Friday, June 29, 2012

PTO in Ann Arbor

I know I love hyperbole, but I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say PTO is the best thrift store I have ever been to.

PTO is a non-profit store that supports Ann Arbor Public School students through the resale of unique and gently used community donations.

And it's amazing.

It's pretty big but the best part of the store is the craft section. I have never seen an entire craft section in a thrift store before! They ask local crafters to donate their leftovers and encourage them to de-stash. They have a giant cabinet/island that has drawers on both sides that are labeled with every craft supply imaginable. There are shelves and drawers and cabinets everywhere filled with craft supplies.

I didn't want to look weird, so I took some quick photos with my phone so please forgive the blurry photos below.

You can click to see them larger if you want to marvel at this organization and stock!

pto crafts

pto crafts 2

pto crafts 3

pto crafts 4

pto crafts 5

pto crafts 6

pto crafts 7

Can you even believe how well-stocked they are??

I am the type of thrifter who would prefer to dig rather than peruse. I wish I could have spent hours digging through all those bins and drawers and shelves! It was like crafter heaven!

I only got one thing from the craft section but I found some great vintage magazines that I will show you in my next thrift report!

If you are ever anywhere near Ann Arbor, be sure to check out PTO. I'm soooo glad we did.

Do thrift stores in your area have a craft section?? We need something like this in Nashville!

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Visiting Michigan

flying to Michigan!

I love Michigan. I always have! I think when I was younger, I rarely got to see my Michigan family so they seemed a bit exotic and Michigan felt like this really cool place where I got to fish and hang out on lakes and see this family that I never got to see.

Michigan still holds a dear place in my heart and I was so happy to visit over the weekend!

We flew into Detroit and visited the Motown Museum then drove straight to Pinckney to my mom's cousins Marybeth and Jeff's house for dinner with most of the family.


After dinner, the ladies and the kids went down to the neighborhood lake to wade and/or swim. It had rained in the afternoon, drastically dropping the temperate from 95 to low 70s and because it had rained, we had the pleasure of seeing a double rainbow!


After lake time, everyone gathered back together to talk and tell stories and catch up. It was so good to spend time with the kids - my first memories of their parents are from when I was their age! I want to know them and for them to know us! Happily, the older kids (2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders) remember us each time. (This is the last time we saw them, back in November.)

We talked way past the kids' bedtimes, so the families packed up and we settled in to sleep with the windows open since the weather was so nice!

Marybeth made us raspberry muffins for breakfast and we sat out on their screened-in porch and talked a bit in the morning. It was so peaceful. Andy remarked that it was similar to the peace and quiet we love about going to the mountains each year and I definitely agree!

We had to hit the road to meet Dayna and Christina for lunch but first we made a pit stop in Hell!


I remembered visiting Hell when I was in Michigan as a child and I thought it might be funny to go again and take Andy! He bought postcards and sent messages to a couple friends from the tiny post office inside the ice cream shop in Hell. They even burn the bottom of your postcard for authenticity! Now, hell is not something I would normally joke about, but this is so kitschy and such a tourist trap that it's pretty funny and harmless.


We then headed straight to Ann Arbor and had lunch at the Jolly Pumpkin, which was delicious and so nice to hang out with Christina and Dayna! After lunch, Andy & I walked around downtown just a bit. We checked into the hotel, took a little nap, then got ready for Dayna's big banquet!

Dayna was graduating from her residency program at St. Joseph's in Ann Arbor. She was chief resident, so it was really exciting to see her as pretty much the guest of honor throughout the night. We got her a silly little gift - the Toy Story version of Operation. We got a huge "Dayna laugh" out of her when she opened it. :)


The banquet was great and the next day, there was a BBQ to continue the celebration! Before the BBQ, however, we killed some time at some thrift stores of course! I will do a post about PTO, but it was the most amazing thrift store I've ever been to. If I lived in Ann Arbor, this place would be DANGEROUS.

We left from the BBQ to head back to the airport and come home. It was a short trip but really nice to see some of my favorite people all within a 30 mile radius! :)

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Visiting the Motown Museum


I grew up listening to "oldies" and have often said that if I could only listen to music that's already been made for the rest of my life, I would be just fine! (Sure, there is amazing music created everyday, but I love, love, love music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s!)

