I am an artist, designer, and preservationist who lives to be a light for the Lord and to save old houses.
A dumpster diving germ freak by trade and obsession, I love to take something neglected and turn it into something truly beautiful. Along with rearranging furniture and deconstructing 1960's "home improvements," going IN to Krispy Kreme instead of using the "drive-thru" is one of my favorite forms of exercise! Currently, I am restoring a 1910 Frankenstein of a farmhouse and a 1919 Craftsman Bungalow. Oh, and I have a tiny little shop that features vintage goodies and pretty new things for you, your home, and baby!
This afternoon, I heard a little birdie say, "Can we stop by and say 'hi' to Julie??" The next thing I knew, there were three wee girls crowned with bright pink bicycle helmets standing in my living room...grinning from ear to ear, and telling me all about entering a coloring contest. They had just been on a ride down to the river with my friend Alice, (mama to two of the wee three), and their doll-baby dog, Jake.
"Let's hold hands!" they said as they arranged their bicycles "just so" for the picture I requested. (On their way out the door...one of the wee girlies could be heard saying, "Who do you think should be in the background?") When I suggested that we get some photos by the flowers...the girls took it upon themselves to set up all of the shots...(I improvised a little when they weren't looking) Alice, in the meantime...stood by holding back Jake and watching her wee artists at work.
"Can we get in the flowers?"
"We are the flowers!"
"Can we move the flowers?"
"May we please have a flower?"
I hope that you have a beautful day...full of sweet surprises.
Lil' me..wearing a hand-me-down jumper from our neighbor Cassie, (which was then probably handed down to Cami, aka The Birthday Girl) Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, circa 1972
Along with my sweet memories of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, I've been blessed with a treasure trove of pictures...I thought I'd share this one with you after reading your lovely comments on The Birthday Girl post.
Lissa, in addition to the candy...the green river soda was one of my favorite things about Farrell's...(My brothers always chose to order a "grave yard" meaning that they wanted all of the pop flavors available to be mixed together into one drink..I did that too..but not at Farrell's!) I feel like it was just yesterday that I was waiting in anticipation for that big glass full of Green River Soda to be delivered to me! I edited that out of my earlier post because I couldn't remember the name of the "Pig Trough" dessert which they would present with a big fanfare...so I googled it..and found the entire Farrell's menu! I also found this commercial from the early 80's...remember this???
(Before watching the video...I recommend scrolling down to the bottom of this page to mute my playlist.)
My brothers and I celebrated many a birthday at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. It plays a huge role in our happy childhood memories, and those of our friends. In fact, a couple of years ago, my dear friend Cami, (whom we have known since she was born...and is like a sister to us) gave me a styrofoam Farrell's hat for my birthday. (Cami is a keen thrifter and found it whilst out on the hunt!)
Cami is the doll baby with the binky in her mouth....and today...today is HER birthday!!!
Cami, my oldest brother ~ the farmer, Joy, moi, and Joy's big sister Amy...helping me open a present at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, circa 1974
When I was in pre-school, my brothers built a fort by stacking several "steamer trunks" against one of the interior walls of our garage. (One of the trunks was/is full of dress-up clothes...cast-offs from my mama, grandma, and even my great grandma..and they were all quite the snappy dressers!) My brothers used the ladder from their maple bunk bed set for access to the top of the trunk tower. One day, after spending some time in the little nest I had built with blankets up in the fort...I headed down the ladder to go back into the house. At that very moment...the ladder slid out from under me... and I fell through it and broke my leg.
Playing Dress-Up with My Best Friend, Joy
Joy was/is a month older than I am. Her family had moved into the new little neighborhood...from half way across the country..i.e. Minnesota....shortly before my folks and my wee brothers landed right next door...also from Minnesota. I was the first Washington born babe in the family and my parents brought me home to that house..the one with Joy next door. I was/am blessed with another dear friend...who lived just across the street...we have been friends since she was born..we are friends to this day. We kept ourselves busy with Barbies, dress-up, coloring, and such...never requesting that others entertain us. If I recall correctly, the big green princess crown I am wearing was a class project made from construction paper. My mom's fancy nighties were always a dress-up favorite of ours. Joy is modeling a wee sized high school t-shirt, soft pink skull cap, and pinwheel with her gown. I am wearing my favorite jeans...the ones with the bright plaid cuffs, along with a granny shawl as a skirt and one of my mama's lacy robes. I remember that when I went back to school with my broken leg...the teacher had to give me a nice little lecture...because I was embarrassed about using my crutches. I think I got over that pretty quickly...which is a good thing because that was not the last of my graceful mishaps...I thought about sharing a few with you..(fair warning to the squeamish)
There was the time when I was in the ninth grade and my parents were having a party at the other end of the house...I went skipping down the hall to their room. We had really cushy carpet in that house and my parents' bedroom was two steps down from their dressing area..I decided to leap...whilst singing the theme song to "Punky Brewster"...yeah...that was a great idea. I broke my ankle.
