Oh Happy Day

I wait ALL YEAR for the bi-annual Warrenton Antique Festival.  I wish I could adequately describe its awesomeness.  It’s basically a HUGE antique flea market – like acres and acres and acres of tents and buildings and general awesomeness.  And the big day finally came!  My faithful shopping buddy and I set out bright and early yesterday, ready to greedily scoop up everything we could as quickly as possible, like it was some kind of game show.  We do not play around at Warrenton, people.  And we saw so much great stuff!  Plus, going in the middle of the week was a great move – the dealers were willing to negotiate quite a bit on prices.  Yay us!

Anything your vintage loving heart desires can be found here.  And we saw it all folks.

There was beauty:

And there was terror:

I about had a heat stroke, but it was worth it!   Here are some highlights of my scores.

My first score of the day was this little cutie – he is the latest addition to my collection of widowed salt and pepper shakers.  And this little top hat wearing bug is so perfect because he’s holding a broken heart!  And he’s missing his mate!  I love him.

I also came home with this positively mouth watering bark cloth curtain panel.  I plan to use it to reupholster an antique (circa 1700s) chair in my craft room.  There was another pair of curtains that matched and I’m really regretting not getting them too.  The pattern is so incredible!

A dress!  Yippee!  It fits like a glove (if I have someone to zip me up!) and is the sweetest Pennsylvania Dutch patterned cotton.  I’m looking forward to wearing it during my upcoming getaway with Mr. Crafter to New York City.

I didn’t come home with any vintage Halloween like I was hoping for, and I was not planning on getting any more vintage Christmas, but who could resist this Santa and reindeer salt and pepper set?  Not this Betty.

This great paint by number was a steal.  Mr. Crafter and I think it would be awesome to have a paint by number museum in our guest house, so that’s where this will eventually live.  It’s been a paint by number week, because a few days ago at an estate sale I scored the best paint by numbers I’ve ever seen.   Are you ready for this?

Aren’t they insane?  I actually bought them to sell and even put them in the shop, but went back the very next morning to take them home.  I just can’t part with these – I’d never forgive myself!  They will end up in our “museum” too.

There are a few other things I didn’t photograph – a 60’s waitress outfit I think I’m going to wear for Halloween, a cowboy hat for Little Betty, and 2 vintage Fisher Price toys for Little Betty I’m going to save back for Christmas – the airport and the hospital.  Both for $20!  Can you believe it?  I also got Little Betty the cutest little tin painted spice rack for her play house.  Amazingly I did not come home with any bakelite this time.  But it’s ok – I’m feeling pretty good about my haul.  And if you ever get the chance, make sure you check out Warrenton’s Antique Festival!

First Tea Party of the Season

One of the great things about having a little girl is getting to fill her life with all the things I wanted as a child.  And one of those things was a play house.  We got it last year (a very nice gift from Little Betty’s grandparents) and have slowly been decorating it.  Well it’s been hotter than the furnace of hell in Texas ever since we moved in to our new house and Little Betty’s adorable playhouse has sat neglected, waiting to be unpacked and re-decorated.  It’s now dropped into the double digits in our parts, so that got me motivated to finally set her play house up again!  So bright and early Little Betty and I headed out to give her little cottage a spring (fall) cleaning and unpacked all her housewares.  Oh yes, and some fresh flowers of course!

The little kitchen I made from a nightstand, after being inspired by this cuteness. The table and chairs are IKEA and the little upholstered rocker was an estate sale find.

I knew I wanted a tole chandelier and looked long and hard before finally finding one small enough and inexpensive enough.  But I’m sure glad I waited it out because I really love this one.

Everything else was slowly collected from thrift stores, estate sales, or gifts from grandma.  This fall, my goal is to sew some curtains and do some landscaping around the outside.  I’ve not made curtains yet because I can’t decide what to do.  Red or green gingham? The kitchen print that’s on the play kitchen?  Something else entirely?  I am open to suggestions here, is what I’m hinting at.

Even without curtains, though, Little Betty is beyond thrilled to have her little cottage fixed up again and wasted no time in setting up a tea party for all her favorite people.

Retro Renovation Dilema

Any of us who have tried to renovate and restore an old house know how fraught with frustration that process can be.  Trying to preserve what has survived and compliment it with renovations that blend seamlessly can be quite an exercise in trial and error, luck, and unending research.  Well, folks, my friend Chelsea over at Atomic Summer has just bought a house in my neighborhood and god love her, the first thing she did after getting the keys was begin to rip down wallpaper!  And her retro renovation fairy godmother was smiling on her yesterday, because in her mint green tiled bath, she ripped down the 70’s wallpaper to reveal 60’s wallpaper and that came away to reveal the most beautiful pink and aqua snowflake mid century wallpaper you ever did see.

