Wednesday, April 11, 2018

APRIL SNOW AND GIFTS FOR MOTHER'S DAY

  My business is not to remake myself, but to make the absolute best of what God made. Einstein


Spring is in the air and that means...Another snowstorm for those of us who live in the Midwest! We left Minnesota for a Florida vacation the day we had 8 inches of snow begin falling. The weather went from in the "teens" to the 80's when we hit Florida! In two days we head back home and right into another snowstorm! My 6 year old granddaughter went from saying "April showers bring May flowers" to "April showers bring snow plowers"!

But I'm just going to ignore the weather and move on like it's Spring, which, technically it IS! And then I'll bring some flowers into the house, new plants, and pretty Spring things. And we have lots of great treasures for Mother's Day which is coming up next month!








 Of course we have plenty of rustic goodness as well as the "pretties" for those who like Farmhouse Decor.




And there's LOTS LOTS MORE! Go to our shop to get more ideas for Mother's Day and other occasions... gwenandalmas.etsy.com



The Plummer House is getting ready for Spring also and preparing for all the Summer Weddings. We are booked EVERY WEEKEND this Summer for weddings! Yesterday, we had a small party show up on the grounds having an "Impromptu Wedding", as they said. Right at the front door of the house. It was rather chilly but that didn't stop them. We have a few of those every year.

We are also working on getting the hardwood floors cleaned and refinished, and tightening up the dining room chairs that tend to get squeeky and wobbly after repeated use. Well, to be clear, we hire people to do those things. But we DID make the "Spring To Do List" and followed up on all the work. The Spring window washers will be coming soon also! There are so many more projects waiting to get done! We're really running a small business here but it's a sweet gig!

Just have to say that we have the most amazing workers here at the House! Just as we were leaving for Florida, the Garden crew came and shoveled out the driveway and as we were picking up the mail at the very large mailbox, one of the guys came over saying, "Let me get that snow for you" as he swept a big pile of snow off the mailbox! After thanking them, and driving away, I looked at Les "We can't ever leave here".

And yeah, I'm writing this while on vacation in Florida! I'm also keeping our Etsy shop open with the notice that we can't ship until after we get home. And people are buying! It's really fun making money while we're on vacation!

Monday, March 5, 2018

MORE NEW FINDS

Another day, another Flea Market! Just sharing today a few more finds that Les and I purchased at a Flea Market. Here's the small haul...


                                                                RUSTIC GOODNESS


                                       This wonderful old Antique Scale from the turn of the century! Notice the design around the face of the scale.



                                                        Cast Iron Turtle String Holder.

                                                                 
                                                          Vintage Soap Saver



                                                
                                                   
                                                A Vintage Small Nutmeg Grater.


                                                      
                                                    A Vintage Metal Cup Holder.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

FLEA MARKET FINDS

You're blessed when you get your inside world---your mind and heart---put right. The you can see God in the outside world.   Matthew 5:8  ( The Message )

This past weekend Les and I went to a Winter Cabin Fever Flea Market in a little nearby town. It's nice having something like this to go to in the Winter as we usually have to wait to Spring to do most of our buying. It is truly an antidote for Cabin Fever! I only purchased four things but I like what I DID buy! In fact everything I bought is something that I always buy when I see them as they are popular sellers in my Etsy Shop, Gwen And Alma's! I never think twice about buying these items. They are no-brainers!

                                                      First up...An antique metal soap dish... I had not seen any like this one before. Kind of rusty but it adds to the charm.



                   I always pick up lanterns when I see them also. I love the look of old lanterns! This is a Dietz Little Wizard.

And I always pick up galvanized watering cans if they have the sprinkler head on them, especially. Spring is not far off and these are great decor pieces!


And last but not least, this vintage Tennis Racket. These have been popular in my Shop as well. They are nice for wall decor for a Sporty Vintage look! They can be repurposed for other things as well.


And if you like the color green or want to buy a gift for St Patrick's Day, I have a few treasures to consider below...


The little barrel in the front has shot glasses in it, and the folk art bird on the right is handmade using  old wood pieces. The rest of the treasures are self explanatory. Go to my Etsy Shop, Gwen and Alma's here.

Friday, February 16, 2018

FOLK ART

So I'm finding that I like Folk Art. The Museum Of National Folk Art describes Folk Art as "Art of the every day. It is rooted in the traditions that come from Community and Culture."

