Author Archives: designgirl178

Fretta’s

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Fretta’s is a small to moderately sized antique mall, it is a quaint little shop with lots of charm and whose booth owners have lots of sweet personalities. The shop is mostly run by Fretta and her daughter, Christine. Both are pleasant to speak to and have lots of knowledge concerning antiques and vintage items.

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Here are a few things I found while wandering into Fretta’s this weekend.

Fretta has several booths throughout her place with a few rooms in the back and lots of charm mingled into the lots.  It is a joy to shop her mall and I hope if you are in the area you can explore Fretta’s too.

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This vintage patio set caught my eye with its cheery yellow hues…wouldn’t this look cute sitting on a small porch or patio this spring? I can just see a pot of red geraniums sitting on the table with a set of tea cups next to it so I can enjoy my morning tea…with a friend.

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Fretta, Patsy, Heidi and Fretta’s daughter, Christine

Here are some of the smiling faces you might see when you visit.

I have to show you the finds I spied behind these wonderful women…

IMG_0321If you are into glassware…which I am not, so I don’t know what these are called, sorry…you might want to stop and browse here. Aren’t these beautiful?!

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Vintage pins…

IMG_0311This trunk looks interesting. Couldn’t think of where I might have space for this in my little home though…

IMG_0309This old enamel stove is my friend Patsy’s  pièce de résistance, she found this in my neighborhood and couldn’t wait to tell me about it. Isn’t it a beauty. I overheard a lady telling her friend today, “I guess it’s not for sale, too bad”. I should have told her, a fair price might turn her head!

Here is another display at Patsy’s booth…

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IMG_0314I like this sign!!! I need this in my work area, lol.

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Here is my lil’ area within Patsy’s booth.

IMG_0307Here’s a closer look. Right now I have beaded bracelets and fabric flowers, both pins or clips. These are made from vintage buttons and fabrics and my bracelets have vintage beads in them.

Hope you can join us yet tomorrow for more fun at Fretta’s! fish

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Lottie

Before I begin with my post, I want to let all my friends and readers know that my bracelets and flower pins and clips will now be on display to sell at Fretta’s here in Elkhart, booth 79. This is the annual Tri Kappa antique show here and all the antique malls are getting ready for the out-of-town shoppers that just might wander into our local booths. Please pray that I will soon become a regular with my designs around town…

Now onto the story of Grandma Lottie.

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I don’t know about you but I love to look at old pictures. It never ceases to amaze me how God puts His fingerprint onto each of our lives in a unique yet recognizable way.

If you look at pictures of your grandparents or parents when they were children or young adults, you almost certainly can recognize them even though you didn’t know them then. I also enjoy thinking back in my childhood remembering times that make me feel good, times that warm my heart. Hugs from Grandma, piggy-back rides from Grandpa and my Dad sitting my sister and I on his lap to read the Sunday comics; these all make me smile.

My Dad’s mother was named Charlotte, Lottie for short. She was an outspoken woman, she used phrases like “clean your grub-hooks before dinner”, “wipe off your mud-hooks before walking on my clean floors” and “he was such a physic-face!”. She would go home after supper to wash her ‘wool’ and if it was raining she wore her ‘babushka’. Grandma’s outspokenness often embarrassed Dad and his brother, I know this from the stories that he would tell.

Grandma had a way of looking at life as if she was looking through the carnival mirrors, you know the ones that distort you in funny ways, the ones we used to laugh at when the circus would come to town. Her stories were always so colorful and so alive that you couldn’t just walk away.

When Grandma started telling one of her stories you were hauled in on a line and you were at the mercy of the story, you were glued to Grandma’s yarn. To other people those memories in her stories would be just a memory, nothing more. More than that Grandma made them all seem so much more alive. When she told her stories we didn’t need television or games or anything else, we just sat around and listened and laughed.

