The Art Of Flipping Furniture

So I’ve been promising this post to you for awhile and I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and ideas in my head so I’m gonna do it.  Back when I started my blog I sometimes wrestled with going off the beaten path of what my brand is, what I’m about, and what the blog ultimately is about.

But then I’ve got this cool published author friend and she said “you are more than just a health and fitness whiz. There is a whole lot more to who you are and what you do than “just” that.  Your readers will want a well rounded version of you. Share life with them”

Since that time, I’ve heeded her advice and will often bring posts that have nothing to do with the overarching theme of what my blog primarily is. But I do bring life stuff. And I am well rounded haha and I do have fun letting loose on other topics… so for todays offerings… here we go…

I’ve shared tidbits with you about another part of my life, my obsession, or rather “hobby”.

Yes, let’s call it a hobby shall we ?

I have offered up some of my projects in my Monday Musings just because it gives me an outlet to kinda show some of it off.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/21/monday-musings-12/

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It’s a hobby that’s turning into a little side business.

Hobby. Obsession. Business.

Where is the dividing line? Questions to be pondered….

If you’ve missed it, I’m referring to my flipping vintage and antique furniture.

I’ve shared photos of horrible pieces I’ve dragged home and transformed. For some reason, the worse it is, the more I like it.

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The Charger never gets to go on furniture runs with me. On this day, I had to get creative….

 

I’m pretty sure it’s ’cause in general, I just like challenges. And believe me some have presented some challenges. It makes me appreciate an easy, straight forward piece sooooo much more!

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a stunning old piece when it comes around. But if it’s a piece that I think I’d leave “as is” then that leaves me out. I just won’t ruin something that has made it’s way through time and is still in a beautiful, usable condition.

Other things though, they haven’t fared so well. Neglect, cheap wood, flaking varnish, sun exposure, veneer damage … the list can go on…. those items are begging for a fresh look.

I’ve said it before, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s in the best shape to restore to some former glory.

And honestly today, many people don’t want bland, standard, varnished brown furniture. They want bright, crisp, clean looks in their homes.

They want something unique you can’t pick up at Ikea or Target. They want real, solid wood furniture and they want a piece that will enhance a part of their home.

Of course I also know the value of a beautiful piece, the wood quality, and that even if it stays in imperfect condition, it’s more beautiful in that look.

So what I do with it largely depends on what it is and it’s overall condition and how it can be given new life and function in todays world.

How long have you been doing this?

That’s a question I’ve fielded a lot lately since people who know me see it as a “new” thing.

Well, it kinda is. Meaning I really haven’t done this for long.

Actually, I kinda just stumbled into this arena and it turns out I’m good at it.

Go figure.

People actually like my stuff.

I never saw myself as the creative, artsy type. My mom was ridiculously talented in painting. I mean she could paint roses that looked like they were blooming off a plate. She had stunning penmanship when she was healthy before it became harder for her to write.  She could paint outdoor scenery and all kinds of amazing things.

She tried with me. I remember one year she bought me this whole cool set on painting and flowers and all things lovely. She showed me some simple steps to making a rose.

Honestly, mine looked like those little flowers you doodle out in 5th grade art class.  Why didn’t my rose look like it came off “Rose Month” magazine??

I yielded to the idea that the artsy gene skipped me. Just like the amazing green thumb my father had skipped me as well.

Plants come home from the store to die with me but that my readers, is another post for another day.

I grew up and accepted the talents and skills I had, even though my mom secretly believed  I had it in me.

I do have a very creative mind. It’s just my creativity has always flowed in other directions.

I had done some creative “repair” work in the past on much smaller objects. In a post I shared about cardboard Christmas houses, I talked about doing some restoration work on a few.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/12/22/favorite-things-of-christmas/

Not tacky with big plastic modern day Santa’s but more of a desire to keep it as close to original form as I could.

That perhaps, was the breeding ground for where I am now. And maybe, in a different type of way, I really did get some of her art skills.

The thrill of the hunt

Part of what excites me really in this process is hunting for that piece that speaks to me.

Oh, and that I can afford. Obviously, flipping furniture I won’t pay the crazy amount some people want for stuff. If it’s a piece I personally want then I don’t mind spending a bit more.

So there’s the hunt. The looking for the right item, the right price, and then hoping I can be the one to swoop it up before someone else does. I want wood, not fake stuff and I overall prefer vintage or antique although I will take a modern piece if it’s super cool and I can see a vision for it ( I picked up a little carved table last month, did my magic on it, listed and sold it in under 30 minutes. I could’ve sold it 8 times. Go figure)

Nothing is more disappointing than starting to love a piece, seeing a vision for it, and then it sells out from under me.

