Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hide Rug Yea or Nay?

I've been wanting to buy a hide rug for a while, but my animal-loving inner voice kept saying,
"Don't do it."
But in a weak moment. . . . . I bought one.

Originally, I wanted to layer it over our family room rug, but we added a four-legged
family member who made me change that.
We recently adopted a yellow lab, Bella, and we love her.  But, she likes to chew.
Her most recent munch was on our newly slip-covered chairs in the family room.
Here's her picture.  Isn't she cute?

 I went from place to place trying to get the right spot , until I realized that the best location  was our sun room because it's off-limits to dogs.
I layered it over my sisal rug. It looks perfect!
What do you think about hide rugs?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Ever Changing Mantel

Yes, I'm changing something again.  If you don't know me well, things change here frequently. 
Sometimes they disappear and reappear later in a different room with a different purpose.  
And, sometimes, they just disappear.
We have a little game here.  Some of the game questions are:  Was that always hanging there?
Is that new?  Wasn't that in another room?  If it was in another room, where had it been?
Or, usually months after it happens--Where did_______  (fill in the blank) go?

Anyway, I'm hosting Thanksgiving and I was getting into a really turkey mood this week.
I decided that I needed to change up the mantel with some Fall decor. 
The family was definitely relieved that it was the mantel and not a major piece of furniture.
Here's my before mantel that most of you have already seen.
And, here's the after.
First, I removed everything but the Greek Key mirror.  It stayed because
it was way too heavy to move and I needed it to hold down the fabric I draped on the mantel.
The fabric was a Clarence House remnant  from my fabric stash that had the right look and color.
Next, I put up the vintage turkey platter and added two old prints of turkeys.
I  displayed my turkey salt and pepper shakers next to a finial that had been on a table in the upstairs hallway until it was needed here for its height and color.
Winding around the finial and the turkeys is an old silk belt.  I love the nailheads in it.

I took some turkey feathers from one of my loving cups and placed them in the turkey planter.
  I also took a cloche from a bookshelf in the family room, turned it upside down , filled it with some over-sized acorns that I was selling in the store last Fall, then gently flipped it back over onto the mantel.
The last item added was the wreath.  Last year it was on the front porch. 
Now it's suspended over the mirror.
What do you think?  What have you done for Fall decorating?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Enjoy every minute of your family time.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Loving Loving Cups

I have been loving loving cups since I found my first one at an
Estate Sale.
Briefly, loving cups are actually what we now call trophies,
but so much nicer. 
My earliest one is from 1909 and I have them all the way to 1977.
The appeal is the urn shape and the interesting thing is that they were given for bowling, skating, 
horseshoes, golf, and just about any competition. 
The third prize trophies are just as nice as the first prize ones.

My first find  is my oldest, and says 
Whist Tournament  
First Prize
Later I found a book, Cavendish on Whist  and I display them together.

The Whist trophy is only 5" tall and to the left of it is a trophy for
a Jewish Basketball League 1931-32.

Many of my trophies are displayed in my step back cupboard in my kitchen.
I found the cupboard in a basement at an Estate Sale.
It was being used for tools.

Here are some close ups of some of the loving cups.

The trophy on the right is for the National Champion Horseshoe Pitch, 1931

The trophy on the left is the
 Lion's Ice Carnival
Third Prize
(pretty nice for 3rd)

The other one is only 4" tall and
Fives Competition
Blackhall Workmans' Club 1963-4

The loving cup on the right is Easter Tournament
Camp Stotzenburg, 1925

To its left, Best Plot
M Kelly 1977

The loving cup on the right is
Horticulture Club, 1956.

I use them to support plaster busts.

Keep an eye out for these vintage finds.  Mine are all silver plate and can be found for less than $50 each.
I've yet to find one in sterling.  They do exist but are very pricey.

Please share some of your favorites with me.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hometown Hunting Part 3

As promised, info about the new shop the owners of the Estate Sale are opening.
It wasn't opening until Nov. 12th, but they let me have a sneak peak.
The vendors were all busy setting up their booths.  Sorry no photos.  Merchandise is secret.
But what I saw was fabulous.  I picked the wrong weekend to visit.

