weekly photo challenge: colorful

Colorful is how I’d describe my furnishings. I’ve been in love with color almost since I discovered antiques when I moved to New York from Oahu more than 30 years ago. My specialty are primitives. Well-worn, and well-loved colorful reminders of yesteryear. Whenever I walk into an antiques shop or a flea market, I am pulled toward objects with paint, preferably ones with a softened patina. In my younger days of hunting for bargains, I would also consider items whose paint was somewhat rough…somewhat chipped or flaked. Not so much anymore. Although where I live, nicely aged items of color are not as abundant as I’m sure they are on the east coast, where I got most of what I own, or in the Midwest, where I’ve not had the pleasure of browsing for antiques. Perhaps someday…meanwhile here’s a little sampling of…

my colorful…….gems………………..hugmamma.

weekly photo challenge: old-fashioned

Have been surrounded by vintage furnishings for more than 30 years, but have never felt I was old-fashioned. But if reminiscing about the good old days puts me in that category, than that’s what I am at heart…an island girl who never lost her love for all the things that made life more precious…more homegrown…and definitely…straight from the heart.

Hoping you enjoy my slideshow for…”these are some of my favorite things”… 

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collecting?…hoarding?

What’s the difference? Semantics, or sentimentality? When does collecting become hoarding, or does it? I’ve asked myself this question before, but after my daughter’s ordeal with bed bugs, the pressure’s on. Having to sanitize all her things in case bed bugs had gotten into them, lowered their value from necessities to just plain stuff. Most of what she didn’t need or want, decor and clothes, were donated to Goodwill. Even the guy accepting the 4 carloads groaned when he saw the garbage bags being handed over to the charity. It’s probably inundated with peoples’ castoffs, and somebody’s got to go through all of it to see what’s sellable, and what’s trash. I’m glad it’s not me! I’m positive my daughter agrees that it’s not for her as well.

As someone who dabbles in antiques, mostly because I love the thrill of the hunt, as well as finding, and perhaps owning, that hidden gem. But three decades have uncovered many treasures, or junk, depending on who you ask. Vintage buffs ooh and ahh as they wander through my home; modernists seem to cringe at the sight of so much…stuff. It’s easy to pick them out. They say nothing as their eyes seem to say what they don’t dare utter. Yuck! And now I’m beginning to see what they see, that I may actually be a hoarder.

I’m an organized collector, or hoarder, depending on your like or dislike of things from yesteryear. An interior designer at heart, but not by profession, I’m pretty adept at melding everything into a cozy backdrop for family living. My husband loves relaxing amongst my cache of things, as does my daughter when she visits. In fact, she’s been bitten by the antiques bug…but not to the extent it bit me. Living in a small apartment helps her remain more of a minimalist. Something I’m striving for as I age. My daughter has already opted not to inherit most of my…”opala”…Hawaiian…for, you guessed it…stuff.

So my mission is to weed out and sell off the least favorite amongst my “treasures.” If I begin now, and I am, I may whittle my collection, or hoard, down within the next 25 years. I’d like to get it done faster…but knowing me, and I do, unless I get bedbugs to help with the task, I’ll probably continue to hoard…as I downsize my collection. Does that make any sense?

i’m a collector of antiquities…or a hoarder of junk…or both…hugmamma.

out and about

Just spent a nice day out and about, with my husband. Great to step away from the keyboard and enjoy life first-hand. Reminiscences are wonderful, but so is creating fresh memories.

Heading east we enjoyed clear views of the mountains, and the evergreen landscape that stretched for miles toward the distant horizon. The weather is cooling down, a signal of fall’s appearance. While not as abundant and colorful as the seasonal change in New England, we’re still blessed to bear witness to Mother Nature’s handiwork here in Washington.

We stopped in a small town to lunch. Instead of our usual choice, we decided to eat at Twede’s, a diner that serves breakfast all day. Not a fancy place by any means, but booths filled almost to capacity meant the food was good. Allowed to seat ourselves, we chose the only available booth toward the back, left-side. Once seated, I noticed that the lighting was poor so we moved to a table in the middle of the floor. Shortly afterwards, a wedding party filtered into the diner.  As they mingled near the entrance, it was obvious the bride and groom, and their bridesmaids and groomsmen would be occupying most of the other tables around us. Wanting to give them elbow room, I decided we should move to a booth that had become vacant. At this point my husband, and I were feeling like the Ricardos and the Mertzes in the episode of “I Love Lucy” where she changes tables at a restaurant. The first move was for a better view, and the second, because of an overhead draft. Having watched the sitcom countless times throughout the years, I am probably Lucy Ricardo, reborn. Our daughter agrees.

