Wednesday, November 27, 2013


A few of the things I'm thankful for . . . .

Although I lost my mom this season, I'm thankful for a wonderful family
 filled with people who accept me and hug me and love me. 
 While a lot of folks feel alone in this world, 
I have an incredible network of family and friends to laugh and share life with at any time.
I am especially thankful to work side by side with my daughter, and a group of delightful women!

I'm blessed to make a living doing the work I most enjoy.
I do what I love and love what I do.
Add to that, that I am surrounded by friends who are supportive, talented, 
encouraging and appreciative of
 the world of antiques, history and making a home a special place.

My community of faith . . . those around me who love to celebrate our faith.
There is a bond and communion in shared ideals and beliefs.  

My sweet home . . . perfect for my needs and so cozy and warm and pleasant.
I actually think about how grand it is to have been born into a culture and time
 where hot running water and indoor plumbing and central heat are the norm.  
To cozy up in my favorite chair with a good book and a cup of tea,
to turn up my music and sing outloud,
to cook, nap, putter with decorating or do laundry . . .
it's all heartwarming when you think about it.

I realize how special it is that I have the luxury of making choices in my life.
Sometimes they seem insignificant to me, but I know there are millions in this world who
 would look at my life and see a wealth of opportunities and choices to be had.

 I have circles of friends who enrich every aspect of my life. 
 They are every age and stage of life, scattered and near . . . 
We are connected . . . woven together like the warp and weft of a huge, strong tapestry.
They are part of who I have become.

I am needed. 
 It's a basic human desire . . . to be needed and found useful
 and hence, 
to sense that we are valuable to those who know us.

I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Autumn Decorating

There is a promise 
 in the air, 
 that always nudges me into a

 fresh decorating mode . . . 

gathering and collecting
 and filling jars and cloches with the
 small items
 from around the house.
I have filled one tall apothecary jar with acorns,
one with tiny, antique, white ironstone doll size tea sets & dishes,
one with small, leather, pocket-size bibles and prayer books from the 1700's and 1800's.

Mellow wood bowls now cradle creamy stacks of linen napkins,
dried artichokes or fragrant bundles of cinnamon sticks.

I love
incorporating seasonal bittersweet and shocks of wheat or hops.

Crockery is back out on the counter, filled with wooden implements, prized for their timeworn patina.
Silver cutlery is on display . . . 
(as I anticipate serving some of the delightful fall pies and cobblers with steaming cups of coffee.)

Both of our shops, 
Dwell Antiques & Home 
 Patina Antiques & Home

are freshening and ripening with the bounty of the harvest season.

There are antlers and dough bowls, bread boards and baskets, dried hydrangeas and pumpkins appearing every day . . .
in the twinkling of an eye
you'll find both shops been fully transformed into a wonderland of autumn splendor!

This is the time when we polish up our reserves of silver plate
 trays and urns and flatware. 

The 1800's ironstone and transferware appears in stacks
pitchers filled with autumn stems.

Botanicals, gourds, copperware and huge wooden bowls will come in and disappear quickly.

Our displays are so much fun to create
but we are delighted and thankful when they're plundered by excited customers
choose their favorite items to cart home.

Designers came in yesterday and turned the shop topy-turvy as they extricated a truckload of freshly displayed items.  While we're honored to see them fly out, there is a momentary catching of the breath when we say goodbye to those precious antiques
so recently scored!

These are precious days, near the end of summer, a fresh awakening of the senses . . .

an opportunity for a fresh palette . . .

a time to 

Come visit us in the South Denver neighborhood of Greenwood Village, Colorado.
Dwell Antiques & Home 5910 S. University Blvd. Greenwood Village, CO. 80121
303-795-3454  Monday - Saturday 10-5,  Sundays by chance or appointment.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Every so often I get an overwhelming sense of thankfulness.

I live a simple life, and enjoy simple pleasures . . . 
it doesn't take anything major to bring me to this place.

