Friday, March 21, 2014

Saturday Spotlight: Cathy from My 1929 Charmer

Hi, everyone!   Kris from Junk Chic Cottage and I wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Kris's and my blog. 

Today you are in for a real treat!  My guest is Cathy from My 1929 Charmer and she's so much fun!
I found Cathy's blog shortly after I started blogging almost 2 years ago.  She had a weekly link party that I enjoyed linking up to (and still do!)  The first thing we have in common is that both of our homes were built in 1929!  We also share a love for 'good junk'.  Cathy never fails to make me laugh with her comments on my posts (even though they usually involve threatening me with bodily harm!)
Please sit back, relax, and enjoy getting to know Cathy better.

I am so flattered that Susan asked me to be a part of her "Life Behind The Blogger" series. Actually, I was a little surprised since Susan and I have...what shall I say...a junkin rivalry going on! To be honest, it's no contest...Susan would win by a mile!
All of us know the great finds Susan shares and I drool with envy. Do you remember when she shared her vintage floral frogs? I was pea green with envy and left a friendly comment: "Well if I was to stop over I might just accidentally push you, gentle like, but enough you just might fall on one of those floral frogs! Boy wouldn't that be a sight! Then you'd be walking around with floral frog holes all over your rear end!" I just couldn't help myself, really!
The last photo I can remember liking of myself was....

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer

when I was five years old! This was one of my most favorite dresses.
In order for me open up and share a bit more about myself I have to feel, well, more comfortable...

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer

There that at 62! ! This reflects who I am, a person who loves to joke around while enjoying life with a sense of humor.

1929 Charmer Deck

Let's sit on the deck and chat a bit! My name is Cathy and you might know me from my blog, My 1929 Charmer. I come from a very large family and I am the middle child of 10. I did not have an easy childhood and developed my sense of humor to survive those difficult years.

Wanda Blommaert

My Mom, Wanda, was the most influential, loving and creative woman in my life. Mom's creative spirit lives within me every day! Oh how I loved her!!!
It will be 16 years in September that I married my dear husband, Chaz. We had a garden wedding and I made all the food for 110 guests. Let me tell you that was the craziest thing I ever did. Talk about stress... being a bride and the Chef in one day!

My 1929 Charmer

I owned The Charmer before our marriage when Chaz moved in, you see he really didn't have a choice, I was NOT moving. The Charmer was built in 1929, a Sears "Mitchell" model home.

1929 Charmer Dining Room

Our dinning room last fall, I am a lover of pattern and color!

1929 Charmer Kitchen

Our kitchen remodel...

Our stairway.

A little bit about before I started blogging? I graduated from college with a Microbiology degree and my specialty was in Mycology (5th kingdom, fungus/mold). Fungus/mold are the coolest and some pretty amazing fungi. It was exciting for me since I am ravenously curious about nature.


Aren't they beautiful, the 1) Zycomycete; 2) Exophiala salmonis; and 3) penicillin (where the antibiotic came from). Every day I was privileged to view these beauties. I have a microscope at home, and I'll go for walks in the woods to collect specimens! I've been know to leave mold growing on food in the I can view them under the microscope. I know weird!
Mycology also lead me to the coolest position I ever had, I worked at Brookfield's Zoo Laboratory. I shook hand with the apes, touch poisonous snakes, pick worms out of chimpanzee poop, etc. It was an exciting time since I love animals so.
Then a tragic event took place in our lives, my sister, Christine, died very young and unexpectedly of a major heart attack! This was the catalyst to do something I was passionate about. I quite my job, attended and graduated from Culinary School! After school I started my own Personal Chef business, It's Dinner Thyme, until I retired at 60.

My 1929 Charmer

A professional shot of me in my chef's jacket!
Whether I am cooking, gardening, baking, sewing or creating...I am enjoying it so. When I retired I needed another venue to share my passions and blogging has become this to me. As long as I am creating in some sort of way, I find my soul is happy.
I'm am a decoraholic, thriftaholic, stitchaholic and gardenaholic! No one should limit themselves to just one addiction! Go big I always say!
I love needlework of any kind! Just a few of my needlework projects...

Needlework Projects
Another passion of my is gardening. I received a Master Gardener Certificate though the University of Illinois Master Gardening Program...

The Charmer Garden

1) The top two photo are our front garden; and 2) the bottom two are a few garden rooms in our back yard.
I hope you've enjoyed your time here getting to know a little bit more about me. Thank you Susan having me here today.

Cathy, I really enjoyed getting to know you better-what an interesting life you've had!  I definitely need to hire you as my personal chef, since I hate to cook!  "Will trade junk for meals"...does that sound like a fair trade? ;)
Please visit Cathy at My 1929 Charmer, then head over to Kris's blog to read about June at Laughing With Angels.
Have a wonderful day!


  1. Cathy,
    Thanks for sharing a little about yourself with all of us. I love love love your home. Too cute. So happy you followed your dream of being a chef. I am a big garden person in the summer months here in Chicagoland so I enjoyed seeing your beautiful garden pictures.

  2. Cathy,
    Your house is absolutely adorable... Your gardens gorgeous. I always love seeing other peoples gardens. We live in the city and my lawn is the size of a postage stamp. But I have boxwoods I manicure and flowers in urns and pots all Spring and summer. I love your kitchen so warm and welcoming.
    I too loss a sibling. My older brother Mike, loss has a way of guiding you into a different direction with a deep meaningful purpose.
    I will follow your blog, thanks Susan for the introduction.

