A Rockin’ Bouncing Love Story

by Kathy Eber

When I was a new mom I found this neat little rocker-bouncer thing at a neighbor’s yard sale.  I loved how quaint and old school it was. So for a couple of bucks, I claimed it for my own carpet crawlers. With a little sanding and varnish, it looked good enough to keep around even after the kids outgrew it.

teetertot on River Road

A decade later a friend asked me to donate it to raise money for the food co-op.  I couldn’t refuse.  The rocker was snatched up quickly by a bidder in the front row which made the food co-op very happy. That was that.

Five years later I decided to pursue a career in another state. That meant selling my 1909 home with a butler’s pantry, porch swing, and 2-way stair access. I really loved that place. But the young couple who bought it loved it too. And because they were friends of friends, I designated a room for them to drop things off before we closed the deal.

The last few weeks there were kind of sad.  Every night after work I’d walk through the house reliving memories and making sure I had emptied all the closets. Then one night I was shaken to the core by what I found. There in the midst of the growing pile of the buyers’ belongings was the old rocker-bouncer I had restored fifteen years earlier. It had come home with a new family to start another story. Don’t you just love happy endings?


PS: I recently learned that the little rocker bouncer, called the ShooFly Teeter Totter was made by the Delphos Bending Company in the mid-50s.   A barrel hoop maker, Delphos began manufacturing children’s furniture in 1934. By 1951 it was the world’s largest manufacturer of kids’ furniture.

We’re All Keepers of the Flame

by Kathy Eber

My first antique store experience was in the 80’s in Michigan. The owners’ love of things old and precious was absolutely contagious. Over the years I would buy a vintage silver heart-shaped pendant, a large framed beveled mirror from a gorgeous Mae West era sideboard, and an 1860’s nightstand from them. I still have and love them all.

heart pendant (1)

The many wonderful things I’ve collected since then have come with the memory of who was with me when I bought them, and where they came from. My house is full of flashbacks.

Then every so often someone will become attached to something on my wall or shelf; a face that looks like someone they know; the image of the Spirit of St Louis against a menacing sky; an antique English plate with a real historical connection to them. So I gladly relinquish them to the people they belong with. It makes me so happy to know they’re loved even more by someone else.

My friend’s husband once asked her, “why do you buy old things when you can afford to have whatever you want new?” Why? Because every piece tells a story. It reminds us that those who came before us lived, loved, feared, cried, laughed, and grew in the presence of these wonderfully comforting treasures.

Now my daughter is embracing vintage pieces in her home. Last year she used an old mid-century snow sled as part of her Christmas decoration. Imagine my surprise when without knowing it, she had bought one that was identical to the one I had has a kid.

ff sled 2

The point is, sometimes we’re the permanent recipient. Other times we’re the interim caretaker. Either way, it’s a good thing.

The Outdoor Movie Experience in December


Walking past the Olive Black Martini Bar in Richmond, IL. I love a good saxophone player.


Richmond, IL, Outside Movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” shown on 12/2/2017.


Richmond, IL, Outside Movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” on 12/2/2017.

Finery & Finishes Boutique and The Richmond Brathaus treated everyone to a unique experience last night. Throngs of people came out on an especially warm December night to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” outside. People brought lawn chairs, blankets, sleeping bags, Thermoses and an optimistic attitude. It was really fun!

Sojourn to Northern Farm Country


In far southwestern Wisconsin, down endless two lane roads, lives a sturdy population of no-nonsense farmers. These farms are not part of an amalgamation, but 500 acre farms grown larger by marrying the girl next door or by purchasing from a neighbor without children.. Angus cattle, Holstein cows and wild-looking horses with manes and tails embedded with burrs are too leery to come to the fence and take an apple from my hand.


These farms are inhabited by people who have owned them for generations. The oldest members of the family retire, no further than to town, when the next generation gets itchy to fill their thick-soled barn boots and get to it.  Men and women hunt deer and turkey and watch football games on TV. A squirrel supper is not uncommon. The type of rugged individual who lives here would be good to have with you in an emergency. They wouldn’t hold your hand or say comforting words, but they would get you through it.