I’ve told myself… “don’t start planning or celebrating ’til you’re driving home with it”  then I can let my ideas out.

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Now… now I can cheer and let those visions and ideas run loose. I bagged the game!

 

The visions

Ok so it sounded crazy to me until I read some other posts by people who flip furniture and they would get visions for how it should look. Sometimes, the idea is so strong and powerful in my head I act on it immediately. Last week, I swooped up this feminine sweet chair that had seen better days. I immediately knew how to do it, even stopping at the hobby store on the way home and finding the exact fabric I wanted for its new cushion.  It has been one of my most favorite pieces so far.

I’ll let you take a look at it below….

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Before…. old original cushion, flakey finish and paint splatters from someone else’s project… but isn’t she sweet under it all?
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Look at her new beauty revealed 🙂
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I didn’t NEED another project chair, but as you may guess, the details drew me into this one…

 

I can’t tell you how vivid and clear the vision was for this. So much so that I bumped it to the top of my list to do it. I love having things come out of my head and seeing them come to life just as I imagined.

Ok I’ll share another project chair I finished this week too. I got it in a group of three. Chairs haven’t been something I had previously gone after but they are often old unmarried pieces and make fun, interesting and unique accent chairs. I love the idea each one can have it’s own look and theme,

When I saw this chair group I caught an immediate vision for one. I have a plan for a second and it is currently in the works.

I wanted to make one bold and fun. I went back for fabric I passed on when I did my telephone bench. I didn’t “feel” it for that project. But when I saw the chair I knew I had to go back for this particular material for it.

Check it out and you’ll see what I mean….

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Tired, worn, faded yet still have life lurking underneath….

 

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Yes. Pink. I love how the dark wax softens it while still letting it be bold. My free spirit wanted to do this piece
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Those legs….
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A playful cushion to go with it’s sassy color

 

To paint or not to paint?

As I mentioned above I have a healthy respect for quality wood pieces and if they need to be left and oiled and preserved then I will do that. For instance I shared in a post about this cool, massive dresser/cabinet with a huge mirror. A stunning piece I got off Craigslist for 80.00.

After dragging all it’s parts home and researching I learn it’s made of quarter sawn oak ( such beautiful wood) and most likely early 1900 in construction.  I was stunned that this piece was left behind and the other stuff he had for sale was gone.

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Thankfully he had the beautiful scrolled wood piece to attach to top of mirror. The mirror is filthy. It also weighs a ton. I’ve been cleaning hardware and it’s actually shiny under that dirt and grime!

 

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Lucky me. I think it’s very unusual and perhaps a bit rare. I’ve found nothing like it at all in my searchings.  Items similar, but nothing like this piece.

I’m carefully oiling it, cleaning it, and allowing it’s 100+ vibe to shine through.  That’s it. I’d never consider painting it.

However, for so many other projects, paint is a improvement and help to it’s overall abuse and sad condition. Sometimes there are repairs that need done as well as various issues the piece may have and a lovely coat of paint and sometimes some wax or antiquing gives it a fresh new look ready for more years of service.

Chalk paint is my favorite medium to operate in. Not only is it super easy to work with, it’s extremely forgiving as well. Not only that, I make my own now so my colors schemes are endless and I can match a perfect color for a project as I did with my pink chair above.  After sanding and topcoat the finish is silky smooth and beautiful.

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Cute early 1920s’ serpentine dresser… but in needy shape

 

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Smooth silky chalk paint and an ebony stained top gives this a fresh new look for years ahead… I loved this piece… it’s now in my entryway 😉

 

Ok a peek at one I finished up this past week….

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it started off looking kinda like this….

I bought this from a guy who was older and said he had found it in his grandmothers attic and was cleaning out. Solid wood, 2 tiered, and cute little clawed feet I was immediately drawn to it, a fun antique piece.

It also felt “masculine” to me so I felt an immediate connection with what I wanted to do with it. I mentioned enjoying straight forward pieces? This was one of those. I love how it came out… I’ll let you take a look….

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Chalk painted in slate blue with black wax

 

 

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I love it’s little claw feet 🙂

Yeah, blue with black wax to pull out all of it’s lovely details.  It was a good combination for a masculine table.

