July 10, 2014

Decluttering Vintage Dolls

Sorry, for my absence from blogging but I was hit by a bug and haven't been feeling well. I hope to get caught up reading my favorite blogs soon.

My blog posts will sporadic for the next few months, my niece and great nephew arrived from Florida for a weeks visit, my sister-in-law will arrive on Sunday and stay with me for a week, and at the end of the month is our family vacation in Door County, Wisconsin.

The great declutter of my basement continues although progress has been slow. I have found many things that I will keep and many, many, many things that I will give away or donate.

When I found this box and opened it up, I let out a little gasp and a loud EWWW! Here's the story, almost four years ago my friend's mother-in-law passed away. Her home was sold and the contents needed to be removed from the house. Before her passing, she asked her family not to have an estate sale but rather give her things away. Mary was in her late 80's and had lived in this house since she was a small child, the home was filled with wonderful items.

While cleaning out the attic, they found dolls that belonged to the oldest daughter. She has a son and was not interested in keeping the dolls, my friend and her husband had a daughter and son but neither were married, so no grandchildren to give the dolls too.

So you may have guessed that I was the recipient of these dolls for my only granddaughter Lulu Belle to play with.

The dolls have never been played with because they were put into the basement and forgotten about until the great declutter.

Let's have a look at these dollies.


These dolls actually are from my parents house and I have saved them all of these years. The blond doll has blue eyes, and the brunette has browneyes. Where are their clothes? Doesn't the brunette doll look a little like Snow White?


The next dolls were given to me by my friend. This pretty lady still had her hairnet on top of her head. Rhinestone earrings and necklace, fur wrap with a black satin gown. Her finger and toenails are painted red. Where did her shoes go?


This blue eyed baby still has her earrings and shoes, but she needs to have her hair styled.


Naked as a jaybird this sweet faced dolly appears to have a medical problem perhaps rosacea or scarlet fever. She does have a sweet face and rosebud mouth. 



This is the most frightening doll I have ever seen! The doll looks like it's furious and the piercing blue eyes are just creepy. All I can say is EWWW.

In the past four years, my friends daughter got married and had a baby. Her granddaughter is now 2 and a half years old so I am going to take these dolls over to her house for her granddaughter. I think theses keepsakes should stay in the family.

I sure hope this doesn't end our friendship !!

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to all of my new followers.
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June 30, 2014

Thrift Share and Family Fun

I can't do it, I just can't do it! As I drove to the post office late Friday morning, every street corner seemed to host a sign pointing to a rummage sale or estate sale. I noticed each and every sign but kept on my charted course towards the post office.

After mailing my packages I took a different route home on a small county highway, I noticed several cars on both sides of the shoulder of the road, I rubbernecked as I drove past trying to get a peek of what was for sale. I drove a short distance and spotted another sale. Because I am weak in spirit, I stopped to take a look.

I came away with two vintage books one written in 1959 and the other in 1969. They were 50¢ each.


The baby book written in  1969 has advice for each stage of babies first years. This information is so antiquated, but that will be another post. I have never heard or read the story of 'Johnny-Crows Garden,' the graphics are fantastic, I'll also share more about this book later.

With my decluttering resolve broken I turned the car around and headed back to the sale with all of the cars. What an assortment of items that were for sale, handmade, new yard decorations and bird houses, clothes, and tables full of household items. Several people were stationed around the different areas. 

The first item I saw was a Pyrex bowl, it was not priced I walked over to the card table where you would pay and asked the ladies for the price. One looked at the other, they looked at my Pyrex bowl, shrugged their shoulders and asked if 25¢ was okay. Yipee!


My 25¢, 443 Pyrex bowl, holds 2 1/2 quarts and is a very subtle shade of yellow. I noticed the Brody hobnail vase and got that for 50¢. 

The bean pot had a pink sticker price tag of 50¢, how could I pass it up.


West Bend bean pot made in the USA, and the plastic picture frame, which will look so much better when I paint it a different color, was $1.00.

As I walked around the tables I tried to tell myself only buy things you will use or really need. My next purchase was neither of those, more like a want.


I saw this sitting on a table and thought  it was a shaker for bath powder, but when I turned it over there was no way to fill it.


After a few seconds, I realized it was a hat pin holder. This piece has been well loved and probably washed with harsh solutions as the gold paint is faded in several spots. There is not a maker's mark only the words 'hand painted.' Now all I have to do is find my collection of hat pins.

I sure didn't want to put these thrifty finds in my basement so, the hat pin holder now sits on the dresser in the guest room, a nice addition to the other vintage items on display.