The wind blows fierce across these corn stubble fields in January. Roads flung like ribbons across an eider down quilt cause apprehension at the top of hills where one wonders what will be at the top, a sheer drop or a man on a tractor straddling the double yellow line.


I spent a week there in January while my sister and her husband reunited with the sun in their prior hometown of Sarasota, Florida. The white frozen fog lifted high enough on just one day for me to go outside and walk on the property.


It is an interesting feeling to be alone in someone else’s house for a week. I’ve never been able to feel my sister in that house. But, I saw her personality outside hidden under fallen leaves and in the birdhouses riding on wire strung over the thick arms of old oak trees.


Stay warm…I’m back to work at the shop beginning the first weekend in February.



Autumn Apples plus The Princess & the Pea Project

“The stripped and shapely Maple grieves The ghosts of her Departed leaves. The ground is hard, As hard as stone. The year is old, The birds are flown. And yet the world, In its distress, Displays a certain Loveliness” –   … Continue reading

Since I’ve Seen You Last

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The heavy child’s chair and footstool, which some may remember, sold today. I think I had it for over a year which is too long for a space this small. I could have sold it many times, but no one wanted … Continue reading

Morning Glory Roof and More from Fox and Finch Antiques

    Remember my post about my friend, Robert’s, Morning Glory window awning? I think he switched to moon flowers and I haven’t seen how that worked out. However, I can tell you want happened to my cat-run roof of … Continue reading

Time Traveling Interior Design – Robert Anderson and Sedge Meadow Antiques

Living with comfort and style in a 19th century general store… Continue reading

Our Grandparents’ Home

A chance meeting leads to the building of a replica of the Northbrook, Illinois, home our grandparents bought in 1937. Continue reading

December at Fox and Finch Antiques

I put the exterior Christmas decorations together this year with garage sale ornaments, wreaths and garland. Plus, a lot of hot glue sticks and burnt fingers. Every year, I make a wreath with vintage ornaments found over the summer. I was … Continue reading

Apartment Therapy Complete + Happy Home Book Review


Designing a cohesive, put-together shop with inventory ranging between the time periods of 1850 to 1950 has baffled me since I opened my shop. I’ve read dozens of design books and studied how other shops do this successfully on Pinterest, but short of renting a storage unit where I can accumulate things that go together, I haven’t learned a thing to make it easier.

Then I saw an article about a publisher looking for people to review  Apartment Therapy’s new book Complete + Happy Home. The ultra-bog, Apartment Therapy, features apartments designed by thousands of creative renters and home owners using flea market, antique shop furniture and furnishings mixed with new or newer furniture.

I could hardly put this book down. All of the principles can be applied to a shop just as easily as one would apply them to an apartment, split-level, ranch or six-bedroom house. I finally grasped something that has previously eluded me. The approach is to throw out all ideas of what Pottery Barn is selling, what is currently trending and what you know about design. Decorate to make yourself happy. Learn how to use what you have, what is comfortable, easy to clean, maintain and is affordable to you. In other words, don’t choose a painting because it matches the color of your couch. Choose one that you enjoy.

Read every page; don’t just look at the pictures and you will have a new eye and the knowledge to create a comfortable home for yourself, family and friends.

There is too much between the covers of the Complete + Happy Home to mention in a review, but the editors aren’t pulling your leg when they put the word Complete in the title. The sections on creating flow, energy, balance and mood helped me tremendously with arranging the shop.

Apartment Therapy contributors essentially live in rentals so they don’t take out walls and install new windows. That is what I love about this book. The point of the book is to train people how to look at their homes in a new way.


Say you just bought a first home with an old board and batten paneled dining room. The new owner envisions a sleek modern design. Bringing in a vintage 1950s red-painted table with steel hairpin legs and adding black modern upholstered chairs turns the room in a new direction. By changing the overhead light fixture to a pendant style with a pierced metal drum shade the room is transformed from hunting cabin to cozy modern in an afternoon.


For the shop, I learned how to unite multiple patterns by adding one color that unites the room. Do you see how the coral lap robe and a vase of coral-colored flowers unifies the bold mix of patterns? It is all about decorating with things that make you feel good and making the room congenial for anyone who visits. I could easily use this technique in the shop. For example, by adding five green linen pillows to the room, the entire shop looks united with the use of color.  Of course, this is easy to do in a small shop like mine, but the idea works for any size room.

