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A few years ago, we started buying wood furniture.

Vintage and second-hand, to be sure.

Rockefellers, we are not.

Buying at auctions and garage sales is good for the budget.  Plus, I like the hunt for old stuff, yes indeedy.  Usually, the more unloved, the better.

Rocking chairs with the rockers worn off?  Sign me up.

Cabinets, magazine racks, abandoned table at the side of the road?  I’m out of the car like a chubby magpie.

pink wardrobe and green magazine rack

Slowly, we have replaced any of the press-board, laminated stuff that we used to find at a certain lovely big box store.  (I still go there for the window shopping, tasty meatballs and $1 ice cream cone, of course.)

Forget grey hair:  the press-board-to-wood-conversion is a sure sign of advancing age.

Anyhoo.

The other part about buying used is that it lowers the guilt factor.

The guilt factor when I go about doing that thing that I always want to do.

You know–that thing that makes some people cringe or exclaim in horror.

(Insert Practical Man’s cringe and horror here.)

That would be painting.

Painting (say this in breathy, hushed tones):  Real Wood.

As in, our fireplace mantel (giant chunk of pine).

As in, our kitchen cupboards (giant room full of knotty pine).

As in, this china cabinet that used to belong to my Grandma Verna.

40s china cabinet - brown

It’s been “wood” coloured for as long as I can remember, including the last 20 years that it’s been in our house.  I think it hails from the 1940s or thereabouts.  Definitely vintage and lovely but, oh so browny-brown-brown.

Which is really only good if it’s made of chocolate, yes indeedy.

This fall, I could no longer let the china cabinet live in peace.

So, it went under the knife.

Rather, the brush, as the case may be.

Don’t be so dramatic, wood lovers!

All that wood was going away.  Even though some of it, on the underneath part, was cool vintage crate wood with retro advertising.

We kept that.

Bottom view of china cabinet - one half of the interior floor of the cabinet was made from an old crate

Practical Man did some considerable muttering under his breath.

It might have been because he always seems to end up finishing the painting that his paint-happy wife barely started.

Or, it may have been an apology chant to the wood–the wood which his callous wife had so gladly forsaken.

He and my dad are both woodworkers.  They make beautiful things which I have (cross my heart) never painted.

The struggle is real, my friends.

But, back to the china cabinet, which they Did. Not. Make.

Bye-bye brown!

40s cabinet with lattice-work door closed - painted cream

Hello, dreamiest cream and robin’s egg blue!

Oooh, how I love your new tra-la-la.

If you do too, check out more great ideas at Vintage Chic – A Room by Room Guide by Laura Preston.  I hope to feature her as a guest blogger here soon!

Cabinet painted cream outside with robins-egg blue interior on three interior shelves and walls

Now, the cabinet is just perfect to house fondue pots, vintage melamine and Pyrex galore.

None of it brown, as you might have guessed.

Today’s dilemma is this antique tea cart, with its original shade of woody-wood-wood.

antique tea cart with wheels - brown

Of course, I want to paint it.

Pinterest wants me to paint it.

What do you think?

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The Camptown Ladies sing this song,
doo da, doo da,
The Camptown racetrack’s five miles long,
Oh, de doo dah day.
– Stephen Foster (1826-1864)

I have been humming this very vintage song lately.  Not because I’ve ever been to the camptown races (or even know what they are, if I’m honest).

I have a rather frilly and can-can-esque vision of the “camptown ladies” from the song in my head (probably wrong and sexist to boot but I’m a little afraid to google “camptown ladies”) and I had no idea that the song’s writer was walking around (and probably humming some annoying song from his village mistral), well before Canada’s confederation.

I can’t help but be impressed.  200 years is some serious longevity for a song that isn’t, y’know, required singing like the national anthem or 99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall.

I wonder if, in 200 years, people will be walking around humming one of Taylor Swift’s extremely catchy/annoying songs.

Ack!  Just a second while I (groan) shake it off, shake it off.

