Saturday, February 28, 2009

REFURBISHING THE DREAM Vintage Train Case Restoration



Oh those beautiful vintage Train Cases! Truly the most alluring of all the lovely and feminine beauty related offerings from our past! I just can’t get enough of them! I love not only their boxy style but I love the era they seem to represent. A time when women were women and weren’t afraid to don a suit and crisp white gloves while shopping in high heels and lunching with friends…

I’ve loved vintage luggage for as long as I can remember and first entertained the thought of refurbishing a Train Case back in the early 1990’s. The idea came when I saw the cover of a craft magazine showcasing an old suitcase with hand painted violets. Back then I was always on the lookout for things to use as PROPS for my retail store…I actually never got farther than just base painting the exterior of a Case that truthfully was better suited for the trash! Still, the concept of taking something once highly sought after, (and certainly past it’s prime), and re-purposing it into something usable for today intrigued me. So, I banked the idea but knew that one day I’d return to the vault that stored all my dreams of restoration.


In September 2006 Romantic Homes Magazine showcased the very Train Cases that once had been only a passing thought (“Cinderella Story” called “Hello, Gorgeous”- written by Hillary Black). I couldn’t have been more excited when I saw my work in print!

Since the day I first saw that craft book cover, I’ve transformed almost 100 Cases turning each one into what I call “Gathering Cases” ™! Perfect for holding memories and keepsakes of all kinds! My favorite Case will always be the one I gave as a gift to my only daughter on her wedding day in September ’07… A creamy cottage white beauty graced with hand painted blush-white and taupe-y white roses! It was lined with the fabric of her gown and included lace from my mother’s wedding dress and the ribbon trim from mine…


It’s taken me years to narrow down the BEST Cases and the ones to pass on! I’ve included a picture above of the first Case I ever gave a FULL MAKEOVER to (circa 2001). She is warped (that is what happens when you choose a Case that is NOT wood) and yellowed (used the WRONG kind of sealer), but I still love her!
Normally reserved for special orders, I finally listed a newly refurbished Case on my website (first picture above). I hope you’ll check her out! Be inspired! If I can make them then I promise, you can, too!

Blessings to you…Rebecca

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I’ve been in the business of selling handmade pretties for many, many years now! And the two questions I am constantly asked over and over are “What do you like to do more, sew or paint?” and “HOW did you get started in this business?” Since I’m knee-deep in restocking that ever shrinking website ( of mine, I thought I’d make just a quick post today and answer those long running questions…

Talented women were all around me as a child and each one showcased a different artistic gift. I was so blessed to learn from each one and then live in a time when it was possible to sell my designs directly to the public. Had the Internet been available when I was a young girl my very talented mother would surely have used it as a way to help support her growing family. She remains the most gifted artisan I know.

Learning to sew wasn’t difficult for me…I mean, it was at first, but somehow I just “got it”, you know? I began to sew on my own when I was about 18 years old and pretty much never looked back. Frustrating for me at first, but little by little I learned the basics. Later on I enjoyed sewing clothing for my daughter and it was during her childhood, I believe, I really hit my stride. I’m not sure my girl owned a store-bought dress! Truthfully, I couldn’t afford the ones I wanted her to wear. So, I’d spend hours window shopping in fancy children’s shoppes and then scour the local fabric stores to find similar fabrics to sew-up what I’d seen. When the dresses were outgrown I’d sell them to other young mothers in our church and then buy more fabric to make more dresses….

Painting was and remains an entirely different calling! I didn’t really start to paint until I began selling my wares on eBay back in 2002. I actually wanted to paint for years before that…and I did, a little. But I dreamed of doing so much more! Sadly, I was just too afraid to try…afraid of failure, rejection and the humiliation I might face during the journey! You know~ all those things that keep us from strapping on our wings of faith and jumping off the edge of doubt? My fear of not being able to measure up kept me grounded for a long, long time…

I remember well the brisk winter morning when I decided to dive into the deep end! The water was cold and I struggled to learn how to swim amidst a sea of confusion. Being a self-taught painter I was absolutely clueless as to what I was doing! Once I reasoned past the worrying of what others might think, I swam on! I no longer wanted my fear of failure to keep me watching silently from the shore… Now when I look back at my very early work I just take a deep breath and well…then I take another deep breath! I had to start somewhere! Still, I can’t help but wonder how much farther I’d be down the river had I listened to the voice within me when it first started whispering “just try…just try…!”

