Friday, June 28, 2013

Shopping local

Lighting at Schiller's.
We try to shop local when possible and have found that there are some really great stores out there.  Some we've visited and purchased from many times.  Others we visit less often but still really enjoy.  Today, Duane, Linda and I decided to make it a 'shop local' day and started with a large shop we hadn't been to before.  Duane happened to notice it when she passed it one day.  It's actually an enormous salvage store.  The name is Schiller's Salvage and they have a very nice website here.  I snapped a couple of pics but they're a drop in the bucket to what you can find there.

Some of Schiller's wares outside.
There's a ton of stuff in the area outside the warehouse -- everything from huge garden items to reclaimed lumber.  Then you go inside and, honestly, if you're looking for something with 'old bones' -- (Duane fell in love with a couple of fireplace surrounds) they probably have it.  From windows to columns to doors to hardware, lighting, signs, furniture --- the list goes on.  One thing I wish I had been able to find was the first letter of my last name - H.  Schiller's had so many 'letters' from lighted ones from businesses to cardboard ones.  Maybe I'll get lucky another time.  It was a little overwhelming due to the sheer quantity of items but definitely a place to think about if you're looking for something unique.

Then we headed to one of our favorite local shops -- mentioned on this blog many times -- A Modern Line.  You can visit their website here.  All three of us have purchased merchandise from A Modern Line before.  I'm probably the 'pillow queen' because that's what I bought (again) today.  I have quite a few pillows from them all over my house.  I've also purchased pottery, art and a mid-century
modern coffee table.  Linda has made the biggest purchases -- several side tables, a head and foot board for the bed in her guest room and smaller items.  Today she was drooling over a recent acquisition in the store -- a round coffee table made of Italian marble and wood.  Really striking.  Linda took photos and, David, the store owner, gave her a tape measure so that she can see if this table will fit where her current coffee table now rests.  Something tells me we'll be back for that coffee table.  Today Linda bought a vintage 1960's Haeger urn/vase.  We rarely leave this store empty-handed.

Next up was a vintage store owned by the wife of the owner of A Modern Line.  Sherry's Yesterdaze is the place to shop if you're looking for a nice vintage item in the line of clothing, accessories, housewares -- you name it.  Sherry has a website here.  I wanted to check in to pick up some vintage scarves/ladies hankies to tie to my purse to brighten it up for summer.
Sherry has a big selection and it was difficult to choose but I decided on one scarf and three hankies.  Linda found a couple of vintage hardback Nancy Drew mysteries.  A nice touch for the bookcase plus they have a special meaning for those of us who grew up reading them.

After Sherry's, we were ready for lunch.  In Duane's neighborhood, which all of these stores are in or near, has a great selection of local eateries.  One of our faves is Mikey's Cafe & Bakery which can be found online here.   Their sandwiches are as good as their desserts.  We had a nice lunch before heading home with our purchases.   Only Duane resisted the 'buying' temptation since she's in the process of renovating her art studio.  But none of us could resist Mikey's.

Linda's buys.
My finds.

Monday, June 24, 2013

TED AND ANN on sale today at Audible!

My latest audiobook recording hit Audible today.  Ted and Ann: The Mystery of a Missing Child and Her Neighbor Ted Bundy by Rebecca Morris explores whether 8 year old Ann Marie Burr may have been notorious serial killer Ted Bundy's first victim. Bundy was a teen at the time Ann disappeared from her Tacoma, Washington home during the night.  Author and journalist Rebecca Morris makes a compelling case for Bundy's guilt in the case of Ann Marie Burr.  Ann's body has never been found and the case is still 'officially' open. 

This was an interesting topic for me since true crime is one of my favorite genres.  You can listen to a sample and purchase the book from Audible here.  A shout out to my wonderful proof-listener (and dear friend) Linda Florence for her assistance!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Triple Estate Sale Day

Linda and I hit three estate sales this morning and it took quite a while to get to each one due to the fact that none of them were near each other.  Duane had to sit this one out due to having family visit.  The first sale we hit was in south Tampa and was organized by a woman who handles estate sales for a living.  About the only time we miss her sales is when they're held out of town.  Along with some yarn, Linda found a brand new pair of Keds tennis shoes still in the box -- never worn. Both of us had mentioned lately that we needed new sneakers so I held my breath when we checked the size.  Not my size!  But they were Linda's size so she got a great deal.  Good thing we don't wear the same size or things could have gotten ugly.

