I am so excited to show you my new studio. At last, it is all set up. So this week, I'll be photographing it so that I can finally share it with the world — very soon. I promise!
I am so excited to show you my new studio. At last, it is all set up. So this week, I'll be photographing it so that I can finally share it with the world — very soon. I promise!
John and I spent the weekend clearing out the last of the moving boxes stored in the garage during our reno project. I'm happy to say that we are about 98% unpacked!
I finally have a sense of what will work in our cozy cottage. As you may know, in order to pare down our belongings, we sold tons of stuff at an estate sale before we moved. But there are still a few decor items and furniture pieces from our former house that aren't a good fit in our new one. It makes me happy when I can pass these old favorites along to folks who appreciate them. Case in point: the beautiful fruitcake tin that I've enjoyed since the mid-80s. It once sat on a shelf chock full of antique tins in my very first house; then it moved to our next house where it was displayed among my collection of vintage pottery. Now it graces a shelf in friend and writer Louise's kitchen. Doesn't it look happy there?
Remember the glass and wood pie safe in our old home's kitchen? For years it held all of my vintage linens and kitchenware. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't find a spot for it in our new place. So it has moved a mile or so down the road to teacher, friend, and author Drew's dining room.
Drew runs To Taste Life Twice Writing Workshops. After her clients select a cup from the cabinet, they can then enjoy tea, chocolates, and a very unique writing experience. Sounds divine!
Here's a look at our newly completed kitchen. How do you like it?
Our goal was to have the new kitchen feel like it belongs in a 1925 cottage — clean and simple with finishes that would feel fresh for years to come.
For me, I wanted to create a comfortable and well-thought-out space for John to enjoy, since my sweet husband does the majority of the cooking in our family. He never fails to make the most delicious meals. Now he has a proper kitchen in which to create them.
Top to bottom, I am very pleased with the new kitchen. It's especially lovely to have so much natural light, because the kitchen in our former home was located within the interior of the house making it perpetually dark. Plus, I adore the glass-fronted cabinets where I can display my collection of green and blue vintage pottery.
We have never put in a kitchen from scratch before and expected it to be daunting. However, our contractor and old friend, Jeff Meier of J.M.O. Builders, made the process easy. He guided us through the reno step by step, surrounding us with superb suppliers along the way.
Many thanks to Jeff, Billy his master carpenter, Frank the architect, Jim the kitchen cabinet designer, Shane the electrician, the plumbers Stanley and John, Noel the dry-waller, Alex the floor installer, James the tiler, and all of their talented helpers!
We are finally settled into the new space. All that is left to get are four counter stools. We are having a bit of trouble finding just the right ones. Any ideas?
As you may know, from start to finish our kitchen renovation took four months. The project also included the family and dining rooms that are now open to the kitchen. And let's not forget my studio! It's just about ready for its unveiling, so stay tuned...
For over a week, I have been unpacking boxes and organizing my new studio. Now there is just one box to go, one filled with all sorts of pictures and decorative things for the walls. Before long, I will share the new space with you. But until then, I will be sharing some of my favorite vintage items with you... literally!
You see, my new studio is about half the size of my former one, so I simply don't have room for everything. Therefore, these old favorites (and more) will be turning up in my Etsy shop over the coming days. Yay!
Done! Our 4-month renovation project has officially ended. Now comes the fun part — decorating! All this week, I am devoting myself to my new studio.
Time to unpack boxes and figure out where everything should go. I must admit, it's a bit daunting. Luckily, my daughter was here over the weekend to help.
However, I am still surrounded by a sea of packing paper and bubble wrap. Once I have things under control, I look forward to sharing the entire room with you. In the meantime, take a look at one area that Hannah helped me organize.
In my old studio, my massive collection of picnic tins held art supplies. Now these relics will be purely for display on a high shelf along an entire wall. Don't they look happy in their new home?
Stayed tuned for more peeks of my new studio coming soon!
Yikes! What a winter it has been so far. It seems like we have a snow event every few days. Our last one started as snow and then changed to sleet making every surface an icy mess. When that happens, I stay put and get crafty in my studio.
Here are a few of my favorite projects, perfect for when the weather gets feisty and you have to remain indoors.
If you have an old globe that has seen better days, use it as the canvas for this worldly art project. View my tutorial at this link: Altered art globe.
Pennant banners are easy to make. All you need is a little fabric, rick-rack trim, a sewing machine and an iron. View my tutorial at this link: Itty bitty pennant banner.
Make your own tack board out of an old picture frame, vintage bark cloth, a few squares of cork and a chunk of foam core. View my tutorial at this link: Handmade tack board.
