Saturday, November 29, 2008

eBay today - the most beautiful and unique antique brass bed

I have seen a lot of brass beds, both original and shiny, cheap faux brass reproductions. I'm not a fan of that Little House of the Prarie style generally, but the originals can be nice.

This one on eBay, however, is a total departure from the traditonal brass bed. I think I've blogged before about how I think brass has gotten a bad rap. Too many apartments and tract houses filled with "brass" chandeliers have soured most people on the material, but real antique brass has the most beautiful patina and is of superior quality.

If you are looking for an original antique bed for a guest room or a sweet little girl's room, I would seriously consider this one. Even in this slow economy, it won't last long.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving eve dinner - gumbo and bread pudding

Every year, my mother-in-law hosts Thanksgiving lunch. She lives here in town, so it's easy for us to all dine together. I have taken to hosting dinner on the eve of Thanksgiving as a gift to her. She is usually hosting out-of-town family and years ago I decided it might be nice to take one thing off of her plate... no need to worry about feeding everyone the night before a big meal.

So I'm getting ready right now and the gumbo is smelling good. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for it. My husband has learned from my mother how to make authentic gumbo (I grew up in Mississippi and have Louisiana roots) and he's responsible for putting that together. I'll serve French bread with it and that's a meal. I tend to always fix gumbo. Everyone loves real homemade gumbo and it's a nice departure from all the traditional cranberry/turkey/sweet potato delights we get tomorrow.

For dessert, I'm making pralines and Martha's croissant bread pudding. The bread pudding is a favorite in our house and it's super easy. I highly recommend it.

Finally, I thought I would include a grainy photo of my turkey planter with flowers. I love vintage turkey planters. I found this one on eBay years ago. They are really sweet and remind me of something my grandmother would have had. (I also have my grandmother's collection of Christmas pins... mostly trees and not especially valuable, but it's tender insight into how much she loved holidays and entertaining).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Schoolhouse lighting

I've fallen in love with Schoolhouse Electric Co.! They make new fixtures from old molds that have been rehabbed. I love it!

I know I've blogged about the antique filament bulbs before and Schoolhouse has them also.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

cool organizing

I'm trying to get organized now that the holidays are upon me and I found these great folders and box over at They kind of have that antique engraving vibe. I think I might just have to order these.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

advent calendar

I've always wanted a great advent calendar, but I've never liked what I found. They always seemed cheap and crass with their tacky ornaments and design.

When I ran across this one in Garnet Hill's catalog, I was thrilled! I love the simplicity of it. It seems a little Swedish. I plan on ordering one for my home, but will probably skip the personalization. I'm not so crazy over the script they offer. I think I'll see what my local monogram shop can do. If not, maybe I'll get out my needle and thread and stitch my surname on myself!

I also like this one, but I'm afraid the colorful mittens will conflict with my Hable stockings on my mantle.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

create an antique and unique Christmas tree topper

I have two Christmas trees in my house. One has all the crazy colorful decorations that my children make and that my husband and I made when we were children... along with other colorful ornaments. The lights are multi colored and blink. It's in my playroom.

I also have another tree in my formal living room. The lights are white and the ornaments are all gold and silver. Each year I hang all the sterling silver baby cups and rattles I own. It's a nice way to use something that would otherwise stay in a box forever. I also decorate with cream silk ribbons from my great-aunt's wedding bouquet and lace flowers from my grandmother. I use antique tablecloths for the skirt.

I've been stumped as to what to put at the top of the tree, however, until inspiration struck. I'm thinking of buying an antique doll and putting her at the top like an angel. I would love to find a long lace dress similar to the one she has on for her to wear. I would also have to figure out a way to fashion wings for her. Maybe I could use old tinsel for a halo?

Even if I don't end up using an old doll, this kind of brainstorming really gets me going. I love to find new ways to bring life to old things. If not, they just stay tucked away forever.

Maybe you have an antique doll of your grandmother's you could use. Decorate with old blocks and toys tucked into the branches. Or just tuck in anything that has meaning and usually stays hidden... baby shoes, black and white photos, your mother's white kid debutante gloves. Make it your own.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

eBay today - punch paper mottoes

I guess it's because I came of age in the 1980's that I tend to initially dislike "homespun" cross stitched framed needlework. It just brings back too many memories of navy/burgundy/tan color schemes and cross stitched geese.

These are the fore bearers to those and they are entirely different. I love the old religious homilies. The Victorians were very pious and they loved needlework, so these combined both of their loves. Despite their age, I could imagine a wall of seven of these beauties in a modern environment, perhaps a loft kitchen, as easily as in a traditional Vermont home.

EBay has several here and here (numbers two and three above) but I have also found a web site that offers patterns for reproductions.