Total Pageviews

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Home Decor---The 4 R's Repurpose,Rethink,Reuse,Recycle

Every once in awhile I make a post showing Antiques & Collectibles being used in ways not done before. The 4 R's--Repurpose, Rethink, Reuse, Recycle.

Be original in your homes decor, let your home reveal to others your personality, sentiments, and creativity. Antiques & Collectibles can blend extremely well with all types of decorating styles. Here are some more photos to entice you to consider something old used in a new way to enliven your homes spirit.

Very Elaborate Project--Love of Worn Suitcases and Great Storage

Really look here--Drums as end tables, Coffee table for Bench at end of bed, framed doilies or quilt pieces as a Headboard.

Hang old Paint by Numbers in a specific theme as shown or mismatched.

How about an old screen door used for the Pantry or old glass doors as the front of a cabinet or bookcase?

A large grouping of postcards framed together make a huge statement.

Or maybe some small drawers hung with a photo of a loved one and a momento.

Old jars are great not only for storage of practical things such as sugar,flour,tea,cotton balls,detergent etc but use in any room to showcase small collectibles such as marbles.

Encase items with alot of memories.

Light up an old light fixture in a new way.

Use small galvanized containers for an indoor garden of herbs.

Or if you have a substantial collection of one type, display them together for a bold standout statement.

The morale of this post. Motivation as you Spring Clean your home. Use the 4R's of Repurpose, Rethink, Reuse, Recycle.

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Albany--A Vision--A Dream

Before I share with you a vision, a dream, a desire, or a hope, I will first share how I came to be in New Albany, a small somewhat sleepy Rivertown.

My parents moved to Jeffersonville,Indiana as I began the 4th grade. My father whom was burnt out from his corporate career had decided to become an Independent Business and chose Jeffersonville. Many different reasons led him to that decision, all of which I do not know. What I do know is that at the time he felt Jeffersonville showed promise for a small business because it appeared as if it was a thriving small community with growing potential. Also he could afford to buy a home for a reasonable amount, which would be their first home purchase, compared at the time to surrounding areas. They also sensed a good down home feeling for raising a family.

Prior to choosing Jeffersonville my father took a huge gamble, he quit his job, security for himself and family, not a common practice at the time. If you had a good job and were succeeding, why leave that security, after all people took jobs and kept them hopefully for a lifetime, giving all they had, being apprecitive, and mostly loyal. As he found out that was not always a returned favor, or maybe he had a midlife crisis, I do not know for sure but he must of felt strongly to take such a risk.

An Aunt of mine had a very successful Independent Business in Bedford, Indiana, sooooo we moved from Ohio into her home for 1 year so my parents could learn as much as possible about the business before going out on their own. This Aunt was a successful business woman and very well respected in her community. She learned how to be sucessful the long hard way, on her own with many sacrifices not only for her own life but for those in the family and community in which she lived. As she mentored my parents and supported our family I admired and stood in awe of her. My fathers salary was slim but she was giving of her knowledge and providing a roof over our heads and food on the table. As a young child I didn't fully understand the scope of it all but I knew it was beyond the call of duty and it inspired and lead me in ways I couldn't understand until many years later.

My parents purchased their first home in downtown Jeffersonville,where the business was attached from our kitchen and using a payback government loan began a new life. My father read and studied any and all books the library had on remodeling a home and began to do so self taught. As he did all that was possible to provide us a decent home he was also running a small business. As the good parents they were, we girls had a good life and were taught you work hard, sacrifice, and do whats right always, never expecting or demanding more than you earn.

To make a long story short the business was not the success he had hoped for or as my Aunt had experienced. After a few years my father returned to a full time job and my mother ran the business, for additional income, as a lunch time only Pizzarea, serving pizza by the slice to hungry high school students. Thus I received the nick name at school as the pizza girl.

Now back to my vision, dream and hope. I graduated high school and began a career with a good job and great benefits, following the ideal of working there until retirement. Believing my strong work ethic and loyalty would benefit me and it did to a certain degree. I was respected and successful in my endeavors but never really happy or fulfilled. The whole time just doing what needed to be done in life, not thinking on or realizing the past influences from my Aunt and Parents, or how those influences were about to become my reality.

