Friday, October 24, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy....

I don't know how I get so busy!! I've been meaning to post on here for almost a month and it has not gotten crossed off my daily list; just moved to the next day. Not that I'm putting it off (or am I??), but I never seem to get to that, or making an appointment to get my glasses changed, or going to the Social Security office, or getting my hair cut!!

Do you have those things on your list? Things that just keep getting moved to the next day (everyday)?

I suppose we get wrapped up in the everyday events that happen that
aren't on our list. Like lunch, bathroom breaks, phone calls or everyday problems that just happen.

I think I'll have to start blocking out a couple of hours just for the unforeseen.

I have been busy in the crafting room! Look what I've done for my little cottage.

I just LOVE this teacups and roses fabric from Shabby Fabrics!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pretty Pumpkins

Remember these? I made them last year for a give away. I also sold quite a few on my web site and gave some away as gifts to my customers when they bought something from me. They were so much fun to create.

So, I decided to do a few for eBay this year. I've done these a little different as they are not the stuffed kind, but a more solid one that will hold its shape year after year. I've made several of these over the years that I still use in my Fall decorating as they are so different and unusual.

Placed with other fall items, these add a little romance to an otherwise quite dark season.

I know there are those of you that love the oranges, rusts, yellows and browns of this coming season, but I much prefer the burgandy, ivory, dusty rose and sage greens. Colors with just a hint of blue in them seem a little more soothing to me than all the colors with yellows in them this time of year.

How about you? Are you a cool color person or a hot color one? Along about February or March I'm ready for the warmer colors, though. I just love a pale yellow in the spring!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Those Were the Good Old Days....

While at an antique show a few weeks ago, I ran across a wonderful booth that had a lot of wedding items in it. I was drawn by a beautiful satin dress in champagne with rosepointe lace. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it had rust spots all over it and the lace almost fell apart when I touched it. It could not have been cleaned as it would have disintegrated.

The vendor assured me that all of the items in that box went with the dress. There was a lovely cloche and veil, tiny shoes, an engraved announcement, what was left of the brides bouquet and a newspaper with the write-up of the wedding that took place with the bride wearing this very dress.

I was commenting to the vendor about how sad I felt that the family of
this lovely bride did not want to keep and cherish these items. She said she bought it from the bride's grandchildren and had asked them time and again if they did not want to hold onto that memory of their grandmother. They told her that they had no room to store "old junk". Sad to say, this the fate of a good many of the antiques I run across. They are discards from family members that do not know how cherish their ancestor's memories.

Most of you won't have any memory of when this newspaper was on the stands. You won't remember when you could buy a pair of shoes for $1.99, or when a really nice dress was $7.99; When a kitchen sink came with it's own metal cabinet or when every woman wore a hat.

There are a lot of things you probably won't remember from 1952. Harry Truman was President and "Ike" was thinking about running for President on the Republican ticket (if he were nominated).

I can remember a few of these things as I was in grade school at that time. Without dating myself, I do remember when Eisenhower came to our town, on a train, to campaign for his Presidency and I remember reading Mary Worth in the comics section of the paper. You could go to the movies for a quarter and popcorn or a candy bar cost a nickel.

I'd love to hear if some of you also remember these wonderful times.

I've briefly skimmed over this newspaper and have had a good chuckle at the prices mostly.

You can buy these memories and this newspaper in my listings on eBay. Just search "Vintage Newspa

Monday, September 8, 2008


Yup, that's me and I'm going to shamelessly plug some of my friends' selling sites. Hang on because you will be blown away.

My dear friend, Vickie, has just started her own website. Vickie loves Victorian things about as much as I do and her home is a wonderful showcase of her splendid good taste.

I know she shops with a keen eye toward offering the most unique items for her customers. Check out Visuals by Vickie for some wonderful treasures for the Victorian lover as well as some great gifts at reasonable prices and great shipping rates.

I love shopping here! She's a sweet Southern lady, too. Here's a sampling....

Another of my favorites is Glory's House. If you're into
BLING like I am, this is the place for you! I have to almost wear a bib when I go to this site as the appilques are soooooo georgous, I'm drooling the the entire time I'm on there. Get ready for lots of oooooos and aaaaaahhhs.

This is one of my favorite sites from which to purchase. Anita is such a lovely lady and her offerings are very unusual; not like the run-of-the-mill embellishments you find everywhere else. Glory's House has had a successful store on eBay for a number of years, but I like Antia's web site more.

For those of you that have purchased from Aunt May's Cottage, you know I only use the best and highest quality embellishments on the market. Glory's House has those!! Here are the favorites of my latest purchase from Anita. OOooooo, AAAhhhhh!!

