My teen family friend "K" (and I'll call him that in case he thinks it's "uncool" to be called out on the interweb) realized that I had a little owl collection going on in my house and the other day he presented me with this little gift ...
Isn't it cool!! A rock that looks like an owl. At first I thought he drew on eyes because he is artistic like that but there is one of the rusty circles on the backside too and he said he didn't do that, he just found it like that. I love gifts like this for a couple of reasons. First, because someone actually took note of something I liked and that is so sweet and second, because it is completely one of a kind and how fun is that, and last but not least ... I am tickled pink when anyone gives me anything! Give me a garden fresh tomato you grew or a rock that looks like an owl and I'll be just as thrilled as I would be at a gift lovingly purchased.
And even though I must keep my mystery man a secret for fear of embarassing him ... I can say that he is super talented, kind, unique and artistic. He rocks. Literally.
I've been making a huge effort to clean out our home closets/vintage catch-alls in the last couple of weeks. Call it a Valentine's Day gift to my husband.... lol. There is nothing he likes more than what he calls "getting rid of junk". He is so stinkin neat and me, well it's an ongoing battle with myself to keep the piles to a minimum and to not let the boxes of stuff fill up all of the rooms in our house. Some of you might think ... hey don't you have a couple of buildings you could keep your finds in?? And the answer is yes, BUT, I am one of those work very late or super early people and when the spirit moves me to take photos, clean, price, pack etc... I'm usually in pj's and slippers and that's how I like it! I don't want to go off to a big old commercial building at 4 am because that is creepy and definitely not pajama optional.
As I've been digging thru some of the boxes of stuff I'd shoved into dark recesses of our house I was recently struck by just how random my buying is and always has been. I do have a love for vintage clothing, shoes, and linens for sure, but when I'm at an estate sale I buy whatever strikes my fancy at that particular moment. And sometimes the moment never returns again. For instance, this book ....
I do remember buying it about 3 years ago. I had never bought a book on tools before and I might never again. But I'm pretty sure I opened it up and thought .... hey all of those illustrations would be pretty cool for collage projects. And then it promptly got buried in a box with other randomness on top that I was unsure what to do with and flash forward 3 years it just got drug out and is now going to the shop having had nothing done with it. I do that a lot! My husband doesn't care at all about how much I buy so long as I DO SOMETHING WITH IT!
My problem is that I have a million ideas and fashion myself some sort of future artisan/crafts person. Ssshhhh, lets not remind him about the GINORMOUS hoard of vintage beads I have hiding under the stairwell for my doubtful future as a jewelry maker! But in reality I have rarely found the time in the last 20 years to make things. And why is that? Probably because I'm too busy buying cool crap to make cool crap .... isn't that ironic!
How about this ...
See those three sticks banded together ... I bought those because there is pretty mother of pearl inlay on them and one of them has a fancy rhinestone top. I wasn't, and still am not sure if they are hair adornments of something else entirely. When I can't figure out exactly what something is the item often gets delegated to storage. Like I think the answer will come to me magically in the night. Hah! Never happens. What does happen is that I forget completely that the item exists and then months or even years later I get to like it all over again as I discover it for the second time. Sometimes (sadly) I don't have any memory of it at all. When at estate sales I buy in a whirlwind. And I never agonize over a purchase. Buy it or don't! I go with my gut. So even the same day of a sale when I unpack my finds I'm surprised by what's in the box. I'm beginning to see that this post should be entitled "Hey lady, you're crazy as heck!"
So anyhoo...I am deeply in love and like with my dear sweet husband Bob and if me cleaning out the closets and hidden recesses of our once tidy home makes his sweet self happy then by gosh that's what I'll do! After 21 plus years of marriage the love grows stronger but the gifts do certainly change. In our house there is (by request) no flowers, chocolate or heaven forbid lingerie being received by me on Valentine's Day. There will be a cozy delicious dinner, a heartfelt card and if the stars are aligned right .... the world's best back massage. I could not ask for more!
The book, mirror and pretty sticks??? are all being dropped off at moxie today. Along with .... cutest chicken platter, big green hat, vintage floral print, black floral tole tray, faux snakeskin belt, turquoise and white pyrex bowl, funky swedish tealight holder, funky cute orange floral tablecloth, 3 family creative workshop books, a small globe, vintage picture frame and more. As always if you are interested in seeing photos of what I'm bringing in on a more frequent basis please visit our Facebook page often. You the people have spoken and I have listened. You like photos!! I have been a good shop girl and have been posting pictures at least 3 to 4 times a week for a month or so. Just click the photos button on left side and it will take you to all of our recent photo albums. If you visit our page I hope you'll "Like" us. It makes us feel all happy inside when you do that. A happy Valentine's Day to you all!!!!!!!!! xoxo, Megan
This past thursday was my birthday ... not hard for me to remember what day I was born on because it is also the oh so glamorous and memorable Ground Hog's Day.
