Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings No. 12

Where have I been for the last three months, besides purging in my basement?? It's time for another miscellaneous musings! Just a random mix of goings on, this is No. 12.

Let's start with the Charleston Ballet documentary, which I mentioned participating in last summer (read more here). A gala was held to premiere the completed film in late March, a fabulous evening! The film is wonderfully done, and the evening was a reunion of ballerina alumni, striking poses for photo ops....
...and remembering good times together.
As the saying goes, ballerinas never die, they just go from barre to barre. Pictured below are three charter member ballerinas who danced in the ballet's first production in 1956 (top L frame of collage), and are still taking weekly adult group lessons. Current ballerinas (top R) are pictured with Kim Pauley, Artistic Director and Choreography (3rd from rt), and Deborah Novak (far rt), the Producer of the film. I purchased the commemorative Blenko decanter signed by Ms. Pauley, and a copy of the documentary DVD was provided for each ticket purchase.
The PBS airing dates are still in the works, and it is expected to be a pledge drive campaign in WV (WVPBS). I was told the WVPBS station has a reach in WV, VA, OH, KY, PA and MD, and our station would be the presenting station to the overall PBS system. The producer hopes it will land in the PBS Plus programming, which evidently takes time and requires several hoops to be jumped through. I'll keep you posted. Daughter #1 and I did end up in the final version. :)

Speaking of daughter #1, she was honored in early March as part of the the YWCA 2018 Women of Achievement Awards as the "Woman to Watch". A high honor, indeed, for her short career thus far in promoting the arts in the community as Director of FestivALL. I've written about FestivALL previously in this post. She's pictured below, starting clockwise, top L: with the other 2018 recipients, delivering remarks, with her cousin and sister, and receiving her reward (a Blenko commemorative).
Speaking of artists, pictured below is a work in progress by a local artist, Anna Toler-Frazier, who I've mentioned before, here and here. Anna is creating two separate necklaces for my sister, J, from rocks J's collected from special places traveled. The rock on bottom L has been fashioned into a heart, and came from a 2017 trip to Versailles, France. The other rocks are from various locales, and will become a bib necklace.
In other artist news, did you know when Ed Sheeran is not performing all around the world, he works with one of our local auction houses?? Me either! Either this was Ed (L) at that last General Lewis Inn auction I attended with my sister, or it's Ed's doppelganger. What do you think?
This next one is not as close a doppelganger, but she still reminded me of Dakota Johnson (daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith). When not working with Fifty Shades and its sequels, I caught her shopping at the South Charleston Antique Mall, 😉. She was carrying the Kate Spade camera bag to foil the paparazzi. Who's your doppelganger?
Did you watch the show, "Kevin (Probably) Saves the World"? It was silly, even goofy, but fun. Did you know the star is John Ritter's son, Jason Ritter? I should've known, just based on how goofy he is with his slapstick style comedy. I hope it's renewed next year.
Kevin (Probably) Renewed or Cancelled
I save what I call "good words" or words for "a laugh a day". This one below made me laugh.
Now, I need you to read this article and tell me if you agree with the list excerpted from the book titled, "The Top 10 Objects Your Kids Don't Want (and what to do with them)". I disagree! This goes out especially to all y'all who just participated in my purge.
Speaking of purge, as I was organizing things, both purged and splurged (see herehere and even here), I wanted to add spring wreaths to my front doors. But I couldn't find the wreath hangers, which I had put in a place where I knew I'd easily find them after the Christmas wreaths came down. Can you relate to the dilemma of this fine style of organization??
Holy cow, I looked and the same places at least, I don't know, maybe a dozen times. With the basement purge in full swing, I thought they'd be glaringly out in the open. Finally found them where I put see them, don't you?? Yeah, me neither. They were hanging on the edge of the nested wire baskets.....under the tartan cooler, behind the rolled rug. And you maybe thought I was organized? The cooler and rug did just get placed there during, after the purge......😌
Which leads me to a conversation I had recently with Mr. P. He reads a lot of those post-apocalyptic world stories (and we are Walking Dead fans, too, btw). He said one day, "in all these end-of-the-world scenarios I read, 3 is 2, 2 is 1, and 1 is none." He was referring primarily to supplies - guns, etc. I then said, "I guess you could say the same for collections." He then retorted, "So if the world ends, you'll still have dishes." 😜 I guess so.
Well, Dilly Dilly!
Until next time.......if you want to see my prior musings, you can get a rundown of those here.

