May 30, 2011

Look for the Moon!

I love quotes.  One of my favorites is,  "The barn burnt down, now I can see the moon." 

I started collecting "moon" oil paintings as a reminder to myself!

I heard it somewhere, but never knew the origin.  So I googled it.  It is actually a haiku and was written by Mizuta Masahide, a samurai in the Zeze domain of Ohmi Province.  He was a disciple of the famous poet Basho.  As the story goes, Masahide's house was burnt down and so he wrote this famous poem, one of which Basho highly praised.  You can imagine how exciting it would be to get 2 thumbs up from Basho.  The amazing thing is that Masahide wrote this haiku in 1688 and I think it still speaks volumns today, and in just 10 little words!  The barn can represent all sorts of things in a person's life.  I think of the barn as any idea, dream, person, plan, hope, etc.  And then the "burnt down" part is what life does to some of our dreams, etc.  Just when we think things are going smooth, or we have it figured's as if it goes up in flames!  So, what do we do when life burns down "your barn?" Sit there and lament about how something didn't work, how we failed, how we messed up, how someone betrayed you, whatever the case may be... Not me!  So, thats "the moon."  You look for the moon.  I gather that Masahide was Buddist, but from my Christian point of view, I would think of the moon as my blessings!  If we all counted our blessings instead of our disappointments, wouldn't life be so much more joyful?  I know there are alot of horrible experiences and heartbreaks in the world and it's hard to move on, but we weren't put on this Earth to live in the past and worry about the past.  How will staring at a pile of embers help yourself or anyone else.  Nope, I just brush off the soot, pray alot, and go to plan B!  And, I look for the moon!

Now,  I can see the moon!

May 26, 2011

These are a few of my favorite!

I love collecting!  My sissies, Sheryl, Janet, and Patty, and I often wonder if there's some gene that causes collecting, or was there some set of environmental conditions that causes the compulsion to collect?  We're not sure, but all four of us "girls" collect!  Whatever happened in my family only affected the female DNA because my brother, Eric, does not all!  All 5 of us siblings stay in touch via e-mail - we call it "Sib Talk" so one day on Sib-Talk, we got on the subject of collecting and the 4 of us avid collectors decided to list all the collections we had ~ maybe sibling rivalry, but mostly just silly and fun.  I'm not sure who even won...all the lists were pretty long!  So what do we do with all these collections?  Usually my collections are grouped together, but some are strategically scattered throughout my house.  If I don't display an item, I don't keep it, unless it's a family heirloom or something sentimental.   Once an item has been in my house, it's always a little hard to see it go, but I'm not a hoarder, so if I can't use it, off it goes to Down Home for someone else to get excited about!  I've been asked what my favorite collection is and I really can't narrow it down to one or two - I love all my stuff!!!  So, I thought from time to time, I'd show you some of the things in my collection - These are a few of my favorite!

Our corkscrew collection!  Yes, we love wine!
The newest addition to my elephant collection ~ A Mother's Day Present!

I love collecting old Bibles!
My Staghorn Utensil Collection! 

Our Bottle Corker Collection!  Yes...we love wine!!!

My raggedy little bear!  He was loved to pieces!

The cutest little red baby shoes! 

I love my 19th century clock face from old Sturbridge Village!

My early rocking horse ~ My grandson loves it's mohawk!
Part of my Eagle collection ~ a cast iron Case Threshing Machine Co. Eagle!

Some vintage readers!  My husband is Don and I'm Peggy ~ what are the odds!!! 

May 18, 2011

Home sweet home!

It was the last day in Brimfield and we finished loading the last few treasures and waited for the truck to pick up the container and take it to the railroad. We had arranged 12 noon for the pick up so we would have plenty of time to make our 6:05 flight out of Logan.  That would be enough time to drive an hour to the rental truck place, to fill the truck with gas before turning it in (to avoid the $9 per gallon charge), to get a cab and take the 15 minute drive to the Logan Airport in Boston.  We'd get to the airport early, but we could relax and read.  Sounds easy enough!  So, ok...12 noon...1 pm...2pm...finally at 2:50 the container is picked up!  Ok, that is NOT ok!!!  3 hours late - yikes!