You, too, have been entrusted with certain talents! Are you using them? If not, follow your dreams! Don’t let the visions, ideas and imaginative thoughts in your head remain at the water’s edge. God has given you many gifts! Your current skill set may be a training ground for the next phase of your life… Take a minute to ask Him about them…I’m quite sure He’d love to tell you in detail all He has planned for your life…

PS: I lovingly thank the following forever friends: Carol B., Francy R, Linda B., Julie Z./S., Tanza W., Mary H., Denise A., Leslie M., Ruthie P.,Michele A. (how can I forget YOU?), Barbara V., Brenda, my Mom and my beautiful Adrie-Girl…and ALL the other lovely ladies who never grew tired of encouraging me to paddle away. When I said I couldn’t, you said I could…now I know all of you by heart…R

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Her name was Laura and from as far back as I can remember she was there.

Laura was a petite little thing, truly tiny. For years the two of us battled back and forth hoping to win the coveted title of “shortest girl in the class”. Secretly I believe we both enjoyed the grade school fame brought about by our questionable stature. I think we liked the teasing, too. At the very least we enjoyed being noticed for something certainly not notable.

Her hair was golden yellow and easily framed the delicate features on her lightly freckled, pixie-shaped face. My hair on the other hand was seriously mousy brown and my nose and lips could never be considered, um…well…delicate. My mother did dress me up fancy though, and if anything set the two of us apart it was our clothing. Laura was a confessed “Plain-Jane” and I was a bit “Prissy”. Her dresses were the dime store kind and forgettable. Her socks were dingy white and more often than not her shoes were too big and overly worn. Evidence of an older sister, I suppose. Still, we were friends. And it was during those early years at Bixby Elementary we dared to dream the biggest of dreams while carrying the smallest of reservations.

I remember best fifth grade, for that was the year we played “Barbies” for hours and the one and only time Laura was allowed to spend the night. We giggled until the wee morning hours, stopping only when my father came in to settle us down. FIFTH GRADE! The unforgettable year of Red Rover, Red Rover and the begging for my “best friend” to come over… It was also the year our classmate, Cindy, was bucked from her horse and died. The year we both learned of loss, experienced real sorrow and death. I remember how we cried…we were 10.

The years flew by. Laura and I stayed friends but we were never to be as close as we were during the summer of 1968. Little by little we’d grown apart, opting to follow different paths on our journey through life. There was hurt…there was anger…and there was pride. So much stupid pride! I moved from my home state of California to Colorado during the summer of ’74, two years before our class graduated from Glen A. Wilson High School. Although I received two letters from her before our high school graduation, I was never to see Laura again… forward to the summer of 2008…

Because I’m hopelessly sentimental, I always prayed I’d find a copy of Wilson's 1976 Prowler Yearbook. Moving away from my homeland had always been difficult for me and even though more than 30 years had passed, I longed to see with my own eyes some of the things I had missed. I searched tirelessly on the Internet for over seven years when one day I saw the very yearbook I’d been hoping to find offered up for sale on eBay. I couldn't click on the Buy-It-Now button fast enough…

I counted down the days until the yearbook arrived. She came wrapped in simple brown paper and had a return address which included my childhood hometown. I carried the book into my office and began to tear away the wrappings, slowly, carefully opening her cover. She was in good condition. She'd been gently loved and cared for. I was actually nervous...even a little afraid some of my past might catch up with me.

I quickly searched through a maze of scribbled names and sentiments, special keepsakes, endless photos and graduation calling cards for a hint at the identity of the yearbook's previous owner. And then, just to the right of a carefully pressed corsage was a name I immediately recognized…Laura Miller.

With a little help from a sweet high school pal, I discovered much about the life of my childhood friend. Laura indeed went on to have a very difficult journey. She endured more than her share of heartache and loss and battled things I can only scarcely comprehend. There were addictions, depression, and the inability to bear children. Finally, in the end there was the ovarian cancer that robbed her of breath in May ’08. She was 49.

I cried for a bit when hearing of the news of her passing…more than a bit if you want to know the truth. Cried because we’d lost touch and grown apart… Cried because Laura’s life was so DARN HARD while mine had been fairly easy. Cried because I never took the time to find her or at least try and help her through some challenging times… Cried because I never cared enough to understand her difficult choices, her history, her heartache… Cried because I’d judged her too harshly…refusing to even acknowledge the beam in my eye while picking at the speck in hers. Mostly I cried because I never took the chance I'd been given to say “I love you” and “I forgive you”.

