The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2009-12-27

Thursday, January 7, 2010

To prove why having the buttons isn't a total waste...

See this?


That's my key chain.

Well, my keys plus my wallet plus other assorted charms and attached paraphernalia. My family has taken umbrage to it for quite some time. Like, if we are in my van but I'm not driving, no one will use 'Mommy's keys'. Like they are some freaky thing. My keys are apparently that thing that must not be touched.

Something about it banging on their right leg (resulting in severe bruising). Or some such nonsense. Anyway. I weighed it about a week ago and granted there was change (okay, a lot of change. Okay, the normal amount of change... ) in there, but still... The pound and a half it weighed gave me pause.

Perhaps my family had a point. It's what got me going making those key fob things in the first place. I thought it might be time to move to an actual wallet and split up the keys... So I give you...


I'm also sure that the cashiers will no longer look at me like, You have GOT to be freaking kidding me, when I hand them that whole fa-la-la so they can swipe the customer loyalty tag thingy.

And the good news is I still have...


... a few..

vintage buttons ivory-black


vintage buttons yellow


vintage buttons

if I wanna...

vintage buttons MOP brown


vintage buttons white

any more...

vintage buttons gray-green

just in case I get, ya know....

vintage button findings

more keys...


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I haven't gone estate saling in months. First, I didn't have a car and now my finances are as tight as my jeans were before I started Weight Watchers. I mean, it's like I have to lie down to zip up my wallet. Well, hm. That makes it sound like my wallet is full doesn't it?

And it's really the reverse, but just pretend that made sense so I don't have to redo the metaphor.

I still look for estate sales; I just don't go. I hope that selling some of the things I bought (and can't use) even if I have to sell at a loss will loosen up the old jeans - I mean finances.

But yesterday something miraculous (and buttony) happened.

004 - Copy

But let me back up, Mmmmkay? I've sold a lot of buttons, given some away (still giving some away), have used some and are now using some again for these:


And yes, I was whining (here) about having so many...but
buttons don't take up much room and I am using them.

When I started making the key fobs I realized I'd sold a lot of buttons I'd like to use on them. The short version of this story is I started asking around and someone said, An elderly neighbor gave me a tin of buttons ages ago, probably a few hundred. Do you want them?

I was all over them like a fat woman (that would be me) on a family-sized bowl of pasta at the Olive Garden Restaurant after low-carbing for six months.

And what can I say but.. Holy Button, Button, Who's Got the Button, Batman?

And Batman would say, That would be me.

If Batman were me. And he's not although he's crazy buttony jealous of me because now he has no buttons with which to... um... button his Bat Belt on.

When I took the lid off the tin I was beside myself. As a short aside here - It's funny about button tins. When I go through old magazines from the 40's there isn't much junk around or storage space. As I opened the button tin and stuck my hand in there I noticed lots of stuff besides buttons. Sharp pointy stuff.

Lots and lots of sharp pointy stuff.

002 - Copy

It took me hours of going through it to get the straight pins, nails, curtain thingies, thumb tacks, fish hooks (YES! FISH HOOKS) and other assorted (many rusted) sharp metal objects - that made me thankful that I'd stepped on the other sharp metal object on the lawn this summer and got the tetanus shot - outta there.

What was my point?

Oh, yes. I think buttons tins were the 'junk drawers' of their time.

I have this...


She had this...

004 - Copy

But back to the jackpot business...

Once I got all the sharp stuff out I realized all this stuff about her life was in there besides the buttons.

She played a lot of Bingo...

002 - Copy

She was sentimental...

007 - Copy

Look at the bit of fabric, stones and shells she kept.
Maybe from an important dress or a vacation
or her honeymoon a very, very, long time ago.

She kept bits and bobs of things...

006 - Copy

This pen nib, jewelry clasps... parts of parts.
I don't know if they were memories or she was just frugal.
But they are all so fascinating; these tiny pieces of her life.

And some stuff? A bit TMI...

003 - Copy

That was either used to hold sanitary napkins in place
before they just stuck to your underwear or was a garter for stockings. Or both.
I'm not so sure anymore. So yeah. A somewhat disturbing thing to
stick your hand in a tin and pull out. At least it was to me.

I haven't gone through all the buttons but, wow.

They go from quite spectacular...


To things I've never seen before...

005 - Copy

To what she probably cut off every garment
she ever owned before she discarded it...


I'm a bit floored really.


