Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vintage Toys

My love for vintage goodness even goes as deep as the toys my children play with. When my boys were born (13 and 15 years ago) I started collecting vintage Fisher Price Little People. I scoured garage/estate sales and spent countless hours on ebay buying up those adorable little people and the charming houses, schools, cars and accessories created just for them.  My kids would sit for hours upon hours and play with this little world they had created with these little people. Their imaginations were endless....  I still have the entire set today. My 5 year old daughter now plays with it. It's the one thing that will occupy her for hours. The entire little town will sit on the living room floor, people and cars scattered everywhere... it warms my heart. I envision my "someday" grandkids playing with them too.

Don't their charming little faces just warm your heart!

This cute little wooden doggy is probably one of the oldest pieces I have. The older wooden people I have are my fav's. LOVE the mad face on the one little guy! Wonder if he came with the schoolhouse set and sat in the teachers corner or maybe the hospital set waiting for his vaccination ;)

I love the "woodness" of the older toys, the good and healthy textures.

Stove and Sink

I scored this ADORABLE (70's) kitchen set at a community wide garage sale a few weeks back. Can you believe I got all 3 pieces for $10. I was bewildered that it was still sitting there... no one else wanted this charming little set? Really!? The seller told me that they had rescued it from an old schoolhouse being torn down in WA.

It's in my kitchen, for my daughter (and me!) She loves to "cook" while mommy does. Ahhhh, vintage goodness! It's fun for her to play with and even better for mama as it's cuteness adds to my vintage kitchen.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vintage Chairs

Did I mention that I have an obsession with chairs :) "Hi, my name is Valerie and I'm a chair addict" (Have to give credit to my friend Lisa for that line)

I have a weakness for old chairs, actually it is far worse. I LOVE them!

They really are functional! (I tell my husband) They hold stacks of books, old pots with flowers, the one by the front door is a perfect place to put your shoes on before you head outside and I love them hung on walls! The problem.... I have so many that some are in my attic because I am out of room. But! SOMEDAY I will have a place for them or even a bigger house so all my chairs will fit somewhere! So I couldn't possibly part with them :p

I've got wooden folding chairs that date back to 1893, chippy farm chairs, old childrens chairs, old metal chairs, and I admit, even old potty chairs :). I started to notice that I had a problem when I found that all I would come home with from sales is more chairs. They sit in just about every corner of my home. Why do I love them? I think they are the perfect piece of art, more than just a chair. I love their shapes, colors, textures, etc. There is something beautiful to me about an old chair sitting in a little garden. Inviting you to come rest for a moment, with a glass of lemonade, a perfect moment to stop and reflect on God's love for us and the beauty He created. I love the thought of sitting on something made 50+ years ago, made by hand with love and still around supporting someone.

Today, I will share a few pictures of my favorite chairs. They are not fancy or ornate. I like the simple farm style, original paint, used and worn.

Old chairs... it's one thing that makes my heart skip a beat.

Do you love old chairs? I would love to see pictures of your chairs and what you've done with them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A time to plant

LOVE flowers in old things... if it has a hole and can hold dirt, I will throw a plant in it. I love all flowers, but my most favorite is a daisy... there is just something sweet and innocent about a daisy.

I've purchased two old bikes over the years. I've envisioned the old bike with a petunia filled basket under my wonderful pin oak tree for years. Each bike I buy, my son rescues... he is the one I mentioned in an earlier post who has a love for bygone eras.  Example, this cool vintage Rollfast. I was thrilled when I found it at an estate sale last year and talked the owner down to 20 bucks! Brought her home, placed her under my tree and... here comes my son. "Mom" he says... "You can't just let that rot away outside, it's a treasure!"

My Rollfast was loved, sanded, buffed and now has new life. I suppose that is better, that she is on the pavement in all her glory as she was made for... my son really enjoys riding it -sigh-. That is the second one he has "rescued". I guess I'll have to search for one that is beyond moveable or repairable with rust. I do love that he "loves" and shares my passion! We are garage sale buddies and I treasure that.

