Saturday, February 11, 2012

Looking for STUFF

I'm on a search for old windows, doors, hardware, garden art, old tools and rusty relics in general.  Had awesome luck in finding someone with old gears, but seems he's a little busy dismantling machinery out in the woods these days.  Saw two huge trucks hauling lots of smashed John Deere combines going down the road the other day----lots of gear visible and thought of all you junk lovers out there.  Maybe there should be a phone network for "rustlers" who could trail after these treasure trucks and meet them at the next stop!  SEEKING is the most fun but  my hubby thinks SELLING is what it's all about.   We have come to a happy agreementy:  I seek, he sells.

Simply White

Shown is a long baptismal dress with lovely detailing on the bottom.
This for the Gibson Girl in you--delicate with leg of mutton sleeves.
The little girl's petticoat is from an 1890s store.

This sweet little dress shows its age which is now a sepia tone, but
the pretty lacy bodice is lovely.  Perfect for framing or to add to
a collection.
I love vintage clothes of all shades and hues, but these pieces shown in the pictures have a particular appeal just because there is such beauty in white dresses for women and children.  Can you picture playing lawn croquet or having tea on a veranda wearing the long gown?   According to trends shown in magazines, the color for spring and summer is neutral with white being at the top of the list.  There are so many variations of white so it's such a versatile choice to go with.  The items shown in the pictures will be available at Weekend Cottage in Clear lake, Mn.  Any questions, contact me through my profile or leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Be Mine, Sweet Valentine

     My mother was a country school maarm for 7 years in the 1930s.  She grew up in a small town but had never so much as stepped foot in  any of the little country schools dotting the countryside.  She attended what was then, St. Cloud Teachers College in St. Cloud, Mn. for 2 years and was ready to meet whatever challenges lay ahead..... little did she know!  Among the duties:  preparing lesson plans for children who ranged from 1st grade to 8th grade, dealing with male students who were nearly as old as she and in some cases several heads taller.  She usually had the support of parents when it came to discipline and she needed it a time or two!  She also had to get the wood stove going on cold winter mornings, shoveled snow, often walked to and from school.  Teachers in those days stayed with families of students so this could be uncomfortable at times.  She remembered one stay because in the mornings she awoke to ice frozen in the wash basin and slept with her coat on many nights.  She also developed a distinct dislike for rice pudding after eating it for dessert an entire year.  Holidays and parties were looked forward to with anticipation since life was often difficult so entertainment was homemade and involved the entire family participating in school activities.

The verse on the card on the left is wonderful:
Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater,
As your wife I will be sweeter
Don't put me in a pumpkin shell,
but love me much and love me well.
     Marion received wonderful Valentines from many of her students and even up to two  years  before she passed away at age 94, she would often take them out of her cedar chest to look through each one  and reminesce about all those children who had a special place in her heart.  Many of the names are familiar to me because I heard about their escapades and personal histories for many years.  Here are a few of those vintage charmers.


Monday, February 6, 2012


Thought I would share a picture of our  beautiful weeping birch that we calculate is between 75 to 100 years old.  It has withstood drought, storms, children climbing in its branches and several additions to the house.  It also  offers food and shelter for multitudes of birds, including two stunning piliated woodpeckers with brilliant red heads that were investigating it the other morning.  While looking out the kitchen window, I saw what I thought was a cardinal, but soon realized it was a woodpecker which was soon joined by another.  They were chased away by a nosy squirrel who apparently thought he was missing some morsel or other.  "Old Timers"  tell me they often drive out just to look at its regal beauty.  Its colors aren't  spectacular, but the thickness of the spindly branches and leaves as well as its height give it a landmark quality.  At one point, a family with 9 children lived in a little house on this property and I can only imagine how much they enjoyed playng in and around this welcoming tree.  Unfortunately, it is beginning to show its age, and we cross fingers that it will continue to stand tall with some trimming of its branches.

Country store shoe display

This primitive shoe display rack shows the wonderful patina (plus a little dust?) that comes with age.  I think this would make a perfect wine rack, towel and linen shelf in a country bathroom or kitchen, an organizer in an office------ Just put your imagination in gear and you can come up with many different uses for a  rare item like this.  It is available for purchase at , Yesterdays in AlexandriaMn.  Wouldn't it be a terrific conversation piece in your home or cottage?