Monday, March 30, 2009

Friends & Family

Hey, I'm just an old fashioned sort of girl and I admit it!
I'm not known for my tecnological savvy.
O.K., that's an understatement.
I'm known for being stuck in the (antique) Dark Ages.
I just mastered my cell phone's camera, and finally got my first digital camera. (As a gift.)
They say I need to get up to speed . Hey - I do have a blog - isn't that pretty up to the minute?
So I've had to rely on my genious daughter to design my sites and on my sweet friend Jeff
to provide wonderful photos. It's so nice to have friends and family who will assist me in inching into the 21st century. (Read: "pull me kicking and screaming into the 21st century".)

photo of my sweet photographer/boyfriend Jeff March

(Note: This was following a 14 mile hike into and out of a mountainous area, carrying photography equipment, and he thinks he is not looking his best . . . . I beg to differ! )

I'm learning more about my camera and computer every day, and that's what counts, after all. (At least I hope it counts!) I am now posting photos and artwork on my own . . . which is quite the accomplishment for me. Do I hear applause?? Thank you!!

I'm writing today to thank these wonderful members of my support team, (and life team), for keeping me on target, pointing me in the right direction, and propping me up whenever I need assistance.

No matter what they tell you, I do not
"usually get inspired and call them up at 3am".
I DO get inspired at 3am, but I usually wait
at least until daybreak to call them for assistance.
They have inspired me and encouraged me and provided me with technical assistance and artistic advice. They love me anyway . . . in spite of my limitations, and support my endeavors, my brainstorms and my dreams. Thank You, Gang!
There is a little saying I heard a few years ago . . . and I'm sure they were talking about ME!

It goes like this . . .

"she sometimes had a storm inside of her head"


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Snowy Days

It's snowing today . . . . and with blizzard warnings posted, I took the liberty of closing the shop early and returning to my cozy little home, where I'm curled up with a cup of tea. I love to light a fragrant Votivo candle, (compliments of my dear friend Anne, who has gifted me with several of these delightful, longlasting candles). Votivo's Honeysuckle immediately transports me back to my childhood in the south, where honeysuckle vines crept along the fences and fragranced the evening breezes with a sweet, relaxing purfume. The smell is so true to nature that it evokes memories of summer nights, of catching fireflies in a mason jar, and relaxing on the porch, eating homemade peach ice cream. I'll while away the afternoon listening to my favorite CD's and browsing through a stack of decorating books for inspiration. Planning my next series of vignettes for the shop keeps me busy . . . . seeking just the right combination of textures and colors to delight the soul. Of course my foundations always seem to be scrubbed pine tables and cupboards and almost always must include my trademark chunky white ironstone bowls, platters and pitchers. Add a touch of wire or other industrial style metals, or perhaps a few pieces of beautiful silver . . . . some spring greenery, tulips, ferns or ivy, and soft, nubby cotton or linen fabrics . . . . and an ancient book, opened to show off the mellow contrast of black print on aged page. A bundle of hand dipped candles, tied up with waxed twine, or maybe vintage satin ribbon, will complete the setting.

Another tablescape will include antique watch faces and gears, garnered in a crazed white pottery bowl, resting on a placemat of old sheet music . . . . and away I go, drifting into my land of imagination and nostalgia. Vintage garden urns, moss, and soft sepia photographs tucked into the mix make me smile. I begin to experiment in my own livingroom, dragging my treasures from one area to another, until a mellow French breadboard has become the "tray" beneath a glass cakestand, heaped with white seashells . . . . a sterling silver compote houses an abandoned birdsnest, and my little stack of Victorian wicker suitcases has become a pedestal to highlight an 1880's platter heaped with tiny leatherbound books. Ahhhhh . . . . this will work! Now to translate the concept from home to shop! Maybe I'll add a pair of antique spectacles, or some tiny wrens eggs, or nestle a handfull of skeleton keys in the birdsnest.

