Monday, January 31, 2011

Good Clutter

I do like the Clean House shows and Designed to Sell, but certainly can't live with their less is more philosophy. It really does work to sell a house, I'm sure, but to live in??? No, thanks. When we moved from our big old house to our new little house, I toyed with the idea of no clutter, which lasted about 24 hours. The former owner had NOTHING on the kitchen counters, shelves had only one item per shelf on it. I thought, how nice to have counter space, then quickly came to the realization that I hated the vacant spaces. I filled up the counters with cookbooks and little shelves and antique smalls, and smiled big, clutter is me. A friend of mine is the exact opposite, he loves sparse, and used to tease me. Once, I went to his house and found a duck decoy on the coffee table "Look, Elaine, I decorated just for you!" We also had the exact opposite idea about antiques, he thought why on earth would you pay that much for an antique when you could have new, me saying why on earth would you pay that for something new when you can have something old? I also admit to having complete decorators ADD, I love so many styles and although primitive is my favorite, I do mix it up, adding my Italian Renaissance paintings and statues right next to the cabins and dough bowls. I think they are happy together. Now, if my clutter were cleaner, I wouldn't complain, but that is another matter altogether!

I have tons of good stuff to list this week, love those cute little cardboard animals that I will be auctioning, starting to think spring with some robins egg blue, with plans for more appley greens to come, plus I have some great prims that just need to be black, busy, busy busy!

I have to mention my lovely food weekend. We went back to the Power Company and got to splurge with ordering steak Oscar, a divine tenderloin topped with crab, asparagus and bernaise, it was heaven. To thank my husband for taking us, I made walnut chicken for us last night, I'll write that recipe down and include it in a future blog, it has a port wine sauce to pour over chicken with walnuts and bacon, not possible to eat without making yummy sounds.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shopping at Gatherings

If you are in Iowa, or just planning a visit, you have to put a stop at Gatherings in Anamosa on your list of things to do. We drove over yesterday, and I had a heyday finding some wonderful bread boards and mashers, all just a bit unusual, some I'll do a little of my handiwork to, some are so perfect as is. The store is the best primitives place I've ever seen. Most of my favorites on my blog list are great Eastern Iowa shops, every one is unique and wonderful. Gatherings will make the primitives lover need smelling salts, it is just prim heaven! Rug Cottage and Barntiques is just Iowa farmhouse at its best, an eclectic mix of country, primitive and cheery 40s decor, and of course, the rugs are gorgeous and you can't leave without a jar of jam and a teapot. Polly Ann's is another cheerful farmhouse mix of antiques, you just never know what you'll find, but always something to love. Simply Iowa, my girls immediately christened the Alice in Wonderland store, and this was before I knew about the Mad Hatter displays she does so well. The store is a wonderland maze of treasures tucked into corners, the most humble objects elevated to high art by her beautiful displays. Sisters Garden just plain makes me happy, they are also display geniuses, things you'd never think of doing are just magic, from the wine glasses hanging from the trees when you walk in, branches hung from the ceiling draped in fairy lights, chippy old furniture graced with early transfer china, little robins eggs in a teacup, it really is inspiring. In addition to being great stores, all the women who run them are so nice, it makes shopping even more of a treat. If I get some sunshine tomorrow I'll have new photos of the treasures I found and get to work on my little touch ups!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cabin Fever Extras

At least January is almost over, I am getting so antsy to be done with winter already. It has just been a gloomy couple of weeks and the frigid temps make getting out to even get the mail unpleasant, hoping for just a warm up just to 30 degrees!~ I think I'm getting lots of projects done, but with so many on the "to do" list, I'm not sure I'm making enough progress. We are taking a break today for a special lunch to celebrate my youngest's birthday from last week when the car froze up and we couldn't get out of the driveway. We are going to the Iowa River Power Company, her birthday ritual because every winter, eagles come back to nest near the restaurant, which has a beautiful view of the river and the eagles flying back and forth across it.

