Frugal Luxuries' Random Soul Searching...Musings...and Bad But Interesting Photographs

Soul Searching and Memory Musings
Lovely Mary Ellen at tagged me last week for this little soul-searching exercise and I'm finally getting to it. Well, I did have a bit of a time thinking up things...and finding pictures to go with the things I did think of...but here is what I've come up with...such as they are.

Summer 1988...VICTORIA magazine...their second issue was my first...
the address label is still partially intact!

The blue and white china over the fireplace won me over immediately.

The Vanity is a romantic's dream...just add a triple mirror!

I have a dress very much like this...I still wear it sometimes...
with gray tights and ballet flats (different shirt)!

Toile is is the vintage jet bead romantic.

2.. I am a morning person. I get up nearly every morning at about 4 A.M. This habit began when Rosie was still a baby. I was trying to write my first book and the only time available to write for two or three hours uninterrupted was in the very early hours of the morning. I would go to bed with the children (about 8 or 8:30 P.M.) and then wake at 3 A.M. to write.
Once the first book was finished, the early morning habit remained.


3. When I was in early grade school I lived in Japan with my family.
I spent a lot of time with our Japanese babysitter/nanny named Mika
(we called her Mika-
san...the word san is an expression of respect...a sort of title).
I have very good memories of that time in my life and those experiences have influenced me in many ways. For example, my home decor is primarily country Swedish/French in flavor...paradoxically... I am attached to a few Japanese, and Japanese-inspired, pieces that I've worked in. I am telling myself they act as a visual anchor within my paler palette :). The first picture is of a seventeenth century print by the Japanese artist, Toyokuni. I found it at an estate sale for about ten dollars. I had no idea it was so ancient--or the artist so respected. The second photo is of an English china cabinet, finished in black lacquer and embellished with Japanese style motifs. It houses some of my prettier vintage books.

A Toyokuni print bought for a song at an estate sale.

My photography's still a little fuzzy but I'm sure you get the picture ;)
Notice the blue and white teacups growing bulbs!


4. Several years ago, on a (dare I say foolish) whim, I changed my dark hair to blond. This didn't last it's NOT frugal...and way too much time & work to maintain. Here is a picture with dark hair (before) and light hair (after).

Rosie and Momma (me).

JUST A SIDE NOTE HERE: I'm not sure if you can see them very well, but I wanted to point out the bulbs on the window sill. I was starting them to use as holiday gifts (see last post). The small white cups are saki cups (the perfect size for a narcissus bulb). I also had them starting in the taller stemware
(all the glasses were found at thrift shops or yard sales)

Katie and Momma (me)!

5. I think Disneyland is a frugal luxury. As you may know, we've lived in southern California for many years. That being said, we have found that an annual pass to Disneyland is nearly the same price as two, one-time, visits (slightly more) and includes access to California Adventure as well. This fact, in our book, made it an affordable luxury. Why? Possessing such a pass allowed us nearly unlimited access to the park... for one flat fee. Thus, once the passes were purchased we could still have some very special family fun--even when money was tight. For example: We'd drive over for a special family dinner...spend the day at the park as a birthday celebration...surprise the kids and pick them up after school for just a few rides and a treat...go for a coffee/cocoa and watch the Christmas a little window shopping on Main Street U.S.A. or just enjoy the ambiance. Over the years, as the kids were growing up, we have bought several annual passes to the park...and taken full advantage of them! Annual passes to Disneyland were quite often every one's "big" gift at Christmas. We couldn't afford them every each Christmas the kids would wonder if this was the year they'd get their annual passes again! Now that the children are pretty much grown, we have wonderful memories of those times.
Below is a picture of Mike and Clancy going down Splash Mountain...notice how they tried to look bored...they had to go a few times to achieve this picture of calm!


6. Several years ago I converted a warehouse into...
Frugal Luxuries: Alchemy WorkshopTM
Each weekend we opened up to the public and had a tag sale of sorts.
Wednesday evenings we held knitting classes...
taught by an amazing British lady named Pauline...and we would sometime hold craft classes as well as host some amazing tea parties!!
(Currently, I'm compiling the ideas and projects from that experience...
so look for them popping up on our blogs). The workshop is no more, but we were very blessed to have made some amazing friends...
and met an abundance of kindred spirits.

Below are some photos of our knitting classes, and the workshop.

Clancy, Rosie and I painted the faux bricks onto a concrete floor...
using a car wash sponge and 50-cent per can mistake paint from Home Depot.


This is such a busy time of year that I want those I tag to feel free to do this after the holidays.

DaisyMum7 at Daisy Mountain ...
Manuela at Pleasures of Home ...
Cindy at My Romantic Home ...

You are your convenience!



Marie said...

I definitely like the dark hair better. When Pierre and I met, he convinced me to stop dying my hair and wearing makeup. SUCH a change. Now I wonder how I could ever have justified $15 for eyeliner. Natural beauty is best!

Tracey McBride said...

I hear you...there's such expense in being what we're not. Luckily my folly was short lived...but not without hair is still growing out the damage...years later. Live and learn. Warmly, Tracey
P.S. Loved your article on Trail Mix about Stating the Obvious! When I get a chance I am going to try to link to it (not quite sure how,yet).xo

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

Hi Tracey!

I wondered if you still had your workshop. I always thought it was such a good idea and it must have been so much fun!

You should do a tutorial one day on how you did that faux brick. It's something I plan on doing to our concrete patio next year.

Love all the bulbs you have growing and what a marvelous gifts they'll make (why didn't I think of that!!). I'll make a note of that for next year! You inspire me as always!


Tracey McBride said...

Hi Manuela!

Sadly, the Workshop is no more...we closed it a few years ago. It was so much fun but a huge responsibility and took tremendous amounts of time. As well, my family needed a lot of attention at the same time (parents and teenagers ;). My former next-door-neighbor used to tell me (when I tried to do everything at once) "You can't be at home and at the market at the same time" (an old proverb from her childhood in France). How wise she was/is.
Thanks so much for the kind comments...and I may take your suggestion regarding a faux brick tutorial!! Probably in I may do them on my concrete patios.
Thanks again!

daisymum7 said...

Hi Tracey

I think the workshop would have been a wonderful palce to visit it looked so gorgeous.

Thanks for the tag I am being selctive about the ones that i do but I like this concept of this one so my answers are there ready for you to read.

No photos though I wasn't organised enough!!!

Have a wonderful day


Storybook Woods said...

I know is there anything better then those first Victoria's. Your Alchemy Workshop sounds so cool. Clarice

Tracey McBride said...

Hi DaisyMum, I went to your blog and read your list and got such a pleasure from it. You have the knack for invoking a chuckle and a chill... simultaneously. How do you do that?!
I left a realllly long comment :).

P.S. Thanks for the compliments on the shop...I know you would have loved visiting it.

Down the Rabbit Hole said...

Dear Tracey,

I also love Victoria! I just met the dear lady, at a tea/luncheon, that brought Victoria back! I posted about it last week, do stop by and visit! Your workshop sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing!


Velvet and Linen said...

I'm so glad you left a lovely comment about my 100th post, otherwise I would never have gotten to know you!
We were just at Disneyland yesterday to watch my son playing the trumpet in the parade. I agree, it is a wonderful frugal luxury if you buy the yearly pass.


Tracey McBride said...

Dear Brooke,

Thank you so much for your sweet comment! Your blog is so lovely...definitely a "dream" blog! I can only imagine how charming your store is!! Whenever I get up in that direction I am planning on a visit. Thanks again for the kind comment.
P.S. How exciting to watch your son play in the Disneyland parade!!

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"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

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