Sunday, May 31, 2009
You know...every once in a while my thinking goes askew. It does. Just can't help it. I mean, I AM human! On the way to church this morning my guy and I drove past an extravagant neighborhood that was soooo divine that I could only DREAM of living in such a place. With bated breath I could only whisper...well..."What if?"... Ever been there?
I live in a town that is growing faster than the weeds in my backyard. When my Mr. AGPMan and I first considered moving from our modest home to a neighboring suburb just to the north of Oklahoma City...well... our friends thought we'd lost our minds. The town was challenging at the time to navigate as so many streets and highways were still being mapped out. Edmond is just outside of OKCity and the once sleepy "college town" is growing by leaps and bounds. Today it's population is quickly nearing 79,000. In 1992 when we purchased our pretty two-story house the town was home to about 54,000. It has almost doubled in size in less than twenty years...
With the influx of so many people, new schools seemed to spring up over night as well as beautifully landscaped shopping centers and restaurants. And, it goes without saying the building of unbelievably gorgeous high-end homes was inevitable! I mean truly beautiful, mansion-type houses that were designed to steal your very breath away. Truthfully, it was mind-boggling to see that much wealth and prosperity settle in just a few neighborhoods away...
My hubby and I raised our little family in the house we still call home. In July we will celebrate living in our beloved Briarwood Cottage (that is what I call her) seventeen years and if the truth be known, I never plan on leaving. Although it is somewhat mesmerizing to see the lavish, well-planned homes rise up around us, I covet not the brick and mortar owned by others.
In the years since we bought our home it has almost tripled in value. It is a comfortable 2,300SF and has four pretty bedrooms, two living, two dining, and three baths. We've done more work on our abode than I can even tell you... The house is a work in progress and we've changed as much on the outside as we have in the interior. It's been a ride...tiresome at times...but still a ride.
I promised to show you a picture of the place I lovingly call home. I snapped the picture above on CLOSING DAY in 1992. A dream come true. A place to call my own. Since that hot summer day my hubby has transformed both the front and backyard landscape by adding two beautiful sidewalks, a precious porch-style railing (my favorite of all his handiwork!), the planting of lovely trees and the removal of overgrowth (especially the long branch above the door), taking out the large pine tree (it was ruining the foundation) and planting numerous shrubs and flowering plants. He also built and then added the three window box planters as an early birthday gift about 10 years ago. Our backyard is HUGE...big enough to enjoy a wonderful party and also house a fabulous studio and workshop.
The picture above is how my dearly loved home looks today...I snapped this picture this afternoon. The exterior of the house has been repainted twice and is due for another color change next year. The lawn is lush and green and if you look closely you'll see exactly where I get my mail. The simple planter near the sidewalk is also my mailbox. It is full of concrete for weight and enough dirt to plant and grow the most amazing flowers year after year. The house has new windows and doors, plantation shutters and a hearty new roof! She still needs a new driveway poured as well as new garage doors...they will both come with time.
I'm blessed to live here on this street and thankful I'm not afraid to live within my means. Since the day we signed the papers and called this beautiful home our La Chamerie de Briarwood (The Cottage on Briarwood), I've never wavered in my belief that she was a gift from the Most High.
Blessings to you as you seek to find contentment wherever it is God leads...Rebecca
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I live exactly 9 miles from one of my favorite Junque Stores which was only one-half mile from an estate sale that started today at noon. I wouldn't be the first in line (I am sometimes, you know?) but, I'd get there within the hour!
I felt my heart beating a little faster than normal as I walked into a sweet and tidy home nestled inside a part North Oklahoma City called Nichol's Hills.
"Not many cars at this sale" I thought...(a good thing)!
"You snooze-You Lose" is my steadfast motto! :)
Now, I'm very kind about this, mind you. But I believe it nonetheless! It goes hand in had with "the early bird gets the worm".
Would you believe me if I told you the house was picked clean? It was! Either that or there wasn't much to begin with. I felt cheated...after all, I drove almost ten miles from my home only to be disappointed that some other
The voice of a little old lady spoke up and said...
Well now...that's my kind of gal! So...I dug deeper!
"How am I doin'?" forcing myself to smile...
"Well, let me see" the woman says...
She begins to add and add and then says...
"How about $22.00 for everything?"
I mean, OK!" I quickly say! "That's GREAT! Does that include the buttons?"
"It sure does" she adds "But I'll have to charge you tax because you don't have your TAX ID Card with you! Your total is $23.25."
"That is JUST FINE" I replied with a Cheshire Cat grin.... :))))))))
Now...I'm thinking to myself...I've gotta get OUT OF HERE before this sweet little lady realizes that she's messed up and has not added up my total correctly. I quickly pay with cash, thank her profusely, and leave.
I skipped to my SUV happy my day had been redeemed...
It was then I felt this pang in my chest...you know the kind I'm talking about. The feeling that overwhelms you when you've gotten the best of something (ugh...or someone) and something inside of you tells you it isn't right...
I started to back out of the parking log when I stopped and put my vehicle in park. I grabbed the bag and walk back into the tiny store.
"I think you gave me TOO GOOD A DEAL on these pretty old finds! I just can't leave without double checking with you about the final cost! Are you sure you don't want to recount everything and change your mind about the total? I'm sure I owe you MORE!"
"I know exactly what that old stuff is worth, honey!" she spoke with a polite, yet firm confidence...
"One hundred and seventy-two dollars!!!! I've been in this business a long, long time. Not many more years left to make someone smile. Today I felt like blessing you! I'll be 89 tomorrow! I may not get another chance to talk with you again and share with you my collection and my love of old laces! Make something lovely out of them, dear!!!"
FOUR CARDS LIKE THIS ONE
I realized yet another important life-lesson today as I returned once again to my car. Too often I put too great a monetary value on things of this world! The deal on the lace was great for me...more than great! Still, my ultimate pleasure came not from the snagging of what very well may have been my best and cheapest find of the year, but from witnessing with my own two eyes the gentle spirit of a lovely old lady who was "storing up her treasures in heaven...".
Blessings to you as you learn along side of me the true value of a giving heart...Rebecca
Friday, May 29, 2009
Several weeks ago I shared with you some pictures I snapped of the vintage doors I have re-purposed in our home! I love decorating with vintage finds...especially old doors and windows! I just can't pass up wonderful old architectural pieces...especially when I can get them for FREE! Since making that original Post I've gotten more emails than I can even say about the doors...lots of questions about "How to Hang Them" and "What was used for the shelf brackets?", etc.
Since I've had an extraordinarily busy week (keeping our Miss K for her last week of school)...I thought I'd do a quick recap for those of you I've yet to respond to. Sorry to be soooo tardy in getting back to you all!
First...let me tell you about paint...
If you plan on using old doors and windows that are chippy and distressed...please...PLEASE seal them! More often than not they were painted with lead-based paint and you do not want those poisonous flakes and stuff flying through the air. Give those babies a couple coats of a low-luster acrylic sealer and you should be great! If you opt to repaint them (I almost always do because even though I like vintage I do NOT like dirty), don't forget to PRIME. Again...use ZINSSER PRIMER! The best! A couple coats of your favorite paint (I lover Behr Paint...a bit pricey $$$ but the best!) and you are just about ready to embellish!
Before you decide if you want your door to have a shelf (or two or even three!), you need to think about how you are going to hang it on your wall. When I owned a retail gift shoppe several years ago my My AGPMan designed "stands" for them so they could be displayed "free-style" anywhere in the store. For my home I wanted to hang them directly on the wall. I'm not able to take pictures of the brackets my guy made for mine because they are already hung in place. But, simply put, he made "tongue and groove" brackets, two pieces cut out of solid oak. One half was put on the door and one half was put on the wall...about the width of the door. This way you can lift the door off the bracket or even slide it side to side a little bit to get it in the right spot! Makes sense? Doors are heavy and having the slider/oak brackets makes it easier to change things around and CLEAN!
If you have a Hobby Lobby Decorative Center in your State then you are blessed like us Oklahomans! I found these great vintage-looking brackets in their garden center and I used them for holding up all the decorative shelves. I painted mine with spray paint made especially for metal projects (Rustolemum is good) and then distressed them. A simple piece of plywood was measured and cut, gently rounded and sanded, painted, and then attached to the prepared brackets. The shelf was then hung in place!
Now...I've seen doors re-purposed that were made for use in a cottage bath or shower. DARLING! Shelves are placed all the way down the door and they are a great (and beautiful) way of holding pretty towels, bath soaps, etc... They are also fabulous for store owners...darling for displaying wreaths or add just a decorative hook on the top front for clothing...promise you...they look beautiful!
