Tuesday, June 30, 2009

~WHAT PAINT IS BEST FOR COTTAGE FINDS and Other Vintage Treasures?


I started selling my wares on eBay in late 2002 and offered up my first hand painted item early that next year. Although I primarily sold hand-sewn pretties in the beginning, I found myself growing a bit tired of only offering things made of fabric. The thought of including hand painted finds was very exciting to me... So~ that is what I did. I learned to paint!

The first few things I painted for sale were simply dreadful. THEY WERE! I'm not showing you the photos of the first keepsake box I painted because it was honestly that bad... What I have learned since that day I didn't get out of a book. Instead I figured things out through trial and error and to spare you wasted hours and heartache I'm going to share with you some of what I've learned.

1. Be it wood or metal, PRIME FIRST! I've shared this with you before and I can't stress to you enough how important it is to NOT skip this step. I use ZINSSER PRIMER for all things wood because it is the best at blocking old stains and those colors from China that ALWAYS bleed through. Nothing blocks everything, but this brand is the BEST I've found! If you are painting metal, use a metal primer from Krylon or something comparable (like Rustoleum).

2. When painting wood you have the option after priming to either use a flat paint or a satin paint. If you opt to brush paint (which I love!), almost any Behr Paint is good (Home Depot) or Valspar (Lowe's). I use Interior Paint as almost everything I paint is for the inside. But...you can use exterior...it's up to you. I personally use Satin. I like it better and it has a very soft sheen. Flat absorbs my decorative paint far too quickly for my liking~ When I use satin paint I lightly sand with an extra fine sandpaper. This helps prepare my item for decorative painting.

3. When painting metal (anything from old lamps to jar lids, etc.) remember this. Most of the quality spray paint on the market today just recently changed. Krylon (spray paint) could once be used on objects within minutes of the initial painting and then recoated as one desired. Not any longer! Now if you wait more than an hour to repaint you are instructed to wait about two days for the paint to cure before recoating again. If you don't WAIT then you run the risk of your painted object wrinkling and flaking. IT WILL WRINKLE and fixing it is a pain (and that is if you even can)! Trust me. I hate the new stuff and I rarely use it anymore. If I do then I'm VERY careful. Krylon comes in lots of colors so you'll have many to choose from. Additionally...I've grown VERY frightened by the poisonous fumes flying through the air I breathe. I value my health more than ever these days... so, if I can paint with a brush, I do! My health is worth the extra time it takes and I love the results...


4. I use sponge brushes! Again, I've shared this before and sorry for the repeat to those of you who have heard me say this over and over! They are cheap, give a good coating with less brush marks and when you are finished (or it gets gunky), toss it out and grab a new one. They come in lots of sizes! I like Lowe's Sponge Brushes better than Home Depot's...they are not made by the same manufacturers!

5. Craft Paint is pretty much to your liking. I use several brands but my favorite is Folk Art. I love how it blends and I love being able to custom mix/blend my favorite shades. I do not use white craft paint or other craft paints to base coat my items. I was never happy with how it covered so now I only use paint with the latex additive.

6. If you like things "shabbied up" then after your item is thoroughly cured you can rough up the edges, corners and trims. I love this look but I know some of you do not. When something is heavily distressed it will show a great deal of the wood (or original coloring underneath). Light distressing usually shows only the bare minimum of wood. You can dis
tress metal, but be careful. Metal (even when primer is used) can sometimes chip when you don't want it too...


7. Clear coat! I use Polycrylic non-gloss sealer. If even a satin sealer offers up a bit too much shine I use a LIGHT dusting of spray sealer (Krylon). Spray sealers will change the color of most brush paint!!! Remember though...nearly all the sealers out there will YELLOW! To this day I haven't found one that doesn't! Do not use VARNISH... If you are afraid that your newly painted pretty might turn color...skip the sealer and just use wax.

8. One other option for painting your pretties is to use a paint gun. When I have lots and lots of pieces to paint this is the option I use. However, using a spray/paint gun is a huge mess and the clean-up is rarely worth the results. I still love brush painting best!

