A DISPARATE ASSEMBLY OF THINGS, IDEAS, AND PEOPLE.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

A CHANGE OF SCENERY

I've felt really yucky the last two weeks fighting a couple of infections -- not much energy, etc.

However, we had previously planned a trip to Denver to take place over the past weekend to do some of our favorite things like antique and/or junk hunting.  It was the weekend of the big antique show at the Denver Merchandise Mart; so I decided to suck it up, and we should go anyway.  I was past being infectious.

Maybe what I needed was a change of scenery!


The antique show was great, as usual, quite high-end and way above our usual price point.  But, enjoyable none the less -- we didn't buy a thing.  But who doesn't like just looking at the beauty of Tiffany lamps and amazing antique jewelry?


After the show and with my low energy level, we only hit one antique mall; then headed to our hotel.   I love staying at a hotel.  We don't frequent the expensive, resort type; but do like a good mid-level establishment.  We don't participate in any of the amenities - just enjoy a different surrounding.  This one was very nice - a suite, complete with a fireplace, two TVs, and even a dishwasher.  I think loving it has something to do with not having to wipe down the shower and make the bed!


I was finally getting my taste for food back, but not really hungry.  My choice -- the appetizer menu -- a wonderful flat bread with boursin and Monterrey jack cheeses, grilled tomatoes and portobello mushrooms, and arugula with a reduced balsamic glaze.  Perfect!

The next day, we hit a couple more antique malls, then home.
I only made one purchase -- this Johnson Bros. brown transferware bread plate for $4.48.  It is currently being auditioned for the perfect place in our home.



It's amazing what a change in surroundings and a piece of brown transferware can do for your health. 

Oh yeah, and a boat load of antibiotics!!



I'm joining the following:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at our Home
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Southern Hospitality for Thrifty Treasures

Sunday, July 27, 2014

MEETING BJ and MR. SWEET!

As many of you know, meeting a blogger in person is a wonderful, unique experience.  BJ of Sweet Nothings and I go way back in our blogging careers -- 2008 to be exact -- isn't that a long time in the blogging world?

BJ and her husband, Bill, were coming on a trip to Colorado, so we made plans to meet up for a short visit.
In Colorado, we think nothing of driving along on a one-lane road in the mountains; and then come upon a hole in the side of the mountain.  
You will have to go over to BJ's blog, and read her description of what she had to endure to come visit us.
For our part, it was well worth their adventure to find us.
We had such a good time during their short visit -- it was like we had known each other all of our lives.  
Bill (Mr. Sweet) and Bob
The four of us are all about the same age, been married forever, and each have two kids.  As BJ said -- are hair is even the same color and we share the same middle name!
 BJ and Bill -- please come back anytime.  But next time, you may want to try the highway!

PS:  I was so excited to have them visit that I was negligent in taking pictures -- I had to borrow these from BJ.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

SEW MUCH FUN!

I intended to knock out a quick post about all of my antique and vintage sewing trinkets.  Who was I kidding? --  this is going to take several posts.  Hope you will stay with me!!

I'm going to start with my Coats and Clark's thread stuff as it is the most sizable in quantity.  If you are interested in the history of the company, there is all kind of info out there on the web.  I'll spare you a really long history lesson.

What got me intrigued with Clark's O.N.T. collectibles was this thread cabinet.  One day while scrounging in the out buildings of my family's farm I noticed it.  It probably had been there my entire life - my Dad said it came from a local mercantile company that was throwing it away years and years ago.  The top was broken in seven pieces where my Dad's vise had been mounted.  This was one of Bob's first furniture restoration projects some 40 years ago.  We've never replaced the broken "George A. Clark" glass on the fifth drawer, however.
On the bottom of the top drawer is stamped C. Tollner (the cabinet maker ?), the date of Jul. 30 1887, and Pulaski, NY.  Anyway, I think it says Pulaski -- the only thing I can discover is that in 1877, the Clark Co. established a special box factory in Pawtucket, RI and turned out 1000s of cabinets to distribute to general stores that sold their thread.  I haven't been able to reconcile the Pulaski, NY location.
In 1970, when I found my thread cabinet, I wrote to Coats and Clark, Inc.; and they sent me the following brochure from their archives.  It has the 1887 date on it and looks just like my walnut cabinet.

Several years later I found this small sewing box with the Clark's O.N.T. advertising on it.
It has the same name on it as our cabinet with the patent date of June 1st, 1880.
I have four of these small sewing boxes with different graphics on the inside top cover -- the cowboy is my favorite!
Over the years I have accumulated a number of trade cards used in advertising Clark's O.N.T. Thread in the 1870s-1880s.
 They knew how to market their thread -- showing darling images of children!

