the three thrifted porridge bowls

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Aren't these cute? Fiona's really into Goldilocks and the Three Bears, so I couldn't resist when we found this sweet set at the flea market. They sure do look adorable on the shelves of Fiona's play kitchen.

Goldilocks (played by Genevieve, the Autumn Fairy) got right to work testing porridge and proclaiming it "too hot!", "too cold!" and "just right!"

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'tis the (flea market) season

Flea market season might just be my favorite of all. It signals the return of long walks along the harbor, farmers markets and the gathering of neighbors at the park. Spring is the best time to live in the city.

Since starting my new gig, our budget for non-essentials has dwindled to, well, none. Thankfully, flea marketing is about much more than just the buying. Though, I can't say I was disappointed when Sheldon slipped me a ten on my way out the door. ;)

I brought home these sweeties, which I have big, crafty plans for.

this drop cloth will do

I've had plans for a while now to sew a big drop cloth out of pretty oil cloth for the kids to do art projects on. Unfortunately, I have a lot of plans, and "make a cute drop cloth" is pretty far down on the list. So when I saw this vintage table cloth at the thrift store, I put it in my basket. But then I wondered, do I want a green background in every kids crafting picture? Is it kitschy cute or kitschy tacky? Does it look like astroturf? Is it just plain ugly? As I was mulling over these important questions in my mind, it occurred to me, what kind of person needs even their drop cloth to be perfect?! Then I bought the damn thing.

So this weekend when Fiona said she wanted to paint a picture of Elijah building his Lego Hogwarts Castle, instead of scrambling around spreading out newspaper and mumbling something about really needing to sew a drop cloth one of these days, I just got out my huge (kitschy/tacky/astroturfy?) green table cloth from the closet and laid it out. And you know what? No paint got on the floor and it actually looks kind of cute in the pictures.

And yes, I did just turn buying a drop cloth into a metaphor for my life, in case you were wondering.

elijah's mail kit

Elijah's interest in reading and writing has really blossomed recently. He especially loves writing letters and delivering them to family members and neighborhood friends, covertly leaving his notes in mailboxes to surprise (or scare! depending on the message...) their recipients. So, for his 6th birthday, we put together a Mail Kit. We included personalized letterhead, envelopes, stamps, a vintage typewriter and a handmade mailbag. When he opened the mailbag, he let out a gasp and exclaimed, "I am a mailman!"

How awesome is that typewriter? It had been long forgotten at my in-laws house, but with a little greasing, it was as good as new. For Elijahs letterhead, I just typed out his name with "Fells Point" below it in a nice font (the font is Emigre's Blockhead for those interested in that kind of thing). Very simple, and you don't have to be a designer to do it. Just center your type at the top of the page. Elijah loves it and insists on using this very official paper for all of his correspondence.

He got right to work typing thank you notes and delivering them to his friends who came to his birthday party.

Each time I avoid mainstream kids' products, and go for something simpler, handmade or thrifted, I am so thrilled by how well-received it is by the children. I dare say that this sweet, vintage typewriter may be his very favorite thing at the moment. The "mail" I've received from this boy in the last couple weeks has been awesome. Oh, the funny, insightful and interesting things that come out of this kid's mouth... or fingertips, as the case may be.

Happy birthday, dear Elijah. We will always look forward to mail from our boy.

Oh! And there may be a tutorial to come for this mailbag a la the Birdwatching Bags!

a vintage quilt for the bedroom

This weekend was the last Fells Point flea market of the year and I picked up this beautiful old quilt. It's in pretty bad shape, but so intricate and lovely. I love thinking of the woman who hand stitched this, working quietly every night for months as her children slept upstairs, long before TV and the internet came along to distract from this kind of very purposeful and meaningful work.

Because it's in far from perfect shape, I am actually considering using it on our bed. The original inspiration for the look of our bedroom is the quilt hanging over the arm of the chair in the picture below (a better shot can be seen in this post). My late grandmother gave it to me when Sheldon and I got married. It is one of my very favorite things. The quilt is a work of art, really, and actually using it is out of the question (especially since we still share our bed with the little lady), so this new old quilt might be perfect.

And here's a look at the rest of the bedroom. It's changed a lot since this post a little over a year ago. So much for narrowing my color palette... That didn't last.

When I showed this ottoman to Sheldon, he said, "Eh, it kind of looks like Mad Men," like that is a bad thing...

Our bedroom has a bit of a different color scheme than the rest of the house, which is made up of warmer, earthier colors. The bedroom has a lighter, brighter feel and white walls.

This room is also the home of the only painting of mine that is hung in our house. Sheldon insisted and having it on the wall has grown on me. I get less critical of my own work with time, so after many months of looking at it, the flaws have faded and I can appreciate it a bit more. Fiona points at it and says "Mama!" every morning.

vintage pyrex is pretty (and useful!)

The above Pyrex bowl doesn't quite count as 'vintage' IMHO. See, it was made in the 80's, and I was alive in the 80's, which means this can't possibly be vintage.

I originally started buying Pyrex because I wanted to try to minimize the amount of plastic we use in the kitchen. Containers with lids are a great (and much prettier!) substitute for tupperware.

I don't really make casseroles, but this shape is nice for holding muffins too, no?

And here's a picture of the blue bowl with purple grapes since my Mom requested it in the comments of my last Pyrex post...

We probably get the most use out of our big Pyrex mixing bowls. Fiona is quite the professional when it comes to mixing!