Friday, February 29, 2008

Pink Satin Ballet Slippers ~ Dancing "en Pointe"

When I was a little girl I was pretty much a tomboy. I liked to play in the dirt, run faster than the boys, and play baseball. Some of my idols were Philadelphia Phillies like Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt. I would listen to their games on my little clock radio til wee hours in the morning when there was a double header. I was afraid my Mother was going to hear it and holler at me to turn it off so I would bring it all the way up to my ear.

But somewhere in there, during that time, I found a love that I can't explain. A love for something that was so opposite of all the things I enjoyed doing. So GIRLY.

I have to say I must have always had the dancing bug in me...when I was five I "choreographed" my own dance to "Peter and the Wolf" and performed it in our living room for whoever would watch. But it wasn't until I was in the fifth grade did I decide that I wanted to take dance lessons.

It was the bling of it all really, I think. My Grandmother took me to a friend of the family's dance recital and I was star struck by all the fancy costumes and sequins. I resolved that next year I would be up there doing the same thing.

And I did. But it was hard. It wasn't as easy as I thought! Dancing HURT. And dancing could be fun. It was when I was actually in the recital when it all paid off. The THRILL of performing on stage. Like nothing I had ever experienced.

Which brings me to today's post. The picture above is of my beloved pink satin toe shoes. A rite of passage for all ballet dancers. A sign you have worked hard enough and long enough to dance "en pointe." I never felt more beautiful and more graceful than when I could put on my toe shoes and dance. A most wonderful experience I will never forget. . . getting to perform in the local Nutcracker suite in our hometown. Magical!!!

And I keep my toe shoes as a reminder of all the hard work, determination, and accomplishments.

For more posts like this check out Kelli's House... a ton more stories in blogland to read and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Learning from the Past ~ WWII Letters

Each week I usually post some of the neat things my Dear Hubby and I drag home from local sales and auctions. Most of the time I sell what we find although sometimes I find it difficult to part with some of them.

The photo above is of a lovely painting done by a man in his retirement back in 1966. His name was Oliver Williams of Perth Amboy, NJ. It is just absolutely sweet and darling and would looke great in someone's cottage type decor. I certainly don't mind the pink florals either! But, this one I am selling in my listings this week.

And I love the inspirational saying on this plaque...from II Corinthians. I have a few similar to this with sayings like "Love Never Faileth", etc., that I hang around the house as faith reminders. But, I am going ahead and listing it to sell this week.

Now here is where I'm having a little bit of trouble. I was GOING to sell these World War II set of letters, postcards, and photos from a man's time in Europe during the latter half of the war. So, before I did, I thought, I need to read some of these to learn more and do some research before hand.

Well, the more I read, the more I just adored the man who wrote them. There are several photos that came with this lot but I'm not sure which one is him as they are all of different guys. Anyway, these letters are to his sister back home in Pennsylvania. He signs them "Peach" and talks to his neice and nephew and refers to himself as "Uncle Peach" and tells them to make sure they get good marks in school and to be good. One letter even has me tearing up as he writes about the next phase of their encampment or duties and that they are going to be dangerous. But instead of being fearful he talks about his faith and belief in God and that he is not afraid. It touched my heart!

He writes from France, Germany, and Italy. The one from Italy absolutely cracked me up because he writes about some new words he learned. He says that a "Pizon"
is a friend and that "No Co Bish" means Don't understand. This was funny! It should be Non Capice. He was just writing what he heard, getting by, and missing his family.

So, sometimes things are easy to buy and sell, and some you get attached to. Like this. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these. I may hang onto them and figure out a way to find the relatives of this sweet, sweet man nicknamed Peach. Who knows. But I just can't let them go. Yet.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Great Weekend ~ Plus a BBB Award!

How sweet is this? I was tagged by Michelle of "I'm a Little Teapot" with this CUTE CUTE CUTE award. (I guess I'm the kitty on the right. )

So this was a great way to start out my weekend, thank you, Michelle! I'm glad we've "met" and it's been fun reading each other's blogs back and forth from across the miles. Again, another chance to say this is why I love blogging so much. I've actually LEARNED a lot by blogging. From reading my FEEDJIT listings, to learning customs of gals in other countries, to weather and events in other regions of our own country, this is FUN. I think kids should have to blog in school or at least as a homework assignment because there is lots to gain from it. You even learn more about yourself. And from what my big Sista has told me, she's even learned things about me she didn't know.

I suppose this is where I'm supposed to tag someone else and I will pass this award onto Amy of Abundant Curiosities and also to Carol of Sassafras & Lulu.

