Tuesday, February 2, 2016

TREASURED FINDS

I found a couple of interesting treasures recently. These both happen to be vintage items from Germany.


The first treasure, an antique primitive German wood blanket trough ( whew! that was a mouthful! ), came from a "collector couple" in the Cities who were downsizing. They purchased this trough many years ago at an antique store and used it at the end of their bed to hold blankets. As far as they knew, that is what it was built for. It sits on an antique iron stand and is 45 inches long. Wouldn't you love to have this to hold blankets in? Or you might think of other uses for it! If you're into primitives this is a very cool piece!




The other treasure is an antique German telescopic camera tripod. The initials  D. R. G. M. are on it. It has extendable brass legs. This would be nice repurposed as a base for a lamp or use as its intended purpose.



                Both of these items will be for sale at our Spring Sale over Memorial weekend!

I've also listed some new items in my Etsy shop so check that out here. Here are a few items in my shop, Gwen And Alma's...
                                                                  RUSTIC TREASURES
Covered rustic silver dish ( soap dish would be a fun use ) and a rustic bell with leather strap

                                                              VINTAGE TREASURES
   
Vintage lantern shaped candy container, decorative darning egg.
These items you can purchase now. If you are local, and want anything in my Etsy store, you can contact me and save the shipping by picking it up. But contact me before buying on Etsy because they will automatically add shipping.

                 Getting excited already to share with you at our Spring Sale all of my interesting finds!

Friday, January 22, 2016

BUY OUR CONDO...FOR BEACH THERAPY AND YEARS OF FAMILY MEMORIES


Needing some Beach Therapy? Then I have a deal for you! After 40 years of owning this beach front timeshare condo at Panama City Beach, Florida, we've decided to sell. Our family has outgrown it and we are needing bigger spaces. It is a one bedroom condo but sleeps 4 ( pullout sofa ).

Our situation in this condo  is a bit different than most, because we were "deeded" a portion of the property ( I can explain about that later ) as opposed to just owning "time" or "points".  You can stay here every Spring ( our designated week ) or exchange through an exchange program and go anywhere in the world.

We have exchanged a few times and have always had wonderful places to stay. Our daughter and son-in-law used it ( after we exchanged it ) one year in a gorgeous rental in Cabo, Mexico. You could even exchange for a condo in Europe! But we prefer this beach and always need 4-5 bedrooms because our kids and grandkids come along. Therefore, we've decided to sell to simplify our lives. I'm currently writing an e-book about how to simplify your life and I need to practice what I preach.


                                                     The beach has pure white sand...


                                      This is the pool and sun deck and picnic area. When we purchased this we were a young family and loved that we could vacation inexpensively in an amazing beachfront condo. We cooked our meals in the fully equipped kitchen for the most part but also enjoyed 4 star dining at Captain Andersons at the Marina where they serve fish caught that day. If you get there early you can watch the boats come in with the fish they caught!


You can have a fabulous time without spending any more money than the condo by enjoying collecting shells, swimming in the pool, playing in the ocean waves, going for walks on the beach, building sand castles, crabbing, and more!! My grandson and I also collect drift wood on the beach and there are tons of creative things to do with them as shown on Pinterest.




Pier Park, a unique shopping community is nearby. We liked going there for exceptional ice cream cones and homemade fudge! Yum!  And all the wonderful shopping, of course.


                      If you're ready to spend a little bit of money...There is parasailing, banana boat rides, and jet ski rentals right on the beach.




There is also a Pirate Ship ride that we've taken, and our grandson especially loved it but it was fun for everyone! The scenery was beautiful as the big ship took you out into the Bay area and we were able to see many dolphins swimming close to the boat.

Charlie with his pirate hat, gun, and "pirate booty" that was pulled from the ocean. 



Charlie and his Dad before boarding the pirate ship behind them.

One of the pirates pulling a treasure chest from the ocean. Each kid got to dig into the treasure and pull out some gold and silver coins ( the pirates booty ).    

              
My husband even got in on the fun and got in line to be tatooed. Charlie picked the spot for the tatoo!

