Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shell Chic And Other Fab Purged Inventory

It's probably a good thing I live in the Desert and not near the Beach... because I am seriously addicted to Shell Collections and anything Created from Ocean Treasures washed up on the Beach!  I own more Conch Shells than any Sane person should... not to mention a stash of assorted Starfish, Corals, Sand Dollars and Vintage Mason Jars full of other types of Shells, Sea Glass, Driftwood etc... Collected over the Years anytime I was near the Ocean!
  I've Sold more than a few and now that I have a Showroom it's nice to be able to Justify picking up Shell Chic Inventory anytime I discover it.   So I was Delighted to 'Score' this Wrought Iron Shell Chic Mosaic Table made with a center of Pearly Abalone surrounded by assorted Shells and Starfish.

The G-Kid Force fell in Love with it and wanted to keep it and though it was mighty Tempting, I was surprised at myself for Letting Go of it so easily and with absolutely no Attachment Issues!  Obviously this prolonged Great Edit And Purge is establishing new Habits in which Letting Go and not getting Attached to so much is allowing me to become more discerning about what is kept and what must go!  In fact, this week has been particularly productive in Editing, Purging and Culling the Hoard of Lovelies room by room and from the various Outbuildings on our Property.

As each item is hauled off to the Showroom and Retail Loft Spaces I find it to be quite Cathartic in fact!  I'm getting back to Simplicity... something I had Lived with most of my Life before Maximalism suddenly became my state of Being!  It has been encouraging to look back upon Old Photos and see what little I had always been able to live with and be quite Content and Satisfied!  I didn't even realize, until I went on a Photographic Journey through the Old Photo Albums over the Years, that it has only been fairly recently that Maximalism had taken over and replaced the Simplicity and Minimalism I'd always Lived with!
And I got very Introspective about what might have caused the Shift?  And I determined that though I have always been an Artist, enjoyed the Thrill Of The Hunt, had a Love Of Old and Rescuing Treasures that might otherwise be Lost, or seeing Value and a Project in a Castoff... I had used this Passion as a Coping Mechanism when Life became much too complicated and stressful... especially in latter Years.  When I was Young I handled stress much differently... and certainly with different activities than Retail Therapy.  I don't remember Shopping much until after Semi-Retirement actually, we did more Socializing and Physical Activities like Hiking, Traveling, Prospecting, Camping, Sports, Dancing and throwing or going to Parties, Picnics or Bar-B-Ques... stuff like that.
We also Lived a very Nomadic Lifestyle, moving often and living in Mobile Abodes that were short on space but long on Freedom to pick up and just go!  And it wasn't until Health Issues caused us to have to put down Roots and stay put, that I found myself for the first time in my Adult Life, in a large Old Home that didn't have wheels and was a Dream come True.  Knowing this is where we would very likely remain and not ever have to pack up and Go again... except maybe on Vacations!  And so the filling of said large Old Home began... slowly... but steadily... until we had reached Saturation Point and it was actually too much!  *LOL*  Too many Found Treasures and not enough room to properly Showcase, Enjoy or Use them all!

And I found myself getting too Attached to all this Great Stuff... because each held a Memory of some kind and was My Style and Aesthetic.  I'd become like a Pack Rat of sorts... dragging Home every Treasure that I 'Scored' and I must say the Adrenalin Rush of discovering something Fabulous... especially at a DEAL was intoxicating, like a Drug!  And Moderation flew out the window soon enough when you find yourself getting really good at 'Scoring' so many Treasures so easily!  Especially when your Urge to Junque seemed inbred and some kind of Strange Purpose you hadn't yet figured out?!   In my Daydreams of coarse I knew the Solution would be to attempt to make this Passion into something more Productive and Profitable... but Fear and Intimidation kept those Dreams in the Dream Realm for a very, very long time.