According to Wikipedia ... The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots.
I've always had mixed feelings about sharing my special day with a rodent ... but hey, it is what it is. Just another way to keep myself humble... sharing a birthday with a whistle-pig.
My sweet husband and I have long opted to skip on gifts for Christmas and birthdays. I must admit that if I see something I love as the year progresses I usually get it if I feel like I deserve it. My must haves usually involve art or vintage items and they just come along when they come along. Hard to plan them around holidays. So it works for us. Instead of gifts I always hope for a day of shopping and putzing with the mister. It is just what I love to do. If he takes a day of vacation to spend out roaming around with me ... that is the best present ever.
This year we decided to roam around Rockford for the day. I googled "best breakfast in rockford" and hands down the Stockholm Inn was rated the highest. Breakfast is my very favorite meal to eat out. I don't cook a hot breakfast so going out for one is a treat. We each ordered our standard egg and hash brown meal that we love and on a whim I ordered some Swedish pancakes for us to share as it was listed in the reviews as the must have item. I did not expect them to be so crepe like. Mostly because I had no idea what they would be like at all. They were tasty but I still like traditional buttermilk fluffy pancakes better. The service was good and quick which is always nice when you want to get out and do some shopping. The restaurant is huge inside. Much bigger than it looks from the outside. It is in a shopping strip mall. Had I not read about it I would not notice it at all as it looks pretty basic from the outside. I heard that the place is packed on the weekends. I would go back again for the tastiness of the breakfast but not for any sort of special ambience. The Stockholm is located at the intersection of Charles St and 20th.
Right across the street was our next stop. Continental antiques. This is a place that I like to visit every time I'm in Rockford. The owner goes to Europe 4 times a year and brings home a container full of furniture. Not a place I go to buy and resell but go to see if there is something I just can't live without.
The turquoise chest of drawers is one of my favorite things purchased from Continental a couple of years ago. The shop is in a huge old brick warehouse and is 3 floors. Lots of great stuff (mostly furniture but some smaller items too).
This creamy French style credenza would have gone home with me if I had a place for it. I love it but just could not figure out where I could use it. It is marked 750.00. I think that is a really fair price for something so big and lovely. Had a bit of paint chippage on the top decorative piece but other than that it was in great shape.
I was going to purchase these brackets but changed my mind at the last minute. They are repros... and that is ok because they have a great look. But in the end I decided I really did not need them and they would probably end up sitting in my basement with a lot of other parts I've accumulated over the years. They were not priced but the owner told me I could have them for 60 dollars. 10 a pc is a good deal I think. Someone will snatch them up soon I'm sure.
I will say that I am loving the gift I bought myself before Christmas .... the iphone 4s. It sure is fabulous to see something I want to take a picture of and be able to snap it off easily. The new 4s has 8 megapixels and it takes a great on the go photo. I'm hoping to do more of that while I'm out shopping in the future.
Continental antiques is owned by the nicest man named Robert. He is always very friendly. I found a story about his shop online. You can read it here.
We also popped by the Antiques on State Mall and a few other places but did not come home with any treasures for ourselves. We had a really great day just leisurely wandering around shopping and eating. It is the kind of day I love. Nothing fancy. Nothing fancy at all.
Happiness, Joy, Good Luck and Good Wishes... pour these good thoughts into the cast iron kettle, give it a stir and you have the perfect batch of Holiday Greetings.
I think the Winters were pretty ahead of the times for 1956 to be staging this elaborate photo card with daughters Barbara and Ann (names written on the back of card) as the young models.
The clever creator even wrote the "greetings" in a smoke-like script as if it was drifting out of the kettle. Well done Winter family wherever you may now be.
I found this card at an estate sale a couple of years ago and it was just too heart-warming to leave behind. And since I'm so darned tired and a wee bit brain dead right now I thought I'd let their cheery message do the talking for me. I hope the Winters won't mind me borrowing their family card and sharing it with you.
Have the most wonderful of holidays.... Merry Christmas!
