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Gayle's View
Sunday 9th of January 2011
Dear Readers,

I have not given up Gayle's View!!!!!

With the help of experts, Stars is getting a new, improved website. I have been training with Social Media expert, Jen Mcabe, (who has a fabulous blog under the name of her grandmother, Honey Kennedy ) to learn the ins and outs of the new Gayle's View which will be a link on the Stars website.

We will have the ability to post unlimited photos which opens up all kinds of possibilities. All previous posts will be able to be viewed (I wondered where they all went--knew they were somewhere in cyberspace.)

I will keep writing about the collecting lifestyle--in particular home decor, trends, gardening, hobbies, artisans, doings at the Stars malls and other malls, shops, and antique and craft shows.

As soon as we get all the "bumps" figured out, our new blog format will go "live".

I miss you all....

signing off....


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Gayle's View: Marguerite in Westmoreland
Sunday 17th of October 2010
BIJOU: something small and exquisite

Tucked away on S. E. Bybee Street in the Westmoreland shopping area (and 2 blocks away from the Stars malls) is a small shop imbued with a rare atmosphere. The name is simply "Marguerite" and it is the vision of its owner, our friend, Daisy Phillips.

I am not exactly a world traveler, but I would say that this shop would stand out in Paris, New York, and London--actually in any great metropolitan city. And here we have it in Portland, Oregon.

The shop is painted in tones of grays (with maybe a "beigy" tint) and Daisy has done wonders with architectural features, draping, moldings, and built-in display pieces. The floor is a wormy-pine laid in a chevron effect. Lighting is achieved with chandeliers. There is a mixture of new giftware and English, French and Swedish antiques.

One large open wall is filled with with French clay ware from Astier De Villette in Paris. The beautiful cream-colored dishes are actually made from black terra cotta. These are highly desirable to the discerning shopper who can add to a collection from time to time. The shop has a bridal and gift registry and also offers gift certificates.

There is a timeless feel upon entering and this is enhanced by the wonderful scented soaps, candles, and room sprays from Deptyque and Parfumerie by Rance. I especially adore the varied selection of fabrics and linens in the form of towels, runners, tablecloths, pillows, and even fine cotton pajamas and robes.

There is pewter and hotel silver mixed in various displays--one whole section devoted to unusual barware, glass cases filled with precious antique "smalls"--even wonderful ruffled umbrellas.

I am always drawn to stationery and writing tools and in the photo below, you wil see an old desk jam-packed with cards, pens, journals, papers, greeting cards--even old French correspondence written in lovely copper-plate handwriting.

And then, there is the last "piece de resistance"--the wonderful powder room--the ultimate feminine space.

Right now the shop has an autumnal feel with sheaves of wheat and pheasant feathers about, but before long it will be decorated for Christmas.

I always leave the shop (or thinking in French, the Bijou) inspired and with my spirits lifted.....

signing off.....


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Gayle's View: Halloween Hi-jinks!
Monday 27th of September 2010

Yes, I'm a bit ahead of myself as it is not yet even October, but I couldn't resist a bit of a head start. I have always loved Halloween--even years ago before it became a major marketing tool.

I am old enough to remember the days when we went through the neighborhood with our papier-mache pumkins to collect the treats given at every door. I never had a store-bought costume. Sometimes I was a gypsy complete with jewelry, other times a princess--once I was Little Red Riding Hood with a hooded red cape bought by my mother at a rummage sale.

It's fun to decorate for this holiday and I try to limit myself to either vintage or hand-crafted Halloween items--and of course, lots of real-live pumpkins, gourds and squash. Pictured below are some vintage items taken last year at Stars.

I have two movies which have my favorite Halloween scenes--the first is a segment in Meet Me in St. Louis with a very young Margaret O'Brien and the second is a scene in One True Thing with Meryl Streep. I don't care for the horror movies--only the nostalgic ones.

The most fun of all is to see the little kiddies dress up and I always look forward to the Monster Mash, a parade held in West Moreland near the Stars malls. Is that a bald eagle below??????

Never one to sit back and let everyone else have the fun, I like to dress up still. As you can see in the photo below from left to right, me as an Americanized Susie Wong, next a distinguished guest, and sister Carol Ann, as a vamp-type lady. This photo was taken last year--still trying to think of what or who to be this year.

Signing off......