*photos courtesy of The Atomic Summer

Here you can see the 70’s wallpaper with the pink flowered 60’s paper under that and then the glorious mid century paper.

And here you can see how ridiculously and mouth-wateringly awesome her bathroom looks after the other paper is removed.  But friends, this story is not all sunshine and roses.  This beautiful wallpaper has a glue residue left on it from decades of being covered up.  Do any of you have any ideas of how to remove this residue and save the paper?  If so, please head on over to The Atomic Summer and give your two cents!  Our mid century restoration sister needs our help!

Silence doesn’t mean sloth…

Ok, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve let y’all know what I’ve been up to, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting around eating bon bons all day!  I’ve been, like, creating stuff.  Wanna see?

Please excuse the wrinkles – I’d been wearing it in the shop all day.  But isn’t it cute??  You may remember the fabric from this estate sale haul earlier in the summer.  I’ve been dying to try a Colette Pattern, and the Ginger seemed like something I’d wear endlessly.  So lovely vintage fabric and great wearable pattern collide in what is now officially my new favorite skirt!  I took her advice in the pattern booklet and jazzed it up with piping and pockets.  The pockets I basically shamelessly copied from this adorable example.    Now for the detail shots!

The piping was new for me and it is by no means perfect.  Ditto for the zipper.  But I still love this little skirt and plan to make a few more variations!


*thanks to Catherine Vo for taking the pics!

Bad shopping karma

Today was a pretty disappointing day for estate sales.  Sad.  Everything I wanted was either swiped out from under me or too expensive.  I know, it happens.  And I’ve had some really great luck lately, so I shouldn’t be too bummed.  But still.  However, I did manage to score one pretty great thing for Little Betty.

A Singer Sew Handy child’s sewing machine!  It was the one bright spot in my day.  I actually saw one of these at the second sale I went to and they had $100 on it.  They were dreaming.  Then the third sale had the exact same one for $20!  I’m so excited to teach Little Betty how to sew on this!  Actually, the first sale had a toy sewing machine (didn’t do anything, just cute) and the brand was Little Betty!  I was so tempted to get it, even at $25.  I may go back tomorrow on the 50% off day and see if it’s still there…

Here’s hoping for some better shopping karma tomorrow!

Have any of you ever had a depressing bust of a treasure hunting day?

Come get yer Bakelite!

It has been positively raining Bakelite around these parts, y’all, and I want to share the wealth!  I’ve added a few sets of Bakelite bangles to my etsy shop if you’re interested.  I’ll also be adding some other pieces soon – I’ve got some lovely pins and earrings I plan to add.  If you’re itching for something specific, let me know – I might have it!

Little Betty’s Big Girl Room

You may remember me mentioning a couple months ago going to an estate sale and buying a 1930’s French bedroom set for Little Betty.  She was starting to outgrow her toddler bed and is potty trained now so doesn’t need her changing table anymore.  So, I figured it was time to get her some big girl furniture!  Well, folks, I couldn’t be more pleased with how her room turned out.  I think it’s feminine without being super pink,  pretty but still a nice place for her to play.  Here it is!

The walls are painted a soft grey.  It was quite a feat to find the right shade – not too dark or blue.  I am quite happy with it.  The pinch pleat curtains are from JC Penny and in the shade Amethyst.

The “new” furniture is by no means in perfect condition – it’s actually pretty rough.  But I figure it’s perfect for her to grow up with.  We won’t have to worry about her messing it up!  And I think it’s pretty charming with its nicks and scuffs.  The set had originally had two twin beds, but all that survived were two footboards and side rails for both beds.   So Little Betty’s handy Grandad used the extra side rails to build up one of the footboards to make a headboard.  It came together beautifully.

Little Betty is the 4th generation to use this desk – it was my grandmothers, then my mothers, then mine.  It makes me quite happy to see her coloring at it.

This little mobile used to hang over Little Betty’s crib.  I made it when I was pregnant without spending a dime and like it better than any of the expensive mobiles I’ve seen.

Little Betty really loves her room.  Anyone that visits gets drug by the hand to “Come my ‘oom, see my toys!”  I look forward to watching her room grow and change with her.


Sorry it’s been quiet around here the last few days, but Betty’s been busy.  I’ve been setting up my new vintage shop!  It’s a large space in a great long running shop here in town.  It’s been super fun spending the summer shopping for inventory, and even more fun setting it all up!  Here’s a few shots so you can see what I’ve been up to:

This new career is miles away from teaching special education.  It’s scary to make a big change like this, but things are going well so far!

I’ve also been re-vamping Little Betty’s room with her new big girl furniture and will share the finished product with you very soon…