Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hoarder Confessions: Antique Obsession

We went to an antique store in New Braunfels, Texas a few weeks back.  I admit it, I am obsessed with antiques.  Going to an antique store is like going to a museum, except you get to touch things and even take them home if the price is right.  
On top of that, anything and everything can be an antique.  It's not just furniture.  It's jewelry, toys, tools, office equipment, clothes, books, comic books, records, posters, common household objects and even trash like old bottles and tins.  I love old bottles.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe it's Freudian.  Maybe it's just charmingly old-timey.  Antique stores are a hoarders dream!

In the lower left corner of the above picture is stereoscope, a device for viewing pictures, which could date all the way back to the 1860s.  I think of it as a predecessor to the view master - which was a toy when I was a child and could also be considered an antique now.  

Here we have a collection of antique bottles.  I have seen medicine bottles that still contain medicine from a century ago.  Fascinating.  Also, I wonder if it's safe to sell that kind of thing?  Talk about expired medications.  

This box of Cherry Cordials is empty.  I checked.

Record albums, in all the colors of the rainbow.  As a kid, I used to go to a record store that was the size of a supermarket.  That was back in the 70s.  It was called Craig's Record Factory and it had row upon row of record albums.  It was groovy (get it?)  Music was so much more tactile then.  You didn't make a playlist, you made a mix tape, and it took hours! 

This is just a conglomeration of stuff.  I love being in an antique store and looking at everything. 

Old tools.  I'm not sure who would buy these or why?  Maybe they want to decorate the walls of a Bennigan's in the 90s.  

Usually, I don't buy anything.  Sometimes I buy something small and cheap like a bottle or an old bandaid tin.  It bothers me that bandaids no longer come in tins.  This time, I bought an old yellow phone that looks like it could have come from the 1960s.  My plan is to create a display on an old desk that looks like an office from the 60s.  Why?  I don't know?  Maybe it's Freudian.  Maybe it's just my way of not forgetting the past.  

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Bad at Crafts - Painted Bottles

Here's an easy craft project for the lazy people, the too busy people and the artistically challenged among us.  It also provides a workable excuse for hoarding bottles.

The bottles pictured here were painted several years ago.  As you can see, some of the paint has chipped away.  I think that makes them look even more interesting, but that's just me.

It's so easy that not even I could mess it up.  Also, I love bright colors so this is right up my alley.

Painted Bottles in Nine Easy Steps!

Step One - Hoard several glass bottles.

Step Two - Clean them out and let them dry for several days or weeks  (It's okay to carry on with the rest of your life while you're waiting).

Step Three - Gather up the bottles, lots of different colors of tempera paint, and some red solo cups.  (only use red for this, other colors will just screw it up.  Store brand red cups are okay though)

Step Four - There is no step four.

Step Five - Work with one bottle at a time.  Pour a dollop of paint into a bottle and swirl it around to coat the inside of the bottle.  If it's not enough paint, add more.

Step Six - Turn the bottle upside down inside a red plastic cup so the paint can drain out.

Step Seven - Repeat the process using a different color for each bottle.

Step Eight - Leave the overturned bottles to drain for about a day (carry on with your normal activities during this time)  It's best to leave the overturned bottles on the kitchen table and don't let anyone eat at the table until they are done.  Shout at anyone who tries to have their meals there.

Step Nine - Turn the bottles upright and throw away the red plastic cups.

Viola!  Now you have a lovely collection of colored bottles to place on a shelf.

Variation:  Use two colors in the same bottle for a swirly effect.

Uses:   Bud vases, gifts, centerpieces,

Warning:  Do not drink out of these bottles.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Amy Schumer Backlash

We all know the story by now but here's a quick re-cap:

Glamour Magazine teamed up with Lane Bryant on an issue of the magazine that honors the accomplishments of plus size women.  On the cover they list Amy Schumer as a woman they (the magazine writers, I guess) admire.

Amy reads this and instantly takes offense.  "I'm not fat!" she says (or words to that affect) and to prove it she tweets a video of herself in a bikini.

