Monday, February 15, 2010

This weekend we headed to Amana for civil war calico fat quarters, I was down to only one thousand yards of fabric in my cupboards and needed to stock up. Sadly, we found Noe Haus Antiques closing up forever, but took advantage of the sales to fill the car again, lots of great primitives for my ebay store.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In honor of Valentine's Day, I would like to share my favorite poem ever, Edna St. Vincent Millay's Love is Not All.

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Monday, February 8, 2010

When I'm not visiting antique shops or ebaying, I have a booth at a local antique mall, Barntiques, in between Iowa City and Kalona. Nancy, the owner, is about the nicest person in the world and I highly recommend checking her blog It is one of the best blogs I've seen so far, beautiful and interesting. I think it looks like a favorite magazine, the blog and the actual shop are great places to visit. My other favorite shop in the Kalona "corridor" is Sisters Garden and Bloom, you can find their blog at Sisters is just positively a retreat, I feel instantly free of stress the minute I walk in the door. The owners can take a broken piece of china and elevate it to high art just by the way they display it. You just have to see it and experience it, there are fountains, scripty signs, garden items of course, chippy painted furniture-- I always find something there I have to have.

Keep driving on to Kalona and downtown is the Pink Begonia, a really nice girls' antique mall. I emphasize the girls aspect, because here in Iowa City we only have boy antique stores, and geez, could the guys wash something off once in a while? I digress. Pink Begonia has tinkly fountains too, lots of pretty china, and a really good selection of antiques. Across the street is a favorite fabric store, Willow Creek, always worth a visit. Another shop I love is only open in summer on certain weekends, Magadalena's on the English, the very best antiques, I always want everything in the store. My children are more enamored of the pygmy goats out behind the shop, they insisted on naming them and love it that they get to feed them crackers.

Now for the really important travel tip--eat at the Tuscan Moon! Who would think you would find a great Italian restaurant on the main street of a tiny Amish/Mennonite village? You can, and it is wonderful. On weekends, my kids' guitar teacher, Tom plays there. He is a great classical guitarist, the whole experience there is highly recommended.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I have traveled around the country checking out antique stores (even know where the good shops are in China and Italy!), but there is just no place like home. Iowa has the best antique stores any where. I discovered a "new" shop for me, Simply Iowa in Fairfax yesterday, actually been open a long long time, and why didn't I know that, I ask myself. I had a great time, the shop is one of those eclectic gems, every display a work of art in itself, and primitives so dear to my heart, I filled up the car. I got a photo of some of the breadboards and pantrywares that I found. I hope to start remembering to take my camera as I drive across the state and share all my favorite shops.