It’s always so satisfying seeing something drab, dirty, tired and left and forgotten about turn into a usable, fun piece for years ahead.

What next?

Well, let’s just say, I’m not at a loss for projects. I’ve got several things in the works and several in the wings waiting.

Of course, that doesn’t stop me from hunting for good deals to still drag home.

I’m working on coming up with a separate name and a separate identity for my “hobby”.  I am learning new things all the time and am blessed to have connections with a few talented people who do this as well.

Tomorrow, stay tuned for the final part of my sharing on this topic. ( I was trying to not write another War and Peace novel 😉 )

I’ll share a bit more on a question that’s been posed a couple times… “well, don’t you just put paint on it?”

Well.. kinda…eventually… yes.

But what happens before the fun part of painting? This is where any creative artist earns their money… and that’s all I’m gonna say… you’ll just have to come back and find out the rest in the final part of this project 😉 Check in tomorrow….

Tell me.. do you have a favorite hobby? Have you ever started something randomly and seen it grow and take off in your life?

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Monday Musings

Wow.  Is it Monday again? Time for another edition of Monday Musings and what not in my life.

Time.

Ever notice how funny that is? It’s a commodity we all have and are all given the same amount of each day. Sometimes it seems to crawl by, like when you’re stuck in some god awful boring meeting. A few months ago I was in such a one and I felt myself settling into that “to comfortable zone” as in, if I didn’t start moving around or do some active deep breathing I was going to take an unscheduled nap.  I glanced at my watch and scrolled to my heart rate.

49.

My heart was getting just as comfy and relaxed as the rest of my body haha

But then there are occasions when time seems to fly like when you’re with people you really like or are doing something fun. Time then moves all to swiftly.

Deadlines make time seem to move faster.

Being stuck behind a driver who doesn’t know where the gas pedal is makes time crawl by.  😛

I think, as we get older we are much more mindful of it than when we lived careless days as children.

Speaking of time, it makes me think of seasons. This in turn makes me hopeful that spring is in the near distant future. It’s been a whole lotta grey, misty, dreary, foggy and overall gross days here in the happy land of south Texas this winter season.

I’ve tried not to think that last February I was running in shorts a lot and by March was rocking a decent enough tan that people thought I was using a tanning booth.

That. Will never happen.

I assured a lady my golden skin was a by product of spending time outdoors on bike or foot, not a tanning bed.

All that to say the other day I actually got to hit the road in shorts and I forgot the pure freedom of running with less stuff hanging off me. It was glorious and reminded me that sun and daily sweat sessions will be here before I know it.

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Hello sunshine! What a wonderful treat

I’m not whining. Oh no, I’d never be a whiner, but it will be nice to really start logging some miles again and not have to worry about safety issues ’cause of fog and sloppy roads.

If I complain when the humidity cranks up again and its nothing but sun and I’m sweating out the weight of a small child on a run, you may nicely remind me I asked for it.

In the context of time management

When I hit the floor in the morning my mind is already spinning for what I’m doing in the day ahead. I sometimes worry if I have ADD as I can be wanting to do ALL of my projects, errands, and necessary house requirements at the same time.

What I have started doing is writing down all the things I want to do and picking one or two in my day alongside everything else to get it done. I try and get the necessary, not usually my most fun things done, ( like cleaning) out of the way then I can work on my fun projects.

Like my furniture shenanigans.

Last week took me into the big city to this seedy little dive in pursuit of a 1930’s china cabinet I had spotted online.

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Yep, that’s my big game in the back 😉

 

 

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Here it is in all it’s glorious disarray…waiting to be transformed.

Oh, so when I’m at this little hole in the wall shop which, really, was a time warp of treasures from decades, and decades gone by ( I am planning a field trip back  there) the only person working was this short little older lady wheezing and huffing telling me she should probably be in the hospital ’cause she might have pneumonia.

WHAT?!

Of course I’m thinking, “she’s the only one here who is supposed to help me get this out and loaded??” She mentions having a dolly, I ask her to get it, thanking God at times like this I’m strong and capable and I wheel it out making jokes I should get more of a discount since I’ve gotta load it too. I did get them to drop it 35.00 😉

Anyway, she was able at least to help lift the other side with me into my vehicle.

Yesterday I spent more time prepping it for it’s transformation. Sanding, cleaning, dusting, digging (leaves??) out from under the drawer, doing a little repair work ( the decorative wood in door needs replaced. Once upon a time it had glass but I’m not putting glass back in it) removing the hardware etc. it’s so close to starting the fun part.