Bye Container! See you in California!
Ok, we're still we go!  An hour drive to return the truck is now much longer because of traffic! Don decides to get off the Freeway and take side streets, but we get into traffic around Harvard and seriously the sidestreet traffic is worse than the Freeway - it was a nightmare! But it was cool to see the Harvard rowing teams practicing in the river as we sat at every red light, except the ones Don ran!!!  We seriously had no green lights!

Beautiful Scenery from the Red Lights
I call ahead and get a taxi to the truck rental place and he's waiting for us when we get there. We get in and I tell him to take any short cut he knows and Don says we'll give him an extra big tip if he get's us there on time.   By this time our flight is scheduled to take off in 40 minutes! Our adoreable taxi driver is now part of our team, and he tells us "I'm the man!"  And off we go!  When he screeched off and dodged in and out of the lanes, I knew we had the right guy!  And then that traffic again! 

The Traffic Never Stopped!
It seemed like a snail pace, and now I'm thinking about the fact that it's Friday, the 13th.  Hmmm?  Being a spirtual person, I try to put no creedance in superstitions, but Friday the 13th???  Maybe God is trying to tell us something.  So, I pray! I ask God to keep the delays going if we're not to get on the plane.  But if we're supposed to make the plane, then he better delay it!!!!  Our plane is supposed to leave at 6:05 and our cute taxi driver gets us there at 5:50 ~ We figured we'll miss it by the time we check our bags and get to the gate!  They tell us to hustle!  We get to gate 33 and the plane has been delayed for 20 minutes!!! Thank you God!!!  I had a fabulous time in Mass, but I'm ready to go home!!!  Even the turbulance doesn't totally freak me out because afterall God held it up for us!!! I love to go, but I love coming home even more!!!

xo ~ Peggy

May 17, 2011

Pickin' in New England!!!

It's so great to be home from a buying trip in Brimfield, MA and I'm so excited to get our container in next week!  We were blessed with sunny, blue skies and most days I could peel off at least two of my four layers of clothing. I can be a wimp when it comes to the cold - that New England chill is too cold for my Southern California blood, but it was perfect shopping weather!  And, we definitely shopped!

Where to Start?!
So, we took the redeye and by 10 a.m., I was shopping and I didn't stop for 5 days!  I love my job!  Some would argue that we were on vacation, but it's alot of hard work!  We're up in the dark and not back to the hotel until after dark. 

Starting to Pack up the Container

And Still Packing!
It's alot of freezing in the morning, walking and lifting and packing and....ok, alot of fun too ~ what girl doesn't love to shop all day!!!  Hey, there's no crime in loving your job!!!!  Of course, I'm always on the hunt for those special one of a kind pieces.  I found some wonderful early treasures that I'm so excited to bring in the store ~  Some wonderful textiles including quilts and rugs; lots of woodsy pieces; several early wood and tin signs; some great folky pieces, all sorts of 19th century smalls, and of course some early furniture pieces!

I think my favorite piece is a wooden Eagle weathervane or maybe a folk painted trunk from Vermont!  I'll have a hard time parting with both of them!  People always ask me how I part with things, and I tell them "Believe me, I keep my fair share." But, I love bringing in great pieces for my customers to get excited about too!
The Container's Getting Full!
xo ~ Peggy

May 7, 2011

Road Trip up the California Coast!

I love California, especially our beautiful coast!  Last weekend we decided to head up the coast.  Our destination was the "Remnants of the Past" show in Nipomo.  We attended this show a year ago and found some interesting treasures ~ loved the dealers and their creative displays, so we decided to go again. I've been a facebook friend of Judy Watkins, and I have looked forward to checking out her show again this year.  So, Friday morning we took off and enjoyed our beautiful sunny weather, stopping in Summerland, Los Alamos, and Santa Maria.  The next morning is the Remants show and I can't wait! 
Wow!  What a beautiful setting for a show, centered around a big old barn! 

