Sunday, October 22, 2017

My Maid Hasn't Been Keeping Up With The Dusting Lately...

’Tis the season for believing in spooks, and this year, I've made a few additions to my annual Halloween decor, starting with the fake cobwebs on my fireplace screen.

It has the same consistency of angel hair, that spun fiberglass stuff people used to put on their Christmas trees years ago. This stuff is made of a less harmful substance. Hopefully, I'll be able to get these cobwebs off after the holiday is over.

Also new this year from a popular discount department store... two black glitter twig trees.

I had the mini orange lights and Christopher Radko mini ornaments from a couple of years back, and they fit perfectly.

As it does for most other holidays, my living room gets the most decorations. Also new this year, from an antiques shop in Clinton, CT... two jack-o-lantern window candles.

The jack-o-lantern face is two-sided so the neighbors
across the courtyard can get spooked, too.

And, the jingle bells door handle decoration is new as well.

My kitchen centerpiece includes two new white cake stands with black grosgrain ribbon. I usually get both an orange and white pumpkin, but this year I just bought an orange one.

Finally, at the end of my hallway, I switched out red crystal teardrops for amber on my regal wall crown.

Sometime it's just little, inexpensive changes like these that can make your home come alive with the spirit of the season.

Happy Halloween To All

(Don't forget to Treat yourself)!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Two Railroad Lanterns & A Scooter

Most times when I find vintage treasures, they often make me think of an unspecified "happy time" from the past, or a time I completely missed out on, which, I guess, is why I collect. In the simplest sense, they're just objects, but I do think they enhance your life and somehow become part of who you are when you keep them long enough.

Recently my sister and I cleaned out our Dad's garage and discovered a few treasures that were always there, but perhaps went unnoticed because they blended in too well with their surroundings.

First, we found these two old railroad lanterns gathering dust on a shelf. I don't know the full story because I don't think my grandfather ever talked about it, but when his father? came over from the Old Country (Immigrant alert!), he apparently worked on the railroad at one point. I do wish my grandfather were still around because I would ask him about it.

After doing a bit of online research and looking at the markings on each lantern, I discovered the large one is commonly known as an "Adlake" lantern, made by The Adams & Westlake Co. There are quite a few of these available at online auction sites. They're priced at anywhere from $80 to $199, depending on condition.

Lantern top with clear markings in ALL CAPS

Patents on rim of lantern top from 1908, 1909 and 1911
The clear globe is still intact and the initials N.Y. N.H. & H. R.R. stand for New York New Haven & Hartford Railroad.

The smaller red lantern is charming and colorful, and from what I could tell, more commonly found at online auction sites, prices starting at around $20.

The glass is clearly marked FEUER HAND

The top is marked ORIGINAL - NIER - FEUERHAND

As far as I can tell, the base says, 1175 W. GERMANY  SUPER BABY

I currently have these lanterns on my fireplace hearth, and they will add even more vintage charm at Christmastime, especially the red one.

The other item rescued from my Dad's garage is this old scooter that once belonged to my Uncle Joe. It's heavy cast-iron with a wooden footboard and hard rubber tires and handlebar tips. I especially like the fender on the front wheel. I'm guessing it's from the 1940s, though it could be older. Everyone can use an extra set of wheels, right?

At one time when we were kids, one of us added the "Volkswagon" sticker on the side using a label maker.


Because these have a personal connection, I will treasure them always, and do my best to not hide them in a closet or storage basement. I almost always display vintage finds anyway. They make excellent conversation starters.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

September's Treasures: From Alpine Villages to Herman Miller Swivel Chairs

September's Brimfield Antiques Show capped off a successful season of treasure hunting. Ideal late-summer weather, zero traffic hassles, and quality time spent with good friends all contributed to a great outing.

As usual, I came home with a few treasures that were not on my shopping "list," plus one item that was. Here's the item that was on my list...

I felt lucky to find this "Electrified" Alpine Village, complete with all nine buildings and light set, in its original box. The dealer said the light set didn't work, so I got it for just $15. When I got it home, I was able to get the set to work by using bulbs from another set I already had. I'm planning to create a display with these on my fireplace mantel this Christmas (I'll probably post photos here in December).

Note the BARKERS sticker. It's dated 10/78.
Barkers was a (now defunct) discount store founded in Orange, CT by Irving Barker in 1957.

Back of the box with important instructions.

Definitely a vintage piece, with U.S. manufacturer info on the box side.

Probably my favorite find this outing is my Herman Miller (Eames design) swivel chair – an excellent deal at $40. I've seen similar pieces at on-line auction websites for $200 to $350 depending on condition. This one isn't in perfect condition, as it has a couple of small rips on the upholstery and a raised squiggle flaw on the seat, but the swivel mechanism works perfectly, and it's super-comfortable to sit in.

Its original label is intact on the underside – Herman Miller, Inc. Zeeland, Michigan. I'm guessing this dates from the 1960s, though it could be a bit newer. I placed it at the end of my hallway for now, but I'm planning to move it to my bedroom at some point.

Continuing with the furniture theme, I also found this cool mirrored side table. I asked the dealer how old it was, and he estimated 1970s. I especially like its column shape on three little feet. It only measures 23 inches tall and 27 inches in diameter, so it will fit virtually anywhere. I currently have it in my living room next to a rocking chair. This was also a good deal for $40.

Lastly, I found a large skeleton key (for $7) to add to this year's Halloween display. This one measures 6 inches long.

Naturally, I was drawn to this charming table and bench set, painted with Christmas scenes. It's the same size and style as the set I currently have in my kitchen. If I had the room, this might have come home with me for the holidays.

So cute! No tablecloth required.

Until the May 2018 Brimfield show, wave goodbye to Santa!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pre-Carnival Vacation in P-Town

My long-awaited annual sojourn to Provincetown, MA finally arrived on August 9th, 2017, and I lucked out with really good weather.

It was not too hot and mostly sunny, perfect for strolling with an ice cream cone, riding a bike to the beach, dancing with friends and strangers, shopping for fun treasures, taking a new handful of snapshots, and attending drag shows – "Return To Grey Gardens," "5 To 9" and "Miss Richfield 1981: 2020 Vision, A Survival Guide For The New World."

As it does every year, P-Town features various theme weeks, and my week was really a non-week, the week before Carnival. This year's Carnival theme was "Gods & Goddesses," and a few places already had decorations up.

Naturally, the wall outside of The Boatslip (where T-Dance is held each day) featured a hot Poseidon...

No doubt Poseidon stocked up on the free hotel shampoo to maintain his beard.

I'm always inspired by the town's abundant creativity, and there's always new artwork to look at no matter where you go. Earlier in the year, this memorial was completed with a cool entrance from the street and additional art space – all dedicated to the artist, Bob Gasoi, who created the murals that adorned Shop Therapy from 1987 to 2010. These snapshots are just a sampling...

One day I was strolling around with my friend, Paulette, and we came across a few intriguing architectural details I'd never noticed in years past, including a building with a painted mural on every side...

I especially like this thick ironwork fence and flame sculptures...

I spotted this friendly pineapple cutout fence next to a gourmet grocery store parking lot...

My much-needed beach days were relaxing, and the salt water very refreshing at 64 degrees F. Herring Cove's new pavilion was completed a few years ago, but I never got up close to the interesting shingle design until this year...

On the way to the beach, I witnessed a bear sighting. Fortunately, this posse was non-threatening...

Shopping is always a pleasure in P-Town, and one of my finds was this Cape Cod souvenir bag for $5 at my favorite Marine Specialties store. I even found my own personal chips at the gourmet grocery store...