Friday, October 23, 2009

Fly Over to Mrs. B's For Giveaway Fun!

Quick Giveaway Post to let you all in on the fun going on over at Mrs. B's. Head over there to throw your name in the hat to win:
~An Altered Wooden Spoon from Cauldron Craft Miniatures
~A Skele-Spider Hair Flower from Jammerz Designs
~A Knitty Kitty from Thalia Took
So join in on the fun! Good Luck!
~Danae <(:o) aka 'Crafty'
~Guess what guys? I won Mrs. B's Giveaway today!
I will be recieving a Skele-Spider Hair Flower from Jamie @Jammerz Designs!!! I just love Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's Give Away Fun

The fun doesn't stop over at Mrs. B's Confessions of a Pagan Socer Mom. Here is a list of what you will find there today.
~A Pendant featuring The Eternal Embrace from Agony's Decay Creepy Crafts
~a set of felt Runes from The Caricoa Witch
~a pair of Spider & Hematite Earrings from The Gypsy Eye Studio
And don't forget to check out the Guest Blog post, Mrs. B Get's Crafty, The Haunted Blog Tour Host (with more GiveAways to be found!) and also Mrs' B's newest article over at the! Plenty of good stuff to keep you busy.
Have a Spooktacular Day!
~Danae <(:o) aka 'Crafty'

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Some 'Don't Miss' Halloween Blog Fun!

Today is a DO NOT MISS DAY on Blogger! There are some AMAZING Blog Parties/Hops & Giveaways going on today all over the Blogosphere!
* must stop in to Mrs. B's for your daily dose of October fun. Here is a rundown of the goodies:
~a set of porcelain clay Runes from
Marie Segal
~a batch of handmade Saffron Insence from
~Wintra the Witch of Warren Hall Wall Hanging from
Michele with A Single L Designs
~a Halloween Neckalace from
Shadow of The Goddess Designs
~an amazing Bag Of Goodies from Salem, given by Jaz of October Farm
Then, be sure to read the Guest Blog Post, and Mrs. B's Halloween Craft Post. Then hurry on over to today's
Haunted Blog Hop Stop!
But...the fun is not over! No! It has just begun! Don your purtiest pair of stiped stockings, and your pointiest pair of Witchy shoes...Hop on your broomstick and fly on over to Miss Vannessa's Blog- A Fanciful Twist- for her 2009 Halloween Blog Party! It is an event you surely will not want to miss!
There you will find the fete of your wildest imagination (trust me...I was there!)- and afterwards you will find the links to an ever growing assortment of fantastic places to hop on to! With Tricks, and Treats & Giveaways galore! It will take you all weekend and maybe next week to cover the all! (This is why I suggest going to Mrs. B's 1st! Otherwise you may not make it back before the 'whenever-we-get-home' prize drawing deadline! LOL)
Then...if you are not 'all-blogged-out' can stop by Domestic Witch's October Blog Party for more fun links.
And don't forget the fun on Smeared & Smudged this month as well.
There are many, many more wonderful bloggy fun places to visit...but as I am already late for my own fun...I must be off! Have a Spooktacular Day today! Bwa ha ha ha haaa!
~Danae <(:o) aka 'Crafty'

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sharing Mrs. B's Giveaway & Some More Vintage Halloween Images

Hey Guys, Good Morning! I am sitting here enjoying our first Autumn rain- which is quickly becoming a downpour. I am all cozy, drinking a cup of Pumpkin Chai, curled up with my kitties.

I have some happy news to share with you all! In the past week I have won two awesome Hallloween Giveaway Prizes! YAY! (I have never won anything in the Blogworld untill now.)

My first lucky prize was to win Artful Alice- an adorable little polymer Witch from Mrs. B's 31 Days Of Halloween Giveaway. She is absolutely perfect for me, because she has red hair- and I have my own little red-headed daughter who is a Witch-In-Training!

And then yesterday I discovered that I won The Tome Of Ill Wonder from GrimVisions Ghastly 2009 Halloween Giveaway. Woohoo! This is cool for me on two levels...The first is because of me being stuck at home healing from my broken knee, I have not been able pick up any new Halloween Goodies for my house this year. (Also, due to the injury, moneys been a little tight.) So winning these prizes is a happy surprise!


The second reason this is a neat prize for me- is that I have been trying to add some creepier type decorations to my collecton. Up untill now, my Halloween Decor has been mostly on the happy & cute side. Now that my kids are getting a bit older- I am finally able to add some decorations on the ghoulish side. This handmade peice of Creep Art comes from GrimVisions- a master of Haunting Halloween Horror!

The Tome Of Ill Wonder is a spooky old book with a ghastly grin. When you open up the book, you find a skull. So cool! I just cannot wait to see it in person.

I also wanted to share with you all the awesome prizes being given away today at
Mrs. B's- so hop on over & check them out! There are 5 prizes today, and several chances to win each one. There will be new pirizes and guest bloggers every day until Halloween!
~Another chance to win a set of Emily Balivet prints
~A vial of Black Witches Salt from The Whimsical Witch
~A necklace & pendant from My Pretty Zombie
~A choice of one of three cards from Spirit Helpers
~Your choice of 8x10 art print from Custom Zombie
Be sure to check out Mrs. B's Haunted Blog our as well as her new article at the!
The last little thing to share with you today is some Vintage Halloween Images for your personal use. The top image is an early 194o's cover from Film Magazine. And this second image is a circa 1940's Post Card image that comes from Scandinavia.
~Enjoy your day!
~Danae <(:o)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vintage Halloween Images For You

