Friday, September 27, 2013

Here's One Thing I'm Getting Done for the Bridal Shower...

I am so enjoying getting ready for this bridal shower, but I keep coming up with more ideas and time will run out.  Are any of you that way too?  My best inspiration comes at the last minute!

Well, the party is outside, so I needed to freshen up (okay - in all honesty I never did plant any pots this year, so technically it's not freshen up, it's more like plant them up) some pots for the patio.  

Just started playing with Instagram.  Do you like to play there?

Thanks for buzzing in and just hope I have enough time left to take pictures of the shower so I can share them with you!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

130 Years of Celebration

130 years!  That's what our Big County Fair is celebrating this year!

130 years of feeding the state and the country and the world!

The More Creative Bee (aka as MC Bee) and I have entered the home economics table setting competition for longer than Baby Bee has been alive.  (Honestly, we've kind of lost count.  We used to be able to recount every single table.  But I do know it's been at least 13 years!)  There are several categories for this division and we always enter the fair theme.

Let me show you the logo this year so you can get an idea of what we were working with.
And here is how we interpreted it....
 We used a burlap tablecloth MCBee sewed several years ago for an autumn table we did.  I got to keep that one and I love using it this time of year. (It even washes up pretty good too.)
As I'm looking at this table, I'm realizing just how much work MCBee did on this one.  She knows how to make stained glass (see what I mean about the MCBee - definitely MORE CREATIVE than this bee) and she used some of her clear glass to trace the outline of our fairgrounds and city skyline. She also glued together sandpaper to simulate a dirt road.  And, of course, she cut the astroturf that ran down the center with it's gently undulating curves.  
(Okay, you caught me - I love me some big words and I've been wanting to use undulating in a blog post.  BTW, last week my word of the week was amalgamation.  Who knows why?  I guess it just appealed to me.) 

Our plates were from the Dollar Tree and MCBee painted headlines on them from the past 130 years - such as the end of WWII, the crash of Wall Street in 1929, man landing on the moon, and....oh yes....the sinking of the Titanic. 
 (I finally saw that movie the other day.  On TV.  Pretty sure it must have been much more spectacular on the big screen.  But I still liked it. I was teaching 6th grade when that movie came out and all my girls were gaga over it.  They were obsessed.  A bit like my Baby Bee is obsessed with One Direction right now.  Have I fit enough in this parenthesis yet?)

Now check this out!  And no, the More Creative Bee did not build this model, but she's so creative she convinced somebody she works with to build us two of these perfect replicas of the truck from the fair poster!  (see 1st pic)  However, I must give her even more credit because she did make these little fair logos.  
And she painted the cute little trucks too.  

I know what you're thinking.  What did you do Sweet Bee?  Hey!  I provided ideas and projects for MC Bee to complete!  

Okay, I did do a couple of things on this the menu (see below - and yes, I know now that it's way out of proportion, but once you get to the fairgrounds to set up, you're kind of stuck with what you made)
 and I made the little doohickey in the white frame that describes where all the dishes, glassware, etc. are from.  You can catch a glimpse of it in the third picture.  See?  I was not a lazy bee!  
There's more to show the bridal shower table, the fair theme Christmas tree (oh yeah, wait till you see what we did with that), and the traditional Christmas tree.  

Yes, we have been very busy and buzzy bees lately.

Plus, this Saturday, I'm hosting a bridal shower (not with MCBee, but another friend) for a dear friend! I have so MUCH to share with you!  Now, let's just hope I remember to take pictures!

Thanks so much for buzzing in!
The Big County Fair opens in a few weeks so I'll let you know then how we did!

P.S  Linking up today to Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House.
Joining the party at Between Naps on the Porch!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Of Stress and Sneak Peeks

Oh man.  I am stressing out so bad.  I have got to finish all these decorations and table decor before SATURDAY!  Yes, I'm shouting because I am STRESSED!!!

I keep thinking I will get a handle on it, but then things I have to do for work keep getting in the way!  (And I got a nasty little cold too which sidelined me a bit - hmmm - perhaps from the STRESS?)

So why am I writing a blog post when I should be working on these things?  Because I'm STRESSED and CRAZY!

And I dare not show too much because there might be spies for the Big County Fair out there.... (am I being paranoid or just STRESSED?)

 I wonder what those could become?
 And these?  They look rather mysterious to me!
And a log?  What is going on at Sweet Bee Cottage?

cue the mysterious music....

Stay tuned darlings.  There will be much more to show after Saturday.....

and the music crescendos....


P.S.  Check out what my teaching buddy gave me....
Yep!  It's a Scrub Daddy!  And my real life Scrub Daddy (aka Worker Bee) is so excited to welcome this new member to our family.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Two Mystery Packages

Just in time for my birthday, I found two large and heavy packages on my porch.  Packages shipped from Kentucky!
See, my MIL is moving to an assisted living facility and she is getting rid of a lot of her items.  She asked if I wanted anything and of course I mentioned my vintage linen and dish addiction.  She was happy to oblige!
Box #1
Box #2
Now I haven't carefully gone through the boxes yet, but here's sneak peek!