As for my great weekend I mentioned in my Dear Hubby and I went to a "Beat the Winter Blues" party last night at our church. The deal was were supposed to wear vintage clothing from the blues/jazz era OR if you didn't have that attire you were to wear blue clothing. Well, being the antiquers that we are, we could not resist the temptation to wear THE outfits. And no, I'm not going to post a picture of us in our costumes. But I will tell you WE WON BEST COSTUME! Yay! We went to the Salvation Army for his suit (oversized, dark navy blue pinstripe), the best funky graphics tie, and some matching suspenders. We searched all over creation for a vintage man's hat but you know what, nothing FITS. They are all too small. So we found a reproduction hat at this store:"Zap and Co." Once he had it on it was kind of like the movie "The Mask" and he became the hat. He didn't want to take it off.

My dress was put together from things I already had around the, not curtains like Carol Burnett used...but a vintage dress I had bought that I thought I would sell but didn't, my heeled dancing shoes from college, vintage pins, an antique fur, etc.

It was fun and it sure beat the winter blues for a few hours...and I'm also happy to report a lot of our snow melted today. Spring has got to be around the corner somewhere...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Antique Books ~ Art Works Inside & Out

This is the bookshelf in our family room, next to the fireplace. I am slowly filling it with my vintage book collection.Fun stops from Maine down through to Virginia have helped fill in the gaps here and there. I usually keep the price to 5.00 and under. If it costs more than my set price...well, it has to be a special book, like a classic, or the artwork on the cover has to be intricate.

The artwork is probably what appeals to me the most. You just don't find this kind of detail on books anymore. Each one is different, like a snowflake! And of course, I love the metallic titles on the binding. SO elegant.

I always keep these three together...since they all seem to have romantic titles and the colors compliment each other. (I never said I was an intellectual. It's all about how they LOOK.)

This is my poetry section. (Like I have a library or something! I also have a classics section. Hey, at least they're not alphabetized with the Dewey decimal system.) The white Tennyson book has the most beautiful pink rose on the cover, otherwise it wouldn't fit the "criteria" I have in mind for what kind of book makes it onto THE BOOKSHELF. But this white book, albeit boring on the binding, is gorgeous on the front. So, I make exceptions. I'll have to add a picture of it for you.

This book I keep in it's own special holder on the Dear Hubby brought it home one day for me. Very sweet! But, I only keep it out during winter... which is kind of ironic, because if anyone has been following my blog for any length of time, would know I can't stand winter...and would be very happy if we only had spring, summer, and fall.

And I can't believe it, I've actually put together another edition of Show & Tell friday....all started over at Kelli's House.

Stop by and visit her blog! There are lots of other great blogs with stories of their own!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Antiquing Trips ~ Pennsylvania ~ Reed & Barton Trophy Bowl

There's no denying it. One of my favorite things to do is explore. And I'm not talking about with a pair of hiking shoes, a backpack, and the sun to guide me. I'm talking about a pair of comfy shoes, a handbag, and a vision. I'm talking about antiquing.

We recently stopped at a tiny little store near Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. Kind of jammed full of trinkets and odds and ends....perfect really, for finding that "something special." But you have to dig. And dig I did!

This little Reed & Barton silverplated bowl caught my eye. ( That and some silver napkin rings, souvenir spoons, and a pastel McCoy mixing bowl set.) It wasn't easy to see because it was wrapped up in a plastic sandwhich bag which was stapled shut. At first, I just thought it was a minature sized version of a bowl I had at home, which of course, made me love it instantly. Then I noticed it was marked Reed & Barton. Then upon further inspection I noticed it was a trophy! Truly charming!

Some of the designers in the decorating magazines use them for wonderful bookshelf displays, vignettes, etc. I love to pass on the treasures I they may find the right home. Since my new website, Bella Rosa Antiques is not quite ready yet, I have listed it in my online auction.

Of course, if you are an avid antiquer like myself, you know how much fun it is to find something "special"... which only means you are even more eager to go exploring, again, and as soon as possible! Maybe I do need those hiking shoes and a backpack. . .

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fair of Face ~ Monday's Child (A Correction)

Yesterday I really didn't know what I was going to write about. I kind of had a feeling, but it just wasn't clicking for me. I finally put something together but it really wasn't my best post or my favorite. But it did turn out to be my first CORRECTED post. A concerned, lurker (MY MOTHER) let me know that the real meaning of the nursery rhyme "Monday's child is fair of face," is not that the child has pale skin (like I do) is that she will be pretty in the face. Well, she was concerned that everyone who reads this (who is her age and remembers the original meaning will think I have become quite taken with myself and those who are closer to my age (not revealing anything here) will think what I did, and that it meant a person who has very white and pasty (LOL, definitely me in the winter time) skin.

So, thank you Mom, for the correction. The last thing I want is for my blogger gal pals to think I am stuck up!!!! Unless of course, you happen to think I am pasty AND pretty, then ok.