Then there was the time when I was 17...I went for a ride on my ten speed. (I rode through our hilly neighborhood all the time when I was growing up...) On my way back home..not far from the house and on a not very steep slope...just out of the blue...I flipped over the handle bars and landed with the bike on top of me and my foot in the spokes. I don't recommend doing that..no, I don't recommend doing that at all. My foot blew up like a balloon and all of my mom's nurse friends felt the need to come over and touch it...Thank you very much! Do I need to mention the ER nurse who went after the pebbles in my scraped knee with what looked like a wire barbeque brush? Ahhh...yeah..thanks a lot!!! My mom said that they don't do that anymore.
When I was in college...whilst assisting a grad costume designer on "A Midsummer Night's dream"..by William Shakespeare...I was told to hurry backstage to grab an accessory out of the second story dressing room. Did I mention that they didn't have ANY safety lights on backstage...not even on the steep, high staircase? Yeah, I fell down the stairs. Fair Oberon asked if I was all right and reached out his hand to help me up (Remember him, Sara? Yeah...he was fine! :) I believe it was Snug who carried me to my car. The staff...I don't know where they were. That was nice. That was just before my birthday. My friends and I spent a beautiful rainy day at the zoo. We all wore ponchos..well..at least I did...and my friends pushed me around in a wheel chair. Thank you, Sara!
Those were just a few of my most graceful moments.
Ahhh..memories. If only my crutches weren't buried in storage. That was a very silly thing to do. You see, on Saturday...whilst out garage sailin' in a nearby town, I saw a plastic grocery bag make a run for the street. I followed. Caught the fleeing bag with my right foot...then landed on my left foot. I had been thinking about what method I should use to catch it...whilst I was running after that bag. What I did not think about was landing on my left foot, then feeling it roll...roll..roll..over onto the pavement and then feeling my entire self...roll...roll..roll..onto the pavement. I was holding a couple of garage sale goodies at the time. Had I not been holding said goodies, I probably would have smashed up my arm instead of just turning my foot into a big bruised...well...foot. Nice. The people from the garage sale were SO kind! They said I should sit for a bit and elevate and ice it..but I just wanted to go home. I am praying that it will heal quickly. I've been elevating and icing it and have been able to walk on it...very carefully....since yesterday afternoon. I actually fell uphill..it could have been much worse...I had JUST put some pretty cute dishes in my SUV. So what was I holding when I fell? I was holding a vintage Spacegirl paper doll set in its original box..and a cool vintage handmade Santa sleigh.
I hope that you had a lovely weekend!
ps Do you see the little girl in the green clown costume? That is Angela. Angela's family lived down by the lake and had an aggregate staircase in their house. Who has a POLISHED aggregate staircase IN their house???
In 1986, my family was invited to spend the Fourth of July at the cabin of some friends from church. So we did. We spent the day playing Scrabble and Uno, eating M&M's, and laughing...laughing a lot. We watched the big fireworks show during the ferry ride home.
In 1986, a girl named Sara was invited to spend the Fourth of July at the cabin of one of her classmates. She didn't know the other family who would be joining them that day....Sara has been one of my best friends ever since..! A world traveller, she has lived in Germany, China, and...Minnesota...but now, she is back in the Seattle area and called the other day to ask what my plans were for this weekend. "I will actually be in town on Saturday," I said. Remarkably, Sara's day was wide open...so here is what we did....
Sara looked through the drawers for house numbers...
...and fell for this old sink.
In the meantime, this caught my attention....
The hinge library...an open and shut case!
And I fell for this...
Sara pointed out that it even had my initials on it..."J & M"...how perfect! Then we went outside and I saw these...
We've probably all seen a room done with subway tiles...but have you ever thought of using these? Waha! They are lids pour la toilette...
Sara dreamed of having the pretty pink sink...the one up in the sky...
and I would just love to have that really long sink...out in the garden by my carriage house. Wouldn't that be wonderful?!!!