Today I encourage you to bind the bruised and broken, mend fences, mingle memories, melt pain. Until we make peace with others, we’ll never be at one with our Creator.

I’m preaching to the choir, friend…


Monday, February 23, 2009


Now...don't you just hate it when you make all these grandiose plans for a day out of Estate Sale, Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Second Hand Shoppe shopping and it pretty much GOES BUST? Even though my Saturday excursion wasn't a total disaster, it certainly WASN'T the event I had hoped it would be. I was really wanting to purchase some small pieces of furniture! Anyway, this furthers my belief that sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose! More and more I believe it's the SALES you stumble upon while out doing something else, and NOT the ones you plan on visiting, that bring the most excitement!

Don't get me wrong, I did return home after five long hours of driving and shopping with some wonderful old finds. I just wanted more...I always want more! The prices at two of the Estate Sales were rediculously high and I left both places with only a handful of precious vintage linens. The local resale shops proved to be the best place to uncover hidden treasures this week!

To be honest with you, it is never upsetting to me when a sale is hosted by a family and the prices appear to be a bit higher than expected. Most generally they are trying desperately to settle the estate of a loved one who has passed away and cannot afford the services of a professional team...or the percentage of sales they require for hosting the sale. Still, it is discouraging to see prices set that are higher than those in Antique Stores. That makes it impossible for those of us in the decorative business to profit on a given item! So, it seems best to visit those sales on Sunday afternoon to see what's left and offered at half price...

I did manage to pick a few charming old finds though...the last stop salvaged the entire day! I found two sweet rose favorite being the one that says "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread". Even though it's faded, it was a must have. The second one is a hand painted favorite, Limoge. I also dragged home a delightfully sweet metal Milk Jug w/lid, a fabulous crocheted coverlet ($10 bucks!) and two vintage wooden bread paddles for painting!


All in all in was a wonderful day. Since I lovingly convinced my hubbs to join me on this particular outing (he doesn't always go!), we were able to lunch together at our favorite eatery in Norman, Oklahoma (go OU!)...
Promise to share more with you soon! Another HUGE SALE is coming up next weekend and I will certainly be there...
Blessings, Rebecca

Friday, February 20, 2009



For the longest time I've wanted to show you all something that I believe turned out truly amazing! It is something my hubbs and I did to accent our vintage chandeliers...

A few years ago when our son was in the Air Force, my Mr. AGPM (A Gathering Place Man) and I took a trip up north to Omaha for a visit. On our jaunt from Oklahoma to Nebraska we stopped in some amazing places to place was Kansas City. I remember coming back home with an SUV full of wonderful treasures for our home! It was during this trip I found two decorative wall thingies (sp?) which I decided would be fabulous as ceiling/chandelier surrounds (or WHATEVER they are calling those things that go on the ceiling that light fixtures hang from)!

To be honest with you I wasn't 100% sure my idea would even, I ALWAYS defer to hubbs on stuff like this. I mean after all, he IS the one that has to do the work. He ABSOLUTELY looked at me as if I was NUTSO! He did...he might deny it now 'cause he loves how everything turned out, but momentarily he did believe I'd lost my mind...

Anyway, after a little work :) :) :) he transformed both the wall pieces and made them into chandelier accents for the ceiling!

Since then we've mounted the surrounds in all the rooms in our home (all different styles and sizes). They are GORGEOUS and much less expensive than the "real ones" sold at a Lighting Store! Think ROSS, TJ MAXX, MARSHALLS, HOMEGOODS, etc. I see them all the time!

Tomorrow is Estate Sale Day! I'm off to dream about the goodies I'm HOPING to snag by being FIRST IN LINE! I'm getting out early! Whooo Hoooo!


Thursday, February 19, 2009


A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting the most wonderful lady! She found me through an article published in Romantic Homes Magazine and contacted me about placing an order for a refurbished vintage Train Case (“Gathering Case” TM). The Magazine had done a photo shoot in my home and had included pictures of my artwork. I didn’t realize it then, but this "Pink-Rose-Lovin'" stranger was destined to become my forever friend.