He had a hard time yesterday when I decided to put my vintage Westinghouse roaster on a metal stand outside to plant in. I was scolded. I had to negotiate with him and placed it under the eaves so that the weather wouldn't harm it.

The story behind the roaster is funny... I bought it at a vintage store a few months back. I loved it at first sight and loved the thought of it being in my kitchen. It took up alot of room and I just didn't know what to do with it... the creativeness just wasn't happening for me for it!  I had a garage sale this past weekend and put the roaster up for sale. A woman was looking at it and said "Oh, wouldn't this be cute in the garden with flowers in it!"  hmmmm, I thought, "Yeah! That would be cute!". Then another woman told her husband "Oh, we could put this on the patio, fill it with ice and keep water and lemonade bottles in it". That was it!! I wanted it. Loved the ideas. So she asked me how much I wanted for it and I told her "fifty dollars!" I knew she wouldn't pay that, and she didn't, she walked away -phew!-. I swooped over and pulled it from the garage sale. She now sits on my front porch (filled with flowers).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

An old brick house in Kansas

Isn't this the most beautiful picture. I am so thankful to my friend Lisa (fellow junker, barn explorer, abandoned house raider) for taking this picture and capturing the day we explored this charming (empty) brick home sitting so quaintly on the side of an old tree lined country dirt road.  Don't you just love the trumpet vine?

It was the cutest little home. I remember the turqoise colored kitchen walls. We carefully climbed the very old steep wooden staircase and believe it or not, an old iron bed was still sitting there in the little bedroom. No, we didn't take it, oh yes it did cross our minds, but we left it. It belonged there. Just like the severly rusted early 30's car parked in what still stood of the old garage. They belonged there... with the memories of a family who onced thrived in that beautiful little brick home.

I love this picture and the kitty who jumped in the window to say goodbye to us. It was a fun day! I love you my dear friend Lisa, and terribly miss our junkin times we had :)

Treasure Hunts

My father had a love for junk. I've never seen so much passion, excitement and thrill over finding junk as he had. When I was little he would take me for rides on the back of his motorcycle and we would head out into remote areas where life no longer existed, but remnants of that life were left behind. We would find an abandoned house, my dad would be so thrilled, you would think we had just came across a pot of gold. We went into every old house, barn, shed, anything that was still standing (or not). He loved to find old bottles, that was his thing, old cans, door knobs, plates, anything left behind. He always pointed out the woodwork and told me about the craftmanship no longer used or appreciated, the carved doors, hardwood floors, etc. He had so much passion and a story for each item and detail we found. Our house was filled with his collections, old trunks, lighters, perfume bottles, medicine bottles, old cans, anything old.

I didn't think much of it when I was younger. I thought the exploration part of it was fun, but I didn't understand his passion.

In high school it hit me. I would find myself pulling over on the side of the road to explore an abandoned house. My friends thought I was crazy... "why on earth do you want to go in THERE"! I don't know why, I just HAVE to, and I came out of that house feeling fulfilled and happy.

I am a mom of six, living in Idaho now and I've dragged my kids in every empty house, barn and building I've found. I've filled my house with treasures rescued from these old houses, including beautiful glass doors, cystal knobs, architectural pieces, screen doors, built in bookcases, yep... all the "good stuff".

I lived in Kansas for a few years (lots of old farmhouses there), and always had a tool kit in my truck! I was a prepared treasure hunter! Boy the things I made my husband drag out of those houses!

My passion for anything antique and vintage, broken or not came from him. I love my pieces just as they were, as found... chipped paint, rusty and all. He taught me to appreciate the past... how things were made to last and with quality. "To hold hands with the past generations" he would say.

So this is for you dad... for the love of the past you instilled in me and in my son Drew who has the same desire for the good old stuff. I sure miss you and I miss those treasure hunts.