Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Furniture Arranging Made Easy

I've been playing with different furniture arrangements lately and found an online tool that makes it fun. Really! What's more...it's free and easy to use.  I can't wait to share it with you...

The site is maintained by Bob's Discount Furniture Company but don't let that scare you away. You can log on and check off that you do not want to receive advertising by mail or to your e-mail account. Here's a link to the site.

I have nothing to do with Bob's Discount Furniture...I've never even shopped there...but this site is great. In fact, it was so much fun to use that I stayed up way too late last night playing house with it.
You can even add plants and pets!

And it's all to scale. Here's my craft room...

There are icons for every room, including the patio, game room and garage. There are TVs, kayaks, rugs, appliances, exercise equipment lawn furniture, walls, doors and toilets to choose from. You can even change the size and add color and text.

It sure beats this...

Gotta' go and rearrange the family room...
here's to another late night!

Monday, March 12, 2012



Little sequences of deeds and effects...

The concept that good deeds are returned to you...

That what goes around...comes around.

I've always found that, when I'm having a bad day, the best way to get myself out of the funk is to do some little act of kindness for someone else. It works for me.

Saturday morning, I took my coffee up to the craft room to dig through the mess left from my last few episodes of postmenopausal hyperactivity creative energy.

As I sorted through piles of  brightly colored quilting fabrics left from various projects, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them...

I would pack them up in a box from the attic and mail them to the cozy little house of a friend who has been having some bad karma recently.

I'd pay it forward...in fabric.

As I was digging through the bins, I felt something hard between two layers of calico. I dug down to see what it was...

And pulled out a ring I had lost over a year ago. This ring meant the world to me and I've looked everywhere for it. It's a little sterling silver friendship ring that is inscribed with a cancer awareness ribbon and the word "HOPE".

My sister Nancy gave it to me.  
She wore one and I wore the other.
Until I lost mine.

Nancy is wearing hers on her right hand in this photo. (Don't you love her teal nails? Teal is the color for ovarian cancer and we all sported "teal toes" and teal nails during her illness.)

If I hadn't gone through that bin of fabric to pass some of it on to a friend, I would never have found the ring.


I think so.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Shawnee Surprise

Last weekend, my friend, Sandy, and I met at the local flea market for a morning of thrifting and catching up. At lunch, Sandy surprised me with a belated Christmas present...

A  perfect piece of Shawnee miniature pottery to add to my collection. The "USA" mark on the bottom authenticates the piece.

The Shawnee Pottery in Ohio started making miniatures of their full size vases and pitchers in 1937 and continued through the late 40's. Each miniature is no more than 3" high. I wrote about collecting Shawnee miniatures in a February 2011 post; if you would like to learn more about them, you can read the old post here.

Sandy also brought me this little pitcher to add to my collection of M.E. Hadley pottery. The Hadley Pottery Company is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and the designs on each piece are hand-painted.

Since we live in an old farmhouse, the rural country scenes depicted on these pottery pieces really appeal to me.

I'm not sure how Sandy finds these little treasures. I literally look everywhere I go for Shawnee miniatures and have not found one in recent years...Sandy has now found two, which she very thoughtfully has given to me. (Don't you love flea market friends?)

My "new" Shawnee piece will now live with my other Shawnee miniatures...

 in this little cupboard...

in a corner of my kitchen.

Mark Twain said, "The very marks on the bottom of a piece of rare crockery are able to throw me into a gibbering ecstasy."  Mr. Twain...I agree!

Yours in gibbering ecstasy,

This post is linked to:
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Potpourri Friday at 2805

Monday, March 5, 2012

Collectible Kitsch Ceramics

My sister, Nancy, received this planter when she recovering from a childhood surgery. She kept it on her dresser when we were kids and, as an adult, used it to hold pens and pencils in her craft room. In fact, she held on to it for 52 years...

It was one of the few things I wanted after she lost her cancer battle...because it brings back happy memories of her as a child.

When Nancy's  husband, Aaron, brought me her scarves two weeks ago, the little planter was in the bottom of the bag.

I didn't think it had a lot of value but I liked the fact that it is dated 1958 ...the year Nancy was six. I looked up the company, Relpo, and learned that they are primarily known for many of the head vases that are so collectible now. 

Although I've been known to say that something looks "kitschy". I hadn't realized until I looked up Nancy's piece that "kitsch ceramics" is a term used to describe the thousands of mass-produced ceramic figurines that were so popular after WWII. Most were cheaply made in Japan...but many are now collectibles.


It seems that when I was a young girl in the 1950's, every girl my age had a "collection" of inexpensive ceramic animals, Siamese cats, or poodles on her dresser (displayed on a lacy pastel dresser scarf, of course). Maybe that's because they were available in every dime store in every small town and were one of few things we could actually afford with our 25 cent weekly allowances.

I always had this elephant on my dresser...now it's on my daughter's. My sister, Andi, and I each got one. I remember that the only way we could tell them apart was that one had a tiny green dot of paint on the back and the other didn't...and telling your stuff apart from your sister's stuff was very important as a kid!

My mother displayed a Relpo rooster just like this on our kitchen table in the 50's. Knowing my mother, a product of the Depression years, she's probably still got it somewhere.

My folks passed this ceramic Santa mug on to me at Christmas a few years ago. Inside was a little slip of folded paper on which my Mom had written, "We've put this out every Christmas since you were a baby...it's over 50 years old." (Doesn't every woman wants to be reminded of her age at the holidays?)

I'm happy to have Nancy's little Valentine girl on my dresser now. I feel as if I am taking care of it for her.

Who knows, maybe I'll start collecting more pieces on my flea market travels. Did any of you collect  kitschy little ceramic pieces when you were a kid? Have you saved any of them?

I'd love to hear your stories.

This post is linked to:
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life

Friday, March 2, 2012

More Stops Along the Road

It seems that in my last post I forgot a few ladies who absolutely have to come along on our virtual road trip.

My sister, Joanne, found "Ramblin' Rose" at the junkyard...

So how could I not invite her to come along?

Joanne has her own little t@b trailer...already decorated for a dream trip down Route 66.

Now we've got room for more passengers on our little road trip through blogland.

Like my dear friend, Sandy. She and I often talk about taking a road trip together...we've just never managed to actually do it. In preparation, though, she made me a little album, noting favorite routes across the country and stops we could make along the way. So Sandy, you're invited on this one...and bring your camper...I think we're going to need it!

With my Casita, that will make three campers...plenty of room for all of you!

So get your virtual suitcase packed...

And don't forget your camera...with Brenda along with us, we're bound to learn how to take good photos.

Let's "Cowgirl Up", make a few detours, and pick up more of our blog sisters...

Like Lakeesha in Chicago...

Lakeesha and I became "blog girlfriends" when we were both grieving losses. I think we each found writing our blogs to be one way of healing. Lakeesha wrote that she would like to join us on our virtual trip...how could I have forgotten her in my previous post?

"Grandma Barb" (don't you love that "handle"?)  has asked to join our little caravan of crazy bloggers too...she's in Minnesota so we can pick her up on our way to see Vickie's sock monkeys.

Now that we've filled two of our three campers, it's time to hit the road again...

After all, we've got places to go and more bloggers to see.
Next up is one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Jane. Jane's blog, Mamie Jane's is amazing. Allow yourself at least a whole day to see it all. She takes vintage "junk" and transforms it into amazing decorative items for her home...and she even shows the rest of us how she does it.

Jane was featured in the Fall/Winter issue of Flea Market Style...and I'm still wondering when she will get her own show on HGTV. (Jane would blow "House Hunters" right out of the water!)

Source: HGTV.com

Luckily, Route 66 winds right through Missouri. so Jane...we're on the way. I think you deserve a few special blogger hugs right now, too.

Sherry from Back To Vintage will have to come along too.

She has a knack for finding antique malls and vintage bargains. Mississippi isn't that far off our route is it?

After we pick up Sherry, it's back to Texas for our little group of vintage dream travelers...we've still got room in our third camper...

For Geneva. In her blog, My Heart's Song, Geneva writes about transitioning into retirement and remodeling a mobile home. Geneva commented that she would love to decorate a vintage trailer...so let's invite her to come along.

Source: http://nancysvintagetrailers.blogspot.com/
And how could I have forgotten CeeKay, in Arizona? Although I don't know CeeKay well, I admire  her greatly. Somehow, while battling ovarian cancer, she manages to write a blog, raise a family and decorate a beautiful home. You can visit her at her blog, Thinkin' of Home.
(I'm not sure that CeeKay actually lives anywhere near Winslow, Arizona,  but I've always wanted to stand on a corner there!)

Nancy's kitchen stencil
The idea for a road trip was actually hatched by my sister Nancy and I one day in 2004 when we were sitting in her little kitchen booth making our summer plans...so I have to include this photo from our 2007 trip. (Our last "road trip" was in 2008...you can read about it here, at the blog Nancy and I wrote together.)

We were both a little a lot heavier back then but I think we figured that if we were color-coordinated we'd blend in with the camper and no one would notice. I know that Nancy will be with us in spirit  on our blogger road trip...and I guarantee she will bless us with lots of laughter along the route.

So we're on our way again and, as the sign says, the road never ends.

Wouldn't it be fun if some day we could turn this little road trip dream of mine into reality and actually all meet up for our own blogger Cowgirl Prom?

Source: http://www.sistersonthefly.com/

How much fun would that be?

This travelin' post is linked to:
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff & Nonsense
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Potpourri Friday at 2805
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence
Sisters Sunday at Sisters of the Wild West