Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mr. Bingle arrives for Christmas

Welcome to Mr. Bingle 2010, who arrived a few days ago at my house. I tried to resist him, but he was too cute. I had to have him for my collection.  

Here is my 1987 Mr. Bingle, who I "adopted" when I found him at a Goodwill Store in Greenville, SC.

The 1987 Mr. Bingle (above) came home to live with my 2007 Mr. Bingle (below), who I purchased brand new at Dillard's in New Orleans while on vacation in 2007.

After buying Mr. Bingle 2007 and finding Mr. Bingle 1987 at a local Goodwill, imagine my surprise to find another Mr. Bingle at a different local Goodwill a year or so later! That would be Mr. Bingle 1996, pictured below.

So for this Christmas, my Mr. Bingle collection numbers 4 "full size" Bingle's and 1 Mr. Bingle that is about 8 inches in height, that I place on the Christmas Tree. I'd better get busy with my decorations, so all of my Mr. Bingle's can meet!

If you want to read more about Mr. Bingle, go to the post at my old blog by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Here's a Fish, There's A Fish.... and Another....and Another....and Memories

My bathroom is a huge aquarium. Well, not a real aquarium, but it does sort of look like one.  

I didn't start out having a "thing" for collecting fish wall plaques, it's something that stems from my childhood memories. My aunt and grandmother had some ceramic seahorses and a couple of fish wall plaques in their bathroom. I always liked the seahorses.  

My mother had a set of Miller Studio fish wall plaques. These cute green ones with the boy fish wearing a top hat and walking stick and the girl fish with big red lips and a parasol. I have Mama's well dressed fish hanging on the bathroom wall, but I also have a spare set of these cuties packed away "just in case".

I saw lots of Miller Studio plaques when I was growing up. In Spartanburg, SC, where I was born and lived until I was almost 7 years old, there was a store out on the "superhighway" (Hwy 29 - a big modern dual lane road) called Wadsworth's China Shop. This store was an early forerunner of Michael's and Garden Ridge. They stocked decorative ceramics like vases, wall plaques (ceramic & chalkware....I remember Miller plaques hanging in their packaging), candle holders, dish garden containers and flower pots of every shape and size. They also had artificial flowers. In addition to all that, they had everyday dinnerware sets and finer china sets. They carried Hull Pottery kitchenware, so I'm sure they also had Hull decorative pottery too. Outside the store, they carried concrete planters & birdbaths. OH, and even back in the 1950's, Wadsworth's was open on Sunday! Going there was a special Sunday treat!  I don't have a picture of Wadsworth from back then, but here is what it looks like today. The only thing about the building that has changed is the sign.

When you walked in the front door of Wadsworth's, there was the cashiers desk in the center. It was a big square counter, open in the center, with 2 sides for "checking out". At each side on the counter, there was a huge stack of newspaper, spread out open to be easy to wrap up the breakables. Boy, those ladies could wrap fast, too. The front side facing the door had floral displays made by the ladies who worked there. The "back side" or farthest side of the center counter was lined with those old fashioned drink coolers that you slid the big metal top from side to side to choose your drink. Those were the COLDEST drinks! The floor in this building was good old hardwood which had places all over the store that creaked when tred upon. The counters and walls were all pine panelled. There was no central air conditioning back in the 1950's, but they did have 2 huge "air conditioners" hanging overhead at the back corner on 2 sides of the store. A few months back, someone opened an antique shop in the old Wadsworth building. I got my husband to stop there just so I could walk through. I'll have to say, the "feel" of Wadsworth's is the same in 2010 that it was in the 1950's.......AND the floor still squeaks!

Now you know how my bathroom aquarium collection got started, although it took MANY years to come to fruition.  I inherited the much admired "well dressed" fish couple from my mother and the seahorses were given to me by my aunt when I expressed interest in them. That's when I decided to paint the bathroom a shade of aqua and start my hunt for other fish wall plaques. First, I found some cute fish cabinet knobs, but they looked out of place on the white cabinet doors. I decided to try my hand at being "artistic" and painted & stencilled around each fish knob.  I was pretty satisfied with the result.

I have two large Miller Studio fish that I found at separate times. One of these came with 2 baby fishes. I have them displayed as a family above the mirrored vanity. They didn't come with "bubbles", but I remedied that with the use of some I found at a craft store.

