11.29.2012

Style Spots :: Austin Adventure, Part 2

If you read the last How Very Pinteresting post, you learned that the hubs and I got a nasty stomach virus after Thanksgiving. I was out all day Friday, and him on Saturday. So while he ailed on the couch, I took advantage of a more settled stomach and a desire to get some fresh air and did a little thrifting around town.

Last time we went south of the city, so this time I headed north, stopping at Goodwills and Salvation Armies on the way to Round Rock, hoping I'd find some hidden gems, and while all the stores were stocked nicely, I didn't find much vintage. I'd been told before that estate sales are the way to go, but it was the weekend after a holiday, so there really weren't many.

But enough whining, I say! I did find these four things, which I'm very excited about:

A beautiful red American Tourister bag, which has already sold.

Two vintage pillowcases.

Some pant/skirt hangers for Holly.

And a Greek/Roman bust! She isn't marked, so I'm just going to say it's Athena.
And she's the perfect mat for...

Hermes! I've had him for ages, thrifted in college in St. Joseph, Mo. And they even
face the right directions! It's like they're already in love...

The biggest question is whether or not to spray paint her silver to match him, or spray them both another color all together. What do you think?

11.28.2012

The Thrifted Kitchen :: Rolled Cinnamon-Pumpkin Bread


So we've come to the last pumpkin-flavored recipe of the season (I think somewhere my husband is jumping with joy). I thought I'd go out with a bang by tackling a baking project that has always intimidated me: bread...yeast bread.

The last time I tried to use those little gas-infused microorganisms was to make glazed doughnuts, and I somehow messed up their delicate balance and it turned into a disaster. This time, though, I was prepared. Since then, I've acquired a vintage candy thermometer, which I used to get the water to the right temperature before pouring it over the yeast. I also found a method for helping the dough to rise that worked like a champ (which I will share later on).

I chose a recipe for rolled cinnamon bread that I found in the 1968 Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, adding a cup of pumpkin puree into the batter to give it some fall flavor. The dough that resulted was really beautiful. Very easy to work with, nice elasticity and, after baked, very light and fluffy. The only part I was disappointed with was the cinnamon not being more swirled throughout (I even doubled the amount the of cinnamon-sugar mixture). It all kind of ended up rolled at the bottom after the dough rose, so the top didn't really get any.

I brought one of the loaves to Austin for Thanksgiving, and after showing it to my mother-in-law she suggested rolling it out thinner than the recipe says, which I'll do next time. I'll also try and roll it tighter as I go, which should hopefully help incorporate it more. Any of you veteran bread-bakers have ideas?

We found the bread is especially good when toasted and slathered with some butter. It might also make good toasted bread for a breakfast sandwich maybe? Yum. I think it's time to go thaw that other loaf...


Rolled Cinnamon-Pumpkin Bread
Yields 2 loaves

1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon melted shortening
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cake yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
6 cups sifted flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar (double this and cinnamon if you want...)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour boiling water over sugar, salt and shortening. Add milk and cool to lukewarm. Add the pumpkin puree.

Soften yeast in lukewarm water. (What I did in this step was follow the yeast packet's instructions for softening and proofing the yeast. I proofed it [added sugar] because I wanted to make sure it was active and I wasn't sure what would happen if I didn't!)

Add yeast to milk mixture and add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until smooth after each addition. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead until dough is smooth and elastic to the touch and bubbles appear under the surface. Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

**If you don't already have a method of helping dough rise, what I did was pour some boiling water in a pot, put a cooling rack (or baking sheet) on top, and then set the covered bowl on top of that. Then I let it rise for about an hour and it worked great.**

Turn risen dough out on lightly floured board and knead again. Divide dough into two portions. Pat and stretch each portion into a sheet about 9 inches square. Sprinkle with mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up like jelly roll and place in greased loaf pans with seam side down. Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk.

Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) 15 minutes, reduce heat to moderate (375 degrees) and bake 25 minutes longer.

