Classic Style Using Authentic Treasures

It's all about living an AUTHENTIC life, being true to who we are and finding beauty and inspiration in our daily surroundings. Decorating our homes with found items and antique and vintage treasures, we create a personal ~ classic style ~ that defines who we are!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Tiny Tree

Just at the edge of the forest,
grows a single, tiny tree.

Standing alone,
it looks a bit out of place
among the empty hardwoods
and leaf covered ground.

Studying its fine details,
one notices that
although the tree is tiny,
its needles are large....
as large as a much taller tree!

Such a tiny tree to carry
the weight of what it will become,
as if a young child,
walking in the shoes of it's parent.

Standing tall and proud,
it grows against all odds.

A single tiny tree ~
beautiful in its simplicity.

May you flourish and grow
as the tiny tree ~ 
and may the 
of the season
be yours.

Live your Authentic Life - 
Be the Real You!




Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Revival of Vintage ~ Georgia

We are lucky ~
here in the Metro Atlanta area.

There is a revival happening that
has been a long time coming!

site explains:
The Revival (noun): A community gathered to awaken the vintage spirit - Bringing buyers and sellers together to share, learn, shop and transcend; A place to congregate around funky furniture, fashions, architectural salvage and  treasures. As a whole, the enactment of making vintage functionally modern in today’s world.

I attended yesterday
and had a wonderful time!

I didn't take enough
photos, BUT ~

Here are just a few of the awesome
vendors who showed their
beautiful vintage; antique finds
and artful creations~

Aged Fusion
by Cindi Baptist



Gathered Comforts


Lily & Luna
by Michele Rodgers


J. Drexler Designs

Nest by
Davina Cates and Weatherly Copenhaver


Fragments by Dawn Fischer
Sells at Queen of Hearts Buford
The Raw Supply Company by 
Shannon Mescher


A wonderful afternoon,
in the most perfect setting,
an old brick tannery built in 1919.

I am looking forward to more
Revival shopping days
in my future!

Live your Authentic Life - 
Be the REAL you!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If We Only Knew

  As seen in Folk Magazine, Nov/Dec 2012 - 
There was no room in the magazine for the photos 
that accompanied my story - I am including them here!
In honor of WWII Veteran, Paul Gissonne  
and Veteran's everywhere - Thank You!

On a dusty shelf, 
in a tiny thrift store in North Georgia, 
sat an old gold plated glass liquor decanter.

 As I traveled along my usual route through the shop, I spotted a decorative bottle resting among vintage glasses and candlesticks, $2.95!  Of course I put it in my stash of finds without a second glance.  I was already thinking about the next treasure to be found.

After a long day of picking, boxes and bags of newspaper wrapped items are usually deposited where ever space is found in my garage, until I can prepare them to be put in my shop.

Months later, while un-wrapping a couple of boxes of merchandise, I came across the decanter.  I studied its shape and speckled remains of gold and I thought how pretty it would look on a book shelf or in a collection of vintage bar finds and bottles.   As I sat there studying the bottle, I noticed a label for the first time,  Kentucky Tavern – 
Personally Selected for Kenneth Gissonne; Rio Rita; 403 Bomb SQ 43 GRP.



I can’t describe the feeling that came over me!  Was this a gift for a person who was part of a bomb squadron?   What or who was Rio Rita?  I immediately dropped everything I was doing and headed straight for my lap top!

The first thing I researched was 403 Bomb Squadron.  Yes!  There it was, the 403rd Bomb Squadron was an active unit of the United States Air Force from 1940 to 1946.  Then later reactivated and then closed during 1961. 

It was activated in 1940, during WWII, as a long range reconnaissance squadron that operated over the mid Atlantic states and later the Newfoundland Straits and the North Atlantic shipping lanes.   In 1942, it was reassigned to Australia and flew from Australia and New Guinea and participated in the Battle of Bismarck Sea.  The squadron also flew over China and Japan performing multitudes of bombing runs.

Now I was on to something!  Next was Rio Rita!  Initially, all I could find was information on a 1927 romantic comedy musical named Rio Rita, written by Florenz Ziegfield and a 1929 movie based on the same story. The story does involve spies and secret service so I assumed since the movie was the most popular of its day, it must have been well known. 

