Friday, July 6, 2018

Vive la France!

It will come as no surprise to any of you that I have a passion for all things French. Particularly vintage French. So you can imagine how delighted I am to have found some real treasures lately, freshly stocked in my Etsy shop. Feast your eyes on these goodies!

A pair of vintage French asparagus plates in brilliant blue! Listed here
A most wonderful vintage wire egg basket with a handle and fold down sides - I love it for kitchen storage, serving or even a little picnic! Here's a look at multiple views and uses:

Isn't it fabulous?!? Find it here
A set of 4 tin painted canisters - Cafe, Sucre, Farine & Pates, perhaps?

So charming - find them here
And how about this vintage linen hat or wig stand, whimsically updated by an artist:

Incroyable, right? A closer look here
And I'll leave you with this. A vintage painted tin tray - Present from My Heart. Wow.

It just doesn't get much better than this. Listed here
I'll be on the look out for more fab French and vintage finds on our upcoming road trip. Stay in touch for more goodies. I'll add them to my Etsy shop as we go, and don't forget to follow my adventures on Instagram. Au Revoir!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Finds for the Modern Home

If you've been following us, you know that "modern" means a fresh blend of things that appeal to you that together create your modern style. We're completely comfortable putting together a bit of a mish mash of recent finds like these.

A mid century play on the French Rebus or Riddle Plate
Listed here in my Etsy shop

A fabulous painted Indian large tea table - great as a low coffee table
Listed here in my Etsy shop
Add a bit of rustic charm with a tree branch frame - not faux bois, real bois - like this!

Can't even begin to tell you how much I love this!
Find it here in my Etsy shop.
Of my all time favorite things, the Dimitri Omersa leather animals in the paperweight size. Click through to the listing to read the history. No bull.

Fabulous, right? Read all about it here
And you know I love a good rustic Americana find. What could be better than this vintage Maine road sign for Route 125?

Authentic and worn! Listed here in my Etsy shop. And so modern, right?
And I couldn't leave you without this most recent fave. When you mix things with ease, an antique carved bread board becomes the new modern.

Our Daily Bread - a less often found carved bread board, here in my Etsy shop
I'm thinking it's perfect for wine and cheese! In fact, a glass of wine would be perfect right now! After all, it's 5 o'clock somewhere! Cheers - marilyn

Thursday, April 19, 2018

You love what you love, right?

I'm contemplating my (now) annual upcoming trip to Pennsylvania for the Renninger's Kutztown Extravaganza next week, and already the "rush" of being in my old stomping grounds threatens to overtake me. I'm yearning for breadboards and redware, old dough bowls and trenchers - all the things that speak to my love of primitives that began in my earliest days of antiquing.

If I'm lucky I'll find some Victorian era wire hangers. I've fallen in love with the fabulous look:

Perhaps I'll find another dough bowl to rival the size of what was perhaps the biggest one I've ever had:

And when in Pennsylvania, I'm always looking for vintage carnival shooting gallery targets:

And of course wooden ware, particularly old farm pieces like these:

That ought to give you an idea of what's on my shopping list! Hope I'll come home with a pile of treasures, but I'm thinking I'm going to need a bigger suitcase!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Case for Modern Victorian

From a fascination with natural elements (it was the age of Darwin, you recall), to a passion for detail and excess, the Victorian era had style galore in every aspect of life. With a utensil for every imaginable course and food at dinner, the Victorians knew how to set a table in style!

Marrying their love of nature with their love of eating utensils, we too have an passion for all kinds of pieces, from forks to knives.

pair of serving forks in my etsy shop here
set of 6 boxed knives in my etsy shop here
And let's not forget custard glass - this set of 6 tumblers by Northwood in the Louis XV pattern circa 1890 was a a particularly wonderful find!

charming with little bouquets for a beautiful tablescape! in my etsy shop here
It's lovely to see a revived interest in this period and all its elements. Hope you design your next dinner party with a bit of Victorian style!

We're out and about hunting for new treasures. In the meantime, Bon Apetit! - marilyn

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Off to a good start in 2018

One of the things I enjoy most about antiquing is that you never know what you'll find. One day it's a modernist ceramic wall hanging plate

Avraham Gofer ceramic plate, find it here
and the next it's a terrific piece of folk art like this German bride's box:

in my Ruby Lane shop, here
a delicate modern dove

Gunnar Cyren for Dansk, here

or a Brutalist abstract sculpture

in my Chairish shop, here

The thrill of the hunt, even when it doesn't yield much, is always an adventure, and there's not much I'd rather be doing!

Hope the hunt treats you well! Happy Trails - marilyn

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Angels among us

Here we are at the end of November; another month has flown by, and soon we'll be commenting that another year has flown by.

Perhaps this explains a bit my love of vintage: even in the face of time flying by, some things stay with us. This find from my travels seems particularly appropriate.

Three angel shelf brackets. Gold finish, beautiful patina with a touch of verdigris. No more words needed.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season.
Now, more than ever, let there be peace on earth,
and let it begin with me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Flea Market 101

I’m headed up to the Renninger’s Extravaganza in Mount Dora, Florida, this week, and I couldn’t be happier! Big outdoor markets are my idea of a GREAT time and I’m always ready to jump in the car and GO!