Hello Everyone! I have some lovely Vintage Hallween Post Card Images to share with you all today. I LOVE Halloween- and I LOVE Vintage Art- so I spend a good deal of ime throughout the year hunting down coyright free images to use on my Blogs, and in my arts & crafts. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have.
These images are early twentieth century, prior to 1920. (The top and bottom images were circa 1910 I think.)
At that time Halloween was primarily an adult holiday, and decorations and party favors were made for their use, and subsequent disposal. (Whereas Christmas decorations of the day were intende to be saved and reused throughout the years.)
It wasn't untill after WWII, and the Baby Boom after the war, that Halloween became a children's holiday. Over time, Halloween decor became increasingly cuter, and less spooky. Many times you can discern the age of a peice by the clothing style and expressions on the characters faces. Because of the disposable nature of the older products, to find them these days, and in good condition, is a valuable find.
Unfortunately for me, I haven't been able to start my 'real life' Vintage Halloween collection; so I satisfy my Vintage Halloween jones wth newer vintage inspired peices, my own art, and my online Vintage Photo addiction!
Hey... at least it keeps the costs down! LOL.
If any of you all are interested in seeing how I decorated my tiny little Living Room- I did a post this weekend over at my other blog, Crafty's Cup. You can find it here.

And be sure to go back and check the other late September & early October posts for all kinds of Hallween inspiration. There are Arts & Crafts, Home Decor projects and idea, recipes and plenty of other Halloween goodies! You will find them all at Crafty's Cuppa Coffee. (Please excuse all of the 'Giveaway' posts lately- there have been a ton of awesome contests & of course you get extra entries if you blog & tweet about them.)

Have a fabulous day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Like many of you, Halloween is my very favorite time of year, followed closely by Christmas of course. I adore the explosion of the senses that occurs in the Autumn. The colors, textures, smells and tastes excite the inner child in me. I get a thrilling rush of inspiration that carries me right through the Winter Holidays.
Some of my regular readers may have noticed my extended absence of blogging posts throughout the last few months. That is partly to do with the natural cycle of being more busy during the Summer months, and partly to do with me breaking my knee a month ago. So, the Crafty Chick Update is as such:
My children & I had a lovely Summer filled with backyard swimming, BBQ's, Beach & Lagoon Trips, a weekend boating vacation on Catalina Island. In July we had a nice 6th Birthday Party at the Lagoon for my son Jeremiah; and we even squeezed in a Wanna Be Camp Out in early August. (Details on the party at and the Wanna Be Camp Out at )
Then, on August 30th, after a great day at the Lagoon; calamity struck. It came silently,like it usually does; and crept firmly into my life. Basically,the short story is that I fell and fractured my knee. (Details here: I finally had my surgery last week; and am now on the road to recovery.
This whole injury ordeal has presented me with many new obstacles; and is teaching me many unexpected lessons. I'm taking lot's of notes. Lol.
Thankfully, my family, friends, and neighbors have been incredibly kind to me and my kids. It is true what they say about how you find out who your true friends are in times like this.
Unfortunately, it seems that I am going to have to forgo our Annual Halloween Pumpkin Pot Luck Party for a much smaller affair.
You see, each year for the past 5 years we have invited our friends, family, and the local school & neighborhood families to my home during one Saturday in October. We decorate pumpkins, make chocolate haunted houses, play games and eat creepy fun foods. I think that I look forward to it as much (or more) than the kids. Halloween Parties give me the perfect opportunity to 'play' at decorating, with my arts 'n crafts, as well as making creative foods to serve.
So, while it looks as if I will not be able to pull of the usual Halloween Activities- that we will definitely still be celebrating in a scaled down version. I figure that all of this will make me even more creative, and appreciative of whatever Holiday Celebrations that we do have this year.
I have also been saving all sorts of fun vintage Halloween images and some great blog post ideas. I will get to them as I have time and energy. The good thing about Holidays is that they come again next year, and the year after. Lol.
That's about it for now. I hope that everyone is enjoying their own Summer's End, Back 2 School & Autumn Celebrations. Take care. :)
~Danae, The Crafty Chick

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dinner & Drinks? Ok Just Drinks...

...And a Beer Batter Bloomin' Onion Recipe for you!

That's why its good to have a few cold ones in the fridge! You never know when you may need to placate the Hubby or the Guests while you make a frantic call for Take-Out! And of course light a few scented candles and air out the burn smell from the kitchen.
Now for me personally, I like to drink beer- but NEVER EVER Schlitz Beer! No way! I am more of a Micro-Brew or Import kind of Gal. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is my favorite 'everyday' sort of beer. But it seems like Schlitz put out quite a few cool ads 'back in the day'.
In honor of this 'All American' drink- and in 'Sisterly Solidarity' with the poor Lady above who burt her dinner (Lol!); I have a cool beer related recipe to share. And it is perfect for Summertime too.
4 Vidalia or Sweet Texas Onions
1/3 C Cornstarch
1 1/2C Flour
2 tsp Garlic (minced)
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
24oz Beer
Seasoned Flour:
4 C Flour
4 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Cayenne
Mix Cornstarch, Seasonings and Flour until well blended.
Add Beer, mix well.
Cut 3/4" off the top of the Onion. And peel outer skin of Onion.
Then make 12-16 vertical slits, being careful not to cut down to the root bottom.
Remove the center from the Onion (about 1")
Dip Onion into the Flour, and shake off excess.
Separate the petals, then dip into the Batter.
Gently place into he fryer basket, and deep fry at 375-400* for 1 1/2 minutes
Turn over and fry for another 1 1/2 minutes until golden brown and crispy
Drain on paper towels
Serve with a BBQ Dipping Sauce
1 pint Mayonaisse
1 pint Sour Cream
1/2 C Chili Sauce
1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper
~Bon Apetite!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh, The Drama!