Here are some samples of shop goods arriving at ebay this evening.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who Can Get Things Done When There is Shopping to do?

I did stay indoors for the week, but only got my projects half finished. I jumped at the chance to go antiquing this weekend and was so happy I did! The local shops have been adding lots of new prim goods and I made a haul, especially happy to find a big group of wood mashers, each one a bit different, all beautifully carved. I found enough to do several sets in my favorite milk paints. So, we went to Marion, and Park Place had 4 good bread boards, made me so happy. Antiques of Marion produced the best early tin heart cake pan. Off to Amana where I got several of the early good rolling pins at Grapevine, and I splurged on some outstanding prims from Erenbergers, everything I found is just a bit out of the ordinary--photos and listings coming soon! Smokehouse Square and Renates in Amana had some cool odds and ends and I got a new stack of civil war calicos at Heritage Designs. As always, you can find my for sales on Ebay, my user id is 6stringbluesman.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Day of 500 Photos

I don't remember the last time we got any sun, out today at last and I've been taking photos all morning--500 of them! It is going to be a long ebay week, I can tell. You can email me at and I can send you a link to my ebay store, my user id is 6stringbluesman, you can go to the site map and find the link for finding members.

I am fortified with the new McDonald's fruit oatmeal, it is SO good, I can't believe I got it at McDonald's. The fruit is good and the oatmeal is not too sweet, even the kids love it. I know, it is not like oatmeal cookery is that difficult, but sure is fun to have someone else do the cooking once in a while.

I have a huge bunch of blues to list, threw in bittersweet colors for good measure, lots of prairie browns, and some great prim blacks in the works. It is so darn cold, I shouldn't have any trouble staying home to work, but those Ghost Whisperer reruns do have the girls and I sitting all suspenseful every afternoon!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cabin Fever Pitch

I completely ignored my blog this week while I painted a million things that still need some finishing touches, so I have many projects to list, only a few completely done. I missed a follower asking where to find the items for sale, just go to ebay and look up my member name, 6stringbluesman, or shop name Catspaw Primitives and Music (which I really need to change, as my husband, the physician musician is never going to sell a guitar). These are the few items I finished, will have more photos later if I ever get done--I seem to have acquired vast quantities of giant dough bowls and they are quite a chore to paint and sand!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter Cleaning

I just took down the tree and packed away the Santas and cleaned (feeling like Phyllis Diller "You clean and then just have to do it again six months later") as though it was spring cleaning day and rearranged some things. I haven't taken a minute to check out some favorite blogs, but did yesterday. Nancy at the Rug Cottage has a new post with her shop all pretty and new looking, can hardly wait to see it in person. Deppenhomestead1862 is so inspiring, her house is just beautiful, got me inspired to change things around in my own house. I also checked out a picturetrail (check the comment section before this for the address)--oh my, her murals are just what I've always dreamed of for my house. Of course all the blogs on my favorites are right nearby in Iowa, they always have beautiful photos and interesting things to say. Nancy's Rug Cottage blog has a long list of great blogs, I just go to her blog and click on her links to see what is new, I just love seeing all the pretty houses and all the different ideas for antiques and art! While I'm not whiling away my time looking at the blogs, I am finishing up some ideas of my own, here are a few things for ebay.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hoping for a Happy New Year

My horoscope says my 12 year streak of bad luck is over and the coming year will be good, crossing my fingers! As I look back, I have had 12 years of struggling with different business ventures, started doing well with selling at a Country Sampler store, when they abruptly declared bankruptcy. I then tried about 6 different antique malls and barely sold enough to pay rent, I tried selling at shows from my home, and finally to ebay, which seems to be the answer (knock on wood). I guess I certainly have been perservering at any rate. I can't complain about personal things, my first baby is now 12, and she and her sister have been nothing but joy for me.

So, I hope for a 2011 of good things. Here are a few of the little pantry wares I have to list this week.