Tuesday, August 24, 2021

 Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Da Vinci

DRUM ROLL PLEASE....We have now reached 1,000 sales in our Etsy Shop!!!! Hooray!!! Well we're actually now several sales over that big landmark!

And to celebrate this BIG ACHIEVEMENT we are having a Give-Away!! It will be up on our Instagram account ( @gwenandalmas ) soon so keep watching  for it!

We were vendors at Gold Rush this weekend and had a great time! And even sold some stuff! : )

One of the treasures we had for sale was this sweet little bench. Everyone who went by stopped and admired it but no one pulled the trigger and bought it! I was surprised that it didn't sell! Anyway we will be selling it on Marketplace in the near future...just in case you are interested! 

Here's another great find ( below ) that didn't sell that I was surprised about! This will now be sold in our Etsy Shop. Unless I decide to keep it! Love this!

But we DID sell quite a few of our treasures and had fun doing it! A win-win! We also got to meet a lot of great people from all over the United States!

I managed to find time to go shopping there while taking my "break"! I found some sweet little treasures that I will sell in our Gwen And Alma's shop. Here's a photo of my purchases:

I always buy flower frogs like the ones below:

Another "must have" purchase is butter pats:

I also purchased an early tin fish mold, a French tin, three white hankies, a small Norwegian dish, and an antique tin chick cookie cutter. 

Now we just have to fill up our shop again as the items we sold, we took from our Etsy shop.

Thanks for stopping by! 


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A Give-Away and Gold Rush

 We are getting close to having 1000 sales in our Etsy shop, Gwen And Alma's!! As soon as we hit this huge mark we will be having a Give-Away on our Instagram account @gwenandalmas.

Follow us on Instagram to know when we are having the Give-Away! It might not be long so head on over and click "Follow"!

Also we are having a space at the upcoming Gold Rush event in Rochester, Mn on the weekend of August 20th-22nd. This is the 49th anniversary of this event! People come from all over the U.S. to attend! And the different vendors are from all over the U.S. as well! You won't want to miss it! This is one of the largest Antique/Flea Market shows in the Midwest covering 52 acres of fairgrounds both inside and outside!

We are really excited about coming  back to this event. We will be bringing Farmhouse Decor and Mid Century Modern Decor as well as some other unique and fun finds! And those who purchase will receive a discount coupon  for shopping in our online store!

We will be showing some of the treasures we will have at Gold Rush on our Instagram account so check it out often @gwenandalmas!

In the meantime you also will want to check out our Gwen And Alma store to see our wonderful finds! Go here to see them!

Plummer House News: After a year of being closed due to Covid, we are now open for rentals and also Wednesdays for Self Guided Tours. Check out my Plummer House page to read more about the House and our role here. 

Here's a sneak peek at a few of our finds at Gwen And Alma's...

                                                    Antique Copper Soap And Glass Holder

                                                                  Vintage Enamel Pot

                                      Four of these sweet vintage German candle and flower holders.

                                                            AND SO MUCH MORE!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


 The long awaited Estate Sale finally arrived! It was out of town and closer to my daughter's home so the plan was for me to spend the night at her house the night before so we could get to the sale early. the next morning.

I have probably explained this previously but at Estate Sales, numbers are given out so people are allowed in when their number is called. They usually let 20 people go in with the first group ( numbers 1-20 ) but with Covid, the number of people allowed to go in is much smaller and varies depending on the size of the house. And, seemingly just within the last several years, someone arrives early and hands out "pre-numbers" just so that the early arrivals don't get cheated out of getting the first numbers. Most Estate Sale organizers honor the "pre numbers" so it has become rather expected. That means that if the Sale begins at 9:00, numbers will be given out at 8:00 or 7:30 and someone who is handing out the pre numbers arrives even before that!  But recently some people who give out the pre numbers decided to start parking in front of the sale the night before! Yes, they camp out in front of the house! So we decided we were going to drive over the night before and be the people to give out the pre numbers. We weren't going to stay overnight though. We were just going to leave the pre-numbers hanging on a tree or something. We had our pre numbers ready to go! ( are you following me so far? ) 

The day before the sale my son-in-law, Jon, had to go to a meeting  near where the sale was to be so he decided he could leave the pre numbers somewhere at the Estate Sale in the morning and of course we would take numbers 1 and 2 thus being the first two into the sale! He got there at 9:00 AM the day before the sale and someone had already posted the pre numbers!! Several people were already there and had taken their pre-numbers. He grabbed numbers 10 and 11! Really good numbers for this sale! Then the Estate Sale organizer said that if you take a pre-number you had to stay there until the sale and couldn't leave! WHAT?! Things were getting out of hand with this pre-numbers thing!! Jon had to go to his meeting so of course he didn't stay. Later he brought home our pre numbers 10 and 11 and we were elated until he told us that they said we were supposed to camp out overnight! Well, that wasn't going to happen so we had mixed feelings about even going!! Were they going to honor our pre-numbers? Would we be able to get in? 

We decided to risk it! The next morning we got up early and left the house in order to arrive at the sale by 7:30 to trade in our pre-numbers for the "real" numbers! There were quite a few people there but did it look like they had spent the night there?  OK some of the men DID look like they slept in their cars! LOL. One guy said he had driven all the way from Illinois for the sale and slept in his car!

This sale was packed with "advertising antiques" so there were a lot of men there who either collect these for themselves or to sell. We were among the few women there! This sale had been advertised nationally so it promised to be a good one! Even for those like us who didn't care about the advertising antiques as much.

So we waited. And then the guy came out to call out the  "pre numbers" and give out the real numbers to get in. Was he going to honor our pre-numbers even if we didn't stay all night? After all we went through, were we going to be able to get into this amazing sale?

YES!! He didn't seem  concerned at all if anyone had stayed overnight or not!! We were going to get in!! Well, we were going to get in when they opened up at 9:00, anyway. We still had another 1 1/2 hours to wait for the sale to open! We headed back to the car to drink some coffee and tea we had brought and to look at the posted photos of the sale once again!

You have to have a strategy going into these sales! We had to carefully search the photos they listed...all 532 of them...to see what we wanted to buy. We had looked previously at the photos but now we had to be intentional about how to find those specific items we were interested in. We looked closely at where the item might be in the house. Did it look like the kitchen, or is it in the basement? What big piece of furniture is it near? We don't want to be running around the whole house looking for the item we want! It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack! There were that many treasures in this house! 

Our strategy was set so we sat back and drank our thermos of coffee and tea and waited...

We filled the back of the van with treasures and we are still listing them in our shop. Check out some of them now here

*******Plummer House News*******

Back at home at the Plummer House, things are shaping up for Spring and we're finally getting to open up after Covid restrictions! Ben, the gardener, planted pansies for the Spring and will replace them with Summer Flowers later. More work needing to get done in this 49 room mansion! To see what the Plummer House is, check out my Plummer House Page by clicking on the button at the top of the page.

                                                     Pansies are one of my favorite Spring flowers...along with tulips of course! What are yours?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


 When going picking for treasures our favorite thing to do is attend Estate Sales but sometimes we go to Auctions. Auctions can take all day while waiting for the item you wish to bid on so they're not my favorite. 

Before I attended my first auction I was a bit intimidated thinking it was all seriousness with people sitting there with dour expressions on their faces and just a light nod to the auctioneer if you wanted to bid on something. And heaven forbid if you mistakenly made a gesture without thinking and the auctioneer thought you were bidding! So it was a bit nerve wracking to think about at first!

But when an auction came up and we knew the auctioneer, the idea became less intimidating and so we went to our first auction! That was many years ago now and we've learned a few things: 1) Auctions are not all that formal and 2) They can be a lot of fun!

One such auction we went to had an auctioneer that was rather funny! Someone said he was a comedian but I don't know if they meant he was funny when being an auctioneer or if, indeed, he was a real live comedian! Hah! I never asked!

This auction was set up with higher priced items like furniture and other high end antiques in the main seating area. Our friend the auctioneer and owner was in this area. The other buildings were often housed with rustic, farmhouse, and other unique finds often being sold in groups of items. I usually opted for these areas as I liked to buy the farmhouse and rustic pieces. In this area the auctioneer walked around and people would crowd around him to bid on items. 

