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, 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.


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:

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

Friday, July 17, 2015

Raspberry Pickin'

These are the actual berries I picked. Aren't they gorgeous!
My love of raspberry picking and then making jam from them began when I had a small patch of raspberries in my yard at my farmhouse by the lake. I inherited it when we bought the house. I had no choice but to pick all those gorgeous berries!

Now that I don't have that small patch anymore, I have to go pickin' at local farms that offer U-Pick.

I got up early, gathered my old pint containers and headed to the farm. It's a long walk down the farm lane to get to the huge rows of raspberry bushes. I got my exercise and some sweet berries all first thing in the morning.

If you catch it just right, you could get a ride on the huge tractor pulled wagon this farm offers. Just missed it! See it there just under the roof of the stand driving away!?

Once you arrive, Ben will show you where to start pickin'. He took me to the very end of a very long row! Back there by the trees....that's where I started.

Up close and personal, the pickin' begins!

I found out a few things about raspberry picking during my early days so these are MY TIPS:

* Go early in the morning. This farm is open for pickin' at 8:00 a.m. The bushes are planted in full sun so later in the day can get pretty hot!

* Wear closed toe shoes, long sleeves and long pants. In the morning everything is covered in dew so sandals may not be a great choice. You will be leaning in on the bush to grab all the best berries so you will get wet that way. Also, raspberry bushes are thorny. I used to leave my batch completely covered in scratches all over my arms and legs. I learned that one the hard way!

* Look under the leaves....that is where the large, plump berries usually are.

* If the berry does not pull off easily, leave it. It's not ripe enough.

* Fill those containers to overflowing! At $3.75/pint, you want to get as much as possible!

* Eat all the berries you want while picking. I just assume this one is a given!

* Go home and make some jam! I always make freezer jam. It is the easiest and freshest tasting. Most directions in the pectin box, such as Sure-Jell have easy directions to follow.

In a few weeks the Fall raspberries will be ready. They are in a different field and right now it looks lonely, but I will be there to get my fill again!


Do you pick your own fruit in the summer?

AnnMarie xoxo

I am sharing with these fun blog parties:

Share Your Cup Thursday
Best of the Weekend
Show and Share
Treasure Box Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday
Roses of Inspiration Linkup

Monday, July 13, 2015

Nineteen Years, a Lavender Festival and Lake Treasures

Eighteen years ago my husband Frank and I celebrated our first year wedding anniversary at a quaint Bed & Breakfast at Skaneateles Lake. One of the Finger Lakes in central New York in the United States, the name Skaneateles means long lake in one of the local Iroquoian languages.

It is a beautiful lake, a quaint town full of great shops and restaurants and this weekend, a Lavender Festival. We decided to celebrate our 19th anniversary on Saturday there. Our actual anniversary day is today, July 13th.

When we arrived at the festival at the Lockwood Lavender Farm on West Lake Rd, the first thing we saw was the mile long line for the bathroom! I was not about to wait in it although nature was calling. You will understand later why I am mentioning it! It still made a pretty picture with the barn in the background!

Just to the left there were rows of gorgeous Lavender.

The chair was lavender colored and put there for picture taking. I am holding my long stemmed bunch of lavender that I picked myself. That was one of the main features at this festival. 

You were given a pair of scissors, instructions and a cardboard guide for how large your bunch could be. I have to dry the bunch for about 3 weeks and then it is ready to display.

While I waited in line to cut my bunch of lavender my sweet husband volunteered to go wait in the bathroom line for me! It worked out perfect! When I got back to him, he was second in line. Did I mention that he agreed to go to a Lavender Festival for OUR anniversary outing? I have been calling him my Knight in Shining Armor for nineteen years now.

This picture was taken after he waited in the bathroom line! It was hot!

On the way to Skaneateles we stopped at a yard sale and an antique sale and got some treasures. My knight doesn't mind thrifting with me at all. Actually he likes it. He wanted to stop at so many yard sales that by the time we stopped at a three floor warehouse flea market on our way home I had to say "enough" because I was exhausted! That is huge. I usually don't say no to thrifting!

This box of antique lamp parts was calling me. I don't know why because I don't really sell supplies but I just loved these!

The large brass ring is from a chandelier.
I also found a great set of white enamelware pots with red trim. One has the cover to match. A tan green trimmed enamelware bowl, an Art Deco Son-Chief toaster and a 1930's Acme frying pan.

I just love these purses so I threw that in the mix although it didn't match a thing! :-) I will be listing all of these in my Etsy shop.

I came home with a thing or two for me too. I have always loved the look of an old door in the garden but don't want to pay the price for the really chippy, weathered ones. This door was at a yard sale while passing through Auburn, NY on our way home. It is almost 7' tall and has a nice brass pull and hinges on it. I paid $5!

