Wednesday, September 2, 2009

White Wednesday - Seasonal Change

Come sit with me on my screened porch. We'll talk and enjoy the view.

We have a little shelter for the birds.

Funny, but this little owl never uses the bird house (not that a real owl would)!

We still have a few white blooms left on our giant butterfly bush, but don't strain your eyes trying to find them!

The nights are colder now and the pots are almost all empty. Our wood pile for the fall and winter is ready in the background.

Nature has another idea for our wood. It's a perfect home for white lichen.You'll have to come back later in the fall when you can warm up by the fireplace.

Enjoy your White Wednesday and see more WW posts by checking out all the participants at Faded Charm today!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fighting the Bum Foot Blues!

My last hurrah before breaking my left foot last Tuesday was shopping for the previous weekend's finds at Chartreuse, Lucketts, and a shop in between the two locations, My Wit's End. I've shared pictures at Chartreuse and Lucketts Store in previous posts, so here's My Wit's End:This shop has furniture, smalls, and a couple of outbuildings with items waiting to be worked over or repurposed. I bought a few things here, including some lock and key themed buttons that I'm going to use in crafts. Possibly jewelry. I also bought a vintage chalkware flower basket wall placque in perfect condition. Very bright colors; I'm taking it to Boonsboro Days. Yes, I'm still planning on doing the show that's just 12 days away (I committed to it last Feb. and have been looking forward to it). Yikes!

I only bought two things at Chartreuse this time--a round print of cherubs and a small aqua bottle. The Lucketts fair was going on that weekend and I didn't buy much there, either. Here's what I picked up that able-bodied weekend on those outings.
I'm trying to use some of my now-abundant spare time crafting. I made this out of an antique pink lustreware cup that I bought at a yard sale in between Chartreuse, etc. The cup was missing its saucer and has a hairline. This arrangement looks a bit like a berry explosion! Should I cut back the berry branches?
Here's a little vintage blue bird decoration I pulled together with a blue glass vintage compote from an estate sale last month:I think this is cute, but will it sell? I did well at Boonsboro last year, but that was before the big hammer fell on Wall Street, buyouts, etc. I'm planning to take lots of reasonably-priced items this year, which was pretty much my approach last year!

If any of you sellers out there have tips on how your shows have been going lately, please let me know. Antiques, vintage, crafts. What are people buying? Price points? Shoppers, I'd like to hear from you too! Thanks for any thoughts you might share :)

Even more importantly, thanks to those of you who have wished me well in my recovery and said prayers for my foot!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Thank You to Joan of anything goes here

A couple of weeks ago, I was a runner-up in Joan's giveaway at anything goes here. She was giving away some of her linen collection and I was one of the lucky recipients. Look at the cute vintage bingo cards she sent along with the linen tea towel! If you haven't been to Joan's blog before, check it out. She has lots of great craft ideas and fun glimpses of estate sales and more!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Left Foot--it's broken :(

I didn't plan it this way, but I missed White Wednesday this week. I had a little accident and broke three bones in my left foot on Tuesday. No fun at all! So I am supposed to be off my feet for awhile. I'm wearing a boot on my left lower leg for now and trying to use crutches, but I've never had crutches before and it's taking awhile to get the hang of it. In my case, they should probably be called "klutzes." Oh, this will be tricky! The kids go back to school this Monday, so the timing is really unfortunate! I'll try to post something in a couple of days. At least I don't need my feet to blog :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009


In some of my earliest blog posts (way back in June), I said that I would talk about antiques, vintage finds, crafts, and road trips. But I really haven't said that much about antiques. I've also said that I have personal style confusion. The problem is that I like so many different kinds of things and some of my collections reflect that. Do you do that, too?

Growing up the daughter of an antique dealer, I had lots of early exposure to auctions, shows, shops, and the gamut. Among Mom's specialties were American art pottery and ceramics in general. At one point, she had a yellow spatterware plate with a blue dahlia painted in the center. She was asking $300 for it. $300! was shocking to me in the 1970s. As a teenager then, $300 for one plate seemed incredible. I loved it, but....

I don't have a picture of Mom's plate (long since sold to some grateful buyer), but I can show you the legacy (some non-spatter items are on the bottom):About 10 years ago I started collecting spatterware when I could find it for reasonable prices. Mom gave me her books Spatterware and Sponge by the Robackers (out of print and $$$ when you can find it) and Homespun Ceramics by the Greasers (OOP also, I think). Yellow is the rarest, which explains the high price of Mom's plate way back when. Today, that plate would be in the thousands.

Among collectors of Americana, spatterware is a favored ceramic choice, even though it was primarily made in England in the early 19th century (really popular about 1830s-1850s). It was very popular and some think that the bright colors and patterns were especially liked by the Pennsylvania Germans. The paint forming the spatter design is thought to have been applied with a sponge or fine-woven cloth to achieve the spatter effect. If the paint was applied only to the rim of the plate or saucer, often a handpainted design was put in the center. These designs usually have a very folky quality. Sometimes, transfers were applied, like the example at the far left on my top shelf. I found that last summer at Upstairs Antiques in Concord, Massachusetts, for a great price! And I didn't expect to come across any spatterware while in New England. You never know.

Rainbow spatter is a piece that has a striped multi-color spatter pattern. There are two pieces on the middle shelf of my hutch. Both have flaws--but I love them! Important to note: condition is a huge factor in price for spatterware, just as with most other antiques. Rarity is another. I've already mentioned yellow is rare; blue, heavily represented in my collection, is the most common. Spatterware has also been reproduced, so beware when shopping for the real thing.