11.27.2012

Where You Want to Be This Weekend

Hey all! Holly and I are gearing up for a busy Saturday, making stops at two fabulous shows that all of you should come to! There will be tons of stuff to purchase for holiday gifts, and your friends and family will certainly crown you the King/Queen of Christmas for shopping local this year (like a champ!). :)


From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., we will be set up at the Cherokee Print League Holiday Sale down on Cherokee. There will be loads of beautiful print work for sale, as well as Lulu's Food Truck, The ReTrailer selling her delish teas, a holiday photo booth and probably a million fun things I don't even know about.


After that, we'll be packing up and heading north to the Holidays in Old North show from 2-5 p.m., held in the building across the street (diagonally) from Crown Candy. I did this show last year, and I have to tell you all, that whatever stigmas you might have about that area, they will be utterly shattered when you visit. The 14th Street Mall has been beautifully renovated, and the area is brimming with positivity and potential. I'm so excited to be able to bring the trailer there for the first time!

As an added incentive for you to come out and shop, mention this blog post when you visit and get 10% off your purchase (including the sale bin!). Woo-hoo! :)

11.24.2012

How Very Pinteresting


Hey all! How has your Thanksgiving weekend been?! Did you eat your weight food? Did any of you dare to venture out on Black Friday? Did you shop local today? (So many questions!)

The hubs and I are still in Austin, a bit unexpectedly. In the wee hours of Friday morning, my stomach decided it didn't like what it had consumed only 10 hours prior, and I spent about six hours going back and forth between the bed and the bathroom. So we decided to leave this morning, only to have the hubs wake up with the same stomach virus! Now here we are, waiting out the bugs at my overly generous in-laws' house (while my overly generous parents continue to watch their grand-dog), hoping to be on the road tomorrow.

All this down time has led to a lot of clicking around on Pinterest, so I thought I'd resurrect the How Very Pinteresting segment to share what I've been drawn to the past week or so.

Love this idea for a simple, modern holiday centerpiece.

A great way to reuse some old wood and a strip of fabric.

If you don't have a fireplace, never fear! You can hang stocking from this one (pictured above).

You could almost seeing yourself skiing down this cake.

We made a similar Christmas tree our first year of married life. It was free to DIY!

I have the perfect screen in my garage for this holiday decor. Now to find the vintage ornaments!

Dear Santa: Please put one of these in my stocking!

This dish has fried garlic...nuff said.

Love these golden magnets...no butts about it.

So gooey, these brownies have to be good.

Let's get lace-y for this year's holiday party.

11.21.2012

Style Spots :: Fun With Friends

Happy day before Thanksgiving, all! I'm sure a lot of you are working half days, or doing some last-minute grocery shopping in preparation for tomorrow's festivities, right? I myself have a pie to make (this one from last year that I loved so much), but I'm really looking forward to all the delicious dishes that are sure to be at the table tomorrow because the hubs's family is full of talented cooks.

But before all the fun begins, I thought I'd drop in fresh from our road trip to Austin and share some of the thrifted goodies I found this weekend. My friend Chelsie and I embarked on some half-price shopping on Sunday, going from Bellefontaine to Creve Coeur to Fenton and back toward the city. The first sale was great and we picked up some fun stuff, but the next two were kind of a bust. Then we stopped at Value Village, which also left us empty-handed (a rare occurrence there), but it was nice to actually go around with someone for a change (especially when they buy you a pastry from Whole Foods...yum!). :)

Here is what I brought home...

This pillow I got mid-last week while out thrifting. I love, love, love it!

A really pretty brown leather purse with a built-in mirror under the flap, for the store.

Some green floral fabric napkins, for the store.

A cute little drawing of a sleeping lion with some really long hair. :)

Some vintage Christmas gift tags.

Some vintage ribbon.

A bag of small wooden bowling pins that were given as little awards. I know these could be cute if they're repainted, but I can't settle on an idea. What do you think?

And a family portrait that I bought for the frame. Although I guess I could keep them in it, but it would weird me out...like a lot. :)

Your turn! Find any goodies this past week that you'd like to share? Would love to hear about it!