******** These just crack me up! ********

Monday, June 29, 2009

Those Were The Days...

W.C. Feilds and Mae West
- The very first
of the blonde bombshell Pin-Up Girls.

The Queen of,

"Why don't ya come up and see me sometime?"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Retro Fabulous Humor

Now this is a real hasn't been altered. Pretty Funny Huh?!

LARD??? I Dunno Honey. Do I Have To?

I know the quality aint so hot- but come on! Lard Information Council? Whats next?!
*Another- "I can't believe this is a real ad" post.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can You IMAGINE???

And we thought today's kids were fast! No wonder we've had generation after generation of smokers!
*Just another "I can't believe this is a real ad!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Russian Vodka...Russian Bride...

Now does she get to drink the Vodka while scrubbing the floor? 'Cause I might go for that...(TOTALLY KIDDING!)
*Another, "I can't believe this was a real ad" post.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Guaranteed 3 Day Diet...

I think this is gonna be a good kick off for my, "I Can't Believe This Is A Real Ad Week!"

I have quite a few of these beauties stashed away, and I was trying to think of a good purpose for them...well, this seems to be it. So for the next few posts, these are all the Ads that I cannot believe are for real. (And maybe some that I wish were!) As far as I know, these Ads are in their real, and unaltered state. ~Enjoy!

Friday, June 19, 2009

WooHoo! Summer Is Here!

I cannot tell y0u just how happy I am
that Summer is FINALLY here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Good Things In Life...

Most of the good things in life are enjoyed in the little moments.
Sometimes we just have to relax a bit, and take the time to truly enjoy them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just One Of Those Days...

Do you ever have those days were you feel like the Wicked Witch of the East?

Where you try to be good. You really, really WANT to be good.

But no matter how hard you try...You end up feeling like this?!

At times, I do.
So glad Summer is almost here- I sure am ready for it!
Have a good day guys. ~Danae

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oy! I Feel Like I've Been Stuck In The 1950's!

Boy am I ever glad that's over with!

For those of you who already sorry for the recap- I'll be brief. For those of you who didn't know why I've been neglecting my blog for a month's because I've been stuck in the Dark Ages for the past few weeks. I've had me a real good run of 'bad techno juju'.

First my wireless Internet card busted.

I thought- "No big deal, at least I still have my cell phone's Internet. I can pick up my e-mail, read my blogs, go to a friend's house to post & send in my homework,etc.."

Then- the very next day my cell phone's Internet went out too!

So, I did what I was supposed to, called the tech support folks...and whad'ya think happened next?

Yup... In the process of trying to 'fix' my computer problem, the tech support people locked up
(ie: broke!) my cell phone. The whole damn thing- not just the computer!

After a few more 'major communication breakdowns' and other electronical setbacks, thankfully things started looking up for me. About 5 calls and 2 e-mails later, and they said that they are going to be sending me a new phone- "after their supervisor approves it!"

So cross your fingers for me, PLEASE! :)

And thankfully, last week I was able to get a new Internet card. So I am back in blogging action!

There were a few perks about not having such easy access to the Internet. One, it made me slow down and take the time to work on some offline projects that I have going on; which was very nice. I also was able to focus better on my school work, and I ended up getting not one, but 2 100%'s on my Research Papers (!) and a 98% on a test! Super Woo Hoo!

(Now, before anyone goes and thinks I am a genius or a rocket scientist (hee hee), let me tell you- I am not. These are just some extra-curricular classes that I am taking, and I am sure they are graded as such. (Not that I don't work my butt off to earn those grades- because I do; they just aren't in Biology, or Calculus. So now you know!

Also, I was able to get a bit of art work done, and work on some projects with the Kidlets. We are busy finishing up the school year and getting ready for Summer!

I LOVE Summer! I love spending the days at the pool or Lagoon, BBQ'ing each night, Sunday concerts on the cliffs overlooking the ocean...and whatever other fun stuff this Summer has in store for us! Hopefully a great 6th Birthday Party for Jeremiah, some camping, and maybe a trip to the Lake or to Catalina Island. (Or both if we are super lucky!)

So...I will close up this post with I am super glad to be back online- and Thanks to the Folks who still took the time to email me or comment on the blog while I was gone. You Guys are awesome! You are what makes blogging so much fun! Take care Ya'll- and have a nice weekend! ~Danae

Friday, May 15, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Retro Recreation Funny 4 U...

*Aaaah-ha-ha-ha! Now that is some good advice!*

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Little Retro Recreation Funny 4 U...

*Just a little something to put a smile on your face!* :)
*Enjoy your weekend* ~from Danae

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

An Awesome Anti-Hate Video To Share With You...

Hello Again! I wanted to share this with you all. It isn't Vintage or Retro related at all...but it is a fabulously important message that I think we all could benifit from. If you like it, I urge you to share t with the folks that you know. This origionally came from a post on rs. B's blog, "Cofessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom". (Excellent blog, by the way!) It is shared here with her permission. It is also up on my "Crafty's Cuppa Coffee" blog.

***DISCLAIMER***This video contains the F-Bomb, so if any of you cannot handle colorful language, have kids in the room, or are a kid yourself; then this message is not fo you! Otherwise...ENJOY!

A Little Retro Recreation Funny 4 U...