Renninger's Mount Dora - it really is that big!
Over the years friends have asked if they could come along. Some have loved it and some have found it more than they bargained for. I learned that they would have a better experience if they had some guidance about how to manage a big market. Maybe you’ll find these tips helpful too!

Being “market ready” starts with getting dressed with a long day in mind.
1.       Dress in layers. The day can start out cold and warm up fast. Lightweight layers will help you get through the day.
2.       Comfy, supportive shoes. Can’t stress this enough. You’re running a marathon here!
3.       Wear things with functional, secure pockets. You’re going to want to have your phone and notepad readily accessible. I like cargo pants for this very reason.

1.       Sunscreen and bottled water are essential. Hat and sunglasses also handy.
2.       Hand sanitzer or wipes
3.       Notebook and pen
4.       Phone
5.       Magnifying glass
6.       Use a shopping cart. Whether it’s a luggage kind of thing, a wire shopping cart or a little red pull wagon, it’s handy to have something in which to haul purchases. There are often people who sell carts at the markets but if you can get one beforehand, it will save you from spending valuable shopping time at the market looking for a cart.
7.       A good bag that keeps your cash and wallet secure. I like a cross body bag – easier on the shoulders – with multiple compartments. I keep my cash in a bank envelope, accessible but secured in a zippered or closed compartment.
8.       Power shopping snacks. Nuts, string cheese, granola bar. You can eat them on the go for a little boost!

Power shopping! Not even injury interferes!
However you need to prepare yourself for this, it’s the reality of big outdoor markets, and there’s no getting around it! 

1.       Write down all your purchases – item and price
2.       Write down everything you need to go back and pick up and WHERE IT IS
3.       Write down things you want to go back and look at again and WHERE THEY ARE

1.       Know your shopping style. If you are an “on the fly” shopper and you’re going with a friend likes to look at every little thing, don’t be afraid to say “Let’s meet up at noon at the car” so neither one of you is hindered.
2.       Plan to spend the day, and plan your shopping accordingly. For example, for my first walk through a market I generally “walk and scan”, stopping to shop when I see a booth that has an overall look or items that interest me. Things that are a definite “yes” I buy on the spot. Things I’m considering I’ll make note of to come back to. On my second walk through I’ll look more closely at things in many booths.
3.       Use your phone to look things up. If you’re not sure if something’s worth the price, or if it’s common or rare, or if it’s just not “right”, you can often find a reference online (search by images). Be polite and don’t do this while in someone’s booth, taking up valuable space for others who are shopping.
4.       Unsure whether or not to buy something? Ask yourself “Will I be sorry if I come back to get it and it’s gone?”. I find this really helpful, and the answer can be crystal clear sometimes!
5.       TAKE A BREAK. Go find the “food court”, sit down, drink some water, eat a little something and REVIEW YOUR PURCHASES. When you’re “power shopping” it can feel like you’ve bought A LOT and SPENT ALL YOUR MONEY. Taking a break and reviewing your purchases tells you what you’ve bought and how much you’ve spent. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way – after leaving a market thinking I’d bought and spent a lot when actually I could have stayed and bought more. Reviewing your list also helps you decide whether to run back and get something on the “go back for” list, to keep it on for later or to cross it off.
6.       Figure out the market’s layout and walk it strategically – by rows and sections so you’ll know what you’ve covered and what you haven’t.
7.       Don’t let your collection rule your buying decisions. Just because you collect cat figurines doesn’t mean you need to buy every one you see. When in doubt, pass.

I’ve gotten to know dealers over the years and my “favorites” are always the first ones I go to. Many are happy to interact with you and are often able to provide information about things you’re interested in. Getting off on the right foot lays the groundwork for a good relationship.
1.       Negotiating is fine, insulting not so much. Ask for discounts nicely. “Can you do any better on this?”, “Is this your best price?”, “If I buy more than one item can you offer me a discount?”. If you want to just make an offer, as in “Would you take $X for this?”, don’t make a really low offer; it gets things off on the wrong foot.
2.       Sometimes dealers will tell you to “make a pile” if you’re looking at more than one thing. This is fine with items that are priced but if things are not priced I ask them to give me an idea of what they’re asking; no sense making a pile of items that I think are $20 each and they think are $100 each.
3.       If you’ve bought a big item, the dealer is often willing to put it aside for you to come back for it; no reason to lug it around, as long as it’s convenient to come back.
4.       Be mindful of the traffic in a booth. If there are a lot of people shopping and trying to look at things, taking a selfie or talking on the phone is preventing commerce from taking place. Step outside the booth so others can shop.
5.       If you plan to return to the market again and you like a particular dealer’s items, ask if they’ll be back next time and in the same spot.  They might give you a card, give you their social media link or a phone number so you can find out where they’ll be set up next time.

So that’s my Crash Course in Flea Marketing #101. Now I’m out the door. Look for lots of new goodies coming to my shops soon!! 

Happy Trails! – Marilyn