I finally came across copies of old newsletters that began in 1981.  Known as the 43rd Bomb Group Assn. Inc. – these men remained connected via mailed newsletters and annual meetings!  The 43rd Bomb Group, called KEN’S MEN, consisted of four different squadrons of bombers, the 403rd being one of them!

I read through several newsletters, announcing member’s deaths, changes of addresses, comments and memories by different members, until, there it was, a small paragraph in the 32nd edition from August, 1989.“Bryan A. Flatt, 403rd, a new member, says to tell Kenneth Gissonne, 403rd Navigator, he was on the Wewak Mission, 27,  August, 1943, and had returned (to base) when Rio Rita came in for landing, shot up, no landing gear, etc.  He will be at the reunion, so see him there to talk it over.”

Ah Ha!  So the Rio Rita was a plane and Kenneth Gissonne was its Navigator!  It sounded as if they had been through an air battle!  I was excited to finally find something!  

Then in an earlier newsletter, 31st edition, dated, May 1989 I read, “On 8/23/43, mission which turned out to be a little rough. Plane was Rio Rita, Crew: Pilot, George Putnam; Co-Pilot, John Taylor; Navigator, Kenneth Gissonne; Bombardier, Phil Wolf.”  The newsletter goes on to list several crew members.  It then states:  “Damage, One KIA, three wounded, two engines shot out, nose wheel retracted, over 200 bullet holes.”

Thank goodness they were able to make it back to base!  I could not imagine the horror of being shot at, losing engines, possibly being on fire and injured and dying crew members!  I found three different mentions of the air battle and subsequent crash landing in the air field, but cannot confirm the actual date. 

More research and several hours later,
 I finally found a photo, 
there she was, the Rio Rita, 
a B24 Liberator Bomber! 

After reading hours of newsletters, absorbing these veteran’s lives, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude.  Over 750 men were killed serving in the 43rd Group. These men who were teenagers and 20 year olds, left their homes, traveled to Australia and then New Guinea of all places, experienced terrible Japanese bombing runs on the island, saw native families and villages destroyed, death and suffering not only of the locals but their brother airmen as well.  They came home filled with memories they would never forget.  They came home sharing a bond of experience, hardship, pride and patriotism!  

Each newsletter included a section called Gone But Not Forgotten, listing the men who passed away since the previous newsletter, and there it was, Kenneth Gissonne passed away on March 20, 2005, as reported by his daughter.   I found a mention of his birth on an archival website, October 16, 1920.  He was 22 years old when he left for Australia and died at the age of 84.  Kenneth Gissonne flew 35 missions with one pilot, Al Putnam, and then went on to also fly missions out of the 63rd Group as well.

I thought about my own grandfather, who fought during World War One in France and my father who fought during the Korean War in Korea, and wondered what hardships they encountered, what experiences and memories traveled home with them. 

And yet, even now, during modern times, all the lives lost since 911, the sacrifices and struggles made by today’s military families, the men and women of our United States Armed Forces continue to protect our nation, our freedoms and our rights!   They make the same sacrifices today as those made decades ago and as they travel around the globe, they carry the same unwavering sense of duty and patriotism!

The gold Kentucky Tavern Bourbon bottle 
 will stay with me.  


 I have not been able to confirm when Mr. Gissonne received the gift.  Pure conjecture on my part, but I would think it was a special gift presented to him as a 50th Anniversary of his veteran service from WWII, which would mean he received it sometime in the early 1990’s. 

Over the years, I have purchased many things that included clippings or notes or dried flowers that instantly took me to another time.  These vintage and antique items that we all love to collect have a story!  They represent someone’s life, someone’s home, their taste in clothes or furniture or even liquor!  Or they may go one step further, and teach a lesson about history, brotherhood and duty!

Next time you see a memento from the past, pay homage to it, 
you never know what you might learn!  

 Past and present,
 I am forever humbled and grateful for the men and women of the 
United States Armed Forces!   
Thank You!

 Live your Authentic Life ~ Be the REAL you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Jar Of Joy

What brings you Joy?
Do you know it on a daily basis?

There are several keepsakes
in my home that represent
experiences that bring me joy 
each and every time I look at them.

In my kitchen, 
on top of a book shelf,
sets a collection of blue mason jars.
Different kinds, and different sizes,
but there is one that just stands
out in my heart!

It isn't necessarily the jar itself,
although I love it ~
it is one of those large shoulder jars!

That curved neck and rusty
wire wrapped around its top...

it protects something 
precious to me.

