just k

It's Okay...

I went to the Overture Center in Madison a few weeks ago to see a theatre production of Cabaret with several people, including my daughter-in-law, her mom & 3 or 4 other women. I had never seen it (even though I’ve since learned it’s been around for 50 years) & I wasn’t familiar with the story line. Of course many of you probably know that the musical centers around kind of a trashy nightclub & a performer named Sally Bowles. 

Some of the language, songs & dancing were somewhat risqué (as is the latest Victoria’s Secret commercial on tv) but nothing was too outrageous as far as I was concerned & I’m pretty conservative. Having just pointed out that I think I’m conservative, I was somewhat surprised when the production continued after about a 15 minute intermission to see numerous empty seats!

Apparently my tolerance level for foul language, off color jokes & suggestive dancing is much higher than I thought it was or else I am willing to overlook it when I’m watching something that I think has value to it. Obviously the people who left during the intermission don’t share my opinion & that’s okay. 

It’s okay with me that some folks were so uncomfortable with the production that they left the theatre. It’s okay with me that most other people stayed, some for the same reasons I stayed, maybe others because they were there for the "risqué”. It’s okay with me that we don’t all think alike, act alike, dream alike.

Because that, as they say, is “"what makes the world go around”…k

May 11, 2017

Posted 299 weeks ago

There's Another Day...

Yesterday was so beautiful, sunny & 70 degrees. Today, cold, rainy & 40. Rain is forecast off & on for the next week. Lovely, just lovely. 

April is that month of the year that holds the promise of better weather, May flowers, the end of the school year, flip flops.. need I say more? It seems to come so slowly to those of us that are not patient. A warm day here & there tempered with a week of crappy weather. Yuk, yuk, yuk.

And yet, when we wish for warmer weather to arrive sooner, we are wishing our lives away because we can’t have warmer weather faster without our days going by faster as well. We’re that way about so many things in life aren’t we? Once we graduate from high school, we want so badly to be out from under our parents, then poof, we are our parents. We can’t wait for a child or grandchild to come into the world, & once they do, we blink & they’re off to college. We want our world to move but yet we don’t because once the day is gone, we can’t get it back.

I think I, for one, will just try to be happy that there’s another day, rainy or otherwise…k

April 27, 2017

Posted 301 weeks ago

Lucky You...

I just finished reading an article in a trade magazine in regard to coming trends. Guess what? Those brass light fixtures you got rid of a few years ago along with anything gold or copper are coming back! Back as in “"I swear I just got all the light fixtures, door hardware & faucets changed to brushed nickel & you want me to change it?”  Yup, that’s exactly what the companies that come up with & set decorating trends want you to do. 

There are isn’t an unlimited number of finishes so once they’ve run through antique bronze, chrome, brushed nickel, etc., the designers need to come up with something “new”. This time it’s warmer finishes such as gold, brass & copper to incorporate into our living spaces. For example, the article was accompanied by a picture of a kitchen with beautiful black cabinets finished off with brass hardware. I have to admit, the combination was very striking.

So if you’re one of those people out there that just can’t stand the thought of not having the latest look in your home, I hope you’re also one of those people that never throws anything away. You probably have your perfectly good brass light fixtures, cabinet hardware & door knobs stashed in your garage or attic. Lucky you or maybe not…k

April 10, 2017

Posted 301 weeks ago

Very Simple...

Oh Lord, another birthday! How did I get so old so fast? Why just yesterday I was whining about turning 30. I’m more than twice that now in what seems like just a few short years. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones, I’m healthy, (knock on wood) & I love what I do. 

Every once in awhile I have this charming woman in the shop. She lives in Monroe & I would guess she’s approaching 80 if not a bit more that that. She sells antiques in a small antique mall about 40 or so miles away. As lots of antique dealers do, myself included, she checks out what other shops have to offer. Sometimes you find a piece that you think you can make a few dollars on, doesn’t need any work & if nothing else gives you a new item in your shop. The last time this sweet lady was in, she bought a bench from me. I gave her a bit of a deal as she has been a good customer, finished up the transaction & told her if she would hold the door open for me, I would carry it out to her vehicle for her. I had other customers in the shop so she insisted that she was going to carry it out. After offering 3 or 4 times to do it, I decided that since the bench wasn’t heavy & she was very insistent that she could handle it, to back off & let her do it. She did just fine with it.

My point to that story is very simple. I hope I’m just like her in another 15 years…k


March 20, 2017

Posted 302 weeks ago

An Accomplishment...

It’s been pretty slow at the shop, just as it always is this time of year. I swear I’m going to catch up on bookwork, cleaning, projects & all sorts of things I stall out on during the year when we’re busier. Of course I can always find reasons for not doing all that stuff. My best one is “ I’ll be here again tomorrow, I can do it then”. And yet, there it sits.

Why is it that when it comes to the parts of our jobs we’re not so fond of, we need a little push to get moving? For instance, since taxes are going to be due soon, it might be a good idea for me to get my bookwork done (Al hasn’t tackled the taxes in 40 plus years, pretty sure he’s not going to start now) & even though I’m pretty neat, I needed a reason to organize our storage area at the store. Since we have sublet some of the space upstairs, I want it to look a little better when other folks are in there so I need to get it done.

