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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Thrifter's Creed

"Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail (nor migraine) shall keep the thrifter from her appointed rounds."

 
Obviously I changed the postal workers creed to suit the thrifter in me!

Sometimes you just get the feeling that your favorite thrift store just has something there for you and you've got to go check it out. No matter the weather. Or if said weather triggers a headache!

This week I had a yucky migraine. The barometric pressure changes here in the northeast are killing my head! By midday as it started to lift I just got this strong urge to go check out my local VOA. I hadn't been in a while and I needed some fresh things for my Etsy shop.


The first thing I spotted was this great wooden stool with a braided rug top. It is in great condition and it happened to be Manager's Special day.....30% off furniture and lamps! Plus I get the senior discount of 20% off (you only have to be 55 to be a senior there).

When I went to the counter to pay the clerk said that the stool had only been there a few days and it was waiting for me. See!! I knew I had to go!

Of course I had to see what other treasures were waiting for me.

 
I spotted this cute wooden bunny with a pull string. My granddaughter Chloe just loves these. She loves swinging them. She won't know about this one! It's going in  my shop.
 
 
I was so excited to see a piece of black transfer ware. It has a great flower knob on top which is repeated in the handles on the side. It is quite old with just a triangle mark on the bottom. There is one chip on the whole thing. I have to research it because I have never seen transfer ware in black in person.
 
 
This sweet folk art girl caught my eye. When I picked her up I was surprised how heavy she was. She is made of terra cotta and hand painted. The back is quite interesting. It has a hanger for the wall.
 
 
 
I picked up the red framed rooster on the left a while back on a thrifting day and so when I saw the Cock a Doodle Do picture I had to have it.
 

 
I think I may hang the first one in my kitchen after I am finally done painting it (yeah I am still working on the white.....took a break over the holidays!). My kitchen is cobalt blue and white and I have recently been adding in touches of this great deep red.
 
 
 
On my way home I stopped at a few of the thrift stores on Main St. in my town. There was a huge box of bottles outside one of them. I have a huge box that I got last Fall full of late 1800's bottles. But none of them were this color. For a $1 I had to have it to add to my bottle display in my bathroom.
 
 
I spotted this basket in the front window of another thrift store on my way out. I went on my way to another store but eventually I had to go back and get it. It was 20% off and matches my parlor perfectly. It is all silk fabrics and tiny pink and blue beads on the trim. The bunnies are a find from another trip that I am keeping for now. Too cute not to!
 
 
I am finding these days that I am keeping almost as much as I am listing! They may make their way to my shop eventually but for now I am finding great treasures to fill my home.
 
 
Is it just me or do you do that too when you are out hunting and thrifting?
 
AnnMarie xoxo
 
I am linking up with these great blog parties:
 






Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What I Buy on Etsy

I just love selling on Etsy.

And, I love buying on Etsy too!

I find such unique and special items from Etsy shops that seem to be there just for me just at the right time. I see a lot of what I buy through searches and on the threads of the teams I belong to. I have bought from some great sellers and I just wanted to share some of my great finds with you.

My lastest find are these cute wooden bunnies. They are from Artcuts, a shop based in London, UK.

 
I ordered them with the string so that I could make a banner out of them. I kind of have a soft spot for bunnies.....you could say that I have a bevy of bunnies.....but none like these! I strung them all together and found a perfect spot.
 
 
My first attempt at some spring decorating even though my snow lady is still sitting around!
 

 
All winter I had been wanting a red plaid slouchy, cross body purse. I don't know why, I just did. My dreams came true. One of my favorite blogs I follow featured the handbags from Polyester and Trash in her post and I fell in love. I found my red plaid bag. It has a big sun on it made from a sack that held mixed nuts. And all the materials used are vintage!
 

 
 



This bag is huge. It is made of all different fabrics with the handle made out of a man's tie. There is a pocket on the inside. It fits cross body in a slouchy, funky, messenger style kind of way. I just love it.


I ordered this at the end of the summer last year from Crafted by Gale and can't wait to put it up above my new side porch door this Spring. My garden is right there so it is so apropos.

 
I fell in love with this muslin and tulle tree from Provencal Market and used it the last two Christmas' for decorating. I didn't want to put it away so I found a way to leave it out year round.


