Saturday, April 23, 2011

Singin’ the Blues!

All right, everyone sing. All together now…

I got them blues,

I got them low down blues.

I got them low down, holiday weekend, no yard sales worth mentioning and those that were there had only piles of tatty clothing and worn out kids’ toys and not even a cat or a dog anywhere to be seen blues…

I was offered free coffee and waffles at my first stop. Which was a nice gesture but I don’t drink coffee, and (I blush to admit) I’m a waffle snob. I only eat really good ones – and they have to be spelled correctly.

Not ‘waffel.’

I know, I know, how petty! But misspelled signs are like fingernails on the blackboard for me. And we won’t get started about the misuse of apostrophes.

I did buy one item, a decorative (IMHO!) metal panel that I’m thinking might be fun in the yard. My husband is off giving a workshop today, so we have not yet had the “but where are you going to put it?” conversation. Among some plants, perhaps at the back of a bed?


Or maybe hung on a blank piece of wall? I think the colors go well with our house.


Each square is raised an inch or so from the frame, and the designs are embossed and painted. I saw some similar pieces in a store recently and thought they’d be fun outdoors. But I left them in the store because the price tag was nowhere near the two bucks I paid for this!

So that was my big morning out. Even with buying gas – ouch – and groceries (at three different stores!) and bird seed I was home by 10:30. Plenty of time left in the day to go water some pots. Including the one I put my Aztec lily bulbs in just two weeks ago. Look – one of them is getting ready to bloom!


Just in time for the garden tour next Saturday. Wish us luck and a sunny day on the 30th!

Friday, April 22, 2011

And the giveaway winner is…

I just realized it’s been 11 days since I posted the 11th-day giveaway. Didn’t mean to take so long, but I rather like the symmetry!

So who won some photos of my garden? Everyone who entered! Yup, since there were just five entrants, all of you win. The original offer was for three prints on photo paper, but I loved Amber’s postcard idea. So if any or all of you like, I’ll create custom postcards for you with your choice of photos on the front, and something like this on the back.

Postcard back

I’ll print them on white card stock, 4” x 6” so you should be able to mail them at the postcard rate. You each get a set of 4, and they can all be different if you like. Just let me know what pictures you’d like me to use, and where to send them. (Cathy, I already know where to find you!) There’s an email link on my “About Me” info.

Of course, if any of you prefer photo prints instead of postcards, that’s just fine too.

Thanks for entering! I loved your sweet comments and sure do wish you were all close enough to come to the garden tour next week.

Next week? Yikes!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


“I bought this sign to impress my wife,” said the man on the driveway, holding it up for me to see. “Hope it fools her!”


I think it will, don’t you?

It was a morning for signs, including the usual “Huge Garage Sale!” signs that lead nowhere. So annoying when gas is so expensive. Today we got a variation on that—signs with uncertain arrows. Two or three folks were rather challenged in their sign placement, and it was hard to tell if the arrow was pointing ahead or around a corner. But Saturday morning is all about the adventure, the hunt. Surely the thrill of finding that elusive sale would be lessened by efficient sign placement, yes?

One seller was into signs as a marketing tool.

IMG_0374 IMG_0375 IMG_0376 IMG_0377 IMG_0378

Up the street from them I found a sale where two young women were sitting on the sunny driveway, petting this puppy. The puppy’s owner said, “I lost my old dog a few months ago, and it was terrible. I’d had her for like fifteen years, since I was a senior in high school. She was with me through college and moving across the country, she was my heart. When she died I was just lost. Then I saw a picture on the Internet of this puppy, and when I saw the heart on her face I knew she was supposed to be mine.”


I’ve been thinking lately that I should consider actually buying one of the pieces of exercise equipment I see every weekend on driveways. Hate to admit how sedentary I am—but it’s true! So when I saw this, I recognized it as another sign.


We always thought that Schwinns were the coolest bikes, and way too pricey for my family. So now I finally own one, though this one isn’t going to travel too far.


Now I can either get more fit—or get bored with it! But for what I paid, if boredom wins at least I won’t have to feel guilty about what I spent.

It was by far the most expensive (and heavy!) deal of the day. I also brought home a handy magnetic clip to hold notes on my doorframe at work…


…some garden magazines…    IMG_0396 …a fun watch…


…and a ravishing Le Crueset tea kettle (which retails for $75—ouch!)IMG_0382

Total outlay for the morning: $22.75. Surely a sign of frugal buying.

And now…signing off!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Another 11th Day Giveaway!

The 11th day of the month…time for another 2011 giveaway! We’re really focused on our garden these days since it will be on the Mary Lou Heard Garden Tour on April 30. I can’t give away tickets to the tour—because it’s free! All you need is the list of addresses to you can visit some wonderful “real gardens for real people.” The printable list will be on the website soon.