Also, I told her I wouldn't do this...but since I'm here typing. . .

My Mother would also like to start her own blog, but doesn't know what to call it yet. If anyone has any great suggestions (and please try not to think about today's correction).... I would love to share them with her. She likes to write, read, watch movies, and go antiquing. I joked and told her I would have a giveaway for the best one. Which, I may still do if there is something fabulous and she actually uses it.

For now, I will keep pondering a title over and see if she has come up with anything yet. This could take me awhile... LOVE YOU, Mom!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, Monday : Quilt, Banner, & More

It's been since last Thursday since I've blogged. Not that long ago but it seems like it has been awhile. The weekend went by fast (as usual) and now it is Monday. I was born on a Monday. What is that saying about Monday's child? Fair of face? Well, that is true.

There are a few things I'd like to show you. First is this lovely quilt I found last summer at an estate sale. Beautiful! I"m not a quilter so I have no idea how much work went into this beauty...but I can only imagine!

And the other thing I was excited to show you....look at this pretty banner I had made for my Sister's new blog, below! It was created by Mary of Isabella's Closet. She has a special blog called Bella's Banners. Most of her banners are only 5.00! This is quite a deal.

My Sister was thrilled with the surprise banner. Drop by and say hello as she is VERY new to this whole blogging thang.....A Tuneful of Sugar.

This was a pretty "Be Mine" Valentine's Day cake my sweetie gave to me last week....

Hope you enjoyed your Monday! I'll be back to show some of my vintage finds on a quick antique stop last weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Come On a My House!

The Ballard Designs catalog arrived today!

I absolutely love the things in there but usually only order once in a blue moon, just to make sure I still get the catalog. They pile up in my living room, then I transfer them up to my bedroom and then a few years later I finally decide I can throw some away. And most of the stuff in there is similar to what I saw in the catalog LAST TIME. Yet, I can't throw them away for fear I might not be inspired by the next one. Or worse yet, they might catch on that I am not their best customer ....and stop sending it to me! So it was today when I thought how much I wanted to order something when it dawned on me I've been picking up things here and there that remind of Ballard Designs all along.

These are items you can find in their catalog and online:

So, I decided to show you how this company has influenced my decorating... except on a beer budget! Many of the things I bought were found on clearance, at local auctions and even yard sales!

For example:

I was bound and determined to get one of these clocks...and finally found one at a Kirklands, on clearance, for 8.00. (Why I need such a big clock is a great story for another post.) The black one pictured earlier from Ballard is priced at $89.95 and I think mine is an even larger size.

My 1.00 shelf full of fun finds...the car photo is an actual photo of my Father-in-Law's car....that he took back in the 50's. I scanned it into my computer and framed it. (Yes that is a price tag on there...I had it in my antique booth and I haven't removed the sticker yet!) There are two more of these shelves I found at a yard sale. I spray painted them black last summer and finally figured out where to put one, in our family room. Two more to go! Ballard prices for similar shelves: $29.95 - 49.95.

Entryway table. This vignette could be improved...but for the price is perfect. The table was purchased at a yard sale....for I think maybe 5 or 10 dollars...the mirror at a local auction and for the lamp I just bought a new shade at Lowes.

I wanted something simple to hang in my kitchen ...but something that was soft enough to not distract from my vintage LuRay dinnerware. These three vintage plates did the trick. I believe I picked these up at Goodwill.
This is definitely one of my favorite finds at a yard sale. For a price of $ was just perfect for the hallway! The black mirror shown above from Ballards was priced at 399.95!!!! This one is too similar to pass up. We are usually looking for antiques and collectibles at the wee hours on a weekend...but I can't stop myself when these gems appear! My DH usually sighs and hauls it into the van for me.

This was a very vibrant copper colored mirror we received for our wedding. I decided to change it to a platinum and really liked the softer tone . The BISTRO sign is a TJ Maxx clearance item...and reminds my DH and I of romantic dinners together.

The whole section must be in honor of my DH and I...this just occurred to me. The pedestal (not shown) for the flowers was used at our outdoor wedding reception!

This chair was another yard sale find at a whopping 7.50. I have still not decided on the material I've chosen for the seat cover. The one I have gone with so far is not even attached yet. Still not sure...

This is an end table in our formal living room. My DH came home with the end tables from a yard sale for 9.00. For BOTH! Although I forgot to show the whole table in the photo, they are in great condition and have two drawers for storage. The glass lamp is another yard sale find....two for 8.00 (2 new lamp shades for 6.00 each and this is still a great buy for these lamps!) The great photo of my Step Children was the gift they gave to my DH for Christmas.

While I love yard sale decorating...I still buy occasionally at regular furniture stores...but sometimes you just can't beat a great deal when someone is having a moving sale or a sale out of their garage!