 Another favorite free "activity" was watching the beautiful sun set over the ocean.


Bri riding the surf into shore on a boogy board
Did I mention the go-carts? Not my cup of tea but the grandkids love it! Here are two of the granddaughters waiting to take off!

We all just parked our stuff at the beach and "camped" there all day.

               And guess what? There are even antique shops! Below is a cute beachy armoire I found! No space in the car to take it home, though. ; (  I even found this great antique buoy for only $5 at a garage sale one year! Yeah, I couldn't help myself! Had to go garage sale-ing one morning.




And I can't forget  minnie golf! Always a fun family tradition!
Just part of our gang enjoying the beach and ocean!

Yeah, we have had years of family fun every spring here for 5 generations starting when I was in junior high school and we went with our grandparents and 7 carloads of us driving together! We were a real convoy! This was before cell phones and we used CB's to communicate... 10-4! I got your back door! ( I"m behind you ) Smoky ( police ) spotted up ahead!  Hahah...We had fun using the old trucker lingo! I kinda miss that now!

In those years there were no timeshares so we rented hotels. We purchased our timeshare when we  went down with our family of four. And we'll keep going back...but we need a bigger condo!

Our condo that we're selling would be best for a family of 4 or less. It's a small, family centered resort. The only cost per year is about $600 in maintenance fees ( tax deductable ). That could be your only expense if you cooked your meals in. Just use your family meal budget for that and voila' no extra expense there! This cost savings allowed us to vacation inexpensively when we just started out! As many other families did, we even drove straight through the night to get there for Spring Break each year. And yet we vacationed beachfront ( our condo faces the ocean ) right on one of the most beautiful beaches in the U.S.!  We never thought back in those days that we could afford to take a vacation on this beach but we found a way to make it happen!

If you or someone you know would like to own this deeded beachfront condo, leave us a comment! Since we have already paid the maintenance fees for 2016 you won't need to pay for that until Feb. 2017! Make your beachfront vacation condo a reality for an exceptional price and be on your way to Panama City Beach, Florida this Spring!

Friday, January 15, 2016

YOU DIDN'T WIN THE LOTTERY? LUCKY YOU! ...AND VINTAGE FINDS

                                       It is more blessed to give than receive. Acts 20:35





 Did you win the lottery? Me neither.  Yeah, I'm disappointed but here is my thinking on being a "loser in the lottery": I think having this kind of money could make one lazier, less creative, less motivated, and not any happier. So you've been saved from being a lazy, unmotivated, uncreative person who is not even happier than before. Hah! Lucky you! I've always been one to look on the bright side of things. 

The reason I say that is because many people would quit their jobs if they won the lottery. And if you quit your job, you might have a tendency to sit around, sleep in and not get as much done...you'd get lazy.  If you're not liking your job right now, consider finding another job and not waiting until you win a lottery. Or better yet, figure out how you can enjoy the job you've got! You could find a job that you love so much that you would do it even if you had won the lottery! (update: I just heard that one of the lottery winners will keep working because she loves her job!)

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. People are creative and come up with ideas and invent or make discoveries because they need things or they need money. If you have enough money to have all your needs met without doing a thing, you would become less creative and less motivated. Most successful people have not come from money. They have had to earn it! And they have learned and gained strength by having to work for it as opposed to having money handed over to them. Other than Trump,  all the presidential hopefuls have come from childhoods where their family struggled and that was the motivation for working up to the point of wanting to be President!

And our happiness never comes from things. Our happiness comes from inside of ourselves where we choose to be happy no matter what our circumstances. Nothing outside of us can ever make us truly happy. Happiness is a choice we make no matter what our circumstances are.

So there you have it! You are so lucky if you didn't win the lottery! Let your creative juices go, choose happiness, get motivated and do what you love!

 OK But I did have $2 worth of fun dreaming of how I would spend it! Actually most of it I was going to give away! I mean, how much money does one need anyway? But I was going to have fun giving it away! So now I'll have to settle for giving smaller amounts away. Much smaller!

