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Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Empty Nest, Calming Guest Room

When my youngest moved out several years ago. I didn't want to just take over his room, but once he moved out the bed, there was really no reason to keep it just for him.  Since I  have a tendency to fill every empty space available with my junk, hubby was a bit concerned.  When he asked what plans I had for it, I said "nothing really" just maybe move some old furniture in there and make it an extra guest space.

The first problem was a large red  mural on one wall with Asian letters that spelled out his name in Chinese.  I didn't want to just paint over it, after all, he went to a lot of trouble to paint it. So I decided, for now, to just cover it up with these old survey maps I had.  They worked perfectly and with some careful arranging they cover the whole thing.

Then I moved in an old sleeper sofa and covered the ugly green plaid fabric with an inexpensive slip cover and a few carefully placed blankets.  All the furnituree you see, was brought in from other rooms, or was old furniture in the attic.  I did however, bring in a few special finds. Like the lamp, suitcase, and for some more color the pillows from Target.  Now it was taking on a life as a functional guest room.

I added this rail from an old Greyhound Wagon and hung, from vintage wooden hangers, a nice white terrycloth robe I found, brand new, at an estate sale.

Another old piece of furniture from our attic, this recliner allows a guest to sit back and relax.  Some of my old quilts are there for extra warmth on the bedding if needed. 
That recliner is actually very comfortable and I've taken many a nap in it.

 My home is blessed with large rooms and although it's more space than we need, we do enjoy having room for guests.  I decided to  bring in my old dining room table to use as a desk in here. Most guests travel with a lap top these days, so this gives them a place to plug in. 
The white walls need a bit of interest here an there, so a quick raid of my barn yeilded a few things that fit right in.  The mail box below, serves a dual purpose. I put all my son's mail in there, and hang a couple of clean towels for his use when he visits.
Some day this will be a play room for my grand kids, or serve a dual purpose as a play/guest room for them. I'm already gathering up vintage toys for that purpose.

I find this space amazingly calming. I'm not sure if it's because I have not over-decorated it or the white walls or the fun angles and natural light,  but it is very peaceful.  So if you come visit me, this is where you will stay. I hope my guests feel as calm as I do when I'm in this room. 
Just don't peek in the closets. They are still packed full of his junk.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Flea Market Style Fall 2014 now in stock

I have it in stock, but it won't be in stores until late August.
 I also offer international shipping options.

Now in stock-the new Fall 2014 issue seen above as well as the other past issues pictured. 
go Here to order

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Bag of Letters Tells A Personal Story

I recently found myself thinking back to this bag of letters I found awhile back, and since It's Throwback Thursday I thought it deserved a re-post. Grab a Kleenex.
While rummaging through items at a recent estate sale, looking for treasures, I ran across a zipped plastic bag full of old letters. A quick look revealed dates from 1917-20, and some beautiful handwriting, so I decided to purchase them in hopes that an ephemera collector might want them.
When I got home, I began to look through the letters. Many were simply correspondence with tidbits of information about someone's chicken and how many eggs they got. Or who was getting married, who was sick (lots of people were sick). Then I began to see that many were sympathy notes.
I began to read through them and found myself piecing together the details of a family's life and loss in 1920.
Many began with "The news of Luther's untimely death came as a great shock to us." "I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of the loss of a son."
Some would go on to recount events they had shared with Luther, even stories of war battles and triumphs. "I have known him to shoulder a rifle and stand guard for some poor fellow who was tired or sick when he was off duty."

Through reading the letters I learned that Luther had sisters, that he was a soldier, a lineman, and that he died in an accident. Although there were no details of the accident, I gathered it was related to his work. Luther was engaged to be married. I found a photo among the letters of his headstone that indicated he was 26 years old. I found some photos that might be of him. I read on and on... words of encouragement and condolence that touched my heart. Of a death almost 100 years ago.

But it was this letter in particular that brought tears to my eyes:

"From my own experience I know every letter no matter how kind and sympathetic just opens up the wounds afresh. I know how you feel even as I write this my eyes are full of tears as you read this I know yours will fill with tears. Our thoughts will mingle together.
" Little did you and I think when we lived side by side we would both be called to give up our only boy after we had raised them to manhood, our little buds, just offered to full bloom of youth and so fitted for a beautiful life."

The letter goes on to spell out the grief of a mother so complete and sorrowful, so soul- wrenching that it is difficult to read. "Of course I know how you feel, if we were together I know just what (unreadable) first we would each want to talk and sympathize with each other and mingle our tears together."
It continues, "This to you is not a cheerful letter. I am writing you as I feel and the tears are filling my eyes and dropping all the while I write for a heart broken mother is writing to a heart broken mother."
I began to know of a man and a family that lived almost a hundred years ago, in a small town in Oklahoma and I felt just a hint of the grief and the sorrow they felt.

I'm glad I read through so many of the letters before offering them up for sale. As of now, my genealogist husband is contacting the family researcher for this particular family (found on to hand these letters over to someone who cold benefit from the information therein. (update, no family members found)

I wonder how a family could simply offer something like this up at an estate sale in a plastic bag?
It was probably in the possession of the child of the child of the child of the mother who was grieving. They probably had no idea the content of the letters was so personal, and so full of family historical information. Or maybe they just did not care. Whatever the reason, I'm glad the letters landed in my hands, and that I bothered to read them. They touched me in a way I will never forget. And I'm glad I am able to share that with you.


Reprinted from Flea Market Style Blog June 2012
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