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.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Traditions worth keeping

Some things never change, and in this little story, that's a good thing. It will be no surprise to those of you who've known Sophisticated Vintage when we were a brick and mortar shop in Maryland, and who know us in our Etsy shop Sophisticated Florida, that not only do we love monogrammed silver (ok, mostly silver plate) but that we are fond of using it in our daily lives.

So when we packed up and moved to Florida, our apothecary jar of monogrammed napkin rings, coin silver spoons and serving pieces made the trip with us. We still stir our coffee in the morning with spoons over 100 years old, with names like Bessie, Aurelia and Harry. When we need a serving fork we're frequently reaching for the one monogrammed Minnie or Gladys. We enjoy bringing to the table these folks from long ago to share an evening with friends in our home.

And when we have a dinner party we bring out the jar with the napkin rings and let our guests pick who they'd like to share the evening with. It's a tradition we started for ourselves quite a while ago, and one we were happy to rekindle in our new home.

So with our table set, we sat down to a new menu with new friends in our new home, casually elegant as always.

We were joined by Elsie and Marie, Frederick and a monogrammed dog, with Madame and Monsieur presiding. By the end of the meal, an old tradition was part of our dining protocol once again. A good time was had by all, as you can see.

Meanwhile, things are hopping at the Etsy shop. We're looking forward to an extended road trip soon, with stops in Atlanta, the Poconos, the Adirondacks, Vermont and, yes, the Brimfield Antiques Market. We'll be posting (and selling!) from the road if you'd care to tag along!

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In Florida, even lizards go to estate sales!

Here in Florida we seem to be having a dry spell of good estate sales, at least my kind of estate sales. There are plenty with jewelry and high end "fancy" antiques, but that quirky, unusual piece that I enjoy is a tough find these days.

Sometimes I get lucky and see a sale listed that looks promising, and that was the case last weekend, so off I went. Naturally, a line at the door which meant waiting outside. I wasn't alone, I had plenty of folks, and a lizard to keep me company.

I found a couple of things (perhaps the lizard had already picked through), but further adventures revealed more treasures, listed in the Etsy shop, with more coming soon. Perhaps you'll like these:

a turn of the century french clock face and pendulum

or one that I'll be posting later today:

a Napier cat jigger - how fun!

Posting regularly to the shop - be sure to check for great finds coming this week!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Brimfield Finds!

How fabulous it was to be in Brimfield again! (The May antiques market in Brimfield, Massachusetts, was the occasion.) Over the years I've gone from taking a 14 foot truck to a van and an SUV, to a van - and now I'm down to checked baggage with shipping as a back up. That was a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, it was a successful trip - I've been listing all weekend in the Etsy shop, with more to come!
Here's a taste:

Sweet little jar, Chinese export maybe?
Polka dot bowl with a modern look
Lithographed tin pail with monkey and birds
Vintage canning labels
Tree slab used for serving
Italian deSimone pottery vase
and of course, a wonderful hotel silver entree dome!

Petite entree dome from The Roosevelt in New York

I had great fun shopping - hope you'll find something fun too!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Brimfield Bound!

For those of you who know me, this post will come as no surprise. Not even being in Florida can keep me away from the Brimfield Antiques Market in May. Every year, around April 1, my first thought upon waking is "Brimfield!" and, after much hemming and hawing, I decided to give in to the urge, hop on a plane (well, two each way, to be precise) and head for Brimfield. Bonus hint: Did you know you can take a large size moving box on Southwest as checked baggage at no charge?? My head is swimming with the possibilities. I've already mapped out my course, know the spots I'm hitting first - now it's just counting the days.

Meanwhile, here in Florida, you have to seize opportunities when they present themselves. What I've found here lately is that there is an overwhelming amount of "ordinary stuff", some spectacular really high end merchandise, and sometimes some fabulous, affordable treasures. So when a couple of terrific estate sales (of the 'no Tupperware' variety) popped up this weekend, I jumped at the chance. And while they might not have been amounted to quite the number I was hoping for, I managed to find a few rather wonderful things. Some I've managed to list on Etsy, and one has already sold, but I thought I'd share the weekend's finds with you to get you warmed up for Brimfield bounty.

a fabulous pair of Italian gesso crowns - sold in a heartbeat in the Etsy shop

A pretty terrific Asian face, (our standing Sophisticated Vintage motto - "buy the heavy stuff") cast in cement, a wonderful find, I think, for the garden!

find him here on Etsy

and then on the smaller size, a terrific Taxco (Mexico) sterling bicycle pin - such a modern look!

listed here; love how it looks with these vintage blocks!
A couple more recent finds - you know I love figures and fragments -

figure here, fragment here, lapis cups here

And last, I'll leave you on a whimsical note - who couldn't use a pair of "people feeders"?!

love that mid century play on ideas - bird people feeders!

That's what's happening in Florida now. Time to get out the suitcases - I'm headed for Brimfield! Peace out -

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring at Sophisticated Vintage - Florida

It was about this time of year, back in the Sophisticated Vintage - Chestertown days, that Ellen and I began planning our Spring windows and look, each of us bringing in new finds and objects to add just the "punch" to kick off a new season.

I find myself feeling the pull toward launching a fresh look and mix, so have been working diligently in the Etsy shop to present some special (if I may say so myself) treasures. This will give you an idea! Follow the links in the description to go directly to the Etsy listing. Happy Spring!

Vintage tole compote - perfect for display, a garden party, a wine chiller (and yes, I have round and roller pin floats, just email

Vintage oak Captains Bar box with silverplate cups inside

Modern pottery - Roger Capron mid century decanters (two!), Italian animal figural pitchers (lion and hippo), Italian de Simone teapot (and a terrific jug too!)

A fabulous authentic patent model for a wash boiler (original paperwork included) - use it for wine, plants...

Stunning gilded container - it has hooks to hang so perhaps it was originally a lantern but I love it as a vase, an ice bucket, with a candle...

A monumental turquoise glass stopper - a wonderfully fun object to add a pop of color anywhere

Antique French "Coiffeur" (hair stylist or barber) sign, a modern wicker hat display stand, a "French" bank 'Pour Les Vetements" (for the clothing), sweet miniature frames

Little zinc pots - lovely for herbs, as vases, in the garden. . .

It's been great fun hunting for these! Thanks for being along on the ride! - Marilyn