To me, there are two types of Folk Art.  One type of Folk Art is labeled "naive" in that it usually is created by someone with no art training but is created from someone's imagination and using just the materials one has on hand.

But I also think there are other kinds of Folk Art in which the Artist HAS had training. I found that many artists can't even agree as to a simple definition of the term "Folk Art".  It's kind of confusing, really.

These are two "Folk Art" dolls I have that I'm loving right now. 


 This funny lady held cleaning rags ( clean ones! ) for me but is now for sale in my Etsy Shop.


                                       This Folk Art Dog is also for sale. He has wheels and you can take him for a walk using his leash. You can also take the top off and put the dog's treats or toys in there. He's rather quirky, I know.


I have a lot of other fun Folk Art pieces, some of which I'm keeping and some that are for sale or WILL be!

Check out my Etsy Shop, Gwen And Alma's here.

Does anyone else collect Folk Art?

Thanks for stopping by!
Sandy


Thursday, February 8, 2018

A BEAUTIFUL DAY, CAROLERS, AND DOWNSIZING

                  This is a beautiful day! I've never seen this one before!      Maya Angelou

It's a beautiful sunny winter day today! What a nice quote by Maya ( above ) for EVERY DAY!

I have one more thing to do to wrap up Christmas. Pack up the Carolers! I miss them during the year so they "carol" until about mid February. I'm not a big collector of things. This is my one big collection which only comes out at Christmas so I like to keep them around a little longer. Do you have anything you keep out long after Christmas?


I have 37 Carolers! I have three generations of families, a dog, and a deer. My grandchildren gave each one a name. And their names are rather creative, I think. We have a Melosh, a Miscoti,  a Mina, and a Zoey, just to name a few!

To be honest, I guess I DO have another collection. I like vintage and antique cream or white ironstone/stoneware with blue stripes which I keep in a glassed in "bookcase" of sorts. I'll show them in another post.

While I'm downsizing my "stuff" right now, I'm going to have to decide if any of my collection pieces has to go. And when you are collecting items for resale, it is REALLY hard to simplify things but that's what I'm trying to do! I'll let you know how THAT works out! 

Right now I'm working at simplifying our bedroom and also cleaning it at the same time. It is really feeling bigger, cleaner ( well, that's because I cleaned also ), neater, and well, "Simpler"! That "feeling" is what will keep me moving ahead with downsizing other rooms and closets. It feels GREAT!

Are you ready to simplify YOUR life and home? As I said previously, I'm working on an ebook to share my thoughts on "living simply". If you have any tips you'd be willing to share, I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sandy




Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BACK AFTER A LONG BREAK

                 February is the border between Winter and Spring.  Terri Guillemets

So I'm back from a long break from blogging. We have discontinued our bi-annual Hob Nobber Sales so we could spend those two weekends at the Lake with family on the pontoon. Some things are just too important to put off! And our family time on the Lake over the two long weekends is important to us.




I'm still selling on Etsy and will keep going to Gold Rush in Rochester. While this event takes place on a weekend, it's not on one of the long weekends ( Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends) where our kids get off work for a three day weekend. Those are the two biggest weekends to be at the lake! It's great family time!

We have a lot of nice things in our online shop so check us out at gwenandalmas.etsy.com. 
I say "we" because my daughter, Elissa, and husband, Les, work with me in the business. 

As I might have mentioned in the past, I'm also working on an ebook about "simplifying your life". It has kind of taken a backseat to the collecting and selling but little by little I'm getting there. In fact, the decision to not have the Hob Nobbers any more was to try and simplify our lives. It was all getting to be too much. I'm also working on simplifying our own lives as I write the book and share my OWN experiences. So I'm downsizing our "stuff", cleaning out closets, and trying to find more creative ways to make life less complicated. Life is complicated already so why add to it with "too much stuff" and "too many activities"? It gives us more time to do the things we REALLY want to do. The ebook will also help you clarify the things that are important to YOU!

So here are a couple of things we're selling on Etsy at the moment. We have about 180 items for sale and we add more items to that weekly. If you'd like occasional updates on what's for sale, go to our shop, Gwen And Alma's, and click on "Favorites". 
Great vintage pot! Add big bouquet of flowers or display just the way it is!
 

 
Found this in Panama City Beach, Florida. I kept it for a while but really don't have a place for beachy decor.

