Monday, May 30, 2011

A special early birthday present

As I said earlier, my parents were recently here for a two week visit.  On one of the nicer, only non rainy days, my mom headed out with me to the dairy in Temple where I get my week's supply of raw milk.  Afterward, we went down the road a bit to Petterborough for a little poking in some of the quaint shops and a nice lunch at Twelve Pines, an upscale cafe.  On the way home, I made a quick stop at the nursery for some heirloom tomato plants and that left just the right amount of time for a quick poke around White Home Collections in Wilton, NH.  This is one of my favorite antique/vintage haunts.  They had just had their garden extravaganza the weekend prior, so the outside was all decked out with vintage and shabby chic gardenware.  Oh how happy it was!  I really liked a potting bench that had been made by merging two pieces:  a shabby metal legged table and a crate with many sections.  It would look so nice on my front porch.  I wasn't in the position to buy it for myself as I had recently treated myself to a new pocket book with some of my antique sale profits and the rest was to be saved.  I couldn't justify spending the money on it anyhow as I didn't really need it, just really, really liked it.  My mom surprised me by suggesting it could be an early birthday present.  We had done a similar scenario with a shelf I liked here a couple years back.  I thought it over and came back the next day to get it, and am so happy I did.  It is mostly impractical, but makes for fantastic eye candy.  Both coming in and going out my front door is so happy.  So here it is....and happy birthday to me a few months early!  Thank you again Mommy!!

I added the lower shelf using two old bead board barn boards for authenticity to the shabby look.  I also added the number tags I had been saving to do something fun with.

I had so much fun filling the cubbies with salvaged, unoccupied bird's nests, weathered terracotta and vintage garden tools I've picked up here and there.

The new lower shelf holds a great yellow dairy crate and some red impatiens, some of which have been planted in a repurposed coffee percolator.

The new "potting bench" shares the porch with an old stool, turned plant stand; galvanized concrete mixing bucket turned into a planter; picket fence turned wall "art" and an old half-crate turned wall planter with an old lunchbox planted with red ivy geraniums.  It all comes together in a great big smile to welcome me home each day and send me out into the world with a smile. 

Happy Memorial Day and THANK YOU to our service men and women!

I want to take the oportunity of Memorial Day to say a great big and heartfelt thank you to all our service men and women, both past and present.  What you give is immeasurable.  Despite the hard economic and social climate currently in our country, thanks to you and your dedication, our country still stands strong and truly is the land of the free and the home of the brave.  You are a great example to us all.  You demonstrate that despite our differences: rich or poor; educated or not so much; in agreement with our current government or not; single or with a family; white or of another racial background; christian, jew, muslim or other; that we must stand united and work together for the common good of all - in America or in another country.  So thank you, thank you, thank you - for what you give, strive for and sacrifice. And for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, for which we remember you especially today, thank you. Your sacrifice in being taken from this life has ensured that I may be here with my family enjoying the many freedoms and safety we have today, and that countless others may enjoy the same. There are no words adequate to cover the debt you paid for your country. Thank you, thank you.

And thank you as well to all the people who stay at home supporting their soldiers from afar.  Thank you to all the moms and dads, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, girlfriends and boyfriends, friends and relatives and even the strangers who send out care packages and cards to soldiers they will never meet.  The support and love and sacrifice you give in staying behind while your loved one journeys off, gives them support from afar and sets a wonderful example of strength for us all.  Thank you. And also my thanks to all those, both lay people and professionals who dedicate themselves to supporting our veterans once they are home. So many return with scars we cannot see and many others with injuries we can see. Thank you to all of you who follow a calling to support them and their families here on American soil, not because by job definition you have to, but also because by heart's definition you feel called to. Thank you.

Happy Memorial Day all.  May your flag fly with pride today and every day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday morning flea market and a bonus auction house yard sale!

