Perfectly Imperfect, Vintage

Friday, December 21, 2018

Red Pear Granny Smith Apple Crisp

Sometimes you just don't have the time or all the ingredients.

I have a from scratch recipe for Apple Pear crisp posted. I thought I try this box mix out.
I love it! And it saves time.   

I ended up using 4 red pears and 3 granny smith apples. 

and don't forget to use this



Tuesday, December 18, 2018

2 Color Burlap Ruffle Wreath DIY

Leftover burlap ribbon
wire and a wire wreath frame

Turn the wire wreath frame upside down. Wrap a small amount of both colors of burlap ribbon around one of the center wires in the wireframe and tie off with a small piece of wire. 

 Hold it with a close pin if you need to.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Free - Ebay Spreadsheet Gross Sales & Profit

I wanted an at-a-glace spreadsheet and I found it!

I use Quickbooks and honestly there is a huge learning curve. Aside from that literally dozens of people telling me I'll show you how to use it. Yeah, still waiting. But I get it. I'm limited timewise myself. So, I had to learn it on my own. I guess I am not comfortable with software tapping into my bank account. For now - it's way more than I need.

I have an accountant - he suggested I make up a spreadsheet. Simple he said, bottom line is all he needs - cash in cash out kinda thing. 

Rather than reinventing the wheel, I went to youtube. And I found one on google docs (love it). Complete with a video. No need for me to explain it - just watch the video. In order to use google docs - you need a google account - gmail. Google docs is free.

Go here to watch the youtube  Ebay Spreadsheet Video

I don't have Excel - to expensive and many updates. I use Open Office it's a free office suite and compatible with just about everything!

Go here to download Apache Open Office

BTW - I also needed a spreadsheet for Etsy - once you save the spreadsheet to your computer you can edit the cell/fields and customize. You can highlight rows in color and make it so you can get the information you need quick.  Easy-peasy.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Little Potatoes - Potato Salad

Little Potatoes - Potato Salad


2 packages Little Potatoes
4 Large eggs
1/2 Red Onion
1/2 tablespoon Garlic Powder
4 tablespoons Sweet relish
4 tablespoons Helmanns Mayonnaise 
4 tablespoons Fage Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 tablespoon Cajun Spice
1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
Salt and Ground Pepper Medley


1 - Wash and cut any larger potatoes in same size pieces
2 - Boil potatoes for 8 minutes (rolling boil) - immediately cool down - set in a mixing bow
3 - Boil eggs - start in cold water - when temp reaches rolling boil - 5 minutes - cool down
4 - Place potatoes and eggs in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
5 - Chop eggs add to potatoes
6 - Finely chop red onion add to potatoes
7 - Add the rest of ingredients - gently fold in
1/2 tablespoon Garlic Powder
4 tablespoons Sweet relish
4 tablespoons Helmanns Mayonnaise 
4 tablespoons Fage Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon Dried Parsley
1 tablespoon Cajun Spice
1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika 
Salt and Ground Pepper Medley


This is all to taste - add or subtract any of the ingredients.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Post from Computer to Instagram

Instagram is designed to be mobile-only, but if that doesn't work for you, here is an option for uploading directly from your computer to Instagram

Many Instagrammers including me shoot photos on a dSLR camera and edit the photos on their computer before uploading to Instagram. That means having to transfer the finished photo to a phone (via Air drop or email), which is cumbersome, at best. 

Because I had to perform many steps just to post a picture I couldn't appreciate Instagram and I stopped posting.  Now I've been revamping my account and posting more. I'm not an expert but I'll get there.  

I can navigate my computer better and faster than my phone so for me this is perfect. I have thousands of pictures on my computer and I have about a dozen on my phone that are good enough to share. You can now upload images directly from a browser without the need to use the Instagram app and it’s easy for Chrome users.  

Use this link to add the Chrome Extention and you're ready to go.  

Oh yeah, when you're on Instagram follow me (chattergal2016) I only have about 2 followers!! And I promise to follow back. 


Monday, July 23, 2018

Stop Blocking My Driveway

Just out of this shot is another 10 feet of this guys truck and my driveway.
The parking laws in Massachusetts are developed by the state and then enforced by the cities and the towns. As such, this means that the cost of the fines for parking violations can vary from one town to another. 

