Friday, November 30, 2012

Selling Off Our Childhoods And Other Random Musings...

Out of all the Buildings on our Property the G-Kid Force are most fascinated by the back Cottage on the far East of our Acreage that we use for Storage. 

They want to get in there ALL of the time... and so they were totally Jazzed this week when I asked them to Assist me in the Great Edit & Purge of 2012 that would now be going on in there.  FINALLY they'd get to root thru everything stashed back there with reckless abandon!  *LOL* 

As I made preparations for Selling Off our Childhoods by gathering up all the Vintage & Collectible Toys from the 60's onward that would be Showroom bound just in time for Christmas and our Big 15% Off Holiday Sale! 


Every Year I've always Encouraged our Children when they were Young, and now our G-Kids, to go through their possessions to Donate to Charity around Christmastime.  And we still had our Donate Boxes ready for anything not Hand-Made, Vintage or Collectible. 

But this year they had extra Motivation to "Let Go Of" and were particularly ruthless with their Edit & Purge of personal possessions, knowing that some of it could also be Sold in Gramma's Showroom & Loft Space at THE BRASS ARMADILLO WEST!   *Winks*  Yeah, it's easier to fall out of Love with something when a potential profit is possible, right?  *LOL*

 And I Applaude the both of them for even offering up some of the Collectible Toys they've been fond of and diligently Collected for Years... such as their extensive Chevron Car Collection.  Which has been well Loved & we know other Children or Collectors of them will Enjoy because they're priced to Sell, out of the Packaging and therefore CAN be actually played with. 

I totally 'Get' that the Serious Toy Collectors want everything in Original Packaging if at all possible... but in our Family we've always used our Collections and Vintage or Antique Items in our Daily Lives and Enjoyed them that way.  We use the "Good Stuff" and don't wanna just look at it or use it for only Special Occassions... every Day IS a Special Occassion for us!

So most of what I will offer has been Loved and utilized, with a few exceptions.  And quite often we Sourced our Collections during the Thrill Of The Hunt anyway and didn't buy Retail on Purpose... because we find that to be more Challenging, Exciting, Frugal and Fun!  We're all Avid Scavenger Magpie's at our Core in this Family!  *Smiles*

We would also be going through the entire Christmas Ornament & Holiday Decor Stash to Edit & Purge those I'd be Letting Go of...

And turn up as many Antique and Vintage Shiny Brights & Retro Ornaments for this year's Christmas Tree as we could too since an Old Fashioned Retro Christmas is this Year's Theme.  So my Showroom and my Home will look similar this Season... since I'm splitting what I keep & Sell of my vast Holiday Collections.
I'll give you just a Sampling of some of what turned up during the Storage Cottage Cull... starting with the Dolls of the 60's... Stacey the British Friend of Barbie.  My Dad Designed and Created all of my Barbie Clothes, except what the Dolls came dressed in at purchase.  As a Teen I remember we'd pick out the Fabrics together and check out the latest Mod or Ethnic Fashions I Adored and he'd come up with something Fantastic!  I didn't play with Dolls much but I do recall, being the Magpie & Artsy Type, that the Collecting & Styling of them was a blast that I Enjoyed into my Teens.  So they really didn't get much wear & tear, which is a good thing & handy when you're ready to part Company. *Winks*  
I always Loved this Mermaid Gown he Designed for my Dolls. He also Designed and Created most of my Clothes for that matter, which is why I'm still particularly fond of and wear mostly OOAK distinctive Fashions, preferably Hand-made and not mass produced.

And then there was Julia, I Adored Diahann Carroll in that 60's Series, what a Classy & Beautiful Lady she has always been.  The Doll used to have Darker Brunette hair but for some reason over the years it almost always turned Auburn unless Stored in a dark place. 

 I remember that I was Delighted when Barbie Dolls of various Ethnicities & Cultures were finally introduced.  The Original Nurse's Outfit was way too boring for Yours Truly though, so Dad Designed and Created this Fab Gold Brocade Fabric Mini Dress Inspired by the popular Nehru Jacket of that Era & Julia wears it so well.

