melangell antiques, house & garden: a beautiful new west chester, pa destination!

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 🌟

#ShopLocal #ShopSmall

back to the historic village of yellow springs

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.

Becoming a member of Historic Yellow Springs is fun. I belong. You can join here.

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.

Thanks for stopping by.

spring barn sale weekend at life’s patina!

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

you will want to check out this sale – which won’t be repeated!

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.

reinventing another vintage quilt

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.

Thanks for stopping by.

christmas is ON at frazer antiques!

Frazer Antiques located at 351 Lancaster Ave in Frazer/Malvern is ready for your visit! They also have a 15% off sale until December 31, 2021!

Look at this gorgeous platter!

Frazer Antiques is one of my favorite haunts all times of the year, but there is something magical about an antique store at Christmas! There are so many great vintage ornaments and they are reasonably priced. There are also all sorts of little things to tempt you and catch your eye!

Here is something I found yesterday which is happy in my house now:

Isn’t that little crèche amazing? It’s vintage Oberammergau made in Germany! I was psyched to find it!

Frazer Antiques has friendly staff who are also among the many antiques dealers who fill the store with delightful treasures. As a matter fact I found out yesterday that one of the dealers is someone I went to high school with that I did not know had a stall there !

I hope all of you will take a minute to patronize another local business here in Chester County that’s really lovely.

Frazer Antiques is open pretty much every day 10 AM to 5 PM. 351 Lancaster Avenue Malvern/Frazer. Plenty of free parking in the front and then behind the shop! (610)-651-8299

They ask that the unvaccinated to please be considerate and wear a mask inside. And they have plenty of hand sanitizer right as you walk in the door.

Please note, I was not asked to create this post or take photos, nor was I compensated in any way, shape, or form. I love this local business and merely believe in #ShopSmall #ShopLocal #PayItForward

magnolia cottage shop in malvern is looking magical and holiday bright!

Last year none of us were out much because of COVID19. This year we are taking baby steps. It is sometimes disconcerting being out because face it, we are not used to it. I think that’s why I appreciate the small businesses in our area even more.

One of my favorites, Magnolia Cottage Shop is all decked out for Christmas and Kathy the owner has gone out of her way to make it so wonderful and welcoming. The shop is full of so many fun things right now, I could have stayed far longer than I did!

I found a few things I loved including this little vintage Annalee white elf. I don’t know much about these Christmas collectibles, I have a couple of friends that love them so I have gotten a few here and there over the years and I think this one is a Frosty! He looks really cute on my tree!

Magnolia Cottage Shop has something for everyone and one of my other favorite things were the vintage Pimpernel Santa placemats:

Magnolia Cottage Shop is located at 288 Lancaster Avenue Frazer/Malvern PA 19355. They are closed Mondays. See website and Facebook and Instagram for more!

festive and wonderful marshallton!!

This afternoon started at The Cottage Shop in Marshallton. It’s a lovely little spot which is only open a few times a year, and it is something I missed during COVID19. This little gem is on W. Strasburg Rd not too far down from The Four Dogs Tavern.

Then it was off to the front porch of The Marshalton Inn for a Holiday Artisan Market with Re-Imagined Style and others. (They are there until 3:30 PM then it’s all hands on deck as they get ready to light the tree and welcome Santa to one of my favorite and so historic villages! The tree lighting is at historic Martin’s Tavern at 4 PM and festivities run until 6 PM!

Our last stop was The Four Dogs Tavern for lunch and to get some more Four Dogs swag (T-shirts, they make great gifts!)

Four Dogs Tavern is one of my favorite places. The atmosphere is awesome, and the food is always very good. I was very amused today after lunch when I had stepped outside and was waiting for my husband and this small group of Trendy Wendys stepped out of the Four Dogs and one said to the other “Well it looks like an old building I guess.”

Wisely I said nothing. But in my head, I was definitely rolling my eyes because oh that building has history!

If you are interested in more of the history of this area or would like to support the history, please check out The Marshallton Conservation Trust website.

Although we didn’t make any other stops we ended up coming through the Borough of West Chester which is also getting all gussied up for the holidays and looks very festive.

I will note that I decided to go to Marshallton today on my own and I was not asked to write anything, nor am I being compensated for my opinions.

There’s lots to love in Chester County this Christmas! Go exploring!

the little christmas things

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.”
— W.T. Ellis

For years I have been hunting for a mistletoe ball like the one that hung from a chandelier in our house when I was really little. I have seen some from time to time, but they were never quite right.

Until today. And it was like a friend of mine reached decades into the past and pulled it forward. I have found the doppelgänger of the one from my childhood!

I hung my new old mistletoe ball on a chandelier that may have hosted the original one in my parents house in the 1960s.

It’s such a simple thing and really gave me some extra Christmas spirit today.

Thanks for stopping by.

santa says all good elves should stop at brandywine view antiques…

Yes… today I could wait no longer, I had to go to Brandywine View Antiques in Chadds Ford to see what Lisa has cooked up for holidays 2021!

It’s three floors of festive fun and Fa La La La.

I am writing this post because I am a happy customer and have been for years. I have not been asked to do this…I just want to pay forward the Christmas spirit and say #ShopSmall

Brandywine View Antiques is located at 1244 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317. They are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM.