A Vintage Find & A Song

Happy Monday!!!

Are all of you staying warm in this deep freeze that is supposed to end this week?  By Friday in my part of New England, it is supposed to be near 50 degrees.  Right now, it is 13 degrees.  Wild, right?

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I came across a winter picture from my house in NY.  I always loved how my maple tree’s branches glistened after a storm.  But I do not miss shoveling snow!!!    🙂

Very quickly, did anyone catch the Golden Globes last night?  Shout out to “This Is Us” winner Sterling K. Brown!!!  So great to see legends like Shirley MacLaine & Carol Burnett there, too.  And so glad there were big wins for “Big Little Lies”, “Lady Bird” & “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.  I saw all three and they were fabulous!!!  Plus, it is really nice to finally hear the conversations about valuing women with equal pay and zero tolerance for harassment.

Now that you have graciously allowed me my soap box moment, let me share with you my first vintage find from my first estate sale of 2018 (yes, I ventured out in this arctic freeze to dig, LOL!!!)

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Pretty, right?  I do not have any blue dishes as I try to stay with plain ones or white ones with light pink patterns, but I just fell in love with the soft color and the delicate design.  The edge of the dishes and the cup handles are lined with silver.  I think it will be gorgeous on a fresh spring table.  I really love them and I am so happy I found a complete service for four.

Since it is Monday, it is time for music.  The song I have chosen for this week’s inspiration is a hauntingly beautiful ballad written by the man who also penned “American Pie”.  The first time I heard today’s song, it immediately reminded me of one of my favorite Robert Frost poems, “The Road Not Taken”.  I always felt an incredible ache every time I got to to the last stanza of the poem because I believed the author felt regret with the choice he made.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

But then I read the poem to a sage friend of mine who thought the author was actually happy with the road he took.  Suddenly I realized how myopic my thinking was.  Of course there are two sides to the poem.  There is to everything.  You just have to choose to see them.

I do not think I am alone in feeling like at one time or another, I may have gone in the wrong direction than where life intended to take me.  But I have come to believe that in the end every road I have taken is my intended journey through life, so…….

There’s no need for turning back
‘Cause all roads lead to where I stand.
And I believe I’ll walk them all
No matter what I may have planned“.

Don McLean:  “Crossroads“.

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

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Creating A Mood

Hello and happy fall, Vixens!!!

I have been stuck for a while on how to decorate my place.  It seems the more choices I have, the worse it is.  And since I have so much saved on Pinterest, I decided to go through my pins and create a mood board to help me narrow down my choices.

I started with the living room.  I asked myself what is important for me to have in there. Comfortable seating for me and guests when I entertain, good lighting for when I curl up with a good book, a comfy pillow and throw for when I want to get extra cozy, color, texture and a few things that I love.

Here is what I came up with:

 

Mood board

 

What do you think?

Let’s break it down.

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The focal point of any living room is the sofa, so that was my first pick.  I never had one with a chaise, but the thought of having one has always been in the back of my mind. This sectional from Arhaus really spoke to me, from the overstuffed cushions to the rolled arms to the gorgeous color (Theater Cream).  So pretty.  They have a wide variety of sectional couches to choose from.

 

lamp

 

Next I moved to lighting.  I adore the feminine charms a chandelier gives to a room, but in a living room, I prefer lamps.  This industrial style floor lamp embraced my love of old & worn while bringing in a masculine touch.

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books

 

A floor lamp eliminates the need for an end table on one side of the sofa, but on the other side I envisioned a place to stack a pile of old family books that I like to have around.  I thought the white metal chair from Target would serve that purpose beautifully while providing some balance to the metal lamp on the other side.

 

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More texture and comfort are provided courtesy of the cable knit throw and  pillow, and the velvet pillow provides a subtle pop of color while keeping the neutral pallet of the room alive.

 

coffee table

 

And those items store away easily when not needed in an antique tool chest which serves as a coffee table.  Look at that beautiful hardware!!!!!  Sa-wooooon!!!!!

