Sunday, January 15, 2012

Elsie's House

Elsie was 101 years old when she died. She had hardly ever been sick, and when she didn't feel well at the end of November everyone thought she'd recover like she always did. Instead, she died peacefully after 3 days, probably from a stroke. Her husband had died in May at age 95 and she followed 8 months later. She lived in a little house on Happy Lane in Eugene off Cal Young Road.
Walking Fort Bragg blog by Ron Bloomquist
It was evident that Elsie had many interests and hobbies, including putting dioramas inside of real eggs, doing miniature oil paintings, sewing, needlepoint, cooking, reading, calligraphy, making silouhettes, decorative wreaths, and making Christmas ornaments from sequins, glitter and trim.

Miniature oil painting by Elsie

Elsie (like me) collected all kinds of things, among them cut glassware, Christmas kitsch, miniature animal figurines, Chinese mudmen, postcards, dishes, owls, miniature handblown glass, silk scarves, craft supplies, local cookbooks, and tea cups.

Vintage buckle collection in frame by aVelvetLeaf

Whenever Elsie needed someone to tell her troubles to, she would call her neighbor and tell her to meet her at the wailing wall, which was the fence between their yards, and they would talk through the fence. The fence had two little white dove ornaments hanging on it, and when I met the neighbor in line to go to the estate sale in Elsie's house, the neighbor told me about the woman who had lived there and how she hoped people running the estate sale would let her have the doves from the fence to remember Elsie by.

Doves on a Fence from Rick's Green Grass Blog

I hope they did.

As much as we enjoy the treasure hunting and reuse/recycling aspects of estate sales, we need to remember that these things were the personal possesions of  a real person who has recently died and show respect and gratefulness for that. I think Elsie would love that other people appreciated and loved what she loved and that her wonderful things will be cared for and about.

Here is just a small sample of some of the things I adopted from Elsie's amazing collections. I'll keep some, and some I'll put up for adoption soon in my etsy shops aVelvetLeaf or velvetothepage as vintage or reworked and upcycled into something new. Maybe there will be something there that Elsie would love you to have.....
Oregon Centennial metal tray 1959

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Vintage metal trivet from a wood stove

Vintage outdoor Mary shrine

Vintage floral metal miniature tray pair

Vintage 1960s bird ornaments

Neon mushroom tole painting by Elsie

Vintage 1950s art-influenced salad servers

Various vintage mirrors and decorative metal

Handpainted owl family plate 1951

Lots of ceramic birds and owls

Vintage deer antler meat fork

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