From the booth I had a perfect view of the wedding party. I gave my husband a running commentary on their attire. Probably in their 20’s and 30’s, the young men and women seemed suitably attired for their ages. The gals wore black cocktail dresses in varying styles that flattered; the guys, black pants held up by suspenders over white, long-sleeved shirts. They might have looked a tad like the Amish. The groom was dressed similarly, but with a vest, and tweed cap pulled low over his brow. The bride wore a strapless gown sporting a vintage look in off-white tule, sprinkled with something glittery. From afar I wasn’t able to decide what gave the dress its bling. The bouquets were simple, large mums in shades of plum, creme and eggplant. I didn’t glimpse the bride’s.

Only in a humble eatery on a country road would we see a bridal party assemble for picture-taking, without ordering a meal. I think a couple of slices of the diner’s famous cherry pie and mugs of coffee, were shared by the wedding couple and the photographers. Otherwise photos were snapped, and the group was on its way, calling out their thanks as they exited. My husband and I surmised that arrangements had been made beforehand, because the waitresses were not perplexed by the group’s short stay.

It wasn’t long before my husband and I were served our delicious hamburgers, his, the “Southwestern” and mine, the “Philly.” They were accompanied by fries and onion rings. We happily downed our meal with a Red Hook (him) and a root beer float (me). Unable to resist, we shared their cherry pie à la mode. Not a lick was left.

Ambling out the door, we sauntered across the town’s main street to Birches Habitat. What a find! My husband left me to browse leisurely, while he walked further down the street to check out other establishments. The front of the shop was stocked with gift items befitting a mountain lodge: metal figures of moose, needlework pillows of a black labrador resting on a red background, assorted guidebooks of the area, scented candles in glass jars painted with butterflies, fragrant soaps in horticultural paper wrap, and other similar merchandise.

Before wandering further back in the store, I selected a book as a Christmas gift for a friend. He’s 76, and while I have no difficulty finding a gift for his wife, I’m usually at a loss when it comes to him. The gift is actually appropriate for both, i’ll wait in the car – dogs along for the ride, texts and photographs by marcie jan bronstein. It seems wherever they drive, our friends cart their dachshund, Gretchen, along. Their previous dachshund, Schatzie, was also their traveling companion before she passed away. So a picture book of dogs waiting for their owners’ return seemed made for our friends. Some of the captions for the photos read “There are dogs waiting alone, dogs waiting with friends, dogs waiting with relatives, and puppies learning to wait.” 

Paying for the book and a few other trinkets, we left main street heading away from town. A tip from the shopkeeper sent me in search of Bad Sisters, an antique shop. Besides blogging, I also sell antiques and collectibles. I make more money selling old stuff, than I do writing. Truth be told, I earn a little in the former, and zilch in the latter. Does it matter that I’m passionate about both? It’d been a while since I visited  the antique shop, having forgotten its existence. Or maybe it was because the pickings were slim. Today was different. I left the shop with some nice items for resale: a large steamer trunk, giant crock, folding room-divider, plaid print tin basket with handle, a couple of old bottles with interesting motifs, an old sepia photo of a Danish family, a tall pair of shabby chic candlesticks, a small white curio cabinet with glass shelves and a few other things. Luckily, I didn’t purchase a drop-leaf, gate-leg, pine table. It would have ridden in the car, while I walked home or thumbed a ride.

Noshing on bagels with cream cheese, grapes and cups of coffee, we spent the evening playing Bananagrams. Amidst a lot of laughter, my husband and I scrambled to finish first. I think he won one game, and I won the other. It depends on who spins the story. Since I’m telling it, we each won one. 

As you can see I’m at the keyboard, my husband is in his recliner watching James Stewart and June Allyson in “The Glenn Miller Story,” the pets are doing their own thing. “God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world.” Is that how the saying goes? My husband’s unable to confirm this, even though he was the English major.

do you know?…hugmamma.