The Penny Project 

Even though we give 10% of our income, we look for  more ways to give...in our time, our resources, and our money. One simple and painless way we are giving just a bit more money this year is that each couple in our small group Bible Study is saving pennies the whole year. We're calling it the "Penny Project". Each couple finds a container in which they will collect pennies for the year. At the end of the year we will pool our pennies ( turn it all into bills of course ) and give it away to someone in need. Sure we could all just write a check at the end of the year but this will show us just how far a few pennies every day will go. 

Why not try it for yourself with a group of friends? If you'd like to join the "Penny Project", just leave your name in a comment on The Penny Project Page above. Tell us how many people in your group are saving pennies. If you're saving alone that's OK too. Also blog about it and encourage others to do the same and come back here and leave their name also. Along the way I'd love to hear how things are going. At the end of the year it will be fun hearing the stories of who you gave your money to and what the response was. Even a smaller amount pooled together and given away could be like winning the lottery to someone! Well, maybe not quite but it's better than nothing! 

Let's see how creative we can all be with our giving this year and have fun doing it!

Gwen and Alma's

Here are some items I just added for sale in my Etsy Store, Gwen And Alma's...

Vintage ink well with pen holder


Covered dish and rustic bell with leather strap ( sold together )
Vintage lantern candy jar and darning tool ( sold together )

Vintage thermometer and butter pat mold ( sold together )
9 Assorted Valentines
 
Paper mache rabbit ( Easter postcard included )


                                                                  Check it out here!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

7 REASONS TO BUY ANTIQUE AND VINTAGE FURNITURE

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.  Abraham Lincoln

 Why do I like vintage, antique, rustic....old stuff?  Why can't I just buy my furniture at Pottery Barn or wherever else nice new furniture is sold? What's so great about "old stuff"?




 I have a confession to make.  I'm becoming a bit snobbish about wanting to only buy old ( antique and vintage ) furniture. New furniture?  Meh.

 I wasn't always this way. Years ago I even got rid of  sold tons of my antiques  at a garage sale for "pennies". I had an antique wooden wagon I used as a coffee table, an antique buckboard seat in the entryway, old pottery that now sells for a lot more than I sold it for, and many more antiques that I practically GAVE AWAY at a garage sale!  I was happy to be rid of the old stuff so I could buy some NICE NEW furniture... down at the furniture store! I admit I didn't realize the real value in those pieces at the time...












I DID keep one thing...this Dundee marmalade jar.





I'm not sure why I kept it because I was selling everything else that was old.  I used it as a pencil holder until my husband found it and put his spare change in it. One day, I saw one for sale on eBay... For $25!... Without the lid! WHAT?! I mean, it's just an old jar!

By this time though I was realizing the value in vintage and antique treasures and kicking myself for selling off all my old stuff. "At least I saved the Dundee jar!", I thought to myself. "It looks brand new and I have a LID!" I looked around for the treasure that my husband was now using for pocket change, rescued the jar, and put it in my kitchen...for safe keeping!

So now to begin adding to my "old stuff" collection I was on the hunt for  a "new style" in "old furniture". And I found my style in loving the Farmhouse look. Should have kept that wooden wagon and buckboard seat!  I couldn't bring myself to sell the expensive "new" sofa and chairs that I had. Yet!  But I began replacing the coffee table and end tables, accessories, lamps, etc. Now I can't bring myself to even buying reproductions. That's where the "snob" part comes in. Yeah, I want the real stuff! Some day my kids might not be happy with me when they have to have an Estate Sale for all my so called, "treasures". But I'm having fun!








So what's so great about all this old stuff? Here are 7 reasons for buying vintage and antique furniture. I realize I'm probably preaching to the choir here but... Here they are:

7 REASONS TO BUY ANTIQUE AND VINTAGE FURNITURE

1) The older furniture is better made than today's mostly particle board furniture.

2) It is fun to buy something that has some history behind it. The old furniture can tell a story.

3) If you hunt for them, you can purchase really nice pieces far less expensive than new furniture. And if you find a really good deal, the piece may increase in value.

4) It's recycling and helping the environment.

