Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mini Giveaway Winner

Woohoo, and we have a winner folks!!!!

Last week I posted a picture of a thing-a-ma-jig which I thought might be some kind of kitchen utensil. I was stumped...and so were all of my antique friends. This is the pic one more time for those who may have missed out.

These were the comments some of my followers left me.
LilRaggedyangie said: Sheesh I just so dunno either never seen anything like it...I would say some sort of press/ deseeder , I'm gonna go with vintage melon baller or something like that ...as when you open it , it appears to scoop whatever it is used for!

Then Tamara left me this comment: Hi Janice -- Being a farm girl, I know that it is a dehorner for cutting horns off of young cattle. The holes throw me a bit, but maybe they are for a little better viewing to the cut site without hurting the structural integrity of the dehorner itself.

Lisa from the Moonlit Stitch commented with: Hi Janice! I think it's a vintage fruit corer c. 1920's.

And finally Marsha wrote: Heck, I have no idea but if you send a picture to Cook's Illustrated magazine they can usually figure it out and let all their subscribers know.

I love reading all of your comments and they are all greatly appreciated....lets me know folks are really reading my blog.....cause sometimes I think I am rather boring. LOL 

Well, with these 4 comments, I was off and running searching the Internet trying to decide if one of you ladies had the correct description for my contraption thingy...and if all else failed, I would have tried Marsha's idea of contacting Cook's Illustrated Magazine.

After hours of searching, I found the exact item on Tias.com. This is an online website that sells antiques and collectibles. After typing in vintage fruit corer in the search box, my unidentifiable item now had a name. It is indeed a vintage fruit corer circa 1927.

This makes Lisa our BIG WINNER!!!

Thank you Lisa and everyone else who made it possible for me to identify my lonely object. Now it will go off to our store for sale with the correct name of what it is on the tag.

Lisa please email me at backporchprimitives@yahoo.com with your mailing address and also let me know if you would like the real prairie grass or the artificial excelsior grass with your strawberries.

Thank you again everyone for helping me out!

I started working on my next giveaway over the weekend. I wanted to do something patriotic as July 4th is our next big holiday..but in the middle of making some dolls first for our store, I broke my sewing machine..so now I am dead in the water until I can get mine fixed or else buy a new one....

Oh well, take care everyone.
Its time for America's Got Talent

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Montage

Happy Memorial Day ladies and gent,
For my mini giveaway; there is a winner and it has been verified. I will announce the name tomorrow night so as not to take away from the Monday Montage.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and was able to get outside at some point and maybe even go to a parade to honor our brave men who this day was named for or proudly displayed our flag somewhere at your own homesteads.

Or maybe you were able to kick back outside at a bbq, or be with family, or even did some outside recreational activity... or just did much of nothin' and had a simple weekend.

Whatever you did, I hope that you enjoyed doing it!

Today's Monday Montage is actually being done on Monday. Imagine that!
Today's theme is all about chairs. Chairs sometimes get a bad rap...and get taken for granted. Most magazines showcase the cabinets and the tables, and how to decorate a wall, but the chair is a very important piece too. Where else would we find ourselves after a hard day of work,  or how could you work on that special project without a chair at some point, or even to watch some tv...without the chair. Heck, I've even been known to grab a chair to reach something high up in my kitchen, and Bob uses the back of chair as his coat rack...so you see the chair is an important piece of furniture that needs to be recognized for its value in your home too!

This chair is one that one of my antique friends made for me out of an old chair and some burlap feed sacks. I added an antique coverlet pillow to this lil' make do chair and it proudly is used to showcase different items seasonally in my kitchen. Right now some red and white geraniums.

These two mustard chairs are my grand children's when they come visit. Michael's is on the left and Mikayla's the right. They can easily grab their chairs and pull up to our antique cobblers bench that we use for a coffee table and convert it into their own game table.
This little chair is over a 100 years and was my grandpa B's chair at one time.

