Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's Been a Busy Year

2009 was a busy year for our family.  We constructed our greenhouse, planted our small (almost an acre) organic vegetable garden, sweated our way through the summer battling squash bugs and blight, worked our first farmer's market season, and battled the freezing temperatures feeding wood into the greenhouse stove.  We definitely learned a lot, and hopefully that knowledge will lead us to more success this coming year. 

In my first few months of blogging, I have really enjoyed reading many wonderful posts from all of you.  It's amazing how much you can learn from others, and how much you can have in common with a perfect stranger living 2000 miles away!  My hope is for all of you to have a safe, healthy, and fun 2010. 

Goodnight and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday

For my first VCM post, I shared a Christmas shadowbox that my Mom made when I was little.  I didn't have a shadowbox, so I improvised.  I made a two tiered shelf by stacking two antique sewing machine drawers.  These are from my Great Grandmother's Singer.  I filled the shelves with little Christmas trinkets I've collected over the years- and a few vintage finds that I've recently picked up.  The picture flanked by the two flocked reindeer is of me and my parents Christmas 1971.

The card I found in my Grandmom's scrapbook.  My Grandparents were married on December 8, 1945 in Kenansville, North Carolina.  Their honeymoon was a train trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming where my Grandfather was to be stationed.  This card was their first piece of mail received at their new home in Cheyenne.  My Grandmom, ever the "labeler", has 1ST MAIL written at the top!  So cute.

The Santa was a gift from family friends when I was about four or five years old.  He makes a jingling sound when you shake him.  I always had this in my room during Christmas.  Now he decorates my son's room.  I had to take him out of there to photograph though- dear son is not a room cleaner!  The little tree next to Santa I made by hot gluing wood beads from an old garland and the tips of poinsettia party picks to a bottle brush tree.  The picks are new "old stock" and the plastic was so brittle, the pick part just snapped off when I bent them!

Swing by to see Joan, the hostess of Vintage Christmas Monday at her blog, Anything Goes Here .  On the right hand side she will have all the participants listed.  She will keep the list up until December 31st to give everyone a chance to catch up in case they missed some posts.  Thank you Joan for your time and energy to organize this fun event!  I have really enjoyed looking at all the wonderful memories fellow bloggers have shared.  There are some amazingly sweet and creative people out there in blogland.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Heard the Glittered, Plastic Bells....

Two of my finds this summer at my favorite thrift were kitschy gold glittered bells.  The first one is hanging over my kitchen sink and has little bit of that plastic mistletoe I love so much.  It reminds me of my Grandmom's white plastic bell garland (that seems to have disappeared) that she would hang over the doorway of her kitchen at Christmastime.

The other find is a door hanging decoration that found a place on an interior door to the living room.  I like the plastic candy cane in the middle.

I hope you all are having a great week!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday - "Softlines"

This week I'm sharing the softer side of my vintage Christmas decor- fabric and soft flocked plastic.  I have really been lucky with thrifting some great Christmas stuff this year.  One of my favorite finds was this printed flannel tree skirt for a dollar.  The graphics are great and it's hard to tell with my non-photography skills and equipment, but there is a slight metallic gold sheen on some of the printing.  There was some yellowing and a stain on the Merry Christmas part, but an overnight soak in a little Oxy Clean helped a lot.  Even though this is a small skirt, I think it looks okay as an "overlay" to my plain red tree skirt.  At least it gives it some vintage character!

In this blog that I have recently begun, I mostly talk about things that I have from my Grandmom (maternal Grandmother).  I don't have a lot of things from my Grandmother on my Dad's side, so this tablecloth is really special to me.  My Grandmother died a month before I graduated from high school, and my Dad had a lot of her things packed up in the attic for almost 20 years.  We were going through some things this summer, and in one of the boxes we found the tablecloth.  I can remember this on her dining room table every Christmas Day for lunch.  As soon as I saw it, I was transported back.  I could smell the delicious food, and almost hear the sound of her electric knife slicing the turkey and ham.  Being in storage so long, it was yellowed and stained, so Oxy Clean to the rescue again.  It was a little too small for my dining room table, so I draped it on the top of my china cabinet.  I think she would approve.

This little inflatable reindeer was part of a pair- I have no idea where the other one is, but at least I still have one.  My Grandad was always taking pictures, and I think this was a Fujifilm premium.  Maybe like one of those deals where you send off proof of purchase "points" to get a freebie.  I think I first had them when I was about four or five, so definitely a vintage item!  It's soft plastic flocked with green.  It squeaks when squeezed, so I have to keep our dog Casey away from it! 

