Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year, 2010.

B made such sweet decorations in his grade 1 class that I thought I would end the year with a picture of his four decorations.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Revamping is hard work

Worked for the past few days at removing stock from mall (over 25 boxes), painted shelves, put them back in and started to re-arrange the remaining stock in thematic areas (ie) 1940's type dishes. 7 hours today. 3 hours yesterday, 4 hours day before. Just about finished with the "new year" displays, will remove them tomorrow. Am going to take several not excellent but ok type framed pictures out tomorrow so the remaining framed pictures will have a better chance at being seen. Same with multiple duplicates of tinware and 'not so fabulous' china. I ran out of boxes today so I will just stack stuff on the back seat of the car tomorrow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Painted Furniture (green)

Brought home 3 shelving units from the mall today and painted them green and then painted 2 child size chairs and two stools. Will take things back first thing in the morning. Took 5 more boxes of stock out of the mall.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Painting, re-organizing

Removed Christmas stock from the mall today. Started to make a big switch in pyrex bowls and casseroles. Removed a shelving unit and took it home to paint a dense blue-green. Will put it in again when painted. I hope to work my way through all the shelving units. The new year is almost here so the bells are being grouped for ringing in the new.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

Watched "The Secret Millionaire' (a British show) twice today, both different episodes. Its the kind of show that brings tears of empathy. S made a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for B's supper. Went to P's open house this afternoon and I got to hold a little baby for quite awhile and visit with the baby's dad, R, an old young friend who is now an accounts manager in a big electrical firm. (just got the job), and he and his wife and two wee boys are moving to the Island tomorrow, and will be living 20 minutes from his new job, 1 block from the ocean in a 15 year old well kept house and 1/2 acre (fenced). This small family had researched where they wanted to live in Canada and once they found the area they focused on it until they found the house they were looking for. They sold their Coquitlam house. Good moves in the just post recession. Great job, great house, great family.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

B here from 10 to 5 and flying high when he left to go for supper with his mom.Took the tree down, put decorations away, swept and swept the floor to get rid of dry needles. Ran dishwasher 4 times. Great grandpa here for supper. Not the Christmas I had thought it might be but it was ok. Played Hungry Hippo, another peg game and mega lego. Talked to my dad, to my niece and nephew (thank you calls) and my sil. Unfortunately I broke DH favorite ornament, the long fragile tree topper. I am not sure where I am going to find another and I didn't tell him. I hate to make him sad. DS did put the reclining bike together tonight and DH did try it out so that was a positive.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Old Christmas ornaments

The blue bulb ornament is from my mom's collection, the last one I have left. The Santa is hard plastic and likely from the 50's and the angel is folk art, wooden carved and painted. Went over to the mall, put in some more Pickman dishes, tidied and moved stock around to fill spaces. Signed up for Kovel's on line newsletters today. Keep thinking about retro, vintage, cottage, repurposing and how those words fit in to the way young adults decorate and how shoppers see antique and collectible malls. I am doing a lot of looking at blogs on collecting and decorating and renovating to see if there is a trend and to see what different age groups are finding interesting. I hadn't realized what a huge amount of blogging on so many topics is available.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pickman de Sevilla, Rosa, vintage red transferware

Bought some great porcelain (see comment) on Craigslist Sunday night. Pickman de Sevilla, Rosa. 78 pieces of beautiful red transferware. I've found Mason's Vista and Paisley china that looks similar but this maker/pattern is a new one for me and I couldn't find much information in North America about this company/pattern. All I've found are Spanish web sites and Spanish eBay information. So far I've put in four 9 1/2" dinner plates and four 9 1/2" rimmed soup bowls today, a 14" platter, one cup and saucer and four 7" teaplates in the mall.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Retro Hanging 3 shelves shelf, Cream and red

A few years ago at an excellent antiques and collectibles show I picked up this absolutely beautiful, authentic, crazed and worn corner wall shelf. Loved it. Reno'd my kitchen and whoops, wrong style now. I've put it in the mall for sale and took photos to remember.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 1960's Rhythm Tote and Record Hop 45's Carrying Case remind me of my high school time - I had a blue Autograph book that was of the same vintage as the Rhythm Tote. The dolls are late 1950's as well, in original costumes.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mall Work

Christmas Village Houses

Went over to the mall this morning to put in more stock, mostly Christmas. I picked up a 1960's record case (great graphics) and a 1960's record holder (pink, great pictures) yesterday so I wanted to put them out for sale today. Couldn't find any matches on line for either.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Way Too Many Boxes

Last day of school before Christmas break. 