I've got great friends. I don't have tons of friends but the ones I do have are top notch. They are trusted confidantes, un-judgmental and super fun. They all share one thing in common and that is a sense of humor. I just have very little patience for people with no sense of humor. I'll never forget working with a lady at my first real job years and years ago who told me that she didn't like comedic movies. When I asked her why, she said that she didn't like to laugh. I will never forget that moment because she was dead serious when she said it and because I thought at that moment that not liking to laugh was like not liking to breathe. I would be completely and utterly lost without my love of a good laugh. Sure sometimes I border on ridiculous and over-the-top silly in some of my antics (if you know me you might know what I'm talkin about) but "finding the funny" has gotten me over some pretty gargantuan personal hurdles in my life. I am so grateful to have friends in my chick posse who like to have a laugh as much as me.
Two of those funny ladies have just given me a gift recently. Both on separate occasions and both "just because" gifts. No birthdays involved...simply because they wanted to. Don't those kind of gifts surprise and delight the most?? I think so. I love both of the gifts so much. They both make me smile so I thought I'd share them with you.
First up.... meet Pierre.
He is a little wooden nutcracker. He is so dang cute he makes me smile every time I look at him. He won't have to crack any nuts (he he he) while on duty at my house. He gets to just look like a happy nautical French man named Pierre.
Here he is tucked in amongst some of my other favorite pieces. He looks like that is where he was always meant to live. I have a fondness for little things with cute faces. And his colors are so happy. Thanks to my friend Lisa for this gift. She gets me.
Next up... Best Coffee Table Book EVER!
I have had a love affair with the art of Charley Harper going on for many years now. So talented, so prolific! If you are unfamiliar with his work you might go here to learn more about him. I love his use of color and whimsy.
I love this one. She looks like she's whipping something good up in the kitchen.
Thanks Pat and John for remembering that I once said I love Charley Harper and for giving me this book to grace my home with. Pat you are such a good listener. That's a gift that is invaluable!
All my friends rock. I only hope I can be as good of a friend to them as they are to me.
Looking for some fun vintage shopping this weekend???
My friend Lisa is having a great vintage sale at her house on Saturday October 23rd from 9 to 4. She's got the cutest apartment over their garage just filled with fun stuff. Everything from vintage clothing to holiday decor. Lots of dishes, glassware and cool kitsch too.
Her house is located at 16038 Quigley Rd in Sycamore. Quigley is off of Airport Rd. Right across the street from Lisa's house is Mabel's house. Mabel is a long time antiques dealer and she is having a huge auction of her many years worth of treasures. So it's a two for one. Take a drive out to Quigley Rd and hit both of those sales. You'll be glad you did!
The month of July flew by in a blur for us. We spent most of the month away at gift shows buying up a storm. Buying up a storm is fun. Receiving, pricing and displaying the results of a month of power shopping is a bit less fun. That's what my posse of shop girls, Mr. Bob and I have been doing for the last three weeks and boy was it tiring. Tiring but rewarding as well. The shops are now full again with things we love and hope you will too.
The way our schedules look lately we didn't have time for a proper vacation but I did decide that if we left early enough on Saturday a little mini day trip to Lake Michigan could work out nicely. So we left at 4:30 am Sat morning and made it to South Haven area by 8:30 (really 7:30 central time). We spent the day together visiting beaches and seeing sights. It was a high of 81 degrees and the winds were blowing off of the Lake perfectly. It was a wonderful day.
The water is clear, the beaches sandy, and the Lake so vast it feels like the ocean. I love Michigan and especially anywhere along the Lake Michigan coast. We spent the day and still made it home by 8pm Sat night so we could spend Sunday doing our house chores and laundry like good little homeowners. That day away helped us to relax and refresh and get ready for a couple more weeks of intensive pricing and displaying.
Do you have any special place you like to take a mini trip to when you need a little getaway?? If so, I'd love to hear about it.
I may have mentioned before that Bob and I have a yard that is conspiring to kill us. It just will not stop with the constant need to be tended to. I may have also mentioned that gardening does not come easily to us. Add that in with my hatred of extreme heat and bugs and you can see how the task of landscaping and maintenance falls squarely upon Bob's capable shoulders. He has never shirked that responsibility but having a big old yard and us working the equivalent of about 4 full time jobs....it isn't always easy to keep up with it all.