I am going to figure out the fastest way to weather this so I can get it in my garden. I may have to paint it aqua first! My friend Susan gave me some great ideas for it so I am anxious to pull it all together. Won't it look great nestled in some ferns with a stone path leading to it and a window box attached near the middle filled with flowers? At night a spotlight can highlight all it's goodness!

And finally, we found an arts and crafts show that had a display of metal garden things. My husband is funny about not having an actual gift on the day of our anniversary so he just had to buy me something. My anniversary gift from him is clearing out a garden and adding a lilac bush, which I have been wanting since we moved here. Since the planting can't be done till Fall, he bought me this....

It is a metal sculpture, all chippy and rusty, which is hard to see, and it is my new favorite color of Aqua! It is large and we spent the morning hanging it from our funky side growing tree over the side garden. 

My gift to my husband was a pair of Converse high tops. He grew up in the 70's and Converse sneakers were the thing to wear, if you had money! They now make them with DC Characters and Frank wanted Batman and Joker. Since they make a pair with Batman and a pair with the Joker, not both characters on one pair, I bought him both! No surprise to me that he wore one from each pair at the same time. One foot Batman, one foot Joker. No joke!!

He pulled the look off great with his blue plaid shorts and Batman t-shirt. We went to the new Minion movie and Panera for dinner, with our son, as our anniversary date.
Next year Italy!
AnnMarie xoxo
I am sharing with these great blog parties:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Recipe

Oh, sweet strawberries, salty pretzels and cream cheese dessert......where have you been all these years since the 80's?

Apparently these days on Pinterest!

I made this dessert a lot in the 1980's as a young mother with a passion for baking and making desserts. It was a favorite go-to recipe and a real crowd pleaser.

Apparently it still is!

I lost track of my recipe and just how good this dessert is until I had it again recently at a graduation party.

Since it is strawberry season right now, there is no better reason than that to make it for our church picnic.

Not a very pretty dish for a picture but I put it in a foil pan
to take to church and not worry about my dish. I am very protective
of my baking dishes!
After finding this long lost love of mine after so many years, I really don't want to share the eating of it! But, it is for church after all :-)

I do want to share it with you though, in case you have never heard of this fabulous dessert!

I had to cheat and get a pic online because I couldn't cut into mine!

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
  • softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped
  • topping, thawed
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry
  • flavored Jell-O®
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen
  • strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
  5. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in still frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. This part took awhile to set for me. Refrigerate until set.
Some tips from my source*
1.  Be sure to use a food processor to chop those pretzels nice and fine if you don’t like the taste of crunchy pretzels. 
2.  For easier layering, try to let the layers chill in the freezer before adding the next layer.
3.  Be sure to go all the way to the edge of your dish with the cream cheese mixture.  This will keep the jello layer from seeping through and making the crust soggy.



I am linking up with these fun blog parties:
Tasty Tuesday
Show and Share
Roses of Inspiration
Coffee and Conversation
What's It Wednesday
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Share Your Cup Thursday
Home and Garden Thursday


Monday, June 29, 2015

Meet and Greet ME!

Jann at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson is having a meet and greet through the blog world. She invited those of us that couldn't make it to her in-person meet and greet in her home in the Midwest to write a blog about ourselves, what we love and what makes us happy, so we could get to know each other better.

I decided to do mine in a pictorial view of what I love most. There is my faith and family and friends and then there are those things that are just ME...

First in my life....

Couldn't make it through a day without Him
My family...

My husband Frank, me, son Michael, daughter Jena
Daughter Candice
Grandson JC and Granddaughter Chloe

Granddaughter Cassidy

And friends....

Bonnie and I knit, chat and drink decaf together!
All 6 of us celebrate each others birthday together. We always
have the best time.
I love....

I have to have a container of my homemade snack around at all times!
Banana chips, mini chocolate chips, wasabi peas, coconut, raisins, peanuts
I love being by the water.
The Forsythia blooming in June makes my heart sing!


And the lilacs bring back happy thoughts of my
farmhouse in the apple orchard

This Orange Blossom in full bloom makes me happy

I love waking up to this view every summer morning....

And this in the winter.....
I am a true picker, junker, antique hunter

I buy it, sell it and decorate with it.
Decorating is a passion of mine.

I love coming home with a huge haul of goodies.
Baking is another passion of mine and I am not afraid to try
unique things. These are chocolate avocado cookies.
I used to craft in my 20's and am now just trying my hand at
DIY again.
I am currently focused on stenciling.
Fall is my favorite season and I love traveling to Naples, NY
to smell the concord grapes on the vine.
I love decorating for Christmas.

There is so much more but I will end with this last picture. You will just have to sign-up by email to get all my posts which include a little bit about me in each one! And click over to Jann's party where you might find other bloggers you know that you can get to know better.
I just love cats and this is my beautiful Maine Coon kitty
Miss Kitty.
She passed away in February and so I am looking forward
to this Fall when I will get another kitty.
AnnMarie xoxo
I am linking up with this fun blog party: