It has been snowy and gray here for far too long. However, I am happy to report that today, we have blue skies and sunshine. Yay!
This morning, I loved how the sun was streaming in through my kitchen window. So I thought — why not share my latest pottery find with you. Isn't this old pitcher wonderful?
With lots of windows and two skylights, I like how bright our new kitchen is. It's rare that I have to switch on any lights during the day. And when the sun is out, the room absolutely glows.
Having lots of white surfaces helps, too. And all of my green and blue vintage pottery adds pops of pretty color.
I always longed for a kitchen with glass door cabinets. Now my pottery collection has a happy place to live.
As you can see, I'm not afraid to mix many different shades of blue and green together. No need for everything to match.
I also like to combine vintage pottery with Jadeite glassware and even a few new pieces. Aren't the colors yummy?
I think my new cottage kitchen is pretty yummy, too. And don't forget all of the yummy meals that John has been creating in it for family and friends. Yummy, all around!
Whenever the temperature drops, I feel the urge to hunker down in my studio and do a little crafty project.
I realized that it had been ages since I made any button bouquets. So on Wednesday, I brewed a big mug of green tea, cranked up Pandora, and combed through my jars of colorful vintage buttons.
I gathered all of the necessary materials on my work table. And before long, I had made a couple of little bouquets. Aren't they sweet? They've just made their Etsy debut, here.
We're supposed to get a fair bit of snow tomorrow. More crafty projects? We'll see . . .
Have a good weekend!
Here in my little corner of Connecticut, it looks like the cold weather has quietly settled in. No matter! I'm keeping busy in my warm and cozy studio happily working on a few crafty projects as well as these new listings for my Etsy shop.
These vintage goodies warm my heart and are just a few of the items I'll be sharing during the long, chilly winter ahead. More to come soon!
Cute, useful, endearing, and chock full of sweetness — just a few ways to describe vintage child-size furniture. Admittedly, I am quite taken with doll dressers, hutches and cabinets. And since I like to share, I search far and wide so that you'll always find a few offered for sale in my Etsy shop.
Each more charming than the next, the miniature relics shown above are past, present and future Etsy offerings. (The top left and bottom right will be listed later today).
I love how these endearing relics do double double. They are a fun way to keep small desk supplies or jewelry stashed away and organized. They also are a perfect surface in which to display a diminutive collection.
I like to collect a wide range things, both large and small. However, sometimes my tiny collected treasures look lost when arranged alongside bigger items. When I place a scaled-down dresser, hutch or cabinet on a full-size dresser, hutch or cabinet, like magic, my small collectibles look happy and right at home. :)
Presenting my newest creation . . . I really love how this one turned out!
Starting with a Cram's Imperial world globe with pastel land masses, I carefully cut out images from a favorite 1940s primer. I then decoupaged the paper ephemera so it encircles the vintage globe in an interesting fashion.
The "We Are Neighbors" theme is conveyed through the oh-so-charming illustrations of friendly children, houses, picket fences and all the activity that goes on in a neighborhood.
My latest artfully up-cycled world globe has just been listed in my Etsy shop. I bet once it finds a new home, it's sure to be a conversation piece.
Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I did, one of which I'll share with you today . . . T-Party Antiques is now on Instagram! And although I may have arrived a little late to the Instagram party, it is something I have wanted to do for some time. Thankfully, my darling daughter is a social media whiz. With her prodding, I finally have a T-Party Instagram feed. This free online photo sharing and social network platform is a fun, quick and easy way to view and share visually inspiring images. You might be asking: Isn't that what Pinterest provides? In a way. However, Instagram has a format that organizes photographs and videos in sequential order, so it functions like a mini-blog of sorts, allowing you to experience moments in your friends' lives through pictures as they happen. You can "favorite" and comment on the photos, too.
Yesterday's Instagram photo shows me in the midst of an altered art globe project. The one I had listed in my Etsy shop sold, so I have my work cut out for me, so to speak. ;)
Although my Instagram is only one week old, I plan to post frequently and load it up with lots of eye candy brimming with vintage appeal. I hope you will consider following me, at this link. Thanks a bunch!
