Saturday, November 27, 2010

Etsy Trunk Show

Forsythia Hill Rhinestone Mittens - Vintage 50's
8 pm - 9 pm
Online Trunk Show - DEALs and DISCOUNTs
Shop from your computer!


The annual Etsy Lab Rats Holiday Trunk Show is a sale featuring twenty sellers over two evenings and I am one of the featured sellers on TUESDAY NIGHT!
Jackthemanabouttown Frog Hat
After beating off shoppers this past weekend, I know you're ready to relax with a cup of tea in front of the computer to complete the rest of your shopping.  Etsy, IS the place to discover unique gifts.  Etsy, plain and simple, is a storefront where talented artisans and collectors of vintage sell their wares.  Worldwide, for the month of October there were nearly $30 million dollars worth of sales through Etsy.  There are over 300,000 sellers.

THIS TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY participating sellers that are members of the "Lab Rats" Team will be offering discounts at the annual "Trunk Show".

You can participate in the Trunk Show by creating an account with as a buyer (it is easy - go to and select "Sign in").  You then can purchase items at the show if you see something you like.  If you don't find something at the show, trust me, you will find something to purchase on Etsy - for the month of October alone, over 2 million items were listed.

Scrap Happie in AZ Cupcake Apron
To participate in the Trunk Show, I recommend you get your account set up prior to Tuesday, then start exploring Etsy.  To get into the "show" you will need to venture into the category called "Community" then "Virtual Labs" (the button below will take you there).  You will be entering into a new world of technology and viewing some really cool finds.  You don't have to buy anything, you can just sit back and listen and watch, but if that great item gets shown you want to be ready to grab it because many items are one of a kind.

Click on image to enter "Trunk Show"

The whole process is the coolest thing!  Email or leave a comment if you need help prior to the show.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanks all Around

The other day our newbie group got together and had a nice afternoon gathering with another newcomer from India.  We talked about the Thanksgiving holiday and how it is celebrated. 

When I think of Thanksgiving, I always visualize family around a table full of good food.  If there is not some sort of mashed sweet potato dish on the table, then it's just not Thanksgiving in our house and it usually has singed marshmallows on top.  My husband was stunned when he first saw this concoction (he is from Michigan).

In a nut shell, the true meaning of the holiday is that it is a time to give thanks for a bountiful year.

I am thankful: 
1) just to be alive for starters.
2) to not have to report to a "real" job each day.
3) to have met so many nice newbies in Charlottesville.
4) to have sold my first two items in my Etsy shop this week.
5) to be fairly healthy.
6) to be married to a decent and easy to live with husband.
7) to have four sweet and so far healthy pets.
8) to be able to enjoy life and all that it offers.

I read the most amazing story in the Charlottesville Daily Progress and left me feeling so appreciative for others sacrifices and grateful:
A Thanksgiving Read.  Yes, it's a bit long, so sit down with a cup of coffee - it's gripping and something you need to make time for!

Hey ssssspppptttt, I have a sweet deal to share with you - FRIDAY after Thanksgiving is BLACK FRIDAY and my Etsy shop items will be 20% off.  Many sellers will be having sales and there are so many amazing items to discover.  See you Friday - HAVE FUN.

Happy Thanksgiving


Monday, November 22, 2010

The Season has Begun

We had a nice time on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall on Friday for the annual Lighting of the Tree.  It was very crowded and everyone seemed to be enjoying the crisp weather, carolers, and festive mood on the mall.  For those of you that have not been to the outside pedestrian mall, it is "the place" to bring out of town guests.  Specialty shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues line the walking corridor.  
There are always interesting sights such as people walking their pooches, vendors selling their "street wares", or strolling musicians trying to make a few dollars.  There are at least four theatres along the route and an ice skating rink that is really cool.  It was slated to be closed but fortunately it was sold so the skating continues.

We attempted to try out a downtown mall restaurant but because of the hordes of people, we had to go to our favorite restaurant in Charlottesville.  I have tried various Asian influenced restaurants but I keep going back to Tara Thai.  The Vegetarian Pad Thai is the best I have ever had.  The service is outstanding and they kindly asked if we would move because a large party needed our table and we gladly complied.  They gave us three delicious Tara Coladas (one for each of us, not three for me).  YUM.  We were very impressed with the service and our reward for simply moving.  Thanks Tara Thai.

- Rebecca

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's a Girl to do ?

Each Thursday I'll list several Charlottesville events upcoming this weekend that I'm interested in attending. Hope to see you there!

It's that time of year again ALREADY so get in the spirit and kick off the season!


