Now see, that title. Mice. Bet you think I am talking about real mice? Nope. Felted mice and a nice memory.
I have a bunch of wool felted mice. Mostly for Christmas. But I have a few other cute ones that I tuck here and there because they just make me smile.
The mice at the top my friend Kristin found for me. They are obviously for Christmas, they are Santa and Mrs. Claus mouse.
Yesterday at the preview for Life’s Patina fall event I bought two more felted mice. Halloween mice. One with a giant piece of candy corn, another in a cute little witch’s hat.
When I was taking the picture of the fault of mice this morning to send to a friend to show them, I have a little flash of a memory. And it would’ve been the mid 1970s to the late 1970s. I was inside a little store in Bryn Mawr.
The store was called Katydid and key was next to Parvin’s Pharmacy. Katydid was a cute gift store. And up around the counter area towards the front of the store and behind them on little shelves were these little collectible mice that so many of us had back then.
These were literally little fur mice they were made in West Germany I think the company was called The Mouse Factory. These little mice had all sorts of different outfits and costumes, and they would even come in your school uniform.
My friends and I all had these little mice. My sister and I had a bunch of them and we put them in our dollhouse. We had this really cool doll house that my father found in an attic of a house being demolished in Society Hill when we were really little and he restored it.
Anyway, I love those mice. And the flashback to the memory this morning made me realize this is why I like the felted mice.
Dishfunctional isn’t in West Chester anymore. I open with that, because they were there for so many wonderful years. BUT Dishfunctional does have a terrific new location in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center in East Whiteland.
The store is long and wide inside and well lit. And full of so much fun stuff! Not just the china and crystal they are known for but so much else! They have some wonderful art right now too! My personal favorite? This amaze balls piece of Mick Jagger by Denny Dent. It’s huge, but very cool.
I found four extra dishes of the Johnson Brothers’ “Friendly Village” vintage ydishes I like to use in the fall and winter sometimes. They are hard to find, and were only $5 each which is an amazing deal!
I spent a lot of time looking through the store. It’s all very clean. Other things they have right in the front of the store I love is some fabulous antique cast iron lawn furniture. Also very reasonable in price and good shape.
Dishfunctional is located in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center. 225 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, PA.
Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 am until 6:00 pm Sunday 11:00 am until 3:00 pm
Brandywine View Antiques is one of my favorite places, so I thought I would give them a little shout out today. I have been a customer for years, I am not compensated for mentioning them on this blog, I’m just a happy customer.
They are three floors of fun and outside for great garden accents. They are one of my favorite resources for vintage garden finds. They are also one of the best places to find vintage and antique mirrors and I think they are a wonderful accent for any home and everyone should have at least one.
And I adore the owner she’s good people. If you don’t find them here in their store you can often find them places like Clover Market. They are definitely worth the drive!
Location: 1244 Baltimore Pike. Chadds Ford, PA 19317 Hours: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. (610) firstname.lastname@example.org
The new company going into the grand old colonial gal is called VK Brewing. Veteran owned.
Soooo…time will tell. I hope they honor the past of The Ship Inn. Of course I like others wonder what will happen with all of the memorabilia and historical bits?
Chef Robert Irvine tried to bring a horse to water but hey you can’t make him drink. I won’t miss the now former owner yelling at his employees on the dining room floor at the Ship Inn. Here’s hoping they keep him off of the dining room floor at Duling-Kurtz the other place he and his wife own.
Once upon a time my mother had these mahogany nesting tables. Then one day on a whim, years ago, she got rid of them. She’s been lamenting their loss ever since. So imagine my delight, when a set just like the ones she sold showed up at a local estate sale.
Yes, these are literally the same tables. Not hers, but the same design and same mid century North Carolina manufacturer. So I bought them. At $48 for three in really great condition, it was a steal.
The tables were probably somewhere in this home “nested”, only taken apart when needed. That’s what my mother used to do. So the top table in this set had some condition issues, mainly from plant saucers or wet things leaving rings or marks. At this point today, a lot of people see “brown wood” and think “oh we’ll just paint the tables.”
But seriously, you shouldn’t destroy beautiful tables like this with chalk paint and other kinds of wood paint. This wood is spectacular and meant to be enjoyed. So what did I do? I dragged out my father’s old home remedy: a paste made of mayonnaise and wood ash or cigar ash or cigarette ash left on the tables overnight.
It really works. We have no smokers in the house so I had to use wood ash from the bottom of the wood stove. The crucial thing is it’s just ASH you use, you don’t want any charred bits or you will scratch whatever furniture you’re trying to renew.
So I did the first coat and left it on overnight. The next morning I removed what was left and took a look at the tables. There were still some pieces of rings left. What I did next was try furniture oil to see if that would just absorb the mark. I like orange oil. It helped renew the tables in general, as I did all three with orange oil, but it did not take up what was left of the rings on the largest table. So I did another layer of the mayonnaise and wood ash overnight.