Grandma’s life was not all fun though, she had some hard times in her life. Her younger brother died when he accidently shot himself running across a hunting ground to greet his Dad’s train—Great Grandpa was a conductor. She spoke of that often.

She had a six-year-old brother who loved school and one day he was too ill to go to school. She recounted how he said he was sad to miss school that day. Later in the day he passed away as his father rocked him in his arms. They were waiting for the doctor.

Grandma’s first child died soon after birth. All these things colored her outlook, but never darkened her ways. She was a resilient woman.

Grandma had to help support the family. She married Grandpa who was a wounded WWI veteran, back then you didn’t get benefits for being wounded. Grandpa almost died in France, half of his shoulder was gone and he was disabled after the war.

Grandpa worked, but Grandma would do laundry for some of the wealthier citizens in town, she would sew wedding gowns, prom dresses and curtains.

She made homemade soap for her laundry in the basement and had the cleanest clothes in town. She quit doing laundry for money after she was told by one of her clients that she could no longer come to the front door with the clothes.  She figured if she was good enough to do their laundry, she was good enough to use the front door, lol, and that was the end of her laundry career!

That was my Grandma, Lottie. She loved life, loved her family and loved the Lord. God was good to me when he placed me in her family.

I pray that each one of you has pictures in your minds that you can go to, that can warm your hearts on cold days. I thank God for my heritage and all the Godly people who played a part in my life. Blessings to you this week as you make your own memories.fish

The Fabric of Life

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Fabrics intrigue me…The textures…colors…and uses are very interesting to me.  I am my Grandmother’s child. She also loved fabrics and collected a yard here and a yard there. She would travel with my Grandfather to different states and would purchase fabric in almost every state.

As a child I would go into her ‘sewing closet’, where she stored her fabrics and dream about how she chose each fabric. It didn’t take much prodding to get Grandma talking about her fabrics, they were chosen with great thought.

Grandma would seldom make anything from her fabrics, they were her prizes, stored away with great pride and much dreaming—and no, I wasn’t able to persuade her to part with any of them. They were probably distributed to her nieces when she packed to move in with Mom and Dad—that makes me sad to think I don’t have one piece of her cherished fabrics.

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Like Grandma, I enjoy looking at vintage fabrics and I love creating new things from old. I am now using some vintage fabrics and buttons to create fabric flowers. You can pin them onto purses, sweaters or wear them in your hair. They can be sewn onto bags or clothing or curtains or anything!

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Each fabric has its own personality just like you and I. They are unique and different, they can be used to make different kinds of flowers. The buttons are also vintage or ‘found’ items that I use along with the vintage fabrics. Hope you enjoy!

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Flowers are in fashion in a big way now. Join me as I show you new flowers that I create. Join my discussion about what you like and look for these to show for sale on my etsy site. Blessings.   fish

Americanisms

bracelet 2My father was fiercely loyal to people he knew to be good. His first priority was family. He taught my sister and me to be loyal to those who we also knew to be good and supportive of our lives. I remember driving across town to Uncle Oscar’s gas station to fill our gas tanks. It was a weekly ritual that our family always made time to take the drive and fill our tank, chat with Uncle Oscar and the guys who hung around the station. Occasionally Dad would give us a dime to use for a pop or a candy bar—back in the days before quick marts were ever even thought of.We used to visit cousins who ran a local Studebaker garage and auto sales business. My Dad would reach down and pick me up to set me on the cashier counter to talk with the women—more cousins—that worked inside the office; and YES he did buy a Studebaker from them. We did this even when we didn’t need repairs on our old Studebaker.bracelet 3

Years later he and Mom would move to a small town to live where they shopped and ate in the local businesses down the street from their home.  He would often say “support the community”. He enjoyed helping others because that’s what we are all about.

Fbracelet 1or the most part small businesses are not as plentiful as in my younger days. I guess I still adhere to my Dad’s philosophy more than not. I do shop American when I can and often avoid new items in favor of used. I find that when I buy at thrift shops and garage sales, my money stays within our community. It doesn’t leak out to other foreign entities. To me this is America, this is loyalty and how we can survive here in America.