The book shines because it is realistic and it trains the reader to really see, just like an artist learns to see. Forget about what the neighbors have, what some marketing department wants you to buy, and get happy with your home.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  Blogging for Books encourages reviewers to write honest reviews.  This book was published in 2015 by Crown Publishing Group.

Where Was I Before I Was So Rudely Interrupted?

This is where I left you last summer:





And,  this is the roof I spent most of September on.

I was tuck-pointing, roof-tarring, glass-glazing, window painting and dealing with other issues that needed attention in the back of the building. (Let’s not talk about it.)

Besides this work and the shop, I took care of six of the village’s gardens.  I added another garden to the list this year.  Many people stop to talk throughout the hours, as you can imagine. Gardening is a social event in a small downtown area.



It is autumn and I have been  washing and ironing the textiles I found over the summer. I still have more to do. These American quilts are wonderful, aren’t they? The blue on the Victorian postage stamp quilt is indigo dyed and the red color is the infamous Turkey Red.



Last night, I finished tucking in the last of the flower gardens for a winter nap. The night was warm with that kind of soft, wild wind that we have in Illinois in October.  I wanted to cross the gardens off my list so I gardened until 8:00 pm under lamp and moonlight.  The town is closed on Monday night so no one saw the crazy gardener in the dirt-covered blue jeans. I didn’t care if anyone saw me, anyway. It would be something to talk about.

And the “In a Pickle” dining room cabinet? I could have sold a half-dozen of them!





Tarnished Royalty’s Post on The Language of Love

The summer passes so quickly and my days are filled with work related to running the shop; I do try to keep up with my Internet friends posts and this one from Ann at Tarnished Royalty is worth sharing.

~ Ginene from Fox and Finch

The Language of Love

I don’t often talk about my husband here on the blog. I tend toward privacy regarding the relationships in my life in order to remain professional but occasionally I think it’s a good idea to let my readers in on some of my personal life.

We all speak our love in different ways. My husband is very good about telling me he loves me verbally. But it’s the quiet little things he does that speak the loudest to me. Recently when I was working on my Maple Seed Butterfly project, I was trying to finish up in time for the Double Dip Flip deadline. I had thought I saved up more than enough maple seeds (a.k.a. helicopters) to complete the project. On the day I should have been photographing it I was scrambling to try to find some more seeds. Some of my stash had torn spots and others weren’t dried out enough and were still too green. I didn’t have enough good ones to finish. I went into resourceful mode and scoured the yard to no avail. We even checked the gutters on the house but found none. I decided I would try to make do and resigned myself to using some of the funkier shaped seeds that I had previously rejected. I continued to work, sorting through the seeds to find any that would pass. I began gluing the first few layers, hoping that I would have enough.

A couple of hours into the process my husband came home from mowing grass at our son’s house. With a grin on his face (that handsome devil!) he presented me with this:

Beaming with pride, he told me how he found the pile of maple seeds under the car port at our son’s house. Can you stand it?! He rescued me. In his quiet, sweet way he provided for me. He hunted and made the kill. He used his hat to bring home the spoil.

I was able to use several good seeds from the pile he brought me and honestly the piece would not have turned out as nicely with some of the seeds I was going to settle for. His gesture was a project saver but more than that it was an act of love that I will always treasure.

Flower Power

My kitchen is in what was the employee break room when my building was the town bank.  It is long and narrow, edged with a long sink on one side and two arch-topped windows with the hot water radiator in between on the other side. You won’t see my kitchen featured on a blog. You may have a hard time telling if it is 1940 or 2015 inside. I feel comfortable in my uncomfortable little kitchen. I paint, sand, glue and fix things here. Everything that is in it is a reject from the shop for its broken, repaired or cracked condition.  But, I’m not done playing with it yet.




The reason I came in here was not to show you the kitchen. I want my little antique shop enough that any inconveniences are easily over-looked.  Anyway, I want show you these tulips.

I’ve never seen a flower glow like these do and the scent is divine. Did you know  most  fragrant tulips are early blooming  types in the orange and red family?

I have to make a quick run to the post office to mail an eBay package. Come with me. It is close to the shop.


