Forever Bound Art

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A Little Vintage Decor (ok, maybe alot)

In Collecting, Decorating with vintage and antiques, Radios, Reinventing/Recycling on March 21, 2014 at 11:15 am
A sneak peek on our family room wall

A sneak peek on our family room wall

I really should express my apologizes for being so absent this past year.  However, my life has been adventurous!  I feel bad for neglecting you all, but heck, I was having quite the fun with my family and my business.  I will my friends, make it up to you by posting some of my adventures and projects that kept us so busy for about a year. From sending my amazing son to Europe for three weeks (yes, I had to stay home), a train trip across the United States for a 90th family birthday party, running estate sales, and many, many restoration projects we were VERY busy! Phew, I’m tired already thinking of last year!  I’ll start with this little fun project.  Simply, because this was for our home, not a client. Yeah!

I acquired four crates from a client who no longer wanted them.  She had used them in the bottom of her closets for shoe storage.  I put them up for sale first in her estate sale. I had secretly hoped that I could acquire them if no one saw the potential in them as I did.  I’ll tell you what, I never dreamed that they would be on my wall 6 months later.  I stacked them on top of each other at the sale displaying lots of fun knick knacks.  I gave the imagination nowhere to wander other than to their own images of things they could use them for.  It was a no brainer for antique booth renters!  Alas, they were unpurchased and our client bestowed them upon us!  Woohoo!  I ironically used two at our antique booth and we anchored them onto the wall just like in this photo.  Shelves please! It wasn’t until like I said, 6 months later that I started having images of doing the same on our own wall at home.

We haven’t been in this home long.  Every single room including the basement has to be painted.  I like color, and for god sake, cream is not enough color for me.  Painting was another time-consuming event during 2013 and I’m still not done.  I got half of my vaulted angular family room ceiling painted as high as I could go.  In the photo it may look like that dreadful cream I was referring to, but believe me it’s NOT.  The designer from Sherman Williams did suggest that this room be lighter than the rest of the rooms and I love the choice of Windsor Greige.  My father had begun to take pity on us and came to save the day, finishing the painting with a VERY big ladder.  Alas!  My decorating ideas that I had been harboring could soar!  I first started with my father in-laws Air Force sketches of all the planes he rode in during his flight surgeon days.  Glorious!  They’ve been packed away for so many years and now we can enjoy them everyday and think of Dr. Jack.  Not to mention they match that propeller that I posted a way back that’s on the opposite wall.  I found a 1950’s classroom map of the Pacific Ocean at our Michigan State Surplus Center. That was a score at $30!  That left an empty space to the right.  I learned well from my mother.  One must fill it up! Hang something!  Her famous quote is “Shelves are the answer!” She says it with conviction.  Very Kramer like with her hands waving in the air.

Crates before amber shellac and after

Crates before amber shellac and after

A little history on these crates.  They are stamped Barden Bros.  Upon a little research I found that they were used to house apples from the Barden Brothers Orchards.  Girl scouts, church youth groups, etc. had the opportunity to sell crates of apples for fundraising dollars.  My client apparently had purchased many apples over the years and put those crates to good use! Of course when I went back to research the history again to link their webpage, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I didn’t think I imagined this theory, but heck, that was over 6 months ago. Anyway, I decided to use amber shellac on the crates to give them some “umph”.  I am a big fan of Zinnser products by the way.  See the difference?  Wow factor in minutes.

My empty space to the right

My empty space to the right

My youngest son says that when he grows up he is going to still live with mom and Mike.  He plans to work in our shop downstairs and be a ‘builder’  like us.  God, I do love that child.  I put him to work learning from the best.  Mike had him drill the pilot holes then tap the anchors into the wall. (by the way – my husband is simply not allowed to hang anything in our home without me approving it. It is actually a rule.)

My precious little helper

My precious little helper

Taa Daa!

Taa Daa!