And finally Brunette Barbie... I disliked that most Barbies were Blondes and very few Dolls had Dark Eyes either... due to my Family's Heritage I gravitated towards Dolls that had more Flavor so Brunette Barbie was my preference and was harder to come by.  She's still in her original Swimsuit.  And no... in case you were wondering, the Barbies of that Era didn't have Piercings or heavy Glam Make-up... that was me Gypsy-fying my Gals... who had multiple Piercings, Tattoos and extra Glam long before it was Fashionable or Socially Acceptable... just like me!  *Winks*  Not that I was necessarily a Rebel, that's just how our Family Rolled... my Paternal Native American Gramma was heavily Tribal Tattooed and Pierced as distinctive Cultural Beauty.
And yes, I'm even Selling Off the Childhoods of my Adult Kids since they've had me Storing this crap priceless Childhood Heirlooms for decades now.  *LOL*  And why don't you pass it on to the G-Kid Force you might be Wondering?  Well... there is much that we did pass along... and though we and our Kids took extraordinary care of our Toys during Childhood, the G-Kid Force could be called The Demolition Force because not much survives long at their hands. 
Coming from the 'Disposable Generation' I Observe that as a Generation in General they're much harder on Stuff than previous Generations and more inclined to want the Next New Thing being touted.  Making everything prior allegedly Obsolete or Embarrassing to still own or use!. *Le Sigh*  If you Doubt me, just look at Electronics & Phone Commercials!  When I was coming up we used a Telephone until it broke... and the Old Ones NEVER broke!  *Smiles*  And very little nowadays is actually High Quality, Hand-Made or OOAK & not mass produced & cheaply made.
 So after numerous Collectible Vintage Toys the G-Force were given were soon in shambles, mauled and worthless to flip... we decided the rest would be Sold Off rather than Inherited by The Force, which they were totally Okay with actually.  So that they might Survive at the hands of an Appreciative Collector reliving their Childhood and properly Enjoying the Nostalgia, plus gleen some CASH for coveted expensive Electronics the G-Kid Force desperately want.  *Winks*  Princess T could even see that her NEW Barbies can look positively Ravaged in a matter of days & all Clothing lost in the Abyss that is their Room... whereas you see my Barbies from the 60's are still Clothed & don't look half bad after being handled by two Generations for over 40+ years... so long as Princess T doesn't get her hands on 'em that is!  *LOL*  

And we're wading through piles of boxes of Vintage and Antique Ornaments.  I'm bagging up Grab Bags of Vintage Ornaments for the Showroom... and setting aside the Shiny Brights and European Antique Glass Ornaments as we go, along with Fav Retro & Home-Made Ornaments for this Year's Christmas Tree. 
I've been Collecting Christmas Ornaments since I was 13 years old so they are my Oldest surviving Collection and many have been handed down to me.  But it's Time to Let Go of many since we don't Decorate as many Christmas Trees as we used to and its a shame for most of them to remain in Storage year after year unused and unappreciated.  I'm allowing the G-Kid Force to help me decide which will be Showroom bound in the Grab Bags and we're having a lot of Fun in the Process of Letting Go as I Share some of the Stories & Memories and Reminisce about Christmases Past as they ask Questions about the many Decorations.
Of coarse some of the very Old Fragile Antique European Blown Glass Ornaments passed down for Generations from my Mom's side of the Family that are probably over 100 years Old aren't going anywhere... but they're the exception...

And as we sat in the Glorious Sunshine of the back Acreage sorting and editing all day... and then again in the Candlelight inside after the Sun had set... it reminded me that it's not so much the Stuff that is most Precious...
But the Good Times Shared with Family...
And with Sweet Friends... and the Memories Created of those Good Times that we hold Dear to our Hearts, especially during the Holidays.  The Annual Traditions... and Newly incorporated Traditions...
The Silly Times... including the realization that this Gal is now as Big as Santa!!! *Gasp!!!*  You know what my Top New Year's Resolution will be for 2013!!!???? *Le Sigh*
 And so the Selling Off isn't so difficult really when the Time has come... because we fully Intend to Create even more Good Times and Cherished Memories with those we Love, want to Invest in, spend our Time with and Care about, Now and into the Future. 
Looking fondly back at the Past is Nostalgic, but Living Fully in the Moment and looking forward to the Future is the biggest Rush of all...
May you continue to have Good Times & Create Fond Memories...
And be able to Let Go with Ease when the Time comes that you should... and Enjoy what is Left Fully and with utter Contentment...

