As you all know, I am an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen. Wait, no! I'm a collector. An avid collector. Unfortunately, with all the wedding hubbub (95 days to go!), my collector's eye has been keenly focused on wedding decor- milk jugs, mason jars, crates, tea tins, galvanized tubs and books with little time to scout much else. My trips to the antiques mills come with a mission and a timetable so I've been quieting my inner collector. For the most part.
I still pop in a few places here and there at random, you know, just in case.
Last weekend, I lucked out and received an extra hour due to a random breakdown of the Mister's car. I had to cancel plans with a friend to drop him off and was left with a whole hour of unplanned time. Lucky me.
Naturally, I spotted a sign for an estate sale and decided to check it out. When I rounded the corner of the street, I saw it. My own personal Shangri-la of antique items. The entire yard was littered with furniture, big items too, that trailed all the way into the backyard where there was, get this, MORE!
Apparently, the sellers were trying for the last time to get rid of their parents (now deceased) stuff. The couple had been trying to unload the sizeable inventory for some time and the cost to store the items had become a financial burden. They were ready to give away the farm. Squee!
I spotted the dresser immediately and asked about the price almost before I even said hello. When the chain-smoking seller quoted $30, I knew better than to let this one go.
Did I plan on buying a mid-century dresser at 7:15 in the morning? Well, no, but when the opportunity presents itself, it's carpe furniture!
I'm still basking in the glow of this proud purchase. Turns out, it was a mid-century dresser made by Drexel in 1959.
Before leaving with my estate sale score, I milled around for other items. I've been into kitchenware lately, plates, utensils, linens and other items for use in photo shoots and recipes. I found a box full of linens and towels. Beneath that were tons of aprons. The seller's mother, I was told, loved to cook and was never seen without an apron in the kitchen. I was also told that her mother had one requirement of her aprons- pockets.
I grabbed an armful at once.
The best part is, I got the aprons for free. The woman was so happy to unload the stuff that she simply gave them to me. I think, too, that it gave her comfort to send these aprons, small memories of her mother, to a good home.
I love that about collecting. Everything has a story and with it, a connection. I think that's why I love it so much. I look for those authentic encounters, drive around for them even, in hopes of finding something more than just a new purchase.
Do you have any collections of your own?
Happy Friday everyone! It most definitely feels like summa-summa-summa time and I've got a nice long weekend to bask in the sun and enjoy every minute of it. We like to take the "no-plans" approach to holidays like these. We may go hiking. We may hit the pool. I may read the entire "50 Shades" series. Whatever. All I know is that I'll be working on tanning my unsightly gams, casually knocking off items from my massive wedding/home/life to-do list and hopefully catching up with a few friends.
How do you like the picture above? I found it while digging through my grandmother's old photo albums. I love the old school beach blanket bingo vibe and particularly love Contestant #7. You go, Grandma!
What do you have planned? Any fun excursions? Exciting projects? Any special meals in the queue? Whatever you do, make it a good one. Happy Weekend, friends!
I love how inspiration in the kitchen can stem from most anywhere. It can be a smell reminiscent of childhood or an unexpected ingredient at the market. Other times, it is a new technique, alluring blog post or curious venture into a new cuisine.
This time, it was a teeny tiny discovery during my last trip to the Metrolina Antiques
I was with my scavenging soul sister, Nikki of Not Made in China
, for the big show and we spent three hours rooting around in antique lover's paradise. We both scored some old wooden textile spools (see what else Nikki found that day here
) and then I deviated into cookware, a burgeoning collective interest of mine. I love the rustic detail of antique bakeware with its tarnished metal like battle scars, denoting earned experience.
I arrived at a table littered with objects, metal and wood scattered like wildflower seeds across the surface of the table. I began moving and touching the antiques, picking things up, examining with a glance and quickly setting them aside, moving on to the next piece. Grabbing, picking, looking, digging, feeling and then....
...I found it. A small container holding the most miniature and complete set of cookie cutters. The seller said it was missing its top but, to me, it wasn't missing a thing. I had a new bakeware find and inspiration for my next kitchen adventure.
I decided on shortbread. Buttery, crumbly shortbread. With lavender, my current star herb. I've roasted chickens with lavender, made lavender syrups to drizzle over my ice cream, still working on a tapioca pudding recipe with lavender and now, lavender shortbread cookies. Miniature lavender shortbread cookies.
I decided to use a recipe by Joy the Baker
that uses natural cane sugar and a hefty dose of butter. Shortbread cookies should nearly melt in your mouth with their crumbly texture. That's how you know the butter is doing its J-O-B!
There were audible squeals of delight coming from the kitchen and several verses of this made-up song, "Mama's little baby loves shortbread, shortbread..."
I know its not the right words, but you get the idea. If these cookie cutters had cheeks, I would pinch them. So effing cute. The best part is that when you have miniature cookies, a little dough goes a long way. The worst part is that those miniature cookies can be eaten by the cookie sheet-ful without the slightest idea that you may have just consumed a whole stick of butter by yourself.