I believe God sends people into our lives to make our journey on this planet easier. I also believe they come when least expected and quite possibly when least deserved. My fair-haired friend easily and quickly satisfied a void in me that only a true friend could fill. Never judgmental and forever kind, in three short years she’s taught me the bonds of sisterhood can often transcend the closest of bloodlines. She’s been a faithful servant to the Most High; a cheek turner and a confidant. When she forgives, she forgives! The transgression is buried in a sea of forgetfulness…never allowing the curtain of darkness to hide the very light that one day may be called upon to illuminate her own path.

So…to the one I affectionately call, ~Sweet Tea~…

“Thank you for always making me feel so special. Thank you for allowing me to cry on your shoulder when life gets too hectic, too tough. Thank you for sharing yourself and looking past my imperfections. Thank you for your concern and prayers and for your own special way. I pray that all of the blessings you bring to my life~ I can return to you. You are so loved….”


Wednesday, February 18, 2009


A Gift from Michele...

Like many of you my heart’s been searching for any sign of fresh life…SPRING! I’ve been trying desperately (honest, I have!) to enjoy the season of winter, but being a California native…well, it’s been hard. I miss the warm, consistent climate of the West Coast and will always long for the gorgeous sunshine! Even so, it isn’t lost on me that without the dying back of the old, new growth can never take place…

Living in Oklahoma certainly has it’s perks though (like LOWER Real Estate Prices)! Still the reddish-brown earth remains stone-cold-hard and at present, it’s refusing to give birth to even a hint of color… Occasionally one might see a patch or two of blooming something-or-other, but truthfully, even the professionally landscaped gardens are looking a bit peaked.

I’m driven indoors on days like today. When it’s impossible to dig in the dirt, I work inside. Today I focused on rearranging my vintage china cabinet; adjusting old linens and handmade lace, dusting pretty cups and saucers and lovely old Creamware…

Pursuing beauty, whether in the garden or within the home, invites us to escape from our hectic and fast-paced world to a place where even the simplest of pleasures leave us rejoicing!

“Only with the winter-patience can we bring the deep-desired, long-awaited spring.”

--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Blessings for rest and peace on a winter’s day…Rebecca

Monday, February 16, 2009

He's Ever Interceding

My Sister Linda & I (with the guitar)
1975 - Colorado Springs
(Thanks Cat for the photo)

I believe I must have been about four years old when first paired with my sister Linda to sing duets. She was two years older than I and I distinctly remember the two of us standing side by side, just to the right of our mother as she sat and played our Gulbransen piano. Two peas in a pod we were. We’d learn the songs set before us and often be expected to sing one the following Sunday. Such was the life of two PK’s (Preacher’s Kids) and trust me when I tell you this was the norm. I even recall on a few occasions singing with our mother. But that was back when we were very, very young and long before her ears were silenced.

And so began my passion for singing. A desire birthed within me when just a little girl and one that has grown during many days of living life on this planet. Uncovering the “sound of song” is in me…it just is! And, not unlike my love for both painting and sewing, it has successfully knitted itself into the very fabric of my heart.

One of my greatest joys comes from singing with my hubbs. But, knowing I’d be going it alone on this one given Sunday prompted me to look particularly hard for something fresh and moving. I attend a loving church filled with precious people. But, we live in a hurting world and if you take the time to look you will see much suffering. I asked God to lead me to the right song…the song He wanted me to sing.

Sunday arrived right on schedule and I felt fairly confident I’d chosen wisely a song designed to minister and encourage. It wasn’t a new song, but one I deeply connected with and loved. I easily skipped through a quick run-through before morning worship service began and thirty minutes later, with microphone in hand, I heard the familiar melody of taped music start, and I began to sing...

*“Someone to go the extra mile
Just like a mother caring for her child…
A Friend who’ll stick through thick and thin
No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been
Just like a great big family
A stronger older brother he will be
So quick and ready to defend
The younger, weaker to the end

And He’s ever interceding
To the Father for His children
And He’s ever interceding
To the Father for His own
Through Him you can reach the Father
So bring Him all your heavy burdens
He’s ever interceding
So come boldly though the throne”

As the music continued to play I was thankful for the extra long pause between the chorus and the beginning of the second verse. I was losing my composure, being moved myself by the melody and the message behind the words I was singing. What I had prayed would minister to others, instead began to minister back to me…

“Just like sheep we’ve gone astray
Struggling ‘neath a debt we could not pay
Not ever hoping to renew
The love and fellowship that we once knew
But He began to intercede
Crying ‘Father-please forgive” I plead
And as the nails pierced in His hands
God once again reached down to man

And He’s ever interceding…….”

