Saturday, August 19, 2017

Just a Box of Screws

About a week ago, I took a trip to the local hardware store to buy some screws.  When using pallet wood, you tend to use those little buggers quickly.  As I walked through the door, an associate, named Gina asked what she could help me find.  Since I brought one of the screws I'd been using, I held it up and she said, "Follow me.".

She asked me what they were for and I explained what I did with pallet wood and showed her a few pictures.  She was quite enthusiastic and asked how many screws I needed.  We decided a box of 100 should last me for a bit.  

As we walked down the aisle, Gina asked me more about how I attached the pieces together and I told her how I used wood glue and strips of wood (aka paint stirrers) on the back with the screws going through them.  "Well", she said, "we have TONS of those. Let me get you some!" She went over to the paint department and grabbed me a handful of paint stirrers.  

I thanked her profusely, and before I could say another word, she told me to wait for a minute, because she was pretty sure they had at least one pallet in the back.  Gina was gone in a flash, with me calling after her...." I don't have a truck!"

A few minutes later, she was back with a huge smile on her face. She told me they had a nice 8-foot pallet that was going to be cut in pieces for me so it would fit in my car.  I couldn't believe it!

She told me to go pay for the screws and drive around back to get the pallet.  When I got there, a very nice young man came out with a saws-all and cut that pallet into 3 pieces for me.  One piece went in the back seat and the other two, in the trunk.

Needless to say, it was a very fruitful day.  I went in for screws and came home with a handful of paint stirrers, an 8-foot pallet, and the screws!
Don't you just love when things work out like that?

I took the rest of the pallet apart (with help from my hubby) when I got home with my saws-all, sanded the boards and started some cutting.  
Are you curious as to what I'm making???  Here's a sneak peek:
Be sure to come back to see the finished products.  I've got lots of work ahead of me!

Thanks for stopping by the Cottage - have a great week!

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Saturday, August 12, 2017


Who doesn't love them?  And these little cuties have NO calories!
I was thinking about those pretty cupcake wrappers that could be cut with my Cricut and went 'outside of the box' again with what to put in them.  After seeing bath scrubbies everywhere, I decided they'd look adorable in one of the wrappers, so, I went to work.

The next time I was out shopping, I grabbed some bath scrubbies, came home, and cut out a few cupcake wrappers. Here's one taken apart for a closer look:

Placed in a cello bag with some curling ribbon, it's now a cute, little gift or shower/party favor. Don't you think?  
They are for sale - if you're interested, email me or contact me through Apple Street Crafts on facebook.  

I have now proven that I still 'play with paper' in between taking apart pallets and sawing/sanding!  

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by the Cottage!

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

$5 Update & A Mason Jar

I meant to get the update posted earlier this week, but the week got away from me.  I acquired a new pallet and Chrome decided not to get along with my laptop.  I really DO love Chrome, but sometimes it decides to stop working.  Anyone else have those issues? Thankfully my Tech Guy - aka Hubby, got it working again, but it took a couple of hours of his time!  But enough complaining - on to the good stuff!

Thank you to everyone who commented on my Really? Five Dollars? post.  I asked for your opinion on what to do with it and overwhelmingly you said, "USE IT!"  You reminded me that I am an 'out-of-the-box' gal and silverware can be used every day.

My wonderful husband got out the silver polish and cleaned the tarnish off of every single piece.  He said he didn't want the repetitive motion to aggravate my neck and shoulder - isn't he a sweetheart?  
Here's the final result:
How about a close-up?

We are happily using it daily and, hopefully, soon I can get my china and crystal out of storage!!

The box will be repurposed as a jewelry box.  Right now I'm looking for fabric to line it that is treated so silver jewelry won't tarnish.  If you have a lead, let me know!