 Below is a little book of nursery rhymes.
 This card has elastic on each side which you can twist -- when you release the twist, it twirls around and it looks like the girl is jumping rope.

Below a little Christmas gift of a calendar - 1878

 A large folding trade card - "Our unanimous verdict is that O.N.T. beats all others." 

 O.N.T. stands for 'our new thread' developed after the sewing machine was patented in America in 1846.

Not all of the trade cards have children pictured.  I have several that depict scenes around the world such as 'The Tower of London'.
My next post will have some of my other Clark's O.N.T. items.
I know --- this collecting thing has to stop!

I'm joining the following:
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks

Monday, July 14, 2014

THE ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE AND PARK FIRE - ONE YEAR LATER

Recently, Sue of Rabbit Run Cottage was on facebook chatting about all of the wonderful places in the U.S. to visit.  I had to chime in about the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park that is practically in my own backyard.  It is owned by our city -- Canon City, Colorado -- and was built in 1929, at that time the world's highest suspension bridge.
But, a year ago in June 2013, a devastating wildfire swept through the park destroying 48 of the 52 structures.  
Miraculously, the bridge was spared -- I took the picture below last weekend.  You can see the landscape has changed after the fire; but there has been reseeding and new trees planted.
A few of the boards on the bridge deck were scorched; they were replaced; and the bridge has been inspected for safety.

Point Sublime has a new roof.
The views are as spectacular as before!
A view of the Arkansas River 1000 feet below.
Going back to that horrible day a year ago -- below is the bridge and park being evacuated safely on that day.
And below, is the entry gate a few hours later -- only the flower pots out front half-way survived!
 A new visitor center is being built.  To the right of the entrance, they are incorporating some of the boards from the bridge that were charred in the fire.

 The trip on the narrow-gauge funicular railway to the river below the bridge was always my favorite part of touring the park.  Our son worked many summers on the "incline" during high school and college.  Unfortunately, it was destroyed beyond repair during the fire.
 In this pre-fire picture, you can see the rock house in the back that housed the mechanics.
This is the backside of the rock building as it stands today.  The incline will be rebuilt in a later phase of construction -- the cost will be horrendous to replace the old funicular railway.
This fire has been devastating to our community -- the loss of jobs at "The Gorge" included so many high school and college kid's summer work plus the full-time, year-round positions.
Also, since the bridge and park are owned by the city, we have been dependent on the income to supplement tax dollars.

This is the current logo being used on advertising.  They want to let all of our visitors know that there is still a lot to do and see in our beautiful community.  Right now, there are guided tours available on the weekends at the bridge to view the scenery and to see the reconstruction occurring.  They plan to open the new visitor's center and some of the other attractions next month, August 2014.  
PLUS, we have wonderful rafting on the Arkansas River; lots of hiking, climbing, and biking opportunities; and we have a railroad running on short daily trips along the river through the gorge where you can view the bridge from below.

For more information check out the following:
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
Canon City Chamber of Commerce
Royal Gorge Route Railroad
Fremont County Adventure Recreation (FAR)
Arkansas River Rafting and Fishing Companies

COME VISIT US!
I have not been compensated by any of these local businesses; I just love my community and think it is beautiful!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

RECYCLING AT ITS BEST

When our son was visiting the last of May, we were doing our usual Sunday afternoon ride around town and trip to Sonic for Happy Hour.  Close to home, I spotted a free desk on the side of the road.  We went around the block, and (!!!!!!) it was a really nice oak office or teacher desk.  We checked with the owner; and yes, it was free.  We loaded that up so fast.
Our son said he needed a second desk, and latched on to it.  After Bob refinished it, we took it up to Mike's house.  (Sorry, no photos - furniture moves in and out of here so fast.)
Mike had to make room for the new desk, and decided it was time to get rid of the $5.00 yard-sale bookcase from grad school (1993).
It had some really good lumber in it, and gave it to his Dad to make something out of it.  Sorry, no pictures - Mike had it all torn apart by the time we delivered the desk.

I do have pictures of what Bob made -- a rustic bucket bench.
 He found the idea in a woodworker's magazine; it has mortise and tenon joints.
He gave it a distressed finish with blue milk paint.
 I wish I had room for the bench as I have a nice collection of buckets.
But, no room, so it is off to the consignment store.
How's that for recycling, upcycling?  A free desk, a $5.00 bookcase, and now a bucket bench!