I want you to all know that my life is not perfect. Even though it may appear like it is sometimes, it certainly isn’t! It’s so easy to post pictures of my smiling self and write about everything being pink and rosy! It’s soothing for me to write about exciting decorative finds rescued from flea market bins and attic clutter, lasting friendships, business success, a happy marriage and loving children…

But there’s another side. A side that knows deep heartache and real failure! A side that’s endured financial ruin and devastating illness…a side that longs for the restoration of broken, shattered relationships…a side that lives with the separation of family and the death of close friends…a side that is far too lonely and too often afraid...

It’s been a comfort to me this very day to know that I cannot fall so far from God that His loving arms can’t reach me. It is reassuring to know there isn't a hurt I can’t trust Him to heal or a brokeness I can't trust Him to mend. I’m blessed in the knowledge that I’m incapable of earning His devotion and whether in the height of success or the pit of failure, He loves me just the same. I pray you will always know this kind of peace…

“He’s ever interceding to the Father for His children…”


*”He’s Ever Interceding” by Carolyn Gilman

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Just a quick POST today! We are venturing out on the estate sale circuit (my favorite thing to do on Saturday) and I'm already running behind. Imagine being late for something!? I'm afraid my hubbs has grown use to me being tardy for EVERYTHING!

When I woke up this morning I found this beautiful Bicycle Planter in my breakfast room. The back basket held a special arrangement of beautiful flowers and on the seat were two cards (one serious and one funny) and my favorite cheap candy, a Russel Stover's Strawberry Cream Heart.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love roses and dinner out, Godiva Chocolates, diamonds, etc. Roses will forever and always be my favorite flower (not red, but soft pink) and who can resist and bit of BLING or a decadent treat now and then? It's just that for ME I've longed for something different. I mean, the roses I see growing in my garden are truly my favorite (can't wait for them to bloom) and of course anything that comes "special delivery" (and on no particular day and for no particular reason) takes my breath away~ After many happy years of marriage I still love it that my hubbs comes up with his own definition of ROMANCE!

Take this charming Planter for example. I saw it about a month ago at Tuesday Morning and I sooooo wanted it for one of my front flower beds. But, even their "off-price" price tag was too high for me and so I passed it by without saying a word. My AGPM (A Gathering Place Man) must have noticed me eyeing it because he commented on it's unique style and form. I only smiled as I ran my fingers over the handlebar and walked away. He listened and watched...has grown accustomed to the look of wanting on my face and read it like a favorite book.

"All the wealth in the world cannot be compared with the happiness of living together united." 
Saint Marguerite D'Youville



Friday, February 13, 2009



When I was a little child my father always bought me chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Not the expensive stuff…on a part-time preacher’s salary (which was truly close to NOTHIN’) he couldn’t afford much. Still, every year he managed to give me and my three siblings something special.  I looked forward to my father's tiny-sized offerings of love... generally a four piece box of Whitman's Chocolates accompanied with a Valentine of my very own.

As I got older I easily grew accustomed to his meager gifts and as the years passed I even took them for granted. A lot for granted.

 And, then one day, they just stopped coming.
I’m not sure exactly when it was…probably 2002…maybe 2003…maybe it was 2001...

It’s hard to remember something you try on purpose to forget…

My father has what my family calls “A MONSTER IN HIS BRAIN”. He has a devastating form of Alzheimer’s (gosh…is there ANY OTHER KIND?) that has slowly and methodically stolen away his memories. And sadly, I am all too aware that if this mind-robbing demon remains unchallenged, unchanged, it will contribute to the ending of his life…

I visited with my father today at the Nursing Home where he lives…a well-meaning facility that cares for the aging and the afflicted. I know he will never leave this place. Today I found myself grateful he doesn’t understand all that has been taken from him…

all that has been ripped from his life.

It's the one mercy of the disease, I suppose.

We sat quietly for a few minutes when my father must have sensed my growing sadness. He gently patted the back of my hand and then softly said something I hadn’t heard him say in several years…

“Daddy is here, Becky Sue. Daddy is here!”

