vintage texasware bowls (my slightly out of control collection)

Did you guys see the Oprah show about the lady that was a hoarder and you couldn't even walk thru her house there was so much stuff.  She kept everything including fast food wrappers in there.  I truly did feel horrible for her because it is a sickness that I have seen firsthand myself a few times. It is a compulsion that can be hard to beat.   Thank goodness this is not one of my own personal problems.  I've got plenty but this isn't one of them. 
I digressed.  Where I'm going with this is....many people in my antique collecting/selling business suffer from this affliction.  They buy with the intent to sell and then they can't part with the goods.  I have obsessive compulsive tendencies myself so I have to be very careful not to fall into this pattern.  It helps to be married to mister high energy neatnick who makes me address each pile of goodies I bring home within days.  I'd say that I keep only about 3% of the vintage stuff I buy.  I honestly and truly am thrilled to see my vintage finds  go to new homes.  
But a girl does need a few collections for herself.  And my collections are extremely random and often don't make sense.  For example, my Texasware bowl collection.  About 18 years ago I saw this super cute speckled bowl at a garage sale in Yorkville where we used to live.  I picked it up and was mesmorized by its confetti swirls and weighty plasticness.  My mom never had one of these.  I'd remember it if she did.  It was priced at $4.00 and I think I scoffed internally at the price (four dollars for a plastic bowl....listen lady this is a garage sale....why is everything else 25 cents and the one thing I want is four big dollars....I just spent 2 hours cutting coupons and I'm supposed to be grocery shopping right now....and my husband wants homemade lasagna for dinner and cheese doesn't come cheap...and wah wah wah)   My inner voice is really excitable and mostly over the top. 
But the bowl was speaking to me.  Yes things "speak" to me.  Not in a creepy ...I really hear a voice way...but a "you must buy me" vibe that is simply undeniable.  When bowls talk I listen. 
Still following me???  Good.  So obviously I bought the bowl.  I have never been one to dicker so I paid the full price and went on my merry way.  Well you would have thought I'd just brought home a baby from the nursery.  Here we are in my car driving home and I'm picking it up...putting it down.... turning it over.... smiling at it.... thinking about how I can't really use it because it might get scratched.... do I have a special spot for it...how will I make sure Bob doesn't use it when I'm not looking....what do they call bowls like this....when was it made..........do you all see why I am quite content to spend a lot of time by myself never getting too lonely.  I can entertain myself for hours with a plastic bowl.
So of course I did my research and I found out that they are called Texasware bowls and they were very popular in the 60's.  They come in all sorts of pretty colors.  With the different types of splatter patterns the possibilities are endless.  I kept my eyes on the lookout whenever I was out antiquing.  I always had my rules.  At first I wouldn't pay over 5 dollars then that became 10 dollars and finally a few years ago it went to 15 dollars and it killed me because I love to collect things that aren't really high dollar items.  That isn't fun to me.  
As my collection began to grow in size so did my fear of using and possibly damaging or scratching my bowls.  If you drop one the right way it can crack.  Yikes the horror of that happening!!!  But, I will say that I have gotten better over the years and I now use them almost daily for peanuts, popcorn and potato chips...only things that begin with p....see what I mean about my problems????  Just kidding, I use them for salad, too!
I still pick one up now and again if the price is right.  I do refuse to go over my fifteen dollar limit because I do have enough for now.  But the really desirable ones (which are deeply colored like in cobalt, deep pink, turquoise, hot orange)  go very high on ebay....like over 50 dollars.  
Rachel Ray used the real vintage ones on her Food Network show and so many people wanted them that she has a line of faux (and by faux I mean not nearly as cool) ones made by Precidio.  Ok maybe that was too harsh...but I've seen them in person and they simply don't compare to the vintage ones.  Apologies to anyone who has one.  If you like the look you should get the real deal on ebay.  There are some to be had cheaply especially if you don't mind gray and tan. 
(The above story was originally posted back on my old blog back in 2008 and was one of my most popular posts ever ... I slightly edited it for this post and all of the photos are new)
A couple of weekends ago the mister and I decided to clean our kitchen cupboards and took everything out of them to do the job right.  Imagine his enthusiastic reply when I asked him to help me carry the stacks outside for a photo op.  Really he did not complain as over the 22 years of marriage he has grown somewhat more accustomed to requests like this but I do think he was  mumbling something under his breath as he complied.  I like to think he was telling himself how adorable the bowls are and how worthy of a special photo session they were but I'm not betting on it!
So anyway ... here are a couple of mosaics highlighting some of my collection, and would you believe this isn't even all of them.  I've given some away as gifts to friends who love them also and have more I didn't carry out.  But YES, I'd still buy more in a heartbeat if I found the right ones.  
If you have a vintage collection you'd like to talk about please do ... I love to hear about other people's collections.  Makes me feel like I'm in good company!

