Santas and Soldiers

Haven’t had a lot of time to write in the past few months.

Until I can actually scratch out a few sentences about something real,

I thought I’d just post a few pix of some recent thrift store and flea market finds.

Enjoy.

Carved wooden fish.

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A teeny soapstone hippo.

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A row of little painted soldiers and a matching egg to store them in.

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And a row of little painted Santas too!

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A great little stitched piece – likely Guatemalan, though can’t be sure.

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Found a perfect frame for it at a new thrift store the very next day.  (Hooray for new thrift stores!!)

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And just today, I finally made it up the freeway to collect this vintage window cabinet from a craigslister.

I saw the ad weeks ago, but just never found myself in the seller’s neighborhood.

So glad he still had it when I called this morning!

I slapped that coat of blue paint on the inside the minute I got it home.

Still have to clean up the outside a bit.

Can’t wait to hang it up and tuck in some tiny treasures in the next day or two.

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Also picked up some Christmas bows, some wrapping paper, a few small Halloween decorations, a short stack of magazines, a couple of books, and another vintage biscuit cutter.

Oh yeah, did I mention I’ve started collecting vintage biscuit cutters?

I love their chippy chunky painted handles and all their little love dents.

Plus, I actually make biscuits.  And sometimes they’re even good.  Ha!

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That’s all for now!

What treasures have you collected lately?

♥♥

 

I took a stab at saving this art.

Remember a few months ago, when I asked for your help to Save This Art?

 

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Well, I got out my wallet to do it…

and then realized there was nothing in there,

so I got out my paintbrush instead.

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It’s not perfect.  There is still a lot to do, especially over there on the right, but I’m happy so far.

What did you do this week?

♥♥

Good Thrift Store Day

The first of today’s thrift store treasures…

I’ve really never seen another like it and I don’t even mind that one of the leaves is missing a small chunk of wood.

It’s beautiful.

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And it was made by someone clever.  Look how it opens:

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And the compartment is lined.  Clearly meant for a very special ring or something.

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I also picked up an old-fashioned egg basket.

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The top opens flat like a big flower.

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I found a little English pottery set too.

All three pieces are chippy, so I can’t really use them for food, but they were really inexpensive and I couldn’t resist.

I love the little houses.

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The backs read:

“Good courage breaks ill luck”

“Waste not want not”

“Take a little cream”

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Here’s the bottom of the sugar bowl:

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And just because he saw me with the camera and he likes to pose, here’s the boy:

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Happy Monday!

♥♥

But I Wanted The Clown

I spotted this little set at a thrift store yesterday:

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I was pleased to find all six stampers still inside.

I didn’t look very closely at them while I was in the store.

I just liked their vintage schoolhouse vibe, the bright goldenrod box and the rainbow of wooden handles.

I also appreciated the fact that they were made in Illinois.

My dad was a teacher and he grew up in Illinois.

The stamps made me think of him right away, so I was quick to hand over a few dollars.

Now that the stamps are sitting on the desk in front of me, I am amused.

The outside of the box says “INSTILLS PRIDE IN GOOD WORK.”

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And yet,  the first stamp reads “You were not listening.”

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That makes me laugh.

I would have hated getting that stamped on my paper in grade school.

The box also says “CREATES DESIRE FOR IMPROVEMENT.”

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The second stamp says “Watch spelling.”

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That one makes me laugh even more.

I only paid $1.49 for the whole set, so I don’t why I feel a bit duped, but I sort of do.

The “Excellent” clown from the box isn’t even included.  :(

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Neither is the “Very Good” sun.

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In fact, all six of the stamps show owls.

I like owls okay, but these are sort of negative.

Except for the one that says “Perfect Paper”, but how often do you think anybody every gets that?

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The fourth stamp says “You can do better.”

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Finally, a vote of confidence!  Or is it a condemnation of the student’s mediocrity?

My favorite is the stamp that reads “Do work over.”