Every time something creative happens in my home I just feel like I’m floating amongst the clouds.  It truly pleases me so.  Mike promptly vacuumed up the dry wall dust (another lesson learned on his part).  Then he left.  There I stood.  Now what? We achieved the hard part but I was feeling the hard part was placing just the ‘right things’ on my new shelves.  You know I have hoards of stuff right?  I also allowed myself to have this pressure that I had to hurry and decorate it so I could take the completed picture so I could blog about it.  You bloggers out there know what I’m talking about?  Well guess what, that’s not my style.  Sometimes I know exactly what I want, sometimes I switch what I originally thought (that drives Mike crazy) sometimes I’m just waiting for the perfect antique to come my way.  In other words, I must be moved.  I realized that I was putting so much pressure on myself last year about blogging that I had to actually let it go for a while for me to want to do it again.  I love writing but I was making it have to happen instead of being moved.  Life was moving me in lots of directions last year.  I went with it.

I said to myself, “what if you wrote about what you have and let it go?”  I decided it was a grand idea.  I am going to show you what I have so far instead of my perfection.  I’m pretty content with my radios and the Zenith Rotor Wavemagnet.  I’ve wanted to display that antenna for a couple of years now.  What is going inside, not sure yet.  I was thinking a Super 8 movie projector but then we are getting risky with all the weight and size constraints.  We are also working on a shelf that my father made that will go above our sliding glass door, opposite this wall.  It will be very short because the height between the molding and the ceiling is only about 4-5 inches.  I plan on my vintage cameras there, add some old film canisters  So I didn’t want cameras in the crates and that’s where I go back and forth.  I will wait to see what calls to me.

Here is what I have so far. What do you think?CrateWall1

We love our vintage radios

We love our vintage radios

Animated Clock Work

In Antique Repair and Service, Clocks and Time Pieces, Collecting, Decorating with vintage and antiques, Radios, Uncategorized on April 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm

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Time surrounds me everywhere I go.  Seriously, my house is filled with time pieces.  Not only is my husband the most handsome man I’ve ever met, but he’s ridiculously talented.  He can do anything, and being deemed a horologist is one of them.  You guessed it, we collect antique clocks. I don’t know whether I’ve mastered catching time in a bottle, but I sure hear it all over my house.  Admittedly, I often feel quite like that “Ding Dong” that I hear on the hour, every hour.  I’ll let my husband be the single “Dong” that comes on the half hour.

Mike had to have this General Electric Telechron Model that was listed in the GE catalog, 1941. He kept “walking the planks” so to say.  I’ll tell you what I mean by that.  That man would stalk the aisle where it was located at the antique market that we rent booth space from.  He ALWAYS wants to buy from where we sell!  Like, I would NEVER do that.  (you can’t count my dress form, vases, hats, and my Esther William coloring book)  He says “I gotta check if that clock is still there.”  When he begins to say, “if my clock is still there” then I know it will end up in the collection with the rest of the chiming heathens.  Mike falls off the pirate’s ship plank at some point, usually when Captain Laurie shrugs her shoulders. At least he doesn’t ask for a talking parrot like in one of those credit card commercials (or receive one with frequent purchase reward program).

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It’s a gorgeous, sexy, almost mid-century clock.  Kiss, kiss, kiss.  I go to work decorating once it comes home and my husband touches it, opens the back, shines the glass, strokes the wood with a lovely hand and a tad of cleaner.  He does things that we keep secret in his workshop.  After all, Cogsworth in The Beauty in The Beast didn’t want his private parts to be exposed either!  I place it on top of another one of our acquisitions, a 1937 Stromberg Carlson.  That beast has its own story, to be written at a later date by my husband (it weighs like 250-300lbs! HOLY CRAP!) cogsworth

Maybe, I live in one BIG Disney movie.  Pirates of the Caribbean or Beauty and the Beast?  Best yet, we have to rewind our recorded TV every  hour in order to hear what just came out of Shemar Moore’s mouth!  Our little mighty 1940’s Cogsworth talks loud! We miss important case discoveries from Criminal Minds and “What did Tim Gunn just say?”   I am amused when the past interferes with the present.  Dear Lordy, Shemar Moore is very important. That must mean that Mike would rather hear from Heidi Klum rather than Tim Gunn?  Augh- the clock just chimed, sorry Mike can’t find the remote! “Make it work!”  Good thing Mike gets paid to make clocks work.

