Hello and welcome to The Capricious Crafter blog! Who or what is the capricious crafter? Well, that would be me, Becky, a sixty something child of God, wife, daughter, aunt, great aunt, friend and lover of crafting, cooking, reading, travel, and more. My husband and I have been married almost thirty years and are looking forward to his retirement at the end of 2014. Our plans are to buy a new camper and hit the road as much as possible. Oh, the possibilities are endless for our future!

I am a child of the 1950's and that is definitely my favorite 'era'. I collect Fire King items from the 1940's and 50's, clear glass or crystal glassware, especially pitchers, cream and sugar sets, etc., as well as old dishware and serving pieces, vintage fabrics and so much more!

I have been crafting for as long as I can remember, and definitely from my early childhood. I remember my mother teaching me how to make paper dolls from the Sears catalog and 'shirt cardboard' from the cleaners. And now I still love playing with paper! My primary crafty passion is paper crafting items such as mini albums, cards, tags, etc., however I also enjoy crocheting, some sewing, embroidery, mixed media art and art journaling, felt crafts and so much more.

My purpose for this blog is to share the crafts I make, foods I cook, decorating and caring for my home, new products I try, treasures I find at estate and yard sales, my collections, and anything else I come up with. I hope you will join me on this journey ... it's going to be a very 'capricious' ride!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sharing ... Vintage Thingie Thursday ... Chicken House Finds

Hello!  Today we have snow left over from Tuesday, and the temps are in the single digits and haven't been above freezing since it fell, so the snow isn't going anywhere soon.  I've been spending some time going through old pictures, and thought I would share some pictures of some of my treasure hunting finds from the past.  I am also linking up to Colorado Lady's 'Vintage Thingie Thursday' post.

One day I was on my way to take my Mama home after a visit, and I decided to take a little detour onto a road that I had never been on before.  And no, there aren't many of those in our area ... I love knowing where I live, and make it a point to take new roads when I can.  Anyway, back to the story.  We went by an old farmhouse with two old (very old) chicken houses alongside it.  One of the chicken houses had a sign that said it was a 'yard sale'.  It wasn't open that day, but I knew I would go back on day.

Fast forward to a few months later, and my friend Phyllis and I were out treasure hunting and the pickins were slim, so rather than go home, I remembered the chicken house and we headed there to see what we could find.  The old man who owned it was a sweetheart, and we enjoyed talking to him and shopping around in his large chicken house just FULL of all kinds of things.  And I found some great treasures!

Do you know what that glass thing is in the picture above???  Well, it is a vintage chicken watering dish.  You actually fill a glass jar (Mason, Ball, mayonnaise, LOL!) with water, turn this upside down onto the jar, then turn the whole thing back upside down so the water runs down into the dish.  I remember these from my childhood, and had to have this!  I think I paid 50 cents for it!

The pic above is a close up of the detail on this ...

and this is a feed sack that was turned into a pillow case!  Right before our visit to the chicken house, I had found instructions for making aprons from vintage pillow cases, so I bought this one, and ...

... these two!  One of these had never been sewn up to make the pillow case, so it will be easier to make it into an apron ... IF I ever get my sewing machine fixed, but that's another story for another time!

Close up detail of rose pillow case.

And the last thing I bought that day, and probably my favorite, is this vintage bottle ...

When new, this bottle held 'Black Draught' cough syrup.  The bottle is about 6 inches tall, 2 1/2 inches wide, and less than an inch thick.  I love the size, the shape, the color ... just everything about this bottle.  In fact, my Mama and I went back a few months ago and I asked if he had any more of them, but they had all sold out!  And yes, those pink camellias in the bottle are from one of my camellia bushes ... aren't they beautiful?

The added bonus of this trip was that I spent less than $5 for the whole bunch of pretties!  And the last time I went he gave me a vintage Fostoria cream pitcher and cut glass sherbet dish!  Mr. Boling sure is a sweetheart!

I would love it if you would tell me about some of your favorite treasure hunting finds, so please go and 'LIKE' my Facebook page and leave a pic or just tell me about a vintage find you love!

Thanks for visiting today!  Blessings,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sharing ... Mama's Potato Soup ... A Tasty Bit of My Heritage!

As I sit here, comfy and warm in my bed with my laptop in my lap, there are literally THOUSANDS of people in the Atlanta/northern Georgia area who are stranded on the roads due to the bad weather.  School buses can't get the children home, OR back to the schools.  And it's 9pm!!!  Emergency vehicles can't get through to accidents because the main highways and interstates are totally gridlocked with cars.  A little baby girl was born on the side of the interstate tonight when her Daddy couldn't get her Mommy to the hospital in time.  Some people have been trying to get home for 7 hours or more, and can't get to their families.  It is REALLY bad out there folks!  I am so thankful all my loved ones are home safe and sound!  I guess the worst thing that happend is that my nephew and his wife couldn't get to her Mom's to pick up the baby so he is having a 'sleepover' with his grandmother and step-granddaddy, who is also trying to get home.

