Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Our New Neighbor, A New Condition and Not Much More

Not that I'm one of those neighbors who keeps who nose pressed to the window watching our neighbors comings and goings, but I do have to admit I wish I had gotten a recording of this new neighbor's arrival: Actually, Hubby is the one who spotted the little guy/gal lying down in the field so of course I grabbed my camera and literally leaped out the door. Hubby is talking to me but you can't hear his voice (didn't want you to think I was talking to myself, although I often do). My monthly Giftaway is back on! Yes, a name will be pulled from the scant list of people who commented during the months of February and March. The scant list is my own fault - I took a blogging break and know that several people, believing I had either died or broken both hands and was unable to type or manipulate a microphone stopped reading and commenting. But, both the Giftaway and I have both returned! Look for the announcement of the winner's name April 1 or 2! The April Giftaway and those following, however, will have a New Condition. In order to be eligible for the monthly drawing you must not only leave a comment for that month, you must be a follower of this blog. Simple enough, eh? I've noticed that most of Blogland has been sharing their home Easter decorations. I'm not one to decorate much for Easter but here goes: This is a little vignette I put together for my office. The Peter Cottontail plate in the background is something I made several years ago simply because I like bunnies. Yes, I'm a bunny lover. Well, except for when they raid our garden. Then I feel like Elmer Fudd ("Kill the wabbit...") I made these eggs from felt the other night and threw them in a heart-shaped basket. I'll put them on our kitchen table whenever I clear it of a new batch of items that are awaiting their turn to be priced. As you can see, I obviously didn't go all out for decorations. I must confess, though, that the felt eggs do look better in person. Actually, they're quite beautiful and rival the Faberge' eggs. Okay, so I exaggerate. But the bunny in the basket with them IS quite cute...

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Reveal: Ta-DAHHHHH!!!!

As promised in my last post, here are some "after" pictures of the bedroom furniture Hubby picked up curbside. These were taken in his workshop, the shape of which I will make no apologies for! (It's a man thing, ya know!) And a closeup of the mirror: Finally, the chest: These pieces had been actually painted by the factory, so we made the decision to repaint them a similar color. However, the floor linoleum tiles that were scraped off was done by someone OTHER than the factory! Looks pretty good, especially for something that started off like this, don't ya think? ; ) Yep, ol' Hubby's a keeper! We just celebrated our anniversary Wednesday, guess we'll keep each other a while longer. ...and, to answer Deb's question - we were both trash pickers before we met! It was a marriage meant to be!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cleaning and (re-)Conditioning Curbside Cache

I just love Spring cleaning!!!! It's such a fabulous time of year! Oh, wait a minute - no, I didn't mean that I personally love to Spring clean. No way! I just love it when others do. Wonderful things are tossed to the curb as people discard their unwanted items!
The Hubby was elated when he spotted a lady and her young son carrying an old chest and dresser (complete with mirror) to the curb the other day. She happily told him she had purchased a brand new bedroom suite and was giddy with the thought of getting the old set out of her home. It worked out perfectly. The Hubby giddily loaded it into our van.
It had been painted brown (easy to deal with) but someone had glued linoleum floor tiles to the tops. The set now looks like this:
After scraping off the tiles, removing the sticky residue and giving it a good sanding, various kinds of wood was revealed in the construction. You can see a green Poplar on this top, with a kind of white Poplar at the bottom of the picture. Oak was used in some of the drawers. Other than having to remove the linoleum, these pieces proved to be in pretty good shape. Some minor sanding on the drawers corrected some warping that created problems in opening and closing a couple of them: We'll get it all ready for painting and then this set will be as good, maybe better than, new! The "after" photos will be posted later!
You've all seen those black ugly (yet functional) metal mailboxes that everyone once used. I find them curbside all the time. Anyway, here's one I just finished - it's no longer black and no longer functional (as far as the post office is concerned). It's now pinked-up and blinged-out and can be used to hold bills, family notes to one another, washcloths, etc. Closeup of the flower. It grew a button with a vintage picture of a little girl on it.
If you get a chance, check out my Etsy sales (in the sidebar) and EBAY ITEMS. We have a talking deer listed on Ebay but also made a video of him singing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON1Z2iel9GU (Beware of Tasha's screeching in the background)
Have a blessed week and happy Spring cleaning!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring has Sprung, Shop Sales and Seniors with Spring in their Steps

