Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vintage Monday

My first vintage Monday....I am so excited. First of all thanks to our hostess Joan at Anything Goes Here. I can't wait to see the other posts. Hope that you like my pics. These are from my 1960's Tree. Every ornament would have been on someone's tree in the 1960's. This tree first made its appappearance a few years ago. I had found two dozen vintage ornaments at a Christmas church fair for only a dime apiece. They became my inspiration for a new themed tree. They were plastic with bright pieces of felt and rather garish. I loved them. Additional ornaments to the tree came from a friend that was cleaning out her grandmother's house. I came home one day from work and found a box on my steps along with a note that said "I found these ornaments at my Nana's. They were bright, bold and I thought of you!!" Thanks. (I think) They did make a perfect addition. Most of the plastic/felt ornaments say Made in Japan.If you will notice, the painted eyes on the elf quartet are a little scary looking but that is what makes them so fun. I have over 4 dozen of the "peek in" , my unofficial title for them, ornaments like the blue ornament with the nativity scene. Of course the tree needed the large C-9 light bulbs. Those had to be the new reproduction ones that were UL approved. It also goes without saying that my 1960's tree is a tinsel tree, silver, of course. I think my ornaments are fun and I am glad to share them with you. Next Monday will be my ornaments from Germany ..... that are a good 50 years older than today's post. See you all next week. (My favorites are the two poodle ornaments and the red felt angel with the wax face standing next to the Christmas stocking. The sticker on the back of the stocking says Krees fifteen cents.)

My retro kitchen

Hope that everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day. Thought I would do a little non-Christmas related blog. (Because from now until the 25
th, my blogs will be Christmas!) As some of you might have noticed I changed the look of my site. I think this one better reflects my style.....girly girlish while still being retro. Speaking of "retro", I thought I would take you on a tour of my kitchen. The red chair and the blue stool were fabulous lawn sale finds a couple of years ago for only $2.00 a piece! The curtains on the lower middle windows are made from a vintage tablecloth cut in half. The top curtains are made from 2 dish towels, again cut in half. To cover up underneath the metal cart, I used a small square vintage tablecloth. I had found the vintage red frames a while ago and knew what I wanted to frame. I went on ebay and found an old menu that had the exact blue and red of my kitchen colors. I kept the original and framed color prints. I didn't want to cut the menu in half. The large red fork and spoon are definitely kitschy and you either hate them or love them. I love them! The rest of my 1853 home has a different look and feel from the kitchen.......but this is where I cook and live. Come join me for a cup of tea.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

The table has been cleared and the leftovers put away. Our guests have said good-bye and all have arrived safely at their homes. We were only 6 at the table this year, when I had been expecting 12. An unexpected death of a friend and changed family travel plans made for lots of leftovers. My table looked lovely with place cards (thanks to House Wren Studio) and Thanksgiving Greeting (thanks to Little Pink Studio). I did get to use my collection of amber glass for the table, mantle and buffet. Today and every day, I am thankful for my family, my home, our jobs, the food on our table and that friends and family are all in good health. I would also like to thank the people that have visited and commented on my blog. It is so nice to meet you all. So from my home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

White Wednesday

Good Morning Friends. I know it is the day before Thanksgiving and I should be concentrating on brining my turkey and all that, but I am taking a moment to participate in White Wednesday. No I haven't got any of my trees up, yet. That starts tomorrow night, but I did pull out some photos of one of my favorite trees, my "Wedding Tree". The tree started off years ago as a way to use all my white/silver ornaments. I had simply referred to it as the Ivory Tree. When a friend's daughter first saw the tree she exclaimed "Oh how pretty....a Wedding Tree" So the name stayed.
I have ivory silk roses, babies breath, vintage strands of light silver tinsel, a pair of vintage ivory gloves and my daughter's very first pair of shoes (white of course) amongst all the vintage ornaments from my youth. I especially love the German pieces with their mellowed patina only achieved by age.