Since we were flying into Detroit last week for our visit to Michigan, we took the opportunity to check out the Motown Museum. Despite loving the music, I really didn't know anything about the history of Motown, so the tour was enlightening!

From Wikipedia:
"Hitsville U.S.A." is the nickname given to Motown's first headquarters. A former photographers' studio located at 2648 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan, it was purchased by Motown founder Berry Gordy in 1959 and converted into both the record label's administrative building and recording studio, which was open 22 hours a day (closing from 8 to 10 AM for maintenance). Following mainstream success in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Gordy moved the label to Los Angeles and established the Hitsville West studio there, as a part of his main focus on not only music production, but also television and film production.


I learned SO much. First, did you know that Motown wasn't Berry Gordy's first record label? His first label was called Tamla. Here is an amazing fun fact: he wasn't sure what to name his label, so he looked at the Billboard charts and saw that Debbie Reynolds' song "Tammy" (from my FAVORITE movie Tammy and the Bachelor) was #1 that week. He submitted his label as Tammy Records but it was rejected for copyright reasons. He changed the last 2 letters to "la" and Tamla was born.

When our tour guide told that story, my jaw dropped in shock because I love Tammy and the Bachelor and Debbie Reynolds!!


Another fun fact - to start the label, Berry borrowed $800 from his family co-op savings account. Every member of the family deposited $10 a month into a savings account and anyone could borrow from it at any time, but they had to be unanimously approved by the entire family for the loan. What an amazing idea!! I love that.

The tour starts with a short video featuring interviews with notables such as Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, and Maxine Powell who was the "charm school" headmistress. She taught every Motown artist how to behave like ladies and gentlemen both on and off stage. We learned that the average age of Motown artists was 19 while the average age of the employees was 23. Our tour guide said that many aspiring acts would show up to Hitsville at the age of 15 or 16 and want a deal but Berry would send them back to finish high school before signing them. 

Unfortunately, you're not allowed to take photos in the museum. I was heartbroken by that restriction a few times like when we saw the hat and glove that Michael Jackson wore during the Motown 25th Anniversary concert when he debuted the Moonwalk! It was pretty amazing to be that close to Michael Jackson history.

Here's the video from the anniversary concert, just for reference (and FUN!):

I also wished I could take photos when we entered Berry Gordy's apartment in Hitsville and it was set up with his original furniture. I have googled and googled trying to find official photos of the apartment, but I can't find anything! It was pure 60s goodness.

Then, you head downstairs into the lobby of Hitsville and it is ALSO completely original. There's even a couch in the lobby on which the 4 Tops sat when they found out they had a #1 song! AND Martha Reeves served as receptionist before she became a star and they had her desk set up. It was like traveling through time back to the 60s and I loved it.

Oh how I wish I could have shopped this space for my house and/or my booth! I would have snagged that starburst clock, the fan, and the typewriter for SURE.

They lead you from the lobby toward Studio A, but first you pass by the control room where there are worn spots in the floor from producers stomping their feet while working on new songs. Incredible!

Then, just down a few steps into what was formerly a garage and you have... Studio A.

It gave me goosebumps to stand in the recording studio and think about the tons of superstars that had stood right where I was standing. I walked up steps that Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and so many more walked up! Our tour guide told us all about the history of Studio A, then led us in a sing-a-long of "My Girl." It was pretty exciting to pretend to be a superstar for a minute. :) 

If you are ever in Detroit, I highly recommend visiting the Motown Museum!

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bon Ami Winner + Lucy Updates

I'm excited to announce the winner of the Bon Ami Thrill of the Hunt cleaning kit! I chose a winner using

Congrats to my friend and neighbor, Rae! In other cool Rae news, she is opening a case at the Tennessee Antique Mall in July! Rae, please email me your address to pass on to Bon Ami!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!

And now, on to some Lucy updates!

In this first photo, you can see that she thinks she is human. She always lays with her head on a pillow which is so stinkin' cute.