I try to incorporate vintage into my works as much as possible. When I use new items in my items I try to buy in America, even if it has to be made elsewhere, that way I keep the money flowing HERE. This is my philosophy and what makes my business green. Please join me in keeping our money in America where we can employ Americans to help us in our businesses.

Hope you can join me in these thoughts and maybe comment about your feelings.

Blessings. fish

A Repurposed Life

A while back I decided I needed to share my talents in a more positive, life affirming way. I needed to find inspiration in my life

drawn from the abundant blessings God has given me and the unending well of creativity that on most days is spinning

around me head and leading me in unexpected places…

So I began looking at what makes me happiest and where was God leading me for my future…

After much thought and prayer I have realized where He has been leading me through out my life. He has given me talents

that I have not used to spread His love and encouragement to others.

I am now making and selling original designs and wanted to show some of my best work.

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This is my Oriental Believe Bracelet, It has Czech glass beads, ceramic

beads and some metal ones also. It is an oriental themed bracelet but

with my Christian tag “believe” hanging on.

I have opened up an Etsy store which you can find here.

I also have a facebook page which you can find here.

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this and hope to see you on Etsy. Many more bracelets to see…

Blessings!fish

My Former Undone List (and how to conquer yours)

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I used to have an ‘Undone List’, commonly known as the ‘to do’ list, only mine never got done. Well last summer I conquered my list and I am here to share my secrets so you too can say you are the victor in the ‘to do’s of your life. Just follow these easy steps and you too can be crossing off those tasks that have plagued you for so long.

  • Make a list of everything you want to do.  List every project you can think of such as hanging your latest picture of the kids or replacing a few shelves in the closet or even starting or finishing that mosaic you’ve been wanting for the last five years. Make a goal of finishing the list by the end of three months.Set up a loose schedule of when you want each item on the list to be done. Don’t schedule yourself so tightly though that you don’t have time for fun! Give yourself permission for fun or relaxing times.
  • Decide what you will do if you run into trouble. I had to order new brackets and rings for my new curtains which held up my curtain project. I was able to choose my mosaic project on the porch for filling in my time though. Don’t use missing parts as an excuse to chuck it all!
  • The most important part of this information is choosing a ‘coach’. Don’t be afraid to seek out a tough coach who will make you accountable. I chose one who is reliable, who is not afraid to call me to see how I’m coming or to scold me lightly for putting off a not-so-easy to do project. She encourages me to keep working on projects and asks for pictures since she lives several hundred miles away and praises me when I’m done. She’s great!
  • Mark off projects as you complete them and date them so you can see the progress you’ve made. Do this at the end of every day. I not only do this but also email them to my coach so she can also see my progress.
  • Stay on task. I allow time for everyday tasks like favorite programs, or shopping for missing parts or even other materials I think would help with the project.
  • Stick as close to the schedule as you can. Don’t make excuses when things don’t go right, move temporarily to another project until your frustration is over. Then move back to the original work so you can cross off that project from your list. Yea!
  • If you have outdoor projects do those when the weather is favorable and you can enjoy them the most. Work on indoor projects when it’s raining or otherwise unfavorable for outdoor projects.
  • Don’t get frustrated when your ‘coach’ makes you accountable for your projects—remember, this is the ‘coach’s’ job. Decide to work harder or find a way to get motivated.  Is there a date coming soon that might move you to action? A friend coming for a visit? A party for a relative? Use these to motivate when nothing else will.
  • Don’t work on too many projects at once. Remember you are trying to finish things up, not burn yourself out. Have more than one project at hand in case you run into difficulties and need expert advice on how to finish the project. If help is not available, then go to another project until help arrives!
  • Give up starting other things until you see progress on your list. You want to finish things, but while getting those curtains finished you may want to find some new fabric to cover those shabby looking throw pillows. Resist the urge. Stay focused and you will prevail!
  • Celebrate the small victories. When a friend calls to ask what I’m doing, I recite every little thing I’ve done—it sounds more impressive even to me! It seems to keep my spirit motivated.
  • Use up what you have. If you have supplies at home to finish a project then you will ‘kill two birds with one stone’. It always easier to organize less things than more things, this will encourage your organizing goals.
  • Don’t go shopping or ‘drag in’ other things while you are working on your ‘lost projects’. Neatness is motivating. You may think you need something to add to the rooms, but hold off until you are finished with at least half of your list.
  • When you finally have every item on your list crossed off, celebrate with friends…then make a new list. Keep doing this until you have nothing left to do…lol.
  • Lastly (should be the first item!) Pray. Let God show you where to start and let Him make your ‘crooked paths straight’.

