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Claudia's Bargains ......

Began with a “Just Because I Love You” gift. Our neighbor, a kind, elderly gentleman named George, knocked on our door one day and presented me with an ordinary birdhouse, painted the simplest of blues. With that smile of his he handed it to me and said “I made this for you – just because I love you.”

When my husband, Kenny, got home that evening I showed him the birdhouse and told him what George had said. We both agreed the birdhouse needed to be placed somewhere very special. While Kenny mounted it on a post and dug a hole in our garden, I casually mentioned how cute is would look with some wood birds flying up the post. Kenny stopped what he was doing, turned to me and said – “Make Some.”

Well, I had never used a saw in my life, much less cut out something as detailed as a flying bird. I was over 40 years old for gosh sakes! Don’t people start working with sharp, moving tools at a much younger age?  Still …. it sounded interesting. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t completely lost. I had other talents. I could draw pretty good. Some other family members besides myself must have gotten this gift from my grandfather who was an architect.

Anyway, I started to hunt down pictures of birds from the internet and my printshop Gallery. Once I found the pictures I liked, I cut them out and traced them onto my board. At this time my husband handed me his jigsaw and told me to have fun.  Boy did I! I was cuttin’em like a pro! And then I was paintin’ em like a pro! Then I was mountin’ em on the post like a pro! Then I realized I was hooked.

Soon Kenny and I had enclosed our carport, added electrical outlets, workbenches and tools. A jigsaw, a band saw, a scroll saw, a sander, and more. I made cabinets for our kitchen and bath, tissue box holders, birdhouses, bird feeders – anything that caught my eye. Before long our home became overrun with my creations. My woodshop was moved to the basement – out of the summer heat, and Kenny took over the carport shop.

We have a “Peddlers Mall” not far from us in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It is an old Walmart building where you can rent a 10 x 12 ft space to sell from. It has over 500 spaces. We rented a space and started selling. Kenny is a flea market, auction, estate sale, kinda guy so he started adding things to our booth to sell. We are up to four booths now - mainly with Kenny at the helm. If you are ever in the area, stop by. Just ask the girls at the desk where Kenny's booths are. They'll tell you.  All items are tagged Booth 422 or 421.

I decided to go the internet route. At first, I opened an eBay store but soon decided it didn’t give me enough design freedom. I still list items on eBay under the ID claudias_bargains. I also opened a shop on Etsy called ClaudiasBargains.

I am trying to find time for my woodshop – I've missed it.  I've made a few things lately and have my brain cells working on a lot of ideas!  They'll get created soon.

As for dear George, who started all this.  He passed away in 2003, a few months before my father.  His - just because I love you birdhouse - is still in our garden, filled with a nest of memories, waiting for the next generation to fly from the nest and leave their mark on the world.

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