At the next sale, which is the charming area of town where Duane lives, the estate sale was being held in a tiny one bedroom house.  The lady who had died had collected lovely things.  I found a Christmas tree pin/brooch -- new in it's package by a brand I'm not familiar with and bought it for a friend who collects Christmas pins.  There was a really pretty piece of the vintage Noritake porcelain that Linda collects but, sadly, a small piece was broken off the side.  Otherwise, she would have bought it.

The last of the three sales was held in a 'newer' part of town and the house had been owned by a serious collector of anything to do with American cars.  From models to vintage ads, the collection was unbelievable.  They also collected other types of vintage ads along with Barbie dolls.  (The bedroom with the Barbies was kind of weird.)  They had beautiful antique furniture and stained glass lighting dating back to the 1920's.  However, many of the items were really overpriced.  This was the first day of a three day sale and Linda and I both think they'll have to come down on some of the prices in order to sell more items.  The house was fairly large and it was full of sale items along with the two car garage which had been emptied of the cars and set up with tables with even more items for sale.  I picked up a dictionary for George, some padded hangers for my sweaters and a fan with koi painted on it.  I hung the koi fan in my laundry room.  It looks pretty against the yellow wall.  Linda bought two of the vintage car ads (from the 1920's) and a small poster of the 1936 Olympics.  She plans to frame those three items and hang them in her house.

With our usual stop at Starbucks and a long gabfest, it was a fun day.  We missed having Duane with us, though!

Linda's finds.

My buys.

Close-ups of the vintage ads Linda bought.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vintage Scarf Art

I had been wanting to fill in a space on a shelf that's very high in our master bathroom.  I have two large ceramic vases that I painted white and then sponged with a turquoise/aqua color paint on each end.  For years I had a large low and wide silk greenery arrangement in the area between them on the shelf.  However, not only was I tired of the silk plant, I hated the idea of cleaning it.  Whenever I want to do anything with whatever happens to be on this shelf, I have to drag the ladder in from the garage.  Even George has to use the ladder because the vaulted ceiling ends around 16 feet from the floor.  So...  I got rid of the greenery but wanted to add something to that big white space.  I thought about a large map of some kind because I've always been into maps and globes. 

The shelf before -- too empty.

Since the colors in the bath are a mixture of white and cream, my go-to colors are blues usually mixed with greens for the shower curtain in some sort of abstract pattern.  A bit of a mid-century look for a bath that's actually contemporary/modern.  I figured an old map would be 1) big enough to make a statement and 2) would probably feature some blue.  I started searching on eBay under maps and found a few that I bookmarked when I began coming across vintage ladies scarves that featured colorful maps of various states.  Apparently they were very popular for women to wear in the 1950's and '60's.  Of course I've seen fabric pieces framed before but it hadn't occurred to me to go this route.  I narrowed my search to scarves of Florida.  I saw quite a few that I liked but when I got to this one, I just knew.  It dates to the 1960's and is in beautiful condition along with terrific colors.  I love all of the aqua with the white background.  It measures 30" by 30" which seemed like the perfect size for a wall hanging.  I bid and I won!

Then I began looking up various ways that people frame scarves and found quite a bit of info.  Everything from double-sided tape (which I used) to pins and staples depending on the value and condition of the scarf.  I ordered a 30" by 30" poster frame with non-glare acrylic and a white foam core backing.  After giving the scarf a light pressing with an iron, I just carefully taped it to the front of the white foam core.  It held beautifully and I was able to slip it into the frame with the acrylic cover. 

The shelf with the framed vintage Florida scarf.

The hard part came next.  I had thought about just leaning it against the wall on the shelf but discovered that was too low and you missed out on too much of the scarf that way.  So... I ended up hanging it on the white painted wood bead board using 3 very long and thick nails although the scarf pic isn't very heavy.  It took a few trips up the ladder to get it straight but I was finally happy with it.  I'm so glad I went this route!  I wish the pictures were better but the lighting in the bath is weird because all of the lights are located over the double sinks.  However, I managed to do everything from frame the scarf to hang it this afternoon and I'm really happy with the results. 