Hope you enjoyed stopping by my house. The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and I am thrilled!

Now if we could just finish painting the rest of the house...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snow, Freezing Rain, Winter Blues

With Valentine's Day tomorrow, I should post something well, I dunno, LOVELY. Instead, my first thought is....I know, I've posted this before, and after reading about all kinds of frigid temperatures in the West, and terrible tornadoes in the South, I shouldn't complain.

But, I can't help it. The dismal sky, cold temps, and icicles just really get me down! Why didn't that fat little fuzzy creature see spring just around the corner? He never does! He's lost all credibility with me...

How about some vintage ice skating???

On the brighter side of DH wants to take me out to a "shi shi foo foo" Italian restaurant here in town for Valentine's Day. Can't argue with that one. I LOVE Italian food. Since my Grandmother is Italian, I've learned some of the traditional dishes and hope to pass them on someday. But to have someone else cook it for me, that's fabulous too!

And also, I've seen the first mockup of my new website "Bella Rosa Antiques." Looking good! Can't wait until the launch. I just might have to have another giveaway. Hmmmm....the wheels are turning.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day and wherever you are, you are safe, happy, and warm!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cutie Pie Mini Brownie Cupcakes ~ Sweetheart Tea

Yes, it is Saturday night and I am baking. Not really into baking much. When I was much younger, yes, I enjoyed it. For some reason, I don't now. But, tonight I thought I would...since we are having our annual "Sweetheart Tea" at the antique mall, Ziegler's In the Country, where we have a booth. Finger foods are best since people will be coming in and snacking as well as shopping. My first year I thought I would make use of my heart shaped cake pans (really, I'm not into baking) and since it was difficult to walk around with a major piece of cake, my lovely pink and white concoction was kind of ignored. (Maybe this has something to do with my bake-a-phob.) I might even have a picture of it somewhere...I'll have to scan it.

Anyway, I decided the smaller, the better. I remembered my Pampered Chef mini muffin pan. Yes! This would do the trick. Small, little tiny cupcakes from a brownie mix, a cinch! Well, since I'm not used to baking, getting the batter INTO the teeny tiny muffin paper cups was tedious. But, I turned on the iPOD (this is starting to sound like an infommercial) and let the music move me...

And these are what I came up with....candy hearts and all. They still make me chuckle with their goofy short sayings of love: "Cutie Pie, Only You, My Love," etc. Except of course, now, we are up to date with the ones that read "Email Me" and "Fax Me!" Maybe they will come up with "Text Me" unless they have already and I didn't come across it yet.
What do you normally do on a Saturday evening? I'm usually watching a movie from Netflix (another least I'm not linking to each website!) because as a Radio/TV/Film major in college, this is one of my favorite things to do. I really prefer the big screen. I haven't done that in awhile. Anything good playing??? Maybe I can get my "True Love" to take me for Valentine's Day!

PS. Since I normally show my latest "finds" ... notice the ceramic purple serving trays? DH and I happened upon a moving sale this morning and I picked up four of these (two in blue glass and the two shown above) for 50 cents! Although not antiques, they were a great buy!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Can We Say Bella? A Sneak Antique Peek...

Thrilling! This is the word that comes to mind when I think of my time at the auction. I actually had to attend TWO different auctions because the first one resulted in only a few great finds.
The first day I was able to bring home a lovely Tole handpainted roses tray, some vintage jewelry, an old and very beautiful marriage certificate, the cutest child's chair, an old German Testament, and some glassware items.
But then yesterday I went again to a different auctioneer and wow, I was just filled with anticipation. There were so many things I wanted to bid on, I had to write a list. I did manage to bid on and win several of the things I wanted. Yay! One of my favorites is this gorgeous, vintage ROSE collar box, seen in the photo below. There were collars inside, too! This was definitely "Bella Rosa!"
I also love vintage jewelry and I brought home several pieces that I just fell in love with. Rhinestone earrings, necklaces, pearl necklaces, bracelets, clear and colored crystal necklaces, and LOTS of sparkly pins. I love to decorate my denim jackets with the pins, but during this time of year, my dress coat.
Some of the other vintage finds: evening bags, an extremely tall hat pin holder, even taller hat pins, a very old photo album, a roses fan, sterling pieces, perfume bottle, mini decorated shoes, prints, and a very kitschy kitty kat string holder.
Some of the "jazzy thoughts" I received (from some very bella bloggers) helped tremendously. This may lead to a "request list" on my website. This way, if you're searching for something, tell me, and you just never know, I may be able to find it.
Well, there are more finds that I did not show...some things need to be a surprise! But, as the inventory grows, so does my excitement to begin my new venture. And as usual, I'll post the latest update on my blog.