After washing the Pyrex bowl I found a place for it in my cabinets, it is a nice size for mixing. 

The books, well those seem to be my weakness and will go with the rest of my books stored in wooden crates, after I finish reading them. 

Looking for the right shade of paint for the picture frame before I place one of my family photos in it for display.

The bean pot was washed and used on Saturday for a family cookout we had at my son's house. I told him and his wife to keep the bean pot.

What a lovely Saturday afternoon I spent with my three children, their spouses, my six grandchildren, and my sweet sister and brother-in-law.

Here are a few photos of our family fun.







I don't believe I will have a chance to work on my great declutter in the basement this week, but rest assured I will get back to it next week.

I hope to be linking with with theses parties.

Sir-Thrift-A Lot:  Thriftasaurus
A Living Space: The Nifty Thrifty
Costal Charm:  Show and Share
Me and My Shadow: Magpie Monday
We Call It Junkin: We Call It Olde Link Up
ColoradoLady: Vintage Thing Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson: Share Your Cup Thursday
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June 26, 2014

My Summer Reads In the Month of June

Enthusiastic, overzealous, excited, determined, gung-ho, would describe how I felt during the first few days of the great declutter. Now well not so much.

For the past few days, I have been reading and taking short breaks from the book to spend short amounts of time with the decluttering process.

Here's what I've been reading.

Mary Kay Andrews is my all time favorite author, I've read every book that she has written including her Callahan mystery series under her real name of Kathy Hogan Trocheck.

For several years she has released new titles in the month of June, I have blogged about those books. In June of 2012 her book "Spring Fever" came out, you can read that post here. Also in June of 2013 she released the book "Ladies Night," you can read that post here.

June's 2014 release is titled "Save the Date." I reserved the book from my public library and was number 10 on the wait list. I didn't want to wait that long so I used a Barnes and Noble coupon and purchased the book.


Amazon's synopsis of this book.
"A savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime—one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn't believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate them. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in.  Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all."

I can normally devour her book in two days, but this one just didn't hold my attention likes the rest of her reads did. Mark Kay Andrews writes with a formula for her books, but tosses in a twist that makes you fall in love with them. I believe I gave it 3.75 stars on Goodreads.

An email from the library told me the reserved title of "The Glass Kitchen" by Linda Francis Lee that I wanted to read was ready for pick up. 


I have confessed several different times that I judge books by their covers and this cover caught me eye. Trendy with painted canning jars, hydrangeas, and that color combination in such beautiful hues would pull anyone over to check out the book.

A synopsis from Goodreads.
"Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan... and never cook again. 
But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream. 
The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family."

The book was filled with sassy characters that were often unconventional but believable. A quick summer read, I give it four stars.

I finished the book in two days, you can guess how much decluttering was done during that period of time, not a whole hell of a lot. 

I knew that this was a popular book and others had reserved this title, so after I finished it I quickly returned it to the library. I, of course, walked down the isle where the 'new' and 'hot' titled books are shelved. Not having any title or author in mind I scanned the shelves of books. Of course, the cover of the book caught my attention.


The cover is simple and elegant with a lovely font to announce the name of this book. I scanned the front flap seeing that Paris and antique furniture were involved and checked out the book. I was hooked from the first sentence in the first chapter.

Amazon's synopsis of this book.
"When April Vogt's boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby's continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.
Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder's repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there's a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April's quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It's about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman."
I sat reading yesterday afternoon before I had to leave to babysit my newest grandson who is almost eight weeks old. Such a sweet baby and so good. I only had a chance to read  eight chapters before I had to go, but I am loving the story line, the characters and the history that the book is offering me.

Probably not much work will get done today. Have you read any good books lately? I am always open for book suggestions. Oh, by the way, if you would like to read Mary Kay Andrews book 'Save the Date" I am finished with my copy and would be happy to mail it to you. First come first served and perhaps the next person could pass it on to someone else.
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June 25, 2014

Decluttering Cups and Mug, The Beauty, The Cutie, and What Was I Thinking

People are obsessed love coffee cups and mugs. Starbucks mugs sell on eBay often times at outrageous prices. Pinterest has pages and pages titled 'My coffee cup obsession' or 'My mug obsession.' Vacation souvenirs from friends and relatives are often times coffee mugs.

While I don't have a Pinterest page of coffee mugs and cups, I did find several mugs and cups during my great declutter. Some are very elegant, some whimsical and a few brought the question of 'Why?' to mind, and do I possess any type of good taste?

