Since I’ve Seen You Last

Little Chair

The heavy child’s chair and footstool, which some may remember, sold today. I think I had it for over a year which is too long for a space this small. I could have sold it many times, but no one wanted to pay 300.00 for it and I had to get that.  Note to self: Don’t do that again. I held out and this wonderful antique will live on with another lucky little girl.
Closeup Birdseye


My friends, Margaret and Kevin, gave me this Empire Birdseye maple beautiful piece.  All I had to do was sand it and put an absolutely flat clear sealer on the top. If you would like to see what Birdseye looks like close up, I think you can click or double-click the image.



I found an entire bedroom suite of this furniture a couple of weeks ago. I bought it from the great-grandson of the original owner. It was his grandmother’s bedroom suite in Milwaukee in the 1920s. It is solid mahogany with all sorts of fancy veneers and hand-painted flowers. Each piece, except the bed,  has  jewelry inserts of glass and mahogany and polished glass protectors. The little knobs on the interior boxes are sterling silver.


The dressing table and mirror sold immediately. The original needlepoint cream-colored seats on the bench for the end of the bed and the dressing table chair are spotless. Can you imagine?  This well cared for furniture was wearing, however,  96 years of coal soot, wax and every day embedded dust.

I used New Life Furniture Mask on it, as I did on the mahogany book cabinet shown above.

The last of the zinnias are blooming now. I put bowls full of zinnias all over the shop. I made a little lamp, last week, out of three lamps. The marble base, the porcelain figurine and column and the hobnail glass ball were all in a lamp parts basket.

Newby, Nippersink Library Cat, Richmond, IL
Newby,  Nippersink Library Cat, Richmond, IL

Our library in town houses a slightly famous library cat.  The July 21st, 2016,  edition of The Chicago Tribune, ran a story reporting that Newby is one of the last two remaining library cats in service in the state of Illinois. Library cats have been a time-honored tradition since the days when libraries and universities kept them to stop rodents from damaging books. Their jobs are dwindling quickly as people with allergies want their removal and some surveys report that 30% of people have allergies.


Picking up furniture yesterday, I stopped to look at the long rows of corn drying in the fields. The fields seem endless. It was overcast and the cornstalks appeared to be rattling their bones.  October…this is  the season where we begin to get cozy for winter and have fun with Halloween. I begin to read mysteries in October and listen to scary stories on old-time radio.  I haven’t turned the heat on yet as there will be more warm, soft days. An old, soft cotton blanket to wrap up in at night is all I need.

I began this in September and October 1 is tomorrow. It is so nice to send a word out to you all, what ever your season is and  where you are.


Fox and Finch

Richmond, IL, USA

A Sister is a Life-Long Valentine

“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you..”– George R.R. Martin

IMG_0935I received a treasure box from my sister this week. The box was filled with things she’d kept a long time. Perhaps things she found in Ohio and they don’t fit in their new home in Florida. Most of them I’ll keep because they are just what I would buy. That’s the way it is with us.


I, too, am always drawn to these small reverse painted pictures. This one is charming, isn’t it? I have never seen one where the children are ice skating.


In a frame painted in my all time favorite colors, Nile Green from the teens and 1920s, this little reverse painting is backed with rippled silvered paper in a technique named Butterfly Wings. The fur clip on the left is one of the prettiest I’ve seen and must have been from decades before the rhinestone ones of the 1950s.


Sparkly (the glass beads are faceted) 1920s flapper necklace with tassels. Necklaces were not only worn in the front, but were often worn down the back. There were no rules in the fashion of that era and necklace colors clashing with the color of the dress was considered the height of fashion.


This little box opened to show something that really stumped me. What the heck? These little candles float on oil and were used as night lights for children and for people recovering from an illness. They have been used for 200 years in Germany and France. They can still be purchased today. The company Glafey of Nuremberg has been in business since 1808. This box from 1958 states that there are 1000 hours of candlelight inside. That is longer than a Yankee candle!


A bevy of Krementz and Simmons gold-plated cuff links from the teens and 1920s mixed with several gold shirt studs with amber and hematite tips.


There were many more things in the box. Things she knew I needed and things she knew I’d like. This motto picture was on the bottom. “No pal half so dear to me” sums it up.