But before we leave this topic… I also got the cutest little cupboard… I tried to leave it behind I just couldn’t. I managed to get it for half of what it was marked 😉

It looked like this…..seriously though… how CUTE is it??

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How sad IS it? The obvious before pic.

 

It didn’t take long for me to catch a vision for it. I finished it today. I am totally, completely in love with it.

What do you think about it’s make over?

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The ugly duckling transformed

 

I will share some more adventures on this topic in upcoming weeks 😉 I have a couple pieces in the works.

 

In some final musings…

Have  you ever wondered why foods you thought were so good when you were a  kid, don’t really taste good at all when you grow up?

My youngest son had brought home a half gallon of premade chocolate milk one day.  I never drink chocolate milk unless I’ve come off a long hard workout then it’s a delicious instant recovery drink. But I always make it, you know with milk and chocolate syrup… yeah I’m bad.

Anyway, I opened the fridge and there it sat… and I thought …heck yeah.. I’m just gonna have some.

The first chug it was like…. ACK! It tasted like and reminded me of, the way the school cafeteria had smelled.

Which was not good, I might add.

Weird, I know. That chug was all I got in.

Then there’s things like fish sticks. boxed macaroni and cheese, most cheap sugary cereals, and bad thin crust boxed pizza.

Ok true and well, I’ve grown up, but I think I really enjoyed that as a kid. Thank goodness my tastes have changed.

My kids are adults… they complain since I “got healthy” I don’t buy fun foods anymore. This translates to ” crappy, walk in pantry or go to freezer and grab pre made foods and snacks with zero nutritional value”.

They can go buy their own minced, diced, chopped, prebaked fish sticks and what not..

Is it just me? What about you? Have you left foods behind that aren’t seemingly as tasty as they once were?

In the way of food… this week coming up we will be looking at healthy cheap meals, and of course a few spotlights on various fruits and veggies (’cause ya’ll seem to dig those posts), fitness, and as always a little sassy, cheeky attitude to go along with it.

You’ll just need to check back in here and see what’s up 😉

Now tell me…

What are some favorite foods that hang on from childhood? Do you have any new healthy foods you’ve tried this week?

Monday Musings

Hello world! Time for another edition of Monday Musings, a general collection of my random thoughts, observations, and other life stuff that’s going down.

So what about that Super Bowl last weekend? Between hubby and three sons I’ve had to get on the football wagon in these past years or get left behind.

That being said, I weirdly miss it once the “big” game happens and then there’s nothing active or current going on with it. I actually got excited last fall when someone said it was almost football season.

What happened to me???

That being said… of course I was watching last weeks events unfold with the Patriots “we’re just here to scoop up another ring” and the Eagles “we’ve never won and have no rings but are ready to bring our A game”  to the big field.

Ok… so I’m always a sucker for the underdog. I can’t help it. Damn that compassionate spirit and what not. I wanted to see them have the win. The other guys, they’ve got enough bragging rights and rings, they can try next year.

And what a game it was. The Eagles came out and played like they wanted to take the win, the ring, and the Disneyland trip home with them. Not that Patriots didn’t try and deliver, they just didn’t deliver, enough.

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So although I was only like, one of two, cheering for the Eagles win it didn’t matter. It was a cool experience watching men overcome with emotion to achieve that. As an athlete ( on a much smaller scale!) I understand emotions that come from the accomplishments of doing something you haven’t done before.

It’s worth the tears.

Speaking of athletic shenanigans

This last week I’ve spent a little more time doing indoor strength training. When I say that I don’t mean solely weights, although I do. But, like using your body and that alone, is the way to build some strength. No matter what you may or may not have, you have a body and can do exercises to build strength with it.

Squats of all varieties, lunges, jump squats, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push ups, ( sweet heavens how I hate them) Russian twists, planks, side planks, V up’s the list goes on.

So I incorporate a lot of that, I use real weights too ’cause you know…girl muscles… and I kinda like out flexing most guys haha but seriously, I just like being strong for life, ya know?

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Girl muscles

 

 

Oh yeah, and some cardio ’cause you need to do that stuff. Your heart and lungs honestly will thank you. If you missed my post on heart health and why your heart wants you to do cardio find it here…  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/08/your-happy-healthy-heart-2/

It’s great to build muscles, but if you can’t walk a block or run a flight of stairs, um, you need to rethink cardio.

