Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Liebster Nomination -- Hooray! Here are MY favs!

Back at the beginning of November, I was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Bargain Hunter at Bargain Hunting Treasure Seeker and by Emily at {thrifty} vintage kitchen.  Thank you so much, ladies!  Blogging is a joy in itself, but it's so much fun to be nominated!
A Liebster blog award is given to blogs that are gaining popularity but have less than 200 followers.  The rules for nominating are:
1. Thank the giver and link back to her/him.
2. Reveal your top picks and leave a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!
It's hard to believe, but I'm just now getting the time to look through all my favorites and see who I will nominate...I'm happy to nominate several of the blogs I follow and love to read:
15 Coast Road (133 followers)
Bargain Hunting Treasure Seeker (95 followers) '
{thrifty} vintage kitchen (21 followers)
Helen and Her Daughters (40 followers)
oodles and oodles
Protector of Vintage (114 followers)
Monkey Box (146 followers)
I Love Collecting (110 followers)
this is from that (32 followers)
De tout, de rien (34 followers)
Perfectly Printed (11 followers)

I'm so excited to be nominated for a Liebster (and SO late getting my own nomination post out)!  Nothing like waiting until the last day of the year to catch up...

I could have nominated lots more blogs, because there are so many I like to read (but many of them have too many followers to qualify).  Please check these out and let them know that you've visited -- I know you're going to love them!

Thanks again, Kim & Emily!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quick Christmas Recap

This might be my last post of the year, but I hope not... 
We had such a great holiday season!  We traveled to Naples, Florida for the week leading up to Christmas to visit my son and his girlfriend.  They both work in the service industry down there and can't get away for the holiday because it's just about their busiest time.  It was so good to see them both and hang out with them (and the sunny 80 degrees every day wasn't bad, either).   We flew home on Christmas day, which is the perfect day to travel -- the airports (and jets) are almost empty!

When we got back to beautiful Michigan, our other two sons and family and friends came to have our 'second Christmas'.  My youngest son brought his brand-new fiance (they had just gotten engaged on Christmas Eve),  We're so excited to have her become part of the family!  Sadly, my aunt (who's 89) and my niece & nephew and their families couldn't come, so we weren't complete, but it was a great family get-together nonetheless.

Some dear friends who moved away 2 years ago came back into town for a quick overnight visit.  We (my friends & family) had our annual (15th, actually) 'Bucket of Doom'.   That's a plastic bucket crammed full of bottle rockets (600+) with a special design for optimum firing, built onto a custom-made wooden sled.  It never lives up to expectations -- only 2/3 of the rockets ever go off and only about half of those go UP & not sideways -- but that's part of the fun of the bucket!   It's a good thing we have acres of land & snow on the ground!

After the excitement of the bucket died down, we all gathered for a spirited round of Mexican Dominoes.  We had LOTS of laughs and such a good time.  There isn't much better at Christmas than family & dear friends sharing the precious gift of laughter!

Here's the fun THRIFT part:  my friend, who now lives in Minnesota, has become my personal picker!  How cool is that!  She brought me a box of wonderful treasures from estate sales in the north country and also a box of hand-picked great stuff from her mother-in-law.

 We looked at the stuff a little while she was here, but there was so much going on, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures to show you.  Tomorrow, I'm going to go through it all and (hopefully) my last post of 2011 will be a tribute (and giant THANK YOU) to my picker friend Kally!   I have to admit that I'm glad the craziness of Christmas is behind us, though it's always a let-down when everyone goes away and the house gets SO quiet again.   I'll just have to soothe my blues by looking at some great vintage stuff & sharing it with you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas -- God Bless Us, Every One!

May you have much laughter...
 a sense of wonderment...
time to spend with those you love...
and to share sweet memories of those who are no longer with you...
I wish each of you a very Merry & Blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Finishing Up an Odd Job

I don't know how things are at your house, but there's nothing like the impending visit of houseguests to get me moving on finishing up odd jobs.  Things I've been happy to let slide for months weeks suddenly take on a new importance.