It was then I pulled out from it’s hiding place a tiny box of Cherry Chocolates and a little heart shaped Valentine and placed them in my father’s aging hands.

Suddenly it didn’t matter if he remembered the past.

I did.

And for today that was enough…

"For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones."   Isaiah 49:13

Blessings to you as you remember those you love and those who love you…


Thursday, February 12, 2009


(Yes! That is us in 1977)

In a world where the nightly news is full of grim predictions on both marriage and parenting, I'm thankful that in at least one category I've been very fortunate to not fall through the statistical cracks... Now, this can in no way, shape or form be attributed to anything I have done...on the contrary! I just happened to find an amazing man...

It is with great pride I share publicly an edited version of the Valentine letter I mailed today to the man of my dreams...

"Dearest Steven..

I suppose in many ways, this little note to you is way overdue. I should have made time to pen these thoughts to you many, many moons ago. Regrettably, I’ve allowed years and years of busy days and hectic nights to pass by without reassuring you of my constant love, ever growing respect and admiration. It is you I love…only you…forever you! Always and forever you will be my Valentine.

I believe you are a true “Giver”. I’ve never known anyone who can match your generosity in time spent or in money given or love shared. It is important to me for you to understand that even if no one else ever notices how big your heart is, I do.

I suspect we both will be long gone before either of our children will fully understand the depths of your love for them. I’ve never known a person to work so incredibly hard and yet require so little in return from those who claim to love them. You have set the mark of selflessness beyond the reach of all of us. I feel ashamed that my restless heart will never equal yours. In over thirty years of marriage I have often failed at being all of what you deserved and I can only pray that if blessed with another thirty I’ll be afforded the chance to repay you for all the kindnesses you have bestowed upon me.

I want you to know that I believe you to be the best father and husband in the world. Your work ethic and your commitment to the success of your children remains unequaled. Your faith in me has been nothing less than inspiring. Your love and devotion to the three of us, even when it meant giving up on your own dreams, convinces me that you alone are worthy of everything good…everything lovely.

I pray God’s grace and an added portion of strength be showered upon you today. I pray for you clear thoughts and tireless shoulders as you work with purpose and joy. Mostly, I’ll be praying that you will be blessed with the knowledge that you are deeply loved by this pink rose lovin, can't find her cell phone, 'um, honey...I ran out of gas again', 'Can you fix another chair for me?', high-maintenance gal...

Looking forward to more “us days” and sharing my heart with you…"

Blessings to you as you celebrate with those you love this Valentine's Day...


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


We survived the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma AND our town last night! I am SO GLAD this latest weather related nightmare is over! Our house escaped damage but many homes weren't so fortunate! Today, I'm thankful the devastation wasn't any worse than it's bad enough! A few years ago one of our towns was nearly destroyed by a similar storm. There were people who did lose their lives last night...I believe the death count is currently at eight. It was a serious storm and I'm grateful it is over. Loving thoughts and prayers go out to those who are facing any loss... We are a strong people here in Oklahoma! Thank you for all the emails and BLOG comments! They mean so much!

I did manage to get some things uploaded on my website before the weather turned severe. This proved to be nothing short of amazing as half the evening (and then some) was spent without power! When it did come BACK on it went off again almost immediately... So much for the plans for my Website GRAND Re-OPENING! Isn't it funny how you can plan and plan for an event and then something BIGGER than you are changes everything in a flash? Not to worry though! We are GREAT and like I said, we survived the storms! Blessed and sooo thankful to be alive.

I will continue to upload new items for your consideration on my Website! Don't forget to post a comment so you can be entered in the drawing for the FREE SACHET PILLOW~I'll ship it anywhere!

Still have so much to get ready for you to see! Thank you for the biz and AGAIN for your heartfelt words of encouragement and concern for both my family and I AND the beautiful state of Oklahoma! They mean more than you know!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Update: OK....We are finally uploading and IF IF IF our electricity will stay on we should have a FEW things for you all to take a peek at on our website before the stroke of midnight! Getting in right under the wire! What a nightmare! Certainly didn't expect tornadoes this afternoon to yank out our power! Sure glad my house is still standing! Thank you for your patience... Rebecca

From earlier this evening...