Hey There Blog Buddies~you will have to forgive my lapse in posting. I have been busy...and will continue to be! LOL!
I have been studying hard & doing my homework & projects for my new classes that I started last month. I'm doing well too! I got a 90% on my first test, another 90%, an 82% and a whopping 100% on this last one!!! Woo Hoo!
Time to celebrate! Of course not too much...because still have a long way to go; and many more tests to pass before I can get too excited. But hey, if they all go half as good as these ones, I will be happy.
Take it easy guys, and I hope all is well with each of you, your families & your lives.
~Danae, aka 'Crafty' :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Madness ~ Welcome To My World...

*Just a little Hello! from Crafty, to start your week off right!*
And just to let you all know that you are not the only ones with lives that sometimes suck...
Right now, I am busy getting ready to go fight a Red Light ticket in Traffic Court - FOR A LIGHT THAT I STOPPED AT!!! Woohoo! (Thank goodness that there is a photo to show that I stopped! One good thing.) And, as if that doesn't suck bad enough on its own...
They want me to pay a whopping $436 BEFORE I can go to fight the ticket! WHAWHAT?!(Probably so UncleSam can make a little interest off of my money, while I wait 6 months for the refund...AFTER I win the case. Government!)
So, would you all please say a quick prayer, (if you do that sort of thing); or just send some good energy my way, to help me along with this today. I appreciate the extra thougts and well wishes. Cause BOY DOES THIS SUCK!!! I haven't had a ticket or accident in over 10 years now. I sure don't want to start with this one. $436...I know people who have paid less than that for a DUI! What the ---- is THAT all about ?!#*?! Tell me on what planet that makes sense!
All right. Ciao Ya'll. Sorry if I pissed in your corn flakes! I truly do hope that all of you have a better Monday morning than I am about to have! By the way...Does anyone have like $436 that I can borrow? (Just Kidding!LOL!) Take care all.
Written by: One very stressed out & pissed of Retro Mama named Danae* :)
~UPDATE~10/09: Well, this week I FINALLY had my 'day in court'. After all of these months of going in for the 'next step' of the process; on Tuesday I was able to go into court, reveiw the video & plead Not Guilty.
Apparently- I did stop, but the cop did not feel it was for long enough. Oh well.
I did ask for community service in leiu of the fine- but would you beleive it is 58 hours of comm. service? WOWSERS! (Maybe I should have just come up with the money? LOL.) So, that is that- and now I can put this nonsense behind me. Thanks to those of you that left me kind emails & comments, and wished me well. I appreciate your friendship and thoughts. ~Danae :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Little Retro Photo Humor For Your Veiwing Enjoyment ! & A Note To My Readers...

Hey There Blog Buddies & Retro Fantasy Fans~

I wanted to take a moment to send out a BIG THANK YOU! to all of you lovely people who took the time yesterday to send me such sweet comments about my new avatar photo. I think between the response from here and over at Crafty's Cup; I had a record day of comments. And all were fabulous and encouraging. THANKS GUYS!

On another note...I have a bit of news to share with you all.

Recently I have decided to pursue my Degree Program for my chosen spiritual path.

This is a momentous occasion for me, for many reasons. I have been wanting to take this step for many years now, and have not had the time or the money to invest in such a huge undertaking. After a long search for the right school and course program; I was thrilled to find the perfect venue for me to do just that.

The other wonderfully synchronistic aspect of this step is that my classes begin 15 years TO THE DAY! from the day that I had made my very first Formal Dedication to this path. May 1st 1994. Beltaine/May Day. How awesome is that!

Now, I did hesitate on mentioning anything about this on my blogs because I happen to be a bit of a procrastinator, and was worried about talking about something that I may not finish. Not to mention that the full program, (all 3 Degrees) that I would like to complete; takes a few years. So...that is a big chunk of uncertain territory that I will be taking one step at a time!

The main reason that I am mentioning this at all; is because all of the extra course work, projects and assingments, are going to mean that I have a lot less time to devote to my blogging. (And how I LOVES my blogging!) :)

But, please do not fear...I will still be posting, just on a less frequent basis. I hope that all of you will continue to check back in and follow me on this nw leg of my journey. It should provide some interesting fodder for blogging; as I have not been a student in oh...about 16 or so years! (Except for my time at Massage School, and that was 12 years ago! )

Also, remember that you can always subscribe to C.C. Retro Fantasy, (and all of your other favorite blogs) on an RSS Feed or through your Google Reader. This will automatically update you on any new posts as they come out. I LOVE my Google Reader!!! It makes it so easy to catch up on all of the blogs that I like to follow. It is like a cyber-magazine subscription delivered to my computer. I don't know how I would follow all of you guys' great blogs without it!

Okay Folks, have a great weekend, and wish me luck on this new leg of my journey!

***Posted by one very nervous & super excited Crafty Chick!***

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Crafty Chick Update~ A New Avatar Photo

I wanted to put out quick post letting you all know that I am changing my Avatar Photo.
When started my blogs back in March, I didn't have any decent photos of myself to use. So, I used one of a favorite Retro Model of mine. But, I really didn't feel comfortable using that it is not me. {I only WISH i was that pretty!}
I have been messing around a bit, trying to get a photo that I would like to use to represent me...and for now, I think i have one. {Who knows, it could change again!}
* it is.{And it looks much better smaller!} If any of you notice it around the Blogosphere, it is still me. Danae The Crafty Chick. Just a new photo, that's all!

