a collected summer mantel

Memorial Day unofficially marks the beginning of summer but for me, it seems to be Independence Day.  Once the 4th of July hits, we’re all fully aware of the season; the rising temperatures and the long, lingering days followed by breezy evenings.  And it’s right around the corner!

We’ve kept things casual in the seasonal decorating department lately.  Just a rotating collection of vintage and handmade favorites on the mantel.  For summer we have a fish painting on a barn door that was gifted to us along with a handmade swan sculpture, a wedding gift.  Surrounding the art are our own handmade baluster candlesticks plus an endless collection of vintage lanterns.  The yellow planter is borrowed from my McCoy collection which is dispersed throughout the house.

vintage summer mantel

The mantel itself is not original to the house but the art deco piece seems to fit proportionally.  We popped a mirror inside.  This was actually a happy accident as it is doing a great job of bouncing light into this otherwise dark corner.  Over the winter, we painted the wall that it is on.  The previous blue accent wall had to go.  The neutral backdrop is much more conducive to a rotating cast of collections.

And that chair!  Still our favorite rehab to this day.  I’m so glad we decided to keep it.  It was a full gut job, shopped from the curb and saved from the landfill!

vintage collection summer mantel

I’m having a moment with these vintage arrows as well.  So bright, fun & cheerful.  They coordinate well with the Crate & Barrel recycled rag rug in the room too.

vintage collection arrows

That’s where things stand in my current vintage collections.  Seemingly high between lanterns, McCoy and arrows, among other things like aqua mixing bowls and ship captains, not pictured.  What are you collecting this summer?

blast from the past

Macrame and String Art are two trends from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s that are having quite the moment again.  In fact, they have been for a while now.  We’re seeing vintage versions crop up as well as handmade and manufactured reproductions.

I personally have fully embraced both in our home.  The vintage versions, of course, which have been sparking conversations amongst visitors.

Macrame is the art of making textiles through tying knots.  Plant hangers have been the most abundant version out there.  Over the winter I scored two macrame plant hangers each with coordinating glazed planters at an estate sale.  I just love the combo.

macrame and glazed planter

Don’t remind Ryan of this but a few years ago while having a deep conversation about decorating he made a suggestion that involved macrame planters and beaded curtains.  Naturally I rolled my eyes and wouldn’t even entertain the thought of either.  I can assure you that I stand firm on the beaded curtains though.

macrame and glazed planter

String art is usually constructed on a one-dimensional surface.  It is characterized by geometric and usually abstract shapes made by stringing thread from point to point, usually nails or pins.  It is a very calculated design.

We have this gigantic string art displayed on our screened in porch.  My father-in-law made it over 30 years ago!  Such precision and patience he has.  There are more where that came from too.  Isn’t it cool?  Or should I say groovy…

String Art

So tell me, where do you stand on the return of both macrame and string art?  The previous generation’s Do It Yourself projects.  Love or loathe?

a whole lot of legs

I picked up this drop leaf table while in Brimfield. I have a growing drop leaf table collection. It is an addiction really. I don’t know what it is about them. Their versatility. The timeworn tops. Not sure. But I’ve never met one I don’t like.

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Well that’s not totally true. When the tops are impeccable and shiny, I don’t usually like them. I like a worn stained finish and of course a chippy worn paint job to match on the legs.

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And that’s the exact treatment this table got.

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Oh the power of milk paint and the chippy goodness it can create.

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The first coat on the legs is Trophy.

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The second coat is Grain Sack.

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I followed a similar suit on the ladder back chairs which I previewed here before.

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This chair features Apron Strings & a custom mix of French Enamel and Linen…I think.

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The options are endless when it comes to milk paint.  But to get this layered look you need to create a resist between colors and coats.  This can be achieved a number of ways including applying the wax puck or hemp oil as a resist.

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See, milk paint naturally wants to absorb into the surface unless, of course, there is a previous finish there for it to resist.  That’s where it gets interesting.

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All three pieces are available individually at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

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a dose of spring

This little lady has brought a breath of fresh air on an otherwise gloomy day.  Most of our friends to the north and even the south are buried in a foot of snow or more so I just had to share this unlikely February sight.

blooming geranium in February

I think unanimously everyone is looking forward to spring.  Actually, I am sure of that.  In the meantime, I’ll bring spring to your computer.

blooming geranium in February

Did you know that you can successfully overwinter geraniums?  And if conditions are optimum, your geranium might just put out a rare winter bloom.