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Gayle's View: End of Summer
Sunday 5th of September 2010
In my mind, the end of August is the official end of summer. I know the actual end is September 21, but even at the end of August I start to see the signs of autumn coming. The summer (when it finally came) has been lovely--I've enjoyed being outdoors--, picnics, weddings, gardening, trips to the coast, reunions with friends, and the watercolor painting workshops.

I want to share with you a few photos I have taken this summer. The first two were taken in the garden of Robin Busch. Robin graciously allowed our painting group access to her amazingingly beautiful Asian-inspired gardens. The photo below is one of the many pathways throughout. I liked the sound of the pea gravel under my feet and also the way it looked.

The photo below is one of the gates in Robin's garden.

I attended a party last Sunday at the home of Norma and Sheldon Ainsley. Norma has worked three years to tranform a one story ranch style house into a storybook French cottage. In a future blog, I will tell you and show photos of Norma's decor. But for now, I love this photo of her antique cast-iron gates leading to the entry of her cottage.

I am trying to work up the energy and motivation now to carry out some ideas for the inside of my home. I like everything I have, but I need to do some "fine-tuning" with accessories, and change things around a bit.

I did buy a small gray flaky-paint cabinet from Darwin at the Stars Sidewalk Sale yesterday, and I like it in my living room. So today I am going to play around with "home decorating"--one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. (Future photos later....)

I want to keep on with the botanical look--bell jars, terrariums, small conservatories, lots of indoor plants--even miniature gardens. Ever since the Woodland Arrangement project hosted by Carol Kelly and Dianne Muyskens, I have been obsessed by moss, lichens, cones, twigs, pods, and pretty rocks.

These rocks below were in Robin's garden--and NO---I did not pick any of the moss off--even though I wanted to.

Signing off saying adieu to summer and hello to mellow September....


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Gayle's View: Country Home Magazine
Friday 13th of August 2010
Some time ago I wrote a blog about my favorite magazines and how they were stopping publication. I know that I am one of many who looked forward each month to get the mail and sit down with a Cottage Living, Country Home, Mary Englebreit Home, Country Living, and Victoria. (Yes, I know there is still a Country Living magazine and a Victoria, but they are NOT what they once were). Therefore I was tickled to death when Brent informed me that there was a new Country Home magazine on the stands. I found it at my local Safeway and have enjoyed every page. I'm thinking it will be a special interest publication coming out just a few times a year. It is spendy--$12.99-but it is printed on quality paper and a bonus is no advertising in its pages.

I have been drawn to the appeal of "country decorating" for many years. I am no longer sure of the definition of "country", but my interpretation is a wonderful mix of old and new--probably collected over a period of time, following no specific "design" rules and reflecting the personal style of the decorator. There are myriad categories for this type of decorating going from: cottage decorating, romantic country or Victorian, traditional American country, the lodge look, Southwest style, flea market style, formal country, modern country, French country, and English country.

In my opinion, if it is done right, it becomes part of the decorator's lifestyle--leading to trips to antique shows, antique malls, shops, flea markets, sales, browsing the internet and lastly, and the most fun of all--junking trips to destination shows.

I once asked former Country Living Executive editor, Nina Williams, what the goal was of the magazine. She said to me, "we do not exist to set trends, we REPORT trends from all over the country." At that time she said an emerging trend was "bringing the outside in". We are all familiar with that now as it has been depicted in pages of shelter magazines for many years.

I have seen forms of all the elements in the photos below at northwest antique sales, shows, or antique malls. I have bought quite a few of these things over the years at Stars, and many other places. I don't think any of us want to copy the ideas exactly, but it is inspirational to see them all put together in a pleasing way.

The internet is a huge source with its wonderful websites and blogs, and when I go into them, I am truly amazed at the talents and great photos and ideas of untrained decorators and designers. In that way, all of you in the cyber world are "setting the trends".

The thing is, I am old-fashioned enough to still want to go to the mailbox, and hold the magazine in my hands, and stretch out on the sofa while I devour the pages. So hurrah Country Home for coming back to us. I hope it lasts.

Signing off to go rearrange furniture,


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Gayle's View: Simple Inspirations
Sunday 25th of July 2010
"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything--would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?

L.M. Montomgery--Anne of Green Gables


I thrive on "scope for imagination". Getting a new idea or some sort of an inspiration is a a magic elixer for me. And (maybe you have discovered this too) it is all out there waiting to be found. I find it in books, photos, magazines, movies TV, nature, and always, always in other people's homes and gardens and the way they entertaing.