I've spent the afternoon and evening shifting and repacking and stacking boxes of stuff that IS collectibles but not stuff I want to put in the mall yet. I ache all over. Reason for moving stuff - have to put a reclining exercise bike somewhere so it can actually be used and my large storage room (12 x 18) is the only possible space. Had to put 12 boxes under a sheet in B's bedroom and all the flat art had to go on top and that is not the best area and maybe by Sunday I will have come up with a better solution.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rainbows and Spring Thinking

After a gray day and low light a rainbow appeared. Sort of like life, stuff isn't going well and then things get lighter and repeat, repeat. I'm starting to think about mall displays after Christmas and what would be cheerful and upbeat while using the same stock arranged differently. I went over to the mall this afternoon to add some stock and tidy. A few things had sold and I helped a lady find fireking stacking white mugs - I had five and the price was right for her. Its difficult to 'lighten up' the area I have my stock in, dark walls, red shelves. I painted most of the shelving a pale green but the area is still dark. Maybe I need to paint the display cases a pale green as well, its not a bad idea. I've been read a huge number of blogs on vintage, re-purposing, selling as a dealer in a collectibles mall and a lot of renovation blogs. I know I don't have an image that says 'buy me', but I do sell a lot of kitchen ware. Good quality continues to sell. Finding upscale stock is no easy, actually finding stock is a constant job.

Monday, December 14, 2009


The first doll I loved and still remember was Susy, a composition doll, with a cloth body filled with sawdust. Her hair was mohair, her eyes opened and closed and her head, feet and hands and lower arms were composition. 

When I understood, at age 6, we were moving from the ranch to the city so dad could train as a minister I buried my doll and she wasn't found. I looked for another and over time, about 30 years ago I found one similar, had a new wig added to that doll, made her a dress and put her away. I look at her occasionally but she never was the original. 

I also remember my left pointer finger getting sliced as dad tried to get my finger out of the knothole on our new teeter totter with his just sharpened jack knife. 

The family was rushing to leave for the big community picnic and dad was rushed, sliced my finger about 1 1/2 inches and it bled like crazy - and the worst, at the time, was that another kid had fallen off the barn and had a huge bandage on his head and my bandaged hand was a poor second. 

I remember those feelings and my finger often aches and has a tight tendon. 

Dad still uses his jack knife to cut his nails, open mail and any other use that it meets. 

Childhood memories.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cards

12 days before Christmas. Grandson's school has a fund raiser that makes excellent sense - Christmas cards with each child making their own guided art project. When I ran out of Brody cards I used Unicef and then whatever the drug store had for the final cards. I have to pick up Starbucks cards for all the school staff who work with B and Village Tea and Coffee cards for Village Antiques Mall staff. Those are on my Monday and Tuesday must do lists.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Glass Pinecones, Re-purposing

I didn't unpack my Christmas boxes to find my own pine cone ornaments just borrowed a picture to show what I am not putting on my tree. Vintage is very popular - and these ornaments store in such a small amount of space when not on display. Bonus. Green, re-using, re-purposing, re-cycling. I had a thought last night about re-purposing.

The current trend of cottage decorating, of finding and restoring furniture and items from the 30's through 60's, of framing ephemera, playing vinyl, dressing from the past is coalescing. 

I took a picture of the green frog ashtray. It is authentic with a burn on the base from cigarettes (dad smoked 'roll your own' and cracks on the head from all the kid years. The salt and pepper hen and rooster were mom's too. The color is late 40's - if I could ask mom and if she had any memory she might have said they were wedding presents. When I look around now I see a great deal of green from the late 40's and 50's. I am using that shade of green for painted furniture.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Vintage Christmas?

Vintage Christmas? I do have boxes and boxes of vintage and very fragile ornaments - birds, indented balls, pine cones, figurals, churches, stars and more that I haven't seen for years. 

For a few years between my son leaving the tree alone and my grandson becoming aware of Christmas trees I used my beautiful and fragile decorations. 

Now? What's on my tree? Plastic, gold colored foam, and really cheap glass balls, angels made from cloth and straw and plastic and red birds with feather over foam. Lots of lights and several tree toppers. 

My six year old grandson is my decorating partner and he gets a lot of pleasure of the 'oops' accidents. Lights get turned on right after school and don't go off until he goes home to mom at 6:30.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wire dolls bring back more memories.

Wire dolls, pincushion dolls, were collected by my MIL (among thousands of other items collected). She had a large collection of pincushion type dolls and when she was not as much herself as she liked to think she was, she gave away (or let 'someone' look at all the dolls) and all but three disappeared. The three were laying on the floor under newspaper and junk that had been dumped and I found them when I cleaned her house out after she moved into an assisted living facility. She just walked away from everything. Took me two weeks and five helpers to clean that place. The loads to the dump and to thrift store to get rid of stuff were multiples upon multiples.

