Wednesday, January 30, 2013

estate sales

I rarely go to Estate Sales. The prices are just too ridiculous. But now that I've done a few myself, I totally understand why the companies that are hired to do those sales have to run up the prices. They have to pay all their employees so they can get the sale up and running as quick as possible.
Like I told you, my husband & I were hired to do an Estate Sale for friends of ours. We worked at the house for two months before the two day sale. The hardest work I've ever done, other than the Estate Sale I did years before. That one was hard because it was a hoarder's home. This one wasn't. In fact I loved every moment I spent in this home. So peaceful and calming. Although I didn't know them personally, I grew to love and respect them for the things they held so dear... you know, photos, memorabilia, books, Bibles...

... and Roy Rogers. Yes, their kids loved Roy Rogers.

I even found their Roy Rogers Riders Club rules card.
Signed by Roy & Trigger

And got all choked up reading the 10 Rider Rules.
Btw, the Roy Rogers Rodeo Ranch Set did not sell. I will be listing it on eBay for $150.00.

Well, I just finished up another Estate Sale yesterday. It was a quick one. I was hired to help a friend of a friend, who was needing to clear out the last remaining items in her parents home. The hard work had already been done, they just needed me to advertise the sale on, research and price the items, work the actual Estate Sale and then list what didn't sell on Craig's List for an additional two weeks. The selling point for me ~ the house was in Tempe ~ a 5 minute drive! The other sale was 40 minutes one way on a good day.

As in the other sales, I became increasingly curious about the owners and so I asked my new friend what her Dad did for a living. She told me to google his name. So I went home and did just that. 
And wow, what an interesting man.
Please take a moment and read THIS article and then come back.
Can you believe it! I was blown away! Who knew...

His two sons drove this '56 Chevy that I photographed in the side yard. I was born in '56, so I've always been especially fond of '56 Chevys.

This was one of the items for sale ~ a Tudor Rose Fireplace Mantel that was removed from the Gourley Home, next door to Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois.
In researching the Gourley's connection to the Lincoln's, I found this little tidbit from 

 Another neighbor, James Gourley recalled that Mr. Lincoln "used to come to our house with slippers on - one suspender & an old pair of pants - come for milk - our room was low & he said Jim - you have to lift your loft a little higher, I can't stand in it well."

So, I'd like to think that I touched the mantel that Abraham Lincoln touched.
Btw, the mantel didn't sell.

The signature on this 18X24" painting is SA Thompson (and I'm a Thompson), and I also have fond memories of picking Pussy Willows while growing up on the farm in Wisconsin. So when it didn't sell, they gave it to me. And I will cherish it forever.

Written on the back ~
June 1940
Painted by Selma Thompson  

So, I'd like to think that I now own a piece of art that hung in the home of someone whose brain is on display at the Smithsonian Institute.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

refashioned jewelry

Don't you just love my new earrings? Well, they didn't start out like this.

Just so you know, I don't create or make my own jewelry. But then, in a way, I sorta do. More like re-creating a piece of jewelry, by adding my own personal, artistic bent and customizing to my liking. 

For instance, I found these earrings at my little thrift store for 50 cents. The style and design did nothing for me. But the hammered metal sure did. Cuz you know how much I love anything hammered.

So I took them home, got out my trusty needle-nose plier, removed the black bead and reconnected the hammered piece. 
Ta-da! Perfect. And just my style. 

I will buy pieces of damaged jewelry on clearance, or at yard sales and thrift stores and refashion the pieces to my liking. Transforming a sad, dilapidated piece of jewelry into a signature, one-of-a-kind fashion statement, and paying next to nothing... well, it's a win-win. 

Linking up to ~

Monday, January 21, 2013

First Family Dinner

My little rockstars were in rare form at our first Family Dinner of the new year. Yes finally, no one was sick. So we gathered at my son Shawn & Nicole's home for meatball subs, and later treated with a little concert while munching down lemon bars. Good times.

Nicole finally had to wake up Nathan & Jonah so they could join in on the fun.

Hey, I just realized the boys are 9 months old today! And really starting to get around. And we all know what that means ~ watch out world!

I haven't told you a lot about my 2nd granddaughter Elsie. Oh my gosh, she is pretty gosh darn amazing. So full of life! So loud and expressive ~ her own unique person.

I remember praying when they found out their 2nd would be a girl, that Emolyn & Elsie would be complete opposites, in looks and personalities. And they are. And I love that. Neither lives in the shadow of the other. They are their own unique selves.

I am praying that for the boys too. Yes, they are identical twins, but I am praying their unique personalities give them the confidence to be their own distinct persons, discovering their own one-of-a-kind gifts and talents that sets them apart from the other, making them all the more aware that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. That they would always be the best of friends, but confident in their uniqueness to boldly discover who God created them to be.

And let me just add, Shawn & Nicole are the best parents EVER!
Seriously, they are amazing ~ so involved, so intentional and so wise.