11.15.2012

DIY Gold Chevron Holiday Gift Tags


I know it might be a wee bit early yet for holiday DIYs, but hear me out. This year we're staying in the Lou for Christmas and driving to Austin for Thanksgiving, so I — being the determined little bee that I am — wanted to have all the Texas family's presents ready to go by early next week so we could do a little tote-and-drop while we're there.

As such, here I am, the week before Thanksgiving, making holiday gift tags. I kind of stink at wrapping presents, so I always try and put a little extra bling on the tag to hopefully draw discerning eyes away from the massive amounts of tape I always seem to use on the wrapping paper. :)

But I digress...

A couple weeks ago I came across this pin and thought it would be fun to make clay tags this year that could double as ornaments. Originally, the plan was just to cut out fun shapes and press the names into the clay with my rubber stamp set, and then I went to Michael's (which, going there when you're brainstorming a DIY is like going to the grocery store when you're hungry), and found this big beautiful chevron stamp that just happened to be 40% off (sweet).


I thought this would be perfect to give the tags some texture, but it seemed such a waste to let those little ridges sit there uncolored, so I grabbed a bottle of metallic gold paint and gave myself a pat on the back because it's rare that such a plan ever comes together for me.

It's also rare that it comes together without any hitches (yay!), and I'm really happy with how the tags turned out. I think I'll just write the giftees names on the back of the chevron ones and maybe do some dip-dying with the lettered tags, which brings me to another reason I love this idea: It's SO customizable!

So go on, grab that rolling pin and have yourself a merry little time. :)





Supplies
One batch of clay dough (recipe here [just don't use food coloring])
Rolling pin
Extra cornstarch (to put on pin and board if the dough is sticking)
Chevron stamp (got mine at Michael's)
Cookie cutters of choice
Rubber stamp letters (if using)
Straw (to punch holes for hanging)
Baking sheet and parchment paper
Gold metallic acrylic craft paint (or whatever color you want)
Small craft paint brush
Glaze or sealer of choice (I used a spray sealer)
Baker's twine for hanging

Directions
Make dough according to recipe directions. Roll out to 1/4" thick. (Make sure you don't roll it too thin or it will crack and curl at the edges when baked.)

If using chevron stamp, press onto dough as many times as it will fit, then use cookie cutters to out shapes. If just using rubber letter stamps, cut out shapes and then press letters onto each tag.

Once all tags are cut out, use a straw to punch a hole at the top of each ornament. Place tags on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 175 degrees for an hour (mine took another 15 minutes).

Remove from oven and, once cooled, paint as you like (paint may need a couple coats). Write name of giftee on back of ornament (or wherever you want).

Once dry, thread hole with baker's twine and you're ready to give it away!

{All images by Beth Style/Parsimonia}

11.13.2012

Fav Freebie :: Thankful for You Printables

Photo and Styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Yesterday I was perusing some of my favorite blogs, and was excited to discover a new monthly series that's starting over at papernstitch called Print This. It features a free printable (which we all know I lurv), and for the first post the designer (from Create Like Crazy) made these Southwestern-esque gift tags and note cards and labels that can be used during the day of thanks, but any other time you want to let someone know they're awesome!

So be sure and bookmark this new series...can't wait to see what else they come up with!

11.12.2012

Style Spots :: Grand-Opening Gems

This past Friday, my mom and I ventured out to Ballwin to check out a new Red Racks thrift store that's settled itself there. It was the store's grand-opening weekend, so sales were abundant, plus it's always exciting when a new thrift comes to town.

The store itself is quite large, and we had a grand time (haha) going through the shelves and racks of goodies. I found some great stuff for the store, which I'll share later this week, but here's what I kept for myself...

I mean...what girl of the 80s could pass up these sheets (which were brand new, by the way)?

I also found a brand new vintage king-size Vera fitted sheet for our bed, which I am over the moon about. 

Two vintage floral pillowcases.

And a bright yellow belt.

I also did a little Christmas shopping yesterday at some antique malls, and came across this little guy, who will join his other ceramic farm friends in the kitchen. I've never seen the rooster before, so I was very excited to spot him on a shelf!


And I forgot to post this find from last week's adventures in estate sales...