So that's my contribution this week.  Please go check out all the amazing collections of vintage Christmas items featured on Joan's blog, Anything Goes Here.  She is the amazing hostess of Vintage Christmas Monday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday

This week I wanted to share another piece of Christmas from my childhood.  I thought this humble set of  "Made in Japan" mugs always had cool graphics.  Both of my Grandmothers had a set exactly alike.  Many mugs of hot chocolate and chocolate milk were slurped from these!

The kneehugger is one of two I found this year.  He's perched on one of my red Pyrex refrigerator dishes.  My plan is to finish decorating the dining room and show you a little of that next Monday.

Hope you all have a wonderful week and be sure to stop by to see Joan, the hostess of  Vintage Christmas Monday.  There you will find a list of participants on the right side of her blog, Anything Goes Here.  It has been so much fun to see all the creative Vintage Christmas displays.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday's Christmas Happiness

Two little treasures made my day.  Found in an antiques/collectibles shop each with a thrift store price. 

They're not Dennison, but vintage, Christmas, and gummed seals all the same.  And so cute. The ribbon I almost overlooked in a jumbled box of cards and half broken ornaments.  It's hard to tell in the picture, but the design almost looks hand glittered. 

Doesn't take much to entertain me on a Thursday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In a One Horse Open Sleigh

I'm still trying to decorate for Christmas.  If I can do one table or section of a room at a time, it's fine.....but I'll see something and think about putting it in my son's room, or maybe that would look better on the china cabinet, etc.  Distracted is a gentle way to put it!  Slowly but surely I'll get it done.  I did finish the piano last night.  For some reason, sleighs have been abundant at my favorite thrifts, so of course at the right price - cheap- they come home with me.  Here are a few of the ones I've scored lately.

My little kneehugger from the thrift last week is sitting in a wooden fold up sleigh from Habitat Restore. 

Some vintage flocked reindeer from a thrifted grab bag stand beside a plastic reindeer that has an upcoming date with some glitter.  He needs a little sprucing up.

Hope you all are having a great week so far.  Thanks again to all my followers!  When I finally finish decorating, I can sit in my finished Christmas room and catch up on all your blogs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday: My Christmas Past

I have recently acquired a lot of vintage Christmas items, but I thought I would start off by showing some of my favorite Christmas decorations from my childhood.

My favorite Christmas item has to be the little rickrack trimmed shadowbox my Mom made when I was probably three.  She made one for my Grandmom,  my Great Aunt, and one for our house.  My aunt has been gone for over ten years, so I now display hers in my home.  I was always impressed with the little details in each "cubby".   I'm sure she took her time making these, so she could have some down time after chasing me around all day!

This little basket topped with an ornament Santa was in my Grandmom's house.  Nothing like a little plastic misteltoe to take you back to the seventies!

Be sure to check out all the cool vintage Christmas items at Anything Goes Here - Vintage Christmas Mondays!  I'm looking forward to seeing all the neat things people use in their Vintage Christmas homes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vintage Christmas Monday Blog Party

Joan at Anything Goes Here is hosting a Vintage Christmas blog party every Monday until Christmas.  Be sure to check out all the nifty holiday treasures the participants (including myself) will be sharing.  It is amazing to see all the awesome Christmas goods people have saved from family members, and lovingly displayed year after year.  I know that I have a few items from childhood that are my favorites!  It's also amazing to me to see how creative folks can be in combining Christmas trinkets into completely new decorations and display items.  So, put on your favorite Christmas music and swing by Monday to see a piece of Vintage Christmas Wonderland!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Setting Up Shop

I've been working on adding vintage holiday stuff to my Etsy shop.  A bunch of new "old stock" ornaments and supplies.  Hope to have it all updated by tomorrow!

Christmas Mushrooms! Groovy!

Poinsettia Picks

70's Ornaments

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bea West-- Is That Like Mae West?

 If you knew my husband, you would understand that title.  He has a witty comment for everything.  When I showed him my favorite vintage Christmas treasure from today, he focused on the brand of the felt gift trims- "Bea West".  When I saw these, I almost ran to the other side of the table to grab them before anyone else could.

These are so cute- even if someone had already cut out the "tag" part.

Two Gurley candles- well loved is a gentle way to describe them- but they're Gurley candles just the same!  I now have three in my fledgling collection.  I'll try the hairdryer trick to straighten them a bit.  Maybe some soap and water would help too.

I love the fact that the labels are intact- and that I paid only 25 cents each for them.

These two little jewels were in the bottom of a basket jumbled with homemade ornaments and unfinished craft projects.  The pink circus car one is made by Doubl-Glo and has a little reindeer inside. Perfect holiday kitsch!  The other is a miniature metal store that I thought was interesting.

Last but not least is a diecut Santa garland.  I now have three of these, all bought from the same store but on different days.  Hardly ever find the exact same thing at a thrift store, but I'm glad I keep spotting these.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Send Me An Angel

Another auction treasure was this set of kissing angels.  The boy angel has a music box on the bottom.