Emolyn, Elsie, Nathan & Jonah are blessed to have such loving parents.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

vintage aqua rotary phone

I wish you could hear my aqua phone ring. Talk about a blast from the past. Solid, substantial, authoritative. This ringer held its ground back in the day. For one thing, homes only had one phone, so you had better be able to hear it wherever you were in your house! Growing up in a big 'ole farmhouse in Wisconsin, we could hear ours from the basement, upstairs, even outside!

Well, little Miss Aqua is silent. 
She rings no more. 
We got rid of our landline.
Oh how I have grieved the loss of my functionally sound design inspiration, the focal point in my sewing room.  I know, it's not like I can't take her over to my mother-in-laws house, plug her in and call her on my cell. Just to hear her ring. But it wouldn't be the same as standing in my aqua sewing room while cradling her to my ear.

This is where she belongs. This is her home... with or without a purpose. She still makes a strong statement. She still draws attention when someone enters the room. She can still carry a conversation. Only now it's more about her, than with her. And that's ok.

And she doesn't seem near as lonely now since I relocated these little number by her side. I know, pardon the pun. But isn't she just the cutest. 

*** Someone asked about the darling little pastel purses. They were rain bonnet freebies at our Jackson County Fair. Nothing better than gathering up all the free giveaways each year as you made you way through the 4-H demonstration buildings. You knew you would come out of there with quite a loot ~ Princess phone key chains, rulers, portable drying racks and traveling sewing kits.

Hey, do you want to read the story about how my aqua phone came to live in our home?
Click HERE. And be sure to read the first comment ~ my all-time favorite comment ever ~ from the previous owner himself. And yes, he made me cry again. Thank you John!

Linking up to these awesome sites ~

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

vintage button containers

Most of you know my love of collecting vintage buttons, but I'd like to think I'm just as passionate in my quest in repurposing unusual containers for my beloved buttons. This unique container being one of my very favorites. Don't you just love hammered aluminum! 

Finding this treasured, one-of-a-kind piece for a couple dollars was quite a thrill. 
While researching the history of hammered aluminum, I found this statement ~

Most hammered aluminum pieces made their way into homes from the 1930's through the 1950's as wedding gifts.

Well, you can imagine how thrilled I was when my daughter Miranda opened up a wedding shower gift and there was a gorgeous hammered heavy metal tray from my dear friend Billie. Truly a work-of-art! Love that hammered anything is making such a comeback!

Omg, does it get any better than fat-quarters, bakers twine and sewing notions in hammered aluminum? I didn't think so.

My favorite buttons to collect are vintage coat buttons. You know, those big, beautiful, oversized, one-of-a-kind coat buttons. I store mine in a vintage jar I found at a yard sale in Appleton, WI while visiting my brother several years ago.

I found each of these vintage jars and the iron caddy over a period of many years at various places. So delighted when I discovered they all fit together beautifully.

Who can pass up those tiny pottery pieces that hold the teeniest of tiny buttons.

I've had more fun filling this antique cast iron cornbread pan with both tea lights and sewing notions.

Drawers of similar, coordinating buttons make for easy access.

I knew the moment I found this aqua blue ice cube tray that it would make for a colorful, fun photo op.

And speaking of aqua blue, my aqua blue PYREX is holding my collection of "buttons" I've gotten while visiting Disneyland ~ first visit, a birthday, an anniversary ~ LOVE!

But the cutest button of all ~ my granddaughter Emolyn Kate ~ who loves playing with my containers of buttons. Yup... cute as a button!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Deep Freeze in Phoenix

You may have heard that Phoenix is having a deep freeze. Yes, it occasionally happens every few years or so, and I love it. Btw, I just peeked out at our thermostat and it's 24 degrees in Tempe. I think I'll have Randy build me a fire in the woodstove when he gets home.

Vintage Phoenix on Facebook posted this photo of downtown Tempe in the 30's. Now that I want to see in my lifetime. Snow in Tempe! Ha!

These images were captured a couple years ago at 15th Avenue & Butler in Phoenix. My friend Kathy was driving by Butler Park and could not believe her eyes!

This happens when the sprinkler system is left running during a deep freeze, leaving quite a thrill for us desert dwellers. Icicles are a rarity in these parts. ha!

Hope you can hunker down in your part of the country and be cozy warm.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tale of Two Christmas Trees

