Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tiny Finds

Not everything we find is big. Often what I find when I'm out thrifting is some little thing that just catches my eye. Today's post is dedicated to the little finds that make me smile.


 It is an eclectic mix, for sure. Little wooden bird whistle and a very small matroishka nesting doll, small flowered boxes and tins, a tiny amber bird...


a cobalt heart paperweight and a small antique milk glass plate

that has great "fire" inside (a sure indicator of older milk glass).


A sparkly prism paperweight, odd little bird pitcher marked "Foreign Made",


a lavender tin (my favorite scent),


 strange little ceramic monkey that is badly chipped but I can't bring myself to throw it away because, well, look at that face! Another pretty flowered box,


and a rose-topped trinket box.


while the little vase is marked "Occupied Japan" but is a souvenir from Manitou Springs, Colorado,


and a tiny key and a "Twinkies" spoon which was a giveaway from a shoe manufacturer in the 1930's.


These all live in various places in the house. Combined value of all of them might be $50-75 but for me, they're just the little things that brighten my day.

Do you have collections of little things like this?

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Back to Painting: Riverbend Booth Upate



It was a beautiful morning for a walk, so that's what we did. We had to give up on walking for a while because Larry was having so many knee/back/neck issues, but today he was finally feeling good enough to go again. We found that we were able to walk all the way to the top of our steep driveway without a pause, which is pretty good. We also picked up a large bag of trash as we walked, stuff that had been tossed along our road over the winter months. There's still more; our bag filled pretty quickly.

We've been on a whirlwind of furniture work the past few days. Two larger pieces sold at our Riverbend Antique Mall booth and I had nothing ready to go. That meant choosing from our stockpile some pieces that could be completed quickly. We worked Friday afternoon and most of Saturday and then again Sunday morning, and by the time we were done we had a big load to take to the mall.

Here's a look at what we took. Once again I forgot my camera, and my cell phone photos didn't come out well so please forgive the quality of some of these photos. I blame the cameraperson entirely.

I love rocking chairs but usually steer away from buying them to sell because they seem to be a hard sell. But this one, I think, will attract a buyer.


 We have several old bikes that we need to get into booths. We wired a little wicker basket to this one and added some silk flowers.

Here's the rocker, at home in the booth, with a quilt to keep it warm.


The dresser has been in the booth for about a month now, but the little white table was a new add yesterday.

Weird angle on this photo! Cracked ice formica top table and the white bread box are also new to this booth. I don't have chairs for the table yet, still looking.


Treadler base table and some Easter bunny blow molds are also new. Larry whipped out that table pretty quick.

Here's a little better look at the table. 


And a closer look at the top. This top has a funny story with it. I bought a table at a thrift shop that was kind of short, and this was the top on it--but it was painted white and had a notch cut out of one side. We took the top off because we had a porcelain top we thought we could use on the short table, and I bought leg extenders for it--who knew there was such a thing! That project, however, has been on hold. When we did a room cleanup a couple months ago we almost pitched this top. Then when we were looking for a top for the treadle, we came upon this one. Larry cut off the notched area, and when he was sanding it all these layers of paint appeared. Needless to say, we left it just as it was, just waxed it for protection. 


I love, love, love the way this desk came out! Will someone else love it as well? We shall see. This had damage to the top drawer that took a creative repair and necessitated the paint. I am hoping someone will want a bright and sunny spot in their workroom or home office. Yellow isn't everyone's favorite color, but I could not see this desk in any other color. The old portable typewriter even has the manual that came with it. So cool.


Now, maybe I can get back to work on the dresser I was planning to do next. Or maybe that other table. Or the credenza. Or some chairs...

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Traveling West Virginia: Tu-Endi-Wei, The Place Between Two Waters

 This small park--possibly the smallest of West Virginia's state parks--encompasses only four acres, but packs a lot of history into its square footage.

I've visited here before, once as a storyteller, and once with some of my granddaughters. I supposed I've stopped in here and there in between, but all of my visits seemed to be short and packed with other things to do. So this time, I took my time.

Because I had some things I wanted to see. I had explored most of the sites and stories surrounding Mothman, the area's strange phenomenon that appeared, according to the stories, in 1962 and led to many more sightings and the appearance of "Men in Black" (this was the first time the term was used). But I wanted time to see things like the Merci Train French Oaks. I wrote about the trees in a post about five years ago .

The West Virginia boxcar from the Merci train is on display
in Welch, WV. For information, call  (304) 436-3803
or (540) 297-4946


The trees were grown from acorns sent in the Merci Train from France--a gift from the grateful French people to the people of the United States for their aid during World War II. Just standing near the trees gave me such a sense of...what? History? Of a time when the world was unified? When the US was unified? I felt sad and at the same time hopeful. The park's superintendent, Doug, happened to be there while we were at Tu-Endi-Wei and he told me he'd set out a few young trees from the seed of the old trees so that the French oaks will continue to be a reminder of history.


Tu-Endi-Wei park (the name means "place between two waters") is also the home of the oldest hewn-log structure in Mason county, WV. The house is in good repair considering it was built in the late 1700's. It is referred to as the "Mansion House" because at the time of its construction it was considered huge for a home on the frontier.

Another monument on the grounds commemorates the gravesite of men who were killed at the site during a battle of Lord Dunmore's War, a conflict between the British and Native American tribes in the area. These men were buried in the magazine, a structure used to store ammunition. The most tragic aspect of this battle was that soon afterwards, Chief Cornstalk came in peace to the fort at the site, and was murdered. Legend has it that he placed a curse on the area which has prevented Point Pleasant from thriving as it seems like it should, with its prime location at the juncture of the mighty Kanawha and Ohio rivers. Both Larry and I had ancestors who were present at the Battle of Point Pleasant: Stephen Holstein on my husband's side, and a doctor in my family line who lived in Rowlesburg, VA (now WV) at the time of his service. (It is interesting to find that there are descendants of my maternal great-grand-mother in West Virginia, none of whom I have yet met).

A petroglyph, found in Mason county, stands behind protective fencing.




A barge passes by the monument to Chief Cornstalk. You can read his "curse" here.
Tu-Endi-Wei is a fine place to view passing river traffic, and even the passing barges call history to mind. Imagine the dugout canoes, the flatboats, keelboats, steamboats and other watercraft that have passed by this lovely site. Imagine the natives, cooking their fish on the riverbanks, the settlers poling their way to a new life, the smoke and excitement of the steam era, the horrendous noise of the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge just a few hundred feet north. So many lives have been touched, both by good and by bad, at this place.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna.
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