Now, about that Mason jar....we were on our way to an outdoor festival when we walked past a yard sale.  We waved and said 'hello' assuring the lady we'd stop by on our way back.  She didn't have much left, since it was afternoon and the second day (wish I'd gotten there earlier!) but I spotted this Mason jar:
It was pretty dirty, but I loved the fact that the top was glass with a metal rim. It has the letters ABCD along with Made in USA.
The bottom has the number 89 in the middle.  Around the edge it says: PAT NOV 26 C7.
I can't tell you what it all means, but after doing a little research online I found out it's worth anywhere from $2 to $200!  How's that for a price range?
I thought about having it appraised, but I don't want to spend $50 to find out it's worth $2.  
For now, I paid $2 for it and I like it.  That's all that matters, right?

What treasures have you found at yard sales?  I love hearing about great finds!

Thanks for stopping by - have a great weekend!

Just a reminder:
We are still looking for a few more people to join us in the Five Dollar Challenge. All you need to do is find something for $5 or less and repurpose it.  A date will be set for sharing the 'finished posts' and 'hopping' from blog to blog.Interested?  E-mail me at with "$5 Challenge" in the subject line.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Christmas in July...with Baseball Bats??

Nothing like waiting till the last minute. right?  With 2 more days left, it's time for the 'Christmas in July' post.

We were at a friend's for a BBQ, when he came to find me saying, "Your husband says I need to show you what's in my garage."  I couldn't imagine what it could possibly be until he showed me these:

He had garbage bags full of them!  Do you know what they are? Well, wait no longer...they are cast-offs from a baseball bat factory. They were being thrown away and he gets them to burn in his fire pit.  Since he knew I was crafty, he offered me as many as I wanted. He also had some bigger pieces, but those I'll save for another post!  
I took them home and thought about what I could do with them. After giving them a good sanding (believe me, they needed it) I decided to turn them into Christmas ornaments.
After painting and sealing them, I wrapped the edges in burlap ribbon and added a cord for hanging.
Here are a couple of individual pics:

These are available for purchase through Apple Street Crafts.  Find me on facebook!

So, tell me, have you started your Christmas projects yet?  Let me know in the comments.  I'd love to visit and see what you're up to!

  • Remember my $5 find?  Stop by later this week to see what I finally did with that find!
  • We are still looking for a few more people to join us in the Five Dollar Challenge. All you need to do is find something for $5 or less and repurpose it.  A date will be set for sharing the 'finished posts' and 'hopping' from blog to blog.Interested?  E-mail me at with "$5 Challenge" in the subject line.
Have a great weekend, Everyone!

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Really? Five Dollars?

Let me just say I had an entirely different post planned for today, but after last night, I had to change my plan.  

I was at a Summer Festival/Craft Fair at a local church when I noticed this box:
It was a little worse for 'wear & tear', but look at that beautiful wood:
But, the real treasure was inside:
Yes, it was an almost complete set of silver for 8.  With a little quick research this morning, I've discovered it is silver-plate from the Holmes & Edwards Company.  The pattern is "Youth" and was made in the 1940s.
The most amazing part of this find was the price.  Take a look:
I had to ask, "Really, $5 for the box and everything in it?"  The lady said "Yes" and I said, "Sold"!

Here are a few close-ups of the contents:  Apologies for the coral in my shirt reflecting on the silver!
Dinner Forks:
Salad Forks:
Serving Pieces:
Iced Tea Spoons: a different pattern, but that's OK, they're going to get used!
I was just saying to my husband that I wished we had iced tea spoons!

The bottom of the box was covered with paper towels, so after everything was out of the box, I removed them.  The  felt is in really good condition:

Who remembers this paper towel pattern from the 70s?  I'm pretty sure my mother used them back then!

The big question is what do I do with it?  
  1. Polish it and use it.  But, let's face it, my china is packed away and our lifestyle does not lend itself to formal dinner parties.
  2. Get Crafty!  There are TONS of ideas out there for repurposing silverware.  I know nothing about cutting, filing, bending silver, but, I guess I could learn...
  3. Take it to a dealer and sell it.  I'm pretty sure it's worth more than $5.  
  4. Repurpose the box.  Don't you think it would make a beautiful jewelry box?
So, my friends, help me out.  What would you do with this find? I'm open to any and all suggestions and I promise to let you know the final outcome.

