Saturday, May 07, 2011

A Drive-By Bead Show, Antiques, and Car with Personality

Usually, weekends are spent at home hanging out and doing homebody type things.  My husband drives 140+ miles round-trip for his commute every single day, gets up at 4am to do it, and, especially during the summer, we don't venture on the road, as we're on the main line to the beach.  But this weekend, we had a good reason.

So, ready for a long, fun post with lots of photos?  Grab a cookie.  Or pie.  I'm not eating pie until September, by the way, so be sure to eat some for me if you're so inclined.


After my car was crashed into, Rick and I had a long discussion about the cost of gas and the reasonableness of driving my van after it got fixed.  We need to keep the van (which is paid for, thankfully) for my business, but with gas nearly $4.00/gallon (at least, as of today, anyway!) we thought it would be smart to buy a smaller, more affordable, more gas-efficient car.

Now, I haven't had a CAR in ages.  A mom van, yes.  A work van, yes.  A car?  No.  

I mentioned to Rick I've always wanted a VW Beetle.  When the new/old ones first came out in 1998, I couldn't get one because I was in sales and needed a boring sedan.  Stick the customers in the back, make sure their knees aren't bent up to their chin, and all was good on the way to eat a power lunch.

Anyway, Rick looked up and said, "We could do that."

Little did we know, VW didn't make a new model for 2011.  The last model was 2010.  They're totally revamping it for 2012 -- and call me crazy, but I hate how it looks.

Within two days Rick found a car.  I told a couple of friends about it, and one said, "That car totally fits your personality."


In the past week, my laptop has died about 37 times.  And no, I'm not going to tell you if I have a Mac or a PC because apparently, there are THREE things one never should talk about -- religion, politics, and computer preference.  Suffice it to say, I'm currently three days behind on even SEEING my email, am using my husband's laptop when I can, and am, as I write this, reinstalling my email program one more time so I can HOPEFULLY quickly transfer the stuff to Gmail without exploding things again.

So what sort of car fits the personality of Miss Grumpy McCranky Pants?

Think about that one and let me know.  But anyway, we drove an hour and picked up my new car.

I will drive this car until the metal falls off.  Until the engine dies and I need to add hamsters on a hamster wheel.  Oh!  And when I save up the money (which I will do after giving up copious amounts of Starbucks for several years), I plan to have it painted pink.


(This announcement caused my husband to grab the warranty papers, shake them, and point at tiny print and bluster, but I then told him how long it would take me to raise that kind of money, because I don't spend that kind of money on myself, and he calmed down and is now breathing better and is no longer beet red.

Or hot pink.)

After we picked up the Beetle/Bug/Punch Buggy, we headed off to Gaithersburg, MD to a bead show put on by the Bead Society of Greater Washington.  Now, I had my husband and Zack, who is eight, in tow.  Rick would shop with me whether I was at Lowes picking out paint or Sephora picking out tweezers.  He's awesome like that.  Zack, on the other hand, is hit or miss with shopping.

Mostly miss.

Seeing as how I'm heading to Bead and Button in a month, I wasn't there to go nuts, but I wanted to see ONE vendor who wouldn't be anywhere near me for a year -- Na Bo Row.  And you guys -- in a week or so, you'll be so glad I put up with "when are we leeeeeaving" pleas from the Zack-man.  Because I'm going to be giving away a bunch of Bob's new bronze clasps that are TO. DIE. FOR.

The toggles will be bronze like on the left,
but styled like the toggle on the right.
I love buying stuff for you guys!

I got through that show in record time -- 45 minutes.  I bought one strand of lampwork beads, the silver and bronze, and then Zack picked out two ojime beads.  I have never ever moved that fast past sparkly stuff.  Ever.  It was painful.  I mean, there's still a cramp in my side and I know I missed something really cool.

Back in the VW and another hour down the road to Frederick, MD, where Rick and I used to live right after we got married.  Our destination -- an antique mall that used to sell the vintage button greeting cards I made before I discovered beads (GASP!  Was there ever such a time?).

Lots of cool finds.

The irony didn't escape me that Zack brought his Nintendo DS into the store with him so I might get a reasonable amount of time to shop, yet I was looking at the simplest of games -- Tiddlywinks. 


Have I been saying and spelling that incorrectly all my life?


Good Lord.  And to think I won spelling bees.

You all know how much I loooooove books, so I got lost for longer than I should have in the old book section.

This next find had Rick and I completely and totally fascinated for a long time, and we so very nearly took it home if not for the price.  Both of us are big WWII buffs, and when I first saw this, I thought it was a camera, and since I collect those, of course I had to look.

