Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through...

Well, not exactly - cards, yes; Christmas rush, not so much. Happy Holidays to all! I have been wanting to post for a week or so but just haven't seemed to get around to it. This year I have been about a week behind on everything - I don't know if it is because for the 2nd year in a row, we are celebrating our family Christmas on New Year's Day or I am just a slug. I did get the house decorated and I must say, it looks vintageous! Too bad the only ones who have enjoyed it are my husband, 3 dogs, 2 cats and me! Not a single visitor in the month of December unless you count the UPS driver who has been here countless times! Oh yes, shopping, country style!

For the past few years, I have been trying to decorate with mostly vintage Christmas decorations. Some of these things are from my childhood (wow, that's hard to say), some were my grandma's, and some are from thrifting. My most prized Christmas decorations are my ever growing collection of vintage and vintage-inspired glass ornaments. My favorite are Shiny Brite but almost any glass ball will do including the small ones (which are actually Shiny Brite) that made their way into a mid-century modern ashtray I picked up at Urban Mining this fall. I really love the little plastic reindeer nestled amongst them, too!

Most of the vintage glass ornaments, however, end up in a more traditional spot hanging from an aluminum tree. Now, I have a vintage aluminum pom pom Christmas tree but my favorite one is this tree that I bought new for $30 after Christmas about 5-6 years ago. Even though someone on HGTV said that if you over indulge on a Christmas tree it should be with lights and not ornaments, I loaded mine with as many glass ornaments as I could. I don't care what they say - I think it turned out fantastic! I also found some vintage plastic garland with plastic candy canes hanging from it at a flea market that really filled in the tree and completed the look. Plus, of course, I have a color wheel! Under the tree, I put old ornament boxes and the "ugly angel" that my grandma had in the 1960's and 1970's.  I think some of my cousin's would probably fight me for her but she is mine, all mine! This is all resting on a tattered vintage alphabet quilt I bought for $5 at Big Brown Dog Antiques.

Another thing I love at Christmas are greeting cards and this year I sent out over 90 vintage Christmas cards. The last few years I have made my own cards (usually with some vintage and thrifted items on them) but since 2010 is the 100th anniversary of Hallmark, I had to celebrate by giving everyone their own. The cards came from various sources including garage sales, eBay, and Urban Mining and were from the 1940's - 1970's. I have always had a fondness for Hallmark cards and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share them with my friends and family. I hope they thought it was a treat!

As 2010 comes to a close, I wish you the very best! I hope the next year will bring you lots of occasions to show your vintage style. And in the melodic sounds of Karen Carpenter "Merry Christmas, Darling. Happy New Year, too."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Now, Shake It Up, Baby

I have actually been doing quite a bit of thrifting lately even if it isn't the "season". I find that as winter rolls around, I plan my shopping around which thrift or antique stores I can hit along the way. One of the cool things I have found in small town America is that nearly every one has a Walmart (I never thought I would say this but "thank you Sam Walton") and nearly every one has a thrift store or two. I think that is kind of odd, really, about the thrift stores but I love it and am in no way complaining. Also, I can feel good about my junking as it seems that most all thrift stores support some type of non-profit organization whether it be Christian Outreach, Shelter for Abused Women, Salvation Army, Food Pantry, Sheltered Workshop, or Animal Rescue - I know that the money I am spending is going for a good cause.

Lately, I have been gravitating towards colorful vintage salt and pepper shakers. Maybe this tendency comes from my Grandma Clark who collected oodles and oodles of salt and pepper shakers over her 88 years (and still counting the years) - I kind of wish I had some of those. My kitchen and dining room are bursting with color - pumpkin on the walls, retro red tiles on the back splash, and hints of true orange and black here and there. The shakers seem to add the right spice to the palette! Really, is there such a thing as too much color? I don't think so.

I just love, love, love this Native American (or the politically incorrect version - Indian) pair. I picked them up, actually, in Kansas City at the first Friday thing at Urban Mining. I think the pair was $4 which is a little pricey to some but I was taken in by the color and detail. Plus, I had a Groupon so it was like getting it for half-price. The apples were a flea market find - I think I paid 50 cents for the pair - and the red top shakers were purchased at one of my favorite antique stores around here - Big Brown Dog Antiques in Cole Camp - for $4. I kind of collect the red top shakers so I had to have them!

Moving to another part of the world, I adore this Chinese couple. The paint is a little chipped in places and they are certainly not perfect but they look really awesome in our antique curio cabinet with the tea set my husband brought back from China. And, they only cost $1.50. The cookbook behind them is another thrift find - super fun graphics for La Choy recipes and only $1.

