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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spelunking for Stuff

On Monday, on a chance visit to a charity thrift shop,
I bought two pieces of furniture.
Today my friend Emily and I will go to Gladstone, New Jersey, and pick them up.

No pictures yet.  There will be.

But I picked up a few other things at the thrift, including this brass cachepot:

I love the patina -- very bronze-y.

I love the design -- very Arts & Crafts, Greene Brothers, almost William Morris-y looking.

Well, at least I think so.
I bought it for the booth; I just may keep it.

Something else I am undecided whether to keep or sell is this:

It's not very old -- from the 1970s.  
Which to someone my age is pretty much yesterday.

Creamy white china, in 3 parts -- base, tureen, lid -- and just so different.  
Like the 70s.

This belonged to Emily's grandma, who is downsizing.

So . . . have a lovely Tuesday, everyone!  Emily and I will be nosing out other bargains in the good old Dirty Jerz.  -- Cass

Monday, February 27, 2012

What's A Nice Girl Like Me . . .

. . . doing in a place like this?

Do things look spookier in black and white?
Let's try this same old barn in color:

Less spooky, but . . . still not someplace I'd be brave enough to wander into.

On Sunday, I convinced my husband Howard that we should tootle
along the back roads of western New Jersey until we found great big
barn filled with amazing old stuff that we could not live without.

Luckily, this was not the barn I was looking for.

This was that barn:

Also old, but huge, and packed with stuff.

Every inch of it.

Looking at these shots that I grabbed in my hasty tour, as I fought off 
claustrophobia, it occurs to me that the barn looks pretty good inside.
In the pictures.

But up close and personal . . . it was overwhelming.  There were places I didn't take pictures
because I didn't have the room to move my arm enough to bring my camera out of my coat pocket.

Two huge floors of, well, all sorts of things from sinks to doors to furniture to restaurant china,
to old lamps, moldy old books, and things that I could not identify.  Covering all was thick dust.

In the end, we didn't find anything that we couldn't live without, so we left
and retraced our steps back to the land of strip malls and traffic.

But we did see a part of our state that we've barely explored.

It's not all oil tanks on the New Jersey Turnpike, our state.

And that barn at the beginning of this post?  It was on the same property as the big barn.
A side view:

Can you tell I am fascinated by this old barn?  I love it's natural air conditioning.  How green!
Places like this make me wish I could paint.
(Pictures, I mean, not walls or furniture.  That I can do!)

We had parked next to another outbuilding.
I swear, these old places defy gravity.

On Mondays, I recommend visiting Mary at her beautiful Little Red House blog, for Mosaic Monday.

She's another Jersey girl who often captures the beauty
of The Garden State in her images.
And she does it way better than I do! 
Click here for some lovely browsing.

And at Bluff Area Daily Blog, it is time for Barn Charm, a weekly blog party.

See you tomorrow! -- Cass

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Things That Go Bump In The Night

It may be a leftover fear
from when we were children --
when we believed there might be monsters under the bed
or in the closet at night, waiting to pounce! -- but even as
grownups, we fear things that go BUMP in the night.

And something certainly went BUMP one night in our guest room.

This story was first posted in September 2010.

My brother Kirby and his wife Doris now live in Virginia, so they sometimes stay
overnight with us when they come up to Yankee country.
In September 2010, after a family gathering at That Old House,
they settled in for a good night's sleep.

They'd stayed before in the Pink Room, without incident.
Except for the first time,
when Doris declined the use of a footstool for getting into the high bed,
and Kirby had to haul her in like a sack of potatoes.  But I digress . . . .

Please excuse Naked Bed.
 This big four-poster is a good place for a nice long snooze.

Most nights.

Not on the night of September 19th, 2010.

On that night, in the wee small hours,
the bed frame parted ways with one of its side rails,
and - boom! - down crashed the mattress and box spring . . .
and Kirby and Doris.

Howard and I were awakened by a gentle knocking on our door.
(Yes, the deafening crash itself didn't wake us!)
Doris stood outside our door, in the hall.  "Umm. . . the bed fell down," she calmly announced.  

The bed fell down?  The bed fell down?

Thank goodness we have another guest room.
My brother and his wife grabbed their pillows, and toddled down the hallway
in their jammies like two Wee Willie Winkies, settling into another vintage bed. 

This one, below, much older than the one that fell down.

Another naked bed, sorry!  Why do I always take pictures when there are no sheets on them?
I remembered to warn them that the old bed in the yellow room creaks.  A lot.
But it won't fall down.
And, it didn't.

What went wrong with the other bed?
Well, for some reason the manufacturer thought that little metal pins would hold
the side rails securely in the metal hangers that hook into the four posts.
And they did.
Until they didn't.

The little pins apparently had been wiggling their way to freedom for 2-plus years,
and on that Saturday night, they made a break for it.

On Sunday, Howard went to the hardware store,
bought bolts, and now the corners of the bed sport these:

It's not a pretty fix, but this bed is not going walkies in the middle of the night ever again.