This is where I met the "comedian auctioneer". He was constantly cracking jokes about things and making everyone laugh. Being short, I tried to work my way up to the front so I could see what we were bidding on. Thankfully people were usually gracious enough to let the shorter people up front. ; )  At first I was shy about bidding. I would slowly hold my number up maybe once for each item. And then after not getting something I would sigh and say quietly, "Ohhh I wanted that." Being so close to the auctioneer he often heard my disappointment at not winning any bids. It was obvious to him I was a newbie. He turned to me and said, " You see... the object is to be the last person to bid and then you get what you want" He said it in such a funny way that I laughed and others laughed along! Then he said, "So I'm going to give you a chance to get something! Ready?" I nodded yes. He started with the bidding ( which is usually fast and barely understandable for me ) and after a few bids, he stopped,  looked at me and said, "Do you want to bid on this?" Haha! I actually was able to get something!

And then came the firkin! 

He held up a firkin and said, "We have here a bucket!" The auctioneers usually  offer a price for the first bid and often people would wait a bit and not bid on the first price because usually if there were no bids after the first price was asked for, the auctioneer would come down on the price. Someone then shouted out, "It's a sugar bucket!" The "comedian auctioneer" commented, "OK it's a sugar bucket!" I had known what this was and was surprised to learn that auctioneers don't always know everything about all the items up for bid! Anyhoo, he started emphasizing sugar as someone had told him what the bucket was for! To his surprise the bids for this sugar bucket kept going up and up! It finally sold for $450! You could see the surprise in his face with this high bid!! "Welll, OK, sugar bucket.. gone for $450!", he shouted! Next he held up a small chair and announced, " We have here a... sugar chair!" He looked around as if wondering if we were going to fall for that! With everybody laughing, he shrugged and said, "Well it worked for the bucket!"

Another time we were in the main room and I was sitting next to my daughter-in-law. Without realizing it we were bidding on the same item with only the two of us now bidding. The auctioneer, the friend of ours, stopped the bidding and asked, "Do you two know you are bidding against each other?" I stopped bidding and let my daughter-in-law get the last bid! ; )

Some friends of ours also come to these auctions and we often sit together and visit when not bidding. Apparently, without me realizing it,  I made some gestures that made them think I was bidding! And I won the bid! It was actually something I liked ( an antique stoneware butter jug with "butter" written on it in blue )When the auctioneer called out my name and told me I won, I asked, "How much did I pay for this?" It was $25! This was many years ago now and maybe a bit high at that point but I loved it so it was ok! Our friend, the auctioneer, would not have forced me to take it if I didn't want it as he has done for others but I actually like it! Now it is worth more than that but I'm not selling! I still have it! 

I could share many more fun stories and probably will in the future. But I found out that auctions are not as intimidating as I once thought. I buy some things to sell and some to keep!

If you'd like to check out some of our fun finds go to gwenandalmas.etsy.com.

And follow us on Instagram @gwenandalmas to get in our Occasional Give-Aways.


Saturday, January 16, 2021

ONTO 2021

 As I've probably mentioned often enough, we have discontinued our Hob Nobbers sales at the Plummer House and continue selling only online at Gwen And Alma's on Etsy. It has been keeping us busy! I think Covid was good for online sales but BAD for everything else!

We ( Gwen And Alma's) are growing by the minute with new family members joining in to help and we're also trying to increase our inventory so we always have lots of new things for you to see and hopefully to purchase occasionally!

The Plummer House activity on the other hand, has been STOPPED  due to Covid. But one hardy group of ladies got creative and began meeting in the circle drive, all bundled up from the cold with their blankets and chairs, to continue to gather with friends, all while maintaining social distancing guidelines and wearing masks. They meet every week! They kindly allowed me to take their picture so we could all be motivated by their example to get out there and do the same despite the dreary guidelines we all have to follow.

