Saturday, March 26, 2011


Mother Nature is throwing us for a loop in Kansas City with temps around 38 today but I'm not letting it get me down. I just moved a couple of birdbaths into my space at the Mission Road Antique Mall, including the one below on the left. Really wide bowl with a great twisted base.

And this one's in there, too, with remnants of gray paint on the bowl. A great size with lots of personality - you can't beat on old concrete birdbath.

I think my pansies will be okay, but I've moved my head indoors for now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steamboat Arabia

My in-laws are in town from Jasper, Alabama, and we took them to the Steamboat Arabia Museum, a Kansas City gem. In 1856, the Steamboat Arabia was in present day Kansas City, traveling up the Missouri River heading for Sioux City and many points in between when it hit a lethal snag that pierced the heart of the boat. It only took five minutes before the Arabia sunk into the mud.

In 1988, some amateur historians charted the river's former course and determined that the Arabia was buried deep in a Kansas Corn field. The museum houses the cargo drudged up from the mud and water after 132 years under ground. Amazing.

With no sunlight or oxygen, most items were well preserved. But as someone who loves not only old things, but how old things are arranged, this museum is a jaw dropper. That's a simple bowl of needles below. Well, maybe not so simple considering their unbelievable history.

Clay pipes.

Rows upon rows of artifacts from all over the world.

What I wouldn't give for just a couple of these slates and "looking glasses".

Pocket knives.

Textiles. Each item is carefully cleaned and preserved under pristine conditions. All the cotton thread used to construct these items deteriorated after 132 years and each has been restored.

These shoes were made of rubber and were in a special pressurized case and limited light.

This case showed an example of what items looked like before cleaning and preservation. On the bottom left are kegs of nails and had to be freed and cleaned with a dental tool. No wonder they've been cleaning items since 1988 and one of the gentlemen who excavated these treasures said they have many more years of cleaning ahead before everything is finished. One shoe takes 4 to 5 months to clean and preserve.

And this donkey was the only casualty in the catastrophe. His owner claimed he unbridled him but that's not what they found when they excavated this poor guy . . .

And kudos to the men who found the Steamboat Arabia. They decided early on that the collection was too incredible to sell off; this was something to be treasured in-tact. Antiques Roadshow was at a loss as how to value this awesome collection; the closest they could come was to deem it "priceless".

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Family Tree Nursery

I took a trip to Family Tree Nursery yesterday for pansies and as usual, it did not disappoint.

It was their open house and as expected, the arrangements were a feast for the eyes.

Take a look at this tiny fairyland.

Teeny potted plants and a miniature bridge.

A warm little cottage where somebody left the light on.

I am so inspired by these artisans, even though I wouldn't know how to begin to recreate what a I saw; I'll just be happy if my knock out roses come back and I've been told they're hard to kill.

These boxes were hanging down from the ceiling!

Can you find the frog eyes spying you?

I got my pansies planted and some of my garden art out and rearranged just in time for thunderstorms today but how wonderful to look onto the patio and see some color!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brittany, France

I recently caught an episode of Househunter's International on HGTV where a couple was searching for a home in Brittany, France. Actually, I caught it twice, because I watched it once and then made Jason watch it. Brittany is in the north of France and just a short hop across the English Channel from the UK. The couple in the show were only moving 150 miles from home.

Brittany has a rich history with rolling countryside, cobblestone streets, and quaint farmhouses dotted throughout the landscape. Ahhhhhh . . .

The couple in the show didn't pick the farmhouse I would have gone for. If you watched that episode, I liked the charm of the first home that was close enough to walk to nearby pubs, boutiques, and bistros.

But I would have taken any of them!

I do love my house built in 1973 even with its popcorn ceilings and outdated (not in a cool way) bathrooms. When we moved, we had to find a house in the same school district we were in and that's tough on a tight budget, but we did it.

Houses on the Missouri side in areas like Brookside, Waldo, and Hyde Park, have so much more charm, but maybe someday when the birdies have left the nest. (Although after moving Jason's comic book collection, I swore we would never move again. Oh, and there were my boxes and boxes of Broken dishes - okay!).

So will I ever live in a house like these in Brittany, France? Most certainly not, but hey, it's fun to dream and a visit isn't out of the question!

Having spent most of my life in the midwest, I can't imagine living by a beach! Would that be enough motivation to keep me off of donuts?

All images found here.