everything old is new again…

I actually love Country Living Magazine. I have for years. And according to their September, 2019 issue I might be shockingly trendy.

Well except for the stock tanks. I don’t have a stock tank as a bath tub, nor do I want to and THAT made me giggle. Apparently stock tanks as bath tubs are a thing.

So that’s a little silly to me as I am a claw foot tub girl. No, I don’t currently have one but I did for a while growing up. Awesome tub to take a soak in!

Next up this month as one of their trends? Pie safes. But why buy an expensive reproduction from places like Plow and Hearth? I see them all over. Brandywine View Antiques, Smithfield Barn, Cricket’s Antiques and Garden Market, Creekside Antiques Downingtown by the Brandywine, Brandywine River Antiques Market in Chaddsford, and the Shoppes at Whitehorse Mill (just over the Chester County border in Lancaster County) just to name a few places!!

All of these places have Facebook pages and they post new merchandise all of the time! You don’t need pricey replicas when you can buy the real deal antiques which are always better made. You can also still find these pieces at country estate sales and auctions. Or special shows and sales like the seasonal genius of Life’s Patina.

The sad thing is so many people are geared towards new reproductions that they completely don’t realize the real deal is available and affordable. Sometimes these dealers will have wiggle room in their pricing especially if you bundle a few items but please, be respectful. I have seen some truly rude hondlers out there and well, these folks aren’t running a charity, they are trying to make a living.

Other things that are showing up in the pages of Country Living this month as a trend are vintage dog portraits. I see them all of the time at Brandywine View Antiques and Brandywine River Antiques Market in particular.

Another trend is vintage and antique occasional tables. They are everywhere and at all price points. You can also score some fine ones at auctions at Pook and Pook as well as Converse Auctions and Wiederseim Auctions. Don’t be afraid of auctions or auction houses. Yes, a lot of the auctions are online these days but most of the auction houses will also have a preview day where you can go look at an item that you are interested in before you bid.

With the side table trends I am going to put in a plug for Eastlake side tables. I love them, and I have owned a few over the course of my adulthood.

Eastlake furniture belongs to the Victorian era but isn’t as over the top as other furniture of that era. The side tables are my favorite of the style although I also love Eastlake settees. I have seen Eastlake recently at the Smithfield Barn and also the Smithfield Barn’s floor at the Shoppes at Whitehorse Mill.

Other trends as per Country Living are vintage salt and pepper sets and vintage glassware. The Smithfield Barn in Downingtown is definitely your source for those items! The owner I swear has super powers on these items and other fab vintage things like vintage and antique linens to use with them. I know because I have some amazing vintage linens drying on a towel rack from them right now!

I love my vintage dishes and glasses. My every day dishes are vintage Fiestaware and my everyday glasses are vintage bar ware. I love my vintage and I use it. Most of the time it’s extremely durable too!

Another trend the magazine is covering is a return to some better simplicity in furniture. Specifically Shaker style. From boxes to benches to tables and chairs and dressers.

Traditional Shaker antiques can be very expensive but their design influences can be seen all over. Look for vintage and antique country furniture pieces that are sturdy and well made with simple lines. You can find these pieces all over for a steal because well, people are still stuck on the trend if they don’t want “brown wood”.

Shaker furniture is a distinctive style of furniture developed by the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as Shakers, a religious sect that had guiding principles of simplicity, utility and honesty. Shaker beliefs were reflected in the well-made furniture of simple designs. There is a great essay on the website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And as of 2017, according to Smithsonian Magazine there are only two Shakers left in the world.

Other trends that seem to be occurring that I don’t understand is buying reproduction grandfather clocks when so many go to auction every year and often do not get sold.

Of all the trends that seem to be cropping up everywhere I am heartened to see a return to loving wood furniture as in not everything I am seeing is covered with paint.

Painted furniture has a place, but the past few years it has been really upsetting to see the gorgeous pieces of wooden furniture and good wood like mahoganies and walnuts and fabulous maples being covered up with things like chalk paint. I have literally watched people destroy beautiful wood dining room tables by trying to paint them. I can see painting something that’s so beat up it’s just more cost effective, but to me there is nothing better than the soft sheen and warmth of wood’s natural beauty. And maintaining wood furniture is a little bit of elbow grease once in a while but it’s simple. My favorite thing to use is Howard’s Feed and Wax.

I love the thrill of the hunt of vintage and antiques. I have some things that I will always keep, and I have other things that I will love for a while and let go for something I like better. It makes it fun!

Fall markets are just around the corner. Keep an eye peeled for things like the sale September 7th and 8th at Brandywine View Antiques. Their annual barn market and 4th anniversary sale and celebration at their current location.

Happy Friday all!

endings…and my list of super fun places for antiques/vintage/unusual

The shopping center where Resellers in Frazer is located was sold. I wrote about it December 1st. Resellers will be around until the end of month I believe.

Alderfer Auction is doing the merchandise liquidations in a series of auctions. I bought a small Eastlake side table for a fraction of what it was worth. It has a slate top and I thought it would make a good plant stand.

