Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Plant Containers

I like healthy houseplants but it seems all that I can grow is Pathos. So I try to display plants in unusual containers. An example is an old potty chair. I have one that I think was   just made from a child's chair. I put an old flower pot in the hole and added a green plant and it looks great on top of our entertainment center. 

I also took an old black purse like my Grandmother carried and inserted a plant into it. The plant has grown so much that you can hardly see the purse. I tried to turn the plant so you get the idea.     

Old cookie jars, mixing bowls, granite pieces, elegant glass containers all work. Use your imagination.  There are lots of choices at the Green Awning Gallery so stop in this week and I will help you find the perfect container! Until then.... 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nostalgia at is best...Cider, Pumpkins, Fall

It is beginning to feel like Fall and the mornings and evenings are definitely cooler. Time for backyard fires and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Our children were home recently and we enjoyed sitting around the fire on those cool evenings.

Fall brings to mind the making of cider at my Uncle Ray and Aunt Annie's home just up the hill from where we lived. I remember my Mom did not drink any as she said there were still worms in the apples when they pressed them! But we had fun with relatives making the cider. I am not a fan of cider unless it is hot with some good spices added. 

Dad would get some corn stalks and make a shock around a pole or a tree and Mom would set pumpkins and gourds around it. Instead of pumpkin pie she always made squash pie. Yummmm!!!! I still prefer squash pie over pumpkin pie, seems to be sweeter. She would make small squash pies and we would sell them in the front yard along with gourds and squash.

We made Jack-O-Lanterns and lined them up on the front porch like sentries marching in a row guarding our house. We had to keep relighting them as the wind would constantly blow them out. Mom often would hollow out a pumpkin, set a container inside and fill it with mums in all the beautiful Fall colors.

I do not carve pumpkins anymore but I do like a few somewhere in my yard. Since orange does not fit into my decor, I spray them burgundy and cream so they match my house. A friend asked me once where I got my burgundy pumpkins. She had gone to several places and asked for burgundy pumpkins but of course they did not have them!

The Green Awning Gallery has a couple of Fall displays. If they remind you of Pottery Barn it is because my son Jordan manages a Pottery Barn and also does the visuals and he helped me do some displays. What fun we had!

All our summer items are 50% Off at the Green Awning Gallery so stop in to see our Fall displays and get some summer bargains! Until then...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Flower Frogs

 I have an obsession for flower frogs. Maybe because  I am reminded of the beautiful arrangements my Mom made with the gladiolas that she grew in our garden.  She   kept the long stems  upright in a shallow vase by using a flower frog. I think I have   more customers ask me what   flower frogs are used for than any other item in the store.

I use one at home to display photos of my granddaughters, Honey and Maggie. They also work to display  old family  photos, old postcards, or some of those beautiful old greeting cards your Mother saved. You know the ones made with parchment paper and glitter.

This is an unusual green one that I have put old brooches in to display in my living room. I set it on a candle stand that I painted white. I have an amber frog that I paired with an amber figurine that was my Aunt's. It is just fun to see what display ideas you can come up with.

I have an old wooden bowl that I keep the glass ones in of all sizes. These also make excellent pen and pencil holders on your desk. You would be surprised how heavy this bowl full of frogs is!

I have some reproductions at the Green Awning Gallery that are fun to use for jewelry  or again, to hold pens and pencils. Be creative and come up with your own uses.

And here are some more unusual ones that I have at home. I just put them all together for a picture. I have some of these on the window sills on my back porch. They might hold an item or just be for decoration or used as a prop to hold up an old souvenir plate. By the way, if you ever come across old Ohio Caverns souvenirs, I collect them and would be thrilled to add to my collection.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Cookie Jars

I don't remember a cookie jar in our kitchen when I was young. Maybe it was because it got broken or it could have been because cookies got eaten so fast we did not need a cookie jar. I do know we never had anything stale at our house. It was fun for me to get into the cookie jar at a friend's home.    

I think Mom baked every day. Besides the dozens of cookies that she made, many evening meals ended with pie for dessert. Mom got up at 4:00 or 4:30 each day and had the baking done before we rolled out of bed. We were always greeted with the aroma of something baking when we made it to the breakfast table and we knew we would have something delicious for supper that night.