shamar mooreheidi klumtim_gunn2

The Topping on the Cake

In Collecting, Inspirational, Uncategorized on April 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Elephant birthdayIn honor of my husband’s Easter birthday and a suggestion by my good friend Edwina, here is a post regarding cake.  Who doesn’t love cake? I mean what can bring an office together faster than birthday cake?  “Hey Frank, did you go to the break room and get a piece of cake yet? No, whose birthday is it? I don’t know, but there’s cake.”   Cake brings enemies together and turns them into instant “frien-enemies”  Shazahm – just like that!  A simple office cake can be a nice sheet cake from a grocery store bakery. Ordered the day prior, picked up on the day, simple personalization optional.  Done. Birthday celebration over with.  Luck strikes if you throw in birthday plates, napkins and half the day off.

However, there is a special cake that is saved for home and family members only.  The kind where the wife or mother (that’s me) spends time making the cake from scratch AND makes home-made butter cream frosting.  My mouth is drooling at the thought.  From childhood to adulthood your cake can be chosen based on your personal preference that year. Shall it be german chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, double chocolate?  The decor on top can reflect your current interests.  Men might have a golf green complete with tee’s and a plastic man wearing knickers.  A child might have the latest cartoon character.  Better yet, back in the 1970’s it was quite P.C. to have little red plastic Indians and white cowboys holding guns.

cakeIndians

cakeIndians2

This whole blog idea came from a nudge as I have stated from Edwina all the way in Australia.  She runs a lovely blog showing off all her vintage collectables that are also for sale.  She posted some good ol’ vintage cake toppers and my mind became flooded with childhood memories of birthdays gone by.  My most memorable cake, who knows what age it was declared for, was little plastic ballerinas.  They had crowns, just like princesses and were molded into some graceful position. (as graceful as cheap plastic molded in Hong Kong could get)  As my mother NEVER made anything other than sheet cakes, and most certainly NEVER took the time to make home-made butter cream frosting, the ballerina’s, let’s say, “took the cake“.  Having been a dancer then with many dreams of twirling myself on stage, it was that personal touch that told me that I was special.  It was MY birthday.  It was a celebration of me.  Well, isn’t that what birthdays are for?  It’s the best day of the year.  Celebrating you.

Top of the Cake

I have had the fun of decorating my kitchen in antique/vintage kitchen decor.  That of course includes cake servers and an ubber cool 3 gallon crock that reads “CAKE” in bold typographic letters.  Word has it that it was housed in a bakery serving up mini cakes in the late 1800’s.  Now it’s in my kitchen displayed with love.  I snag up from auction, unless the bidding gets too high, vintage cake carriers.  I can sell those pretty fast, as they are all over Pinterest and magazines. Unfortunately, I haven’t sold a one, simply because I haven’t let them leave my house!  (the hazards of buying and selling antiques).  I must add that I covet an antique cake server that my mother has that was her mothers.  Oh, it’s so pretty.  Mustard yellow bakelite handle,  held by many of my loved ones serving up birthday cake from years gone by.  Oh, how cake has served us well! No pun, well maybe a little.  I find myself wanting cake and I didn’t even know it was so important to me.  I thought I liked pie better. (I even had cherry pie one year for my birthday. My mother was grateful because she only had to go to the store for that one)  Thank you Edwina, I feel the urge to collect vintage cake toppers.  I am admittedly, trying to blame my Aussie friend.  However, what she doesn’t know is that I have for some reason acquired wedding toppers and have saved all my and my brothers toppers from the past.  I guess the joke is on me, I’ve been a collector for years and didn’t even know it.  Here are a few pictures of my shelving in my kitchen.

cake crock

kitchen display

avacodo cake carrier

For all the years we have left to celebrate birthdays please do so in style.  Decorate that cake for your loved ones!  Request your unique style for your birthday cake! Don’t hide behind that age! Don’t shy away from attention!  It’s your day.  The day we celebrate you.  Honey, your top of the cake! Have your cake and eat it too!

