Monday, September 18, 2017

My (Annual?) Visit To Apple Hill

I got to go up to Apple Hill earlier this month, and I can only HOPE that I will get to go again this season.
I didn't make it up there at all last year, and that really bummed me out.
 I was with my very dear friend Kim, who lives in Camino, and we didn't have a lot of time the day we went.
We had a quick lunch at Blondie's Coffee House and it was fabulous!
 What a delightful little restaurant it is!
(I wish I had remembered to take a picture.)
 The pictures I'm sharing today are from  Grandpa's Cellar, which was the most important destination for me that day.
The reason I wanted to go so badly to that particular apple ranch was because the  woman who runs the wonderful gift shop there is a friend, and also happens to be Lori's former landlady.
The shop is amazing!
It is, quite simply FULL of fabulous things - I swear you could go in there and do your Christmas shopping!
Something for everyone? Bim. Bam. Boom. Done!
Do you see that little salt and pepper set front and center on the table in the picture above?
Well, Kim and I both came home with a set!
Thank you, Heather!
We REALLY enjoyed our visit to the shop, and we will most definitely be back!

I've got to get back up there, and on a day with more time (and maybe money?) to spend.
I want to sit and savor a slice of local apple pie, and I want to come home with some apples.
I'm really looking forward to it.

So, remember - "Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me", and if you're heading up to to Apple Hill - please take me with you!
Because it's one of my favorite places in the world.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Ten Years As A Blogger!

This month marks the tenth anniversary of our blog here at Gold Country Girls.
With over 3000 posts now under our belts, my sisters and I would like to say thank you to every single person who has ever read (and, hopefully, enjoyed?) one of our posts.
We three do write about a wide variety of subjects, so it is my hope that there truly may be something for everyone here, if you were to go back and pore through our "archives".
 Please be prepared to sit a spell and linger for a while, if you do! There's an awful lot to read and a myriad of pictures to go along with all of the text.
I also wanted to ask our loyal readers to please "Forgive Me"!
 For what?
For my lack of regular posts, of course!
I have been devoting all of my time to working on my business selling vintage goods, and also to the long-neglected task of organizing all of the things I want or plan to sell, and also to putting my house and storage areas in to some sort of  order, rather than the disorganized chaotic mess it has all been for far too long.
This has left me with little to no time for blogging, as I am also now working at Mountain Treasures at least one day a week here in Sonora.
Writing this blog is still important to me, but it does require a fair amount of time, and that is what has been lacking.
I fully intend to start posting more often, and I will be trying my very hardest to do just that!

On a completely different subject, I wanted to share with you all today a photo of our Mother that I found when looking through old family photos at Tina's while I was at her house for a visit last month to celebrate her birthday.
(Oh, and that vintage sheet music above is Tina's too - I loved it and had to snap a photo of it!)
I did not remember Mother having one of those great, colorful embroidered burlap bags, but the proof is in the picture.
 (I do wish I knew what color it was, though! I'm sure it was colorful, not that you can tell in this black and white photo.)
That's not a very good picture of our mom, so here's one of my favorites of her school teacher photos, taken somewhere around the same time frame, so that you can see how pretty she was:
 Didn't she just have the loveliest smile?
Yes, she really did. We miss you, Momma!
Okay, so back to those beautiful embroidered bags - here are some much more colorful photos of some that I have found.
 We'll start with the most colorful:
 And next we have this lovely one in aqua and white:
 And one in brown and russet tones:
 And last of all, a cool sort of zig-zag pattern in pink, black and yellow:
I love them, but I don't use them, so I'm planning to offer them for sale - just as soon as I can find the time!
 (The one in the first photo has already sold.)
So, that concludes the colorful part of today's celebratory post.
And thank you again, dear readers, for sticking with us for the last decade.
And if you have just found us, PLEASE comment; the comments make us so incredibly happy - because it makes us feel as though we are actually connecting with people out there in this big wide world.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Antique Nasturtium Studies

Tina here, with a post to share some of my collection of original nasturtium paintings which I have collected over the years. These five are special since they have all been painted as "studies" which must have been presented in either a magazine, book or some form of class pamphlet for the budding artists to follow. I thought I might have a copy of the original study somewhere but I have not come up with it, so if I do in the future I will do my own painting and share it and the study with you as a new post. I have been wanting to try my hand at one of these anyway so it would be fun!

This lovely framed painting above appears to be an oil and it is in it's original frame. It is not dated. It is signed M. Weiserfluh. As you will see, the paintings all have the same blue bowl, and similar placement of the nasturtiums, but each artist has added his own touch, and some have added an extra bud or bloom or leaf here and there. That is what is called artistic license. One of my art teachers, Jim Estey, a teacher from high school, college, and later a friend, gone now, printed out for his students an actual "artistic license" which he had laminated, and I have always carried it in my wallet since with pride.

This watercolor above right now is not framed. It has it's own plastic cover protecting it from the elements in my dining room. This artist, only known to us as "KB.N" dated this 1916, so it is 101 years old. It sports extra nasturtium buds, leaves and a flower.

Please excuse my feet and slippers, I couldn't seem to get my photo program to cut and paste for me!
This is another watercolor, and again unsigned or dated. It appears to be in it's original frame, which all my framed paintings in this post are. Each of these paintings are at least 14 inches wide and about 9 inches long, a perfect size to hang over a window or a door.

This lovely gold leaf frame has seen better days and needs a touch-up at the corners that it is waiting patiently for me to give. It is another watercolor, and sticks pretty much exactly to what I think is the original study. It is one of my favorites of the five, and very well done. The artist is Ira Skipper, and it is dated '12. That is 1912!