She is growing up so quickly! She is now 7 months old and such a delight. She constantly cracks us up and brings so much joy to our lives! She only barks with an inside voice which is so great, and usually only in order to communicate with us. She doesn't bark at people or animals she sees outside... just when she wants to tell us something. :)

If you haven't seen the posts from the beginning, she's a Boston Terrier/English Bulldog mix and she's amazing!

She also tried to put her 2 cents in on this post by pawing my keyboard but I thwarted her attempts to say hello... sorry guys! :)

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Thrift Report: Picking an Estate

Andy's longtime friends Brodie and Alan are opening a store called Recycled Relix on July 7 in East Nashville. They will be focusing on selling collectibles and vintage pop culture items and things like that. I am so excited for them as they embark on this journey!

Brodie attended a yard sale several months ago and struck up a conversation with the woman running it. She was trying to downsize her father's estate but wasn't sure where to begin, so she started with a yard sale. Fast forward to last Monday when Brodie and I got to go pick through the house and I got to buy from her before she calls in an estate sale company to take care of the rest.

She wasn't ready to get rid of most of the things I was interested in, but I did find a few items! The coolest item is an amazing atomic ceiling light fixture that I have not had a chance to photograph yet. It is incredible, though!

I found the game Finance (extremely similar to Monopoly, but with businesses instead of properties), a cool green pillow, a nice brown leather Samsonite suitcase. I also bought a great green chip & dip set but failed to get a photo before I put it in my booth! You can see elements of it below.


A fondue set, still in the box!


I love anything related to Pride & Prejudice, so I picked up this P&P study guide plus the English version of Cyrano de Bergerac. (I took many, many, many years of French [I minored in it] and always loved watching Gerard Depardieu in Cyrano, so I picked up the book!)


Not too bad! All the items went straight to the booth (minus Cyrano and the light fixture) because my car was beginning to smell like an attic. :)

Did you find goodies last week??

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Fun: Taylor Swift shops the Tennessee Antique Mall!

If you spend time in Nashville, you'll notice that most local businesses have a section of their establishment dedicated to autographs. Apparently, famous people like to sign the places they shop. The only thing is, most of the time you have NO CLUE who the "celebrity" is. The Hillsboro Village post office has an entire wall dedicated to signed 8x10s but they are all from the 90s and most of the artists were one-hit wonders and completely unrecognizable.

Our Tennessee Antique Mall also has autographs, and like most other places, it's hard to recognize a single name. Until now.

I was dropping some items off this week and noticed a new autograph... on the wall.

That's right.

Taylor Swift.


Caroline, who works at the mall, says Taylor drops in pretty often and normally buys suitcases. She told me that she might even have bought one of mine! Pretty crazy.

Let me know if you spot her around town with something from Owl Really. Snap a photo. That will give me major street cred, right??

Hope you have a great Friday and weekend. :)

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Headed to Michigan!

I am soooo excited. We are headed to Michigan to see some of my favorite people!

One of my bridesmaids, Dayna, will graduate from her residency program (she was Chief Resident! I am so proud of her!) and we are attending her graduation banquet in Ann Arbor. We will also hopefully get to see one of my other bridesmaids, Christina, who also lives in Ann Arbor!



My Michigan family also happens to live in the area so we will get to see them and visit my favorite little lake (it's the only lake I've really spent any time at - I really haven't been to many lakes and we've made so many fun memories here as a family the past 2 times we've had our family reunion here!).

Two years ago, Andy came with me to my family reunion in Michigan and we had such a great time. Michigan and my Michigan family are just so dear to my heart!

After our reunion, I made this little video. I can't wait to make more memories on this trip!

Hunchman Family Reunion 2010 from Jamie Wilson on Vimeo.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bunting by Stockroom Vintage


Remember a few weeks ago when I met Elizabeth of Stockroom Vintage? Last week we got together to work on some bunting for an event she was styling. She was a sponsor of the recent Porter Flea in Nashville and was in charge of decorating the venue. She did an amazing job - check out photos of her booth on her blog!

She used scraps of fabric she already had plus fabric from a vintage dress that was too stained to salvage. She cut them into rectangles of various sizes and we simply glued them to twine. I never would have thought to mix these fabrics together but I love them! It was so easy and it turned out so well!

Below is a photo of the finished product in action at the Porter Flea!