As I became more dissatisfied with my career and life, without alot of planning or thought I found the one thing I loved, Antiques, and somewhere along the way leaped out and began doing business on the side. I rented booths in Antique Malls and filled them up, then I began to travel and sell at shows all the while thinking it was for fun and love and not a business. A hobby which feed my love and lust and took care of itself financially. After several years I decided that was really all I wanted to do so I left my job of 23 years and started a full time business. I had decided it was all or nothing, I knew I could always get a new job if things didn't work out so leap I did. Now let me add to that I strongly believe that if I had not loved what I was doing for so long on the side I probably would not have taken the risk or been successful.

While traveling and selling at shows I built up a customer base of other dealers and customers from all over the United States, whom would seek out my booths in the Antique Malls and buy from me.

I developed a very good relationship with another Antique Dealer who became a mentor to me in the business and also a great friend whom I think of as the big brother I always wanted. He is the one who actually got me to travel and do shows with him. He is my business partner today, still a mentor and my big brother and best friend. He has lived in New Albany for many many years. We would talk about New Albany and what potential we saw in it. We questioned and debated why it wasn't living up to its potential?! We came up with many reasons and excuses and much sadness.

One day I told him I was tired of paying the malls booth rental,commission, and being a part of so many of the Antique Malls being filled with junk and crafts. The Malls were renting booths for the money to anyone and allowing these so called Antique Dealers to fill their booths with anything. Sounding snobish, maybe, but it was hurting the business of Antiques which I love.

His response, lets go back to the good ole days and open a private shop of our own. OMG Scary,risky but inticing. Where would we open this shop? Location it is said is critical! Would the customer base we had built follow us where we choose? Will the overhead be more than just renting booths and paying commission? Would this endeavor influence or hurt our friendship? It is one thing to do what you love on the side like a hobby and be able to afford the expenses and reinvest all you make back into that hobby, but be successful enough to not only reinvest but make a so called living!! How many sacrifices are we willing to make concerning the time and devotion involved in running our own place? On and On the questions went, some answered but many not!

Now because of the many discussions we had in the past about New Albany and the possibilities we saw within and for her, the choice was made. Some of the same feelings my father had had about Jeffersonville I felt toward New Albany. What I saw and was taught by my Aunt and the community she loved also deeply influenced my decision. Ok, also the overhead in a small dead downtown was good as long as we could have the faith in that town and feel good that our customers would follow us.

We have been open in downtown New Albany for 9 years, our current location 6 years. We have seen many other small Independent Businesses come and go during that time frame. In the last couple of years finally they seem to be staying and succeeding. The reasons so many did not succeed are many, and the reasons we have are many.

I share and tell you all of this for many reasons also. New Albany please have faith in yourself and community. Do whatever small thing you can to help your community grow and prosper. Work around and grow from the past experiences you have had in this community, you will be blessed deeply. Let the naysayers hold you back or give you a feeling of defeat and New Albany will be what they say. We can be bigger and better than we can even dream or invision with co-operation and hard work. I have the faith, I'm starting to see what my partner and I so long ago discussed and debated and hoped would happen.

All of these thoughts came to mind because of a blog I read today. I do not always agree with the author of this blog, his methods or his politics but I do respect his zeal, sincerity, honesty, frustrations, love (yes his love), dreams, hopes, and some of his vision for our community New Albany.

If you would like to read this same blog here is the link

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



There have been many anti-tobacco campaigns just in my life time alone. Regardless of which side you are on, history shows it has been an ongoing move from the very beginning of tobacco use in America.

Our nation for decades did tolerate a spittoon in business offices and in the corridors of our Congress even. Our country presented 11,000 cigars to General Grant after one of his Civil War victories.