Eagerly waiting to get into the big show!
I found some great treasures, ran into some old friends, and got inspired.  I think that's what I love the most about traveling - seeing some new ideas, learning something new, and getting motivated.   I love getting inspired by others who are just as addicted to antiques as I am.  

Lisa, from Blue Canoe, Judy, the show promoter and Me

We even ran into some old high school friends like Cathy and  Crissy who were there with
Crissy's Mom and her sister,  Penny!
Tim, from Blue Canoe and Don

But, of course the main goal is to find awesome antiques for our customers at Down Home!   I bought some fabulous vintage beach canvas sun screens, a wonderful airplane whirligig, and some antique green shutters with old green paint!  Plus a few other odds and ends!  We had a great time ~ Congratulations to Judy on the success of her show!  Some of the great design ideas and funky pieces we saw are below!

Onward and upward!  We decided that we were already half way to Alameda, so why not head to the Alameda Flea Market.  I've always wanted to go, but this would be my first time!!!  And I already told you how I love "firsts!" I was excited!  Got a good night's sleep and then up before sunlight to see what treasures we could find in Alameda!!! First of all, it's a beautiful setting - right on the ocean with views of the ships bringing in containers and the skyline of San Francisco!  With the scenery, I'm already having a good time!  So off and running, but which way should we go first??  The first purchase of the day was some great architectural tin finials! Then, a carved redwood bear that would look great in our lodge room at Down Home!  And, I found a wonderful canvas covered leather trunk belonging to Col. Kramer - I'm thinkin' civil war era. I shopped the whole market twice and came away with a great load of treasures!

Look at my fabulous finds!

I hate to leave, but we have a long ride home, so we load up and head south!  We get to Cambria and decide to make a quick antique run through the Cambria antique stores, and then we take a walk on Moonstone Beach - I love that beach!!! 
A bag full of beautiful driftwood!

Don and me at Moonstone Beach

I love collecting shells too so I had fun combing the beach for a few washed up treasures and some driftwood!  And, then we head back to Southern California with a truck full of antiques and some fun memories!
xo ~ Peggy

May 5, 2011

Memorable Firsts

I'm here! I've finally arrived in Blog Land. This is my very fist blog! Blog number ONE! Since it's my first blog, I started thinking of "Firsts."  Firsts are so memorable.  Since I have three daughters and three grandchildren, with grandbaby number 4 on the way, I automatically think of baby's first tooth, first step, and the first day of kindergarten. And, then of course, there's the first date, first kiss, and first love. And what about my first job, first car, and first house ~ all so exciting! But, besides my family, you know what makes me the most excited and what I'm most passionate about?  You may have guessed it, since I own an antique store...yep, Antiques! I have been in the antique business for over 20 years now, but collected antiques since I was a child.  My fist antique was a bony looking syrocco wood horse statue that I found in an abadoned shed.  I thought I found gold! I still have him somewhere, but can't seem to find him at the moment. I often think that first rush at finding my emaciated horse is what spurred this lifelong compulsion to collect antiques. I remember buying my first antique piece of furniture when my husband, Don and I bought our first house in Orange ~ an Oak Drawleaf table with barley twist legs. Then a few years later, I went country, and my first country piece was an old barn louvre with peely white paint that I bought from Denise and Tom at Uncle Toms in Orange.  It still hangs in my hallway - that was the start of my love of American Country!  I was a stay at home mom and decided to make extra money by junking - the first thing I sold was a cottage style dresser. I've taken baby steps in the antique business, first I rented a space at a small antique store in Corona where we had moved, then back to Orange where I rented spaces at Orange Circle Mall and Someplace in Time. Later, I rented even more spaces at other malls in the Orange Circle.  Then we opened our first store in Yorba Linda, only 700 square feet as you can see below!
Down Home in Yorba Linda
Only 2 years later we opened our first antique mall in Orange - yep, Down Home Antiques! We've had a lot of firsts over the years, but we will celebrate 12 years in Orange at our Birthday Open House on June 25th, and that feels good!  I'm thankful for firsts!!!

Down Home in Old Towne Orange
xo ~ Peggy