If this photo and others are turned the wrong way around,
blame Blogger and pull out your Twister game.

It wasn't a camera after all.  It was a military sextant.  I found that piece of paper folded up underneath some of the wood in the box, and that's what really made it important to me.

Very sobering, isn't it?  This reminds me of one of my favorite books, "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand.  The main character went down with his plane and wasn't found for days upon days.  If you haven't read that book -- oh wow, but stop reading THIS and go order it right now.

OK, on to a lighter note!  Thanks to Cindy, Zack is now collecting Wade Whimsies, these little ceramic figurines, and I use them as incentives and rewards for excellent behavior and things like that.  Usually, he and I will run across five or six in an entire antique mall, but this booth?  The Whimsie Motherlode.

Zack and I promptly plunked ourselves down on the floor and started going to it.  We found a ton of figures we didn't currently have (the camel, zebra, and puppy being favorites).  I just hope that along with the Whimsies, Zack will one day remember his 42-year old mother was the sort of mom that would "plunk" onto a dirty floor to sort through a falling-apart-box of treasures with him.

I love old bottles, and ran into this really cool one, which was inordinately expensive or it would be with me now.  Note how it was purchased at a drug store (and that it reads "cocaine removed").

Then we turned the corner and folks -- it was like walking into the Mick-or-Mack of my childhood and seeing the dairy display.  I just had to stand there and stare for a while at all this crazy goodness.

This was only part of it.  I couldn't begin to get the scope of how large this display was.  Three old soda machines from way back in the day, shelf upon shelf of Coca-Cola bottles (with soda still in them), empty cottage cheese containers, more milk containers -- it was divine.  I never buy anything from displays like this, it seems, because it's the whole, not the part, that makes it special.

Strangely, I didn't take photos of the few things I bought!  We got home too late for the light to be decent, but I bought a cool jar and an awesome little tin (I love my strange bottles and random tins), and a completely filled in book of S&H Green Stamps that I bought just because it was cool as heck and just $1.50.  And then Zack started pinging off the walls and it was time for a late lunch and long drive home.


Well!  If you're still here, thanks for taking the trip with me in my little Punch Buggy.  Don't forget about the Color Palette Book Giveaway, and keep checking in for the bronze toggle giveaway very soon.  OH, and I'm going to be hosting an auction in the next few weeks to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  You'll be able to auction off a piece of your jewelry, art, mixed media, -- anything handmade -- to benefit the Foundation.   I'll be auctioning off something I'll make with Genea's Cup of Bead Soup beads, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!  Hugs to all!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.


  1. I had a wonderful time. Thanks for including us along. I went to Frederick for the weekend when my ex was moving his stuff out of our house (it just seemed like a far enough away but not too far away place). I think I might have even wandered through that place you described. But that was eons ago. Congrats on the new car. What fun! It totally goes with pink hair.

  2. Ahhhhhh if I had a Beetle I'd totally have it painted pink too. That sounds so cute, congrats on the car!
    And that's okay about the Tiddledy Winks...for a long time, I spelled "Beetle" like "Beatle" because I really thought that's how it was spelled, thanks to the band.

  3. Anonymous10:19 PM

    Wow sounds like you all had a day! Congrats on your new bug, and I think you should paint it pink. My favorite car I had in my younger years was a hot pink Tracker, I drove it for eight years and loved every second of it!

  4. My hubby says a bug would fit my personality but I too need something big enough for toting my jewelry around to craft shows. Nothing as big as a van, a car with a trunk and backseat will do fine.
    I'd love to have that coco-cola bottle. That was pretty cool.

  5. What a great day! Love your beetle - my Mom had two of them back in the day. She so loved those cars.

    An antique mall is my favorite way to spend a day, buying treasures to add to the collections that crowd my house.

    Thanks for the visit!

  6. Lori, I laughed out loud at your declaring to paint the buddle bug pink. and at Rick's reaction. Let me know if you are intrested in the color Harmonies book.
    Be Blessed

  7. Oh, man, I don't even know where to start!

    VW bug - YES.
    Hot pink VW bug named Punch Buggy? YES YES YES.
    Rick's reaction - Hilarious.
    Laptop dying? Booooo.
    Antique shopping - Awesome!
    Your stories - Fantastical.

    (P.S. Please tell me the milk wasn't still in the containers.)

  8. Whew! Are we home yet?!
    Great ride. Glad you love your car - and to think Oprah have her audience one of the new Bugs. I live 10 miles from her studio and to think for 25 years never could get on the show.
    S&H green stamps? I remember getting them ....
    You know, a road trip to Milwaukee and you could REALLY load up on beads. Beetles and beads... (Yes, it's late.)

