Monday, December 26, 2016

Vintage Christmas

Blending vintage items with modern décor is like sipping aged wine with a freshly cooked meal. Each lends it's own distinct character while enhancing the other. I've made new pillows from old fabric and photos, repainted furniture to fit my décor and combined wood candlesticks from the 80's with china from the 50's to make colorful serving platters. While I enjoy the fruits of my labors, it is the actual 'making' of the items that provides me with the greatest pleasure.
This Christmas I filled our home with old and new as we look back on the past with fond memories and move forward with dreams of projects yet undiscovered.


My home is filled with 'earthy' colors that provide a warm background for the timeless, worn colors of  delicate glass ornaments from Christmas past. What stories these graceful objects would tell...if only they could speak!
 This chunky, hand carved (in North Carolina!) wood bowl with it's rough, uneven edges provides a dramatic contrast with the clean edges of  vintage 50's ornaments. Most of these were probably made in Poland, Germany or the good 'ol USA!

I like to sprinkle my vintage cards around the house as decorative accents. You'll find them propped up with the teacups in my glass-door cupboards and hanging from a red velvet ribbon draped across a large mirror in the dining room. Gosh, they're swell!

Last summer I found a few rolls of Christmas wrap at a garage sale. It was a lot cheaper than the new stuff and sooooo adorable! Looks like it might be from the 70's.
What else can I say? He's adorable. He holds the candy canes.Vintage 40's or 50's.
I got this very old (circa turn of the century), VERY heavy (25 lbs.) doll bed at a garage sale for TEN dollars. Repeat...TEN dollars. I painted it pink and made some new bedding. I was quite certain the four year old recipient of this gift was going to be fairly ecstatic when she received it for Christmas. Bingo. Nailed it.
 And since our little princess bears a striking resemblance to Shirley Temple, I got her the doll from an antique mall. It's not one of the expensive originals, but it is from the 70's. She was in pretty good shape so all I had to do was wash her clothes, hair and a little body scrub and she's just perfect for little hands to cuddle! The last time I looked, Shirley was sharing the bed with four other 'modern' dolls. What a hoot!

Lastly, a fond remembrance of a mom who rests in peace this Christmas. Her recipes for meatballs and manicotti has been a tradition for decades and surely will live on, as well as the potential for re-discovering some lost 'secret recipes' stored in her well-worn recipe file.
Click Here for the link to Spumoni Cookies!
To see more vintage holiday décor from a previous post, click here

and now it's time for a



Wednesday, September 7, 2016



A perfect blend of warm and cold, smooth and rough, light and dark, orange and blue.
My favorite time of year!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tea Quotes- For the love of teacups!

     The teacups' siren's song has lured me countless time into thrift shops, yard sales and antique malls. I heard it first when I was a small child. The dainty porcelain maidens rested neatly behind glass cupboard doors in our formal dining room. My mother, a Polish immigrant, had a collection of about ten mid-century sets which she allowed me to touch and hold but once a year. She would pull them out from the cabinet for their annual washing (a ritual she swore kept the porcelain from becoming too dry and brittle) and gently soak them in a  lukewarm, sudsy bath. It was the 1960's and we lived a half a block from the city of Detroit where racial tensions had reached their peak. The Vietnam war raged on, a new breed of rebellious, long-haired teens were erupting and the sweet innocence of the 50's was fading fast. I didn't know my mom and the neighbor ladies she would share a coffee-clatch with would be the last of the stay-at-home moms. I didn't know that the world was about to change. I only knew those simple little teacups with their cheerful florets, meticulous details, and soft-as-butter colors made me very, very happy.
      I think they made my mother happy as well. She had survived a Nazi war camp, had lost her family in WWII and was living in a foreign country. It would be safe to say the teacups were a bittersweet reminder of the formal, yet secure, years she spent living as a displaced person in a  convent in Austria. She escaped the life as a forced laborer and became a war nurse, trained by the nuns in a Catholic hospital. By day she tended the wounded in a crowded hospital ward. At night she retreated to her 'home' amongst historical religious paintings, marble floors and pillars, gilt adornments and all the simple, yet elegant surroundings that the church and convent had to offer. Fine porcelain was the norm.
     Today, as I gather a cheerful brigade of vintage cups and saucers I am transcended to the place in my mind where those happy, childlike thoughts dwell. I often think about what good use I could possibly have for these tiny bearers of good will and if, indeed, I will ever find a way to share the pleasure they bring to others in need of a moment of simple goodness.

This was probably my favorite set as a child. I love the detail, the colors and the promise of spring it represents. Now I use it like a super model, posing it with flowers and backgrounds that compliment its design.


Somehow, the dishtowel in the background of this photo was spared over the decades. When I found it in my mothers' old linens I immediately recalled it. I've always been fond of blues and purples together and the sweet fruit motifs remain imbedded in my mind as first perceptions of 'art'.





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For more teacup and saucer images go to these pages on my blog