The tree also showcases my collection of wedding cake toppers. Unfortunately these pictures do not do that collection justice. I promise to have new photos to share for next Wednesday. One of my favorite ornaments, again like my daughter's shoes, isn't really an ornament. It is a small silver frame holding a picture of my mom as a 1950's bride. As I share with you my other trees this holiday season, you will see that most of my ornaments are simply cherished items that hold a memory and not a store bought bauble. That is what Christmas should represent.

A big thank you to our hostess, Kathleen at for hosting White Wednesday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Memory

I have spent the day cleaning the house for company on Thursday. I really wanted to just decorate! Unfortunately, sweeping and washing floors and cupboards came first. Not as much fun but now my house will be good to go right through all the holidays. When I finally sat down to relax with a hot cup of cider, I was pleased with how the house was looking even if the look would only be for the next few days....because on Thanksgiving night, the Christmas decorations come out. But for now, the decorations symbolize the harvest bounty of the season along with the warmth and coziness of family time. In the family room there is a basket that is filled with childrens' books reflecting the season. The Halloween themed books it recently held have been replaced with Thanksgiving stories. They belong to my daughter who is now 21. She asked me today why the books are still brought out.... at this time there are no longer any younger cousins. I reminded her that we do have friends with little ones. They love to read the books when they visit. More importantly, as I explained to my daughter, they represent the happy and innocent times of her youth, when she would curl up in my lap and we would read together. Our favorite was always "A Turkey for Thanksgiving" by Eve Bunting. Both the illustrations and the story are charming. When I see the books in the basket, and remember the happy memories, it makes me smile. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I will not start celebrating the Christmas season until the last dish has been washed and put away from the Thanksgiving dinner. She smiled and understood. Then with our hot drinks in hand, we sat down and looked at the books together, for old memory sake.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dumpster Diving

You know how your heart skips a beat when you think you have spied a treasure peeking out of a pile of I thought I had a "tah dah" moment when I saw an old wooden chair rising out of a dumpster. Of course I climbed up to retrieve it.....yes while wearing high heels, I was coming back from a meeting in Portland. Anyway, the chair turned out to be a wreck, even for an imaginative junker as myself. Now there is a lot you can do with even a broken chair a la the French Charming Blog (Nov 12th), but alas, this chair was just too far gone. It reminded me though of a story. A few years ago, my friend and I were off to the high school to pick up our daughters from a band trip. Across the street from the school was a house being gutted with a really large dumpster on the front lawn. Of course we had to walk over and take a peek. My friend spied it first....a fabulous wooden crate with a beautiful painted on great shape!! Now, my friend was no stranger to dumpster diving; however, the thought of her 16 year old daughter and 80 of her classmates soon to be driving by worried her........her daughter would have been mortified!!!! I on the other hand had no worries. I climbed in and got the box. Had the buses come by and saw me.....if any of the students would have asked my daughter "Isn't that your mother?"....Elizabeth just would have shrugged and replied "It's what she does!" That's my girl.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tis the season for Church Fairs

Just as I had been lamenting about the winter hiatus of lawn sales, fortunately the church craft fair season began. Today I was there bright and early of my first fair, just as the doors opened. Of course I did check out the crafts, but didn't purchase anything....I could make anything I saw. I was there for the "Attic Treasure" room, the quintessential "white elephant" tables. The space is really small, and it was hot and crowded....but I found my treasures......three vintage tablecloths, 4 Halloween cloth napkins, vintage knitting needles, an amber glass pedestal bowl (for my Thanksgiving table), a large white oval platter, old sewing patterns, various wooden frames, candles, glass candlesticks, a few vintage Christmas ornaments, a blessing crucifix with the original candles still inside, olive green glass bowl and matching candlestick holders (another glass collection of mine) and 2 small fire king white bowls (each bowl for only five cents) name a few of my treasures.