 My last little fellow was also found, alone, at Urban Mining. He has so much personality and vivid coloring. He is perched on top of my Grandma's Hoosier cabinet (the real thing with a 1911 date) watching over our kitchen. It just dawned on me that it is appropriate he should be there - kind of an homage to my Grandma and her quirky style, too.

As we enter the holiday season, what is coloring your life? Do you have a favorite thrifting spot? Wherever it is, don't forget to sprinkle a little hope to those in need when you do your shopping. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Hunting Season: Auction Hunters Premiers Tuesday 11/9 on Spike TV

This morning, I bopped on over to one of my favorite blogs Apron Thrift Girl and Selena had posted an entry about a new television show premiering this week called Auction Hunters. Great, just great, all I need is another show to watch! I made a comment on her blog about it and she contacted me to see if I would spread the word about the show. Since I missed the series premier of American Pickers as maybe some of you did, too, I definitely want to be on the ground unit of Auction Hunters so I am sharing this with all of you as well. Set your DVR's - Auction Hunters premiers Tuesday, November 9 at 9:00 Central Time on Spike.

Curious about Auction Hunters? Me too. Here's the gist of it:  Every day in America, there are over ten thousand abandoned storage units that are put up for public auction. Each unit has the potential to be a goldmine or a bust for those who make their living hunting unclaimed property. This eight half-hour episode series follows two of the best prospectors in the business, Clinton "Ton" Jones and Allen Haff, in their quest to win auctions, acquire treasure and sell it for profit.

Now, I love thrifting or junking or whatever you want to call it. That's how I make a little cash through my eBay store and pretty much decorate my entire house. And some of my favorite garage sales are at storage units. But these guys are serious. Buying a whole storage unit of stuff, glorious stuff. I don't know what I would do with all that as my shed looks like this already (I wonder if I can classify it as a storage unit) but my interest is definitely piqued. I mean, seriously, how much fun would it be to dig through all of it to find some treasures! That is the best part!

Unpacked boxes from our move - 3 years ago and this is only half of it!
And even if you aren't planning to go and buy up a whole storage unit's contents at auction, I am pretty sure you can learn some useful stuff from Ton and Allen. Really, how much have you already learned from Mike and Frank over the past year? I know I am more knowledgeable than before. So, if you love junking, and I know you do, then I think you will want to tune in to this new show. Now, on with hunt!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Mad Men Influence: Part Deux

The season finale of Mad Men was Sunday night and it did not disappoint... except for the fact that it was the season finale and 13 episodes a season is just not enough. The detail and intricacies that the Mad Men directors and producers pay to the 1960's era is phenomenal - the props department on that set has to be a mid-century modern junkers dream! It is without a doubt the best show on television. Of course, I might be blinded by Jon Hamm's suave demeanor!

I did a little junking last week. And I noticed that two of my best finds were, in fact, mid century modern. Both of these would work well on the set of Mad Men, I am sure! Thursday, I went to the big city of Sedalia to run errands. There is an antique store there, Chelsea's Antiques, that I like to frequent. It is in a historic building downtown and crammed full of vintage treasures. One of my favorite things is the "Treasure Box" that sits outside. Everything in it is $1 a piece. I must say that this box has never failed me - I always find at least one thing to take home with me. This particular visit I found this Zenith Model K725 FM/AM radio. It has the original sticker on the bottom and the last date on it is 1951! It is near mint condition except for a little crack. Chelsea said she couldn't guarantee it would work and I said it was more about the look than the function for me anyway but guess what? It does work! Bonus!

 On Friday, I went to an auction. It has been a long, long time since I have gone to an auction and after this one, I remember why it has been so long... auctions take forever and most things don't go for cheap. I will be sticking to flea markets, antique stores, estate sales, and garage sales from now on - instant gratification is what I'm all about, I guess. I did manage to pick up a couple of items, though. The first is this fabulous travel bar. It was made by Ever-Wear and is just too cool. It was in the bottom of a heap of junk on a flatbed that was going to be passed over. Oh, no it's not! I love travel and I love bars so this will be perfect! I got this gem for $3. It is in the original case with all the original jiggers, plate, spoon, cups, and the fantastic Bakelite handled opener. And there is room for 3 bottles of liquor. My favorite part? The metal tag inside the case with the Trav-L Bar figure! My other purchase was a stack of vintage 1970's cloth napkins - around 50 of them in various designs for $3. I guess it was a $3 day.