Covid Thanksgiving this year was going to be just Les and I, party of two. I still wanted to make it special! I love using my antique butter pats and salt cellars and my best china, Wedgewood, that we got from my Grandma and Grandpa and the sterling silverware and goblets which were my Mom and Dad's. I didn't bother to iron the tablecloth for just the two of us though. I was planning to take some dinner down to my Mom before we ate but at the last minute I called her and told her we could all still be safe if she came up and social distanced while eating so I convinced her and set up a plate at the other end of the table. It's January and none of us have been sick so I guess we are safe.

                      One thing that hasn't changed though is the beauty of everything up here at the Plummer House!

                                             Happy New Year from Gwen And Alma's!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


 Hey Everyone!

We're having our first Instagram Give Away! Hop on over to @gwenandalmas  to enter! You only have a week to enter so hurry on over! And tell your friends! 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Christmas Decor

 Christmas will soon be upon us! We at Gwen And Alma's, are getting ready like Santa's Workshop ready to send all sorts of Antique Goodies  to good boys and girls. Hah! Are you starting to do your shopping yet? 

Have you started decorating for Christmas? Are you thinking about it? As far as decorating , we don't decorate until after Thanksgiving because we always buy a fresh Christmas tree and we don't want it to dry out before New Years. We take it down New Years Day. And even though Christmas may be a bit different this year compared to the pre Covid days, we still want to decorate as usual, especially because of Covid. I think whenever we can do things as normal as possible during these crazy times we need to do it... for our mental health and to keep the holiday spirit!

So I'm sharing here some Vintage Christmas Decor treasures that we have for sale in our Etsy Shop just to inspire you...

                                                         Antique Chocolate Santa Mold

                                                                           Christmas Tin

                                                                       Sleigh Bells

                                             Childs Chair  ...Small enough to sit on a table

                                                               Christmas Tablecloths

                                                                   Metal Candle Clips

                                        Hop on over to Gwen And Alma's to see so much more!



 If it has been awhile since you've checked out our Etsy Shop, you'll find that a while back we added another member to the family business. Our 8 year old Granddaughter, Gili, joined us and became our Product Prep and Packaging Manager ( PPP Manager for short!) ! 

Yup, she comes and helps get packages ready to ship! You can find her bio on the shop as you scroll to the bottom of the front page.

And now another family member has joined the group! Ashley is working on our Social Media! As a recent college graduate she obviously knows a LOT about social media! We still have to get her bio up on the shop! But she's already hard at work on our Instagram account!

You will have to go check out our Instagram site at Gwen And Alma's! She will be sharing new and fun things coming up that you won't want to miss! First thing up is a Give-Away! So be sure and start following us on Instagram at Gwen And Alma's!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

What's Up At Gwen And Alma's?

Are you wondering what is going on with Gwen And Alma's since you last heard from me?  Fun things are happening! Yes, even despite the pandemic!

We have made Gwen And Alma's even more of a family business! 

My daughter, Elissa, joined me in picking and selling! We have fun going to Estate Sales together though it was a slow start this year due to the pandemic! After things began opening, however, we found an Estate Sale in the city Elissa lives in. Since we wanted to get there early we decided that I should go up and stay overnight with them.

The night before, we were looking up the address for the sale and Elissa started reading the details which said that it was by appointment only and all appointments were filled! Aaaakkk! Lesson #1: Read the details as soon as you find a sale! But Elissa decided we were not going to let that stop us! She quickly called the number listed and told "a very nice lady" what happened to us. Only a few people were allowed in at a time due to the pandemic. Since each person allowed in was only going to be able to shop for one hour, Elissa asked if someone left early, could we come and use the rest of their hour. The lady said yes! I guess we sounded desperate and we were! OK! Maybe we'll get 10 minutes to shop! LOL But even this was unlikely! Well, one step at a time, we figured!

