September 30, 2013

Words I Try To Live By

I have always liked this quote ...

and at a Friday sale I found this plaque.

These are things that I try to do daily, but often times I fail. The next day I try again, and every day of my life I will try to be a better person.

September 29, 2013

Thrift Share

What is better than a church rummage sales with their reasonable priced items? Helping setting up a church sale that allows you to purchase the items before the sale starts.

Every year my sisters church, has a huge four day sale with a pole barn, barn, garage and several tents full of items for sale.

They start taking in donations and setting up two weeks before the sale. My sister is in charge of the housewares section, and asked me to help her this year. I was not thrilled about spending time in a pole barn in the middle of July, but I smiled and told my sweet sister I would be glad to help her.

This is how it worked. Volunteers received the donations, separated the items for the various areas, clothes, holiday, linens, housewares, and deliver the sorted boxes to that section.

Two long tables were set up, and as the sorted boxes were delivered to the housewares area my sister and her volunteers would unpack and price the items. It was my job to take the priced items to the housewares section, which I would like to mention was at the back of the pole barn, and neatly display the like items together.

As I was displaying the priced items, I came across a Cathrineholm lotus fry pan in excellent condition priced at one dollar. I walked back to the pricing table to tell the ladies this was a very collectible item.

There was a very outspoken women who claimed to have a lot of knowledge about vintage items and collectibles whom everyone seemed to listen to, and this time was no exception.

"It's a church rummage sale, let someone get a thrill, leave it priced at one dollar." Well, folks I was that person who was thrilled! I placed the Cathrineholm fry pan in my to buy pile. 

There was no lid with the pan, but I started thinking about the box that contained lids but not pans. The next morning I ran walked, over to the box, to see if I could find the lid, no luck. I was still very satisfied with my one dollar purchase. Several days later I grabbed an enamel aqua lid out of a box, I quickly turned it over to find this logo.

I was so excited, I walked up front, to put it with my to be purchased items, and told my sister that I found the lid to my fry pan. To my surprise and delight the outspoken lady said you already bought the pan just take the lid. Thank you very much.

This Cathrineholm enameled lotus patterned fry pan with matching lid has no stains, or blemishes. This is why I love church rummage sales.

On the last day of set up to my amazement, I found more Cathrineholm.

Two Cathrineholm casserole/lasagna pans with a stand. How lucky can one person get. These were price low, but cannot remember exactly what I paid.

So after years and years of searching I have finally found my first mid-century modern pieces of Cathrineholm Enamel Ware by Grete Prytz Kittelsen.

It pays to volunteer your time.

Linking to:

Sir-Thrift-A Lot:  Thriftasaurus
A Living Space: The Nifty Thrifty
Me and My Shadow: Magpie Monday
We Call It Junkin: We Call It Olde Link Up
ColoradoLady: Vintage Thing Thursday
Thrifty Groove: Thrifty Things Friday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson: Share Your Cup Thursday

September 26, 2013

Get To Steppin'

 On Sunday afternoon while the majority of Wisconsin people were watching the Green Bay Packers play football, my friends and I took advantage of tours being offered at Kemper Hall of areas that are not usually accessible to the public.

Kemper Hall was an Episcopal girls' boarding school that started in 1865 and closed in 1975. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans daughter attended this boarding school.

I was fascinated with the stairs throughout the school and the house where the students learned and lived, and took several photos that I wanted to share with you.

Green marble stairs lead the way to the chemistry lab
one of the first in the state of Wisconsin.
Tower stairway to the observatory.
These steps wind up six floors.
A view of the Kenosha harbor from the platform of the observatory.
The building on the right was the residence of the 36 Episcopal nuns that ran
this prestigious school. You can get a glimpse of the beautiful grounds that
surrounded the school. Green grass and trees on the west side of the schools
property and a beautiful view of  Lake Michigan on the east side of the property.
When the school was full of students, this staircase was used
by the students to classrooms located on different floors.
This staircase cannot be used by the public because the banister  and
hand railing are too short according to today's safety rules.

Beautiful wood floors and staircases inside the the dormitory.
The mansion is used today as a background for wedding
photos, engagement, and family photos.

September 25, 2013

They Flush With Pride at Shoji Tabuchi Theatre

Whenever you talk about Branson, Missouri anyone who has experienced Branson will talk about the traffic on 76 County Boulevard and the restrooms at the Shoji Tabuchi theater located on the Shepard of the Hills expressway.

I stopped at my neighbors, to ask them if they would fetch my mail while I was gone, and they both told me to make sure I stop at Shoji's theater and check out the restrooms.

I like to research an area that I will be visiting, my Google search of Branson showed many, many, many references to "THE" restrooms of Shoji Tabuchi theater.

This is the Shoji Tabuhi theater in Branson, Missouri.
Without further ado here are some photos of the ladies powder room.

The  entrance doors are cut and beveled glass, and the
LADIES transom sign is stained and jeweled glass.
A sign requests "Ladies Only Please," stands at the entrance.
Just inside the jeweled door hangs a magnificent chandelier
sparkling from the purple ceiling.  All the chandeliers in this
1800 square foot room were imported from Italy.
Fresh flowers are displayed throughout the room.

The ladies room is styled to look like a New Orleans 1920's courtyard. The ceiling and metal wainscoting are reminiscent of the 1980's empire period.

The fireplace was imported from Paris.
Granite and onyx pedestal sinks line the wall.
While custom crafted gold leaf mirrors hang above each sink.