Since it was a cold and snowy and yucky day, I decided to make one of our favorite cold weather meals ... potato soup and cornbread, or in our case, fried cornbread aka 'hoe cakes'.

When I was a child, we ate homemade potato soup and cornbread … a LOT! Little did I know, or realize back then, it was because it was all we could afford. Once I grew up I tried making it, but mine never turned out like Mama's did, so I eventually gave up.

This past November (2013) we took Mama to Florida on a camping trip with us and the weather turned wet and cold, so we decided on potato soup and fried cornbread (hoe cakes) for dinner.  Mama stayed inside and peeled the potatoes and diced up the onions whle I went out to my outside kitchen and made the hoe cakes and the soup, with her telling me through the door how to make the soup. I paid closer attention this time, and have made it several times since, so I finally feel comfortable with sharing the recipe. Please bear in mind, until now, there has been no written recipe … this is just how Mama taught me to make it!

Mama's Potato Soup

3 cups (approx.) diced potatoes
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons salt

Put potatoes and salt in a pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are just getting tender and add:

¼ cup finely diced onion

Continue cooking until the potatoes are tender and add:

1 ½ to 2 cups of milk

and your seasonings. Check for saltiness and if needed, add salt, and some black pepper to taste.

(Edit:  I had a very good question about draining the water out, and no, you do not drain the water out.  That is where I always messed up when I tried it before, because draining and adding milk to the potatoes just didn't come out the same!  Thanks, Ladybug, for verifying!)

You can also add other seasonings if you want. I added a good sized pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch or two of Ancho Chili Pepper (ground), plus about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of garlic salt. No other salt was necessary.

For thickening, pour about 1/3 cup of COLD milk into a cup or bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Once the soup is back up to a boil, stir together the corn starch and milk and pour into the soup. Stir well and often until the soup is thickened.

If desired, stir in about ¼ (or more) cup of sour cream to the soup. It gives an extra bit of creaminess and a depth of flavor … in my opinion ... and this is one step Mama doesn't do!

If you want to have 'loaded potato' soup, once you have some in your bowl, top it with crumbled bacon, scallions and shredded cheese. Also good with a small dollop of sour cream.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Sharing ... A Girls Day Out, and Vintage Treasures

Hello!  I want to tell you about the really nice day I had yesterday!  I drove about 40 or so miles northwest of my home to my friend Mary Ann's new-to-her home up in the beautiful mountains of northern Georgia.  I loved her new home, just don't like that it's so far from here!  Mary Ann and I met at our local scrapbooking store (LSS) and over the last 2 or so years have become good friends.  I am most grateful for her friendship!

My friend Mary Ann in the 'craft cave' of her former home.   We were having a play date and
exploring the joys of printing with a Gelli Plate and she had her hands patterned with paint!
Anyway, after I had a tour of the house we took off for Lafayette (pronounced lah-fet) a little town in northwestern Georgia, a little over 100 miles from my home.  We stopped first at a sweet old house that holds a restaurant and catering service called Ivy Cottage, to have a bite of lunch.  We each had the daily special of Sour Cream Chicken over rice and two sides.  The chicken was delicious!  It was just tender stewed chicken meat in a sour cream sauce and served over white rice.  Next we headed to a vintage, junky, funky, very cool store where both Mary Ann and I have  some of our crafty things up for sale.  If you are interested in finding them, just go to Facebook and search for Heirlooms Vintage Boutique & Rentals.

I forgot to take the few new things I had made, but picked up some of the older paintings I had left up there, and a few Thanksgiving and Christmas things that didn't sell.  While we were walking around, looking at the shop and any new things that we hadn't seen, we ran up on a bowl full of the cutest little tin candy molds!  There were 20 of them, 2 each of 10 designs for $8.00!  We decided to split them up and each take one full set of ten and bring them home to see what we could make of them.  Here's a picture of all ten of the ones I brought home ...

There are round ones, square ones, oval ones, simple ones, scalloped ones, and elaborate ones!  And I love them all.  Well, except for maybe that round one on the bottom left ... it's kind of boring!  :)  So my friend and I each got exactly the same set, and all for $4 each.  And the cool part is that Mandy, owner of Heirlooms, just deducted it from our accounts on the books, so our part of them will be deducted from future sales. 

