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Treasure Hunting

Posts tagged: cherylannemillsap.blogspot

Flying 48 stars for her Independence Day

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)  

 

   I really thought I’d sold or given away the old 48-star United States flag I picked up at an estate sale years ago.  I hadn’t seen the flag since we downsized six years ago, so I assumed it didn’t make the move. But last week I was rummaging through a box on one of the shelves in the garage and there it was.

    Using old upholstery tacks I hung it on the cedar shingles of the house, over the metal gliders that sit in a favorite corner near the covered patio, a place I like to sit early in the morning or in the cool of the evening. I liked the way it lifted in the breeze, when there was a breeze, and fluttered a bit. We didn’t have any big plans for the 4th of July, just grilling hamburgers on the patio with the family, so I decided the vintage cotton flag—made sometime between 1912 and 1959, before the addition of Hawaii and Alaska—was all the decoration we needed.

    I left it up for a few days after the 4th of July because my daughter, the new college graduate, would be home later in the week as she made her way over to Seattle to complete a week of specialized training for her new job as a geologist. That night, before she flew out the next morning, after another patio meal, we talked about her new job and her new life and celebrated her launch into the adult world.


   Before she left I snapped a photo of her sitting in the place I spend so many quite moments. In the photograph the flag is hanging over her marking, at least in my mind, yet another kind of independence day.
  

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Spokesman-Review Home Planet and Treasure Hunting columns and blogs and her CAMera: Travel and Photo blog, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Vintage garden decor at Moran Prairie Strawberry Festival

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

I was up before the sun this morning, wanting to get a head start on gardening chores before the expected heat of the day made things too uncomfortable. After a cup of coffee I went to work and got a lot of the heaviest work out of the way and was ready for a break by mid-morning, so my daughter and I hopped in the truck and drove over to the Moran Prairie Strawberry festival at the Moran Prairie Grange.

We strolled around, grateful for the tents and shade offered by so many of the vendors, and picked up a map of Italy for her room and a wrought-iron frame that will become a blackboard for the kitchen. The final find was my favorite: a heavy vintage concrete fountain base. The weathered figures of a girl and boy, still bearing traces of white paint, were exactly right for my garden.

I had to laugh. It's easy to see my daughter has been junking with me since she was born. After I paid the vendor she simply picked up the heavy piece and headed for the car. And when we got home she unloaded it and placed it in the flower bed beside the covered patio where we spend so many hours this time of year.

So far, today has been a perfect summer Saturday and there are still hours of daylight ahead of us. And tonight, when the air is cool again, I'll sit in the twilight, tired and probably a little sore, and enjoy the newest old thing in the garden.

The Moran Prairie Strawberry Festival will be on the grounds of the Moran Prairie Grange until 4 p.m. this afternoon. You can find more information here.

Something old, something new

Our homes mirror the stages of our lives. The rooms I live in now don't resemble the funky, hand-me-down interior of my first apartment, our first house or even the places we lived when the children were small. As my children grew up, the practical, scrubbable and, in some cases disposable, furniture and accessories we had when there were little hands and mouths everywhere, were slowly replaced with better fabrics and vintage pieces. The toybox was filled with magazines or pillows. The candlesticks and pottery were back on the coffee table.

Of course, change is the constant in every life and every family.

Now, with a grandbaby that spends a few days each week here with me, I had to take a closer look at some of the older things that were around the house. One piece in particular, an old bench, sat by the door ready for my purse or a stack of magazines. It was a rustic, handmade little bench that had obviously spent a lot of time outdoors. Looking at it from a caretaker's perspective, it was, although quaint and timeworn, a splintery, tippable and completely unsuitable perch for a baby who will be crawling soon enough. And, for all I know, the little bit of paint that was still clinging to the splintery wood was lead-based and dangerous.

So, the bench is back in the garden. And, as luck would have it, I was able to replace it when I spotted a nice, not-so-old, piece at Roost Antiques. I hadn't set out to go shopping but I had 30 free minutes, a couple of quarters for the parking meter and absolutely no idea that the first thing I'd spot was exactly what I needed. The right color, the right look and the right price. With meter-time to spare I put it in the car and brought it home.

Babies don't stay babies forever. When the time is right the old things can come back. For now, not-so-old is good enough.