Close-up of my new 'vintage' art.

By the way, just about anyone who grew up in the 'real' Florida prefers pieces that were produced 'before the mouse' or before Disney World.  I didn't really grow up here but my family visited at least once a year because my grandparents lived here.  This is the Florida I like to remember as a kid.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It's that time again! June is Audiobook Month! JIAM

Yes, once again, audiobook month has rolled around.  I would certainly be remiss if I didn't post about this topic.  If you've never listened to an audiobook but would like to dip your toe in the water, please give LibriVox a try.  The audiobooks are free -- all are recorded by volunteers.  The books are ones in the Public Domain which in the U.S. means they were published before 1923.  Great way to listen to a classic or two that you've never gotten around to reading.  You can even follow along with the printed text which is available for each book recorded.  Moby Dick, anyone?

There's a small audiobook company I've mentioned many times on this blog.  Iambik Audiobooks works with small and independent publishers to get their author's works recorded.  The books are very reasonably priced and Iambik always posts the entire first chapter of each book on the site so that you get a pretty good listen before deciding to purchase.  I've recorded for them and they're a great bunch of people.

Of course, you can't talk about audiobooks without a shout out to Audible.  They are the 'big Kahuna' when it comes to recorded books.  I'm currently working on my 14th title for them.  My 13th is coming out later this month -- I'll post details here when it does.  There are thousands and thousands of books available on Audible so you won't have trouble finding something to your liking. 

For kids/young adults, there's a great and free program going on again this summer.  The site called  "SYNC: YA Literature Into Your Earphones" posts 2 free books each week during the summer months.  One book is a contemporary title and the second is usually a classic.  Up for free download until June 13th are The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, read by Katherine Kellgren and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, narrated by Wanda McCaddon.  You can download these two books from here.   Remember that the books change every two weeks so don't miss out!

And, naturally, I can't finish this post without my favorite meme featuring Ryan Gosling.  Happy listening!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea Estate Sale

Yes, despite Tropical Storm Andrea looming over us this morning, Linda, Duane and I were not going to miss this fantastic estate sale.  We decided to meet at the sale instead of meeting somewhere in between and going in one car.  The directions to drive there were very simple and none of us had trouble finding it.  We only had to stand outside with our umbrellas for a short period before the estate organizers let us in.  This house had been owned by an antique collector.  Everything was either an antique or vintage and had been lovingly cared for. It was kind of strange because it reminded me of my late mother-in-law's furnishings.  In fact, she owned the identical Karastan rug pictured in the photo of the sitting room in the first picture.

Everything except the appliances in the house was for sale.  Also, the organizers were willing to negotiate.  We've been to this company's sales before.  The people who run it are very nice and even have a drawing for $100 for anyone who fills out a ticket and drops it into a glass bowl where you pay.  They also always have the local police for parking and checking purchases at the door. There were so many pretty and interesting items.  Linda said she would have loved to have bought most of the house.  Instead we each settled on a few things that caught our eye.

There were so many lovely little antique tables.  I'm actually glad that I don't have any space for another because these tables would easily have fit into tiny spaces.
Linda decided on a vintage luggage rack and a signed painted
porcelain picture from Spain.  Just about all of the art work was signed.  I purchased a couple of small silver pins.  One of a horse's head and the other is in the form of a mannequin.  Both vintage and very cool.  I came across a tiny vintage thermometer that may be partially made of Bakelite.  I'll need to test it.  I also found a cute leather bookmark embossed with "I fell asleep here" in gold and my big buy was a vase made of depression glass.  Although I've always liked depression glass, I've never owned any until now.  I have a weakness for glass and I couldn't pass this up.

Duane found a crystal Christmas ornament by Lenox still in the original box.  We all left happy and maybe we'll get lucky and one of us will win the $100 door prize.  It hasn't happened yet but...  After we left the sale, we headed for the nearest Starbucks and sat out a pretty bad part of the rain and wind.  There had been tornado sightings in certain areas so we decided to watch from inside and spend some time gabbing.  Luckily, we all made it home safely and it looks like T.S. Andrea is finished with our area.  Hope she doesn't hurt anyone as she heads further north.

Duane's buy.

Linda's purchases.
My purchases.
Close-up of my vase.