Friday, December 10, 2010


In celebration of the holidays and the one-year anniversary of my Etsy shop, I am having a holiday give-away! All you have to do is leave a comment below and you will be entered in a random drawing.  Winners will be notified Sunday night.  Be sure to leave the correct contact info for me.

The prizes, you ask???  Your choice of:



***Winner must have address in the lower 48 states.***

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday with Matthew Mead at the Spotted Cod in Sandwich, MA

If you are in the Cape Cod area tomorrow, Matthew Mead will be signing copies of his book-azine, Holiday with Matthew Mead at The Spotted Cod in Sandwich, Ma.  The Spotted Cod is a gorgeous "coastal" boutique right off Main Street in the oldest town on Cape Cod.  It is owned by Lee Repetto, interior designer extraodinaire.  I stopped by last weekend and couldn't resist buying a couple ornaments handmade by a local artisan.    The shop also features great pottery, beautiful jewelry, home decor items, and select vintage pieces.

Holiday...with Matthew Mead

While you're in town, you might as well take a stroll down Main Street.  Be sure to visit The Brown Jug for some pastries and coffee.  Then head to The Belfry Inn and Bistro (below) for a gourmet lunch to die for.  There are also antique stores, boutiques, and consignment shops to pop into.  Who said that Cape Cod was only a summer destination?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A New History for a Vintage Find

Several months ago, I sold a vintage brooch to a bride-to-be, named Michele.  She wrote to tell me that he was using it in her hair on her wedding day as her "something old".  I was very honored that an item in my shop would become a part of her special day.  My favorite part of collecting antiques is uncovering the stories behind my finds.   My favorite part of selling them is hearing about the new stories being created.

Michele wrote: "To some, the brooch would have been just a pin or hair accessory; To me, it was one of the many little details that made our life begin together and our wedding day complete. Again, thank you so very much!"

Just yesterday, she wrote me to thank me for the brooch and sent me a few pictures of her wedding day.  This is the best of all compliments for me.  It's also what keeps me inspired to continue searching out vintage finds.

She wrote:
I just wanted to send you a little note to thank you so much for selling the vintage brooch I purchased many months ago. I'm not sure if you remember, but I was going to be including it as my "something old" on my wedding day as a hair accessory. I just had to tell you how many compliments I received on the brooch. I absolutely loved the way it looked and it was perfect for my wedding gown. I wanted to send you some pictures, so that you are able to see how one of your items became a part of my special day. I can't wait to see how it came out in the professional pictures! Thank you so incredibly much!

Thank you Michele!!!

I must say that the brooch looks stunning, but not quite as stunning as the bride herself! Thanks Michele for sharing your story!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The ABCs of Vintage: E is for Ephemera

Wikipedia defines ephemera as "transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved."  Luckily, there have always been those sentimental fools among us that hold onto those pieces that were never meant to be preserved.   With the popularity of scrapbooking, upcycling, decoupage, crafting and creating, ephemera "art" has found it's way into homes across the globe.  
What draws me to ephemera is not only the history, but the fact that it is so tangible.  In this ever-increasing digital world, it's comforting to have pieces of the past in your hands. I have collections of old photos, Victorian trading cards, vintage Valentines, old paper labels, antique maps, vintage bingo cards, and old dictionary pages (just to name few).

It seems like everyone from young children to adults have had their hand at "creating" using vintage and antique ephemera.  John Derian has made a very successful career using ephemera to decoupage pieces such as trays and paperweights. He has his own stores in NYC as well as a line for Target.

Here is a gorgeous handmade tray from his website,

Check out how these etsy sellers have used ephemera in their art.

I love this bangle made from vintage sheet music from YanniCreations:


Here are ephemera labels from Bluebirdlane:

Here is a great shadow box from sweetruin:

Who knows, that old concert ticket that you just can't throw away may someday be transformed into art!   Ephemera can be found at flea markets, garage sales, on etsy and ebay, or right in your own home.   Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cape Cod's Hidden Gem: The Greenbriar Jam Kitchen

I was blessed enough to have grown up on Cape Cod.  Whenever we visit my parents (which is often),  one of my daughters' favorite spots is this magical little place in Sandwich called the Greenbriar Jam Kitchen.  It's a little cottage set on a pond with gorgeous gardens and trails surrounding the property.  It was started by Ida Putnam in 1903 and still operates using Ida's recipes in the original turn-of-the-century kitchen.  Part of the Thorton W. Burgess Society, they offer workshops and a large educational center.    (You may have heard of the Thorton Burgess, he was the creator of Peter Rabbit.  A museum in his honor is in downtown Sandwich.) 
It's a great place for nature-lovers of all ages.  Children can even meet the real Peter Rabbit there!  For more info, or to place a mail order with the Jam Kitchen click here

Louise is one of many helpful and friendly Jam Kitchen employees...

"Tis a wonderful thing to sweeten the world
which is in a jam and needs preserving."
...Thornton W. Burgess, 1939, to Ida Putnam

I most heartily agree with Mr. Burgess.  I covet the quick-to-sell-out raspberry jam and always make sure to stock up before summer's end.  

A couple of  pics of the grounds:

I took a little time to relax on the front porch and watch all the butterflies flutter by. (Notice the large bag of jam next to me.  I bought 8 jars!)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Last of Summer's Bounty

Every weekend from May through October, I try to visit our local farmer's market.  June and July are my favorite months with an abundance of fresh berries, luscious tomatoes, and gorgeous flowers.  Now that we are well into August, I'm beginning to notice that my favorites are short in supply.   So, I'm trying to suck up the last of summer's bounty before fall sets in.  
This weekend the menu consists of: tomato and cucumber salad, grilled eggplant, corn salad, and fresh zucchini with couscous.  My goal for next week?  Fresh berry cobbler.

Here are a few picks from my local farmer's market.

I wouldn't be Italian if I didn't like (ok, love) bread.  But, I'm picky too, so I stock up on this bread.  Like the sign says, "The Best Bread on the East Coast" and it's made of whole grains to boot!

What goes perfect with bread?  Fresh cheese, of course!

Flowers AND tomatoes, now you're talkin'!

Here are the root vegetables.  We'll be seeing more of these in the coming months.  I'll take the garlic!

I leave you with the berry cobbler recipe I'm trying this week...Bon Appetite!

Cobbler Summer Berry Cobbler

Ingredients (Serves 9)

2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
2 cups raspberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus a pinch
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for shaping biscuits
2 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup half-and-half, plus 2 Teaspoons for brushing
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Vanilla ice cream, (optional)


1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine berries, 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch lemon juice, and a pinch salt. Stir gently to combine. Pour into a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish.

2.In a medium bowl, combine flour, remaining tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and baking powder. Using a pastry knife or your hands, cut in butter until the mixture has the consistency of sand. Add 3/4 cup half-and-half, and stir just until mixture comes together. With lightly floured hands, form into nine 2-inch biscuits. Place on top of berries. Brush biscuits with half-and-half, and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

3.Bake until biscuits are golden brown and the berries are bubbling. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Prairie Flower Rides Again

I'd like to give a little "shout-out" to Tom at Zane's Cycles in Branford, CT.  He worked some magic for my daughter yesterday, turning her dusty, vintage, banana seat bike into a sparkling (albeit scratchy) "old school" riding machine.  Now, she can ride in style this weekend with her friends.
To the vintage bike lovers out there, this is a circa 1979 All-Pro Prairie Flower.  It was a steal at $5 at a yard sale.  It took about $50 to replace the wheels and inner tubes and to clean it up.  I love it and I can't wait to watch my daughter ride it (after I get a spin of course)!  Thanks Tom!

For more info on the best cycle shop on the East Coast, go to .

Friday, July 16, 2010

The ABCs of Vintage: D is for Depression Glass

Everyone loves an underdog.  In the world of collectibles, I'd say Depression Glass is one of the greatest underdog stories.  Manufactured during the Great Depression, these inexpensive pieces of glass were given away by businesses to encourage patronage.  They were beautiful but humble and never intended to be anything more than an incentive.  Lucky for us, the generation that survived the Great Depression was the original "green" generation.  They recycled out of necessity and kept everything.  As a result, many pieces survived and they have become highly collectible today.
Depression glass has a very distinctive look.  There are patterns to suit the tastes of any collector from geometric and masculine to lacy and feminine.   In all, 20 manufacturers created over 100 patterns in 16 different colors .  For more information visit the National Depression Glass Association website at

The gorgeous plate made in the Miss America pattern is available at my shop.  For more info click HERE.