We showed up early and waited in the parking lot. The sale was in a warehouse. The items for sale were brought in from the home of an elderly man who had been collecting for years! Lots of amazing antiques were waiting for us! While waiting, cars kept pulling in and we began wondering if people would really leave early. We knew if we had only one hour to shop we would take the whole hour! But we were not going to give up! Besides my 8 year old granddaughter, Gili, was home praying that we would get in! Even though the odds were against us! Then the "very nice lady" came to our car as she was going around checking her list to see if everyone on the list was there. Elissa told her we were the ones who called and asked to get in if someone didn't use their whole time. She  was still ok with that! She told us to wait near the door ( self distancing, of course ) and if someone came out early she would let us know. 

We walked near the door and waited while the names of the other people were called to be the first to enter for the first hour. "The very nice lady" got to the end of the list and two of the people who had signed up hadn't shown up as yet. She waited for these two for a few minutes and then said, well, since these two didn't show up we could go in for the full hour with the first group! Whoop! Whoop! We were in! Gili's prayers were answered!! 

And we got a haul! I wish I had taken pictures but we were on a time limit and didn't want to take time away from shopping! All of our treasures are listed  in our Etsy Shop now at gwenandalmas.etsy.com

More exciting things coming up so stay tuned!


Wednesday, July 15, 2020


It's a Fairy Good Thing!

My 8 year old granddaughter, Gili, and I made a Fairy Garden. We live in an historical mansion that sits in a public park. (See the "Plummer House" page on my front page.) Lots of people come to see the mansion, walk around  the 11 acres of beautiful grounds including lovely gardens, fountains in the two ponds, and "Repunzels"Tower. We thought it would be fun and "magical" for those walking around the grounds to come upon this "fairy magical garden".

There is a perfect little space at the bottom of some steps that lead to a walk through the woods or up into a garden area. That is where we chose to make it.

If you look by the little table, you will see our fairy with red top, and yellow skirt and having wings. Also, on the bottom right hand corner ( of which you can only see a portion)  is a large shell.

After leaving our fairy garden for a few days, we returned to find THIS...

                                                                  YUP, money!

Not sure if people were using it as a wishing well or just being appreciative! Or was it MAGIC? But it was so exciting for Gili! Well, and ME also! We started to leave all the change in there until it was overflowing! Then I took out some coins and left some in. Only to come back every few days to find more and more coins! We decided to save it for next year's fairy garden. 

One day I came back to find our fairy's wings had been broken off! : (   Someone had apparently not ready our little sign.

      If you look closely, you'll see our fairy up at the top left with the wings laying next to her!

                                And the next day, our fairy AND her wings were gone! What?!

But the next morning, our little fairy reappeared with her wings back on! It was MAGIC! A Fairy Godmother perhaps? So she has healed and is back in place! Of course, the rain and wind does damage so I have to check it almost daily to see how things are standing up! But thankfully we have a Fairy Godmother who is also watching out and helping!

We hope to come up with more ideas so little girls especially will come back and see what is going on! Since we are living in a public park, people come from all over to see the beautiful house and gardens! And we hope they run into our little garden and get pleasantly surprised! 

I'll keep updates on our little Fairy Garden and what is happening! How about YOU? Do you have a Fairy Garden in YOUR yard? You don't have to be a child to enjoy one! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 15, 2020


Some old fashioned things like FRESH AIR and SUNSHINE are hard to beat. Laura Engalls Wilder

These are crazy times for sure but focusing on simple things can help get you through. Get outside, breathe in the  fresh air and enjoy sunshine, flowers in bloom, and birds! I hope you are all staying healthy and safe! 

So we're still doing "our thing" by looking for the greatest treasures we can find! It has been a challenge though as with everything being closed, we had to wait until later in the Spring. I DID find a few things online but we needed so much more! April was a busy month for our little online shop as our sales were up higher than the same time period last year. I figured these were "Covid 19" sales as people were getting bored being in lock down and not being able to shop in brick and mortar stores. So THAT was fun! 

Then one Estate Sale opened up with the guidelines being, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing guidelines. OK, no problem! My daughter, Elissa, and I were ready to go! In Estate sales you are given a number and are let inside according to your number. Also while usually 25 people are  let in at a time in Estate Sales, in this sale only 5 people were allowed in at a time. There was no time limit so the first 5 could have stayed in there as long as they wanted. When one person came out they let one person in. With numbers 25 and 26, we had to wait quite a while to get in. And yet it was still worth it! We were able to find some great treasures!