So before strength training I usually knock out either 10 minutes on the rowing machine which gives me around 1.3 miles or so, I sometimes do a 20 minute round of boxing or a quick run. Of course other days in my week are nothing but cardio….enter running and cycling 😉

Speaking of strength ….

the winter Olympics are upon us. Although I haven’t seen much yet, can I say all the snowboarding athletes. Holy cow Batman!

And Americans have been scooping up some gold goodies too.

The Olympics are the cream of the lot when it comes to athletes. I wanna be one when I grow up.

Complete, total machines.

I’m fascinated at all they have had to do, and continue to do to maintain the level the operate at.

Well. Wait. Do they have like… a senior Olympics? I might be able to do that! haha

Do you have a favorite Olympic sport or event you enjoy watching?

In fun projects I’ve been up to this week….

So I may have mentioned when I’m not preaching athletic stuff or learning about nutrition one of my other “hobbies” has become old, antique furniture. There’s a certain thrill of “the hunt” and if I’m successful I get “the prize”.  I want the odd, unique, different things I don’t see floating around. It’s so exciting when I get the prize AND for the price I want.

There’s something therapeutic about transforming a piece and giving it new life.

Like this ugly little night stand…. I’m so in love with how it turned out….

I wanted a project piece to experiment with pink. I love pink. I just wanted something to practice that look on. This night stand was headed to the dumpster when I snatched it from my son thinking I’d clean it up and donate it. One day while working out as I was pondering my desire to do something pink, I realized this was just sitting there, staring at me waiting to be transformed….

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the obvious before photo…. isn’t it ugly??
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Isn’t it beautiful now???

Since I really had nothing to lose it was fun to let go with it. The piece had been speaking to me and I had a vision for what to do with it. Now I really want to practice this on a bigger real piece of furniture. Like an old school vanity….

Anyway…..

I also got this super cool, unique, interesting piece this week, I’ve never seen anything like it….

 

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My newest score this week on the antique furniture hunt

 

Thankfully, I came across a man who is very knowledgeable in this work of knowing furniture. I shamelessly pick his brain on various things regarding a couple pieces I got recently. So of course, when I could turn up nothing on this ( for the love of old things I don’t even know WHAT to call it to search it up) I shot him a pic asking if he had a clue.

Oh lucky me. He knows his stuff… and this is what I learned….

A dresser like this is called a cheval dresser. He went on to say based on the hardware ( which I’m in love with and can’t believe it’s all still on it… with a real key hole) he thinks it’s English made and made of quartersawn oak and get this… circa 1900! AH!

One interesting factoid you probably don’t know…. As I’ve acquired a few pieces recently I of course, want to know how old it is. Evidently at the turn of the century (20th) they stamped the mirror on the back before putting the wood cover over it. This would reveal the month and year it was made. You can understand how tempting it is for me to want to pull the back off of a vanity mirror to know it’s age.. but then there are all of the neat brass tacks holding it in place and that checks me from doing it.

For now….

Anyway, he went on to tell me if I can look behind mirror, if the back of mirror is red or gold it was made in England. If it’s silver, it’s American. Regardless, it’s still circa 1900 wherever it was crafted.

So ok, yeah I’m a wee bit excited at this online find. Oh, did I mention I paid only 80.00 for it?

Eighty bucks.

Obviously my remodel thoughts on it now are quite a bit different as I will be sanding it back to it’s original beautiful wood tone… it will be so worth it.

I love a good challenge.

The wood around mirror top has some broken pieces so that’s where I’m setting my hand to first. Then, on to the next thing.

My other acquisition this week was a 1920’s ladies writing desk….

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1920 Sligh ladies writing desk

 

So it’s been a busy kinda week, but a fun, good kinda busy. I love doing so many creative things. Writing is definitely a wonderful outlet, exercise is always a creative time, but transforming things let’s more of my creativity come out. Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for updates on their transformation.

Tell me, what do you enjoy doing? What’s your passion or something you have a love for that makes your heart sing?

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

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As the old Christmas song goes… “it’s the most wonderful time of the year….”

This is a disclaimer before you proceed reading anymore :

I’m gonna get all kinds of nostalgic on you so either buckle up and grab a fresh cup of coffee or abandon your computer for higher ground .

You’ve been warned.

I’ve always loved Christmas but I’m pretty sure my mom and grandparents had a lot to do with making that impression on me.

My memories of childhood were of fun, festivities, and family. Of course there were always lots of delicious baked goods and candies, and everything was always beautifully decorated. Christmas music was on and I remember my mom and grandmother singing along with various songs. There were special table linens and candy/cookie trays that were brought out every year to be filled again.

