100% Original You

                     

Creativity is really the structuring of Magic. ♥ Anne Kent Rush

The “you-er than you” part of decorating, the creation of a look that’s all your own, is easy.  Because you are a unique, one of a kind person, the way you choose and arrange the things you love, will just naturally be like you, unique!   That’s why decorating is an art, because it comes straight from the unerring genius of your very own essential nature.  That doesn’t mean you can’t look at different styles and learn more about what possibilities there are; like any art, it’s a skill you can hone. I copied the “teen-age” bedrooms in my Seventeen Magazines when I first started; it gave me confidence until I was brave enough to do it on my own.

The best common-sense advice I ever read about homemaking came from the famous fabric and wallpaper designer William Morris, who said,

“Ahh!” I thought, brow unfurrowed,  confusion gone; it was so clear: is it beautiful (encompassing funny and cute, whimsical and charming)?  Is it useful? How about both?  Can it be both?  Hmm.  Such a nice day, let me put on some music and think that over  . . . .  Well, everyone needs a can-opener don’t they? Must it look like every other can opener?  Couldn’t it have yellow handles or something?  We have to eat off plates don’t we?  Do they have to be white?  Could we have flowers too?  We need napkins for dinner parties, why shouldn’t they be yard-wide monogramed linen that might make our guests feel like children at the Thanksgiving table when they drape them on their laps?  (We’re going to play music anyway, why can’t it be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers?)  It doesn’t cost any more, often it costs much less, but what a difference!

The secret to all this fresh and exciting individuality?  Yard Sales, Flea Markets, Antique stores, Junk Shops, and Thrift Shops.  Originality lurks in every corner, stacked on tables, mounded on chairs, folded inside drawers, piled in cupboards, draped over open cupboard doors, gleaming under glass countertops, hanging on pegboards, there just waiting for you.

♣ ♣ ♣

I discovered antique stores when I was in my early twenties. The first thing I ever bought was a shawl with little embroidered flowers along the edge for 25 cents. The next was a huge cowboy coffee pot I bought for a dollar.  I was hooked.  Then I got a job in a record store where it was my responsibility to take the deposit to the bank every day.  The bank was only three blocks away so I would walk there, but between it and the record store was the shop that sold the Beatrix Potter figurines and an antique store.  Uh-oh. Yes, I stopped in everyday.  My dresser came from there, the head and footboards for my bed; I found quilts there, dishes I loved, and little things, like sweet old books, tea cups, vintage jars with red lids, crocheted potholders, and old cookie cutters, and it was all done on layaway (the record store’s cash remained separate and intact!)  All beautiful and all useful, thank you William Morris. And all, so much cheaper than new, so many handmade, high quality things, and so much more interesting! ♣ 

Joe and I have made a hobby out of it.  We put cucumber and roast beef sandwiches into an ice chest, pack jeans and sweaters, climb into our old red van, and wander the back roads of New England, staying off freeways, and just going where the wind takes us. We treasure-hunt along the way, blowing up leaves in our wake, past rivers and lakes in the woodsy countryside; visiting old-fashioned Main Streets, 19th century barns, guys’ work shops, group shops; the backer the road, the happier we are.  We eat in little restaurants in old houses with American flags out front and have clam chowder, chicken and cranberry sauce, or Indian Pudding bathed in cream; one place we stayed had a cribbage game in the bar in front of the fire.  We sat there for hours one rainy afternoon-into-evening.   This is an excellent hobby, I highly recommend it.  There are huge flea market events all over the country . . .below is a picture of a very famous show we go to called Brimfield.

Brimfield takes place three times a year in western MA; here we are, September of last year, and even though this was a good day, it almost always rains when we’re there. Because the show takes place in open fields, over acres and acres of farmland, it’s often muddy.  Pack your Wellies if you go, the local stores run out of them immediately! Just a word to the wise from the world of experience. :-) Alameda Antiques Faire in the East Bay of San Francisco is also one of our favorites and takes place the first Sunday of every month.  Besides boots, another handy thing to have if you make this your hobby, is a collapsable shopping cart on wheels… this kind (which also works anytime you have to walk a long way, carrying lots of stuff, like a little wheelbarrow; this is Joe loading it up to take to the fireworks).

And we come home with treasures, like this pink lemonade pitcher, the elephant creamer, and my new favorite bowl in the entire world that I have now painted for the cover of my 2013 calendar!  I’ve been painting these things in my books for years; this is the only way I know to get one of these bowls to you too!  I know you want one!