 I enjoy finding cookie jars to sell at The Green Awning Gallery. The McCoy bucket jar is large and will hold a lot of cookies.  The apple jar is smaller  so you don't have to make as many cookies to fill it. The cookies pictured are my wax tarts. They look real and have a nice scent even if you just place them on a plate for decoration and don't melt them.

The grape jar is unique and the Fresh Baked Cookies jar is a fun jar. You don't have to use these for cookies, they can be a catch all jar to hide things so your counter does not get cluttered with things that need your attention.

 Come to the Green Awning Gallery Fri. night and enjoy some cookies and meet Jackie who has a pottery display in the store.  Until then....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Tablecloths

My picnic basket blog last week kind of leads into tablecloths, at least it makes sense to me! Mom always took tablecloths on a picnic to cover the picnic tables that were available at the roadside rest areas, State Parks, Ohio Caverns or wherever we found a picnic spot.  I think there may have been some type of plastic tablecloths available but of course they were not of the throwaway variety that we use today.  And why buy something when you had tablecloths that you received on your wedding day.

You did not want to put food on a "who knows what had been on it previously" picnic table so Mom covered it with a tablecloth. We collected rocks to put on the corners so the wind wouldn't blow the cloth over our food. Now that I think about it, how sanitary were the rocks?

I enjoy using old cloths to set my table for company and I even enjoy ironing them. I have some pretty ones at the Green Awning Gallery for sale. Here is one I especially like that I incorporated into a display using the greens and blues of the fabric.

Stop in at the Green Awning Gallery August 23 to August 31 and mention this blog and receive 25% off any old linens including doilies and runners. Until then....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Board Games

Yesterday I set up a display of old games at the Green Awning Gallery. Some I played as a child, remember pick up sticks? I have a vintage set complete with instructions. I am fascinated by a game displayed called Mr. Ree. We played Clue by the hour and this is the forerunner of Clue I think. The game pieces and cards are fun as they are probably from the 1950's.

We played Touring, Flinch, Rook, Authors and I Doubt It. And of course Monopoly. Mom let us keep a game going on the card table for days. I enjoyed that game as a child but for some reason I do not like it as an adult. We did not have TV so the evenings were spent playing games. We had some disagreements but we learned how to be gracious losers for the most part. It was a healthy way to learn that we do not win at all we attempt in life. 

We played Bingo but not for prizes or money like they do now! Also, I have a metal Weaving Loom in the box with some cotton loops. My sisters and I made a lot of pot holders. And who didn't play Table Tennis on the dining room table on those cold winter evenings? 

I played hours of Snap and Old Maid with my younger siblings. We did not have TV or all the high tech games children have now. I think we were just as happy and probably more contented.

Games included in the display that I did not play are Parcheesi, I've Got a Secret, and Name That Tune.

I would love to hear your childhood memories about the games you played so stop in at the Green Awning Gallery and tell me about them. Until then....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Picnic Baskets

 Hot summer days remind me of picnics and wonderful food that my Mom prepared for our family and placed in her picnic basket. Homemade buns filled with succulent slabs of ham, potato salad that can never be equaled  by anyone but my sisters  , baked beans, watermelon (I still do not like melon but when I was a child you ate what was served!),layered chocolate cake and other delectable treats were pulled from the basket.

Seems we do not picnic so much anymore but I keep memories near by using my Mom's picnic basket for storage.  It is the one on the right and I treasure it.  It was a wedding gift to her and Dad over 70 years ago. I got the bookcase at a garage sale and it is in the entry of our house. The baskets are filled with things I just can't part with.

The picnic basket Tom and I received when we got married 43 years ago is among these that are on my back porch. They store craft items and things that I  might need some day.

I have a couple of metal picnic baskets on top of my fridge and keep extra paper products etc. in them.  A small house means you have to be creative with storage options. I counted 17 baskets in use throughout my house! Several are filled with toys for my granddaughters and are easy to carry wherever they want to play. 