This is an early rocker. Growing up everyone I knew had a rocker out on their front porch and actually sat out there and rocked on it daily. Now unfortunately the rocker has been cast aside and no one seems to want one anymore. Most rockers on a front porch are for display purposes only. It is a little known fact that rocking helps your heart. While you rock, your muscles move, so in essence you are having a workout and not even realizing it. Our forefathers all used rockers. It was the one chair used the most. Sometimes listening to your elders can be a good thing.
So pass the word around...rocking is good for your heart!

This is the oldest chair in my house. I have four of them, but one is now broke, and needs to be re-caned. These chairs belonged to my great gramma H and date from the mid 1870's, which makes them at least 136 years old. I also have the dining room table, which I refinished back to its original wood which is oak and Bob and I purchased some other antique chairs in an oak finish. (the white cabinet behind is a newly purchased piece that I plan on putting in the tornado room) LOL Some of my older followers will know what I mean!

Looking at this table and the previous chair, you would think they were not a match...
but I know they did at one time.
Well that is it for some of the chairs in my home that are important to me.
So remember the next time when you sit in your favorite chair...
  they too play a special part in your home which should not be overlooked.

Take care everyone,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Goodies from our Vacation

Since Blogger has not been allowing everyone to add comments, I have extended my giveaway through the weekend. Please see my giveaway post for details.

Now for some of the goodies that Bob and I were able to find for our store on our vacation.

This bookcase is painted turquoise inside.
We displayed it in our "Mantique" section.

Bob really liked this sign. Its heavy too!

The Victorian bed with an early blue and white coverlet.

Nice old crock cabinet, with our late 1800 butter churn on the right.
The flag is a vintage 48 star one.

This tobacco rack is stenciled and in pretty good condition for its age.
The cheese box in the middle underneath was another find. I loved the patina on it.

Large trencher with metal patches.
Firkin on the floor.
Vintage croquet balls in a solid color.

These are just a few of the things we found.
I will add more pics over the weekend.
Tomorrow night I am heading up into the Thumb of Michigan to stay with my mom for the evening,
and going to a huge estate sale up there Saturday morning, which is being held by the family of a former antique lady that passed away earlier this year. Julia was in her 90's and kept her store open up until only a few years ago...hopefully Bob and I can keep our store open as long as she was able to, god willing. She was an inspiration to all of us youngsters in the business.

Hope you all have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.
Remember our soldiers who risk their lives every day so that we have the freedom to choose.
Take care,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Hi everyone,
Ok, so I have this dilemma. I have an object in my possession that I am not able to identify. I believe it is some type of old kitchen utensil. It looks like this.

Even all of my antique friends have no clue what this was used for.

Another angle

It opens up like this, but too big for a garlic press I think and too small for lemons.
Since I need to know what the heck this old item was used for, this is the deal.
For each of you who write a comment telling me what this item was used for,
all of the correct comments will be entered into a drawing to win this...

A basket of homemade strawberries made by me with real Midwestern prairie grass.
Now if you are allergic to grass, I can substitute green excelsior
(the winner will just have to let me know which they prefer)

I will give you all until Thursday night to write your comments and to verify with my sources that your  comments are correct.

Good luck everyone. I would have posted this last night, but blogger was giving me major problems.
Take care,

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm Back

A big HELLO to everyone! I'm BACK!!!!

Vacation was great. We came back with a loaded cargo van, full of furniture and many smalls...unfortunately, we left our camera charger in our hotel room, and of course the camera died...so all of our pictures in the camera I am unable to download. Bob is going to buy a new charger tomorrow, so for now I am going through blogger withdrawals...Bob says I am obsessed with blogging now anyway. He caught me reading my followers list one day last week...LOL

Well hopefully everyone went over to Judy's blog at The Spice Cupboard at the Cinnamon Creek and saw what my secret giveaway was that she won. If not, please visit her for pics.

Judy won a bowl filled with my strawberries. ( I forgot I had this pic still in my computer)
The bowl Judy received was much older, plus I also added some pink strawberries,
and something else, so check out her blog.

Tomorrow, I will post for my new giveaway..as long as Bob remembers to buy the battery charger.