Do I care if my “antiques” have a “name” on them, no I do not, I only care about one thing, useful or beautiful.  Or both. And, “Is this a good deal?”  I want to be a smart shopper.  You don’t have to use vintage things as they might have been intended … for example,these sugars and creamers make wonderful votive candle holders, spreading interesting patterns of light on the tablecloth when the candles are lit.  When I find something I love, the first thing I ask myself is, “How can I use this?”  If I couldn’t use these as candle holders, I probably wouldn’t have bought them, I have sugar bowls and measuring cups already, so they wouldn’t have been necessary. But now, thank goodness, they are!  Whew!

And don’t think all they have is the “country look!”  No, you can choose your own poison, from 1950′s modern to every imaginable (and unimaginable) style under the rainbow.  Plenty there for men too, every tool and screw since the beginning of time. Old prints, fishing equipment, cameras, vintage ties; everything a heart desires.

 

And, if the beauty and charm is somehow not enough?    Which I’m sure it would be, knowing you the way I do, there are other fine qualities attributed to yard sale shopping and flea market browsing: it gets you out of the house, you are recycling and helping to save the planet.  You are supporting local businesses.   You have preserved a piece of the past, the history of the world, because in your hands is 1836 or 1942. Your house becomes 100% original, just like you, in a really wonderful, creative way that puts the heart in the heart of the home.

75 Responses to 100% Original You

  1. Pat Mofjeld says:

    There is a huge antique show/flea market here on the fairgrounds twice a year. We love to go, it often has rained but that doesn’t stop us! I love the idea of the folding cart–thanks for sharing the idea. Also love your comments about how it is recycling. I always think “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” and that is what antiquing is to us: a treasure hunt! :-)

  2. Jacqui G says:

    Love this. When i moved to Florida, I left my “country” decor back in CT. Somehow I felt it I needed to have the “Mediterrainian ” look because I lived in FL. How I missed my country look. I do have a craft room where all my country things still live-Longaberger baskets, trinkets from the Amish Country in Pa, things like that. I love that room! Someday I hope to have a little “country house” again.
    Jacqui

  3. Laura Jenkins says:

    I have been a designer for 25+ years…I don’t like trends and mass produced catalog looks…they don’t inspire and they don’t last. I agree with you and love this new section on your blog!!…a home should be a true reflection of who you are…and it is important to treasure and use what we have collected…bravo, Susan!!

  4. Joann says:

    It’s so wonderful to know that all of my mismatched things are ME—-all me. I chose each and every one of them ….. each has a story of where I found it and what it took to get it sometimes—-like wrapping it in socks to get it home safely on a plane! Sometimes, like an old coffee grinder I received as a teenager from my great aunt and uncle, they are absolutely priceless…..
    We share this love of things to make a house a home—– just don’t move ‘em like I’m doing now—THAT is NOT fun!! LOL xoxo from Colorado

  5. Kristina says:

    Years ago, a more mature artist friend gave a 23-year-old me (with my first apartment to decorate) a great piece of advice… She said, “Don’t buy art to match the sofa. Hang art that you love…that speaks to you..and decorate the room around that.” I say, “If you love it, it’s in style!”

  6. Karen P says:

    Love this new Home Sweet Home section! I have developed a real love/passion/ADDICTION (!) to “thrifting” over the past couple of years. The treasures that I find there bring so much joy that I rarely feel compelled to shop in “normal” stores. I feel a twinge of sadness, however, when I see antique family portraits or wedding pictures from eras-gone-by sitting in a booth at an antique store….seems so lonely for them…I always wonder why they have not been handed down within the family. I know that I treasure the portraits I have of my Great-Grandparents and hope that my children will enjoy them one day. xoxo….kp

  7. Jen says:

    Oh, I love, love old things. My husband used to question it, like, “why would you want someone’s old, used up stuff when you could buy something new?!” but I’m slowly convincing him that it’s the charm! The character! It has a story and it’s presence enriches our home and adds personality! When I’m in a home that was just newly decorated in one fell swoop care of Target or Hobby Lobby, I think how terribly bland it is. There’s the last huge antique flea market of the summer here in southeastern WI in Elkhorn a few weeks and I cannot wait!

    • Karen P says:

      ooohhh, Jen! When is it? I live in WI and my family in down in that area. Would love to go!