I find this method to be very motivating and my coach has become motivated to do things in her life so she will also feel victorious. I now ask her what she’s accomplished on her list today! Good luck on your projects and lists and as always…blessings!fish

13 Lucky Reasons You Should Shop G-Sales

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We are in spring here in Indiana, it’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here (I think, lol). One of my favorite things to do is garage sale. Here are some of my best reasons you should come out and join me this year: Because you are spending your hard earned money in America. It is not going beyond our borders, so you are not weakening our own economy even if the item is made abroad.

  1. You may not always need ‘brand-new’ so why pay out more money than you need to.
  2. Saving on g-sales allows you to use your money for special things you might not be able to afford otherwise…like vacations or special restaurant treats. An old pair of jeans and some t-shirts may mean you are saving around $50—and who couldn’t use an extra $50?!!
  3. Its good mentoring. It helps our children realize the importance of living within their own means, a lesson best learned now than later on.
  4. Creativity is encouraged. When you shop g-sales you realize how to repurpose items or change them to make them more trendy or useful. Painting a coffee table will sometimes make it just what the big stores are selling, or taking the feet off of a dresser helps you stack it on top of a shorter dresser to make a larger one for more storage. An sturdy old coffee table might make a great dining or mudroom bench.
  5. You meet some really great people! Sometimes when you admire a garden the opportunity arises to add to your own for free. It also allows you to meet a potential best friend when you see they have like interests as yourself.
  6. Sometimes you find things you need to solve problems. I have found items that I’ve reused for trellises for my morning glories. I’ve found rain boots to use as flower planters for decorating my gardens and I’ve found more often than not, just what I’ve been looking for—SURPRISE!
  7. Because, contrary to what your kids may be telling you, their friends will not know that you bought their jeans at a g-sale and not a store—providing you shop wisely. Even so, for so called ‘play clothes’, these are easily gotten at garage sales for really cheap prices.
  8. Because it’s fun to do! Grab a friend and go. Make it a game to see how much you can find on your list and bargain with the owners for a better deal. Buy your friend a meal at McDonalds when they win or reap the benefits yourself when you do. Take your time or grab and go either way it’s bound to be fun.
  9. It’s a social event! I’ve met so many friends at g-sales. Sometimes you frequent the same areas for g-sales and sometimes when I shop with girl-friends we go into new neighborhoods.
  10. If you like surprises you’ll like g-sales. If you love the ‘thrill of the hunt’ you are a born g-saler. You never know what all you’ll find. I found an old rusty and verdigris covered spigot for a quarter. I sprayed varnish on it and made a hand towel holder for my new bathroom. I loved my new find and who gets a towel rack for a quarter?!! And the comments made on my find were endless.
  11. It molds you into a simpler person. You stop seeking out immediate gratification and go for the less expensive route along with the longer wait. With that goes a building of character and a lessening of a faster paced life. Not bad for saving money!
  12. Sometimes you even save money when you wait and realize what you thought you wanted you no longer want. Many times after looking for a while for something, I’ve moved on and used something else I’ve gotten cheaper. Often the substitution has worked out better since I’d taken the time to think it out.