So what did we get??? Well, since I cannot post pics, I will tell you a few things we were able to find for our store.

A huge stenciled tobacco rack, a firkin, betty lamp, full size carved Victorian bed, an 1800's butter churn, wood trencher with metal patches, and a wood washboard to name just a few.

We were so busy on our vacation, that we forgot about the world coming to an end on Saturday night...so it was a good thing it did not...as I would not be able to blog to you all anymore.

I was also so oblivious to the outside world, that I just found out about the folks in Joplin, MO. My thoughts and prayers truly go out to everyone who lost family and friends in that tragic tornado.  

We came back late Saturday night and we both worked the store starting at 6 in the morning to add all of our new goodies before we opened, and put in a 12 hour day. One of my blogging friends Terri dropped by from Chocolates for Breakfast, and we chatted for a bit. Terri, you have to let me know how AJ's was...it is a restaurant along the river by us that has an outdoor patio.

Well, I don't want to bore everyone with no pictures, so I will close for now...but I am happy to being back to blogging!!!

Take care everyone

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Well, its good to be back...blogger had problems a few days ago and a few of us lost some posts and followers...oh it was a big ole mess...but things are back to normal again.

Today, I just wanted to show you more pics of the river that we get to see every day. We have summer visitors all over the country who visit our area just for this great river, and I just wanted to let you see what we get to enjoy living here by the water. You may click pictures for a better view.

This is the end of our dock looking up the river. It is 10 feet deep at the end here.
Bob loves fishing and I just love bringing my crafts to work on or my favorite prim magazine to read.
 Across the river is our friends from Canada.

Another shot of the end of our dock. Across the river at this angle is Walpole Island.
This island is also a Canadian Island which is owned by the First Nation Indian Reserve.
 Only First Nation natives can own land on this island.

Freighter was going by while I was out taking pics. This one was the Ojibway.

You can see a fishing boat speeding past the freighter...this gives you an idea on how big these ships are.
This freighter is 642 feet. The largest freighter on our Great Lakes is 1013 feet.

This is our little beach area.
All of the above pics were taken last Saturday.

This picture was taken this morning as we were heading to our store.
It was hazy this morning as you can see.
Living on the river like we do, when it is foggy,  the freighters blow their horns at every buoy
 to let other boats and freighters know that they are in the river.
 Its neat listening to them as they each have their own distinctive horns.

If you look close behind the trees, is this same freighter in the haze.

Well, everyone we will be going on vacation now, so I won't be able to blog anymore until we get back.
I will be sure to try and take pictures of the goodies we find for our store.

I mailed out the giveaway to Judy today, and she will post pictures of what she won once she gets her package in the mall.
Be sure to visit her blog to see her goodies at

Once I return from our trip, I will announce my next giveaway.
Take care everyone.
See you in a week!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Hi everyone,
This is going to be a quick post. Today is my granddaughter Mikayla's birthday. She is now four years old and going on eight...LOL She is smart little cookie and I love her to death...just literally. Here is my little cutie...

      Sweater that I spoiled her with earlier this year when she spent the weekend.

Her new chair...

Her mommy decided to paint her nails for the very first time....and she had to show them off!

And her favorite dollie that I made for her several years ago. Her favorite color is pink! 
The kittie above is one of our boys nicknamed Peeps because of the rings around his eyes.
Actually his name is Squeakers because I believe his vocal chords did not develop as he was the runt of the litter, and he does not meow right...he squeaks. I had adopted his mom not knowing she was pregnant at the time...and had four kittens...another story for later,  but I ended up keeping Peeps and another brother of his which I named Riley.

Anyway this post was to wish my little Mikayla a happy fourth birthday.
Gramma loves you!!! 


 For helping me reach my 50 followers

I have enjoyed reading each and every comment that you all have written...Your words have been inspirational, amusing, revealing, thoughtful, caring, helpful, and many more adjectives that I cannot think of at this time. 

The one adjective that sticks in my mind however, is memorable. I have to say memorable is my favorite, because all of you have made it possible for not only me, but my other followers to peek inside your lives with every comment that you post.