 
Primitive Farmhouse Paddle


I have one of these that I use as a candy dish. I like the Farmhouse look. Valentine Candy would look cute in this!

 

                                         To see more, go to gwenandalmas.etsy.com

Also if anyone locally is interested, I have listed two chairs on Craigslist ( not vintage ) that are in great condition. $250 for both / OBO. Just leave a comment if you are interested. They are good quality chairs I purchased from Drury's Furniture, but they say on the tag, "made for Daytons". It was kind of confusing but....oh well.

                                
                                  Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more updates.

Friday, November 10, 2017

COPPER FINDS

Lately I've been drawn to purchasing copper items. I love the old rustic look, the patina, and the quaintness of these pieces. So I have a few pieces of copper being sold in our Etsy Shop right now. But I'm bringing this up because as I mentioned in another post I would share the items I purchased at the last Auction. The first two are the ones I purchased at the auction and the others were purchased at an Estate Sale earlier.





                 This last one is kind of rustic but I could see some cute plants growing in there.


                            I also have this wonderful copper tea kettle with a wooden handle.


And this sweet pitcher.

 
And my personal favorite, this antique primitive copper ladle in the front of this photo. You can see more photos of this and all the others in our Etsy Shop at gwenandalmas.etsy.com

                    The wooden bowl, the lantern, and the stool have already been sold.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

I usually don't like to jump ahead to Christmas before Thanksgiving and at home I'm not doing that with my decorating but I HAVE already starting my Christmas shopping. I decided to try and get as much done as possible so I have a bit of a more relaxing December. In fact, my first gift purchase was online and arrived just today.

So thinking about online shopping got me to thinking that it might not be too early to share some Christmas items here that are listed in my Etsy Shop, Gwen And Alma's.


We have Christmas tablecloths and Christmas Hankies.  I've used Christmas Hankies for wrapping bars of gift soap, making it two gifts in one! It makes a nice inexpensive gift.


     In the photos shown above are all items that could be used in Christmas decorating as well as for other times.

                          We also have many great gift items for both men and women!

AND..... A few VINTAGE NORWEGIAN SWEATERS!


Go to Gwen And Alma's to see all the treasures we have for sale!

Thanks for stopping by!!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017


 

                HAVE A SPOOKTACULAR  HALLOWEEN!


Monday, October 30, 2017

AUCTION FUN!

Les and I attended an Auction in town last weekend. John Kruesel is the owner of the Auction Co. and a friend of ours. Despite the fact that we don't need to buy much because of all the inventory we have yet to list on Etsy, we enjoy going and thought that we might even find something to buy for ourselves.

John is a very patriotic guy and always starts the auction with the Pledge Of Allegiance. He's the one sitting behind the microphone below. He has a casual style and stops to make sure he knows who is bidding. One time he asked a woman, "Is the lady with her bidding number in her mouth bidding? Oh, you're just doing your hair. OK" 


When the Scandinavian bench below went up for bidding someone yelled out, "How long is it?" John said, "Well, I don't have a measurement but I would guess three large butts."



The Auction was held on Friday night and all day Saturday. Friday night items were being sold for a song. A beautiful Grandfather clock sold for $10! If you were in the market for one you would have hit gold! If you were in need of nice furniture for cheap it would have been a goldmine! But we decided to leave early because we didn't see anything we HAD to have. I'm having second thoughts about that now though after Saturday's Auction. On Saturday things were much pricier. See these little antique boxes below? Not one sold for less than one hundred dollars. And some well over one hundred.


On Saturday the items being sold were huge Maple furniture pieces that were pretty cheap but that's not my style. But there were lots of Primitives and those were what I was hoping to get. Guess there were some big time collectors there willing to pay more than I was.





One thing about Auctions is that it is important to know the lingo. "Times the money" means that there are several similar pieces up for sale but you are bidding on what you will pay for just ONE of these. So there were 8 folk art wooden fish up for bid, and one lady bid $180 ( or around that price ). BUT she didn't know the lingo and thought she was bidding for ALL of them for that price. So she would be paying $1,440 ( $180 X 8 )! They asked if she wanted all of them and she said yes, thinking that she was paying $180 for all 8 fish. Someone went and told her what she actually paid for them. I imagine she was kind of shocked! She took them to an auction worker and told them she misunderstood and they accepted them back and they put them up for bidding again. Some auction companies may not have been as understanding.


