Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Plate Special: Family Vacation Memories with a Side of Smiles

I sold this plate last week to someone living in Manitou Springs. It is kind of neat that it is finding its way back home. As I was packaging the plate up for it's trip, a smile came over me. You see, this plate reminded me of one of my own trips with my mom, dad, and little brother. It must of been in 1974 or 1975 as I can remember my brother being around 6-7 years old which would have made me 11 or 12 - funny that I can remember better what his age was than my own. We had made a car trip to Colorado and one of the places we stopped on this particular vacation was Cave of the Winds which is located near Manitou Springs. After visiting the caves, we spent the night in Manitou Springs. I don't remember the name of the motel but it sat near the edge of town and had a pool out front - I can still see the motel in my mind. I remember swimming in the pool with my dad and brother mostly because we hardly ever swam in the pools at the motels - I don't really know why except maybe because I don't swim that well or possibly because we had other things to do. It was a good memory and apparently, it is still with me to this day.

I was fortunate enough to have parents who thought taking vacations were important. They were always car trips and lasted at least a week. My dad even made a contraption for the back seat that fit over the floor board on one half (or maybe a little more) so that my brother could take a nap or play while we were driving across Kansas - it seemed like we were always driving across Kansas as we had to go through that state to get to the "good stuff". If we weren't staying with my parents friends in Denver, which wasn't that often, we stayed in a motel. Not a hotel - a motel.  I think that explains why I am intrigued by old motel signs - I just love the retro feel probably because they bring back happy thoughts. These were some of the best times I had with my family. I sometimes miss vacationing that way. Seems like we are in a hurry these days and don't take the time to enjoy this great country by car anymore.

I think this kind of memory is a sign of why I resell and thrift vintage souvenir items. Many of the plates and what-nots I sell are from places I have been and just seeing them brings me happiness. And some of the places that I haven't been I look up and find out more about taking a virtual vacation. It reminds me of simpler times. Good times. Not that today isn't a good time but it is in a different, more adult way (most of the time anyway). It allows me to appreciate my parents in a way I never did when I was growing up. Thank you, Mom & Dad!

So, what kind of memories do your thrifted items conjure up? Do you collect something because it reminds you of your childhood? I am so glad I found that Manitou Springs plate. It made my day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Obsession: R You a CollectoR of Anything?

Letterpress R's from various sources.
Also, notice the "R" on the prescription bins.
  It is actually my birthright, I think, to be a collector of the letter R. I mean, my parents chose to name me Robin and later in my life, I have chosen to marry someone with his first and last name beginning with this, oh so awesome, letteR. Call it fate, destiny, whatever you want... I have an obsession for the letter R.

R necklace by Avon

This necklace is my first memory of my collection of the letter R. This was given to me by my parents when I was a child and I still have it in my possession. I don't wear it often but I should. I kind of forget it is in my jewelry box. I think it needs to be displayed somewhere so I see it when I am getting ready.  It goes with everything. Most R's do!

I have at least one letter R sign in every room of our house - every room! This R is sitting in our bedroom. I thrifted it at a "junk" store for $1.50. You read that right, $1.50.  It is an old marquee letter, I think, or maybe it came off of a building. It still has the hardware on the back to attach it. It measures 18" tall by 13" wide and is a fabulous red Lucite type material. I found it with several other letters (not R's) that I parted with on my eBay store a couple of years ago. I sold them for too cheap, looking back on it now and how popular letters have become, but I made money on them and I am sure they found good, loving homes!

I told you - every room. This letter R is actually in our first floor bathroom (along with Elvis because it's just about the irony there). It is actually a part of a Ranier beer sign  - I purchased this single letter off of eBay. I love the font of this letter R - it is so fun and playful. I am sorry to say that I have not actually had a Ranier beer (I know it is hard to believe for those who truly know me) - I think I need to find some and partake in it soon. I am sure with the killer R for it's logo that the beer has to be ridiculously tasty!

This letter R is one of my favorites as it is part of the history of my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. I picked this up for $5 at an estate sale. It used to be part of the signage for Wyeth Hardware store. The store had been a part of the St. Joseph community for over 100 years and unfortunately, closed in the 1980's. The Wyeth's were also an integral part of the growth and prosperity of St. Joseph and I feel privileged to own a piece of it. It is nestled amongst a couple of my other obsessions - vintage Kodak cameras and globes.

An ode to a couple of R's.
This is just a taste of my many R's. So, are you collecting anything? What inspires you to pick it up and take it home? What do you seek out? Look at what others are collecting on Selena's Collect Share. And check out Vintage Spinster - she has a collection of metal state trays to which I recently made a contribution plus she has some cool stuff. It is amazing to see what people are passionate about.