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Posts Tagged ‘antiques’

Viola was a local  Virginia “character” who took pride in having an independent streak.  She was forthright and fiercely opinionated, and loved beautiful things.  And she was a beloved friend whose gifts over the years are things I still cherish.  They were old gifts she found in antique stores and one-of-a-kinds for the young me.

Sadly, we lost Viola, but there are wonderful reminders of her all over my home.  She was a friend who put extra thought into gift giving.

cookie-platter

  • A beautiful scalloped edged platter I still use to serve cookies.

  • An art deco bowl that makes bananas seem  brighter and yellower (is yellower a word?).

    art-deco-bowl

  • A lacy edged vase for short stemmed flowers to make into elegant arrangements.

    ruffled-flower-vase

I just read an article about how young people don’t like old stuff anymore. They don’t want Grandma’s china or sterling silver that has to be polished.

Who needs gold edged dinner plates for fast food or pizza delivery?  And who wants cutlery you can’t put into a dishwasher?

I concede there is some logic in this thinking albeit the younger generation seems to be forfeiting an atmosphere of beauty, charm and grace.

But do they know about the feelings you can get from holding or using something with a history?

A beautiful old serving dish is never really old.

And an elegant old vase will always complement a spray of  seasonal flowers.

And much like people, some old things age gracefully with the help of a little extra care.

And other things grow more beautiful with little to assist them but age and patina.

I was a young woman when Viola gave me some exquisite old things.  They never required too much care and they are cherished now, almost thirty years later, along with some very sweet memories.

I keep reminding myself that finding the one-of-a-kind perfect gift for someone special may be as easy as a stop at the local antique store.

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City folks often ask if I get bored living out here in “no-man’s” land.  Little do they know the pressures, pleasures and sweet surprises inherent in country life! We are not all relegated to the kitchen baking pies and putting up jars of things.  Some of us crochet!  And some of us meet fascinating people!

Here it is!  The finished crochet project!

D's Market Bag Flat

Dor's Market Bag

It looks like a bag.  It holds things.  It must be a bag. Actually it is a bag!  It’s a “Market Bag” that might get saggy-er with veggies and fruits inside.   That’s why the photo is of the empty bag.

It’s pretty saggy empty but I like it because it is the first crochet project I have ever done that is not a scarf.

After completing the market bag I did start another project – a shawl.  I failed miserably, ripped it out and made a SCARF!   It’s really light because it’s holy (having lots of holes). It has no warmth of course, but I like it anyway because it is well, airy.

Hopefully the crochet teachers, Ellie and Dymph, who had such high hopes for a beginner’s progress to  an intermediate level will not be too disappointed.

Lex Carriage

Dianna and MotorMan are in the back seat!

I met another blogger friend in person! 

Dianna of These Days of Mine, and her MotorMan, came for a surprise visit yesterday!  We met at the Lexington Carriage Company loading zone.  That means they were unloaded from a sweet carriage drawn by two sweet horses. This was a fitting beginning since Dianna loves horses.   Bill and I waited for them in a gazebo at a downtown herb garden.

Dianna and MM are really nice!  They are not axe murderers or anything like C and M, some other scary bloggers I met.  Seriously we are all now great friends and C’s wonderful blog is called Photos from the Loony Bin!  Anyway, we went with Dianna and MM to lunch at the Sheridan Livery Inn, which used to be a parking lot for stabling horses.  Really.   That was before cars and no parking zones of course. I think I might remember those days.

We stopped to mosey around Stonewall Jackson’s back yard.  He had this garden which now features antique vegetables and plants.  Stonewall, whose real name was Thomas Johnathan Jackson was a quirky Confederate general in the Civil War.

Dianna's Crochet Treasure

Dianna Finding Antique Treasures No, Dor Did Not Crochet This Beautiful Piece

And then we went to two big antique malls!Duke's Antiques

I tend to go blank when there are too many options, but Dianna is an antique expert and has great ideas for converting seemingly useless objects into arty decorating accents.  I am so envious.

I loved meeting Dianna and MotorMan in person!   Who’s next?

Other random events of the week included a book club discussion of Yes, Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson, a cooking class I walked out on since I had to cook, and a mad effort to stay away from bread, crackers, and sweets.

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Underwood TyperI forgot how interesting it is to go antique shopping.

There are two giant antique “malls” in this part of Virginia and I joined my niece just before Christmas at one of them.  She was on a search for a stunning pill box of yore.  No little plain plastic dispenser for Judy.  Nope. This one had to be a silent film star’s original gem encrusted stunner.

We didn’t find one but I had forgotten how much fun it is to browse through the old things I actually recognize as relics of my own childhood infancy.  And of course there is also the adventure in discovering unique personal gifts for special people.

Dor’s 2015 New Year’s Resolution:  Shop for Christmas gifts at antique stores!

To elaborate on this resolution, I have decided the search in 2015 will include rambling visits down Virginia country roads and byways where there may be real one-of-a-kind antique/collectible treasures.

And getting out and around with new camera and zoom lens in tow will only add to the pleasure.  These excursions will be charming respites from big box store shopping and holiday chaos.  Toy Farm Truck

Oh, how I love anything collectible!

Or is it “Oh, how I love anything antique?”

What’s the difference anyhow?

Several owner/dealers told me this:

It used to be that an object over 100 years old was considered antique. But now, anything from the 1950’s on back is in the antique category.

Uh oh!  I wonder if that applies to people too.

