Monday, December 20, 2010

Kindergarten Dream Comes True Through a JunkYard Gypsy History Tour

I love being a JunkYard Gypsy.  I always find some new treasure to discover and research.
Like this vintage travel chest.
 Most people grow up wanting to be doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs – I wanted to be an archeologist since I was in kindergarten.  Seriously it’s in that little book, my mother kept.  The one that has pockets to put keepsakes, report cards and place to glue your school picture, lists your teachers, your pets and what you want to be when you grow up.
Yeah this is it – ha, ha, bet you have one too!

Later I decide I wanted to be a magazine editor, so my junior and senior year of high school I was the yearbook editor.  Well I never became an archeologist, nor did I become a magazine editor.  Instead I packed my 78 Nova with all my worldly possessions and headed for Texas.
But that’s a different story.
Most of these trunks are toy doll cases, and rightly so as you can tell by the racks and small pull out drawer, but this one had a drop leaf drawer on the top, and it peaked my interest (ok, it doesn’t take much).  Anyway, I was seriously expecting these to be fake stickers, but they are not, they are actual railway and ship stickers from real companies during the 1920’s to the 1940’s.  I learned about Magic Island/Treasure Island in San Francisco during the 1930’s World’s fair, the Dole Plantation, and others all from studying these stickers.  It was kind of fun traveling by train and ship all around the United States discovering these locations.
Doing so, I discovered that people used these small chests to store above their berths or under their seats with small personal items.  Mark Twain use to keep and send his manuscripts in one and forward it on to his publisher.
Mark Twain photo portrait.Now my mind is really going, and I’m so loving this chest thinking that some author might have kept their most prized manuscripts in it to ship from one great journey to another.

What Fun! I’m getting to explore my love for history through my junking research.  Guess I’m reverting to my childhood by vicariously exploring my kindergarten dream.
And I get to combine text and pictures!

If you want to learn more about Crack Trains (yes that what they use to call some railroad lines), take a look at the listing.  This little trunk has some wonderful history.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

What to do with Old Vintage License Plates?

My brother called the other day and ask if I wanted some old license plates that he found in his pole barn.
Humm, what to do with old license plates,
if they're not of a particular vintage value?
So I went shopping around online and found some really neat pieces, like this butterfly & lobster at RecycledMonkey had a working guitar covered in license plates.  The link went to Etsy but no longer showed this particular guitar.

However, another Etsy seller RunningOnEmpty, fashions license plates into guitar shaped wall displays.
Then I found Etsy Seller TomBoyArt
Cutting up the plates to spell words like Peace, Johnny Cash, Say What, just to name a few of her 35 pieces.  I don't think he has enough for me to spell words, but it's a cute idea.
If you're thinking of doing something similar and need license plates for your project Ebay has tons of expired plates starting at just a dollar.  And of course you can always run across specials there like this auction for 51 plate with free shipping, starting at .01 - No bids as of today.  If think you might have a vintage license plate that a collector might be interested in, you could start researching by reading "License to a Cool Collection"

Happy Hanukkah!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1950's Vintage Metal Floor Lamp Revamped in Red

Found this adorable metal floor lamp
Cute swag on the shade.
 Wish I could have kept it, but it needed a redo, because someone used latex paint (very poorly, I might add)
on the base.
Plus the whole dingy creamy thing wasn't working for me,
so I sanded it down.
And I painted it Red!
Thought about adding a design to the shade, but I changed my mind, thinking that who ever decides to give it a home would have their own ideas, and I didn't want to limit it's appeal.
Think it would look great in boys room or rec room with their favorite sports decal.  A lot of different teams would work like the Cubs, Indiana University (Go IU! - ooops not suppose to say that here in Purdue country) Kansas City Chief, etc...
A black art deco design would look great too.

Or they could just leave red.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Dr. Lori Appraised Our Picture Frame at Indianapolis Holiday Show

Watching Dr. Lori appraise antiques at the Indianapolis Holiday & Gift Show, was way better than the Antique Roadshow.  Not only is she crazy smart, but crazy funny, or maybe she's just crazy.  Either way her shows were very informative and entertaining.  She appraises all the items brought to her in front of the whole audience, so everyone has a chance to learn about the different pieces.
Dr. Lori Appraising a CooCoo Clock

I brought my antique picture frame to see what I could learn.