Follow the parking laws

If you are parking in a business or residential district, you need to make sure your vehicle is no more than 12 inches from the curb. There is only one exception to this, and that is when angled parking is allowed. In those cases, you must make sure your vehicle is parked within the indicated lines. You cannot take up more than one space with your vehicle, or you will get a ticket.
Massachusetts drivers are not allowed to park their vehicles at a bus stop, or at a taxi stand. You also need to be aware of street cleaning signs. They will let you know when the regular scheduled cleanings occur, and when you are able to park in those locations. You cannot park in a posted loading zone or within 20 feet of an intersection.
Drivers cannot park in a crosswalk, nor can they park in front of a driveway. You must park at least five feet from a driveway or alley. This would be a massive inconvenience for anyone who needs to use the driveway. In addition, when you are parking near a curb, or even in a parking lot, you need to be careful that you do not park in front of a handicap access ramp. Never park in a disabled parking area unless you have the plates or placards that will allow it.
You cannot park within 10 feet of a fire hydrant or a fire lane, or on a curb, a center traffic island, or a median. If there is a roadway emergency or a weather emergency, you are not allowed to park on the side of the road. Never park facing the wrong way in traffic. 
In Massachusetts, you cannot park your vehicle on a rural roadway or outside a “thickly settled district.” Double parking is also against the law. This would impede traffic and it could become a hazard, even if you are only there for a few minutes. It is also illegal to park on the side of the road to make non-emergency repairs to your vehicle.
If you do not follow the laws, you could get a citation and a fine. Always check for signs and any other indication that you are not allowed to park in certain locations before doing so.
updated 7 23 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Orange Creamsicle Fluff - Dessert

Orange Creamsicle Fluff

  • 1 box Orange Jell-O
  • 1 box Instant Vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 can Reddi- Whip 8 oz.
  • 1 can Mandarin Oranges 11 oz. - drained
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows


  1. In a large bowl combine orange Jell-O and boiling water.
  2. Whisk until Jell-o is dissolved.
  3. Add cold water and allow to chill for 15 minutes in refrigerator.
  4. Slowly whisk in vanilla pudding mix until smooth and chill for another 15-20 minutes or until it becomes slightly thickened.
  5. Fold in Reddi-Whip, Mandarin oranges, and Marshmallows.
  6. Chill for at least 1 hour.


Garnish the top with a few oranges and marshmallows.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Feta, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Feta, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

prep time: 30 minscook time: total time: 30 mins


2 cucumbers - cubed
2 medium tomatoes - cubed
Half Red Onion - chopped
Feta Cheese Crumbles  4-5 ounces
3 tablespoons Parsley  
1/2 teaspoon Salt  
1/2 teaspoon Ground Pepper Medley
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 ounce lemon juice 


Add cucumbers, tomatoes,  and red onion in a serving bowl
In a separate bowl whisk
3 tablespoons Parsley  
1/2 teaspoon Salt  
1/2 teaspoon Ground Pepper Medley
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 ounce lemon juice 
Pour over salad and top off with feta cheese


Sunday, July 1, 2018

1980's Brass Lamp Makeover Part 2

I bought these in the 80's - loved them when they were brass. Then changed my decor' and painted them black.

That was actually my first try at spray paint over brass. They lasted a long time - about 9 years or so.  I bought new lamps this time around only because I wanted wood. I put the black lamps in the basement and they looked okay. But kinda dark. So I went out of my comfort zone...

I saw this color in Home Depot 

I sanded both lamps not a lot just enough to take the gloss off. Then washed with Dawn and warm water - allowed to dry. When painting a bright or bold color it's good to apply a dark primer. In this case the black paint worked in my favor. 

As always there are many steps involved in painting a lamp but I have always found the two key steps should never be missed. 1 is prep do it right and 2 is let it dry completely. And if you can let the piece bake in the sun. Refer to my previous blogs for details. 

All they need now is lampshades. 

And now on sale in My Etsy Shop

There was a lot of work and time - but well worth it. 


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Local Farms, Farm Stands Alternative Grocery Shopping

Farm to Table!!

