Why I Collect Stuff: the honest truth


This post started out as more of a question to myself as to whether or not I should start collecting vintage toy trucks...yes!!!!! can't believe it myself but it is true. So I had a moment of soul searching and thought, why do I keep collecting things?

When I started blogging a mere two months ago, I put in my profile that I enjoyed collections, with my collections being "a tangible record of where I have been and who I am now". I since removed those words as they seemed like an added distraction to my profile but in retrospect nothing could be closer to the truth.

I became a serious seeker of "interesting stuff" around 1990. My oldest son had been diagnosed with a terminal form of Lymphoma and I quit my job to spend what small amount of time he had left to be with him. In a mere year my life was a daily dose of anxiety and hospitals. My beautiful son lost his battle with cancer on July 3rd 1991 and it feels like yesterday.

After his death my days were very empty; really quite suddenly. I found myself without much to do and needed some sort of creative outlet. My prior employment with a major retailer as a buyer and clothing designer left me with a wonderful sense of color, a love of fabric and I suppose the need to "buy" if you will.

I took my then 5 year old, youngest son (now 23) with me on about a two year continual trip to the Goodwill, Salvation Army and just about every antique mall and flea market within a 60 mile radius of our home. With our income now cut in half, I had to be a cleaver negotiator. Suffice it to say; this is why I am a collector. Collecting saved me in a sense, it cut short my loss a small bit and I found some weird sort of solice in the daily hunt, hoping to nab a deal that I knew was a windfall.

Collections regrets? not really. A few coulda, woulda, shoulda's maybe. But no regrets. I have since parted with almost every item I collected during those rough years and have started new collections as my taste has changed and my income has grown. I do have a very fond memory, however of a beautiful yellow pond yacht that was $275 and I just couldn't swing it...damn!
ROSEVILLE POTTERY lousy picture but I still collect it and love the colors and textures
INDUSTIAL SEATING AND STORAGE I have at least a dozen of these lab/drafting chairs made by Toledo and use them for everything
ICE CREAM BUCKETS Lamps, storage, garden, general cuteness and always great color
FIRKINS I have collected these for about 15 years, great color and interest in the sizes and shapes
JADEITE & YELLOW WARE I don't collect either any more but found gobs of these in the early 90's for really low prices. I sold my last really great yellow ware bowl on ebay about a month ago
DEPRESSION GLASS I guess you could say this is where it all started, I picked up cups and saucers, reamers and s&p shakers for pennys. We actually used the stuff at parties and dinners, alot got broken but I loved the hunt!
VINTAGE TOY TRUCKS yet to be determined?

This yellow truck is listed on Ebay for $2800....why? Should I start collecting toy trucks....maybe not.
I hope you liked this post, I enjoyed writing it.

best~*~ kelley

Garden Inspiration: Ojai Update

Welcome Summer
Garden inspiration is all around and I am so happy to have a bit of something on our 1 acre property to actually cut and put in a vase!
My color pallet for this front ( 1/4 acre) of our property is: blue/purple/pink with accent colors of: grey/white/orange....here is a sample:

We are working continually on the site, with the basics of the water feature in the beginning stages above
lets not forget the before: aboveHere is some of our crazy ideas for the fountain, lots of metal and other industrial stuff...not sure!
Just got the sod in on Friday, what a relief!
Here is a view of the stone wall, all done with very little mortar and a whopping 200 feet long, completed about a month ago.
look at before below and after a decent paint job above

We planted two incredible Swan Hill Olive trees along the front of the houseWe also put in a HUGE california pepper in the front area near the street. I can't even tell you how hard this tree was to get over the wall....crazy!
drive way is coming together, it will be a circular gravel drive

The olives are really pretty I think
Inspiration for the garden :

love the Agave

Happy to share, thanks again Artie: Color Outside the Lines

hope you have a great Sunday and happy gardening to all~*~kelley

Porch Project: Ojai Update

A front porch is one of the most important aspects of any home. It is like your smile. : ) It reveals how a house is most likely going to look on the inside. While this is not the worst looking front porch in the world, it was a little shabby and the metal screen door was very unwelcoming.It looked so much better after a new coat of white paint and the pretty new screen door with the oak leaf cut out. Even still the brick was dated and crumbling. So off it came.
The projects started with a band of stones from the yard in a gentle swirl running the length of the porch.

We then filled in with blue stone pavers.

The combination of the rock with the flag stone is really complimentary and adds a nice interest instead of just a completely flat surface.
We then added a new walk way and again swirled a variety of small pebbles and aggregate through the center in a random pattern. The flag stone was used to fill out the rest of the walk.

Here is the result. It still needs sealer which will bring out the colors a bit more.
Plants have gone in and the porch is such a nice place to sit. We really like the rocking chairs, they are actually really comfortable and fit the mood of the house.
I think this is a nice way to say "welcome to our home"