Dr. Lori appraising my Antique Picture Frame
The frame dated somewhere between 1905 -1915.
A wood/compo (composition material made of chalk and resins to make the molded ornamentation) frame with a very famous print that unfortunately has mildewed because of the back being enclosed by wood.  Frame value $160.00, if print had not mildewed $2000.00.

Considering that I purchased for $20.00 I'll take that as a win.
Of course not everyone is a winner, but there were some exciting discoveries.  Like this lady being photographed with her $10,000 dollar Baleen basket made by the Haida Indians.  Some trinket she picked up on vacation in Alaska years ago.
They may call it the Antique Appraisal Comedy Show,
but it's also a mini history lesson.

Dr. Lori also does online appraisals by photograph.  She's not a buyer or seller, so there's no conflict of interest.  However she can be bribed with chocolate.  You can visit her website at
If you are closing out an estate, she also does in home appraisals starting at $500.00 an hour.  Kind of pricey, but if you have a Baleen basket hiding in the closet, it would so be worth it.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall Comfort Food

Ah fall.  The beautiful leaves, wonderful weather and fall food. When fall hits I become a caterpillar scurrying to find a place to cocoon, and concoct my favorite fall comfort foods.
Yes, that's actually a caterpillar, not a small dog.
The problem is that I want them all at once. After a summer of hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, and cook out goodies, I yearn for something hearty and satisfying.
It started with a yearning for shiitake, portobello mushroom soup and homemade bread that we wiped out in one sitting.  It then rolled over into Chili.
Stan likes Chili Mac (which is sooo Not chili).  And he likes it a bit soupy, while I like mine a bit thicker - guess more like a stew.  He claims it's an Irish thing (too bad I am Scottish).  Then we have the discrepancy over which beans to use, chili (pinto) beans verses kidney beans.  And the final deal breaker, I like mine with crackers, both butter and ummm...peanut butter - and he calls me tasteless and I arch my eyebrow towards his macaroni.  I swear I’m just going to start making double batches. 

Really Stan is a pretty good cook, and he does most of the cooking, bless his heart.  I try to limit my cooking, because we don't want things to get carried away in the wrong direction - ex: Me having to cook. But there are some instances where I just have to get involved.  Like meatloaf.  My meatloaf is kind of soft and light, while his is more like a brick. I have shown him on numerous occasions what to include and how to do it.  But, well it' kind of like me making rue - he just can't seem to get the hang of it.  Or maybe he doesn't want to?? 

So anyway, I'm heading back into my hibernation mode - big hair, big feather down jackets, baileys and coffee, and all things fall, including my waistline. Tomorrow potato soup with kielbasa ~ yumm...O.K. so all I'm thinking about is my gut...but I'm going to transform into a beautiful butterfly this spring, provided I latch on to the get fit January swing.

If you like caterpillars, make sure to visit Richard Seaman's website.  He has some amazing shots of caterpillars, and interesting facts, like why the wooly bear is the most famous caterpillar. 

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Double Aulos Flute Antique Picture Music History Lesson

One would think that living with a Music Theorist would very interesting.  I suppose if your a music theorist as well, then that statement would be true.  However I’m not and It’s not very interesting.  I normally shake my head along with a glazed over look, as he explains why the 5th harmonic of undulating vibration doesn’t calibrate well leading into the 4th octave or something like that.  Really takes all the fun out mindlessly bopping around to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.   Not that he would ever listen to such mundane non-polysyllabic nonsense.  However I have found a use for him, my husband that is, besides cooking dinner and washing the dishes (I know, Eat your heart out Ladies) he’s excellent at spotting and identifying weird old instruments.  Like the ancient Double Aulos (I always just called it a Pan flute, from the Greek mythical goat-man creature) reed instrument used by the Greeks and Romans, that he spotted in this old antique picture we ran across at a garage sale this weekend. 
Later when I asked a bit more about the instrument he went upstairs and came back with the Concise History of Music book and laid it on my desk, and said “Read this”.  Yeah right, like that’s going to happen, I would like to, but then again not really, because then he would actually expect me to talk to him about music theory and that would just mean I’d have to read more books!  Then he would want me to take piano lesson, learn how to Actually sing and join the choir.  Truly, it would be just one big ugly mess.  Think I’ll stick with junking and Hopefully let him impart his musical knowledge Only as Needed.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Painting of Our Bridal Shop by Sandy Daniel Lafayette Artist

Came home this Sunday and opened an email from Eric & Andria with this photo attached, saying "We would have loved to buy this for you, but it was a bit too much for us to swing".

