Forever Bound Art

Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Living My ‘Country Living’ Magazine, Part 1

In Collecting, Reinventing/Recycling, Traveling & Antiques, Uncategorized on September 28, 2012 at 1:37 am

Sometimes a writer will say, “I should write about this”, head bobbing up and down and the ideas flow in that witty brain of theirs.  More often than not, I feel obliged to admit, the story never gets past that moment of inspiration.  Writers want to tell the world everything in the same amount of time that moments gets sucked up by families, day jobs and housework.  Good intentions we throw to the wolves as they eat our creative words.  This time, I really want to tell you the story of inspiration.  As many of you are aware, there is a fabulous magazine out there called Country Living.  Still going strong, if not stronger since its first publication in 1978 with Hearst Corporation.  Not only do they produce a publication chuck full of fun ideas and heart warming country stories, they host three fairs across the United States on a yearly basis.   My mother for the last few years has been nudging me to go with her to the Columbus, Ohio Country Living Fair held in September.  Finally, on its fifth year of fun, I jumped on the opportunity.  All the stars were aligned and our mini van drove down from Michigan to the south central part of Ohio as the leaves began to turn and my father grumbled about shopping. In fact, his line was “Tell me again, WHY, I am going to this thing?”  I assured him that it would knock his socks off.  He didn’t buy it and shook his head.  Well my friends, the Country Living Fair 2012 DID knock all of our socks off and here is my story that will not get lost in the file cabinets in my head.  My version from my eyes and my experience, just as promised.

Years ago I would have merely flipped through a ‘country’ type magazine.  I think I was afraid of cows and plastic ducks dressed in pinafores.  I’m also not a huge primitive fan.  I feel l do need to clarify that last part because I can feel some of my readers (including my mother saying, “Now wait a minute”).  Primitive meaning gingham cotton cut by pinking shears and tied in a bow around a rusty heart.  Sigh, even as I say this I am not completely being honest with myself.  My tastes have been changing you see.  Even as I go back and read what I just wrote I hear myself fighting to admit my tastes are turning ‘country’.  “I’m a lil’ bit country.  I’m a lil’ bit rock and roll.”   Yikes, I’m even singing crappy music!  I hit my forehead like Ricky Ricardo and say “EyeYiYiYiYi”  I don’t even know how to spell that, I’m so confused.  Deep breath Laurie Ann, deep breath.  Okay, I admit I like country decorating.  There I said it.  BUT, I like it MY WAY.  Here’s where Country Living Magazine comes into the picture.  Last year I casually flipped through one of their magazines waiting for my mother (we probably were going to go garage saleing or to a thrift store) and was blown away.  It was MY WAY on every page!  No ducks, no dark pages with loads of curtains covering bountiful light.  No crowding.  Light and airy pages filled with cool antiques and restoration stories that made you cheer for the owners, not envy them.  I declared, “I love this magazine!”   My mother says, “You can have it, I hate it.”  Double take, wha wha wha?  Here I thought mom and I would have this Thing. This magazine Thing that we loved together.  What can she mean she hated it?  We were going to have a “Thing”.  Nope, she hated it because it wasn’t primitive and dark.  I tried to explain that even Colonial Williamsburg has changed with the times.  But, she still was dying to go to that fair.

Our business took off on a daily basis and the love for antiques grew stronger everyday.  My desire to preserve history and tell it’s story turned into this blog.  I have always been surrounded by all of these traits, writing, history, respect of ancestry.  It’s as if my psyche gathered up all that I have learned from family, daily observations and years of studying and turned Forever Bound Art into the birthed child that I adore today.  The closer the Country Living Fair Columbus, Ohio came the more that I needed to go.  I had to see this magazine come to life.   Now, I am aware that a company does put on a large portion of this fair, but I knew deep down that the heart of the magazine would be there steering.  I just knew I had to see the love that is put into their magazines put into an event.  There was a need to be able to walk the pages.  I have to believe that another reason laid solely on needing to see that my business was real.  All that I have been working for was understood by others AND enjoyed by others.  I wanted that writers inspiration. Maybe even some validation?   I will jump forward for a moment and just say, I was granted far more than my needs could imagine.  Hence, me writing this blog entry and taking about 75 pictures.  (I want to publish them in a book sometime! Laurie’s Vintage eye on the world. omg, I think I just named a really cool book)   What I witnessed at this fair was more than crafts and antiques (and oh that glorious food!) but friendship, kinship, encouragement, support, understanding, passion, patience, drive, inspiration, creativity, talent and down right real emotion.  If I have ever needed validation in my life, it was in over abundance.  I have never met such beautiful people in one place in my entire life.  Therefore, never feeling so fulfilled and ready to run with any thought where my mind would take me.  I was happy to be me at the Country Living Fair.  I was proud of my career choice.  Seeing was believing, and I do believe that there are many people out there that want to preserve our history and trades from the past.  We CAN sew, we CAN cook, we CAN collect, we CAN sing, we CAN dance, we CAN honor, we CAN preserve, we CAN DREAM and be supported by like minded friends.  No foes here, not for what seemed to be millions of miles away.  It was better than Christmas.

