Monday, December 31, 2012

The "Blessings Jar"

  I recently saw a post about keeping a jar nearby to collect little notes about all the "Good" things that happen to you in the new year. You could call it 'The Blessings Jar".  At the end of 2013, on New Year's eve, you pour it out and look back at those moments, the blessings, the gifts, the life lessons learned and reflect on the good things... not the negative.  I am going to give it a try. The big jar is for the "Blessings" and the two smaller jars are full of little cut up pieces of paper to write on. One jar is for my husband and the other is for me. I hope at the end of 2013 the little jars will be empty and the big one will be overflowing!  Here's to a blessed New Year!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Repurposed Decor

I  love how this old coffee carafe displays my newly potted Amaryllis bulb!  It sits on two old Amish buggy warming  stones that are in great condition.   People don't use these carafes any more. I find them at local thrifts stores and have used mine for plants, collections of tiny items, and my reading glasses that seem to be found everywhere through out the house.  The warming stones have been photo props, cheese & cracker servers, weights for projects and many more functions . I have never heated the stones to warm my feet since I haven't been in a horse drawn buggy since I was a child on the farm.  But it's good to know that I have them in case the occasion would present itself.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dana's Legacy

When I was one month old, I was given up for adoption, by my Birthmother, whose name was Margaret. She was 38 and unmarried. She had previously been married and had already raised a daughter who was now 18. She divorced her husband, due to his alcohol addiction and had moved on. She became pregnant with me from a relationship with another man, who was a truck driver. Apparently neither decided that marriage, for the sake of an unplanned pregnancy, was the right option. My Mother did a very brave thing and went into a home for unwed Mothers, knowing she would no doubt be the oldest pregnant woman there. Perhaps it was her only option back in the 50's. She was surrounded by young unmarried girls who were ashamed, lonely, and probably scared about their future, let alone the ordeal of childbirth. I was told by the Home years later that she developed a skill for making jewelry for the girls there. Perhaps it helped her past the time as well as helped her feel useful, giving a part of herself to the others, who no doubt could connect to her. After all, she was an "adult" who was in the same situation as they, and was not judgmental. When my birthday came, she named me Dana. I never saw her again. She died before I found the truth about my beginnings. It is funny how life comes full circle without our help. I like to think that my love for creating vintage jewelry, is her talent coming through to me. These pieces bring the past to the present and are called Dana'a Legacy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kitschy Plates

What is it about these crazy "old lady" plates that has me hunting them down in every thrift store and garage sale?  They were made in Japan or Korea in the 50's & 60's and were cheap decor for who knows who. Who would dare give such a gift or let alone bring them into your house on your own? Maybe it was the sentiment written on them that holds the key to my wonderment. I have always loved painted china and can appreciate the work that the artist imparts to his craft, but these are usually pressed on decals. I still love them! My favorite is my recent find that says : THIS IS MY HOUSE AND I'LL DO AS I DARN PLEASE. It fits me... as my husband just shakes his head and keeps quiet when I bring these "treasures" into our home. Yes, I'm that old lady with the ever changing kitchy decor.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Light Reading

I came upon a real find at my local Goodwill Store this week. This 1919 Funk & Wagnall's English Dictionary that is 6 inches thick and weighs a ton! I was the envy of the check out line. It was in great condition and full of amazing old facts... long ago forgotten.  It contains pictures of things my children's children will probably never read about.  The photo of one of the first telephones is priceless. How far mankind has come .... or not.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Birkey & Gay Co. Chair

This is a repainted chair that I bought at a local auction. The original color was  a walnut type stain popular in  the mid 1800's. It was scratched, chipped and well used.  It had the company named imprinted on the bottom of the seat and I was able to research it's origin. The company was in Grand Rapids, Michigan and made quality wood furniture starting around the mid 1800's and stopped production in 1940's. The company was known for their Gothic Revival and Eastlake styles and became one of the leading furniture companies in America, even winning high merit recognition at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. I decided to give this sturdy piece a new look by painting it with Annie Sloan "Old White" and a touch of Fiddes &Sons "Dark" wax to give it some character.  I'm in love with the outcome and might just keep it! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vintage McCoy Pottery

McCoy pottery has always been a favorite of mine. It is affordable and relatively easy to find. There are so many different patterns, colors and categories to this begone Midwestern pottery company, that I could fill my house! I have tried to contain my collection to the muted pastels. Maybe they remind me of simpler time where floral displaying in these pots were what women did to pass the time... instead of facebook.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vintage Aluminum Ware