My husband and I run a Christian Community Arts and Cultural Center so when I found the comedy/tragedy mask ornament, they just went together. It works for me!

 
There are lots of shops on Etsy that offer printable downloads of great graphics. I had just started knitting prayer shawls for a ministry called the Knit Wits. My friend Bonnie, who heads it up just loves sheep and yarn and all things knitting. I just had to order this four piece printable from Lorraine's Graphiques.

 
 
 Couldn't pass this great graphic up from Cottage Rose Graphics because, well, it's me! Debbi, the shop owner added the Musings of a Vintage Junkie in for me!
 

 
This t-shirt just spoke vintage to me with the old truck. Plus grey is my new favorite color. I ordered it from Tattered Tique. It is the most comfortable t-shirt and my favorite to wear. Just ask my friends and family who saw it on me constantly last summer!
 
 
Junkin Queen, Vintage Girl, Picker, Junker, Antique Hunter (hey, I have a cool key chain inscribed with those words from Etsy bought for me as a gift by my daughter!)....whatever you want to call me, I am proud of it!
 

I could go on and on with many more examples but you get the picture. You can find so many things that speak directly to you and become those items you just have to have.
 
Okay, just one more. I just remembered this one.....
 
 
I bought it a few years ago from Mitmunk, a cool shop full of funky stuff "for the creative spirit".They specialize in some wild leggings. When I saw the cat and the 13 I had to have it. It is a nice burnout style t-shirt with a quality graphic on it.
 
The listing title calls it the "unlucky 13" t-shirt. But for me, 13 is not unlucky. When my husband and I were looking for a wedding date in July the only one available was the 13th. I didn't like it but wasn't going to let superstition bother me. When we got to Italy for our honeymoon I found out that 13 is considered a lucky number there. I bought a silver 13 charm to commemorate our honeymoon and now proudly wear my t-shirt with a kitty, (which I love, black or not) and 13. It definitely has become a conversation starter!
 
 
From diaper bags to a custom leather bracelet, velvet pumpkins to American Girl doll clothes, I usually find what I am looking for on Etsy when I am looking for something unique.
 
What do you buy on Etsy?
 
AnnMarie xoxo
 
 
Disclaimer: These items may or may not still be available in these shops but the shops are all currently open!


I am linking up with these great blog parties!

Roses of Inspiration
Show and Share
A Little R & R Wednesdays
Share Your Cup Thursday
Freedom Fridays with all My Bloggy Friends
Anything Blue Friday
Pink Saturday
 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Changing of the Mirrors

When it comes to decorating, I like to figure out exactly what I want and then enjoy the hunt for all things I need to do it. If it comes out the way I want, it stays and I never change it. Not too crazy about change.

BEFORE


Every once in a while though, I get a bug to just change things up a little, even though I may still like the original decorating. That happened recently with my tiny main floor bathroom.

My sweet daughter Jena painted it garnet red for me years ago. It was quite the job....something like five coats to cover. She already said up front she is not painting it again! I still love the color.

So for this redo, I had to work with the colors I have, which are the garnet red walls, white tile and light beige trim. The original shower curtain and valance match with a garnet red toile pattern on a light beige background. They had to go. The rug, toilet seat cover and towels are all garnet red. They will stay. The Victorian light fixture will have to stay for now also.


The mirror was the star of the room. It is a very heavy chalk ware, Victorian style round mirror. I found it in the early 90's at my favorite antique/thrift store at the time. I fixed it up and painted it white. It hung proudly in the only Victorian room in my 1900's farmhouse, the master bath. I was so happy to find a place for it in my current home when we moved.


I decided to move it to the parlor and hang it over the mantel. It goes with the style of the room and I am living with it right now to see if it will stay or not. The parlor is the middle room so it is a little weird walking through and catching myself in the mirror!

This is the before of the wall above the mantel.


Once that mirror was moved from the bathroom, I went to the front hallway and took that mirror. I had a hunch it might work in the bathroom as it was the one from my farmhouse bathroom. I always loved it. It has lots of mirror to check everything before leaving the house! I never did like it in the front hall.


Remember this mirror? I got it at a yard sale for $2 and debated about where to hang it in a post a year and a half ago, here. Well, I hung it in the front hall and it looks great. It actually matches better than the wood one did because it is gold and so are all the framed pictures!


 

 
So now that the mirrors have all been switched around, back to the bathroom re-do.

This bathroom has issues. The floor is from the 1960's, the tile around the sink needs re-grouting and fixing (see the grey strip on the end of the sink? Yeah, that's duck tape from where the tiles fell off. A contractor friend is coming to fix it, hopefully sooner than later!).....

....and, it's very tiny. Your knees touch the tub when you sit on the toilet. There is about 2 feet between the sink and tub. Small! But I had to work with what I've got because once I get the bug to change it up I won't be waiting for someone else to do their part first!

I started looking online for shower curtains and realized quickly I'd be pretty limited with the color and price.

Just happened to be in Bed Bath & Beyond with my daughters after my oldest daughter's birthday lunch. They found the curtain for me, which has the smallest amount of garnet red. I knew it would work though and my daughter had two $5 off coupons. I got the cute soap dispenser too.

From English toile to Spring garden......

 
 
 
There is enough brown in the shower curtain to pick up the wood mirror and enough beige to go with the trim. It also has some different shades of gold which helps balance the wire bird cloche and the framed picture of lacy underwear which is hung above the toilet.  I asked my husband if he minded looking at it while he, well you know, and he said not at all! Gotta love that! Not sure it is staying there though.
 
 
There are also some pretty shades of aqua in the shower curtain so I put my sweet little shell trinket dish on the window sill and an aqua bottle in with the clear ones.
 
 
The wire bird cloche is from Decor Steals.

 
I bought a huge box of vintage glass bottles from a man that used to work construction for the city of Rochester. He dug them out back in the 1980's and believes they are from the late 1800's.


Here is the full reveal....


The great rusty hook rack above the window is from Décor Steals







Now I just have to find duct tape to match my décor!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

diy Sunday Showcase
A Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
Share Your Style
Amaze Me Monday
Masterpiece Monday
Show and Share
Treasure Box Tuesday
Something to Talk About Link Party
You're Gonna Love It Link Party
A Return to Lovliness
What's It Wednesday
Wednesday's Adorned From Above Link Party
Share Your Style
Home and Garden Thursday
 Share Your Cup Thursday
Best of the Weekend
The Vintage Alphabet Party
Before and After Wednesday
A Little R & R Wednesdays

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Random Ramblings

I found this fun blog party, Random 5 Friday at Nancy's blog, A Rural Journal. I thought I could come up with five things....


Just some random tidbits of life here in Upstate NY....

1. ......where we are still under 3 feet of snow!

 
Here's my husband Frank and daughter Jena trying to get the heavy snow off of our side porch roof, which is groaning under the weight!
 
 
2.  I was in the mood for some good trail mix. The pre-packaged ones in the grocery store are so full of junky chemicals and salt, not to mention too expensive. I decided to make my own. With ingredients I got at Aldi's and the bulk section of my local grocery store, I mixed together coconut flakes, sweetened banana chips, raisins, unsalted peanuts, mini M & M's, wasabi peas for a little heat and mini dark chocolate chips. Can I just say....YUM!!
 
 
3. My friend Bonnie and knitting mentor came over Friday to hang out, drink coffee and knit. She brought a fun project to teach me. Arm knitting! I had been wanting one of those thick, cozy scarves and this is the way to get one. It was a little frustrating for me to do and once you start you cannot stop. You are literally tangled up in yarn on both arms, but just look at the result!
 
 
When it is doubled around your neck, you are literally encased in warmth and softness!
 
4. On the way home from picking my granddaughter Cassidy up from school she mentioned that she wants to switch her instrument in band from saxophone to flute. I mentioned that I played the flute at her age and still had it. That is all I had to say! Do you know about 10 year old girls? When they want something they can be quite persistent until they get it.
 
I searched the house and found my flute. I figured out that it is about 48 years old....YIKES! At least that is how long I've had it. We put it together and it all came back to me. The brain is an amazing thing. I was able to play Mary Had a Little Lamb without thinking!
 
 
Cassidy tried her best to get her lips just right to get the sound out. She did pretty good!
 
 
5. I haven't thrifted in a week! I must go take my temperature!
 
But here are a couple cool items I got last week....
 
A very cute Walt Disney Dumbo creamer from the 1950's. He is quite collectible and is listed in my shop.
 