There are surprised Miller fish staring at me every time I shower. 

Swimming around my tub are three schools of fish. There is a pink and purple Miller set, 

and a ceramic set in pink and aqua, 

and swimming against the traffic flow above and below is another Miller Studio set of four in pink and white. This set did come with its own bubble.

I love my black and gold ceramic set, marked Norcrest Japan, as well as the big black Miller fish. 

Rounding a corner, nose to nose, is a cute ceramic set of fish in yellow and green, marked Freeman McFarlin Originals. When I found these, I saw one fish was missing part of a tail fin, but I love the look and really never notice the flaw.

Above the doorway is a playful set of yellow and orange koi and a single pink, purple and aqua fish. All three of these fish are from Miller Studio.

This is a great set of Nesco ceramic angel fish that came complete with bubbles.

There are 2 wall cabinets in the bathroom. Atop one cabinet are two ceramic angel fish planters and in the center is a gray angelfish figurine. The two planters are labeled "Japan" and both have the original 59 cent price sticker from Rose's dime store.

On the top of the second wall cabinet is my latest Goodwill store find. It's also a ceramic planter, made by ARDCO.

Packed away in my storage building is a box filled with at least this many fish and seahorses. I just don't have enough wall in my "aquarium" for all of them to "swim" at the same time!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Will Many Happy Buddhas Bring Good Karma

My Buddha collection is relatively small in number, but I wanted to show you the few I have displayed throughout my house.

This small ceramic Buddha is one of my first. I did this in the early 70s when I was all caught up in a ceramics class. He has been on display in our home ever since.

My favorite is the huge Happy Buddha that sits on the hearth. He just pleases me and it wouldn't seem like my home if he wasn't in view every day. At Christmas when I decorate my hearth with all my Santas, this Happy Buddha stays right where he is and dons a Santa hat to blend in!

Next is a china Buddha that I bought in New Orleans a few years ago at the French Market Flea Market. Buddhas are plentiful there. I just liked the colors.

I have this neat Buddha on a bookcase that rotates in it's casing so you can hide trinkets in a tray hidden within. I found this one at a yard sale many years ago. It is made of an ivory plastic type material. I've never seen another one like it.

I cannot forget my outdoor Buddhas, there are two. The one I have had the longest is also my heaviest...a big cement Buddha.

The other is in need of a good paint job, he once was brick red and now is faded pink and splotchy. I've been thinking he might look good in an even deeper red than he was when I got him.

Somewhere in my attic I know that I have a carved wooden Happy Buddha standing with both hands raised above his head. I would love to have it displayed. I guess I need to go digging around in the attic, it's just that our attic is like Fibber McGee's closet, so I have to be careful just opening that door!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Time for Clocks


I have plenty of clocks at my house.......but don't trust them to tell you exactly what time it is. The clock pictured here is one of my favorite clocks, a retro metal starburst wall clock that I found at a yard sale many years ago. 

This starburst clock grouped with the two wall clocks pictured below have been on a wall in my den for quite some time. The starburst and the "scalloped" round metal clock are both electric, but neither has a cord. I wanted the clocks for their visual appeal, not to tell time by. Besides, the cord on the round clock was spliced together, and I get a little paranoid plugging in electrical things that are so old. So, snip-snip, the cords were removed. I'll set my own time on each clock, thank you. The '70s rectangular clock is key wound and I do have the key, but I'm too lazy to wind a clock every few days to keep it running "on time". 

Here is another favorite of mine (well, it seems that ALL my clocks are favorites) which was given to me years ago by my husband. The Kit-Cat clock. It isn't an "antique" but was given to me about 1990 so I guess that's pretty old in clock years. Kit-Cat has been in my kitchen ever since.

This mantel clock belonged to my Grandmother. I have the key to wind it, but it no longer works.

Then there is a battery operated mantel clock which was a present from an Aunt. 

However, on the mantel in my den is a clock that I spotted at the Pickens County Flea Market (Pickens, SC) and I HAD to have it. 