Hope you enjoying the information about painting! Now...go out and get your favorite paint and get started!

Blessings to you as you wile away the hours painting your own special finds...Rebecca

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Mrs. Martha Ferguson
Miss Rebecca Elliott

In December of 1968 I turned the magical age of ten and found myself firmly planted in the 5th grade. On a daily basis I was under the watchful eye of an attractive black woman who earlier that summer had been chosen to be my teacher. She was tall, sported dark wavy hair and even on the sunniest of days could be seen in a lightweight wool coat and patent leather shoes. She was an awesome story teller, loved savoring butterscotch candy, and before the passing of another year of innocence she would successfully point my feet in the right direction.

Mrs. Martha Ferguson was a stern lady. Even so, I could tell she liked me. She did not, however, take kindly to the simple fact that I was a talker and on more than one occasion would disrupt her class with my mindless prattle. Plainly stated, I would rather wile away my classroom hours day-dreaming about this and that (or whisper pleasantries with my closest friend, Laura) than complete the assignments placed before me. Mrs. Ferguson rarely smiled, but…nor did she frown. She was just…well, agreeable. And even though I was scolded on a daily basis for SOMETHING that always started with the opening of my mouth, she was never TOO terribly hard on me. That is, except for the time she very firmly demanded I immediately stop doing two things…

The Cutest Boy In 5th Grade

1. Flirting with Doyle Griffith, the cute boy who sat next to me (and the one, if not for my chattering voice, would never have even known I was alive)…


2. Twirling my hair ribbon around my fingers (instead of leaving it tied up in my hair)...

Life during fifth grade brought with it lots of discoveries. It was the year I first recall being taught that teasing other children was a dreadful thing to do and the year I promised myself I would never do it. But, that was only after hearing someone call one of the McMurray twins “Dead Fish” and then watching silently as their words resulted in a visit to the Principle’s Office for a bumm whoopin'. I’d been bullied enough over my own imperfections and wanted no part of the cruelty and could certainly live without the sure-to-be-had paddlin'...


I fully understood during fifth grade that I wasn’t one of the “it girls”. It was also the year I realized that money was powerful and that some of my classmates had a lot of it and some… well, like me, did not. During the months of fifth grade I came to believe my gaped teeth made me ugly (notice the closed-mouth smile) and my mousy brown hair would certainly have looked a little more desirable had it been blond.

It was during that fifth year at Bixby I was to learn that no matter how hard I tried I was never going to beat Sally Jewel at Tether-Ball (she was a bruiser of a girl so I figured it was OK) and the year I discovered I was truly terrible at mathematics. It was the year I learned I “kinda” loved English, was dreadful at Geography, fairly good in Spelling and the year my heart embraced anything and everything that had to do ART. Be it drawing, painting, gluing, glittering, papier-mâché or pottery, I was in for the long haul.

And thanks to the film about…um…well…you know…I learned (frighteningly so) I wouldn’t always be a LITTLE girl….

It was also the year I learned that teachers can cry.

I cannot say just why I stayed inside during my recess on that early spring afternoon, my memory isn’t that good. What I do remember is witnessing the teacher I had grown to love and admire as she sat quietly behind her desk dabbing away the tears that rolled down her cheeks. I couldn’t resist the urge to focus my eyes upon her as truthfully I’d never seen a teacher really cry. She was deeply troubled by what I clearly understood as being something “grown-up” and I knew better than to disturb her. The seconds ticked by as I tried to complete my assignments…I didn’t dare look up again for I feared she would find me staring at her and that would be uncomfortable for both of us. Several minutes passed before I felt her presence standing next to my tiny chair.

“Becky” she said, quietly kneeling down beside me.
“Listen to me!”

She gently pushed my hair from my face and then began...

