holiday decorations

I always decorate my chandeliers for Christmas. I decided to do them for Thanksgiving as well this year.

The design style started with a strand of cranberry colored wood beads that I bought a while back at a barn sale. When I looped them through my chandelier the rest of the design sort of came to me.

So I bought an additional two strands of beads for this chandelier and the craft store also yielded pinecones strung on twine, which saved me time and effort.

I think the effect is simple and pretty but not too rustic. When it comes time to decorate for Christmas I will add birds and some hanging snowflakes to this and it will look just beautiful.

My husband of course seems to think I am just trying to get a “jump on Christmas” as he put it. Now that isn’t exactly true, but I will not deny that this helps me get some of my pre-decorating done for Christmas.

If you are interested in beads like this, as well as a pre-strung pinecones you can also find them on Amazon and eBay and Etsy. They are not terribly expensive and I think it gives such a nice look.

Happy day before Thanksgiving!

santa season 

Decorating days are here. I like it to be festive and beautiful not Christmas psychotic. 
I have taken a long time to hunt my Christmas decorations and as a process it is a constant evolution. 

I find decorations I like, but if I find ones I like better I will swap things out. 

  Some people just do mass assemblages of layered and layered decorations with not much restraint (or taste) and well it ends up looking like an episode of Christmas Hoarders. If you take your time it makes it easier and you don’t have to put out all of the ornaments and decorations…rotate them!

Last year I did a lot of little decorated  trees with feather ornaments and such, but this year I decided to have more Santas and nutcrackers out  instead. (I did one small tree with vintage ornaments for our bedroom – a tabletop tree).


Ebay and Etsy are great resources for Christmas decorations and ornaments. So are Facebook yard sale groups, church rummage sales, and garage sales and my favorite…barn picking 🎅

 Decorating for Christmas is easy and fun. Use Pinterest for ideas and inspiration and keep it simple to start.
Vintage holiday table linens and dishes also do not have to cost a fortune at all. 

But seriously where people screw up every year is they take the time to decorate… And then it’s paper plates and plastic cups! Just say no! Buy yourself a pair of festive dish gloves and towels and do the dishes! 

Happy Merry Festivus!


collecting: shipping breakables

This is why you have to be so careful when you’re shipping breakables.

 I love Royal Copenhagen Christmas plates. I collect them and I use them. Some people like to hang them on their walls, but I checked with the Royal Copenhagen company and you actually can use them as luncheon or hors d’oeuvres plates as the glaze is safe and not containing lead. (They were very funny they sent me photos of the plates being used with cheeses and pickled herring on them!)

I bought these from a dealer on eBay and they did not use a large enough box or the proper packaging to send me the plates.  They also did not remove the plate hanging wires from the plates. I am fortunate only one broke.

Now I fully understand they did the best they could and this was an accident, but there is a takeaway  lesson on this. It is better to go up a size in boxes and pay a little extra postage then run the risk of having something break. 

Now mind you, sometimes packages just get manhandled and there’s nothing you can do about it. But the case with this box was it arrived in perfect condition, it was simply too small with insufficient packaging around each plate.

Thanks for stopping by!

add some kitsch to your kitchen!

  Everyone knows I love vintage linens. And one of my favorite things to have in my kitchen are vintage kitchen or tea towels. They just brighten up the kitchen. And yes some are pure kitsch!

The nice thing about vintage tea and kitchen towels are there also made of much better fabric and then you find and a lot of kitchen towels and tea towels today. The ones I look for are either a heavy linen or cotton. You will find some cute ones embroidered on what was feed sack material. 

For the most part I hand wash them and line dry them, especially if they are embroidered. Sometimes I iron them before I put them out, or as was the case yesterday I just put them out.

You can find these towels in lots of places. Usually anywhere from $6 to $10 a towel. And those prices are pretty good considering a lot of them are all hand embroidered. And yes you can use them every day even with the hand embroidery! After all, they were meant to be used!

true vintage: collecting and using dansk 

Caveat Emptor is Latin for buyer beware. Like everyone else, there are things I collect and love to use. A lot of times I have a hard time sourcing things locally, so I have to go out onto the Internet to find what I want. But you have to pay attention and research what you are buying.

Dansk Kobenstyle cookware, specifically their Dutch ovens, is one of those things I love . But I only collect the vintage and I only cook with the vintage.  Dansk can also be purchased through William Sonoma and other outlets again now, but in my humble opinion they are just expensive they aren’t necessarily as good as what you can find vintage.
Dansk Kobenstyle Dutch Ovens or covered casseroles were introduced originally in 1955. The Kobenstyle Casserole was originally designed by Jens Quistgaard….in Denmark.  Interiors of pans are white. This is enamelware (enamel coated steel) , so you have to baby it and hand wash it. One of the really cool things of the design of the pot is the lid can be used as a trivet! It’s just fun and practical mid century modern. 
The time during which Dansk was originally produced in Denmark was a mecca for mid century everything from cookware to furniture. (I think some of the furniture of that era can be retro cool, but some of it I don’t care for.) 
My mother also had the Dansk flatware when I was growing up. She also used the Kobenstyle cookware ( Dutch oven and a casserole pan of I recall correctly. ) Simple design with a great weight….and basically indestructible. 
Also note that Dansk was a US company no matter where the items were produced.  Dansk as a line was born out of the Great Neck,  NY garage of a couple named Nierenberg in 1954 after seeing the work of Jens Quistgaard at what is known today as the Danish Museum of Art and Design. Eventually Dansk corporate headquarters to Mt. Kisco, NY in the mid 1960s.

I don’t  like things from the entire line but I do love the Dutch Ovens and stock pots. For example, some people swear by the rectangular casseroles, and I hate them as everything sticks all the time. I had at one time a casserole and small sauce pans but I got rid of them.
Dansk originally appeared in Neiman Marcus ads in 1955. At Christmas time. These items were originally produced in Denmark. The pans were first produced in turquoise, red, and yellow. There was also a bright green color which was pretty awful,  but it didn’t last and was discontinued after year I think.
I have attached some photos of the vintage logos for Dansk. You will notice one says “Made in France”. That is because in 1965 production moved from Denmark to France.
What I collect and use, are all basically from the years 1965 through 1975. I can date my pots from their colors. White ( circa 1971-1973), Brown ( circa 1975), and Sun Gold Yellow (circa 1965)
In my opinion at the end of the 1970s, Dansk sort of faded from popularity with a lot of their line until it was reintroduced in 2012.  And it was sold as a line in 1985  and then acquired by another company around 1991 and then again in 2009. 
The Kobenstyle pans today are made in Thailand, and the bottom on the newer pots introduced in 2012 through to today are also slightly different (not just because the bottom is black, as the ones manufactured in France sometimes have black bottoms). I have looked at them in stores and the weight is slightly different and I just don’t like them as well. They have also tweaked the design in some cases which makes them look slightly like cartoon pots to me. So I continue to use the vintage versions of the Dutch ovens/stockpots .
I use these Dutch ovens regularly and eventually I wear them out. Which means I start looking for other vintage Dansk to replace them with. I like to do this before my Dutch ovens don’t have enough of a resale life in them. While I use mine, a lot of people just buy them for display and I have resold some of mine that way.
I have found the vintage Kobenstyle everywhere, but it is easiest to find on eBay and Etsy. So as a result, I was looking on Etsy the other day.
I saw a listing. It was what was described as a vintage Dansk. It’s not. And I knew it as soon as I saw the photo of the bottom of the pan. There was a very modern Dansk logo and “made in Thailand”. That’s not vintage anything,  that’s current to within a couple of years. Even the handles were not the traditional style for the vintage Kobenstyle Dutch ovens or stockpots. (Dansk is now owned by the company that owns Lenox. And don’t get me started on Lenox because while true vintage Lenox is divine, modern Lenox? Not so much.)

I contacted the owner of the Etsy shop to let them know what they actually had for sale. I have noticed on eBay and Etsy that most sellers enjoy getting additional information on what they are selling because quite frankly it helps them sell items quicker. Not everyone can know everything – some people just know certain kinds of items better than others. It’s why you will see so many antique and vintage dealers specializing in specific things.
The owner of the Etsy shop came back to me with the reply “What is your point?” and some other rather rude comments I won’t share. (I am also doing the store owner a favor and not outing them. Everyone can make a mistake.)
Guess my point to the store owner was that I was trying to be helpful.  She left her listing to stand with the incorrect description overnight and then removed it.   But she is a seller who has now lost me as a potential customer.  Not because of her mistake, but due to her attitude. And the shame of it is for a modern Dansk reincarnation her pot was ok, but it was definitely not vintage. All she had to do was change the description and she could have even sold it at the same price point she had listed.
The moral of this rather long Aesop fable is to check out your items. Ask questions. If it’s something you collect and the seller doesn’t know something about the item, tell them. To be honest it’s a little bit hard to be an expert on everything vintage, so feel free to tell us what you know about things. It actually is helpful.  And if you run into a seller who strikes a discordant note with you, move onto the next seller.

fun with primitives (again)


People often operate under the misperception that collecting has to be stuffy, expensive, is for hoarders.  That is not true.  You can collect a restrained number of things that you can actually use in your home.  That is what I aim for now: can I use it and do I have room without looking like grandma’s attic.

Primitive candlesticks are a relatively new thing for me.  I recently sort of developed a candlestick crush on them.  I think they are cool in their plainness. And they make for cool groupings. Cast iron, tole painted, and so on.

I will caution you that they can be pricey….unless you do what I do and look for them at White Elephants, garage sales and picking barns….like my favorite barn The Smithfield Barn.

And oh I also discovered something else recently – I can find terrific lots of hand dipped and beeswax candles on eBay that are a heck of a lot more reasonable than buying them in stores around here.