I've opted to hang vintage lace pieces behind the glass in my doors. On the ones we just finished hanging in our guestroom (promise to show pictures soon!), they are solid, no glass! So...I'm either going to embellish them with artwork (roses, of course!) OR....I may add carved decorative pieces to them and leave them as they are...can't decide! :( Since I love cottage decor and shabby chic anything...it's sometimes a challenge to make every room beautiful AND unique. I don't want our gathering room to look like our bedroom~ These doors match and have the most unbelievably 2die4 doorknobs and faceplates...yi yi yi!
That said...I'm considering doing the room in light creams with very pale/soft sepia tones and fresh white...lightly antiqued furniture with neat old linens, etc. I'm THINKIN'....can you tell...THINKIN' I SAY! :)
I promise to share with you in a few days pictures of the old sewing table we found last week. It is already painted (sometimes I work FAST!) and it is beautiful! Since the cabinet was fairly weathered from lack of care, I didn't mind one bit in giving it a paint job...
Thanks for stopping by again on this lazy-hazy day! Promise to have more for you soon!
Blessings to you and you figure out how everyone is doing all that neat stuff out there...when in doubt...ASK...Rebecca
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It was late in the day when my Mr. AGPMan and I walked up the crumbling steps to a weathered yellow door. Peeking inside we could tell the sale had been heavily shopped as only a few things were left. Over in the corner I spied this charming vintage Treadle Sewing Machine...
"I'll give you a great deal on that there thing, lil' lady" I heard an elderly voice say...
"Ain't no one knows how to use it no'moe...that was my Mama's Mama's Treeedle" the man continued.
"Twenty-two fifty" he said with a wide grin! "And I'll help yer fella load 'er up!"
"Take care of her...it was my Gram-mama's pride and joy" the old man called out!
"Just gottsta have the money!"
As we drove away from the tiny shack I couldn't help but believe these people to be the salt of the earth. Downtrodden and poor, eclipsed by education and a overlooked by society. Poverty had won out. Instinctively I knew that what a single dollar was to that old man meant at least twenty five times that to me...
Call me crazy...overly sentimental even. I don't care. I felt sad that something that had once been dearly loved and cared for ended up being sold for the cost of untensil-less dinner at the closest burger-dive.
The Cabinet owner's name was Lucy, by the way. It was written inside the drawer with the barely visible date of 1919. Her beloved Sewing Cabinet will soon have a place of honor in my home and I will care for her until the day comes when some vintage-shopping diva comes to my home and hauls her away.
Blessings to you as you find treasures once loved by the hands of those who've passed on before you...Rebecca
Friday, May 22, 2009
It was impossible for me to comprehend when I dressed my baby boy up in this fresh white Sailor Suit that one day he would wear a real uniform...
United States Air Force
(Enlistment Day 2003)
We placed him in God's hands as he followed in the footsteps of...
(United States Marine Corp - 1979)
(United States Navy - 1956)
...dearly beloved, father, who honorably served our Country for ten sacrificial years! He was an Atomic Veteran who loved the sea and longed to return. Years later the exposure to toxic levels of radiation frightened him~ I believe some of his health issues today directly link back to his military service.
He often referred to his father-in-law, my grandfather. and how he...
PHILIP WEBSTER MARTIN
(United States Army Air Corp - 1945)
...eagerly enlisted when he was well past thirty years of age in the United States Army Air Corp. He served as a Tail Gunner in WWII and shot down many enemy planes. Some of his hearing loss was attributed to the loud sounds from his weapon.
This weekend AMERICA celebrates Memorial Day. It is a time to reverence the lost and those who sacrificially gave all they had. Our beautiful Nation owes it's freedom to the thousands of men and women who once willingly served our Country and are still serving today.
It is my prayer as we holiday at the lake, shop 'til we drop, gulp down the burgers and drink up the soda that we will remember the lives lost and the broken hearts of those left behind.
Thank you Michael Weigel, my son-in-law, National Guardsman, who has already completed two tours in Afghanistan...we pray you don't have to return...
Thank you, Jayson Bybee, my nephew, who just enlisted in the National Guard...