“I need to tell you something that is just for you! You are a very smart girl! Don’t let anyone else ever tell you your not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or talented enough! Work hard! That’s the key! If you do, you WILL make it! Remember, it matters not if you are Red, Yellow, BLACK or White…”

With that, she stood up and walked back to her desk.

Mrs. Martha Ferguson

We were never to speak about her tears or her instruction, and I never again saw Mrs. Ferguson cry. My final memory is of her standing tall in her dark colored jacket as I snapped her picture for my photo album. It would be the last day I was to ever sit inside a classroom at Bixby Elementary School. It would be the very last time I would ever see the face of the woman who would forever remain my favorite teacher and the one who helped change the course of so much of my life.

Years would fly by before I would recall again the pocket-sized memory I had so neatly tucked away. I was never to know the reason for Mrs. Ferguson’s sadness or the source of her tears. I suspect it had something to do with some sort of racial discord, but I can’t be sure. What I understood then and know to be true even today is that through her own sadness and sufferings she didn’t hesitate to offer up the needed encouragement and acceptance to a small girl wandering aimlessly in a garden that rarely bloomed.

“Bless you, Mrs. Ferguson, beautiful Teacher! I wish I could find you…”

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the heavens. Ephesians 4:29

Blessings to you as you encourage those around you and teach those who are willing to listen…Rebecca

Friday, June 26, 2009

~MY OLD SHOPPE...and a Love Affair with GREEN~

(My Two-Room Shop - 1989 - 1992)

OK girly girls!!! Just wait until you see the peek into my past I have for you THIS TIME! I couldn't resist digging out these old photos of a Shoppe I once owned here in Oklahoma City! Filled to the brim with lots of handmade pretties, the Shoppe was very successful and sold country-themed items of the day... Can you tell???? :)


Back in the late 1980's I owned this little two-room nook in an Antique Mall (it was actually three Victorian styled houses) here in my state! This was the first physical store I had after doing Craft Shows and Folk Fairs for several years and I absolutely loved it...

(a nickname from my grandfather)

Back then I loved everything GREEN! Betcha can't tell, huh? I offered up lots and lots of handmade pillows and wooden shelves (remember all those HEARTS?) made by my Mr. AGPMan!

When the country-craze was in full swing we stained nearly everything the same color of GOLDEN OAK! Not many things painted cottage white back then....


Some of the same cross stitch patterns I used all those years ago I still use today! I just don't use the same colors....(thankfully!). I'm still LOVIN' those pink pillows...Yum!


Even back then my guy did LOTS of stuff for me! He made almost all of my display pieces and all the cabinets and shelves I sold. How he did this when he worked full-time is beyond me!


This precious rocking chair was soooo darling that I cried when it sold. Needed the money more than I needed the chair!


I found this beautiful old baby carriage (Wakefield) at a Goodwill Store and paid $45 for it in 1987. In 2000 I sold it for $500...good investment but I was sad to see it go!


If you look closely in this picture you'll see me standing behind the little check-out counter...


I loved this frothy white bed topped with the Laura Ashley lace-trimmed comforter! The ensemble didn't last long! It all sold the weekend I put it in the Shoppe!


During those days vintage linens weren't available like they are today! No one wanted CROCHET...they wanted crisp, white Battenburg Lace! The more the merrier! :)


I truly never dreamed I'd actually use a vintage sewing machine (or two) in my home as a nightstand! The one above I sold for over $300! Now you know why finding the two I have today for only around $20 each was such a find!


I still have one of these parasols! I have it on top of an old wardrobe and it looks charming!

I'm soooo thankful I got rid of all that green! My love for romantic country decorating evolved into the cottage look I love so much today! A few years after leaving "The Colonies" I went on to own a pretty brick and mortar store of my own... The things I learned during those early days of business still help me today with my on-line shop and my eBay sales under the name A Gathering Place!

Hope you enjoyed another look into my past...much more to share with you in the future!