Please let it be known that I think I prefer to be designated as a COLLECTIBLE which is defined as a thing that is less than 100 years old and is possibly an antique of the future.

My old friend, Viola (a country woman with guts and bravado) made antique stores her only venues for beloved (or White Elephant) gifts that were never returned or re-gifted since they were usually bowls or plates  she expected to see when she visited our homes. antique crystal bowl

Shirley Temple Pitcher

But FYI and if you’re really interested, Per Ye Olde Faithful, Wikipedia:

“An antique is defined as an old collectible item.

It is desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility,

personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features.

It is also an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society.” 

For an exceptional listing of various antique stores and antique malls in Virginia, visitwww.antiquemalls.com.

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Per Ye Olde Faithful, Wikipedia, “An antique is defined as an old collectable item.   It is desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features.  It is also an object that represents a previous era or time period in human society.”

Ah yes, the above could be a a perfect description of moi, except for condition and beauty.  When one is creaky and avoids mirrors, condition is debatable and beauty must be overlooked.  Certainly age and rarity fit, and utility – definitely utility.  And alas, you could say I represent a previous era in human society.

This morning I went browsing with two good friends at the local antique mall, and  photographed recognizable things from childhood.   Small towns and country roads often yield real treasures and we entered a great warehouse chock full of fabulous old stuff.  I asked the owner how a thing merits the “antique” designation these days.  And she said, “It used to be standard that an object over 100 years old  was considered antique.  But  now anything from the 1950’s on back is in the antique category.”

The 1950’s?????  Wait a minute.  At the rate I am finding familiar objects in this place, I can duplicate our entire house with exactly the same contents as it had in the 1940’s!  I knew there was a reason I avoid antique stores and mirrors!

But, why can’t I just be designated a COLLECTABLE?  The definition of a collectable is something that is less than 100 years old and is possibly an antique of the future.

AN ANTIQUE OF THE FUTURE!  That has a nice ring to it.  I feel slightly better now.

NAME THIS OBJECT

See if you can recognize any of the objects below.  I have invented a NEW game called Name this Object.  There is even a clue list to help you on your way.  And don’t come crying to me if you identify them all.

  • Tabletop Radio (With On, Off & Volume)
  • Brownie Camera
  • Manual Typewriter
  • Apple Cookie Jar
  • Coco-Cola
  • Toy Truck
  • Shirley Temple Pitcher
  • Flatiron Rest
  • Doll House
  • Singer Sewing Machine
  • Old Radio
  • Metal Saws with Wood Handles
  • Washboard

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Whoooooooosh!!!

We dreamed of building a house at the top of a hill.  And so we finally did.  It’s not the highest hill in the land, but it catches the wind.  In fact, at times it gets so windy up here that our inside doors slam shut.  WHAAAAAP!!!  This is not conducive to ultimate relaxation and frankly, it’s a bit alarming.

Don’t you love my sound effects?

But, being jolted awake from a Noon Nod can really shake a person up.  I had to find a solution because the slamming doors could affect my husband’s equilibrium.  Bill takes a nap after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner and I have to make reservations for conversation.  The  rare times he is fully awake he is working outside on the “South 40.” If he misses a morning, mid-day, and afternoon nap, they can all add up to major sleep loss and who knows, he might get dizzy and fall off his tractor!

So, I had to find an immediate solution to the wicked winds of the west.

  • Close the Windows.  Oh, I know I could do that, but what about losing the health giving properties of fresh air and pollen?
  • Buy or Make Door Stops.  Of course I know about them too.  But have you ever tried to find one with character?  Do I really want a comic figure holding my doors open?   And are you suggesting I MAKE a doorstop?  Blahhahahaha! (Modern slang for “are you serious?”)

THE FRUITCAKE THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

During the holidays, my friend, Janet, makes miniature fruitcakes for gifts.  They are about the size of large bricks. One of the recipients shellacked his fruitcake to create a doorstop!  Now there’s a brilliant idea – fruitcake that’s hard as a rock and will last forever!  Maybe shellac isn’t even necessary.  The trouble is, Janet’s cakes are genuinely delectable, especially when frosted with royal icing and marzipan!  I’m making myself hungry with this post!

We do have one “cutesy” display, a black iron Scottish terrier that looks like our once beloved family dog, Pepper.  That doorstop does its job all right, and is fairly adorable, but really has no class.  It’s just, well – cute.

ANTIQUES FOR WIND CONTROL

After wracking my brain about the wind tunnel problem I finally consulted  my all-knowing, newly-found country friends.  “What do you suggest?” I asked.  And they suggested we go to an antique mall!   Really?  For a doorstop?

I  love to amble around our antique malls where I recognize things from my childhood.  Sometimes the ambling sends me into a state of depression since I begin to feel antique myself.   In fact I am beginning to recognize far too many things in antique stores.

“What we have in mind,” said my friends, “are the old flatirons they used to iron clothes in the old days.   They had to heat them on wood stoves you know.”  No, I didn’t know and I never heard of  a flatiron either.  Thank goodness I’m not THAT old!

AHA! PROBLEM SOLVED!  

Flatirons for doorstops?  I could hardly believe it, but sure enough, we found several options at the antique mall and they were all perfect;  different enough to add interest, heavy enough to halt the heaviest door, and classic enough to add class.

My Flatiron Doorstop

Country Tip for City Dudes:

If a wicked wind is howling through your home, look for flatiron doorstops.

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