This vintage bin once stored bread and produce in the 1940s pantry. I brought mine back to life with a fresh coat of paint. View my tutorial at this link: Refurbished vegetable bin.
If you are a button collector like me, give a button bouquet a try. Then place your creation in a vintage salt shaker. View my tutorial at this link: Button bouquet.
There you go — five projects to keep you busy this winter when cabin fever sets in!
At last! We are officially in the home stretch of our kitchen/family room/studio/dining room renovation project. Here's what has been happening recently . . .
Counter tops were installed. Although I originally wanted soapstone, John and I felt they would require too much upkeep. Our choice: engineered quartz by Caesarstone. Not only is it durable, it's stain, scratch and heat-resistant.
Next came the back splash. For the tile, I didn't want anything fussy that I might grow tired of. Our choice: handmade white subway tile. Clean, fresh and simple.
I spent a lot of time researching lighting for the kitchen. For the same reason I selected understated Shaker-style kitchen cabinets, I wanted the lights to feel like they belong in a 1925 cottage. Our choice: three pendents with classic schoolhouse globes by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Company of Portland, Oregon.
And finally this week, the kitchen, family room, studio and dining room floors are getting sanded, stained and sealed. Our choice: a rich, mid-tone brown stain to match the floors throughout the rest of the house.
Our reno project has lasted just under four months. Soon we will be unpacking the remaining boxes and moving into the new rooms. Hallelujah!
Yay! At the end of this month, the work on our new kitchen will finally come to a close. So it's time for me to ponder tableware options. You see, we sold most of our dishes at our estate sale in the fall. Now I need to decide what to buy for the new space.
While in New York City on Sunday, Hannah and I popped into Fishs Eddy, a favorite shop I've blogged about in the past. Love this store! I have a fondness for sturdy dishes like the ones found in my family's restaurant years ago. Fishs Eddy is chock full of just such items.
Great stuff! After browsing a bit, Hannah and I decided that solid white restaurant ware is the way to go for our new kitchen. So once I am able to unpack more boxes and take an inventory of what we still have, I'll be heading back to Fishs Eddy to do some serious dish shopping. Won't that be fun? Wish you could come!
It's that time of year again — time for me to list an array of yummy vintage valentines in my Etsy shop. Here are the ones I have collected over the last few months. They are mostly from the 1930s, my favorite era for valentines.
Back then, valentine greeting cards were extra sweet. My stash features hearts galore along with a traffic cop, a nurse, puppy dogs, cowboys, musicians, the seashore, sewsaws, and much more.
I know it seems early to be talking about Valentine's Day. But I want to make sure that, if purchased, these cards will arrive well before February 14. I hope to have them listed in my Etsy shop by the end of the week at this link.
Lots of progress on our new kitchen! Last week, the cabinets, fridge, dishwasher and stove were installed. Still to come: Counter tops, sinks, range hood, back-splash, floor stain, paint, light fixtures and more.
Soon, we will purchase new dishes and cookware because most of what we had was sold at our September estate sale. I can't wait to unpack my collection of aqua vintage pottery and display it in those glass-fronted upper cabinets.
John and I have never had the opportunity to design a kitchen from scratch, so seeing everything come together is exciting. So far, we are very pleased with the outcome. If all goes as planned, we will be cooking our first meal in the new space by the end of the month. Yay!
It's been a while since I've shared our renovation project with you. As you can see, we have come a long way.
Our new kitchen, family room and studio have been framed and insulated.
Then came the drywall . . .
. . . and new oak flooring to match the hardwood throughout the rest of the house.
Trim work and painting began last week. Does the paint color below look familiar? It's the same as our former house's family room and studio — Benjamin Moore's Turquoise Mist. Love that color!
Cabinets and sinks will be delivered tomorrow. We are so ready for the kitchen to be complete because for the past two months, our living room has been doing triple duty.
Not only is it where I work, it's where we watch TV and cook, too. Very cozy, and kind of strange having a refrigerator and hot plate in the living room. Dishwashing takes place in a small powder room sink at the other end of the house.
I'm so looking forward to setting up and working in my new studio, below. I have several projects on hold because most everything I need is still packed up in boxes in our garage and basement.
One of the things patiently awaiting studio completion is my new table. This 1950s relic with a nifty chrome apron and legs will eventually be a work/sewing surface.
Pretty adorable — don't you think?
As 2013 comes to a close, my sincere gratitude goes out to my T-Cozy readers, especially those who take the time to leave such lovely comments. Your words are most appreciated and it's so nice to know you're out there and that you continue to enjoy my blog after all these years. For those of you who have been too shy to say hello, please don't be. I'd love to hear from you in 2014.