There are alternative places to buy food and produce.
I took about 10 minutes and put together this list. I have been to every place that I have listed and I recommend each one. Some are just farm stands. But... there are petting zoos, hay rides, stores, dairy, bakeries, cafe's, pick your own, gather eggs and most important have something FUN for kids. And all right here within a few miles.

Spices are often found at farmers markets.

When I was a kid my mother would pile us in the car and just drive - she always managed to find an out of the way farms stand and I continued that tradition. I can't just drive by any farm stand - I have to stop!
It's a lot harder today to find those little gems. But they are out there.

Jams and Jellies taste much better when homemade.

Quite honestly, I am tired of my local market, they seem to push what they want me to buy and not what I actually want and need. Lately, I've had to make more than one trip or drive several miles to another store. Simple staples they don't keep the shelves stocked.

How about Honey?

Artisan Maple Syrup - this is Orange Maple and it is too die for.

I'm sure I missed some favorites - let me know and I'll add it.

Barkers Farm Stand OsgoosdSt N Andover No webpage)

Ciderhill Farm Route 150 Amesbury Fern St

Boston Hill Farm Route 114 N. Andover Ma

Mann Orchard/Farmstand Pleasant Valley St Methuen

Salem Ma. Derby Square

Brox Farm Stand (Farmer Dave) Rt 113 Dracut

J&F Farms  Chester Rd Derry Nh

Peter's Farm Cross St Salem Nh

Salem Nh  Farmers market Lake St

Smolak Farms Bradford St, N Andover

Massachusetts Growth - pretty comprehensive link on Farmstands, Farmers Markets, Dair Farms etc...
Use the search


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Vintage Board Game Box Makeover

I've had this for several years and didn't know what to do with it. I purchased it for $3.00 at a local store where they raise money for charity. The other day when I was cleaning and once again tripped over it. I decided it is time for some French Country.
I used Cottage White Chalk Paint from Home Decor. One coat and then sanded with 180 grit sandpaper for the distressed look. Since I was distressing I didn't have to be neat!

I found the graphics on Graphics Fairy on Pinterest. A lot of her graphics are free to use. And she has most set up for reverse printing.  Your design must be the mirror or reverse image.  You can do this with almost any printer or photo editing software. I use Picasa and just hit  CTRL Shift H. So just google it!!!

After you have printed your design make sure to trim off any excess paper around the design. Then with a foam brush, you will need to spread Mod Podge on the ink side and place ink side. Smooth out any bubbles. Let completely dry.

Next, take a damp cloth to the design and begin removing the label/design - don't pick it just gently rub with your fingers.

Gently sand over the design to remove any debris or if you need to distress a bit more. Now it's time to add a coat of Cream Wax and buff. I chose clear by Americana Decor but you can use a colored wax - like a light gray.

And now that empty nook in my basement power room is not so empty. I have the wire basket for extra toilet paper.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I'm Obsessed with Farmhouse Pillar Candle Holder

My obsession started when I was out shopping one day. I saw these 3 candle holders on a clearance table marked down and I had rewards from that store. In the end, the final prices were $1.38 each.

They looked pretty beat up so I decided to give them a makeover. I love the farmhouse look so I was pretty darn impressed with myself!!
I loved them! But then I decided to see if there was a market to sell these. Well, yeah and they sold within days. I had well over 500 hits on these. And so many were inquiring if I was going to make more. So... now that I sold the only set I had I wanted a set for myself. That turned out to be a problem. I knew I would not be able to find a great bargain but I was okay spending a little bit more.

It's all but impossible to find turned wood these days, at least in my neck of the woods. I spent hours on the internet and still nothing. I found small candlestick holders but zero on the nice chunky wood pillar candle holders. And trust me that thrift store finds - are rare. There are not many bargains in where I live. Everything I like is always top dollar and the yard sales are a total waste of time. I actually have better luck shopping at the end of the season in retail stores.

It isn’t even necessary to put a candle on them all the time as they look stylish just standing there all on their own. I love grouping different styles and you really can not have too many candle holders. 

BTW - craft stores don't carry wood, it's some kind of resin mold and they are expensive.