This clock combines two of my collections into ONE piece, clocks and monkeys. (More on the monkeys another time.) Although this filigree clock is missing a top finial, the way it is made you hardly notice. Of course, it may be the monkey that draws your eye from any imperfection. No matter, I smile each time I look at this little clock. And what's a collection for anyway, if not to make you happy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Part of My Mother's Collection

This is not really my collection, but it is something that I have in a collection of my Mother's things. Well, I guess it is, therefore, now MY collection. I recently ran across Mama's 1940 Fairforest High School yearbook. Fairforest High was located in Spartanburg, SC. The 1940 yearbook was, according to the dedication page, the very first edition of Fairforest's yearbook, Forest Views.

There is not much on the web that I can find about Fairforest High, at least not from the 1940s, so I decided to scan all the pages in the Forest Views and put them in a blog. Maybe someone will find it interesting....or maybe someone will find a picture of a loved one that they did not have before. Here is the link to Fairforest High School Spartanburg, South Carolina Class of 1940 .

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Creepy Clowny Mother's Day

This is the Mother's Day card I got from my son and daughter-in-law. My son always looks for monkey cards 'cause he knows I like the cute little critters. I guess I'd collect monkeys if I could. I remember asking my parents for a monkey when I was very young. Needless to say, I never got that wish.

This post is really a little past due, in that it is about a present I received from my son this year on Mother's Day. My son and his wife had been on a trip to Memphis with a swing through Tupelo and Atlanta before coming back home. It seems that even though they were off having fun, I wasn't far from their thoughts. They saw something in an antique mall that my daughter-in-law said I might like. After rambling through the antique mall, my son decided that what they saw was something that I really would like....or completely he took the gamble, made the purchase and loaded it in their car.

On Mother's Day I was surprised when they walked in carrying two presents, one small and the other large. The small one was the newest Charlaine Harris book, which I had just seen at Target and really wanted. The large package was a puzzlement to me and as I felt it I wondered why it felt like a picture frame. It seems it WAS a picture frame....with a water color painting of a creepy clown! So here is the newest addition to my clown collection.

As for whether I like it or hate it....I do like it. (My daughter-in-law is really glad that it is no longer in their house staring at her.)

Now I will have to do some thinking about where to hang this picture permanently. More than likely, I will have to rearrange my complete clown collection to get everything all properly placed. If you want to see the rest of my collection, I previously wrote about my clowns on my other blog at these links
Clowns - My Fear and Fascination and Send In The Clowns .

Thanks to Zack and Kathy for the great Mother's Day presents!

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's not Christmas yet.....but you have to think ahead!

We went to an estate sale this morning. It didn't sound very promising in the advertisement and the photos on the website just looked to be run of the mill stuff. But you never know, do you?

In the second room I walked into I found a set of NOEL angel candleholders, marked with tiny paper labels on the bottom "Japan" and each had 6A/217 lettered on the bottom. Now I have no idea what the lettering means, but I do know they were older since they were made in Japan. I also know what I like and I like NOEL candleholders from back in the day. So here is the set I picked up today......OH, and before I forget and you just think I'm a bad speller.... if the candleholders are not "hooked together" in any is how I set them out....

This makes my fourth LEON....uh NOEL, so I do have a collection, don't I? Of course I do. I also collect Santas and other Christmas related items. Lots can be seen at Santa Is At My House .. Better Be Good! , a post on the blog I had before deciding to do one on just my collections.

Back to my NOEL candleholders, here is one of the first sets that I "found" many years ago. I am uncertain exactly where, but wherever it was, the price had to be right. Anyway, this LEON has been the center of my Christmas mantel decorations ever since. I really cannot remember if it ever was put out on display in the correct spelling. Also, I have never put candles in this or in any of my NOEL candleholders.

There are two more NOEL candleholders in my collection and neither of these can be "rearranged" but I like them anyway. One is Santa in his sleigh and four reindeer. Each reindeer holds a candle. This particular piece was found at a yard sale, again too many years ago to even think about. It is still in the original box, which is in excellent shape. There is real straw packing on either end of the box and the top opens on a hinge like a cigar box. I keep it tied together with old fashioned "curling" ribbon used for wrapping packages.

Finally I have my "stand up" Santa NOEL piece. These little Santas are forming a totem pole and each is holding a NOEL letter. Although each letter has a candleholder, the candle "cup" is broken off of the "L", but it doesn't matter since I don't use candles with these.

So this estate sale was great for me, even though we didn't think we would find anything. Oh, and my husband found a Christmas Sugar Bear (Sugar Crisp cereal) which is our 3rd Christmas Sugar Bear.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Family Treasures

Recently I told Jenn at The Thrift Shop Romantic that according to my husband, three of anything makes a collection. Boy, do I have collections! I will be telling you about them.