  3. So fun to meet, Cathy...such an interesting life!

  4. Your house is so adorable! I can relate to your deep, diverse interests including microbiology. You are a modern, renaissance woman. ♡

  5. I have so enjoyed learning more about Cathy! She is a bright, well informed women on so many subjects. I am so lucky to live near her and hope to meet her in person soon!


  6. I am a long time follower of Cathy's blog. And, I have you beat. My little cottage was built in 1928.

  7. What a great choice for your spotlight. Cathy is so talented - love her home, garden and all the lovely things she does. I am a new follower of her blog. Thanks so much for spotlighting her.

  8. Wow, Cathy, what a life! Yes, you were cray-cray to do your own catering at your wedding! Love your background and where you are in life. Can't wait to get to your blog and get to know you better. Thanks, Susan, for yet another interesting blogger friend intro.
    Rita C at Panoply

  9. I'm delighted to meet Cathy!! Her home screams CHARM, and what an accomplished woman.
    Mary Alice

  10. Cathy has certainly had an interesting career path. I love that she decided to do something she was passionate about. I love her house! To me it is the perfect image of "cottage". I don't blame her for not moving after she got married!

  11. Oh Cathy - I LOVED this post ( what a great line up this weekend Susan and Kris - really !!! )
    I showed a photo from that age when I did it too LMHO
    Your home is just gorgeous - and can't tell you how much I love that chef's photo of you ( and I had no idea you were a chef ) This series is one of the best ones out there - seriously - LOVED this!

  12. Susan, thanks again for honoring and selecting me for this great feature. What's great about his feature is that we really get to "know" about the person behind the blogger, and why I love blogging. I like a more "personal: approach to blogging and this certainly fits the bill!

  13. Wow I've read Cathy's blog a long time and didn't know these things! How cool!

  14. It's so nice to meet Cathy! I love her quirky sense of humor....we're friends already! Thanks for the fun! Happy Saturday!

  15. Hello ladies!... Cathy, I am so happy to meet you and see your beautiful home... I could so easily live there amongst all of your treasures and those gorgeous gardens... and you are even pretty upside down!... next stop is your blog to visit... and dear Susan, thanks for such a fun post... also, my darling French cow creamer arrived and I just love her! ... she just mooo~ved right into my kitchen perfectly!... xoxo Julie Marie

  16. Cathy, I would have never guessed your science connection! LOVE these bios, ladies. :) Kudos, Cathy for following your passion. :)

  17. I've "known" Cathy since I started blogging several years ago and we are good FB buddies but, I guess I really didn't know her at all! I know she's funny and sweet as can be and sharp as vinegar too ;-) I didn't know all of her other talents! Thanks for letting us get to know such a wonderful person so much better!

  18. Again, I love this series! It's wonderful to meet Cathy and learn so many neat things about her. When I saw the photos, my first thought was "she must have a really green thumb!" ~ and then learned she is a Master Gardener. :) So many interesting hobbies/professions!


  19. More than charming. Cathy has great style, and, my goodness, what a garden.

  20. Oh how I Love Cathy's garden's. That is one thing about living in the desert that I get frustrated about (not able to have a beautiful garden). Definitely a charming home! Congrats on going after your dreams and continuing to expand your avenues of interest! Blessings, Cindy

  21. This gal lives life to the fullest...bravo!!!! Gorgeous home, and gardens!

  22. Wow- Cathy your home is gorgeous !!!! You smile says it all ... you are a wonderful person and your beauty shines through your home! I will definitely start following you- can't believe I haven't run across your blog til now - so thank you both! ox

  23. Cathy, what an amazing career you've had. Kudos to you for creating a business with healthy eating at the center! LOVE your wonderful Charmer, and loved seeing your beautiful gardens!

  24. a chef--so interesting:) adorable home and gardens, cathy! thanks for shairng, susan! have a great week!

  25. Wow this is a great post and to get to know such a special lady better, perfect. What a life you have lived and culinary school such a accomplishment. One of 10 isn't too shabby either, sorry about your sister. I am a follower and I ador your home it is s o pretty.


  26. I loved reading Cathy's story....she certainly has pursued her life's passions and pursued another one after a tragedy that always gives us a new perspective on life...her home is certainly what her blog says...a true "charmer"...a beautiful home and gorgeous gardens!...Wonderful story and feature Susan...

  27. Cathy I never knew you were a chef!!! And I love the shot of you in your chef jacket! I had to laugh when you said you would grow mold in your microbiology people must all be cut from the same cloth as I remember my college MB prof did the same thing! I love your jealous because I have a black thumb. And I love all of your color and patterns in your home...such a darling house too! My dad grew up in a Sears home in Pa. What a great read Susan...thank you so much for featuring such a diverse and I have to say incredibly upbeat gal as Cathy. I had the privilege of meeting her 2 years ago at the Haven conference in Atlanta, she was a total hoot to be around!
    Have a great day!!!
    XO Barbara

  28. Cathy, so many things I never would have thought about you. It is so interesting you worked at the zoo, then became a chef. I knew what a wonderful gardener and decorator you were. Thank you so much for sharing your life.

  29. Cathy you win the prize for having the best experiences prior to blogging. I mean what can compare with picking worms out of chimp poop? I'm going to need to make a trip to Chicago to see your garden when it is in full bloom!


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