Have you noticed that framed quotes are trendy these days? When just the right message is beautifully designed, they can become an inspiring home decor element which might encourage us to stay on track to reach a goal, remind us of our good fortune, help us to keep things in perspective, or simply make us smile.
Here are a few of my favorites, found while perusing Etsy this week. Enjoy!
Find this quote HERE from Etsy seller handz.
Find this quote HERE from Etsy seller IttyBittyBookCo.
Find this quote HERE from Etsy seller shopnevermore.
Find this quote HERE from Etsy seller HappyLetterShop.
Find this quote HERE from Etsy seller chloevaux.
Please take a moment to explore these lovely Etsy shops where you'll find even more wonderful words of wisdom.
Think I'll have some tea!
Here's a little mid-week eye candy for your viewing pleasure — pics of my studio's teapot embellished and oh-so-photogenic vintage work table . . .
Isn't it the cutest?
I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. With both of our kids home, John and I enjoyed the long weekend tremendously.
Happy Hump Day!
The holiday shopping season is upon us and it's sure to be crazy out there this weekend. I much prefer to avoid the crowds and shop online while relaxing in my favorite armchair with a cup of tea by my side. If you're like me, then be sure to peruse my Etsy shop on Friday for the start of a 20% off sale. There, you'll find a little bit of vintage everything.
Retro Christmas items are always nostalgic and fun. They are selling really fast this year.
A vintage personal-sized teapot with a matching handmade tea cozy is a thoughtful gift for the tea lover.
Vintage fun! I always stock an array of old toys in my Etsy shop, with even more coming soon.
Rustic relics like these make great gifts for guys.
Vintage aprons are both sweet and practical presents.
Kitschy canine collectibles are popular gifts for pet people.
Small vintage items make great stocking stuffers. In my shop, you'll find little mending kits, swatch portraits, a tiny children's book, miniature paintings, curtain tie-back holders, a Shawnee Pottery mini vase, metal tip trays and more.
My Etsy shop 20% off sale will run for five days. It begins on Black Friday, November 28 and goes through Tuesday, December 2. In order to receive the discount, you must use the coupon code SAVE20 at checkout.
I'll be listing additional items chock full of vintage appeal throughout December. So please stop back again!
John and I spent last weekend with friends on Cape Cod. While perusing a local antique shop, I came across a fun find — an American Airlines postcard from the 1950s.
Depicting the main cabin of a DC-7 Mercury, this 365 mph passenger plane provided non-stop service between Los Angeles and New York. Back then, air travel was a special event and folks wore their very best clothes for the occasion.
A quick Google search unearthed an image of the DC-7 as well as an AA promotional film about their cross-country service, below.
Warning: it's rather lengthy, and this is only Part 1. Part 2 and Part 3 can be viewed here and here. In its entirely, the promo is 30 minutes long — a bit of a snooze-fest, unless you're an aviation buff.
Google also dredged up an advertisement about this flagship service. Coast to coast in under eight hours, and that was three hours less than existing flight times. My, we sure have come a long way! Something to think about as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, undoubtedly the busiest travel time of the year.
I recently found two old globes that are ripe for repurposing. Both are in rough shape and no longer geographically accurate, making them perfect for some crafty projects.
A vintage primer, titled We Are Neighbors, provided the images for my upcycled globe on the left. It features charming illustrations of friendly children at play in an active neighborhood. This fall, I think I'll use these images, once again, to transform my newest finds into earthly art.
I enjoy getting crafty every once in a while. How about you?
I've never been afraid of a little dirt, which is a good thing because you wouldn't believe some of the estate sales I attend. Many take place in neglected houses that are grime-encrusted from attic to cellar. But to find the good stuff, you have to be fearless.
I often purchase things which haven't been cleaned for decades that most estate sale goers pass by. My latest find is a case in point: this darling doll dresser, the kind of endearing item that usually sells within the first few minutes of a sale.
I guess its schmutz must have turned people off. (Or perhaps it was just waiting for me.)
Caked with dirt, this charming relic was in desperate need of a new home — and a good cleaning. A little elbow grease really brought it back to life.
I even lined its two small drawers with pretty vintage paper making it all ready for its Etsy debut.
This little dresser looks so happy now. If it could, it would be smiling.