This past weekend Bob decided to take what was once I'm sure some sort of flower bed that had long ago turned into a 2 foot tall weed pasture and turn it once again into something manicured and presentable. It took at least a half of Saturday just to dig out all the weeds and grass and get down to dirt. Then he came up with the idea to line the bed with some tumbled pavers (found at Menards for .50 each) They have an old beat up look which we like. Just watching him down on his knees doing that for hours made my back hurt. I had to force him to stop for fluids and a bowl of fruit because he will go days without eating if you let him.
His project went all the way into early Sunday evening and involved us making several trips to local venues for purchasing more plants. I love that part! Here are some shots I took midway thru Sunday.
I think he did a fantastic job. It was back breaking work and he got absolutely munched on by the mosquitoes. Those nasty mean mosquitoes! It isn't quite finished yet but boy does it sure look beautiful compared to what it was. Wish I had thought to take the before shot.
Now here is a question for you all..... Bob says paint the vintage chair because no one will sit on a rusty chair and I say leave it because I love the patina and if anyone wants to sit on it I'll get them a protective towel or something to protect their booty with. What do you think??
Over spring break my sister Courtney and her three kids road-tripped down to Hilton Head Island to visit my dad and stepmom. Bob and I did also, although at a different pace because 20 hours of driving in one day makes for a very cranky Megan. I don't know how Courtney and her crew did it. They did both ways non-stop. Bob convinced me to do this on the way home and it literally took me five days to recover. Plus, I now know that 20 hours in a car with the driver listening to sports radio the whole way home leads me to eat an assortment of gas station delicacies better left on the shelves. I tend to eat when I'm bored and I'm surprised my stomach didn't explode by the time we got to the Illinois border.
I love road trips and in my mind I had created a scenario of the two of us driving leisurely down and back with many stops at quaint and quirky destinations along the way. Fun shops, delicious grilled cheese and pie at a friendly small-town diner, gorgeous photos taken of interesting architecture.........and so on. Why do I do this? That is what I ask myself over and over again. I am such a dreamer. A romantic. I'm always hoping for magical adventures, looking for picturesque villages, searching for the perfect diner, imagining myself driving around in a classic vintage car with my scarf blowing in the wind like I'm Sophia Loren is an early 60s movie. I can't help myself. I do credit some of my proclivity towards dreamy, romantic visions to my early childhood love of big dramatic novels. I read Gone With The Wind by the time I was 12. I fashioned myself a bit of a Scarlett O'Hara back then. A little bit of dramatic flair never hurts.
Life, it's funny. I married a man who I wouldn't classify as a romantic or a dreamer. I would classify him as the nicest, smartest, most generous and loyal man I've ever met. But he likes to get home in a timely fashion. He looks at the map the whole way home to make sure we will make the best time. A stop at a gas station is like watching the pit crew at a car race. Everyone has a job and you better get it done and get that car moving lickety split. Thankfully my job is just to pee (quickly!!) and buy enough crap food to sedate myself in order to make it thru the next 5 hours before the next pit stop. He'll never change and neither will I. Before every adventure I'll still be dreaming up visions of stumbling upon an old, closed up dress shop from the 50s with the vintage dresses sitting safely inside just waiting for me to find them, and Bob will no doubt be plotting out the quickest and safest way to get to our destination point with the least possible resistance. Thankfully I think in the end we balance each other out. When I express my need to take the road less travelled he usually listens and when he expresses his need to drive 20 hours in one day in order for us to sleep in our own bed I usually listen. Aaawww sweet compromise!
Here are a couple of the photos I took of our vacation in Hilton Head. We did have a great time. A beautiful place to visit!
I was the last family member to see an alligator and I told them I wasn't going home until I saw one. We biked around until my demented demand could be fulfilled.
I was in awe on the huge Live Oak trees covered in Spanish Moss. It probably goes without saying that I referred to my dad's back yard as the magical forest. I mean c'mon.....doesn't it look magical with that canopy of moss. Tall Mr. Bob looks downright tiny here. Like a little forest elf.
I snapped this photo of Bob, Brooke and Courtney at the Stoney-Baynard Ruins. This ruins dates back to pre Civil War. The structure was made of tabby....an oyster shell, sand and water material. Very cool.
Here Bob contemplates the meaning of life. (my interpretation of this photo)
Hurry up and take the picture Megan....I'm hungry and I heard Janine made lasagna for dinner. (bob's possible interpretation of this photo)
We had a great time visiting my dad and stepmom. They bent over backwards to make sure we all had a great time. Biking, golf, shopping, eating (lots o eating) and just good old visiting. It made the long drive down and back all worth it.