Remenicing...A look back at our trip...More on 34. A story told by Lisa.

Story by Lisa Strecker

Photos by Martha Layton Smith

It's Been Awhile...My Journey - More on 34

I cannot believe how long it's taken for me to get back here.  Part of it is the organized side of me, that was waiting for some pictures from a friend so that I could blog in chronological order.  And part of it was that I just wasn't ready to blog about this.

In July I had the great opportunity to spend a day with a couple of friends and attend More on 34.  This is a 100-mile garage sale spanning from Sandwich to Galesburg, IL.  It was a superbly adventurous & emotional day for me.  Never thought when I woke up that morning that as we took that journey, I would begin a conversation about my journey through life as we wound through the rural roads of Illinois.

So here is Valerie & I getting ready to start our day.  Miss Martha was the road trip picture taker.  There were some fabulous vintage finds to be had....

And we finally had to set a 15-minute limit to each stop because Miss Martha was very contented to peruse...but we wanted to make some headway!  We met so many fabulous and hysterical people...  Like these gentlmen shown here, who were a little worse for drink...

We found a fabulous local city hall that had the best barbeque and crock pot sweet onions... a fantastic barn sale with some of the coolest fixtures we had ever seen and all along the way, somehow we got started on my life's story.  Now I knew we may eventually end up in Princeton, IL.  This is where I spent my high school years.  After coming from a severely broken home and being placed in a children's home - Lydia's at the age of 10.  A brief stint at a relative's house which simply did not work out, and then ending up living in a group home in Princeton, IL - Covenant Children's Home.  So we just fell into this conversation about my entire childhood throughout our journey.  It was emotional... it was personal, but it felt right.

As the day progressed, we were heading into a storm.  So here I am white knuckled and nervous, being urged on by my fellow adventurers to press on.  A few days later, I learned we did indeed drive through tornados!

I was superbly happy that we had made it through.  And low and behold right before my eyes, we end up in Princeton!  As we drove past the children's home, I felt the tears just well up (kind of like right now) and by this time I was speaking about how my husband and I had met.  We were so young, I in my senior year of highschool, he was in college on the military delayed entry program - and he was my math tutor through the high school in order to earn a little extra money.  The irony of it all is that he too came from a broken home and had lived at both of the same places I did, but at a different time, so our paths had never crossed. 

original buildings ca. 1921

It felt to me almost as if I was meant to take this journey that day... verbally...emotionally & socially.  It was, incredibly powerful.  And I cannot think of two more loving & patient people who cared and listened as I poured out the history of my 46 years of life.  Unspeakable emotion.

So, now to lighten things up a bit.  We had just gotten through this storm...we were tired, we were hungry & we found one of my favorite places to go for pie & coffee!

The Coffee Cup brings back some fond memories for me.  Growing up in Princeton, my husband had met a nice large big Greek family - the Lymberopoulos clan.  The dad had been deeply in love with his wife & had 8 children (I believe) with her & lost her in childbirth.  This crazy guy...Panos, managed to raise the most awesome group of people to ever grace this earth all on his own.  On top of it, he kinda adopted my husband into his family as he was close to his sons and by the time I met my husband, he adopted me too!

Once my husband went off to basic training, Panos would call me every week or so and say "let's go for a coffee."  We either went to Stuckey's at the end of town or the Coffee Cup.  He'd take my car "for a ride" and always made sure it was tuned up, gassed & that I had a good meal whenever I saw him.  You could see Panos often riding down Main St. on his bicycle and in later years on his moped.  A well-known, beloved man by many.  He is truly missed.

Okay so I got a little emotional again.  Back to the lighter note!  It was late in the day, but there were some fabulous little shops on Main St. and around the corner.

and the sweetest, never-ending antiques shoppe...

But the best find of all was a well-established gift & coffee shoppe - Beetz Me!