May the coming year be filled with peace, good health, and much happiness!
While riding a commuter train between Manhattan and Connecticut on December 28, 1984, I met John, the love of my life. But it wasn't easy; it took us two long months of riding the same train before we finally spoke to one another.
When we finally met, little did I know I'd marry this sweet man who possesses the kindest heart. John is the type of person you can always count on to be there for you and I feel blessed to have this wonderful person to share my life with. I’m so grateful that we both decided to take the 5:17 train out of Grand Central Terminal on that cold December evening back in 1984.
Happy 29th Meeting Anniversary, John!
While visiting our son in London late last month, we figured — why not take the train over to Paris? Jacob had already gone to France, and since he had classes that he couldn't miss, it gave John, Hannah and I something to do for a couple of days.
Without a lot of time, we chose to visit Paris's major tourist attractions. First stop: The Eiffel Tower. Having only seen it in pictures, I found it even more lovely in person.
We decided to forgo the line for the elevator and take the stairs . . . all 704 of them! Once we reached the top, we were treated to spectacular views of the city and beyond.
I was very impressed with The Paris Metro — quick, clean, and easy!
The Arc de Triomphe is a symbol of the French nation. It links old and new Paris.
Of course, a visit to Musée du Louvre would not be complete without viewing dear old Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci's famous portrait from the 1500s is smaller than I expected, measuring just 30 inches high.
That's Paris in a nutshell. I loved every minute of it!
These adorable relics came home with me from the British Isle. Aren't they sweet?
Acting as our tour guide, Jacob took us to London's South End where we came upon Old Spitalfields Market. Luckily, we were there on a Thursday, the day the market offers an array of collectible vintage and antique gems.
As much as I would have liked to, I couldn't go on a buying spree. With all of the traveling we planned to do, we packed very light with almost no room in our suitcases for anything else.
I used restraint and only purchased this cute tin which I'll use for storage in my new studio. I really enjoyed chatting with the nice dealer who sold it to me. Look at all that wonderful kitchenware!
Edinbourough also proved to be a mecca for little vintage shops and bookstores. I found the treasures below in a tiny store in Old Town.
I so love the old children's book and stitchery picture I found.
The pretty label on the back of the embroidery shows that it was framed by Aitken Dott & Son, an old Scottish framing company established in 1842.
At the same shop, I discovered an antique picture album. But instead of photographs, it contains a wonderful collection of vintage Christmas cards.
If I am able to part with them, these Scotland finds will make an appearance in my Etsy shop soon.
Have a nice weekend!
Yesterday was the first snow of the winter season here in our corner of Connecticut. Although only a couple of inches fell, it was my favorite sort of snow — the kind with big, juicy flakes that stick to everything. As I sat at my desk gazing out the window, I realized that I'd never seen our new house in the snow. So I put on my warmest boots and headed out to take a pic.
In the snow, our cottage was even sweeter than I expected. Classic Currier & Ives!
The reno project is progressing nicely here, but going a bit slower than I hoped due to waiting on building inspections to happen and kitchen cabinets to arrive. So our living room is doing triple duty, acting as our comfy TV-watching space, my studio, and even our kitchen. The most bothersome aspect of this arrangement is when we have to trek across to the other side of the house to wash dishes in a small powder room sink. It is sure to be even cozier when Jacob arrives home from London this weekend. Hopefully in another month or so, our new kitchen, family room and studio will be complete. I can't wait to finally unpack everything, spread out, and have space to entertain family and friends.
No more snow for today, but it is supposed to be quite chilly. I just may light a fire in the living room's large stone fireplace right across from my desk. Later, I plan to sort through my photos from our recent trip to Europe. I promise to share some favorites with you next time.
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours was extra special this year. I mentioned in my last post that we'd be traveling a bit over the holiday. And travel we did! Our son Jacob has been studying in London all semester, so John, Hannah, and I journeyed to the UK to visit him. Along with England, we spent a couple of days in Paris and a few more in lovely Edinburgh, Scotland. I can't wait to share more about the trip, but it will have to wait until time permits, as this week has been spent catching up and working on a new spot where I'll be selling my vintage wares.
Many years ago, I rented a booth at the popular Stratford Antique Center. Although I did quite well there, I chose to give it up during the time I had my tea room and shop. I was just too busy back then to do them both. For over a year, I have wanted a spot at this center. But the waiting list was long and vacancies few. I was thrilled to get a call from them just before my trip telling me that they had room for me at last. Yay! Now that I am no longer at SoNo Marketplace, the timing was perfect.
