Posts Tagged ‘collectibles’

Last week, I set out on a journey of closure. I traveled with my brother (and only remaining immediate family member) to Ely, Nevada, to watch my sister’s youngest graduate from high school (her mother died in 2000). I’ll post on that in the near future. The trip also included a visit to the WW1 Memorial in Eugene, OR, to look for my great uncle’s name so I could draw to an end the story of Dale D. Melrose (another future blog post). And for a more complete closure of the loss of my parents and my baby sister, my brother and I loaded up all the stuff I left in Reno five years ago and hauled it north to my home.

Today, I unloaded the three Dow Chemical crates full of the stuff my mother used to switch out in the china hutch. The crates are round, stand about 23″ tall, and have a radius of 15″. 001The contents of crate #1, packed in 1970 when we moved from Winnemucca to Ely.

002Crate #2, also packed in 1970.

008Crate #3, packed in 1973.

I am missing the box with the items that were inside the china hutch when Dad died. I may yet find it in the boxes I brought home, and I hope I do – Chrystal’s things were in that box.

It’s a lot of stuff, and the wonder of it all, is that I actually have room for most of it in my own storage places. Some of it, I may let go – but that is a bridge I do not have to cross today.

012Pewter, silver, and tin.

013I see myself researching this dish in the future. It’s some kind of serving dish, very ornate, with the pedestal welded on.

014This is very cool!

015A memento of travels (my lens cap is also in my hand).

0211933 Chicago World’s Fair memento.


017Love this vintage green crystal dish!

019The swans are beads upon beads set into a styrofoam base. Beautiful!

023Ceramic mantel clock.

025Holy cow! A lead crystal dinner set for six. The leaf dishes don’t actually match the set, but are a newer pressed crystal. But the rest?? Oh, yeah. Beautiful and precious!

028My mother’s entire collection of dogs.

032Mom’s collection of tea cups. Sadly, some are chipped or cracked.

037Mom’s salt and pepper shaker collection.

030This one made me nostalgic. The kitten on the left is mine and I named her Diamond. My grandparents Melrose brought them to my sister and I, and I had first choice. Deni felt I took the cutest one and deliberately broke Diamond. Mom carefully glued her back together. Now I have both, but Deni’s kitten is missing her rhinestone eyes.

033A china baby doll. She’s so tiny!

034Milk china. I’m not really into milk china, so am debating keeping all of these.

036Self explanatory whimsical creatures. Mom bought these in Mexico.

038Centennial ash tray.

039My grandmother liked to go to a ceramics place and glaze her own items. The wood ducks were one of her creations (the glaze, I mean, not the actual mold). They were wrapped in a 1970 newspaper which means they were packed away then and never retrieved for display afterward. Grandma signed them on the bottom (EM = Emma Melrose). I’ve always loved the wood ducks.

040Tell me that isn’t the cutest darn giraffe!??

042Awwww… Bunnies for my Easter decor!

046This luster ware is amazing. I have my mother’s set of luster ware set aside for my oldest, and will add this to the set.

049And then there was this.

I earned that in Sunday School in the 1960’s. I carried it around with me well into the 1980’s, when I decided my little sister needed it more than I did, and I mailed it to her. I have often missed it, but considered it a gift well given. And now it is home.

009The frog was not inside the Dow Chemical crates. He was carefully wrapped inside his own box. Years ago, my father told me that he was going to be reincarnated as that frog. Dad left that frog to me. I’m happy to have Dad home with me, finally.

Postscript – I did not photograph every single item out of the Dow crates. And wait until I get to the books…

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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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