 
Also listed is this great Aladdin Stanley thermos, complete with rust and grunginess!
 
 
 
Did you have a good week, with some fun random tidbits?
 
 
AnnMarie xoxo

 
I am linking up with these fun blog parties:
 

 


 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Tribute to Miss Kitty



My beautiful Maine Coon kitty is gone.

I named her Miss Kitty. My daughter had Mr. Kitty. He's gone too.

I had to put her down last week after she suddenly became lethargic, disoriented and stopped eating. She was a vibrant kitty of a little over 15 years just a few short weeks ago....

 
This picture was taken when Miss Kitty finally came upstairs after hibernating in the basement for two weeks. She did that every now and then but this time I was fearful she was sick because of her age. During that time she only came out from on top of the duct work long enough to eat, so my husband was the only one to see her.
 
You see, 15 years ago he surprised me at Christmas with the most adorable kitten I had ever seen, and I have had cats all of my life. He said that he would take care of her by feeding her and taking care of her litter for the rest of her life.
  
 
 And he did. She would run upstairs every morning around 6:30 a.m. to have her scratching time with him.
 
When it came time to take her to the vet, knowing she was dying, I was the one to do that.
 
She spent the last month of her life upstairs everyday and was the most cuddly, loving kitty. She seemed to want to be with us! It did cross my mind at the time to take note of this because she could be gone at anytime. As I look back, I am so happy for that extra time with her. It was too cold to go outside so she spent all day and night inside with us, occasionally gazing out the parlor windows.
 

I always thought of her antics as her being just a silly kitty. But I think most kitties are silly and do weird things. Like if there is even just a corner of something to sit on, she will.
 
 
Or if she sees an open computer, and especially with paper on it, she's there!
 
 
I told the story in a recent post of how she just had to lay on any box that was around. It was her favorite thing to do.
 
 


One year I decided to bring all the boxes of Christmas decorations up at the same time. She was in her glory!




She was the typical aloof, couldn't care a bit cat, but she had to be in on the action wherever it was taking place. The baby doll is one my son had to take care of for a weekend as part of a Health class project. We were all avoiding it because it was so annoying, but she was right there with it. Sitting on a piece of paper on the floor no less. Did she want to be near the doll and the action or did the piece of paper just happen to be near the doll??!!

 
She only hung out in my work packing station once! I had to get a picture before I chased her away!
 


How can I stay mad at this kitty?

 

I had a scare a few years ago when she disappeared for almost two weeks in November and it just happened to be the year when we had unusually cold temperatures. I looked everywhere for her but living in a village, it was too much ground to cover. I finally put a flyer up in a local gas station and I got a call from a girl who thought she saw her. Across Main St. behind some apartments is an area where a lot of kitties hang out, mostly because this girl feeds them. I never got to talk to the girl, it was all through phone messages and we kept missing each other because she worked odd hours.

I went looking for my kitty behind those buildings and although there were a lot of cats, none were Miss Kitty. At least I hoped she was being fed.  I wanted to give the girl some money for feeding the cats and to encourage her to keep doing it since mine was one of them, but I never connected with her. I tried to get her to try and catch my cat and call me but after a while of not hearing anything I kind of lost hope.

Then one warmer day, I was getting ready to go out when I heard a car drive up outside, the door opened and then shut and the car drove away. I went to the door and there she was! Miss Kitty was home and not in bad shape at all. I didn't even see a car drive off down the street. To this day I believe an angel brought my kitty home! I don't remember giving the girl my address, yet she was dropped off in front of my house. She didn't stray too far from our yard from then on.

 
Miss Kitty had her cat friends too. She was the queen cat and the others were her subjects. Two or three cats would hang out on the lawn around the chair she was perched on. They would all just sit there and .....sit there! It was the funniest thing!
 
If she wasn't outside she would keep track of her friends through the windows on the side of the house facing the yard and front porch. She would run back and forth from one end to the other to see where they were.
 
For several nights after she was gone, her Tabby kitty friend stood outside our windows on the porch meowing very sorrowfully. Somehow she knew.

Her favorite Summer lounging spot...


It is too soon to get another kitty or two (one for me, one for my husband!) but maybe by this Fall.

I have to think about Miss Kitty and let the memories play around in my mind a little longer.

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fine blog parties:

Pink Saturday
Best of the Weekend