I have spent the last few days since my return from Europe painting and setting up my booth. It is still very much a work in progress, so I'll be sure to show you more as it develops. And look out for more posts about our journey. It was filled with inspiration and I can't wait to share it with you.
More progress has been made on our new home! The barn red paint is finally gone, the front door is a pretty shade of aqua, the shutters went from basic black to a tranquil warm gray, and the overgrown shrubbery has been transplanted to another area of our garden. Doesn't it look better? (To view the old color scheme, click HERE.)
Soon, new garage doors and gutters will be installed. Then we will take a break on the exterior until the spring when we'll add foundation plantings and redo the driveway. I also plan to place terracotta window boxes in the three front stone window wells. How sweet will that be?
In the meantime, we have plenty to keep us busy inside. In the kitchen area, old windows are coming out; new ones in new locations are going in.
The window, below, will eventually be over our sink. I look forward to having a view of our backyard while doing the dishes. The kitchen in our former house didn't have a single window!
My studio has a new skylight. Soon more windows will be installed on the outside walls.
Having been a rental for over a decade, our cute cottage was thoroughly neglected. I am truly enjoying bringing it back to life. As you can see, we are far from being able to cook Thanksgiving dinner here, so we will be traveling a bit over the next week. However, in a couple of months, we look forward to having a house warming party and hosting many gatherings of family and friends.
Wishing you a warm, wonderful, and family-filled holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!
It's getting to be that time of year once again! So here is what I have been up to — working on new Etsy listings brimming with vintage holiday appeal.
As you probably know, I cater to the holiday shopper who prefers vintage items over new ones. Would that be you?
Lots of progress on our kitchen/family room/studio renovation project! Over the past two weeks, those rooms have been entirely gutted. Have a look . . .
Now the space is down to the studs. A few more studs have to come down, pipes need to be re-routed, and electrical wires moved. Then the demo will be complete.
Below is where my new studio will be. It was once a small office, full bathroom and laundry room. Fortunately, we were able to vault a portion of the ceiling in that room as well as in the kitchen. These areas will be light-filled once skylights are installed.
In order for us to live in our new home during this construction project, we have a temporary kitchen set up in the dining room. The living room is now multi-purpose, housing our comfy family room sectional, TV, dining table, studio storage and my desk. Although it is a bit cozy, we don't mind. If all goes well, by the new year, we'll have a lovely new kitchen, family room and studio. So exciting!
It is amazing what a new roof, removing overgrown shrubs, and a thorough power washing can do. The exterior of our new little cottage is now all clean and ready for paint. Yay!
Here are my color choices: the trim will remain white; the red siding will be painted a neutral beige to blend with the stone; the black shutters will be gray; the white gutters will be replaced with bronze aluminum ones; and the front door will be a lovely shade of aqua called "Antique Glass."
Inside, the foyer, living room and three bedrooms have freshly painted walls and gleaming refinished floors. Have a look . . .
After a month, we can finally unpack and get comfortable. (And I can begin to decorate. For me, there is nothing more fun than that!) However, while we enjoy these nice, clean rooms, our kitchen, family room and studio are undergoing their major renovation. What a mess!
It's been crazy here this week, and certainly very loud. But I can deal with it because once it's done, I know it will be fabulous. I'll share more of the demo with you soon. In the meantime . . . Happy Halloween!
By week's end, the foyer, living room, bedrooms and baths in our new home will be freshly painted. We've been living out of boxes for the past three weeks and it will be nice to unpack and settle in a bit. Then work will begin on our kitchen, family room and studio renovations. In the meantime, I'll be setting up a temporary studio in a corner of the living room where the first order of business will be listing the items shown below in my Etsy shop.
Time to move along my nasturtium motif kitchenware and Japan pottery collection. Remember these vintage goodies? They resided in the glass-paneled pie safe in my former kitchen.
I also plan to list the pennant banners I made from vintage floral textiles. Love them! I think I may need to keep one for my new studio.
But before I list anything, I have to resolve a couple of issues. Since I no longer have my former studio's aqua walls and checkerboard floor to shoot against, I have to figure out where to photograph these items. But even more pressing — I need to find the box where I packed them! :)
Say goodbye to my SoNo MarketPlace booth! At the end of October, I am closing my brick and mortar space. But before I go, everything will be 25% off. You can save on an array of picnic tins from my personal collection, along with books, art pottery, dishes, vintage tablecloths, prints, small furniture pieces, and even the lovely oak Hoosier cabinet that has been the centerpiece of my stall for the last ten months.