The Domestic Goddess Files: More Creative Tips For You And Your Family

Hello Ladies~
Top Of The Morning To You!
I have some more Tips & Tricks to share with you this Morning. Unfortunately I had a whole slew of real cute Vintage Housewifey type photos to go with them but after I posted this one I couldn't get any more to post. Oh well. At least there is one. I guess that means I will have more for another post at another time. :)
So, I will just jump right in to the good stuff..
~First, empty all of the contents of your purse, to separate the groups of items, and put away or throw away anything that shouldn't be there. I like to do this over a plastic grocery bag, so that I just dump all of the contents, and then remove what isn't trash. It makes it easier, and all of the usual bits that I would have to pick up later are already then taken care of.
~Then separate all of the items that go back into your purse into groups. Some ideas for groupings to get you started are:
~Wallet: money, id & credit cards, checkbook, coupons, etc.
~Personal Planner: notebook, to do list, address book, calender, etc.
~Food Items: medicines, mints, gums, candies, etc.
~Writing Utensils: pens, pencils, note pad, stamps, envelopes, etc.
~Cosmetics: make-up, lipstick, gloss, etc.
~Manicure Stuff: nail file, clippers, polish, etc.
~Hair Stuff: hair brush, comb, sprays, clips, rubber bands, pins, etc.
~First Aid: band-aids, ointment, sun block, etc.
~Now, we don't usually want to keep ALL of these things in our purse ALL the time. But, once we put in in there, our purse becomes a black hole and we forget to take it out. Then, once we have so much stuff in there we can't find what we need.
~The trick is to use little make-up bags or zippered pouches to divide and contain everything. Then, it becomes a matter of grab and go. If I need to do my nails, I know that everything I need is in one little bag. Same with make-up, or food items. Then I am not digging through my lipsticks to find my coins at the bottom of my purse.
~Another great item to have in your purse, is one of those organizers that wraps around the inside of your purse. They have all kinds of little pockets, and it keeps the center of the purse free for larger items.
~I happen to keep my magazines for later reference; but I know that most people don't. Many magazines, like fashion, current events, sports, and the like; are only meant to be read once. In that case, sometimes it is easier to go through your magazine and tear out any articles you would like to read, or recipes to try. Then, you can either keep these in a folder to read when you have time, or you can file punch holes and file them into separate binders for later reference. This cuts down on the amount of magazines that you have to store, and helps you to find and read the articles that you are interested.
~Keep a binder , a file, or a plastic pouch section in your Home Binder, for appliance warranties and instructions. You can also punch holes in large Ziplock bags, to keep these items in. Each time you get a new appliance, put away the instructions in this same spot. Then, when something breaks, or your husband asks you where those warranties or whatnot are, you will easily be able to locate them.
~When you get a new reference book, (such as a cookbook, or a gardening manual), attach an envelope or pocket to the inside of the back cover. This is for any loose notes or other related information. That way you can keep it all together with the book.
~If your wall calender does no already have one, attach a large envelope or pocket to the bottom of the last page, (usually the cardboard backing). Now, whenever you get an invitation, jot down the date on your calender and file the invite into the pocket. This makes it easy to look for the phone number or directions. This is also good for upcoming events, such as for school or sports, or even for doctors appointment cards and the like.
~Create a "Tickler File". This can be done in many ways. You can use one folder for everything, and just keep it in the order that the things need to be done in. Another way is to use 12 folders, one for each month. As things come in, put them in their prospective places. As one month ends, empty the contents, and either file what you don't need anymore; or put the leftovers into the coming month's folder. Then, put the older month's folder into the back of the stack. You can organize up to a years items in this way.
~Having more than one phone is a convenience, but can also be a frustration. Make sure that by each phone you keep a list of important numbers, a pad and a pen, and anything else you commonly need at each phone.
~If you conduct a lot of business by mail, and order or ship things, keep a separate wall calender strictly for this purpose. Each time you place or send an order, mark it onto the calender, (send date and receive date). That way, if something is late, or doesn't arrive, you will have all of the info in one spot.
~Keep a running list taped to the inside of a cabinet to record loaned and borrowed items, AND remember who you lent it to, and when.
Okay Ladies, that's it for today. I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday, and a great
weekend. I know I am looking forward to it after a long, busy week! Take Care.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The First Edition Of The Domestic Goddess Files~ Tips Tricks & IdeasTo Make Life Easier

The Eternal Struggle Of The Domestic Goddess!

...Our Work Is Never Done.

