Monday, May 12, 2014

Vintage Baby Shower Decorating

The reason that I am willing to spend my time and energy collecting, cleaning, polishing, taking photos, wrapping and mailing wonderful, unique old stuff is because I love seeing the ways that customer's use these items.  It is nice to have a collection that sits on a shelf but I believe that true joy comes from making old items a part of your life style.

A little over a week ago I sold a vintage wooden rocking horse to a customer who bought it to set the theme for a baby shower.  It was called a reveal shower because the mother was planning to announce the sex of her new addition.
This is the photo and the comment that the customer sent to me.  The reveal party was a hit and it's a girl! There were several comments about the cute rocking horse and when the party was over the mama-to-be asked for the rocking horse. It is now on the nightstand in the nursery and being loved once again. Thanks!

My thank you to this nice customer who sent me a picture and her comment.  Made my heart happy.  Don't you just love this cake?  So clever.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Miniature Animal Figurines

Time to sell some of my husband's collection of miniature animals on etsy.  He has been collecting them for many years and they are taking over our shelves in the den.

They are made out of many materials.

This little glazed dachshund is made out of brown redware clay.  Redware is a type of earthenware that has been used for centuries to create pottery of all kinds.  We have several jugs made from redware clay.

This antique cat is made out of lead.  It was molded and then hand painted during the 1800's.  It was also used as a pencil.  You can write your grocery list using the front feet of this functional kitty.  It weights in at 8 ounces so it is heavy enough to use as a paperweight.

This little purple puppy is porcelain.  Some of his paint has worn off but his face is as bright and cute as ever.

Animal figurines made out of glass are very popular to collect.  I have sold several over the past year in my store.  You can now purchase this cute little glass dog.  He looks like a hound dog to me.
Animals come in all different shapes and sizes and so do animal figurines.  These two little puppies have ears almost as big as their bodies.  Their friend, the little white bull dog has the word JAPAN etched into his back.  The lovely German shepherd made in China is much larger but it fits right in when displayed with the other animals.
These are all made of porcelain and have survived in great shape for several decades.

Cute little puppy.  This is the most unique doggy in the bunch.  She has an upturned nose and is decorated with gold glaze scattered over her black spots.

Come see these adorable animal figurines and all my other vintage items:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hibiscus Flower Bloom Holders

I live in the warm, moist climate of southwest Florida and I absolutely love hibiscus flowers.  The blooms only last one day but they are large and showy.  There are over 5000 varieties of hibiscus flowers.  How do you show off these big beautiful blooms?By placing them in delicate glass hibiscus vases. 
Hibiscus flower bloom holders are mentioned in the book "A Cutting Garden For Florida" by Betty Barr Mackey & Monica Moran Brandies.
I discovered these lovely single bloom flower vases many years ago when I moved from California to Florida.  These graceful and fragile glass vases resemble the shape of the hibiscus bloom. One beautiful bloom fits the opening perfectly. Purchase several of them and place them around your house to enjoy these colorful blooms all day long.

You can see some clear and pink glass hibiscus bloom holders on sale in my etsy shop at:

They are a challenge to pack because they are so delicate but they always arrive safely.

For more information on the history and care of hibiscus flowers check out the link below from the Flower Temple in Melbourne, Australia.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Free BYU Independent Family History Courses

Importance of education: BYU Independent Study offers no-cost online classes

By Ryan Morgenegg

Church News staff writer

Published: Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011

Follow the link above to a great article that tells about the free courses offered by the BYU Independent Study Department.  We have taken courses through this department and have always been impressed with the quality of information available.  The family history courses offered will help you to begin your family history or to move your family lines further along. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

FREE Beginning Genealogy Lesson #5

  In all important decisions we need to consider the source of our information.  This article helps us to understand why we should check our genealogy sources carefully.