Bringing home vintage Versace

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

   Just off the Grand Place and not far from the iconic Brussels “Manneken-Pis”  (little man, peeing) fountain, the Hotel Amigo sits tucked into the corner of Rue de la Violette. And just a block or two up the Rue de la Violette, is one of my favorite treasure hunting spots.
    

   Episode (one of seven sister stores in Europe) is a long, narrow shop filled with second-hand clothing, big bins of vintage scarves, purses, accessories and luggage.  The music is loud and the clientele tends to be young and academic. And every time I’m there I find something wonderful.


    On my last trip to Brussels I had a couple of hours to myself and set out immediately up the hill to shop. After a few minutes I decided that while the people-watching was fun, I wouldn’t be bringing home anything fantastic this time. I poked around in the bin of scarves but everything seemed to be polyester, not the vintage silk I’d found in the past. I’d scored a beautiful worn leather satchel last time but this time the luggage was all standard roll-aboard bags. Nothing I couldn’t leave without.


    Finally, turning to leave, I stopped to take one last look at a rack near the door. There were so many items squeezed onto the rack it was difficult to get a good look at anything one in particular, but something caught my eye. It was a short jacket in a fine, vibrant, orange wool and I tugged and pulled and finally got it out of the crush of garments on the rack.


    As soon as I pulled it out, I laughed. I wouldn’t be going home empty-handed. I had my treasure.
    The short, aviator-style jacket was mint-condition vintage Versace, in a color that has become trendy again. Originally, it was probably part of a suit, but wearing both pieces would be a bit too orangy for me. The jacket was my size and, at 25 Euro, it was a still deal.


    Back in my hotel room, I folded it into one of the compression bags I always carry in my luggage to help me squeeze in “just one more thing”  and now it’s hanging in my closet.


    I haven’t worn the jacket yet, but with three daughters who shop my closet whenever they’re looking for something a bit different, I know it will have its day on the town sooner or later.

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Spokesman-Review Home Planet and Treasure Hunting columns and blogs and her CAMera: Travel and Photo blog, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

  

Atticus in Spokane for fresh coffee and old books

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

There are places I go for coffee, places I go to shop for vintage treasures and places I go to find something new to bring home to read. In the case of Atticus Coffee and Gifts, the sister store to Boo Radley's, just down the street, I can do all three.

In my column in the latest issue of Spokane CdA Woman magazine I wrote about finding a 1909 English-language guidebook to Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany. Written for those taking a “grand tour,” it listed historical facts about the city, including photos, and was full of advertisements for hotels, cafe's and entertainment options.

Having just returned from Frankfurt a few months before finding the guidebook, I couldn't resist. I thumbed through it while I sipped my cappuccino and then happily paid the $10 price to bring it home to keep.

The book was written in the years before World War I, the Great War. The war that was supposed to end all wars. It didn't, of course. And during the Second World War, much of Frankfurt was destroyed by allied bombing. Frankfurt rebuilt and if you didn't know its history you might not realize that what a tourist sees now is relatively new. But the photos in the guidebook are fascinating because they show the city as it was. It all looks the same, but the photos in the book captured a period of history just before the world changed forever.

The book is on my desk and I occasionally open it to read a bit more. And, of course, I'm always on the lookout for something else that will have to come home with me.

I have a route, a circle of shops and places I go to feed my antiquing habit. At Atticus I can feed my coffee-habit at the same time.

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Spokesman-Review Home Planet and Treasure Hunting columns and blogs and her CAMera: Travel and Photo blog, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Vintage Fashion Finds

When I walk out the door, chances are something I'm wearing is vintage. Whether it's a silk scarf I picked up in a vintage shop in Paris or a thrift store in San Antonio, a pair of 1960's earrings from an estate sale or even one of the vintage designer pieces I scored on eBay or Etsy, my fashion finds are always with me.

The other day I glanced down at the dish on my dresser that holds jewelry and other odds and ends. Looking at the contents, I realized I could draw a map around town connecting the dots from one favorite shop to another.

That's how it is with Treasure Hunters. We see it, we love it, we buy it and we celebrate it.

