Tuesday, November 15, 2016


            The true sign of intelligence isn't knowledge but imagination.  Albert Einstein

A couple of years ago I found a vintage shoe rack or baker's rack with wooden dowels and rolling wheels. I had been looking for one ever since I saw one in a magazine. They are difficult to find! As soon as I saw it, I HAD to have it! I remember the American Picker's saying that when you see something you have been looking for, JUMP on it, it's "Picker's 101"! So I did! And I've never regretted the purchase! I love it!

 Here ( above ) I am using it for displaying some stoneware at one of our Hob Nobber Sales. It has 4 wood shelves with dowels, and the end pieces are steel. I LOVE it and use it in my office while not using it in our sales. People kept wanting to buy it at our sales so I figured I better keep looking for another one to sell. And again it took a few more years.... but I found another one!

I purchased this at an estate auction of an antique collector, one of many unique and fun items.

And this one is even nicer than  mine! It has 5 shelves and the ends are wood also. I like the "wood all-over" look! The whole thing has a wonderful patina to it! This is a vintage baker's rack with wheels. Yes, I almost kept this one for myself but I'm used to the one I now have so this one is for sale.

I now have this listed on Craigslist for local pick up and may end up listing it in my Etsy Store. So far I haven't listed anything this big on Etsy so I'm a bit hesitant. BUT if this is something you are interested in, and don't live within "pick-up range" and are interested in it, leave a comment and let me know and we could work out  the shipping arrangements. 

So what would you do with this? I've seen many ideas on Pinterest so be sure and check it out! But it could be used in the kitchen to store large stoneware bowls or other Farmhouse decor, in an office area for fun country style storage, even the living room as a focal point for your Farmhouse style decor. It would even look great in a Scandinavian Style Living room.

This is an original and getting harder all the time to find! It measures 50 inches tall, 30 inches long, and 15 inches wide. If you live within pick-up distance from Rochester, Mn, you could pick it up. Otherwise we could work out shipping details. I'm asking $275 for it.

More photos...

Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday, October 30, 2016


                                               Don't call it a dream, call it a PLAN!

 Les and I attended one of our favorite auctions yesterday, John Kruesel's General Merchandise and Auction Co.  This one is in our home town. We preview the items the night before and set up our canvas lawn chairs. They usually have two buildings full but we plant our chairs in front of the main auctioneer so we have a place to sit and rest while viewing and bidding on items. This area is where the higher end items ( some, hundreds of dollars per item) are bid on. The other building is often the lower end items, though still amazing items, and we walk around the building following the auctioneers. And yes, I'm usually bidding on the lower priced items. But you can still find some great stuff, like this great "spool chest", which has a special name, but I forgot it.

 When we arrive on Saturday morning, I have my coffee in hand ( brought from home ) and we find our chairs, three rows from the front. John Kruesel, the main auctioneer, owner, and friend of ours, begins with the pledge of allegiance. He's a very patriotic guy and sits up on a stage behind a large "desk" decorated with a red, white, and blue banner, an American flag hanging behind him. Many long time followers of these events sit in the front rows. John's whole family is there helping out. His two daughters ,who are young adults, help out although there are many workers at these events. Their dog, a black lab, walks around like he owns the place.

I bid on this old trunk, but a friend purchased it for herself. I have to buy things at "wholesale" to resell them. Now I wish I would have been thinking of buying it for myself.

This auction includes items from several estates but MOST of the items are from the Estate of a long time collector of antique and vintage items. who recently passed away.
These spoons were sold as a "LOT" and many of them were David Andersen silver and enamelware spoons. David Andersen is Norwegian and this Estate collected Norwegian items. These spoons can sell for $50 each and up.

This Norwegian jewelry was sold by the LOT also. 
Antique soap dish.

These auctions are really fun! Well, for people who enjoy spending a day at an auction, anyway. My husband and I get a number ( this year we were the first to get one so we were number ONE ). But we usually split up ( each taking a card with our number ) and buy things we've talked about buying ahead of time. However, one time I was bidding in front, on a sled. Without seeing me, my husband was bidding against me in the back. He was standing by a man who is a local judge who happened to have been a student of my husbands. He pointed out to my husband that we were bidding against each other! He and my husband got a good laugh out of it!

MANY lamps of all eras. I thought this one was unique.

Many Finlandia Pitchers. I bid on these but didn't get them. So disappointed!

HUGE amounts of old photos.
Many unique antique instruments.

The set of dishes above were Denby Stoneware from the 1960's- 1970's. This is the same pattern I picked out when we got married and had until I sold them many years later. It was fun and nostalgic seeing them again. 

I haven't shown yet, the things I bought. Those will come in another post. I was excited to get the things I did, but regret not bidding higher to get some other things I wanted. I buy mostly to sell, so I have to consider what my customers will be willing to pay. I have to buy "wholesale" while others might be buying for themselves "retail".  But now I'm thinking I might have to change my thinking on some things. I found a very old wood figure similar to the wood man with moveable joints that are popular right now. He was in a box with a leather like camel and other stuff. Bidding against me was John's wife who buys for herself. I stopped bidding at the point I had set for myself so she got it. But if I were to have purchased it for myself I could have gone higher. Then maybe I could even sell it later for my purchase price, ( not making any money ) but just to put something unusual out there. 

Anyway, it is nice that both my husband and I enjoy this activity so it is something we can do together.

Beginning in November, now only two days away, I'll be sharing some things that I have in my Etsy Shop for Christmas Shopping! I have LOTS of great gift items! I'm trying to post 10 new items each week. I'm getting into the mood!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


A house is made of bricks and beams: a home is made of hopes and dreams.  Anonymous

The boat is out of the water now so we have to finally admit that Autumn is here to stay. Well, that is until the first snowfall. We had our final boat outing on a beautiful Fall day. 

 We drove the boat to a little quiet cove and relaxed while watching barges go by...

 Kayakers paddling by...

 And reading magazines while also listening to the seagulls and the quiet lap of small waves rocking the boat. It was so relaxing, we didn't want to leave. And, yes, I'm reading Country Living.

And now I'm busy getting my Etsy Store ready for Christmas!  Here are a few of my new listings:

                                                        An antique cotton bird doily.

An antique European Pillow Sham..

A vintage advertising wire rack. I think this would make a cute plant stand or kitchen rack for stoneware pitchers filled with utensils.

This stoneware blue striped pitcher.

And this antique woven laundry basket with wood handles.


Livin' the Dream....

Monday, October 17, 2016


                                                   Be your own kind of beautiful!

So I've been excited to find lots of very cool stuff for my Etsy shop, Gwen And Alma's! I still find myself drawn to Farmhouse/Country Blue treasures. Blue just makes me smile!  But as you'll see in my Etsy store, I'm still open to picking up other things that jump out at me.

The blue slats in the background I purchased from a collector who said they had been truck bed slats. I have a spot where I could use them in my home, but right now I'm using them as a backdrop for photos.  Aacckkk! Too many shadows in these pictures!

Right now I'm watching "Dancing With The Stars" while I write this. I  don't believe in multi-tasking so I'm going to get off the computer and enjoy watching the dancers! Dancing also makes me smile!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


So I was going through "drafts" of blog posts that I wrote but for one reason or another never pushed the "publish" button, and I found this one. It's really an old one but worth putting out there. All the news is old and it was written in the month of May! And not even in this year! So all the news is old! But the steps to conquering busyness still apply. So I thought I'd put it out there anyway. Hope it doesn't confuse anyone! On the other hand, I'm probably risking people thinking I've "lost it". But, oh well, for what it's worth, here it is...

May has always been a busy month for me. When my husband was teaching and coaching basketball we were invited to a minimum of 20 graduation parties a year. The 49 room Historical mansion we live in became busier than ever with future brides wanting to tour the house for their upcoming weddings, in addition to getting the house ready for Spring and Summer, and the end of the month was our big sales event for Hob Nobbers.

 This year, May seems busier than ever...I have a baby shower, wedding shower, granddaughter graduation and party, a friend's retirement party, small group potluck to cook for, volunteering for a church event, three end of the year events for three grandchildren,  my adult daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter will be moving home from China and staying with us until they find a place to live, and my BIG SPRING HOB NOBBER SALE. Oh, and Mother's Day. And my husband had already bought tickets for us to go to a baseball Twins game. And we have to get the boat in the water and cleaned for the summer. Did I mention that my Mom fell and broke her nose and is in rehab? And all in May! Other than my Mom falling, these are all fun things! And I'm looking forward to all of them. But still I began to panic wondering how I was going to get to everything all in one piece. It seemed overwhelming! And these events were in addition to our "regular responsibilities"!