      • Jen says:

        Karen, it’s September 25. Free parking, $5 to get in. It’s pretty overwhelming! Being the last one of the season, you may just find some very willing sellers! Hope you can make it!

  8. Laura Croyle says:

    This was so Delightful!! Thanks for sharing you wonderful ideas, like your idea of using sugar and creamers for votive candle holders! I love browsing through thrift stores and antique shops looking for tiny treasures to bring home. Some of my favorite things are old aprons and handkerchiefs from the 40′s and 50′s. Brings back memories of my grandmother and Mom using them! We must be of the same “vintage”!

    • Jen says:

      I made cafe curtains once out of white linen and then gently basted on about 4 handkerchiefs per panel of my grandmother’s. They were so charming and a great way to get the handkerchiefs out of the box and in front of me to enjoy on a daily basis. They were so pretty when they blew in the breeze!

    • Colleen says:

      Ohhh!! I love old aprons and have saved my mother’s old aprons (and wear them too). I always feel that she’s still here with me. When I put one on, I can still see her wearing it, standing at the stove canning corn relish, or holding it out it front of her because it’s full of newly hatched baby ducks. So many good memories!!

  9. Lucy de Leeuw ( Miss Lucie) says:

    I love the saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. I live very near a little village called Fort Langley, B.C. (8 minutes) from my house. It is a lovely spot and they have Antique stores there. I absolutely get lost in them because I find it so interesting to think where did all the suff come from (history)yes some of it really could be classified as junk but I am always amazed at how the people who are selling the stuff are able to display it with such uniqueness. My head fills with ideas of what I would do if I owned the piece. Trust me I have a weakness for the trinkets. I also think I have a connection with the village as my fourth generation grandfather was the Chief Clerk of the village in 1870. As vintage is the now…. I have found many dishes etc. that take me back. Thank you for sharing it was a walk down memory lane.

    Miss Lucie

  10. Lee Ann G. says:

    You encourage me soooo much! Thank Y♥U

    Do you ever make playlists, (like at playlist.com) of your favorite songs? If so, would you ever consider sharing the link with us. Love the music you chose here.

    ♥Lee Ann

  11. Coni says:

    There’s nothing better than spending the day poking through antiques shops with a good friend and coming home with some unique little treasure. It makes for wonderful memories that last a lifetime.

    PA ~ The photo of the pot holders brings back memories of my grandmother. She taught me to crochet ones exactly like yours when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My mom still has the first one I ever made. :) More sweet memories!

  12. shelly matter says:

    i love everything “home”! I’ve been nesting since I was a little girl and playing “house” was always my favorite thing to do, making little rooms for my babies in my closet & setting my entire room up like my own little home, lol. I love to clean, hang my laundry, cook, be with family and just be “home”, more than anything else! Our home is filled with all things that mean something to us that either have been in our families for generations, plucked from little antique shops, flea markets, etc. and even “rescued” from dumps on old farms! Our daughters’ used to complain when growing up that nothing “matched” and their dresser drawers didn’t close right and many other grumblings in general when a piece of furniture didn’t work the way they thought it should, lol. Now they are grown with homes of their own and I’m soooo very happy to say that they too have filled their homes with gently “loved” items, some of which were the very same pieces they grumbled about growing up, but have grown to love just as their mommy does. Thank you Susan for being a kindred spirit throughout the last who knows how many years, lol. I look forward to becoming a “gently” used item alongside you, Joe and your fans!

    • sbranch says:

      Lovely story Shelly! Thank you! Hello to those lucky daughters of yours!

      • shelly matter says:

        ohhh, i’m so smitten that you responded to my post, lol. Obviously, I’m a little “behind” the times w/ keeping up, but the girls’ will be tickled pink that you sent them a “hello”!
        Happy, Happy New year to you, Joe, your family and critters (domestic and wild), lol.

  13. CarolK says:

    How could we not love the old stuff. My mom always used to say “some day you’ll be old too so love the old things”. She was right, I am and I do. I have all her old stuff plus the added bonus of my husband’s parent’s old things to cherish now too. Hopefully one day the kids will cherish it too and if not, oh well. One acquaintance refers to my house as “Carol’s Museum” and she’s right and I’m so proud of it. How wonderful to know there are so many kindred spirits out there that feel the same way.

