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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Colors Shining Through

Hi everyone.

Fall is my favorite season of the year.  I love the gorgeous colors of the tree leaves, the cooler temperatures, wearing sweaters, and the chance to be outdoors before winter is upon us.

I also love the fall pansies.

Fall is also a fun time to decorate the house for a festive fall and Thanksgiving!

Today I want to share a few ideas for fall decorating with your blend of antiques and more modern household furnishings.

A wreath on your front door is a classic decorating idea, not just to be used during the Christmas holidays.  Here is a grapevine wreath I made with artificial leaves, berries and flowers I bought at Michaels and A.C. Moore.

Small touches of fall add interest anywhere in the home, such as the ruby glass vase of flowers on this antique oak desk and the cinnamon colored throw over the back of the caned seat chair.

Remember to add fall touches to the bathroom for guests visiting your home too.  A simple vase of flowers or small candle and wreath look great on the counter.  This antique ironstone cream pitcher makes a beautiful small flower vase.

This red votive candle looks terrific displayed on an antique ironstone butter pat dish with a wreath made of glass beads in coordinating red and gold colors.

The table centerpiece for the dining room is a traditional fall decorating theme.  Use your imagination for the container for the centerpiece!  Do you have an antique wooden bowl?  An antique yellowware bowl?  An antique ironstone platter or bowl?  What about a large antique wooden carpenter's box?  Depending on the size of your table, there are many options to blend an antique vessel with a more modern table setting.  I saw a photo on another blog where the author had used an old oil can as a flower vase and it looked wonderful.

There are also so many variations on potential contents of your centerpiece.  You might use traditional flowers or a pillar candle, but why not try something different either instead of or in addition to the flowers or candle.  Do you have any of these in your neighborhood: pine cones, large walnuts in the beautiful green shells or acorns?  You could cut sprigs from a fiery burning bush and they will keep in water for a couple of days.

Vines are also a great way to showcase your antiques or your modern decor.  Check out the floral sections at A.C. Moore, Michael's or your local craft store and see what they have.

Please comment on this post to share your ideas for using fall colors with me and other readers.  Tell your friends to check out this blog too at .


Have a festive fall!

Sincerely, Lynn

Friday, October 29, 2010

Antiques I Remember


It is almost Halloween.  I am looking forward to the Halloween party at the dance studio I go to - costumes, of course.  Also, I am looking forward to seeing what all the neighborhood children's costumes are.

Last night I was thinking back to visiting my grandmother and all the antiques she had in her home.  Reminiscing was fun.  I remember that she had a beautiful old china closet in the front room of her house.  Is it any wonder that the oak china closet I bought recently to house my great grandmother's china is very much like the one she had?

I do not have a picture of her china closet, but this is mine.

I also remember my mother's blanket chest being in the attic when we lived on the farm in Pennsylvania.  It was filled with all kinds of really old clothes - a treasure trove when my sisters and I were looking for Halloween costumes!  I recall my Dad's marine uniform, a pilgrim style dress, complete with a bonnet, a baseball uniform, a "poodle" style skirt and twinset, to name a few.

Mom passed the blanket chest on to me and I use it for storage of many things too.

When I opened the blanket chest to take a picture of the inside, wow, did that cedar Dad put on the inside smell good!  And so many years later too!

I also remember when I was a teen and my grandmother gave me an old trunk she had.  It was in bad shape and I refinished it and replaced the leather strap handles.  Years later when I was an adult and was allowed to explore her attic, I found the tray insert to the trunk she had given me.

Please comment to share some of your stories of "I remember when..."  I would love to read them and so would other readers.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Moving to Larger Booth!


This week I moved Antiques for Today's Lifestyle into a larger booth at Rosebush Antiques Mall in Levittown, PA.  It actually took me two days to get set up in the new space, but it is a great location next to the cashier's desk.  Wish me success!

Here is the 2 x 10 booth I moved out of.

These photographs are of the new 8 x 10 booth.

There is an electric pole in one corner of the booth, so  I wrapped it with an artificial vine I found at Michael's and added strings of white holiday lights.

With only two walls to the booth, it is very open.  In order to fit in as much merchandise as possible, I used the furniture to create the third and fourth walls.  If you have any more creative ideas on how to arrange the space I would love to hear about them.  Please comment on this post and tell your friends about my blog.  They can find my blog at .

Have a great day.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Yellow Ware, a Popular Collectible


It is much colder today in New Jersey, but the sun is coming out after last night's rain.  It should be a nice day.