Thank you, Nathan Nelson, my nephew, who is currently serving our Country in Iraq...we are praying for your safe return...
Thank you. Brandon, my son, for stepping forward and giving up friend and dear one when you left us. We know what your sacrifices were. You served your Country proud...and you blessed your daddy & momma... and changed the future of your tiny Miss K...
Thank you Bill, my brother, who showed us that at 17 a boy can be a real man...
Thank you, Daddy, for your sufferings...I pray to heaven someone besides your four children care... We will never forget...
Thank you, Grampa...Your courage in the face of danger has taught me to never fear the unknown for victory cometh to those who fight on...
Thank you, God for freedom...
Blessings to you as we remember...Rebecca
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I have my favorites artists for sure...Frances Brundage, Maud Humphrey and Ellen Clapsaddle are at the top of my list. Besides all being women, their beautiful portrayal of little children and gorgeous young ladies continually intrigues me. In addition, all three successfully captured holiday gatherings and family times at their best. Whether it be Christmas, New Years, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Political Events, Easter, the Birth of a New Baby, Baptism, Christening or just daily living, they were masters at their talent... I'd give almost anything to have met even one of them.
I have other favorites, but none pull at my heartstrings like Ms. Brundage, Ms. Humphrey and Ms. Clapsaddle. Harrison Fisher is my favorite artist of sophisticated women! He was brilliant!
My Favorite of All Her Famous Artwork
Blessings to you as you enjoy the lasting beauty from gifted, talented hands like Frances, Ellen & Maud...Rebecca
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
(Specifically...Estate, Tag, Garage & Junk!)
Now...it goes without saying that I am a Junk-Sale Maven! :) If I find something that can be re-purposed I'm gonna drag that baby home with me and decide LATER what I'm gonna do with her! My entire house is full of such finds and my two storage sheds, too!
Now...my guy knows me. He does! I always start the day saying "There are X amount of sales...let's go to four!". Invariably if the first three sales are BUST then the list will suddenly grow longer! :) Nothing is more disappointing than coming home empty-handed! So, it's quite feasible that
Monday, May 18, 2009
If you are ever in Oklahoma City and want to check out some of these "can't ship" items (except the table) for yourself, stop into "THE RINK GALLERY"! I promise you...it's worth the drive and you may even return home with a treasure or two.
Blessings to you as you become creative, challenged and changed...Rebecca
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
ONE OF MY FAVORITES
PROMISE...THEY'LL WARM YOUR HEART!
AN AMAZING PRICE...LESS THAN $5 BUCKS!
- ► 2014 (27)
- ► 2013 (100)
- ► 2012 (239)
- ► 2011 (261)
- ► 2010 (269)
- TURNING MY HEART TOWARDS HOME
- ~VINTAGE FRENCH LACE - Seek and You Shall Find~
- REPURPOSING VINTAGE DOORS...A Short Tutorial
- "LOVE IS..." and OTHER THINGS THAT MATTER
- ~VINTAGE TREADLE SEWING MACHINE - Perfect Night St...
- ~MEMORIAL DAY...THE REAL CELEBRATION~
- ~CLAPSADDLE, BRUNDAGE & HUMPHREY - Gifted Women B...
- "LOVE IS..." and OTHER THINGS THAT MATTER
- ~PAINTED FURNITURE - Vintage ARMOIRE with Pink Ro...
- ~REPORTING TO JAIL...I'M MEAN ...JURY!~
- ~NEVER LET THE MUSIC DIE INSIDE YOU~ My 100th Pos...
- ~MORE VICTORIAN DIE-CUTS...With Love To You~
- THE FAITHFUL FRIEND...
- "LOVE IS..." and OTHER THINGS THAT MATTER
- ~SILVER WRAPPINGS...FROSTY BLUE RIBBON...and PROMI...
- ~A MOTHER'S BLESSING~ LOVE TO MY SON
- ~A MOTHER'S BLESSING~ LOVE TO MY DAUGHTER
- PAINTING VINTAGE FURNITURE...YES! PRIME!
- "LOVE IS..." and OTHER THINGS THAT MATTER
- ~HE WENT THIS WAY BEFORE~
- VICTORIAN DIE-CUTS - PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR
- SUNDAY MORNING COMING DOWN
- MORE THIFT SHOPPE FINDS...SECOND HAND DELIGHTS
- ▼ May (23)