It's the way the birds sing early in the morning,
the way the sun shines through my window,
or maybe
 a song I hear.
It can be holding hands with one of my grandchildren
breathing deeply
walking barefoot though the freshly cut grass.

I suppose it has much to do with the way I was raised
the stories I was raised on.

I was born into a large family
of five generations.

 to have not only grandparents,
 great and great-great grandparents living,

I was privileged to learn the history of the family.

It was my greatest delight to listen to these 
men and women 
as they related their 
struggles and successes.

"This was your great-great-great grandmother's teaspoon".
"This bible belonged to your great-great-great grandfather".

True stories of their quests 
were more thrilling than any fairy tales or novels.
Great-great grandmother could recount history from her grandmother,
taking me back to the time just following the Civil War.

The struggles and privations,
the journeys and risks,
the sorrows, successes and joys 
of their lives 
were the most astounding stories
because I knew they were real!

They lived through wars and Depression, droughts and epidemics.
They struggled against loss and poverty and being uprooted.

They began again . . .
 and again.

I grew out of these people.
My strength and courage and endurance
 in my life to come
seemed guaranteed
because I was made of strong fibre.

If they could do it . . . 
chances were I could too.

They assured me.

They were behind me.

More importantly,
they had gone before me,
paving a road that they had forged

generation by generation.

The most important thing they taught me

"enjoy the simple pleasures
every day."

More to come . . . 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Thanksgiving

Happy Memorial Day!

Thoughts of my country and freedom crowd my head this weekend


I am thankful to those brave and dedicated men and women


have given their time

and hearts


in many cases,

their very lives

to insure that 
can live in a free and safe country.

as we go about our weekend
enjoy our picnics and parties and bar b ques,

let us take a moment or two 


to each of those who have served us and protected us and died for us
and for our freedoms.

They took the high road
did not stop until their job was done.

My heart is so very thankful that we live in

the land of the free,

because of the brave!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One of My Favorite Stylists

Isn't it nice when we meet people with whom we connect?
I connect with this super talented guy.
Although I've never personally met Matthew, we are indeed on a first name basis.
(At least I refer to him by his first name.)

my dear friend and soul mate 
 has not met me.

At the risk of sounding like a stalker,
this guy.

If you're not familiar with his work,
allow me to introduce you.

(Being as we're such good


Hop over to Matthew's link and see what he's up to.

Matthew has been styling for the best photographers and magazines and books forever.
He's got his own now - and you'll see that he's 
the ultimate
 repurposing and upcycling and styling and creating.

Did I say
"I love this guy"

Monday, February 25, 2013

FOLK Magazine

There are few products I endorse in my blog,
 but this morning I want to mention a new magazine I've subscribed to,

I just received my initial copy and am fascinated by how lovely it is.
It's filled with real people,
real stories
about real life.
I found myself identifying with the stories and musing about conversing with the writers.
(A sure sign of a good writer/editor is the ability to engage the reader in this fashion.)

Content, photography, advertisement,
every detail is delightful!

Subscription price is very reasonable.

With a cup of cocoa and some cinnamon toast it made my snowy Sunday afternoon perfect.
Living the Good Life!

Sample them online at


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dwell Antiques & Home


5910 South University Boulevard
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80121
(South Denver, Southeast corner of University Blvd and Orchard Road)
Monday - Saturday
10am - 5pm
~additional hours by chance or appointment~

Dwell has had a delightful first quarter after opening in September of 2012!
We are evaluating the success by reviewing what we've been doing to be true to our concept.

Some of our touch points are:

 seek the unusual 
 add fresh treasures to the shop daily
 display with an eye to how you might like to use an item in your home
 rotate displays weekly
search for one of a kind and handmade items
feature the creativity of numerous local artists
incorporate elements of nature

love well made pieces
offer design consultation, in store and in your home
celebrate each month with a special event promotion
keep a wish list for your dream items
offer social media contact points

play happy music
do our best at what we do

The Dwell Girls

studying fresh design ideas
searching for local artistic talent 
buying all over the country
refurbishing vintage and antique items
listening to our customers ideas
reading up on the trends
enjoying life

It makes us happy to do what we do
it makes us happy
making you happy!