Here is a very yummy cake recipe I strongly recommend.  Posted many years ago in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine Chocolate Edition, formerly named “Deep Chocolate Cake with Double Malt Topping”    Here it is currently listed as “Chocolate cake with Malt Topping”  It’s my choice for my birthdays past and will be my future requests (if that’s what my mood would like!)  You will work hard for that cake, not a simple recipe.  But, I will tell you this, it’s worth every birthday memory in the making.  Celebrate the right way in honor of being born to us any which way that you feel happy and surrounded with love.

Sharon & MeI'm only 182011 bday

p.s.  you do not have to actually admit how old you are on your cake.  As you can see, despite how it looks, I am older than my husband.  Unless, those are five candles lit next to the number 5?  I’m forever 18, and he’s forever 5.  Don’t believe me?  You should see his best kindergartner handwriting. Just keep them guessing, just keep them guessing.

It’s in the trunk

In Collecting, Family Heirlooms, Inspirational, Reinventing/Recycling, Uncategorized on March 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm

trunks & cases

You always hope there is something inside a trunk when you open the lid.  Sometimes when lucky, there is a tray/insert inside and you get another chance at discovering something underneath.  One more moment of hope and anticipation.  Funny how our minds think that no one else had the same thoughts, like there was no one before us doing the very same thing.  However, that is exactly what we are looking for.  That someone before us that left something behind. I say ‘something’ because our minds are never too specific on what it has to be.  Of course the joke is always money, but truly we seek something that is more valuable.  Now, there’s the theory of GEO caching where all you truly do find is junk inside of a box.  That is different in a way because you are actively seeking the next station to find your treasure.  A trunk, now that’s a whole nother adventure on its own.  We stumble upon trunks. They feel mysterious, unpredictable. Tell us a story dear old smelly trunk.   Did it belong to the piano man?  “Sing us a song, your the piano man”  Did it make travels across the country by train or by ship?  “Ride Captain Ride, Upon Your Mystery Ship. On Your Way To A World That Others Might Have Missed”   Military – which war and where? Maybe it was a Lady’s trunk preserving precious moments from her childhood.  It doesn’t always have to be a treasure per say, just something that feels undiscovered or forgotten that you made alive again.  Alive once again.

Luck had it one day when we stumbled upon two estate sales.  Funny, I suppose you figured out we didn’t actually “stumble” upon them. Yes, we strategically planned our attack on getting from one to another in the correct amount of time AND on the last day which usually is half off the marked prices.  You see here, this is my mode of thinking.  Swoop in on the last day, don’t pay the high dollar, and clean up what others think to be worthless.  Yes mam, or sir, I DO make money doing that.  Admittedly, we do wonder what we missed at full price.  I always tell my husband to not think about the radios and clocks that had to of sold for “big money”.   Of course we could get a number, wait in line, elbow around all those dealers.  Nah, I prefer to take my time.  Feel the goods. Pick and choose.  Look for the story.  I haven’t been wrong yet, well maybe that wood children’s potty chair from World Mission Thrift Store.  (money went to a good cause!)   I am a calm and patient person.  (seriously)  I wait for what is meant to be, come to me.  “Come to Butthead” Mike is more like Beavus.  He’s not very patient, but kind.   Our luck gave us two amazing trunks and an adorable, CLEAN suitcase.  Even better, each had a treasure inside.  No kidding! So, my story continues.

Mrs.Lester Hill

Mrs. Lester Hill, also known as “Peggy Darling”, once owned this very trunk that now resides in my sunroom.