Film, Riding the Rails, 7pm, FREE, Jefferson-Madison Regional Library on Main Street.  During the Great Depression, 4 million Americans took to the road, searching for food and shelter.  Included are interviews with former teenage transients 60 years later. A PBS film.


Grand Illumination, Lighting of the Trees, Downtown Mall, 5pm, FREE.  Downtown merchants ring in the upcoming holiday season.  Special events on the Mall and kids activities on 2nd Street South.

Film, Elf, The Paramount Theatre $4 kids/$6 adults.  If you have never seen Elf this is by far the best Will Ferrell film ever and truly funny.


Wachovia Holiday Heritage Parade, on the Downtown Mall, 10am - noon, FREE, hosted by the City of Charlottesville and in cooperation with local merchants.  Kids can visit with Santa at the Omni Hotel at noon.

Ivy Creek Natural Area Adventure Walk - 10am, FREE.  Meet at kiosk near parking lot at Ivy Creek Natural Area.  Remote walk with grand view of the Reservoir.  Cosponsored by the Virginia Native Plant Society.  

- Rebecca

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Books, Books, and Guess What...

MORE BOOKS!  This week, through Saturday, the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library system in Charlottesville will attempt to sell 200,000 books and raise $100,000 for Friends of the Library!  Located in the basement of the Gordon Branch Library, books have been donated as well as pulled from library collections.  Books will be 1/2 off the last day of the sale, Saturday, but the best titles may be gone by then.

The spring sale, pulled in $143,000 and it's a good way to support our local library system that always seems feeding from the bottom of the budget trough. 

On Sunday, day two, I went to this semi-annual sale and found most books were just a dollar or two.  Along with rooms and rooms full of books of all categories, there were also VCR tapes, and DVDs.  When book dealers are loading up you know it's a good sale (this is a "reading" town after all).

Jefferson Regional Library Book Sale at Gordon Library in Charlottesville, VirginiaI found some great books on gardening, some vintage postcards, and a strange German Art book from 1938 containing around 100 prints.  May be I just found a million dollar collection (yeah right).  Regardless it has beautiful loose prints of German works of art. My preliminary online research has been difficult since I don't speaka-the-German.  So far I have discovered that the editor of the book started a coffee bean business and invented "decaf" coffee.  He also had conversations with Hitler.  

Go check out the sale, you may find a treasure or at least one good book if not a stack!  -Rebecca

Monday, November 15, 2010

Amazing Artisans

Mud Dauber Pottery - Earlysville
We really had a fun time this past Saturday touring eight different art studios in the Charlottesville area during the 16th Annual Artisans Studio Tour.  There were multiple artists work at each studio so we saw a variety of different styles of work - pottery, weavings, jewelry, and woodwork.   

We started out in Earlysville at Mud Dauber Pottery which is a very beautiful studio featuring lovely works of art.  We also encountered new pastry chef, Anissa Walker of Three Baked Goods.  The best nibbles found on the tour offering sweets made in three styles, classic, vegan, and gluten-free.  Anissa's commercial kitchen will be up and running in January.  I may seem to be diverting from the main thrust of my post, ARTISANS, but it's awfully hard not to mention the food we snagged while on this tour.  Each studio provides a finger food assortment and some even provide wine! 

Frederick Williamson Bowls - White Hall

The tour was in town as well as out in the far reaches of Albemarle, Greene, and Nelson counties.
It was a perfectly beautiful, bright and sunny day to meander through the rolling hills discovering  fascinating studios.

The most remote studio that we visited was the Frederick Williamson Art Studio in White Hall.  Driving down the gravel road into the vibrant forest with bold seasonal splashes of yellow and orange was gorgeous.  Dotted along the road were huge logs of wood awaiting their turn to be made into bowls. 

Mary Beth Bellah's quilting fabric viewed through an aquarium

We were blown away by the 3-dimensional quilting by Mary Beth Bellah.  She has been featured in MANY publications and her work is truly her love and passion.  As with many of the artist studios along the tour, the bottom floor of their home was transformed to studio space and featured her works of art.

Two other interesting studios were located in little neighborhood hideaways where normal "city" life goes on amid the business of making art.  Hawksbill Pottery in Key West is dedicated to half of the family home, produced by both artists in residence.  The Andrea Korotky Studio was also hidden away in a busy but peaceful downtown neighborhood nestled among the trees.

Jewelry artist Anita Whitney displayed pretty works of art.  Especially lovely was a Pelican necklace and little silver beaded earrings hoops.