Drop in and browse
soak up some atmosphere
know that each month will look different
Dwell Antiques & Home
as we find fresh

Friday, February 22, 2013

Photos I've Collected

Over the years I have amassed a huge box of old black and white photos.  


I have family scrapbooks
 photos I've bought at antique shops
 those I've found at estate sales
many that have apparently just attached themselves to me
 in some magnetic and random fashion. 

I love history and fashion
studying the way people lived a hundred or more years ago,


where did all these photos come from?

I have primarily photos of women and children.

There are hard faced, tough, prairie women
sweet, hopeful brides
careworn, weary mothers with eight or ten children gathered round them.

I have gun slinging gals
sets of sisters with starched pinafores.
There are curls
 that some momma rolled up in rags the night before
 and fussed over for hours
while a patient papa blacked his boots
 and slicked down his hair, wishing his stiff collar was not choking him.

I've got a truckload of  straight laced, prim and proper matrons,
posed in formal studio settings
with several generations of progeny staring somberly at the camera.
They wear their best clothing, tight, starched and uncomfortable.

There are families who've included their strutting chickens, huge hogs and favorite horse
in their photo
presumably to impress or reassure kinfolk back east that they had made it out west and were prospering just fine on the prairie.

There are women mountain climbing
women sightseeing
a woman posing with her prize mule.

I'm not quite sure how I came by all these,
what I want to do with them,
I can't get rid of them.

There's something so poignant and appealing
about the history these photos hint at
I'm holding onto them
just for the pleasure 
what stories
they might tell!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I have accomplished much this afternoon


am finally able to relax

enjoy a bite to eat before a nice warm soak.

There were boxes of small items to be cleaned and sorted and inventoried and priced.
There was laundry to be washed, folded, hung, ironed and put away.
There was vacuuming to be done.
Dusting away some cobwebs.
There was the dishwasher to run and dishes to be replaced in the cupboards.

Just the ordinary household and work chores that we all have to cope with.

It's been a pleasant time of tidying and rearranging some pretties that I had been taking for granted.

I think I have a sweet little nest
am living the good life.

I enjoy refreshing my bookcase displays and counter top collections


organizing my closet

for the coming week.

home made soup
 and good bread
a cup of tea.

Time to pick up my book and nestle in with my late supper

and enjoy the beauty of all that has been accomplished.

I'm so easily pleased with small touches!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Finding My Calling

Part of my
  Antiques By Joy
business is home styling.

I visit the home of a client and tweak the look they're going for.
Sometimes they have no idea about what they want, and I have free reign.
Often they say,
"I want it to feel like your shop."

My mother says I began my styling career at the age of 4,
 I can recall some of the projects I conned her into.

I dreamed up a bedroom that had purple and lavender
(1957 - and where did I get that idea at age 4?)
T.V. was still in black and white.
Not that we owned one.

She tried to dissuade me,

(apparently there was no purple she liked, 
 no purple in her fabric stash).

She compromised with curtains and dust ruffle
a delicate white cotton printed with tiny lavender rosebuds
(I insisted)
 vivid purple
 throw pillow.

Mind you she made these herself, because that's what our family did.

I recall regularly 
haunting the fabric store with her . . . 

a 40 minute walk from our house,
where we would browse for hours
dream of the possibilities!

When I was about 6, we walked to the store to purchase fabric for a new outfit 
for me.
I will never forget the excitement of entering that big old fashioned place,
breathing in the aroma 
taking in the colors

and hearing her incredible words,

"you may choose ANY fabric you want,

as long as it's not over thirty nine cents a yard"

... remembering an
 angel choir . . . .

By 12 years old I was living in a world that was changing.
(NOT in my little world, but in the bigger sense.)
The Hippie movement brought tie die and psychedelic and neon intensity to our color world.