  9. Cute Beetle, Lori!
    I am a crazed old book fan, too. Just can't stop buying them.
    I wish I were going to Bead and Button this year. We have not gone for many years and used to love it...and it is really not all that for from here. Just too much going on with Jud this year but keep it up and I will see you there sometime!
    Love your writing!

  10. Congrats on th new Bug. That pink is perfect!!!! Sounds like you guys had a busy day. Thanks for sharing!

  11. awwwww man! That's so freaking sweet! For the longest time....I've wanted the sky blue vw convertible (the one that has the grey top) FOREVER. That's so much fun and I didn't realize they made them until 2010...hmmmmm.

  12. Wow what a wonderful post a veritable feast for the eyes, it sounds like you had a wonderful day,(loving the Beetle by the way)

  13. Lori, your new car really is so cool & looks like so much fun to drive.
    I'm SO glad you ventured out of town to do something fun this weekend (and gave beading a break for a day)!
    And what? No pie til September?? You'll have to tell me about that one. :-( Guess I'll be eating pie alone.

  14. I love the color!. I have always wanted to bug. But with two kids and one on the way. It would not fit all of us. The vintange items are just awesome! Happy Mothers Day!!

  15. Wonderful trip, Lori, I had a blast!
    Luv your new ride, she's a beauty!
    Happy Mother's Day

  16. Love the bug no matter the color! Thanks for the shopping trip... I love treasure hunting... (maybe I will go shopping for Mothers Day) and I would still spell it Tiddlywinks... I think the box was wrong :)

  17. Really enjoyed reading the posts on your wedding day, never figured you for a tattoo person!
    Congrats on your new love bug :-)

  18. So cool you got the buggy! Yey! And you definitely should one day paint it pink (or keep dreaming about it). About the cocaine reference on the jar I've read about that kind of stuff.
    Well, it seems you had a great weekend.

  19. I always wanted a beetle VW and paint it yellow with black spots :>) It never happened :>(
    Be Blessed

  20. I lived that trip through your eyes! What a great day you had. I'm glad you and Zack found the figurines you didn't have! Happy Mother's Day, Lori!

  21. Lori,
    Sounds and looks like you had a great time with your two favorite guys. Having a husband that doesn't mind shopping with you...what a gem!! I can totally relate to speed bead shopping, the good thing though is you know you didn't spend as much as you could have, lol.

  22. I think your new car is FABULOUS! Does it have a name, because a car like that needs a great name.

    Mick or Mack. Huh. I hadn't thought about that store in decades.

    If I could get you to leave your state, I recommend you come down here and go antiquing/junking with me. Lots of fun stuff down here, plus Pete and Rick would have fun hanging out and Zack would love my girls' Secret Attic.

  23. Looks like you had a lot of fun!

  24. What a fun post..and trip! It was if I went on the trip fun! Oh, and a pink Beetle would be AWESOME!!!

  25. I think Rosebud said it best...thanks for letting us go on the trip with you. I love walking thru stores and shops with you. The punch bug is awesome. My mom had one when I was a kid. Stick shift. Loved it! I have an old bottle of Apple Jack brandy with the prescription label on it. It was given to my grandfather for his leukemia. Since he died two weeks before I was born, it's a special memento for several reasons. I'm with you on the Tiddlywinks spelling. Thanks for a great trip!

  26. Sounds like good times! Best of luck with the new car.
    I don't do alot of shows or have very elaborate displays but for the ones I do, I manage to pack my things into our old Taurus.
    I missed the last bead show around here. :*( But I think there is one in Oct. or Nov. that I must attend!

  27. Looks like an amazing weekend! And, that pink for your beetle is AMAZING!

  28. Sounds like the perfect day. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  29. Nice Ride. Pink, of course.
    What a divine day. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  30. Congrats on your new bug! 3 years ago in 2008 when gas hit an all time high I was driving a suburban and was spending over 150. to fill it every several days. While in Florida I spotted a beautiful lime green bug WITH A WIND UP KEY on the back that turned around and around as she drove it. I was IN LOVE! I was going to order one and even looked up all the info on getting the wind up key done but then found the only VW place for me is across the bay, 2 hours and bridge toll every checkup. So I ordered a prius instead. Enjoy driving for practically free! Happy Mother's day too!

  31. I used to live a couple of blocks from a high school boy whose first car was a used pink bug. I guess the other kids gave him a hard time about it because one day I drove by and he had a can of spray paint and was painting it black.

    Congratulations on your VW!


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