We aren't 100% sure yet but we BELIEVE the worst part of the tornadoes have passed us by. My town (Edmond, OK) received damage just north of us...very scary! A few houses are destroyed and the roof is off at a local TARGET and a pizza place (Chuck-E-Cheese)! Power lines are down as well! For those of you who aren't familiar with is pretty frightening! I'm from California I know all about earthquakes, too! At least with a tornado we get some warning... All of it is equally disturbing and again, SCARY! Presently we still have LOTS of rain and thundering storms. Just a warning we may have to shut everything down again... :(.

My hubbs is still working on uploading the website! Almost done! So sorry for the delay! We lost about 4 hours due to the storms...

Thank you for your care and concern....


Original Post Below:

Just a quick note before I shut down my computer...

A tornado just touched down near my home. I'm off for now...I'll post more soon!


Monday, February 9, 2009


(Watch for ANOTHER Free Gift Drawing for a "Painted Pretty" coming up next week!)

Another quick POST to update you on the Website GRAND re-OPENING! :)

I'm not even close to getting everything photographed and discriptions written for the Website! I've decided to keep working and upload what is ready sometime tomorrow instead of delaying the opening! I still have hours of work ahead of me and terribly underestimated how long it would take me to get everything finished! I'm also having quite a time with my aging camera and it's making me hate myself for buying something so advanced when I'm so incredibly TECHNO-challenged!

Trust me when I tell you we are working non-stop on the Site!

Now...about the FREE GIFT(s)!

Here are the RULES to be entered into the drawing for the SACHET PILLOW (to be drawn on the 18th of Feb) shown above:

All you need to do to be entered into the drawing is this:

1. Post a comment on this BLOG from 2/9/09 until 2/17/09 at 11:59PM or...

2. Become a FOLLOWER of my BLOG

If you are a FOLLOWER your name will be automatically entered twice for the DRAWING! If you place a COMMENT it will be entered a third time! You have a chance to have your name entered three times!!!!

Have FUN...


Sunday, February 8, 2009



Just a quick POST today to update you just a little on the reopening of my A Gathering Place website I’m a tad bit dizzy from uploading pics to my local files and writing descriptions for product. I still have lots to do and I’m hoping to stay on schedule for OPENING DAY... I’m still shooting for the 10th of February although I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll actually be able to meet that deadline. I’ll know better tomorrow where I stand and I promise to let you know as soon as possible. I want the shelves full so you’ll have lots of shabby cottage chic pretties to choose from…

New for this year will be hand painted cottage style SIGNS! I’ve attached a photo of one of my favorites…

Off to work…paint…sew…and maybe dream about getting a FEW HOURS OF SLEEP!


Friday, February 6, 2009


For the past few days I’ve had my face stuck in my paint box and I haven’t been listening to the news nor have I paid much attention to on-line business chatter. The result of my personal preoccupation was that I was blindsided by the news that Rachel Ashwell’s most beloved Company, Shabby Chic, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection last Thursday.

I’m just going to tell you straight out that I’m heartsick. I really am… This Flea Market lovin’ gal, blazed a fiery trail that helped jump-start many of the businesses you see in operation today…including mine. From the largest Department Stores to the tiniest of On-Line Boutiques, we benefited from her incredible vision. If not inspired by her success, many of us certainly traveled for free as we clung tightly to the hem of her lace-trimmed coat tails, hoping against hope we might also find personal triumph and victory along the way.

On a tremendously smaller scale I can sadly relate to the sorrow brought about by the closing of a deeply loved business. I faced the same decision in the mid 1990’s so I can truthfully say I’ve been there. It’s not a pleasant place to find oneself and crawling out of what I’m quite sure looks like a deep, dark hole, will be challenging.

I chose not to reorganize my business after slamming my face into what felt like concrete. I didn’t have the strength or the money to fight for what I felt like was mine...worse yet, because the business wasn’t incorporated we almost lost our home. I willingly accepted a job in retail management to pay back literally thousands of dollars we had borrowed. In the end the only thing I salvaged from owning the business was the name originally chosen for it, “A Gathering Place"... When wooed back many years later, sentimental ties convinced me to continue using it. I'm incredibly thankful that EVERYTHING the locust devoured was eventually restored to me…

May God be with you during these difficult days of change, Ms. Ashwell. May His comfort surround you and encourage you as you press forward through the storm! The God who first blessed and anointed your dream is more than capable of doing it again…and again…and again!

