Monday, June 27, 2011

I Spy...

I've been working on our living room here and there this week and one of my tasks was to empty out my end table. I made it along with the horse barn window coffee table right before we moved to Boston and for 6 years I've been filling this little table with colorful vintage toys and other trinkets. It was filled right up to the glass and I'm not sure much more could fit, but alas, all the bright colors clash with our gray and neutral colored living room. So it's time for a change.

The toys can finally breathe!

I laid them all down on the floor just for fun. And I think it certainly calls for a game of "I Spy"!

I Spy with my little eye:
1 Kazoo, 27 Pez Dispensers, 1 Fish, 2 Collapsing Giraffes, 1 Coin Purse, 1 Stegosaurus, and Little Red Riding Hood.

Feel free to look at the detail pictures:

How many things did you find??

All gone! And ready to be filled with something more neutral...but what?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A wonderful Shower

It looks like love is in the air with this photo! And I felt very loved. I had a strawberry themed bridal shower at our family cabin on Fish Creek, complete with a little mountain of cupcakes made by my cousin Samantha and topped with tiny little Ben's and me's.

So cute! She's a talented pastry maker.

My two moms and I (one "old" and one new!) and my bridesmaids and I, Suzy, Andrea and Jessica. I wish I had photos of everyone else who was there! I really felt so much love and was a doted on princess for the night. I guess every girl should experience that at least once in a while! :)

It was such a fun and lovely shower...thank you so so much Aunt Pat for putting it on!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Drum Roll Please....

And the lucky winner of my giveaway is.....

Jeanie! (aka Jillian Yoder)

She is a blog follower and gets to choose any available patriotic character from my last update. Come claim your prize Jeanie by emailing me at and Congratulations!

Thank you so much everyone for all of your comments. I really love reading them and knowing you all are out there enjoying my blog! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Basement

There has been a lot of work going on in our new house, and one project I've been concentrating on in the last couple of weeks is organizing the basement. Why would I start with a non-living area when there's so much to do in the rest of the house? Well...mostly because all the stuff that's ultimately going to go in the rest of the house was piled high in the basement and virtually unreachable.

It really did look like a room from the Hoarders show.

But after building several wooden shelves and going through many boxes...voila! A neat and organized basement where I can find things. (Ok ok I'm not completely finished organizing...but I'm most of the way there!)

I bought these boxes online that are the perfect size and shape for the shelves. With lids that lift off...they are perfect for storage down in the depths of my home.

I also included some shallower display shelves where I can put loose items that are more helpful being seen than stashed away behind cardboard. It's really great actually...when I'm finally ready to decorate the living room and dining room, I'll have my own little boutique in the basement, filled with my favorite things.

I had forgotten about this amazing antique cloche...found at the thrift store for $4.

Adorable ceramics...

Milkglass and seashells...

My favorite little lamb planter...

And other doodads...all ready to be brought upstairs when the time is right. And then...the shelves will be clear and ready to house more goodies that have yet to be discovered out there in the world!

Oh yes...and we mustn't forget Mr. Sockman. Apparently he was made by my great Aunt Anna when I was born and is still super adorable and waiting for the perfect spot upstairs. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

I've been on the Treasure Hunt!

I've been back on the hunt and certainly have some treasures to show for it! These are all either from the Lake George town wide garage sale, the thrift store down the street, or a really great old lady garage sale up the street. I have to say, the garage sales are smokin' in these parts! A big relief from the all too often slim pickings I experienced in Boston.

I have two items tied in first place as favorites. They were both found at the little old lady sale and were both a buck a piece, which makes them all the better! A woodpecker toothpick holder not only holds the toothpicks, but when you push him down, he'll pick a toothpick up for you! I'm definitely putting this guy on the dining room table when we eat my dad's corn on the cob this summer (and speaking of dad, Happy belated Father's Day to my dad and all those other dad's out there!).

And also tied in first place are these black Americana clown teapot salt and pepper shakers. The reason I like them so much is because they have the perfect chippy patina, making them look old, but not destroyed, and because their faces don't remind me of clowns, but rather of images of vintage Halloween jack-o-lanterns. Yay!

On a more utilitarian front, this super long cloth tape measure will certainly come in handy in the future...all of my tape measures have been mini. Until now that is.

These cake toppers were also found at the little old lady sale. The two ladies were sister's and said that a lot of the stuff belonged to their mother. I wonder if the plaster cake topper with velvet flower bouquet was their parent's when they married and then the more modern plastic 50th anniversary topper was for the same couple, 50 years later. It very likely is the case and I feel honored to be the new owner of these special pieces.

And speaking of weddings, all the these glasses, vases, and candle sticks will grace the table at our wedding. The shell and seed necklace have another creative fate.

Some other vases and such, including a cool little bell jar with glass base and super old dried flowers inside. I think the bell jar will look smashing displayed near my hair wreath.

Some Avon perfume containers almost never fail to please. Can you guess which is my favorite? (hint: it might contain honey instead of perfume!)

I have a weak spot for shell art. To me, seashells are the decorations of summertime. I already have a little trio of shell ships, and this forth, larger piece will fit right in. The pink colorful vase is really sweet...especially since it looks like it's plastered in candy. Yum!

A few little holiday pieces...and melty ones at that. I don't usually collect anything made from wax if I can help it...I'm not all that great at climate control, but this pretty turkey was too good to pass up. The other piece, a hand crafted Christmas treasure is made from....soap. I can't believe it's lasted all these years in one piece...I'm quite impressed! I bought it for the goodies on top, but now I have a new found respect for it and think I'll keep it as is.

These old rubber molds are super neat and will look great in my studio. Who knows, maybe I'll even use them someday...they do have directions inside.

I can hardly pass on a celluloid Kewpie...this one is missing her arms, but she's still cute as a button in her homemade dress.

The little old lady sale had tons of owls and I probably should have gotten more, but these guys were my favorites, especially those funny flocked ones flanking the others.

I have a lot of soft spots, I'll admit....but tiny old plastic animals hit on another soft spot. And the blue cow eraser is just like the ones they used to (and maybe still do) sell at the dairy princess booth at the county fair where I showed cows as a kid. The smell of them is nostalgic.

These cool frosted Christmas lights still work and I'm looking forward to using them this year!

And last but certainly not least, a big collection of vintage magnets. My grandmother had some of these and they gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside when I found them.

All of these new treasures are really getting me motivated to open up my long dormant Vintage From Crystal Etsy shop again! The shop where vintage reigns supreme. Stay tuned for an official announcement, but if you wish, you just might be able to score some of the goodies I just scored! :)

One more note: I'm loving all the comments on the giveaway post! Thanks for participating! If you haven't entered already, there's still time. I'll announce the winner on Friday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Give Away!

It's finally time for another give away! And what's the prize you ask? Well...there are still several America lovin' kids looking for homes from my last update and the Fourth of July is just around corner! The lucky winner of this giveaway will get to choose one to help them celebrate the red, white and blue! Refer back to this listing to see the ones that are available.
This time there are several ways to enter to win:

-Leave a comment on this post
-Become a follower (see side bar) - If you're already following me, you're already entered
-Lastly, if you leave a comment and purchase a patriotic character, you'll be entered five times for each character you adopt - Anyone who has already purchased a character from the last update and then leaves a comment on this post will be entered five times as well for each character. That means if you've been thinking about adopting one, now's the time to do it, because it could very well turn into a two for one!

Phew! I hope that makes sense. But this time there's lots of different ways to win. I'll choose a winner randomly next Friday, June 24th.

I'm so excited about having another give away! Plus it's a way to show you all of you out there how much I really appreciate you and the amazing support you give me. I am truly grateful! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

It is Hair!

The mystery item is a mourning hair wreath! There were a lot of knowledgeable Nancy's and good guessers! My mom and Ben had to take second and thirds looks to believe it was hair! Folks in the 19th century crafted these from the hair of family members, often deceased ones as a sort of memorial to them. I wonder what the family of my hair wreath was like and what they would have thought of it ending up in my hands...a complete stranger...or who knows, it is a small world after all, perhaps I actually know a descendant! But short of doing DNA analysis and some hard investigation, I suppose we'll never know.

Just for fun I put together a collage of different hair wreath photos I found around the web...some of which are for sale right now. My favorite is the 1894 cool is that? It even has tiny birds within it. But I'm so happy I have my favorite own hairy treasure.

And stay tuned this week...I'll be having a waaaaay long over due giveaway and I promise it won't have anything to do with hair. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mystery item revealed!

It was hard to photograph because of the glass and the light, but isn't it amazing?! It's from the Victorian Era, probably late 1800's, and it's been hiding in a corner for a long time, just waiting to be found by me. The last stop on our string of antique stores was this Victorian house in Fair Haven. It's a little inconspicuous from the outside - a beautiful brick exterior with intricate woodwork trim - but when you walk in, it's like that Hoarders show, but with really nice antiques. Probably better and more unusual antiques than you'd find almost anywhere, just piled, literally, from floor to ceiling. You wonder what's really even there because most of it is buried and covered with dust. Probably in most other antique stores most of the items would have been scooped up right away, but because you simply can't see most of it, you know there are magical things just waiting to be found. The only thing that brings you back to reality are the expect a dusty pile of stuff to be a bargain...but not quite at this place.
The owner, a super fascinating guy who followed us around chatting away, has a real appreciation for all of the objects and would probably be just as happy keeping them all as he would be selling them. But it was a real adventure going into his house. Just when we thought we saw everything, he opened another door and revealed another giant pile of things. And believe it or not, it was fairly organized with like things grouped together. We even went down into the basement, where many many many books and magazines lived (mom was happy as that's her forte). It was a neat adventure for sure!

So, back to the piece that I uncovered. I was looking at a kewpie cake topper when in the corner of my eye I spotted a part of this framed piece sticking out of a crevice in between a pile of boxes and a piece of furniture. I knew what it was immediately and was really surprised. I asked him about it and he was surprised that I even knew what it was, and even more, that I had an appreciation for it.

So what is it you ask?'s something that rich Victorians had commissioned for their families way back when. The intricate detail of the flowers is amazing. It really reminds me of the seashell sailors Valentine's they made as souvenirs for Navy men around the same time, but I think these might be even more rare.

Each little flower is so delicate and detailed...and when it's moved, they have a gentle bounce to them.

Can you tell what the flowers are made of?

Can anyone guess? :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New old stuff...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my patriotic update the other day! Everyone is excited to have new homes and those that didn't will make their way to Etsy soon. :) In the mean time, I wanted to show you some of the neat new things I've found in my latest treasure hunting expeditions.

The chair above was wrangled at the local Friday night auction, which is just up the road from my house. It was the first time I ever really participated in an auction...and I have to was a ton of fun! The seats were filled with old timers and hillbillies and I felt right at home. The best part? The bidding stayed pretty low. I got this great vintage tufted chair for $12.50. Can't beat that! And I have to give props to Ben. He spotted it after I overlooked it. When Sophie's not lounging underneath it, she's on top looking at the squirrels out the window.

They also had lots of boxed lots where even if you want only one thing, you have to buy the whole box full. These were buried underneath other junk I didn't really care for and I was bummed when the auctioneer picked the couple next to me when the bids were at three dollars. I shamelessly asked the couple if I could buy just those four old party crackers out of the box and they wouldn't take my money. It was so sweet and I was super happy! I also bought a couple of other pieces of furniture that needs a bit of painting. I'll show you those later.

And yesterday I took the day off and went on a road trip with my mom to Vermont. It only takes about a half hour to forty five minutes to reach the border, but to me it's like a different, special world. I found this adorable crepe brides maid, skirt-side-up (how shameful for a proper lady!) at one of my favorite shops just shy of the VT border. She'll fit seamlessly into my collection.

This Christmas stuff was at the same store.

And the book! I can imagine reading this to my little nieces in a few years. See Spot run!

This tiny frog pitcher is a real gem and priced cheap because of a chip on his lip. Cool huh?

And these cool wood pieces will turn into a picture frame, trophy mount (no animals harmed of course) and ??.

And I haven't yet shown you the best find of the day, or month, or year really. That will be tomorrow. It's strange, bizarre, and completely amazing. Stay tuned! :)