As anyone who collects anything knows, the search is at least half the fun. Do you find any spatterware where you live?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

White Wednesday

White in the Past and Present

An old metal planter, still in vogue.
Old books without covers next to new white books. Taken at Red Tree in Baltimore.
Cherubs, a motif throughout art history.
Shells--natural history in our midst!
Any object can represent some aspect of history. Try looking at artifacts in this way and see what new perspectives are open to you.

Click on Faded Charm's picture in my sidebar to see more posts on White Wednesday, as started by Kathleen!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brunch in Baltimore--and more!

After church this morning, we decided to take a little drive in the country, but first wound up in the Hampden (pronounced "Hamden") neighborhood of Baltimore. This area is nothing if not bohemian. Time for brunch at Cafe Hon:
"Hon" is a frequently-heard term of affection in Baltimore, so that's the source of the name. The atmosphere is quirky and the food is amazing. Elvis is always seen here.As delicious as the food is, the portions are huge, which means leftovers to take home!

Hampden has numerous specialty shops. We had to stop in the fun Double Dutch Boutique.The extreme Atomic Books:A range of antiques and vintage shops. Take Paradiso: Antique to Modern is its subtitle. More modern than antique, this is the place to go if you like mid-20th century modern. This shop has an organized appearance and prices are reasonable.Or across the street, Hampden Junque:I'm not sure what that cut-out man is--a real one is inside the window fixing something!

A real standout for home furnishings is Red Tree. Their style is a bit anthropologie with some loft and library mixed in.They use a lot of junker's treasures for display. The industrial art little mannequins are great, but pricey ($100 plus).Exposed brick walls are throughout the first floor.

The walkout basement has more furniture and household items.
Some antiques were for sale. This great little shaving cabinet was described as victorian and labeled $225.
I had conflicting feelings about this use of books.While struck by the creativity, it went against my upbringing about how we are supposed to treat books! I wonder if this work is called "Read Tree"-- a twist on the store's name?

Next, we headed to In Watermelon Sugar where we saw more junker's adaptive reuse:
Wonderful original tin ceiling panels still in place!We bought a few little personal items in this shop. We wrapped up our trip to Hampden in about 2.5 hours, including brunch. Everything is so close together and very walkable.

With our driver still looking for a country drive, we temporarily made do with a ride on Roland Avenue and some twists and turns to the Mt. Washington neighborhood. The former Smith and Hawken store is now Gore Dean, which also has a location in Georgetown, Washington, DC. This is a beautiful high-end store loaded with European antiques. The costs of buying trips and access to special quality items are reflected in the prices.

I adored this described 19th century box with 20th century memory decoration:
That's three zeros on that price tag....

More eye candy:

Cute vintage children's watering cans with surprising prices; the green one in the foreground can be yours for $175:Although these are getting harder to come by, I still see American examples around--I'm not sure where these particular watering cans are from.

Gore Dean also shows antique garden furniture in the store's stone courtyard:I am not in the right purchasing bracket to shop here, but what a source of inspiration!

BTW, I sought and received permission from each store where I took interior pictures. Most stores do like free publicity!

At last we took our drive in the country before heading home. We admired this old stone barn and its tidy shutters in Butler, Baltimore County:We thoroughly enjoyed our quick visit in the Baltimore area. Thanks for coming along!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Prayers for Friends

If you keep a prayer list, please add Ken to it. That's Ken on the right at Boonsboro Days last year. His son (on the left) is my son's best friend.Ken probably wouldn't like this post because he's quiet and doesn't call attention to himself. But I'm sure that his wife won't mind :) He has been living with cancer since 2006.

Ken is a strong example of living a purpose-driven life. He has used his God-given talents as an athlete and a teacher to help others through tennis professionally and his free time. Several years ago he coached a young wheelchair tennis champion. Currently, he teaches tennis as a volunteer to veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He has touched many lives. Because I believe in the power of prayer, I ask you to pray for Ken and his family.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

White Wednesday, or, "mercredi en blanc"

White Gloves Through the Years "oo la la"
White Tin with That French "je ne sais quoi"
White Basketweave McCoy-like Flower Pot with Lavender "bien sur!"
Enjoy your White Wednesday :) Bonjour!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Serving Up Vintage Finds

Boonsboro Days is next month (see sidebar). Emma suggested that we have a craft day with Lydia to get us going on making things to sell. So yesterday, we had fun with some of the vintage goodies we've found this summer. My goal was to put together a fruit and flowers arrangement. I started with a red transferware ironstone compote (bought at the DC Big Flea last weekend):
Then I sorted through millinery decorations
and antique and vintage ribbons I've been collecting for a couple of years.
Sometimes I use a few new materials, but usually I stick with antique and vintage things. I often build them onto a small base within the compote, vase, or stand. This time, I just started building directly onto the compote using a hot glue gun. I only put glue on the stems to fasten them. This process can be as quick or deliberate as you like. My approach is always slow--trying this and that until it looks just the way I'd like it to. Here was yesterday's result:I had a glass cloche at home, so I left room for that along the edge of the compote. Otherwise, I would have loaded more things on for a fuller, overflowing Furber look.

While I was working away, Lydia got the girls (Larissa, Saxon, and Emma) going on watercolor bookmarks. They produced some great work!Here are some of Emma's in progress:
Some pretty bling vintage buttons (also found at the DC Big Flea) called out to me to make pins. I also had a stash of yo-yos made of vintage fabric, one old ribbon flower, and a linen flower. With some linen and felt for backing (thanks Lydia!), I sewed some of them together and made these:
Emma made these colorful pins:Lydia was so busy helping everyone else and preparing food that it was difficult for her to do her own art projects! But she started making pretty ornaments using old porcelain dolls and doll parts. Can't wait to see the finished work--thanks Lydia for hosting such a fun day for all of us!