Welcome to my blog....

here I will be musing about my passions in life which include all things vintage, baking, decorating, gardening, my family, faith........

oh, and the wonderful world of selling on Etsy.....

My shop NaNa's Things is a collection of vintage items I have treasured and wonderful new old finds from local thrift and estate sales.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Very Vintage Christmas Finds

Are you thinking about Christmas yet?

My gardens still look like summer, and I won't decorate for Fall till October 1st, but yes, I can't help thinking about Christmas.

While I am out pickin' and thriftin' I see a lot of vintage Christmas items that I just can't resist. Although I am coveting a large box of vintage ornaments, which are still elusive to me, I am finding other goodies.

This Santa has to be the find of the season so far. He is so kitschy that I just had to have him.

 
Santa and the poinsettia are flocked. The holly and berries are plastic, as is the "stump" Santa is standing on. There is some fabric and yarn thrown in to complete the kitschy-ness! He is available if you can't resist!
 
 
I found this great blow Santa at an Antique Car Show/Flea market of all places! He was sitting amongst the greasy car parts and tools. I had to rescue him. Why was I at an antique car show? My sweet friend Darlene's husband had entered his car in it and when she mentioned flea market, I was there! I found some great stuff!
 

Available
 
I have been looking for some vintage, felt Christmas stockings and these fit the bill. I just love the nostalgic look of them with all the elements that I think of for a 1950's Christmas.
 
Available
 
How about a really different, fun tree stand? This is perfect for a faux red foil tree, or if you are adventurous, a real tree that you have to water constantly!
 

Available 
 
I have had these kitschy knitted ornaments since the 1980's. I got them at a local Christmas bazaar. They are just too cute for a nostalgic Christmas.
 
Available
 
I love Fall and am so looking forward to picking pumpkins, decorating and walking in crunchy leaves. But Christmas is always in the back of my mind.....Christmas treasures to pick, that is!
 
Are you thinking about Christmas now?!
 
AnnMarie xoxo
 
 I am linking up with these great Blog parties:
 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shutters in My Garden

You know how you are just scrolling through your favorite blog, décor magazine or Pinterest and you see something and a lightbulb goes off? "I have that!" and "I can do that!" you exclaim.

When that happens to me I have to get up immediately and go do it.


I have had two royal blue outdoor shutters in my garage for a few years. It was one of those impulse buys that I had to have but had no idea what I would do with them.


I have been trying for a month now to incorporate an old door I got at a yard sale into my garden. I showed it to you here. It just isn't working. I remembered the shutters in my garage and got an idea.

If the door wouldn't work, I would make the shutter work! I had just gotten a great weathered wood board with a rusty shovel on it at an antique sale and I thought it would be perfect. 


I nailed it on.

I had an old shovel in my garden that had rusted to perfection. I nailed it on too. A few nails into a skinny tree standing amongst my Christmas tree ferns and done! Interesting. Different. I like it.


Then my Garage Sale Queen friend Susan texted me a picture of a bi-fold shuttered door, all chippy and weathered looking. Did I want it for $1? YES! Again, not knowing what I was going to do with it but I had this thing about putting a door in my garden.
 
I just randomly hung my animal keys there!
 
I recently had two overgrown bushes removed from the side of my house, one in preparation for moving my lilac bush over and the other was left empty. That is where this vignette was going.
The before.....
 
 
 I have seen so many really great potting tables made out of old benches, doors, windows and tables. That's what I wanted. I needed a table.
 
A few days later Susan texted me again with a picture of a great table that would go great with the shutter door. It was a drop leaf and it looked small in the picture. Yes!
 
Then the debate on what to do with it all started. It was bigger than I thought. Do I take the leaves off and attach the shuttered door to the back of the table and make a sort of potting bench? Didn't look right.
 
The door is crooked because it is literally just standing there on it's own!
 
This way didn't look good either....
 
 
After deciding not to take this great farmhouse table apart (besides, the hinges were thickly painted on!) I tried a vignette Susan hand drew and texted to me........
 
 
I styled it up over a few days with stuff I already had. The green plastic watering can is a recent find.
 
 
 

 
 
I need to plant something to fill in the front this Fall. I am not crazy in love with it but it fits there and it's kinda cute.
 
What do you think?
 