After reading so many inspiring vintage Christmas blogs, I'm getting in the spirit myself!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Auction Scores and RAOK

As our home begins its third month of updating and remodeling, I am slowly unpacking and rediscovering things that I put away for safekeeping during the addition to the house.  About a month ago, I took my Mom to a "Gigantic Glassware Auction".  With a title like that, how could I resist?  Last night I unpacked a few of the things I won. 

My favorite item has to be this little chimney sweep bank.  It was in a box lot with some other ceramic things, mostly duds, but I did find a few gems toward the bottom.  I haven't decided yet if I can part with it to list it on Etsy.

In the same box lot was this planter/vase that I thought was interesting.  Maybe what drew me to it was the marking on the bottom:  "To Roberta, Christmas 1971".  My first name is Roberta and my first Christmas was in 1971.  Maybe that's why I'm attached to it!

In another box lot of linens was this really pretty tablecloth.  I haven't washed it yet, but it seems to have never been used.  There is no wear and the colors are really bright.

The best part of the day had to be the RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) that I witnessed at the auction.   In a lot I won were five or six vases and then a couple of odd pieces thrown in.  One of the odd pieces was a clear refrigerator dish lid with vegetables on it. Sitting in front of us was a lady completely surrounded by all kinds of glassware.  My Mom noticed that in one of her piles was a clear refrigerator dish with no lid.  She said "that must be where the lid belongs".  I looked, and she was right.  I walked up to her and offered her the lid, explaining that I bid on the box for the vases, and didn't have a use for the lid.  She was so surprised, she said "why don't you take the dish so you can have the set together?"  I thanked her and happily joined my lid with her dish.  At the cashier table toward the end of the day I thanked her again.

 Auction Karma!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thrifted Finds

Last week I found a few cute things at the thrift.  My favorite has to be the retro bamboo print tray.   We are using it on our new ottoman to double as a coffee table.  While sorting through some "grab bags" they had there, I scored some really pretty floral trims and lace.  Not all are shown in this pic. 

Also found a peach lustre Fire King casserole and an Asian print paper fan. 

In another set of grab bags, there were some wooden domino boxes that I'm sure I can find a use for, and a little brush with a wooden doll head handle.  Not sure what this is exactly, but I love the handle.  Maybe a vintage lint brush? 

Lots of things going on lately.  A trip to Georgia last week to pick up dining room furniture that was my Great Aunt's.  She had linens galore.  Aprons, tablecloths, pillowcases, runners, doilies.  I'm still trying to wade through everything.  And if that wasn't enough, we are putting my Grandmother's condo on the market.  She is now in an assisted living center, so my Mom and I have made several trips already to pack, sort, and clean.  If only it wasn't three hours away!  Busy, busy.  When I can get my mess together, I'll post some pics.  We have found some amazing stuff! 

Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Exent of my Halloween Decor

After admiring so many gorgeous, creative fall decorations in the blogs I follow, I have come to accept that my fall display  is what it is.  The pieces mean something to me, and while not on a grand scale, I like them.  Christmas however, will be a different story.  I already have tons of ideas of how I want certain things, my family treasures mixed in with (new to me) thrifted items to be be grouped and displayed. 

On top of the piano is my Carnival Glass Harvest Compote, a recently thrifted ghost tealight holder, a ceramic witch that I had as a child, the black cat metal candle holder that was my mom's when she was little, and a few pieces of orange and gold California Pottery.  The little IKEA spice jar on the right was my son's touch- it's filled with orange Cheez It crackers.  Take a last look at that lovely Carolina blue paint. My husband is a die hard Tarheel fan, and I never got around to changing it.  It is now "Divine White".  I've been busy painting for the last three days.

My mom's Independence Ironstone in the Old Orchard pattern creamer with Swedish Ivy and Boxwood topped with a seventies era scarecrow pick.

So that's it so far with the fall decor, except for a few pumpkins on the front porch on a mini haybale wrapped in grapevine.  It's been rainy and the whole porch is covered with soggy pecan leaves, so I'll spare you that lovely sight.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Four Hours of Thrifting

Today I spent four hours in pure happiness searching for treasures at two stores I don't visit often.  That may change.  I usually travel south instead of north for some reason, even though the two towns are both about 20 minutes from my house.  I'm glad I took my road less traveled.  It paid off.  Content is how I would describe how I felt today, having the alone time I rarely get. 

The first store was full of new "old stock" Christmas decorations from the late sixties and seventies.  Flocked reindeer, miniatures galore, floral picks with holly leaves and poinsettas.  Love them!  I'll have pictures posted later this week after I sort through everything.  They had tons of little picks too.  Cardinals, bumblebees, ladybugs, even peacocks.   Here is a sampling of the non-holiday craft supplies I brought home.