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Speaking of childhood and vintage. How about a couple pics of yours truly age 17 mos. and 6 years. I look thrilled over that baby which I still have…somewhere.

 

Cookies. Can you say… cookies? Of all the ones to be chosen, the cut out cookies still have my heart. All of those fun Christmas shapes in sugar cookie form … is there anything better? That is one thing today my kids all still love doing. Piling in at the kitchen table and decorating trees, Santas, reindeer, angels, sleighs, snowflakes, gingerbread boys and girls. My mom had tons of cool cutters that I enjoy using as well along with the ones I already had.

The season was steeped in many traditions for me.

As a family we always went together and bought a fresh tree. I’m grateful no one had any issues that kept us from having one because to this day it’s one of my favorite things to go do… pick out the biggest tree I can get my paws on… thank goodness I have 12 ft ceilings now! As a child our ceilings were much shorter so we were limited in the height we could drag home.  This years specimen comes in right around 11 ft and it smells soooo amazing. Some years the fragrance isn’t as strong, this year, beautiful AND fragrant.

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The photo really doesn’t do it justice

 

No, I don’t mind a real tree, and no I don’t mind cleaning up at the end of the season. It’s all worth it to me.

My children are adults now ( good heavens… I can’t believe that sometimes) and they too continue to expect a real tree and the married ones plan to carry on the tradition.

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I love looking into the tree when it’s lights are the only thing on. It’s still magical to me.

 

So we had the tree covered in bright lights ( remember those big C7 lights you could line a run way with?? I do have those on my tree but they are the more modern ones that stay cool and wont burn the tree down) and family decorations, amazing homemade treats, beautifully wrapped packages, family, special meals, worship service and of course the celebration of Jesus birth.

I simply grew up immersed in the beauty of Christmas, and not just the beauty, the magic too. The magic of waiting expectantly for Santa on Christmas Eve and the inability to fall asleep from excitement. My family always worked to make sure that the magic was a part of Christmas.

My mom was such a child at heart about Christmas till the day she left this earth. I’m afraid I’m no different.  I still get excited at Christmas and I have a hard time sleeping sometimes.. only now I’m Santa and my kids and grandbabies get to experience it.

It was a sobering moment to me thinking this year that I’m the only one left to carry on all these traditions that have become precious to me. To pass them on to my children and their families.

Let me say I’m fully aware that Christmas isn’t fun for many, especially when they are acutely aware of loved ones that are missing from their lives.

Nothing brings that loss home more than Christmas time and I can fully speak to that.

In the last 5 years I’ve lost my brother, my mother, and this past year, my dad.  At this time of year there are moments that the pain and anguish strike my heart and spirit  so hard it almost takes my breath away.

I deeply miss my people.

I miss the ones who shared those long ago memories with me. I miss taking out certain decorations or ornaments and reminiscing about them. Oh, I still do on many items as I share stories of various treasures with my kids but they don’t have the memories associated with it.

In this last year I’ve also been busy cleaning out my parents entire house and going through years of….life. It has to be done but there have been so many days it’s been an agonizing road to walk.  There were times I went in with the intent to work and only found myself sobbing on the sofa longing for those I loved to be there again.

However, in the cleaning process I’ve found some beautiful treasures that I have brought home to enjoy and to share with my kids. One thing I finally felt emotionally strong to do was go through the various boxes of carefully wrapped ornaments that had been my mothers and my grandmothers. I tried last year but opening the box that she had last carefully packed away was a bit more than I could handle at the time.

This year, I brought everything out. I laid them all on the table smiling, laughing and sometimes crying looking at all of the years of Christmas treasures in front of me. I pulled precious old ones from the mix, ones of my grandmothers that date back to World War 2.  There were treasured delicate glass ornaments that have always gone at the top of tree to protect them, now in my care to treasure. There were silly ones that for some reason I always loved, like these colored glass balls that had big fake eyes and a foam mustache. When my brother and I moved out my mom gave me a blue one and my brother a red one. Two years ago mine fell from the tree and shattered in a million pieces. Yes, I cried.  Going through my brothers ornaments I came across the red one… somehow it was like an old friend was back as I settled it into a position on my tree.

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He’s old and not fancy, but I love him. As a child I named him Oscar.

 

 

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One of several from my grandmother that date back to World War 2.

 

Speaking of trees….