I have a favorite new decorating book! Written by best-selling author Mary Randolph Carter, it’s titled Never Stop to Think... Do I Have a Place for This?
I have long admired Carter's approach to decorating. She embraces living stylishly while surrounding herself with massive collections of treasured things. Way to go!
Here’s what publisher Rizzoli has to say about the book:
Mary Randolph Carter's newest book indulges our desire to surround ourselves with belongings that impart beauty and meaning to our lives. Whether you are passionate about flea market thrifting, have a collection of pedigreed antiques, or simply find inspiration among the castoffs in your attic, this book is a tribute to making artful interiors with your acquisitions.
With her trademark style and love of heirlooms and beautiful old objects, Carter delves into the interiors of real-life tastemakers (antique dealers, fashion designers, artists, and boutique owners) to explore how our homes are the perfect canvas for our self-expression. In these pages, Carter curates a variety of unique interiors, from a couple who restores and displays antique textiles and china to an anglophile with an incredible library of vintage books to an artist who lives with the old photos and maps he uses in his work to an antique dealer known for having multiples of everything. Carter muses delightfully on the universal desire to acquire while imparting her philosophy and tips for living creatively and integrating our passions stylishly into our decor. Chock-full of ideas and inspiration, this book exalts in the beauty of bounty and is sure to delight Carter's legions of fans.
If you are an incurable collector like me, not only will you find this book inspiring, you will find yourself in very good company. And when that next vintage flea market find shouts, Take me home!, you just may no longer stop to think... Do I have a place for this?
You may have noticed that I am a fan of using vintage objects in new, creative ways. Always on the lookout for inspiration, I love to meander through Etsy shops and stumble upon talented sellers who dazzle me with their upcycled products. Here are a few of my latest discoveries.
Rodger Thomas of Atlanta is a masterful re-purposer who stocks his shop, Benclif Designs, with innovative lighting. Two of my favorites: a percolator lamp (complete with floating coffee cup) and his electric fan table lamp.
Indianian Peggy's shop, Salvage Relics, is chock full of vintage goodness. I particularly like her re-purposed set of faucet handle photo holders, shown above.
Manfred Maiers of Minneapolis offers unique, eco-friendly accent pieces, many of which use vintage cameras. These two, and many others, can be found in his shop called Light and Time Art.
Love this magnetic Air Race Globe, brought to you by Sandy of Michigan's Vintage Homegoods shop.
Ingenious dollhouses, large and small, are crafted from recycled containers (suitcases, match boxes, cigar boxes) by Australian Marisa David. These little works of art can be found in her Suitcase Dollhouse shop.
Last but certainly not least — the whimsical and weird "Air Plant Boy." Brooklyn's Ursula loves to give new life to unexpected beauties. This kinda creepy creation, and many more curiosities, can be viewed in her quirky shop called EarthSeaWarrior.
It has been a while since I've blogged about my new studio. Hard to believe that I've been in the space for seven months already! As time marches on, I continue to tweak my lovely new workroom, making small changes and improvements that keep me happy and organized.
I love to spend time in this special room where I am surrounded by cheerful things brimming with vintage appeal. These whimsical relics never fail to inspire and make me smile.
Do you have a smile-provoking place in your house that is all yours? If so, I'd love to hear about it. If not, see if you can find one. You'll be glad you did!
What a magical night! I will be forever grateful to my sweet son Jacob for letting me tag along on his spur of the moment getaway to Martha's Vineyard.
BTW: the morning after this glorious event, I rode my bike to a gym in town for a work out. Afterward, I strolled through the MVCMA for one more look and to my surprise, there wasn't one lantern in sight. Everything was back to normal and I found myself thinking — Was that a dream?
Grand Illumination Night is the annual summer event that is most emblematic of the magical Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association. This historic community in Oak Bluffs, MA, has over 300 charming homes embellished with gingerbread trim and painted in every color of the rainbow. One August day each year since 1868, cottage owners retreat to dusty attics and unpack Asian lanterns and umbrellas, many as old as the homes themselves, to embellish their picture-perfect cottages even more. Come nightfall, these lanterns will be lit en masse to the oohs and ahhs of thousands of appreciative onlookers.
I spent the afternoon before Grand Illumination last week riding my bicycle around this area so that I could watch as the cottage owners prepared for their showiest night of the year. The result is the photos, below.
Aren't they wonderful? Just wait until you see them all lit up — in my next post!
Enjoy the holiday weekend,
Last week's unexpected visit to Martha's Vineyard was such a treat. Here's how I was able to go back a second time this summer to my most favorite place on the planet...
Before returning to college, my son and his girlfriend were planning a last minute trip away. MV was where they really wanted to go, but it can be very tricky finding a place to stay and getting a spot on the ferry with such short notice. Luckily, there was space at a camp site and I helped them secure a ferry ticket. (The only boat available was at 7am!) I then checked an online calendar to see what was happening during the three days they would be on the island. When I saw that they'd be there for Grand Illumination Night, I was beyond jealous. I have always wanted to witness that lovely spectacle. So, Jacob kindly invited me along! Now I just needed to find a place to stay.
I'm not one for camping, nor did I want to horn in on Jacob's trip, so I was bound and determined to find a room for two nights near the action in Oak Bluffs. Plus, to further stay out of Jacob's hair, I was going to use my bike to get around. I searched every inn and hotel to no avail. They were all booked and had long waiting lists. I was just about to give up when I came upon a listing for a room at a tiny place in O.B. named Seashell Cottage. To my delight, it was available!
In order to get to Wood's Hole and catch the 7am ferry, we began our journey by the light of the moon at 1:30am. I offered to drive and with almost no other cars on the road, we arrived at the ferry landing in record time — so early, in fact, that we were put on the 6am ferry. How lovely to watch the sun rise as we made our way to our beloved island.
By 6:45am, we docked in Vineyard Haven and headed to our favorite place for breakfast, The Art Cliff Diner. Eating there generally involves a 45-minute (or more) wait for a table but it's always worth it. This time however, we arrived just as they opened and didn't have to wait at all. (I guess 7am is the time to go. By 7:20, every table was occupied!)
After a delicious Art Cliff breakfast, we drove over to Seashell Cottage and met Carol who graciously rents out one of the bedrooms in her darling house. We also met Birdie, her adorable blue-eyed Cocker Spaniel rescue.
Seashell Cottage sits high above Lagoon Pond and is adjacent to a path that leads to a small neighborhood beach. With a white washed beadboard interior, this little cottage oozes with charm. Have a look inside.
Isn't it sweet? And best of all, it's walking and biking distance to Oak Bluffs. Bicycles are a popular and perfect mode of transportaion on Martha's Vineyard because there are miles of paved bike paths that are safe and separate from the road.
Please check back for more about last week's blissful MV trip. Next time, I'll share pics of the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association cottages as they prepare for their showiest night of the year.
A concrete birdbath seemed like a good idea when I acquired it over a decade ago. For years, it resided in our garden under a shady tree. In all that time however, I never once saw a bird bathing in it. They preferred to splash around in random puddles on our driveway after a soaking rain. Every now and then, a neighborhood cat would drink out of it, but other than that, the birdbath sat idle.
When we moved, the birdbath came along, but I was reluctant to fill it with water. So it sat in our basement until this summer when I decided to use it for something else entirely — a planter.
The birdbath is somewhat shallow, so I figured the only plants that would thrive are tiny succulents and rock garden plants. Luckily I found a few small varieties at a nearby garden center. I planted them and then used recycled glass rocks to improve drainage and cover the soil.
I placed the birdbath on a shabby vintage table in a spot that gets lots of afternoon sun on our front terrace.
This welcoming outdoor area features a couple of wrought iron chairs, my favorite broom that was handmade in Appalachia, a primitive cottage painting on the wall, and now — our birdbath-turned-planter.
Look what I found . . . a 1960s Singer sewing machine in a pretty shade of blue!
This classic machine had been very well kept, so a little oil and a quick dusting was all it needed to ready it for a small sewing project. Doesn't it looks right at home in my studio's sewing area?
As a test, I used it to sew up a couple of kitchen towels out of a vintage tablecloth with issues. When I find a less-than-perfect old textile with a pretty design like this one, I work around its flaws (holes, stains, etc.) and turn it into dinner napkins, tea towels, embroidery hoop swatch portraits and more.
I embellished these towels with two types of vintage trim. I'm happy to report that my new Singer handled sewing through bulky layers with ease, much better than my other machine that dates back to the 1980s.
My new (old) Singer is a bells-and-whistles-free, bare bones, straight-stitch only, low-tech workhorse of a machine.
Have you seen the movie Chef? In a nutshell, it's about an uber-talented chef who loses his restaurant job. In an effort to regain his cooking mojo, he restores a broken-down food truck, which also restores his confidence and family ties. Great flick.
Seems like food trucks are all the rage these days. Here's a vintage one I came across that is just my cup of tea . . .
Isn't it divine? I want it! Wish I could peek inside. I wonder what was on their menu.
Anyway, hope you have a wonderful weekend,
Over the past two weeks, I've been hitting up local estate sales and the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market to search for fun items brimming with vintage appeal. I've even rooted though my personal collections to assure that by September, my Etsy shop will be overflowing with even more happy, colorful, whimsical items.
Here's what you can look forward to . . . miniature paintings, an English candy tin, a still life oil painting, a handmade tack board, a wooden magazine rack, a crewel embroidered cottage picture, several children's primers, Hardy Boys books, tole trays, personal-size teapots with matching cozies, a globe pen holder, a 1970s lunch box, a set of four field guides, a vintage file box, a few old cookbooks, a rolling pin, a glass Nasturtium-pattern pitcher with matching tumblers, gobs of travel sewing kits (great for party favors), a vintage Japan teapot, a Marx Pretty Maid toy stove, a Kayanee toy sewing machine . . . and more!
I've been busy photographing these vintage goodies to ready them for their Etsy debut. Some have already made an appearance in my Etsy shop. The rest will be listed in August. As always, if there is something here that catches your eye, let me know and I'll place it on reserve just for you.
My vintage toy sewing machines are featured in the July 2014 issue of Homespun, an Australian publication filled with beautiful handmade textile projects, clever craft ideas and articles on all things crafty. Homespun magazine is a place of inspiration created by a team of leading craftspeople throughout Australia and the world. Each issue features step-by-step project ideas and accompanying patterns sheets for a variety of crafts like quilts, bags and more, photographs of fantastic finished products plus interesting reads to engage and entertain. My original photographs of the many tiny sewing machines that have sold in T-Party's Etsy shop are part of Homespun's Pin Interest, a sourcing section of the magazine that offers a feast of fabulous ideas from the best creative minds.
(Image credit: Homespun)
My dear friends Leslie, Kiki and Annalisa and I enjoyed beautiful weather for our very first Out of the Yardinary sale on Saturday. In fact, it was picture perfect, just like this wonderful photo of my pennant banners shot by the talented Leslie Rottner of Abbey Road Photography. Many thanks to Leslie, Kiki and Annalisa for collaborating on the sale with me. What a fun day!
Did you know there are no chain stores or malls on Martha's Vineyard? So when I shop this lovely island, I get to enjoy browsing distinctive wares collected, crafted and carefully curated by merchants with talent and vision — the way shopping should be! Here are two of my MV shopping favorites:
Sylvie Bags are stunning one-of-a-kind creations. Beautifully handmade by Sylvie Farrington from authentic 1940s barkcloth, each handbag and pillow artfully combines different patterns, multi-colored zippers and vintage buttons. They truly are little works of eye candy.
This year, I treated myself to one of Sylvie's Brooklyn Bags, a new cross-body style sporting an adjustable webbing strap and lots of compartments and zippered pockets. I'm wearing it in a photo HERE. It's the perfect summer bag!
Another shopping favorite is Mix, a store that is true to its name. Filled with vintage and modern items including clothing and housewares, the store's whimsical displays entice shoppers with an endless variety of yummy goods.
Owner Emily Milstein features a meticulously selected array of vintage treasures, many offered in multiples in case one wants to start an instant collection.
Mix never fails to inspire. A fun idea I came away with this visit was Emily's use of vintage matchbooks with kitschy graphics. She has loads of them displayed loose in a bowl for sale. Others she arranges in neat rows and frames them en masse inside shadowboxes. Super fun!
Off we go! Time to relax with my family and enjoy sun, sand and surf. We look forward to our time on Martha's Vineyard all year long. So excited it's finally time to return to our most favorite place!
Before I go, I've been furiously adding new listings to my Etsy shop. That way, while I'm gone, my patrons can enjoy some of my latest finds. Here's what's new:
I adore hard to find relics like the soap flakes dispenser, above. Isn't it fabulous?
I always offer an array of old toys in my shop. So cute and brimming with vintage appeal.
Straight out of my private collection, these Japan pottery pieces have a hand painted pattern of little flower pots set against a grid pattern. LOVE.
This 1933 edition of the Adventures of Sonny Bear has a great cover — perfect to display face out on a shelf in a child's room.
And just in time for picnic season . . . pretty floral tablecloths and old picnic tins.
I'm quite pleased with my latest finds and hope they will find good homes soon. Can't wait to see what I discover on the Vineyard!
What a busy Monday! Now that my new sewing area is all set up, this week I'm making pennant banners for my Etsy shop out of vintage floral fabrics. Aren't they pretty?
Look what I found! It's a 1920s child's step-back cupboard that matches the doll cupboard for sale on Etsy HERE. So adorable!
This charming relic will be listed for sale soon, joining the items shown below — many of which have already made their Etsy debut. I'll be working on listings for the others over the coming days.
That's what I'm up to this week. How about you?
An array of smile-provoking vintage finds will be making an appearance in my Etsy shop this month. Have a look . . .
This pair of paint-by-number landscapes is nicely done — nice colors, too. A Cabin Craft chenille bedspread is the epitome of cozy cottage decor. It's ideal as a lighter bed covering for the warmer months ahead.
I have a weakness for anything vintage that relates to tea, like this wooden napkin holder, teapot-shaped curtain tie-backs, tiny cross stitch tea cup napkins, and a 1940s teapot ring holder.
More vintage goodness: a floral tablecloth, a 1949 Build It Yourself packet of lawn chair plans, a September 1968 issue of Better Home & Gardens magazine, The Wise Garden Encyclopedia, a small vintage vase, and a couple of Monogram brand hair nets from 1952.
Dutch motif items were all the rage. How cute are these Dutch boy and girl chalkware plaques and tin toy plate? Kitschy to the max.
Just in time for picnic season: a tartan plaid tin and striking floral tablecloth. Boston Terrier fans will love this folk art doorstop and handmade string holder.
Do you recall the Sunnyside stacking teapot, sugar bowl and creamer shown above? I wrote about it in a 2009 post titled This Teapot's a Keeper. Well — it's a keeper no longer! I am also selling my cat-shaped wooden match holder and garden girl planter. Plus, I found another pair of paint-by-number pictures and a darling sewing bag. It has the typewritten poem, below, on a strip of fabric at the top. So adorable.
It's a bright, sunny day here in my studio. Time for me to start photographing these yummy relics to ready them for their Etsy debut.
Enjoy the sunshine, if you have some,
One last post about my new studio. Enjoy!
My antique oak Hoosier cabinet has a place of prominence along one wall of my new workroom. This beloved piece of furniture provides storage for all of the items in my Etsy shop.
Hanging on one side of the cupboard is a wooden wall pocket featuring a charming Dutch girl and one of my handmade vintage button bouquets.
I am so pleased to still have room for my large collection of picnic tins. Above the Hoosier, a twelve-foot-long shelf keeps all eighteen tins on display. I love how they look all stacked and lined up!
A small wicker table alongside the Hoosier is a nice place to showcase some of my favorite things. I plan to change it up from time to time. Right now, it features one of my Literary Origami books, a weathered shard of antique china I found on the beach, a cheerful 1940s covered bowl, and the sweetest mixed-media collage gifted to me by my friend and talented artist, Leslie Rottner.
That's it for now. I hope I've provided you with a little eye candy — and maybe even some inspiration in finding a space in your home and making it yours.
In a corner of my new studio, this tall, narrow wooden shelf keeps an array of useful supplies within easy reach. (How I love its original aqua paint and curvy cutouts!) To its left, you'll find my collection of wooden teapot-shaped soap powder holders from the 1930s. To the right, an old metal shopping cart holds rolls of paper.
Tucked in among the studio supplies are some of my favorite little decorative items. So fun, and pretty, too!
Vintage pottery flower pots are perfect for keeping art supplies tidy.
I like to organize my large button collection by color in glass mason jars. Then when I need one for a sewing project, I dump the jar out on a large paper plate and root around until I find just the right one.
Next time, "Studio Details: Part 5" will complete this series of posts highlighting my new workroom. I do hope you've enjoyed them . . .
Do you recall the small corner dedicated to sewing in my former studio? In my new space, sewing takes front and center — thanks to my new table.
When I came upon the 1950s teapot embellished kitchen table at my friend Kim's Stratford Antique Center booth, I knew I had to have it. So perfect for a former tea room proprietor, don't you think? Plus, it provides an ample surface for sewing and other crafty projects.
Close at hand, a shelf holds vintage sewing baskets and thread. My refurbished vegetable bin keeps supplies like trims and fabric remnants neatly stowed away.
I enjoy sewing. My mother was a talented seamstress, so I must have caught the sewing bug from her. The large spools of thread belonged to my mom. I like having them within view because they remind me of her.
When time permits, I'll be making more pennant banners out of some pretty floral textiles I've collected. Look for them in my Etsy shop later this spring.
On the walls of my new studio, I pay homage to the cozy cottage with a grouping of my favorite vintage pictures: a classic R. Atkinson Fox print and several stitched beauties. To me, these relics embody all that is warm and welcoming about home, sweet home.
A collection of fun, garden-themed items compliments the cottage pictures. These "wall flowers" are rather smile provoking — don't you think?
What can I say? I have a thing for cozy cottages. And how happy I am to actually be living in one at last. :)
Stay tuned for more studio details to come later this week. . .
With so much to show you in my studio, I'll be devoting the next several posts, five in all actually, to closer looks at my new workroom. I do hope you'll enjoy them.
The stainless steel table, above, was from the kitchen of my former tea room. Under its vintage textile skirt, I store art and office supplies. (This same length of fabric once dressed up my tea room's front counter.) Now this corner of my studio is where I carefully wrap and pack the things that sell in my Etsy shop. I also use this surface for photographing items for my shop's listings by placing a white board on the table and using the wall as a backdrop.
On my desk, which is an old kitchen table in the perfect shade of green, you'll find a smattering of this and that — things that are both useful and that I simply like to look at while I work.
This sign once pointed folks to my antiques shop and tearoom. Although I've had it stored away since I closed my store in 2008, I've never hung it on the wall before. I love the way it looks flanked by a pair of charming vintage garden girls.
A small window's sill is the new home for my collection of vintage teapot-shaped ring holders. Aren't they the cutest?
That's all for now. I invite you to stop back for more studios details next time . . .
Welcome to my new studio! Come on in . . .
All set up at last, my sweet new workroom turned out way better than I imagined. We gutted a tiny closet-sized office and a full bathroom/laundry room to create this space. It ended up at 13x13 feet, larger than I expected. Plus, vaulting the ceiling and popping in a skylight makes it feel open and bright.
My new studio is exactly half the size of my old one, which also had a large closet. No room for a closet here. Having less space to stash has made me purge extraneous stuff and get more creative with storage. Paring down is a good thing and I now feel much more organized.
If the wall color looks familiar, that's because it is the same color as our new kitchen (and the same as my old studio): Benjamin Moore's Turquoise Mist #695. Being someone who loves green, it truly is the perfect shade.
Not surprising, my new space is filled with all of my favorite collections from my former workroom: my picnic tins, planters, cottage stitchery pictures, vintage soap powder dispensers, toy sewing machines, refurbished vegetable bin, jars of buttons, tablecloths and more. And it has a few things that haven't been in my studio before — like a 1950s kitchen table, my beloved Hoosier cabinet, and an exterior store sign from my tearoom.
As you know, I love having a home studio. (I think everyone should have one.) Having a place to work/create that is fun, whimsical, inspiring, and makes me smile is very important to me.
Have you enjoyed this first look at my new studio? If so, please let me know. And stay tuned for additional posts where I'll share it with you in more detail.
Have a lovely weekend!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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?
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!