Maybe my point is that collecting can be like living in a hoarding situation if it is about 'having', not enjoying and passing things on to make room for other interests. The sad thing about my MIL was that she wouldn't give, share, loan or help. She talked a good line, gave away things to non family because it made her feel important, but she just couldn't be kind or loving or even nice to her children and grandchildren. She talked and talked about how nice she was and how she couldn't understand why no one liked her or visited her. She's been dead two years and no one talks about her. That is not how I want to die.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Maybe its time for Christmas Memories

When I lived at home Christmas dinner of my memories was always set on a lace cloth with the best dishes and mom's wedding stemmed glasses. I broke one when I was 19 trying to show off to a boyfriend. I don't know how mom stood raising four kids mostly on her own. Looking back I have a better understanding of her frustration, anger, fears. She worked so hard, so many hours every day to keep us fed, to keep the house clean, no dishwasher no automatic washer/dryer. Gardening, preserving, sewing, working outside the home, having several boarders to help make ends meet. It was tough on the kids because they couldn't see the big picture. It was hard on the parents, constant work, small rewards. But, we were loved and knew it.

I digressed. Always cranberry juice and gingerale in the wine goblets. Turkey, mashed pototoes, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, pickles, green olives, gravy and dressing, pumpkin pies and ice cream. Still have same with my own family. Forgot the Christmas crackers and cloth napkins.

Picture from 2008 Christmas decorations.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Little Things Remembered

Ranch Snippets. Small china lamb, two piggies in a small pen salt and pepper. Japan, Occupied Japan. Grimms Fairy Tales. Wool blankets. Beautiful green tiles on the fireplace.

The dolly I buried before we left the ranch - spent years looking for the same one when I was in my 20's - found one almost the same. A Composition head, hands and feet a with cloth body, called Susie, lives in my cupboard now.

A green frog ash tray, big open mouth.

Little things. They sit on my shelf now. The rest are memories.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More Mom Memories

My nephew Brendan took this picture of Mom while they were travelling on the ferry to Nanaimo in 2007.

More Mom influences. She re-used and made-do for everything for a great part of her life. She re-made, turned, patched, refurbished. Today she would have been 'green', in the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's (and even into the 80's and 90's) she was 'a person raised in the great depression'. Her example and teachings were about thrift because we had very little money, but great access to Mom's huge garden, with preseration by canning, root house and in later years, freezing, of produce. Dad butchered our meat, we had chickens, beef, pork and nasty mean turkeys. A working ranch until 1956 and then we all moved to Saskatoon for 2 years while Dad was at University. Dad dug up the back yard (a back breaking job as it was compacted dirt that had been used for parking) and again we had a large vegetable garden. We lived the student life when Dad and Mom were 36 and 37. Thrift was the only way. Church barrels were actually where we got our clothing. I remember a striped boys tshirt that Mom 'transformed' into an elastic waist shirt for me. She sewed all our clothes or remodelled another garment into a child's garment. I know I didn't appreciate her unending labors in my childhood and youth. Now that Mom has Alzheimers I spend a lot of time remembering. I tell her who she was and how much she had done. She is happy now, its always the present and she remembers all the hymns and songs of her youth and sings along with choirs and groups presenting at her care home. She loses her shoes and has lost all the pairs of glasses. Dad visits her and holds her hand and kisses her and says he loves her and she smiles and lets him. She says to others - this is my husband.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Memories of Mom

I had forgotten some of those early years that influenced my desire for old and treasured objects. I have my mom's old watering can and found a vintage green plant stand at a garage sale a couple of years ago. Holding that watering can brought back so many memories and the images for my early years living on a cattle ranch in central Alberta. Mom built a goldfish pond when she was a young bride in the late 1940's, and when I visited that ranch last summer with Mom and Dad for a family reunion I was able to add adult eyes to the childhood eyes of the past. Mom was a wonderful gardener and the ranch house yard was a great treasure back then. Some remnants of that time still exist. I think I can see her hand and smoothing prints in the walls of the fish pond over 60 years later. The large rocks and the cement contour are hidden in the trees and overgrowth but still visited by children of the very extended family. A great hiding place, a fresh memory that adds to the old memories of laying on the flat rocks and watching the fish when I was very young.

Sharing with: Little Red House: Home

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Remembering the beginnings of collecting the past ...

Grandmothers' and Auntie's now long departed and the thrifty nature of parents born and raised in the 1920's, young in the 30's and adults starting their families in the 40's, along with being life rich and money poor during my childhood and young adulthood influenced my excursions into collecting bits and pieces of my remembered past. The collections started small; tiny figures and vases, red plastic 45's, bits of fabric and lace, crochet doilies, paper dolls, hand painted covers on thin volumes of poetry, old and fascinating magazines. Boxes of treasures moved with me and over the many years the search for beautiful, useful and decorative additions to my life grew. At first maybe it was pride in not buying 'new'. Certainly buying things that were 'old' was cheaper than buying 'new'. Then it always seemed that the search had to be for old, not new. Church rummage sales were then, and I find even now, amazing treasure troves (along with amazing just junk). In the young adult years thrift and bargains were essential, clothing was used, dressers where salvaged, dishes were thrift and garage sale finds. Thrifting and garage sale hunting became a hobby and then a major hobby.

Recent Posts