Sunday, March 30, 2014


My recent post about my Santos cage dolls brought many questions,
mostly about their history.   
In retrospect, I should have included that with the post.  My bad. 

One of my Santos Cage Dolls

I was able to find some information about them.  Obviously mine, and most of those available for sale are reproductions, but I thought you'd enjoy a little about their origins.

History of Santos Cage Dolls reproduced from

European Beginnings

The Santos dolls take their name from the Spanish word for Saint, and are also known as Santons (French) and Santibelli (Italian). The Santos that started the genre of dolls we currently represent (primarily Spanish Colonial and Western European style), were originally started as copies of 17th century carvings by priests. Originally, Santos were created for use as in-home altars.  They were needed in small villages that did not have a priest, as well as for when it was not possible to travel to church, such as during times of war.  Their development flourished in Europe  in the 1700's and 1800's, primarily due to these wars.

Santos dolls are closely related to the Crèche figures, which were implemented in Italy by St Francis of Assisi, during the 13th century. However, the Crèche are primarily associated with Italian and French nativity and crib scenes.  Crèche scenes are still elaborately displayed throughout Italy and in parts of France, most notably in Provence.
Discovery of the New World

European Santos dolls were also brought to the Latin Americas during the Colonial age of Spain's settling of The New World.  The dolls were used to aid in the of conversion of the Native Americans and Central American Indians to Catholicism. Many of these original dolls, along with the art that inspired them, were destroyed while trying to settle the West.  Therefore, antiques in good shape are rare and very expensive. It is not uncommon to see an antique Santos bring 4 and 5 digit figures.  In more recent years, fine and folk art has emerged to replace these dolls.  Santos dolls are designed and created by "Santeros" or "Santonniers" (loosely 'saint maker'). As the art form has progressed, the Santos has become recognized as a true artistic doll.  Some dolls are rustic carvings, while others have magnificent details. 

There are many sources for purchasing these lovely reproductions.

Obviously from  They have many examples.

They're also on eBay

Santos for sale on eBay

Amazon has a nice selection too.

Santos for sale on Amazon

And of course my friend, Sandy, who has a shop at the Delaware shore, has one for sale too.
 If you'd like to know more about hers, let me know.  I'll put her in touch with you.  

I hope this answered some of your questions.
 I actually have to thank you because I learned some facts I didn't know either.


FYI, this is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Have you discovered Santos yet?  I actually have three different styles of them in my home.
I have the Santos angel on my landing.

Santos Angel on My Landing

She became part of my holiday decor.

Santos Angel at Christmas

I have another version on my screened porch.

Santos on My Screened Porch

I don't believe I've shared this other Santos.
 She's in my living room and stands upon a stack of document boxes next to my bookcase.

My Santos on a Stack of Document Boxes

Every time I find a crystal necklace or rosaries, I drape them around her.

Her cage skirt supports a framed Italian print.

Do you have a favorite accessory that you repeat throughout your home?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Adding to My March Mix

Sale is tomorrow but I'm always hunting and gathering.  
I just added some decoupaged bottles and some bling to my March mix.

Bling on Decoupaged Bottles

Of course since I'm trending animals this month,  I couldn't pass up filling a jar with resin antlers.

Jar of Faux Antlers

It's hard to believe they're faux.

If you missed the post with photos for this month's sale, go here.

Hope to see you locals.  I'm working Friday.


 Sweet Clover Sale

March 21, 22,23 from 10-5

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mixing Vintage, New, and Lots of Animals

I always mix vintage with new, but for some reason I have added to my look.
  I seem to be trending animals.  Who knew?????

Here's some of what I'll have for sale at our next market.

Pine Grain Bin

I have a pair of silver chests.  They make perfect jewelry chests--they're narrow and lined with felt--or could also be night stands.

Silver or Jewelry Chest or Night Stand

Chinoiserie Dresser

European Dresser and Goat Giclee

Ram's Head

Canvas Animal Totes

Steer Head, Silk Screened Canvas Pillows, Steer Lazy Susans, Dough Bowl

Dough Bowl with Canvas Animal Prints

Silk Screened Bunny PIllows

These bags are made from recycled cement bags.