Blessings to you as you reminisce about where you've been and just where you are going...Rebecca



I've been working non-stop of late in the refurbishing of my thoroughly romantic bedroom and little by little my little boudoir is coming together. It been an exciting transformation and hopefully by summer's end it will be completely finished. The room is not very large but it never ceases to amaze me just how long some projects take...I honestly thought I'd be done by now! I'm soooo impatient! Betcha didn't know that about me, huh?

Anyway...this evening while I was searching for some pictures for a future blog and I came across a few photos taken of my bedroom over the years. When I pulled out the picture of my green and yellow room (taken right after my Mr. AGPMan and I tied the knot) it had me on the floor in hysterics. I really thought I'd arrived. I was soooo proud of this room and how I coordinated the decorative pillows with the bedspread. Nice lamp! :( Truly shameful....

Can you say HYSTERICAL?

Five Years Later - Bedroom 1983

With the addition of the four poster bed (which I'm still currently using today), our bedroom started to look less like a motel room and more like a place one might have in a real live home...


What is up with all that fabric and the dark navy blue color? This was a P.Kaufman print and it had tiny pinkishy-peach flowers on it...it too me hours and hours to make all that stuff! ACK! Back in 1983 the little flowers were all the PINK I dared add to the room...boy have things CHANGED! (Note the ONE picture on the wall! It was hung too high by the way but it is of our tiny little son, Brandon, who was only 6 months old)

Can you say (and loudly) WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT - Bedroom 1985-87

All that dark, dark blue must have really frightened me because the next time I redecorated I went with off white. I do believe I was making a fairly honorable attempt here to change for the better. Notice the TINY toss pillows on the bed and the refurbished lamp (it is the same one shown in the photo above). Didn't work in either setting I'm afraid...


Getting Better - Bedroom 1992

This little ensemble was purchased at J.C. Penny in 1992 and I actually used it for several years. The print had a cream ground with loads of pink roses and ribbons and only a teeny tiny touch of pale blue. When we moved into the home live into today I continued to use this pretty bedding until the threads became thin and worn. I routinely see entire sets of it offered up in thrift stores around town...it's dated, but when I see it I can't help but smile. Would never choose it today but for the early 90's it was charming!

Can you say THINGS ARE LOOKIN' UP (but that Bear and tacky Hat gotta go????)

My Girl's Room - 2006
(Shown in Romantic Bed & Bath 2008)

Now...since I don't have MY room finished yet I thought I would show you a snapshot of the bedroom that belonged to my daughter, Adrienne. This room was included in the Romantic Homes photo shoot of our home which was done back in 2006. The same room was also feature last summer in RH's Bedrooms & Baths Magazine (Summer 2008).

I hope for those of you who are just starting out with your decor and are afraid of MESSING UP that you will be INSPIRED by the pictures above! They SHOULD PROVE to you that YOU CAN DO IT, TOO! I hope they all put a smile on your face and HOPE in your heart!

Blessings to you as you discover your own decorative talents in and outside of your home...Rebecca

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"LOVE IS..." and Other Things That Matter

"Love Is...
Not Expecting Him To
Keep Up With The Joneses

It's Wednesday and time for another one of my very favorite "Love Is..." posts! I've been MIA a little bit this week! So much going on in my life over the last several days that I just had to take some time off! I've missed you though and I'm glad to be back!

I couldn't have known it back in 1977 when my hubby slipped this charming clipping into one of his love letters to me that one day the very subject would raise it's ugly head...

Let it be said that there are people all around us that do indeed have more "physical" or "tangible" things than we do. When I was a young bride or even a young mother this use to really bother me. It wasn't just because someone had more than we did mind you~ I mean, that did bug me... but not as much as seeing my Mr. AGPMan work so incredibly hard and then not being fully compensated for it. It APPEARED sometimes that those who worked "less" were rewarded by having "more"...

One of my most frequent statements to my overworked, underpaid guy was:

"Why can't we have that?"

The devastated look on my man's face put me into my place on more than one occasion...

Several years ago we were faced with a terrible financial crisis. The result was the near loss of the very home we'd work so hard to purchase. My hubbs and I were truly frightened by what we were facing but determined at the same time to climb back up to the top of greenback mountain...

I made a promise to God during those difficult months of 1996. I asked Him to help us save our home and in return I would never question again why my blessings were what they were. I prayed to gratefully accept His gifts and be thankful for them.

I've kept my promise and I'm content to allow Mr. & Mrs. Jones (or whoever they may be) to run on up ahead...

Blessings to you as you accept all of what God has for you...Rebecca

Monday, June 22, 2009



Goodness! I had a lot of names to put into the hat for the HANGING SACHET GIVE-A-WAY! It was all so exciting and I plan on offering up another FREEBIE very soon!

Thank you so much to all of you who participated in my BLOG GIVE-A-WAY! It was truly a BLAST for me and I loved reading all your comments!!!

The WINNER of the Hanging Sachet is:


Congratulations to ANDREA! Thank you so much for your comments and for entering the FREE DRAWING here at A Gathering Place's A GATHERING of THOUGHTS! Getting to know you has been so much fun! I'm happy for you!


If you were paying attention and REALLY READ the entire Post on Friday then you knew I was going to be drawing a SECOND NAME for another SWEET PRIZE!

The WINNER of the Romantic Hanging Cottage Sachet Pillow is...


Thank you so much, Sheila! Another sweet Blog that is worthy of following along! I'm also very happy for you! I hope you will love the Pillow! Congratulations!

To both Andrea and Sheila, please forward me your mailing address so I can get these pretties off to you this week!

Thanks to all of you again who played along! You all continue to bless me...and....

Blessings to you as you find special ways to add joy and excitement into your life...Rebecca

Friday, June 19, 2009



Just a little reminder to all your pink lovin' peeps who love pink roses and shabby cottage chic Sachets...

The DRAWING for the romantic Sachet Hanger shown at the right is this Sunday evening! If you follow my Bloggie you are automatically entered in the Drawing once! For every comment you leave you are entered again and so and and so on...

Now...get to typing! Do you hear me???? I'm going to draw for a SECRET Second Prize, too! You know you want to...sooooo GO FOR IT!

Don't be shy or feel like you're being a piggy if you comment more than once! It's all in fun and I LOVE giving things away. It makes me feel GOOD!

Blessings to you as you tap and you tap and you tap your little fingers to the bone...Rebecca

ROOM FOR CHANGE...Updated Shabby Cottage Chic Style

Shades of Sugar Pink

In September 2005 Romantic Homes Magazine came all the way to Oklahoma for a photo shoot of my La Chaumière de Briarwood (The Briarwood Cottage). It was a very exciting time in my life even though I didn't have the first CLUE as to what I was doing. I have to laugh about it today because I would do things so differently now if I had the chance...

I promised to show you some pictures of parts of my home and I thought it would be fun to show you what our little guestroom looked like about five years ago. Back then the walls were painted a soft sugar pink with the furniture a fresh, crisp white. The vintage metal bed was from the 1940's and even though it was charming I longed to find something different.

Now, I love pink! I do! I do! It's my favorite color and always has been. Still, as my taste for cottage style decorating changed I found myself moving towards an even softer, lighter look and feel for the room! By adding a darling vintage 4 poster bed, an old refurbished door, a vintage sewing machine cabinet (that doubles as a table) and a sweet sewing chair the room was easily transformed. I updated the linens, changed the throw pillows, added a gorgeous old chandelier and with the addition of a small metal bench at the foot of the bed the room took on an entirely updated, fresh and clean appearance. More romantic, less whimsy...
Shades of Soft Taupe


Let it be said that I'm into to changing things! The room has been given a repaint job and now proudly shows off a soft shade of pale taupe. The furniture, all gently distressed, is my favorite cottage white. Although I'm constantly moving things around I must also tell you that I'm into recycling most all the finds I discover. Several times over in fact! Everything shown in the pink room (except the bed) is now being used somewhere else in my home...