We're having family visit after Christmas, and I FINALLY hung up a great 1950s wall box that I'd gotten at an estate sale.  I've had this sitting on the cabinet that it's hanging over (now) for almost a year.  It had been there so long that, when I showed Mr. KV what I'd done, he said  "Oh, that hangs on the wall? I thought it was supposed to sit on the cabinet!"
The cabinet was my aunt's, the Christmas tree stand was given to me by my mother-in-law.  It was her great-grandmother's and is from the 1800s -- it winds up and plays 'Silent Night' and 'Kling, Glockchen'.  The cream colored felt tree skirt is from the 1960s, I think -- I picked it up a few years ago.
Like all odd jobs done close to the arrival of company, completing one leads to another.  Once I'd hung up the box, I had to figure out what to put in it.
It turned out to be easier to fill the box than I'd expected...  I added a few vintage Christmas items -- a bottle brush wreath, Gurley Santa candle & a pair of Lefton angels.  The tin is a souvenir from King George's coronation in 1937 (no, I wasn't there to get it in person...) The three English money boxes are from King Edward's & King George's reigns.  The loving cup is one that my Aunt Gene won in tennis in her youth in the 1940s and the Scottie with the Haggis is a gift from her -- she's very proud of our Scottish heritage!  Since the cabinet below the box used to belong to her, it seems only fitting that some of her favorite things are displayed above it, along with some of mine.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Found a Heart's Desire!

I went to a sale last week and had VERY low expectations:  it was advertised as a selling point that the items were 80-90% new and never used by the owner (not a big draw for the lover of all things vintage).  It was less than 3 miles from my house, though, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity. 

I bought a great 50s starburst tidbit tray that was out in the garage on a shelf (totally unappreciated) and a little Made in Japan Enesco lamb figurine. Even the linens were new and in packages!  Then I went upstairs and saw this:

I was SO excited!  I immediately grabbed the price sticker and found the upstairs worker to mark it 'SOLD'!  I've wanted a metal headboard & footboard ever since the days when my husband and I were first married and would go to stay at his family cottage on Buckeye Lake in Ohio (outside of Newark).  The room we got had this marvelous wood-look metal bed with open mesh panels -- I always hoped he'd inherit it if the furniture was ever divided up.  I never said a word, though, since I was just the daughter-in-law and new to the family and assumed that one of his sisters would surely want it.  It ended up being scrapped because I'd never spoken up and no one claimed it (I learned my lesson...)

I've been looking for one ever since, and here was one at this 'mostly new' sale!  Check out the wonderful flower decals -- they're in almost perfect condition!  I think it's from the 1920s or 1930s.  I'll have to do some research to try to date it, bur it doesn't matter in the least. 
It's all set up now and waiting for Christmas houseguests.  I topped it with a yellow chenille bedspread my sister gave me as a gift years ago and added a quilt I'd gotten at an estate sale.
The marble topped table next to it belonged to my grandmother and the star-patterned lamp (with the hideous shade) is from the 50s.  It was always on an end table in our living room when I was growing up.  I still really love it (it needs a new shade, though, don't you think?)
Pay no attention to the way the rest of the room looks -- it's first on our re-do list for January!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dealer Day = Shopping Day

The first Sunday this month was Dealer Day at our mall -- I know I've told you about this.  Just in case you forgot, it's the one Sunday of every month when the mall is open to its dealers to prep their booths from 10 - 12 with no shoppers there.  It's a wonderful bonus to us!

This particular Dealer Day, though, happened to be the last day of the 10-day sale . . . so after I fluffed and re-stocked my booth, I did what most self-respecting dealers do and went shopping!  I've figured out that we all just keep buying each others' stuff. . . hmm.

