Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse

Friday, May 19, 2017

Whoo-Hooo! Friday's Finds May 19, 2017

Found on Pinterest.

Faster than a speeding bullet
More powerful than a steamroller
Able to leap tall free boxes in a single bound--
Look! Swooping through sales--
It's a crazed hoarder!
It's an escaped lunatic with incredibly bad taste!

Guess what I did today?

Yes, readers, it's one of those red letter days again, when I celebrate the joy of junque acquired for peanuts. It's Sheer Trash Roadshow's latest edition of "Friday's Finds".

We finally have decent weather on a holiday-free weekend, and the garage sales have sprouted like the lush and rampant weeds in my flower bed. Truly, Spring has sprung. Gotta show you what I snared today!

Now, keep in mind I'm reining myself in these days. And also that some of my finds I can't display here because they're destined as gifts for family members. (Yes, we cheerfully bestow trash on one another for Christmas and birthdays.) But I still have a few delights to show for my efforts today.

My best stop today was the annual rummage sale put on by the local Catholic church. Catholic rummage sales are almost invariably terrific, at least in my estimation. One year I got a piece of dirty barkcloth for $2 and, after hand washing it, sold it on eBay for over $150. Now that was a banner day. (A recap, if you're a glutton for punishment:  sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2013/03/strictly-for-birds.html  ) I also stopped at several garage sales and snared some dubious gems. 

From left to right, feast your eyes on these vintage treasures:
a plastic watering can in ever-popular mid-century aqua, a plastic blow-mold bunny to add to my collection of cute and bizarre vintage rabbits, an Anchor Hocking lustreware coffee mug (very collectible), an aluminum scoop (I find it hard to resist vintage metal scoops and ladles--they look cool and are jolly useful to boot), a chippy chalkware wall plaque featuring a Mexican motif (maybe 1930's vintage?), and a set of glass swan water barometers. This loot cost me all of $3.

I also found an unfinished hand knitted toy dog project and pattern, with all the pieces made and just waiting to be assembled. Looks like someone's project from the 1960's or 1970's. I'll have fun finishing him up. I paid $1 for the privilege--a bit on the high side, but hey! He's hand made!

I blew the last of my loot today at a garage sale I nearly passed by. No vintage "junque" at this one, but I did snare a stack of Civil War history books and I'm fairly salivating at the prospect of delving into them. Paid $1.50 apiece and I'm sad to say I still had to leave some behind. And I had a most enjoyable chat with the seller who was pleased to have found a fellow Civil War buff to take his cherished books off his hands.

Okay, now for a side trip. A couple of Fridays ago when garage sales were non-existent, I ducked into a charity thrift shop and found these wonderful old Gund musical rabbit toys. They cost me $15 apiece and even though that's more than I'd customarily fork out, I was glad to get them. I need to do some more research on them, but my preliminary findings have me convinced they're worth considerably more than I paid. If you have any information about these toys, I'd love to hear it. I'm thinking they're 1960's vintage.

Aren't these guys adorable? They stand 10-10.5" tall. They're in marvelous condition, and she's still sporting her original tag.

Boy Bunny plays "Rock-a-Bye Baby" and Girl Bunny plays "Brahm's Lullaby".

Check out the bottom of their feet! 

Thanks for joining me on today's junking journey. Happy thrifting!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Pal Peppy

Peppy: Pastel Portrait by Julene Baker-Smith; ArtByJulene.etsy.com

About ten and half years ago, two things happened that dramatically changed my life for the better. 

The first was, I ruptured a lumbar disc while practicing throws (I was the one "throwing", if you could call it that--I wasn't very good at it) in a martial arts class. Back spasms and sciatica quickly ensued, and I was more or less a wreck. 

The second thing was, I finally pitched a hissy fit and gave my dog-hating husband an ultimatum: I was getting myself a house dog--maybe even two--and he could like it, or lump it! Not that I hadn't had dogs over the years; when you live in the country, you really need a dog, but my husband decreed they had to live outdoors. 

It seems his mother, back in the 1950's, had scrimped and saved to buy some chicks, and while she was out one day, their old farm dog had somehow managed to get at them and kill them all. She hated dogs ever after and her kids were thoroughly indoctrinated with her attitude, a discovery I somehow didn't make until after I was married and was committed to this bafflingly anti-canine individual. 

