Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Salvation Army Thrift Store - From Donations to Bargains

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas and are getting ready to welcome the New Year in tomorrow evening.

In my last post about my ceramic Christmas village, I promised I'd share the newspaper article I wrote for the Times Chronicle about The Salvation Army Thrift Store located in Wilmington, Massachusetts - where I had purchased my collection of ceramic houses. It was a store I frequented often where I found great items to decorate and even furnish my home with. I'll share a couple photos at the end - a few of my favorite things!  ♫♪♬

(If you receive this post via email and you wish to leave a comment and/or view this post inside my blog, you must click on the title link of the post inside your email. Reading blog posts from their source always ensures yours eyes are doubly blessed by beautifully decorated blogs.😊)

Here's a photo of my article published in the Middlesex East section of the Daily Times Chronicle dated December 8/9, 2004. An employee of the newspaper took the photo of the store.

Here's the article as it was published: 
It’s during the holidays that gift-giving and donations to charities are encouraged and emphasized.  The familiar red kettle and cling-clang of the bell ringers are seen and heard in the malls and shopping centers.  But there’s also another way to give to this familiar charity and benefit yourself at the same time.  The Salvation Army Thrift Store, located at 625 Main Street in Wilmington, is a collector’s paradise and a bargain hunter’s dream.   
To the cost-conscious consumer, the Thrift Store offers a wide variety of items for sale.  Something “new” arrives everyday.  From china and dishes, collectibles and clothes, to books and bedding, shoes and furniture, jewelry and toys, other people’s discards become another person’s treasure.
Originally called The Christian Mission, The Salvation Army was the creation of General William Booth and his wife, Catherine, in 1865.  The organization provided food and shelter to the urban, working class poor of England, the orphans, the penniless and castoffs of society.  Its foremost aim was saving souls, bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelistic meetings. General Booth was zealous and had a passion for soul winning. His daughter, Evangeline, later became the first woman to serve as General.  

In 1878, the mission changed its name to The Salvation Army.  It became a real army with corps, flags, ceremonials, military badges, ranks, brass bands, and uniforms.  In 1879, mission converts, Amos and Annie Shirley, and their daughter, Lieutenant Eliza Shirley, who had immigrated to the United States, unofficially started the work in Philadelphia.  After sending enthusiastic reports of their work to England and a request for help, General Booth sent a small group from England.  

On March 10, 1880, Commissioner George Scott Railton and “seven sisters” arrived in New York.  They were the first ones to wear uniforms.  Railton wore a “dark blue suit, cutaway coat and a high peaked hat.”  The ladies wore “short blue dresses, blue coats trimmed in yellow, and Derby hats.”  The hats had red bands around them on which the words “The Salvation Army” were embroidered in gold.  The style of uniforms has changed many times since then.   Upon their arrival, The Salvation Army became an official organization in the United States.  In 10 years, the organization had spread its evangelical crusade and social welfare program to 43 states.
Now over 120 years old, the organization has spread internationally and is in almost every corner of the world. The Salvation Army is still dedicated to its main purpose of reaching souls for Christ as well as providing help and aid to the less fortunate. Their many services include adult rehabilitation centers, temporary shelters and low cost housing for those on pensions or social security, and disaster relief - local, regional and national. 
During Christmas time, donations provide meals, clothing and toys for families in need. Gifts are distributed in nursing homes and hospitals. There are many families who require and receive help throughout the year, those who are struggling with family problems, who need employment or are dealing with emotional issues. Another source of revenue comes through the many thrift stores.
The benefits of the Thrift Store are threefold - it's a great place for bargains, a place where we can donate our used items, and the rehabilitation centers use the stores as training sites. A major part of the rehabilitation of men and women is through work therapy. The thrift stores help them gain self-esteem and achieve valuable vocational skills.
Shopping at the thrift store becomes an addiction.  What will I find today?  Perhaps a comfy wing chair for my library and books to fill the shelves.  Hardcover books for a buck, paperbacks for 50 cents.  Children’s books and cookbooks.  Old record albums and videos.  Rocking chairs and couches, baby carriages and strollers, bicycles, tables and chairs.  Clothing for men, women and children.  Maybe there’s another ceramic lighted house and my Victorian Christmas village will be complete.  Looking for an economical hostess gift?  Check out the glassware for a lovely vase or cut glass candy dish. 
The Thrift Store is a great place for college students on a budget where they can find pots and pans, mugs, dishware and flatware for their dorm rooms.  Dollar days, senior citizen discount days bring the low prices even lower.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for, keep coming back.  Patience and perseverance will eventually pay off and you’ll find that perfect chair or tea pot you’ve always wanted.
Thrift Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  If you purchase an electrical item, such as a lamp or coffee maker, and find that it doesn’t work, it can be returned within two days.  Otherwise, all sales are final.
As much fun as it is to shop there, consider dropping off your used furniture, clothing and household articles instead of selling them.  You’ll be donating them to a worthwhile organization. There is always someone else who can benefit from the items you can’t use anymore.  Donations are received in the back of the store from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  They will not take skis or ski equipment, magazines or encyclopedias.  Items should be in good condition - not broken, ripped or stained.  Questions?  Call 978-988-9488.  For more information on The Salvation Army and their many services, log onto their website:
This wooden mantel clock was purchased for seven dollars.
Victorian floor lamp
I love these cherry bowls. Can't believe someone gave them away so I could purchase them for cheap!