I do have some photos of the outside.  You enter through a courtyard and the boutiques are on
either side.  For now, just one side is open.

I did take a few pictures inside of the clever decor.
You wouldn't believe what they did with an ugly drop ceiling.
They're stenciling the squares.
Love it.

They added a chandelier and painted the medallion black.  Steal that idea.

I never saw such a fancy powder room in an antiques store.
The walls and ceiling are fabric.

Happy Hunting,


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hometown Hunting Part 2

I recently discovered the Estate Sale shop in downtown New Kensington.

 They have a unique mix of merchandise.  Not only is the store filled with great stuff, 
but the prices are fantastic.  The owners, who are so helpful, are also artists.
Every square inch has a unique look.  I happened to stop in during their 
Holiday Open House.  There were decorated trees everywhere, even a huge tree set up
inside a fabulous four poster bed.

I have to share what they've done on the walls.
 I love the leopard fabric next to the geometric.  That pattern goes the whole way down the hall.

Doesn't this mirror remind you of the Pier One Peacock Mirror?
They made it.  That concave mirror in the middle is a hub cap and they individually
added marbles.  $129.  I want it.  Get busy DIYers.

Here's what I bought.  $45.  I wish there were  more.

Next Post:  They're opening an Antiques Boutique next door.
More info in Hometown Hunting Part 3

Contact Info:  Estate Sale  938 Fifth Ave.
New Kensington, PA  724 337-8577

Look at the store across the street.  It wasn't open.  
I thought I was going to cry.  I wanted in.
No name.  No phone#.  No info.

Happy Hunting,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hometown Hunting

I grew up in a small town, New Kensington, just north of Pittsburgh, PA.  I visit frequently since most of my family still lives there.  In fact, I was there this weekend.  Of course, while visiting, I have to squeeze in some vintage shopping in some of my favorite hunting grounds.  One of my favorites is 
Diamond Antiques and Gifts.

It is a multi-vendor shop and the owner, Dianna, is very sweet and sooo talented.  In fact, everyone there has an eye for display and a knack for finding unique items.  Dianna and I have become friends
and many times I've filled my van at her store.  Merchandise is unique and well-priced.

Here are some items I saw last weekend.

I couldn't angle enough to get a full view of this secretary.  I'm in love with all the cubbies. 
 It was less than $200!

This vanity bench was only $35.  Can't you see it at the foot of a bed?  Notice the fringe.  Love it!

When I got home, tucked in with my purchases was this T-shirt.
Come on everyone.  Don't tell me you can't totally relate to that.

Check her out:

Happy Hunting,

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Chair That Nate Wanted and How It Became Chinese Red

First, thanks  to all of you who watched The Nate Berkus Show. 
And, a super big thank you to Nate and everyone at the studio who provided me with an exciting and a fantastic opportunity to showcase my style.  I even got a peck on the cheek from Nate and he said "When I saw the image of  her room I thought I was looking at the cover of a European magazine."

This is my chair that Nate loved.   How flattering is that?  But, I had to tell him that he couldn't have it.  I do change things around frequently though, and he gets first dibs. 

As for the chinese red color on the chair,  I am not a color specialist.  But, I always know the exact  color I want.  Translating that into a paint chip doesn't work for me.   In fact, that wall of paint chips is totally overwhelming.
I do have a trick that works for me every time.  I find an object that has the color I'm searching for and drag it to the paint store.  My inspiration for the red was the inside lid of this lacquered box.

I have a favorite guy at the Benjamin Moore Store in Germantown, MD.  He has a terrific eye for color and gets me an exact match every time.   That box is probably the smallest thing I've dragged in to him.  I've brought painted trunks, dresser drawers, small tables, chairs, fabric and scarves.  And, if you look at my first welcome post you'll see an orange flower pot next to the bench.  Yes, I brought him the pot, and voila, the paint color for the front door.  He's amazing.
If you can't find someone like Jamie, there is always a Color Consultant on staff who will walk to the wall of paint chips and pick the color for you without a moment of  hesitation.  Yes, they're that good.

Give it a try and let me know how it works