Then for the first time in our history,business men,clergymen,leaders and legislators joined forces against tobacco in America. They started the anti-tobacco campaign first mostly against cigarettes. As they chewed,used snuff,and smoked pipes and cigars, the evil was cigarettes. Why--the rumors were spread that cigarette tobacco included opium and the paper wrap had arsenic. WOW

Beginning in the 1880s banks and railroads prohibited cigarettes but not cigars or other forms of tobacco use. For the next three decades cigarette smoking was proclaimed to be a form of moral shame. Smoke a pipe or puff on a cigar showed your manhood,smoking a cigarette was for sissies or women of a bohemian persusaion. Plus smoking cigarettes could lead you into crime or other unpleasant desires or habits,and possibly give you "cigarette insanity".

A country that so loved tobacco and believed it had many pleasures and health benefits began to question as to why they had allowed cigarettes to gain a respectable foothold in their society. Cigarettes were attacked because they were inhaled,the opinion at the time was they were more harmful than other forms of tobacco use. Science later proved the harmful effects of tobacco were worst when used in other ways than the cigarette.

Those starting the war on cigarettes were small unorganized lots,most could be found in the ranks of temperaence and suffrage groups. Organizations like the Anti-Saloon League,founded in 1894, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union which opened lobbying offices in Washington,D.C. in 1895. They grew to exercise alot of political power. They stirred the national conscience and made demands to lawmakers for drastic social change. States passed laws prohibiting the barter,sale or giving away of cigarettes and papers. These restrictive ordinances found widespread approval at first as they were convinced rightly and wrongly all the problems with cigarette smoking. While scoring impressive triumphs legislatively,there was,in the end little to show for all the hard work. Enforcement was very poor and void in some areas,plus so many legal loopholes involved. The largest strike against all past and present reforms against tobacco;
Politicians Legislating Morals--Considered UnDemocratic--Citizens Rights

Following the passage of an anti-cigarette law in Indiana in 1905,the editor of Outlook Magazine wrote; "It is entirely legetimate for a democratic community to exercise whatever authority may be necessary over great organizations,whether of labor or capital,to prevent them from violating the rights of the individual. This is something different from exercising control over the rights of the individual which do not violate the rights of others,and from the injurious effects of which he is the chief if not the only sufferer. Such an act as this..does much more harm than it can possibly do good,for it tends to arouse the American spirit of independence against law, and so to promote the spirit of lawlessness."

ca 1895 Narcoti-cure anti-smoking poster (Quake quick fix medicine for beating the addiction of smoking tobacco)

With most states having anti-cigarette bans and laws,the public went underground so to speak,like what happenened in the prohibition of alcohol.
While the anti-cigarette movement caused a temporary falling of sales for national consumption from 1897 to 1901,the tobacco manufacturers recorded growing numbers of consumers with each passing year! The consumption of cigarettes in the United States alone in 1924 had increased fifty-fold since 1899.

What really killed this three decade long fight against tobacco (mostly cigarettes) was WW1. "Tobacco is as indespensable as the daily ration;we must have thousands of tons without delay." per a cable sent in 1918 by General John J. Pershing,commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in France,to officials in Washington. "Send us cigarettes and more cigarettes!" was the plea of soldiers in their letters home. Tobacco and the military have always been an alliance when it came to a battlefront. General George Washington was one of the first military leaders to observe that soldiers well supplied with tobacco actually fought better. Influence of tobacco on soldiers was given credit for crushing the French during the Franco-Prussian War.

During the war American Army doctors sent home glowing reports on cigarettes and their uplifting properties,helped to build morale,reliever and solace to pain and suffering,more so than any medicine could. Many of these soldiers came home after the war addicted to cigarettes,some paying the price with lung cancer. Plus our Government pushed and promoted tobacco with public drives for getting tobacco to our soldiers. They cryed out with promos such as "Just as Important to place a cigarette in a soldier's mouth as a rifle in his hands." "Buy tobacco as well as War Bonds." High school girls formed "sister clubs" whom made contact with our soldiers in Europe and mailed tobacco supplies. On and on it went and once again tobacco was loved and seen as patriotic.

During the 1930's despite the great depression,nationwide sales of cigarettes climbed steadily here and abroad. Tobacco was number three among all exports. Cigarettes had become our largest revenue producer and brought in three times as much revenue to tobacco manufacturers than all other forms of tobacco.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


By 1900 America was a nation of smokers. How it began is explained in America Seduced part 1, which I posted earlier this week.