In the photo above, the large white platter on the shelf came from the thrift store, as well. It has a raised fruit design around the perimeter. I purchased the candelabra at Value Village here on the island. It came with some ivy and I added more along with twinkle lights. I also use it at craft fairs to hold my carpet bags. 

The "Bridewater" dishware displayed on the shelf were free to me! Bridgewater is made in England by Emma Bridgewater. You may already be familiar with this brand. These particular pieces are from her cream earthenware line called Black Toast. (Check online to see more of what this company offers.) 

I found these pieces by the side of the road in Woburn, MA while biking! I was passing a house on Pearl Street not too far from my home in Burlington when I spied a couple bags deposited on the ground by the homeowners. I got a glimpse of dishes peeking out and immediately stopped to see what wares were being tossed. Oh my soul! What a find! Two deep baskets on my bicycle came in handy to tote my new found wares (Bridgewater mugs and two bowls plus a small white platter that isn't in the photo.) I had a habit of using a towel in my bike baskets to cushion and keep whatever I was carrying with me from bouncing around. That towel sure came in handy that day on my 10-mile bike ride!

I don't frequent thrift stores too much now as there comes a point where a person doesn't need any more stuff  and occasionally I go through a clean-out phase and bring unwanted and unnecessary items to the local Mission Thrift store on the island for someone else to benefit from. And during my infrequent window shopping excursions through the local thrift and Habitat stores,  I do find something I can use, such as a new scarf for five dollars or a matching set of bedroom lamps for forty! When your bedroom is still lacking in lighting, then that purchase is worthwhile!

Have yourself a very wonderful Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Year-Round Christmas Village

Dear family, friends, lovely creatures both great and small.....

May you find a few moments amidst your preparations for the Christmas holiday to peruse my year-round Christmas village! I do keep it up year-round as it's too much work to set up and take down for a seasonal display. I stopped collecting before we moved to Canada as I exhausted the space in my Burlington home and it was a tight fit here in our present home. Only two buildings didn't fit and are stashed upstairs.

(I hope you click on the link to view this post directly from my blog - it looks much lovelier that way!)
Here's my story......Over a stretch of several years, my village of quaint homes, shops, and places of business (including the ceramic trees) was collected and purchased entirely from The Salvation Army Store in Wilmington, Massachusetts. The only pieces of this pretty village that are brand new are the accessories - the trees, the moon, the lamp post, the people, children sledding, and choristers singing. 

The Salvation Army store in Wilmington was my favorite store. I can tell you more about that in my next blog post - where I'll share my newspaper article with you about this store. It was published in the Woburn Times Chronicle. 

As I said, all the houses in this collection were collected over several years. I wouldn't just buy any house/building I saw - I had to really like it - and so I did pass by a few once in awhile. And without further ado - here are the photos below.  

This village sits atop my glass door free-standing book case in the living room. I won't take the time and space to list all the types of buildings.

 The next village sits atop our TV cabinet in the living room. A lighthouse is on the left and it does flash. It was tricky taking photos of it lit at the right time. And the moon stands in the middle behind the twiggy tree. You'll see it lit at the end of this post.

 Here's a closeup of the moon.

And the third village sits atop the dining room hutch. There isn't any building duplicated in the whole collection.

And here they are displayed and lit in the evening. You'll see the moon shining this time. Here's the village over the bookcase.

Here's the next village with the lighthouse and moon shining.

 And a close-up of the moon behind the twiggy tree.

And the dining room village at night.

As we gather together in our homes with family and friends, may we remember and honor the One who came down to earth, to become man, and to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life. Have you accepted Him - Jesus Christ - as your personal Savior? I truly hope you have. If not, and you are looking for peace in this world of sin, do not hesitate to send me a note and I will show you how you can have eternal life and a new life in Christ.

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From our home to yours......
Have a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Photos from Christmas Craft Fairs - November 2017

Hello friends!

As promised - photos from the two community Christmas Craft Fairs I participated in last month. Here they are.

Afton Community Centre Christmas Craft Fair - New Dominion, PEI
November 18th

I had two tables filled with carpet bags, fur totes, envelope purses, a few scarves, Celtic Knot jewelry, initial pendants, and other beaded necklaces and earrings. Some of my carpet bags hung on my floor candelabra. 

And, yes, that is my white kitchen chair sitting on the table. It provides height and creative interest for displaying my wares. I do have twinkle lights on the candelabra but hadn't turned them on when the photo was taken.
Fur totes and envelope purses displayed in decorative boxes.