Each of these tins are tiny, as in less than two inches across.  They are mostly in good condition, although there are some bad spots, but I won't be using them to mold candy or butter or such.  Oh no!  I'll be using them in my crafting!  I see ornaments and altered items in my future.  I've been making some suncatchers from chandelier crystals (another post for another day) and I'm thinking they would be cute to put tin and crystal together!  What do you think???

Here are some individual pics of my favorites ...

I realize now that I love the oval ones!  This one above has that cute ruffly edge, and the raised 'scores' on the bottom will make a pretty ornament or altered object!

I actually love the simplicity of this oval with scalloped sides.  I'm thinking maybe I will use this one in a spoolie, as a background for a sweet vintage image.

And this square one with scallops ... very sweet!  Maybe a mini shadowbox?

And this one ... oh my!  I turned it upside down so you can see the detail.  I love this one and may have to treasure it for a while before I use it in a project!

Did you notice the fabric I used for the background?  That is one of my vintage 1950's chicken feed sacks.  It has some lovely 'Pennsylvania Dutch' images and is a nice thick woven cotton fabric.  I have a collection of these, and one of these days I will explain to you how I came to have them ... the story goes all the way back to when I was a small child!

I love my sweet little candy molds, and can't wait to get to work making some projects with them!  Do you have any suggestions for crafty ways to put these to use?  I would love to hear from you!  Blessings,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sharing ... Design Team Project ... Anything But A Card Challenge #31 'Balance'

Hello there!  I am very excited to have joined the Design Team at Anything But A Card, a challenge blog where you get a new challenge every month.  I have participated a few times, and have known one of the designers for several years, since we were on another DT together about 3 to 4 years ago.  She kept asking me to join their team, so I finally said yes!

This month's challenge is all about 'balance' and how you interpret it, there is also a photo that may give your creative side a little boost if you need some help.  As this was my first challenge, I decided I should stay true to my vintage/retro style and went to Pinterest in search of a vintage image that fit the theme.  And I found one, too!  A cute vintage image of a boy and girl on a see-saw, apparently having a blast.  Then I found a quote that said 'life is a balance of holding on and letting go - Rumi' ... and isn't that the truth!  And I remember as a kid, hanging on tight until I got to the top and raising my hands up high until it was time to start back down again.  Here is my project ...

Here the details:  The base is an 8" x 4" manilla tag, and I don't know who made it as a friend ordered a case of them and gave me a stack ... she's sweet like that!  The papers are from a My Mind's Eye 'Playdate' 6" x 6" paper pad.  The trim at top is from Pebbles, and the tiny ric-rack is from an estate sale I discovered a few years ago.  The teal card stock is Bazzil, the white card stock is Georgia Pacific from Walmart.  The brown ink is from Stampabilities, the bling on the image is Stickles in both Ice Blue and Mercury Glass.

I wanted to do a close-up of the image so you could see the dimension.  I actually printed out two of the images and fussy cut one, leaving only the see-saw, tree stump and children.  Then I inked up the part I cut out and adhered it onto the base image using foam squares from Recollections.  Then I added stickles to draw your eye to the edges so it would really pop up that dimension.  Here is how it looks from a side view ...

Do you see the foam dots under there ... that is a very easy way to give depth and dimension to a paper crafted project.  I think I will give this tag to my niece ... she is a new Mommy and I think she is learning that there are just some things that have to be let go of so she can do the important things.  She is a really good Mommy and a wonderful husband for my nephew, and I love her a lot!

Thanks for joining me and please come back soon ... I will have another project to share with you soon.  Blessings!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sharing ... Special News ... Facebook Page Giveaway Winner Announced!!!

Thanks to everyone who liked my Facebook page!  I hope to have one of these giveaways about once a month, so if you haven't already, please go like The Capricious Crafter on Facebook!  Blessings,

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sharing ... Crafting ... After The Fussy Cutting, Then Comes The Assembly!

Welcome!  Do you remember THIS POST a few weeks ago when I talked about fussy cutting, and how you do it?  Well I am finally getting around to following up on the tags I made with the fussy cut images and how I assembled them.  This is one if the little puppy images, fussy cut and inked around the edges with a soft (and inexpensive) brown pigment ink pad.  I like the softer, less expensive ink pads much better than those 'famous', firmer ink pads that you have to use a blending tool (another expense) to get the softer look.  Just putting it out there!

As I was making a number of tags at once, nine to be exact, I played around with a few ideas, and then decided on a red paper with white polka dots, blue die cut scalloped circles, embossed with a cute swirly folder, and lots of Stickles! Once I decided on the elements for the tags, I cut out the pieces for one and put it together, just to see how it worked before cutting out all the multiples of pieces.  Here is what it looked like with the pieces all being placed but not glued down ...