Trunk Display

Usually, a writer keeps you wanting more, waits till the end to give the best.  I’m starting with “Peggy Darling”  The initials on this trunk states, J M H in red paint. We know her name to be Peggy, based on a letter written to her by her husband that was found in the trunk. Hence, M for Margaret. H for Hill, obviously from the last name on the envelope and per her overseas husband’s letter.  J will remain a mystery.  Outside of this beloved trunk were several shipping labels via rail that stated destinations and declaring books as most of her content. Inside, oh you wait for it.  Recall that suspense of wondering what could be?  Let me back track.  For some strange reason, nor I, my husband, nor the estate sale employees ever opened the trunk.  They threw a price sticker on this trunk without caring what could be in it.  After all, it didn’t rattle when it was moved.  Nothing heavy of value, right?  Mike found it with other things and brought it up to me while I was already in line and said “what do you think, should we get it?”  (sometimes we do that when we think we’ve seen it all and make the commitment to be done. Then one of us looks around more, just in case) The price was right and we took it home.  Right on our front lawn as I decide to take pictures before cleaning them up, we investigate.  Curiosity takes the lead.  The story unfolds of Lester Hill and his wife, Margaret.  In 1945, Lester was stationed in Biarritz, France with the United States Army.  Mr. Hill worked at the Biarritz American University, Science Section, Mathematics Branch.  As stated in his letter to his wife he supposedly was “very, very lonesome”, he impressed the “beaucoup French women” with his “fluency in their language”.  He then goes on telling her that she needed to send the tobacco and chocolate bars that he had already asked for and that she wrote her letter S like the number 3 and that she better cut that out.  Let’s not forget about the tax bill of $8.10 that he reminded her twice to pay.  Men. Guess he better go to bed a little earlier than 3am after partying at the Officers Club with the French women.  (yes, he did tell her that).  Maybe she kept the letter for leverage later?  French Language guides, French newspaper clippings where men are frozen in time looking handsome in uniform, and military manuals filled the top tray of the trunk.  BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  Upon lifting the tray, my husband discovered the rest of the story.  Mrs. Lester Hill’s wedding dress. All “wows” aside, there was the treasure.  Not just the dress, but the story.  Here were her beloveds.  We can tell the story not from the details, but from what was most cherished. Whether it was hardship or elation, here lies the beginning of her story.  From wedding (early part of the 1940’s), Lester’s job in New York as a professor, being shipped to France as a civilian to teach, and her letters that kept a relationship while apart.  The treasure.

Treasure in the trunk

Trunk Tresuare

The other two trunks are a bit of a let down compared to the first one, but none the less interesting.   It’s a good mystery here.  Just when I think I have it figured out, I find another clue.  My story really is a story based on SOME facts.  All I know is that once you get past the first trunk everything gets confusing and my story gets boring.  Honestly, somewhere between J. M. H, we go to J. H. M.  monogrammed on that lovely mustard suitcase.  Then there’s the military trunk  issued to Lieutenant Richard Marcus and then restamped upon promotion to Captain. The two trunks were at the same sale.  This apparently doesn’t HAVE to link them together as far as family relations.  There were return address labels that said Mrs. Richard Marcus. I guess saying that Peggy was a nickname based off her middle name could work.  J will remain a mystery.  Let’s call her Josephine.  For arguments sake, lets say that Peggy was called that by her father, Lester.  She then married Captain Richard. Fine, that works, but why in pray tell would a father talk to his daughter about French women and staying up till 3am with them, and “OH HOW I MISS YOU”.  Pay the darn tax bill daughter!  Hmm… We can create our own mystery story here.  Maybe “Peggy Darling” went and found herself a Captain instead of a civilian? The lovely mustard yellow suitcase in fantastic condition resides in my loft, suggesting travels yet taken. A simple note stuffed in the pocket written in pencil, “426 anniversary”.  Let’s let the stories create and travel to faraway lands.  Need a trunk?  I’ve got plenty

Marcus trunk

My Country Living Fair Part II, The Lovely People

In Collecting, Inspirational, Traveling & Antiques, Uncategorized on October 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

