Hodgepodge of Stuff + My Splurge.

Okay. I don’t know why I like to start a lot of my posts or paragraphs with “okay” but I like to do it. Until I figure it out, I will keep proceeding.

So my sister-in-law Michele wrote a guest post about two “picking-inspired” shows for y’all. (The reason why I’m saying “you all” will have to be reserved for another post… but for now, I’m simply “practicing”.) One of the shows she wrote about was Market Warriors on PBS. Now, I consider myself an “amateur picker.” I am in no way an expert like Karen from “incoginitoinmaine” but I do know a little about picking. But we (Eric and I) were not totally hooked on this show last week. And we decided that we would not pick up this show (no pun intended) into our embarrassingly lengthy “must-watch-list.” But after we heard that the narrator, Fred Willard, who is really funny (if you disagree, just watch him in “Waiting For Guffman” or “Best in Show”) just got canned for participating in lewd acts at an adult theatre. WHAT? We have to view the next show and give it another chance.

So we’re watching this week’s show with the new Mark Walberg voiceover (not Mark Wahlberg the movie blockbuster hunk but the sleepy Antiques Roadshow host Mark Walberg). And we are captivated by the picker, Miller who is assessed as the “Assessor” out of the four stars. She has this unique kind of aristocratic accent. And both Eric and I found ourselves mimicking her: “Why don’t I model it for you boyyyyzzz”…. “niiiinnnnneee bakelite braceleeeeetsssss.”  with a long draaaaawl in the aristocrat way with your bottom teeth meeting vertically with your upper teeth. Try it and say “bakelite” with your bottom teeth vertically aligned with your top teeth and hold a little longer on the pronunciation of “liiiiiite”. Now you are a picking snob.

I now need to share with “y’all” (why me, a Yankee, speaking like a southerner? Refer to above mention that I will clue you in on a little secret at a later date) that I am one who truly believes in Karma. And while I was making fun of Miller’s aristocratic, snobbish accent, a fly flew into my glass of wine and I new this because as I sipped, I felt something hit my lips, and with a cross-eyed glare, I saw this nasty insect floating in my Pinot Grigio. Now that, my blogger fans, is called a “karma spank.” And you can tell when you are “one” with the Karma world when “karma spanks” happen so quickly! So when things like this happen to me, I’m thrilled to know that I’m pretty “karma clean.” Now I don’t know what that means but just pretend that I do, and that you know what it means too.

Now back to my “hodgepodge” of stuff which includes my splurge item that I mentioned in a post last week. While I was scoring on a pile of rebates from Staples, whereby saving Eric and I over $50 on office supplies, I made my way over to the neighboring store Hobby Lobby because it was “calling me.” Now before you call me crazy, it really was “calling me.” After I left Staples, I loaded my purchases into the back of the van and contemplated going into Hobby Lobby. But as I sat in the driver seat and started up the car, rolling down the windows because it was an unusual New England scorcher, I proceeded to head home, but something told me to stop, park and walk the store. Immediately upon entering, I did as every budget conscious shopper does… head to my left where the “70 percent off clearance section is.” And I am sooooooooo glad I did (taking a cue from the aristocratic Miller).

To give you a very shortened synopsis: When Eric and I sent our wedding invitations, we did not want the stamps offered at our local post office which were two gold rings, a heart or a picture of a white fluffy wedding cake. I came home proclaiming that our invitations would be delivered via email rather than snail mail. But I went online and found King and Queen of Hearts stamps. Of course, it was more than what I needed to mail each invitation. But I was thrilled with these two stamps (I know. I am easily amused by the simplest of things!). So, after we were home from the honeymoon, I learned that a Hobby Lobby had opened its doors in Manchester, NH. Now I never heard of “Hobby Lobby” except from Eric who used to stop at these stores when we were on the road down South because they sold the scissors he favorited most for his workshops. I also knew of them because I purchased some fabric for our cool Wedding Photo Booth from a seller on Etsy who said she got it from Hobby Lobby.

Anyways, I’m heading over to the 70 percent off section and I see a pillow that I absolutely wanted a couple years ago when I visited the brand new store here in Manchester. They were pillows that were the King and Queen of Hearts. Now when I first saw them, these pillows were $30 each! I called Eric to tell him about them and that they matched our “Wedding Invitation Stamps” and would be a cool remembrance. But we both agreed that $60 for two pillows were not part of a starving artist’s budget! Actually, it would not be part of anyone’s practical budget! But on this day, in the 70% off home furnishings aisle, I found a Queen of Hearts pillow for $6 and a King of Diamonds pillow for $6 as well!