I even have a plan to get caught up on all those projects that have been sitting around in the garage. Needs to be varnished? Al can do it. Needs to be painted? Al can do it. Needs that old fabric taken off? Al can do it. Yes, that’s my next goal, get out there & line up those projects for Al to do. I think that will be a huge accomplishment…k

March 1, 2017

Posted 302 weeks ago

Where They Came From...

I’m a little late with this post (what else is new, I’m a little late a lot) in that I picked up the first copy of the new magazine, Magnolia Journal, a couple of months back & am just now writing about it. 

It is a wonderful magazine, another score for the now power couple, Chip & Joanna Gaines. They seem to have the Midas touch in regard to everything they do. Having read their book (received two copies for Christmas!), I learned things weren’t always good for them financially & in fact they were on the verge of bankruptcy when their tv show was picked up by HGTV.

In addition to their tv show, book & magazine, Joanna has design contracts for lines of furniture, rugs, pillows & even paints that bear her name. The couple developed & owns The Silos, an ever expanding shopping complex in Waco, Texas. The American public is in love with these two & their train shows no signs of slowing down.

I’m not going to lie, I’m more than a little jealous of their success. I also have to say I think they deserve it. They have not only worked hard to get where they are today but they also seem to be holding on to what a lot of folks lose sight of once they’re successful. The Gaines’ appear to genuinely love each other, spend time with their kids & best of all, haven’t forgotten where they came from…k


February 7, 2017

Posted 302 weeks ago

Lots Of Research...

It’s market time for us. That’s when we order the coming year’s holiday decor as well as picking up new home decor that we hadn’t previously ordered. As always, I have been looking through my favorite decorating magazines in addition to checking out trade magazines for new trends before we go to our markets. 

As most of us know, “upcycling” (the art of reusing & recycling items) is still huge. Mixing antiques with new items (something SISTERS has been doing for years) is also a way of decorating that is not going away anytime soon. The Atlanta Gift Show actually has a section now where you can purchase antiques right along with your new home accessories.

One of the other trends I’m seeing highlighted is the use of plaids.  Plaid has been around for many years, mostly in clothing (remember those cute little skirts you wore in high school) like the plaid flannel shirts that were everywhere this year. Now it appears that you’ll be seeing plaids not only used more & more for clothing but also to upholster furniture & of course for home accessories like pillows & table linens.

After "all this research”, I’ll still buy for the shop & decorate my home pretty much the same way I’ve always done it, by buying what I love…k


January 16, 2017

Posted 315 weeks ago

Serial Renovators...

As “"serial renovators”, (translation: people who start thinking about working on another house before they’re done with the current project) I’ve always said, if we had enough time & money, we’d save every old building we see. Since we’re not wealthy & somehow time has had it’s way with us, there’s a limit to how many more homes we can renovate. Still, whenever we drive somewhere, we comment on the houses we like & sometimes say what we would do to “fix it”.

Saving & adding architectural details, learning the history of the home & choosing appropriate materials for the things that need to be replaced are all parts of the process we appreciate the most. Of the seven homes we’ve done, obviously there were things I loved about each of them. Picking a favorite would be difficult. I’m always a little sad when each house is finished.

Will we be going on to number eight now that we are done one more time? Only time will tell. What I can tell you is that whenever a house is in our hands, it will brought back to life, well cared for & loved. As a “"serial renovator”, I think every old house should be entitled to that…k

January 3, 2017

Posted 316 weeks ago

A Lot Happier...

The weather outside is frightful, just like it says in the song. For the third weekend in a row, it’s “snow” nasty. I hope this isn’t an indication of how the rest of the winter is going to be. Never mind that this is December, in Wisconsin, with at least another three & a half months of winter to go. There are soooo many reasons to not like winter. I don’t like being cold. I don’t like worrying about bad roads. I don’t like the days being shorter. I just don’t like winter.

I guess I do have to say there are some good things about winter. Christmas is my favorite holiday & it’s in the winter. In January, I go to market to order holiday for the 2017 Christmas season at the store, a job I really like. Still winter. February brings new merchandise, Valentine’s Day, & a short month. Yep, still here. March brings us it’s history of being the snowiest month…don’t even want to think about that. 

And then comes April, with the promise of refreshing rains, warmer temps & thoughts of Spring. Yes, I know, without winter, there would be no Spring but I’d be a lot happier if winter only lasted for about three weeks…k

December 17, 2016

Posted 316 weeks ago

Kind Of Comforting...

I just finished watching The Wizard of Oz. Again. It has always been one of my favorite movies & although I have probably seen it something like 40 times, I never tire of it.

I remember seeing it as a child, sometimes cowering behind one of the upholstered chairs in the living room, terrified of the Wicked Witch but unable to turn away. That little girl that used to cower behind the chair is long gone but I’m still pretty happy when Dorothy accidentally throws water on the witch, only to have her end up in a puddle.

It’s funny how some things manage to span generations. Iconic movies like The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca & Gone With The Wind are great examples of films that seem to be ageless. Some toys seem to have been around forever…Etch A Sketch, board games like Candyland & Monopoly or Slinkys are just a couple that come to mind. Even good old Barbie, first on the market in the 1950′s, is still featured in commercials this holiday season. 

In a world where so many things change so fast & so often (think, anything electronic, social media, etc.) it’s actually kind of comforting to know that some things never change, never go out of style & best of all, never lose their ability to charm us…k


December 6, 2016

Posted 320 weeks ago