Wednesday, March 31, 2010

American Picker...I knew him when...'s him...Mike Wolf...we crossed paths when Lorie and I rented a shop in LeClaire, Iowa from him.

Mike's love of bikes is well known on the show, but every time he got a new one, he'd ride it down to the shop and talk me into a shoot...

Oh look...a loon...
Mike has a great eye for the good stuff, I was frequently tempted by all the cool stuff he dragged in and sold at our shop, funky stuff that really sold well...hey Mike, what ever happened to that moth-eaten antelope kinda trash!

Lorie and I had the cutest shop, right on the Mighty Miss, called The Captain's Cottage Antiques...aka The Captain's Wives...the home was a former river boat captain's home back in the day...
This home was also featured in Country Living magazine, when fellow dealers, the Merkels' owned it, very primitive inside, both Lorie and I could've easily lived in this lil' home...if I can find the article, I'll post it.

Isn't it just the quaintest lil' thing...snow YUCK!!!

The home was quite old and displayed early river architecture...and Janet Merkel had the most fabulous gardens all 'round the house, to add to it's country flare.

We fell in love with this old counter Mike dragged in to let us use...sigh...and a copper boiler...who knows where he found this stuff...connections and tenacity!!!

This was Mike's lil' shop, you would've loved all the prims sat outside our back door, so we were slowly starting to fill it's porch with the trash of our trade...junk!

The whole place was just filled with ambiance and we had a blast doing the shop there, until the 'C' word turned me and Lorie's worlds upside son in law
and her mother, brain cancer would force us to forgo our shop together while this tragedy unfolded.
But Mike continues to buy and refurbish old homes and buildings in LeClaire, a quaint town on the Mississippi...and I continue to sell soap at one of the local shops, Grasshoppers, the cutest lil' shop ever.
See, Iowa ain't so boring...come check us out...a lotta history goin' on here.

...time heals a day in the life!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A comin' O the greens...

Oh boy...oh boy...oh boy...
Well it doesn't take much for us Northuners to get excited...
a little bit o the green really turns us on!

New candle styles and scents fill the shop and the street with wonderful scents of Spring.
We've been told you can smell us cooking candles 2 blocks away...

The soap bar is starting to fill again with all those scents of flowers and clean,
fresh air...yummmm...

Love them pastels...sure signs of spring...

...and I'll be planting my peas today and tilling the rest of the's supposed to get into the 70's today and the rest of the week, so I guess you could say...


Monday, March 29, 2010

The church in the vale...

Me N Scratch took a drive to the river bottoms yesterday looking for interesting shots of old buildings...what a gem. This abandoned old church sits down near the Oakville bottoms,
an area that has been ravaged by flooding for several years now.
The levies just can't hold back the Iowa River anymore,
too many you think we're seeing weather changes...?

What a homestead...this old relic just looked so forlorn, as the Chinese elm tree dwarfs it,
so typical of abandoned homes on the river bottoms. Scrub trees run rampant, decay sets in and
folks tired of the floods move to higher ground out of harms way.

Having served it's term, the barn stands as a monument to farming everywhere, no longer useful because the new equipment doesn't even come close to fitting through the doors,
so they sit, filled with rusting implements past their prime...

Boy, would this American Picker love to go through these old steads.

Speaking of American Pickers...Mike Wolf is a friend, Lorie and I rented a shop from him in LeClaire, Iowa...the shots of me on the Harley over at The Wild Thing blog is one of Mike's bikes that he dragged in for me to see...he has a great eye for the good stuff...always like to see the new stuff he acquired every week....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday...Me, My Home

Delicate shadows
fade into the mem'ry of
the day of my birth

A.B.C. Ward
they called him Alphabet Ward
an attorney
started building his dream
in the mid 1800's
4 grand cement pillars raised
and set to a theme
where he would gaze at the river
the mighty muddy
the Mississippi
the view and the folly
for hours on end
alas his folly was not to be
he left the structure in shambles
and moved on
we're getting closer
to me

the home was purchased and assembled
a grand new life it would see
on the nob hill
where the elite lived
Cora Weed the owner would be
she dearly loved her gardens
and the views of the wild muddy
until the day she died
then the Bellevue arrived
getting closer to me

a hospital

this grand dame was reshaped
and mutilated
stripped of her charms
degradation began
grand pillars
buried alive
an enclosed porch would entomb
her integrity was scarred
an addition built on
a new wing for the lair
a pox on a lady
who had once been so fair

take heart dear ones
this tale ends with glee
dear friends
and high school buds
Tom and Cindy
bought the old dame
restored her and refurnished
they charmed her to fame
10 plus years in the chore
a monument to history
and a memory to gain
in the town of my birth
in the home of my birth
on nob hill

yes I was born in this home
as was my brother
you see
do you envy
I was for an instant
a princess born of
regal means
on a nob hill
in a mansion
an envy not to be

though I moved on like A.B. C. Ward
I still have the dream
and the original
and the regal
home of my birth



...and if you climb to the widows walk you can see all the way down the street where I now live...along the mighty Mississip' in the pink shack...

The Pink Chateau
and my birth home

Well, what a check out the others at Harriet's place...
and I promise I'll do a follow up on this old mansion. I'll call Cindy for a photo shoot and give you inside shots of the restorations and some history of what these two crazy old friends poured into this old relic...enjoy the view!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Uh oh...

Ok...I promise...this is it...the last of the oak...
my glass-front bookcase is now a creamy white(with mildew)
why you ask...oak is not a wood I'm in love with anymore, everything on the inside was not visible, books were hard to find...sooo...

Yes, this is the look I'm after...bright and cheery, that lil' corner in the room has really lit up. Now filled with my collection of old books of poetry, they are more visible and inviting.

