Monday, July 30, 2012

Strawberry Forks

Yesterday, my daughter and I spent most of the day at the Randolph Street Antique Market in downtown Chicago.  It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed ourselves looking at a lot of vintage jewelry and clothing and eating delicious crepes from the food stands.    One of my favorite finds of the day was a set of 1890's sterling silver strawberry forks.  These utensils were one of the very specific dining implements used by Victorians to set a lavish table.  Originally used to eat berries, today I am looking for them to use as appetizer forks.  They are the perfect size for a "one bite" tidbit and add a bit of charm to the plate.  Strawberry forks have only 2 or 3 tins  and are only about 4 inches tall in most patterns.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sweet Pea and Herbal Bouquet

mixed bouquet of sweet peas, fennel, old fashioned geranium leaves,lavender  and basil in vintage celery vase.

Sweet Peas

Love the shape of the blossoms and vines

French Lavender- smells so good.

rose scented old fashioned geraniums

lemon scented old fashioned geraniums

Fennel blossoms - smell like liquorice

Pot of basil grown from seeds-

Imagine the scents of lavender, rose, lemon, basil, and fennel all together in one spot- it is truly intoxicating.  Every year I try to find my beloved scented geranium plants  and it is  a very hard mission.  This year I was able to purchase them at Monches Farm, located north west of Milwaukee and I was so happy. I usually  mix them in rose bouquets to complement the scent of the  roses.  But today I have gathered an assortment of herbs  from our garden for our dinner table  and I love all the smells and different textures together.  An old celery vase ( the Victorians actually served celery in them ) is the perfect size vase for these delicate arrangements. 

Note: gardening lesson I learned this year- my basil was much hardier because I grew it from seed.  In previous years, I have  just purchased plants and put them in the ground hoping for enough hot weather to get them growing.  Usually they are very scraggly and I  just enough for flavoring dishes, but not enough to harvest for pesto.  So this year I over seeded a pot with basil seeds  ( learned the trick at Blackberry Farm in May)  and it has grown thick and sturdy- definitely will do this again next year and add a couple more for pesto.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Antiques for A Ladies Luncheon

Set of 12 Softly Muted Dessert or Bread Plates with pretty mustard and blue floral design.

Divine little demitasse cups - can't you just see them filled with chocolate mousse and topped
with whipped cream and a raspberry??

Set of crystal \glasses with unusual deep etched sides -  perfect for iced tea!

One of the prettiest bowls that I have ever seen- fill it with raspberries!

Set of 12 gold rimmed dinner plates made by Ansley for Marshall Field and Company in the 40's!

Can't you just visualize a pretty table with all these goodies? Perfect choices for a  Girly Ladies Luncheon I think! 
I love mixing and matching dishes to create an interesting table.  New to the store are some beautiful antique dishes- all very feminine and pretty.  Antique dinnerware adds a sense of history to a table with it's softer hues and patterns.  Even mixing it with more modern designs adds a unique and unexpected  touch to the dining experience. Secondly, the cost of thesevintage goodies are significantly lower than the  modern pieces being produced today - making them economical additions to your serving repertoire.  So have some fun and mix it up a little!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cinderella Gets Ready for the Ball

Great little rhinestone bag- perfect for phone- lipstick and cash!

Great selection of feminine evening bags

Sweet bracelets for evening balls!

Cinderella's pumpkins in shades of pink, cream and grey with tiaras

Shades of dusty pink, greys and cremes - so girly girl!  Just returning from the gift show, we brought back lots of cool jewels- necklaces, tiaras, bracelets and evening bags.  One of my favorites trends is the glitzy look - crystal  beads, rhinestones and pearls.  This palette works beautifully with our vintage dressed forms and velvet pumpkins.  Layering the pearls and crystal stands together creates a romantic  fashion  statement.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bella Notte Linens - Perfect for your Chateau!

Bella Notte's new silk velvet throw with ruffles on edge - divine and comes in all colors

Ruffle edge detail on coverlet and shams

Bella Notte table linens

Table linens from Bella Notte - love this gray tone

Pictures in awesome frames for our Chateau

New this fall- Aerin Lauders Candle line from Nest - pretty packaging

One of my favorite purchases for the store - velvet and tulle petal drapes and tablecloths- so pretty

Battery operated burlap candles with French writing

Artistic tubes for storing house plans, an art project - another great find!

Close up detail of this fantastic little gems- can't wait to get them.

Love all the engravings and metallic details on the art canisters.

I am just giving you a little snippet of all the wonderful things that are on the way to the store.  Continuing with our Chateau theme, the smaller side of the store will be filled with feminine home furnishings with a European feel.  Bella Notte did not disappoint this market as they debuted their incredible ruffled silk velvet throws, coverlets and shams.  Their table linens are gorgeous and so easy to care for by simply throwing them in the washing machine. A new find was the velvet and tulle drapery and tablecloths.  They come in several lengths and sizes and are a "must have" for the romantic at heart. When we spotted the  art canisters, our hearts skipped a beat.  Decoupaged with French writing, ribbons, metals and waxed seals, they are perfect for storing architectural plans for your home in a beautiful way.   We purchased many things to create the feeling of living in your own chateau.  Things are starting to arrive this week so we are excited and re-merchandising our rooms for your enjoyment.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Antiquing on the Road to Atlanta

A beautiful flour sack towel

A collection of rustic serve ware for our European Kitchen section in the store

Love this small square cake plate

Vintage French lunch pail

Lovely silver serving tray for meat and vegetables

Love the details on the sides and handles

Interesting view of Roman life- a print from 1904.

Gorgeous dark grey silk velvet and vintage trims and tapestry pillows.

Notice the detail of the inlaid French metallic tape from the 1800's

Unusual color of transferware

beautiful metal statues of two women

Set of black and brass boxes on tray

Clever assembly of old lamp parts and trays- great for entertaining.  Found in Indiana - good thing to copy!

Intricate bread baskets - set of 4

Vintage large gold urn - hard to find!

Large old zinc planter in unusual shape with cherub reliefs  - can't wait to fill it with ferns and moss!

During the summer,  we drive to the gift show in Atlanta and always enjoy antiquing  along the way.  And while in Atlanta, the Scott's Antique Market is held on the weekend.  While Scott's usually reveals the best antiques, they are very expensive for re-sale, so this year we did not purchase many things at that show.  However,  Kentucky and Indiana produced some lovely finds for us at much better prices.  Above are just a few of my favorites.