Blessings and Love coming to you all from the Arizona Desert...
Where it's continuing to look a lot like Christmas each day as we Prepare for this Important Holy Holiday that has a much Deeper Meaning for us than just the exchange of Gifts and Adorning everything with Festive and Enchanting Decor...

And we're thinking about all our Decor that has the Hues of Christmas apparent in them... particularly Love my Jadeite Kitchenware at Christmastime...

 Soure: MY ROMANTIC HOME Blog Party

And please come to the Beautiful Holiday Blog Party full of Nostalgic Memories and Sharing over at my Blog Friend Cindy's MY ROMANTIC HOME, but be sure to bring your Kleenex as many of the Memories and Stories are Sentimental and Heartfelt, Revealing those Intimate Details that make the Holidays absolutely Priceless in the Lives of those Sharing their Beautiful Stories!

Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas... Sorta...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Bohemian Valhalla... well, sorta.  With so much Medical Drama and Crisis playing out in our Personal Lives... and getting the Showroom up & running, well, I must confess that this year my enthusiasm and energy waned for housekeeping or Seasonal Decorating around the house.  So the place has been a perpetual wreck and disaster area with me falling behind in even running damage control.  I feel rather like my Mini Medical Cadaver... the walking dead just dressed up for the Holidays!
The Man suggested we just Trick the Cadaver out for Christmas rather than putting him away with the Autumn & Halloween Decor that is being ever so slowly rotated out as Christmas is equally slowly being ushered in to the decor.  Great Idea says I... Hey, it's really no creepier than this tiny Santa Hat and Beard that was meant for someone's poor unfortunate Chihuahua for Heaven's Sakes!  *LMAO* 
My Mini Medical Cadaver probably looks Happier Sporting the ensemble than a Chihuahua wearing it under protest probably would, don't you think?  *Winks*  Dogs dressed up in people clothes generally look less than thrilled to me, barely tolerating the humility of it all... and the Pet Section was fully stocked with Christmas Costumes for Fur Babies that are probably dreading the Holidays! And yet the perfect sizing for Pimping our Taxidermy and Skullies my Friends... so help a Pet out this Christmas and buy up those Costumes they are probably loathe to be forced to wear!  *Smiles*
Okay... now on to the bigger picture as it slowly Evolves into Christmas at this Ole House.  I decided that after well over 15 years in Storage it was Time to Liberate the Old Christmas Village that I used to put up when our Kids were, well, still Kids and not Adults.   I had forgotten just how long it had been since we decorated with it for Christmas... lets just say we were still living in a Home with Wheels and Living the Nomadic Lifestyle. {I'm hearing Barbra Streisand singing "Memories" now in my Head!  LOL}
I had forgotten just how expensive trying to build a Christmas Village can be 'til I saw the old price tags from well over 20+ years ago still on some of these boxes... Good Lord, no wonder our Village ended up with only four dwellings, half the accessories and I finally gave up trying to 'Build A Village'!  *LOL*  It was a Hobby I could never really afford to Invest in and so quickly lost interest Collecting.
But I do remember our Kids thinking it was totally Awesome... and though they were never to scale for the Buildings, I 'Scored' some cute oversized Townspeople at a Bargain when a major Department Store went belly up.  Over the years some of the Townspeople had mishaps as the Kids wanted to play with them like Toys, but overall they have Survived quite well over the decades that have ensued and crazy glue or hot glue gun Surgery has repaired the Happy Accidents some had.
And I must say the Allure of the Old Christmas Village hadn't diminished one iota for the next Generation... the Excitement was building as we unwrapped and unboxed each piece ready for Princess T and her BFF Princess E to assist me with the building of a Christmas Village on our Mantle.   Luckily Prince R was away visiting Relatives that day so the Girl Force had free Reign over the Styling.