Mr. AGPMan's OLD OFFICE 2004

Before we jostled some things around to make better use of the rooms in our home, my Mr. AGPMan's office was upstairs. It was your typical "man room" and sported little style (sorry honey!). About a year ago his designated space :) was moved downstairs and I took over the room and turned it into a pretty retreat. It's been transformed it into a place where I sit and read. Since this picture was taken I've painted the cabinet doors with shabby pink roses and...


flipped the desk to the other side of the room! I love it much more this way! The vintage Tell City Bench below is now under the window which provides wonderful lighting when I curl up with my favorite weekly read!


You'll notice some of the things in the Sitting Room pictures have been moved into the Guest Room! I told you I move things around!!!

I PROMISE before Summer's End I will show you more pictures of my home! Currently we are working on our space-challenged Master Bedroom! That's the room I gave you a sneak-peak of a few days ago!

Blessings to you as you find the potential in your own beautiful home...Rebecca

Thursday, June 18, 2009

LOVING the OVERLOOKED and a Morsel of Kindess


One day last week I visited our local bookseller. If possible I would spend an entire day there wandering through the perfectly aligned rows of beautifully illustrated, well written books. Since I'm not afforded that much idle time I choose instead to visit the store about once every couple of weeks...more if I'm seeking out something special. I love to sit in their comfy chairs and prop my feet up on one of their cushy footstools while relaxing the minutes (if not hours) away! Books comfort me...being around them just makes me feel good...maybe even a tad bit smarter! More often than not I grab myself a cup of Cappuccino before paying for my latest good read and then drive back towards the sanctuary of both hearth and home. This is a sweet part of my life! My good, happy, contented, wonderful LIFE and truthfully~I sorta love it!

It was upon exiting the parking lot of the book shoppe that I saw him. Just to the right of me, he stood there alone while holding a sign that said...

"PLEASE HELP - Will Work For Food - God Bless"

Now~I try to be a nice person! I'm more than benevolent at times. But, I must admit...I WAS perturbed and irritated when I saw the scribbled words sprawled across the dirty cardboard... On the inside I was even thinking...

"Gosh~ Another beggar man!!??? They are everywhere these days! Get a job and quit expecting me to hand over my hard-earned money to you so you can go and drink it away!"

Truthfully I wanted to pull my car into the nearest right hand lane to avoid meeting the beggar eye to eye. But since the shortest drive back to my house was only possible by going left, I had no choice but to steer my car directly in front of the man...

Now...as hard as I tried NOT to look at the wayfaring stranger beside me, I couldn't help it. For, regardless of WHAT it was that brought this fellow human being to this questionable fork in the road, I could be thankful for at least one thing at the moment...I wasn't him! And, his burdens were not mine...

Or were they?

The spirit of God tugged a bit at my heart that afternoon as I patiently waited (begged) for the red light to change to green. I was languishing in my air-conditioned, late model SUV, suffering in silence when I found myself begin to slowly turn my head in his direction.

"Why do you judge him so harshly, Rebecca?" I heard an inner voice say...

The man's face was swollen and his hands were gnarled. Although he looked much older I decided he was probably born not more than a year or two before me. His shoes were ripped and worn and his hat cast only a small shadow over his noticeably blue eyes...

"You can spare a dollar or two, can't you?" the inner voice whispered...

"No, I can't! Not again! Turn GREEN, Light!"

With only a quick glance my way the beggar man offered up what seemed like a sincere smile and then walked directly past my car to the waving hand behind me... Before he could again shuffle by my car's window, I was rescued by the changing signal...

For whatever it is worth I felt terribly guilty during the entire fifteen minute drive back to my home. My shame didn't come from keeping the few dollars safely hidden within my pocket. No...it came from the attitude I'd formed long before I even turned my car onto the busy street...the unspoken words that said "I'm better than you! More of a success! While you beg...I work!"

My thoughts were the shackles...

I heard it said once that servanthood requires little skill and certainly no degree. Regardless of our gifts, strengths, training or church attendance, we all can love the lost.