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Ack!

No wonder someone donated these to Salvation Army.

This is a box of stamps for lowering self-esteem!

For the first time in my life, I prefer the clown.

Oh well, guess I’ll keep them anyway.

Ha!

What did you do this week?

We wore bunny ears.

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♥♥

 

 

Help Me Save This Art – Part 2

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Many of you asked me about the artist’s signature on the painting I posted yesterday.

Thought I had included that pic, but I guess I didn’t.

Here it is now.

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All I am sure of is the first name of Cyril.

The last name appears to start with CA or maybe CO.

It ends with WAY.  I think.  Callaway, Callway, Conway, Comway, Camway?

I have already searched online quite a bit, but have not found anything definitive.

Let me know if you have better luck!

By the way, this is the second less-than-perfect painting I have purchased on impulse.

Do you remember this one?

It’s hanging by clips in my coat closet, still damaged, still unstretched, and still unframed.

I need to do something with both of these paintings.

I can’t just be a collector of damaged art.

Can you imagine my epitaph?

“Here lies Becky.  She liked Mexican food and ripped paintings.”

Ha!

P.S.  What are you up to this week?  I mean, other than helping me save my art?

♥♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help Me Save This Art

A few weeks ago, I bought a painting at one of my local thrift stores.  Or rather, I bought the remains of a painting at one of my local thrift stores.  It’s pretty beat up.  :(

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It was leaning against the wall of the store, outside, near the donation bin.  It looked like trash.  Or at least, it looked like what someone else had decided was trash.

To me, it was a charming treasure and I wanted it.  I decided I would go inside and ask.  If I could get it for $3 or less, I would take it home.

The cashier came outside with me to survey the scene.  It wasn’t pretty.

The painting is separated from its wooden stretcher in several places.  The canvas has holes where the nails have ripped through.

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There are bare spots where the paint is completely gone and several more areas where it is flaking away.

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The decorative outer frame was sitting ten or twelve yards down the sidewalk.  It’s in pretty poor shape too – structurally sound, but badly scuffed and really chipped.

Ignore our dusty piano in this picture.

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The cashier stared at all this for a minute before looking at me quizzically, but then she just scooped it all up and carried it into the store.

I followed as she wound down the aisle and into the back room where another woman was pricing merchandise.  The two of them spoke quietly for a moment, then the first woman turned back to me and said “$2.99?”

Five minutes later, I was in my car with a severely damaged painting and a head full of “what am I doing?”

So, now I ask you.  What am I doing?

I love the scene.  The cows charm me and the colors are serene and comforting.

But this painting is coming apart.  Really coming apart.

Can I save it somehow?

And can you make out the artist’s name any better than I can?  Cyril something.

What would you do with this?  Please don’t say “use it to wipe my boots, then chuck it.”  I’m serious.

I considered taking it to a restoration specialist, but I flat out don’t have the money for that, and honestly, it may be too far gone for them to mess with it anyway.

I also thought about adding a coat of polycrylic to preserve what is left, but I am not a fan of that shiny finish.

I saw a DIY project online for recycling damaged paintings.  It suggested cutting out the good parts and tossing the rest.  But re-stretching the newly cropped pieces or mounting them onto wood or plates or whatever doesn’t really appeal to me.  The parts I like best are the most damaged sections.  I don’t want to just cut them out and throw them away.

I also wondered about the simplicity of just flattening the painting behind glass in hope it doesn’t flake any more, but the flakes might stick to the glass and it would be in worse shape than before.  And really, I don’t love this kind of art behind glass anyway.  I think part of the experience of appreciating it is in seeing the texture as much as the entirety of the scene.

All that said, I did only spend three bucks, so whatever happens won’t be a tragedy if it’s not successful.

Any ideas?

What would you do?

Leave me a comment and tell me.  Please.

♥♥

 

 

 

I Guess I Have Issues With This

Rage Against The Minivan posted about toilet paper today.