Even though many miles separate us all, in these past two short months that I started this blog, I have met some very extraordianry friends who have opened both their hearts and homes to me. It is with great pleasure, that I call each of you my blogging sisters...oops, I forgot; I do have on blogger brother too!

Now for the good stuff...I took every comment and every follower name and added those to a box. In addition, those who mentioned by secret giveaway were also given another chance to win. I shook up the names really, really good...sorry we did this at the store and did not have my camera with me to show the names...but I did mix up the names, and also added today's followers and comments...mixed everything together and had Bob pick the winning name....

The winning comment was posted on 4/26/11

This is what the winner said:

What a great history lesson...I have sold a few hat pins and now I wish I hadn't - I may have a new collection to start...(big smile) !! Great Post - wish I could attend your club meetings!

The winner is Judy over at the Cinnamon Stick

Congratulations Judy!!!

For everyone else...this is not the end. I am planning on another giveaway. Details of which to follow soon...more like after our vacation which is next week.

Take care everyone and thank you again!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Misi's Tuesday Display Chain- Spring Cleaning

We are down to one follower needed for my giveaway! I will check tomorrow night,
 and if I hit 50 or more, I will enter everyone's names at that time.  

is hosting Misi's from http://1890gablehousemusings.blogspot.com/  Tuesday display chain.

Below are my versions of Spring cleaning over here at Prims by the Water. 

A few things I added to an old chair with an old blue tick pillow in the back.

A collection of soaps with a few soap savers in my 1896 Post Office cubbies

While in the barn of one of our antique friends, I noticed this pair of long johns hanging up in a rafter.
I asked him if I could buy them, and he laughed at me thinking I was very strange. He actually gave them to me all the while probably thinking I was very nuts. LOL. They have been hanging on my wall ever since...except at Christmas time...then I hang a red pair that I bought! 

An early 1900 hooked rug with some soap pretty enough for any prim lady.
An early Victorian dress hangs on the hanger in my bedroom.

This wood ironing board was my gramma H's.
The brown bottle is sprinkling bottle. Usually if this bottle got broke, then a glass soda bottle would have taken its place. I remember my mom using an old Vernor's Bottle! For those who are not familiar with Vernor's, it is a famous Ginger Ale company from Detroit Michigan. Hmmm, I can just taste a Boston Cooler right now, with some of that ginger ale and vanilla ice cream.

One of my rug beaters.

I hang rug beaters along the top of three walls in my living room.
Just love the simplicity of each of them. It's my version of a wallpaper border!
I have a total of 8 different hanging.

Well that does it for my Spring Cleaning. Next week Bob and I are on vacation, and I am going to try and do some real cleaning..as I have to clean out the spare room so that we can start work on our bedroom. The spare room looks like a tornado met up with a hurricane...seriously, not kidding, that's how bad it is. LOL. I will have to take pics to show you...plus, I only have two days to make at least a dent in it, cause we are going on a vacation/ buying trip for our store. Some of our friends think that this should not be considered a vacation, but to us it is...and we have so much fun looking for items for our house and customers...and our customers are the greatest!!!

Take care everyone

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Monday Montage

For this weeks Monday Montage, I wanted to feature everything about mom's in honor of Mother's Day. Take a look...

A mother will always keep you close to her heart.

Her boots are hard to fill.

She always went without to provide for her family.

She helped alongside her husband to build a homestead for her family.

And finally, her kisses always made things seem better.

Hope all you ladies had a wonderful Mother's Day, and even if you are not a mother,
 you deserve some recognition too!

Take care everyone

Friday, May 6, 2011

10:00 and All's Well

First , before I start this post...only 3 more followers needed and I will have my secret giveaway.
If you know of anyone who wants to get on this, please tell them about my blog. I cannot wait to give these gifts away...and wonder which lucky person will win!

Ok, back to my post.