So this morning I went to my first flea market of the season.  Actually the season started mid April, but cold mornings and rain kept me at home.  Sleep is so much more enticing on days like that, but today I was ready for a flea market fix.  I got there around 7:30, a little late by hard core flea market standards, but good enough for me.  The trucks were unpacked and the initial frenzy had subsided so I was able to leisurely pick through boxes and visit several dealers.  I got some great goodies, mostly to sell.  I decided to head home on the earlier side and boy am I glad.  On the way home, I discovered a local auction house was having a clear-it-out yard sale and since I had left the flea early, I had plenty of time to stop and poke.  I got some great goodies there as well.  I made it home in time to wash my car (something I've wanted to do for a week) and get to the 11:30 service at church.  What a productive morning!!  Here are some pics of the bootie.

Sewing basket with notions, blue crate full of old jars (dirty, but will clean up fine), stool, eight cubby unit, vintage color coordinated tread bobbins, lotto game pieces, wooden animals, red drawer, desert dishes, linens, kitchen utensils, cookie cutters, ephemera, vintage mirror, candle stick holders, metal tool tin, large clock case, glass canister, glass dishes and more. 

 So here are some close ups of the goodies.  I love the rainbow assortment of bobbins, and the red drawer and one of the tins are full to the brim of lotto letters of varying sizes.  The cubby unit would make a great bench with cubbies used for shoes.  Or it could be used on a table like surface for great storage.  It has green paint covered by a coat of grey.  I think I will see if I can restore some of the green.  Below are pictures of the bootie from the auction house yard sale.  Note that the cubby unit and stool are in the picture, but from the flea.

So we've got game boards, flashcards, linens, 40's dictionary with illustrations, vintage hangers, melmac dishes, sewing notions, vintage paper place mats, aluminum cups, stencils, ephemera, vintage tablecloth that will make great material for lunch bag totes, glass loaf pans, crochet work and quilted potholders.  Note the dog in the photo was not a yard sale find.  Maisy was happy to see me home and wanted to be where I was focusing my attention, hence she ended up in the picture! 

It was a really fun morning.  Nice weather, nice surprises and nicely productive.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My potting bench

I was watching an episode of The Walton's today (yes, the Walton's - my favorite programs are the ones I grew up with, especially given the junk on T.V. today) and Olivia was spending  considerable time in the vegetable garden, which is where I've been spending my time lately, getting things planted and potted and weeded, etc.  Olivia commented that Grandpa used to say he could hear the plants breathe when he had his hands in the garden soil.  That's just how I feel.  I feel rooted (pardon the pun) in life when I work in the garden.  The plants that grow there, do so with such primitive elegance.  They have been growing the same way for thousands of years, yet each season of growth is exciting and new.  The promise each plant holds, whether it be the food it will produce, the flower that will bloom, the herb that will infuse other foods with enhanced flavor, or just the leaf that will breathe fresh oxygen into my world, is a true miracle.  I have a special potting area that I have created to help me with my garden work.  It holds my tools, organic fertilizers, pots and saucers, soil, and a little bit of whimsy.  I thought I'd share it with you.

The potting bench is made from a repurposed hand made vintage hutch.  I took off the doors and filled it with garden goodies.  An old enamel topped table buts up against it to create a larger work surface for potting plants into the terracotta pots I use on the deck and porch.  An enamel rubbish can holds potting soil with a vintage sifter as my soil scoop.

Some geraniums waiting for potting and a vintage picnic tin and basket waiting for new life as planters.

The vintage coffee tins on top of the potting hutch used to hold blooms (after their coffee holding days 50 years ago!), but several years of doing so has resulted in the bottoms disappearing from rust.  So now they provide a bit of whimsy to make me smile.  An old pantry organizer hangs on the shed clapboards holding small hand tools.  I hung a terracotta pot in a vintage plant hanger to hold plant ties.  The less glamorous red plastic bags hold composted cow manure from my dairy to serve as the ingredient for compost "tea" brewed in the also less than glamorous, yet practical 5 gallon plastic buckets.  The "tea" will help to make strong, healthy, vigorous plants.  The garden is really starting to shape up around here. And if feels so good to don a vintage apron and head out to the potting bench and work in the soil.  I'll post some garden pictures soon.  Happy day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy things in grey weather