At the risk of this post being too long, I thought I'd show you one more picture. I am sure you have been wondering what I did with the other royal blue shutter!
 
I brought it indoors and added it to a vignette I already had going in my narrow front hall. It was quite trying getting a good picture as there is little light and a railing blocking my shot!
 
 
I encourage you to ignore the worn floor, as it is on the list of things to fix!
 
 
AnnMarie xoxo
 
 
I am linking up with these great blog parties:



Monday, August 10, 2015

Pickin' in Massachusetts

We are back from our week long vacation in Massachusetts and I need a vacation!

Fenway Gardens is an area in the heart of Boston where residents can rent a
plot for $30 a year to have their own garden.
 I went with high expectations of picking at flea markets, browsing at dozens of quaint antique stores, walks on the pier and lobster rolls.

Three out of four ain't bad! We had just missed one of the biggest flea markets in the area in Brimfield <sigh>

We arrived late Saturday in Southbridge, a small town about an hour from Boston. Sunday we drove to Boston and spent the day at Fenway Park for a Red Sox game. I never saw any flea markets or tag sales (as they call our yard/garage sales) on the way or over the weekend. Monday we headed out on our "down" day to find some places for me to pick.

Everything was closed! I knew that! Or I should have.

It wasn't until Thursday when we stopped at an antique barn sale that the pickin' began.

 
I found these two great framed photographs and had a fun chat with a local antique dealer, full Boston accent and all! He gave me a great deal on them after I told him that I sell on Etsy and can't afford his prices and then resell them.
 

 
He gave us a great tip on where more antique stores were and several great restaurants that we could sit outdoors to eat. We had to travel to Putnam, CT though! It was only about a half hour away.
 
It was worth the drive to find a flea market/antique store there. One of the booths was 70% off as the owner was in her 80's and was retiring from the business. I found this great Bakelite vanity set....
 
 
this cute rose chintz upholstered doll couch....
 
 
and this Lincoln bank bottle from the 1950's.
 
 
 

We ate at a restaurant that had a patio in the back within a few feet of the railroad tracks. We asked the waitress if a train ever went by and she said once in a while and maybe we'd get lucky. We did! It swooshed right by our table.
 
 
Friday, August 7th was my son's 17th birthday......the reason we headed to Massachusetts to begin with. He is a huge basketball fan and the Basketball Hall of Fame is in Springfield, Mass. We spent a whole day there and then he got to go to the gift shop for his birthday gifts.
 
 
 
On his birthday we had dinner at a great Italian restaurant....pasta just like I make! One of the antique stores that was closed earlier in the week was across the street and now open. I politely asked if we could please, please, pretty please go through it after dinner. Knowing what a bad pickin' time I had already had, he said yes. I found these great reproduction antique set of keys made of cast iron in the shape of animals. There is a rabbit, elephant, tiger, and horse. Keepers!
 
 
I also found this cute toy telephone with a working dial. I think it may be bakelite.
 

 
 At the end of our trip we stopped in Stockbridge, MA (think Norman Rockwell and The Red Lion Inn) and Great Barrington, two quaint New England towns with plenty of gift shops, restaurants and country stores. I found one antique shop and couldn't believe my eyes when I spied this late 1800's gathering basket. It was priced at $12.
 
 
When I looked inside I realized why....
 
 
But I didn't care! It is a great example of a hand woven basket with hand carved splints and the handle that is chiseled to fit down in between the weaves just so. The basket next to it, without any breaks, was $165. Another treasure for me!
 
Some other highlights of our trip.....
 
Fenway Park with it's old fashioned charm. They played Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" during the game.
 
 
After the game, a street performer playing his "drums" which were old plastic buckets and a metal cover. He was fabulous.
 
 
The L.L. Bean boot mobile.....
 
 
 
Quincy Market where we had a Lobstah Roll.


 
 
Room for dessert?
 
 


 The Wharf at Boston Harbor
 
 
And dinner at Le Galleria Italian Restaurant where we had a street side table and a delicious Italian seafood dinner in Boston's Little Italy.
 

 
We had perfect weather, great meals, great sights and a memory making trip for my son. Oh, and I did get some pickin' in.
 
What more could you ask for in a vacation?
 