I went over to Resellers today to pick up my table and to preview what would be in the final couple of Alderfer Auctions.

The photo above shows my side table withOUT the slate top. Here it is with two Clivia plants on it:

There are a couple of more Resellers Auctions through Alderfer. Here are some preview items I thought were interesting:

I have gotten some wonderful things from Resellers over the years. Josh Unruh the owner has done a terrific job. You can also find him up at Stoudts Black Angus Antiques up in Adamstown, PA.

Resellers had a great run. I will miss it.

I hear the warehouse that Resellers is located in will be split up into multiple stores? Don’t know if that means two or more than two.

Resellers closing will create a definite void in my opinion. There are several stores which try to be like Resellers, but they never have been quite able to capture the eclectic mix they created.

So where should people go to treasure hunt once Resellers is closed? Here is my short list:

1. Brandywine View Antiques 1244 Baltimore Pike. Chadds Ford, PA 19317

2. Classic Home Consignment 113 E King Street, Malvern, PA 19355

3. Habitat for Humanity ReStore Caln
Caln Plaza Shopping Center
1853 East Lincoln Highway
Coatesville, PA 19320

4. Habitat for Humanity ReStore Kennett New Garden Shopping Center
345 Scarlet Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348

5. The Loft at Knots and Weaves 218 East King Street, Malvern, PA 19355

6. Old Soul Decor 119 W. Market Street, West Chester, PA 19382

7. The Rusted Rooster Marketplace 510 Route 313 Dublin, PA

8. The Smithfield Barn, Downingtown, PA (you can find them at places like Clover Market and Gas Works in Frazer, PA)

9. Consign-It Furniture in Kennett Square – New Garden Shopping Center 345 Scarlet Rd, Suite 12 Kennett Square, PA 19348

10. Consignment Shop at Surrey 810 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn, PA (the older ladies who work there are delightful, the manager less so)

11. Jake’s Flea Market 1380 Route 100, Barto, PA (obviously not open in the dead of winter as it’s mostly outdoor – keep an eye on their Facebook Page and website they will be back in April)

12. The Clover Market – with several locations seasonally in Bryn Mawr, Chestnut Hill, Kenneth Square, Collingswood NJ. Follow them on Facebook for the most up to date news.

I will also remind people to keep an eye out for Caring Transitions of Chester County sales and auctions. They are truly a hidden gem. I also recommend them highly for their senior downsizing and estate services.

Please note I have not been compensated in any way for my personally curated list above. These are businesses I patronize.

Thanks for stopping by.

favorite places: brandywine view antiques

Located at 1244 Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford, PA Brandywine View Antiques is just one of those places you have to visit…three floors of fabulously cool antiques, vintage items, garden and home accents.

I used to go visit them in their old location near The Gables at Chadds Ford. I had visited them at places like Clover Market, and had been to their barn markets, but amazingly enough I hadn’t been to their new home until today.

Oh my.

It was heavenly!

Lisa the owner has an amazing eye, and much like her old location, it’s a wonderland of stuff inside and out. But this new location is so terrific and the building is so much better and it has amazing flow.

Of special interest to me today because I am a self-professed garden fanatic, was all the great stuff owner Lisa has to make your garden look fabulous.

From vintage concrete benches and beautiful cast iron antique garden furniture to the perfect little fox or owl or angel or even gnome for your garden, there is a lot to choose from.

Things I found of particular interest were cast concrete edging made to look old and these darling little concrete obelisks that you could put in your garden beds. They also have cast concrete leaves that are flat that you could use as stepping stones in a garden which I really liked and it almost made me wish I hadn’t already put down a stone path on one side of my garden!

And gargoyles! I can’t forget their gargoyles which look like they just flew in from living on old Parisian rooftops!

A nice selection of concrete birdbaths, architectural salvage, great old doors and windows… even in this heat I could’ve stayed a lot longer than I did. And when you go inside there are all sorts of wonderful antiques and vintage items for the interior of your home as well. They have the best selection of antique and vintage mirrors I have seen in a while, and some interesting and reasonably priced vintage art throughout the building.

I will note that even Martha Stewart shops here when in town doing her QVC thing as evidenced by this recent photo courtesy of Brandywine View Antiques:

Anyway, it’s a feast for the eyes and visiting this business also gives you great ideas! I also love that there is so much diversity of merchandise. And I hate to say it but I’m really glad it’s not an antique store full of mid-century modern.

And their pricing is quite reasonable, and if there something you wonder if they can do better on – just ask. If they can, they will if they can’t they’ll tell you.

I will close with a photograph of all the fun stuff in the backyard that you can use to accent your garden with:

t2

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Do you ever “T2” during Thanksgiving weekend? I do.

T2 is basically a second Thanksgiving dinner. I do this when friends and family have been scattered to the four winds for the actual Thanksgiving holiday. If I have a free turkey to use, and I’m not cooking the actual holiday dinner, I like to do another dinner at some point in the weekend basically so I can have Thanksgiving leftovers.