I was once a school secretary in a small school of only 700 students, Grades 1 through 12. The principal often left me to talk to someone sent to the office as he couldn’t get any work done (neither could I) with the constant stream of offenders. One day a teenager was sent to the office for getting into an actual fist fight with her sister over a boy they both liked. I was thinking about this as she sat there and the more I thought about it, the more worked up I became. I said the smartest thing I’ve probably ever said: “Don’t ever betray your sister. Boys come and go. Men come and go. Even husbands come and go. But your sister will always be with you.”  The girl said, “Okay!” The principal came out of his office and said, “That was really good.”  He probably used it later.

“Our sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.”            – Susan Scarf Merrell


The last auction I attended was a night auction and it was far away. It was snowing and people seemed to want to get home so no one bid on a big parcel of china and planters. I got the box for a few dollars. The next day, I looked inside the box. There were some great things inside, especially the Fiesta in all shapes and colors. And everything was chipped except for these lovely plates. There was only one or two of each plate but look at the beautiful designs and colors.





Someone will come in the shop who mixes and matches place settings or maybe someone will be able to merge them into a china cabinet or wall display.


I didn’t do much in the shop for Valentine’s Day except group together the few things I had in the theme of hearts. Everyone has seen these Cupid Asleep and Cupid Awake photographs. The photographer M.B. Parkinson’s young model was Josephine Anderson, the daughter of a friend The originals were distributed by Taber-Prang Art from 1897 until 1908. This one is marked Taber-Prang. There were Black Cupid prints issued by Schlesinger Brothers and by National Art and Frame Company. They are valuable and hard to find.


When the envelope with the heart seal is moved, the dog’s tongue moves up and down. I had several pieces of correspondence that a man named Wilfred sent to this woman in the 1930s. Actually, I don’t think he was doing well with her and I suspect old Wilfred moved on to someone else.

Yes, men come and go, but a sister is forever. I hope your were as lucky as I was in drawing a couple of winning cards for sisters.




Christmas in Black and White

1950 christmas            1950 christmas black and white I dream in color, but many of my memories of the 1950’s are in black and white. Some of what I think of as memories are probably remembering the black and white photographs we all had and looked at when we were kids.

You can click on these photographs to make them larger. The angelic smile on the little girl shows her delight in her new chair and doll. The boy in another photo received a huge peppermint stick. That must have lasted for a very long time.

Looking at these Christmas trees reminds us that full, lush trees weren’t in every home. One could see the ornaments better on thinner trees, anyway. It was all about Shiny Brites and lead tinsel.

It was always fun to see relatives who we didn’t see everyday. Especially, the really interesting ones.

We went to church at 10 or 11:00 am  and then, at Grandma’s house, we sat down for dinner at noon. We ate Christmas dinner leftovers again in the early evening. No one left; we stayed all day. So much work went into making these big dinners, Grandma wouldn’t have liked it if we ate and ran. No one wanted to leave or ever thought about leaving until after the second supper.

The car was so cold and we were so tired at the end of the day. But the drive was short and we had to get back to our Christmas presents…no matter what they were.

Thank you for following my new blog and I wish you all:

christmas end



Vintage Squirrel Finds for Autumn Table Centerpieces

One of the fun things I do when I have a dining room table in the shop is create centerpieces from some of my favorite finds. Here are some centerpieces with “Squirrel” motifs that I put together today.

A vintage Jadeite console bowl with an composite squirrel thermometer.
A vintage Jadeite console bowl with a composite squirrel thermometer.
A 1940's squirrel ashtray base which was made from a mixture of sawdust and glue.
A 1940’s squirrel ashtray base made from a mixture of sawdust and glue.
Wonderful old cement garden ornament with lots of air-brushed paint remaining.
Wonderful old cement garden ornament with lots of air-brushed paint remaining.
Charming plywood squirrel shelves sitting inside an antique yellow mixing bowl. The squirrels have tiny brass eyes.
Charming plywood squirrel shelves sitting inside an antique yellow mixing bowl. The squirrels have tiny brass eyes.
Dipped tissue paper leaves make a colorful runner. The yellow bowl is just over the line of what is considered vintage. It is marked 1984.
Dipped tissue paper leaves make a colorful runner. The yellow bowl is just over the line of what is considered vintage. It is marked 1984.
Of course, newer, resin squirrel pieces fit right into the mix!
Of course, newer, resin squirrel pieces fit right into the mix!