Here are the three out of the several, too many, lots of cups and mugs I found that fall into this category.

The Beauty


While I found many china cups with delicate flowers and designs, this was a cup and saucer that I loved immediately. For me, it's a happy cup and very pretty in that 70's kind of way.

The Cutie



Who wouldn't fall in love with that adorable face? I paid 50¢, what a deal! It's not a deal if it's put away and never used. I could have bought an apple with that money. This declutter is making me realize that not all cute or pretty items have to come home with me, even if the item is a low price. 


The Wow or What the Hell was I Thinking 

The front of the mug
The back of the mug
The side of the mug message,
May your cup always be two-turds full in Wisconsin
The inside of the mug
Yep, those are supposed to be two deer turds!

Are you shaking your head, just like I am? If not you are too polite. What else lurks in my basement? Stay tuned.Photobucket

June 24, 2014

My Childhood Ephemera Found During the Great Declutter

The great declutter has turned up item from my childhood. You know how much I like ephemera, old papers, writings in notebooks, drawings, books, well, this time I have found things my father saved from when I was a child.  I have spent time walking down memory lane looking through my school papers.


This file cabinet was from my dad's house, one of the drawers held my childhood memories. My father was notorious for taping up notes and inspirational messages, see all of the tape residue that remains? The sticker that is still attached has my children's names and birthdates on it how strange it is to again see my father's handwriting. I'm going to clean up the file cabinet and keep it.


How times have changed, stories about Indians and Eskimos, which are now referred to as Native Americans and Inuits filled an October magazine that we all had to color. Drawings from my early school days show I didn't get my father's artist gene. My perspective of objects in my art work, and my knowledge of color words leaves me wondering how I got through school.

I was 5 years old and in kindergarten when this was drawn.
My father was very good at documenting my school work.
Clearly the sun is yellow.
What I was shocked to find was my watercolor paintings from a summer art class. I remember my dad would drive me to a women's house, not a clue of what her name was, for the two hours class. We would go upstairs to her attic with sloped ceilings and sit at old kitchen tables and chairs. One table was a favorite of all the students, it sat between the two slopes of the roof and in front of the window. If you got there early enough, you could get a seat.

I was not a very good art student and a pretty poor painter. Here is some of my pieces.










Now I understand why people are afraid of clowns!

What is very scary is that I won  a safety poster contest. I remember the poster was a child's head with the caption, Drive Slow Children Move Fast. Maybe no one else entered or perhaps the judges needed glasses because clearly you can see I didn't have much talent.


I will be keeping these items for my grandchildren to one day find stored in my father's file cabinet. I'm sure they will get a good laugh.

What else will I uncover in my great declutter? Stay tuned. 
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June 23, 2014

48 Stars, A Chicken, A Jar and Uncle Sam

In a few weeks, Americans will be celebrating Independence Day usually called The Fourth of July, on this day, we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

So while I was sorting things out during my great declutter, I found these treasures that I will use to decorate for the upcoming holiday.

Tucked inside one of the drawers of my mother's dresser from the 1940's, that I am considering to redo using ASCP, but that will be another post, I found this American flag.

This flag was found at my father's house
while we were clearing things out.
Forty eight stars on this field of blue.
This flag measures 36 X 26 and originally was on a wooden flag pole.
One tiny staple still remains on the edge of the flag
where it must have been stapled onto a wooden rod.
On January 3, 1959 Alaska became our 59th state so this flag is at least 56 years old.

I use to travel to Cedarburg, Wisconsin right after Thanksgiving and before Christmas for the Lang Company warehouse sale. The line would wind around the salt box building that had electric candles placed in the center of each window. You could get your Christmas cards three and sometimes four boxes for ten dollars. Coffee mugs, candles, decorations, gift items were all reasonable priced. Sadly the warehouse sale moved to a Milwaukee suburb and it was just not the same, so I stopped going.

While sorting I found a peculiar piece that I bought at one of the Cedarburg Lang sales. This decorative figurine was made by Dan DiPaolo in 2003, for the August Moon series produced by the Lang company. 

Title of this piece is;
Uncle Sam on a chicken.
I believe I only paid $5.00.

I have no idea why Dan Dipaolo thought to have Uncle Sam ride a chicken, but this little guy is a great conversation piece.


This large lidded jar was a recent yard sale 
find for only $3.00. It was standing empty 
so I decided to put. . .


Uncle Sam on a chicken inside.

The great declutter continues, stay tuned and see what I dig up next time.
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