I became interested in collecting yellow ware recently and decided to incorporate yellow into my blue and white kitchen.  Yellow ware is a ceramic.  Yellow clay along the river banks in the Northeast is fired and results in yellow the color of corn to a dark mustard yellow.  It was developed and became popular from about 1830 to 1940 because it is sturdy and was low in cost.  With the interest in collecting yellow ware rising, values have increased.  Yellow ware has a clear glaze all over, with the exception of the base of each piece.  Only a small proportion of yellow ware has any maker's marks, so the pieces bearing marks are more valuable.  Without markings, it is very difficult to determine the age of a piece of yellow ware.

You should be aware that the glaze used on yellow ware contains lead.  You should avoid using yellow ware to prepare food if there are any chips in the piece.  To avoid lead being extracted from the glaze, yellow ware should also not be used to store food in the refrigerator, bake food or cook food with acidic ingredients.

If you plan to use yellow ware only as a collectible for display, the glaze will not leach lead into any food.

There are many beautiful yellow ware pieces available, including bowls of various sizes, mixing bowls, and pitchers.  These photos show a few beautiful pieces.  This medium sized yellow ware bowl has white stripes.

This is a larger bowl decorated for fall.

This is a beautiful mixing bowl.

This a a beautiful yellow ware pitcher.

Collecting yellow ware can be fun and these beautiful pieces mix very well with more modern decor.  The muted yellow coloring blends well with blues, browns, greens, and reds, the colors most often used in decor.

Please let me know what topics are of interest for future posts!

I hope you have a great weekend.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Antique Wooden Bowls

Hi everyone.

Early antique bowls made of wood were hand hewn by wood carvers using a tool called the adz.  Each bowl has an individual character created by the wood carver and by the person who used the bowl for many years.  Wooden bowls may have a lot of chopping marks on the inside and often show a lot of wear from decades of use in the home. 

I found small and medium sized round wooden bowls when my sister and I were antiquing recently.

Antique wooden bowls can easily blend with any more modern decor.  They come in all sizes and have many potential uses as varied as your imagined uses of any containter.  My mother had an antique burl bowl.  A burl is a large protrusion on the trunk of a tree or the wood cut from such a protrusion.  Mom often used her burl bowl as a container for a centerpiece on the dining room table. 

I created a very simple centerpiece with the medium sized wooden bowl I bought and a collection of balls I bought at Michaels craft store.

You could also use a collection of large wooden bowls as containers on shelves instead of, or along with, baskets.

Please share your comments on my blog and tell your friends where they can become followers too.  They can go to .

Have a great day.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Antiquing in Somerville and Flemington, NJ


Today was a beautiful day in New Jersey, about 70 degrees this afternoon and bright and sunny.  I went antiquing in Somerville, NJ.  On the way home I also stopped in Fleminton, NJ.

There are three antique centers in the heart of Somerville, NJ.  All three of the centers combined are smaller than the extremely large centers in the Poconos in Pennsylvania.  My first stop was The Antiques Emporium on Division Street.  Most of the dealers in this co-op were selling small items, but I was looking for furniture.  I found a couple small items for family gifts (yes, I have already started Christmas shopping!).  I also found a three tiered table that will be a great display piece for my larger booth at Rosebush Antiques in Levittown, PA.  I will be moving into the larger booth next week.  Here is a picture of the table.  It is much taller than I would ever use in my home, but just right for a sales display.  That may be why it was marked down 50%!

My next stop was the Somerville Center Antiques on Main Street.  This center had small items and also had more furniture than did The Antiques Emporium but I thought the pieces were a little too pricey for me.  The furniture pieces were nice and, if I were looking for something for my home, the prices would probably have been alright.  In order to buy something for resale, however, this was not the best place for me.  I did find a small cobalt blue glass plate with a turned up edge that will be perfect as a candle pillar holder.  By now, you all know how much I love cobalt blue glass.

Finally I stopped at Elysium Antiques, also on Main Street.  This center also had both small items and furniture, with similar pricing as did the Somerville Center Antiques.  Today I did not find anything there for my shop.

Overall, I think the antique shops in Somerville, NJ are great stores for local buyers.  You get a nice small town feeling walking the Main Street there.  If you are on the hunt for a great deal, however, this may not be the best place to go.

One nice surprise in Somerville was finding a train shop right on Main Street.  I bought another Christmas present at this store.  Both of my brothers-in-law are train fanatics!

On the way home from Somerville I stopped in Flemington at Broad Street Antiques.  While this is a small center, I really liked it and will definitely go back there again.  They have both small items and furniture, as well as lighting.  I have been looking for a yelloware bowl at a reasonable price and I finally found this mixing bowl.  In my kitchen redecoration I am starting to add yellow to the blue and white theme.

While in Flemington, I looked for a few of my other favorite shops in Turntable Junction, but they were gone.  The Flemington shopping area has really turned into just an Outlet center.  This is great if you are looking for Outlet stores, but not if you are looking for unique stores and unique gifts!

If you are enjoying my blog, please refer your friends to sign up as followers!  They can go to .

I hope everyone has a great week!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rayo Lamps


My mother had a pair of Rayo lamps on her dresser in her bedroom for as long as I can remember.  These brass lamps had originally been oil lamps and were converted to electric lamps.  I think they are beautiful and have classic lines that will blend with many furniture styles.  She passed one lamp down to me and one to my sister.  Perhaps one day we can both pass them to my niece and reunite the pair.

A Brief History of the Rayo Lamp

The Rayo Lamp was manufactured in Connecticut by the Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Company.  “Perfection,” the name for the Rayo lamp flame thrower was initially made under contract with the Standard Oil Company.  Legend has it that if you bought 15 gallons of Standard Oil kerosene, you would get a free Rayo lamp.  Bradley & Hubbard began to advertise and sell the Rayo lamp to retailers like Montgomery Ward, with the goal of helping Standard Oil sell more kerosene.  The Rayo lamp is solid brass and is nickel plated.  The Rayo was a central draft lamp with a round wick, as were other oil lamps at the time.  These central draft lamps were later surpassed in the early 1900s by the new mantle Aladdin lamps, which  provided 60 watts of light from a much smaller wick and half the fuel.

Mom's Rayo lamp:

A pair of polished Rayo lamps I picked up while antiquing last week:

When you think about table lamps for your home, you should consider a Rayo lamp or another oil lamp that has been converted to an electric lamp.  Oil lamps that have not yet been converted may also be adapted for use as an electric lamp in your home.  These lamps are beautiful and can make a great impact as part of your decor.

Please comment on this blog posting and let me know what topics are of interest to you in future posts.

Have a great weekend!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Larkin Sales Premiums


What a beautiful morning here in New Jersey.  The sun is out after yesterday's downpours.

Yesterday I went antiquing in the rain in indoor shops in Bucks County, PA, and found a beautiful Larkin table.  The shop owner told me a little about the principal used by the Larkin Company in marketing their products in the early 1900s.  She said that housewives would sell the soaps of the Larkin Company and earn gifts, including furniture pieces like the table I found.  While it does not have the original paper label of the Larkin Company, it has been handed down and sold with the history behind it being passed down as well.

One of my favorite things about antiquing is learning what things are and how they were used - the story behind each item.  This is how I learned about my family antiques from my mother.  I still learn as I go today by talking to very experienced antiquers with knowledge in various product areas.  While I love the concept of antique malls for shopping convenience, the one thing that is lost in that environment is the chance to talk to the shop owners about how they came to acquire an item and what they know of the history of the item.

A Brief History of the Larkin Company

I did a little online research to learn more about the Larkin Company and their marketing efforts in the early 1900s.  John D. Larkin was one of America's early entrepreneurs and a great merchandiser.  After originally getting into the soap business with his sister's husband, he later started his own company.  A partnership later developed with Elbert Hubbard, who was a marketing genius.  Larkin and Hubbard were determined to attract the public to their products by using give away items.  Over the years, many different products were given away such as pictures, handkerchiefs, and towels.  Then Larkin moved toward a direct marketing strategy.  He marketed directly to consumers and used the savings on commissions for paid salespeople to cover the costs of premiums given away.  In the early years of his business Larkin purchased premiums from other companies in large quantities, but later set up his own company subsidiaries to manufacture the premiums.  At the turn of the century, Larkin added household products to their product line and recruited housewives to market their products door-to-door.  From 1892 to 1904, Larkin's business grew tremendously, with a catalog of products surpassed only by the Sears catalog.  By the 1920s, a home could be completely outfitted with Larkin goods of all kinds, including food, furniture, china, and glassware, to name just a few items.  The Larkin Company was sold in 1941 and became a mail order business.

Larkin products, especially the furniture, are now collectibles.

This is the Larkin table I found, including a picture of the carving on the legs of the table.

Please comment on this post and let me know if there are topics of special interest to you for future posts.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Accessorize with Vintage Blue and White


I have always loved the color combination of blue and white.  It reminds me of the sky, the ocean and sand, and beautiful flowers.  There are many vintage accessories and household items that were made in cobalt blue, white, or a combination of both, as well as more modern items in this popular color combination.  Bringing these cool colors into your home can be relaxing and invoke memories of the cool days spent outdoors.

Yesterday I went to Michaels and AC Moore to get some floral accents and ribbons to use with my vintage blue accessories.  It is fun to find different ways to arrange accessories to keep the look in your home fresh and interesting.

These photographs show a number of examples.

Mom always had a row of vintage white pitchers in graduated sizes on the top of her dry sink.  I love that look, but this shows my update of her traditional white pitcher display.

I have been collecting cobalt blue vases, in addition to my collection of cobalt blue bottles, and  there are many potential ways to display these items.

A grouping of candlesticks is also fun.  Just because manufacturers make candlesticks in pairs, does not mean you have to always use them in pairs!

How about filling a Ball style jar with blue and clear pebbles or marbles instead of the ever popular button-filled jar?

There are many antique china pieces in blue and white available at flea markets and antique centers.  Why not mix some of these with basic white tableware?  I also love the vintage white ironstone dishes and blue depression glass.

While I am not a collector of Fiesta Ware, these bright colored dishes also come in a beautiful shade of blue that can be used in blue and white decor.

Do you love blue and white too?  Please comment on this post and share your ideas with me and other readers.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Displaying Small Antiques and Collectibles


All of us who are interested in antiques have small items we have collected.  There are as many ways to display these items in our homes as there are collectors.  I thought I would share a few ideas and I would love to hear how you display your small antiques and collectibles.  I can always use new ideas and I am sure other readers can too.

The Old Standby

The most common way people display small items is on a shelf, duh!  This does not have to be a boring display, though.  There are numerous types of shelves available.  Also, there are a wide variety of ways to arrange items on a shelf.  Designers typically recommend grouping like items together in odd numbers.  However, a sharp contrast will also grab attention to the display.

This shelf displays ruby depression glass vases and a bowl with colorful berries and flowers of the fall season.

Any Flat Surface Will Work

You can also display small items on the dining room table, end table, coffee table, night stand, bureau, washstand, counter, etc.  You already know this, but again, try to make it interesting and not just the typical type of display.  There are many great ideas in decorating magazines.  It just takes a little more effort to make the display exciting.  My sister is REALLY good at this!  As the old saying goes, practice makes perftect.

On this end table is a small display of yelloware, a beautiful pitcher and a small bowl.  The Halloween seasonal accents make the display so much more interesting.  The carved pumpkin was handcrafted by my sister and brother-in-law and will soon be available in my booth at Rosebush Antiques in Langhorne, PA.  A display such as this can also easily transition into Thanksgiving season.

This dining room table display is set for dinner for two with the centerpiece arrangement featuring a blue and yellow sponsgeware bowl and decorated for the fall season.  A brown antique bottle is used as a flower vase.

The Other Standby

The china closet and curio cabinet have been around for ages.  These remain terrific ways to display breakable collectibles (and decrease the need for dusting, ha ha!).  We can all think about how to arrange items within these cabinets, combining the old with the new, with a craft, etc.  This will make these cabinets more interesting to look at.  Also, periodically rearrange the items in the cabinets!  Add details specific to the season of the year or the upcoming holiday!  This is a typical china closet loaded with breakable collectibles, but how can you make a china closet look more interesting?

This china closet has my great grandmother's china set, but also has pops of color for the season.

What have YOU done to make your antique displays interesting?  I would love more ideas, so please comment on this post.

Sincerely, Lynn

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trip to Pocono Peddlers Village Antique Mall


While I always enjoy shopping for antiques, today was an extra special expedition because my sister went with me!  Not far from where she lives in the Poconos, we spent a couple of hours wandering through the Pocono Peddlers Village Antique Mall.  I picked my sister up in my brand new Toyota RAV4 and we had a nice chat on the way.  While we wandered through this antique mall we had similar tendencies to look at things our mother had in her home and to see how much they cost.  This was my first trip to this antique center and I really like it.  All of the booths have quality antiques and collectibles.  While some pieces we considered expensive, others were very reasonable.  Today there was a sale with 10% off in all booths, and some booths offered 15% or 20% off.  I got a few great deals on items for my booth at Rosebush Antiques in Langhorne, PA.

The Pocono Peddlers Village Antique Mall is open year-round, 7 days a week, from 10am - 5pm.  It is on Route 611 in Tannersville, PA.  There are three large buildings, now interconnected, housing over 100 dealers of antiques and collectibles.  They claim to have the largest selection of quality antiques in Northeastern PA.

By now you are probably wondering what deals I got today.  First I found an antique child's snow sled in excellent condition.  This will be terrific for the Christmas season.

I also found a beautifully refinished oak dresser with three drawers.

To go with an oak desk I previously bought, I got a caned seat oak chair with a carved back.

I also got a pair of oak dining chairs with cane seats.

Some of the smaller items I got include a shelf with a rod for hanging things, two wooden bowls and a yelloware bowl.

After shopping, we had homemade chicken salad for lunch at my sister's house and another chat.  After a few hugs and kisses I was on my way home again, about an hour and a half drive.  As my Dad always said, "home again, home again, jiggety jig."

If you make the trek to the Pocono Peddlers Village Antique Mall, I know you will enjoy it too.  Please comment on your thoughts on this post and topics of interest for future posts.

Sincerely, Lynn