My sweet PRH sister, Katie, has just started a selling blog. She does some of the most beautiful ribbonwork and ribbon embroidery you have ever seen! Items with that talent are offered on her selling site, but what I'm most excited about right now are her new TEA ROSES. Lest you think these are just for show, you need to visit her site, A Petal Apart, to see their
real purpose.

When you visit these magnificent sites, please go to the comments section and leave a comment about how you liked the site and tell them Bertie sent you.

Better yet, reach into that Pay Pal account and buy something for yourself or that someone special on your Christmas list. It's not too early, you know.

Monday, September 1, 2008

First Friday Sales

My dear friend, Rhea, is hosting a First Friday Sales event. Here's how it works....those of us that are interested in participating in this event will post some fabulous items for sale and at very reasonable prices, I might add.

These items may be listed on their web site, their blog or a selling blog. If you are interested in being a part of this exciting event, please go see Miss Rhea for details and to be added to the list of wonderful vendors.

Now, those of you that want to shop (who doesn't??)....Just come to any site with the logo above or start at Miss Rhea's blog and you will find a list of all of the participants in this fun shopping experience. It promises to be easy on your wallet and you'll find some great treasures. It's never too early to shop for Christmas, you know.

On my Web Store, you will find the First Friday items in a catagory of its own. I will also be adding a new sale catagory with items all UNDER $5.00!!

A couple of my First Friday items are....
Click Here for this sweet frame.

Click Here for this cute little Friendship pillow!!

See you on Friday!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Anyone that knows me well, knows about my love of BOOKS!! How else can you take an afternoon and look through the eyes of a scholor, stand next to someone famous, solve a mystery, be transported to a foreign land, live in history, fall hopelessly in love or learn more than you can ever remember about anything your heart desires?

I have so many books that I decided there was a need to find a way to keep them all in one place. I was reciting this plight to a dear friend at lunch one day. The next time we met, she brought me yet another book called At Home with Books. I found this to be a novel idea (pun intended)....a book about books!

This is a collection of wonderful photos on where to put books.

In the art gallery....
In the den......

In the bedroom......

In the living room.......

In the kitchen.....

Some of my favorites.....

Now, I don't see many books in here, but I sure do LOVE this room!!

Honestly, a lot of our books are in yet another room in our home. I looked and looked, but could not find ONE bathroom in this book. Can you imagine?
Where do you keep your books?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gee, I wish I had more time..... post on this blog!! But, being OCD, I only allow myself three hours a day on the computer. Otherwise, I would get NOTHING done!! That time has been spent listing new items for my web store. I have about two more days to go until I am finished!! We have about 30 new items listed this week.

Did stop long enough to get this photo on my way to pick up some sewing supplies earlier this week. I just LOVE rainbows!!

Don't forget.....we still have free shipping at Aunt May's Cottage until the end of July!! Hop on over and look at some our new listings.

I have something in mind for my next post that will promise to be a more interesting read.

Gotta run!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What did YOU do over the Fourth???

Here's what we did......

We dug and pulled vines from the cottage gardens. If you've been with me since the beginning, you will know from my past posts, that this cottage and garden were abandoned for more than a decade. During that time, the vines (honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, trumpet vine and poison ivy) had taken over, not only the cottage, but the gardens, too.

I've fought them for four years now and decided that they were NOT going to win!! Soooo....out they came. With shovels, picks, saws, hatchets and axes, they have been controlled for now.

We also lowered the gardens by about 18 inches of dirt. The constant movement of those vines had mounded up the soil so that watering became impossible. Every rain or sprinkling by hose ran off and did little good to the plants. Watering also moved so much soil into the paths that they had to be reclaimed each spring. What a chore that was!

I was able to save a few plants and lots of bulbs, so those will be replanted. Sadly, some of the herbs were lost, but will be replanted next year. There are still plenty of herbs left in the other portion of the garden that has not been so invaded with vines.

Here you will see the portion of the garden that we left. It is full of lavender, peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, bee balm, Russian sage, obedient plant, milk weed (for the butterflies), black eyed susans, purple, pink and white coneflowers, delphinium and sweet william.

As you can see, the bee balm is just beginning to bloom. Believe it or not, it's taller than I am! Most of the herbs bloom in late summer and fall. Next spring, I will move many of these plants to the lower portion of the garden so we can redo this, too. I would miss the blooms by moving them now. It's just too hot here in Michigan right now to guarantee a successful transplanting.

It's amazing what two old people can accomplish, if they set their mind to it! You can click on any photo to enlarge. Thanks for visiting!!

Oh, and don't forget that the Cottage is giving FREE SHIPPING for every purchase in July. Your purchase will help replenish these gardens.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yesterday Was My Birthday.....

