Monday, September 28, 2009

Mosiac Monday

It is a windy and cool 58 degrees at 1:00 PM. Definitely feels like autumn here in Indiana today. I'm joining Mary @ the Little Red House today for Mosaic Monday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thrifty Finds

Females by nature love to nest and continue fluffing our nest. We like to decorate our homes and surround ourselves with things that make us feel good and add beauty to our lives. During the last few years, due to my husbands career in the declining RV industry, resulting in three job losses in four years, the finances have been very tight and I haven't been able to buy many things for my home. It's really sad to say but at some point I even stopped loving and caring for my home and garden. Most of it was due to the fear that we might lose it, The thought of that was so painful and I needed to detach myself from it...just in case. (Thankfully that fear has subsided, and we are not in danger of losing our home .)

This summer a good friend and I started going to garage sales together again, (I hadn't been to any in about two years), and we also frequented the Goodwill stores in our area. She rents a small space in an antique shop and is always looking for things to sell.

I have been thrilled with the wonderful things I've found that have been perfect for my home allowing me to spruce it up and freshen things up a bit without spending much money at all. I wanted to show you some of the things I've found recently, especially last weekend at Goodwill. They had their half-off sale on Saturday and I found some fun things.

The green leaf plates were found at Goodwill Saturday, the plate in the middle I found a few weeks ago at a garage sale. I thought they went well together. The pretty lamp shade was bought at a garage sale for $1.00, actually there were two of them for $1.00 each and the other one was put on a floor lamp in the living room.

I made the autumn centerpiece; the base was bought at Goodwill, ($1.00), the pumpkin on top was bought at a garage sale, ($1.00), I had purchased the fall picks several years ago at the end of the season for 75% off.

I found the plate holder a few weeks ago at a garage sale for $1.00 and the two Waverly plates at Goodwill for 50 cents each. The white platter is a Johnson Brothers ironstone that I got for
50 cents at Goodwill! (It was about 5:00 PM after an all day half-price sale, I can't believe these three items were still there!)

I couldn't pass up this desk with the glass top, well I did pass it up, but couldn't stop thinking about it, so I went back and got it. I couldn't believe that it was still there! I think it would be beautiful painted, but for now I like it just the way it is.

Are you ready for this? It was only $25.00! It is the perfect spot in my kitchen to pay bills and plan menus and hide junk mail. Oh, and the lamp I found at a garage sale last Saturday along with the pretty candle holder.

I have a large home, (about 4000 s.f.) with quite a bit of wall space to fill. I'm still holding out for a picture for the other side of the china cabinet. I know it's only a matter of time before I find exactly what I want at a garage sale or moving sale, so I will patiently wait.

See this drop-leaf table? I found it at Goodwill several weeks ago for $25.00! I loved it! It matched my Duncan Phyfe dining room table perfectly! Look at the picture of my dining room table feet again, perfect match I tell you! The Victorian sofa also has the same legs. Both the living room and dining room are open to each other and it helps to tie the two rooms together.

It has been so amazing to me how God has provided for even our most basic needs during this time while finances have been tight. Several months ago a corbel on the dining room drapes broke. I looked everywhere I could think of and couldn't find a replacement. I have a matching set in the living room and I couldn't afford to replace them all. The drapes hung across the dining room chair for over two months. How discouraging to see that day after day! One Saturday while coming home from the nursing home, I passed a garage sale; on impulse I stopped. I could not believe it! They had corbels that were almost an exact match! I was one very happy gal!

A lot of people think that there is only junk at garage sales, but that just isn't the case, at least it isn't the case where I live. I like nice things and I don't like clutter and junkie stuff. It amazes me what people sale. This weekend I went to a few garage sales with my friend and I couldn't believe the things I found. The above picture shows the Longaberger Pottery that I got for $6.50.

At the same sale I got three Fiestaware pitchers for $2.00 each. Can you believe it?

This is only part of the loot, there was also a Singer sewing machine that was free at the end of a church sale, (I haven't checked to see if it works), a picture, two pairs of dress boots, ($2.00 ea.) that looked like new, books and some other things that I can't remember right now.

I've had so much fun fluffing my nest with these great finds. Just getting a few new, (to me), things and making these few inexpensive changes in my home has been an enormous encouragement to me. I'm starting to love my home again, and I actually enjoy keeping it clean, well ... enjoy is a bit strong, but there is definitely more enthusiasm than before. I'm overflowing with gratitude and thankfulness to God that we have been blessed to still have our home when so many people have lost theirs during these tough economic times.

I wanted to join in and link with Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality and share my thrifty treasures.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mosiac Monday- The Farmer's Market

On Saturday, I finally made it to the Noblesville Farmer's Market again. I love taking pictures at the market, but I feel awkward doing so. People look at you funny when you take pictures of their peppers and puppies! I usually ask if it's OK to do so, but even asking makes me feel silly. I guess one day I'll get over the feeling of awkwardness when taking pictures in public places.

I bought Indiana sweet corn, green beans, onions, new potatoes, tomatoes, squash and zucchini. I cooked most of it over the weekend, and it was delicious! I hope to make some zucchini bread either today or tomorrow.

I'm participating in Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary at the Little Red house.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Little Change That Makes a Big Difference

A couple of months ago I made the confession that I had never shot out of the auto mode with any of my cameras. I didn't even know how! After I made that confession, so many of you commented and said that you also shoot in the auto mode.

I took a fundamentals of photography course recently and I learned something very valuable during the first class that I want to share with you that will make a huge difference in your photography! This alone was worth the price of the class to me!

On almost every camera, (even the most basic point and shoot digital cameras), there is a "P" on the dial. This is called the Program AE Mode on my Canon, but I have the same "P" on all of my Sony cameras as well as my Panasonic. The Program mode is very similar to the Auto except that you control the "White Balance" and the "ISO" speed. The camera still automatically sets the shutter speed and the aperture.

Here are a series of photos, straight from the camera, that I've taken to show the difference in the Program and Auto modes.

Before, when I would shoot in Auto, I had to do a lot of editing to my pictures before I could post them. Usually the color was flat and washed out so I pretty much always had to increase the saturation. A lot of times in Picasa I had to use "warmify" to give my pictures the warmth they lacked.

White Balance is a very easy concept to understand and most cameras have the same standard symbols. If you are taking pictures on a cloudy day, turn it to the cloud. If you are in the shade, most cameras have a house indicating shade. There is a sun for sunny days, a light bulb for indoors and usually a long battery looking thing which is standard for florescent lighting. I don't know why but the term "white balance" intimidated me. There really is nothing complicated about it, once you locate it on the camera menu and learn to change it.

ISO sounds intimidating too, but just remember back to the days when we had to buy film. I usually bought 200 speed film which was great for shooting outdoors. For indoor situations you needed a higher speed film. For digital cameras the ISO works the same way, you have to increase the speed for lower light situations. What a huge difference it makes just going from auto to program! I can't believe that I didn't already know about this!

Remember me telling you about the first night in class when I told my instructor that Auto was my friend and he quipped, "it's a stupid friend"? Well this is exactly why he said that. He knew something very important that I didn't know. Auto white balance is the stupid factor.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009