasing.

Moving next door to our bedroom, I'm please as punch to announce that we finally have a set of dressers! We got them from a couple on Craigslist, who in turn had purchased them from an antique store.



They were exactly what I wanted: the shape of something from the '40s with an updated color. And the pulls and knobs are beautiful! The previous owner had tried a distressed look on the trim (emphasize the word tried), but luckily she held onto the quart of paint she had used on the dressers, so I'm going to go back over the "distressed" parts to have everything be one color.



I pulled a couple dresser scarves from my vintage linen stash to put on top for now, and above the chest of drawers I hung up some toll painting my grandma (on my dad's side) had done years ago. She passed when I was 15, and there are many times I regret never having learned how to do this delicate art form. She was quite crafty and loved to paint, sew and quilt, so I hope some of that talent has trickled down the line.


The wooden jewelry box housing my pins and hair clips was also hers, and the teal jewelry box with my rings belonged to my great-aunt Eileen. Then there's the mirror I thrifted a while ago and a picture of me and the hubs from our wedding. Needless to say this has quickly become one of my favorite walls in the house...so many good memories on it.


You might notice that the dresser seems to be missing a mirror...and you would be right! We had a bit of an accident when we were trying to attach it, and ended up with a plastic tub of broken glass. :( So...here's my question to you: Should we get a piece of mirror cut to replace it? Or should I cut some cork to fit, cover it with fabric, and then use pins to hang jewelry on it? Any other ideas? Your thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated!


Another favorite spot in our bedroom is at the foot of the bed, where we've recently placed a beautiful cedar chest that came from the hubs's side of the family. His dad refinished it and his parents gave it to us as a wedding present. I just love it so much (especially those rounded, knobby legs!); anything that is passed down through family members is just so special to me. So thank you Ray and Chris! :) 

(On a side note: Yes, I know we're in desperate need of a duvet set! I have my eye on this one from West Elm in the Dandelion color...just waiting to see if the price drops some more. Then I'll pounce!)


Moving downstairs to the front stairway, we finally put an assortment of things together as a "dump station" for keys, shoes and mail. We used a big old wooden clamp I thrifted in Orange, Calif. I screwed some hooks into the front for key hangers, and it's just deep enough to house some trinkets...such as my mini family of brass penguins!


I got them in Orange as well; my friend Becky tried to get me to leave one behind at the antique store, but the part of me that personifies everything saw them as a beautifully mismatched family, and I didn't have the heart to make one of them an orphan. (Love you Becky!) :)


I also clearly love the idea of hanging sewing table drawers on walls...this one was a housewarming/wedding present from my bro and sis-in-law, and it's really helpful in keeping our mail organized. So thank you two!


Lastly, into the living room to see the new pillow setup on the couch! I thrifted that middle one a couple weekends ago, then used a Pier 1 gift card to purchase to two big turquoise pillows. The orange and brown silk ones were estate sale finds some months ago, and all together I love the color palette, so now I'm looking for other ways to bring it in.


You might have noticed the orange rug that was once in the guest room is now here, and the white one was moved upstairs. I like it for now, but I think eventually I'd like a lighter color in the living room...maybe a light turquoise or a natural fiber like jute? If you know of any rugs that would go well, please do post a link! Would love some help deciding...

I have a couple other projects I'm working on that I'll be sure and post when they're finished! Hope you enjoyed the bits and pieces we've been bringing together. If not, well...I guess you just have bad taste. (I kid, I kid!). :) 

{Images by me}
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