I realized that one poor tree, no matter how big, reaches a point of holding all the memories of Christmas past.  However, I can have several other trees that are fun or have a theme. Of course my kids might secretly be wondering if I’m turning into a crazy old tree lady… 😉

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I love this little pink tree. It’s fun, whimsical and is my gingerbread/candy tree in my kitchen. I add real colored candy canes to it as well.

 

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The tinsel tree is a new acquisition this year. The tree is new but it’s covered in vintage glass ornaments. The little house in front is actually an old light bulb that my great grandmother used on her tree
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I love the rustic look of all of this. The trunk was a great yard sale find years ago for 15.00. It’s an 1800’s steamer trunk.

 

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I won’t lie. I’m seriously in love with this. I picked up the tiny white tree this year and it’s covered in more vintage glass ornaments. The old wooden coke crate contains many more that were on my grandmothers tree.

 

So many treasures are vintage collectibles now. Not just that, it’s the history they hold as well that means so much to me.

AH! I’m vintage.

Ha well in the life of Christmas decorations when they are up and over 50plus years that’s pretty old. I’m fascinated with the Christmases they have seen and sometimes wonder how they’ve survived so long.

My cardboard Christmas houses, so delicate and fragile and originally only pennies in a dime store are now worth hundreds of dollars depending on the era it came from, style etc.

I am completely enthralled with them. However, my love again, was started as a child when my grandmother would place her little village out with the Barclay skater people. It was one of my most favorite parts of Christmas. I was thrilled when my mother let me have the beat up old village when I found it in the back of the loft long forgotten. I took them home and carefully restored them. It was only when I began digging into their history that I found the ones I grew up with were actually the end of an era of these unique houses. The first ones had been produced in the late 1920’s -early 30’s into the 40’s and 50’s and were last made in the mid 60’s a far cry for the original grandeur they had been crafted in.

Today, I have my grandmothers original set I still put out for that is where my childhood memories are.

But I’ve also carefully collected some beautiful, unique houses by shopping carefully and skillfully on Ebay. There are some I have to look wistfully at and let go as they soar in price zones I won’t participate in.

All of the houses in my collection are  70-80 years old. How they have withstood the test of so many Christmases gone by always amazes me. Some I’ve purchased and carefully done some restoration on. Others, I’ve purchased knowing they will stay “as is” in my collection mainly because the coloring or materials would be impossible to find and replicate now.

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Shhh step into my quiet winter wonderland…

 

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Churches are my favorite pieces. The red windowed one is from the early 1930’s.  The one on end hales from the same era. I’ve collected seven unique ones.

 

I wrote a post on them last Christmas, you can learn more reading “Favorite Things Of Christmas”  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/12/22/favorite-things-of-christmas/

I guess I should say for a more modern, trendy girl, I absolutely love and adore vintage Christmas. The new cheap modern day stuff doesn’t have the same appeal to me. I think though, it’s more because my heart is connected to the times gone by with the old items from the past.

But life moves forward, and memories are sweet and dear and keep us connected to those we’ve loved and have been privileged to share the journey of life with. As I’ve decorated this year it has been a sweet treat to incorporate so many things from the past that are old and beautiful with newer things I’ve collected with my family over these past years.

I love being able to create a magical, special season for my family like I knew growing up. It blesses me that they appreciate it so much and enjoy being there. I want them to have memories of special times and special things that they can share with their children.

Traditions. Simple or elaborate I want them to have the history of traditions.

But Christmas is so much more. It’s a time in the year when we should be more mindful than ever of peace, love, and joy. To be mindful of those we hold dear and the treasure that they are to us.  To give those gifts freely and generously back to them.  To embrace some of the simplicity of the season and not be swooped up in the commercial money train it has become.  To enjoy the presence of each other because that isn’t always granted to us.

I hope that you make your own traditions with those you love. I hope you value and embrace the simple things that make Christmas so beautiful and magical. I pray you know the peace and joy that this season is about and that it stays with you all year long.

As I’m concluding this post, and thinking of peace, I can’t help but mention it has been snowing here now for over an hour. I’ve watched big white fluffy flakes tumble from the sky and blow through the air, silently beautiful, peaceful.

It’s kind of a big deal for a girl who lives in south Texas… we rarely ever see snow.

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Do you wanna build a snowman? My adult sons crafted this big guy.

 

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Oh my! Did we get some snow! How beautiful is this?? Our first real snow since 1985. What an exciting day and night it turned into! A bit of a white Christmas for us.