I don't know exactly what I'm going to do with all these nifty things, but I'll think of something.  I love the chenille googly eyed bees!

The second store had a Christmas section that would rival that "W" store.  Candles, tins, vintage tree skirts, vintage aprons, ornaments- and I found a red wicker sleigh that needs an overhaul.  Another project for another day.  The best part was the manager was bringing out stuff by the crate full, and said there was tons more in the back!  Sounds like a return trip (or two or three) to me.  Hopefully I'll be able to contain myself and not go back for at least a few days!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Before and After

A little background on our house.  My husband's grandfather built this house in 1955, with the help of his son, my father-in-law. After my husband's grandparents died, he moved in.  The house has stayed in the family which I think is really neat.  There were three bedrooms and only one bath, so when we got married, we renovated a bedroom into a walk in closet and my "dream" bathroom.  Lots of changes were made to the kitchen too.  New appliances, granite countertops, and an island were installed.  I told my husband the deal breaker was the dishwasher- I had to have one.  So now, two years later, we are getting some much needed extra space.

These are pictures of the new addition to our house.  Construction began on August 25.  These guys waste no time!
Before- our sad little carport
After- it only took them 3 hours to do this!
Concrete removal
Taking shape
French doors- yay!  Sept. 14

Friday, September 4, 2009

I Heart Pyrex

I did a little cleaning yesterday. I want to have things semi-organized before the new addition to the house is finished. The Pyrex cabinet needed dusting, so I took everything off of it and washed it. Still working on how to arrange it back on the shelves. Even Pyrex needs a change once in a while.
My love affair with Pyrex started last year at the Metrolina Fairgrounds Antique Market. I have always thought Pyrex was fun and practical, but never really started collecting it. That changed last fall when everywhere I looked I saw Primary Refrigerator Sets, Gooseberry Mixing Bowls, Snowflake Casseroles, etc. I started with a humble blue Butterprint refrigerator dish. Of course at that time, I didn't know what I was looking at until I found the go-to, all inclusive super Pyrex resource- Amazing pictures, descriptions, pattern names, even directions on how to safely clean it. The folks there have amazing collections and wonderful displays featured on the related flickr account. Love looking at everyone's favorite pieces and reading stories on how they found them.

It's easy to find Pyrex at the market or antique store, but to "happen upon it", at the thrift store or yard sale, that's just pure joy! My first by accident Pyrex piece was found at the local Salvation Army for $2. I had no idea what the pattern name was, so of course I bought it and went straight home to find the pattern name at Pyrex Love. I was happy to find that the piece I had was from a 1959 promotion. The name- Dandelion Duet. Who knew a $2 purchase could make me this happy? When my husband got home, I showed him the piece, explained the name, blah, blah, blah. He just gave me that blank stare as if to say----and? He didn't get it. He's learned now to feign interest in my Pyrex or whatever glass lovely I bring home, just so I'll be done talking about it and he can turn his attention back to Sportscenter.

As soon as my cold/allergy/whatever evil I am suffering with eases up, I hope to go happen upon a few more pieces. Pyrex therapy. It does a body good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Beginnings

I'm looking forward to the next few months for lots of reasons. One, Fall is my favorite season; two, we will be diving deeper into our greenhouse business; and three, we are building on to our house.

I have really enjoyed the past few days of cooler temperatures. I just feel better when it's cooler if that makes sense! The best sleep is when you can have the windows open. It's almost as good as camping. Even though it's been unusally cool this week, it will be short lived. We always have temps in the 80s and 90s here usually through the end of September. But it will seem like winter is coming quickly as we attempt for the first time to winterize and heat the greenhouse for the early spring vegetables and flowers.

Building on to the house is a much needed project around here. My son's room is really too small, as is the entire house. With the new addition, he will have a new bedroom with plenty of space to store his PS3 stuff, and I will no longer have to dodge Rock Band 2 drum sets and guitars as I try to navigate the tiny living room. My husband will have his big den, and the best part is I will finally have my own living area.

MY OWN SPACE!! With my stuff (an enormous term, we'll get to that later), my furniture and it's all mine. My room will even be off limits to the dog. I love her dearly, but I want one hair free, slobber free room. Is that too much to ask? The washer and dryer which now occupy the kitchen, are being relocated to the office- my son's current room. That means my Pyrex cabinet can go in the kitchen and I'll have room in the dining room for a real, grown up dining room set. Yes, I've made it all these many years without one. Now I can showcase china from both of my Grandmothers in a genuine china cabinet. Amazing isn't it? I only had to wait 38 years!

I'll be posting pics of our progress, with some before and afters of the inside. I will probably even ask for opinions on color options and how I should arrange the furniture.