Be sure to check out both Stockroom Vintage and the Porter Flea!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Scenes from our kitchen + Enter to win from Bon Ami

See below for a few scenes from our "new" kitchen (see the befores here!) and a contest from Bon Ami!

I really wish our kitchen hadn't gone from renovated "blank slate" to totally cluttered right away. I wish there had been a stage in between where I could have taken photos and pretended that we had a pristine and organized and uncluttered space!

But, we have a tiny kitchen so it is pretty cluttered because there's not much room for storage... so... I strategically took photos where you can't see the mess. And so I present: Scenes from our kitchen. :)

scenes from our kitchen

I love gnomes... can't help it! The little print says "Gnomes make me happy and so do you." So cute. The "Y" is from the Brooklyn Flea when Andy and I were just dating. I debated buying it but I was on an adrenaline high running around the flea (in heaven!) and I confided to the vendor that I wanted to eventually collect Ys when Andy and I got married, but we weren't engaged yet! I felt pretty confident that we would get married, so I took a risk and bought it. I kept it hidden until after he proposed, then I finally pulled it out and showed it to him. :)

I thought the zebra/chevron-y runner would tie the blue and the beige-ness of our kitchen together. Our counters and backsplash and tile are all, unfortunately, beige and would take too much $$ to change out... So this little rug from Target hopefully ties it together better!


New to our kitchen are Bon Ami cleansers!

I love to clean. You may not be able to tell it if you stop by our house mid-week sometime, but Saturday mornings are my time to clean. I turn on NPR and listen to Car Talk or Michael Feldman's What Do You Know or Wait, Wait Don't Tell me and scrub the kitchen down. It's like therapy to me!

When I was contacted by Bon Ami to review and give away some of their products, I was delighted to try new cleaning products!

I have to admit, I had never heard of Bon Ami, but I am so glad I know them now. I figure Bon Ami contacted me since I'm a junker and spend most of my time with old, dirty items that I need to clean up before selling them! :) I used the Bon Ami Liquid Cleanser to clean up the old buttons and typewriter keys I found at the Goodwill Outlet (and if you've ever been to the bins, you know that you need to sanitize yourself after leaving!). The cleanser worked so well to remove the grime from these small items!

I also love that they have a powder cleanser - I like to use powder cleanser with my scrub brush to clean my kitchen sink. It feels so much more effective to me!

To kick off this treasure-hunting time of year, Bon Ami is giving away a Thrill of the Hunt kit that has everything you’d need before you set out on your mission. Bon Ami products are toxin-free, gentle on the environment and ideal for restoring the glow to time-worn items plus Bon Ami has been around for more than 125 years!


You have three chances to win and please leave your email address in each entry so that you may be contacted if you win:

  1. Be a subscriber of Owl Really and leave a comment saying you are (along with your email address).
  2. Like Owl Really on Facebook and leave a comment saying you are a fan (along with your email address).
  3. Like Bon Ami on Facebook and leave a comment saying you are a fan (along with your email address).
Please note that this contest is only open to US residents. Entries will be open until Monday, June 25 at noon central. I will choose a winner via Void where prohibited.

Now that I have fancy new cleaning products, maybe I can get the kitchen cleaned up enough to take actual photos. :)

Good luck everyone!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

What's in my "tool" box?

If you have a booth, you might have a go-to kit of supplies. Below is my little "tool" box!

My mom and I discovered "show-off" plastic tubs/cases years & years ago and we both love them - they are really versatile. It works so well for toting the things I need to and from the TN Antique Mall!



I like to be prepared so I keep a variety of items in my kit! Do you have a booth? Have you discovered any other handy items and tools? Let me know!

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Fun: The Intouchables

We saw a great movie called The Intouchables this weekend! The story follows a wealthy quadriplegic in Paris who takes a chance and hires a young man just released from prison to be his caretaker. Just as you would expect, they become great friends and inspire each other. It was a really moving story and surprisingly funny- I smiled through all of the movie and laughed through much of it!