So, here’s the best part.  I get to talk about all the beautiful people who I met during the Country Living Fair, Columbus, Ohio, 2012.  I love my career, I know I’ve said that before.  But I do, I love my career.  I will share with you some amazing people out there that I have had the joy of meeting.  I am warning you that this will be a continuous blog entry (or it will be horribly long) You see that’s just it.   My husband and I get to meet amazing people everyday in this business.  It is a life business.  The kind where your life is enriched moment to moment.  I am touched by stories of success and struggle and long tales of where this and that came from.  History moves me.  The people attached to their history inspire me.  I love my job.   As I said in Part 1, I went to this fair expecting to see fun shopping and blow me away magazine venues.  I did.  What I didn’t expect were the people behind the scenes.  They were friends.  The real life friends that you take home with you in your heart and with inspiration to be who you strive to be.   I was in my happy place being able to be me.  Ohio does have something to do with it.  It’s one of those states that harbor the kind and generous type.  I also believe that people who choose to work in this type of business are “people” people.  At least, I do hope so.   See, here’s that always glass half full mentality in me.  Just as I say that my heart lifts and I feel childlike and then that sinking feeling happens and the reality side of me says “well except for those people who buy stuff cheap and turn it with greed”.  We’ve all met those.  You can see the deadness in their eyes.  It’s like this need to steal and make money from their swipe.  “Swiper No Swiping“.   They take from the old and tell them its not worth anything, lies, lies, lies.  Karma will get them in the end.  Mike and I have always said, if we are meant to have it, it will come.  Please everyone who buys and sells antiques, stick to the golden rule.  Always be honest and fair.  I will add rule number two, always listen to what you see and what you hear.  You might not get the story attached, but look at what you have and see if you can uncover it’s story. Then you shall know its value and its history.  It’s called respect.  There was a gentleman at the fair that had a huge wooden kitchen table for sale.  On two of the four corners (opposite of each other) were these huge indentations, as if it was used as a butcher block.  I couldn’t help but rub my hands all through those long slice marks, soft with age.  I smiled. I could feel a story.  The gentleman picked that up from me, I passed that feeling onto him across the booth.   The smile was infectious you see.  He then wanted to share the story to my honor.  He told of his mother using that farm table corner to hack the heads of the chickens that the kids would corale from the backyard.  I asked why opposite corners then?  He shrugged and simply stated, “We must have moved the table.” The unshaved face smiled.   I love this job.   My only problem lies in wanting to keep everything because “honey, it’s so cool!”  Giggle, this is where I just try to share my stories here and try to relinquish my worldly goods to you all.   You see, my husband and I love to find the antiques in order to preserve the past and share the love.  I believe that energy must pass through all inanimate objects.  After all, we all are made up of the same thing.  We are all just energy, and that I do have!

Jennifer Paganelli creator of Sis Boom Fabrics.  The simply beautiful Jennifer Paganelli.  I have to begin with her, stumbling upon this bright star was like seeing my dear friend Anita Roddick again.  Yes, I am comparing her to the lovely Anita Roddick.  I had the honor and joy of being in the presence of Anita, the founder of The Body Shop many times.  I am who I am today because of that beautiful Dame.  Jennifer, she is a shining star just like Anita.  I went into the Earth Angels Artists Showcase Tent to view a demonstration on making art from old books & vintage findings.  Instead, I met this lovely lady with the greatest smile.  I looked confused and she reached out to me, touched my arm and asked what she could do for me.  The energy that she passed to me was just like the star that she is.  If you have never seen her fabrics then take a look on her website.  You can see her lovely energy through her work.  Simply beautiful fabrics and inspiring creativity this woman puts into her designs.  We talked, we shared, we touched each others hearts.  Just like that, there in a tent at the Country Living Fair.  I love my job, I love people.  Jennifer looked into my eyes and said, “I know it hasn’t been easy, I can see in your heart that the journey has been tough.  Laurie, you will go far because you have a pure heart.”  I am crying right now!  I want to know how she knows, but I laugh as I even say that out loud because I KNOW these things when I meet people.  It was such a moment though to meet someone like me face to face.  That “I know you” feeling.  Not knowing a darn thing about the person, but you know everything based on that initial touch, the smiles, the eye contact.  Well Jennifer, it takes one to know one.  You my love will continue to go far because YOU are of pure heart.  Someday, I will have my own store and I will sell your gorgeous fabrics.