I wanted to start this blog with a project that was a huge undertaking....much more than I anticipated. With my son in his own home, I wanted to re-do his old room. With everything finally moved out (including my own clutter), I started with the ceiling. The paint had peeled away under and around the base of the ceiling light fixture. A little sanding might work to smooth out those edges, but it didn't. I had to do some patching. Then the ceiling took 2 coats of paint to make it look good.

With that done, I went to work on the walls which were a deep red. Two coats of primer and two coats of the color of green I chose and that was complete. All the trim work also required two coats. I was bushed from just the painting.

The hardwood floors needed work, but I didn't want to splurge on a professional to come in, so to my hands and knees I went. Cleaning with mineral spirits, staining with Minwax and also using an old fashioned Johnson's paste wax like Mama used to do. I also had to install quarter round moulding, which included learning how to miter corners and do some coping for proper fit. With my back aching and my knees bruised, I stood back and enjoyed the view of my nice clean shiny floors and newly painted walls.

I had my husband help me with a new ceiling fixture. This is the first piece of my family treasure to go into this room. It is a decorative glass cover from a ceiling fixture in my paternal grandmother's house which was sold to a family member a couple of years ago. When I was young and visited my "Granny" I always loved the ceiling light in her living room. I particularly wanted this light cover to go with the "Gone With The Wind" lamp that belonged to "Granny" and would display prominently in my new bedroom.

With the room basics completed I could move in the inherited bedroom suite, which belonged to my late mother-in-law. It is more modern than other furnishings for the room, but I don't mind mixing styles at all.

In one corner is an old oak rocker with a leather seat bottom which belonged to my paternal grandfather, who I never met. The seat is brittle and pulling away from the upholstery tacks, so I don't sit in it. The small smoking stand was also his. The cute little vintage "Asta" style terrier was found recently at the local Goodwill. I had to give him a home.

I added my "Granny's" treadle sewing machine with one of her lamps (notice the flower...part of the room's color theme) in the center and a picture of her and another of my grandfather on either side. The cup of silk violets was a gift years ago from my mother.

Atop the chest of drawers is the "GWTW" style lamp. Under it is a vintage thrifted doily with mauve rosettes and green leaves. On the dresser I have family photos, a not-so-vintage mantel clock on top (gift from a late aunt), thrifted candlesticks and vase in shades of purple, my "Granny's" Hull Art vase, a pair of Hull pottery cornucopia in pink with purple grapes which belonged to my late mother-in-law, a few other trinkets which belonged to family or pertain to family, and a thrifted crochet doily with purple trim.

The night stand has a small milk glass lamp (from my mother-in-law), recently thrifted Federal Glass Petal saucers and small bowl in sun gold , a small ceramic red cocker spaniel (the kind and color of the first dog I had that I remember, "Poochie", who was a gift from an uncle), and monkey bookends (monkeys...another collection) with some sentimental books.

The white chenille bedspread is new, but a gift for my birthday last year from my husband. (It's what I asked for!) The purple throw pillows were thrifted at the same time as the purple vase and candlesticks.

In the closet, I have made a small sewing nook. The table is actually HALF of a dining room table that belonged to my maternal grandparents. The table is tri-legged so with it braced on the wall, it is very stable. The chair matches it, but I had to cut a new wooden seat, pad and cover it. This is all that is left of that dining room except the buffet , which belongs to my husband (my mother gave it to him years ago and he won't give it to me). I have thrifted some louvered bi-fold doors for the closet which used to have sliding doors. I have never installed bi-fold doors, so that will be another project for me.

At a flea market I saw a sign stating all rugs $5 each. I looked down and was standing on a runner that would fit perfectly into the decor of my bedroom. There was also a small octagonal one in the same pattern that I could use. I questioned the price and snapped them up. The fringe was worn, so I will eventually be doing something about that, but I think they blend in perfectly.
The window valances were thrifted just after I got the walls painted. If I remember correctly it was a half price day and I got them for a total of $1.50. The slightly lighter shade of green was perfect and the purple grapes matched my Hull cornucopias.

That takes care of the basic redecoration of my bedroom. I'll look closer at pieces from my Family Treasures collection soon.