Assortment of  Recycled Cement Bags Made into Messenger Bags and Totes

Recycled Cement BagWallets and Wristlets

Vintage Book

Vintage Suitcase, Bench, Sheet Music

Lantern, Hooks, Goat Giclee

All available at our next Sweet Clover Sale

March 21, 22,23 from 10-5

See you there.


Recent Vintage Finds

I'm always out and about looking for the unique.  I'm very happy with my recent finds.

Patina gets me every time. This large pine grain bin had it in spades. 
 When I ran my hand across the top, it felt silky soft.  
What a perfect coffee table with tons of storage inside.

Forged iron hinges for support and a brass escutcheon.

Huge iron hinges support the lift top.  Boards are joined with pegs and there are square nails.

The sides are dovetailed, more iron support hinges, and iron handles.

You know how I love shabby chippy.  I fell in love with this mirror.

Detail of Mirror

Another Detail of the Mirror

I also found some signed nautical map prints of Mystic River, Stonington Harbor, and
Pawcatuck River in Connecticuit.  They're signed by John Dodge.

One of Three Framed Nautical Prints in Original Frame and Signed

I also found an architectural column, a demi-john, and two huge bound volumes of
The New York Times.
 It's hard to believe that each huge volume contains approximately only two weeks worth
 of the publication.

Column, Demi-john, Bound New York Times

I have plans for this rope bundle.
 Now it supports a turtle shell and is surrounded by some small bleached turtle shells.

Rope and Turtle Shells

What out-of-the-ordinary finds have you discovered?


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Painting Horizontal Stripes on My Wall

I've been thinking about painting stripes all around the foyer for a looooong time.   I guess I have to credit those repeated snow storms and way too much down time and togetherness for my motivation.  
After being snowbound for several days, my husband was taking my son for baseball winter workouts.   They would be gone for several hours and I would be ALONE.  Impulsively, I decided to fill that time by painting stripes around the foyer.  I grabbed the ladder, the level, my painters' tape, tape measure, paint and paint supplies.  I moved all the furniture away from the walls and I was good to go.

I have a two-story foyer and had painted stripes in the second floor hallway and the foyer focus wall before.  I had already calculated the width of the stripes, so thank goodness I could leave the math behind and get started.

Two-Story Foyer with Stripes
I was going to continue the stripes onto the wall where I have my desk and onto the wall with the coat closets on either side of the entry to the living room.

The Next Two Walls I'll Attack

When the boys arrived home and walked through the front door, the comments went on for a while.  The condensed version was "Oh boy, we can't leave you alone for very long."
Here's what it looked like when they walked in.  This is the wall to the left of the front door.

Don't you hate having all those necessary distractions on the walls like smoke alarms, house alarms, door bells and light switches.  Magazines must photoshop them out.

Yes, I will remove the wall sconces before I begin to paint.

This is the wall to the left of the focus wall.  The doors open into the kitchen.
Those painters' tape pieces remind me not to paint that area.

Here's how it turned out.

So, did I need to do this??



 When you tape off the sections, make sure the edge of the tape is above the line you're following on the painted stripe and that the tape is on the inside of the line of the stripe you'll leave blank.  This sounds confusing, but once you start taping you'll understand.

 Always make sure to press down the edge of the tape securely before you begin to paint.  I slide the side of my thumb along the edge of the tape to press down and secure it.  A credit card or a popsicle stick would work too.  The last thing you want is paint oozing under the tape.  This is the only way to get a sharp crisp edge.

I put a piece of blue tape on my yard stick to indicate the height of the stripe.
 The measurement is much more visible and it's a time saver too.

I use a level to make sure all my lines are straight.

I put pieces of tape inside the stripes I DON'T want to paint.

Try to tape and paint the same day.
The longer the tape stays on, the harder it is to remove no matter what the manufacturer says.
When you pull off the tape, pull off in a downward direction and at an angle.
I removed the tape from each stripe as soon as I was sure it was the last coat.  If the paint dries onto the tape, you can follow the line of the tape with an exacto knife and it should pull off in a straight line without pulling paint off the wall.

I used a 1" angled brush to cut in and a foam roller to paint the area.

It takes two coats to get good coverage.  By the time I had worked my way around the walls, the paint was dry enough for me to go to the wall where I started and begin the second coat.
If you take your time with the measuring and taping you'll have a professional result.

Have fun with it.