Back when I opened my booth last December, my plan was to stay a couple of months. But as I got to know the other vendors, I chose to stay on. We have formed friendships and a wonderful community that I will dearly miss. However, with our recent move, things are extra busy and I need to reclaim my weekends. Of course I'll continue to have my sweet little Etsy shop! And I may be back to the market, and other local venues, as a pop-up shop in the future.
For those of you who are in the area, my "25% Off Everything Sale" runs this Friday & Saturday from 10am to 8pm and on Sunday from 10am to 6pm. SoNo Marketplace is located at 314 Wilson Avenue, South Norwalk, CT.
Hope to see you then!
What a week! We've been in our new house for eleven days and a whole host of projects are already underway. Now we have a brand new roof and several rooms with their original oak floors freshly sanded, sealed, and brought back to life.
Soon interior and exterior painting will begin and I'm grateful that Hannah is coming out from NYC this weekend to assist me in selecting paint colors. I can't wait to show her the plans for our new kitchen!
For the last few days, highly skilled lumberjacks have been chopping down three giant oak trees which loomed close to our house. Although I hate to cut down century-old trees, these had rot making them a safety hazard.
A cacophony of hammering, chain saws, floor sanders, and tree branches crashing to the ground have serenaded me all week. On top of all of that, my hard drive crashed. The Apple Store came to my rescue and had me up and running again in a couple of hours. Aren't they the best? But I had a bit more bad luck this week when someone rear ended my car. Fortunately, no one was hurt — just my little Prius, to the tune of $8,000!
Needless to say, I am looking forward to a quiet and peaceful weekend. I hope you enjoy yours, too.
Yay! We have officially moved! Here is a peek at our new home, a stone and shingle Cape Cod cottage built in 1925.
Smaller than our old house, this charmer has good bones and is chock full of potential. Plus, I'm thrilled that it has retained a few vintage features — two stone fireplaces, glass doorknobs, nice woodwork, crown molding, mechanical twist doorbells, and a cool old light above the front door.
Although we've only been here a couple of days, we can already tell that this Norwalk home, on a spacious and peaceful wooded lot, is going to be a wonderful place to live. However, it desperately needs some TLC, so we aren't wasting any time and will begin renovations pronto.
Starting tomorrow, we'll be getting a new roof. Come Monday, we'll be doing tree work, clearing brush, trimming shrubs, and refinishing floors. Then we'll be ready to paint several rooms and the exterior. By the way, we are doing away with the red on the siding and opting for a warm taupe to blend with the stone. Better, don't you think? Not sure what color to go with for the front door and shutters. Maybe a light aqua?
By mid-month, we embark on a construction project where walls will come down to combine the family room and kitchen, creating a large and lovely space for John to cook and for family and friends to hang out. And let's not forget my studio! A small space off of the family room will be mine, all mine. :-)
Our estate sale was a huge success! Tons of stuff went out the door and off to happy new homes. We are now doing the last bit of packing, sorting through a few remaining boxes, and deciding what to keep and what to trash. While doing so, I found these...
This black and white photograph was taken around 1988 for a newspaper article that was published about my graphic design business. I'm sitting in the studio of my first house — a tiny cottage I purchased as a single gal in the mid-80s. How do you like the short hair?
I also unearthed the bracelet that was placed on my wrist as a newborn in the late 1950s. Back then, babies wore these low-tech sweet things stating our last name and gender. Hey — shouldn't the beads have been pink?
FYI: the date of our closing has been postponed a bit, so we don't know exactly when we'll be holding the keys to our new home. As soon as we have them in hand, I promise to share it with you.
At our moving/estate sale this weekend, we are selling hundreds of items chock full of vintage goodness — kitchenware, dressers, picnic tins, chenille, art pottery vases, flower pots, chairs, tables, hall tree, mixing bowls, oak furniture, baskets, rugs, beds, pine furniture, watering cans, books, framed prints, lace, other textiles, pillows, and luggage — to name a few. Plus, you'll find some terrific gardening books, home decor books, Cd's, teak outdoor furniture... and so much more!
15 Meridian Rd, Rowayton, CT. Friday September 13 and Saturday, September 14, 10am to 4pm both days.
Hope you can stop by!
As you may know, we put our house on the market at the end of April. With Hannah living in NYC and Jacob half way through college, John and I felt that it's the right time for us to downsize and simplify our lives. Over the past four months, we were pleased that our home received a nice amount of interest, showings, and best of all, offers. Big news... We'll be moving in less than a month. Yay!
For over two decades, our house has taken very good care of us. It was a wonderful home in which to raise our family, situated in a quiet, private neighborhood of Rowayton, Connecticut. And although we will all dearly miss living here, we look forward to a change of scenery.
For a while now, I have longed for a snug and cozy cottage. We have made an offer on a house two miles away that is just that. It has great potential and very well may be the cottage of my dreams. So if things work out as planned, we will be moving there in a mere three weeks.
Now we begin the arduous task of packing up 23 years of stuff. To make things a bit easier, we've hired a company to run an estate/moving sale where we'll be selling unneeded furniture and even some of my collections. Lots to do — so you may not hear from me as much in the coming days. However, once we move, you can be sure I'll share our new home, sweet home with you.
This morning, I noticed the children in my neighborhood waiting for the school bus. Didn't summer go by fast?
My recent quest for more old typewriters was successful. I found two. This Olympia model is massive and weighs a ton. Doesn't it look like it belongs in Mad Men? I watch that show simply because it is so chock full of wonderful mid-century items.
I love this small, portable Royal typewriter. I tested it to make sure it worked and was pleasantly surprised. It types in italic! Very unusual.
As summer comes to a close, I hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend.
Happy Labor Day!
Remember these? They are the 59 vintage lunch boxes I was asked to procure for a hotel in Portland. It took me two months this past winter to complete the task. Then in early April, I shipped them clear across the country to Oregon.
At last! I can finally show you what all of them are for. They're part of lamp base assemblages consisting of a lunch box, a vintage book and a porcelain owl. Yesterday, I received this photo of one of them from the project manager.
Isn't it charming? I love how they combined vintage and modern elements.
So if you ever find yourself in Oregon (I hope to visit there myself someday), look for my lunch boxes gracing dozens of lamps in guest rooms at Portland's Governor Hotel.
On Tuesday, I spent the afternoon assembling the Marx Modern Toy Kitchen that I discovered last weekend at the Wellfleet Flea Market on Cape Cod. What a find — a 1950 unused toy still in its original box! However, I took a leap of faith when buying it. You see, the seller was almost certain that it was a complete set, but he never looked through the carton to know for sure.
I began by removing everything from the box and doing a quick inventory. The only real issue was that I was missing a chunk of the instruction sheet. So I had to wing it when putting the set together.
Little by little, I figured it out. Before long, all that was left to do was add the finishing touches — door handles, knobs, faucet, utensil rack, sink basin, dishwasher tub, pots, pans, dishes, ice cube trays, tea kettle, canisters, and flatware. There was even a red plastic turkey and a t-bone steak that I popped in the oven.
Yay! I was thrilled to see that the set was complete and had no missing pieces. With just a bit of rust from being stored in a basement for 63 years, this toy is in remarkable condition for its age. Isn't it adorable?
John and I got back last night from two glorious days on Cape Cod. Ours good friends Steve and Sue Ellen graciously invited us up to their beautiful home in Eastham. What a picture perfect weekend!
The weather was sublime, and so were the sunsets.
We took a stroll along the saltwater flats where, at low tide, the sand is rippled and the beach stretches on forever. John was a sweetie to carry me across a deeper patch so that my jeans wouldn't get wet. My hero!
On another beach, we came across two talented "plein air" painters and their model.
And of course, a trip to the Cape has to include a stop at the Wellfleet Flea Market located on the parking lot of the drive-in movie theater.
While there, I found this 1950s Marx toy kitchen set. Complete in the box, it appears to have never been used and has all of the little appliances, dishes, pans, flatware, and more. I'm going to explore my inner child this week and put the set together. Fun!
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap...
There is nothing like the sound of an old manual typewriter. Satisfyingly tactile — from rolling in real paper, to the feel of the smooth keys that provide a workout for the fingers — these relics are both fun to use and to keep on display. To me, they are works of vintage machine art. Here are a three beauties that sold in my shops.
The last one I had in my SoNo Marketplace booth (a 1920s Royal, shown above middle left) was a magnet for children. Most of them had never seen a typewriter before so they'd ask their parents questions like, "Where is the screen?" and "How do you change the font?" I enjoyed listening to their parents patiently explain how typewriters work and that they used similar ones when they were in school.
Last Sunday in the New York Times, there was a terrific piece written by Tom Hanks. Apparently, he is quite the fan of vintage typewriters! He has several that he uses on a daily basis to write snail-mail letters, thank-you notes, office memos, to-do lists, and more. He even uses one to keep score at a baseball game! You can read his fabulous article titled "I am TOM. I like to TYPE. Hear That?" at this link.
I love it when I acquire a vintage item for my shop that has an interesting back story. The newest item at T-Party Antiques happens to have a wonderful one.
Barbara, one of my customers, is shown above on Christmas morning in 1952. At the tender age of ten, she still very much believed in Santa Claus. Barb is proudly grinning for the camera because he granted her request for a new bicycle. Having kept this Christmas gift for 61 years, she has decided it's time to sell her beloved childhood bike — a girl's Rollfast model, complete with fenders and a pretty blue and white frame.
Barbara's bicycle is now for sale in my SoNo Marketplace booth. Loaded with vintage appeal, I added a small basket and fresh flowers to make it over-the-top charming.
That is one sweet ride!
July 26, 27 and 28, SoNo Marketplace is hosting an Indoor Sidewalk Sale that is sure to be a shopper’s paradise. In my sweet little booth, I am offering 20% off of all items over $20.
At the Market, you'll find an nice array of gifts, accessories, art, housewares, clothing, jewelry, food items, and of course —vintage home decor. Hours are Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm; Sunday from 10am to 6pm. SoNo Marketplace is located at 314 Wilson Avenue in South Norwalk, CT. Do stop by!
I know I've said this before, but I need to say it one more time. I love having a "brick and mortar" again!
Don't get me wrong — I have thoroughly enjoyed selling on Etsy over the past five years, and I will continue to do so. However, I missed being able to interact with my customers face to face. My 8-month-old booth at SoNo Marketplace allows me to do just that. Plus, many of my favorite former tea room patrons come by to chat. Yay!
In my booth, I enjoy displaying and merchandising my vintage finds. And SoNo Marketplace has helped me tap into my creativity in other ways.
I do all of the writing and photography for EatShopLearn, a blog I designed for them. I also shoot pictures and write posts for their Facebook, where we share all that is new, fun and delicious at the Market. Have a peek at the FB page here. If you enjoy what you see, please let me know by "Liking" SoNo Marketplace. Thanks!
Several of us at the Market are participating in an indoor sidewalk sale this weekend. Stop by my booth and receive 20% off everything over $20.
Hope to see you!
I'd like to introduce you to someone. His name is Spike and he's been a member of our family for a very long time. Isn't he a cutie?
Rewind 16 years . . . When Jacob was four years old, he headed off to his friend Jack's birthday party. When I picked him up at the end of the day, I was surprised to find a very unusual item in Jacob's party favor bag — a baby frog! Yes, Jack's mom thought it would be fun to give all of the party guests pet frogs in small jars of water to take home. Crazy, right? Though Jacob was happy, John and I weren't thrilled to have an instant pet. We didn't even have a proper tank to put it in, let alone frog food. So I quickly did research online and learned that this sudden addition to our family was an aquatic African clawed frog. With that knowledge in hand, we headed out to the pet store to get the appropriate supplies. Once we got our new baby frog set up in his new home on the kitchen counter, Jacob promptly named him Spike.
Fast forward 16 years . . . Spike is still going strong. Plus, out of all of the partygoers' frogs, he is the only one that is still alive. Why has Spike lived so long? We're not really sure. Perhaps it's because we've always used spring water in his tank. Or maybe it's because we have a cover on the tank so he can't jump out and go exploring. But I believe it is due to the fact that for all these years, Spike's tank has been front and center on our kitchen counter, right in the thick of things. He gets to see us come and go. And I think he likes watching John cook dinner every evening. :)
The most frequent question visitors to my SoNo Marketplace booth ask is, "Where do you find all of the great things you sell?" I typically respond, "Here, there, and everywhere." I have my favorite thrift stores that rarely disappoint. And as you know, I frequent estate sales — but I'll only go to ones that aren't too fancy. If I'm lucky, they'll be chock full of vintage goodness, like the one last Sunday.
Sometimes with little or no effort, items find their way to me. Nice folks have brought wonderful things right into my shop. Other times, I'll hear from a friend or neighbor who has something they'd like to pass along. The latter is how I acquired the set of charming embroidered towels below.
Yesterday, my neighbor Lynn asked me to stop by her house to look through the vast assortment of linens she inherited. Most were white lace or formal damask textiles — not really what I dabble in or my expertise. But I did my best to help her decide what was worth keeping, what to donate, and what to sell.
Then I spied this set of darling tea towels. Embroidered on cotton sugar sacks by her late mother-in-law, these whimsical relics are beautifully stitched and ridiculously cute. There is a full week's worth: seven towels with a very busy elephant on each.
Aren't they adorable? Lynn was happy to pass these gems along to someone who'd appreciate them. And I was thrilled to take them off her hands.
