Friday, January 21, 2011

A day at the beach.....

     Some days are just so beautiful that you want to cry. The weather is perfect, your family is all together, you have nowhere to be and no appointments to keep, it's just peaceful. That is the way I would describe a recent day at the beach. After some very fun thrifting and antiquing, a delicious lunch and a stroll through one of my favorite garden shops we ended up down on the sand. The temperature was a breezy 75, the waves were calm and there were hardly any people out.

     There is something about the beach. For me it brings back memories, not so much of childhood, but of my teens. Bonfires and loud music, dancing on the sand, skinny dipping, first kisses and driving with the windows down. I remember little glimpses of friends that I spent time with at the beach, wonder where they are now, and reminisce about the old days and how I'm so thankful to be married and out of the dating game.

     Now it's about creating new memories as a family. So, after rolling up our jeans and getting our toes wet, collecting a few rocks to skip and sitting in the sunshine collecting some vitamin D we made our way to the most darling frozen yogurt joint for some hand selected treats. Then we headed back along the coast with the windows down and the music up. Sure, the music has changed, now we're listening to Disney when we used to be listening to Ska but it's still perfection. Here, in this little corner of the world we had a taste of perfection. These are definitely the days life is made of and living your life creates!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This old abandoned house...

     For years my husband and I have passed this old abandoned house on our way to and from Ojai and Ventura. It's nestled along a back road, far from shopping centers and heavy traffic. After it rains and when the snow is melting off our local mountains the roadway in front of the house floods leaving in it's wake fallen tree branches and rocks the size of toasters. Year after year we've been back to this house, photographed it and researched. Still, we've never learned the history of this sad house.

     Judging by the stove on the inside, the various remains of chairs scattered about and the rusty light fixtures we'd guess this house was built before the 40's. There appears to be two kitchens which reminds me of servants quarters. I am drawn to this house and have always wondered who lived there and what happened to make the house crumble. For now it remains just one of life's mysteries. I thought I'd share the house with you in all it's present glory. I know antiquers and thrifters like myself will appreciate the mystery of it all.

    If you happen to discover any facts or clues that could lead me in the direction of the mystery house's origins I would love to hear them. If you've happened upon this house yourself I'd love to hear that too. I have a few other abandoned houses to share so check back.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Antiquing we will go... and my clock find

     My husband has been on vacation and as such we've been on many antiquing road trips. Today we went to downtown Bakersfield where there is a plethora of great antique malls, smaller shops and fun things to see. To give you an idea of the size of some of these amazing and historic buildings I've photographed one, The Great American Antique Mall. Keep in mind these are just two photos and the building is three stories of antique goodness.

     When shopping in Bakersfield make sure to wear comfy shoes. I usually bring a tape measure and magnifying glass, though both are available at the front counter in most stores. Also, if it's a very hot day many of these buildings just don't keep modern day cool. Bring plenty of water and plan out some snacks. There is a great old time hamburger joint in the old Woolworth's, now Five and Dime Antique mall. I'll take more photos on our next forage. Feel free to send me questions as well.

     My greatest find today came at the Central Park Antique Mall on 19th street (where many of the best antique malls are). This antique french mantle clock is solid marble and weighs about 20-25 pounds. The front has a beautiful etched detail and a perfect porcelain face. This particular dealer specializes in clocks so this baby is oiled, cleaned and running well. The pendulum can be seen through the bottom as well as a separate glass window in the back. I've placed my new beauty in front of a mirror so I can enjoy both sides.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A new find... out of the way antique store

     Recently when snow diverted my husband's normal route home from work he happened across this antique store in the middle of nowhere. Seeing a wide array of salvage outside and a giant rust barn he knew I'd be in heaven. So, on our next day off together we headed out and found The Antique Barn in Lancaster, CA.

     Though the outside looked questionable, the inside yielded a wide array of treasures. Vintage pottery, arcade games, old fishing equipment and more were piled from floor to ceiling. I could hear baby chicks somewhere in the building. I can only assume a room is still dedicated to it's intended purpose. The space was truly large and we kept finding new nooks and crannies to explore.

     Initially when I visit an antique store it's more to take it all in, get a mental inventory of what they carry and make notes. As such I didn't purchase a whole lot on my trip. I found a couple very old, well made sock monkeys (well, one is a kangaroo), a small crystal sugar pourer and a very old metal flashlight to start my husband and my new collection off. I made notes about all the Bauer pottery, Fiestaware, and an Animal Cracker dispensing machine (late 1950's) that I'm seriously considering. Every garage needs one of those right?

     Overall, I'd give this antique store a B-. They have good inventory, but it's a little out of the way. The owner wasn't the nicest person I've met which made my experience diminish some. Also, some of the prices seemed very high for the area. They were almost book prices though some of the pottery had noticeable flaws. I do think this store could yield a few diamond in the roughs but be prepared to pay a high price for them. I wouldn't recommend this store for a resale, more for an individual collector.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A fresh new year, a bright new workspace..

     It's snowing quite heavily here in California, and we are stuck. Today is the perfect day to begin the organization process. I've moved out much of my sitting room furniture and opted for a clean workspace. I just love my 1920's Sellers table. The enamel surface allows for a clean workspace. I can bring out my sewing machine or typewriter when the mood strikes. A task lamp moved into place makes this a warm, comfortable place to think and work.

     Tomorrow I turn 30. It's a milestone to be sure. My husband and I debated many destinations for this very exciting birthday. At the end of the day, I have chosen to eat sushi and go to The Container Store. Yes, things change when you're 30. Organization, seamless living and cleanliness become more important. I'm actually excited to organize these day because time is so valuable.

     Next on this year's to do list is updating my vintage shop. I have so many "new" vintage items to list. Part of cleaning and organizing means purging too. I'm going to sell many of my own collections to start the new year fresh. I hope you'll have a peek later.