When we share joy with the lonely child, befriend the foreign student, speak kindly to the welfare mother, minister to the suffering or give alms to the poor, we show our love for the Lord. After all, he dresses in the garb of the forgotten...

"Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me~you did it to me". (Matthew 25-40-MSG).

Blessings to you as you lay your thoughts and attitudes at the feet of the Most High...Rebecca

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"LOVE IS..." and Other Things That Matter

Having Each Other When Bad New Is Received

For those of you who are new to my Blog you will find that on Wednesdays I share my old "LOVE IS..." clippings. When I was dating my hubby of many years he would routinely cut from the newspaper the latest drawing by Kim Grove and tuck it inside his love letters to me. I lovingly saved them all these years... The 'cartoons' (which my son thinks looks like his father and I in the late 70's) offer up a wide range of topics and are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.

This little clippy is especially meaningful to me given the news of our brother-in-law's health issues (see the middle column of my Blog). How grateful and thankful I am to have had someone in my life to share my daily experiences with. My Mr.AGPMan has always been one to help shoulder my pain, carry my burden or measure my loss. He's always been there to "dress the wounds of a trying day and I can count on him to help camouflage the scars..."

When sorrow or tragedy makes a visit to your home (and sadly it always does), may you always know firsthand the love of a faithful friend...in my life it's made all the difference.

Blessings to you as you share both life's heartaches and joys with those you love...Rebecca

Monday, June 15, 2009


or Allow It To Melt In Storage?

Yesterday morning I came across a file I had saved several years ago on my computer. The document was simply named "Erma". Since I don't KNOW any "Erma's" I decided to open it up to see just what it was I'd tucked inside.

To my surprise it was a gently penned lament made by the well known humorist/writer Ms. Erma Bombeck. Written after she discovered her life would soon end, she wrote with heartfelt abandon about the changes she would make if given another chance to live out her life.

The message behind her words are easy to understand...


If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

~Erma Bombeck

Blessings to you as you understand the value of the one solitary life you've been given...Rebecca

Sunday, June 14, 2009



I'm so excited to offer to my sweet, wonderful, faithful followers another FREE DRAWING and/or GIVE-A-WAY from A GATHERING PLACE! It's easy to enter...very easy!

Just leave a comment :) :) (or two or three!) and you will be automatically entered in a FREE DRAWING for the ROMANTIC HANGING SACHET shown above! Enter as often as you like until 5:00pm on the date of the Drawing (below).

The Sachet is filled to the brim with 100% pure lavender buds and smells divine! Made with both new and vintage finds...lots of new and old millinery flowers, vintage ribbon, vintage laces and even some pretty silver charms. The Sachet is just waiting for a new home...maybe it will be yours? It's value is about $50!

~Pink and Romantic~
Just What We All LOVE

If you are a follower of my Blog you will automatically be entered ONCE. Leave as many comments as you'd like as each little note you send my way will count as one new entry! Comments made on this post and all those made through Sunday(6/21) by 6:00pm will be counted. The Drawing will take place thiscoming Sunday evening at 7:00 pm (June 21, 2009)! GO FOR IT...YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO! :)

Have fun...and thank you for stopping by~

Blessings to you as you enjoy the delights of handmade treasures...Rebecca

Saturday, June 13, 2009

~WILL YOU PRAY? Where Two or Three Are Gathered...~


Dear Blogger, Website and eBay Friends...

This afternoon I received a phone call from my youngest sister, Jen, sharing with me the news that our brother-in-law suffered a stroke early this morning. Greg is the husband of my older sister, Linda, and he is not quite 52 years old. Greg is a wonderful Christian husband and father and has been a beacon of strength for my sister for almost 30 years. He serves faithfully as Worship Leader in a church outside of Nashville and is dearly loved by many.

At this time I only have a little bit of news... I know at present there are some physical problems associated with those who have experienced a stroke. Greg is currently undergoing an MRI that will hopefully tell us more...we are waiting for the results.