Part two will follow telling the tale of all the lovely inspirational people that gathered at the Country Living Magazine Fair 2012.  As for this moment, I will leave you with this……

http://youtu.be/_AfXznngjGw?t=12s

p.s. I did look for a Ricky Ricardo sound bite and didn’t find one, and as I calmed down I realized it does have a spelling “AY YI YI YI YI” 🙂

The Glorious side of digging…

In Collecting, Furniture, Traveling & Antiques on September 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Ahh, yes. The Glorious side of digging.  We all want THE FIND of the century.  We hear ALL about the deals that other people get.  They’re like hunting or fishing stories (I AM from Michigan), the tales get grander as the years go by.  There’s the 16th Century piece of furniture “find” in a dumpster, or Great-Great Grandpa’s civil war bayonet found in Aunt Cecil’s attic; and everyone makes a bundle at auction.   Everyone makes a bundle, except us.  I’m actually laughing at this moment because isn’t that how everyone feels?   Goes to show that what we hear, is in actuality news itself because it doesn’t happen every day.  News worthy junk.  Then there’s the dirty junk.  The real deal.  The digging in layers of filth from century old mouse feces and antique cobwebs.  Let’s agree to forget about the mysterious stains and what was once a ‘wet substance’ that is favorably found on all those glorious finds.  Yes, the glorious part of digging for the gold.   For some reason though we get a little high off of the search.   The real hardcore diggers don’t truly mind a little filth.  It makes us feel as if there might be something even better than something in a clean and organized store.   As we almost toss our cookies sifting through inanimate grossness we tell ourselves, almost in a chant, “I am gonna FIND something here, gonna find something. LaLaLaLa, don’t pay attention to that smell, or that stain over there. LaLaLa, It’s not that bad.  It will be worth it when I find it.”   Sometimes we find things, sometimes we don’t, but one thing’s for certain.  We’ll do it again, and again, and again.  One other thing is for certain too, there will always be people collecting this special junk and cramming it somewhere as if they are chipmunks hoarding for a long winter.    Ohhhh, WE LOVE THAT!

On one of our adventures through North East Ohio we made our way to Kinsman.  In this little town, established over 200 years ago, an old building stands in the center of commerce holding decades and decades of stuff.  Phew, (she breaths) STUFF that is, lots and lots of STUFF.  I can’t even say stuff, I have to yell it, STUFF.  That’s how much there is.  Three levels of stuff.  Market Square of Kinsman, Ohio.  What a place.  Here is a review I just came across on yelp.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/market-square-kinsman  The reviewer  writes :        “Woohoo! As good as it gets!

IF

you like old dusty musty buildings full of worthless knick knacks and stinky old books, then this place is for you, multiple levels of it.”

Yep, that sums it up.  Some of you saw some pictures posted on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/foreverboundart  Well, “here’s the rest of the story” (side tribute to Mr. Andy Rooney because that was the best part of 60 Minutes and I AM reporting a news worthy junk story).

It’s hard to tell by the front of this building what you are going to find inside.  Wallpaper? Computers in disrepair all over a counter or two? Where do I take my music lesson? Maybe I can buy an antique clarinet there and then learn how to play it?  I see by other signs that there is a Book Den inside and some type of market.  I guess I can get a soda from the Soda Jerk while I contemplate all that is going on.  This first picture is what you see as you enter this entrapment.  Books everywhere, some food in coolers and miles and miles of stuff.  Let’s not forget the extremely friendly gentleman that owns and runs this establishment and various town folk chatting away about todays gossip.  It’s great.   You round the corner after the first room and the gentleman calls after you, “Have you been here before?”  We tell him that we had and that we just had to come back in order to take it all in.  I believe the first time around when he asked us, his instructions were basically to be careful and try not to get lost.  Just kidding, I seem to recall he did say be careful, but have fun exploring three levels of stuff.   He might of have even called it STUFF.    You see, The Market Square is a hodge podge of various businesses long gone and antiques found from sales sprinkled throughout.  It’s a hunt, the true dig.  Man vs. junk : Can you find the real deal?  One room dedicated to an old Hallmark store, one section dedicated to an old hardware store including wallpaper, nails, sewing patterns and thread, and lamp shades.  Don’t forget all the signs you’ve seen already stating “BOOKS” including arrows making sure you don’t miss them.  Not possible, they are everywhere.  All 100,000 of them.  Just look at that stairway that takes you up to those books on the third level.