I'm joining the following:
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Feature Friday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

Thursday, July 3, 2014

MAD FOR PLAID MAT

Somewhere I saw a framed picture of a deer with a plaid mat.
I liked it!
I thought -- I have a deer picture--
I can do this.
First, I gave the fabric a bath in steeped tea to reduce some of the newness and brightness of the fabric. 

Then, I covered the old mat with the fabric using spray adhesive.
Quick, easy --- copy-cat --- project.

Check out the following for a plethora of inspiration:
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Our Home Away From Home for Tuesdays at our Home
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
The Dedicated House for Before and After Wednesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Thursday, June 26, 2014

THE ELUSIVE BROWN TRANSFERWARE

For about 20 years now my favorite collectible has been brown transferware.  Recently, I just haven't seen very much of it; and the prices have been almost out of my range.

 Ebay seems to have plenty of entries, but I prefer the hunt in person so I can touch and feel.
During the first part of our recent weekend in Denver, I didn't see a single piece.  Then I spied this pitcher all by itself in a booth with 1970s stuff.
I knew right away that it was the Perak pattern from the James Beech Swan Works factory in England dating from around the 1870s (the aesthetic movement era).  It matches two plates that I already had in the pattern.
Then, at another antique mall, I spotted this 16" platter in the Rosalinde pattern (Parisian Granite) from Alfred Meakin in England.  My guess is that it dates from the late 19th century.  I was captivated by the beautiful border.
 No wonder I loved it -- I didn't realize until I got home that I already had a large tureen in this same pattern.
 And then in the same antique mall, I found this pitcher in the Sylvan pattern from Johnson Bros.  The mark shows that it is dated sometime in the 1880s.  This jewel was also lounging around with some other dishes from the 1970s.
 
 I don't know why I didn't realize until I got home that I had this soup bowl in the same pattern.  The soup bowl was my very first brown transferware purchase many years ago.
The prices on these 'new to me' treasures were quite reasonable, so I didn't hesitate to add them to my collection.
My faith is restored in my "hunt and gather" obsession.  There is still some brown transferware out there for me to find.

I'm joining the following:
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Southern Hospitality for Thrifty Treasures
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Inspire Me Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at our Home
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday

Sunday, June 22, 2014

OLD GLORY FAIR

On Father's Day weekend, we made our usual trip to Denver to attend the Old Glory Antiques Fair.  We try to go every year and are never disappointed.  
 Sorry, no pictures from the fair this year as my camera was still on its way home from Japan; but I've included a couple of pictures from previous years to give you the flavor of the event.

We enjoy seeing the trends; what's hot and what's not; and what people are buying.  This year it seemed that if it was galvanized, it was selling - lots of farm-style, prairie-style items.
Colorado is a hot bed for this style, as there is a wealth of items to be discovered -- so many farms on the prairies with sheds full of galvanization and rust!!!
We also saw lots of ironstone; plus quilts from the 1920s and 1930s.  That was encouraging to me as I love quilts for the color they bring to the sea of neutral colors currently out there.  Also, very expensive European grain sacks were available in addition to less expensive local feed and flour sacks.  There were not so many pieces of milk or chalk painted furniture this year.  The painted furniture that I noticed being purchased was with original paint and patina.  What I did not see was much transferware -- and absolutely no brown transferware.  Is it on its way out?  Or as I say -- I have it all; and there is no more out there to buy!!
  The featured guest this year at the fair was FiFi O'Neill.  I caught a glimpse of her chatting graciously with customers.  I wish I had had my camera as her personal style is enchanting.

We didn't buy much, as everything I wanted to bring home was HUGE in size and in the four figure range ($$$$).

I did pick up this swinging frame cheap.  I've been needing another vintage frame for this recently acquired photo of Bob as a young pretend-cowboy.
 I'm a sucker for ephemera, so purchased this small store display price card for plaid outing (flannel).
The rest of the weekend was spent touring our favorite Denver VATS (Vintage, Antique, Thrift Stores).  Plus, our dutiful, jet-lagged son drove back into Denver (with my camera) for a Father's Day lunch.  
Next post I will show you what I found at the VATS -- let's just say that it's the elusive transferware from the day before; and it's BROWN; and there's more than one piece!  Guess I don't have it all -- yet.

I'm sharing my treasures at the following:
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Boogie Board Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday Treasures
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Be Different Act Normal for Show and Tell Saturdays