When I walk to the post office, I usually walk past this building. It used to advertise Gold Medal Flour on the side. One day, I called the corporate office for Gold Medal Flour in Minnesota, asked to be connected to the right department and then asked the representative if General Mills would possibly donate the paint so the town could  repainted the advertisement in a long-lasting oil paint. They said no because “Gold Medal Flour only donates to India.” That is what the woman told me.  I still think about that when I walk past the building.


This is the next home. The new owners did a fabulous job of keeping its best qualities. It looks so sturdy, doesn’t it?  I imagine that its owners feel safe during storms within its sturdy framework.


This house is the next house on my errand to the post office. I just turn left and  the  post office is around the bend.


Everywhere in town the sidewalks wear a layer of flower petals. Have your ever seen anything so pretty? The sign says that animals and people have a refuge on these grounds.


This little dog run leads to the front gazebo. Walking to the post office is interesting because there are short-cuts, back ways, and alternative paths…and it is only three blocks away.


My kitchen clock says it is time to get back to work.

I am remembering our uncle this Memorial Day, Capt. Donald August Peuckert, killed at the Battle of Saipan on June 15, 1944, at the age of 18.  Two thousand marines were killed that morning and before it was all over, the total number of people killed (civilians and soldiers on both sides) numbered more than 30,000.

Later, my grandmother received a letter from a friend of Uncle Don’s who was also there. He wrote , “It was such a beautiful, calm day that we would not have guessed that a war was going on.” Only now, when I am decades past the age my grandmother was then, have I learned from reading about that morning and the night before, that his friend wrote these words to comfort my grandmother and that they were not really true. I am glad she never knew truth.  It was hard enough as it was.

Wishing the world peace,



An Edwardian Child’s Over-Stuffed Arm Chair with Footstool

The beginning of a new project… I planned on doing the upholstery on this child’s Edwardian version of an adult’s over-stuffed chair myself. Then, I saw that the springs needed tying.  I traded the upholstery job for selling a couple of … Continue reading

Assemblage Art: Florida Vintage 1940s Motel Door and a 1930s Toy Circus

I spent part of last week working on a couple of assemblage art projects.  I used old parts and old artwork and some vintage linens to create a 1940s Florida motel door and a make-do child’s circus toy. Whether these … Continue reading

A Sister is a Life-Long Valentine

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“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you..”– George R.R. Martin I received a treasure box from my sister this week. … Continue reading

An Apron Mystery and A Dog’s Day

This apron was a mystery to me. I thought someone made it, but didn’t complete it. There are no neck straps or ties.   Then I saw this pattern and the purpose was clear. It was a style of apron that went … Continue reading

Travel Brochure to the Middle of No-Where

Last week, I found some furniture whose sale, I know,  will pay my winter utility bills. Five pieces of solid walnut furniture decorated with hand-painted scenes and fancy bird’s eye maple and mahogany veneers, very French, and some of the best furniture America ever had to offer … Continue reading

Quick Autumn Decorating with Vintage Rakes

Here are just a few examples of the many vintage metal rakes I decorated this week to sell in the shop. I ask 12.00-15.00 for them and when a customer decides to change to something new they get a strong, good old-fashioned metal rake. … Continue reading

How to Clean Vintage Clothing

Have you ever wondered how vintage clothing dealers present such perfect examples of 100 year old clothing? I’ll share a wonderful stain remover recipe with you. Stain Remover One Cup of Cascade Dishwashing Powder  and Two Cups of BIZ to Five Gallons … Continue reading

Happy August Days ~ Painting and Gardening

I’ve painted and sold a lot of furniture this month.  It looks like I forgot to put the handles on this one before I took the photograph. I was lucky to find this piece with all the original Eastlake handles still … Continue reading

Using Glass Cloche Domes to Display Collections

A favorite way of calling attention to groupings of “smalls” in the shop is to cover them with a glass cloche.  Here are a few vignettes I had the fun of putting together today. Bell jars are perfect for putting small mementos and collections out in … Continue reading

For the Love of a Midwestern Barn

Last week, my busy and private friend, Margaret Cox and I got together for a day that started with cappuccino at her beautiful home near Rockton, Illinois. Margaret and her husband, Kevin Darrah, own a company, Darrah Barns, that installs barn … Continue reading

Truck with a Full Tank of Gas

This post has nothing to do with fixing anything vintage or antique.