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day! The temps actually reached 70°! There is no more snow on the ground! I must be really excited - just look at all these exclamation marks! I took advantage of the nice weather and drove into Elizabethton to check on the shop (aka the Corner Nest) and was happy to see that everyone's sales have picked up substantially!!! (Note the use of three exclamations here) Actually, things have never been slow there and we all thank our lucky stars for that. But when I say things have picked up, trust me - it's incredible. For example, I love it when we bring in something like a solid wood table with four chairs Tuesday night and we get a call Wednesday morning to let us know it sold. Especially after we just sold a huge dry sink a couple days before. If you want to see some recent photos, click HERE for my Flickr album. It was still nice and warm when I got home, so of course I had to play outside for awhile in the dirt with the flowers. Amidst all the dead debris of winter, this caught my eye: Do you see it? Here's a closer look: This lone yellow crocus is the only flower (so far) to nudge above winter's debris in my biggest garden. However, there are several other beauties scattered about on the property. An example is this purple crocus: It looks more lavender in the picture but it's really a deep purple and look at its center: Who but Nature would have thought to combine orange and purple? We have daffodils growing all over our yard. They look like a happy flower to me. Before I close this post, I want to share a special couple with you. Known affectionately as "Mom" and "Dad", both work at the shop and they are two of my absolutely favorite people as is the shop owner and manager, Robin Blackwell. Robin threw a Valentine dinner and dance for all us vendors, complete with a live band. Mom and Dad danced the night away and put the younger people to shame! Dad will be 83 years young on Monday and I am blessed to witness their devotion to one another.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Properly Picking Perfect Pineapples

Few people enjoy fresh fruit more than me. Produce managers around here probably cringe as I (literally) pick through their displays, examining each piece of fruit before it gets placed in my bag. Living in NE Tennessee, you can only imagine how "fresh" the fruit is before it arrives at our local Krogers. As I was shopping for pineapple this morning, a young woman looked at me curiously as I picked what I thought was the best from the selection before us. She grabbed one, shrugged and said, "They're all the same, aren't they?" I gave her a quick lesson in pineapple picking and of course that light bulb over my head went off. You know, the one that radiates "Blog this, blog this!" from within. Regardless of what the cartoon lady in the flouncy skirt says, it's not this (this is only an advertising tag): It's not the smell, the firmness or the coloration: It's not the pretty stalk or the greenery: It's the fact that the little designs on the outside are round all the way to the top. If they aren't round all the way up to the greenery it's not a ripe pineapple! Simple, huh? Yes, I know I could have said this at the start of this post but what fun would that have been?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Playing Catch-Up, Downplaying and About That Credit

