06 July 2015

Selling (Some Weird) Stuff

 I wish there were more hours in the day. I wish I weren't such a sappy, sentimental basket case. If those two things were true, I would much more successful clearing out the boxes of stuff around here. Instead, I continue to plod along at a snail's pace, selling a few small items here and there on eBay and at the antique mall.

It's strange what actually sells. Would you believe old perm rods? Before I tossed them, I decided to check on eBay and learned that old salon/hair care items are quite popular right now. I also sold some of my barettes from the 1970's -- since my daughter forbids me to wear them. :)

I also sold a couple of sets of brand new Valentines from the early 1970's. They were so darn cute that I kept one set for myself.

Speaking of Valentines, as I've been sorting through boxes, I've been finding numerous Valentines from the 1920's-1950's. It seems that my mom and my grandma kept almost all the Valentines they received. I thought long and hard about it, then saved my favorites and sold the rest. There are over 140 used Valentines in this pile alone! I hope this does not cause my crafty friends to hyperventilate. Trust me -- I kept plenty. :)

 My mom loved the Lone Ranger as a child and had saved several western jewelry pieces. I thought about keeping them but in the end, these items do not make me think of my mom, since she owned them as a child. I wanted to find a good home for them where they would be appreciated.

This is a tie slide.

This is a ring with a tiny gun on top.

 This is a Lone Ranger bullet with a tiny compass inside. It's pretty cute, and I almost kept it. Still, I have no regrets about this stuff. I want to keep the things that I associate with my mom.

I found some movie star newspaper clippings and photos from the 1930's. Obviously my mom had ordered the photos by mail. Because western items seem to be collectible right now, I put them out on eBay and sure enough, they sold. Glad they're going to a new home.

I have a box of jewelry from my mom's childhood. I went through it with her sister to understand the significance of each piece so I could decide which ones to keep. I've now sold several pins and bracelets on eBay. I'm not making much money on any of this, mind you! I'm just trying to find good homes for things that were important to my mom or me.

 My mom saved lots of my baby clothes and several pairs of my shoes. Good grief. I do not need my baby shoes, although I may keep a pair or two. These recently sold on eBay.

My mom had a couple of "Woodettes" sets in the 1940's. These wooden figurines were designed to be assembled and painted by a child. I am very happy to have shipped this set off to a new owner just today!

 Not everything has been easy to sell. I've let go of several of my childhood dolls so far (the ones that didn't have as much emotional pull) and now I'm getting into the dolls that were more important to me. Last week, these two Storykins dolls (Goldilocks and Cinderella) went to a new home. Oh, how I used to love that pumpkin coach! To help me feel better about this, I decided to keep pictures of all of my childhood toys to put in a scrapbook one day. 

  I've sold my Dawn Doll car, bedroom set, and now this telephone stand/chaise lounge. I'm working my way up to the Dawn Dolls themselves, which will be very hard for me to sell. I loved them and, as hard as it will be for me, I must find a good new home for them. So I need to take a deep breath and do it while there is a strong market for them.

Yep, I'll do that. Soon...very soon! :(

04 July 2015

Organization: Heirloom Quilts

Warning: LOTS of photos in this post! :)

Awhile back I posted that this summer I've been focusing on the enormous amount of stuff in my basement. I have been storing almost three full tubs of heirloom quilts down there, knowing that it was not the best place for them. Many were also encased in plastic zipper bags which don't allow the quilts to get adequate air circulation. So I'm happy to have moved them up and out of the basement and into my grandma's cedar chest! I know there are better ways to store quilts but this is definitely an improvement and the best place I have for them right now.

My goals for this project were simple:
Sort the quilts that I brought home from my parents' house
Combine them with the quilts I already had 
Verify that I still want to keep them all
Re-fold each quilt
Write and attach information tags

First, I cleared all the stuff out of the cedar chest and found new places to store it all. That's been the nature of this big project: It's always a domino effect when I try to fit all this stuff into more permanent storage!

I feel very fortunate to have my maternal grandma's cedar chest. Spouse refinished it several years ago. It really is a beautiful piece.

But quite frankly, I wasn't sure it was big enough to hold all of these quilts! I started by taking them all out of the plastic bags and going through them one by one.

Tinsel was my helper for the afternoon, and even she was alarmed! 

Believe it or not, I sold almost this many quilts at my parents' auction. My mom had a full closet of quilts -- more than I could ever keep. Before the sale, I went through all of the quilts with my aunt and my grandma, identifying as many as possible. As we did this, I wrote down everything they could remember about each quilt. 

Later in the summer I had a quilt expert come to the house and date the quilts so I could be sure of the age and identify any of particular value or significance. With that information in hand, I decided which quilts to keep and which to sell. Obviously, I kept the ones that I know for sure were made by family members plus a few others that I really liked.

 Some of the quilts have embroidered or cross-stitched tops. This one was made by my paternal grandma. My mom really liked it and hoped to use it one day.

This is a quilt I've had for a very, very long time. The fabric is extremely heavy. 

This is a really pretty quilt with an applique flower/butterfly motif. My maternal grandma often created her own quilt designs like this one.

  This quilt was made in the 1930's by my mom's grandma, who she lived with as a child. The quilt expert pointed out a couple of unusual things about it, including the spider-web quilting pattern.

When I was a little girl, my mom suffered from migraine-like headaches which would take take her down for several days at a time. On those days, she wrapped herself in this quilt which I'm sure was comforting to her, so I've always called it the "Headache Quilt".

 In addition to many full-sized quilts, I also have several smaller quilts or quilt-like pieces. This one is square and could be used as a table covering. It contains many blocks made from upholstery fabric, which tells me that my grandma made it using fabric scraps from the factory where she worked.