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Vintage Capes and Ponchos

Capes, ponchos, wraps, and capelets .... who needs sleeves!
 This navy cape with red and white polka dot interior dates to the 40s and is business on the outside and  superwoman on the inside!  
 This wool poncho is most likely Guatemalan or Mexican ... perfect for Fall
 Sweet white acrylic cape with embroidered flowers is very folkloric and reminds me of Heidi of the Swiss Alps.
 Chunky red and gray knit poncho has a more modern look and feel
 This vintage Aztec style knit poncho is very on trend.  Aztec prints are hot!
This gorgeous crocheted capelet is vintage inspired and done in the prettiest of colors.

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Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks

One of the things I love most in life is music. My itunes list reveals to me that I like alternative and singer songwriter genre the most followed closely by country. Hardly a pop song on my very long download list. I am fond of making mixed cds for my husband to "enjoy" on his hour long drive to work every day. Just my way of a romantic gesture. I specifically pick songs that have secret or not so secret messages in them in the hopes that he'll subconsciously pick up on them. Honestly, I don't think he really gets that I'm doing it because he's never mentioned how he really appreciated my (deeply buried in the lyrics of random song A, B, or C) messages or love or adoration.

I've also tried handing him one of my cds and telling him that I've specifically dedicated one song to him in my mind and then checked to see if he got which one I was referring to. His answer is usually something like this.... Was it number one?, number two?, number three? Jeez! Can't you even guess out of order I think to myself!! Oh well, so I'm a huge dumb romantic and my super loyal and kind husband isn't. You take what you can get.

I now usually just make a mixed cd for him without the super secret messages of my undying love for him because I've realized that they will remain super secret unless I say them directly to him and not while he's watching sports.

It was odd though when I made him a cd this summer and casually asked him which song was his favorite and he emphatically answered "The Ghost Who Walks" by Karen Elson. Really, I thought. Hmmmm that was one to ponder as the song is about a guy who drives his girl to the lake, lays her down, and takes a knife and plunged it in deep. Yeah, that one threw me for a loop. You can't get my sweet and heartfelt messages of love in the songs but you're all over the murder down by the lake. Take a listen to this seasonally appropriate song. And then tell me if you think I should be afraid to visit the lake at night! Pin It


vintage sweaters for him

If there is one vintage item that mister moxie loves it's a chunky vintage sweater!  See, that's him wearing one of his favorites right here!  Those pictoral sweaters are super hard to come by naturally.  I'm sure a search on ebay will reveal quite a few but we get our kicks out of searching for them out in the land of estate sales and thrift stores.  Every time he knows I'm heading out to a sale he reminds me to "look for a cool sweater" for him.  It's a really good day if I'm successful but more often than not I don't find a sweater that meets his PARTICULAR criteria.  It has to be pretty big since he has broad shoulders and long arms and it has to be "chunky" ... no girly "thin" sweaters for him.  And he won't wear a pullover it has to be more jacket like than sweater like.  Whew ... I'm exhausted just repeating all of his specifications!  Just kidding, whatever makes him happy is fine with me.  We all like what we like!  