But with the kids growing up and leaving home, and with an aching back and shooting pains up the leg, I got mean and fed up and conversation-deprived enough to make a stand, and decided I was getting myself a dog. A little dog I could take with me in the car when I ran errands. The bad back dictated it had to be a miniature or toy breed; I couldn't lift much. I was researching and combing ads for a dog to adopt when my daughter suggested, "Why don't you get a pomeranian?" I'd never even heard of pomeranians, let alone seen one to my knowledge. 

To bring this rambling intro to a close, after a few months of praying for God to give me the right dog and searching to find him, I became the overjoyed owner of a 4-month-old red sable pomeranian puppy whom we named Peppy. You can read more about that here:   sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2014/11/whats-in-name.html

Oh, what a blessed day! I became a happier, nicer, more contented person with my little dog to chat with all day long. We all became nicer people, in fact. Even my dubious better half was won over. Not that he'll ever be a mushy, dog-loving pool of oohing, ahh-ing sentiment like his wife, but he realized these little dogs were good company and entertaining to have around. I say dogs because eventually we ended up with three poms. And in the house, no less! 

All of which brings me back to Peppy, and the reason for this post. Those of you who've followed the blog over the years know Pep's had his ups and downs. A product of "back yard breeding", he inherited some unfortunate health issues. A bit of that is covered here, if you want a recap:  sheertrashroadshow.blogspot.com/2012/05/home-again.html
Pep even had his own Etsy shop, MyPalPeppy, for a few years to raise money for surgery he needed, and then to raise funds for small breed dog rescue efforts. So over the years Peppy developed a modest following of sorts. 

It's for you kind readers who have a soft spot for my little dog that I report, with sadness, that Peppy's life is drawing to a close. He just turned eleven, and under reasonable circumstances could have expected five, six, or seven more years, but his congenitally weak trachea is giving out, his breathing is labored, and we're out of viable options for treatment. His vet had prepared me for this outcome--I have always known it was inevitable--but somehow I didn't expect his decline so soon or so suddenly. This past weekend was pretty rough. 

Peppy after seeing the vet yesterday and getting a shot... pretty tired out.

Right now Peppy is on medication to keep him comfortable and--hopefully--give him a brief reprieve, but barring a medical miracle, I know I won't have him with me much longer. He's still eating fine (we gave him a mini cupcake last night to celebrate his 11th birthday) and from time to time, he likes to go out in the yard and sniff around. No more running, but he's still giving me his good dog smile and seems interested in what's going on around him.

Peppy, May 15, 2017

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the precious gift of this dear and special friend. How kind You are, to have shared him with me.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift
is from above, coming down from the 
Father of lights, with whom 
there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James 1:17

I'm feeling both sad and glad... Tears? Yeah...  But laughter, too. Pep's a good boy. Treasuring our remaining time together.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The First "Friday's Finds" for 2017

Well, here we are at the tail end of April, and finally we've had a warm and rainless day here in the soggy Pacific Northwest. That's pretty slim pickings for sunshine even in this climate, so it was certainly welcome. It was especially nice to see that a few stalwart individuals even had garage sales going, and I managed to find a couple of goodies. It's been a long time since the last one!

I was surprised and pleased to find this beautiful vintage baby dress for a mere pittance. It's been hand embroidered and trimmed with picot crochet edging. So sweet! The style is early mid-century, not unlike some of my dad's baby clothes which were made in 1927. Not that this little gown dates that far back, but I think 1940's - early 1950's is a reasonable estimate.

I also found some lovely vintage daisy sewing trim at this same sale. I don't do a lot of sewing, but I couldn't resist this. 1970's? 1960's? Pretty stuff, at any rate. And for only a quarter--cheap thrill, indeed!

Next, I found this nifty retro "purse size launderette" set.

It contains an elastic clothesline, plastic hook clothespins, and little packets of detergent, still in its original plastic package. Just the thing for tossing into your suitcase when you go on vacation, so you can swish your undies in the hotel sink and hang them up to dry. I love to find stuff like this! Made in Hong Kong and the U.S.A., so I'm thinking this is from the 1960's.

This next little sweetie is right up my alley: It's kitsch, it's canine, it's cute, and it was cheap! 

This is "Gigi", according to what's left of her original tag, and she's made from wired loopy chenille stems and pipe cleaners. I was thrilled to find her, as she's obviously very old. I've managed to find out that she was originally sold with a miniature bottle of perfume, "Trystess" by Jean D'Arc, and her tag, if entire, would have read, "Gigi The Playful Pup". I don't know when this set was manufactured--the early 1960's, probably, though maybe the 1950's. If you know, tell me, please! I paid sixty cents for this little treasure, and she'll be joining my collection of miniature vintage poodle toys.