Birdbaths along the delaware river...Wordless wednesday

Birdbaths lining the Delaware River.

Bird baths along the Delaware River

nj tag


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Retro Tuesday for all the right reasons (and a few past klunkers) Blog hop

There are a lot of really kooky things in vintage magazines and I love that about them but every once in a while I'll look and say to myself, Hmmm... I'd so buy that.

retrotuesay stamp

Granted some of the food is horrifying. I've seen hot dogs look like crime scene photos and jello recipes that are the stuff of our childhood nightmares.

Remember this chicken classic?


That one gave me the jello-willies for a good month...

And let's all stroll down memory lane and remember
the um, education we got on feminine hygiene, shall we?


And uh, this classic...


Yep, The Minute Hygiene... A feat of modern engineering
that you asked your local plumber to install for all your feminine
hygiene, enema and infant bathing needs. Do read the ad copy
if you didn't last time. Who ever came up with that must
have been a genius. A rocket scientist, really.

Mmmmm, Kay.

Oh and this guy? Remember him?


Let's move on, my skeeve-dar is just
banging and it's waking Ginger.

But I'm really off track because those aren't what this is about. This is about the ads that I look at and go, I would so buy that or, Wow. Fabulous. Or despite a stupid name or whatever the ad attracts me.



I didn't read any of the ad copy and I don't know what's up with Santa and the housewife lady but I think those chairs are fanfreakintastic. I love the design and the colors and everything about them. These ads were in a 1950's American Home magazine (Well, the new ones, not those old ones.) and I don't go through it very much because it's too large for my scanner but I thought several of the ads were gems.

I mean...



And yes, for me it's the colors too... But the design is just spot on. Perhaps that's why that company is still around today. I sure wish they were making that though, in those colors - I would be first in line!

And this...


Know what this is? Look closer...


It's brilliant really!

It's a wonderfully simple thing that would make your kitchen look ridiculously adorable for very little money... AND it's marketed brilliantly! You just cut the pieces out of the magazine and try them on your shelves. Who ever thought of that was a marketing genius and I sure wish I could find an ad like this in a current magazine. Right?

Want to join me in Retro Tuesday?

Got anything? Anything at all retro? A recipe? A thing? A thrift store
find? C'mon... I know you do.... Add it to the blog hop!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Okay, well.... this is early for even me...

It's not even 3 a.m. and I've been up for over an hour. Ginger got me up because she had to go pee-pee. She pee-pees about three times a night, at least. Instead of lumbering to the door in a stupor and than going back to bed; my mind started rambling about what I had to do today. So now Ginger's happily back to sleep.


And I'm thinking odd random thoughts like:

Just how how lazy am I if it feels like too much trouble
to 'drop' an
Entrecard on the left side of the page?


When does making key fobs cease to be productive and
become obsessive? The first? Second?

This one's the third one yesterday....


Speaking of obsessions... I found a new website
that lists a lot of Christmas Wish Books. (And
I think Maureen told me about the site, too after
I went on and on (and on) commenting on her post
here . ) The Wishbook site has photographed
them. Page by page! Go there if you have
skatey-eight million hours to kill but...


Just look at what I found on page 290 of the
1964 Sears Christmas Wish Book...

Page 290 Sears Wish book 1964

Do you see them???

glass pheasants

The gravel art pheasants! Yes!

And I'm sure you're all, Um. So? But see, my father made those and I remember watching him. SO WELL. I remember the smell of the white glue and that it came in a little square packet. My dad cut a corner off the glue packet so precisely and he was so darned neat. He got glue nowhere except where it belonged. That's just inhuman, really...

And the gold square tiles along the tail, and the leaf shaped ones... I remember the black, sort of glossy, sort of stiff, braiding that surrounded and 'held in' the gravel and how beautiful I thought that glass gravel was. The colors were... I don't know - So pure.

I was sure I'd never seen anything more beautiful.
Not all the parts or the sum...

I wish I had those pheasant gravel art things now. I doubt my dad still does. And I'm sure this is going to be the kind of memory he says I remember better than he does.

And I'm sure he has no idea how I felt about watching him but it's one of my favorite times growing up. I loved watching you do these gravel art things, Dad.

Now, I'm getting all sappy and weepy.


Nothing good does come of being up at 3 a.m.....
Make that 3:21...


Sunday, January 3, 2010

So are you sick of my resolutions yet?

