Monday, July 26, 2010


A few weeks ago, we re-arranged some furniture, cleared out the living room (including removing the area rug) and removed one settee from the sun porch. This space used to be the "play room," but over time had devolved into toy and shoe storage area. I decided the boys are old enough now that they can go upstairs to their room to get whatever toys they want to play with, so I moved most of them out of this room, and got rid of the series of small baskets that used to hold their little shoes and slippers and gloves. I moved this armchair into the sunroom and made a slipcover for it out of some white fabric I had on hand (the upholstery is dark blue and green, and getting very worn). As you might guess from the picture, the inspiration for all this was that I was looking for a spot for my vintage, granny-square pillow! In any case, this is also the entry-way, which now looks a lot neater when you first come into the house, and I have a nice sunny corner to sit for a few minutes in the mornings, read, and drink my coffee.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New shoes

I am so proud of myself! I found these plain, navy blue wool clogs at Savers for under $10, and I embroidered the flowers myself. It's my first attempt at embroidery (if you look too close, you can see the mistakes) but it was pretty easy! I found a pattern at that was just what I was looking for, and I used some leftover needlepoint floss from years and years ago.

My whole day goes better when I've accomplished a project like this. I hope you had a successful weekend, too . . .

Friday, July 16, 2010

More catching up

We rearranged our office/studio a while back. The easel and stereo system is gone, and the Woolly Popos are moved in.

They have a cozy spot in one of my old leather suitcases, and Pippa has a cozy spot next to the heater vent.

My desk is next to the window that looks out into the backyard, and I love sitting there with the window open and hearing the boys playing in the backyard.

I mentioned last time that my mom is a great source of vintage goodies for me. Here is something else that came from her: a vintage black slip with lace trim. It's so well-made and so detailed.
I have to admit, it's my new favorite piece of clothing. A fitted, sleeveless T, and some cute ballerina flats, and I'm good to go!

Stay cool,

Friday, July 9, 2010


My younger sister and I clearly inherited the "vintage" gene from our mother (insert joke about my age, here). I have the first piece she bought, back in the 70s. It's a child-sized rocker, Victorian, I think. Not for a toddler, but for a school-aged child. Ever since I can remember, we've been going to antique stores and flea markets. I have the broken cylinder record I picked out when I was about 13, and the ethnic silver bracelets when I was in high school (but where is that doe-eyed bunny figurine I made her buy, I wonder?).

Since then, she has been a reliable source of textiles, silver, and ephemera for my collections, especially from Germany. More recently, I have been "inheriting" the old toys she has saved or picked up. Look at this intricate child's tea set.

It has scenes of chidren playing in traditional German outfits. It has an embossed pattern, and it's sprinkled with sweet flowers and a gold rim, and the china is really fine.
This is my second toy tea-set. I'm not sure what to do with them. It seems a shame to hide them away. Any ideas?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Catching up

I have a lot of catching up to do -- photos from great weekends at the Cape, rearranged rooms, etc., but I'm too excited about my latest "treasures" to think about those things right now. I went to my favorite thrift store this weekend. While I was there, a I woman called and asked if they would take an old doll bed and toy cookware. If they didn't want it, she would take it the "Treasure Chest" (some people call it the "take-it-or-leave-it". It's a place at the dump where people leave things that others might want. Do all towns have that?)

In any case, I didn't think much of it, but I was still there when she came (yes, it was quite a while, why do you ask?) and after taking a peek, I just couldn't leave them behind:

Here is the vintage toy cooking set. It's tin with red wood handles. First the utensils:

Then the pots and pans. Aren't they cute? I love the little coffee percolator. It has the little basket inside and everything. Some of the pieces have nursery book characters embossed in them.

This wasn't from that woman, but I love, love, love this American Tourister make-up case. I read that "Tri-Taper" was their top line, and people are selling these for around $25 on Etsy:

Some of my vintage sewing supplies inside. I think I will use it for my face-paint supplies. Or doll clothes. I can't decide.

And now for the piece-de-resistance:

Is that the cutest thing you've ever seen? No? Then this has to be:

I got it all (plus a few vintage, hand-embroidered hankies) for $30! Sehr gut, nicht?

I hope you get to relax and enjoy the summery weather!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thrift stores

I've recently re-discovered my passion for thrift stores. Right now I'm a little giddy at the thought of going to the Cape Cod thrift stores tomorrow. I have to say, though, that I'm a little disappointed in the state of thrift stores on the North Shore. My old favorites, "Sal's Boutique" (Salvation Army), seems messy, dirty and crowded. (I know, I know; it's a thrift store, but still.)

The new "Saver's" chain on the other hand, is like the big box of thrift stores. It's like the Wal-Mart of thrift stores. A thrift store chain? The first time I went, I walked out in disgust. "That's not a thrift store, that a bunch of old crap," I thought. (I know, it's a thrift store, but still.)

And yet, I couldn't resist going back. OK, a pair of vintage clogs and the cutest little purse with the tags still on -- maybe it's the Target of thrift stores. I'll give it another chance.