I attach tea dyed shipping tags to list what is in each basket. I am sure you can come up with some good uses for picnic baskets.  Share them on my blog.  Until then.... 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Chair Accents

It's Wednesday already, what can I blog about? I   walked through my house this morning looking for inspiration.  I noticed an old crocheted pillowcase that I was using on a guest bed as a sham had a rip about halfway up. I did not want to discard the crocheted end as it is so pretty. I cut the end off so that  it fits on the back of a sewing chair I had in the corner. I will hem it later but you get the idea. The Green Awning Gallery has some pretty cases for sale.

Years ago, I found this piece at a garage sale.  When I went to pay for it the lady asked me if I knew what it was. I told her it was for a chair back. She informed me that I was the first person to know what it was. I put it on the rocking chair that my Mom used to rock her nine children. The chair was from her Mother so it has a lot of sentimental value to me, especially as I was named after my Grandmother Kathryn.

One more chair back covering that I have enjoyed is a small pink "dickey" that I found at another garage sale. It is just a fun addition to a small desk chair. I am always looking for more as I have a sister who wants them for her home.

You can make a chair back adornment from an old runner that isn't perfect.   Many have beautiful embroidery, tatting and crocheting on the ends. Cut off the end that is good,fold it in half, sew right sides together and turn it right side out and you have a beautiful chair accent.  The Green Awning Gallery has some beautiful linens you could adapt to fit a chair. I love when you stop in and show me things you have made.  Until then....

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Peaches

There is nothing more delicious than a juicy peach on a hot summer day.  When I was young I would eat the skin and all of a peach but I have lost the taste for that!  The juice still runs down my arm sometimes as I eat one and I feel like a kid again.  Tom has had a good crop this year.  Here's  picture of  his prize winning peaches.

My friend gave me a recipe that makes it easy to freeze peaches and they are so tasty mid winter.  I think you will want to try this!

Freezing Fresh Fruits                    
6 cups water
4 cups sugar
1  box  (6 oz.) peach Jello
Scald jello and add sugar.  Let cool and pour over fresh fruit in freezer boxes. Fill boxes with syrup 1" below top of fruit to allow for freezing. One batch does about 9 pints.
When it is strawberry season, use the above recipe and substitute strawberry jello to freeze strawberries.

I have never mastered the art of pie baking.  My Mom was renown for her pies and tried to teach me.  She could stand beside me and I would do what she did step by step and her dough would be perfect and mine had issues!  But I do love a good peach pie.  That is a hint to one of you pie bakers. You know where the Green Awning is located. Until then....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Plates and Hammocks

I like old plates and platters and when I get them from an estate for The Green Awning Gallery, they are not always perfect.  Some are cracked or chipped and it is hard for me to dispose of them as I think they are still lovely. One way I have found to use them is to hang them on my fence. I grouped some on an outer panel  and I hope those passing by  are enjoying my display.  

  As I look out my kitchen window, I see two arrangements in the corner of my fence.  Even though the plates are not so perfect, they are beautiful to me.  Tom laid a square of bricks for me and on a lazy Sunday afternoon I hang my hammock and snooze and read.
I remember walking up the hill to my Aunt Annie's and Uncle Ray's and playing in their hammock, a novelty for my siblings and me. How we loved climbing in and out of it. There were frequent tumbles but   that was all part of the fun. To be honest, I still have not mastered the art of mounting a hammock. I am thankful that mine is hung in a secluded corner so no one can see me when I take a tumble.  Due to the fact there is more "meat" on my bones than there was when I was young, all that is hurt is my pride!

The Green Awning Gallery has a lot of pretty plates, bowls and platters among all our merchandise, so come in and get 25% off any that you buy the week of July 17th - July 21st.  Just mention that you read my blog.  Until then....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Handkerchiefs

When I see an old cloth hankie I am immediately transported back to my childhood.  Who doesn't remember their Mother  getting the hankie out of her Sunday purse to give you a "spit bath" on the way to church?  One not so fond memory is  returning a hankie to my pocket or purse once it was used! I don't remember using paper tissues until maybe Jr. High age.