And while I'm on the subject of poodles, I've got a couple others I've been meaning to share with you for a while. 

I thought I'd seen everything in the way of vintage yarn poodles. But obviously, I was mistaken! These two gals take kitsch handmade poodles to a whole new level.

Behold! The little grey poodle is neither knit nor crochet, she's been constructed, as it were, from cylindrical bundles of yarn simply tied together, as you can see from the side and bottom views.

With a few pompoms tacked on for ears, nose, and top-knot, she's amazingly simple, and oh-so-cute! 

When it comes to poodle cozies (or "cosies" if you're from the UK) I thought I'd seen them all, from "Gin Poodles" (or bottle cozies) to toilet roll cozies (my own dubious specialty) to teapot cozies to hot water bottle covers. But never have I seen one like this purple pooch. Can you guess her function? I'll wager not. But let me turn her about for a rear view...

Can you believe it? That's a vintage can of aerosol room freshener spray protruding from her backside! Seriously! I wonder if the person who made this stopped to consider the ironic nature of this design. Was it clownish wit, or utter cluelessness that led to this? All I know is, I've never seen one of these before, and I probably never will again--unless I make it myself, of course...   You know I can't resist the idea!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Old Fashioned Things, Old Fashioned Ways

Gracious, how time flies! I've neglected this blog shamefully and, truth to tell, I can't see the situation changing much in the future. Sadly, I fear one day it will just quietly wither away and be gone. But such is life. Seasons of productivity, seasons of dormancy, but always change. 

Okay, enough with the philosophy. If you've been reading these inane posts of mine long enough, you know I don't take myself too seriously. As I say in the blog description, if you're looking for profound exchanges of ideas, you've come to the wrong place.

Nevertheless, the Lord in His graciousness has so declared that He "has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong," (1 Corinthians 1:27) and to that I shout out a resounding, "Glory, hallelujah!" because that means even my silly contributions make a difference in His sight.

I'm thinking about Easter. And about old fashioned Easters in particular. How I love vintage, and when I find vintage books and ephemera in a Christian vein, I'm always pleased. There's something about the timeless connection with believers who have gone before me that touches me deeply. This morning a few minutes on Etsy yielded some wonderful old treasures that I want to share.

Vintage Embossed Religious Easter Rose Postcard Made in Germany

Vintage Religious Ephemera for Journals and Scrapbooking

Vintage Sunday School Postcard Psalm 27:11

Antique Victorian Pilgrim Songs Booklet - Hymns and Texts for One Month, Psalms, Chromolithographic Illustrations (WTH-1586)

Nowadays it's hardly considered de rigueur to be a follower of Jesus Christ or, indeed, to profess a strong allegiance to any religious conviction. For many, it's seen--at best--as "old fashioned". Well, I like old fashioned. And as one old fine song says, 

If the Lord never changes as the fashions of men,
If He's always the same, why, He is old fashioned, then!

And a jolly good thing that is, too!

I wish you a blessed Resurrection Day.

Monday, March 6, 2017

My Personal Monster Quest

As most of you who have followed this lame excuse for a blog for any amount of time already know, usually I'm making poodles. Or terriers. Or something in the domestic friendly line.


But with the long winter days and resultant cabin fever, I've gone off on a different tangent. I've gone "squatchy". Or "sasquatchy". Or "bigfooty". Or "yeti-y". Or stark raving mad. You may take your choice. 

Actually, I've been squatchy for decades, but I've just recently got brave enough to mingle in the vast Bigfoot-believer subculture. Here I am hanging out with my sons at my first ever Sasquatch convention. (My middle son is behind the camera; my youngest is the one hamming it up, of course.) As for the big guy behind us, well... And I've joined a couple of discussion groups on facebook to compare notes and share photographs. It's a lot of fun! And nice to have people to talk to about one's experiences who don't treat you like you've totally gone off your nut because you know you saw what you saw, or heard what you heard.

One of these days I'll maybe share some of my family's experiences here, but in the meantime, I wanted to share with you how this "coming out of the closet" has affected my creative output.

Here are a couple of views of my  prototype bigfoot, which I made and sold a few months ago, mixing together a couple of types of leftover yarn I had on hand to get a furry effect.

Apparently this first cryptid was a swamp ape, because he took off for Florida shortly after I listed him.

