Sunday, February 7, 2010

For the Love of Junk

I think is my age, but there are so many things I do these days that I relate to things I did or happened to me when I was a kid (see my mushroom soup story). Well, here is another one.

I was born in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, a small town in the western part of the state. Proclaimed an "All American" town (evidenced by the license plate frames on citizen's cars), Clearfield is tucked away in the Appalachia hills along the shore of the Susquehana River. My father was in the Air Force and we moved from Clearfield when I was just a toddler. Most summers, my father would take his annual leave and my mother would load up me and my three older siblings in the green and white Dodge (that had huge fins and a nifty speedometer that looked a bit like a thermometer with a red line that increased in size the faster you went). On the way,my mom would pacify us with Lifesavers and teaberry gum. She packed an old metal cooler with sandwiches that we would eat at roadside picnic tables. No DVD systems in the car or Mickie D's for fast food back then. Just four kids in the back seat for two and a half days.

We would stay at my grandma's farmhouse. It was there I saw my first wild turkey, my first deer herd, my first groundhog. And, it was when I first went "junking" with my mother. My siblings were self-sustaining. I, on the other hand, was the baby, and had to go with my mother. Junking was not my idea of fun. I dreaded being dragged from store to store by my mom. But she loved it. The stores we went to were by no means antique stores. They were junk stores, full of the promise of buried treasure. My mom was thrilled when she found her treasure buried deep under a heap of other junk.

I no longer dread going to  junk stores.  Like my mom, I am now the one who is thrilled to  find the treasures hidden behind the junk stores' doors-the junk that is buried under the nice stuff, the junk that costs a dollar or so.

On a recent weekend, I visited an antique mall in Austin, Texas. Many of the "shops" in the mall were staged to look like little stores. But there was that was a dream come true. There were just shelves of baskets full of vintage lace and trim, wooden thread spools, a few old doll trunks, hats, shoes, scarves, music sheets, this and that. It was a place my mom would have loved. I diligently worked until I found my treasure and headed home.

Here is a photo of some of the treasures I picked up.

I have recently been reading several Stampington publications, including Somerset Life and GreenCraft. One issue featured an article on Victorian-style gift cones. They were beautiful-a little bit frilly and girly, a little bit tacky, a little bit rustic, and easy to make. I thought I would give a whirl.

I bought a paper pad of vintage-style double-sided card stock (on sale at Michael's!), and scoured my stash of this and that, including my recent finds from the antique mall. I came across several cards of vintage lace that I picked up at an antique store in my hometown in Pennsylvania. I found an old hat and some old postcards I bought in Canadaigua, New York. I found buttons, ribbons, reproductions of old skeleton keys, twine, raffia, pom poms, old wire, copper-colored pipe cleaners, glitter, and some really pretty embossed bird and butterfly dies cuts from Germany that I bought some time ago on Etsy.

So I set about to make a cone. I simply shaped the 12 X 12 piece of card stock into a cone shape. Once I found the right shape, I fashioned that into my pattern. I found double-sided tape to be the best way to close the cone. Once I had my cone, I decorated it with items from my stash. The more I embellished the cone, the more beautiful it became. The Victorians were known for their ornate style, so I think I was in keeping with their standards.

There is an old saying, "What goes around, comes around." Remember the junk stores in Clearfield and Canadaigua? Well, I drug my 21-year-old son with me to those stores while on our road trip from Texas to Rochester, New York, where he goes to school. He was very patient with me as I scoured the stores to find my loot. He doesn't know it yet, but one day I am sure he will make the love of junk come around again!

1 comment:

SuaVoce said...

Thank you for featuring my Pride and Prejudice journal! You have a lovely blog.

La SuaVoce Designs