Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Summer!!

I've been a bit of a slacker the last week or so.  I haven't posted anything, and have been really busy trying to get packed for the Homer Laughlin China Collectors Conference I'll be attending next month.  Those of you who know me well are probably re-reading right now to be sure that I said I was packing now.  I am a chronic last-minute packer, except that this time, I really can't be, because I am doing an exhibit, and am taking my dishes up early, so...  that means I am, indeed, packing NOW.     No worries, I'll be back to my old habits when it comes to packing my clothing and sundries!  I have a few other surprises and hopefully some new treasures to share this week, so do peek back in!

I did manage to slip outside and take a few photos in the yard to share as I join Candy at TLRT for This Week in My Garden.

The flowers in bloom are a nice mix of old friends like the butterfly bush, Joe Pye weed and coreopsis and newcomers Echinacea 'Hot Papaya' and coreopsis 'Lightning Flash'. 'Lightning Flash' is a little different than other coreopsis, because its known more for it's bright upper foliage than for the bloom.    The other echinaceas haven't opened up, although I think several will be blooming by next week.   The real "star" blossoming this week though isn't one of my flowers!  It's the giant pumpkin in my son's garden, and the bloom is BIGGER than my entire hand!

Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)  'Royal Red'

Joe Pye Weed

Coreopsis 'Zagreb'

Coreopsis 'Lightning Flash'

Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'

Massive Pumpkin blossom in my son's veggie garden!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Estate Auctions are all kinds of HOT fun!

One of my guilty pleasures is attending estate/personal property auctions.  I absolutely love spending the day out in the country, listening to the cadence of the auctioneers, watching the people around me, and seeing what treasures are unearthed. I don't even have to buy anything to have fun.  Of course, part of the fun IS The Hunt.  There is a huge adrenalin rush when I spot something interesting, and there's a delicate balance in looking very carefully for flaws and trying to avoid having dealers or others be able to tell that there's something I want.   The auctioneers in my part of the country are pretty well-informed, but they're not infallible.  Lots of times they'll point out as they sell that something is Roseville or Fostoria or a particular type of wood, or that it's a rare antique toy or collector's item.  After all, they make money depending on how much money an item brings.   Often, there's no rhyme or reason for what brings big money, and what sells for a dollar.

The weather was scorching hot, but thankfully the auctioneers had put up a giant tent with lots of folding chairs.  I always keep a folding chair in the back of my SUV, because sometimes you have to bring your own chair if you want seating.  Over time, I've gotten to know several of the "regular" auction attendees.  Some, like me, are individual collectors, looking for specific items.  Others have stores, or booths in antique malls.  There are always new or different people that attend, too. Lots of times there will be friends/family members of the sellers  (so, I'd be very quiet about any comments about the "stuff" you see.  You never know who will be sitting near you!)  or sometimes people come to bid on one specific thing.

Even watching the way people bid can be entertaining.  Some are very direct and shove their bid card HIGH in the air (remember that kid in 2nd grade that always knew the answer when the teacher asked?  THAT's exactly how it looks.  Some flap their arm around, like they're on a float in the Rose Parade.  Some barely flick their head.  Others point or tap their hat brim. Sometimes they're so subtle, I can't tell from where I'm sitting who actually bid.   One gentleman says, "HUP!"  very loudly on his first bid and then waggles a finger when he raises the bid.   Me?  I sorta flick my bid card forward on the first bid and either nod or shake my head after that.  

I had the pleasure of attending a huge sale this week...  I've never ever seen so many items in a single estate.  I can't even begin to fathom where they kept all the stuff.  I came  home with a few treasures:  some silverplate, a couple of McCoy pieces, a box of linens, and an antique end chair that MATCHES my dining room chairs!  The needlepoint seat is different, but I don't mind that!

There are all sorts of sales, too.  I've attended everything from very high-end antique sales with glossy catalogs to truck overstocks to plain old country estate auctions.  I have to admit, though... I really do love the old country estate sales most of all .  There's a HUGE mix of items, literally anything someone could have in their house, and the mix of people is just as wide.   I took a couple of quick pictures with my phone and meant to take more, but well...I got distracted looking at "stuff".  These photos are from one side of the house, and there were three more sides, just as full as this! 

Friday, June 10, 2011

This week in the garden, better late than never!

I've had some trouble getting out into the garden to take pictures this week, but finally weather is cooperating, and I'm home to take photos!  The oak leaf hydrangea is putting on a show, and the little peachy threadleaf coreopsis (Sienna sunset) is full of blooms as well.   My excitement comes from something else in the garden: my berries are starting to ripen!  Nothing in the world tastes like black raspberries, right off the bush,  warm from the sunshine!  My red currants look like tiny rubies, shining in the morning light.  It has been so very unseasonably HOT, I'm really surprised to have much of anything looking good.   We did finally get some rain last night, albeit accompanied by a hailstorm, but I guess beggars can't be choosers, right?   

I'm joining Candy at The Little Round Table for This Week in the Garden.  I hope she doesn't mind that I'm a little late to the party!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wonderful Wedding Wishes for Abbey and Donnie

Happy Wedding Day, Abbey and Donnie!

My dear friend Becky's daughter is getting married today at the most magical place on earth!  Since the rest of us couldn't be there with Becky and family, the dish and tablecloth ladies (Becky, Candy, Daphne, Rebecca, and  I) thought we'd celebrate in our own way, by doing special tablescapes in the happy couple's honor!  OH,   and Becky enabled us a bit, by sharing some of the favours that will be used for Abbey and Donnie's reception: ivory Fiesta vases and tumblers customized for the happy couple with a magical castle on one side, and their names and wedding date on the other.  

I decided on a theme of  Lovebirds, using a wonderful California Handprints Wedding tablecloth from Becky.  The dinnerware is vintage Vistosa, by Taylor, Smith, and Taylor, with a few Fiesta accent pieces.   The birdhouse was a birthday gift made especially for me by my friend Doris's husband, Shep a few years ago.  The little bird salt and pepper shakers came from Tuesday Mornings.  I plucked the buttercups from the edge of my pond early this morning.  Did you know that in Victorian times buttercups symbolized cheerfulness and childlike wonder... and I hope that Abbey and Donnie bring both of those traits to their new life together! 

I hope you'll visit all the Dish Diva's tables, and share in our happiness for Abbey and Donnie.  You'll find the magic linky at the end of this post. (Thanks to Candy for all her support and wonderful technical skills.  We'd be lost without her!) =)  I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday, and Jenny Matlock for AlphabeThursday, as well.  The letter this week is H, which for me with this listing is for Hope you Have a Happy life together, Abbey and Donnie.

Congratulations and Best Wishes for a long and Happy life together, Abbey and Donnie!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

California Dreaming...

Some of my favorite dish folks are getting together this weekend in California, and it seemed like the ideal time to share this beautiful California souvenir tablecloth.  Usually, California souvenir cloths have a southwestern "feel".  They often have bright primary colors and are decorated with Mexican pots and bright flowers.  I had seen this cloth in a couple of other colorways, but those always seemed to sell WAY out of my tablecloth budget.  I was thrilled when I found this cloth, and it just called for vintage Fiesta colors: rose, yellow, turquoise, chartreuse, and/or turf green.  

This one's for you, California dish friends...enjoy your weekend!