...and I started out feeling a little low about it. I thought about it for the better part of the day then, it came to me.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy neck, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio.

I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

And, I shall eat chocolate every single day if I feel like it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Better Than A Sale.....

During the month of July, Aunt May's Cottage is offering FREE SHIPPING for every purchase you make! (limited to continental US postage only and non-sale items)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June's Cottage Window

Every month I try to put a different vignette in the display window at the cottage. I have a few on-line friends that have seen this window and have encouraged me to post it every month. If my blogger friends like it too, I'll continue to share this each month. This is the window done for the month of June.
The photo was taken at night as the reflection on the window during the day overshadows the inside of the window.
In July, I'll put some red, white and blue and a few really sparkly items in there....stay tuned.
Click to enlarge so you can see everything in there. It's pretty full!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh, You Beautiful Doll.....

Some of Aunt May's Cottage listings this week...

Just look at this face.....

And this face!!!

The costumes on both of these beautiful dolls are impeccably detailed!! They have all of the last century underclothes, too. The pantaloons and slips have lace on them and the camisoles have tiny pearl buttons, more lace and ribbons.

I just LOVE these beautiful porcelain dolls from Jan Hollebrands!

Do you have a favorite collectable doll?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I've been tagged.... Stephanie of Angelic Accents. She's such a sweetie and a lovely friend!

It's a "Getting To Know You" tag and here's how it works....... I need to answer five questions and pass this on to five friends. Steph's questions are:

Where have you traveled? In my career, I did a lot of traveling to the mid-America states and I've visited nearly every state on the East Coast and California. I've also been to Canada a couple of times.

Where would you like to live? I'm very happy living in Michigan except during the winter. Ideally, I think Tennessee would be perfect for weather year around. I don't mind a little cold; It's the snow and ice, I don't like much.

What is your decorating style? I love the Victorian style! The furniture, the window dressings, the wall hangings, the fabrics, the lace, the linens, the clothes, the romance and the gentler times of that era are deep in my very soul. I prefer to tweak it a bit to lighten the colors and lessen the displayed collections. Living in a 160 year old home and researching it's roots, I've found that many styles of that time period appeal to me. I also like the Old World style of the French, English and Italian influences. I really like all styles except "Mid-Century Yuck" and "Modern Simplicity".

How many times have you been married? Three times. The first two were practice.

Favorite color? Depends upon my mood, but I always like Old Rose.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Raising four children.

What would we be absolutely shocked to learn about you? Most people don't know that I sing with a Gospel Quartet, and have for almost 30 years. The shocking part is that I am barely 5 feet tall and sing in a true Bass voice.

OK, I tag . . . . . . .

Ele, Dolly, Lillian, Susan, Judy

You can use the same questions or make up some new ones if you'd rather.

I just realized that Stephanie passed on more than five questions to me.

Hey, Steph.......

Monday, June 2, 2008

Guess What I Bought......

This Victorian Settee!!

Hubby and I went antiquing over the Memorial Day weekend and found this lovely in an out of the way antique mall. Much to my surprise, it was on SALE (one of my favorite words)! I put on the please-please-I’ll-eat-all-my-broccoli face to hubby and he said “OK, we’ll go get the truck”

I must say, in all honesty, that I have wanted one of these for over 30 years. They have been either the cost of my first born child or in less than repairable condition.

Now, the dilemma…..where to put it??? Anyone who buys something new for their home either has a spot already picked or has to remodel the entire house to accommodate that “find” that they can’t live without. My problem was the latter.

I decided that the parlor, which had been done in a maritime theme because Hubby is retired Navy, needed a change. Soooooo...............out with the Eastlake Parlor set, out with the models of boats and ships, out with the big boat wheel, out with the maritime oil paintings and nets and buoys and IN with the new settee.

We aren’t done with this room yet. I need a new carpet in a lighter color. I need to put up the crown molding and paint some kind of a border on the ceiling. I’ll need to make new draperies in several layers. We’ll need to put shelves in the old window opening to make a book case. Hubby will need to move the wiring box to the center of the room, get a medallion and hang the new crystal chandelier.

I only need one more thing: A center table befitting a room of this splendor. And, I’ll probably be hunting another 30 years for that!

This is the antique pump organ I purchased at an estate sale for $100.00. It's solid walnut.

I always have a bouquet drying on the fireplace. This one is roses from Mother's Day. Hey, there's Fraidy Cat!!

Need a bigger mirror over the mantle.....
Here's where the built-in bookcase goes.......
The door to the front foyer......

And look in the doorway at how thick our walls are. Almost 20"!! That all needs trim.
Thanks for joining me on a little tour of our 1848 home's front parlor. Stay tuned for the improvements to complete it.