This great article is written by my friend, Bryan Mulcahy, from the Ft. Myers, Library. 
Primary vs. Secondary Sources in Genealogical Research
For many beginning researchers, the terms primary and secondary information and sources can be confusing.  Primary sources, briefly defined, are documents or records created at the time of, or shortly after, an event by either someone with personal knowledge of the facts or the actual testimony of a person involved in the event.  In the ideal situation, informants may have been on the scene at the time of the event, and were close friends of the individual or family members. Unfortunately, it is possible that they may have been bystanders or neighbors whose knowledge of the individual or family may have been limited at best.  Fortunately, if this was the case, authorities may have tried to locate family members to obtain additional details.
Primary sources are usually the first or earliest documents in which a particular piece of information was recorded.  This source may be an official document or certificate, or a published work containing  transcribed information from  original documents or other primary sources.  Records containing this scope of information may include diaries, journals, state or federal census records, courthouse records such as deeds, wills, probates, birth or death records, baptism or marriage records, ships passenger lists and military records.  Primary records are, of course, the most reliable sources, but secondary records can provide you with many clues for further research.  
Secondary sources are published works, including those distributed electronically, either copied or compiled from primary sources, or reflecting the conclusions of a researcher based on primary or secondary sources.  Secondary information was usually provided by someone whose knowledge of data was not from firsthand knowledge.  They may have been family members but were either away at the time the event occurred, estranged from the individual or family, or resided in distant localities.
Secondary sources are those records or other pieces of information that were created at some time after an event occurred. The passage of time, the lapse of memory, and the lack of knowledge (or ignorance) of the person providing the information all conspire to make the evidence less than reliable. In addition, an informant sometimes falsifies information for a variety of reasons.  When analyzing information, regardless of whether it is a primary or secondary source, it is helpful to know the relationship between the informant to the individual or family.  That relationship may shed light on the potential accuracy of the information.
Secondary sources should be viewed with skepticism until they are later verified in a primary source. By their very nature they should be suspect, and you should always seek additional evidence to either corroborate or contradict the facts they present.   Examples of secondary sources may include family histories, bible records, indexes or compilations of census or marriage records, any sort of history (county, state, etc.), and collections of cemetery inscriptions.
Some documents can be both primary and secondary sources. Death certificates are notorious for their errors. Dependable information on a death certificate may include the name of the decedent, date and place of death, place of burial, and undertaker’s name.   However, the key word is “may”.  Always examine the date of death and the certificate's issue date. If there is any significant time lapse, look for other corroborating evidence elsewhere. Also, the date of birth, birth location, age, names of spouse, and names of parents are all secondary sources. Never take these details for fact. Remember that someone else acted as informant in order to fill out the certificate. If he or she didn't know the correct information, he/she may have guessed at it. Use these pieces of information as pointers, but always find other substantiating evidence.
BLM 11/4/2011
Bryan L. Mulcahy
Reference Librarian
Fort Myers-Lee County Library

2050 Central Avenue

Fort Myers, FL  33901-3917

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Family History-Style

This is an excellent Halloween article from written by Juliana Smith
28 October 2011

 Legend has it, on Halloween the veil between this world and the next is lifted a bit. I for one am hoping that when that happens tomorrow, a few of my ancestors will reveal themselves.  (Note to William Dennis—if you could reveal yourself through the 1860 census, that would be awesome.)
So while I’m not a huge fan of “all things gruesome,” I do feel somewhat of a connection with Halloween. I mean, as family historians we’re all about dead people, right? We love cemeteries, obituaries, death and burial records, and really anything death-related.

Ghost stories?  Since our favorite stories are about people who have passed on, I think they qualify. And of course, if you’ve been doing family history for a while, you’ve probably uncovered a skeleton or two in the closet. Sure you can still hand out candy to the kiddies, but here are ways you can celebrate Halloween “family history-style.”
Put Some Flesh on That Skeleton
Today we have online trees and software that make it easy to organize and keep track of names, dates, and places. They form a framework—or skeleton if you will—for our family history.  But they’re not the story. The story lies in the details we find in the records.
What was your ancestor’s occupation and what might that work have been like? Census records and directories are good places to learn about their occupations. Take it a step further by researching that occupation online, and in books and periodicals.
Were they active in their church? Look into the history of your ancestor’s church. You may find him or her mentioned in a published history of the religious community.
Were they educated, and could they read and write? Most of us have seen the columns in censuses noting whether an ancestor could read or write, or noting “at school” in the occupational field, but have we ever put that together with their ages? Or how old they are when you first find them listed as employed? In the 1880 U.S. Census, my great-grandmother’s two sisters, aged fifteen and seventeen are employed as coffee packers. Another column in that census revealed that when that enumeration was taken in June, their father had been unemployed for three months of that census year. It’s possible they had to leave school to help supplement the family income.
Were there health issues that impacted the family? By looking into the causes of death, both primary and secondary, we can gain helpful insights into the family life. Often, the attending physician had to note how long the deceased had been in his care. This could indicate whether there was a lengthy illness or whether the death was sudden and unexpected.
Locating Cemeteries and Other Haunts
Genealogists are ahead of the curve when it comes to appreciating cemeteries, but sometimes locating them is half the battle. If you can get your hands on a good local map for the vicinity in which you are searching, you may find some larger cemeteries outlined on the map. In other cases you might have to turn to local resources.
Genealogical societies are a good starting place. Like you, the genealogists in that group are likely cemetery enthusiasts and probably know a lot about graveyards in the area—large and small. They may have even canvassed the cemetery and published an index, abstracts, or transcriptions from the headstones or other cemetery records.
Often a death certificate, obituary, or some other death-related record will include the name of the cemetery where your ancestor is buried. If not, map out the cemeteries that are near where the individual lived.
For those searching in the U.S., the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is a very useful tool .  Select the state and county name and “cemetery” from the “Feature Class” drop-down menu, you can see a list of cemeteries for a particular county.
From the list of results, you can click on each cemetery name for more information and to map the location using a number of mapping tools that will give you the exact location of the cemetery.
You can also locate some of your ancestors’ other “haunts” using this tool, including schools, churches, and “populated places.” Maps show streams, rivers, ponds, wooded areas, mountains, valleys, etc. If you have an obscure U.S. town or feature name associated with your ancestor, this is a great place to look.
Communicating with the Dead
Superstitions say that Halloween is a good time to communicate with the deceased. Of course, I do that all the time. Usually the conversation is one-sided with a lot of pleading on my end and silence on their end, but occasionally, I could swear I hear laughing. (Of course, that could be my husband.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011


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Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking.
~Author Unknown