 

industrial photo

 

My sofa will be up against a wall because the room is not big enough for me to float it. That means the big blank wall behind the couch needs some visual interest.  Instead of doing a straight line of prints which will only follow the line of the sofa, I prefer one large picture.  I adore black and white photography, and the grittier the better.  This one satisfies all of the above.

 

pink roses

 

I finished up the room the way I finish every room-with fresh flowers.  Pink roses are gorgeous, but especially in my heart’s desire, white Ironstone.  Just imagine those beautiful blooms in that pitcher on top of that tool trunk………..too beautiful for words.

 

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And the final touch?  Music, what else?  My favorite song of all time-“Jungleland“-from Bruce Springsteen’s life altering “Born To Run” album is always in my CD player – yes, I still LOVE my CD’s!!!!   🙂  And happy birthday, Bossman!!!

The best part of this mood board?  It can be created on any budget.  I may have taken some of the pictures from expensive websites or stores, but that does not mean when I am ready to bring my dream living room to life I will not be able to find any of the items at flea markets, tag sales or on Craigslist.  I find the key is to be patient and go after one piece at a time.  Start with the focal point and go from there.  Before you know it, everything comes together & you did not have to empty your bank account to do it.

What does your mood board look like???  Let me know in the comments below.

None of the images in this post belong to me.  All resources are provided in the links.

This post was not sponsored.  All opinions, ideas and swoons are mine 🙂

Until next time, fellow Vixens, keep digging!!!

 

 

Flea Market Fun

Hello, Vixens!!!  Long time, right???  Hope you have all been fine, enjoying the spring season and the Easter or Passover holidays.

Sorry for the unplanned break, but between a very busy spurt at work, two book clubs with 500 plus page books each and several personal things to attend to, I just did not have the energy to open my laptop at the end of the day.  But that period is over so let’s get back to the treasures!!!

Two weeks ago I went to my first estate sale of the year on my lunch break after seeing the sign for it on my way to work.  It was definitely worth forgoing my usual soup and sandwich fare.  I do not recall seeing the sign the day before but it worked out better because I went on the final day of the sale when everything was 50% off.  So I got one Ironstone platter, three Ironstone plates and two New England Baking Company pie tins for $10.00.  Say it with me…….SCORE!!!

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This past Sunday, four of my wonderful cousins and I took our first trip together to the Elephant’s Trunk Sale, which opened for 2017 at the beginning of April.  We had a perfect day for it-sunny with a nice cool breeze.  Fantastic weather to shop in!!!

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We were having such a great time together that I did not even think to pick up my camera to photograph all the treasures we saw as we strolled up and down the aisles.  But anything and everything you could want or need is at this market.  Plus, it seemed to me there were a lot more vendors selling plants, flowers and fresh produce than last year.  And if you are a foodie-this place does not disappoint!!!  The smells of hot dogs, popcorn, grilled veggies and fresh baked goods were everywhere we turned.  Two of my cousins, Sharon and Gina, were swooning over the cupcakes.  And three of us made out with some great finds.

My cousin, Laura Ann, found an adorable pillow featuring one of the best breeds out there-and she would know, as she and her husband, Joe, currently have one of these cuties at home:

dog pillow

My cousin, Sharon, found this fabulous rustic gift.  I think both chickens and stainless steel  farmhouse decor rule!!!

Chicken picture

And I did not even make it all the way down the first aisle I was in without spotting these two shabby chic delights:

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I have gone to this flea market so often by myself since I moved to the area and enjoy it each time.  But, it is so much more fun to shop, laugh, talk and buy with a group of great people around!

So, have any of you started attending any sales or flea markets yet?  Have you found anything swoon-worthy?  If not, don’t worry.  The season to shop has just begun!!!

Till next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Local Store Stop: Maison St. Germain, Woodbury, CT

Hello, Vixens!!!  While I was patiently waiting for the summer to pass, I discovered a gem of a store in Woodbury, CT.  While the town is known as the “The Antiques Capital” of Connecticut, I have not had the time to check out too many of them yet because I have been distracted by junking, estate sales and my new favorite, barn sales.  But that is for another post.  Maison St. Germain is so beautiful I cannot help but share it!!!  (I am still without my SLR camera, so please forgive me if the quality of some of the shots is not the best).

