First Yard Sale of the Season

Just before the rain and a high of 41 returned to our forecast today, we were able to enjoy a really nice weekend here in the ever weather temperamental sate of South Carolina. 
Of course the beauty of a pretty first weekend of spring is that people start setting up for yard sales.  
My parents were in town for the weekend as well, so along with Audley, we took off and hit up the first yard sale of the season, which happened to be just around the corner from our house!
We discovered a treasure trove of goodies as we browsed; antiques galore, especially dolls and dishes.  My mom actually found a doll that was made very similar to one that she shared with her sister as a little girl; one that was left outside and melted in the rain.  
She thought it might have been made of chalk or something similar, but never knew.  Did anyone else ever have a dollie like that?
Tea Party anyone?

Just one of the beautiful dolls we discovered on our adventure
Boxes of vintage linens in the drive
As for dishes, what a variety!  From mid-century barware to 1930’s Depression glass and collectable plates galore, there was plenty to choose from.

I loved the antique butter presses …. but NOT the price tag!
My mother found several pieces marked with a “W” which is our family monogram.  When inquiring about the background, the woman who owned all of the beautiful wares (and had passed away a year ago) was a “Woolworth”.
As in the 5 & dime Woolworths. 
How cool is that?
While I often browse more than I shop at yard sales (I need to have one myself!), I did actually purchase some neat goodies at this one.
I absolutely loved this hymnal from 1893 that I picked up for a dollar.  It was so neat to thumb through the book and realize that some of the hymns we still sing in worship on Sunday are well over a hundred years old!
The pretty red, white and blue tablecloth the book is laying on is a vintage 1960’s beauty that I grabbed for $5.  I thought it would be perfect for a Memorial Day or July Fourth picnic cloth.  Hopefully I will be able to clean it up nicely. 
I loved this set of pink depression glass bowls from the 1930’s.  I wasn’t going to get them, but my sweet hubby talked the owner down from $75 to $40 ( yes, you can bargain at yard sales).  I must admit, they are beautiful and still look nearly perfect.  I wondered if they had ever been used.

I also picked up this really pretty mid-century cocktail pitcher with the original blown glass swizzle stick for $5!  I was so excited because it fits just perfectly with my bar car that I restored a couple of years back.
Momma discovered a old camera from the 1950’s that she had to have.  She also purchased a couple of the table linens and two antique pewter items;  a pitcher monogrammed with a “W” and a tea pot stamped with 1886 on it.  
In researching the latter on Ebay we found similar pots selling for over $400 dollars!  I would say she really lucked out!
I don’t know how many more casual weekends we will be able to enjoy this spring, but I sure enjoyed this one without any demands.  Hopefully we’ll get to hit up a few more yard sales or flea markets soon!

{Shopping} Scott’s Antique Market

With temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s with gorgeous days to accompany it, everyone is getting out and about shopping yard sales and flea markets.
A couple of weekends ago I spent the day at Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta on a shopping trip led by designer blogger, and friend; Eddie Ross.  Open the second weekend of every month, Scott’s has something for everyone; from interior designers to DIYer’s the market is quite busy with everyone looking to score that perfect find!

I set out on my antique market adventure not only to look for a few things for our home, but to enjoy  smart, practical and creative ideas from Eddie.

 From adding to collections to just finding a great bargain, there are several reasons people venture out and shop the antique markets or yard sales.  Me?  I love the thrill of finding that perfect piece of furniture to restore!

Shopping with Eddie is always an informative event.  He is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to antiques and not afraid to step outside the box when it comes to creativity.  This is the third time over the last couple of years I have gone on one of his excursions and each time  I have come away learning something new.

As you venture out this spring and summer looking for your must-have item or just window shopping, here are some wonderful ideas and suggestions from Eddie for decorating and entertaining with those second-hand finds.

**Look to turn the vintage into something modern.  Turn a vase into a lamp; rewire or paint a vintage lamp.  It’s an easy job that may cost you about $25.

**Mix and Match metals throughout the house:  brass & silver, silver & iron (my favorite combo) for an eclectic mix of modern and traditional.  Don’t take it to the extreme and keep the look cohesive.

**When looking to set a table, it doesn’t have to be matchy- matchy.  Use a solid color charger with a plain white plate and a vintage salad plate.  Take the same color of china but different patterns to set your table.  I love the look of Blue and Brown transfer-ware alternating seats at the table.  A red/black or black/blue combo would also look lovely.

**Take vintage postcards photocopy on card stock and glitter the edges to use for place cards during the holidays.

**When looking for serving pieces let your imagination run wild with ways you can use odd pieces.  A 2-tiered marble topped side table would be lovely lined with large hosta or magnolia leaves topped with fresh vegetables and dip or other assorted hors d’oeuvres.

**Collect pieces that can go from formal to casual like milk glass or ironstone.  Use different styles for creating interest on a buffet from flat bowls to pedestal.  Elevate your pieces for effect.