Once in awhile I come across ideas for an article or post, that I am not sure where to put. I have 4 blogs; a family blog, a spirituality blog, an arts & crafts blog, and this, my retro fantasy blog. You would think with all of these areas to choose from, that I would never run into a problem finding a place for all of my ideas to fit…but from time to time, I do. This is an a post about home care and life organization, not so much retro, but I figure out of all of the blogs, this sort of information could go over here. Kind of a Domestic Goddessy Post.
When I became a Mother, I knew that life would get busy and everything would change. (It is funny because I refer to everything in my life before children as My Life B.C. It is quite fitting actually.) I have always been an artsy kind of girl, and I always loved kids, animals, and plants, and worked very well with them, but I was never really what you would refer to as domestic, and certainly not organizational! I never struggled with the childcare part of being a Mother, and I love the homemaking part of my life; but even today, I still have a hard time with the “domestic duty” portion of homemaking, and child raising.
I am the kind of Mom who would rather spend the afternoon in the park, or doing craft projects with the kids and their friends than sweeping, mopping and dusting. I am rather laizze faire about my house cleaning duties. As long as things are presentable, the kids are fed a well rounded diet and we all have clean clothing to wear, I am a happy Mom. My biggest priority is raising healthy, happy loving little humans, and creating a warm, safe environment for us all. Most of the time I hit that mark pretty well, but as with all things in life, there is always room for improvement. (Kind of a theme with me!)
[Also, just so everyone knows…these are ideas and tips that I have read, learned, heard, tried and want to share with others. But by no means do I do all of these things, all at once, all the time. No matter how much I wish that I did. I am a work in progress just like anyone else. I am by no means perfect, or even anywhere close. I wouldn’t want to give that impression. God forbid I might invite you over to my house someday and it be in a disaray, because that is just as likely to happen as it looking nice!
I just am an idea girl. And I like to share. If I can pass something along to others, and someone enjoys it and it’s useful, I am happy. I don’t think that housekeeping is anywhere close to the most important thing in the world; it is just one way of making life a little easier. If done efficiently, we may possibly have more time to do the truly important things. Like enjoying that warm, welcoming happy home! ]
We all have unwanted chores, jobs and tasks that must be completed before we can get on to the business of living life. Here are some tips and quick ideas that can help you with just that. They can keep you from backtracking and wasting valuable time that could be spent truly actualizing your goals. If you do a little each day and you will be amazed at what happens in your home. I have gathered some of my favorite, and most useful organizational homemaking sayings, tips and ideas, that have made sense, or helped me. Also, many new ones I hope to use and implement in my life.
I hope to make this a regular addition to Crafty Chick’s Retro Fantasy, called The Domestic Goddess Files. I hope you find as much use and value in these ideas as I have. As always, take and use what makes sense to you and fits with your life…and leave the rest. No two people organize their homes or their lives in the same way. What may not work for me or you, may be
exactly what makes the difference in someone else’s life.
~Work with the rhythms of your body. Try to plan high priority tasks around the way your body naturally works, whether you are a morning or a night person. Do routine work during your “low” times.
~The key is to start NOW. No matter how small the job. Do you have a letter to write? A call to make? As Nike so eloquently coined the phrase…Just do it!
~Keep a daily to do list and assign each task with a priority number, 1-4. Do all of the high priority stuff, (the 1’s) first; and get to the rest as you can.
~Provide yourself with a notebook, either loose leaf or spiral bound, and small enough to carry around with you. This notebook will become your “Master List”- a single continuous list that replaces all of the small slips of paper you may be used to. Use this notebook to keep track of all errands, things to buy, to do and any other general notes you may have, and things that require action.
~Another even better system, is to have a 4 or 5 tab divided notebook, (again, small enough to carry). In this book, you keep your 4 sets of lists. In the first section you have your to-do, to-buy, to-go, to-call, to-mail, and to-send on the computer. A calendar in the second section, an address book in the third, budget and expenditures in the fourth, and maybe a blank miscellaneous notes section in there is room. These can be bought or made. They can also be obtained on-line from various sources. That is the super supremo organized way!
~Keep your list with you at all times. A list is worse than useless if you can’t refer to it because you left it behind!
*And, because I have always strived to fit somewhere between these to ways to get the lists organized, and come close to what I wanted, but never just right…I recently switched to a whole new method, and have found that I like it much better!
~Now I use an online calendar and list system by Better Homes and Gardens. It is fairly new, and called COZI. I can enter all of my appointments, errands, etc. for my family and myself, all phone numbers, shopping and to do lists, even driving directions, and it will call me and/or leave me emails or texts to my phone if I choose. I can read it and change it from my phone. I can color code my whole family’s year, and it will automatically update items that happen more than once, when I program it that way. For years to come. This system has pretty much replaced my wall calendar, to do notebook, and much else. It even has a journal/blog where I can put photos and journal entries for special occaisions. If you are already using Microsoft Office, it will interface with that, and combine the two. It automatically updates the whole family’s calendars, so your husband or kids can enter something, and even if they forget to tell you, you will still know. You can even send messages through it to family members. Another big bonus for parents who have school age kids, is that COZI automatically uploads the school information and calander from most of the school districts, with more being added each month. You don’t have to worry about your kids forgetting to bring home the note from school about their minimum day…the calendar gets an automatic update and loads it in! Yeah! It is a truly invaluable tool. I love telling people about it.
~Beware of the tail wagging the dog syndrome where your appointment book, budget records, filing system and master list take more time to maintain than working out the problems they are supposed to solve.
~ Use separate notebooks or folders for bigger, long term individualized projects, like party or holiday planning, home repairs and decorating, or enrolling a child in college, retirement, etc.
~I keep an extra large 3 ring binder with 2 smaller paper folders inside, (on for each kid), to hold important papers and info for the kids. This is not their ‘schoolwork to keep folder‘- this is for yearly things like the school schedule, school & class info, baseball, dance and karate schedules, I keep their current report card for easy reference, recent or pending medical info. Basically it’s all that stuff for the kids, that I am not using daily and weekly. I don’t need to be carrying all that stuff in my notebook, but I still need it close at hand, and not in storage.
~Don’t be in a hurry to throw out notebook pages that have been completed. That stove part you ordered 2 months ago could be all wrong when it arrives, and you may have to call the same people all over again. (For instance, I keep all of my notes on parties that I have planned and hosted. That way I can look back to see who came, what we ate, who liked what, the number of the table and chair people, etc.)
~Set up an area for yourself to keep all of your home management items, notebooks and tools together. Even if it just a notebook, and a basket on a shelf. Use it to keep pens, paper, stamps, envelopes and everything you will need to organize yourself.
I have about a gazillion more of these quick helpful tips and ideas to share, but I think I will stop now, and leave some for future posts. I hope that you find some of this helpful for your life whether you have kids or not. I also have plenty of tips for makeup and purses, parties and holidays, travel, cooking, and a whole lot more. So be sure to check back once in awhile to see if there is something new; in addition to the usual retro awesomeness!
I also would love to hear from any of you, who may have other ideas. I am always on the lookout for new and innovative ways for making my life easier and run more smoothly. You can leave them here, or you are welcome to e-mail me at (