Anita Whitney Pelican Necklace
All artists along the tour were friendly and eager to share explain how their works were crafted.  It was a fun and interesting day!      - Rebecca

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cool Finds

One of my favorite stores for super deals is the Habitat Restore Shop in Charlottesville.  I can not even recall all the great finds I have purchased at this store and the one in Pulaski - doors, door knobs, shutters, closet organizer systems, and even cat iron andirons!  So far I rate the Charlottesville Restore as the best non-profit for keeping you in the loop by using email, facebook, and twitter to distribute information.  I am signed up via email announcement and on facebook.

There is a really HOT deal going on this week AND HAS BEEN EXTENDED through next week (and a little birdie told me that the sale cut may even get better next week)

70% Off Light Fixtures

This is a crazy deal.  I just purchased a lovely $75.00 (retail) light fixture for $14.00.  It is just perfect!  Our old bathroom fixture was rusty and appeared to be original to the house - I hate removing anything "vintage" but seriously now - this really needed to GO.  < See my before and after over on the left.  (Anyone want my old retro fixture?  IT'S ALL YOURS).

I also finally snatched up a new sink for my personal powder room for $5.00 and actually it was also 50% off but they forgot to discount it -- oh well, it's for a good cause and really now, I just got 70% off on the light so I'm HAPPY.

Tomorrow, SATURDAY, 7:30am - 4pm is FREE appliance day drop-off at the Ivy Landfill that serves Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville.  Water heaters count and we have one (shamefully) behind our shed that NEEDS TO GO!

Another super cool find was to get some brewed coffee bean discards from Mudhouse (my FAVORITE Mocha spot in Charlottesville).  I cleared the garden area and tossed in two large bags of grounds with some wood ash and crushed leaves to improve our horrible red clay soil.  Over winter it will ease into the soil.  It seems they nearly always have some bags piled up right outside the front door for you to grab -- this is only at the Downtown Mudhouse from what I've seen.  My Newcomers Money Saving buddy, Sally, tipped me on that one - THANKS Sally!

Leaf some for me (a fall joke not typo).

- Rebecca

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's a Girl to do ?

Each Thursday I'll list several events upcoming this weekend that I'm interested in attending. Hope to see you there!


It's my husbands BDAY so I'll be making a SURPRISE CAKE using my Grandmothers famous recipe, oh crap, I forgot the ICE CREAM - I'm toast (NOTE: He never reads my blog).


Artisans Studio Tour, 10am - 5pm, FREE, See artisans at work in their studios and nibble on "delicious temptations".  Stanardsville to Nellysford.


Artisans Studio Tour, 10am - 5pm, FREE, See artisans at work in their studios and nibble on "delicious temptations".  Stanardsville to Nellysford.

Ivy Creek Natural Area Forest Walk - 2pm, FREE, Parking lot of Ivy Creek Natural Area..Autumn walk to learn to identify trees indigenous to Central Virginia.  

- Rebecca

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Little bit o' Spring in the Fall

Caught a photo of the last little bloom that pushed open today on Forsythia Hill -- Winter is fast approaching, but it was a LOVELY warm and sunny day today.

Get out and ENJOY it while you can!  I'm going to walk the dog now... aaaahhhhhhh.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Silence of the Lambs

I had planned to write about an amazing Palace that we toured on Saturday but yesterday, a friend and I attempted to see a movie at the Virginia Film Festival and my thoughts are still traversing back to our BAD experience.  I wanted to support the festival and see a unique film that was not "mainstream".  We attempted to see one of my blog recommendations, My Dog Tulip, but it was sadly SOLD OUT.  We were in the mood for an animal themed film but we made a huge mistake by picking a movie that mentioned "farming" in the bio.

Sweetgrass was advertised as an "astonishingly beautiful" film depicting "the last modern-day cowboys leading their flocks of sheep up into Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth mountains for summer grazing".  Before the movie started our host told us to "sit back and enjoy the beautiful, beautiful movie".  We didn't stay to see the astonishing beauty because the first 20 minutes was disturbing and cruel.  The abuse to the sheep initially began as slight - rough handling while shearing, a little poke or a kick.  My mind was telling itself - ok, it's alright, don't overreact, try to put yourself in a farm setting -- after all, they aren't beating the sheep or torturing them for laughs -- it's ok -- these are animals "for profit" -- it's just "the way it is" -- it's life on the farm -- it's reality -- face up to it -- you've certainly seen worse treatment.  

I appreciate the fact that the film maker did not mask the cruelty and hide the truth but the escalation of violence and the constant bleating of the lambs was increasingly disturbing.  I was perturbed at the Virginia Film Festival for their apparent lack of knowledge that the film contained animal cruelty and therefore no warning published (we were told the bio's were written to ATTRACT viewers).  The end of the movie for us (after 20 minutes) was when a newborn lamb was pulled from its mothers womb and other lambs were tossed on top of it as if a pile of logs for the fire.  At this juncture the movie was deserving of a title such as "Silence of the Lambs".  We anticipated the next scene to be the slaughter of a lamb, something I didn't care to stick around to see.  I can't recall the last time I left a movie, I even sat through Fast Food Nation which was extremely graphic.

I guess the reality of most farming endeavors (even if we sugar coat it with words such as "free range" or "grass fed") is that if an animal is not killed it is most probably frightened, abused, or tortured.  Can there be a farm that sells animal products to the public that is truly humane? 

Animal parts are consumed in some form by anyone that is not a vegan (estimated in the US to be 1% of the population).  Animal farming happens and will happen for years to come.  Large scale factory farming is beyond horrible and consumer shopping choices are putting a small dent in this industry that had taken control of our food supply.  I think we can all agree that at a minimum a farm animal should be able to live its life as natural as possible, on "the range" before its ultimate demise.

A really nice Virginia Film Festival volunteer tried to accommodate us by getting us a ticket to another film but there were only a few offerings remaining on the last evening of the festival.  Another film could not be swapped for our tickets so we were told that we could not receive a refund.  It left a VERY bad impression on me and something I will remember for years to come.  I loved the last comment by the Virginia Film Festival chief "in charge", we hope you will come back again next year.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Saving your Dollars

SPENT $30.00

$100.00 of groceries for $30.00
This week was Harris Teeter Super Doubles which happens about every 8 weeks.  They will match any coupon face value up to $1.98. So if you have a coupon for $1.50 off, you actually get $3.00 off!

Harris Teeter Spent $28.42 and Saved $76.68
FREE margarine, FREE Party Mix cat treats, FREE 3 boxes of pasta. FREE Polander Jelly Jars, FREE Soy Sauce, FREE Black Beans, and FREE Pillsbury Rolls.  For .50 or less - Temptations Cat Treats, Reach Toothbrush, Nivea Lip Balm, 2 4-pack Yogurt, 10 Cans Green Giant Beans.  Good deals on expensive items:  Black and Green Candy Bars, 2 Cheese blocks, 7th Generation Autom Dishwashing Detergent, Bread, Simply Orange Juice.  I also picked up a bottle of FREE Olive Oil from CVS.

This was just my first strike this week.  Back for round two on Monday.  It always fun to shop on Super Doubles week!  If you need help getting started or have found deals yourself this week - would love to hear from you - leave a comment below. - Rebecca

Check out more cool deals. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's a Girl to do ?

Each Thursday I'll list several events upcoming this weekend that I'm interested in attending. Hope to see you there!

movie goers on the mall in charlotttesville virginia outside of the paramount theatre
On the mall in Charlottesville
The big "event" in Charlottesville this weekend is the Virginia Film Festival.  It starts TODAY and runs through Sunday.

First Friday Downtown Art Crawl, 5-9pm - FREE, Charlottesville Downtown Mall

Night out at the Observatory, 9-11pm - FREE, McCormick Observatory.  Let's hope the weather clears up "weather permitting". 


Ivy Creek Natural Area First Saturday Bird Walk - 7:30am, FREE. 

Films, Vinegar Hill, 5pm, $7.00 - Virginia Short Films, six films - part of Virginia Film Festival.

Film, Regal 3 Downtown, 6:15pm, $7.00 - Rabbit a la Berlin, When the wall came down, how did the rabbits that had set up camp and the people deal? - part of Virginia Film Festival.


Film, Vinegar Hill, 2pm, $7.00 - My Dog Tulip, animated film - part of Virginia Film Festival.

Yiddish Princess, 9pm, FREE - The Haven 1st and Market Downtown Charlottesville, Klezmer and Yiddish musicians from NY City mesh 80's and 90's power pop with Yiddish.

- Rebecca

Monday, November 1, 2010

Time to Travel

As you can see - my relatives are animal lovers!
My blog has been quiet for nearly a week now.  I just returned from traveling from Virginia to North Carolina to visit with relatives.  It was a very nice trip.  My father and I visited with his two sisters and their husbands and several of their children and one soon to be a relative "fiance", and their pets.  I also had lunch with an old friend, Ed.

Look at the fall colors driving into Charlottesville Virginia on I64
Driving down into Charlottesville on I-64 overlook

The fall colors are PEAKING in Central Virginia.  It's just now coming on as you drive down South so you're not too late to hit the road.

Forsythia Hill in the fall in Charlottesville Virginia
The view on Forsythia Hill is changing as it gets cooler.  We were wearing shorts in North Carolina but it's back to jackets now.  Enjoy the wonderful fall colors - Get out and take a drive!   Rebecca
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