This morning when I took the mixture off that top table once again, it was like magic and pretty much everything was gone. Next I moisturized and polished them with this stuff I discovered that I love. It’s from a company called Therapy Clean. It’s wood and cabinet cleaner and polish. I found it on Amazon.
The tables look fabulous I think now. And they didn’t require refinishing. Just a little elbow grease and patience. People always used to look at my father like he was nuts when he said that mayonnaise and ash took out rings and a lot of stains. But it’s an old-fashioned remedy that really does work. And again if you’re using wood ash, make sure there are no charred bits or it will scratch.
I hope my mother loves her tables and I just wanted to share this little tip with you. Because while painted furniture can be pretty, it’s not for everyone. I really am not a painted furniture person. I am a natural beauty of real hardwoods kind of person.
There is a new kid in town for antiques in Chester County and it is in a word: fabulous!
This business is newly opened in an old estate hunting lodge. A rather famous one to local history buffs. Also known as “Wrangley Lodge”, in an amazing century-plus old Arts and Crafts style designed by Charles Barton Keen as part of the original Greystone Estate. This is special to me because one of my very close friends and honorary other mother’s is his granddaughter. And those who know me know I love a good adaptive reuse, and some of my favorite antique stores have been in restored old houses! (You know like another favorite business down in Chadds Ford, Brandywine View Antiques.)
The house itself is magical all by itself. But store owner Laura DePrisco has created a wonderful atmosphere at Melangell. It’s lovely, beautiful, and welcoming. Every room moves effortlessly into the next. As a store it is so well put together and merchandised. There is so much to look at, but it does not feel crowded or cluttered. That is an issue I have with antique stores at times when they feel crowded and disorganized then it’s hard to look at things. And then there are other antique stores where you’re afraid to look at anything because it feels like a museum. This store is just right, and it flows.
Laura is welcoming and has a real artistic eye and an eye for detail. Seriously, every room is delightful. And there’s a second floor too. And that is something I love antique stores — ones that are more than one floor or level in a building.
We bought a few things, including a lovely old landscape oil painting that needed to be framed. So we left Melangell and next stop was my favorite framers, Framers Market Gallery in Malvern!
I can’t wait to go back! I also think it would be a place to take my friends. It would make a fab girl’s shopping night out place! Melangell also has some great pieces outside that would be fun for a porch and garden.
Melangell can be found on Instagram. The shop is located at 1133 Pottstown Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. The shop is opened Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM. (610)- 624- 4577.
🌟 Please note that I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I am sharing my lovely experience today at this new business 🌟
Today I went back to Historic Yellow Springs. First up was the herb sale in the big field held by the Philadelphia Unit of the Herb Society of America.
The herb sale had not been held since before COVID19 invaded our lives. The sale was a rousing success and they basically had sold out but just a little after 11 AM! The tables were picked clean like locusts had descended upon the field!
After putting my plants in the car, I went onto the Yellow Springs Art Show. I had also not been there since before COVID19. The show was glorious, but some of the artists’ pricing were eyebrow raising.
One of the things I noticed the most was how alive the village was today. That doesn’t happen often enough. The Historic Yellow Springs Executive Director did not seem to be around and I was there for a few hours. I do not wish to be critical of the woman, but today was the kind of day that you get opportune moments. You never know where your next donation is going to come from and two seconds of conversation with visitors to the village means people come back to the village. I also know of people who have wanted to volunteer that somehow are never chosen to volunteer. And I’m not referring to myself because they don’t want a mouthy blogger volunteering there, and I know that.
For this amazing and living and breathing piece of history to remain viable into the future they have to be less insular. Their volunteers are amazing and helpful and nice, but the people that actually run the show (board and others) need to be more visible.
While I was walking the village today I thought of an event that Meg Veno does at Life’s Patina. As part of Life’s Patina’s holiday events she does a German Market. It’s hugely popular as most German Markets during the holidays are. So I got to thinking since Life’s Patina/Meg Veno has breathed new life into the Jenny Lind House, and is nearing completion of an extensive and expensive restoration (and boy do I hope West Pikeland and Historic Yellow Springs are appreciative, don’t you?), why not pick you one of THE most creative brains in all of Chester County and take full advantage of the fabulousness coming to an amazing historic village?
What am I talking about? It’s simple: when I was walking the village today and I did it a couple of times first with plants and then going to the art show and buying some art it occurred to me that this life that was in the village today is so important for her survival. And I thought as I stood in front of the Jenny Lind house about how much I enjoy what Meg does every holiday season. And I thought that Yellow Springs should really pick her brain about doing a German Christmas village THERE.
Historic Yellow Springs is extra lovely on the outside during the holidays, so why not capitalize on new blood and fresh energy? Today in my mind’s eye I could see a German Christmas village up and down Yellow Springs Village. Christmas carolers and musicians strolling back-and-forth, a cart selling warm chestnuts and brown paper sacks, a vendor selling gingerbread fresh from the oven, and more. Couldn’t you just see someone with a beautiful little booth outside selling hand-painted German Christmas ornaments and nutcrackers ? It would literally be SO perfect!