I will share photos with you of a lovely July lunch hosted by Carol Kelly on the patio above her beautiful garden. Carol's large garden is legendary among northwest gardeners and could fill a book with all her plantings, water features, garden art, amazing rock wall, pond--even a lake.

We were all lucky to have the sun out--the fog we've been having lately in the mornings had lifted, and it was pleasantly warm. The table was all set for eight, and a beautiful sight indeed. Carol's centerpiece was composed of small tin containers each holding a single hydrangea bloom. Simple but effective...

Every single one of these ladies at this lunch have given me inspiration and scope at one time or another. Collectively, they garden, write, cook and bake, paint, rug hook, build furniture, make flower arrangements, build fountains and, birdhouses, and birdbaths. Some have been shop owners. They have all been collectors of antiques. And they are just so much fun too. From left clockwise, Dulcy, me, Rosemary, (sorry empty seat is Julie's who was taking the photo), Kathy, Dianne, Norma, and our hostess, Carol.

I have been trying to work on making my little outdoor deck at home look better, so on this particular day, I was really noticing the outdoor patio and how welcoming and comfortable Carol has made it. I was quite taken with the wall pictured below. Now I just won't outright copy Carol, but I have gotten some ideas about hanging things on my wall. The lamp shown below is a recent purchase at Dianne Muyskens' garage sale. Carol went to Freddie's, bought an inexpensive lamp shade and painted it.

A surprise treat after touring the garden and dessert was being led downstairs to Carol's workshop. There laid out all over the counter were all the ingredients for each of us to make a "woodland arrangement" to take home. Plants, cones, mushrooms, flowers, moss, twigs, rocks, oasis, and a container were all supplied. The teachers were Carol and Dianne who had recently taken a class from Francoise Weeks. Not difficult at all once the materials were assembled. Oh the scope of it all.....

and I sign off thinking I'll share photos of what I've done when I decorate my little deck (humble though it is).......


photos courtesy of Dianne Muyskens

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Gayle's View: A Little Break
Tuesday 20th of July 2010
I'm taking a "blog break" for a few days....... But I would like to share with you some fabulous photos taken in Dianne Muyskens garden. Here is how to get there....

Go into my list and click on the link Ticking and Toile (bottom name on the list). Go to the archives of this most wonderful blog and click on June. There you will see photos taken and a story on "dream garden".

signing off......


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Gayle's View: Nature Journaling
Saturday 3rd of July 2010
"My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird--

equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand."

--mary oliver

************************************************************** Last week I went to a Nature Journaling Workshop held at the Sitka Art Center on the Oregon coast. I went with my sister Carol Ann, Carol Carson, and her sister Jan Crockett. The class is taught by Jude Seigel, and we have all taken lessons from her.

Taking classes from Jude is not only an art lesson, but the four of us consider it the most relaxing form of therapy. It has also taught us to look at things more closely and slowly--a good exercise in the fast-paced lives that so many of us seem to have.

Jude starts each class with a reading--a poem, an excerpt, sometimes a short essay. I enjoy the readings as much as the painting. The verse above was read the first day of our Sitka Workshop from a poem called Thirst by Mary Oliver. I chose the first sentence of the poem to be on the cover of my journal.

There were 15 in the class, and it didn't take long to get to know each other. The weather cooperated wonderfully, and we were able to do sketching outdoors--we drew sprigs of plants, leaves, moss, sticks, tree trunks, weeds--Carol C. even picked up a fat slug and put it in a clear plastic cup to use as a live model. (If you really examine a slug closely, you can sort of see a little face, and it is a part of nature, after all.) The idea is to find beauty and charm right in front of our very eyes.

The first two days, we painted our drawings in the studio after lunch. The last hour of class is always "sharing" and each student's work is put on display. With Jude, this is a positive experience, definitely not a competition, and after students get used to the idea, they find it is helpful and actually fascinating to see all the different interpretations of art.

The last day, we all hiked 10 minutes down to the Salmon River to sketch and paint Cascade Head. We carried our paint supplies, stools, water bottles, and I took my camera. I snapped the photos below in between sketches. The first photo is Carol Ann busily painting away--no easy feat while holding paints, journal and water..

The next photo is Jan who was in front of me. (Notice how teeny these stools are)

The next photo was taken from my vantage point of Cascade Head. I really did feel like I was "loving the world" at that moment.

I will share with you the painting I did that day--keep in mind that this is a page in a journal, done for personal pleasure--definitely not an expert watercolor. But that is part of the fun of it....knowing that I can keep learning.