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

THE DOMESTIC GODDESS FILES...Even More Ways To Put It All Into Practice

~Have a ‘home’ for everything. Don’t let stuff ooze. Herd your belongings like stray sheep; back to their ‘homes’. It is actually kind of fun to see how many logical 'homes' you can find for your stuff, and if one doesn't work, and you still find yourself leaving something out, or putting it elsewhere...then find a better spot for it. This needs to be a flexible, workin system. One that makes sense and works for the people using it.
~(No matter how well we practice all of these organizational skills, I think most everyone still has a “junk” area. I think that is normal, whether it is a junk drawer, a junk closet or a spare room that gathers all of our excess stuff. Just remember, that is what doors are for! As long as the junk isn’t in the common living areas, it is not so big a deal. If you have to have miscellaneous junk…and I do…have a drawer, or closet, area, a toy box, basket or crate to hide it. That way it isn’t on the couch, or eating table, etc.!)
~Group like items together. (ie:things for a projects, activity, or things you normally use together [baking tools on one shelf, sewing items, letter writing and bill paying, ironing, etc.] This makes it much easier to find what you need, and takes less time doing it.)
~Try to store things where you normally toss them. If you toss your shoes and coat by the door, put a hook there. Keys and change on the table, or nightstand,; put a basket there. Don’t force yourself to change habits, so much as use your habits and way of living, as an inspiration for organization. Put the organizational products, where you naturally tend to use them.
~It is also true that you should always keep things in one place, so that you can find them. Have a key spot, a place for your purse, sunglasses, etc.
~My grandmother always told me (…and I wish I always did this); making a bed first thing is a good way to start the day, psychologically, and instantly makes the room look better
~List on paper 10 things that you wish to do before the end of the year.
~Make a list of 3 things that you want or need to do. Write the reasons why you are not doing it. Now change the negatives to positives. The ability to change a negative situation into a positive one is one of the keys to self-organization.
~I have found that the “Do the worst first” motto helps me get started. Once the worst is done, everything else is so much easier.
~Use the “Salami Method” to help you reach a goal. If the size of your project overwhelms you, tackle it bit by bit. You wouldn’t eat a salami whole would you? You would slice it into pieces. Do the same with your goals and projects. Slice them into pieces that are more manageable.
~No one has several hours to leisurely devote to the tasks at hand. The key is to use the 15 minute segments that you do have, to make a dent in the project. For example, file your nails, make an appointment to see the dentist, or just clean one shelf of that closet. You will double your efforts if you do small tasks, (like writing thank you cards), while engaged in some other activity, like running a bath or waiting for a casserole to heat.
~Do 5 minute pick-ups, or what we call a “Blitz” in my house. Pick up and dust or put away each item in a room for 5 minutes. Always work around the room. I go clockwise. Just go from one end of the room to the other, instead of crisscrossing all over. That way everything behind you is clean. You can see your progress much better that way. Use a timer. When the timer goes off you can choose to stop until the next work period; or you may choose to keep going.
~I have a shelf area right next to my front door. This is my “out the door shelf” Shoes and backpacks go on the bottom. There are a couple of baskets on the top for the kid’s papers, lunch tickets, videos or library books to return, etc. Jackets, hats, and gloves also go there. When it is time to go, I can easily see items that I must remember to bring with me.
~I also keep a similar basket in the car for this purpose. In it I keep my laundry cards, and detergent, etc. I keep magazines, books, and paper, pens, and stamps, and a few other things that I may need to handle stuff while I am out. I also keep my bill info in my glove box. That way if I am out running errands, and want to stop and pay a bill, I don’t have to run home for the account numbers. (I learned that one the hard way!)
~I keep extra food, sweatshirts, clothes and toys in the car for the kids; in case we stop to visit friends or family and decide to stay awhile. I don’t have to worry about cold, bored or hungry kids, and Mom can stay and enjoy herself awhile!
~Try not to put stuff down. (This actually becomes a fun challenge to see in how few ‘steps’ that you can handle stuff. Only deal with it once. ie: Don’t put it down, put it away.
~Go through the mail over a wastebasket and DUMP THE JUNKMAIL! Don’t even bother to read it. And for God’s sake, don’t keep it around to “read” later. It is called “Junk Mail” for a reason!
~If you are making coffee, don’t get it out, spoon, sugar, cup, etc. with out swooping it up and putting away. All at once. Take it out, pour, put away, stir, wash spoon; and by the time it is made, it is put away. THEN, you drink in peace. When you are done, and get up, grab the paper, the cup, etc. Don’t leave it all there.