Remember mini-snickers bars? It never feels sinful because they're small and then you've gone and eaten twenty. Yikes! Sneaky and small, but dammit they're cute.
After baking these little cuties, I got inspired to make something equally cute to hold the shortbread babies. I had a few muslin bags in the cupboard and pulled out my stamps and a pencil with a fresh eraser and went to town. See picture, bottom right.
Actually, I think I may have stumbled upon my wedding favors. Muslin bags aren't expensive and the stamping took no time at all. Plus, these cookies can be frozen to be used for a later date. I can make them ahead of time.
These cookies may have a story to tell after all.
For the complete recipe, click here
. Happy Thursday!
Last year I took a road trip with my buddy Nikki
to the Wedding Day Hooray
, an indie wedding marketplace and all around good time in Atlanta, Georgia. She was pimping her wares and I was hunting for wedding ideas. It was there that I first spotted the brooch bouquet. A brooch whaaa? A brooch bouquet
. A nifty, crafty wedding bouquet made entirely of brooches. I had never seen anything like but it struck me as such a meaningful way to add a personal touch to my wedding and include my loved ones in the process.
I decided then and there, a good 16 months in advance, that I would have a brooch bouquet. I began amassing my collection, picking up pieces at flea markets and antique mills, whenever something caught my eye. I dedicated a special drawer in my office and slowly began filling it. Family and friends have also added to the pile and continue to bring pieces to me. With any luck, I will be carrying lots of love down the aisle.
Here's a look at my collection thus far....
I've seen brooch bouquets tailored for each wedding, some unified specifically for color and style. My goal is to have an eclectic piece. Although I've been collecting brooches with flowers and leaves, I ultimately want the bouquet to tell its own story based on my collecting adventures and the family and friends who brought me pieces. I want the bouquet to be organically constructed rather than a calculated object. This also appears to be the strategy for my entire wedding.
The cat pin (above right) was my stepmother's who passed just last December. She was a cat lover (as am I) and was so excited for our wedding. When I spoke to her over Thanksgiving she had already booked a room. I found this pin in her jewelry box and knew I wanted to take it home to honor her memory.
Below is my favorite pin, the airplane. My father gave it to my mother years ago and she recently brought it to me for the bouquet. He passed twelve years ago. My two big brothers will be walking me down the aisle and my father will be there in spirit and tucked sweetly into my bouquet. The books and lace in the photo below have all been collected since last January, small bits and pieces that will be spread throughout my wedding decor. All of it carefully curated and selected for a DIY wedding made with nothing but love.
I'll be posting more photos of the DIY process as we get closer to the date. In fact, a friend recently asked me for a countdown. My wedding is, as of today, 165 days away. Time flies.
The Mister and I made our nuptials all sorts of official when we mailed our save-the-dates to our beloved family and friends on Monday. Seven months from now, we're tying the knot directly across the street from our current home
in a vintage inspired wedding. Our concept blends a rustic feel with vintage inspired ideas mixed with a little K+P personality.
We plan on pouring the love into our big day with handmade projects and personal touches. Our save-the-dates mark our first handmade DIY attempt and we couldn't be happier with the results. The Mister did the graphic design which was inspired by these engagement announcements
I found on Pinterest
. The idea was so simple and personal and right up our alley.
On the back, we incorporated an image from a vintage postcard
I stumbled upon while shopping at one of my favorite antiques spots
. It was too fitting to pass up. Then, we got to stamping!
I found a simple heart punch
and pretty envelopes
at my local Paper Source and got creative with some antique lace I found at a local antiques store
. The idea was to add a simple and tactile detail to the envelope. Of course, this "simple" detail led to another creative element, the envelope liners.
Gluing the lace to the back of the envelope left an unsightly piece of fabric for everyone to see once the envelope is opened and I just couldn't bear having such a pretty detail lessened by an unsightly inside. So...we (I) decided to make envelope liners from some decorative paper I had in my office.
This turned out to be the most labor intensive part of the project, but also one of my favorites. The paper was so dynamic and colorful and it really added some color and interest. Totally worth it. Now.
I decided to use a custom stamp for our return address and found this stamp set
via one of my favorite DIY brides and blogger, Chelsea Costa, of Lovely Indeed
. The Mister assembled the letters after losing the microscopic letters several times. Apparently, tweezers and big hands don't mix well.
While on the hunt for my stamp set, I lazily wandered into the Martha Stewart section
of the Staples and found these lovely Kraft Labels
which I decorated and addressed by hand.
It was so fulfilling to see these come together and I love how the creative process evolves in unexpected ways. We were really pleased with our handmade efforts and I think our loved ones are too, at least that's what their text messages say. I'm looking forward to sharing the rest of the planning process with you here. I'll be posting as I finish each project. Stay tuned!
If you've never been to the Depot at Gibson Mill
and love anything collectible or vintage, you must go. It is one of my favorite places to find treasures in the Charlotte area and it never disappoints. I'm typically there for a minimum
of three hours bumbling about, digging through baskets and collecting inspiration from every nook and cranny in the place.
