Forever Bound Art

Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

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 Tarzan Call

In Furniture, Inspirational, Uncategorized on December 3, 2012 at 11:42 am

TarzanYodelAhhhAhhhAhhhAhhh!  Mind you that The Tarzan Call is quite like a yodel and has many octaves. Carol at her finest.  Or maybe it’s her silliest?  Like my other favorite star, Lucille Ball, these women played many roles.  From Miss A’ Wiggins to Scarlett O’Hara and Lucy as a chocolatier to a grape stomper.  My life ladies and gentlemen.  Where’ve I been?  Why Stomping grapes and wearing curtains.  Well, not exactly, but close.

MyLaughterScarlettgrapestomper

Since my trip to the Country Living Fair you haven’t seen much in the blog entires.  Those of you who follow us on Facebook have had a better time keeping track of our busy growing business! Let me tell you, boy have we played the roles!  Mike and I decided to lease a 12×12 space in an antique mall since writing to you all this past October.  What fun and strategy that took.  Getting our antiques moved there (first locating them throughout the entire house!) and how to decorate our new store proved time-consuming!  Like I said, fun but lots of thought-provoking strategy.  With grand adventure that meant refinishing furniture a tad faster.  I’m here to tell you, people are buying American Furniture!  We’ve sold more furniture “than you can shake a stick at.”   Side story: yes that last phrase is a bit strange, I admit.  My husband, the former cop.  When I met that man I never knew that he’d come with more lines “than you can shake a stick at.” I guess they’ve stuck on me now.  Apparently, police officers spend a lot of time standing around coming up with very descriptive ways to describe the situation better than another.  You know how important cop stories are don’t you?  Wait till you get the opportunity to hear a bunch of RETIRED cops chatter.  Oh boy.  You might end up “Hauling the Mail” to get out of there, or maybe you will hang around to make sure “everything is according to Hoyle“.  I mean that is “S.O.P.” (standard operating procedure) Honestly, it’s just part of my adorable husband.  That man keeps me humored all day.  So needless to say with us,  part of these past months must be chartered to how much fun we’ve had!

LeapingCarolAs some of you may know, I am the lead singer in a rock and roll band.  Sigh, it makes me so incredibly happy!  I LOVE TO SING!

Elf Loves to Sing!But the VERY best part….. My best friend just joined the band!  That’s right!  I get to sing in a band with the sexiest guitarist EVER!  Mike finally brought his guitar and ended his ‘groupie’ career.  Woohooo! Not only do I get to spend my days in a fun day job with my husband, I get to share with him my most favorite way of expressing myself (and letting off day job stress)!  Awww man, Smiling IS my favorite!

Smiling is my Favorite

RetirementGig

It’s obviously the holiday season and therefore we’ve also been busy making jewelry.  Came up with a few new designs.  My most popular and the most fun to make I might add, have been my original designs.  I have gotten into taking vintage costume jewelry and creating new designs! Head over to our Facebook page and check out Forever Bound Art’s jewelry.

Mike has been also taking on clientele.  My handyman fixes clocks, vintage radios, and amplifiers (among everything else he touches).  I am so incredibly happy to see him hard at work and loving every minute of his ‘retirement’.  His talent is not going unforseen.  I caught him in one of the worst parts of his job.  Testing the vintage amplifier out after fixing it.  Oh how terrible!  Inject sarcasm here.

Michael Amplifier testing

Michael Amplifier testing

Happy Holidays from Forever Bound Art and MidWest Antique Sales & Repair! May your holidays be filled with best friends, laughter, music, and a bit of wearing a curtain rod over your shoulder.  Be the best you can be and bring out the best in your friend!  Rock on Vintage Friends!

friendship

Friendship

Friendship

Never Least, Country Living Fair Part III, The Historic Location

In Clubs and Networking, Foundations, Inspirational, Traveling & Antiques, Uncategorized on October 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

     Thank you all for waiting for blog entry three from the Country Living Fair, Columbus, Ohio.   Since our journey into the Country Living Magazine pages back in September, I have been euphoric and blessed.   I continue to find inspiration in stuff (from my previous blog entries you will know my relationship with “stuff”) and am mesmerized by all the stories I heard along the way.  My head swims when I locate a business card that I shoved in some pocket, or in the suit case that I just unpacked.  Yikes, I know, how many weeks has it been sitting on my bedroom floor filled? ( I did get the dirties out immediately, so in my mind I was done).  I could keep going on and on about how fantastic it was, can you tell that I loved the fair?  Hooray Country Living Magazine!  However, I want to tell my last story with much love about The Ohio Historical Society.  This Society truly knows what it is doing, preserving our rich American history.  If I had more money then Bill Gates I would give it to The Ohio Historical Society, and PBS.   Instead, I am a wee poor child surrounded by her antiques and cats. I actually have a grander life than that, I just thought it would paint the picture better than “extremely blessed with three children, loving parents and the most amazing husband in the world.”  I shall do what I do best, speak and honor their efforts and tell my story with rich words and much conviction.

The Fair is blissfully located at the Historical Societies Ohio Village in Columbus, Ohio.  Couldn’t be a better place to hold a fair in this re-created 19th Century Ohioan town.  There is a working garden, Town Hall, Schoolhouse, General Store (in which CL sold their fair merchandise), bank, American House Hotel, and much more.

As you can see in the photographs above,  it’s volunteer based and packed with WOW factor.  They had herbs for sale at the fair and they sure did smell amazing!  I couldn’t help but take this picture of how they hung them on the fence.  How could you not buy any?

On that volunteer note – I couldn’t have been more impressed with the amount of support the Ohio Historical has.  It seems that many societies, foundations, clubs etc. spend a large amount of time hoping for more help, more interest in what they are working for.  Here in Ohio, the amount of dedication is evident.  My heart fills with joy and pride that our country has a state like Ohio serving and protecting our history and it’s historical sites.  Take Rose Frazier, a volunteer for the society.  She and several other amazing women spend their time showing interested onlookers how lace was and still is made today.  As my family watched on (and maybe a tad bored with me), I learned how to make lace with my own hands.  I laughed, I concentrated hard, and then had the rush of realization that I too could make lace.  Thank you Mrs. Frazier, what a wonderful teacher you are.  See how volunteers can inspire?

Not only did Mrs. Rose Frazier pass on her expertise, but she willingly sent me off with information to get me started.  For me to blog about too!  The Great Lakes Lace Group has a Facebook page to be sure to look into. The other group that came highly recommended was the International Old Lacers, I.O.L.I.  All this great information AND a bit of history thrown in there too.    I send you off with some photographs that I took of the Ohio Villages stunning structures.  Job well done Country Living Magazine with choosing Ohio as one of your Fair Locations.  The Ohio Village is brilliant and much deserves the attention.  I highly recommend a trip to any of Ohio’s historical sites and landmarks.  Travel to this grand state and enjoy America at its finest.

Although my entries are considered finished for the Country Living Fair, I am sure that I will throw tidbits here and there out there in future posts.  I truly did meet amazing people that have helped guide me in my antique journey.  People and events shape who you are.  Moments can lead to inspiration and personal motivations, or let us say goals to be obtained.  My goal (Mike thinks I’m crazy mad!) is to be at the Country Living Fair, Ohio, 2013 – IN MY OWN ANTIQUE BOOTH!  Holy crap, I said it out loud.  Do you know how expensive that is Laurie Ann, do you know how much work that is!  There, I said it, I lectured myself, that part is done.  Dream and goal sent to the heavens.  Godspeed

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.

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