So readers, run out there this weekend and look for your own bargains. If you are finding this to be intimidating because you’re a bit shy, take along a friend or a spouse. It is really fun, try it just for the fun of it!

10 reasons organizing is a good thing:

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  1. Purging files and items is freeing. Sometimes holding onto things is stressful in ways we don’t understand. Allow yourself to toss items you felt you ‘had to keep’ such as Christmas gifts that are not to your taste or wrong size. Give these things to a charity so you can recycle them. Recycle any plastic plant pots sitting in your garage. I sold a lot of spray paint at my last garage sale for .25/can and sold all of them in my bin.
  2. Because putting like items in cupboards or bins allow things to look neater and feel cleaner. It also makes sweeping floors and dusting easier without clutter. You can stack bins easier than the free items, making for more storage space.
  3. Removing large items you never or rarely use allows for more storage space for the things you do use. If you are storing extra doors or tools you might use in a few years, it might be helpful to sell them or give them to a friend who will let you use them later when the need arises.
  4. Putting up shelves or cupboards in storage areas allow for better storage and access to items. I grabbed some cupboards from a street corner before the trash came by for pick-up. A friend hung them for me in my garage and added a door for a work bench. I can keep some of my gardening supplies in my cupboards and pot my plants on my bench.
  5. It just simplifies life. Let’s face it, most of us complicate our living by holding onto things that we seldom use and don’t need. We dust and clean around things we know we should move out, when we do it always seems to simplify our living spaces.
  6. Allowing someone else to benefit from your excess, can empower you.  There is just something about giving to someone less fortunate that can make you feel more in control of your life and gives your life more purpose. You are not just throwing your items away, you are giving them to someone else to use.
  7. It allows you to see what you don’t really need. I tend to be a hoarder. I collect things that I think I may one day need or use. If I haven’t needed it for a year or two at the maximum, I donate it. I find I really don’t miss it either. Life changes as you grow and sometimes the projects change too. This allows me to purge things from my life that are no longer valid. Don’t feel bad donating things you’ve spent money on, see it as giving to a charity.
  8. Knowing when it’s time to donate, makes organizing easier. Is there a project you’ve never gotten around to? Take stock in what those are and ask yourself if you will do that project in the coming months, if not donate.
  9. Seeing how much you accumulate helps to see what you won’t need. Whether it’s taking inventory or your ‘stash’ or seeing what you never use; when you organize you soon realize how much of anything you need. If you organize for a garage sale, you can use the money from the sale to buy things you need to stay organized. I did this a few years ago and was able to organize all my closets into more useful storage spaces.
  10. Sometimes it just makes sense to re-purchase an item than store it. There are times in our lives when it just makes sense to purge the left over scraps from a project than keep them ‘just-in-case’ you might have another project that could use it. You can take up a lot of space saving all those things.

A few places to donate to:

Goodwill, freecycle.org, Better World Books, Salvation Army.

Blessings in your organizing! fish

The Blessings of Being Amish

pcFirst off I apologize for not writing for a while. This post should explain the problem so I will leave it at that other than to say I should have been Amish.

I hesitate writing this post tonight…it is not really meant to be a complaint as much as a lesson learned and to prevent anyone else from having bad experiences with their own purchases. So here goes:

Ever have one of those days? You know, days when it just seems like everything you attempt to do goes horribly wrong? Well it seems like the last six months of my life has been that way. Seriously, not so much–but in my technical world it has. In the last few months I’ve sworn to go “Amish” after two so-called smart phones and four hard drives have gone into oblivion. Along with my devices also went all my data that I thought was backed up and phone numbers etc. Long story short, I had to start fresh more than a few times.