So last week, (actually the last two weeks) the weather was cold and rainy.  Not exactly the end of May weather.  It was pretty dreary.  My parents were here visiting for those two weeks.  Wouldn't you know it, the day they left the weather turned warm (hot almost) and sunny and there is not a cold day or rain drop in sight for the upcoming week.  I wonder if they brought the rain with them.  Hmmmmm?  Anyhow, my mom and I hit the road a week ago for a day trip to Concord, Ma.  We had a lovely lunch at the Concord Inn and did a little poking in the shops on main street.  Afterwards we stopped at Springbrook Farm in Littleton for a little more poking.  Despite the raw, grey weather there were happy things to be seen to brighten the day.  I thought I'd share them with you.
Old crate turned happy planter outside of the cafe.

The sign itself is happy.  I love antique shops as we all know.  The reason for the picture though is the momma bird sitting on the end of the sign bracket while her little peeps were hanging out in a nest behind her in the eaves.

Look up in the greenhouse at Springbrook Farm and this is the eye candy displayed there.

For sure, this helped to chase away the gloom!

And a sweet display of garden delight on the floor below!

What a happy day it turned out to be.  Actually any day spent with my Mommy is a happy day, but this one was extra happy.  I even found a few little trinkets to bring home with me.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Meet my Pups and Laugh

Well, they're not really puppies anymore, but just like your kids will always be your babies, my dogs will always be my puppies.  We raised them both from 8 week old puppies.  Maisy, I met when she was two weeks old and held her little tiny body in one hand.  Honey, we all met when she was six weeks old.  Maisy is now 7 and Honey is 4.  They are both golden retrievers, though not from the same parents.  They are best buddies, both with each other and with us.  Each one and I have a special bond, due to the fact that I was the primary caretaker and trainer.  Maisy is pure lady - very regal.  Honey is pure goober - very incurably happy and goofy.  The two of them bring us such joy, quite likely two of the best moves we've made bringing them to our family.  They are great companions especially for me - they are quite simply two of my best friends!  Here are some funny pictures of them.  I love to do goofy things to them and they love the attention and the cookie that comes with it.  Enjoy the smiles.

Honey-in-the-box....."Pop goes the weasel"

Honey relaxing......completely.

Two after dinner Babushkas - yes, those are our dinner napkins on their heads.

Time for a wig with that napkin head dressing.

Honey looking so 60's man...

Maisy's flower child look.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I had such a nice day yesterday.  The weather was perfect, perfect for going to Brimfield, MA for the largest and longest running outdoor antique show in America.  I love antiques and vintage goodies (as we all know) and about 12 years ago a shop owner asked me if I had ever been to Brimfield.  I had not.  Didn't even know what it was. is only the best thing since sliced bread, maybe even better!  It happens three times a year, lasts for a week and takes over an entire town.  It is awesome!!!!  Old stuff as far as the eye can see.  There are literally, thousands of dealers in numerous fields.  It is one of my favorite places of all times.  I have been going to at least one show (often all three) for 12 years now.  Usually I can only spare one day, but once I went for two.  Boy was that fun!  Even if I went all week, I doubt I'd see it all, and for sure I'd run out of money.  I've been going long enough now that I have favorite fields, favorite dealers and favorite outhouses (yes, we must take care of the necessities too).  I love talking to the dealers, learning about old stuff and about other peoples lives.  And of course, I love finding treasures to bring home.  This year was a little different, as I was doing more shopping for things to resell at the Cooperage, but that doesn't make it any less fun.  And I did find some happy treasures to keep.  The following are some highlights and my finds for the day.

Get ready, get set, SHOP.  This field is about 300 tents.  One field of  MANY!

This was probably my favorite set up of the day.  I didn't buy anything here, but I spent plenty of time soaking in all the eye candy and getting a few ideas to try out myself at a later date.

Loved the little kitty pillow.  No place to put it though and couldn't justify the $30 price tag if I didn't really need it.

I just love all the colors together.  I would have liked to pull up a chair and had my lunch here.