5) It is rescuing a previous owners treasure that will continue to be cared for.

6) Many of the older styles have more character than today's assembly line pieces. Many of the older pieces are handmade, and often  unique and one of a kind. Your decor won't look like all the others in the neighborhood. it will be uniquely you!

7) You will have more fun hunting for that special treasure that will be perfect for the space in your home. The fun is in the hunt.

So these are some of the reasons why I buy antique and vintage furniture! Why not see what interesting pieces you could find and bring into your home to make it more unique? And remember...the fun is in the hunt!  


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

MAKING MONEY WHILE HOME WITH THE FLU

"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde


While I enjoy our Hob Nobber sales, I also like the idea of sitting at home and having people calling or e-mailing to say they want to buy something I have. Hah! I'm talking about my Etsy store and Craigslist. 
As I had mentioned previously, I started an Etsy shop, Gwen and Alma's. I only listed a few things to start in order to get the hang of it. I've sold some things and now am ready to add some more to the shop. I also listed a couple of bigger items on Craigslist. Things that I wouldn't want to try to pack up and mail. So yesterday, while sitting home with the flu, I got a response for an item in my Etsy shop...

This neato Big Ben Clock...


Mark from Washington bought it! And that's another fun thing about it. I get buyers from all over the U.S. ! I haven't started selling internationally yet. Gotta get used to it before I move on to bigger things.I have more clocks like this that will be for sale at our next event.

And then another young man came and picked up a 1950's Bobster sled with steering wheel and brakes that I had listed on Craigslist. He drove 3 hours to get here! "I restore them. These are hard to find, rather rare", he shared. He was excited to get it! And I was excited FOR him! And ME! My husband took care of the transaction since I was sick with the flu.


Here "she" is before the snow arrived. When I put the ad in Craigslist we had no snow so I said in the ad, "Just add snow". I thought about letting my grandkids ride it after our first big snowfall but then it looked kind of dangerous.  Except for the wood seat that you ride on, everything else is steel. I imagined the kids hitting their heads on the steering wheel! The brakes have sharp "teeth" to stop the sled. What were they thinking in making this thing? But then again, in the 1950's we had no seat belts and no air bags. Heck, I remember as a young child standing in the front seat between my parents. How did we ever make it through those years? 

                                                      
                                       Who remembers traveling in the back of a station wagon?

While nothing beats our big Hob Nobber sales at the Plummer House, it has been fun selling a few things in the winter while I sit at home. Oh my goodness! I just sold something else in my Etsy shop! Gotta go pack it up!

I finally put  a few of my Etsy items on the sidebar for you to see. Check them out!

Monday, January 4, 2016

WINTER

Winter... "There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you...in spring, summer, and fall people sort of have an open season on each other: only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself."     Ruth Stout



We finally got some snow here and it was quite beautiful coming down. And then after the snowfall it looked like this...

There is a circle drive encircling a grassy area with a large stone flowerpot on a pedestal in the center of the grassy area. Before I took this someone came and made circles in the snow around the pot. ; (
 Les said it was probably one of those  alien circle things.

The house is very long...The photo below is taken from the section above, on the right,  that has the window seemingly half way down the house.  ( does that make any sense to you? ) That window is on a stairway landing which is between our personal living quarters ( we like to say we live in the West Wing ) and the main part of the house.

Snow covered bushes have white lights like the trees but they were covered up by the snow.

 So the whole space shown above is where we live. There is a small area in the middle ( right behind the light )  that has a shorter roof line. This is our "little TV room". There are interesting stories about all these spaces which I'll share in another post. And below is the end of our home. You can see our front door in the middle of the photo. The lighted windows on the left are our living room/dining room and the windows on the right are our family room.
 

Even though it is lovely to be outside, I find I also like the coziness of staying inside in a warm home on a wintry day and having quiet stretches of time. 

I set some "fun intentions" for the year and one of them is to read at least one book a month. Think I'll  to head to the "library" and find one...and maybe a cup of hot cocoa.

I hope you can find some longer quiet stretches of time to savor this winter.



 
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