The possibilities are endless. The garnering of your favorite things, each special and memory provoking, into a single display, can indeed be an artistic expression. Some artists use more traditional mediums, and some of us create a three dimensional, ever evolving still life of found objects and memorabilia. Whether you treasure a love letter or a vintage handwritten recipe, if that simple piece of history has meaning to you and it evokes a response within your soul, it should be used to create your personal artwork. Surround yourself with the things that have meaning to you. For some, a river rock, tumbled smoothed by time and the flow of water is a most inspiring and thought provoking paperweight. For others, the feel of a wooden spoon in a pottery bowl means home and continuity. I am particularly delighted by tones and textures of a single color. A color-range of whites: snow, eggshell, alabaster, cream, mother of pearl, oatmeal, ivory, vanilla, wheat. When shown in varying textures such as yarn, ironstone, handmade paper, lace, linens, paint, book pages, basketry, leather, buttons, seashells and enamelware . . . . the qualities of that color become so special and so beautiful that I have no need to add other colors to achieve the satisfaction of my soul. I encourage you to experiment with your favorite things . . . . and I wish you many snowy play days !

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patina Antiques

Well dear friends, Patina Antiques & Home is celebrating another birthday! We are inviting you and a few thousand of our closest friends to join us for
Thursday 3/19 - Saturday 3/21
With Champagne and Cake
25% off
Throughout The Shop
Now, keep in mind, Patina has never had a SALE before . . . . because we made a promise to always, always, always offer our wonderful finds at the best prices we could. We hear comments every day regarding how surprisingly wonderful and reasonable our prices are. We sell to designers without offering discounts. We even sell to other antiques dealers, who resell our treasures!
Call us CRAZY!
We are doing well in a fluctuating economy . . . . still stocking new items every day, still travelling across the country for delightful and unique pieces. We are blessed, and we want to pass the blessing on to you. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to us, and THANK YOU to all of our incredible friends and customers for making it another great year at Patina Antiques & Home! Bring your friends and sip champagne and revel in the confections while you look for your special treasure. There will be fresh inventory coming in each day, so if you can't visit until Saturday, don't despair. ( SHHHHH . . . . you'll see things no one else got to see! ) And yes, you may come back for seconds . . .
We are building our email mailing list too . . . . so be sure to sign up and leave snail mail behind! We will help save the planet and save our postage and printing $$$ for more shopping! Emailing you will keep you up on the latest happenings at Patina, and allow us the flexibility to offer you a spur of the moment shopping extravaganza when new shipments arrive. Thank you friends, for making Patina a success! Come join the celebration!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birds of a Feather . . . .

So I've been pondering . . . Is there an antiquing gene that some of us are dealt at birth? Or maybe one that causes some folks to make friends, wherever they travel? Hmmm . . .
Isn't it funny that people who enjoy similar things seem to locate one another, no matter how far apart they are to begin? One person tells another, and they tell someone else, and pretty soon wonderful friendships are being formed.
There is a camaraderie within the world of antiques and 'found objects' that bonds it's members. This good-fellowship is one of the elements that make antiquing so much fun.
No matter how far one travels, or how far off the beaten path, there is an immediate kinship with other antiquers.
There are those who have serious collections of important antiques, those who like all things with a history and those who collect bits and pieces of old items to use in creating their art.
Some collect perfect specimens and some love the orphan antiques which are chipped and crazed and slightly imperfect . . . but all have a soulful connection with times past, and thus a simpatico with one another. While travelling, I have met fellow antiquers, and been invited home to supper. I have met those who made me promise to stop by and stay with them when I pass their way again. They are truly some of the most congenial and encompassing folks in the world.
There is something heartwarming about opening my email and finding a photo of an antique I sold to a customer as it sits proudly displayed in her living room. I have posted in my office many notes of thanks for locating some longed for relic, or for suggesting a display idea for a family treasure. That customers become friends is one my personal benchmarks of success in my business. That I can travel across country and stop to visit antiques friends in nearly every region is another.
One of the greatest feelings is when customers take such pride in introducing their friends to the shop, and showing them their favorite items. Many times I've heard the comment, "I just picked her up from the airport, and this is our first stop"! Now that's a compliment! This morning my first customer shared with me that her electricity had gone out at home, and she couldn't think of anyplace she'd rather be than in my little shop! Wow!
We treasure hunters, junk junkies and seekers of the past are prone to staying open late for one another and mapping out the route to our favorite haunts. We'll tip you off to the best places to eat, and maybe even hop in the car and go with you.
There is a heart warming familial essence that makes one feel right at home with someone who loves old wooden bowls and ironstone pitchers and other timeworn treasures.
I guess we birds of a feather do indeed flock together.
Happy hunting . . . and be sure to stop and chat along the way.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This is my favorite person in the whole world, my grandson. My two new grandchildren may be arriving any day now, and I'm dancing in anticipation! My kids are adopting little siblings from Ethiopia. This brother and sister were orphaned by cruel conditions in a remote, poverty stricken village, and have been residing in an, (also remote), orphanage. I have spent the past year thinking about the way people live in other parts of our world, by comparison to our own elite lifestyles. It will be a good and beautiful thing to raise these two wonderful children in America, where food and sanitation and transportation and medical care are available. They will have every opportunity to grow and be nourished and educated . . . . to be safe, and have freedoms never imagined by most of the children they will leave behind in the orphanage. The odds of them growing old in America will increase 400%-600% over their chances in Ethiopia. They will have dental care and college educations and drive cars and use rapid transit and serve jury duty and vote. They will be able to earn more in 40 years than their entire village has earned in 400 years. They will be blessed by the love of parents and grandparents and great grandparents, unlike children in their part of the world, most of whom lose their parents before they are old enough to remember them. The simple pleasures of a bath, clean clothing, warm bed and three nutritious meals a day will soon become commonplace to them. Learning to read will open new worlds of imagination and expectation, and owning their own crayons and paper will give them wings. I was raised to thank God every day for His blessings, but this experience has heightened my sense of my personal expectations from life. Although I hail from immigrants who arrived with little and I was raised in a blue collar home, I have always had a roof over my head, food to eat, heat, a sense of security through the night, transportation, a job, clothing, utilities . . . . . all of the necessities. Yes, I have worked hard to afford them, as did my ancestors. The miracle is, that I was born in America, where there has always been the opportunity for me to work hard, earn a living and purchase what I needed. I am honored to welcome these little children to my family, and to share my love and my world with them. Have I mentioned how proud I am of my daughter and son in law? Well, I am!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


This week I procured two beautiful antique birdcages with stands, for the shop, and have been admiring their thoughtful design and graceful lines. I imagine they will be purchased by customers who will have wonderful ideas for repurposing them. The thought of someone buying an object which is already 75 years old, and using it for another 50 years, makes me happy. I don't imagine there are many products manufactured these days which will have such longevity. I can visualize one of these lovely cages transformed into a lamp, or perhaps harboring a beautiful fern, or maybe serving as a cache for love letters. Over the years I have repurposed hundreds of vintage objects, using them in unusual ways, to add both charm and organization to my shop and my home, while saving some timeworn relic from it's demise. One of the benefits of repurposing is to continue to enjoy the beauty of a well made item. Another benefit is to prevent buying a run of the mill product, which would, no doubt end up in a landfill when it's planned obsolescence allows it to fall apart. In my world, there are stacks of old leather suitcases which form an end table, while storing paperwork. I love the robins egg blue of my dozens of turn of the century Mason jars, that organize bits and pieces of craft items and office supplies. A small, circa 1915 doctors office table contains my printer and an antique basket for printer paper. A primitive pie safe houses towels in the bathroom, while another is used as a bookcase in the office. A peek into the laundry room would divulge my penchant for huge old glass jars to hold soaps and clothespins. There is no area of my little nest that hasn't been enriched by some thoughtful feathering with recycled and repurposed treasures! For the thirty years I've been in the antiques business, I have seen so many creative ideas for re-using old pieces that it's become second nature to me. I challenge you to think about some ways you can use what has already been manufactured and loved for years, before you purchase something newly made.


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