I've been wanting a Blendo set for the summertime for a while now, and this one was half off. Now I can pick up those lonely glasses I see at thrifts all the time to even out the set!

Did you all go on any thrifting adventures this weekend? What goodies did you find?

11.09.2012

Style Spots :: The Wearables

Is anyone else in St. Louis excited about this 70-degree weekend we're going to have?? I know I am, especially since I'll be hanging out in Missouri wine country tomorrow (where I hope to see your smiling, boozy faces!). As for today, as promised, I'm here to show you some of the vintage clothing I've selfishly kept for myself over the past few weeks.

As lovers of vintage, I know you know how difficult it can be to find something that fits your every curve, so when I come across such pieces, I make a deal with myself: If I don't wear it enough in 6 months to justify keeping it, then it goes to the trailer. So maybe you'll see one of these pieces someday while you peruse Holly's rack (haha)...but don't cross those fingers just yet. :)

This is beyond a doubt my new favorite dress (you can see a pick of me wearing it on Instagram).
That bow in the middle, well, it's just too cute.

I bought this beauty as a treat for myself when we took our road trip. I found it at a
consignment store in Park City, Utah. Just needs a little taking in at the waist.

A nice brown plaid skirt for the fall and winter. It's high-waist, which I love, and goes
with my favorite vintage brown boots.

If you went to my show in O'Fallon (Mo.) or to Craftoberfest, then you saw me wearing this little gem. It fits like a glove, and I love the rustic/prairie feel it has.

I found this skirt in Cheyenne (and one just like it in a solid red color). The waist is high and the skirt is shorter and full, which makes for a awkward situation on windy days (I learned this from experience, folks).

Here is a close-up of the print, which says "peace" and "love" and has little hearts (all in gold).


And, lastly, this purple/pink plaid skirt, which is a twin of the one above, and I love it for all the same reasons. :)

Have y'all found any fun vintage clothing lately that you just couldn't help but keep for yourself? What's your favorite retro piece?

11.08.2012

The Thrifted Kitchen :: Pineapple, Two Ways


As usually happens when we near the end of our co-op produce supply, last week I opened my refrigerator to be greeted by a bunch of fruit. Most noticeable was a very ripe pineapple, with its crazy, spiky hairdo just tilting away on the bottom shelf. Most normal people just dice it up and eat bits here and there for a snack, but this lass can't handle more than one bite. I don't know what happened to my taste buds, if they were betrayed by some rotten fruit or something as a youngin', but I'm just not drawn to it — unless it's covered in some combination of flour, sugar, butter and eggs.

Lucky for me, I had a fresh stock of old cookbooks just waiting to be opened, so I scoured the index of each one to see what they offered in terms of pineapple recipes, and I landed on two: a classic pineapple upside-down cake from the 1950 edition of the Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, and pineapple drop cookies from the dessert book of the Favorite Recipes from Southern Kitchens series. This one had no copyright date, but I'm gauging it was published sometime in the late 1950s.

But back to the grind...

The former called for pineapple slices, and the latter some crushed pineapple, so I recruited the hubs's knife skills to procure just that (although the "crushed" was more of a puree of sorts...). Once that was finished, I started working on the cake, the first step of which is melting the butter and brown sugar in the bottom of the dish in which you bake it. Ideally, this would be a heavy cast iron skillet, but ours was still sitting in the ol' Weber outside because someone forgot to bring it in after his last grill of the season.

Hmm.

So I went to my stack of round cake pans, certain I had ones that were 10-inch, but apparently I only have 8-inch. I didn't even have a square pan that was the right size. So I went with the too-small round ones, expecting the cake to turn out way too thick (I've never had this cake before, so I had no idea what to expect), but it turned out rather thin. The hubs claims that's how it's suppose to be, but I'm skeptical, especially considering how much thinner it would be if I did have the right size pan. Who wants to set the record straight?

As for the cookies, the first batch was a bit of a surprise because I didn't realize they would spread so much. So make sure you give them a good couple inches between each other on the baking sheet. They turn out a little crispy, which I'm not a huge fan of, so I store mine in some Tupperware with wax paper to keep them soft. As for the taste, the hubs compared it to the cake part of a Twinkie, which...I guess.....is......good?