Sometimes when you are a fan of vintage furniture, and of Craigslist bargains,
 it takes a little tweaking to get it right!

Safe again for a  nice long snooze.
Once I put the linens and blankets back on.

One more thing to share.
When I went into the Yellow Room to take a picture of that bed, I couldn't resist taking
a shot out one of its windows, behind our house to the stairs, driveway, and grape arbor below:

Okay, so not all that spectacular, but then I cropped the picture to show you this:
That's our grape vine out there but that's not the fun part.
The fun part is the glass in this pane.
Do you see how it sags?  It's old glass,
and old glass -- which of course is made of sand -- can bubble and sag over the years.

There are lots of years on the windows in That Old House, and this pane
is one of my favorites here.  It's hard to photograph such wavy glass;
I hope you can see the swoops and wiggles.  I just love them.

I wouldn't want a windshield made of that glass for my car but in my house. . . it's lovely.

And that's it!  My re-run of an old post.
I hope to pick up some vintage furniture for my booth today, and get some things put into place
while I have Howard to help out.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend! -- Cass

Friday, February 24, 2012

As Maynard G. Krebs said: "Work!"

A rainy Friday,
and my phone rang at 8 in the morning.

Someone called in sick, and I am working today at the antiques mall.

And of course it is raining.  It is always raining when I work there.

Good news, though.
In the last couple of days I sold the old tool chest I bought last month:

and also this chair:

This is fun.

I'm not going to be able to support my Aged Husband on the profits,
but the profits pay for more stuff for the booth.  Or, for me.

A question:
Do you think I should leave these wire chairs in their slightly chippy, somewhat rusty, condition,
or wirebrush them and paint them up?

I plan on putting them in the booth -- probably in April, when I figure
folks are looking toward Summer weather, and outdoor furniture.
They are very comfy.
Maybe I'll keep them.  :-)

I'm off to Somerville now!
Enjoy your Friday, my friends.  -- Cass

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Red, White, and Sunny. Oh, and Furry.

There's nothing like a lovely day in the New Jersey countryside,
snooping out antiques shops and other delights.

That's what my friend Emily and I did on Tuesday.  
We discovered a town called Hopewell, near Princeton, and an antiques mall called The Tomato Factory.
Well, I guess we didn't actually discover Hopewell, but we managed to find it!

I bought a couple of old -- ummm -- things there that I did not photograph
because I'm probably going to give them to my sister.

"Can you recommend a good place for lunch?"  I asked The Tomato Factory ladies.
"Yes," said they, "The Peasant Grill, right around the corner on East Broad Street."

"Wow," thought I.  "This must be some swanky town, if they have enough peasants
that they can grill them and serve them up for lunch."

Well, it turns out that they don't indeed grill peasants. 
Instead, they serve peasants like me delicious lunches.
Emily and I both ordered crab cake sandwiches, and cups of the cream of tomato soup.   
The soup was outstanding.  I need to know how to make it.
 An absolutely delicious lunch, especially for a couple of wandering peasants.

Confession:  We'd gone to Hopewell to check out a big furniture consignment place,
that turned out to be only open Thursday through Sunday.  Doh.
Yeah.  I should have read all the little words on the web site.

I'll be back.
Recently, Emily's grandmother moved from her long-time house, to a smaller apartment.
As always, there was stuff that couldn't make the trip to tighter quarters.   Some will be donated.
Emily and other family members took other things.  And Emily brought me some things.  :-)

8 lovely napkins, beautifully embroidered. 
 There is some storage discoloration here and there.
 I love the crewel-work look of the embroidery.  Very classic.
 So . . . textile ladies -- is Oxyclean the best product for bringing these back to pure white?
Biz?  Sunlight?  Vinegar?  Hot water?  Cold water?  Suggestions welcome!

Another mild winter day.  Jack Frost must be vacationing in some tropical zone this year.
He certainly isn't hanging around New Jersey.

Today's sunshine is a tonic.

 Most of last winter, these old stone steps up to our driveway were snow and ice covered.
We like dry and non-slip.

Even Mr. Dion DiPoochy, who is a dedicated couch potato, was in
the mood for a walk this morning.  It's just too pretty out there to stay in here.

Link Parties!

Susan at A Southern Daydreamer sponsors Outdoor Wednesday ...  Click here!
Kathleen at Faded Charm is the hostess for White Wednesday ... Click here!
Sue at It's A Very Cherry World sponsors Today Is Rednesday ... Click here!

Friday, February 17, 2012

High Rent Thrifting, Low Rent Eating, and A Cow In A 3-Piece Suit

I worked Wednesday at the antiques mall where I have a booth.
This is not one of our customers sidling up to the counter;
she's a resident of the center.

She -- or He -- has horns, and wears a suit, but there are also cow lady spigots down below.
She, I guess.
She was one of those Wall Street cows some years back.
My husband Howard wants her to come and live at That Old House.
Luckily, she is way too expensive for my gifting budget.