Pinned Image

I had to add this last picture that Jennifer posted on her Pinterest page.  This is her family.  Her mother has that amazingly infectious smile.  Pictures tell a thousand words.  This one tells me that the world is a beautiful place.  Notice that suitcase in two pictures? It really is as cute as it looks.  Decoupage Sis Boom Fabrics! Adorable!

Stay tuned for Country Living Fair Part III.  So many lovely people to write about!!  So many more photos!  Thank you Country Living Magazine!  If you aren’t already a subscriber, then grab that order form, get online, pick up the phone – do what it takes.  It’s love in a glossy magazine that comes to your door every month.  In the meantime, head over to their website www.countryliving.com/

p.s.  Here is Forever Bound Art on Pinterest!  Stop on by for some fun images!

p.p.s  Please take seven minutes and view the video link of Anita Roddick.  She truly was a gift to this earth and I will perminately head the crusade to honor her business practices and honor her memory.  Long live Dame Anita Roddick.

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.

Little Obessions

In Collecting, Family Heirlooms on August 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

It feels like an addiction.  The verdict is still out on whether it’s a healthy one or not.  Collecting stuff.   In our case, vintage or antique “stuff”.   Little pieces of memories or precious artifacts keep filling our home.  We weren’t  going to go to any estate sales this weekend, didn’t even check the newspaper.  I am driving to work and there’s that yellow sign showing me the way.  We went, after work that is.

I think there is more than one pull for me on collecting all these antiques.  As I have stated numerous times, I have a strong desire on preserving the past.  Telling their story, but also discovering it.  I let all these trinkets that come into our home “call” to me.  I pick something up and I feel.  Yes, feel.  Not like stroking my hands all over it, I’m not that weird.  But, feel.  What story does this have, what story can that tell me.  The Historian in me wants to hear the tale, but I even more strongly want to share it.  I want to be that story-teller, a modern-day folk tale. A gypsy without the lies.  Recently, I landed four boxes of a family’s life.  It feels like their entire life anyway.  Boxes of postcards, letters, pictures, date books, diplomas, newspaper clippings, all that personal paper that you can’t ever get rid of.  I own it now.  Or do I?  I certainly own the parafanaillia, but can I own their story? No, but I can cherish it and maybe even write about it. Mike and I spent hour after hour flipping through paper after paper, picture after picture.  Over a bottle of wine and my grandmother’s dining room table we pieced together how everyone was related based on old cursive hand writing.  We touched newspaper clippings from 1890’s regarding the beginning of prohibition.  I’m still blown away with having newspaper clippings from pre 1900’s.  History all over the place and I have been chosen to give it life once again.

Here lies just one of those reasons why I do what I do.   The breath of life and honoring one’s existence.  Holding hands with those that shaped who we are today.  Continuing to shed light for those who wonder what was.  Strengthening bonds of our foundation.  All of that and more.   Maybe someday I will make lots of money preserving the past, in the meantime I am blissfully happy finding what was.

Our Sunday Funday, Holy Pickin’!

In Clubs and Networking, Collecting, Jewelry, Traveling & Antiques on August 1, 2012 at 1:00 am

Little did we expect all the Antique fun we had this past Sunday!   Who knew there would be sales on Holy Day?  Our intention was to go view a few radios at a friend’s house after church.  Our unexpected journey began with a sign on a country road reading “Barn Sale”.  I think Mike almost went off the road.  We had that moment of questioning “Is it an old sign, Is it for real, Can it be?”   Sure enough we rolled up that road and that gorgeous red barn had its doors wide open welcoming us.   Not to mention it had that golden sign screaming “Furniture”!  Woohoo!  I think Mike would have passed out if the sign read “Old Radios”.   Though we didn’t end up with furniture or radios, I did get two galvanized buckets and some old milk bottles with carrier.  The fun began picking in church clothes.  I basically said, “Ah hell, the clothes will wash, rock it.”

