Our Grandparents’ Home

A chance meeting leads to the building of a replica of the Northbrook, Illinois, home our grandparents bought in 1937. Continue reading

Where Was I Before I Was So Rudely Interrupted?

This is where I left you last summer:

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And,  this is the roof I spent most of September on.

I was tuck-pointing, roof-tarring, glass-glazing, window painting and dealing with other issues that needed attention in the back of the building. (Let’s not talk about it.)

Besides this work and the shop, I took care of six of the village’s gardens.  I added another garden to the list this year.  Many people stop to talk throughout the hours, as you can imagine. Gardening is a social event in a small downtown area.

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It is autumn and I have been  washing and ironing the textiles I found over the summer. I still have more to do. These American quilts are wonderful, aren’t they? The blue on the Victorian postage stamp quilt is indigo dyed and the red color is the infamous Turkey Red.

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Last night, I finished tucking in the last of the flower gardens for a winter nap. The night was warm with that kind of soft, wild wind that we have in Illinois in October.  I wanted to cross the gardens off my list so I gardened until 8:00 pm under lamp and moonlight.  The town is closed on Monday night so no one saw the crazy gardener in the dirt-covered blue jeans. I didn’t care if anyone saw me, anyway. It would be something to talk about.

And the “In a Pickle” dining room cabinet? I could have sold a half-dozen of them!

Ginene

 

 

 

Assemblage Art: Florida Vintage 1940s Motel Door and a 1930s Toy Circus

I spent part of last week working on a couple of assemblage art projects.  I used old parts and old artwork and some vintage linens to create a 1940s Florida motel door and a make-do child’s circus toy. Whether these … Continue reading

Quick Autumn Decorating with Vintage Rakes

Here are just a few examples of the many vintage metal rakes I decorated this week to sell in the shop. I ask 12.00-15.00 for them and when a customer decides to change to something new they get a strong, good old-fashioned metal rake. … Continue reading

Happy August Days ~ Painting and Gardening

I’ve painted and sold a lot of furniture this month.  It looks like I forgot to put the handles on this one before I took the photograph. I was lucky to find this piece with all the original Eastlake handles still … Continue reading

Gift Wrapping Idea for Mailing a Small Present and a Snowy Road Trip with Janet

If you do a quick search on Google Images for vintage postcards, you’ll find hundreds from which to create a unique presentation package to send through the mail.  Print it on cardstock, wrap your small parcel,  and mail off the … Continue reading

Imagining Her Life


Vintage Ball Canning Jars used as Picture Frames

Vintage Ball Canning Jars used as Picture Frames


With a large family present at an auction today on an old farm in southwestern Wisconsin, bids ran high as the immediate family and nieces and nephews tried to win an item tied to their memory of the 97-year-old woman who enriched their lives. The woman and her Swedish husband bought the farm in 1944. They raised eight children in the house. But, she spent the last 18 years living on the farm alone.

A neat white house sat in a circle of barns, sheds and out-buildings, all empty now. The vintage tractors, implements, fencing, and thousands of parts and tools leave on trailers and in the beds of pick-up trucks throughout the day. Old members of the woman’s flower garden wave slightly in the breeze of this off and on blue day.

I am, being a woman, am mostly interested in the life of the woman of the farm. A granddaughter shows me the site of her kitchen garden. I can see the grey poles that once held up the clothesline.

There are four apple trees, two grape arbors, a large cherry tree, a stand of raspberry bushes and, I am sure, there were rhubarb plants at one time. A granddaughter tells me that her grandmother made apple butter, apple sauce and apple pies, but she rarely used the cherries. Hundreds of blue canning jars with zinc lids sold. A Victorian cherry pitter comes up for bids. It is a big black cast iron affair and I wonder if the work involved didn’t merit cherry jam.

The heirs got most of the treasures they wanted and that is so right. I heard a young woman with a baby say to her husband, “Don’t let your emotions make you lose your head.” The weathered, but sturdy, outhouse sold for 215.00.

People who come to my shop often tell me that the shop has a good energy or good feeling inside. I think that comes from all the things inside the shop that were part of some wonderful person’s life. Each piece has its own story; its own interesting past.

My winnings of the blue glass jars will, no doubt, be upcycled into candle holders, light fixtures, snow globes or something else an imaginative person creates.  I will keep one just because I like the sparkly blue glass and each time I look at it, I will remember the sweet, old-fashioned smell of hundreds of heirloom apples lying beneath the mother tree.