Here’s how…

  • Before the first frost (usually in October ’round these parts), bring potted geraniums indoors.  You can transplant geraniums from your garden beds into pots if you’re up for it.
  • Dead head any spent blooms and wilting leaves.
  • Keep geraniums in a cool (50-60 degrees), sunny area over the winter.  This potted geranium lives in my office which is typically about 60 degrees believe it or not.  Optimum geranium-overwintering conditions!
  • Don’t over water it!  That is the most common mistake made with all potted plants really.  Generally speaking, water when the soil is dry to the touch.

over wintering a geranium

And of course my favorite vintage McCoy planter is home to this geranium.  A cute planter is a must.  I have a collection of yellow McCoy planters.

blooming geranium in February

Ahh,  we’re in the home stretch now friends.   Soon we’ll all be looking at gardens lined with hot pink geraniums.  Soon.

blooming geranium in February

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you in October how you were feeling on this particularly stormy winter day so you remember to dig up your geraniums and nurse them  through the cold months so they’ll bloom indoors for you next winter.  Or you can just pin this as a reminder…

overwintering geraniums

home for the holidays

I’ve never thought of myself as a very transient person being that I always lived within minutes from family and close friends.  Always in the Philadelphia area.  And let’s face it, this last move to Cape May is still pretty much within the Philadelphia metro area…only a mere two hours away.  Still practically a Philadelphia suburb if you ask me.  People here are Phillies fans.  And Eagles fans.  It is definitely still like home in that regard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

However, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever moved out of Pennsylvania.  I’m faced with learning New Jersey laws and regulations.  Most of which are much lighter and easier than Pennsylvania’s.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

It has occurred to me that I have lived in five homes in the last 10 years.  Five!  I must be more transient than I thought with that many addresses under my belt.  This is my first official New Jersey home.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

With each move, comes decorating and redecorating.  Especially around the holidays.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Questions arise like where will the Christmas tree go?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Where will the stockings be hung?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Will Santa know where to find us?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

And with each move, comes new traditions.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

A new sense of “home”.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

New beginnings…

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Happy holidays, friends!

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

 

Linking to:

Jennifer-Rizzo-link-party-button-Holiday

lumberjack holiday

As everyone is preparing for Thanksgiving today, I find myself thinking about Christmas. I opened some of the bins over the weekend that house my decorations. Some vintage, some family heirlooms, some handmade. I simply wasn’t inspired by them this year. I want something different. Less fragile. More organic and comfortable. This led me to my favorite shirt. It is a vintage wool plaid shirt that I wear around the house. It is cozy, comfortable and colorful.

favorite vintage wool shirt

That is exactly how I want to decorate this year!  Cozy, comfortable and colorful.

Lumberjack Holiday

I am pulling out every single one of my cozy wool throws.

wool throws

The plan is to layer on the patterns and bring nature in – pine cones, moss, twigs.  I’ve got plenty of extras to go around like these pretty vintage wool scarves.

Lumberjack Holiday

This theme will be prevalent in my retail spaces as well.  Ryan has made timber napkin rings and coasters from fallen trees.

Plus, we’ve crafted wine gift bags from old flannels.  By “we”, I mean Ryan since he sews!  My idea of course but the execution was all him.  Turns out these little upcycled gift bags are the perfect size for milk paint as well.

Lumberjack Holiday

And I put together a few rag ball ornaments with the scraps.  I am loving all things flannel, wool and plaid this season!  Can’t wait to see how the rest of our Lumberjack Holiday decor comes together.

How are you decorating this holiday season?

Lumberjack Holiday

If you’re craving your own cozy vintage wool button down, I’ll have a few for sale in my shop at West End Garage along with the flannel wine bags, some flannel bunting (not pictured), the scarves and timber pieces.

wool throws

P.S. Did you catch a glimpse of that flag?  I recently scored two huge 48 star casket flags circa WWII.  I will be selling one as well.  American history at its finest.

Lumberjack Holiday