 I also have several baby quilts, some which were made for me and others which were made for my mom. I kept my favorites.

 I actually remember using this one as a child. Of course, it has a kitten motif!

I also have a few baby quilts with embroidery. This one has a Three Little Kittens design.

This one depicts the "Early to Bed" poem that many of us know. 

 In addition to finished quilts, I also have a few that are unfinished. My aunt took a couple of them home to complete. This particular top is not finished, so it's not ready for quilting yet. It's a bi-centennial quilt with a beautiful design.

I have two or three quilt tops that are ready for quilting, so I will take them to the quilt shop and see about getting that done. I actually remember some of the fabric from Grandma's dresses or aprons.

These quilt tops are very special to me, and I'm anxious to get them quilted so I can use them.

 Remarkably, all the full-size quilts and unfinished quilts fit nicely in the cedar chest! I put the baby quilts in a dresser drawer. Most of the quilts are now labeled so I won't forget the details!

 We are getting ready to re-do our master bedroom and I hope to figure out a way to incorporate some of these quilts. I definitely don't want to keep them shut in the cedar chest. They're meant to be used and appreciated!

It was a great feeling to finish this project and free up a little more space in the basement. Onward!

03 July 2015

Feline Friday: Catnip Friend!

 Last week I picked up a catnip plant on clearance at the garden center. After just a few days, the catnip had the desired effect: A FURRY FELINE VISITOR!

After indulging in a treat, this beautiful tuxie from across the street plopped down on the patio for a bit. This provided Lily and Tinsel with some excitement for the afternoon as they watched from inside the sliding glass door.

 It's not often that a handsome male visitor comes to call! And this kitty is just as sweet as he is beautiful.

In fact, this kitty is so friendly that he once bolted inside the house with me! As you might imagine, this unexpected visit caused Tinsel and Lily to have an Extreme Anxiety Attack in the two seconds before I could get him scooped up and back outside. They were poised for the kill!

Yes, Tuxie, for your own safety, it's best if you visit these girls from behind the protective glass barrier! :)

26 June 2015

Feline Friday: Friendly Tinsel

Tinsel does not get the attention she deserves on my blog! She's such a pretty girl! 

Awhile back, I posted that she had been diagnosed with early stage kidney failure. I'm happy to report that these days, Tinsel is doing quite well and her kidney numbers have even improved a little bit. Otherwise, she shows no sign whatsoever of kidney problems. I'm very grateful that, at age 14, she's so healthy and active!

She still has occasional appetite issues (we've never been able to figure out why) but I've been able to manage that problem by giving her an appetite stimulant. About an hour after taking the medication, Overstimulated Tinsel gets the munchies and, as an added perk, becomes quite friendly!

Overstimulated or not, she's a beautiful kitty and I'm very glad she's in our lives!

25 June 2015

Great Recipe: West Coast Chicken Salad

 What's this? Two good salad recipes in close succession? What is going on?! No, you're not reading the wrong blog!

We tried another new recipe recently, and I'd say this one is going to the top of the list! This is another handy "serves as a meal" salad. I love this kind of dinner where nothing else is needed! It would be great with bread, but we're cutting out bread (*SOBS QUIETLY*) so there was none of that for us this time!

I've had this recipe for a long time but had never tried it. I'm not even sure where I found it, but I'm glad I kept it all these years!

This looked like a salad that needed a bit of time to marinate so I started it very early in the morning -- so early that I was on my first cup of coffee!

Of course, it wouldn't be a new recipe without my forgetting SOMETHING. Sure enough, I forgot to buy both tomatoes and radishes. Good grief! Spouse scored some brownie points by making a quick run to the store for me.

 Like the last new recipe I shared, there was a lot of chopping involved with this salad, too, which was dangerous since I was doing all of this before my first cup of coffee and with my eyes still halfway shut. But other than slightly mushy avocado, it all worked out!

 As you can see, this recipe also makes a LOT of salad. But it's nice to have leftovers when it's something as good as this! If you're looking for a great summer salad, I would definitely recommend this one!

24 June 2015

Succulents: Do-Over

In case anyone thinks that you can't kill succulents, I recently offered proof that in fact, you can. I've let my dish of sunburned succulents rest inside for a couple of weeks, feeling terrible and hoping for a miracle, but recently I decided it was time to let them go. This sight was just too sad to see every day:

  So I stopped by Home Depot on my way home from running errands. Look at all of these beautiful succulents -- full of life!

I'll admit I have become slightly obsessed with their tidy, compact shapes!

I picked out three small succulents to replace those I baked and brought them home to plant. Unfortunately, I'm not optimistic about this do-over because one of the plants (the spiky one at right) completely fell apart when I took it out of the Home Depot container. The roots are very shallow!

I packed it tightly into the new soil, trying to prop it up a bit, and in short order it looked pretty good. But in the process of rescuing Mr. Spiky, a couple of the leaves popped off the big, squatty succulent at the left. Good grief! Aren't these plants supposed to be HARDY?

As I disposed of the sunburned succulents, I found two that seemed to be clinging to life, so I thought I'd give them a second (third?) chance. I put them each in a small pot because they deserve their own space at this point!

  I also bought an aloe plant because I have grown them successfully in the past and let's face it: I need a Positive Succulent Outcome! Plus, they're handy to have around in case of a burn, which could happen at any time with me in the kitchen.

I gave them each a gentle watering...

 ...and will now leave them alone for the next three weeks until the next time I need to water them. No trips to the outdoors for these guys! 

Cross your fingers and watch for my next State of the Succulents report!