It's been a while since I've posted "fresh" pictures of the shop (Corner Nest in Elizabethton, TN) and thought you might want to rest your eyes with a little eye candy. Most of these pictures are not of our booths - I like to take pictures of all over the mall so you can see the diversity of antiques, gifts, and handmade items offered there: What's an antiques shop without quilts? And here's a new addition: home made preserves! YUM! Here's a little something special for you (us) shabby chic lovers: And here's a chest we just added a couple days ago: If you want to see more pictures of the Corner Nest, click HERE. And here's a twist on an idea I picked up from Joy at Joys of Home! I've had this olde battered and severely discolored tray with this cool patina and character scars for several months. It looked like it could be easily made into a frame but, uh, I couldn't figure out how I wanted to do that. At least, not until I saw Joy's post. Long story short, remember that flower fairy that had been sitting in the midst of my studio mess? Well, now she has a permanent home - one where she is safe and prettily framed on a background of aged wallpaper. Finally, I promised you I would share some of the things I learned during my 20+ years of working in the mortgage industry. There is so much that goes into credit that it would be impossible to put all the information into one little blog post, so let me share a few things that seemed to surprise a lot of people while I was pouring over their credit reports with them: 1. The history of how you pay or paid an account will remain on your report for ten years. (Used to be seven, now most creditors are keeping the info there for ten.) If you were ever 30 days or more late paying a bill, your report will code not only how many times you were late but the dates you were late. This history WILL stay on your report after you pay off this bill. (I can't count the number of times people would look at me and say, "But I paid that off!") It doesn't matter. History is history. 2. Tearing up a credit card and never using it again does NOT close that account. Unless that card had an expiration date that was not renewed, the account remains open. If it's one of those lousy charge cards that charges $39 or whatever annually just for the "privilege" of using it, that charge will be billed to you and if you don't pay it you COULD be charged late fees. If it's your intention to close an account, call or mail the creditor to inform them of such. Simply not using the card doesn't do it. 3. The credit of similarly named individuals in a family could show up on your credit report. It's not unusual for "Senior" and "Junior" accounts to criss-cross. Expect this to happen - another reason to stay informed of what is on your report by pulling it yourself once a year. (Especially if the other individual has bad credit.) 4. Using a company that helps you reduce the interest on your accounts WILL affect your credit history. Although you may be making payments on time to one of the many nonprofit organizations designed to help you, you are NOT making on time payments under the rules of your original agreement with the creditor. Yes, I am saying that those creditors affected will still report you as making late payments to them. 5. Making your rent or mortgage payments late is basically the "kiss of death" when it comes to mortgage loans. Mortgage lenders expect you to ALWAYS put the roof over your head first; don't expect them to grant you a mortgage if your car payment is always on time but you run late on your mortgage. As always, thanks for stopping by and God bless!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Re-stocking Our Antiques Spaces!

Just a quick post today to share some pictures of what it looks like around here when we're getting ready to take "fresh" merchandise into "the shop" (the Corner Nest, Elizabethton, TN). We have three large spaces there. If you have thought about going into the business of antique selling but have never quite gotten your toes inside, let me tell you that it IS a lot of fun and is quite addictive. However, it's also a LOT of work! I love these little doll-sized teacups and saucers! (I set our sugar bowl next to them so you could see their size) My kitchen counter this afternoon is lined with kitchen towels so I'd have a place for them to sit while they air-dried. (Vintage pieces really shouldn't be put in the dishwasher.) This is a closeup of the detail on this sweet pin holder: It is unsigned (no marks on the bottom) so I have no idea where it was made, etc., but I love it. And here is the mark on the bottom of this plate: I haven't finished researching this "signature". I've seen it before but can't remember the manufacturer's name. It's easy to see that it's a very old piece (can you see the crackling on the plate?). The plate will make a nice decorative piece for someone's wall or china cabinet; I doubt if it will be purchased to hold someone's dinner. Here's a partial view of my kitchen table. Lots of stuff goes on here except dining. Once everything is washed it needs to be priced. If it's not priced and tagged with your name, it can't be sold. What a mess, huh? Underneath the items in this basket are pages of old magazine ads. Yep, they are individually packaged in clear pages and priced, too! The shop we're in has not only antiques, but gift items and handmade goods. I learned very early that if you're going to sell your arts and/or crafts you still have to have lots of other items mingled in! Booths with nothing but crafts will unfortunately often get passed by! This is a pitcher-shaped basket that holds a bouquet I made last year. I brought it home at the end of the season and have been storing it but just recently un-buried it, gave it a redo and am getting it ready to go back to the shop. Hubby worked on these shelves - I've had so many problems lately with RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) that I couldn't get my fingers and hands to do anything without major pain. Thank Goodness for prednisone "dose packs" that are helping me get through a severe flareup. If it wasn't for the additional meds, I wouldn't be able to clean glassware or get these olde hats ready to go! This isn't, by the way, how the hats will be displayed when they get to the shop. They are just enjoying a temporary resting place after I tagged them. (Don't ya just love 'em???) You've seen lots of "before" and "after" shots of much of the furniture we've sold. (If you're new to this blog, just scroll back and you'll easily find them!) If it's a piece in really bad condition, I let my husband fix it up. (Isn't that sweet of me?) He does a super job of repair and restoration. THAT'S where the major work is! Then, of course, once you get everything to the shop you still have to maintain the space, keep it clean and organized, etc. By the way, it will be a couple more days before everything is ready to take to the shop so if you see anything here you might be interested in, let me know! God bless you all!!!