The up-side of all this is that while I’ve now learned to sync my data from one device to another which helps, it still seems that I’ve lost some of which I’d sync’d. I also know that data and reviews are all relative to reality for each person. I purchased an Asus laptop thinking the reviews were all great—four stars or above. The reality was the customer service is horrible and will only do ‘band aide’ fixes (and they don’t seem to care that I am posting this on my website, so they said).

Their repair always consisted of a new hard drive regardless of what was causing the hard drive failures, so in the end the problem persisted. After three new hard drives it was still not performing well and I was unable to be entirely satisfied or secure in my purchase. After spending well over $500 on a computer, you want it to last more than four months. I finally returned it to Sam’s Club who gladly allowed me to pick another brand without prorating my purchase. Yea! Sam’s Club, I will forever recommend your company to all my friends.

I also have to say that I was told by a ‘techie’ that Asus is not really Asus from box stores, they allow their name to be put onto another brand and sold as theirs. My response is “if it says it’s Asus, then it is Asus”. I mean if you can’t trust the name on it what can you trust? They should still have stood behind their device regardless. They didn’t. End of story.

Hope this helps someone out there. I think I will purchase my next one at a reliable used source which would be much less money out of my pocket even if it doesn’t last…Blessings to all (and to all your devices out there)!fish

How to get the best IEP (part Two)


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What if they want to include only one part on my child’s IEP?

I always advise people to get a ‘full’ IEP, this will cover you in the future. If you only get speech services on the written IEP, you will need to meet in the future for another IEP to be written before they will offer help with other services.

What if I work and the IEP is scheduled for the morning?

In my state the IEP meeting must be done at the parent’s convenience, meaning if you work they will need to change it to a time when you are off work. Keep in mind if you schedule it as soon after school is out of session, this will allow for a more receptive meeting.

What if they refuse to write an IEP?

If the school is refusing make sure you have in writing along with the reason. Talk to the Special Education Department if the letter is written by another source. If that is not the case then check with your state education department to find out how to proceed.

My child’s IEP has goals that are too difficult for my child.

Keep in mind this is a plan that will span an entire year or more, and can be repeated onto the following IEP.  If you feel your child will not be able to begin to master this goal, ask if it can be broken down into smaller steps so your child will succeed.  If the goal wants the child to choose between seven different activities, see if it could be written as two activities with more added as the grading periods proceed; or ask that the choice between two be written with increasing percentages at each grading period.

Make sure the goals are agreeable and doable before you sign the papers. If needed you can request to take a copy home and look it over before signing.

I feel forced into agreeing with the IEP goals.

Don’t let yourself feel bullied. At one meeting I found myself around a table of about eight school officials and felt very intimidated. After that I took someone with me for several years. One therapist stood up and demanded I choose to dress my child according to her ideas. I refused and she just about shot out of her seat. My friend who sat by my side, interceded by saying very firmly “I believe ‘Mom’ has said no”. End of conversation. If you feel intimidated, excuse yourself and reschedule at a time when you can have support in the meeting.

Remember why you are there.

You are there to orchestrate a better way of educating your child. His/her disabilities need to be properly and realistically addressed in the IEP. Don’t allow the IEP to state goals that are far under or over your child’s ability but keep in mind the goals are for stretching their abilities.

If your child is in a wheelchair and cannot talk or move independently, you may want to avoid goals that expect brushing their teeth on their own or dressing themselves. A better goal might be to choose between two activities by pressing the proper button which has a picture of the activity next to it.

You are in the meeting to add substance and meaning to the educational plan. You may need to impress them with the reality of who your child is so the goals are realistic and encouraging to your child.

If you realize after the meeting that something was left out, ask yourself if this was something important or can it be done next time? If it can wait be sure to write it on your list for the future IEP.

Also if you see your child progressing rapidly through the IEP you may need to reschedule another meeting to re-write the document and make it more workable for your child.

If this or any other post has helped you, please let me know in the comments section below, or if you need clarification or think I missed passing on more information please let me know. Thanks and have a great week!

Blessings!fish

 

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