Friday, May 29, 2009

TGIF? Not for me!

Well, maybe for some people it's TGIF. Me? I'm looking forward to another busy weekend at Wellers. The weather promises to be beautiful - warm enough for some river travelers to be passing through town.

Here are a couple of photos that I haven't posted for you yet this week. I've had the camera along with me most days but I either forget to use it or am to busy to think about it.

We had a bit of rain earlier in the week but that didn't keep people from stopping by. In fact, it was a good place to duck in out of the rain (no pun intended).

Fran and June (below) were camping with a group of people from northern Illinois and they decided to get out of the rain for awhile and come it to browse. June ended up finding some really cool things for her 1950s kitchen.

Dale and Joan Jirschele from Wisconsin Rapids are spending some time in Rural at the lovely Crystal River Inn. Dale picked up a nice chess set from Mexico and Joan was happy to find a hand crafted wren house to replace her old one at home. They have yet to explore the Red Mill and they promised to be back at the store on Saturday.

The Mayor just loaded up his truck with Ting bottles and is headed for the bottling company tomorrow. We should have plenty of delicious Ting on hand very soon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rust You Can Trust

(A couple of people have asked about this rusty fleur de lis - so sorry, it's now sold and no longer available!)

If Rust Could Talk

There is something about rust and peeling paint and honest every-day wear that fascinates me. I find myself wondering who owned the item. What was it used for? Where did it come from? How did it get the way it is today? Was it a well-loved tool or kitchen gadget? I have one of my grandmother’s old paring knives that has been sharpened down to less than half its size with the handle worn smooth as silk. I can still picture her sitting in her apron with a pan full of potatoes in her lap; her hands quickly and deftly paring them with her favorite knife.

Aside from the personal stories and pictures these old things bring to mind, I love the varied colors and textures of a well-used or rusted object. Those that contain iron or steel will, over time, begin to decay as the mixture of moisture and oxygen attack the surface. A discarded piece of metal or a long unused tool will take on random patterns and patina from this natural process.

Using rust in collage or assemblage art lends an interesting historical or industrial air to the piece. But who wants to sit around watching a piece of metal rust when the creative muse is beckoning? Sometimes we just have to help the process along and there are a number of ways to accomplish that task.

If you live in places like Houston, where the sea breezes are loaded with moisture from the salt water, you’re probably spending a lot of time getting things NOT to rust. You’re probably also thinking that people with a real lust for rust are a bit loopy. If you live in a rust-starved area of the country, however, read on for some trusty rust recipes. (Remember to read package directions, protect your skin and clothing, and work outside where there is plenty of ventilation!)

The Natural Method on Steroids

If you have no time to wait for Mother Nature to do the trick, you can hurry the process along by adding your metal pieces to a solution of two parts bleach to one part vinegar in a non-metal bowl or pan. Let the solution do its thing overnight – longer if you crave more rust. No rinsing is necessary; just place the oxidized objects on newspaper to dry. Bleach and contact with rust will ruin clothes and other porous surfaces. Which brings me to another way to rust.

The Contact Method

Natural, non-metal surfaces can be rusted by contact with metals that have already been rusted. Synthetics will also take on some rust but not as well as the naturals. Simply wet the item (paper, fabric, ribbon, etc.) with vinegar and put them alongside the rusted metal. Placing the wetted items in a plastic bag out in the sun will help speed up the process.

Fabric treated with rust will continue to decay over time. Neutralize the fabric with a mist of baking soda and water to slow down the process.

Rust Solutions for Wood, Plastic and Other Non-metals

I recently played with some Modern Options Sophisticated Finishes paint to rust a ceramic angel and a wooden box. Simply paint with their primer and follow with the rust solution. You’ll have a very robust faux rust in less than a day.

You can also try out coarse garnet gel, coarse pumice gel, or a rusty-colored embossing powder to simulate the look of rust

Trusty Rusty Tin

Modern Options also has a green patina solution that will rust up tin lickety-split. Give the solution a place to hold onto by roughing up the tin with some sandpaper. Use an old brush to paint the patina and work it around with a bit of pressure. The results are as fast as a squirrel on crack. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

Of course, if you don’t want to experiment with solutions or wait for Mother Nature, you can always find some nice rusty goodies in the Junque Shoppe at Wellers. We would even be happy to ship you some. See the website for contact information:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Everything From Clothespins To Quilts

We try to offer something for everyone at Wellers and we're getting better at it all the time. We're pleased that the Junque Shoppe at Wellers has tickled so many people who have that lust for rust and all things old. It's fun to hear how out customers will use or repurpose their purchases.