 Last we have another unsigned oil. I am so sorry when I see a beautiful work of art that has gone uncredited for all these hundred years. I guess these artists just thought of these as their practice pieces and they weren't important to them. But here we are years later and they are antiques and I now collect them and hope to find more, and would love to find more information on the original artist who set up the study and perhaps even grew the nasturtiums which tumble out of the blue bowl.

Until next time, hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer.

Monday, September 4, 2017

What's Penny Wearing? #148 One Of The Cutest Vintage Aprons EVER!

I was so delighted when I found this vintage apron at a thrift store:
I love everything about it!
I love the colors, I love the patchwork-style print, I love the polka-dot waistband, pockets, ties, and trim:
I love the fact that the fabric is so nice and crisp and clean that it does not appear to have ever even been worn:

I love that it fits me!
I love the fact that if you wear it over a blouse, it can essentially be considered a jumper.
When I found it, I intended to sell it, but the fact that I could wear it myself has proven to be somewhat a deterrent, as far as THAT goes, let me tell you.
Green, blue, flowers, patchwork print, polka-dots - what more could this vintage-lovin' girl want, I ask you??
Well, this is actually pretty darned cool, too:
Just last week, I bought a vintage Better Homes And Gardens magazine (October 1974) at a vintage shop, and when I came home and looked through it, I found the advertisement shown above.
It appears to be just like mine, quite possibly in the "blue" patchwork version.
Made by Sofwear Designs in Houston, Texas.

(Oh, Houston - our hearts are aching for all of you down there in Texas!)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lounge Chair Road Trip No 19. Death Valley Scotty's Castle

Well, It's Wednesday, and I'm Tina, and I'm hot, and so I'm going on a road trip to Death Valley because the weatherman/person/devil says it could reach 111 degrees in Sacramento tomorrow so why not go to the desert?  And stay in style?

I have been to this sprawling desert compound before with my husband on a winter's day and even explored the outside where there is a gigantic pool that you can go below and watch swimmers' legs through windows (mermaid shows. anyone?) - except it was empty - and a bell tower (I think), lots of interesting things to see.

I should have been ready for this post with lots of info about Scotty but I wasn't. Sorry.

He must have had a lot of money, and a lot of friends, and a love of the desert!


I enjoy the rustic furniture and the natural wood and the beautiful use of tile and I would love to have the stove in this kitchen!


Death Valley has very, very hot days, but it also has some cold nights, so I guess a two story fireplace makes sense. And check out those candelabras! They add some heat of their own!

Okay, next year I think I am taking over this dining room for Thanksgiving (I would do it this year, but my sis-in-law in Denver already invited us to come for dinner). We can fit all of the Gold Country Girls and the extended families in here and sleep them and we will even fill the pool and everybody bring their mermaid costumes!,

A whole entire gigantic room just for music! I could have kept my other upright piano! Heidi could move in and keep both her spinets! Lori could have kept her baby grand! We could have lots of Chic Jams here and many house concerts! Just a dream because I still won't live in the desert. No, it's plenty hot here in Kelsey, thank you very much!


Okay, before we leave, we settle down to listen to a piano solo in a plain old sitting room that is comfortably furnished and we might just have some sun tea because that is what is outside, a lot of sun. What a great home.

We don't have to leave, you know. There is a large guest house just waiting for us. At least until we take our next lounge chair road trip! See you then!

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's "Time" For More Crewelwork

I'm chiming in with some more crewelwork pieces this morning, because I just think it's about "time"!
I found this great framed clock face picture yesterday:
It is SO colorful and cute!
I mean, check out this closeup:
 (Their little faces are simply adorable!)
This framed autumn-themed beauty, below, was found when Lori and I were on our big road trip this past May:
I just framed this one recently. I had found the finished, (but unframed) little piece quite a while back.
 I think this frame works rather well:
One of my very favorites of my most recent finds is this chicken:
I love the bright colors in that one, which was also found unframed.
Next up, we have the pair below.
Found at different times and framed - again, by me - in matching thrift store frames,
 I think they make a very nice-looking set:
This  next one is a really nice-looking sampler of crewel embroidery stitches:
I also pick up unfinished pieces, when the price is right.
I haven't done any embroidery in 30 years or more, but I may try to finish some of the ones I've found.
I DO love a red barn....
I managed to find a photo of the original Paragon kit online, so at least I can see what it is supposed to look like!
Here's a shot of the way our bed looks now - I was able to put some of my favorite crewelwork pillows together and achieve this look:
That's it for today!
Sorry I have not been able to post much lately; I simply have not been able to find the "time".....
But I am truly going to try to do better - I promise!

Monday, July 31, 2017

My Foyer Plate Displays - Three Ways

My first photo in today's post shows the way my display in our foyer looks currently.
I just decided a few days ago that I wanted to completely change it up!
 I found everything you see at thrift shops, including the Beatles LP, which I framed.
 I love those plates in the center, which I discovered once graced a "House Beautiful" magazine cover back in 1963:
They are the "Lea" pattern, hand painted and made in Finland by Arabia, and I think they're gorgeous. I only found a few, I wish there had been more!
The others with the black and white sort-of abstract pinwheel design are from CB2 (Crate and Barrel), and I think they're pretty cool, too!
Previously, my display had looked like this:
 I had taken some of my souvenir plates and stuck them up there in front of my other plates, from when it looked like this:
Those are my Thomas Kinkade plates.
I still like them - especially because most of the ones I have are Placerville houses - but I just like to do something different once in a while!
(Sorry, I truly do apologize for the terribly poor quality of my photos today!)