When I was about 13 or 14,
my father came home from a business trip
and presented me with a single, beautiful 
bloom of cotton.

You would have to know me,
but I've always collected rocks and sticks
and flowers and seed pods and sea shells!

I was thrilled!

I've kept that one single cotton boll
for almost 40 years!

I recently added a few more pieces
 that I picked from a huge cotton field
growing next to the highway in Tennessee.
It was a wonderful trip,
full of laughter and joy!

It might just be an old jar
with some cotton shoved in it ~ 
but in reality
this vintage treasure in itself,
holds something even more important.

My happiness, my joy, my memories~
safe and sound
under an air-tight seal!

Live your Authentic Life - Be the Real You!!!





Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pickin' A Chicken House

Yes I did!

I picked a chicken house full of
junk that has been stored for decades!

And I must say, it was a blast!

I shopped for 4 hours ~
plain and simple,
there was just too much junk!

Automotive, hardware, 
school supplies, cash register tape,
yarn, Christmas stickers......
stuff, lots of stuff!

Anyone need some boat anchors?

Don't think these computers will
serve much purpose otherwise ~

Oh, but I fell in the love with
the rusty saw blades ~

and Garfield
forever stuck on 10:49 ~
wonder if it was morning or night?



Would have bought all the
canning jars, 
but I have cases of them at home...
still waiting for projects yet begun.

 Breaker, breaker 1, 9 ~
anyone need CB supplies?
Good Buddy!


Griswald stove dampers caught my attention,
I purchased several just because!



 I'm sure someone could fix
this baby up - but it's not me!

 More rust ~
Bicycle chains snaking across the floor,
just glad they weren't real snakes!
I saw a snake skin earlier that sort of
put me on edge.

 How about a huge box full of
Jagermeister Test Tubes?
Guess these were for a shot party! 
Seemed out of place for
a chicken house!


Poor Barbie, 
Ken was no where to be found,
probably hanging out near the Jagermeister Party.

Looks like she was resting after working
out to her Olivia Newton John cassette, 
hope Ken can find his way back to Xanadu!


The only mouse trap I saw ~
I'm sure they would need quite a few more!


this find was not for sale!


So, wondering what I DID
end up with after FOUR hours of picking?


  Seven galvanized boxes,
an awesome old red shopping cart,
two old stretchers,
two old galvanized trash cans,
at least a dozen old metal signs ~

5 large unfinished frames,
two turned table legs,
one lone bicycle wheel,
one rusty metal milk crate,
a ton of yard sticks,


awesome rusty wire,
slatted wood pieces,
a vintage numbered valet board with hooks,
 and lots of small do-dads like big rusty screws,
stove dampers, metal cogs and wire screens!

 I can't wait to start on some
fun re-purposing projects!

I had a great day at the chicken house,
may have to go back again tomorrow....
already thinking about a few things I still need!

Live Authentically ~ Be the Real You!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Footsteps

I decided to do something
a little different with my mantel
this Halloween ~

The vanity mirror is old and the silver wearing off, 
(which I love), 
so I thought it would be the perfect backdrop 
for a Halloween theme.

The large, white architectural piece 
is from a very old building in my local community.

With the exception of a few items ~ 
like the glass ornaments, 
everything is vintage.

When I pulled out the glass beaded garland,
I thought the orange tones looked so much like copper, 
I decided to incorporate some of
my collection of bronzed baby shoes.

I added a few skeleton keys 
with black and white check ribbon
 to finish off the ends of the garland.

During one of my picking trips, 
I came across two small wooden staircases.  
They are too big for a traditional doll house, 
not sure what they were used for....but I thought, 
hmm, one day they will come in handy.
I added a couple of vintage clocks for extra interest, 
thinking it looked a little like a loose steam punk theme.



The metal urns came from Target 10 years ago!  
I took two old black wrought iron topiary forms, 
and placed them in the urns to resemble witches hats.  

Then I wrapped a black feather trim 
around the topiary base and tucked in one end.
Do you see what I see?  It's a black cat's tail!


This is the sort of mantel that grows on you!  
You have to walk up to it, study it, 
and then you see the vision!  

I love all the little baby shoes 
perched on their steps...
sort of like little ghost shoes from the past.

Quirky?  Indeed!

I wouldn't have it any other way!

Live Your Authentic Life ~ Be The Real You!