For the "Under Eight" Set this all is apparently a Big Deal and cause for Divalicious Celebration and Primping... as they even insisted on Dressing up in Party Dresses and Accessorizing  for the Occassion and the Premier of Presenting The Village!!!  *Smiles*  But don't let the beguiling Smiles of my Dark Eyed Beauties fool ya my Friends... this also meant Vicious Vying for who put what where and it could have quickly turned into Christmas Smackdown 2012 if I didn't constantly play Referee and try to be the Voice of Reason!  Remember Girls, this is SPOZED to be the Season of Peace & Goodwill towards one another?!?!???!  *LOL*   Well... it sounds Good in Theory anyway...
Where was my Striped Shirt and Whistle I Wondered?!?   The petulant Princess T kept Storming off Exit Stage Left & disappearing from time to time to have her Epic Fit & Tantrum in another room of the house, LOUDLY & quite Dramatically, she's very Theatrical & a Drama Queen that one!  She Assumes the World stops spinning on it's axis anytime she leaves the room. *Smiles*  While the more Sly Princess E smugly posed for the Camera to get that Extra Face Time every True Diva & Aspiring Model desires after they've run the Competition off with Tenacity and effectively pushing all their buttons!  *LOL* 
Ah, you Lil Diabla you!  *Winks*  But that is precisely why she's Princess T's BFF though, they're two peas in a pod and equally matched... always making up and breaking up at the speed of Light and a Force to be reckoned with!  Yes, there was a Disturbance in the Force during the Building of a Christmas Village and a Cage Match would have been friendlier.  As they fussed and fought over who would get each coveted item to Style with and where it would be placed... two Micro Managers or Future Dictators in the Making!   Nobody was willing to Tap Out, it was as if it would be a fight to the Death between these two!  *Le Sigh*  Remember, these are wee Gals from big extended Families with a host of Uncles & Big Brothers so they're a Scrappy Set not to be underestimated in their Princess Beastliness!  *Winks*  The Man quickly bowed out as he attempted to keep them Calm and keep the Peace in Vain!  *LOL*  Yet, after the Project was complete, they Waltzed out of the house hand in hand to Play as I knew they eventually would after Diva Mode had Calmed and there was Balance in the Force again.  *Winks*
And this my Friends is only partially why it's a very slow Process around Bohemian Valhalla to undecorate, put away, drag out and Style from one Holiday to the next.  I start out with much Enthusiasm and Game Plan in the early Morn... because hey, it's a Brand New Day!!!  Full of Possibilities & Guarded Optimism...
And then Reality sets in like a ton of bricks... because I'm Working around a house full... and they don't always play well and get along with others... and I should probably loan them out as an effective Wrecking Crew for anyone who wants or needs anything to be completely Destroyed in record time... they could do that!
And before I know it Night has fallen... and either: a) Nothing got done & I gave up, surrendering to the Chaos that ensued.  b) Portions got done & I tried not to obsess about the rest or kill anyone that threatened to undo what little got done.  c) It was a Good Day because nobody else was Home to run Interferance and I got a Massive amount done and basked in the Accomplishment and Fruit of my Labor for the minute and a half that it will actually stay that way until they all return. 
 My Mannequin Head is now wearing my Santa Hat since I won't be able to ring the bells for the Salvation Army this year as I continue with a Leave of Absence from Working outside the Home for Personal Reasons until the first of the Year.

But in the Process I've Learned to Choose my Battles Wisely and try not to sweat the small stuff... and realize that at the end of the day most of it is small stuff.  So when the petulant Princess was glaring with the OCD Evil Eye over the parts of the Christmas Village she didn't Approve of because she didn't put it there and so it was All Wrong  *LOL*... I simply suggested that each day we'll make it "New" and Re-Style parts of it as it suits us for that Day.
Small Compromises don't bother Yours Truly at all... in fact, I Believe you rarely get in Life what you Deserve, only what you Negotiate.  So we freely Negotiate and Encourage it in fact... honing the Skill of it and each being the best Negotiator possible... that way nobody Loses... everybody comes away with what they Successfully Negotiated on the Deal.