And here are the latest, new-and-improved sasquatches. I was fortunate enough to stumble across some specialty yarns--usually very expensive--at the local Goodwill. I almost didn't spring for the bag full of novelty yarn, but now I'm glad I did! You never know what will inspire you. Even these are still somewhat experimental--I'm working on getting the coned heads just right, among other things.





Over the weekend, I was attempting to watch television with my husband but was getting restless, not having a project to work on at the same time. Gotta keep those hands busy! I really didn't feel like making another bathroom cozy, so thought I'd fiddle around with a simple toy instead. Rather to my surprise, it turned out rather well. And here he is, my very sweet little yeti!

He's so soft and floppy! I'm quite enamored of him and tempted to keep him, but I'll get him listed in the shop tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Forget the Romance--Gimme a School Party!

Elementary school Valentine's Day party, 1950's

There are a lot of holidays that go by pretty much ignored in my household, or at least, ignored now that the kids have grown up. Valentine's Day is one of those. I couldn't care less about cheesy sentiment or an obligatory gift of cellophane wrapped roses. Chocolates, of course, are always welcome, but then that goes without saying. Any day of the year, I welcome chocolate.

But growing up as a Baby Boomer, I do hold fond memories of the annual school Valentine's Day party. With what anticipation we kids awaited it--a lovely treat that brightened up the tail end of winter, and promised us, as well, a shortened day of schoolwork as lessons ended early for the festivities. 

I don't know what kids do now for school holidays. I think they're rather tepid affairs compared with the fun we had--after all, we all those lovely unsafe games and toys to enjoy, and refreshments were homemade because no one gave a rip about the possibilities of food poisoning or worried about eating gluten-free. It was a big deal to be designated to bring cupcakes or cookies from home for the party. There was no pre-packaged anything and not a nutritionist in sight!

Best of all was the unveiling of the Valentine boxes, carefully decorated and brought from home on the day of the party, and the ensuing contest for winners. Most beautiful box, most creative box, etc. I don't remember ever winning one of these honors, but it was fun to try every year. 

Most of us made our "mailboxes", using shoe boxes, construction paper, and glitter. A few kids had help from artsy moms and they had fancier boxes, but for the most part they were pretty simple affairs, made with fumbling fingers, pots of paste or bottles of mucillage, and great enthusiasm.

The valentines shared were the standard cheap kids' cards with bright graphics and lots of hokey puns, like these:

Notice we weren't politically correct in those days, nor socially sensitive. Ah, well.

Fifth grade was the last of the parties I remember. That year I decided to forego the standard printed cards and had my mom buy me a package of heart-shaped paper doilies and a pen with red ink, Then I copied out silly verses from a magazine article I had--was it Calling All Girls, maybe? Not sure. I've forgotten all of the rhymes but one, which I gave to a red-haired boy named Carl on whom I had a mild crush:

The man of my dreams 
is handsome and strong
But I'll stick with you
'til he comes along.

I doubt if Carl was impressed with my efforts, but my teacher, Mrs. Fisher, certainly was.

Anyway, I loved Valentine's Day as a kid. And when I homeschooled my own four kids, one of the few things I felt sad about their missing out on was the fun of the school Valentine's Day party. So every year I set out to make up for the deficiency.

The unexpected thing was, my kids couldn't have cared less. Don't get me wrong--they liked receiving the annual treat of a little heart-shaped box of cheap chocolates. They are, after all, chips off the old block in that respect.

But crafting pretty cardboard Valentine mailboxes or fashioning their own cards for members of the family or friends was something that interested them not an iota. They humored me somewhat but it was clear that I was the one who was jazzed about the activity; for them it was just some pointless art project they endured for my sake.

The most famous example of that indifference has remained a family joke to this day. I was trying to encourage the kids to come up with their own sentiments to write on their homemade cards. Nobody was particularly enthused. I don't think they could see the point. But I urged them, suggesting ideas and finally by reciting the old time-worn example, 

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.

Then I left them to it.

A half hour later I went to examine the results. I think I finally knew it was a lost cause when I read my oldest son's card to his sister. In all seriousness, he had written:

Meat is red
And I like you.

Well, I guess it could have been worse!

Here are some other vintage Valentine "fails" I thought you might enjoy.

This one obviously slipped past the censors.

Definitely the kind of card that would have you phoning the cops to report a potential death threat nowadays.

Something the Texas chain saw murderer might have sent in his youthful ardor.

Apparently nothing says "I love  you" like finding a corpse in your freezer.

Uh.....  Never mind.

I said, "Never mind!"

A sinister-looking clown. Now THAT'S gonna win her!

What planet is this ad from?