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Owned, run and designed by the extremely talented mother-daughter team of Debra Germain and Nicole Germain-Perez (below, left to right), their store is 3,300 square feet of sheer loveliness.

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Both designers, these ladies are bursting with creativity, and it shows in every part of their store which they describe as “vintage style with eclectic flair”.  I think of them as the east coast version of the Junk Gypsies.

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Their philosophy?  “If you like it, buy it. It will work”.  Just look at the adorable table I snagged.  Debra said it was made from old cheese boxes.

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The women decided to open a store after doing various antiques shows for years. “It just wasn’t fun anymore,” Deborah said. “So we wrote a business plan on a napkin in a restaurant after a show & we opened a store.”

They still attend shows like Bouckville and Stormfield, but they admit they do not have time for too many estate sales. “There just isn’t time because this is a seven day a week job. If we are not in the store, we are out buying or home painting what we buy” said Nicole.  This dining room set is a perfect example of their painting skills.

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The painted furniture pieces most prominent items throughout the store but there is so much more, like one of my favorites, White Ironstone.  I love the look of the pristine white platters against the chippy old door.  The perfect combo, in my humble opinion.  And that pumpkin sign is perfect for fall, right?

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They have a big collection of punch bowls which they use for so many things, including floral displays & centerpieces for Christmas with ornaments & lights.  .

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And so many adorable items like this sink or the doll’s chair/stool.  Too cute!!!

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There is even a spot to enchant the men.

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The women love being inventive with their displays and designs which includes their own line of clothing with the best name I ever heard: The Vintage Vixen   🙂

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Their clothes line features hand-dyed & hand-painted clothes. “I saw something on TV about Ralph Lauren is doing hand painted clothes now, too,” said Debra.  This pair of shorts reminded me of a Jackson Pollock painting.

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They also carry accessories like these “Vogue” inspired purses & an array of footwear including cowboy boots.

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IMG_1028[1]And as a Rock & Roll chick myself, I appreciated all the music posters throughout the clothing section!!!

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The store does not just look good, it smells good, too, thanks to a line of beautiful soaps displayed just in front of the check out counter.

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So, for a treat for your eyes and nose, check out Maison St. Germain!!!

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It’s A Wonderful House

I know it is almost Easter, but I have been thinking a lot about a Christmas movie lately:  “It’s A Wonderful Life“***.   The one scene in particular I replay over and over in my  head is the one where George and Mary are walking home from the dance and they throw rocks in the window of the old house that Mary wishes will become her home to share with George one day in the future.

On my recent travels, I drove passed a house that I dream of owning.  It’s old, not in the best of shape, and I am not even sure if it has been occupied recently as there are never any people or cars around it.  The house sits on about an acre of land with a beautiful lake behind it.

This is the front street view of the house.  Please forgive the quality of the pictures as I was using my iPhone.  My SLR camera is not working at all.

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And this is the side view.IMG_0619[1]

I am in love with this house.  I love the wrap around porch, the charm it exudes and all the beautiful trees on the property.  I have yet to see the inside, but I imagine there are fireplaces in every room, more than one bathroom featuring a claw foot tub and a kitchen right out of the 1940’s or 1950’s.  Sa-woon.

Of course, none of that may be true, but since the outside still retains its charm, I am hopeful that the inside loveliness has been preserved as well.  I will be crushed it it turns out the kitchen contains 1970’s Formica or that the living room has bright orange shag carpeting, but for now I will hold onto my dreams.

When I picture my life in the future, I see myself living in a home like this, one that my future husband & I have lovingly restored and now live in with our two pugs, Starsky & Hutch.  We plant a vegetable garden, some lilac and hydrangeas bushes and perhaps get a few chickens so we can have fresh eggs every day.  We host lavish clam bakes in the summer & cozy Christmas Eve dinners every December with our guests helping us trim our 10 foot tree while we drink eggnog and watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas“*** over and over until it is time to eat.  I have had this dream forever.

This is the view as I drove down the drive way towards the side entrance.