She brought up the old under-versus-over debate.  Then she asked her readers to share their preferences.  I was going to add mine at the foot of her page,  but I got distracted by the other responses.  I read every one.  And when I finished, I realized I had more to say than could politely fit in that comment section.

So yeah, this is a post about toilet paper.  Sort of.

Or maybe it’s about incredulity, defiance, misbehaving cats and a really memorable spider.

When I was a teenager, mom and I stayed a night with some friends in another town.  On our first morning as guests in their home, one of them quite loudly informed everyone at the breakfast table that my mother had replaced the toilet paper roll the “wrong” way in their bathroom.  She went on to imply that this insane act, placing the paper’s end under the roll instead of over it, had caused her some barely survivable inconvenience in the middle of the night!  Poor dear.

My mother politely explained that she didn’t know there was a preference.  I didn’t know that either, but I formed one right then.  And it was just the opposite of theirs.  I couldn’t believe this was an issue worth pointing out to a temporary guest in her home.  Why couldn’t she have done the polite thing and simply reversed the roll herself, without trying to embarrass or educate my mom?  Incredible.

My rolls went under from that day on.  And truly, when I saw one pointed over, and I could change it without much trouble, I changed it.  Because no one could tell me not to.  I did it in defiance of social norms and the dictate of that friend.

Years later, when husband and I bought our house, my defiance waned.  There were other things to think about.  Friends and relatives – people I liked – were pointing the paper over, so I just started to comply.

Then I got pregnant.  And I couldn’t have cared less about the direction of the roll.  Instead, I was obsessed with germs that might be on it.

Who had changed the roll?  When did they do it?  Were their hands clean?  Was the lid down when they flushed?  Did the paper get misted with bio-hazardous germs because the lid was up?  Was the paper still wrapped until the point of going on the roller?

If someone else did change the paper, did they put their hands inside the tube or did they touch the entire outside edge of the paper to keep from dropping it?  Or did they drop it and then wind the paper back onto the roll, complete with whatever germs were on the bathroom floor?

If the paper wasn’t on the roller, was it sitting on the toilet itself or, God forbid, on top of the sanitary napkin disposal bin, contaminating every piece?

Think about all of that.  I sure did.  And really, I still do.

Despite all of these heebeejeebee factors, I guess I was still largely compliant with the over-the-roll philosophy.

However, when I was five or six months along in my pregnancy, we got two new cats.  Boy cats.  Brothers.  Mischievous partners in crime.

The fur boys made sport of kneading the toilet paper.  And because the paper pointed forward, the kitties shredded the hell out of it, piling it playfully it a claw torn heap on the floor below the roller.  It was aggravating and so wasteful.  And gross.  Really, really gross.

For a while, we turned the rolls around to point the paper under.  That way, the kitties wouldn’t unroll it to the floor when they reached up to spin it.  But think about it.  Would you use paper from a roll with claw marks in it?  You know all the places those claws go.  You may as well just dip the paper in the litter box before you use it.  We stopped putting it on the roller.

For years it sat up high on the towel rack above the toilet.  Friends mentioned it.  We tried to explain.  I don’t think our home was anybody’s preferred place to relieve themselves.

When our son reached toilet training age, the roll went back.  The cats had lost interest, but our son was a spinner like they had been, so the paper had to point under until he grew out of his toddler toy attitude toward the bathroom.

I suppose there was a very literal turning point, because now we are all again in the habit of pointing the paper forward, over the roll.  Well, except in our son’s bathroom, because he has a different kind of toilet paper holder and it works better to point the paper under.  But whatever.

I guess the point of my post is to dispel the myth that there is a right or wrong answer to this debate.  There just really isn’t.  There is just preference and circumstance.

Oh, and here’s that spider I mentioned.

P.S.  The boy and I met Grammy at the Zoo last week.  We stopped by to see the polar bears.

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What are you up to?

♥♥