Ms. Cow has nothing to do with anything on this Friday.
Just being silly.

What did you do on Thursday?  My sister Peggy and I hit up three consignment shops, an antiques mall,
a coffee shop for lunch, a Dunkin' Donuts for iced coffee, and a HomeGoods store.
All I bought was a tablecloth, at HomeGoods, which is unusual for me!

Our first stop was Encore Quality Consignments in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
This is what you call your high-end joint.  Lovely things, friendly staff, even the drizzle didn't ruin our visit.
Sterling silver tea straws.  Did you know there were such things?  I didn't!
A hunt board, by Hickory.  Just beautiful.
I asked my sister to buy this for me, but she is such a cheapskate.
Who doesn't need a bird clock?
Cherry drop leaf table; those leaves and tabletop are single boards!
Peggy didn't buy this for me either.  Heck, I was doing all the driving . . . .
Sweet little one-drawer stand, almost a twin of one in our parlor.
In the upstairs loo, a pair of carved French beds.  Also -- a gorgeous marble sink on legs.
Love the funky upholstery!
A collection of mismatched bedroom furniture, cottage-y and sweet, all pink and flowery.
Swirled glass candlestick -- only $7.
And while I was wandering, snooping, and snapping pictures, look who I discovered staring back at me!
Encore Quality Consignments in Bernardsville, New Jersey,
is well worth sliding off the beaten path for a look.
Beautiful things, beautifully presented -- even the building, a former carriage house, is charming.
Click here to visit their website.

You know those Chilaquiles I had for breakfast in Los Angeles
last week, at the funky little Caribbean restaurant?

I'm a-gonna make these this weekend.
California daughter Alida guided me to a recipe that looks simple and good.
This is what is often called peasant food, as it is a practical way to use up leftovers and stale foods.
Every cuisine has its variations on peasant foods, and they are usually filling, delicious, and comforting.

So as not to stomp on someone's copyright, here's the link to what looks very much like
the dish I was served at Cha Cha Cha in the Silver Lake neighborhood:

Now, I'll try and remember to take pics when I make this tomorrow or Sunday.
If you make it, let me know how it turns out!  Have a wonderful weekend!  -- Cass


Link Parties:
Foodie Friday is a must at Designs By Gollum.  Click here!
Feathered Nest Friday makes its home at French Country Cottage.  Click here!
The Charm of Home features Home Sweet Home on Fridays.  Click here!
It's Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground.  Click here!
Miss Mustard Seed hosts the Furniture Friday Feature.  It's a must visit -- Click here!

Foodie Friday

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two Sisters, One Minivan, a GPS, and a Blue Table ReRun

On this gray and drizzly Thursday, my sister Peggy
and I are saddling up the minivan and
venturing into the uncharted wilds of New Jersey.
Also known as Morris, Hunterdon, and Somerset Counties.
Dangerous turf, my friends. . .
populated by the Horsey Set, Wall Streeters, BMW drivers,
and people who probably spent more than $1.89 on their coffee tables.

We may have to go in disguise so as not to be spotted as aliens,
although once they catch sight of my red Chrysler minivan, the jig's probably up.
We'll be seeking out consignment shops, including at least one where I am pretty sure
I won't be able to afford anything; yes, it's that high end.  I hope they'll let me take pictures.

We'll have lunch at my new favorite dive, just for the excellent cole slaw, and also visit
a thrift shop or two, so I've got at least a chance of toting home something for my tank of gas.
But before I leave to meet Peggy, I'm re-posting a
table setting from almost exactly two years ago.
It's blue.  Very blue.
(First Posted 2/11/2010)
Welcome to Thursday at That Old House! 

Supper for two.

Don't forget to check out the links to today's blog parties,
at the end of this post!

Some months back, I was in HomeGoods and I spotted a package of four placemats.
Blue and white always catches my eye.

But the fabric pattern reminded me of something:
a set of (cheap) ironstone dishes I bought 30 years ago when we were first married, and have rarely used.

So today, I finally put them together, with my old
plated flatware -- Georgian pattern, some monogrammed and some not.

The dishes have several shades of blue, including a gray tint and an almost-aqua tint.
The placemats also have these shades.  Kismet!

At Dollar Tree last summer, these plump little tea light holders jumped into my shopping cart.

Two designs, in classic blue and white.

On the table, an older Bombay Company china pot, blue and white, with fake flowers in it.

From a church thrift shop, bubbly blue wine glasses.

I like the shape of the coffee cups, so I'm adding them to the table setting.

Vintage Irish linen napkins.  Old, but in like-new condition.  Ebay, some years back.

The backstamp for the china.
I do not speak Spanish, but it looks like it's claiming to be resistant to acid.
And something else.

All put together, I like how this table setting turned out -- and it was fun to see those old dishes again!

And the placemats are reversible.  On the other side, just the print, no border.  I hope they won't need much ironing; I haven't replaced my iron yet.  No fool, I. -- Cass