Persistence pays off - and I don't have many to offer for sale but here's a collection I am currently selling in my Esty Shop

Please be sure to check my shop often, I list something almost every day.


Monday, April 16, 2018

What's an Idiom?

A hot potato
Speak of an issue (mostly current) which many people are talking about and which is usually disputed
A penny for your thoughts
A way of asking what someone is thinking
Actions speak louder than words
People's intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say.
Add insult to injury
To further a loss with mockery or indignity; to worsen an unfavorable situation.
At the drop of a hat
Meaning: without any hesitation; instantly.
Back to the drawing board
When an attempt fails and it's time to start all over.
Ball is in your court
It is up to you to make the next decision or step
Barking up the wrong tree
Looking in the wrong place. Accusing the wrong person
Be glad to see the back of
Be happy when a person leaves.
Beat around the bush
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
Best of both worlds
Meaning: All the advantages.
Best thing since sliced bread
A good invention or innovation. A good idea or plan.
Bite off more than you can chew
To take on a task that is way to big.
Blessing in disguise
Something good that isn't recognized at first.
Burn the midnight oil
To work late into the night, alluding to the time before electric lighting.
Can't judge a book by its cover
Cannot judge something primarily on appearance.
Caught between two stools
When someone finds it difficult to choose between two alternatives.
Costs an arm and a leg
This idiom are used when something is very expensive.
Cross that bridge when you come to it
Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before.

Cry over spilled milk
When you complain about a loss from the past.
Curiosity killed the cat
Being Inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.
Cut corners
When something is done badly to save money.
Cut the mustard [possibly derived from "cut the muster"]
To succeed; to come up to expectations; adequate enough to compete or participate
Devil's Advocate
To present a counter argument
Don't count your chickens before the eggs have hatched
This idiom is used to express "Don't make plans for something that might not happen".
Don't give up the day job
You are not very good at something. You could definitely not do it professionally.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket
Do not put all your resources in one possibility.
Drastic times call for drastic measures
When you are extremely desperate you need to take drastic actions.
Elvis has left the building
The show has come to an end. It's all over.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
Far cry from
Very different from.
Feel a bit under the weather
Meaning: Feeling slightly ill.
Give the benefit of the doubt
Believe someone's statement, without proof.
Hear it on the grapevine
To hear rumors about something or someone.
Hit the nail on the head
Do or say something exactly right
Hit the sack / sheets / hay
To go to bed.
In the heat of the moment
Overwhelmed by what is happening at the moment.
It takes two to tango
Actions or communications need more than one person
Jump on the bandwagon
Join a popular trend or activity.
Keep something at bay
Keep something away.
Kill two birds with one stone
To accomplish two different things at the same time.
Last straw
The final problem in a series of problems.
Let sleeping dogs lie
Meaning - do not disturb a situation as it is - since it would result in trouble or complications.
Let the cat out of the bag
To share information that was previously concealed
Make a long story short
Come to the point - leave out details
Method to my madness
An assertion that, despite one's approach seeming random, there actually is structure to it.
Miss the boat
To say that someone missed his or her chance
Not a spark of decency
Meaning: No manners
Not playing with a full deck
Someone who lacks intelligence.

Off one's rocker
Crazy, demented, out of one's mind, in a confused or befuddled state of mind, senile.
On the ball
When someone understands the situation well.
Once in a blue moon
Meaning: Happens very rarely.
Picture paints a thousand words
A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
Piece of cake
A job, task or other activity that is easy or simple.
Put wool over other people's eyes
This means to deceive someone into thinking well of them.
See eye to eye
This idiom is used to say that two (or more people) agree on something.
Sit on the fence
This is used when someone does not want to choose or make a decision.
Speak of the devil!
This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives.
Steal someone's thunder
To take the credit for something someone else did.
Take with a grain of salt
This means not to take what someone says too seriously.
Taste of your own medicine
Means that something happens to you, or is done to you, that you have done to someone else
To hear something straight from the horse's mouth
To hear something from the authoritative source.
Whole nine yards
Everything. All of it.
Wouldn't be caught dead
Would never like to do something
Your guess is as good as mine
To have no idea, do not know the answer to a question

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