Why I Buy What I Buy

I get asked all the time, where do I find the stuff I sell or in my home, and I always say "everywhere".   I know people think I am being coy or evasive, but it's the plain and simple truth. I don't have a secret spot somewhere that has tons of unique and wonderful vintage and antiques (although I do have my fave shops). I travel all over the state hunting and gathering and at least one day of my "do nothing" vacation is spent on the prowl for treasures. I try my best to convince Bobby G. to travel the by-ways going to and from wherever, 'cause I don't think I have ever seen an antique or junk shop on the freeway. :) I even go to my least favorite places over and over because you just never know when there might be something "special to me" there. 

 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 
holiday display.

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.

 Pinks.......beautiful soft pinks and aquas and 40's green.  This old quilt, though worn and torn, has so much life in it.  Perfect for a picnic, to drape at the end of a bed or on a chair. If it's furniture or a wastebasket or something of that nature, it must have its original paint.

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

No Minimalist Here ~ Open House 
How Sweet the Sound ~ Pink Saturday
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Anonymous said...

What a great post. I love hearing these types of stories and some history behind the crafter. Thanks for sharing! I, too, love looking for things, and thinking outside the box of how I could use it.

Katherines Corner said...

you do find wonderful treasures. Wonderful post xo

Holly @ Down to Earth Style said...

I buy what I love and what I see in magazines as well. What we love is what makes home our favorite place to be.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Yep, that is pretty much how I work, a thrift store, estate sales, roadside cast offs. Oh and I bet this happens to you, people give me stuff "Thought you might like this" . I never go looking for particular pieces either. You have a great eye for finding treasures and popular items


Our Hopeful Home said...

I look for the wire storage, too. And the jewelry junk, of course!

All About Vignettes said...

That was a great post. The photos are fabulous and styled perfectly. I can't wait to see what else you're gathering for the Fall sale.

Junkchiccottage said...

You found some great treasures. I love the ice skates and the red pom pom and bell. Tooooo cute.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Great post, Lynn! I miss our crazy antiquing adventures.

Ballerina Girl said...

Hi Lynn!
It's been a long time since I've been around, but here I am back in the blog world again.
It is fun seeing and reading about your styles and why you choose the pieces you do.
Thanks for sharing! See you soon either at. Mine or here at yours!


Grace said...

What great treasures!! Grace

Sandi McBride said...

this is my favorite post of yours yet...loved every pixel and every word...

Beverly said...

You have quite a well trained eye for beauty. I always feel drawn to your treasures.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

I love this post because I can truly relate to it. I buy what I love and look for treasures anywhere I can. Visiting from What's It Wednesday and following you via Bloglovin'!

Got My Reservations said...

I loved your explanations of what you shop for and what it does for one's decorating. A nice how-to for first time collectors.

Dimple said...

Interesting post. I collect stuff, too, but I am more focused on glass and china. I have to like it, or there's no point in bringing it home!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Lynn, when I see what you buy, I always think you are buying it for me! Apparently, I like your taste. I love the way you did that lampshade on those pretty lamps! laurie

Tami @ Creative girl Vintage said...

Lynn, each piece you featured was just wonderful. Most things in my home (my favorite things) were collected at a flea market or auction too.
The best!
Thank you for sharing your treasures with us.
Happy pink Saturday & holiday weekend.
♥ Tami

Jeannie Marie said...

Very interesting to see why you buy and what you like. Loved the pictures!

Anne said...

Great finds! I have to admit I do have my favorite spots that I love to shop.But I love discovering new places!Love those sweet shades!

Jeanne said...

Good morning Lynn, I have to say your post just made my heart beat a bit faster. My sisters are antique dealers for the past 25 years and I worked with them for about 7 years. You described their style of shopping and mine to the letter. They sell in Texas, New York and their shop is in Atlanta in a mall. There is a big show called Scott's in Atlanta every month. They sell there and so did I. I retired to take care of my aging Mother-in-law and never went back to it. I love the hunt and still look for things my sisters might want. I go to auctions with them still and buy for my home. You could say we are addicted. Smile. Loved your post today.
Hugs, Jeanne

Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

You have the touch Lynn, and the eye. You see what other cannot. And that's a gift. I love all your treasure. I also go into the woods to old homesteads and find things. Last year I went into an old house that you had to step between the floorboards. It was worth it...I found those old aluminum colored glasses. Remember Lynn, how they kept your drink so cold and the beautiful colors they came in.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh..I love the same "stuff" you love, Lynn. And I agree with your approach.....I don't buy anything for resell that I wouldn't put in my house. I think that really "defines" your "look" to buyers. I love to see a booth fulll of the same things I love.....and not one that's a mismash of "whatevers" the vendor thinks might sell SOMEONE. :)

L, Dana

Anonymous said...

Ooooh..I love the same "stuff" you love, Lynn. And I agree with your approach.....I don't buy anything for resell that I wouldn't put in my house. I think that really "defines" your "look" to buyers. I love to see a booth fulll of the same things I love.....and not one that's a mismash of "whatevers" the vendor thinks might sell SOMEONE. :)

L, Dana

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