I wrote about this very thing in the March/April issue of Spokane Cd'A Woman magazine. You can read that column here. And you can always read more about my travels (and my treasure hunting) on my CAMera: Travel and Photo blog.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Spokesman-Review Home Planet and Treasure Hunting columns and blogs and her CAMera: Travel and Photo blog, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

This weekend: Barn Bazaar by Two Women

(Image courtesy of Two Women Art & Antiques)

 

I can't imagine a better weekend to make the short trip to Spangle (just 9 miles from I-90) to the spring Two Women Art & Antiques Barn Bazaar.

In addition to a beautiful drive through the Palouse, you'll get antiques, vintage finds, arts and crafts, homemade goodies and live music all for the $1 admission (Admission proceeds will go to the Moran Prairie Grange resoration project.)

Hours are:

Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm

Sunday: 10 am - 4 pm

Click here for directions and contact information. See you there!

 

Saturday, May 19th from 10am to 6pm 
and Sunday, May 20th from 10 am to 4 pm. 
Saturday

Dressing the Table With Vintage Linen

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

 

   When it is time to dress the table for dinner I open the old oak armoire that serves as my linen and china closet and take out the one of the bundles of napkins, table runners and tablecloths I've collected from all over the world.

   Folded and tied with ribbon and stacked in the armoire, the old textiles are more than just pieces of cloth to cover the table or place under the centerpiece. The natural textures and hues, from snowy whilte to soft vanilla to almost burlap-brown, are pleasing to the eye and to the touch. A few pieces are monogrammed, stitched with the initials of the woman who owned them first. Some are sewn with fine stitches and edged in delicate lace. Others are more crudely made, finished with heavy crochet. Some are not decorated at all, simply hemmed lengths of fabric.

   Before I select a piece I run my fingers over the folds and, in my mind, draw a map of the world, connecting one place to another with a trail of purchases. The short piece of very old linen I found in a bin in a Paris shop. The table runner picked up for a song in Biloxi, Mississippi. The woven second-hand souvenirs of trips to Belgium and Germany. The linen tea towel from a thift store in San Antonio. The Irish linen napkins purchased from an antiques shop in Birmingham, Alabama

   These fabrics bring out the hausfrau in me. If the tulips dust them with pollen, or the wine spills or coffee cups leave rings, I shrug. These small sins almost always disappear in the wash. And on the first hot day of summer I soak them in hot water and hang them out to dry and bleach in the sun before bundling them again, tying each stack with a length of white ribbon.

   I am not naturally tidy. I have to work at it. When I open the cabinet I almost always find a jumble of china and crystal and odds and ends that weren't put away properly. Perhaps it is an indication of how much I love these old, worn fabrics, but I take the time and enjoy the ritual of folding and stacking them for the next use. It gives me the opportunity to admire the handiwork of another woman, the beauty of natural things. And each piece reminds me of the place it was discovered and tucked into my suitcase before coming home with me.

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance journalist based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country.

CAM is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

 

 

 

Parlez-vous Junque?

When you walk into Roost, the new vintage emporium on Main Avenue and Division, the first thing you'll see is a trunk filled with letters and papers. But what makes the papers so interesting is that they are a lifetime of correspondence, keepsakes and photographs of a woman who moved from France to Spokane after World War II.

Never have I wished I could speak, and especially read, French as when I was pulling out yellowed pieces of onionskin paper and AirMail envelopes covered with small, neat, lines of handwriting.

Owner, Dena Kieffer, told me the contents of the trunk were all from one estate and I spent at least half an hour rummaging through the ephemera.

Finally, when I'd run out of time, I committed to a folded sheet of stationary ($2) and a souvenir postcard book of photographs of the S.S. Normandie. ($12)

I chose the letter because it is the perfect size to scan and save. I'm going to use it for several decorating projects I have in mind.  The postcard book is a miniature history lesson. The elegant French ocean liner was built in 1935 and made 139 crossings to the Untied States before she was seized by the U.S.in 1942 and put into service as the USS Lafayette only to burn and sink in 1942.

The Normandie was one of the last of an era, and as a frequent traveler I love anything to do with the elegant age of transportation.

I brought home my French souvenirs and spent a happy hour or so examining them. The last time I was in Roost, the big box of French memorabelia was still there. I'm tempted to go back and lose myself again in the photos and bits of paper history.

Parlez-vous Junque?

 


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

 

 

 

Vintage Masquerade

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

 

If you were anywhere near the Fox Theater in downtown Spokane Saturday night, you might have noticed men and women in evening wear, wearing elaborate masks as they hurried into the beautiful Art Deco building. It was the Spokane Symphony's first Masquerade Ball and I was there with the rest of the partygoers. It was fun to see the men and women in costume and it was amazing the difference the masks made. Even old friends didn't immediately recognize one another.

Like everyone else I had wanted my mask to stand out, to say something about its wearer. So, after thinking about it for a few days, I went to an unexpect source.

Becky Ellis and Holly Baublitz, of Spokane's All That Glitter, are now located in Pink, the vintage and salvage mecca located just a few blocks from the Fox Theater. Becky's elaborate creations—crowns, wreaths and other exquisite displays crafted of ephemera and found objects—are beautiful one-of-a-kind collages. I've long admired her work and it occurred to me she was the perfect person to make a custom, vintage inspired, mask for the ball.

I stopped into Pink one afternoon and talked to Holly. She asked a few questions about whether I wanted a mask to wear all night or one on a stick that could be worn or carried. I chose the former. I reminded her that I'm not a particularly “blingy” woman, prefering my pearls to over-the-top sparkles. After that, I left everything else to Becky and just waited for the call.

When Holly opened the pink (naturally) box and showed me the mask, I was thrilled. The sepia tones of old Spokesman-Review newspaper pages, clipped and decopaged onto the mask form, accented by ostrich feathers and vintage faux pearls and rhinestones, glowed. A dusting of German glass glitter finished the effect. Just enough sparkle for a ball, but not too much. Rather than an elastic band, Becky had crafted a clever headband to hold it on comfortably.

It was perfect.

On Saturday night I slipped on the mask and joined the party. After the ball, it became a unique piece of handmade art for my home office. Now, every time it catches my eye I smile, celebrating the creative talent of a local artist. And I remember a wonderful night spent benefitting a great cause.

 


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

 

 

My Friday Find

Once a month I spend a half an hour or so at Spokane Public Radio recording several Home Planet columns for my weekly Sunday Morning Essay program. ( Listen to the Podcast here.)

I always try to make sure I have enough time to record three or four essays and then prowl around the The Vintage Rabbit Antique Mall on the street level of the building, before I have to make the after-school pickup. This was my week to record, and as it happened, it was also my week to discover a great find.

For years I've been picking up old wicker-covered bottles. Long before Pottery Barn decided it was the perfect accessory, I was adding to my collection one old bottle at a time. Today, thanks to a dealer at The Vintage Rabbit, I brought home one more.

It's in great shape, showing the expected wear and age but the wicker is still intact and the exposed lip of the bottle isn't chipped or broken. And the bonus? I paid only $5.50.

Friday is usually a good day. But a sunny Friday with all deadlines met, a great find and a fun weekend ahead is a very good day.

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is the author of Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons.  She also blogs at Home Planet and CAMera: A Photo Blog of People and Places. CAM can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

This find means the world to me

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)  

 

   I’m in good company, I know, but I have this tendency to put my head on my pillow, completely exhausted by the events of the day, and then find myself wide awake, unable to sleep. The words I couldn’t come up with earlier suddenly pop into my head without warning, or one of my children crosses my mind or I am so excited about a trip or a project my brain is buzzing with ideas. I’ve learned over the years to not fight it. Instead I get up, make a cup of Chamomile tea and sit down in the dark living room, relishing the quiet.

   More often than not, if I am wandering through dark rooms when I should be in bed, I am guided by a small lighted globe that sits on my desk. A thrift store find, it is used as a night light as much as a travel reference.  

   Tonight, as I walked by, I looked down at the globe and noticed the story that could be told with the other items around it.

   The globe is surrounded by a souvenir model of the Eiffel Tower  I brought home from Paris, a clay dish made by one of my children which holds a handful of Euro coins, and a purse-sized pocket atlas, a gift from my daughter last Christmas.

   When I look at the globe at night, shining in a dark corner of the room, I remember the maps and globes of my geography class when I was a girl, the way they intrigued me and opened a world  of possibility, inviting me to explore and dream and go.

   Sleepy at last, the tea finished and the cup rinsed, I headed back to bed. On an impulse, I grabbed the camera that is always sitting on the desk and took a photo. I think I'll put it on my computer to light my hotel room when I travel.

   It’s funny. I’ve brought home so many things over the years. But this little globe means the world to me.



Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

Basic and Beautiful

The best finds are not only bargains that catch the eye and stimulate the imagination. The real treasures are objects that are useful.

Years ago I spotted this wooden box in a Spokane thrift store. It is basic and beautiful, solidly constructed out of tongue-in-groove pine with traces of white paint. At some point someone attached modern casters to the bottom so it rolls smoothly.

Over the years the box has served many purposes in my home. I've filled it with magazines, used it to hold firewood and even stacked wrapped gifts in it under the Christmas tree. These days it holds three Pottery Barn Kilim floor pillows that are used as extra seating when the house is full of company, as it was last weekend, or to stack by the fireplace for a warm and cozy place to sit by the fire and read.

Now, with the birth of my first grandchild, I can see a new life for the old box. Soon it will be used to hold toys and books for a little girl I am hoping will spend many happy hours with me.

 


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Bringing Home a Little Eye Candy

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)   

 

    The little book, dated 1894, caught my eye. With its rich turquoise, red, and gold filigree cover and the title “About Women: What Men Have Said” it was impossible to resist.

    I couldn’t help but wonder who had purchased it first. Was it some heartsick young man, seeking to find in the words of the poets what he couldn’t find a way to express on his own? Or, perhaps, a long-married man in search of a romantic token for an anniversary. It might have been a mother, hoping to curb the rebellious tendencies of a wayward daughter by reminding her of the virtues most desired at the time by the opposite sex. There was no inscription or message on the flyleaf so I’ll never know the book’s journey before it arrived at Anita Trinkle’s new shop “Eye Candy,” but it doesn’t matter. The book, wrapped in tissue and with a scrap of lace as a bookmark, came home with me.

    Even in an age of constant wireless communication, there is something about a beautiful book that is hard to resist. And the little volume filled with verse and scraps of poetry singing the praises of the “fairer sex” is a peek into an age when women were valued for their purity, demure manner and motherliness above everything else.
.
    Organized by months of the year, each day of the month features a few flowery lines from poets and authors like Shakespeare, Ruskin, Thackeray and Byron.  Flipping through the pages, I stopped, for no particular reason, on August 18. The passage for the day was from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.

    “The glance of a woman resembles certain wheels which are apparently gentle but are formidable…You come, you go, you dream, you speak, you laugh, and all in a minute you feel yourself caught, and it is all over with you.
The wheel holds you, and the glance has caught you.”


    Ah. Obviously, as the book makes clear page after page, there forces that never change. And, as was the case with the book in my hands now, love at first glance is nothing new under the sun.


If you go:
Eye Candy Antiques

3017 N. Monroe Street, Spokane, WA 99205
509-434-8146
Mon. - Sat:10:00 am-5:00 pm



Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

The Keeper of the House

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

 

 

 

Caught up in the New Year ritual of house cleaning, I swept through the house dusting, rearranging and organizing.

As I moved from room to room I let my mind wander as my hands worked. I began to notice that with every item I touched, there was an association. A memory. A link to a day recalled or an event to remember.

In the living room, on the table behind the sofa, I keep a large antique wood dough bowl my grandparents purchased decades ago. It is filled with agates I have picked up over the years on family trips - or the occasional solo escape - to the Oregon coast.  Antlers my son found on our property and brought home to me rest on top of the stones, surrounding a single candle.

There is nothing rare or precious about the objects. But to me the arrangement is a shrine of sorts. Sometimes at the end of the day, as I move through the house turning off lights and locking doors, I stop to scoop up a handful of agates, letting them fall back into the bowl as I recall days spent in a little town on the coast, my daughters beside me as we walked along the shore taking the polished stones washed up by the tide. I run my fingers along the smooth surface of the antlers, remembering the boy who ran to me with the treasures he’d found, smiling as he presented his gifts.

I lit the candle and left it burning as I went about my chores, celebrating the comfort and satisfaction of keeping house; recognizing the blessing of shelter and a life filled with priceless and simple things.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

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About this blog

Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes about antiques and collectibles and the love of all things vintage. Millsap's Home Planet column appears each week in the Wednesday "Pinch" supplement, and she is The Spokesman-Review's female automobile reviewer. She is a regular contributor to Spokane Public Radio and her essays can be heard on Public Radio stations across the country. Cheryl-Anne is the author of "Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons."

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