THE DOMESTIC GODDESS FILES...The 15 Minute Organizer

So, along the way on my quest of becoming Mommy Extraordinaire and Wanna Be Domestic Goddess; I have picked up a few tips from the experts. One of these tips that have worked really well for me is to live life in smaller intervals. I picked this up when I had my first baby, and it has just kinda stuck. Especially when the children are young, a Mom finds that her time is consumed with all sorts of little childcare and housekeeping chores and duties; and there is not much time for the rest of life to be lived.
In order to keep some semblance of sanity, and find the will to get everything done…I began chopping everything up into 15 minute sections of time. I found that while I may not have hours to spend doing things that I liked, or just needed to do; that I could get a whole lot done in smaller chunks of time.
An author really inspired me around this time; and helped me to see that really ANYTHING can be done if we just break it down. This already fit with what I had been discovering on my own, and helped me to find even more ways to manage my precious time better. It really is not a new concept…I just liked how she presented it.
The author is Emilie Barnes. She and her husband have a whole empire of Time Management books and courses, that they call, More Hours In My Day. I have a couple of her books that I absolutely adore. One is called The Creative Home Organizer, and the other is The 15v Minute Organizer. I have found both to be 2 of the most indispensable books in my home management library. I often go back and reread them for inspiration, and have loaned them out many, many times over the years.
So, the premise is, that no matter how large or undesirable the job, or task to be done; that if it can be broken down into smaller chunks, it can be accomplished much easier and without all of the pain and anguish. This really hit home with a Queen Procrastinator such as myself!
Emilie calls it the Salami Method. She says that, “You wouldn’t eat a salami whole; but, if you take it slice by slice it goes down much easier.” And it works, very well.
Take a job such as cleaning out the fridge. While I may not have a whole afternoon to clean the fridge, (assuming it would even take as long as I originally anticipate). Now, if I try to wait until I have a whole afternoon to do the job, it would probably not get done for a while. However, if I use the little bits of time that I have, and break the job up shelf by shelf, I will have it done in no time.
So, if I clean one shelf in the morning, while the kids eat breakfast, then another while I am on the phone waiting for someone on hold, and another while the laundry is going…well, you get the idea! Another great way to utilize this concept it with rewards; and multi tasking. Let’s say that I have to clean out a cabinet that I am dreading. If I find myself watching a TV show in order to avoid my work, I can watch 15 minutes of TV, clean a portion during the commercial, and then watch more TV, until the next commercial/work break. That way, the job gets done, I get to watch my show, AND time that would have been wasted watching commercials has been put to good use.
How about the time we spend waiting in line? If I have all of my bills or coupons in a folder in my purse, that bit of time can be used for that purpose, instead of me having to take more time later to do the bills. Or the 10 minutes that I would be waiting for my friend to arrive for us to go somewhere. Instead of twiddling my thumbs, getting upset that she is late…I could be loading the dishwasher, (if I had one!), or putting a load of laundry in. While the kids are in the bathtub, I spend 10 minutes wiping down the bathroom. 10 minutes before my own shower, I can scrub the tub, etc. When I clean the kid’s room, I watch my show in their room, instead of on the living room couch. Before I know it, my show is over, the job is done, and the hour that I normally would have wasted killed two birds with one stone! See the beauty of the system?
It is really fabulous for those jobs that you really-just-don’t-want-to-do! Instead of dreading it, and putting it off, (which by the way, I still do quite often!), I can combine it with a desirable activity. I can check out my favorite blogs for 15 minutes and then work on something I don’t want to do for 15. I know that I only have to do that undesirable job for 15 minutes, and then I can go back to my fun activity. This really cuts down on the “Mommy Guilt” too! I don’t have to feel so bad for doing the stuff that I like, if I am also tackling the important jobs too.
Part of the fun is timing yourself to see how long activities really take, and then seeing how many 5, 10, 15 and 30 minute activities you can accomplish without effort. One example of this is mopping the floor. I used to dread mopping the floor. I hated it. But, I hated walking on a dirty floor even more. It caused me untold stress and anguish every time I thought of having to do the job, how much I hated it, how bad I felt about myself for procrastinating, and the guilt every time I looked or walked on the dirty floor! I had estimated that it took somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes to mop my floor. When I timed it, I discovered that it could be done in 12 minutes! Wow! All of that guilt and negative self talk over 12 minutes worth of work! Now that just seems silly. When I think of it now, I just think of the fact that after 12 minutes or so, I will be done, AND have a clean floor. Sweet!
So to get you started, I thought I would write down a few of the things that can be done in 5, 10, 15 and 30 minute intervals, and you can take it from there. See how many of your own chores and activities you could break up into smaller, more workable pieces. Also, time yourself to see just how many of the tasks that you thought would take a long time, actually only take a matter of minutes. Try it yourself and see if this might be something that could be of use to you. Even if you do not have children, I am sure everyone could use more time, better spent! Not to mention all of the time that it frees up to spend doing the things that really matter to us.
This theory also works at your job. I am sure there are tasks and chores that you are not keen on doing, but that could be done with less stress and more efficiency, leaving you more time for projects that really need to be done. See if this method could help make your life any easier and more productive. *And remember ~Work smarter, not harder!*

5 Minute Tasks
~Going through the mail
~cutting up veges for a later meal
~loading the dishwasher
~sorting laundry
~putting in a load of laundry
~looking up directions for something on the internet
~Filling out a form
~Handling a phone call
~Ironing an article of clothing
~Wiping down the counters (Kitchen or Bathroom)
~Making a bed
~Signing a card and putting it in the mail
~Making a list for shopping or errands
~Writing a journal entry or blog post
10 Minute Tasks
~Writing checks to pay bills
~Folding a load of laundry
~Sweeping the floor
~Keeping up with a pile of things to file
~Picking up a room, putting away odds & ends
~Washing dishes by hand
~Writing a letter to a friend or family member
~Filing or painting your finger nails
~Making a list of goals
~Cleaning off a desk or table, (sometimes less)
~Mending a piece of clothing
~Cleaning out your purse
~Making a lunch for the next day (Yourself, Kids, Husband, etc.)
15 Minute Tasks
~Cleaning a shelf, or drawer
~Mopping the floor
~Cleaning out the car
~Making a party schedule plan and to do list
~Making a trip schedule or plan, and packing list
~Going thru the closet to get rid of outgrown or unwanted items
30 Minute Tasks
~Cleaning the entire Kitchen/ Bathroom/ Bedroom, etc.
~Pulling weeds in an area of the yard or garden (or even less time depending on the area)
~Planting or transplanting some flowers
~Washing the car
~Balancing a checkbook
~Organizing photos
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