So here is what I did: I sat down and mapped out a plan for the month of May. I took my calendar, a notebook, pen, ipad, phone, and a cup of coffee and found a comfy place to sit and plan my fun month of May. I put the events in the calendar. I RSVP'd ( by phone and iPad ) everyone about the events while I sat there. I made a list of all the gifts I would need to buy and what day I would shop for graduation gifts, baby gifts, retirement gifts, Mother's Day gifts, etc. I also decided I had to forego some things. Someone else will go with my husband to the Twins game and that's OK with me. The kids and grandkids offered to clean the boat and get it ready for Summer. Things were falling into place and I was feeling much more in control and much calmer. I was looking forward to all the fun events!

So here are 5 steps you can take to "get things done" when you are feeling overwhelmed about your "to do" list:

1) Gather up your calendar, notebook, pen, phone, and iPad, a cup of your favorite beverage and find a comfy place to work. Better yet,  find a spot with a lovely outdoor view!

2) Make a "to do" list for each event. If shopping is involved, make a list of things you need to buy and set a date for shopping. Or maybe shop online while you are sitting there if you are so inclined.

3) Decide if there are some things you can forego and/or  let others do for you. Even if you have to hire help for something like cleaning it is worth your sanity.  RSVP while you are sitting there of events that require it. Sometimes events will fall on the same day/time and you have to make a choice of which you will attend. 

4) Jot down the events  you will attend on your calendar.

5) Make a "Projects List" of things you need to accomplish. ( for example in my case I have a projects list for my Hob Nobber sales )

Oh, and one more thing! Work your plan, be in the moment, and enjoy every event!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


                                                    Only 80 days until Christmas!

I know, it's not even Halloween yet! But I'm trying to get in the  swing of things like Etsy shops do around this time. This will be my first Holiday Shopping Season in my Etsy Store and I want to be ready!

But I DO have mixed feelings about it! Like, I DID feel annoyed  when I was at the Mall and THEY were getting decorated for Christmas! Oh, well.

 I've listed a few new things in my Etsy Shop, Gwen And Alma's! I'm trying to get lots more items listed before Christmas shopping begins. I'd like to have 200 items listed. Right now I'm at 117. Think I'll get there?

This 1950's Planters Peanuts Stoneware Jar is now in my Shop. The chair that it is on didn't sell in our last sale, so I decided to keep it for  photo ops. And I just bought this new plant which I love. I just hope I can keep it alive. I'm not very good with plants though I love to have them around. So we'll see what happens.

This really old stoneware soap dish is listed. 

Also listed is this cute South Western Lamp Shade with Twine Trim and this Vintage Wood Pencil Box. You could use the box for other things as well...Comb and Brush, Keys, etc.

           How about a  Rustic Pail With Wood  for your Farmhouse or Country Decor? Put a plant in it or find another use for it!

                                    White and Cream Buttons, Anyone? Yup, I've got em!

                                I was going to list these Fire King Mugs with Circus Clowns...

But there's something going on around the country with SCARY CLOWNS! Have you heard about this? Just today, my niece who lives in Florida said their Middle Schools were on lock-down because of a "Clown Threat"! What?!?  That's Crazy! Anyway, I thought I'd better wait and list these later when the clown threats disappear.

The other day I was invited to the Wedding Reception Dinner of a family friend who is Somali. So much fun and so much good food catered from an Indian Restaurant.

                                                      Here's the Happy Couple...

                                                      And here are the proud Mama's!

                                            And lots of little cuties with their beautiful Moms! I wish I had taken more pictures! Everyone was gorgeous!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


When you focus on problems, you'll have more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you'll have more opportunities.      KUSHANDWIZDOM

Les, my husband, began collecting vintage canes or walking sticks a while back so whenever I'm out hunting for treasures I keep my eyes open for interesting and unique canes. Some collections can end up adding clutter to your home, but something as simple as canes can be contained and even add to decor.

As you can see there is room for many more canes so I'll keep helping him find them.

                           I'll share MY collections in another post. What do YOU collect?

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