I remember reading about how in colonial times a rider would ride through the streets of town and shout out the time on the hour. I cannot even fathom what it would be like not having a clock or a tv...I would never know which Idol would win, or which doctor betrays another on Grey's Anatomy, or whether House gets back together with Cuddy, or see the episode of the Pickers when they came to my town last month....LOL

I started with 10:00 and all is well because we have the grandkids spending the night and they are snug tight in bed sleeping now...of course after much spoiling on my part...pizza and ice cream tonight!

Pondering about of Mother's Day coming up, made me think of what it was like when my Great gramma Rosemary first became a mom. I know my grandfather was born in 1899, but he was a middle child of nine. If only the table in my kitchen or the few chairs that I have left could talk. If she only knew her great great great grandchildren now sit at her table. What would she tell me?

There were no hospitals back in her time. I'm sure she had her children at home with the help of a midwife, or maybe not. No lights, but candlelight, no tv or radio. Life truly was simple then, but a hard life...I know this from stories of hardship my own grandmother told me of.

It was perseverance that kept out fore mothers going...yes...they were strong. They had to be. Life was not easy for them...no modern conveniences or restaurants if you did not feel like cooking. Most of the pioneering women died from being overworked more than anything else. So this Sunday, I wish all the ladies out there a wonderful Mother's Day...

But please, everyone, take a moment to remember those fine woman of the true primitive era who made our lives a lot more easier, because without these courageous women, most of us would not be here right now.

Take care, Janice 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

Being an antique dealer we have heard many stories from other antique vendors on how some spirits stay with certain pieces of furniture or items. Both Bob and I have experienced...what we call not explainable things which have happened to us over the years. One such experience happened most recently in my own home...

In the antique business we call photographs or portraits like these instant relatives. This particular portrait I have hanging in my back room. It is not a relative of mine, but I was drawn to this picture from the moment I saw it hanging in another antique store in town. Every time I visited that store, I had to go see if this painting was still there...until finally I just ended up buying it. My son hates this picture because wherever you move in this room, the gentleman's eyes follow you....it gives him the creeps. I on the other hand am not bothered by this picture, but Bob hates it too...

Well, the grand kids were spending the weekend with me on a snowy January weekend. I was making dinner and forgot the time and had to pick up Bob from the store. He did not take his truck that Saturday because we were expecting about 8 inches of snow...and his truck was small and lightweight and he did not want to get stuck in the snow...

Well to make a long story short. Bob did not want to leave me stranded with the kids and a truck, so I had to take him to the store and pick him up later in the car. Three quarters of the way to the store, I remembered that I did not turn off the stove and left the pan on the burner.

I was in panic mode. I made Bob rush out of the store, so that I could get back home...hoping and praying all the while that the house did not start on fire...as I was already gone about 15 minutes because of the snow, and the drive should be 20 minutes round trip.

When I got back to the house, I rushed in leaving Bob to get the kids out of the car and this is what I found.

The pan was pushed off to the left back burner and no longer on the front right burner...which was still on when I saw it. I recreated this picture so you could see what I was talking about...spooky  right.

I stood there at the stove until Bob came in with the kids and he saw what I saw. Well, I was a bit shook up, so I sat on the couch in the back room to compose myself. My grandson Michael asked me what happened, and I told him that gramma had left the pan on the stove and God sent someone down to move the pan for me.

Right after I said that, this happened.

The glass case to our early 1900 clock opened up. This case cannot open on its own..never has. We keep it locked with the key. But when it opened that night, I looked up first to the clock, and then back to the portrait....and he was looking back at me.

I'm not saying the man in this portrait saved our house from burning down....but I DO BELIEVE IN GHOSTS!!!

This is a true story...one that I just cannot explain....

Take care everyone, Janice

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Display Chain

Hello everyone,
Amy from http://bumblebeelanecottage.blogspot.com/ is hosting Misi's display chain this week. Misi's blog is http://1890gablehousemusings.blogspot.com/

This weeks display chain is for a SETTLERS KITCHEN.

Here are my displays for the week.

You may click on the pics for a better look if you choose.

Hope everyone enjoys the pictures of my Settler's Kitchen.
Thank you Misi and Amy for hosting a great display idea. This was fun!!

Make sure you check out these ladies blogs.
Take care, Janice