Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vintage Indoor Butterflies

I promise not to write a post about the "Winter With the Steel Grip" that is still with us.  I prefer to focus on the longer days and that January is almost over Thanks Heavens.  And butterflies.  I am thinking about butterflies.  Yes Virginia, there will be butterflies again and mosquitoes.  I have some vintage butterfly antiques, but not mosquitoes such the pity.
This lovely vase was purchased years ago in a pick around little shop in rural Kentucky.  Beautifully hand painted with 14K highlights.  Great tiger swallowtail.  It is a keeper.  One of our Forever Keepers.
This lovely agate vintage butterfly brooch was purchased in Prague.  Dear Husbola knows I love bug and insect pins.  Probably about 1900 by the style of the clasp.  Love it.  It is a keeper too.

These are incredible handpainted celluloid butterflies that I bought on a buying trip to England years ago.  I think they came from a fair in Shepton Mallett in the west country of England.  They are beautifully detailed and sit via pins on a handmade lace pin cushion.  One of those "Had To Have Them Never To Sell Them" kind of things.

There are many things in our home that we live with for awhile and then sell on.  Not my butterflies.

If I run into any mosquito collectibles, I'll let you know because THOSE will be for sale.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Forty Pounds of Vintage Sheet Music

Vintage sheet music is a relatively inexpensive items to collect.  Nothing traces our American history and follows the trends of our country and society better than old sheet music.
Dear Husbola and I recently attended an auction where one of the lots was about 40 pounds of sheet music.  Really-yes--hundreds of sheets in a giant pile.

I decided it was a good investment as it is easy to sell on ebay and the markup will make a good return.  The pile is full of great condition pieces--which is very important to collectors--and many unusual pieces.  The artwork is remarkable--it was made to catch the buyer's eye.  Some are just adorable and would be great framed. 

I promise I won't sound like a fogie and say something like "they sure don't write songs like they used to".....

Friday, January 17, 2014

Winter Peaches

Thank heavens for some freezer forethought in early September last year.

January is "eat everything out of the freezer" month at our house.  You just never know what will be uncovered in the bottom of the drawer.  This month's digging has uncovered packages of frozen artichokes, pearl onions, bison meat, leftover containers of chili that were frozen from the "bottomless pot" that was cooked in late winter.

And thankfully--a ziplock bag of frozen peach halves.

In my late summer over exuberance of farm stand purchasing--I purchased way too many fresh peaches.  They all seemed to ripen at the same time--and I had no clue what to do with them all.  So I simply sliced them in half, removed the stones but left on the skin and chucked them into a ziplock bag and popped them in the freezer.

Yesterday during Green Bay Packer half time--I found them.

To Die For Baked Peaches

4 frozen peach halves skin side down (let them thaw a bit)
Fill each stone indentation with a pea size piece of butter, teaspoon of brown sugar, small small pinch of salt and healthy shake of cinnamon.

Bake at 350  uncovered for 18-ish minutes.


No one will ever call me a food stylist-

Friday, January 10, 2014

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Her Long Winter

Whilst cleaning and sorting during the inside days "of the winter that will never end",  I came across my vintage set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books.  As a child, I gobbled up this set of books and could not wait to read the next chapter about Laura and Pa and Ma and Mary and Carrie and eventually Baby Grace.  This was waaaaaaay before the television series that decided Michael Landon was the Perfect Pa.

I remember being riveted to Laura's adventures and vivid way the pictures of her life danced in my head.  I even asked my mother to make me a Pioneer Lady dress.  I spent many wonderful summer days dragging my coaster wagon around the yard like a prairie schooner and "played pioneers" under the apples trees at Parsonage #2.

If those of us in the Midwest think this is a winter for the ages--have not read  Wilders' The Long Winter.  From the back cover---
"On the empty winter prairie, gray clouds to the northwest meant only one thing:  a blizzard was seconds away.  The first blizzard came in October.  It snowed almost without stopping until April.  The temperature dropped to forty below.  Snow reached the rooftops. And no trains could get through with food and coal.  The townspeople began to starve.  The Ingslls family barely lived through that winter.  And Almanzo Wilder knew he would have to risk his life to save the town."

My series of books is from 1971.  If you ever find a vintage copy of any of the series--snap it up.  A good read--whatever your age.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Antiques and New Year's Resolutions

Regular readers to this blog will remember that I look at the start of a new year as a good excuse to evaluate our collections of antiques and vintage and fine tune our "keepers" and "sellers."

The very best part of being an antique dealer is the thrill of the hunt.  Yes--the hunt for items to sell but a big part for Dear Husbola and me is the ability to add to and update the items in our home.  When we find a keeper, it means something is plucked from our house to sell.

All the January magazines give a million suggestions of how to divest yourself of clutter and no longer wanted or useful items.  The smartest advice I have seen breaks it down very simply.  As you clean and sort ask yourself an easy question about each item--Do I use it??  Do I love it?? Do I need it????  One additional criteria of letting go could be if you don't remember where you got it-time to let it go.  Or for clothes, if the last time you wore it, Jimmy Carter was president,  DEFINITELY time to let it go.

The next few days are serious stay inside weather days in Northern Illinois.  Great time to tackle that drawer or piece of a room and fill a box or bag for the Salvation Army store.

Only 8 percent of people have kept their New Year's resolution by the end of the month.  Evaluating our collections is an easy one to keep.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...