 This Lord Jeff sweater is new to our shop and was not scooped up by the mister.  A bit too small for him and not quite his perfect style but very cool and nordic like.  Just got put out for $19.
This yellow Jantzen is also a recent shop arrival offered up for $16

Now that sweater weather has arrived here in Illinois we will be on the lookout for some handsome offerings for our menfolk customers and as always we have lots in stock for the girls too!  Oh and if you happen to have a large pictoral sweater tucked away in the back of your closet featuring, deer, fish, wolves, a snowmobiler or some other outdoorsy theme.... bring it on in to the shop because I'd love to purchase one for the mister for Christmas.  He's been pretty good this year! (so far)
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Felt Mansion | Anniversary Fun

The husband and I snuck away this weekend to Michigan to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary.  And like usual, we spent most of our weekend doing what we do best ... ramblin.  Ramblin involves a number of activities which on any given weekend may or may not include, junking, diner visiting, photo taking, hiking, sight seeing and farm stand shopping. We aren't the fancy dinner to celebrate type.  We really just like getting in the car together for some good old-fashioned road trip fun.  We started our anniversary day off with a delicious road side diner breakfast (breakfast is by far our most favorite meal to eat out and the earlier the better.) and then headed out to explore some Southwest Michigan back roads.  Yee haw!

Saturday it was about 60 and overcast but still a good day for some sight seeing so we choose to visit the grounds of the Felt Mansion which is located between Saugatuck and Holland.  It is a place I had seen briefly before but without camera in hand so I just had to go back to get a few photos
The following is taken from the Michigan Registered Historic Site signs that were on the property.  "Chicago inventor and businessman Dorr Felt built this house as a summer home for his wife, Agnes.  Felt held numerous patents, most notably for the Comptometer, the first machine to do complex calculations.  In 1919 Felt purchased more than 750 acres of land here and named it Shore Acres Farm. The family stayed in a farmhouse on the property until 1928, when this house, designed by Frank P. Allen and Son of Grand Rapids, was completed.  The estate had extensive gardens, orchards, cornfields, a dairy, vineyards, and a small zoo that was open to the public.  Agnes Felt died two months after the house was finished, and Dorr died two years later.  The Felts' daughters and grandchildren owned the estate until 1949 when they sold it to an Augustinian order of the Catholic Church."

"The Dorr Felt Estate became the St. Augustine Catholic Seminary preparatory school in 1949.  The mansion served as a chapel and housed priests and students.  In 1962 the Augustinian order built a school and leased the house to Dominican cloistered nuns.  The State of Michigan bought the property in 1977, using the house as a state police post and converting the school into the Saugatuck Dunes Correctional Facility.  In 1995 the state sold forty-four acres, including the house and the prison buildings, to Laketown Township for one dollar, stipulating that the mansion be preserved and that it be owned and operated by the public.  The Friends of the Felt Estate formed in 2002 and began restoring the house and grounds.  The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places."
We were there on Saturday and the house is not open for touring on Saturdays as it has become a very popular option for hosting weddings and receptions.  I'm sure many a bride has spoken her vows here in the gorgeous water garden. 

This small structure looked interesting and I wonder what it was used for.

This small, old white church is over a hundred years old.  It is formerly known as Gibson Church and was moved to the Felt estate in 2011.  

The Felt mansion is located adjacent to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park which provided us with quite a few opportunities to see wildlife.  I managed to get off a few snaps of some deer but was left wishing for a lens that could zoom in a bit closer.  

If you are ever in the Saugatuck area you might stop by the Felt Mansion to walk the grounds or if you are there on the right days ... take an inside tour.  

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things you can do while wearing vintage gloves

 cat eyes | pulp fiction

 hold hands

 high five

 my favorite ... jazz hands

 pinky swear

and the always helpful Vanna White
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collecting gurley candles

To know me (megan) is to know that I love schtuff! And if you know me well, then you know that I especially LOVE Christmas kitsch!! Something about a pixie's impish face just melts my heart. I can't say my love of the kitsch, beads, sequins and felt comes from anything that relates to my childhood. We pretty much always had a beautiful real tree with ornaments collected throughout the years and some minor accoutrements but never a pixie, whimsical candle or sequined felt anything!

In my early newlywed years (way back in the 90s) I started gathering up things to make our home a happy little wonderland and in my journey to do so, I met up with kitsch and we got along right from the start. Not to say that I don't love the look of snowy garlands, beautiful white candles and all cream and silvery gorgeousness because I do! I often think I'm going to do that but then, I just can't. I'm a kid at heart I guess. I love the whimsy of brightly colored ornaments, pixies, santas, putz houses, beaded multi colored garlands and sequined felt.