I know, it is not a King of Hearts but Eric really has been the “King of Diamonds” for me! (Awwww, yeah…. sappy, I know. Let’s leave it at that because we both are not sappy and not the bragging sort of people). So I bought these two pillows for a total of $12 the day after our anniversary and we were both excited! They went perfectly, in the quirky way we love, with the restored chairs we bought last summer from our friend Karen up in Lovell, Maine.

Absolute perfection in our humble and simple opinion.

Five Questions Friday: It’s Hot in St. Louis

Sorry for the delay in Friday’s Five Questions. We’ve been watching the news all day regarding the theater tragedy in Colorado and I was not in the “asking-five-questions” kind of mood. Our prayers go out to the families affected by this horrible shooting.

So the following questions will be pretty simple this week.

Q: What do you think about the job I did on Chance’s haircut?
Eric: You did such a good job this time I can’t call him Patches. Your dog grooming skills are really improving!! But, I miss Patches. Where’s Patches? Come Patches!

Q: What were you working on today?
EricAmong other things, I’ve been working on the Missouri convention materials and Tony’s workshop. Specifically, I worked on the Shaker apple basket handles and rims, and a whole bunch of other stuff that you wouldn’t understand.
(Editor’s note: I wouldn’t understand? Don’t let him fool you. He was probably on twitter talking politics.)

Q: So you will soon be sending your new exhibit basket, Morning Song, over to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. Are you happy? relieved? nervous?
I’m not nervous. I’m mainly relieved because I finally finished the basket. Well, maybe I am a little nervous wondering if I will ever see the basket again. I priced it high enough, so maybe it will come back home. The last time I was in this exhibit, I sold it.

Q: What aggravated you this week?
Eric: That you are asking me these questions at 9:45 pm Friday night! While we are at it, where are the bios? This October it will be a year since you started your blog and still no bios...
(Editor’s note: I suffer from severe procrastination. Is there a drug for that???)

Q: What are you most looking forward to on our next trip to St. Louis?!
The heat. I have always wondered how hot it gets in St. Louis in August. I’m about to ask myself, “What the heck was I thinking!”
(Editor’s note: I remember that Tony had awesome air conditioning in his workshop. So much so, I had to put on a sweater last year. So I think you’re all set.)

From The Basketmaker’s Sister-In-Law: Get Picking Inspired!

The following post is from my brother’s wife, Michele (not to be confused with my sister Michelle who has two L’s in her name).

Recently, I emailed members of the Penny-Pinching Pickers about two TV shows that I thought might be of interest to them. Perhaps they will be inspired to reach new picking heights, or feel affirmed to see picking techniques they’ve used, or even see items they’ve picked along the way. And hopefully, the trend to recycle, reinvent and breathe new life into ‘found’ items continues to gain momentum with the help of series like these.

Below are descriptions from each shows’ website.  (Note that Market Warriors begins tonight!)

PICKED OFF – On the History Channel – Wednesdays at 10pm
Following in the footsteps of American Pickers, timing and swift decision-making skills are key in this series hosted by former NFL player Keith Neubert. With a starter fund of $100, four teams compete in three challenges, testing their treasure-digging talents to see who gets eliminated—”picked off”—and who remains. After the picking and nail-biting negotiations, judges Todd and Ethan Merrill transfer the finds to the Dealers’ Room to assess the retail value of the pickers’ savvy shopping and decide which team collects the grand prize of $10,000.

MARKET WARRIORS  – On WGBH/PBS – Starts Monday, July 16 at 9pm
From the producers of Antiques Roadshow, the hit PBS series and the forerunner of television’s popular antiques and collectibles genre, comes a new adventure for treasure seekers: Market Warriors.  Premiering Monday, July 16, at 9pm, Market Warriors follows antiques pickers — Bob, John, Kevin and Miller — on a nationwide treasure hunt, scouring flea markets and antiques shows for vintage valuables with an eye toward selling their finds for profit at auction.

Over the course of 20 one-hour episodes, viewers will get to know the pickers, enjoy an up-close look at the fierce competition and obstacles they face in the marketplace, and make their best guesses about who will come out ahead at the end of the competitions.  Fred Willard (Best in Show, Modern Family) is Market Warriors’ off-screen host, offering wry commentary throughout the show. As host, the competition is filtered through his eyes.  “With Market Warriors, we wanted to turn the lens on the antiques experts themselves,” says series executive producer Marsha Bemko.

“Our pickers aren’t your amateur-weekend-flea-market hobbyists — they are pros looking to turn a profit in a highly competitive setting where the element of chance and a little luck sometimes trump expertise. And who better to guide viewers through the challenges our pickers face than Fred Willard, who brings to the series both his signature improvisational skills and the eye and know-how of a collector.”

Meet the cast here:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/market-warriors/meet-cast/

Happy TV viewing and most importantly, happy picking!