Will those of you who believe in the power of prayer, pray? I believe in a healing, loving, merciful Jesus and I know He is in the midst of all of this uncertainty. Pray especially for God's healing touch and for peace to come over Greg, my sister and her children. These are difficult days...

Blessings as you lift up those you love to the Most High...Rebecca ...and...thank you! :....(

~THE PEOPLE'S HOME JOURNAL 1912~ and a Generous Heart

(Circa 1912)

While reorganizing some things in my home this week (that's what I do when my Mr. AGPMan is away...clean and organize things!) I ran across this fabulous "The People's Home Journal" from 1912. Several years ago while on our way to Texas my girl and I visited a charming Antique Mall in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It was during that buying trip I was to find, nestled safely within a vintage display case, the lovely, but aging magazine.


I was so taken with the beautiful girl on the cover and just couldn't take my eyes off of her...

But the asking price...it was $75!!!

I continued to look around the shoppe and even moseyed next door to see if the neighboring store had anything of interest. I recall it being a fabulous day and I came away with lots of treasures~ vintage ribbons in soft pink and mint, old millinery roses, vintage hats and a charming slated picnic basket (that I later learned was actually a "pie basket"). A great haul for one store!

(crazy and unbelievable!)

I met back up with my daughter at the check-out counter who then noticed the magazine behind the glass...


"Mom! Look at this MAGAZINE!" she squealed! "You just have to have her!" she continued...

I smiled back and agreed the lady staring back at us from the Journal's cover was beautiful and the magazine looked truly inviting...and~ THAT ROSE-FILLED-HAT! But $75? How could I spend that much money on something like that?

Even so I had the girl behind the counter pull out the rare periodical so I could get a better look. It was indeed timeless and forever lovely. I slowly turned page after page, quickly scanning the beautiful images and how they related to life almost a century ago...

"Breathtaking" I thought.

After a long sigh I closed the magazine and carefully pushed it toward the sales lady saying a quick "thank you!"

My girl's eyes focused on me in disbelief! "Mom!" she continued! "You're not going to buy it? The cover would be wonderful framed!"

I agreed but she couldn't change my mind about letting go of that much cash on just one thing. After all, the trip was suppose to be a high-school graduation get-a-way for my girl and we had a new dress to buy...


I paid for my collectibles and charming old finds choosing to leave the magazine safely tucked away in the display case. As much as I loved her and wanted to bring her home I just couldn't allow myself such extravagance...

I called back to my girl as she was writing a check for some vintage jewelry she was purchasing (she makes GORGEOUS things from it by the way!) saying I was going to start the car and cool it down...so, off I went.

We headed back to the highway that would take us southbound to Texas. We made several more stops and even grabbed some great Tex-Mex food before finally making it to our Dallas hotel room later that evening.


I waited for my daughter to emerge from her shower and began unpacking my luggage for the three day visit to one of my favorite Texas towns. We had a great deal of shopping to do and lots of mother-daughter time to enjoy!

As I flipped open the lid to my suitcase, there laying neatly on top was the coveted magazine I'd passed up earlier in the day...

I was speechless. My girl had spent her own money on the Journal as a gift to me... To this day I'm not over the generous purchase of a young girl of only 17. That's just like my Adrienne. Giving and loving to a fault and just as beautiful as the girl staring back at me from the magazine's cover. My girl is 24 now and that single trip road trip remains one of the most precious of times we've ever spent together...

The original Journal is nearing her 100th birthday and so I have her safely tucked away in archival plastic and will one day return her to my daughter to pass down to the other women in our family. Since my guy works as an Analyst for the largest document company in the USA he has made me several fabulous copies of the cover and I lovingly display one of those in my little office.

Today I scanned the cover and plan on offering some pretty pillows showcasing the artwork of this amazingly talented artist (I'm having trouble making out the name...it is NOT Fisher!). Sometime before Christmas I plan on offering some of the prints on my website.

Blessings to you as you learn it is better to give than to receive...Rebecca

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