                            I really liked this chair but we left before they put it up for bidding. It probably would have been more than I wanted to spend as there were many collectors of Primitives there!

Still it is very entertaining to see all these neat pieces and see what they are worth. We bring our lawn chairs, set them up in front of the podium, and eat great food from the food truck while chatting with friends and hoping we can win something!

I DID manage to find something I liked and kept bidding so I wouldn't go away empty handed. I'll show that in another post.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sandy

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Gwen And Alma's And My eBook

In my last post I mentioned that I was working on an ebook about Living Simply. In the future I will be offering this for sale on Amazon. But stay tuned here because in the first week it will be offered for FREE!



If you have ever thought about de-cluttering, downsizing, becoming less busy, or just wanting to slow down and enjoy life more then this ebook is for YOU! As I write this ebook, I am also in the process of trying to live a simpler life myself. That is the reason I felt the need to stop selling through our occasional sales. I still have my Etsy Shop, Gwen And Alma's, open however! Check out the new items I've added for the Christmas Season here. I'll be continuing to add more each week so keep checking back!


A few things here being sold at Gwen And Alma's


If you sell vintage and antique treasures yourself and wonder if it's possible to "Live Simply" and still maintain your business, I can assure you that you CAN! It takes being intentional but it is doable. I wondered that myself though as I saw all the inventory I had and the need to store it, the time it takes to hunt for the treasures, and all the other things that go into running a business. That goes for ANY business for that matter. I will be addressing how to be in business and still live a simpler life at some point, but just touching on it in the ebook. Living Simply doesn't mean you have to quit EVERYTHING you are doing and get rid of all your possessions! But more on that in the ebook.

For sale at Gwen And Alma's
The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well being that places harmony in one's life.
                             Peace Pilgrim



Thursday, October 12, 2017

NEXT CHAPTER...

So I haven't been posting lately because I developed two significant cataracts. And by significant, I mean, I could hardly see AT ALL out of one eye and the other was badly clouded. I couldn't drive, read, or see the computer!  I kept knocking things over and the only good thing was that now I was looking pretty good in the mirror... no flaws...that I could see.

It took a couple of months to get in for the surgery but now it's all over and I can SEE!! Better than I have in YEARS! Now I don't even need glasses to drive! I still have to get the other one done but still...My vision in one eye is now 20/20! It's pretty amazing!

By now those  of you receiving my newsletter have heard the news that we are no longer going to hold our Hob Nobber sales.  There were many reasons for this even though we were still going strong! Why not go out strong! Right? I know many people are disappointed by this but all is not lost...yet, anyway.



First of all here are the reasons..Life was getting complicated. Les had health issues throughout the whole month of June, making it impossible for us to go out hunting for treasures.  Health problems kept us from going to the boat for some R&R as well. Trying to find time to fit it being on the hunt for "good finds" started  being stressful instead of fun. Our hobby began to seem like a job!  And it didn't help that this year we began to get some items stolen at our sales. We were getting too big!! Since we have so many rooms open we can't be in every room to check so items were missing  at our last event.


 Also, because the sales always had to be on Memorial and Labor Day weekends, we were yet again unable to use that time for family fun on the boat. Priorities needed to be checked again.

Oh my gosh! Miss this already!

 During this time I have also been working on an e-book about simplifying your life.  Clearly, "my life" was not getting the message of what I was trying to write about.



 So it was time to evaluate. I won't go through the steps of how we came to that decision, but we made it and we don't regret it. Actually, I felt a huge relief come off my shoulders even though I still love "the hunt". What's the Next Chapter? So here is where "all is not lost" and where I can still hunt for treasures and you may still find a place to buy our stuff.



Each Hob Nobber partner is considering options. Maybe we will all do Gold Rush together or find other venues that aren't going on over the holiday weekends. These other venues won't require such large amounts of space to fill.  We are all going to do some checking on options. One thing I WILL continue is my Etsy Shop, Gwen And Alma's! You can shop all year round on there and if you are local you can save shipping by contacting me in person about an item. I still have some great inventory that I will be listing. Etsy is  a great place to find one of a kind items for unique Christmas gifts.  I'm also putting some bigger items on Craigslist.

Les and I still enjoy the hunt so we won't stop altogether! But I AM enjoying selling on Etsy in our Gwen And Alma Shop! It doesn't require heavy lifting, a huge set-up, and we can still enjoy family time on the two big holiday boating days of the season.






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