It's going to be a bit overwhelming, but a fun overwhelming!

Perfect for entertaining or maybe (when I do start sewing) some fun projects.
She also sent this gorgeous flow blue bowl.  It's very interesting because it has feet on it.  Plus three pieces of silver.  These look very specialized so I'll have to determine what their original purpose was.

 Plus she sent some vintage purses too!  I just love the beaded ones, don't you?
Feels like a vintage birthday!

Thanks for buzzing along with me! 
 So nice to now you popped in for a little visit.

P.S.  Did I mention today is my birthday?
Well it sure is!
Photo of gorgeous cake from  Melissa at The Good Apple blog!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Who Knew?

So....I'm doing a bit of research for our Big County Fair Christmas tree this year.  I'm looking at products grown in our county (you'll see why at a later date) and I was amazed at the variety of food grown here in my region.

Wanna' know what we produce?  Here's the Top 10 list in order with the most profitable being first.

1.  grapes

We grow table grapes, of course, and then the Thompson Seedless that make such excellent raisins.
In fact, my small town is know as the Raisin Capital of the World!

2.  almonds
I've noticed as I drive between our small towns a lot more almond groves then when I was a kid.

3.  poultry
And by poultry, I mean chicken and turkey.

My BIL's family even had a huge turkey ranch down in the southwestern part of our county.

4.  milk

Which includes


ice cream, of course.

5.  tomatoes

Not only do we grow fresh tomatoes that are at your grocery store, but that includes


spaghetti sauce.

6.  cattle and calves

Guess that milk needs to be produced by all those cattle and calves.  Now this "crop" isn't one I see very often in my travels, but I have the More Creative Bee lives in the foothills and when I drive up to see her, that's when I'll see a lot of cattle grazing on this hillsides.

7.  cotton

Ever heard of San Joaquin pima cotton?  I can remember Lands' End featuring it in a catalog a few years back.  Apparently is a very high quality cotton.  Again, who knew?

8.  pistachios

Love pistachios, do not love how torn up my thumb can get from trying to crack those shells. But at least the effort helps keep you from eating too many of them.

9.  peaches

My very favorite summer fruit!  I love finding the peaches the size of a baseball,  (I hate to say it, but we do sometimes buy them at Costco instead of a local farmer's market) just giving them a little wash, and then eating them like an apple.  The juice just drips down your chin and they are so sweet and delicious.  One of my favorite books about our part of the country is Epitaph for a Peach by David Mas Masumoto.  (yes, he and his family and farm have been featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine among others) where he writes about trying to save the delicious heirloom peach varieties his family grew on their farm.

10.  plums

I have to admit - they are good, but not my favorite summer fruit.  But I do like prunes dried plums a lot! you know (and so do I) the variety of things we produce for our country and the world.  And that's just the Top 10!  Plus I found out we are the #1 agricultural county in all of California too!

I'm feeling kind of proud –
(Not that I have ever been a farmer)
Proud to come from a region that provides so much.

Now what grows in your part of the country?  Or what is produced there?  Aren't we lucky to live in a country that can make and grow so many marvelous things?

Thanks for buzzing by!
So nice to see you've visited here for a bit.
And....I should really invite you over for dinner, shouldn't I!
Hope I didn't make you too hungry!
P.S.  You'll see why these are all useful when I show you our fair theme tree this year.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back to School - Vintage Style

Well, many of you know my other job is being a third grade teacher.  Okay, that's the main job.  Well besides being a wife and mother.  Anyway, I digress.

Although it is always tough to say good-bye to summer (do you hear that Central California weather - we are saying good-bye to summer - time for these 100ยบ temps to make like autumn and leave) and the free time, I do enjoy some structure returning to our little cottage.

I've slowly been collecting some vintage school items to pull together some fun Back to School vignettes.  I also pull out some teacher gifts students have given me over the years.  (Whew!  I haven't quite been teaching 20 years so none of those items are considered vintage.......yet.)

Do you wanna' see?
 My apothecary jars are filled with a wooden bead garland with school items, glittered faux apples, and chalk!  

You've Got Mail is one of my favorite movies!  I love how the little book shop was always so festively decorated and one of my favorite lines is about bouquets of pencils in September.  So, I made a bouquet of pencils!

I just haven't been able to get rid of some of this country style decor from the mid-1990s when I first started teaching.

 One of my favorite finds ever (and it gets to live out year 'round) is this plaid lunch box.  Well, maybe it was used for something else, but I call it a lunch box. 
 One of my sixth graders gave me this sweet little apple tin several years ago.
 And another one of my favorite finds is this spelling aid.  I bet when I come back tomorrow it will say something else.
I even have some Back to School pillows for our chair in the library 
This one is from Deb at  

Plus I just grabbed up these items from Amy's pop-up vintage shop.  Have you ever visited?  She finds the most amazing things and her prices are fantastic!
 They aren't here yet, but they will look so cute with it.
If you haven't before, go check out Four Sisters in a Cottage to see what she has!  Amy is an absolute sweetie!

So, even though I don't always enjoy the start of school, it is nice to celebrate those annual transitions.  What do you do for Back to School?