Because though I was raised to recognize and know the Good Stuff and be Creative, I know what I know and I don't know what I don't know... and there was just SO MUCH that I didn't know about Small Biz Ventures and Re-Sale of Great Stuff I'd amassed and could Profit from!   I knew that after Retirement from my Corporate Lives I no longer wanted the grueling daily grind and devoting so many Hours of my Life to the pursuit of Gain or another Career no matter how Profitable... especially Sacrificing Time with the Family... they also needed me Home more now than ever anyway.  I had no delusions that a brick and mortar Shop and Self-Employment would demand far more than I was willing to give at this Season of Life... because I wanted a Life outside of any Passionate Pursuit and stay Centered and Balanced.
Much more Balanced than I'd been in my Corporate Lives, when 60-70 Hour Weeks were not uncommon and Career and Ambition were a more driving Force than they are now.  But here I was... with all this Great Stuff... too much of it to keep for myself... so there really needed to be a decision to make before the Great Edit and Purge Process began in Earnest.  Would it all be Culled and Donated... because Yard Sales just weren't my Thing... I'd almost rather set it all on Fire than deal with the Yard Sale Crowd and Mentality!  *LOL*
And though certainly I did and still do Donate a certain amount of Treasures, Antiques and Collectibles because Charity and Reciprocity are Mantras of ours... there was certainly Profit that could and should be made from all the Years of accumulating such an Investment of the Good Stuff!  And we were at that Season of Life where Fixed Income had become our lot in Life for a variety of reasons and we just weren't used to not having any discretionary Income to Live Life fully!
And so when THE BRASS ARMADILLO WEST opened close to Home it was like answer to Prayer... and I started out small and modest and slowly enlarged the Vision as I gained Confidence and Experience.  And next Month will mark the first Anniversary of this Venture and the Opening of the Antique Mall... WOW... has it already been that long?!?
What started out Small has continued to Grow in leaps and bounds... just like the G-Kid Force!  And as I Continue I'm Enjoying it so much more than I ever Dreamed I might... and for so many more reasons than just the Selling of Stuff!  As I'm making New Friends in the Industry I'm realizing there were so many more Peeps like me and I wasn't so much of an anomaly after all!  *Winks*  They 'Get You' in ways that your Non-Artist, Non-Junquing and Non-Collecting and Scavenging Friends and Family probably ever could.   There's a Social Network in Real Life and here in the Wonderful Land Of Blog Community that I have really Connected to in a Meaningful and Special way that Enhances Creativity, Vision and Art for what we do and is what we feel Born to do!
And as I'm Editing and Culling what will be Donated, Kept or Sold I am finding it easier to Organize what is Left and what I most Love and will not be parting with anytime soon.   So the Enjoyment of Less is actually MORE!  I recently Donated a Truck Bed full of Collected Vintage Fabrics and Linens... and have another huge Truck Bed full to Price and get Showroom Bound to Re-Sell!!! 
 The Son was so Proud of me... he knows that as a Fabric Artist, if I can get to this point of Purging the FABRICS, then I really AM a Changed Woman!  Maybe now he doesn't have to Save up for Therapy for me or enter me as a Candidate for the Reality Show 'Hoarders' after all?! 
*LOL... insert a visibly relieved Son sitting in the bed of my Truck with all that Fabric heading towards a Charity Shop!*   He was heaving that stuff out to help the Shop Attendants at Receiving like his Life depended on it... probably worried I might start having second thoughts and change my mind and roll it all back Home again?!?  *LOL*  I'm Sharing this particular Image because this is the closest to a Mustache and Beard he's ever been able to grow and he's so Proud!  *Smiles... Native American Ancestry = Great Difficulty growing Facial Hair and NO Chest Hair!* 
And areas that previously had been Hoarded and messy were now clutter free, Functional and Organized!  And as each Space becomes more Simplified and Airy I am discovering that I prefer it and it's like coming Home again... to the way it was and I remember for so many Years!  And its like a great burden has been lifted and Energy flows more freely.  Even though all the Stuff that has Left was Great Stuff... it's better to just have the very Best kept... the most Loved... the most Useful, Sentimental and Cherished. 