But as the years have gone by and I've been married almost 22 years (I must be getting old) I have amassed more than is ... hmmmm, let's just say ... practical. Yes, I have amassed more than is practical. That's being kind. Or as my husband would say, "We need another room to store the Christmas stuff!" When you reach the need for room number two for holiday decor it might be time to weed some things out or if you are lucky enough to be in the biz of shop-keeping like us, you decide to say goodbye and let your beloved vintage goodies go on to find new homes to be loved in. What's that old saying ... if you love something set it free and if it finds it's way back to you it's meant to be. Or something like that. Well if the goods I set free find their way back to me, please someone send help!

So a couple of weekends ago husband and I dug into some of the holiday decor and decided it was time to set free the collection of Gurley candles we had built up over the last 5 years. I love them and they were fun to find, but I've decided to let them go so I can continue bringing home a few new things this year. Really my system is max out your space and then 10 things go out so 10 more can come in. Kind of like a few estate sales I've been to. The agony of waiting outside the door while everyone waits for one person to come out so they will let one more person in. Oh, the excruciating pain of watching others shop thru the house windows while you stand outside like a rejected loser.

I digressed. So I decided to rather unceremoniously lay out my collection on the table and take some rather poorly lit photos of them before packing them up for the shop. At least I'll have these crappy photos to remember them by ...lol! I'm not sure why I set them all flat because it looks rather "dark" seeing all of those rigid santas in a row like that. Maybe that was my subconscious at work secretly rebelling against the purging. Like if I have to get rid of you I'm going to create a mock battlefield of fallen Christmas candles. Who knows.

The candles did get sent over to the shop and they will hopefully find new homes this Holiday season. And yes, now I have room for more goodies!
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chasing squirrels

I try to take a walk or two every day. I picked up this book called the Mayo Clinic on back pain at a church rummage sale and the main thing I took away from it was the statement ... walking is the best thing you can do to prevent/manage back pain. A simple statement. But for whatever reason, after reading dozens upon dozens of books about stretching, yoga, living with pain, etc. etc, that is the statement that has made the most impact on me. I've lived with chronic back pain since taking a bad fall in my early 20s and it has gotten worse with time. The last couple of years it became so bad that I had weeks where I couldn't move without assistance.

It took me forever to finally reach a point where I've accepted the fact that my back isn't going to stop hurting but it can become much more user friendly if I do two things. Walk and stretch. Duh ... right?? Well I did those things before but not religiously and without fail. Now for the last year I do, and guess what?? Back pain is not at all gone but it is so much less and when I feel the signs of a doozy back pain starting I stretch and walk even more and knock on wood, I haven't had one of my "can't walk for weeks" attacks since I began this routine a year and a half ago. Of course everyone's situation and backs are unique so this isn't medical advice it's just my personal experience.

I won't walk at night alone but if I take a daytime walk I like to bring along my camera to keep me company. I often wonder if the neighbors see me chasing after squirrels to get a good photo and think "there's that weird walker/squirrel chaser again." I don't listen to music because I'm afraid to wear earbuds while walking. I'm not an overly fearful person but the idea of not hearing someone come up from behind kind of spooks me. So that leaves visual stimulation for me. I know some of you would be totally fine with silence and nature but I'm just not one of those people.... not yet anyway. I like to look for fun things to take pictures of to keep my mind and imagination stimulated. I'll work on the just being zen in the future!

I'm not a good photographer but think that the more shots I take, the better chance I'll have to learn something eventually. And it's fun. On my list of things I'd love to do in the future is take a photography class. Who knows maybe in 2013 I'll do it. Here are a few of the snaps I took on my walk the other day.
I have a thing for squirrels. I could watch them for hours. They are so active and animated. I'll probably be one of those old ladies that sits in her chair with her crippled back and watches the squirrels for hours outside of her big picture window. I'll have a youngster put out healthy squirrel treats to attract them to my patio.
As I tiptoe around the property lines of my neighbors looking for pretty branches to photograph I wonder if they see me thru their windows. If they do, what do they think??
Of course you know that to get this shot I had to get down on my knees and then hunch down even further. Like some crazy stretch I do at home, only this time with camera in hand, in public, and in front of some random strangers house. Do you think that stops me .... uhhh no.
The cutest pink tree you ever did see. Just seeing if you're paying attention! But I wish this tree really were pink because that would make my walk REALLY exciting.
This is a good example of why I need a good macro lens. Hello Santa... are you listening?? Tried to capture the bee .... not so good, but at least I didn't get stung so considering this one a success.
This scenario went like this ... I ask husband if he can help me with project. He says what is it. I say just come outside. He sighs with a smile on his face and just shakes his head and obliges. I then lead him to a pile of leaves and say please grab some of these and throw them in the air. He says, why does this not surprise me. I smile and say ... just do it. He does it and I spastically try to get under them and get my camera to fire at the same time. I just had to see if I could get a good action shot of leaves falling. It didn't turn out that great but it sure was fun getting the husband to do it like 6 or 7 times.