Thanks for stopping by - I look forward to hearing all of your suggestions.
Have a great weekend!

One more thought...Is anyone interested in doing a Five Dollar Challenge and turning it into a Blog Hop?  All you'd need to do is find something for $5 (or less) and repurpose it.  A date would be set for sharing the 'finished posts' and 'hopping' from blog to blog. It might be a fun Fall activity!  
If you're interested, e-mail me at with "$5 Challenge" in the subject line.  Let's have some fun!
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Saturday Shuffle

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Jammin' in the Summertime!

We've had some perfect days with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s, along with a few hot, humid days with a few scattered showers.  Yes, it's summer and that means it's time to make jam! 

Every summer, when my children were small, we'd head to the strawberry fields near our house to pick sweetest, most beautiful strawberries.  You were allowed to eat as you picked, and I'm sure my kiddos ate more than they actually picked - you could tell by the red stains around their mouths!  That was OK because we headed home with several pounds of berries and I got right to work making jam - you can't get fresher than that!

These days, my children are grown and still want jam, so I buy my berries and get to work.  Let me show you how I do it.  

Gather what you need:  a few pounds of strawberries, jars & lids, fruit pectin, and sugar - LOTS of sugar!  

First you have to sterilize your jars and lids.  If you have a dishwasher, send the jars through a wash and dry cycle.  If you don't, boil them in a pot for at least 10 minutes.  Put the lids and bands in another pot to boil, as well.  

In one bowl, measure 7 cups of sugar - I told you it was a lot!  Set that aside.

I like chunky jam, so I cut my berries up and mash them with a potato masher in a bowl.  If you don't like chunks of berries you can put them in the blender or food processor.  You'll need 5 cups.

Put the crushed berries in a pot with one package of fruit pectin. (You can add a tsp of butter to help with foaming.)  Bring that mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  
Now, add the sugar and bring to a boil again.
Once you get there, boil again for 1 minute and remove from the heat and start filling your jars - like this:
I leave a little room at the top (1/4") wipe the top edge and thread, and put the lid and band on right away.  I tighten the band as tight as I can get it and immediately turn the jar upside-down on a towel.

When all the jars are filled, I wait about 20 minutes and turn the jars right-side-up.  That when I hear the 'ping' of the jars sealing.  You will know they're sealed when you press on the lid and it doesn't move up and down. 

Now, here are a couple of tips:

Tip #1:
Wear your kitchen rubber gloves because those jars are HOT!  Save your hands!

Tip #2:
Use tongs to remove your jars and lids from boiling water - refer to Tip #1! 

I'm sure many of you are saying, "Ann, you're supposed to put those jars in the canner and boil them again."  I've heard that too, but, honestly, I've been making my jam like this for over 20 years and have never had a problem.  

Now I'm not saying you have to use my method, and if you have any doubt, get yourself a canner and boil those jars. 

What I will tell you is there is nothing like homemade jam on your toast or english muffin in January! 😉

So, do you make jam?  Do you have a specialty?  I'd love to hear about it!

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by - I hope you'll follow me and keep up with 'all the latest' at the Cottage!

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Recycling To The Rescue!

Last weekend we were invited to a July 4th BBQ.  In addition to bringing my favorite pasta salad, I wanted to bring our hostess a baby jade plant.  My jade plant is absolutely huge and is producing baby plants at a rapid rate!  Since I didn't have a small pot for it, I headed to the recycle bin.  
That's right, an aluminum can, wrapped in scrapbook paper, makes a great little planter!  I 'dressed-it-up' with a piece of jute tied into a bow, and this little plant was ready to go.

It doesn't get any easier than that!
If you'd like one, send me your address.  I have a few more!

Now, before you ask about that pasta salad.  No worries, I'll share that recipe soon.  There's still plenty of summer -  and summer parties left!  

Have a great week everyone.  Don't forget to follow, pin, share!  

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