I was tired, the picture was tiny - I could tell it was a picture of a bridal store window - and I thought how sweet of them to think of me, so I downloaded it to a file to view later.

 I opened the file today to take another look, and much to my amazement it's an actual painting of Our Bridal Store!  707 on the awning, tree growing out of the pavement, my actual prom dresses in the window!

We had always received such nice complements about our window displays and how regular passerby's looked forward to the next display, but for Sandy Daniel to take the time to actually paint our window was really touching!  So Thank You Sandy, it really made us smile!  And thank you kids for thinking of us and sending us the picture!

Our daughter in law Andria is an artist as well, and had her 2nd showing at Art on the Wabash, Art Fair
Sunday September 19th.  I put together a collage of some of My favorite pieces.  Sorry we couldn't be there this year.

 If you like Sandy Daniels work you contact her through Artist's Own Gallery in Lafayette, Indiana

If you'd like more information about Andria's work just DM me and I'll hook you up!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Forget Fall & Swing Into Spring ~ Handcraft Shoes Muk Luk

Shoes, Shoes & more Shoes, Swing Into Spring
with this adorable 1967 calendar.
Couldn't pass by this retro shoe collection, so I brought it home, bling'ed it up at bit, an added a dowel rod so it could return to it's original wall hanging status.
After with it's new shoe jewelry
Shoe designers listed on this 1960's Swing Into Spring calendar are Shelets, Muk Luk and some other designer that I can't make out - "Sun" something.  Obviously these Muk Luk's are not the 1972 slipper socks that are on the market today.  Wonder if they are somehow related?

You can see close ups at my Etsy & Bonanzle sites.

Hope everyone scored big this weekend on their End of Summer Sale Finds!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ww1 Army Jacket find in Battle Ground, Indiana

Fall finally fell here in Indiana.  Very cool this weekend.  Spent a nice Indian summer day at the Tippecanoe Battle Ground Memorial Field, in Battle Ground Indiana, catching up on Military History.  Prompted by an awesome WW1 jacket find, along with helmet, campaign hat & Swiss Army bag!
I opted for the lawn, but Stan hates sitting on the ground so he found a shady spot up by the monument.  Yes, I made him put the helmet on, bless his heart.  He said it was very heavy.
 I love this shot of the WW1 helmet.   Looks so serene.
These WW1 helmets are very rare because they were discontinued at the beginning of WW2.  A more effective helmet was designed to to cover the back of the head and the flare that you see on this helmet was eliminated since they were no longer concerned about saber & bayonet strikes.

Some moth family fed about 4 generations off this one WW1 jacket, so it's pretty much useless, but the 84th Infantry Division (Lincoln Division) insignia (8/1917 – 11/1921) its the patch with the red bladed axe on white disc inside red ring with ‘Lincoln’ and ‘84’ spelled out, as well as the rare private first class chevron are in great condition.
WW1 was remembered by only one campaign medal in the US and it's on this jacket!  Ribbon is in good shape too.  Often times you'll find these medals with replacement ribbons attached - not the Original.
Haven't decided if I'll just put the army jacket in the store, or if I'll put it up for auction, but Ill try to decide before the end of the week.
If you like reading about campaign strategies and Military History this magazine has plethora of stories to keep you entertained.  Stan can't keep his nose out of them long enough to get the yard mowed.  Hint, hint.

Oh and by the way, Yes I do know it's Labor Day and Not Memorial Day.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Yellow... Vintage Sewing Box 1920's Look

Weather was great this weekend, not too windy and not too hot,
so I got out the spray paint and gave this Vintage Sewing Box some desperately needed TLC.
 It was really beat up and needed saving

I wanted to restore it to it's 1920's heritage with a bit of a pop.  The pansies keep it period appropriate and the Yellow just sings summer!

Except for few character nicks it looks like a brand new piece.
Have a great week,
I'm off to the Lake to finish up the summer.

Celebrate your State Find Your State by Clicking Here I'm so digging these Rustic State Bottle openers! Like how cute are ...