In the meantime, I may be spending part of my free time playing some pickleball. Mr. P. and I just took it up in beginner, open sessions at our local Y with a couple of other friends. Imagine a crossroads among ping pong, tennis and badminton and you've got an idea of pickleball. More than likely, though, I'll be spending a good bit of time out in the garden with the bunnies, birds and moles (thanks, Mary, I love all the pockets!).
But first, I've taken a little break. Be back soon.
Thanks, always, for your loyal readership. Your comments are always welcome here.

Rita C. at Panoply

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Panoply Purge Recap

My basement storage may not appear all that different to most but, believe me, these past 2-3 months of my inventory purge activity have resulted in a much better organization of what I am currently holding.
There's much less gray matter as to how I'm storing things, and there's much more beauty in where my things are being reloved. Be sure to read to the end of this post to see what I mean by that statement!

If you aren't familiar with what my inventory purge is/was about, you can go to my post of January 22 and learn all about it.

By the numbers, here's how my purge shook out:
  • I sent an individual, follow up email on February 4, 2018 to each person who commented on my proposal. I labeled the emails for easy identification in my inbox. Not everyone replied back to me, but it may be because my email landed in spam folders. Others replied and declined participation, mostly due to their own attempts in purging. I continued communicating with those who were interested in pursuing the benefits of my purge. I kept notes in my little pocket notepad (thanks, Patti!) and carried it with me.
  • 59 day timeline - I started purging in earnest on February 12, and had plenty of bad weather days of snow, rain, wind and cold to spend indoors. Before finishing on April 11, 2018, a total of over 40 hours were noted on my calendar pertaining to the purge specifically.
  • 31 packages were mailed, many with multiple boxes packed within, to a total of 23 recipients. The first packages went out February 12; the last one on April 11, 2018. I tried to include personal notes in each, telling of the items, but actually forgot a few early ones in my hurry to package and ship.
  • Of the items purged, more than 150 pieces of glass, porcelain, ceramics and stoneware were packed and shipped.
  • Gladly, but still sadly, only one piece was broken in transit. 
It is worth noting this was the ONLY piece I mailed in a USPS flat rate box. Although it was well-wrapped in bubble wrap and paper, it was not double boxed, but other pieces within the box did not break. USPS reimbursed me the shipping cost after I filed an online claim.
  • Only one other piece was broken - by my own clumsiness while packing. I had not taped the (inner) packing box bottom before lifting it, and it crashed to the cement floor. 😞
  • Other items purged included vintage linens & clothing, metals, and many other categories:
  • I used all the boxes and packing paper I'd been accumulating for more than a year, but did purchase one roll of bubble wrap and a package of 3 rolls of commercial packing tape (used 2 of 3). At times, my work area looked like an assembly line of partially filled orders.
  • The USPS had just increased its rates on January 21st, but it was still my preferred shipper, hands down. I have my own online account, and was able to easily make my own labels, track packages, and save a bit on rates by using the "click and ship" option. Thank you to everyone who suggested I accept shipping reimbursement. I spent $625 in postage and was reimbursed almost 100%. 
  • I keep spreadsheets for most anything involving numbers (leftovers of my career life), and the purge tallied over $1,200 of goods.
Far beyond all the petty detail above that my brain seems to be hardwired to keep track of and reconcile (I was counting boxes instead of sheep at night), it is the way you each have taken these things and reloved them in your own homes which has made this project worthwhile. I paid attention to your emails, as well as comments on my blog and yours, and chose things on an individual basis. Several of you relayed personal stories of remembering some of these items from childhood, your parents, grandparents, etc., and those are what made it more than moving for me. You sent me photos with your items in your home, and some of you (bloggers) even wrote posts (not required by any means!).

With permission from the recipients who are also active bloggers and wrote posts of their reloved items, I'm sharing their individual links below. A few others have told me they intend to do posts, and I will update this as they publish, so be sure to check back. Feel free to pin from each blogger's posts. They shared their items received, and have some beautiful photography. Enjoy!