I am going to frame or decoupage the sewing patterns for something creative. I should have done a better close up of the knitting needles, they are cool.
I also found some Catholic figurines that I collect and will probably use in a collage that I have been planning. My favorite find of the day was a 50's lamp for $3.00. I have it shown with my lamp from my family room re-do. It stands 4 feet tall and has a similar shape in the wooden section as my other lamp has. I love it!!! Now I need to find just the right table for it. I spent about $20 and did find a few more fun framed pictures, jewelry and of course some freshly baked cookies had to come home with me. As good as that was, my friend Tiff was also there and scored on all of these furniture pieces that I went right past and didn't see and spent only $16. Good job Tiff. It was a fun day. Glad to get out and back home before the torrential rain started. We are getting the rain that our friends down south just had. So with a hot mulled apple cider in hand, I am putting my treasures away. Yes, you have to love a good church sale.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Parting with your treasures

I spent some time this morning rummaging around other "junk" related blogs....a lot of them are from shop owners of some really cool antique/junk-to-treasure/vintage shops. As I was browsing through their photos, I was drooling. There was so much that I loved and if I only had the money, would purchase. I have a question for them.....How can they part with these treasures? I know it is a business. But it must still be hard. Every summer I have a lawn sale. My sales, I must say, are highly anticipated by my "regular" customers. I have unique signs that I use every year, that people instantly recognize as being mine and are at my doorstep at 6:30 a.m. on the day of the sale. (More on my lawn sales for a later post) My sales don't have Tupperware or children's' outgrown toys, but rather feature McCoy, Weller, Roseville, etc., and a lot of quirky finds from a stuffed pheasant, a lamp made from deer hooves with a mica lampshade, and wooden coat hangers from an old prison, branded with the prison name. Yes, I make a lot of money, clean out a lot of my collections to make room for new ones.......but it seems after every sale.....I find a use for something that I haven't used or needed for the past five years that I just SOLD!!! This year I had 2 sales. With the economy being what it is, and me having to pay my daughter's college tuition and my property tax bill.....I was ruthless in pulling out pieces that I knew would sell. As I am starting to get ready for the holidays...I go to grab a wooden bowl to display pine cones, only to remember that I sold it. It is sad to let treasures go....but I will remain hopeful that there are always new treasures waiting to be found.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time for a Road Trip

It is November. No hope of any lawn sales, not until spring. How sad. There will be the "white elephant tables" at the upcoming church fairs, that will be nice; however, not the same as doing a lawn sale hunt. A comment made on my last blog (thank you Kelly) got me thinking that it was time for a road visit all Goodwill and Salvation Army stores in my neck of the woods. That would cover Raymond, Windham, Westbrook, Portland, South Portland and of course my hometown, Gorham. Who knows what treasures await.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wait till you see my table!

It all started with one Goodwill find this summer, an amber glass and sterling silver cake pedestal. That became the start of what will be my Thanksgiving tablescape. Then I found votive candle holders, glasses, large bowls and salt and pepper shakers....all amber glass and all for pennies. You've got to love church rummage sales! I have already posted some of those finds. Yesterday, I stopped at Hannaford Grocery Store just as they were putting out a display of 75% off sale items. For only a quarter a piece....I got this silverware with the amber "plastic" handles....but the look of glass is there. Also on sale were these gold dishtowels for only $.35 cents each, so I got a dozen to use as extra large dinner napkins for my Thanksgiving dinner. I totally scored. When I went back to the store just a few hours later, the display was emptied. Later last night, I was relaxing with a copy of the new Better Homes & Gardens mag and I see a large advertisement for Wal-mart showcasing a table done in "Amber" glass. Who knew that my table will be such a trend setter.....I'm that good. Oh by the way, the set of 3 candle holders were from Christmas Tree shop on sale all three for only a dollar. Now that I have the bones of my tablescape in place, guess I had better start thinking about the menu.