I am pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to a Thanksgiving -type meal. I make my own cranberry sauce, it takes so little time. I also make my own herbed stuffing cubes. I know it sounds anal, but I don’t like all the sodium and additives in the seasoned stuffing mix that you can buy in the grocery store.

Basically you preheat the oven to 400°. You take a loaf of inexpensive potato bread, whole wheat bread, or plain old white bread and chop it up into about 1 inch cubes. It’s not an exact science you know what you like when you do it. I like potato bread for stuffing the best unless I make a baker’s sheet pan of cornbread for stuffing.

I put a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a baker’s sheet pan. This pan is one of those ones that looks like basically a cookie sheet with a lip, and it is aluminum and heavy. I put the cubes on top of the parchment paper and give them a quick spritz with canola oil cooking spray. I do not soak them. Then I sprinkle whatever herbs and garlic powder I am going to use for my stuffing. Generally speaking I use savory herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme and so on. I might even throw a couple dashes of sweet paprika in.

Next turn off the oven. Yes, you heard me correctly, turn it off. Throw the cubed bread and with the herbs on top in the heated oven and literally ignore it for a few hours. Once everything has dried out and gone cold in a closed oven, I throw it into a Ziploc bag. I do this a day ahead of time.

T2 also gets a pie. This year it’s my pumpkin pie, with a praline surprise in the bottom. All it is is a piecrust unbaked in a deep dish pie dish. I like the vintage Pyrex ones that I can get at church sales, tag sales, thrift shops.

The pie filling is basically the recipe on the small can of Libby unsweetened pumpkin, but I add one more egg. They call for two I use three.

The “praline” aspect is simple: the day before I make my pie I take a couple tablespoons of butter and throw it in an 8 inch sauté pan. To that I throw a small handful of pecans and walnuts. They can be halves or they can be chopped. Your choice but I like the halves. To that I had a small handful of raisins. I used green raisins I got from the Indian grocery store this time. They’re great in curries and even better in pies. I add cinnamon, fresh ginger, cardamom, and a few tablespoons of turbinado sugar. I cook everything up until the point the sugar and butter caramelized together. Then I turn off the heat. Once everything has cooled off a bit, I spoon the stuff into a storage container and allow it to cool completely before putting the container lid on. Incidentally this is another thing I do the day before. The pie filling however, I do the morning I bake.

This morning, I whipped up the pie filling, did my piecrust and lined my pie plate with the crust. Before I poured the pie pumpkin mixture into the pie shell.

The bottom of the pie shell I then lined with my nutty praline mixture I made yesterday. I baked my pie at 425° the first 15 minutes, then reduced it to 350° for almost an hour today. When you add things like nuts or extra things to the pumpkin mixture, it takes more time. But you keep an ion it because you don’t want to burn your pie or overcook it.

The picture that opens this post, is my actual pie that I will be serving for dinner this evening.

The stuffing for the turkey will have baby Portabella mushrooms, onions, celery and other good things. Even a few crumpled strips of cooked bacon.

I will serve a hardy green salad that has a mixture of Romain, arugula, spinach, baby kale, and other greens. I will also do whipped sweet potatoes made with carrots and maple syrup. To the sweet potatoes I will add a dash of pepper flakes to give it a little heat. I will also serve on the side a small dish of the pickled beets I put up earlier this fall.

Early on the morning I am cooking the turkey, after my pie in the oven, I chop up the onion and celery and whatever needs to going to my stuffing cover the bowl with saran wrap and toss it in the refrigerator. It saves if you do a little prep time ahead of time.

When my guests arrive late this afternoon , I will serve them and assorted cheese platter of cheeses from Yellow Springs Farm. Because Catherine Renzi’s cheeses are goat milk-based, a lot of people will put out something like a fig preserve to have with the cheese. It’s that whole sweet and savory thing. I however, have decided to be different, and I will be serving my cheese with a tiny ramekin of apple butter on the side to use instead of sick preserves. It’s the apple butter I made a few weeks ago.

I set my table with real linens. All the linens I have, I have scored from church sales, flea markets, thrift shops, and eBay. You can get that Rich holiday feel without breaking the bank. And it is so worth it to use a good tablecloth. And quite frankly the vintage ones have more depth and substance to the fabric that a lot of the modern ones.

Except for the china plates my Great Aunt Josie left for me, everything that is on my table has been sourced from places like thrift shops, the Smithfield Barn, church sales, estate sales, and flea markets.

The actual turkey platter, is one of those metal ones created by several companies including Lenox that I scored for $30 last year at Frazer antiques.

All you have to do is look in magazines and online and on HGTV to get ideas on how to set a holiday table. Truly, it is not rocket science, and even with kids you can do this. And even with kids, you can set the table with nice glasses and plates. My mother did it with my sister and I, and I think she was spot on with giving kids a special feel for holiday meals and not sticking them with plastic utensils and plates and cups.

Okay, I have a bunch of things to do in the kitchen for T2 so you all enjoy your Sundays. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Remember, the Smithfield barn is open this afternoon for a few more hours if you were looking for some holiday bargains.