Maybe it's just that I've never done this before or maybe it's just that there's so much I need to do differently....But I've been giving the resolution thing a crazy amount of thought. At least it seems like it to me.

Seems there are things I do daily that I need to change. Like this...

I get up ridiculously early. Like, so early it's practically yesterday and than I get online and write because I don't prewrite my posts.

After I post it gets a little fuzzy... I putz around the house figuring out what I'm going to make for dinner (and at this point it's still early. Dark even)... If I need something at the grocery store I'll write a list. Eventually I'll clean or do laundry.

General housewifery...

But I get all distracted and by the time I have to go out (hours later) I'm pretty much still in my after dinner pants. Oh, after dinner pants are pretty much elastic waisted, grungy, not to been seen by the public, usually with holes in them pants. I put them on after I eat dinner when I'm not intending to go out anymore... And if I don't change into pajamas, after dinner pants work just fine.

The problem is I'm so scattered during the day by the time I actually have to go out and do something I'm still in those same after dinner pants and frequently so pressed for time that I'm running to the grocery store - or the post office - or where ever - in my (Oh, what must the neighbors think...) after dinner pants.

And I think I wore after dinner pants the entire time I didn't have a car.


So (yet) another resolution is to actually get dressed at my earliest convenience. Like not so's I wake anyone... And actually get in a tub and bathe....And even ya know, brush my teeth and than get dressed. I've also promised myself I'd even put on a tinted moisturized, Lashblast mascara (if only on the top lashes) and Outlast Lipstain. At least.

Because if I wait till I actually have to go out later I'm going to be so rushed - Well, lets not go there but it will involve much less than this and my after dinner pants.

As to other resolution I made about listing stuff on Etsy and eBay? You know I bought a lot of stuff to actually DO projects and never really did them. So I had to decide if I just wanted to sell the supplies or make things....This morning I made two things and how proud do I feel at the moment? Very, actually...

I made two key fobs using the cotton webbing that you would normally use but most people sew trim to them but since I have all those buttons.... And do not sew...


And one button on the flip side...
(It's here on etsy)


And in another color too...
(It's here on etsy)


And the flip side...


I think they came out really cute!

Sewing through that cotton webbing is no picnic but I love the way they look and hopefully they will sell. The fobs seem popular on Etsy although a lot of people are doing them... But most people are adding fabric - So I don't know how only adding the buttons will go over...

I think they are pretty cute.

Anyway. I know this post is very, very late and haven't visited anyone today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back to my regular schedule!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

More resolutions...

Ah, the other resolutions...

I'm actually still working on them because I don't want them to be fly-by-nighters..

So far I have...

1. Mail the apron for Miss Vonlipi (and we even have which one nailed down so I'm getting closer every day. I'm thinking Monday.)

2. The crapgasmic food fest is over. Oh, what I time I had.

3. Keep a better handle of the thrifting so I am not buying things only to have turn around and sell them at a loss. There is nothing thrifty about that at all.

4. The clutter business. I have actually made a bit of movement on that front by listing somethings I've been 'meaning to' list on eBay and etsy for quite some time. Over the last few days I've been trying to gather and sort (or as the military says, divide and conquer) the things I have into:

A. Keep
B. Sell
C. Donate
D. Garbage
E. Dunno yet

And one more...

F. What was I thinking when I even brought this in my house?

Under F. is this Vintage Girl Scouts Brownie beanie I got a few months ago. See, my original thought was one of my son's friends would like it. She wears fun things sometimes but she put it on and my son was all, HAHAHAHAH! You look like a fruit!

And not the Un-PC calling someone that, an actual fruit because the beanie made her look very much like she was wearing a pumpkin on her head because of the...




And they couldn't stop laughing at the stem she'd sprouted.
But I'm thinking they were really laughing at me.

So I leave the room and go, Oh, well. I'll eBay it, not
knowing they go for less than I paid. Fail. Huge fail.

This is the thing I totally want to avoid in the New Year because what in the world will I do with a hat that makes you look like you're sprouting a stem anyway?

The other things are really so much more mundane and I'm working hard to come up with a cohesive list...


Friday, January 1, 2010

Ginger's New Year's Resolutions...

Ginger was in her muffin this morning
contemplating some New Year's Resolutions...


I won't pee-pee on the rug...


I will leave Tazzy alone...


Thank you, Ginger. I'd really appreciate those things..




Oh. I was mistaken...


She was contemplating the grilled cheese
and popped corn the boy was making for lunch.


Some things never change...


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