It's a sprawling 85,000 square feet of vintage pieces, furniture, dining sets, clothing, jewelry, tchotchkes, records, collectibles, ephemera and things you never even knew you wanted . Prepare to be amazed and maybe even slightly overwhelmed. Before my first visit, a friend told me to "pack a lunch" and "wear some sneakers." She was right. The Depot is one bad mammajamma!
These pictures were taken from my last visit when I had the pleasure of going with my buddy Brooke
, who had never been there before. I really can't decide what's better, digging for treasures for hours or bringing people there for the first time and seeing their eyeballs pop out of their head. As you can see above, Brooke scored a lovely repurposed peach side table for her adorable home
. I was on the hunt for vintage details for my wedding and ended up leaving with a Turkish Kilim rug and vintage postcards
. NOTE: If you go into the Depot without a plan, be prepared to leave with a Turkish Kilim rug or something equally off-course.
That being said, I'm never mad when I leave the Depot. It's one of my happy places. If vintage is your thing, here are a few other local "spots" to check out- Oak Street Mill
, Sleepy Poet Antique Mall
and Downtown Mooresville
I found these postcards last week while adventuring with one of my favorite blogging buddies
at one of my most treasured antiques spots, the Depot at Gibson Mill
. My upcoming nuptials are just a short eight months away and I've been on the lookout for vintage bits and pieces to incorporate into my rustic, vintage-themed wedding.
My visits to the Depot usually amount to me wandering aimlessly for about three to four hours "ooing" and "ah-ing" at a million different things before walking off with items that have nothing to do with my intended purpose like a Turkish Kilim rug or turquoise office chair and a copy of Eddie Murphy's "Party All The Time
." However, I am happy to report that my office is shaping up quite nicely!
This time, though, I stumbled upon these charming postcards of old-school couples and decided to bring them home and add them to the growing collection of wedding odds and ends. A few of these postcards carried hand-written sentiments that dated as far back as 1906 which I thought was pretty neato. Some of these will be peppered throughout my wedding decor and one of these images made its way onto our Save the Dates. Can you guess which one?
I'll be posting those next week, so you'll have to wait and see. Happy Wednesday!
The first time I ever heard the words vegetarian and restaurant used in the same sentence it was in reference to Moosewood Restaurant
in Ithaca, NY. At the time, I was in middle school and the concept of having a restaurant that served vegetarian fare seemed exotic and way far out. Of course, I was eating Burger King Whoppers and Lucky Charms like it was going out of style too. My tastes have drastically changed and this little restaurant has since revolutionized dining and vegetarian fare in the 20th century. "About Moosewood Restaurant: Moosewood (named after a local maple tree) was begun in September 1972 by a group of friends who enjoyed getting together to cook and eat, and who wanted to engage in a community project. The chosen site was an old brick school building which was being converted into shops offices and dwelling units. It took four months to transform a gymnasium into a ready-to-function-restaurant. After the grand opening in January 1973, more friends of the original seven people joined. Moosewood is now a collectively-owned and worker-managed business with 15 members, who participate in all aspects of running the restaurant from deciding policy to planning menus to changing lightbulbs. There is no singular owner and no "boss". Any profit that accumulates is distributed among the workers or recycled back into the restaurant.
Fast forward twenty years and Moosewood sounds like my kind of place. You could imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this cookbook while visiting the estate of a recently deceased family member. I collect cookbooks and love vintage items so this gem hit on two of my most favorite things.
The book is astounding. Not only was it published in 1977, the entire thing is illustrated and hand-lettered by founding member of the Moosewood Collective
, Mollie Katzen. The pages were well worn with time and, in some instances, stained. You can see some of that in the photos I have here.
The recipes are a collection of beloved vegetarian recipes that span the international gamut from Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Russian, Asian, German, Indian and Mexican. There are whimsical descriptions and titles such as "Celebratory Sandwich Fillings", "Cream of Summer Green" soup, "Mondo Bizarro Sauce" and family recipes like "Montana's Mom's Dynamite Cheesecake." Everything about the book shows a true love of food and genuine enthusiasm radiates from the pages.
There are wonderful tips like "A Good Method for Assembling a Green Leafy Salad" and "How to Make Real Corn Tortillas" as well as options galore. The book offers basic recipes and then provides a wealth of ingredients to add or variations of the recipe to try.
For me, the book conveys the art of cooking in a way that invites the user to play and have fun with the ingredients and each illustration reminds the reader to not take oneself so seriously. Check the Beavis and Butthead-esque illustration below.
And, cue the whimsy...
I mean, how can you NOT smile while reading a book like this!
What blows me away is how revolutionary this type of cooking used to be. It took me at least two decades to become educated about the food I eat and the whole-foods based diet that Moosewood has been pimping for 38 years. So much of their foodlove and business ideas revolve around an enlightened perspective that has yet to reach the majority of Americans.
The Moosewood people are true pioneers and this book is an indication of the genuine community that exists between people and food. Modern day concepts like Kinfolk Magazine
follow a trail blazed by this remarkable community of individuals.
Ah-mazing! I love, love, love my vintage vegetarian find. Hope you do too!