Then we found a fantastic Estate Sale that we were waiting for that looked like it would have tons of great stuff! If the sale says, "Packed", you usually know you will find a HUGE amount of treasures! And this was one of those!! 

I traveled to Elissa's house the night before so we could get an early start the next morning. We were hoping to get numbers 1 and 2! That night Elissa was checking out the address which they don't post until the night before. Much to our surprise, the details said, "appointment only" due to COVID 19! WHAT?! When did they decide that? We quickly checked and found that ALL appointments were taken!! Elissa decided she was going to call the company owner and ask if we could wait outside and if someone left before the next appointment, if we could slip in and spend a few minutes shopping. Each appointment was allowed one hour to shop! Fortunately the owner was very kind and said yes we could try that. Elissa explained to her we had been following her ad but had not seen the "appointment only" information. She said they had decided it in the last two weeks and listed it under "details"! UGH! But we were determined to get in, if only for a few minutes, which would mean extremely FAST shopping! 

That night my 8 year old granddaughter, Gili,  who knew we were looking forward to this sale, prayed that we would be able to get in! We all need to have the faith of a child!

We decided to arrive at the sale one hour before the sale opened even if there WERE appointments! We wanted to be ready! We packed up our coffee and tea and headed out! The lady Elissa had called was going car to car and looking for her appointments. When she got to us we told her that we didn't have an appointment but that Elissa had talked to her the night before about maybe being able to get in if someone came out early. She told us there were chairs by the door we could sit in and if someone left before their time was up, we could go in! So that's what we did! Though we still figured that the people who signed up would want to spend as much time as they could so it still wasn't a sure thing. We would have spent the entire hour if WE had made an appointment and assumed most would have also! But we weren't going to give up! At least now we had "chairs by the door"!

When the time came to open the doors, she called her appointments by name and all went in except two women that hadn't shown up! She said  I'll give these two ladies a few minutes to show up and if they don't, you can come in for the first hour! YES! Another step closer! But again, we thought, " Who would sign up for this sale ( and these two ladies were the first names on the list!) and then not show up?...  BUT THEY DIDN"T!! The lady came out and said, "You're in!" Oh my goodness!! What just happened?! Gili's prayer was answered! WE GOT IN!! WOOP WOOP!!

We worked that sale as if we were in a timed game show! Grabbing quickly what we knew for sure we wanted, we stashed them away in a cupboard they told us to use. We filled up that cupboard and kept going! Everyone had their own tastes that day and no one seemed to be looking for the same thing! It's nice not to have competition! Between the two of us we gathered up 40 items! We're still listing them but you can see some of the new items in our shop, Gwen And Alma's, here!

Also if you're still looking for that perfect Father's Day gift, look no further! Check out our unique gifts for the man who has everything! 



Monday, September 16, 2019


Charity is twice blessed--it blesses the one who gives and the one who receives.  Anonymous

Had a fun day today giving a Plummer House tour for a group of 10! A young couple, both doctors at the Mayo Clinic, had just married two days before. They were a beautiful couple! The bride and her family were from India and the groom and his family were from Mexico. They also brought along two friends who were photographers so it also became a photo shoot. 

After showing them the ballroom, they turned on music from one of their phones, and grabbing partners, everyone danced! So it also became a dance party! The photographers took photos and videos. It was fun watching them.

They were very lovely families and they insisted on me getting into one of the group photos. I regret not taking a photo of THEM! 

I went to an Estate Sale this past weekend, gathering up more treasures for our big Hob Nobber Pop Up Shop on November 2nd. I found some very fun items! I don't have photos of these new pieces but will share some things that I purchased previously that will be for sale:

And for this next sale we will have one room filled with Man Cave Items! Tell your guy friends, your husbands and fathers, because we will have some very special treasures for them! I'll show some pictures of these items in another post! Even if you don't have a Man Cave these could be used in your lake home, cabin, or even in your own home! Also includes some vintage hunting, fishing, and sports gear! They won't want to miss this!!