While the sign out in front of the ladies room request "ladies only, please" a similar sign in front of the gentlemen's room request "Men Only, Please." Thank goodness for Google because I found photos of the inside of the mens room.

A $35,000 hand carved mahogany billiard table in the mens room.
Photo Source 
Black lion heads sinks imported from Italy line the mens room.
Photo Source 

These opulent restrooms were the 2009 winner of America's Best Restrooms Award.

So count me among the ranks of people who have been to Branson, Missouri who will tell first time visitors to go see the restroom at the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre.

I'm just glad I don't have to clean them!

September 24, 2013

Road Tripping to Branson

A road trip to Branson, Missouri was suggested by my friend Carol to me and our mutual friend Renee. We would stay at her time share, at no cost to either of us. We would split the gas three ways, and she would drive her van. We packed and were ready for our six day adventure.

Branson, Missouri is nestled in the Ozark Mountains and has become a popular tourist destination due to the theaters that line 76 County Boulevard and Shepard of the Hill Expressway. There is 192 attraction that can be attended morning, noon and evening.

Branson, Missouri is 629 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
About two hours away from Branson, I began to see billboard advertising the Candy Factory.

Billboards were on the left side of the road. . .

and on the right side of the road. They announced what exit to take

and when to take it.

This business loved billboard, but because of those billboards we decided we had to stop and check out this place.

At last we saw Redmons. . .

Candy Factory!

Isles of taffy. . .

penny candy. . .

hard candy. . .

and homemade fudge. Yummy!

My friend Renee bought candy for us to munch on. . .

and I figured since we stopped I better go.

September 20, 2013

Vintage Fur Tippet

A rather tattered box was among the treasures that I received from my cousin, in the lower right hand corner was the logo of one of the finer department stores in our area.

Memories began to stir as I remembered shopping with my mother for a new Easter dress, hat and coat. When it was time to pay for our purchase my mom would slide the credit card from the red plastic holder and give the sales clerk the credit card that had my father's name impressed in the metal, it was similar to a service men's dog tag. The clerk would hand write a sales slip place the slip inside a metal tube hold the tube up to a pipe that would suck the tube to the credit department located on the top floor of the store.

Well, that was a fun trip down memory lane, now back to what was inside the box.

I removed the lid from the box pushed the fragile tissue paper aside and found a fur tippet or fur stole resting inside.

To my horror surprise a furry face, feet, a tail, nose, ears and beady glass eyes stared at me. Again memories began to stir, and I remembered all my Aunts and most of my cousins owned fur tippets. For some reason, my mother did not own any kind of fur. Perhaps she was against animal cruelty, but more likely my father couldn't afford to purchase one for her. 

This fur tippet or fur stole is made from two pelts and can be worn several different ways. You can wrap it around your neck, drape it over your arm or shoulder, or clip it to your lapel or collar.

A cord wrapped clip to securely fasten the tippet.
This tippet is made with two furs.

This family photo dated May 1953 shows my two cousins and aunt all dressed up with their fur tippets.

The box was tucked on a shelf in the garage, and one day while the children were playing in the backyard I called my daughter over to show her the curiosity fur tippet. While sharing our feelings about what was inside the box, my nosey grandson ran over to see what we were doing.

"What is it?" asked my five year old grandson. I picked the tippet up by its tail and showed him what was inside the box. His eyes opened up wide, and he took a few steps backwards. "What do you do with that?" he asked.

Now, what is a loving grandmother supposed to do when a sweet little boy asks a question like that? 

I of course began to move towards that sweet boy dangling the fur from my fingers. He screamed so loud and began to run in circles around the yard. Tears streamed down my face and my daughters from laughing so hard. 

We explained that it was a fur collar that women wore around their necks when they got all fancied up. My grandson slowly approached me and the fur tippet. Using one finger he poked the fur, and keeping a safe distance away from the fur examined the feet, tail, ears and face.

I was to babysit for him that evening and told him perhaps I would bring the fur tippet along, I of course was just teasing him. That evening, when I told him it was time for bed, I didn't have any trouble getting him into his bed.

For those of you who are shaking your heads and thinking that I have traumatized my grandson, be advised that every time he comes over he wants to go into the garage to see the fur.

September 19, 2013

Vintage Suitcases - Where Have You Been

I must admit that I prefer to travel with the new suitcase that are on wheels, that can do a 360 degree turn with just a finger tip. However, I love vintage and mid-century modern suitcases, in fact, during my first week of blogging I wrote about some suitcases I purchased that were used in my grandsons birth announcements if interested you can find that blog post by clicking here.

My cousin offered me three suitcases and the price was right, free, so home these little beauties came with me.

The bottom suitcase had tags attached indicating that the last time this suitcase traveled it flew Braniff airlines.

The inside of this suitcase is in wonderful condition and has a lovely soft green lining. This looks like a suitcase a woman would use.

The inside of this suitcase is in excellent condition with a tan lining that has black lines making small squares. This looks like a suitcase a man would have used. The outside is marred and scarred with black marks, this has been a well use suitcase.

The top suitcase belonged to someone who served in the Navy, A/C Douglas Blossom who was enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve. This is not a relative, and my cousin has no idea how she came to acquire this suitcase.

The inside of this suitcase is painted a rather drab brown, no side pockets, or straps to hold the clothing in place during transport. This is a no nonsense suitcase.

Three different suitcase handles all made of leather. I wonder where these cases traveled to? Was it a vacation destination, or perhaps to visit and take care of an ill relative, or it could have carried contents across the pond so that A/C Blossom could serve his country.

Three different suitcase if only they could tell of stories of where they have been.