Thursday, December 22, 2016

Decorating my home for Christmas with vintage

Last week, after sharing some holiday decorating with vintage ideas that I found on the internet and put on one of my pinterest boards called "Decorating for Christmas with Vintage," I promised that I'd show you around my house and some of the ways I decorate with vintage.

First of all, I'll take you to my kitchen. Our house is just barely vintage, as in 1990 we purchased a high, wooded parcel of land in New Hampshire and in 1992, after clearing some of the trees, we built a one-room cottage (my husband purchased a book called "Building Thoreau's Cabin" and began building) which, once finished, served as our living room, dining room, and bedroom (that ladder leads up to a sleeping loft, which we now use for storage; on the ceiling is part of our extensive basket collection).
At the time this was our getaway house from the metro New York City area, and primitively exciting as we heated with just a wood stove, used oil lamps, brought water in to use for drinking and washing, and had an outhouse behind the cottage. Definitely "back to the land" living! Which works great when you're in your 30s or 40s. However, eventually we started hankering for hot showers and electricity....

Over the years, we finally hooked up to the grid, knocked out a window and built a wing with a bathroom and bedroom and another sleeping loft, along with a sitting room.  The next project was breaking through another window and building a deck with a view of Mt. Monadnock.
Then we extended out in the other direction and built a new living room and, eventually, a whole other wing with bedrooms and work areas.
While all this building was going on, we dreamed and wondered how we could manage to live up here in the New Hampshire hills full time. In 2004 our dream finally became a reality.

(For a video tour of a few rooms in my house, go here, to my About page in my Etsy shop  and you'll see the video with me narrating)

This year we're going to our daughter and family's home in Vermont for Christmas, so we just put up a little tree that we loaded with lights and ornaments, some vintage and some newer.

And the white dove on the top we've had for many years (as well as the old flag behind it):
We put the tree into an antique square wooden box with faded old blue paint and a wire and wood handle (the icon is from Lourdes, but not quite vintage):
Next to the tree we put up a red, rosemaled sleigh that my father made many years ago, as well as the Santa inside, which he carved and gave me as a present. This year my husband hooked up Santa and his sleigh to the vintage reindeer candlesticks we found long ago:

On the other side of the tree, we filled a red wire basket with my collection of vintage mercury glass ornaments:
And next to that is a treasured creche that my father carved:
On the coffee table in front of the wood stove is an antique dough bowl my husband and I found decades ago in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley--we always fill it with big pine cones saved from trees at our old home in New Jersey (the pine cones are vintage, too!), along with a few little gold mercury ornaments. The antique silver candlestick we found in an antique shop in Wisconsin while celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary (we doubled that last June).
On the stone wall behind our wood stove we hung up my husband's stocking and mine from our childhood--definitely vintage!
And my collection of vintage Putz houses is set into a window:
The history of these little cardboard houses is interesting--according to Wikipedia, it seems that, in Germany, families would create miniature scenes in their homes to celebrate Christmas. The word "putzen" means "decorate," but sometimes it took weeks to collect the bits and pieces for their tableaus, and so the term "putzing" (taking your time doing this and that) came about!

I love these little houses because I remember them lined up along a high door ledge in my grandmother's home at Christmas. I don't know what happened to those, but years ago I came across a bunch of them and bought the whole lot in what I considered quite a bargain.

I inherited a lot of vintage Christmas ceramics from my parents (cute Santas and angels and snowmen), and scatter these around the house, mostly in windows. My mother used to put them on the mantle above her fireplace, swathed in white, wispy angel hair--but we don't have a mantel!

Another treasure is this wonderful Santa, also carved by my father:
Christmas is a wondrous, blessed time of year, and from my house to yours....
I wish you all the joys of this beautiful season!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Decorating for Christmas with Vintage

I love Pinterest!

Whenever you find something you like on the internet, there's always a place to save it there--just put it on one of your boards or create a new one.

Recently I was searching for ways to decorate for Christmas using vintage items. And I found some great new ideas. So all I had to do was hit the round red P button and save them to my new board: Decorating for Christmas with Vintage.

Below are some of the ideas I especially liked....

Using vintage glass jars as candle holders, setting them into an old box, and filling with greens and pinecones:
Using an old skate and a vintage watering can and adding greens, bittersweet or other red berries, and maybe a colorful bow for porch decorations:

Getting a little tree and putting it into some kind of vintage container--in the pictures below, an old metal basket, a large ceramic bowl, and a vintage wooden box were used:

Using an old grater, vintage bowls and cookie cutters, a long trough, a dough bowl and a lantern--along with greens and vintage Christmas ornaments--to create beautiful centerpieces:

Dressing up vintage scales for Christmas:

Once I take a look at some of these ideas, I start thinking about what I have in my own home that could be "up cycled" or repurposed into decorating possibilities.

Next week I'll show you some of the vintage decorating in my home. In the meantime, all these ideas and more are located on my Pinterest page--come on over and check them out, as when you click on an image, whole articles come up with more clever DIY vintage Christmas decor inspiration!

Friday, November 4, 2016

My Etsy Studio

Okay, first off, I often dream of having the perfect studio: white walls, tall windows with great natural light, lots of room to store all my items and pack them up when purchased,,,,,

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Browsing Brimfield


Our first trip to Brimfield can be summed up in just that one word.
We went the last day, Sunday, September 11. I'd heard comments online that great bargains were to be had the last day. I was hoping that was true....

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Brimfield Bound!

Looks like it's finally happening, and I'm getting excited.

Even though I used to be an antiques writer and I've been an Etsy seller now for several years, I've never been to the Antiques and Collectibles Capital of the U.S.: Brimfield!
Since 1959, Brimfield, Massachusetts has been the site for three annual gatherings of antiques and vintage dealers--thousands of them--who come from all over the U.S. to display and sell their wares: 6 consecutive days (Tuesday through Sunday) in May, July, and September.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Farmhouse Decor: White, White, Wondrous White!

Before getting onto Instagram, I had no idea how widespread the White on White Farmhouse decor had become. If you're on IG, just put "farmhouse" into the search bar and see the incredible numbers of sites, plus their followers--pretty amazing, right?

You can find the same thing on Pinterest. Although the Farmhouse crowd can get much more interactive and chatty on IG.

Being an Etsy seller who wants to keep up with the trends (my home is rustic Country, which still has its thousands of followers, but not to the extent of the current Farmhouse rage), I started tracking some of these sites and their devotees and checking out how they liked to decorate their homes. Here are some examples:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Etsy Changes: New Shop Look, New Seller Websites

Changes abound on Etsy today.

Well, they were rolled out a few days ago and most of the sellers are still reeling from the shock of  so much newness confronting them all at once: new shop looks and now "Pattern," a previously un-announced "stand-alone" website being offered, for a monthly fee, to sync in with each seller's Etsy shop.