Or as we’ll sing it in the year 2214:  Shake It Off 99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall while We Stand on Guard For Thee.

Anyway, back to the camptown races because yep, that song is annoying me almost as much as Taylor’s is these days,  and I believe it all started with the doo da-s.

Yep, it’s all their fault.

On account of the fact that I have recently become the proud owner of four of them.

Doo dahs, that is.

Two amber ones:

amber depression glass curtain tiebacks

And two purple ones:

purple depression glass curtain tiebacks

I can’t decide which colour is my favourite.  The purple ones remind me of the beautiful glass we have found while beachcombing in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.  Apparently the process used to make glass back in the day meant the clearness (insert technical glass-making term here) wasn’t stable and over time, glass would turn a lovely purple hue.

I love beautiful mistakes, don’t you?

So yes, the purple ones are wonderful.  On the other hand, the amber doo da-s are like owning a piece of tree sap that has turned into something mystical and fairy-like and gorgeous.  As a result, both pairs have been given pride of place in our living and dining area.

amber curtain tieback holding beige curtains

Note to self: get curtains befitting amber gorgeousness

I looked these flowery beauties up online and they were frequently described as “antique, Victorian depression glass”.

I’m not quite sure how something can be of the Victorian and depression eras simultaneously.

Sounds a bit like time travel to me.

But, despite their muddled pedigree and annoying accompanying campfire races ditty, I really do love the doo da-s.  They used to sit on my friend, Mother Nature’s window sill, catching the light and sparkling it around on the beamed ceiling at her house.  Before that, they were at Mother Nature’s oldest sister’s house, having been rescued from a yard sale, auction or some other upcycling venue.

One lovely day, Mother Nature asked me if I wanted the doo da-s for my very own.

She said she wanted to give them to me because I would “do something with the doo da-s”.

Do something with the doo da-s.  Haha.

See how I almost wrote an annoying song there?

Anyhoo, we brought the doo da-s home and Practical Man got out the measuring tape so they would end up equal distances from the floor, once installed.

Boring measuring and blah blah blah but, with happy results.

purple curtain tiebacks holding back red, toile curtains

Yep, this is more like it. Love the purple and red combination.

They make me smile (and hum an annoying little tune).

Yes ma’am, I think to myself, those are some mighty fine doo da-s.

Doo da, doo da!

Sorry.

Shake it off.   Shake it off.

 

Copyright Christine Fader, 2014.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet         You might also like my book.

 


I had a run-in with The Nature today.

It tried to fool me with its sunshine and lovely temperatures.

And then, it attacked my ankles.

It’s my own fault, really, for not putting on the bug juice that Practical Man pointedly left out for me.   Perhaps it was The Nature’s way of evening the score.  After all, I was yanking and digging grass and weeds out of our flowerbed with some zeal.  That’s probably tantamount to a leg wax for The Nature.  And, it was much too warm today for me to sport my trademark out-in-The-Nature rubber boots.  Mocked by many, my rubber boots have prevented plenty of unjustified assaults by The Nature and I L-O-V-E, LOVE them. But today, I recklessly left them inside and trotted out into the great vampire bug, all-you-can-eat-buffet, brazenly naked around the ankles.

I hate it when things are my own fault, don’t you?

The flowerbed and I have called a cease-fire so I have time to smear myself with liberal doses of anti-itch goo (which is apparently flammable, it says on the label!) everywhere I can find evidence of The Nature’s wrath.  Note to self:  Do not use anti-itch goo while camping and then try to warm ankles by the fire.

Flaming ankles would be much worse than itchy ankles, even I can admit.   You may laugh but, I can’t be too careful.  I come from a long line of accident-prone people (including one person who cut herself, to the point of bleeding, on an onion bun.)

Flaming ankles are totally in the realm of possibility.

On the plus side, before I foolishly headed out into The Nature, we spent the morning wandering yard sales in Westport, a quaint waterside village nearby.  The whole town was having a festive time trading their own junk for their neighbour’s junk, because at a mere 10 or 25 cents for many items, “how could you lose?”  You apparently couldn’t because it was a phrase I heard repeatedly, as we wandered.

I found this and immediately had a crush:

pink punch bowl with cups

Everyone should have a pink punch bowl with nine matching cups, don’t you think?

And, at a mere $10, how could you lose?

Actually, $10 is less a crush and more a commitment for me.  So I hemmed and hahhed for all of three seconds and then someone walked by and said to her friend, “how could you lose?” and I took it as a sign.

You can’t mess with that kind of magic.

I’m not into pedigree, especially when it comes to old stuff.   I just like what I like.  But, I am curious about this.  It doesn’t have any maker markings that I can find.  It seems to have a sort of strawberry pattern to it and it’s heavier than depression glass, although similar in hue.  A search online yielded nothing that resembled it, so now I’m even more curious.  I doubt it’s valuable, I just wonder what vintage it comes from.

Here is what it looks like up close:

pink punch bowl pattern

 

The pattern is slightly raised and bumpy.

Not unlike my poor, poor ankles.

But, at least they’re not on fire yet.

 

Copyright Christine Fader, 2014.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet         You might also like my latest book.


Vintage Juice Containers You are reading a post from Christine Fader’s “A Vintage Life” blog.  Join the romance with all things retro at https://avintagelife.wordpress.com

Sometimes my vintage collecting is a little random.

For example, I don’t even like juice.

But, I love my vintage tupperware juice containers.   I found the tall one at a garage sale for an exciting 10 cents.  The other was $1.99 at a thrift store.  So, even though I don’t like juice, they had to come home with me.

Goofy happiness for the bargain price of $2.09.

Ditto for the pickle containers

Pickle Containerswith their oh-so-handy inserts that allow you to fish out a dill or an olive without having to swirl around in olive juice seeking a treasure.   Except, unlike juice, I love pickles and olives and I need lots of salt (being a fainter as I am), so these vintage lovelies get used every single day.

On special occasions, I break out the slab cake carrier or the deviled egg container.

Cake container

Deviled eggs are one of those deliciously vintage sort of recipes that some people eschewIMAG1191 nowadays, but they always disappear first at a picnic or party.  People seem to love “eating vintage” and who can blame them?   Deviled eggs are one of life’s great treats even though they’re a bit finicky to prepare.  But, they’re even better when they look like they arrived straight  from 1972 because you’re transporting and serving them in your vintage tupperware deviled egg container.

Not only is vintage tupperware a way to imbue your vintage collecting with something–I hesitate to say it in case my husband is reading this–practical, they are usually in fun 70s colours like orange, harvest gold, avocado green.

Something practical that also makes you smile?

Groovy.


Two Pyrex DishesA vintage lover on a budget can be challenged these days what with the pattern of finding the same 5 chain stores in every city.  Unless you can afford to shop in a local boutique (which I generally can’t), it can be hard to find unique treasures without spending a small fortune.

Enter, garage sales and auctions.

My fellow treasure hunter husband, M,  and I  love the country sales and church sales the best.   We’ve found the nicest people, the most unique stuff and the biggest bargains at these sales.  And, there’s usually great PIE, too. 

I mean what’s a Saturday morning without pie?!

Recently, we imitated the Clampetts by strapping a porch swing found at a church yard sale to the roof of our car and driving home with it.  It now sits serenely and Walton-like (thanks to some Macgyvering by M), suspended from our porch rafters.  It makes me want to sip lemonade in a voopy dress, just looking at it.

A few weeks ago, we found some Pyrex in amazing condition.  I love the images of 50s casseroles it conjures up and it also reminds me of my grandmother’s tiny kitchen and post-war house.   A cute little red dish and a cheery yellow casserole complete with lid were purchased for–and this is why I love country yard sales–a grand total of 75 cents.

Add a little pie into the experience and it’s my definition of a perfect day.