Looks good to me, let's move on! Next up is cutting, embossing and inking the edges of all the pieces.  Once that chore is done, I started the assembly process.  Adhering the patterned paper to the white card stock I was using as the base of the tags.  That done, I added the circles of blue card stock.

Next up is the puppy images.  Because the card stock I used to print the images on is kind of flimsy, I want to add a scrap of card stock to the back to make it a little more sturdy.  I cut a piece of card stock slightly smaller than the image and just glue it on ...

... that adds just enough sturdiness so the image won't buckle if it's pushed in a bit.  Next up, I add some dimension.  Foam squares, pop dots, whatever you call them, they are great for dimension.

After they are attached I add some Stickles ... Christmas Red for the heart and Diamond for the blue bow.

An outline here, some filling in there, and the Stickles makes everything shiny and pretty!  Add a small hole punched in the top and some simple twine, and you have a tag, ready to give to someone special!

Aren't they cute?  And in a couple of days, I will be giving away five of them in my Facebook Followers Giveaway ... are you a follower of my Facebook page?  Better move on over there and 'Like' my page so you can be in on the action.  Blessings,

Sharing .... Giveaway News ... My First Giveaway!!!

Hi there!  I am very excited to announce that very soon I will be hosting my very first giveaway on my Facebook page for The Capricious Crafter!  That's right, not here on this blog, but on my The Capricious Crafter Facebook Page!

I will officially announce it at 12:01am on Thursday, January 16th, and then on Friday morning, January 17th I will write down the names of all of my followers on Facebook and pick one randomly to win some crafty goodies!  The winner will be announced around 12 noon on Friday.

So, if you do not follow The Capricious Crafter on Facebook, please go 'Like' my page now so you will be sure to be in on the drawing.  You can click on any of the links above or the one over in the right hand column.

And yes, this is a shameless attempt to get more Facebook followers! :)  Blessings,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sharing ... Grab My Button!

Hi there!  I know I haven't posted in a while, but hope to pick it up a bit soon!  In the meantime, I'd love if you would grab my button and put it on your blog!

Also, if you haven't already, please go 'Like' my Facebook page by clicking on the image to the right.  I post a lot of things there that I don't get posted here on the blog.

Hope to be back soon with something special to share!  Blessings,

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sharing ... Craft Product Revew and A New Obsession!

Hello there!  Are you staying warm these days?  Here in northern Georgia we have had some really, REALLY cold temps thanks to the 'polar vortex' or 'arctic blast' or whatever it is they are calling it today that has been ravaging our country this past week.  This morning in Atlanta (a little over an hour south of here) it was a balmy 6 degrees, with wind chill temps of around -15 ... degrees!  But I've pretty  much stayed inside and worked on some crafty projects (and some laundry) instead of going out into the deep freeze!  And that brings me to my review of a new (to me) crafty product!

I have always wanted to learn to make yarn pom-poms, but that whole thing with the two pieces of cardboard and winding just never worked for me.  In fact, I guess I'm just not smart enough to figure it out, and usually I am pretty good at that kind of thing.  But ... during the Christmas holidays, as I was following Christy Campbell Tomlinson on facebook and she had been making pom-pom garlands to decorate her home, and she showed a picture of her sitting in bed (well, actually her feet) with pom-poms and  yarn all around her, and one of these things in the mix ...

This is the Clover Pom-Pom maker, and just about the coolest little thing I have found in a while!  My husband gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas, and this is the first thing I ordered!   I didn't even read the directions, however I had already watched the you-tube video and knew it wasn't that hard.  But it was easier than I had thought, and the learning curve was minimal ... the first one took a small learning curve, but by the second one I had it down pat!

I have made over 30 of the pom-poms and have made a couple of Valentines garlands.  This picture is really bad, but you can get the idea ...

I am loving these garlands ... you could do them for a child's room, classrooms, your mantle for holidays, and I think several strands together would be beautiful over a window as a topper.  Oh!  wouldn't all white pom-pom garlands would be beautiful for a wedding or bridal shower decorations! 

But other than making garlands, I can see many ways of using the little fluffy balls of yarn in my crafts!  Just yesterday I finished a Valentine's tag for a swap I am doing and it has a cute little hand made pom-pom hanging from the bottom of it.  Go to Pinterest and search for yarn pom-pom crafts and look at all the great ideas.  And if you are interested in learning to make birds and animals from pom-poms, you can find some great tutorials HERE.