Check out the trailer below (and notice how Philippe looks like a young Dustin Hoffman!):

If you're not the "summer blockbuster" type (like me!), I highly recommend this movie!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Easy Quilted Patchwork Bibs

I saw this pin from a blogger named Jaime Young (what a coincidence, right?) of Sew She Sews for quilted bibs. I fell in love with them and with my sister-in-law due to give birth in July, I was so excited to make some bibs to give to her at her baby shower!

I used a coupon at Joann Fabrics and picked out several flannel and cotton fabrics that I thought coordinated well. I picked out woodland creatures, monkeys, two different kinds of stripes, cute number fabric, and brown circle fabric. I had so much fun piecing them together and coming up with different combinations and Jaime's instructions are so easy to follow! I had never sewn anything like this before and it went so well (I normally mess up a LOT while sewing). I highly recommend her tutorial and pattern!!

Here are the bibs I made!

easy to sew bibs

Here's Staci at her shower, opening the bibs!


I think this is a great project for a beginning sewer who has completed some projects (like pillows and the easy dress) and is ready to try something new!

I had so much fun quilting these bibs that I even became tempted to try an actual quilt!! Something simple and modern like this one or even this "sew as you go" quilt. Those are my kinds of projects!!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scenes from our Living Room

scenes from our living room

Here's a little bit of our living room! On the left is the new bookshelf I mentioned awhile ago. I found it in Louisville over Christmas for only $10 (!!!) and bought it from the son of the man who built it. We didn't have room in my car to bring it back with us, so my mom brought it down in February when she went to Blissdom.... but she didn't have the legs... and neither did I. We spent a few months looking at our houses for the legs and could never find them. The shelves sat in our dining room, taking up room, until we could find the legs.

One day, my mom called, saying "Hallelujah!" She found the legs! They were in a random rubbermaid tub in her spare room. I was sooo happy! She mailed them to me, which was so sweet, and I put them on immediately! We had some other shelves in this space that I did NOT love so I moved these in right away and got to styling them. They fit much better with our decor!

Edited to add: On the top left of the shelf is our wedding invitation framed, sitting atop my Design*Sponge book along with a mini globe I got from my craft/home decor swap along with really cute handmade ornaments our friend Emily gave me a few years ago - a gnome and an owl! She knows me so well. On the right side of the top shelf is one of my terrariums plus a brassy owl (I can't remember where the brassy owl is from!) and my favorite estate sale lamp!

Below that, we have my grandfather's Bible, a sweet trinket box imprinted with the word "Believe" that my friend Kelee gave me and on top of that, a yellow gnome bowl I bought in Boston several years ago. It says "Leon a l'accordion." (I wish I knew how to do accent marks!) It has a little image of a gnome playing the accordion. It reminded me of Amelie and was so whimsical, I had to have it as my souvenir from that trip! I keep our souvenir pressed pennies in it now. :) Next to that is a photo of my mom when she was a kid, one of our engagement photos, and a Mary Poppins book with my mammaw's Brownie camera.

Below that, we have a record that Andy painted our wedding date on, a bird illustration I found in a vintage book I once bought, a photo of me & Andy when we went home to Louisville for Thanksgiving for the first time, a Lego heart Andy designed for me for our first Valentine's Day, my mom's senior photo, and some special books including photo albums.

In the right photo is a little tv stand (or plant stand?) that I got at an estate sale when I went on my marathon spree awhile ago. The family running the sale said it was a tv stand but it seems more like a plant stand to me, so that's how I'm using it! I love it. It sits in front of the stairs but we rarely use those stairs - upstairs is the guestroom and my craft/storage space. I love having some green in that corner!

Edited to add: The frame holds a vintage Nashville puzzle I found at one of my favorite thrift stores. I had no idea if it had all the pieces when I bought it, but I was so excited to find out! I brought it home and Andy opened it right away to start putting it together. We spent all evening with the puzzle and were thrilled to discover that it DID have all the pieces! Since Andy grew up here, it was fun to hear him talk about how the city has changed based on the locations illustrated on the map.

The basket on the bottom shelf is a Liberty of London tote from Target. It holds magazines that I'm saving or have yet to read. The plants are a variety - the lime planter used to live on our dining room table but it's been over in this corner getting sunshine for awhile now. The bird clock was a gift from my friend Dawn years ago!

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