**Use vintage tablecloths to brighten your outdoor picnic.

**When decorating a room don’t start with paint and work around it; choose a rug, a picture, a piece of furniture, or even china and draw your color from it.

**The quickest and easiest way to update a room is through pillows.

**Looking for easy artwork?  Try botanical pictures from an antique book.  Decorating a child’s room?  Take pictures from vintage storybooks; mat and frame for one of a kind pieces on the wall.  Matting and Framing does cost, but the end result is so worth it.

**Another great idea for wall art is to make a shadowbox showcasing old broaches or antique buttons.

**Don’t be afraid to give an antique gift at your next baby or wedding shower.  Anyone can go into Babies-R-Us and purchase a gift, but think how treasured a one-of-a-kind gift would be?  From silverware to ivory handled knives, think unique.  I know one of my favorite wedding gifts was a piece of my grandparents silver.  Not new, but loaded with personality!

Don’t you just adore this set of baby silverware?

**Need hostess gifts?  Think of a silver olive fork tied to a jar of gourmet olives, a set of salt cellars, or a gorgeous monogrammed tea towel or set of pillowcases.  Laundered and pressed these are unique and memorable gifts.

If you ever have the opportunity to shop with Eddie, I highly recommend that you try and attend.  He usually keeps events posted on his blog or Facebook page.  I promise you will have a really good time!

Next time you are out and about scouring the market or yard sale I hope you can find something ordinary that gets your creativity flowing!

My Thrifty Table

When Audley and I picked out dishes years ago, we settled for plain, white dishes that we had found on sale at Pottery Barn.  We had saved and saved making these dishes very special to us.  In a world of color, white can be very dull and boring, but that was one of the reasons I picked these out!
Having white dishes in the kitchen is like having a blank canvas in front of you to paint any way you would like!   I can dress them up formally or keep them casual.  There are no restrictions.  When it comes to stocking my kitchen with dining accessories, I haven’t always bought new.  Nothing is prettier than a vintage piece of silver serving appetizers when company arrives, or glasses from the 1960’s to spark conversation at the table.
I love this wedgewood Jeanette glassware!
When I have the opportunity (which is very rare these days), I love to take a quick stroll through our local Goodwill, looking for that perfect piece to add to my kitchen.  Usually I come up empty handed, but last week, with the help of a phone call from my mother-in-law, I happened upon a box filled with FireKing Jadeite dishes.  For $30 I ended up with several dinner plates, bowls, saucers, mugs, bowls and serving platters.

{Audley thinks they are ugly, but I just love them!}


While having company over last week, I set the table with my plain white dishes and accessorized the the beautiful Jadeite pieces.  I loved the look, and as I looked at my table, I realized with the exception of the basics (plates, glasses, silverware), everything on my table was a thrifty find.
.25 vase from a yard sale for simple arrangements.
Vintage salt/pepper shakers handed down from my grandmother
Cruet picked up at Scott Antique Market in Atlanta for $3. (It is filled with Soy Sauce)
And of course the simple Jadeite dishes that I mixed with my dinnerware.
And if you are looking for something delicious for dinner tonight, you must try this easy Honey-Chili Chicken.  Serve it up with rice and a salad for supper in no time!

How do you set a lovely table?

Just for fun this week I am linking up with Rhoda’s Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality.


Everything Old is New Again

Have you seen “Mad Men?”  Set in the 1960’s, this show on AMC is setting the stage for entertaining with it’s lavish cocktail parties and bringing back classic decorating trends that had long faded away.  It’s all so glamorous and fun!
I have gotten caught up in the madness of the 1960’s as well, and with 2011 here at last,  I have been making a few resolutions for the new year.  The biggest (and probably the most difficult) of all is to slow down and get back to personal relationships.  I want more than a passing hello and a conversation in the stands at whatever sporting event we are attending with the kids.  I want to open our home to our friends and family, to spend time with them laughing, talking, and build better relationships.
With all of this on my mind, as we were putting up our Christmas decorations last week, I found an old serving cart that had belonged to Audley’s grandmother back in the 1960’s.  
It was in pretty rough shape and needed some serious TLC, but I saw endless possibilities and took on the challenge, the very last one of 2010.
you can see all of the rust that had taken over the cart.
I cleaned the cart up by wiping it down with steel wool.  It made a huge difference in cleaning and smoothing the cart, but unfortunately it had some permanent discoloration, so I decided to paint it.
after the steel wool
With new glass tops had been ordered, the cart cleaned and painted, I now have a cute vintage piece to use for entertaining.
And don’t my 1960’s “Jeanette” glassware fit perfectly?
The entire project only cost just over $25.  I spent $10.42 on paint and steel wool, and $15 on the two pieces of glass for the trays.  I love a good deal!
image: Newly, New Veg
Carts like these are so versatile as they can be used for serving both food and drinks, but they can also be  moved room to room for easy access.
Speaking of drinks, here are a few ideas for cocktails, compliments of the “Illustrated Guide to Mad Men” to make your next gathering a little more creative.

click on the images to enlarge

What are your goals for the new year?

Wishing you a fabulous 2011!