So if you live near me and you see me doing some crazy stuff in front of your house, don't call the cops, I'm basically harmless. Pin It


$100 Anthropologie Giveaway

Hello to you! I hope we'll soon be friends! 

 We're Moxie. A sweet shop in the middle of a cornfield. Actually, we are one hour straight west of Chicago in DeKalb, Illinois.  DeKalb is a cute little farm/university town.  It is vibrant, quirky and full of surprises ... just like us!! We love junkin, pretty dresses, road trips, the midwest and all it's beauty, diners, architecture and estate sales. We're country girls (and boy) at heart. More old-fashioned than not.  We believe in saying hello, goodbye and thank you.

 This is our spiffy new blog. We used to  blog over on typepad under a different name but we've been spring fall cleaning and are starting a new blog chapter in our shop life right here at heymoxie.blogspot.com.

What better way to launch our new blog "hey moxie" than with a super sweet Anthropologie Giveaway.  Yay for that!!  

To qualify to win a chance (or two, or three) at the $100 gift card to Anthropologie please do the following ...
  • follow us with google connect (earns one chance)
  • follow us on facebook (earns second chance)
  • add us to your blogroll (earns third chance)(we'll return the favor!)
  • leave a SEPARATE comment for each action you do

This giveaway begins today ... Thursday Oct. 11th 2012 and will run thru Wednesday Oct. 31st midnight.  Winner will be chosen by a random number generator and will be announced back here on the blog Nov. 1st 2012.  

ps.... if you feel like sharing this giveaway on your blog feel free to copy and paste the photo or text.  That would be so sweet if you did!
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collections .... vintage beaded flowers

Sweet stems of vintage beaded flowers gathered over 5 or 6 years. Not that easy to find but some times they "sprout" up in the least expected places. Pin It

the animals speak

.... Just another day on the moxie chain gang ....all work and no play. No laughing, no lunch, no dancing and definitely no joking around. You must be uber serious with a serious distaste for frivolity to work here. Just sayin. Pin It

infinity scarves

Lightweight and easy to wear. You don't have to figure out how to tie them, just loop it around your neck and you're good to go.
Lots of fun colors to choose from.
Stephenie looks adorable and has a "just back from her honeymoon" glow. That's right, she is now a Mrs. and she couldn't be happier, and we are so happy for her!!
Scarves, hats, mittens and gloves ... arriving weekly at moxie. Pin It

Pumpkin Pecan Dessert Squares

There are two foodie things we especially love about fall .... caramel apples and almost anything PUMPKIN! So when we received our shipment of Muirhead's Pumpkin Pecan Butter in the other day a jar was quickly squirreled away to take home. Of course I justified that to myself by promising to share half of my squares with the shop for sampling ( I did that and they lasted about 10 minutes... you've got to be quick around home made treats at moxie). Here's a little pictorial followed by the recipe.
Pumpkin Pecan Dessert Squares
* one box yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
* mix remaining cake mix with 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 lg egg
* press lightly into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan
* mix 1 jar Muirhead pumpkin pecan butter with 2 lg eggs and 1/8 cup milk
* pour over cake mixture
* mix 1 cup reserved cake mix, 1 Tbsp flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup soft butter & 1tsp Cinn.
* mix and crumble
* spread over the top of the pumpkin layer
* bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly golden
*** call some friends over so you don't eat the whole pan yourself!! Pin It

foxy photo shoot

When your aunt and mom own a funky gift shop .... it's no big surprise that you somehow find yourself in the midst of a full on foxy photo shoot when you just stopped by to drop off lunch for your mom. Thanks sweet Brooke for indulging your eccentric aunt in her spontaneous photo shoot. You rock. Pin It