Being the worldly, well read 12 year old that I was, 
my design sense was evolving, and I wanted

There was no decorating budget to prevail upon for my room
I had to improvise.

I plowed through my mother's extensive collection of bargain fabrics,
(friends often gifted her the remnants of their projects because she was "crafty"),
and came up with a hunter green burlap and some hot pint print and began to picture the contrast they would create beside one another.
It wasn't quite the psychedelic combo I needed,
when I unearthed the next component,
a chartreuse gem,
(Oh the 50's were a heyday for chartreuse!!!),
I knew I was on to something!

I rummaged about and found the ultimate fourth:
turquoise with a touch of chartreuse!


I patiently upholstered my hand me down dresser
and even trimmed it in chartreuse prairie points
 I cut from a school folder I found in that color, 
using recycled upholstery tacks I scrounged.
(Stop laughing!)

I pleaded for a gallon of intensely pink saturated-hue paint.
Now this was serious - we didn't paint much at our house, because paint was expensive, 
but after much pleading I got that paint with my babysitting money.
Fifty cents an hour was what I earned, and that included doing household chores while babysitting.

We dragged my little area rug out to the back yard and using our big zinc wash tub, dyed the rug hot pink with Rit Dye from the local Five and Dime.
Oh, I was on  a roll!

Ultimately, I conned my mother into letting me have the "pole lamp" from our living room.
It had filigree ball shades at three heights, and cast the most enchanting shadows.

That evening, breathing a sign of almost complete contentment, I had my final brainstorm.
My parents were out and I knew just what I wanted to accomplish.
I dug around in the utility closet where we stored the Christmas decorations and found
 three red light bulbs.
Installing the red bulbs and flipping the switch, I melted into my hot pink/chartreuse/turquoise
and simply revelled in the creation!

When I awoke in the morning, I discovered my dad had replaced the red bulbs with normal ones.
His reprimand was that he didn't want me using the Christmas ones.

(About 10 years later it dawned on me what that was all about.)

I don't believe I've ever had so much fun as I did with that decorating project.

And that was the day I
I had found my calling.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Filing And Sorting and Shovelling Oh My

It's the first day of February, 
and I'm catching up on filing and paperwork.

I'm living the 

There is always
 too much
 of that filing and sorting and shredding and organizing
never quite enough time to do it properly.

It's not my favorite thing to do
by far
and so I tend to let it pile up until the pile topples over
I fear that if anyone sees the messiness of stacked and toppled receipts and invoices and business cards and whatever,
 they will think I'm one of those hoarder types who needs to have 

I can see it now . . . 

they will shake their heads and say,

she was a little strange
and now we have the evidence
poor dear . . . 
buried alive under
  several tons
of crumpled receipts, paperclips, manila file folders and notes to self!"

Mind you -
this debris is essential to my business

as any antique dealer will confirm.

We faithfully keep exacting records of each item purchased


add to that
 for the supplies we buy 

to clean, polish, restore, repaint and refurbish every little piece.

Why the paper towels alone run into the thousands of dollars!

There are mileage record books and checkbooks and all those business cards of hundreds of people who wish to
 sell to us,
 or paint for us,
 or convince us to advertise with them.

dare not
discard anything so vital to our potential success!

There are paint sample cards
(oh my . . . I have thousands of those),

and even tiny chips of actual paint we have peeled off some old thing
 to save for reference
 for that day when we 
 that beautiful shade of robins' egg blue.

It's a little embarrassing!

That's just the tip of the iceberg

but if I blog any longer
I'll lose daylight hours
tomorrow it's back to the shop

and whatever paper is still drifting through the air will once again settle in odd places around the house.


if you ring the doorbell and I don't answer,
please just give me time to claw my way out from under my mountain
and run to greet you!

Don't call the authorities.

Happy filing!

Botanical prints today are courtesy of The Graphics Fairy @

Joy is partner/owner at
Greenwood Village Colorado


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