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wing you can hide.” Psalm 91:4


Thursday, February 5, 2009


Every morning when I wake up I search my tiny library of favorite books for an encouraging read. It’s become a habit of sorts. I find if I do not take a few minutes to arouse my slumbering spirit, the calm of the dawn ends up being replaced with the chaos of the day. More often than not the remaining 23.5 hours spin helplessly out of control and I’m left with a mountain of half-finished projects when the clock strikes midnight…

I read a little today about Susanna Wesley. I learned she was certainly no stranger to suffering! She lived in the shadow of poverty, illness, and hardship. She gave birth to nineteen children but only nine would survive! Even with such heartache (can you even imagine losing 10 babies?), she stayed faithful and committed herself to teaching her children the things of God. Though her huge family was squeezed into a tiny cottage, she valued quiet time with the Lord AND she made sure she carved out time in her day for it! When she sat down and pulled her apron over her head, her children knew not to disturb her (she was praying). Her faithfulness had huge rewards, too! One of her sons, John, went on to found the Methodist Church. Another son, Charles, wrote over nine THOUSAND hymns...

So…as I thought about Susanna and her faith I couldn’t help but wonder if I prayed enough for my children when they were little…or more so, pray enough for them now that they are grown?

Asking myself that question also gave me the answer….

“Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.” Proverbs 22:6 NLT


Tuesday, February 3, 2009


My Hubbs simply does not understand “shabby”. Not really. Now, that isn’t to say he doesn’t like the way his beloved has transformed his home, I think he does. I know he appreciates the work behind the changes, he’s seen them firsthand! But like I said, he just doesn’t understand it...

Take this for example…

Over the weekend I went shopping and uncovered a treasure trove of simply amazing finds. The best purchase of the day was a charming old Lap Desk found at a local Thrift Shoppe. I believe it hails from around the 40’s to 50’s!

Despite having graceful, clean lines, the Box showed some wear…little imperfections brought on by age and obvious use. I envisioned the Box as once being dearly loved and value. Maybe it was made by a young boy in shop class as a gift for his Momma. Maybe during a lean Christmas a young husband made it for his new bride? I don’t know. I let my imagination lead me in such things. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture…

Anyway, back to my story…

With great pride I carried my treasures inside for my Hubbs to inspect. He quickly gazed over a few familiar looking finds, but paid the most attention to the Box.

“Did you actually BUY this thing? It needs a lot of work!” he said

He picked up the vintage beauty and turned it over, lifting and closing the angled lid at least three times (he is, after all, a craftsman, a deep lover of all things wood). With an especially wide grin he continued…

“With some serious attention you might be able to make it work!”

Now, I’ve been married to this man for 30 years and in this business for over 20. He KNOWS what I like and what I don’t want messed with. Trying not to act insulted or perturbed, I responded with only

“No! I think it’s fine! I like the Box the way it is!”

Which of course he had to add…

“I think I might have passed on that one!”

Undeterred, I couldn’t wait to begin transforming the Box. Within a few hours it was painted, lightly distressed with the artwork in place. I was so excited, even proud! “This might me one I keep” I silently thought! I then set the Box aside and began working on another website project. I worked deep into the night and fell into bed long after my man had called it a day…

This morning I walked into my studio, albeit a bit later than usual. I was over an hour behind schedule, even skipping my coffee to make up for sleeping through the Cock’s Crow. Things looked different…strangely out of place…and then I saw it. There, in the middle of my worktable sat the newly hand painted Box. Attached to the top was this note:

“To My Shabby Girl…

I’m amazed at your vision. I saw only an ugly old Box, pitted and scared. You saw something of beauty… You inspire me to look past surface imperfections and consider what something (or someone) can one day be…xo”

Remember this…

“People harvest only what they plant” Galatians 6:7


Monday, February 2, 2009


Just a quick note today for all of you who are waiting for the GRAND :) Re-Opening of my Website~

I've been working feverishly on new pretties for your buying enjoyment! Lots and lots of hand painted Signs (new for the Site), painted Accent Pieces, Fragrant Sachets, Lined Baskets, charming Decorator Pillows and so much more! Everything for your Romantic Cottage and Shabby Chic style home! Can't wait for you to see...

I'm shooting for the 10th of February as OPENING DAY! I promise to post updated news later this week and share more about the fabuloso FREE GIFTS I'll be offering to celebrate! Stay tuned...pretty finds that are sure to pull at your HEARTSTRINGS!

Thank you for stopping by...


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