This is a fully-restored ca. 1800's hardware store which had been lovingly brought back to life by Proprietor, Laura Maxwell-Massey.  A true "gem" of Princeton.  So many fabulous things to purchase & Laura is a lovely and very friendly woman.  Things do come full circle, as my good fortune would have it, I will be doing a trunk show in her store in a few weeks on November 6th.  It was no coincidence in my opinion that we ended up meeting and I am so looking forward to "coming home" so to speak, & sharing my art with all of her lovely patrons.

Last but not least, we certainly could not leave Princeton without visiting the Red Covered Bridge.

Bureau County Red Covered Bridge - ca. 1863
As crazy teenagers, we spent alot of time on the bridge, jumping into Bureau County Creek & generally goofing off.  Ah, good times...good times.

We had a fabulous journey home....

And as you can see, Martha ended up with the lion's share of the vintage booty!

In closing I'd like to say I know it took me a long time to get here & write this.  It brings up alot of memories - sad & happy alike.  But I am so grateful that this day & that time spent with Martha & Valerie afforded me the opportunity to share and make a beautiful memory together.


Story Behind An Item no.1

I found these vintage letterpress blocks while shopping several years ago at the Printers Row Festival in downtown Chicago.  They were amongst an entire collection of various shapes, colors and sizes of letter blocks.  I loved the way the colors looked on the blocks.  They have spent several years in my personal collection and now they are being offered on Etsy for YOU to enjoy.  They would look amazing on a bookshelf or in use for some fun printing projects.


New Look... New Logo!

New look... New Logo,
 I was thinking, after years of fun vintage finds on the ODS logo, it might be time to create one with an "open door".
Using my little watercolor set, and after a few sketches...one of a front door with a light...one with a little house, yet another of a little camper door...this is the final result.

Let me know, in the comments below, what you think!


This Gem was on the FRONT PAGE! 

It has been a year for me! Hard to believe! But I was so happy to have been honored to have an item on the fp and it sold too! yahoooo !
 Be sure to check out  Linaki21.etsy.com for some great finds!  Her shop is called "The Attic Princess"
She has some cute handmade items!

'In time...' by Linaki21


August Sale, Open Back Women...

Vintage Brown Binoculars Poc...

Antique Swiss silver pocket ...

Home Decor Vintage Books, Br...

Perpetual Desk Calendar in o...


Antique Oregon Automobile Li...

Blank Handmade Paper Invitat...

Vintage Tall Step Ladder - S...

Organic Lemon Cream Rooibos ...

Vintage retro brown suitcase...

Modern Adirondack Chair in R...

Wooden hair sticks, Wood, Wa...

Etching Art Print/ Minimalis...

Reclaimed, Naturally Fallen ...

Felted slippers from natural...

Our Little Camper... Help us decide.

This is our little Sunline Camper.  Originally designed to "sleep 5"... maybe with 2 on the floor and one standing up in the bathroom.  She is 12 1/2 feet in length, including the tongue.  This is her photo album... many from the day I found her.  We purchased our little trailer in Bristol, Wisconsin (from a gent who was featured on American Pickers, season one episode 12)  We are trying to decide a theme.  I have had the cream, green and cherry red on my mind for a while now...
 Photos from http://www.snailtrail.co.uk/
Now I am loving brighter colors, yellows, blues, oranges, thinking a "campy" theme, incorporating woolen blankets,  pillows with pennants.  We have even thought about painting the outside of the camper plaid.   It is just a thought.  I have seen polka-dots, stripes and more.  I have NEVER seen a plaid paint theme.   Whatever it will be... I hope it will be something that turns heads and leaves people with a smile on their face.  Afterall, we want to use it to set up at some  future vintage shows. We  can't wait to get started.  We just need cooler days and a weekend where I can pull Tony from his favorite place to hang out and "camp out" in our own back yard.
So much to consider.  Tony has worked to be sure there are no more leaks, We are debating the flooring color, what to do with the walls,  windows, outside trim, paint, to pinstripe or not to pinstripe?  So many wonderful ideas!

We'll keep you updated!