And then there was this...
someone was very naughty....I believe that this authentic Bachelder Tile fireplace was rescued from a glorious house which was torn down on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. I'm pretty sure that it has gone down $1,500 since my last visit...and it would be just perfect in the bungalow we are restoring for my shop!!! Ahhh...it certainly would!
Isn't this sweet?
What a pretty light!
...and back on the sales counter...on the way out the door...
...a dessert buffet of little glass knobs.
So what did we buy? I don't think Sara found the right fixtures for her projects...but I found these.... (Are you sitting down..don't get too excited now)
I found 3 brackets for $2.00 each for my laundry room project. Yes, I know...it's all very exciting.
A few weeks ago, Miss Mimi Charmante blogged about the Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle. She said that it was so fine in fact, that I should brave the West Seattle bridge to pay the cafe a visit.
Upon arrival...we were greeted by a towheaded tot who was getting a glimpse of the goodies.
I went with the Lemon Meringue Tart
What would you choose?
To top off a full day, we saw the film, "(500) Days of Summer"(Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a doll-baby!) and loitered over coffee and design books at Barnes and Noble. A very sweet day, indeed!
Speaking of sweet things...I'm really late in the game, but lovely Tracey of French Larkspur is having an extremely generous giveaway (a $150.00 gift certificate!) to celebrate the grand opening of her online shop, French Larkspur.. Please visit Tracey's blog for more details...and go now because the giveaway ends at midnight tonight!
The other day, I promised that I would tell you what I found on the side of the road during a spontaneous garage sailin' expedition with my antique-dealer friend, Thelma. Do you remember that? Do you also remember that I was recently blessed by a visit from my friend Alice, her wee girls, and their little friends? You can click here to read about the day they stopped by my shop to pick some apples.
Like this past Saturday, a couple of weeks ago I had planned on staying home to work on projects around the house. That didn't happen. My mind just kept thinking, "Go garage sailin'....go garage sailin'." So, I headed out...and on my way..during a quick stop into the grocery store...I bumped into my friend Thelma, who was reading the local paper. "I was just checking to see if there were any garage sales today," said Thelma. (I actually bumped into her during my second trip into the store...as I had forgotten something the first time.) A few minutes later we were heading down the road...
I was still looking around the second garage sale (where I found and oold bed from a nearby cabin) when Thelma, who was ready to pay for her finds, said..."I think I saw a sign for another sale down by the park." Thelma went on her way...and I was soon to follow. I did not, however, find a garage sale near the park...
What I did find on the side of the road as I turned the corner to head home...was a man trying to take a photograph of a group of people standing in front of a local landmark on the other side of the street...but cars continued to pass through his shot. I stopped....waited for a moment...then leaned out the window and said, "Wouldn't you all like to be in the picture?" After hearing a big happy, "YES!" I did a "u-ey" in the middle of the road, parked, hopped out of the car and as I was snapping the picture of the 2 men and 3 ladies..I heard one of the women say, "Can we buy you lunch?" Just visiting the area for the day, they asked if I was a local and wondered where the best place to eat would be. (I couldn't stay for lunch...but suggested a spot near their photo-op and told them about The Little Red Shop!)
An hour or so later...and two towns away...they were standing in my shop...telling me about their camping trip...and their cute little campers. In the meantime, while they were shopping...my mom, who had been working in the nursery...gave the photographer a tour of our project, and one by one...as I wrapped up their new treasures..the ladies went outside to join the tour...which ended at the apple tree. And then, like the wee sisters last week...the gals excitedly began filling bags with apples....only these "sisters"... were ..."on the fly!"
When I discovered the identity of my special guests, I asked if I could let all of you know about their little visit and show some pictures....they instantly and unanimously said, "SURE!" and called out there numbers. Please give a warm welcome to...
Sister #555 aka "Triple Nickel"
Sister # 525 aka "Buttercup"
and...Sister # 761 aka "Shantily Lace"
Denise (Sister #761) was not at all interested in the apples. She was, however, quite taken with the vintage bike I discovered leaning up against a phone pole one day whilst leaving storage. I called the property owner to let her know about it and said, "If you decide to take it to the dump...you are more than welcome to leave it outside my gate. It would look just right under my apple tree!"
Here is Denise again...grossed out by the fact that her friends were not only picking the apples...they were eating them right off the tree. "You guys are going to get worms!" she wriggled up her nose and said several times. "That's nice," I replied with a grin. "People will ask, 'What did you get at The Little Red Shop?' and they will reply, 'Worms...we got worms.'" : )
Sandy (Sister #555) called a few days later and said, "I made a pie with your apples!"