Thank you Lynn!
Yesterday, I went to an unusual estate sale held at a collector's house in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I arrived to find the entire length of the driveway loaded with boxes straight from the attic and basement. The company running the sale didn't even bother to unpack anything. So in 95-degree heat, I rooted through mounds of vintage goodness. It was so hot that before long, I was drenched in sweat. But it was worth it, as I discovered the profusion of pottery, shown below. Talk about one-stop shopping!
Charming, nostalgic, kitschy — I love these estate sale finds. Throughout the rest of the month, I'll be working on listing these relics in my Etsy shop. I'm sure some of them will find their way into my SoNo Marketplace booth, too.
It's time once again for our annual July 4th potluck party. Like so many of you across this great country, we'll be gathering with good friends for a backyard picnic. Then we will head down to the beach and watch the fireworks display.
How are you celebrating today? Whatever your plans may be, I do hope you have a fun filled Independence Day.
Happy Birthday America!
As promised, here is the final post about what's new in my online and brick and mortar shops. See anything you like?
I'm always thrilled when I find original Meyercord decals. Back in the 1940s and 50s, ladies had hundreds of decal designs to choose from, in loads of styles, colors and sizes. They used them on kitchen cabinets, glassware, canisters, bread boxes, bathroom walls, dinette sets, nursery furniture---you name it.
In two short minutes, these decals, offered for sale in my Etsy shop, can still add vintage appeal to a whole host of household items.
One final item, straight from my personal collection — a fabulous child-size doll cabinet. Isn't it a beauty? Oh, how I love miniature furniture!
For your viewing pleasure, here is a peek at more of my latest finds . . .
I figure, with the sweltering temperatures we are having this week, I'll have very few distractions. So getting down to business in my air-conditioned studio is where I'll be for the next few days. Wish you could stop by for a glass of iced tea!
Stay cool — and stay tuned for even more vintage goodness in "Part Three" next time.
Now that I'm back from vacation, I have decided it's about time I got down to business. So I've spent the last week photographing my latest finds. Some of these relics came from the lovely Martha's Vineyard; others from a favorite antique mall in Massachusetts that I like to stop at on our way home. And last week, I went to an estate sale at a house stuffed to the gills with things from the 1930s and 1940s — definitely hoarder status!
The kitschiest item I found is the clown pin cushion, above. Pull out his red nose to reveal a tape measure. So wacky.
See anything here that catches your eye? If so, feel free to leave a comment on this post or email me at email@example.com. If you want to purchase something, I will gladly get back to you with more information and the item's price. And best of all, you just might save me the effort of doing the listing or schlepping the item to SoNo. Don't forget to check out my next two posts for more vintage goodies.
Happy summer to you!
I had a most enjoyable — and unusual — experience last weekend. For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, John gave me two tickets to Bargemusic, New York City's floating concert hall.
This concert venue is a 100-foot-long renovated steel barge that has been turned into an intimate wood-paneled room. Excellent acoustics, lovely views of lower Manhattan, and the gentle sway of the East River made this chamber music concert quite memorable.
The 1899 barge, now moored at the foot of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, once carried sacks of coffee for the Erie Lackawanna railroad. Today, its cargo is beautiful music.
Now matter how many times we visit Martha's Vineyard, we always find new things to do, like our hike last week through Menemsha Hill Reservation.
Known as the jewel of Martha's Vineyard, Menemsha Hills Reservation is home to Prospect Hill, the second highest peak on the island.
Trails loop around low lying wetlands, home to red maple, cinquefoil, beech and black cherry trees, before giving way to brushy bushes and grasses.
The longest trail guided us to a remote beach.
Here cool breezes blow from Vineyard Sound and a path leads down to the rocky beach below with commanding views of Menemsha Village and the Elizabeth Islands.
On a picture perfect June morning, we truly enjoyed our 3-mile hike.
And even though John and I have gone to the island together almost every year for the past 28 years, we never grow tired of it.
Cozy, quaint, cute. What more can I say about the cottages of the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association? Except that I adore them! Every year, I look forward to taking a stroll with my family through this historic community.
Embellished with gingerbread trim and painted in every color of the rainbow, there are over 300 of these charming homes in Oak Bluffs. Aren't they the sweetest?
For your viewing pleasure... a few quick pics from our new rental house on MV.
We thought we'd try something a little different this year and head to the Vineyard in early summer. We've discovered that it's a great time to be here — no crowds, lots of parking, easy to get movie tickets and dinner reservations, and glorious weather. :)
Gosh, how we love it here.