As you have already read, this past weekend was the beginning of Mike’s retirement.  For retirement fun, and simply because I can, my beautician talked me into putting hot pink highlights into my already blonde highlighted hair. Mike loved it.   All weekend we kept saying to each other these two lines: “I’m retired (or Your retired)” and “I have pink hair (or YOU have PINK HAIR!)”  Of course the laughter went on from there, the sappy hand holding and lots of big smiles (and smooches).  So, needless to say, wearing church clothes and touring the country side stopping at yard sales in 90 degree weather added to the hilarity and much fun.

We headed onward towards our radio destination and lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, not expecting to be stopped once again by a golden yard sale sign.  “Oh by gosh, by golly, It’s time for mistletoe and holly”, I could have sworn it was Christmas in July.  Bought a vintage green umbrella (absolutely adorable, I have it hanging off a ladder back chair right now in our loft) and Mike got Beethoven’s  Symphonies Nos.1 and 9, 33 1/3 Long Play.  Even better yet,  the owner of the sale took notice to my Celtic Flower bracelet that I made.  She asked for a business card and BAM!  Here I was buying AND selling! Unbelievable! (you can view more of our work on Facebook, Forever Bound Art)

No countrysides covered in snow, but sure enough there was yet another sale.  Mike and I were euphoric with my pink hair and retired shopping attitudes.  This sign said “ANTIQUES”.  Be still my heart.  With our tummies rumbling and friends wondering where we were, we turned the corner and continued on in those church clothes and Alfani shoes.  This sale was the BEST ever.  Not because we purchased anything, but because we met wonderful people.  The absolute best part of this job.  American Pickers would agree to that statement.  I stepped out of the vehicle and had a very girl moment.  I yelled out to the three ladies near the barn “Have you seen any snakes?”  I might have squealled.  I try very hard to be all rough when I am in guy territory, but this here was a different story in my cute shoes out in the heat. All was well, they giggled and welcomed me with open arms.  Our antique sale was truly an antique sale.

This here is a picture of Jamie Herron Mitchell, one of the daughters selling with her mother. Simply adorable and fun-loving individual.

Jamie bequeathed us with this sign, stating that we needed it.  In case you are wondering, there is no cure for the Antique Pox.

When tummies were fed and radios were seen, we did make one last stop.   Making time to visit a fellow friend in the antique business who runs a booth in an antique mall.  He was not interested in a photo but agreed to take a picture of the sweaty church goers.  Here we are with a porcelain covered ashtray.  I wanted this trinket with a W on it to hang in our bedroom.  Pre-birthday gift I called it.  Yes, I bought from a picker at an antique mall.  I did get a friends and family discount 🙂  p.s. If anyone can identify this logo I’d greatly appreciate it.

It’s Christmas everyday with my husband and this career.  Man, I love antiques.  Happy Antique shoppping to you my friends, happy shopping!

Hello? Can anyone hear me?

In Collecting on July 16, 2012 at 9:59 am

image

The Telephone Collectors International had quite the display on July 13-14th in Lansing,Michigan.  Log on to their website for member information http://www.telephonecollectors.org.    These pay phones from the 50’s – 60’s would set you back around $200.  Someday, our household will have one. TRES CHIC!

image

 My empty wall that NEEDS a vintage pay phone hung on it!  They can be wired so you can answer them, you just can’t dial out.  That is fine with me!  Notice the crock to the bottom left?  That holds all of our phone chargers and keys.  The picture is not vintage.  My youngest son’s water color painting of an apple from Kindergarten hangs in a floating frame.  We love to mix antiques with all of our new and personal items when we decorate.

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