I mean I don’t know why their Special Events Director, Executive Director, and board haven’t thought of any of these things. I know they don’t want the village to look like Disneyland, but I’m talking about things that are old-fashioned, historically appropriate,wholesome,pretty, and fun.
Other ideas? Bring back an updated version of the fall antiques show. There are enough dealers and high-end crafts people in Chester County that do such fine work including right in the studios of Yellow Springs that you could do this no problem. Why not make it a version of not what it was, but more of a blend of high-end crafts and art as well as antiques and collectibles?
Other things would be more children’s events like hayrides through the fall and pumpkin carving. Maybe a Halloween parade with old-fashioned Halloween games for kids?
There are more than enough garden clubs in Chester County so why not ask them to do their plant sales all on one weekend in the spring or early summer in the village? Or invite garden groups to do plant swaps in the village?
The possibilities are endless for this beautiful piece of Chester County history. But they need to extend themselves so people know they’re there a little more.
And all of these events should have membership tables with people asking are you a member of Historic Yellow Springs? Would you like to be a member of Historic Yellow Springs?
Today I was also treated to the clop clop of horses hooves as riders rode through the village. There is just something so nice about that sound.
Just my thoughts. If you can catch the art show before it closes at the end of this weekend, I highly recommend it.
Life’s Patina is a beautiful, happy place to visit. The seasonal barn sales are fun to go to. It’s a dream of creativity and just pretty things to look at.
Friday, April 29. 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday, April 30th. 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday, May 1st. 10 AM – 4 PM
A portion of Life’s Patina Spring Preview Party ticket sales and merchandise sold during our barn sale will be donated to CARE’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, which aims to reach 4 million in Ukraine with immediate aid and recovery, food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash assistance, prioritizing women, girls, families and the elderly.
These events are both indoor and outdoor. The parking is field parking so if the weather looks like it’s going to be funky check their Facebook page or website.
Even if you don’t need to buy anything you may find a little something or a large something that you cannot live without. And you will enjoy every minute that you are there!
LOCATION: Willowbrook Farm, 1750 N Valley Rd, Malvern, PA 19355
Tonight I went to my friend’s studio for a prop house sale. And another friend facilitated the sale. I realized tonight how long it had been since we all just had fun. Like pre-COVID fun.
We were invited to the sale preview, and it was amazing. The space is fabulous and there were nibbles and laughter….and a giant space full of new, vintage, antiques, and everything in between. China, crystal, glassware, pottery, fabric, mirrors, linens, furniture, art, rugs, Dansk Kobenstyle Dutch ovens, and more!
Even better? It was this amazing well lit space that was filled with light and had high ceilings. Maybe it’s just me because I always love to see how loft spaces are interpreted.
The regular open days of the Maximalist Studios Prop House Sale are tomorrow and Saturday, March 25 and 26 10 AM to 2 PM each day. 501 W. Washington Street in Norristown. You can find out more information on the Sales By Helen website.
I haven’t written about quilts in a while. I love vintage quilts. I think they help make a house a home. Their colors and patterns light up a room.
Sure you can buy new quilts, and I do. But I don’t live in a beige, beige world. I like color. And I like the stories that quilts often tell.
When I find vintage quilts, sometimes I hear a story and other times I don’t. This is a quilt I bought off of a Maine dealer on eBay a few years ago. It wasn’t much money and needed a fair bit of repairs. I don’t know it’s story, but it comes from the land of snowy winters so I imagine it was well used.
I am OK with repairs. I can do patches of my own design. I hand sew, I actually don’t know how to use a sewing machine anymore. It’s been too many years and I was never very good to begin with. My mother is great with a sewing machine and my friend’s mom is a real quilter and she and her friends use those long arm machines. So my repairs are neat but more basic than real quilters.
You definitely can’t classify me as a real quilter. Those folks are true artists.
However, I do try to be artistic with my patches. I get fun fabric odds and ends when I can find them. One of my favorite sources of fabric odd lots is the Smithfield Barn via their pop-up sales which are online, and places like The Harriton Fair and The St. David’s Fair. I look for calicoes, nice solids, some fun patterns. I even repurpose old flannel shirts and jeans past their prime.
I have said before that I feel like quilts are a form of folk art, but my quilts are used. I know people who have amazing quilts mounted on walls as textile art.
Quilt shows are fun to go to. The patterns and colors are amazing. Quilts as I have said before are such a happy thing.
I have been working on this one for a while – like 3 winters. I usually work on them here and there in the winter. It’s a nice heavy quilt. It actually kept me toasty warm today as I worked on it. The quilt is about 3/4 restored now.
Old quilts often have another life waiting to happen. Buy them, mend them, use them.