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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lover of things from the past

Juli Wasson The Spokesman-Review

A small antiques store that showcases the owner’s passion for refurbishing and reusing all things vintage has quickly become her three-dimensional canvas.

Lifelong Spokane-area resident Brenda Buckingham opened Past Blessings in a small white building with a red metal roof along Dishman Mica Road Jan. 18.

“I like to think outside the box and give things a new purpose,” Buckingham said of the objects found in her store. “I try to visualize something done, not what it looks like now.”

Examples include an old door that serves as a room divider, a partial chair made into a wall shelf, and a dining set repainted a chic matte black with chairs padded with new black-and-white material.

Customers will find charming new accessories scattered throughout the small, four-room shop. But mostly, Past Blessings is filled with furniture and home accessories that have had previous lives. Among the décor for sale are transferware dishes, handmade linens and colorful old flower pots.

Buckingham has a flair for painting small objects to give them Old-World charm, such as wooden candlesticks and bowls. She’s currently trying her hand at folk art, using old boards and cupboard doors as her canvas. She delved into candle-making recently and sells her 32-ounce soy-blend candles poured in old turquoise canning jars for about $22. Scents include Cinnamon Buns and Grandma’s Kitchen.

“The name Past Blessings came to me as I reminisced about the things of the past and my desire to hold on to them as blessings for today and our future,” Buckingham said. “I love the primitive décor and the simpler times it speaks of and try to reflect that in the pieces I redo.”

Buckingham has been a longtime buyer of all things vintage and shops the Inland Northwest’s estate and garage sales, and thrift and antique stores. She sold much of her finds at area thrift stores throughout the years and branched into coordinating large antique shows about four years ago, including a few at the Bigelow Gulch Grange.

When a springtime rain last year created havoc for a show in Fairfield, Buckingham decided to try something new and the result is her Past Blessings store.

It was part of the recent Desperate Wives annual shopping day event. Buckingham said she is looking forward to outdoor possibilities this summer in the expansive parking area next to her shop where other vendors might set up their wares.

“Our desire is to custom grow our shop to fit the needs of our clientele,” she said. “We listen to what they want and strive to either find it or create it.”