I know it's way past Christmas, but I have to record this story while it's still fresh on my mind.
23 years ago my dear friend Angie & I went shopping for all the after-Christmas sales at Colonnade Mall in Phoenix. My husband was in Chicago singing at a Decade of Promise conference. And we had a deal that we would always talk before we spent a good deal of money. And you're going to laugh, but that was anything over $25.00. Oh, and I must remind you, this was before cell phones.
Anyway, Angie & I and my youngest Tyler (9 months) headed straight to Sears, because they had this awesome tree filled with carved farm & country ornaments and I wanted to buy the wooden cow in the worst way. Well, the entire tree on display that featured all my favorite ornaments was marked down to $300.00, from $900.00. Mind you, I was not in the market for a tree, just an ornament. BUT, while we are standing there they tell me it's now $150.00. Everyone that had gathered around the tree by now is looking at me like "lady, if you don't buy it, I will". Well, if you know me at all, that just made me want it all the more! But I had this problem you see, I had no way of talking to Randy about whether I should spring for such an outlandish purchase. 
But thankfully, horrific scenes of Christmas trees crashing to the floor came flashing through my mind and I quickly yelled "I'LL TAKE IT!" Yes, we've had far too many nightmarish Christmas tree memories that cost us treasured heirloom ornaments. Those painful memories definitely helped seal the deal. No more real trees for the Thompson's!
So, the Sears employees tell us to give them 2 hours to pack up the tree and ornaments and lights and garland. No problem. Take all the time you need.
Well, when we returned, they start loading up the van with this ginormous tree box, and then boxes upon boxes of ornaments and strings of lights and garland. Then they started filling the van with brand new boxes of lights and ornaments and garland, a beautiful Christmas tree skirt ... even extension cords! We calculated well over $1000.00 in merchandise total!
Needless to say, Randy was beyond excited when he got home and saw all the lovely loot.
Fast forward, a couple months later we find out that they were closing the Colannade and that's why we became the unsuspecting recipients of all the end-of-the-season Mall inventory. Thank you Sears!

I tell you that story because sadly that Christmas tree was thrown out this week. It started to fall apart a couple years ago, but I wasn't ready to let it go. It was time now.

SO, this week Tyler (now 23) and I were at Chandler Mall and I asked if he'd mind if I ran into Hobby Lobby just across the street and see if they had any trees left. Mind you, it's 2 weeks after Christmas. I walk in and ask the guy and he directs me to the tree on display that he had just put together. The last one. 7 1/2 ft. tall. And beautiful. Oh, and 90% off!! $400.00 ~ now $40.00!!! But the best part of all, Tyler was with me again! How cool is that! Made it extra special having him a part of both Christmas tree stories.

Monday, January 07, 2013

my antique pump

Over the years my backyard has become a dumping ground of sorts for all things farm & country ~ a transformed shed, a vintage John Deere tractor, a milk can, mailbox, vintage garden tools, galvanized pails and watering cans...
and an old pump my Dad bought me years ago while visiting the farm in Wisconsin.

I love that old pump more than anything. I couldn't believe it when he gave it to me. And I couldn't wait for Randy & I to transform it into a working water feature for our backyard.

Randy wired it so that at a flip-of-a-switch the water starts flowin' into the pail.

Don't you wish we could do the same? 
You know, flip a switch and feel the love flowin'.
I'm so worn and weary and aware that the well is dry. I got nothing folks. 
Oh I know, it comes with being sick for so long. You feel drained... empty... and out of touch, cuz you have been out of touch with family and friends and life. And you start to doubt and fear and worry and question.

And you just want to flip a switch and feel that gush of living water flowin' through your veins.
You want to feel cleansed and renewed and energized. Refreshed and ready for whatever 2013 brings your way. Bring it on Lord. But You're going to have to do that thing You do, equipping me... for Your love to flow through me. Cuz left to myself, I can do nothing.

Today I will choose to believe by faith that God is ever present...
that I will profoundly experience the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, and be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:19
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 
"Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." John 7:38 

We've got everything we need folks. So let's do this thing called Love.

Linking this post to my favorite Linky Parties ~

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

welcome 2013

~ 2013 ~

As I sat in front of the wood stove this morning, I pondered many things.
Such as...
I don't know about you, but I've always been drawn to odd numbers. In fact, some rather significant events have happened in relation to odd numbers. 
  • I was born on the 13th
  • 3 girls & 3 boys in my family of origin
  • graduated in '75
  • moved to Phoenix in '77
  • married in '79
  • gave birth to 3 children
But then I could make a list of significant events in relation to even numbers too.
2012 being such a year of rather significant events. Lots of changes. Both good and not so good. Which God works for good. So it's all good in the end, isn't it.
  • after 32 years in full-time ministry, my husband was unemployed
  • Home Depot hired him part-time the end of January
  • major lifestyle changes ensued
  • struggling to trust God in this new season
  • this chapter in my life story that needed serious editing
  • that I was unwilling to accept
  • dealing with fear and forgiveness
  • choosing to believe I have all I need
  • that God is enough, that I am enough. 
  • that I am truly blessed 
  • brand new baby boys born healthy. Identical twin grandsons ~ Jonah & Nathan
  • Miranda & Aaron fall in love and marry. Magical. Memorable.
  • believing by faith that God is good. No matter what.

Isaiah 43: 1b-3a
 "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
 the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..."

That is my verse for 2013 ~ my grid, my truth, that everything passes through.
And my word for 2013 ~ fearless.
I have much to share with you this month, that I want to journal about,
that I need to journal about.
Thank you for following along in my journey of faith. For your love and support.
I would do this without you. But rather prefer having you reading over my shoulder.
Keeps me honest and accountable ~ and sane! ha!

~ Happy & Blessed 2013 ~