    • sbranch says:

      When they realize how one-of-a-kind their houses can be with these things, I think they will be interested. . . no one wants to be a cookie cutter, right?

  14. Sandy Yarber Dixon says:

    I love old things, too. I live in Gettysburg, PA and have frequented the twice a year antiques show in the middle of town and nearby New Oxford’s antique shops to fill out my mother’s pink depression glass dish set that I treasure. I have also found many nice casserole, butter, and other dishes that I store and use. I also have inherited quilts and aprons my seamstress grandmother made; embroidered pictures of homes with gardens and dogs my mother made and dishcloths my aunt made. It’s like having them still with me and gives me joy and a sense of pride of family every day. Horay for prescious old things!

  15. Kirsten Wichert says:

    I’m still discovering parts of your site that I haven’t read! I love this one….Thrifting is my favorite past time(one word or two?). I’m drawn to every thrift store, flea market, garage sale……I’m not picky. Love, love, love the nostalgia of it all! I know you’re here……..do you know about the flea market at Vet. Stadium, Long Beach City College Campus? It’s a smaller version of the Pasedena (Rose Bowl) one, with many of the same vendors. I think it’s the 3rd Sun. of every month…..in which case you’ve missed it. Sorry, I guess I didn’t think that through. DUH.

  16. Susan Roubal says:

    Dear Susan, that was lovely.
    I got hooked on finding “treasures” going to local estate sales when we lived in an area with many large old estates. What fun! Wonderful old things that have already had an interesting life are now part of ours.

    Imagine my surprise this summer when we happened upon an “attic sale” above the antique store in what used to be my Great-Grandmother’s general store in a tiny little village near the Mackinaw Straits. It opened up Grandma’s living quarters to me for the first time in well over 40 years! I was delighted!

    It brought back so many memories; I was mesmerized for hours. Best of all, I even found a beautiful serving bowl that matched the very old, very thin bone china Nippon “ladies luncheon set” that Great Grandma gave to me.
    Yours very truly,
    Susan

  17. Dale Worness says:

    Just recently I visited our local Saturday downtown market. It’s dog-friendly and always has live music. There’s a chalk artist who writes wonderful sayings on the sidewalk in all different colors. The quote for the day was, “Without music life would be a mistake”. It made a great photo. Then we went to an estate sale in a charming 96 year-old house (which I was ready to move into on the spot!) I bought 2 small ceramic snow-covered trees and my 3rd quilt rack. Isn’t there a saying “You can’t be too rich, too thin, or own too many quilts”? There is now!!!
    I don’t always get to antique stores though I do love them, but our Goodwill has some really neat stuff. Thanks, Susan! I think you just got me started collecting creamers! I found a ceramic harvest-gold colored one in a basket weave design with “cream” written on a leaf. Really darling! And you can’t beat GW’s prices! I was wondering if any of you have ever been to the “Endless Yard Sale”? I think it goes on for 675 miles? Wouldn’t that be a hoot! We could do some serious damage there! I would need a large truck and a larger house to put everything! Glad you and Joe made it home in one piece from CA. That sounded like one scary boat ride! Enjoy the leaves!

  18. Joyce says:

    I just moved to Portland, OR a few weeks ago. Can anyone tell me about some great antique places to shop in the greater Portland area? Thanks in advance!

  19. Holly says:

    Hello! My name is Holly, and I’m a flea market addict. :) It’s such a wonderful addiction. Like you, I started in high school, and am still collecting certain things. I’m to the point now that if something comes in, I have to find a new home for something else. But that isn’t necessarily bad. I’ve been Christmas shopping in my cabinets, and jewelry box for my daughters. They are always thrilled to receive something they’ve always liked. Here in the midwest the antiques are much better than the west coast where I’m from. Have you ever been to Shipshewana, IN? It is an Amish community, and during the summer they have a huge flea market. It’s every week, and some days are better than others. But there are many other places to shop there too. They have a great general store and several of the best fabric shops in the USA.
    I love seeing pics of things you like. You have some great bowls. Bowls are a weakness of mine. My kitchen is filled with Fiestaware, vintage and new. But the bowls…. they have to be old. Since moving here, I’ve discovered the old yelloware with stripes, I love them too. Well, thanks for sharing all your treasures!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m a bowl girl too! Love Indiana, by the way. I haven’t been to Shipshewana, will have to put that on our travel list. We drive sometimes, cross country, that’s when it’s really fun because we get to wander through all the antique stores along the way. I easily need the 12-step program for Fleaholics, except, I keep myself nicely in denial. :-)

      • Holly says:

        :) It’s not such a bad problem to have. I REFUSE to fly, and drive everywhere, mainly for the antique shops, old towns off the beaten track and the adventure. I’ve converted my husband too, so we do it together.
        Check out Shipshewana’s website. They have different events all year. I always go twice a year, when I go to a quilt retreat at the Quaker Church camp grounds. But… a trip just to buy groceries (and fabric of course) isn’t unheard of around here.

