Monday, April 29, 2013


My husband gave me the tiny antique butterchurn for my birthday, I immediately asked if it was ok if I painted it, and it turned out perfect! The doll I bought for myself, she is also perfect with the churn. I've had this old tea tin forever, and blued it up just for me...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Lovely Day

I had a great birthday, nice weather, my favorite antique stores and dinner at the Olive Garden, which I love a lot, despite snarky comments from the food "experts". We started in West Branch, tiny birth town of Herbert Hoover and walked around the little Quaker village there. There is a little bridge over a creek, where the girls love to play Pooh sticks--now, if you want someone to stare at you and say "WHAT did you say?", try saying let's play pooh sticks--it is a Winnie the Pooh game, people! Drop a stick on one side of the bridge and see who's stick floats to the other side first, that's all! Now, my other "WHAT did you say?" moment was at Disneyland a few years ago, Grace was about 6, we were waiting in line for the Haunted House when she said, "Mom, this looks just like a horror house.", but of course, it did not sound like horror house, but whore house--I tell you, the whole line of people stopped in their tracks and turned around to stare at me. I couldn't even explain.

After our walk, we stopped in at Margs Red Schoolhouse and Main St. Art, plus a new shop on the way, the Red Barn Market, which is really a great shop, clean and pretty and full of nice antiques. Next, it was off to Amana, as Grapevine Antiques was having an outdoor market. I stocked up at Erenberger Antiques again (oh, how I LOVE her store) and got some more of those pretty blue rag balls to sell. We came home, had a bike ride and a walk, painted some things blue...then had my favorite Olive Garden meal of shrimp and chicken carbornara--Grace and I always share (good thing we like the same food), she asked what on earth I would do when she's grown up and I have no one to share dinner with--told her I guess I'll have lots of left overs!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Walk to the Bakery

It is finally warm enough to get out and walk a bit, and of course, why not walk by the neighborhood bakery? Deluxe in Iowa City is soooo good, and as you see, beautiful as well. The violas are my only flower out so far--I just bought the wonderful cement bird on ebay, I just love him.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Flour Sacking

Oh, I do love old flour and sugar and seed sacks! Here is a bit that will be ready for sale this weekend, at last there is sunshine here, maybe spring will arrive eventually!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I found this battered old plastic chicken in an antique shop, knew she would come in handy some day--isn't she a cute addition to the display? These are just a few things I have done to sell, and have finally sat down to finish up flour sack pillows, they are looking cute so far...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Spoon Obsession

First, it was stoneware mixing bowls that I couldn't get enough of, until I think I bought them all...then it was the dough bowls, now spoons (not to mention tin hearts and pantry jars and little tin graters and anything blue ....)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Weekend Filled with Antiques (and Candy!)

It was antique weekend here in eastern Iowa. Yesterday we went to Kalona, stopping at Barntiques to see Nancy just back from a fun trip to Charleston with some GORGEOUS photos of places with green things and flowers, can't wait for it here! I really wish I had brought my camera, because Sisters Garden outdid themselves. Among the usual gorgeous little antique surprises were bowls of candy and little donuts and rice krispy treats and cake and pie and strawberries--it was freaking awesome! The girls and I usually say we only like a little bit of sweet things, but I tell you, we ate our way through the shop. In Kalona we stopped at the church where I found these most amazing heart butter stamps--Leigh is the dealer who always has the best primitives and I always want to buy the lot!

Today was the Collectors Eye, it is just always the best of the best and I always put myself in financial trouble by going. Here are a few prims that will stay original for a bit---you know how they wake me up at night and tell me to paint them....

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Simply Iowa Garden Party

We headed out to Fairfax first thing this morning and had the best antique day ever. Here are some photos I took in the Simply Iowa shop--the first time we visited a few years ago, Anna immediately gasped that it was exactly the kind of antique shop you'd find in Wonderland, and it is. We also stopped in Amana, home of some of the best shops in eastern Iowa, ended with lunch at Maid Rite, a midwestern diner that is just darned good.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The New Pope

I'm not Catholic, but I must say, I like the new pope. I just saw the mother of the young man with cerebral palsy that the crowd brought forward so Pope Francis could embrace him, it was a really touching story. Did you know he moved out of the palace apartments and is living in the communal living quarters with the regular priests? ...and that he is not wearing all the glitzy robes, and washing the feet of women--I am impressed, I must say.

As for the photo, this is one of those magic places in Rome. This is what you see if you peek through the keyhole of the gate to the garden of the Knights of Malta, an avenue of trees that frame the view of the dome of St. Peters. Now, that is a little Catholic excess that I approve of!