How did they do it? Mass advertising like never seen prior and premiums (items given free included with the product or received later)!!

Here are some of the items used to advertise,such as posters,trade cards,packaging and premiums given.


INSERT TRADE CARDS (all types appealing-Movie Stars,Famous People of the time,Patriotism,etc. Also the very 1st Baseball Cards). Customers loved the images and many were framed or put into scrapbooks.


TOBACCO TIN TAGS (Discovered by accident for the use of advertising. Original purpose was to label tobacco brands in the 1870s by pressing into compressed bars or rolls of tobacco before being sealed to prevent inferior grades being illegally substituted)


There are many many more things I could list about premiums such as watch fobs,coupons,fans and on and on.

What alot of people find interesting today is the fact that from the beginning there has always been opposition and the attempt to ban/outlaw the use of tobacco. What that means is,regardless of which side you are on with our attempts today to ban smoking,it has all been said and tried before.
America Seduced part 3 will explore The First Anti-Tobacco Movement in America (1893-1927)

Monday, March 19, 2012


Since the late 1780's, when the first tobacco ad's started to appear, tobacco manufacturers were pioneers of advertising and marketing. They actually revolutionized the American Way of doing business. The strength of tobacco advertising is in the imagery and the power of suggestion. It began in the 1880s with alluring poster art. In tobacco shops the "American Girl" adorned their walls--an Enchantress.

The innocent looking images in tobacco advertising were part of the new wave of product promotion, such as premiums for purchasing their merchandise. Tins, tin tags, labels, insert cards including the first baseball cards, mini silk rugs, etc. Which is what helped to transform America into a nation of smokers by 1900.

Lets go back further in the history of tobacco and America.

Tobacco and America discovered at the same time?
The boat crew Columbus sent forth in 1492 to explore the island of Guahani (later renamed San Salvador) saw some of the native islanders carrying small lighted "firebrands" in which they burned a "strange herb" and inhaled.

The "strange herb" is first believed to have been taken to Europe around the mid 1500's over a half century later. Spain to be exact, where it was cultivated for medicinal and ornamental purposes. It then made its journey throughout Europe. Deemed as one of the wonders of the world.

Colonial America
England was the first country in Europe to truly adopt smoking. The demand
became so great that attention was turned to the new colonies for the growing of tobacco. Jamestown,Virginia a colonial settlement supposedly is where it began. History claims that John Rolfe was the first white man to cultivate tobacco successfully. He made it his principal crop of the his plantation,Varnia, on the James River, to which he took his bride, Pochohontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan.

Virginians saw that the Indians regarded tobacco second in importance only to the corn crop. Gifts of tobacco accompanied the native's friendship. The peace pipe as we call it today was shared often. The cigarette was as yet unknown.

Growing and cultivating tobacco successfully is what established Virginia as a colony and the opportunity to provide and exchange goods with the mother country England where demand was great.

Cigar Store Indian
Since tobacco was regarded as a gift by native American's to the new colonies it does seem natural to use the image of an Indian to market your product to the masses. Tobacco shops across America used the image in front of their businesses. What other symbol could of been more representative than this figure to stand in the shadow of their doorways.

Wooden Indians in their approximate 30 year period of peak popularity (between 1850-1880), were mass produced for that time period of our history. It is estimated that from 80,000 to 100,000 cigar store figures were cast or carved in the United States. It is believed there are less than 3,000 that survive today.

Modernization-Demise of the Cigar Store Indian

The demise of cigar store Indians came slowly. They simply became a burden. Shop owners probably grew tired of lugging and pushing the heavy figures around. Many were taken to the city dumps, others thrown into rivers, and some became firewood. The rest were vandalized, stolen or rotted away. Since most were outside they tended to rot if made of wood despite periodically pouring linseed oil down a special hole drilled in the figure's head.

Mostly it was the new improved way of marketing tobacco that was needed so the Cigar Shop Indian began to disappear.

This is a three part look at Tobacco,the manufacturers ingenious promotions,and the ongoing struggle to ban smoking. Stay tuned for the next two parts!!