Rooms ( a poem by Ethel Romig Fuller)

Paris Sacre Coeur

ROOMS

In church this morning

I had a view

Of nothing but heads

From my rear view.

I played with the fancy

Each was a room—-

Some of them needing

Dustcloth and  broom.

Many were fine

Company places;

A few had signs,

“To Let” on their faces.

And one old woman’s

Snow-white head

Recalled clean kitchens

And home-made bread.

Ethel Romig Fuller, Kitchen Sonnets, 1958

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Getting Spooked in Savannah

I keep an open mind when it comes to ghosts, spirits, hauntings and the like….in my opinion there’s so much we DON”T know about life and death. Friends and family members have seen things, felt things, heard things…and a few times I have too.  My mom and I have gone into estate sale houses…looked at each other, and walked back outside.  There was just…something….there.  Something not good.  And we could feel it.  It’s only happened a couple of times over the many years we have gone out.  And once I went into the basement of an estate sale house and immediately needed to leave.  Something BAD had happened in that basement.  I don’t know what and I don’t know when and I truly do NOT want to know.  I just had to leave.

Last week my friends Robin and Pam and I went to Savannah, Georgia for a couple of days after attending the big Atlanta Gift Market.  I had been there once before and loved it and we all were excited to explore the beautiful city.  On our second day we were driving around one of the squares and we saw an “Antiques” sign on one of the houses.  Vintage is our life!  The entrance was in the basement and the minute we entered we were entranced by all the lovely unusual pieces of furniture and bric-a-brac.  It was so full of furniture there were just narrow aisles and lots of tiny rooms here and there, all full of furniture.  True antiques….with hefty price tags reflecting their heritage.

20150112_11445320150112_114631There were two men working in the basement and they told us there were two floors above to explore and to please keep the basement door shut to help with the heat.  So we headed upstairs.  The first story had 20 foot ceilings and rooms that must have been glorious back in the day…but paint was peeling everywhere and mold climbing the walls.  And furniture piled on top of furniture with barely room to move…just more narrow walkways.  So many lovely pieces of furniture….armoires from the 18th century, 150 year old hand-carved chairs…old mirrors and tables and buffets….one exquisite expensive piece after another.

20150112_11552020150112_11582220150112_11583920150112_115529On one hand, the peeling paint and decrepit grandeur added a certain atmosphere to the house….but I couldn’t help wondering what the mold and unheated rooms was doing to all the beautiful furniture.

I have rarely seen so many unusual pieces of furniture in one place…it was fascinating…but as I moved from room to room something was bothering me…it was on the fringe out there…something didn’t feel right….but I wasn’t paying much attention to it because the house was so enthralling.

There was a staircase up to the second floor.  We headed up.

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The second floor was very much like the first floor…with crowded furniture and peeling walls…but the ceiling was in worse shape…with plaster missing in places.  As we walked around…the feeling grew much stronger.  It’s hard to describe.  It was a strong feeling of sadness.  And it grew and grew.  It got to the point where I wasn’t looking at the furniture any more.  My friends were having a great time looking and oohing and awwwing…and I …just had to leave.  I couldn’t stay one more minute.  It wasn’t that I felt anything bad or evil.  But I did feel something…and I didn’t want to feel it anymore.

20150112_120410-001My friends didn’t feel anything like I did.  Is the house haunted?  Are there lingering emotions?  I simply don’t know.  I don’t get claustrophobic….so it wasn’t that.  There just isn’t a good explanation.  I just know I was much happier once we were standing outside the house.

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Top Five Trends at Atlanta Gift Market January 2015

Robin and I just got back from an exciting time at our annual trip to the Atlantasmart Gift Show in downtown Atlanta.  It’s always so exciting to see the newest trends, colors and styles.  What we found very interesting this year is how our expectations were really shaken up. Several  showrooms that usually have clever fun inspiring displays and lots of new product failed to show much new and  different and their displays were utilitarian and boring.  Other showrooms that are usually middle of the road came through this year with great new products and over the top displays.  Our orders certainly reflected this shake-up and other store owners we talked to shared the same observations.

1. CHALKBOARD.

It was everywhere.  In hundreds of showrooms and booths and interpreted in many different styles.  From clever furniture to signs to much much more.

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2. MARQUEE LIGHTS.

Another huge trend shown in many showrooms and booths.  From letters and words to clever shapes and sizes.

20150109_1844423. LANTERNS

From large to small to rustic to shabby cottage, lanterns were huge at the market.  Candle lanterns, electric lanterns, lantern ornaments and on and on.

20150110_1203294. EDISON LIGHTS

Part of the industrial craze…we saw lots of Edison lighting in many of the showrooms.

20150112_1428355. SPOOLS

Vintage is still a huge look at the market and we saw lots and lots of spools, in many different incarnations, from the base of table top trees to part of ornaments.

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These are the biggest trends we saw.  Burlap is still very popular, as is the neutral palette.  We saw a return to red and turquoise together for Christmas and also elves everywhere.  Owls are still popular but not nearly as huge as last year.  One of the biggest looks for Christmas was Cabin Christmas…carried over from 2014, but with a bit more glitter…a more glam cabin look but still with lots of deer.

 

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She Had That Rare Gift

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“He followed her obediently and it occurred to him as they crossed the room that she had that rare gift, so rare that he had some difficulty remembering that it was only a gift, of being able to talk directly to the essential individual lurking behind the civilized facade of the man before her, so that it was impossible for him to evade or disappoint her without feeling personally responsible.”

–Margery Allingham, The Fashion in Shrouds

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Ordinary Life is Laced with Miracles

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“Ordinary life was laced with miracles, I knew that, had read enough poetry to understand that we are elevated with the knowing, and yet it was difficult to notice and be grateful when one was continually fatigued and irritated.  I suppose that unquenchable sense of wonder is what separates us dolts from the saints and the poets.”

–Jane Hamilton, A Map of the World

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Barreled Against Every Challenge

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“Brigadier Driscoll was coming from the pond.  In youth an athlete, Driscoll held himself in past tension, barreled against every challenge.  Wet and near naked, his body was corded by evidence of past exploits, muscles and sinews pushing up through tissue; as roots of an old tree might displace a pavement–the impression confirmed by a trunkish neck, seared by past creases.  On head, chest, limbs, the curled hair was grey.”

-Shirley Hazzard, The Great Fire

For Mr. Q

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Peonies & Penelopes

Pam from Peonies & Possibilities and I have been doing outdoor antique faires together for several years now and we have so much fun and share similar tastes so our treasures really blend well.  We keep adding display components to our booth…layer upon layer to create a visual feast.

We recently did the Plucky Maiden Junkfest event at Oaks Park in Portland and we were very pleased with the show and the response to our booth.  We had worked hard at doing fabric fringe banners to go around the top of the booth and made more of the large paper flowers.  But best of all, I found an old screen door and old supermarket sign letters and Pam painted it and added the twine and old clothespins and we were thrilled with our new addition that stands behind our check-out desk!

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