Since I’ve been going on and on about politics so much lately, today I’m going to go on and on about a few of my hobbies. So, upfront here’s a warning to male readers, this is about crap 99.9% of you have ZERO interest in:-)
Aside from needlework, I love collecting antiques and knick knack stuff, especially old knick knack junk. Now, the term “antiques” gets tossed about a lot, but in my mind I think most of what gets called “antiques” is just old junk. I have acquired some of both.
In recent years, this modern, minimalist decorating trend has come into style, so I am still stuck in not exactly a “country style”, but an eclectic style, that I think of as “American clutter-bug “style. That’s me. My long-suffering husband likes Spartan living.
I love to, over time, collect things, to create tablescape vignettes or arrangements for my walls. This all started when my grandmother gave my oldest sister a multi-volume set of interior-decorating books in the late 60s. My oldest sister is 8 years older than me, so she was a teenager, while I was probably around 8 or 9 years old. I poured over those interior decorating books and thus began this life-long love of decorating.
My foyer is my “I love America!” room. When we bought this house in 1994, I told my husband that I want our foyer to shout, “I love America!”, whenever anyone steps foot into our home. After a few years in this house, I found a wallpaper that I thought had an English hunting vibe and my husband hung the wallpaper for me. Then gradually, I started adding stuff and I’ve even taken away stuff, to try and keep it from getting overwhelming. As I didn’t want our whole house to become red, white and blue, I’ve managed to keep it confined to the foyer and I’m maxed out on patriotic-themed stuff there, except at some point, I’m going to buy a painting I saw online years ago, that I want. This painting has a quote I love on it:
“God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to defend it.”
– Daniel Webster, 1834
The above photo is a small counted cross stitch piece I made decades ago and it’s got an “I support the troops in Desert Storm” pin on the lower corner. Somehow, through no real design, I ended up with a lot of pins over the years too, lol. The other photo is actually a medicine cabinet I found at an antique/consignment shop, which I had my husband hang in the foyer. Anything requiring anchors is a call-in the guys job in my book, although I do know how to do it. I can see that tea towel needs to be washed and pressed again, sorry it’s awfully wrinkled. The God Bless America stitched piece one of my sons made in elementary school. I taught my sons, as well as my daughters, how to thread a needle and sew when they were young. Everyone should know how to sew a button back on, imo.
Along one wall in my foyer, I have a narrow table filled with American-themed stuff. On the left is a carnival glass, bicentennial Liberty Bell plate, which I really love. In the center, I took an old child’s stool (yard sale find) and used it as a display stand for some of my flag-themed figurines. At the bottom-center is a small counted cross-stitch piece I did last year. That gold frame was one of my typical repurposed projects.
I had gone into my local Goodwill store, in search of an old book to tear apart for those paper wreaths I was working on. I had been looking for the “right” frame for this “Let Freedom Ring” piece, when I spotted a small, square, brown-framed mirror for $1.99. So, I looked at the back to see how it was put together and instantly thought, “I could use some gold leaf on that frame and it would be perfect!” So, when I got to the register the cashier told me that colored dot on it meant it was on sale for half-price. Wow, who knew that even the Goodwill does sales to move merchandise, lol.
It only took a few minutes to take that mirror apart and apply the gold leaf.
The rocking horse on the right is another yard sale find, 50 cents or a dollar, I think. I rarely pay more than a dollar for knick knack finds. The two larger teddy bear figurines in the back were a gift from my oldest daughter. The two beanie babies teddy bears in the front were from an old junk store. I sewed the table runner from clearance firecracker print fabric I found at Wal-mart. That’s it on that table, because it can’t hold anymore of my “junk”.
The other photo is of the wall above the table, with this country-style shelf. The framed vintage print is something I found online, printed out and glued onto poster board. Then I cut out a “frame” from plastic canvas and stitched the red, white and blue frame with yarn. I used craft glue to glue the “frame” to the print. The three antique milk bottles on the right, my father gave me long ago.
As a kid, I started collecting old bottles. Often in the woods, near old farmsteads, you can find a lot of old bottles, from their old trash piles where farmers threw trash, before modern sanitation collection. I found several old trash piles walking around in the country where I grew up. I started carefully digging around and uncovering unbroken bottles. I have a lot of old brown glass Clorox bottles, among many others.
Once I started coming home with these old bottles, my parents added to my collection with bottles from antique stores and flea markets. On the top of that shelf is a box of M&Ms from Air Force One and a little wooden figurine of the Birthplace of the Republican Party, which my youngest sister gave me.
On the floor next to my table, I have a doll cradle (another yard sale find) filled with books and a yard-sale red, white and blue banner on the wall.
Above left is a pin quilt, that a dear friend made for me, to stick some of these pins I end up having….. I don’t go buy them. The Reagan campaign pin one of my sons gave me. Near the bottom is a John Heinz pickle campaign pin, I love, that I acquired long, long ago when I was still a teenager and living in PA. I actually met John Heinz when I attended the Presidential Classroom for Young Americans as a senior in high school. While I love my Heinz pickle pin, I think I love my 1st Place ribbon at the bottom most. I won 1st place in a cookie-baking contest at the store where I worked years ago. Behind the 1st place ribbon is my 3rd place ribbon from our pie-baking contest. I made shoo-fly pie, but I lost to TWO sweet potato pies and I learned an important lesson in regional taste buds. Living in GA, I should have heeded that sage advice about “when in Rome”, but I didn’t and placed only 3rd…. On the right is a jigsaw puzzle I put together and glued together and mounted on foam core board. Jigsaw puzzles are another hobby of mine, but these days I stick to http://www.jigzone.com/. That site has tons of cuts to choose from. The “lizard cut” is one of my favorites for some reason, although I like the 184-piece crazy cut a lot too. I also started doing Mahjong Titans recently and that is the extent of my online gaming, lol.
Guess it’s obvious I love teddy bears too:-)
That completes the tour of my “I love America!” foyer for this morning:-)
Oh, here’s the photo from last year of that paper wreath I mentioned:
And, I’ll end with two photos below. I like “bunny stuff ” too. The simple blue and white design rabbits I stitched decades ago. To the right is a photo of the shelves on the bookcase hutch above my computer here. The “Somebunny loves you” cross-stitch I sewed decades ago too. The octagon-shaped Oriental design plate is another $1 yard sale find.
Have a great day:-)
I decided to add a few more photos;
The first photo is of one of several PA Dutch hex signs in my foyer. The second photo is a birdhouse gourd, painted by the Amish, that my son brought back from a recent trip to PA. I hung it at the center of the mantle on my fireplace. The last photo is one of my favorite cross-stitch pieces, that I stitched probably 25 years or so ago. I just love that design. I took an old beat-up frame, sanded it, and painted it gold and also I couldn’t find a mat in the the color I wanted. So, I took an old, off-white mat, I already had and painted it blue. To the right of the cross-stitch piece is a copper Turkish mess kit, with three stacked compartments for food. My youngest sister found the mess kit while stationed in Turkey, during her Air Force career, and she gave it to my husband. To the left of that cross-stitch picture there are a couple old electrical insulators……. my father gave me several of those. Like I said, I have acquired a lot of old “stuff” and “knick knack stuff”. My youngest daughter keeps her house to the minimalist look, so I think the endless stuff to dust in my house traumatized her;-)