The basement is a whole other story.  Light fixtures may or may not be working, plenty of low ceilings with cobwebs hanging from beam to beam (or from antique to antique).  You can hear street noise through various cracks and thin window panes.  I found this a tad comforting allowing me to use that as part of my chant.  “You are not alone, there are people outside.  They will hear your screams if you are buried alive in stuff.”  These next pictures are of the amazing lower level of The Market Square in Kinsman, Ohio.  Even though this was our second experience here it never ceases to amaze us.  The basement does hold books, but here is where there are dishes and loads of records.  I loved this antique medicine cabinet just sitting on the floor next to other nonsense stuff.

It was one of those experiences where it’s funny and scary at the same time.  Especially, when Mike kept hitting his head on miscellaneous items hanging from the ceiling.  If you ever want to travel Route 7 down through Ohio then we recommend making a stop at The Market Square in Kinsman.  You’ll even want to write home about it.  For more information check out their blog on WordPress.  (and yes, that was advertised on one of their store front signs) http://marketsquareohio.com/    Leave a comment on our blog if you’ve ever been here or someplace like this!

So, what about that very first picture under the title of this blog entry?  I have one more place to tell you about.  Here my friends lie the story of the real glorious side of digging.  Bat, mice, rat feces, and bird droppings all in one place.  Oh, and antiques under the poop.  Real antiques in this place.  The kind of antiques that make you want to be in a place hosting the waste from rodents.   The name of this location was hard to find, in fact after we were leaving I asked if they had a business card or something sharing their information.  He thought about it for a minute and came back from his house with a flyer. Ron & Trish’s Place in North Branch, Michigan.   I was able to ‘Check in’ with Facebook, so that must mean we weren’t seeing things.   We were heading over to a friend’s cottage and saw some furniture on the side of the road and then a huge barn behind it that said “Antiques”.  (Our favorite sign to see, and then the word OPEN after it) The first barn was like stepping back into time.  You weren’t sure if you were going to fall through the floor, or whether furniture was going to topple on you.   It was fantastic.  I even found fabulous light fixtures.  My new “little obsession”, btw.  We came out the other side of the barn and into a make shift farm type courtyard.  Not sure what else to call a place that is fenced in, with multiple buildings and a house all fenced in including a sign, “puppies for sale”.  Those puppies were pretty big and wanted to smell in places I wasn’t comfortable with.  Very antique farmy kind of place of business, and with no name appearing anywhere.  Giggle, it was great.

When he saw that we were serious about digging he said to us, “Your welcome to go into our barn back there”  We couldn’t believe our ears, there’s MORE?  So, we nod a bit with disbelief in our eyes for our worthiness for yet one more barn.  He unlocks the gate from his farm courtyard and lets us go on by ourselves down to the other barn of goodies.  We pass by loads of stuff laying all over the place.  I take note of a pile of old brick that I’d love to get my hands on.  I’m the type of person that when I see something I calculate in my head if 1.  can I get it in the van? and 2. how much will my husband think I’m crazy?  I decided to only take a picture instead of inquire about all the old bricks.

We open the barn door that seems to be twenty feet tall and there before our eyes lies a camper.  Lot’s of other stuff, but all we see is that camper.  We made our way around furniture, antique sleighs, peddle push cars, and other various things that you weren’t sure what they were at one time.  I of course, can only think about that camper.

We get back there to the camper after making our way through a maze of that same grossness that I talked about earlier.  Under the light that seeped through the cracks in that old barn roof, we realized what we had been standing on.   Loads and loads of feces, the mother of mother loads of *x*8%@)+* BLEEP!  EWWWW!!!  But wait, there was the camper!  WhaWhaWha…….. It had bird padookie splattered on it from the birds rafter home.  Still positive, I say, “come on honey, you can’t get a great deal on a camper unless it’s rough!”   My beloved looks at me blankly, as he always does when he doesn’t quite know what to say to me.   When we both realize that the rivets are coming apart literally at the seems due to a rotting frame, I then did give up in hoisting this barn queen from its misery.   Ahhh, yet another crazy idea left behind with the bricks.  “Thank God”, my husband says.

Here lies the moral of the story.   The more the poop and cobwebs, the more we like it.   Err, something like that.  With all this fun, one asks, “well, what did you buy huh, what DID you find?”   Well, not much in all honestly.  Lot’s of fun memories and one long blog entry.   I did pick up a vintage separated Pyrex dish, round antique tin sewing box,  and a Wonder Woman glass.  The latter was not old, just awesome.  I stand tall with my hands on my hips.  The best super hero stance I can give you and state with confidence, ” I will touch and do anything for my junk!”   We just wash real good after and use lots of sanitary squeeze bottle stuff.

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