And kids ... wow!  I think kids of all ages would love making pom-poms!  I am a child of the 50's and 60's and I remember girls making pom-poms to tie on their roller skates, majorette boots, tied into their hair and more.   Girls today love color and texture and the wow factor, and anyone who can use scissors safely could make pom-poms by the dozens!

So, what do I rate the Clover Pom-Pom Maker???  Well, considering the fact I am now in love and addicted, I had no choice but to give this product

I love it when someone come up with a new way to make an old craft, and that is what the folks at Clover have done in a product that is easy to use and fairly inexpensively.  Thanks for joining me today, and please come back soon!  Blessings,

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Special News ... Featured Artist at Anything But A Card!

How exciting!  Do you remember THIS POST from several weeks ago?  It's the one where I made this pretty muslin ribbon and covered buttons for Christmas ...

Well I just found out today that my little project was liked well enough by the powers that be at ABAC for me to be a 'Featured Artist' this month!  I am honored and pleased to be chosen as one of the design team's top three projects for challenge number thirty!  Thank you very much ABAC!!!

If you enjoy doing artsy/crafty projects, go check out their challenge for January based on the word 'balance'. 


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sharing ... Our Christmas, and My 'OLW' for 2014

Hello, and Happy 2014!  We had a very peaceful and calm Christmas with lots of good food, a few presents and lots of down time ... it was very nice!  I cooked a somewhat typical Christmas dinner ... turkey, dressing, gravy, baby lima beans, creamed corn, oven roasted carrots and brussels sprouts, congealed cranberry salad, and the coconut cake I reviewed a couple of posts down from here.

The days in between were somewhat normal, as hubby had to work on Thursday, Friday, and part of the day on Saturday.  On Sunday, though, we met my sweet young'un, his wife and my sweet 'Punkin Bug' for lunch at a local Olive Garden.  My 'young'un' is actually my nephew, his wife is the niece I have wanted for many years, and Punkin Bug ... well, Punkin Bug is my grandbaby by choice.  My nephew's birth mother has not been in his life since he was small, and so I have gladly, joyfully, and most gratefully taken up that position.  Here's my sweet baby boy in his 6 month picture ...

Isn't he just the most beautiful thing you've ever seen???  I love my boys ... father and son ... so very much!  We had asked them not to get us any gifts this year as our budget was so limited, but they didn't listen!  They gave us a Cracker Barrel gift card, two framed pictures of Punkin Bug, and an album full of pictures of all of them.  That was THE BEST gift I got this year!

Then Monday and Tuesday of this week I did some things around the house ... cooking and cleaning ... well, scrubbing!  I have neglected my house so much these last few years, so when I decided to 'just clean out this one cabinet ...' it turned into a major purging and scrubbing.  I did discover a helpful hint!  Nothing was getting the dried, gunky grease off of the cabinet to the right of my stove, so I tried baking soda and lemon juice in a paste, rubbed on with a damp towel ... it worked like a charm!  Took a little elbow grease, but it worked much better than the other things I had tried did!

New Years Eve was it's usual quiet, laid back evening, and yes, I was asleep before midnight!  On New Years Day I got up and put on my beef stew in the slow cooker.  On Tuesday I had peeled and chopped up my carrots, potatoes, celery, onions and red bell peppers, so they were ready to go ... all I had to do was dredge the beef chunks in seasoned flour and brown them on the stove before putting it all together. 

Cook's Tip:  If you want to get potatoes peeled and cut up a day early, simply get them ready to cook and put into a large airtight container, completely covered in cold water and store in the refrigerator.  They will still be perfectly good for cooking the next day.

Then on Wednesday morning I got up, threw all the stuff in the slow cooker and we headed out for a late breakfast and plans for going to one of our favorite WMA's to ride some back roads.  After breakfast we headed out, but for some reason I just wanted to go home, and hubby wanted to watch the Gator Bowl (UGA, of course!) so home we came, and I worked on backing up pictures all afternoon!

So, that catches me up to today ... I still have pictures of my swap gift from Sue to share with me ... they came on Saturday after Christmas and we've not really had any sunny weather so I could get decent pictures since then, but I love everything and will share with you as soon as I can!  I have also finished the puppy dog tags for Valentines that I started earlier this week, so I will share them with you soon too.

Oh, and I almost forgot!  If you will look at the blog header above you will see my 'OLW' (one little word) for 2014 ... it is a simple, two letter word ... DO ... but it has a lot of meaning for me!  I have many things I want and need to get done this year in preparation for my hubby's retirement at the end of this year.  I will keep you posted on that down the road a bit!

Please take a moment and tell me about your OLW, resolutions, goals, plans, dreams for 2014 ... I would love to hear from you!  Blessings,