Never know what you'll see.  This little princess has been traveling with her dealer mommy to antique shows for 14 years.  She sits on the table top with her little vintage custard cup of water for her to lap at will.  Her name is Roxy.

My large purchases:  a vintage German file cabinet, a green tool organizer with lots of drawers, a card catalogue, and a sweet shabby-chic stool (won't it look great with a red geranium sitting on it?).

My smaller purchases:  two flower curtain panels to use for making tote bags, a tote bag for me made with vintage bark cloth (I'll use it for fun and for inspiration for my own bags), an opticians drawer unit, a statue of a mommy horse and her baby, a whole spool of vintage periwinkle seam binding, three chiffon scarves for my hair, two vintage tablecloths (they are not perfect, but they are perfect for me to cut and make into sweet dishtowels), a big letter 'H' for Heidi's room cut out of tin from an old barn roof, and a really cool old water jug (for my porch as a decoration).
And the dainty purchases:  seven vintage handkerchiefs, a little porcelain jug, a set of four custard cups with etched polka dots on them, two sets of etched wine glasses (one a set of 4, the other a set of 6), three little hand crocheted doilies, three napkins with hem stitching and flower applique and an oval embossed glass serving dish.

A full apron made from a feed sack (looks like the 1930's) that I can't wait to wear when I bake something yummy, not to mention adding to my already large apron collection (and yes, I wear them all - food just tastes better when the cook wore a vintage apron and chores are much more palatable when I wear one!)  The dress on the right, I originally bought for the fabric, but it's in great condition, fits me and is really cute.  Think I'll change out the buttons to a set of turquoise ones I have, replace the missing belt with pretty ribbon and stroll through my garden in it.
And last but not least, is this sweet vintage chiffon summer bathrobe (also for me to wear).  The picture doesn't come close to doing it justice.  It has little rhinestones on the buttons, lace on the fold back cuffs and collar and pipping to match.  It fits like a glove and I feel like Cinderella in it.  (Maybe I'll post a picture of me in it after it is laundered and pressed.)  I can hardly wait to have my morning toast and tea out on the screen porch wearing in on a breezy summer morning.
Well, that's about the sum of it.  It was a great day.  I moved at my own pace and enjoyed every minute of it.  And best yet, I have no regrets about my purchases and didn't feel bad about leaving anything behind.  I even came home with some money left in my pocket.  Doesn't get much better than that.  Looking forward to the next one in July!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Cooperage's Monthly Antique Market

Yes, I haven't posted anything for a week (at least).  Sorry.  I have been soooo busy!  This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was the first (of many to come) monthly antique market show sponsored by the Cooperage where I have a booth.  Laura, the owner, had the brilliant idea of tapping into the popular trend of holding a monthly antique market extravaganza.  She secured a historic church building just a couple  buildings down from the Cooperage.  About 15 dealers will set up once a month for a huge blowout of wonderful antiques and vintage pieces.  It was awesome!!  It was also a lot of work.  I participated in this one, and really enjoyed myself.  Thought you'd like to see some photos of my booth.
Here is the sweet little country church the market was held in.

Old stuff for sale both inside and out.  Below, you'll see three different views of my space

 Fran, if you're looking, the hutch I told you about is shown in the first and third of these three pictures in left corner.  Below is a shot of my space, altered and opened up a bit Friday afternoon after things had sold and space was changed a little.  Again, Fran, the two tables, are the little matching white ones, center front.

There were two items that did not initially fit in my space, but Laura was kind enough to let me display them elsewhere.  They were a vintage ironing board that I decoupaged with old laundry ads from the 1920's to 50's and edged with black ric-rac; and a coffee table that I topped with vintage yardsticks.  Here are a couple photos of those that I took before hauling them over to the church market.

A close-up of some of the sweet advertisements from vintage homemaking journals.

I distressed the edges, but left the original wood finish to complement the old wood of the yardsticks.

By the way, these two pieces are still available if anyone is interested ;)
Well, that's about it for now.  It was a great experience.  I met some new folks and enjoyed some great conversations.  And now it is time to rest up to get ready to haul the remaining treasures home tomorrow to be sold another day.  Take care!!