I’ve been thinking about nothing but those things for the last 12 years. I love the stuff and everything about it. From old kitchen utensils to hand-wrought wheelbarrow wheels, from feedsack aprons to chintz bedspreads, from tiny boxes to beds, my days and nights are filled with finding, cleaning, restoring and selling all the things that I think make a home cozy and charming.

Then, last weekend, I locked the door on the building and went out to see what was happening in the world. I’ve never done this before on a weekend. I usually have my nose to the grindstone. I had to get out of here.


Saturday, I went to the Urban Farmgirl Main Street Market in Rockford. It was a nice setting, a beautiful day and there were lots of wonderful, creative people. Plus, apple pie on a stick. On Sunday, I went to Highwood, Illinois to meet some more people. That was fun, too! Danielle Colby was there. She is on the TV show American Pickers. She has a vintage shop in Wicker Park in Chicago. I loved the cool hipster Chicago sellers I met here.  I “get” them.


Before I close, I want to share some pictures that I received in my email box today. (I sound like Fannie Flagg’s Neighbor Dorothy.) Well, I like Neighbor Dorothy.

My friend, Kathy, bought this work bench from my shop and turned it into a potting bench. See the blue pitcher with the petunias growing out of it?  It looks like it is pouring petunias.



And, Cindy, my sister, counted 32 birds nest in her yard this afternoon, just in the pine trees. There is something so hopeful about eggs in a nest. I always feel like I should lower my voice and tiptoe passed. I think you can super-size the middle one if you want to see the babies up close.

I hope you, my friends, can get out and enjoy a little freedom, too.

I’ll be back on the job soon. As soon as spring fever lets go of me.


Happiness Collections – Easter Egg Ladies


One of the ways I have fun in the shop is to ask people why they collect a certain thing. It is a fascinating way to enjoy the unique aspect of other people’s life experiences.

I have found many Mid-Century Asian figurines for one of my long-time customers. Frank is in his mid-80s and has over 1,000 figurines. After several years, I asked him why he began to collect these figurines.


He told me that he used to walk hand-in-hand with his grandfather through Chinatown in Chicago in the 1930s. One day, they went inside a long, dark shop where Frank saw an old, old Chinese man drinking tea and smoking in the back room. He had a long braid and wore red silk pajamas and had black slippers on his feet.

There was something about that day that Frank wanted to remember. I don’t know if it was the thrill of watching someone so exotic while his hand was safely ensconced within his grandfather’s or if it was just that he loved the memory of being with his grandfather.

Most of the folks whom I’ve asked this question usually tell me that they collect something that reminds them of happy and secure times. And, usually, it was when they were a child.

If you were lucky enough to have a nice grandmother, you may collect something that reminds you of the time you spent with her. I had a wonderful grandmother that belonged to several women’s clubs through out her life. They took turns hostessing luncheons and they made stuff, usually for the annual bazaar, with the money going to the church or school. I collect the stuff they made. These things have no monetary value and are worthless to anyone but me. But, when I look at these things I remember Grandma saying, “I’ve got club today.” That meant we were to skedaddle because Grandma had to put together a luncheon and cook and set the table with the best china and a long white tablecloth that probably took her an hour to iron. She was, like her mother before her, and her mother before her, very proud of her linens. Today, I don’t buy any clothing that needs to be ironed, but you should see my tablecloths.

These are my church lady eggs:






I once found mention of my Grandmother in an old newspaper. She was one of the members of The Thursday Thimble Club. That was one even her daughter, my treasured Aunt Ginny,  didn’t remember.

Someday, maybe, I’ll show you my crocheted Christmas card boxes. They were always making those. When I pick up one of them and lift the lid, I can almost taste home-grown raspberries on vanilla ice cream and hear Lawrence Welk coming from the den.

Do you collect anything that reminds you of happy times?




Featured by Lil Huckleberries on Mondays Moments Today!

Fox and Finch Antiques was featured on lilhuckleberries today! What a compliment it is to have professional interior designer, Wendy Nolan, chose something I created. Thank you, Wendy. I am “sponging up” everything you write.