This piece can be found at  It is in the Royal Lace pattern.

This piece is from

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Weekend Project: Clean That Desk!

It was another hot weekend here in New England.  We also has some rain thrown in which made the already humid air, stifling.  So I decided to focus my energies inward and work on my desk.  Now that I am running a business in addition to running a household and volunteering for numerous groups, I've noticed that my "stuff" had begun to spread and take over the the entire surface of my desk and beyond.  So after filtering, filing, tossing, and organizing I finally have a desk that works for me instead of against me.

Here is the result.  Can you find the vintage touches??

Here are the vintage pieces:
  1. First, the art above the desk is an original Amen print.
  2. The chair is vintage Naugahyde that looks like a creamy, white leather. 
  3. The desk I picked at an estate sale a few years ago.  It was in the garage with tools and Christmas decorations on top of it so it was over-looked.  I got it for $35--a steal!  Check out the hand-carving on the side.

4.  The tray pictured here is vintage Haeger pottery.

5.  The desk organizer is an old metal piece painted mustard-yellow with lots of wear.  I like that there are horizontal and vertical slots and that I can jam-pack it without worrying. 

6.   My pens, markers, ruler, scissors, and glue are in a vintage milk glass vase.

Voila!  I already feel more efficient.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The ABCs of Vintage: C is for Coca-Cola

Although I easily could've featured ceramics, china, cloisonne, chinoiserie, and the like.  As the anniversary of the birth of our United States is only days away, the choice was clear.  C had to be for Coca-Cola.  It's as American as apple pie, baseball, and...blogging.  Hey, even the logo is red and white. 
Today, one cannot go anywhere in the world without seeing the red and white signage for this classic drink.  Flip through the pages of a Pottery Barn Catalog or Country Living Magazine and I guarantee there's at least one vintage Coke prop used.

Here are some Fun Facts about Coke's long history that I gleaned from the company website:
  • Coke was invented in 1886 by John Pemberton, a pharmacist.

  • It was first served at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta the day it was invented.

  • John Pemberton's bookkeeper, Frank  Robinson created the name and the logo. (I bet he wished he had the copyright!)

  • Asa Chandler bought Coca-Cola in 1889 and incorporated the name in 1892.

  • Heavy marketing made Coca-Cola a household name.  A new bottle shape (one that could be recognized in the dark) was invented in order to separate the drink from its many imitators.

  • In 1928, Robert Woodruff, son of the new owner Ernest, sends Coca-Cola to the Olympics with Team USA.  He also encourages the development of the 6-pack and open-top cooler so people can enjoy Coca-Cola on the go.

  • In 1941, as America entered WWII, Woodruff proclaimed that "every man in uniform gets a Coca-Cola for 5 cents, wherever he is, and whatever it costs the company."

  • Every generation can link this icon to an icon of their time.  In 1970, as the Coca-Cola company continued to expand globally, they came up with the slogan and unforgettable commercial, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke." View it HERE

With all this history and the strong bond to America and its past-times, it's no wonder that vintage Coke items are highly collectible and always hot.

Here are a few of my favorite Coke finds:

Coca-Cola crates like these are still kicking around flea markets and yard sales.  Expect to pay $10 and up. (This one already sold at

The ever-popular Coca-cola cooler.  These are tougher to come by, but are great to pack drinks in at a backyard party.   Expect to pay around $100 for one in decent condition.  (This one can be found for $110 at

Magazine ads are abundant.  These can be framed and hung in your home.  Check old Saturday Evening Post and Life magazines for large ads. (This one can be found at

Here are some additional collectibles...
I love this vintage truck.  This sells for over $200 at

A 1950s button sign from

For more info on collecting Coca-Cola, see   And remember to "Have a Coke and a...Smile!"