Then, much criticism and praise ensues.  I read opinions that Amy was wrong to try to distance herself from fat women.  I read opinions that Glamour was wrong to label these women as "plus size" rather than just recognize their accomplishments and leave it at that.  All valid points.

I like Amy.  She's very funny and her movie Trainwreck was hilarious.  I am a little miffed by her initial reaction to distance herself from the "Fat" magazine issue and her attempts to back-pedal and say she just doesn't think women should be labeled.  Right, they should not be labeled by their size.

I haven't read Glamour magazine in over 20 years.  I am glad that there are now more options than ever for women of all sizes to buy cute clothes.  What no one has mentioned is that Glamour is just trying to sell clothes.  Unfortunately, in the process they may have offended the very women to whom they are trying to sell the clothes too.  (okay, I know that's not grammatically correct but, whatever).

It bugs me that a woman's size is basically the first, last and only thing people will say about her.  All of her talent, achievements, hard-work etc are tempered by comments about her weight, her appearance, her hairstyle, her outfits.  Why is everyone so obsessed with appearance.  And of course, it is Glamour Magazine, not News Week.  But, this attitude is everywhere.

And it's hurtful.  It hurts our feelings that no matter what else we do, the only thing people seem to care about is our weight, or our hairstyle, or how we look.

I would like to see a magazine celebrate the accomplishments of overweight men.  I would like to see (hear) every article, interview, and news story about any male athlete, politician, musician, actor, or any man in the public eye refer to his size and appearance at the beginning and end of the article, whatever else he may have accomplished or is being interviewed about?

That'll be the day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Time Capsule

Here's at least one thing I did right as a Mom.  When Cissy was a baby (Cissy is my oldest, I've decided) I was given this time capsule box as a shower gift.  This was a wonderful gift idea, by the way, and I don't even remember who gave it to us.

The instructions were to save a variety of mementos in the box for her to open at some future date, say her 20th Birthday perhaps, and see what things were like at the time when she was born.  It's the perfect gift for new, hoarder parents but I recommend it for anyone.

You could make one yourself, without buying a fancy box.  If you do, I recommend a plastic bin of a similar size.  Plastic keeps things preserved better.  But, our stuff did okay in the cardboard.
There are actually tons of Time Capsule ideas on Pinterest, which looks like a very fun gift for new babies, weddings etc.

We saved a newspaper from Cissy's date of birth, a People Magazine from that week - which happened to have Mel Gibson on the cover as one of People's most beautiful people of 1996, the hospital scrubs that Honey Bunch wore in the operating room and lots more stuff.  By the way, the scrubs have Cissy's tiny foot  prints on the back.  Awww.

We also put in:

  • The Church announcements from her birth date and baby dedication
  • What's left of the balloons from the hospital (don't do this, they will melt and stick to things and dry up and flake off - not good)
  • ID Bracelet and ID Card from hospital
  • Plastic baby shower cake decorations (told ya - hoarder)
  • A first year childcare book (things have changed since 1996)
  • A baby products catalog
  • Tons of cards from friends and relatives
  • Crayon pictures drawn by her (then) toddler cousins
  • Photo booth pictures of  our new family of three

But the best thing - the best thing was the letters from the past.  Back then I was a bossy young woman.  I've mellowed so much now.  I asked every friend and relative who would put up with me to write a letter to the new baby for her time capsule, and they did.  I got letters from all her grandparents, me and Honey Bunch of course, And several others.  Reading those has been the most touching part.  Cissy, Honey and I read them together and just cried.  There were predictions, there were descriptions of her early babyhood that I had forgotten about, like how she used to sleep fitfully and flinch if I touched her back (which I did anyway, I remember now).  There are also letters from family and friends who have passed on and that's sad and touching and it's nice to get a small piece of them back again.

As the mother of two nearly adults, I feel like I blew it in some ways and it's too late now.  Little things like not taking enough pictures (though they would tell you otherwise) or not having organized the pictures, or not teaching them how to debone a chicken (I don't know how to debone a chicken myself, actually).  But, anyhoo - at least I got this time capsule thing.  That's one thing I did right.