Another bonus is meeting new people and every single person in our class had an interesting story. And because the world is so small, I discovered that Heather Brunelle in the class lives on SE Rural St--a block from Stars, and she has furnished her house with goodies from Stars.

and I sign off with another excerpt from the poem by Mary Oliver and read to us by Jude.....

"Let me keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished..."


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Gayle's View: Officially Summer in the Garden
Tuesday 22nd of June 2010
".....silver liquid drops

Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

--langston hughes


I googled "spring rains" today for inspiration. There are about a jillion quotes extolling the virtues of rain. And we all know we need it. But I think even the most hardened of Oregonians want to say "enough now"!! I know I do.

I have gotten accustomed to gardening with a light drizzle sprinkling on me. And every now and then, the sunshine will break through as if to say, "I'm still here". The bonus is that we haven't needed to water and the gardens are getting lush.

Yesterday was the first offical day of summer, and we were blessed with partial sun. It felt wonderful...I could hear the tractors going by on the farm road where I live. Lawnmowers were humming, and I could look across the way and see my son and daughter-in-law planting in their garden.

In honor of the promise of good weather, I am sharing photos of my garden taken this spring. The photo of the pathway below was taken before Memorial Day. I'm not a big iris fan, but I saw a picture of an iris path in Monet's garden at Giverny and took it from there. Trust me this is the mini version, but maybe someday.....

I dragged my camera out last month during a bit of a sun break and got the two photos below. The roses climb on a fence designed and built for me by Danny and Wayne of Lonesomeville . Their garden has been my inspiration, and I was fortunate to have their expertise with mine. Check out their website to see their wonderful gardens (click on "About us" to see gardens, but you will also see that they produce the amazing Lonesomeville Pottery.).

The peonies in the photo below were lovely while they lasted, and they lasted later than usual. (Another good thing about the cooler weather?)

The next photo was taken on a particularly rainy day. Trying to buck up my spirits, I took my camera out and snapped the lady's mantle. My friend, Barbara Sandgren, pointed out to me a long time ago how the drops look like diamonds on the leaves. I have always loved that thought (another good thing about rain?), and I share another excerpt with you:

"Innumerable as the stars of night,

dewdrops which the sun

Impearls on every leaf and flower.

--john milton

When I found the next quotation, I had to read it through a couple of times before I got it.

"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

--susan ertz

When it sunk in, I had to think.."get over yourself, Gayle"....there ARE some good things about rain.

signing off wishing you all a happy first week of summer....


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Gayle's View: Good Girl Sale!
Saturday 12th of June 2010

The last two blogs I have written have been in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the opening of the first STARS Antique Mall. And Darwin, Brent and I are marking the occasion with a celebration Sale!!!! We have learned over these years that what our customer loves the most is plain and simple---value for their dollars!! Our dealers strive to provide goods at reasonable prices at all times, but during a sale, they sometimes go all out and give a "Really Good Discount"--just for the hours during the sale.

After all, I'm like everyone else---I get excited when I see a sale sign on goodies that I am attracted to. You can be sure, as a collector of textiles, old linens and laces that I found a treasure amongst the display below during a sale a while back.

Years ago I purchased a child's cup (soft paste no less) with the motto "For a Good Girl". When I buy something that makes my heart beat and it is on sale, I say to myself,"It's because I've been a Good Girl". Sometimes I go a long stretch before I see something that really makes my heart go faster....you can draw your own conclusions on that.

I am always drawn to the vintage costume jewelry--the glittery effect fascinates me to no end. I never take it seriously but it is fun to wear with blue jeans, on a wool blazer,pinned on a baseball hat, or a faux fur vest. Our creative dealers also display re-purposed jewelry which can be charming and witty.

Pictured below--a dressmaker's form displaying Paula Vandehey's (dealer #77 Stars and Splendid) re-purposed jewelry.

If I am in need of a piece of furniture, I never, ever go to a new furniture store. Much more interesting to be patient and find just the right item that is handmade or one-of- a kind--something that is beautiful to me and still useful. I found a great small chest in old yellowed paint with rows of tiny drawers from Greg and Doris (dealer #11-Stars and Splendid)--perfect for all my small arts and crafts supplies--but attractive enough to sit on a scrub top table in my family room.

Photo below was taken in #11 a while back....

Naturally I will be right there with everyone at the anniversary sale. It's not easy, but I have been trying to be a "good girl". We'll see...

Signing off....


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