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vintage goodness

vintage goodness

Holiday Crafting: Simplicity

December 17, 2010

Funny how time moves so slowly at certain points, and then so quickly at others. Autumn has seemed to fly by, and Winter is now upon us.

One thing that I have tried to notice lately is the beauty in the simple. A fresh sprig of evergreen, a lone berry branch, a bird taking flight.  There is a fresh perspective to be found when nature is at it’s most bare.

In honor of Father Winter’s return, we have spent some time crafting in simplicity.

Vintage doilies become Winter centerpieces.

Lavender and oatmeal combine for the perfect remedy against the brutal cold of winter.

Candlelight and paper crafts bring together beauty and warmth in a new space.

Winter may strip us down to our most basic nature. It may take us deep inside ourselves for much needed reflection, but it also shows us that little is needed to create beauty, and that even when the light is at it’s darkest, we can still create warmth.

Enjoy this last weekend in Autumn, and the turn into Winter.


A Vintage Gift

October 25, 2010

Beginning from early childhood, I was raised pretty far away from most of my family. An East Coast family by birth (my mom and dad spent their years through college in Maryland and Pennsylvania), we moved from Boston to Chicago when I was 6, and then onto California from there.

I never met my maternal grandparents, they passed years before I came along. My paternal grandparents were lights in my summer travels, and I loved getting ready to go see my Nana and Pop once a year.

So many of my memories of those trips revolve around the home that they lived in, and how much I loved to explore every inch. My Nana had old cracker and cookie tins that lined her pantry, recipe cards that I so wish I had copied of the food she loved to serve, and linens that adorned her home. I remember every corner or their space, every color in every room, and I especially remember the milk glass that lined the cabinet in their dining room.

When my now 93 year old Nana recently sold their home (my Pop died just after Jacob was born), she had my mom send me all of those dishes I had admired through the years. Opening that box was like taking a very long walk into the past 35 years of my memories, and so many wonderful stories have been shared with my boys as I unpacked each box (which was fun for the first story or two, but really a 7 and 5 year old can only endure so many “Oh I remember this dish, your Nana served…….. on this dish” stories).

I realize now that my love of vintage style and stores comes from the love of everything that I ever found, explored or played with inside of my grandparents space. The feeling of that time period when they first set up their home, and the care that they took with the linens, furniture and dishes through the years is something that draws me time and again to search for and recreate their style in any space I can find.

Some of the pieces even brought with them extra surprises, as I found such oddities as my father’s childhood rosary and St. Mary’s medallion at the bottom of a vase. I felt like someone who had discovered a rare jewel, fingering the blue crystals and worn medallion in my hand. I had butterflies in my stomach as I delivered them back to my dad, knowing that they too would bring a flood of memories his way.

Of course the greatest treasure in that box, and the one thing I will cherish until my own time passes, was my grandmother’s candy dish. A staple in their home, and never empty, this dish held the treats that I ran to with each visit. The dish that I saw my own father sneak from at least a dozen times, and the dish that now holds the chocolate bars that my husband loves to treat himself to before bed.

I can not pass this dish without smiling, and that alone makes it something I am abundantly grateful for.

These precious pieces that bring back so many memories now occupy special spots all around my home as a reminder of my connection to the family I love so much, and that one day I hope to pass on to my own children to cherish.

While no material treasure can ever last forever, I love how many memories these pieces possess, and what a great walk through my own childhood they have given me.