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But now that dream is not so easy to have.  Ever since I sold my small house (which was only 811 square feet) and downsized to a studio half that size, I have come to really appreciate living smaller rather than larger.  I know I am not alone, as the tiny house movement has become a real cause and purpose for many people looking to live a more minimalistic life.  I made the choice to live smaller simply because I realized I was basically living in only one room of my house-the bedroom-so I did not see the sense in spending money on a multiple room apartment or paying to furnish those rooms when I was very content having everything I needed in one room.

I want a simple life.  Someone to love, a couple of dogs to rescue, several road trips throughout the year and a freedom from not having any house maintenance work to worry about.  But then I picture life in that big old house, and as idyllic as it seems, I get bogged down in the guilt of the amount of energy a house that size uses, or the carbon footprint it has on the environment, or the fact that two people and two dogs really do not need a house that big. And I love road trips and spending the weekends going to estate sales, antiques stores and flea markets. Houses of any size require regular maintenance, and an old big house requires that much more.  We may need a place to live, but it does not have to be such a big place.  Sometimes I hate having a conscience!!!

The views from the back of the property.  How great would it be to look out on a lake every day???

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Do any of you get bogged down in that kind of thinking?  Or do you just push forward to make your dreams come true? I would really love to know.

***The starred links are my affiliate links.  I only share what I truly love & I am grateful for the support 🙂

I hope all of you who celebrate the holiday have a very happy Easter!!!

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

The Ides Of Michele

Hi, Vixens!!!  Doesn’t this whole “lose an hour to spring forward” thing kind of make you feel like you lost more than just 60 minutes???  I cannot wait another 7 months to get it back.  I want it NOW   😦

We are six days away from the first official day of Spring but it already feels like the season has arrived thanks to last week’s mid-50’s temperatures here on the east coast-and this week promises more of the same.  I know the majority of people prefer the spring and summer months so much that they actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) waiting for the warmer weather to arrive.  But this is my time of year to be sad.

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Source:  Boatingtimesli.com

I get that some people have had it worse than me this time of year-Julius Caesar, for one, comes to mind.  But I prefer the fall to winter months, and let’s face it, we really did not have much of a winter this year.  It was not just the lack of snow, but except for a handful of days, it was a very mild season.

But this season’s holidays-Easter, Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, not to mention the birthdays of my grandmother and father plus my parent’s anniversary-and I need a morphine drip to get through the whole season.  Then come the hazy, hot & humid days of summer and I spend almost every waking hour in air conditioning.  I wish I was a bear so I could hibernate for these two seasons.  There is nothing to decorate for and even my magazines do not help as they are all chock full of “how to enjoy every second of the summer” articles.  Ugh.

Of course, there are some things I look forward to:  deliciously fragrant lilacs, paid days off (Memorial Day & Fourth of July),  fireworks, outdoor concerts and, of course, garage sales.  But other than that I would rather sleep through the next six months.

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Source:  flowerpatchfarmhouse.com

So this weekend as I nursed a fever and felt sorry for myself for being sick, I thought about ways I could make the next six months easier to tolerate.

Despite the fact that I have a black thumb, I am going to try to grow something if it kills me.  I will try a tomato plant, a basil plant & a cilantro plant in containers outside my apartment.  Maybe I will be successful since the plants will be outside in the sun as opposed to inside my dark 60 degree apartment.

I also want to up my baking game.  Every year I promise myself I will make Christmas cookies but I never do.  I also want to learn to make my own pie crust.  What better time to experiment than in the summer when the house will be nice & cool thanks to the A/C?  I will start honing my baking skills with this beautiful Speckled Malted Coconut Cake courtesy of Country Living that I want to bring to my book club’s luncheon coming up next month.  You can find the recipe here.

Country Living coconut cake

Source:  Country Living Magazine. 

So that is my plan so far.  I hope it works.  If not, it will be a long six months.

On a completely random note, I stumbled upon these adorable Lady Bug golf ball crafts online.  Too cute for words, don’t you think???

How-To-Make-Golf-Ball-Ladybugs

Source:  EverythingOrganized.Org

Hope you all have a great week.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!