I have just acquired around 175 hankies from two estates. My first lesson in ironing was on cloth hankies and I still enjoy  seeing how crisp and pristine they look after they are washed, starched and ironed.  Add these hankies to the approximately 250   I already have in The Green Awning Gallery and that makes for a lot of hankies!  I have a few sets that are still  in the original gift boxes. 

As a rule, I do not carry a cloth hankie but I have discovered some other uses.  I have tacked a couple of hankies on the fronts of pillows on my spare bed. 



I have an apron at The Green Awning Gallery made out of cloth hankies and an apron that the seamstress added a hankie  for rhe pocket.

Hankies can be arranged in a shadow box with some other beloved treasures or framed by themselves.  I have some beautiful crocheted edged ones with crocheted butterflies in one corner that would be ideal for framing.

A hankie that is extra lovely is a thoughtful and meaningful gift to slip to a friend who is grieving the loss of someone dear to them,  when you attend the visitation or funeral.


I've packaged the hankies in cellophane bags with old sheet music  labels so they are ready to give as gifts. Come to The Green Awning Gallery July 10th - 14th and get a free hankie of equal or lesser value if you buy two.  Until then....  

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Bottles

Old bottles have always fascinated me. As a child, I remember walking back the dirt lane to the woods  where an old gravel pit held decades of unwanted items. Although things were thrown there as trash, to a child they were treasures. I searched for old bottles, carried them home and washed them outside in an old galvanized tub.

I still search for bottles and have some special ones. My kitchen window sill is home to 3 old blue Geritol bottles and all summer long they are filled with single stems of flowers from my perennial bed.

A clean clear bottle is great for displaying old photos. My Grandparents, Parents, and my Grandmother as a young girl all reside in a bottle. You can easily do this yourself by making a copy of a photo and rolling it up as tight as you can to get it into the bottle. Use a pencil to help unroll and   position the photo so it fits to the contours of the bottle. The Green Awning Gallery has bottles that will work for this project.

I made a bottle chandelier to hang by my front door. I found a light fixture I liked at a Thrift Store, took out the inserts that held the bulbs, turned it upside down and stuck the bottles in with silicone. After it set, it was easy to hang as it already had a chain. 
I copied an idea from my friend Jodi Repp.  You can display bottles in your flower beds by sticking dowel rods or metal rods in the ground at the angle you prefer and putting a bottle on them. Jody is the owner of   Exotic Scents Flowers and Gifts in Montpelier. Find her on Facebook at

Bottles look great displayed on a shelf, used as a container by your sink for your liquid soap or filled with marbles or other collectibles. Of course there are many bottle trees out there for purchase or you can make your own. The list goes on and on as far as uses for bottles.

The Green Awning Gallery recently purchased hundreds of bottles of all sizes and colors. All bottles will be 25% off the first week of July if you mention our blog! We also are busy pricing items purchased from two more estates. 

I enjoyed my time in Texas and now that I am home, I plan to add a new post each week, probably on Wednesdays. Until then....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nostalgia at its best...Feed Sacks

My first post from The Green Awning Gallery features printed cloth feed sacks.  I remember going with my Dad to the hatchery to buy feed and seeing the colorful feed sacks stacked in rows. And I can almost smell the chickens and feed and  feel the dust up my nose!  

These sacks were used by thrifty farm wives during the depression and the war years. If they needed more material to finish a project, they would give their husband a scrap with instructions to get another bag of feed with the same print. The owner of the hatchery was used to a farmer sheepishly pulling a scrap from his pocket and asking for feed in a bag with that print.

Some prints had borders and were ideal for making curtains, tablecloths and dish towels. Other prints made lovely dresses and mens shirts. The not so pretty prints sometimes ended up as boxer shorts for the husband since he chose a print his wife did not like!

I have about 100 feed sacks with 28-30 different prints. All are approximately 36" x 22" or 27" inches so when the stitches are removed they would be a yard long and 44" to 54" wide. If you remember these as a child, you will enjoy the childhood memories they invoke. If you are too young to remember, you will be amazed at the resourcefulness of our parents and grandparents.

Of course this is just one category of the hundreds of items at The Green Awning Gallery. I plan to feature items periodically that inspire nostalgia, but you will want to come in frequently to see the "new" estate items that we continue to purchase and display in our store.