 

 

It’s peaceful and quiet… it’s been reflective for me. I pray you know and experience all of the things that matter most in this Christmas season and that you have eyes of a child to still appreciate the magic and a spirit that receives the peace and hope of the Christ child.

Do you have special traditions or things that make Christmas magical to you? What are your favorite childhood memories?

Antiques And Old Junk

So this is just gonna be a fun post. I’d say random, but it’s not really “random” as I’ve had the idea on my list for awhile…. 😉 ( Yes, I have this idea list for when my brain refuses to produce something for me when I demand it or the day hasn’t inspired something, or there aren’t loose thoughts begging to escape my mind… I go to the “list”…)

Todays topic : old junk.

Also referred to by serious people as “antiques”. I guess I loosely think of it as old junk when one of my sons gave me a hard time years ago wanting to know why I wanted “old junk” when I could get new stuff ?

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like new stuff. I have no trouble buying it. But what I tried to explain to them was the fascination I have with the “old junk” … how I wonder about it’s history, where it’s been, who’s had it, the “life” that it’s seen. I especially love being able to restore, clean and salvage something that otherwise might not see another day. It can be a rewarding project.

You may have read my blog around Christmas time on my collection of cardboard houses ( go find it ) , a definitely antique Christmas village with the “youngest” piece being 50ish years old, to the oldest pieces coming in around 85 years. It’s amazing to me cardboard pieces  have survived that long.

So I thought I’d share with you some of my collection of “old junk” … some of you out there might relate and even have an interest in it yourself.. if so please share with me .

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I’ll start with this… what I just mentioned… the village… you can still go find my blog on it 😉 All are pieces I’ve scraped and fought for over the past few years( and by that I mea outwitting big collectors with lots of money on Ebay)  The orange church in the back was an Ebay purchase for 9.99. My family teased me unmercifully about it as the windows  and part of the back had been chewed out by mice and I had to rebuild the structure around them it had no steeple and I had to make that as well as make stained and aged cotton for the cotton roof. I wanted to maintain the integrity as much as possible of the original look and not change it.  The steeple I painted… the church is original color. I think I got it pretty close. Most of the pieces have just required careful cleaning or some window replacement as those don’t weather so well.

I have bigger pieces in my “old junk” collection. Like a trunk I got at a garage sale for 15.00. The lady told me her dad had used it in the service… she didn’t think it was a big deal.

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I googled it up when I got home, found someone who dealt in old trunks and found out it was a steamer trunk made in the 1880’s!  Score me. I cleaned the moth eaten paper out of the inside, cleaned it up somewhat and left in as original as I could. It works great holding old photos for me now.

My son dragged home for me one day a Coca Cola ice box someone had given him. He knew I liked “old junk”. It turns out the thing really is a pricey antique. Again, score me 😉

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One of his friends had a steamer trunk and didn’t want to mess with it… guess who got it ? 🙂 This nicely holds the various exercise equipment I use when I do quick workouts inside.

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Oh and then there’s this cool little table with a glass tray that lifts off. It was supposedly used when guests came. You used the top as a serving tray.

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I’m fortunate to have my grandparents bedroom set. I refinished it and have repurposed various pieces around my house.

 

One great find was an old table and chair set my neighbor was selling for…5.00. Yeah. 5 bucks. It was water stained, dusty, dirty, and had one leg off ( I felt pretty confident my amazing hubby could handle that part of repair) it had been her mothers, she had grown up with it, and was tired of looking at it. I loaded it up and took it home. With a little hard work it is a fun usable piece in my home now. She couldn’t believe what it looked like when I showed her the finished result.

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A little look at what the condition was before I started…

 

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This was after a little work on it 😉

 

And my recent acquisitions…. I was coming home last Sunday from a road trip and my neighbors down the road were cleaning out their barn ( the family has lived there for years) and they had a big “Free” sign by it all.

Of course… I had to stop…. after 3 1/2 hours on the road… of course I had to stop and look 😉

I couldn’t drag to much home as I had my bike and other stuff still loaded up. What I did walk off with ? Yet another Coca Cola ice box that desperately needs cleaning, an old croquet set, and a cool window frame ( I secretly hope Pinterest offers up some clever ideas for me to resurrect it with 😉 there were a few other things I wanted… of course when I went back later they were gone…. oh well 😛

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My collection of cool free stuff…weird dog not included….

 

 

Anyway, that’s a little of my favorite “old junk” now tell me if you like stuff like this (antique) ? Do you have any favorite finds ?