Though, beautiful in it's own way, a very country look is not in the cards these days...
I never thought I would have my own painted furniture in my house,
but it works now...
and I have two boxes of stuff ready to take to work for sale... the word!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A remake...

I forgot to take a shot of this chair before the paint hit it, but it was black leather and icky dark wood...a short little chair, probably in a waiting room or mercantile of some sort...
but cute with good bones...
Isn't it just the cutest now...I love this finish...
so back to Sisters' anew...

Now remember, we're talking you remember this wonderful old organ/computer desk that I picked up and just couldn't part with...
well, I'm over it...
So now it's at Sisters' for someone else to cherish...

Beautiful lines, it's just a stand alone piece that will really make your computer not look so out of place...right...

It's all in the let the games begin!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An unusual piece...

I'm sure there is a proper name for this piece, but I don't know what it is. It has a coat closet, 3 drawers, a hat shelf and a writing desk...could it be a gentleman's dresser of some sort..
whatever it is, I love it, but Barb has sent it home with me to work my magic...

TA DA...
I love it in was the only paint finish perfect for this piece, very gentlemanly,
don't you think...?
I left the inside of the desk, closet and hat shelf it's natural wood finish, for a piece this masculine, you want to leave it a little more rugged so chips and scratches don't appear on it's usable elements, like writing or hanger nicks...besides...
and will tolerate a little paint, if you can see some wood...
there it is again, that Mars thing...

Hey girls, can you imagine this for a closet for your one dress and one pair of shoes
back in the day...

WHATEVER...I'm sure!!!! little bluebird watercolor sold 15 minutes after it was put on the floor at Sisters...
now, hopefully the others will move along soon.
Have a great SPRING day friends!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's the 'S' word...

There I said it, officially you can bury me in it's robes of green...
no other color pulls at your heart strings like the bright color of green in the spring,
as this cucumber soap with it's fresh spring scent, will truly wake you up in the shower
on a sunny Spring day...

Let's add beautiful blooms and bird nests...makes ya just want to rearrange the furniture...
with the doors wide open!

New Mown Hay, another favorite at Sister's, truly smells green, like a freshly mown hay field in the vast rolling hills of Iowa...mmmm...nuthin' like it!!!

YES...bury the Pink Chateau in flowing locks of green and I'll be happy the rest of my days...

Monday, March 22, 2010

A little birdie told me...

Well, I been sick all week with a very nasty Spring cold, so painting furniture was not on the menu...or anything else for that fact.
So I decided to frame this watercolor of a bluebird I did a couple of years ago.
I love the look of collage, but don't have the patience for I altered this painting with an old photo album page and some words from a vintage child's bird study book...
I liked the way it turned out, so I'll play some more...

This pencil sketch of a crow study was done a few years ago too...same scenario, this little book turned out to be a treasure and I will do many more of this collection as soon as I get more paintings I'm havin' fun...ah choo!!!

OK, I'm really havin' fun now...
This lil' warbler I painted yesterday especially for these projects...isn't he just the cutest!!!
I love the look of pencil and watercolor.
This one is my fave...agree...
And they all are for sale and going to Sisters',
so grab while you can!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday...Yo ho...

As the sun calms the eye
I sleep and I sail away...

It's a pirates life for me
yo ho ho
and a bottle o rum...

fair winds lead a lass
a seafaring wench
the cross-dressing mate
of the brethren of the coast
avast me hearties
set sail to the West
billowing white blooms
screaming like banshees
they run from the depths of
Davie Jone's locker
and the final rest

the Jolly Roger
raised to the pirate code
sail ho to the gold
the pieces of eight
bouillon of folly
oh, shiver me timbers
me hearty corsairs
it's a pirates life for me
yo ho

have you ever
dreamed of the
seafaring wench
Bonny Grace
or Anne Bonny
the salt of the seas
in a man's world
and swashbuckling
babes of the booty

those wild hearts
me buckos
I'll not maroon to the shores
the castaways
of the scullery
earn seat at the fore
spyglass at the ready
in earnest she seeks
Jack Sparrow
the sea dog
and the bounty
of this pirate's kiss

it's a pirate's life for me...
yo ho


Or...maybe it's Johnny Depp she yearns for...hmmmm...anyway, it's Shadow Shot time again and me and me mates bid you to play...sail the Southern seas to Australia and we'll show you the way me buccaneers...can you have too much fun???


Told ya I shouldn't hang the porch swing...very bad juju...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hunka, hunka love...

Ooh la la...silky, creamy lavender savon...these beautiful bars will soon be on their way to Texas, where Miss Lauri of Chippys will be adding them to her beautiful space at the show...y'all know what show I'm talkin' about...right!
Marburger Farms!

I've started making my lavender soap in extra large chunks, nearly double the size of the regular soap bars, it allows for the addition of a soap stamp.
Just a small embellishment, but a fun one...
very Provencal don't you think...

Wholesale, these batches sell at $3.50 per bar, but you must buy a whole batch of 16 bars,
$56.00 per batch.
A regular size bar, wholesale is $2.00 ea. or $32.00 per batch.

Many shops around the states are now carrying this wonderful soap or thrifty buyers are buying full batches for gifts or personal reasons, making the cost more reasonable...
especially once you get hooked on the feel and scent of each of these bars.

No kidding, even the men love the soap, especially the oatmeal, very soothing to dry skin.
I hear it over and over again, how much every one loves them...
and they all admit they're hooked...

TOLD YA...ha!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What if... found a rose laden bowl...

and frames round and square...and a petite lil' mirror...

what found the cutest, dainty plant stand...

and time-worn wooden decoys...

Would you relieve yourself of the pain and walk away...or would you take out that $20.00 bill that's burning a hole in your pocket and play tag
with the other dealers roaming your playground...
yeah, me too...
...and they could be yours too...if only...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010