Nooks and Crannies in this Old House that previously I'd been Ashamed and Embarrassed of the Condition and Disorganization of and completely Avoided because it Overwhelmed me... now had come back to Function and Life, Inviting Use and time spent there again!  They weren't just Storage Areas for the Excess now... and were only filled with what we Use or Need.  It's going to be so much easier to change out the Bohemian Bedspreads, Vintage Pillows and Hand-Made Quilts and Afghans now that they're all Organized and clearly Visible and close by!
I'm not completely done... but the majority of it has been Edited and Purged in just a couple of days and that was really Impressive to me... I had always Assumed it would take so long... be so difficult... and wear me out... but instead it was quick, easy and engergizing!   Why had I put it off for so long and Tormented myself when it was just this easy and effortless I Wondered?!?
Certainly there was a bit of Waffling and Indecisiveness about a few pieces... so I just set those aside and came back to them later to revisit how I felt about it.  Some came back... like my Hand-Made Pillows made from Vintage Tablecloths and a few lingering OOAK Shabby Romantic Creations that I'm still digging.
But more Shabby Romantics and Pastels are going than staying... not because I don't find them to be visually Appealing and Beautiful in someone else's Home... they're just not so much ME and My Style... it was Fun Sourcing them over the Years... but my Minute and a Half of Decorating and Styling with them is over and it's time they went to those that Cherish and Connect to their Vibe!
I find it very easy to part with Beautiful Things that I know someone with that Aesthetic and Style will be Thrilled to Discover in their Junquing Forrays to my Showroom.  So that pile grew ever larger to sort into Donate and Sell.
And just keep the similar Items that were of my preferred Aesthetic, Color Palette and Style instead... because I Connect to them more for whatever reason.
And surrounding myself with things that are just MORE ME and my Vibe makes me a lot more Comfortable and Energized in my own Surrounds... it just FEELS right.  See... isn't it just MORE ME?  Absolutely...
And perhaps it was a bit Anal of me to go into the Minutia of changing out Hangars in my Wardrobe Spaces... but when I decided to Edit and Purge, every dark recess, nook and cranny is going to be 'Gone Thru' and Cleared Out... no stone left unturned... by the time I'm finished every piece in this House and in every Cottage will have gone through my Hands at least once and a Decision made about it... when I make a Fresh Start it's a TOTAL Fresh Start and New Beginning! 
And my New Rule for 2013 is that for every ONE Treasure brought into Bohemian Valhalla... FIVE must Leave!  That really puts your Discernment into overdrive and curbs the Impulse Buy considerably... you start to have the Internal Conversation with Self about whether or not you really NEED or desperately WANT and LOVE it or if it's 'meh' and a Fleeting Love Affair or one Night stand not worth Investing in?!  *Winks*
This Valentine's Gift to Self was most definitely a Long-Term Relationship sorta Treasure that Epitomized what I truly Love and Connect to in a Meaningful way and is worth 5+ other things going out the door to Justify Investing in!  *Winks* 
She looks right at Home in Bohemian Valhalla now doesn't she?!  *Smiles*  Without a Shadow of a Doubt... in fact, her previous Owner thought of ME the moment she procured her!  That's when you know a piece was destined for you... when your Friends Source it with YOU in mind!  *LOL*  See what Great Friends I have keeping eyes peeled for what they know I'd Die for!?!  *Smiles*
When the Sunlight catches those Colorful Bohemian Crystals it Mezmerizes me... and Art Nouveau Style was MADE for me!   And I haven't yet Shared what The Son's wad of Cash 'Scored' me for my Valentine's Day Gift from him... next Post I Promise... you'll Flip when you see her... yes, she's too Fine to be called an 'it'!  *Winks*  Hint: She came from the Garment District back in da day...
Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian 


  1. I love that table with the shells.. BUT you know this Rusty Pearl .. I love all things sea girl .. Love all the posts and pics .. YOU do a fabulous job my friend ... Hugs and have a blessed week ..

  2. How inspiring -- at MANY levels. You should write (and illustrate, of course) a book about Editing and Purging. Throw in your personal experience and tips, etc. It would be a hit at antique malls everywhere with its beautiful images of such unique wares and Bohemian beauty...

    Congratulations on the introspection and arriving at such liberating self-knowledge.

  3. Oh I so know your passion for shell pieces. I adore them.

  4. Okay .. I am loving that cute pink heart necklace.. OMGOODNESS love it . HOW much and do you ship LOL seriously


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl