Monday, December 28, 2015

To everything turn, turn, turn. . .

The approach of 2016 has me feeling pensive, mulling over bits of things that have struck me as interesting lately. A recent newspaper article talking about couture fashion houses courting Joan Didion and Joni Mitchell as models. A TV news segment discussing the explosion of the "shared economy" segment of the marketplace, the most rapidly growing retail commerce segment - seller to buyer direct transactions via platforms like Etsy and HomeAway and Uber. Perhaps a more appropriate post title would have been "The times they are a'changing".

And while I'm not much for new year's resolutions, 2016 feels like the right time to focus on fine tuning. I think the process has already begun on the home front; last month I found myself suddenly inclined to change out lamps and rearrange furniture and move decorative objects around into new arrangements. Sharper. Intentional. Purposeful. Meaningful.

While 2015 has been spent building up my Etsy shop, the energy in 2016 will be more on building a stronger collection, focusing on really good things. If I do have a resolution for 2016 it will be to walk away from things more often, giving myself permission to focus less on quantity and more on quality, so that what I offer on Etsy will be curated with an eye honed for the best item and value.

And I've been reminded recently of how much I miss out on when I make assumptions. The friend I thought would only shop at Bloomingdales recently asked if she can go consignment store shopping with me sometime. The shop I've passed 100 times and never went into because it looked high priced, has now become a regular on my circuit of hunting and gathering, once I overcame my own assumptions (or call them prejudices) and stopped in one day.

So here's to looking at the world a little differently. Happy 2016.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Simply, happy holidays

Whether your holidays are
 or rustic,
 or a little different different,
 celebrate the season
 with love.

 We're ready for holiday shopping in the Etsy shop sophisticatedflorida

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and joyous holiday season -

Saturday, November 14, 2015

all you need is love

My plans for today's post were something along the lines of having the holidays you wish for. How inadequate that seems today after yesterday's events in Paris. So today I choose to invoke love to stand by.

modern eskimo couple
NOLA artist thomas mann double heart earrings
folk art carved pit heart
piero fornasetti trinket dish, brancusi "the kiss" pendant
all we are saying. . .

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Vive la France! (with a side of chop suey!)

This week I added a new section to my Etsy shop - French objet. I've always been able to find one or two French things in my travels, but lately it seems that they are finding me, and I feel quite grateful that they are. We all have our favorite spots to look for little treasures, and I've developed a circuit of places to pop in on a regular basis. They've kept my shop stocked with (if I do say so myself) wonderful things, but this week's finds were nothing short of amazing.

I think you'll agree that these black and white canisters (huge at 8 1/2" tall!) are just terrific! Five of them altogether, four with the same type style and one, Vermicelle (not pictured) in a different type style.

And then there were these, not your typical French livestock signs, but rather ones advertising Premier Mules and Donkeys!

And I must admit, I'm partial to these French trophy vases, given for polo and speedboat racing

Fortunately, when I was near to fainting from finding all these divine things, a little humor injected itself in the form of silver chopsticks and leather fortune cookies (listing coming this week)!

From the sublime to the - well, not so sublime, but hardly ridiculous! Who doesn't need a little fun in their life? And with sunshine and tropical blue skies, and temperatures creeping down ever so slightly, fun is what it's all about here in Florida. Off to Miami's South Beach Antiques Market tomorrow - you never know what you might find there!

Join me on my journeys and keep up with my finds in the Etsy shop (never too early to think holiday tables and gifts!) - marilyn

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Autumn finds - fresh from New England

As Dorothy says, "There's no place like home", and after a long road trip, no sentiment could be truer. The New England road trip was lovely (even if there were days that it was cooler in Florida than in Vermont), and with a stop to visit friends in Chestertown, Maryland, home of the original Sophisticated Vintage, and the opportunity to breeze through the Brimfield Antiques Market - well, who could ask for more?

I've been unpacking and photographing like mad this week and as of this afternoon it looks like I've made some headway: I can almost see the dining room sideboard and table, both of which were obscured by my finds just a few days ago. I never know what I'll find on these road trips, and the pleasure is doubled when I'm just as delighted unpacking something as I was with it when finding it.

Here's a little peek at what's been added to the Etsy shop this week - there's more there now and more to in the works, so be sure to check back. I'm particularly working on wonderful table ware for Autumn so that's yet to come. Hope you enjoy "finding" these as much as I did!

Fabulous vintage Asian horse statue fragments in a whitewashed terra cotta finish

Mid century lucite obelisk with inset stamps, shown with a stack of French books and antique spectacles
Miniature butcher block on round feet, shown with a crock of lobster cocktail picks and "The Book of the Lobster" - great recipes!
1930s leather doctor's bag - just right as a purse or for overnight getaways!
Shabby silverplated cake stand
A mid century wicker hat, French coat & hat rack, and two French trophies - for racing and polo!
If you're crying "I want more!!!!" - head on over to the Etsy shop - Sophisticated Florida - it's chock full!!

I love Fall!! - marilyn

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Trend alert - Eating in is IN!

Just read on the Etsy blog - Trend for Fall 2015 - Eating In! Well, there's certainly a trend I can get behind, or am I a little ahead??

A few posts ago I shared with you my love of monogrammed silver-y things for the table, and I've been pleased to add to the shop several finds from our northern road trip that fit right in to the latest shop category - Sophisticated Table. From rustic to modern to rustic modern, we're all about setting a fabulous table for eating in. A few photos of what's in our Etsy shop:

a hotel silver pitcher, hotel silver monogrammed food dome (perfect for a cheese course), and a Chase art deco napkin holder with ball feet and bakelite handle. Charming, all!

an oak and copper wine pitcher, miniature tobacco basket (that's perfect for bread or fruit on the table) and two miniature horn cups, lovely with a few posies!

fabulous - and large! - mid century bamboo tray with carved wood handle and rim, shown with a french pottery bird pitcher - a wonderful combination!
vintage souvenir lobster cocktail picks - 21 to be exact - in a little crock
three little wicker baskets with galvanized tin liners - perfect for little bouquets on the table
This weekend I'm off to the Waterbury (Vermont) flea market, a place I first started going to in the late 1980s. It'll be fun to see what's to be found there. Of course the big finds may yet be ahead of me as we head to the Brimfield Antiques Market on Labor Day. Great finds and great friends - perfect!

Meanwhile, it's never too early to start thinking about setting your table. And if you'll permit me to tell a grandparents received some silver(plated) flatware as a wedding present. My grandmother started packing it up to put away and my grandfather asked "What are you doing?", to which she replied "Putting it away. It's for special.". My grandfather's response? "No one will ever be more special at our table than us and our family. This is for us to use and enjoy." And enjoy they did.

Perhaps this explains the pleasure I get from using old silvery things on my table - for family and for "special". No one is more special than family and friends. Bon Apetit to you and yours.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Summer in New England

New England holds many fond memories for me, some of my earliest, in fact. I’m not sure how old I was when my folks started taking summer vacations in Vermont, but I know they had ended by the time I was 9, replaced, for me, by summer months spent in sleep-away camp. Good memories as well, but not quite as good as Vermont.

In my child’s mind we “spent the summer” in Vermont. The reality I came to find out as an adult is that we rented a cabin for two weeks. But when you’re a young child, two weeks can feel like an entire summer, when days are long, spent on the beach and in the water or roaming the woods.


I did a lot of these things. I remember fishing with my father, “Uncle” George and his son Jimmy. I remember scavenging for driftwood and shells with my grandfather. I remember trails through the woods from one cabin to another with our friends’ dog Skipper, the dalmatian, keeping an ever watchful eye. My love of dogs was born in these summers; never had I known a truer companion or better side kick.

New England kept a hold on me. I went to college in Boston, and lived in Vermont as an adult for a brief period, in an old farmhouse that I dearly loved. The imprint of farm landscapes, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks in the distance, church suppers and country auctions have made an indelible mark on who I am.

I’ve returned many times – for the Brimfield Antiques Markets, Fenway Park and the Red Sox, antiques shows in New Hampshire and treasure hunting in Maine. Now there are new family memories being made in Vermont, since our next generation has fallen in love with it as well and now calls it home. 

My heart is glad to return, ironically for those few weeks in summer that began it all. And if we’ve timed our trip to allow for a visit to the Brimfield Antiques Markets, well, let’s just say we planned well. A visit there with more friends made over the years. No one could ask for a better journey.