Decor to Adore | The Red Painted CottageMarmalade Gypsy
Marmalade Gypsy | Decor To Adore
Thank you to all who participated in my purge. And thank you all for your readership. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Loving New Old Finds at Home

Just a quick post to share how I'm using some of my latest finds, mentioned here and here, and then some. My motivation for making some household changes started with the fact that I needed to get recent purchases organized, and I was doing a little spring cleaning, too.

I switched up my sunroom hutch with the Zell (German) majolica with bird motifs. I was previously using the Bordello Pinheiro cabbage plates.
The spring green Blenko decanter was traded for my aqua one. I like to keep my Pfaltzgraff Filigree here as my neutral base, and the chargers are a nice backdrop. The candleholders are MacKenzie-Childs inspired - Parchment Check - made by blog buddy, Patti.
I flipped my German serving bowl to use as a riser for my newest piece of Zell, a compote.
The teapot came from Pier 1 this season, on sale. It's called Bird Sanctuary. It's perched on some lacy plates, also purchased at Pier 1, and used on a table, here.
Bird Sanctuary matching sugar and creamer are just in front of the decanter, which I filled with a string of tiny lights on a timer.
The winter rug has been traded for my warm weather rug. Now, if we could just get warm weather to stay for more than a day or two... Below is the view from the kitchen hallway.
On the opposite wall of the sunroom hutch is my wet bar in the kitchen. It still has the cabbage plates and large transferware platter, but the previous bunny tureen has been replaced with the newest, Majolica bunny compote. The MacKenzie-Childs parchment check kettle and teapot are my "beat the winter doldrums" purchases.
For a look-see of the of the same areas just prior to this updated spring look, you can read this post.

I'm not one to do a lot of changing up from month-to-month, or week-to-week in my house. My style is more typical of going with seasons, and it's mostly with dish displays, and maybe a few textiles (pillows, throws, rugs). I think right now I'm just biding my time until it's gardening weather, not just a day of it here or there.

Speaking of biding my time and getting new purchases organized, I am finished with my inventory purge as it was proposed in January (if you missed what that was about, you can read about it here). I will do some sort of recap, but suffice it to say my current inventory is much better organized, and many things once loved by me have found their way into others' homes for re-loving.

What's your style of changing things in your house? What motivates your desire to change, if anything? How do you purge things? Leave your comments, it's always interesting to hear.

Thanks for dropping by, and for your readership.

Rita C. at Panoply

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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Early Spring 2018 Vintage Finds

Just like Mother Nature outside, the end of March, early April brought about a flurry of estate sales, a private pick, shopping from our own antique mall, and a remarkable auction indoors. Let's take a look at my early spring 2018 vintage finds.
A trip to Ohio to connect with sister J was mainly for a private estate pick, which turned out to be less than stellar. However, we sisters know how to turn a bad day of picking into a good one two.

Look what my sister M spotted for me, pictured below! This matches my favorite majolica plates found and used in this post. If I found nothing else, this was my favorite find! It's Zell (German) majolica, and dates from the early 20th century, in beautiful condition.
Next, I found more dishes (surprise, surprise). The green platter in back (Bordello Pinheiro) is not all that old, but I liked the bunnies and will use it with my cabbage plates and other Easter things I already have (most of which is already packed away for next year). The two fruit plates in front are French, St. Clement (plums on left, apples on right), and were found in two separate locations. After researching, I've found there are several other fruit plates in the series, but I'm not sure if I want to start another new collection. These will be nice for late summer, early fall display (or resale).
The rabbit compote below was found in my own antique mall - spotted by fellow blogger, Fonda, and her wife, Katie. Fonda was a participant in my inventory purge, and I met the two of them in our mall on the 29th as they were passing through town. As they shopped the booths, they found the compote and alerted me with a text message!
While this compote is not as old as the Minton original, circa 1870, it is a terrific vintage/reproduction example, and is in equally terrific condition. I might have mentioned here that bunnies are multiplying in my house. This guy remains on display at home a little longer than most of my other spring bunnies.
Gardening season is promised here this week. I picked all the vessels you see pictured below, as well as the cheery tablecloth they're sitting upon. The birds and the wheelbarrow (isn't that adorable? I think I'll use it for dips!) are vintage McCoy, and I'm not sure about the little girl or yellow, Art Deco vase to her left (both unmarked). The daffodil pot is sitting on an upside down hobnail while milk glass planter (mostly out of view).
One more bulb jug couldn't be passed up for its condition and price! That now makes four in my stash, and all four are different shades of green/aqua. I'll line them up sometime for a photo shoot and share it. The napkin rings are Fiestaware (sea mist), from the 1980s, and came with maker napkins. The personal teapot is unmarked, bought for its color and price.
The pillow below was purchased for its happy colors, already in my sunroom, and the lamb is the newest member of my flock.
Textiles....condition, colors, themes, price, hand work....all are reasons to pick these up when we vintage shop. Hand worked items include a quilt, pillowcases, potholder, and a tapestry square. The Fiestaware napkins and dish towel are incidental purchases.
Mantiques are picked simply by what my eye is drawn to. The handsome man in swivel frame just might be my long lost flapper soulmate. The tiny money box on which he's perched matches two other, larger, banker boxes I have. Faucets and handles are great garden items for repurposing as knobs and a few other things. The horse shoes are very old and flattened, plow work horse type. The baled jar is full of obsidian rock, Native American fragments from Tulare County, CA. The pitcher at right is a Hazel Atlas match to the glasses I found and mentioned here, and will make a nice fall display. The casters, similar to those I bought and mentioned here (which sold as a lot), are popular for those who restore antique furniture. The clamps are simply utilitarian and have makers' marks.
A few other random items (clockwise, starting L): a French bulldog doorstop, an Aigner basket purse from the early 1970s, a wooden cheese box with advertising graphics, a set of five Russian matryoshka dolls, and a pair of asparagus tongs.
That's it for all the individual picks from the various estate sales, private pick and antique malls of late March, early April.
Sister M and I attended a local auction right before Easter of an historic inn, the General Lewis Inn of Lewisburg, WV. Originally constructed in the early 1800s, the inn changed hands in 2014, and the new owners decommissioned many of the antique primitives first curated for the inn.

Pictured below is a collage of a few of the antique items we Panoply sisters purchased. Clockwise, from L: Sister M is a master dollmaker, and purchased the china head doll in original clothing. Sister J scored the wood and metal square with handle, a carriage footwarmer. The metal insert was for heated coals, and the perforated metal box would emit the heat beneath the passengers' feet.
Pictured below the footwarmer is a unique Victorian, individual silverplate table place setting (my purchase). It includes a salt cellar, pepper shaker, napkin ring and butter pat (in back), all on a wheeled base with bird motif in front. Bottom L is a tiny coal miner's oil lamp, designed to hook onto the front of a helmet, and a rare, miner's oil lamp filler flask (J's). The photos just above the miner's lamp and flask include a closeup of the porcelain doll's undergarments and legs. She is stuffed with sawdust (and was leaking a bit, which M can repair). The bisque baby with basket on its back is a vessel, most likely for either flowers or matches (also my purchase). Most of these type babies - also called piano babies - were placed on the piano to hold a shawl in the well-appointed Victorian home.

Two quilts also purchased from the General Lewis Inn auction are pictured below. The birds are cross-stitched on the quilt (mine), while the blue and white quilt is entirely pieced (M's)
As a matter of education, I want to share this stoneware jug pictured below. Although the frames are not clear (taken with my cell phone from my seat), I wanted to get as many angles as I could. This is called a harvest jug with a strap handle, circa 1860. It was made by G.M. Fulton, and was most likely a presentation or lead piece, meaning the potter created it to demonstrate his abilities in pottery making. It was in pristine condition, with flow blue designs. Guess how much it sold for.....
Let me first say, stoneware jugs command very good prices in our region, and have held their value over the past decade, for sure. My sister J collects these, and is always interested in the gavel prices. The more typical ones go anywhere from $200 - $800. But this one? Well, it went for $27,500.00. And this guy (below) was the buyer.
Regardless of the shades, he was anything but inconspicuous!

Have you been vintage treasure hunting lately? See anything you'd also buy in these lots? What's hot in your region? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear! As always, thanks for your visit!

Postscript - Monday, April 9, 2018: I had forgotten about buying the sign pictured below until I was loading my car (where I had left it) for my weekly trip to work our booths. It's a piece of wormy, repurposed wood and an old garden hose. Cute, isn't it?

Rita C. at Panoply

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