And speaking of DEALS... well, I came away with the 'Score' that rivaled the Persian Rug Bonanzas we've recently had!  Picture this... I'm Goodwill Hunting and I spy THIS!   I swear I heard Angelic Choruses and saw the Heavens Parting... it was all I could do not to run over or shove out of the way anyone who stood between me and Her!!!   *LOL*  I couldn't Believe my Eyes in fact since I instantly recognized this as a Cybis Sculpture!!!
During my stint right out of High School a Lifetime ago at an upscale Jewelry Store I learned to Love Cybis Sculptures... but even that long ago they were expensive, so I never procured one of my own.  Lets face it, a Teenager has different Priorities and at the time I Invested in Gold, Custom Jewelry and Gemstones... a Gypsy Gal through and through!  *Winks*  Sculpture and Art was always a Passion but not something I was actively Investing in at the time.  I was much more interested in building my own Fort Knox of Gold and Bling... I had my Mr. T starter-kit even before anyone ever heard of the A-Team!   I like to think I was somewhat of a Visionary... but Truth is, my Bohemian Mom always taught me about the Value of the Good Stuff ... Gold & Jewelry in particular. *Winks* 
Yet, I Reserved my Excitement slightly... fully knowing that often delicate donations are manhandled at Thrift Stores and often donated because of damage... so dared I Hope that She would be intact?!?  Yep... she WAS!  *Whew!*
And then... what would they be asking for her?  AS IF that was going to be a deciding factor... REALLY?!??  *Bwahahaha!*  Hey, you know how utterly STUPID you can get when you're standing in a Thrift Store and they even want a fraction of what something is actually worth... and you're indignantly waffling because, hey, it's a Thrift Store and this stuff was Donated after all!!!  Yeah, I've been STUPID like that on more than one occassion and missed out on an Amazing Bargain just because it wasn't say a Dollar and Fifty Cents!  *LOL*  No lingering Regrets this time... I knew She was going Home with me before I even looked at the tag... but at what Price?  The Madonna with Bird is one of the larger Cybis Bust Sculptures & She is in Pristine Condition.
And I've seen Goodwill Pricing some of their Sculptures in a Modestly High Range if they suspect Value... so I was almost afraid to turn her over, lest she be heavy on the lean Pre-Holiday Budget I'm Dealing with?
Guessing are ya?  You're not gonna Believe this my Friends... she was UNDER EIGHT BUCKS!!! For Real!!!  My Heart was beating like a Hummingbird and I was Cradling Her like a Newborn Babe all the way to the Register!

Merry Christmas Dawn... yeah, it was Good to be Me this Day for sure!!!  I even got my Time with Santa and you can be sure my "Wish List" was LONG!  *LOL*  Poor Dude, he not only had to endure my Long List, but had to fear that a Gal as Big as he is might wanna sit on his lap! *Winks*

At THE BRASS ARMADILLO WEST we're in full Christmas Swing now...

And having a Blast!  Just waiting for YOU to Join us!!!

We're gearing up for our Big Sale which starts TODAY and runs through December 2nd!!!

The G-Kid Force have already scoped out some Great Vintage & Collectibles for their Christmas 'Wish List'...

Truth be told so did I... which is why we dragged The Man along... so he has no excuse not to get exactly what we're Jonesin' for!!! *Winks*

And a host of mine were in my Friend Myko's Showroom... she has the most Amazing Inventory!!!  I'm certain The Man gets Chest Pain just watching me enter a Showroom such as this... the Knowing of how much Stuff I'll Adore!!! *Winks* {Sorry for grainy pixs... we were having Camera malfunctions...}

But Trust me, everything looks much better in person anyway, which is why you simply must come on down and see it all for yourselves and Enjoy the Big Sale Discount on all your Purchases!

And though Christmas Decorating shall probably be ongoing for quite some Time here at Home... eventually it will all get put up and Styled and everything from the previous Holidays put away.  No Worries no hurries... whilst I'm still perusing the Shops for just the right Unique Bohemian additions to our Decor.

Seriously Loving the abundance of Exotic Lighting Effect... can't you just Picture this Scene hanging in your Outdoor Living Area... I can!!!


And the Graduated Color Effect on a Tree is Lovely too... must do that one Year on our Tree at Home!

Speaking of Home that's where I'm heading just now... to our comfy Bed... so... 'til Tomorrow my Friends...
May your Junquing Adventures be as Good to you too my Friends as they have been to me lately... Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl