Posts Tagged ‘antiques’

I spent today working on one of my New Year’s Resolutions: decluttering. Actually, it went more like rearranging, but I’m working on the casting off of stuff. Really.

I started in the loft. I figure if I can get this area under control, the rest of the house should be easy. I ignore the loft more than I do the rest of the house because I don’t have to live in the loft – I just walk through on my way to my studio or on my way to the stairs to return to the main level.

I am in no means ready to declare a victory.


That’s only a partial view of what I have left to do. So many books, so few bookshelves. I put two books in the Yard Sale Pile. The boxed collection of Misty by Marguerite Henry (Okay, that’s four books right there) and The Casual Vacancy by J,K, Rowling. The former is simply too juvenile for my collection although I love Marguerite Henry (and I still may retrieve it). The latter is… well: did anyone like it? I never made it through the first chapter. Maybe I associate J.K. Rowling with the brilliance that is Harry Potter. This book isn’t that.


The loft is a strange space with very little room. I fit a narrow set of crates here by the light switch. Ignore everything around the books: things may be moved in the future. My great-grandmother’s leather-bound collection of Classics sits on top in it’s own box – everything from Wadsworth to Shakespeare to Arabian Nights. This is all fiction.


Many of my antique books are right here now, with a few antique or collectible items (all the crates are collectibles). That thermos? It’;s original and has never been broken. Serious. It has the glass lining.


I haven’t added all the books to this corner – more fiction. Arwen’s autoharp that my dad gave her. My little sister bought it at some antique sale and gave it to my mother. My dad passed it on to my oldest. We tried to have it tuned when she first got it, but the Internet (as we know it now) did not exist and we couldn’t find anyone who knew anything about autoharps. Now, you can just google it and all sorts of hits come up. Some day, I hope my daughter will take it and learn how to tune and play it. It may be warped, however, and maybe will never hold a tune.


My father asked me why I painted a white tail. I was offended. The photo I worked from was a big old Mule deer in rut. I can see why he made the remark: it was his way of giving me constructive criticism. I got carried away when I worked on the antlers. It doesn’t matter: I captured what I wanted to capture, and that was the lighting. I will never offer it for sale because of the words of my father. (Note: this photo is true to the color. The previous photo was taken without a flash and is not true to the color.)

010My father & his older sister. I created the frame with fir cones. My dad was probably 2 and his sister was a year older – the year his mother died.


I’m not sure who this belonged to, but it was worn by some family member.


The heart was created by my dear friend, Janie, when I was pregnant with my very first child. It’s so classic of her talent. Levi’s hand print in 1995 goes so well with the embroidered heart.


This is the reason for this post. No, not the Lava Lamp (although that one is a classic). The trophy buck is the reason.


Back up to the lamp. A friend had the lamp in his possession. It was 1960’s weird. I repainted the base to basic black (possibly ruining any collector’s value of an original 1960’s Lava Lamp that still works). It’s great. If I were to plug it in, it’s totally 1960’s Lava Lamp weird.

I just want you to know that.


But that rack! It’s a black-tail. Four point, by western standards. 8-point by eastern. Symmetrical.

Donald and I had a special camping place that the U.S. Forest Service has since blocked the road to. No reason, just they had to block the spur road to this place. A lot of people would go there, camp, hike down to a little lake and fish. I have a name for the lake because the first time I visited it was from the bottom:

“Just a Quarter Mile Hike Lake” – yeah. Right. Straight up a freaking cliff. And when we got there, we discovered there was a spur road down to within a couple hundred yards of the lake.¬† Some day I will tall that tale.

In later years, we referred to the spot as “Mossy Rock” because there is a rock slide of ancient history that is covered in a deep carpet of soft mosses.

The whole area is deep ravines, pristine creeks, rock slides, boulders, small lakes filled with small trout and salamanders, and native plants all around. A lot of good memories.

One year when Don & I camped there, we were playing in the deep forest and boulders, down-fall, and moss. We came across a skeleton of a deer. It was intact, only a little disturbance by mice and rodents. The head is what we brought home: that perfect four-point black tail buck.


We don’t know how he died. But his skull was our gift. He must have been beautiful.

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I missed so many yard sales this summer! I shouldn’t feel terrible about that because I really need to have a yard sale of my own and get rid of a ton of clutter instead of buying more clutter, but I do feel a twinge of sadness in having missed so many bargains.

Of course, I did hit a few yard sales that were duds, plain and simple. One notable one was touted as “Estate Sale! Everything Must Go!” I arrived on the first day of the sale. They would have done better to have rented a dumpster and let the city haul it all off to the land fill.

The month of September has been kind to me, however. I found some pretty cool (to me) junk for just a few dollars.


What I like best about this photo is the fact that I left the sale tag on it. Heck, I think the tag is still on it! One of these minutes, I will remember and will peel that bright orange circle off. It was a silly purchase, but one that said it belonged on my house, by my front door. It says something about the inhabitants of this home, the bug lovers who dwell here.


A bird house? This was seriously a silly purchase. A creature had chewed on it, the doll in front is missing an arm, and I don’t have a bird house collection.




It adds a certain charm to my garden – so maybe it wasn’t such a silly purchase after all. I’m not going to attempt to fix it up: I like it as it is, a little rough around the edges.


We don’t even have light switches that will work in this. It’s brass. It’s funky. It’s going to hang somewhere outside. I just don’t know where yet. I do have a power drill that is all my own, so when I do decide were it will go – I won’t have to bother my husband with the details. He’ll be as surprised as anyone else.


I picked up this tin horse at the second-most funky of yard sales. Most of the merchandise was old lotions and powders from a stuffy bathroom. A pre-teen age girl was sitting at a card table acting as cashier. An elderly man wandered around picking things up and taking them back into the house.

“Grandpa, we’re selling that!”

“No, I want it.”

The mother and father wandered out as I bought the tin horse. I’ll try to refrain commenting on them, but they weren’t at the top of the ladder, if you know what I mean. And they didn’t have any change. Usually, when you have a yard sale, you stock up on change.

But the girl at the card table was cute, so I donated a buck to her cause.


And I removed all the paint when I got the tin horse home. It will get a new coat, eventually.


oil or acrylic on tissue paper covered canvas board. $0.25 each, “as is”.


Framed and hanging by my desk, Artist Unknown. They remind me of a children’s book series I have been reading: The Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy.

Outside of yard sales, we inherited two beautiful crochet doilies. My sister-in-law, Debbie, gave them to my husband this summer. They were created by their great grandmother on their father’s side. Today, I put the doilies into frames.


I cut a printed calico just a hair larger than the cardboard backing. I chose something that was mottled, rather than a single color, thinking it would add depth and character to the doilies.

002I hot-glued it into place on the back side, stretching the fabric tight.

003I marked where I wanted the ribbon to go.


And I hot glued the ribbon in place.


I used different ribbon, so each doily is presented¬† in just a slightly different manner. Aren’t they beautiful?

We’re arguing about where they should be hung. My husband thinks about things like studs and placement of nails in walls and I think only of aesthetics.

I’ll win the argument solely because I will simply hang them one day when he is not at home. And that will be that.



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