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Sunday, November 29

newspaper printing block = bud vase

Cruised up to the amazing Loot: Found and Made in Turners Falls last night and picked up some gorgeous vintage advertising letterpress printing blocks.  

I highly recommend a late afternoon jaunt to Turners - cruise around Loot (leave child behind), then head to the amazingly delicious and beautifully decorated Five Eyed Fox.  

The little guy spent the day with cousins and uncle downhill skiing (oy, already?).  In that time, I managed to have a lovely brunch with hubby (Sunday Globe inclusive!) and turn the printing blocks into bud vases by drilling holes into the top for teeny tiny test tubes, compliments of my favorite science teacher.  It gave me an excellent opportunity to get more practice on my drill press, which is my new favorite piece of equipment in the workshop.  

Warren Five Cent Savings Bank

Ceresota Not Bleached Flour
Special Value!

wen 4 3/4%!

Boston Penny Savings Bank

Pet Motel (backside)

Thanksgiving table

My little guy is finally at the age where he is (generally) interested in helping with things like planning the Thanksgiving table.  This year, we began months ago by collecting the incredibly beautiful leaves that decorated the sidewalk along the way to school, and popped them in some big dictionaries (that's what they are for, right?) to be pressed.

The centerpiece of the table came to me when a friend excitedly texted about a free pile of red barn wood in a local farming community.  I selected one of the prettiest pieces, cut it down with the trusty chop saw, and gave it a nice coat of paste wax.  Done. 

The placecards (for the looks, not because I am a controlling person) were created from the stump of our Christmas tree from last year.  I patted myself on the back several times for (1) saving it; and (2) remembering where I saved it.  The hearts on the cards are all Gus.

The placecards really inspired the rest of the table, which focused on simplicity, nature, repurposed items (naturally) and the reds and oranges of the season.  I pulled out the acorns I had felted a few years ago.  If you haven't tried felting, I can't recommend it highly enough.  It involves stabbing a needle into a piece of fabric repeatedly, which it just super fun, if not a little dangerous.  

I treated myself (and my guests, of course) to some new plates (thank you Ikea, for your simple design and outrageously low prices) and napkins, which are really restaurant-quality dish towels, which meant the price was outstanding.  I tried futzing with some uphostery webbing for napkin rings, but then defaulted to the tried and true bakery twine.  To finish it all off, Gus and I collected some beautiful bittersweet (invasive, I know, but I didn't plant it).  

And here's the calm, awaiting the storm of family, friends and joy:

salvaged bottles

tea light holders - only newly purchased item 
on the table - couldn't resist

croquet mallets turned candlesticks

Wednesday, November 11

not your bubbe's menorahs (plus some epic menorah fails)

Menorahs like this are nice, traditional, and maybe the exact menorah your bubbe uses:

Maybe it's time to shake things up in your household a little bit. But not this much:

Or this much:

Also, I don't think you should wear your menorah:

 (particularly without a shames)

And Christmas-themed menorahs really seem to defeat the purpose:

But how about a lovely menorah from beautiful repurposed materials, including wooden spools that your bubbe might actually have used? That's what I'm talking about.

special shames hardware...

...from the special menorah hardware box

convenient numbering

reckless shames placement 
(don't mention it to bubbe)


more reckless shames placement