My initial pendants (sold here in my Etsy shop) are displayed in egg cartons spray-painted in robin's egg blue that sit inside an elegant floral box.  Two layers of egg cartons fit perfectly and provide a convenient and smart way of transporting and displaying my hand lettered ink and watercolor initial pendants. The pendants are laid out alphabetically (except for X & Z, which I don't have at this time) with spares beneath. The crystal bowl to the left of the box holds my business cards.
You'll notice I have a bird cage sitting here with a large red bow atop and a sign that reads - "complimentary gift wrapping for your jewelry purchases." If you remember a previous post about making tiny felt purses with button closures (see that post here), I made several more, plus larger ones for the Celtic Knot necklaces and other beaded jewelry. The bird cage came in handy to display and hold them all! Handmade earrings hang on the three-tiered bird bath.
And this photo shows the end of the second table where Dolly sits showcasing my floral brooches and other necklaces.

The photos below are from the
Milton Community Hall Christmas Craft Fair - N. Milton, PEI
November 25th

I had one eight-foot table this time so creativity was key in organizing and fitting everything on this smaller booth.

At the far right, Dolly marks the end of my booth.

A view of the main floor hall taken from behind my table. More vendors were upstairs.
 And another view of the main floor from behind my table.

  A view of the stage area where more vendors had tables.

That's all for today! If you're new to my blog, you can sign up to receive my posts sent directly to your email inbox. Check the right side bar of my blog under the "Follow Me" icon. Have questions about any of my wares? Give me a shout!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Blessings - Five Grains of Pilgrim Corn

Dearest and lovely creatures, both great and small!

Before I get to the important part of this post, I want to inform my readers that I am participating in one more Christmas craft fair this coming Saturday, November 25th, at Milton Hall, from 9:30 to 3:30. Admittance to the fair is $2. If you are in the area, please stop by and see my booth and what lovely wares I have! My Etsy shop will be put on "vacation mode" during Saturday. And instead of posting photos from last Saturday's fair, I'll wait until next week to post photos of both craft fairs.
 Okay....and now for the blessings we need to be thankful for...

However you celebrate Thanksgiving Day - whether it's with family and friends, many or few, sharing a bountiful table, or a table for two, may I suggest you pause for several moments before a time of prayer and grace, and reflect on the blessings the LORD has bestowed on you and your loved ones (if this is not your usual practice).

Several years ago, Bill and I would drive up to the eastern side of the island every other Thursday morning to assist our Canadian friends, Bart and Lynne, with a Manor Sing (at the local nursing home in Souris). I would play the piano and Bill and Bart would, in turn, lead the singing of the hymns with a number of the manor residents singing along or listening. After the hymn sing - which lasted about a half hour, we would go to their home and enjoy a delicious lunch and Christian fellowship.

One year, Manor Sing coincided with American Thanksgiving and Lynne provided a wonderful feast for us. A special tribute in honor of our American holiday was the story of the grains of Pilgrim corn.  A story I had never heard before (unfortunately), but she had discovered it while homeschooling her children some years ago. Just think - Canadians learning about American history!

Born and bred in Massachusetts made the Thanksgiving story extra special for me that day. At each plate were three kernels of corn. Lynne briefly told the story of the Pilgrim corn. While picking up a corn kernel and placing it towards the center of the table, we each took a turn and relayed three blessings we were thankful for.

As our family members reside far from us in our home country, we are celebrating American Thanksgiving just the same, sharing our bounty, blessings, and friendship with a neighbor and his teenage daughter. Saying "grace" and thanking the LORD for his goodness to us on this special day doesn't seem enough. Perhaps the inclusion of this "remembrance ritual" to our mealtime will imprint the blessings into our minds and hearts longer than it takes to savor the delights on the table. 

The story I found today online was slightly different and it involved five grains of corn. And that's what I'll share with you today in a nutshell. Here's the link to the "Daily Ration Turned Remembrance: Five Grains of Pilgrim Corn." There you can find a more in-depth explanation.

First grain - reminds us that the earth is still good to bring forth bountiful harvests...
Second grain - the Indians who befriended the Pilgrims and provided them with corn and squash...
Third grain - the courage and endurance to do great things...
Fourth grain - the Pilgrims came to the new world for freedom of conscience and religion...
Fifth grain - our love and faith in Christ and the preservation of Christian civilization...

What does Thanksgiving really mean?

“Be careful that you don’t forget the Lord your God by failing to keep his commands,
ordinances, and statutes that I am giving you today. When you eat and are full,
and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large,
and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases,
be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
  Deuteronomy 8:11-14

Are we thinking about God and his goodness only on Sundays or holidays? Do we just rely on our talents, abilities, wit, and wisdom to live each day and provide for our families? Is our Christian faith only good for church or is it to be a full-time, every day experience where every breath we inhale and every decision and task we undertake are completely and fully directed by the will of God?

Blessings can be counted in many different ways. We receive blessings from others and we can give blessings to others by expressing our faith and love in friendship - in how we relate to each other - in words and in deeds. You have friends that have needs. Seek out how you can be a blessing to others. Don't be afraid to ask them -  be an encouragement to them. 

And don't forget to thank the LORD for his mercies and His many loving kindnesses.