Kay Peters from Stratton Lake looked through the stash of vintage clothespins to find just the right shapes for her granddaughters. She remembered painting faces on them and making dolls when she was a girl and she wanted to share that experience with them. How sweet!

You can tell by the look on her face that Kay is having fun down in the Junque Shoppe.


Judi Niesen admires the Amish quilt she purchased yesterday.

Thanks to Kay and Judi and all those who stopped in to shop or say "hello"!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Morning After

I opened up Wellers early yesterday so that Alice and Mike Reich could load up the beautiful mahogany Duncan Phyfe dining room set and vintage vanity set they purchased over the weekend. This nice young couple will certainly be giving these special pieces a very good home in Minnesota.

They loaded up some of the chairs on their first visit so the rest fit perfectly in the back of a pick-up truck and in their car. They loaded it up like pros in no time at all.

Thanks Alice & Mike!

While the Reichs were loading up their furniture, Michael Herminath from New London stopped in to browse. An avid outdoorsman, Michael found himself a great little vintage rod and he was happy to pose for a picture.

You can visit Michael's Chain Reaction Products on the web.

I can't wait to see who pops in to the store today!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Remembering With A Grateful Heart

Today we remember with thanksgiving all of the brave men and women who served in the armed forces and gave up their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we have in this great country today. I especially remember my dad - George F. Mulcahy and his brothers Gene and Joe - who served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

You will never be forgotten!

Busy Weekend

There was not much time for picture taking on Saturday and on Sunday I left the camera at home. Today I promise to at least bring it along and get a few more shots of our visitors!

Beth and Bruce Lasecki came all the way from Hortonville for a drive through Rural and a stop at the Weller Store this weekend.

The next best thing to a pick-up truck! Janice Hass just puts the top down to get her goodies home from Wellers. Bob Weller (AKA The Mayor) had no trouble helping her get her treasure into the back seat of her little sports car.

Many thanks to all who popped in to say hello and wish us well this weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Weekend at Wellers

Opening weekend started out GREAT! The best thing about it was seeing familiar faces from last season and catching up with them again. It was also good to meet new people and get to know them.

For once I remembered to bring the camera along to the store with me and I got some pictures of some of the first people in the door after we opened officially for the season. I also managed to get a shot of the first group to come in off the river this yesr.

Grace Buck headed straight for the linens (that's one of my favorites, too!)

Not far behind Grace was Diane Rait. She was also drawn to the linens and both ladies went home with some nice vintage flour sacks and an apron made from flour sack material. Aprons seem to be making a big comeback.

Peggy Manson came back in for an embroidered comforter she spotted one evening when the wiring was being worked on. She also found several other nice items while she was at it.

The first to stop in after completing half the river trip was a group from Green Lake. Jason Koepke, Lesley Kenney, Andy Koepke, Mariel Manslowski, Laurie Koepke, Kendall Koepke and Katie Bardenwerper said the water was great.

At this point the camera was forgotten in all the hustle and bustle of the day. Stay tuned for more photos in the coming days (IF I remember to drag the camera along with me, that is!)

Many thanks to these folks and all the others who made opening day a big success! I also appreciate all of the pre-season customers who stopped in to shop while we were getting ready to open last week. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Friday, May 22, 2009

And So The Season Begins...

The Weller Store is officially open for the season today! All the hard work paid off and I must say it's looking pretty good. The Junque Shoppe at Wellers is now open and "The Mayor" is already clearing out yet another room for collectible toys. Pre-season visitors to the store loved the Junque Shoppe and had fun sifting through all the ephemera and do-dads. One woman really had a lust for rust and she left with a whole trunkload of goodies. It may be a challenge to keep the room well stocked if things continue to fly out of there.

Look for the opening of the Collectible Toys room soon. In the meantime we have a huge new assortment of glassware, including some nice depression glass pieces. I especially love the light blue Bubble and Fire King items. We even have a few "Porta-Walls" from an old Packard and some more vintage tools for the guys. We brought in even more vintage jewelry and some lovely old hats for the ladies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Taliesin - Spring Green

Yow! It's been awhile since I've posted! Much of my time lately has been spent at the Weller Store getting ready to re-open for the season. We've added a new and very fun room - The Junque Shoppe at Wellers - and "The Mayor" has been clearing out yet another room so we can expand even further. Weller's season officially begins the Friday of Memorial Weekend when we will be open 7 days-a-week. In the meantime, you can give us a call if you'd like a preview. We're always happy to open the store especially for you at any time. See the website for contact information.

There are still a lot of pictures from Stephanie's visit to share with you. Here are several from Spring Green in Dodge County - featuring Taliesin, the home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright as well as some of his other creations in the area. The home was not yet open for the season so we were unable to reserve space on a tour. :-(

You can take a peek at the Taliesin Estate HERE.