AnnMarie xoxo
 
I will be sharing with these great blog parties:
 





Saturday, July 25, 2015

Living Large in Small Spaces - A Primitive Home




I am so excited that Nancy at A Joyful Cottage
asked me to do a guest post
for her Living Large in Small Spaces series,
and it's live today!
It is the home of special friends of mine
and I think you will be in awe
when you see what they've accomplished.
Click on over for a peek.....
 
 
AnnMarie xoxo
 
 
I am sharing with these great blog parties:
 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Musings of a Mad Thrifter



I can't help myself.

I can't stop picking. I tried. I am so convicted.

I put a self-imposed stop on all manner of picking and thrifting, garage sale-ing and antiquing until:
a) I sell more stuff in my Etsy shop
b) I list all the stuff I already have (I could double my shop inventory just by doing this!)
c) I can't stand it any longer
d) I stop keeping most of what I find!

Because those that know me well know that picking is second nature for me, they feel the need to give me permission to break my vow.

Their reasons are good ones:
a) you love doing it and you are having a great time (my husband)
b) you will need inventory for over the winter since your all-time favorite thrift store closed (my daughter)
c) more items in your Etsy shop means more visibility in SEO (Etsy admin)

Of course they are all right, especially Etsy admin since it will get busier as Fall and the holidays approach.

Conclusion:

It's all their fault.

Having said that, I hope you will agree that the great stuff I found at the Pultneyville Homecoming Antique Show this past Saturday is worth all the guilt and the fun-filled fabulous feelings I am experiencing. Besides, I think I missed this show maybe once over the past 30 years! I didn't promise myself I would be missing great antique shows.

These are my fabulous wood finds....

 
If anyone knows what the carving on the tray to the left with the handles is called, I'd love to know!
The cubby shelf may be a small printers drawer. I have been finding so many wooden bread boards that I now have a nice collection of them. I may have to keep them for awhile. I had to have the rusty shovel on the blue chippy board.....as simple as that.


 My funky and unique finds.....

 
The wreath is made from vintage fabric with various vintage items sewed on. The pink vase is from the 50's marked Japan. The truck is handmade and the beveled mirror hangs by a gold cord with gold tassels hanging off each end.
 
 
My fragile finds.....
 
 
I love the two tier dish marked Japan. The green glass juicer and clear glass dish are unique. The vanity tray is missing some of it's filigree and the duck is just cute!
 
 
My typical but still nice finds....
 
 
I say typical because you can find an enamel tin, a vintage Christmas tree stand, an old toolbox and thermometer and a vintage globe in most vintage shops. They are still great items and highly collectible.

My pretty finds....


The runner on the top of the suitcase is linen with the prettiest floral design. Suitcases are very popular items in my shop. I loved the shape of the basket and the granny square throw....well, I just love granny square anything!

My vintage Christmas finds....

 
A collection of three white and two red winged flocked angels with gold or silver wings. I think they are from the 40's or 50's, my favorite era for Christmas items.
 
My garden find.....
 
 
I bought this chippy wood and metal table/stool just for me for my garden. I haven't found the exact place for it yet, but it is a very special find.
 
 
My favorites, up close....
 

 
I have been wanting a vintage chippy metal pick-up truck to put a bottle brush tree in to decorate for Christmas. This handmade, worn, primitive looking truck is the next best thing. I think I will leave it as is and just tie a nice tree to it's flatbed.
 
 
 
The more I look at this wreath, the more I love it. Simple in design but with such a vintage nostalgic look to it. It is a keeper for now.
 
 
 
I fell for the rust on the shovel and the chippiness of the blue paint of this wall hanging as soon as I saw it.
 
 
 
There are some keepers here but most will be listed in my Etsy shop before the holiday rush. If you see something you have to have before they appear in my shop, we may be able to strike a deal! Contact me via email.

AnnMarie xoxo


It's the final week of my CHRISTMAS IN JULY sale in my Etsy shop, NaNa's Things. I am offering 20% off my Vintage Holiday section HERE:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NanNasThings?section_id=11378668&ref=shopsection_leftnav_7

I will be partying with these fun blog hop parties this week:

Roses of Inspiration Linkup
Let's Talk Vintage
Vintage Bliss Tuesday Linky Party
Thrifty and Vintage Finds Link Party
Vintage Inspiration Party
Share Your Cup Thursday
Home and Garden Thursday
Anything Blue Friday
Best of the Weekend
Pink Saturday