They do have a very light, subtle flavor, and in the time since I took the photos I've drenched them in a sugar glaze — which, let's face it, can't ever hurt. But you are the master of your own cookie fate, so do as you see fit. :)


Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
"A handsome dessert to serve at table." :)
Courtesy of the Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book, 1950
Yields one 10-inch cake

First, prepare the pan:
Melt 1/3 cup butter in heavy 10-inch skillet or baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly over butter. Arranged drained cooked fruit in attractive pattern (their words, not mine), on the butter-sugar coating.

Make the cake batter (see recipe below) and pour it over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees until wooden pick thrust into center of cake comes out clean (about 45 minutes). Immediately turn upside-down on serving plate. Do not remove pan for a few minutes or brown sugar will run down over cake instead of clinging to pan. Serve warm with plain or whipped cream.

Cake batter:
Beat until thick and lemon-colored (5 minutes)
    2 eggs
Gradually beat in ...
    2/3 cup sugar
Beat in all at once ...
    6 tablespoons juice from fruit (we used the pineapple puree instead, about 4-5 tablespoons)
    1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift together and beat in all at once ...
    1 cup sifted flour or cake flour
    1/3 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt


Pineapple Drop Cookies
Courtesy of Favorite Recipes from Southern Kitchens (Desserts)
Recipe by Mrs. Cecil G. Smith of McEwen, Tenn.
Yields about 3 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening (I used a half cup of shortening and a half cup of butter)
9 ounces undrained crushed pineapple
1 egg
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream sugar and shortening; add pineapple and mix well. Add egg and mix. Sift flour with soda, salt and nutmeg; add to mixture, mixing well. Fold in nuts. Chill dough for 2 hours. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees until light brown (for me this was about 12 minutes).

11.07.2012

Style Spots :: The Wares

Guys...I'm so excited to finally get back on track sharing my thrifted finds with you! This fall has been so crazy-busy with taking Holly to shows and whatnot, but now that the season is starting to slow down, I'm looking forward to getting back into the blog and making it better and better. :)

The two weekends prior to this past one, I did some very heavy thrifting, y'all. I was going to estate sales Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and thrift stores in between. Now, after being ravaged at Craftoberfest, Holly is filled to the brim with cute vintage clothing, accessories and home decor for the fall and winter. Unfortunately, I've already moved all that stuff to the trailer, so today I'm going to share the wares and accessories I kept for myself, and Friday I'll share the wearables.

Here we go!

Found another ceramic animal head. This guy with go great with Elsie and Figaro in the kitchen! :)

There was one sale I went to twice, where there were literally hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks
for next to nothing. Needless to say, I have tons of Thrifted Kitchen material now. :)

I found the top of a quilt made with vintage fabrics that just needs some batting
and a bottom. Should be a good weekend sewing project for the winter!

I haven't bought myself a purse in a while, but this worn-in plum one was just calling
my name. And the straps are the perfect length, too. Not too short or long.

This hat caught my eye in a crowded estate sale, and I just fell in love.

Two Vera sightings: a silk scarf and a set of handkerchiefs sewn from one of
her fern designs.

Some really lovely vintage fabric from a sale where the basement was full of craft
supplies. I was good and left some things behind for once. :)

Two cute entertaining things: drink tags that fit over the rim of the glass and a
set of "frutti" party picks!

A couple vintage sewing patterns (I want to make that shorter cape) and a Singer sewing book.

Two pairs of elbow-length gloves, which is perfect because my two vintage coats
have sleeves that are 3/4 length.

And a roll of some crazy shiny wallpaper and Christmas tree tape.

On a side note, I've had some of you asking if Holly and I will be venturing out during the snowy days ahead, and the answer is: possibly. I have three shows booked through the end of the year, one this Saturday and two in early December. In between, on Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), I'll most likely pull the trailer out on the curb where I store her and have her open for business (more details to come). Depending on how that goes, I might keep doing that on Fridays thereafter. But you all can always shop by appointment as well, so just send me an email! :)
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