  20. Joyce Ortman says:

    Thank you, Susan, for your inspiration! I think I got your first cookbook the year it was published and have followed you ever since. I remember sitting by the beach reading them cover to cover and loving all of it! (Always wishing I had that beautiful handwriting!) You have inspired ME to keep loving my old things that I have. I am having a hard time thinking about taking down last years calendar! But looking forward to the new one.

    Have a merry Christmas. (Project next year is working on recipes to be filled in your books! Lots of work.) Joyce

  21. Tam says:

    Earlier this year, my husband and I went ‘Lovejoy-ing’. (That’s what we called it from watching the Lovejoy series – a BBC show. Lovejoy is an antiques dealer and divy. So instead of ‘antiquing’, we were ‘Lovejoy-ing’ – except the divy part. LOL) We went into several shops on Antique Alley (on rt. 4). Only quite a few have closed so who knows how much longer it’ll be an alley. In one of the shops I saw an old baby doll carriage I just loved. It was too bad it was way more than I would spend and my house is so small. Though I’d squeeze it in somehow if it was really cheap! I thought it would make a great basket for balls of yarn.
    Speaking of bowls up there, I’ve asked for a set of Pyrex mixing bowls for Christmas – the harvest wheat design circa 1979.

    I love old stuff. I think I prefer it over new most of the time. I’m not sure why. Maybe old stuff has possibilities while new stuff just ‘is’. If that makes sense.

  22. martina says:

    Just today I took my Grandfather’s monogrammed napkin ring to the jeweler and he turned it into a beautiful cuff bracelet for me. The inside was engraved with a date in 1921. Grandfather would be amused and flattered by how the napkin ring was repurposed. A writer has a term “catch and release” for her collecting habit. Where you buy one item but then go and find two items to go to new homes.

  23. Lisa R says:

    Susan,
    I so agree with you about packing the picnic basket, and hitting the back roads! This is a hobby of ours too, and we love it! It’s the only way to really see our beautiful country. Sometimes it’s just a day excursion, or often a weekend one. We love traveling through miles of farm land, old towns with brick lined streets, antique stores, and good old fashion diners. I have found some of my best vintage dishes, and fresh local produce, at road side stands; plus the added bonus of meeting the most interesting people. I could take a gazillion pictures, but have to limit myself, or will drive my husband crazy asking him to stop every 5 minutes! With Arizona’s 100th birthday this year, we are on an adventure to visit 100 different places in our beautiful state. We’re off to a good start, about 15, so far. Having a blast! Enjoy your travels with Joe, Susan! I can only imagine how fabulous your flea markets are back east!

    • Janet says:

      Hello, Lisa – that’s a great idea you have. 100 destinations in Arizona’s Centennial Year! Might make an beautiful book too! Take lots of photos and voluminous notes – maybe even record interviews on an iPhone or iPod! What a wonderful project it could be. Have fun, take care and good luck!

  24. Betsy says:

    Hello! Do the vintage dishes set for your outdoor party have a pattern or name on the back? What a beautiful setting they make! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, those are Vernon Kilns “May Flower.”

      • Evie Tong says:

        I have checked on ebay for Vernon Kilns “May Flower”:
        the floral designs are all in the center; is your pattern very very vintage? Even Replacements don’t have the floral design as an outside border .. can you explain please?
        I love love love your website and have “discovered” it only about three weeks ago; I am such a fan of yours as you inspire and promote homespun and love in your home! Thank You!

        • sbranch says:

          You are absolutely right … I have two Vernon Kiln patterns that I mix and match and got myself a bit confused. The ones in the outdoor picture with the flowers around the edge are “Dolores.” Sorry about the confusion! Good eye Evie!