Where have you been lately? Have you picked up a treasure that you just love? Even with the onset of cooler weather, there are bargains to be had if you keep looking!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Obsession: Pillow Talk

First, I want to apologize for being absent for a month. I have been in a creative funk and really, sort of have been busy. I am not the greatest at multi-tasking so when things are a little more hectic than usual, I kind of shut down. It is football season so there is tailgating - three home games in a row in September; my husband had surgery and was in a lot of pain the entire month prior to it - he's doing super now; and I am trying to get organized after a summer of thrifting and junking. And seriously, my eBay store is in real need of attention - I need to gear it up for the holiday season. At least I have reached my goal of 1000 in positive feedback so that's something, I guess!

These pillows are on my living room sectional. I really adore the bird pillow.

Anyway, I woke up this morning and felt the blogging urge. Have you ever noticed that you can't just collect one thing? Well, I know I can't and I thought I would share a little bit, on occasion, some of my collections. Then, when I decided I would concentrate on pillows today, I realized it wasn't just a collection, it is an obsession. I mean have them in every room of my house except the bathrooms and quite frankly, I was a little surprised I didn't have one or two tucked in there. I counted and I have over 30 decorative pillows tossed about my home. Every time I go to a thrift store, garage sale, estate sale, home store, antique shop, I gravitate to the pillows. I absolutely love them! And all kinds - vintage, needlepoint, patchwork, crocheted, printed material, souvenir, and on and on.

Don't you love the Scottie dog
 patchwork pillow?

The great thing about pillows is you can place them just about anywhere and they can change the entire look and feel of the room. Maybe I love pillows so much because they seem to tell a story - there is a lot of love, I think, put in creating some pillows. Or maybe it is because they are comfy and cozy. Or maybe it is that they are small enough that you can have a whole bunch of them and it doesn't seem to overwhelm.  And they come in all price ranges - you can pick one up at a garage sale for 25 cents or splurge and order one from a catalog for $50. Plus, pillows can reflect your personality and own style. They are the perfect accent.

Here are some more of my favorites:

I bought this pillow at River Market Antique Mall in Kansas City, Missouri. I think I paid $4 for it. I love the fun style plus it represents another one of my obsessions - bingo - not so much playing it (I only do that on cruises) but collecting bingo cards and games. More about that in another blog.

This is one of my splurges. I have been eyeing this pillow for 2 years. I actually asked for it for Christmas one year but didn't get it. I would go every once in a while and look at it online at Uncommon Goods but wouldn't buy it because it was $50. Finally, I decided I just had to have it and I am so happy with it. The cool thing about this pillow is that it is an image of a vintage USA map puzzle - this pillow was made by Found Images out of Wichita Falls, Texas. When I discovered that of course I had to have the puzzle, too. Oh, yeah, USA maps and globes - another obsession!

I picked up this pillow at a garage sale in Saint Joseph, Missouri. I love this pillow - it sits in a vintage wooden chair in the corner of my dining room. The folk art needlepoint and the colors blend perfectly with the decor of that room. Remind me someday to talk about St. Joe, my hometown - they have the very best garage sales EVER! 

This patchwork beauty came from the Copper Top Flea Market in Warsaw, Missouri. I paid $7 for it. The pillow was made by the owner's mother. I love the quilty feel and the blend of fabrics and was drawn to the piece of ribbon at the top which has the Cancer and Pisces astrological signs - I'm neither but I thought it was cool. My cat thinks it is pretty sweet for snuggling, also.

I picked up this knitted pillow at a garage sale - I don't remember where. I think I paid 50 cents for it. I love the colors and the circular style. It is reflective of still another one of my obsessions which is granny square and knitted blankets.

I really could go on and on about my pillows - I know, it's weird. Maybe I will have to have Pillow Talk 2. What decorates your house with cozy goodness? Are you a collector or have an obsession? Whatever it is, to quote Sheryl Crow (a Mizzou Alum, btw), "if it makes you happy, it can't be that bad."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Mad Men Influence

In case you don't know this, I love Mad Men! I mean LOVE IT! There are a couple of reasons that I started watching it - 1. Jon Hamm (Don Draper) is a Mizzou alum (and easy on the eyes, too), 2. I love advertising, 3. I am a child of the 60's and really sometimes wish I could have been an adult during that decade.  Once I began viewing it, it was an obsession. I can't get enough of it. And I really need more than 13 episodes a season - fortunately I have all 3 previous seasons on DVD so I can be with Don Draper anytime I want. The 4th season is in full swing and my obsession is growing. No matter how flawed Don Draper may be, as a viewer you are drawn to him. And the cast, story lines, and set are just magnificent - a true look into 1960's Madison Avenue and American culture. Thank you Mathew Weiner!

So, as I mentioned previously, my house is a hodge podge of different styles. I have noticed lately that it does sport some Mad Men influence. Here are a few of my Mad Men finds:

The lamp I found at an estate/garage sale a couple of weeks ago for $1. It is marked "1962 Florence Art" - I found out they are a company out of San Francisco. I looked on eBay for other Florence Art lamps and there was only one listed for $495. I love the mixture of bent wood and ceramic on this piece and it has the original shade in great condition.  I could see this in Don Draper's office but I think it will be sitting mod, eventually, in our sun porch/media room.  I picked up the seltzer bottle or cocktail shaker at Hatfield's Antique Store in St. Joseph a couple of years ago. I don't remember what I paid (not much) but I loved the black and gold color. I'm sure Don and the boys would mix up some mean drinks with this. It is sitting on our bar, of course.

This radio is awesome. It still works, has a fabulous color, and is in nice condition. It wasn't one of my cheapest finds but I think it is worth the $20 I paid for it. You might find one of these in Don's bachelor pad apartment. Can't you just hear the advertising for Lucky Strikes or maybe Samsonite luggage? They don't make them like they used to... radios or advertising!

So, how has television influenced your style? Have you picked up a treasure because you were inspired by your favorite character? Maybe magazines, music or the movies are more your passion. Whatever it is, don't let the era stifle your creativity.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Freebie

One of the cool things about Tim Holtz's blog (well, really everything is cool) is that he randomly gives things away just for leaving a comment. Following in that same vein, I am giving away some treasures I picked up the last couple of times I have been junking to Mom of Many (Heidi) who was the first person to comment and is also my first follower. Here's a picture of your prize picked especially for you. I'll put it in the mail this weekend! Have a super holiday weekend everyone!

Hummingbirds don't fly away, fly away...

hmmmmm. It is a beautiful "fall" morning here in central Missouri. Indian Summer is setting in, Tiger football kicks off tomorrow, the last of the onslaught of lake traffic is about to commence, and there are several garage sales scheduled. Life is good. As this time of year rolls around, Simon & Garfunkel's song always pops in my mind.

We have hummingbirds, lots of hummingbirds... and it is about time for them to start taking their flight south. Amazing little creatures, so busy and full of energy. I am sort of sad to see them go. Sort of, because according to the estimates on the bottles of hummingbird liquid sweetness I place out each summer, I am serving 600-800 hummingbirds each day. I make a lot of sugar water. Still, they are wondrous creatures, so intricate in their flight and amazing to watch.

 Wow, just a little aside - as I was typing this, a hummingbird just flew into the house. I have the back door open as the weather is so nice and in she flew. I had a hard time getting her out - she was drawn to the lights. Was she coming to say goodbye?

So, as summer closes and autumn begins, what is inspiring you? Are you starting a new journey? Or renewing old friendships? Whatever it is, this is the best time of the year - make the most of it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Welcome to my blog world

Okay, so I have never blogged. I always thought of myself as fairly up to date on the technology of communicating but ever since we moved to the "boonies", my technological prowess has slipped - dramatically! I have the same cell phone as I did 5 years ago, no laptop, no wireless anything (although I do have a router), no blogging. But I had a friend tell me that they thought maybe I should share some of my vintage finds with others so here I am. It took me a day to get the look just right and I still don't know if I am happy with it. The marketing in me says it needs to be more focussed but the artist in me says to let my creative spirit run free. Here we go...

I hope to share with you some of the things that inspire me. I love to junk, love to collect, love to create, love to travel, love the Tigers, and love to take care of my animals and the wildlife surrounding me. I am blessed with the best husband (for me, anyway) and a pretty cool family of 2-legged and 4-legged peeps. I am on a journey of constant discovery - about me and this amazing life. I hope you will join me. This blog will be a mixed bag. I will show you some of my finds, some of my travels, some of my animals, or whatever is in my jumbled mind. It will evolve as it goes along.

So here's my first piece of inspiration... Emily Henderson's Secrets From a Stylist. I have been struggling with what the whole look of my house should be. It was built in the mid-70's, ranch style, near a lake but not on it, in the country. Our old house was a 1926 Arts & Crafts bungalow style in a mid-size city so it was difficult to decide what should stay and what should go because we had stuff we really liked. Should I go mod or lodge? Cottage style or retro? I like elements of them all. Then I watched Emily's new show on Sunday night and guess what, she said it was okay to mix styles. Amen, sista - I am all over that! Now, I feel so much better and that's where I came up with the name for this blog - I'm a little mod, a lot lodge, and oh so vintage. As this blog plugs along, I think you will get glimpses of all of these. For now, it's a big thank you to Emily Henderson!