Monday, January 25, 2010

Flea Market Finds in PT

This afternoon we took the girls to the "Gypsy Market" in our town. The girls wanted to replace some broken toys they had gotten there last summer. It is held once a month on the 23rd unless that falls on a weekend (then the following Monday)--we learned this after driving out to nothing on Saturday! Not sure where we got the name for it, but it seems fitting with all the random things you can find and the people yelling out how good their prices are. Even funnier when they change to English when they realize you aren't speaking Portuguese (reminded me of the Silk Market in China--"25 dollar for you my friend!").

I ended up getting some green onions, bell pepper and cucumber seedlings to plant. Scott and the girls bought Farturas (yes, don't laugh)--they are like big churros with gobs of cinnamon sugar.


And what about the girls' toys? We ended up giving them a choice. They could get the toys again or... Guess what's in the box!

We've re-entered the pet owning world. Our better-than-toys buy:

Adorable, huh?! A dwarf lion-faced female rabbit--name to be determined, but Caramel is in the runnings. Why do we always choose food names? (Two of our guinea pigs were Nacho and Noodle!) 

When we stopped to get a few rabbit supplies before heading home, Scott spotted a real flea market in the town square. Come to find out they have it the same day as the Gypsy Market monthly. YEAH--in my own town! I'd been wanting to visit one in Lisbon someday; I've been missing the Flohmarkts of Germany!

Twenty six euros of birthday money bought one side table, an old mirrored medicine cabinet, an old polk-a-dotted soup tourine and a handful of beautiful hankies. (Wish I'd included the cabinet below for you to see too!) I've already got plans for all of it!  Maybe the old chandelier if it's there next month :).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birthday Blooms

Last week my husband and girlies blessed me with a wonderful birthday : special homemade cards, a new polk-a-dotted dish scrubber (that I wanted!), $$$ (no, actually Euros), eating out, messages from friends and family, and phone calls from others!

These were the first Gerbera daisies I've had since living in Portugal. My girls wanted to have 2 pink ones included, and Dad obliged! They are awesome, except they didn't come with the little wires for support like I've had in the States. So you can guess how they were looking after a couple of days!  Then I remembered a great new vase set that my friend Tanya (a professional decorator) had gifted me with. It was the right thing for the job:

No more droopy daisies! Will this encourage frequent visits to the local florista?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Posting the Numbers


I have wanted something to hang with a favorite picture on a blank wall in our living room. I remembered an old cheese box lid I'd kept. I think the box got crushed in a move.

I have wanted to incorporate the numbers/letters look somewhere--see The Shabby Nest blog for some great examples. Also, Susie Harris has a tutorial to make a names of God painting--similar in technique to what I tried, but so much more amazing! 

First I decided on a font we liked (I chose Modern No.20), and then what numbers. One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 126, so we thought that would be worth hanging on the wall. So I printed it out as big as I could get on one page, then cut out the numbers.

Next I had to determine where the numbers would look good. There is a crack/line in the middle of this lid, so I had to think through what part of the numbers would look OK going across it or not.

Then I taped the paper to the lid and traced inside the numbers with a pencil. You can see the traced numbers in the following picture:

Using black craft paint that I bought in America, I carefully painted the edges of each number with a tiny brush before filling in the middle with a larger brush. It reminded me of "cutting in" that we do when painting a wall near the trim. The small parts of the numbers became a little thicker than the original. It was not an easy or quick task with all the texture of the lid, but well worth the effort.  Don't look too close or you can tell it's handpainted!

It's new location in our home (along with the Tinker Toys!):

Psalm 126:2-3 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fresh Portugal Squeezed

We received a thougtful present from a newly-met neighbor at Christmas--oranges from her yard!

I am the only one eating oranges at our house right now, so I got a bit concerned they'd go bad before I got to them. Then I remembered we had brought our citrus juicer from the States (a garage sale find as you can see!). It works great on a converter thankfully.

So I've not been buying OJ at the store in a carton or their fresh squeezed version at the cafe for a couple Euro a glass. Great gift, huh?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Rainbows, Reptiles and the Retreat Center

This morning we walked outside to see this, our first rainbow in Portugal.

Quite a great reminder after days of intermittent rain (but thankfully not too cold!). The end of the rainbow in a field down the way:

We also had a run-in with an enormous reptile--well, the biggest frog I'd seen on this side of the ocean outside of a zoo! My husband put him in a flower bed by the street, but he made a quick run back towards our house! I was trying to anticipate his fast gate, thus the off centered picture! Nevertheless, he has a new home (we hope) in the park next door, rather than our entry way.

Next, we were down at the missionary houses, looking to see what the proposed paint colors looked like. The colors are not exact in the picture (more brown and gray than yellow and green), but we both felt these two were a little dark with the terra cotta floors.

The upstairs room colors were better I think--here with the laminate flooring. What do you think?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ringing It In with Leftover Candy Canes

Happy New Year! Or "Boa Ano" as they say around here! We celebrated the New Year with some Candy Cane Cocoa from I think I even said, "Who needs Starbuck's?"

I've had a new eagerness to use up leftover candy canes I've been keeping since they are getting goopy here in Portugal (it's not as dry as Germany). It's also encouraged this new season for me in the living overseas experience: use up my American (or German) foods stash and not hoard it for who knows when! I know the holidays are officially over, but this is worth it any cold night! And whole soft candy canes melt really well too!


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