I still had birthday money from my Aunt Gene -- I'd been holding on to it for months (and Christmas is coming soon), so I figured I could do some mall-price spending.  I found some great bargains, but here are my favorites -- Happy Birthday from Aunt Gene to me!
A Lefton Santa & his sleigh from the 1950s -- isn't he neat?  I wonder what went in his sleigh?  There are 2 holes on each side, as though something was strung between them...
A Farmer Peet's Lard Bucket -- just perfect in the kitchen filled with red-handled utensils
A wall-mounted gold & silver aluminum tree from the 1960s -- I know, it's total kitsch, but also totally cool!
The tree came with its original box -- can you believe it?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gurley Christmas Candles

 Have I mentioned that I like Gurley candles?
Gurleys on the hoosier cabinet
the Amen corner
the elves in the middle
the snowmen
the angels on an old spice cabinet
the pastel angels in the back row are really hard to find
the Santas on my great-great aunt's treadle sewing machine
 Do you think there's a 12-step group for Gurley addicts?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Staying Home to Bake

There were LOTS of sales to go to today, but I decided not to go to any.  The weather helped me with that decision -- it was snowing and slippery, so there was no reason to drive 20-30 miles to look at stuff that wasn't even calling my name. 
So I stayed home to bake and, oh, do I love to bake!   I learned everything I know about baking from my grandmother, whom we called Ningle. 
She lived with us from just a few weeks after I was born and was my main caregiver, because my mom worked.  Ning was one of the best bakers around!  Yesterday was her birthday (she was born in 1891) so I've been thinking about her a lot.  Her mother died when Ning was only 13, and she became the 'mom' at her house, in charge of the cooking & housekeeping for herself, her dad and her brother.  Her father sent her to Fleischmann's (the yeast people) cooking school, which wasn't like a culinary school would be now, but more like a high school home ec class would be.  I still have the cookbook that she used there.
Fleischmann's cooking school book
I think part of the reason we all love Christmas cookies so much is that they connect us with the past.  When I make different cookies I remember the people I loved who liked those cookies best -- my dad liked Hermits (if you're not German, you might not know what those are), my mom liked Mexican Wedding Cakes and Ning liked Springerles (also German).  Baking them sort of keeps them alive in my memory. 
My family's original Hermit recipe, cut out of the paper in the 50s -- it's the one I still use
I also use some of the old implements I grew up with!  This nut grinder is the same one I used at home as a little girl 'helping' to make the cookies.  Turning the crank was my first helper-job, just as it was the first job I gave my boys when they were little.   My guys thought it was really funny when we'd go to antique malls and they'd see the nut grinder we had at home for sale as an 'antique'.   
See the silverplate spoon next to it?  Look at the end of the bowl -- it's completely flattened from running it around pans and bowls.  It was Ningle's favorite cooking spoon and it has been like that for as long as I can remember.  It's so precious to me!
So today I was really happy that I got a chance to just catch up on some Christmas prep and do some baking.  The Mexican Wedding Cakes & Hermits are finished and the cut-out sugar cookie dough is chilling in the fridge.  Happy Birthday, Ningle!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Fun Day Out with Friends

One of our local antique malls, Williamston Antique Market, had their Christmas Open House & sale today and I went with 5 friends from work.  We had such a good time!  I'm always amazed to see how different everyone's taste is, but we all seemed to zero in on the vintage Christmas items.  My friend Bargain Hunter got the find of the day -- a 4' Aluminum Pom Pom tipped tree.  It will look great with all her vintage ornaments!

I bought a Tavern (Gurley) candle -- Santa & his sleigh -- with its original box, a few ornaments and a Christmas patterned box.  I love those old covered boxes because they make great 'staging areas' for smaller things and add some height to any shelf.

After the Open House we all went out to lunch.  I had so much to do this weekend, but a little R & R is a good thing -- especially with friends!  They're much more important that crossing one more thing (or two) off the to-do list!