But I can give away something related to my garden. Pictures! The winner of this month’s giveaway will receive three of my garden photos, of your choice. Maybe you’d like a print of the colorful textures of coleus and geraniums.


Or an exotic passion flower.



I love the colors of this clematis with the new fern frond.


We have unusual container plantings too!


I always think there’s nothing to compare to the excitement of having a water lily bloom.

lily edge oil

WATER LILY 3 oil 2 (2)



Perhaps you’d enjoy some of our garden creatures, such as a thirsty raccoon...


…or a butterfly on bamboo…

b'fly crop

…an early morning web…

Dewey Web

…or a copper dragonfly.


If you’re a fan of yellow kitties, our Noll Baxter often models for us.

Noll crop




More images are on our garden website—take a look!

The winner will choose the size of your prints as well as the images. If you’d like a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I’ll throw them all in the hat and choose a winner early next week.

And if you’re in Southern California on April 30 and can come by for the garden tour, I’ll be having a special giveaway just for Queen of Fifty Cents readers…stay tuned!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Signs of Spring

Don’t you love watching for the signs that show the turning of a season? In Autumn we get piles of fallen leaves and golden light; Winter brings holiday fun and (if you live in a colder climate than mine!) that first pristine snowfall; Spring arrives with daffodils…and the first Saturday with more neighborhood yard sales than you can get to.

And you know that any yard sale day that starts out like this is going to be a good one:


I’d been chatting with the couple at this sale, complimenting them on their exemplary signage, when I saw the wig on one of the tables. “This is much more likely to sell if you demonstrate it,” I said. The wife chimed in with, “You could go stand on the corner and flag people down.” Well, I don’t know if he went that far, but he donned the wig with no hesitation, and never batted an eye when I pulled out my camera.

Okay, I admit I didn’t mention my blog. But I don’t think he’d have cared a bit!

I headed from their place over to the part of town with all the neighborhood sales, stopping along the way to pick up newsletters about the upcoming garden tour. Three weeks from today! Aaagh! I’d better write fast and get outside to help my husband in the yard!

I do need to plant something I found this morning…in something else I found this morning! Have you ever seen an Aztec lily?


Evidently they grow well here. So well that the pot this lady had planted two bulbs in had multiplied to 32 bulbs! She was selling bags of 3 or 4 bulbs, but after we chatted a while she just gave me a bag. They like plenty of water, so I decided a pot would be better than the ground for them. And a few stops later I scored this for fifty cents.


Looks like stone, but it’s foam. So lightweight that when I first picked it up, thinking it was stone, it about flew out of my hands. It’s a nice size, 12” across, about 10” tall. Can’t wait to get those bulbs in it.

There were several nice pets along the way. This handsome kitty seemed to expect more than just admiration though.


Sweet Sammy was suffering from pollen allergies. She just wanted to nap in the sun.


Little Fergie though wanted to know everything about everyone on her driveway.


She is a very smart girl who knows several tricks. I got to admire her dance moves.


Then there were the inanimate animals. I thought this one did a brilliant job of advertising their box of toys!


And as for these cute Engelbreit Scotties…I couldn’t resist and brought them home.


Hope it works once I get a battery in there!

I feel like I was a total spendthrift today—ended up parting with $12.50! I found some future gifts.

 IMG_0332 IMG_0338

Tried to resist, but the little guy in Santa’s pack just reeled me in. Can’t decide if it’s a teddy or a kitty.


I may try to sell this wonderful vintage pillowcase.


Look at the work on this thing. The central medallion is only about 3” across, so you can imagine how fine the thread is.


I picked up some movies


and fairly recent magazines.


I liked the bamboo pattern etched on these glasses. Tried to resist, but a dollar for four of them sealed that deal.


Turns out they are handblown pilsner glasses by Noritake, part of their Bamboo stemware line. A set of 6 like mine is for sale online for $39, so I guess I did okay. They came from a really nice lady. A couple of teenage girls were helping with her sale, and I figured they were her daughters. Especially when one was telling her about a college test she needed to send in the payment for, but she had to send a check and she only had cash, so could the mom write a check and she’d give her the cash. The mom said sure, then we started talking and it turned out this is a neighbor kid!

My last item of the day…well, I’m a little embarrassed to tell you. Especially when I admit I practically took it away from another guy who was looking at it. But his wife made him let me have it. “He doesn’t need it,” she told me. He looked wistful. But I hardened my heart. Because how could I resist a flying hamster?


Yup, it really flies. Drives the cat crazy. I love it.

Pin It button on image hover