I am drawn to the beauty of old aluminum ware.  It was an affordable alternative to silver and silver plate that was popular in the 50's & 60's. The handles were gorgeous and a bit more modern than silver work. Perhaps it was the poor mans "silver"? It is getting harder to find in good condition due to it's light weight design and easily scratched surface. It's cost is still low and can be found at local thrift stores and garage sales. I think it is SO under valued and appreciated!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vintage Wood Type

These are beautiful examples of old wood type. A means of communication with ink and paper.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Circus of FUN

These children's book illustrations are kitschy! They bring back memorable images of colorful scenes that made reciting the alphabet fun and maybe easier.  I found this vintage book and had the orange mats professionally cut. The frames are 8"X 8" in size. I wonder who owned this book and where they are today.


I am learning about display vignettes from my friend and mentor Glenda at Mishawaka Antiques. I have had a booth there for 6 months now and I am a "newbie" to the dealership side of antiques.  Glenda has an amazing ability to whip up a gorgeous display vignette that will take your breath away and transport one to another time and place. Her co-owner Scott is equally as talented. I call him" Edward scissor hands" He works so darn fast and "Voila!" it is finished and beautiful! They share their experience and knowledge with all the booth owners and their eye for design has a huge following that keeps growing. Just walking into the store is visual experience of textures, styles, color and history. Every time I am there I notice new treasures that make me smile and swoon. I am so lucky to be apart of this haven of vignettes!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Children Book Prints

These are Eleanora Marsten Ilustrations from the 1930's. The children's book that they are from contained nursery rhymes that bring back fond childhood memories. The color is as rich as her style. If I don't sell these, I will keep them for my future Grandchildren.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Candle Cups

We rarely use traditional teacups anymore. We drink our coffee and tea in styrofoam, paper, ceramic or plastic cups and mugs. Gone are the days of beautiful presentation. I decided to repurpose these lovelies as candle holders. They give off a pretty glow and can be reused with a new candle over and over ... or you can actually drink from them!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Childhood Memories

I found these vintage doll cutouts and just had to display them. The doll's name is Mary and probably dates to the 1940's. This would be a nice decor for a little girls room or maybe a craft/sewing room.  I placed them in a 20"x16"wood frame, under glass with a beige muslin fabric background.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Old and new

I have an obsession with vintage enamelware. It started when I was a wee one on the farm  where I was raised. There was an abundance of enamelware used for about everything there.  It was cheap and it lasted. It was lightweight and was not too "flashy" in it's appearance. Farm folk do not like to like to appear "flashy".  My favorite piece of this wonderful metal ware was a big creme colored bowl with green trim. It was the Popcorn Bowl that my Dad took great pride in filling with his favorite corn from a local neighbor by the name of Yoder. On some Saturday nights, my Mom would turn the popcorn into carmel corn from her Mother's recipe.  The farm has been sold after 4 generations lived there. I still have the popcorn bowl. The bowl in the picture is a different bowl that is home to these budding crocuses that I finally brought out of the dark. I still use the sacred Popcorn Bowl for everything including popcorn. It will be passed down to my children and hopefully theirs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Carpe Diem Face

I found this old photo of me today! Wow!  What was I thinking about for this pose? Was I laughing at my matching bonnet/coat ensemble? Was I holding back a sneeze? I'd like to think that I was loving the moment and thinking about seizing the day! Yep, that must be it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Little Blue Cat

This tiny blue cat planter is a Morton Pottery piece. Known as the "fraidy cat".  He is probably afraid of the cactus stuck in his backside! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I love my old dress form!  This latest attire might be a little "out there",  but she needed some "Bling".

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Old Doors

"When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don't see the one that has opened for us." Helen Keller

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Angels without wings

I found these little wood carved Cherubs at one of my favorite Antique haunts. However they had no wings. I glued real feathered wings made for dolls on their backs and love how they turned out!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Trial Run

I found this 1900's frame at a local auction and fell in love with its texture and style. I know it is from 1917 since packed inside the back was a yellowed newspaper  dated June 1, 1917. I  thought I would add my first attempt at stenciling on fabric to display it. I need to stretch it and place the back on it. I am keeping the old newspaper for future projects!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter Bulbs

I love the contrast of this Amaryllis against the snowy background. I planted it a few weeks ago in a vintage sap bucket and dressed the top with pine cones and cinnamon sticks. This will be the first year that I will try to "winterize" my Christmas bulbs to reuse for next Winter. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 1, 2012