  25. Alison says:

    Many years ago, I bought a small bumble bee magnet for the fridge, but soon realized that our little cat, Henry would jump to amazing heights to knock it off and bat it across the floors! Henry passed away a few years ago (you have a picture of him Susan:) and the bumble bee remained – on the fridge, until a few months ago. A new little man in my life that I call Pee Pod Willy (my grandson:), who just turned 3, got ahold of that bumble bee and hid it! He’s an imp!!! Where is nana’s bee?! He looks at me and smiles, “I don’t know nana”! Well, nana got herself some air drying clay, yellow and black paint and made 22 little bumble bees, painted them, glued magnets on them and put them on the fridge! I can hardly wait to see the look on that kid’s face tomorrow morning!!
    Wishing you all a happy summer and finders of lost things!

  26. Jan says:

    When I need a little relief from life’s stresses I always find it when I enter a flea market or an antique store. Just going inside gives me an immediate “aaahhh,” and I can literally feel the stress falling away. I enjoy this type of time travel frequently – seeing/fondling items from my early years always takes me back to memories of my childhood home, and the security I felt with my Mom and Dad. I have the same experience returning to my home town and driving around the streets – just so many happy memories.

  27. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    I don’t know what it is or where it came from…but I adore dishes with pick flowers on them, all kinds and it doesn’t matter the name on the back of the plate or the bottom of a cup~~ and another thing that I get hung up on are vintage table cloths….Like from the 40′s and 50′s…I love them and use them when I have many small tables set up in the back yard for a big occasion…or just on my kitchen table for everyday….So much fun! I love poking around in old shops in small towns….some times, if I find an OLD hardware store, that I can spend hours in too!! All is so much fun!!!

    • sbranch says:

      So much fun! I haven’t seen a good old hardware store, the kind with the creaky wood floors and dark corners, in years.

  28. Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

    Now reading this blog again had definately got me in the hunting for treasure mode! LOL! Now I need to be on the look out around here for some antique stores! Ahhhh, timeless blogs! Good to ready everyday! LOL!!

  29. jutieHonaker says:

    Love yourshop.

  30. matty says:

    here the life its simple, but i love to hunt tresures..thats i call them. i love to buy old things for my kitchen because remebered my grandmother. she was an amazing lady who survived a revolution and she told me her histories. i always remember her cooking and sewing, she is my hero and my angel. thats why i like to buy old things for remember who used. my house its full of old stuff and full of love joy. huges matty.

  31. Linda BF says:

    I Love old china. I especially liked the little elephant pitcher!
    Have you ever gone to Todd Farm in Ipswich on an early Sunday morning? It is like a big yard sale. A mix of antiques, collectibles, and used items. Sometimes flowers and plants. Never sure what you might find! Then you can go for a clam roll for lunch. Yum.

  32. Dear Susan, I love your decorating, but could you also show some of the ‘
    lived-in-look” for those of us who can’t seem to get the clean ‘n’ tidy look going?
    love, your friend, really I am but I just can’t seem to keep my house clean looking – lots of piles in particular places! Dixie Gladstone from Ojai, Ca.

    • sbranch says:

      You know, I could show you more lived-in look than a body has a right to hear about. In fact, I do believe if you go through my photos that’s pretty much what you will find. Sinks full of dishes, kitty food on the kitchen table, and stacks of letters and newspapers. Life is to be lived is my mantra (and excuse) unless I’m having a party, then I clean it all up and fake it for a few days!

  33. Mary says:

    I just used some “doilies” made by my husband’s grandmother. I have stacks of them; some are to use on tables and some are potholders etc. I used 4 of the larger ones to embellish the pillow shams for our master bedroom. They give it just the right touch, and they bring us good memories. If I could attach a picture, I would, but I don’t thank that is allowed here.

  34. Fran says:

    I love vintage things and love to go to antique and just brouse around. I was resently looking for a small table and two chairs to go in my condo. I don’t have much space so I was looking in this new antique store in town and found the most charming old singer sewing machine cabinet with the treddle wheel still in good condition and even the little drawer still there. I decided to buy it and use it as a table for two. The top opens up and lays back so you have a bigger surface if you have more than one or two people. I bought a piece of oak wood to put in the hole where the sewing machine was stored. That way I have a bigger surface for my table. I refinished the wood and its beautiful. I bought two antique chairs and pretty chair pads and it is lovely…so unique and when people come to visit it is a conversation piece. Now I am hooked and I love looking and thinking of ways to use old things. Love your blog! <3

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