I have climbed through an attic with no floor boards and stopped and asked strangers about old statuary in their yard. One day I found a real treasure on one of my winter walks out in the woods. I discovered an old trash pile and from the looks of the broken bottles, I guesstimated the stuff to be from the '40's. It was there I found a fabulous old farm truck license plate, which I gave to my neighbor for his barn art. And sometimes I am gifted with sweet treasures right in my own yard.... such as a beautiful goose feather. So, you just never know where a true gem might be found.
Which leads me to "why I buy what I buy", which is the second most asked question I am asked. I buy what is popular in the home decorating magazines at the moment. And I can only buy what I truly love and what I would put in my own home. Yesterday, at auction, there was a charming old 40's green bed tray with hand painted flowers, in excellent shape. Did I buy it? No...why? In my area, they were a hot commodity in decorating, particularly cottage style a few years ago, but not so much now so I passed on it. A pity...true, but if I can't sell it, I have wasted my time and money.
Holiday stuff......I am always looking for vintage holiday items. Old ice skates are charming for winter season decorating. These were extra special, still having their red pom poms and bell on them.
Beautiful or whimsical old lighting.....just bought a pair of these lamps at auction. I love the creamy ceramic square with the worn cast metal ornate base. They have such a Frenchy look to them. Rewired and a hand made burlap shade give them a rustic and refined look. These will go in the Fall Market I will be participating in.
Architectural Remnants.... aged to a romantic patina, they add so much personality, unique texture, and panache to a room.....creating tension between the formal and informal. This old corbel is huge, also being showcased at the Vintage Fall Market.
Whimsy and fun...... always on the lookout for whimsical pieces that add so much fun to a room. This old ceramic boot caught my eye because of it's fabulous faded red and the old worn real shoelace in the eyelets. A few simple sprigs of evergreens tucked inside and you have an adorable
Cream ware...... I love old ironstone, cream ware, white ware and restaurant ware serving pieces. Earthenware of a neutral tone to blend in with many different styles of decorating
Furniture....... I love to find gorgeous small pieces of furniture with dovetail corners and beautiful wood grain...solid wood, with beautiful hardware. If it has broken veneer pieces, then I will probably paint it. I think this one is going to be either blue and white or silver. :)
Plates...... Beautiful old platters and plates with portraits and roses.....I snap those up along with very vintage and antique oil paintings. I don't mind the crazing on the old pieces....in fact, I love it and the brown coloring too a lot of these old pieces have, due to heat. It establishes the provenance and adds time worn character.
Nature........ I am lucky to live in the country, on the water and I am always finding lost nests, goose feathers, shed antlers, and if I am very lucky, a turtle shell. The addition of natural elements can elevate a vignette into a composition with life and movement.
Old Books, laces & jewelry..... everyone knows how I love to decorate with old books. Worn and weathered spines and corners, and weathered muted colors are charming, making the mundane something special. A piece of old lace wrapped around a book says "look at me". Some time ago, I went to patio sale. I found a whole package of vintage military i.d. chains. Having no idea what I would do with them, I bought them anyway. Now they are the neck pieces for my hand crafted bird's nest pendants. These also will be for sale in the show. I have to keep a sharp eye out for old vintage jewelry pieces. Often times they are thrown in a box jumbled up with an array of 'junk'.
Appeal to me.........one of the most fun things I look for are items that were once functional, but can now act as art......non-working clocks, wheels, old typewriters. Love the beautiful wood on these old shoe shine brushes and that fabulous old leather handle. These are on my website here.
Storage........fabulous old wire and metal pieces that can function as storage. Old hampers, old fishing boxes, old sewing drawers....
don't see things for what they are but what they can be.
So there you have it....a few things on my shopping list of "what to look for" at the moment.......subject to change from month to month. I never go out hunting and gathering for anything specific. That way, I always find something, even it's just a feather in my garden. :)
Have a wonderful week. xoxo
Ivy & Elephants ~ WIW
No Minimalist Here ~ Open House
French Country Cottage ~ Nesting
How Sweet the Sound ~ Pink Saturday