where has the time gone

Wednesday already?  Mid-April?

Oh my, the usual Clover Market hangover has lingered an extra day or so this time around.  Being the first market of the season, I seemed to forget how much work goes into the prior days of preparation, early morning day-of setup, evening break down and clean up for such a popup.  Not including the actual 7 hours of selling and schmoozing!  I think many shoppers probably don’t have a sense of what goes into an event as epic as Clover Market.  I try to price my items fairly so it can be frustrating when someone asks for a big break on a price in the first hour of the market after I’ve already put in about 5 hours of work.  I certainly understand the sport of haggling and it can be fun but I prefer to wait until later in the day to make a deal.

Clover Market Spring 2014

At any rate, we had a great turn out in Chestnut Hill on Sunday and absolutely stunning 80 degree weather which, by the way, where did that go?  I was happy to see so many familiar faces in both fellow vendors and regular shoppers.  Everyone was ecstatic to be out and about after the long winter.  Would you believe I didn’t take a single picture?  I really have no excuse.  #livinginthemoment  There are plenty of photos posted on the Clover Market facebook page along with new previews.

The market will be back at its freshman location in Ardmore in two weeks.  Circa Dee will not be at that event.  I have a spa date!  But we’ll be back at the May 18th Ardmore market fresh from a trip to Brimfield so who knows what goodies we’ll have.

West End Garage April-3443

So what’s next?  Well this weekend is Easter, duh, so we’re working on stocking some new plants and other spring holiday & gardening pleasantries at The West End Garage in Cape May.  Stop by Friday through Monday if you find yourself at the shore.  The adorable Ribbit succulent gardens will be back in stock.  Perfect for a beach house!

ribbit succulent garden

Can I digress a bit?  I haven’t mentioned Houndstooth in a while – Ryan’s West End Garage venture.  We’ve been adding new inventory there weekly.  The latest additions are yummy beach themed dog cookies.  Perfect for your pooches’ Easter basket.  Do people do pet Easter baskets?

Houndstooth - Cape May dog cookies

The cookies look and smell so good that I want to taste one.  They are made from human grade ingredients so why not?  Ok I won’t but Wilson goes nuts for them!

Wilson

Finally, I’d like to add that on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm I will be popping into Serendipity Shops of Doylestown to talk milk paint.  Stop by for a free demonstration while you’re out running your errands.  Bring project questions, before pics, etc.  If you can’t make this one, next month’s demo is tentatively scheduled for May 17th – time TBD.  You can always check milk paint demo deets here.

Serendipity Shops of Doylestown

So that’s what’s in store for this weekend and beyond.  Do you have an Easter egg hunt planned?

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on stocking books

After only sourcing vintage for years, it has been very exciting to choose a selection of new products to bring into the shop at The West End Garage.  Similar to my approach when buying vintage, I simply buy my favorite new items to stock.  I ask… Is this something I would want in my house?  Is this something I truly love?  Is this something I will be sad to see go?  The answer should be yes!  (Hello, turn of the century oak harvest table pictured below.  I really, really love you!  I will be sad to see you go but you deserve a good home.)

West End Garage April

This approach to buying inventory is something that I have been reminded of lately and have found myself telling others who are just starting out.  I think it is really important to love what you are selling.  Don’t choose it or make it just because you “think” someone else will love it.  Now granted, not everyone will have the same taste as you.  For example, I have a growing collection of old ship captains, ahem.  However, I believe the authenticity of your merchandise will show through when you are passionate about what you are selling.  It’s hard to honestly sell something you don’t believe in.

West End Garage April

With that said we’ve stocked a few choice cookbooks and gardening books to keep in line with the garden to table collection we have at The West End Garage.  I am really excited about the line up. We have Deep-Rooted Wisdom, a new release authored by blogger Augustus Jenkins Farmer.  I am about half way through this book and I’m loving the gardening tips, stories & characters.

Deep Rooted Wisdom

People have asked me how I chose which books to carry.  Well, I initially took the lead from a few tried and true favorites in my own kitchen stack of cookbooks and cocktail books.

Kitchen

The Kinfolk Table has since been added to that stack.  It has quickly become a favorite for two reasons.  One, the photography and stories are beautiful.  Of course I love a good aesthetic!  Two, the recipes are really approachable made with pantry staples that we pretty much always have on hand.  Essentially the book lends new ideas with classic ingredients.

Kinfolk Table in my kitchen

I have been inspired to make many of the soups and stews outlined in The Kinfolk Table.  A few weeks ago I made the Wilted Greens & Potato Soup on page 287.  I hadn’t thought to put kale in soup until this recipe.

Wilted Greens & Potato Soup

  Great idea.  We loved it!

Wilted Greens & Potato Soup Kinfolk Table cookbook

What is your favorite gardening or cookbook?

upcycled toolbox table

A couple of weeks ago I posted a quick snapshot on instagram and facebook of an upcycled table we put together.  The new table deserves a proper feature here today…

upcycled toolbox table

This was a fun little collaboration. Our lead picker, Jake, found this old, heavy toolbox a few months back. Lucky for him it was loaded with many worthwhile tools.

upcycled toolbox table

The utilitarian case is sturdy and well made yet too heavy to lug around filled with tools in modern times.  The rectangular box is the perfect size for a small coffee table or side table and has a lot of life left in it. The vintage piece has the best patina which tells stories of decades of hard work.  The original creamy yellow color is under there too.  After a thorough cleaning, I applied a coat of furniture wax for a nice durable finish.

upcycled toolbox table

I set out to find a nice set of legs and scored with these tapered mid-century ones.  We attached the legs to give the toolbox a boost to table status while leaving all of the original hardware in place.  I particularly love the brass corners.

upcycled toolbox table

Bonus, the table acts as a great storage piece since the top opens the same way the toolbox once did.

upcycled toolbox table

The toolbox table has found a new home!  Thanks for your interest in it.

Have you repurposed anything lately?

shop news: west end garage

As the tides change and we settle into life in Cape May, the timing has also allowed me to get back to my roots.

How’s that for puns?

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ

Once in a while an opportunity comes along that is just so right.  This particular opportunity will allow me to pursue my passion in horticulture coupled with my flair for vintage.  I couldn’t be more ecstatic to share the news that Circa Dee continues to grow under The West End Garage’s roof – an antique tin one at that!

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ

You can now find us in our new location up front where we’re proudly featuring a garden to table collection. Amongst our very favorite vintage furniture and quirky finds you’ll find succulent gardens, herbal wreaths & topiaries, bitters & other fixings for fantastic cocktails, cookbooks, botanical stationary, garden tools, vases, pots & cloches with much more to come!

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ

We hope to inspire you to get back to the simple pleasures in life as we currently are…  Growing your own summer cutting garden and arranging fresh flowers.  Harvesting your own vegetables and cooking them for dinner.  Planting your own terrarium and watching it grow.  We’ll offer seasonal merchandise to help make that happen.

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ

In addition, we’ve been working hard to bring in a selection of sustainable, high quality American Made goods that complement our new garden to table direction.  It has been very empowering to work with so many small, family owned businesses and artists who are experts in their craft.  I am looking forward to sharing these products with you here on the blog and, of course, for sale in the shop.

Circa Dee at West End Garage

I’ve been a fan of The West End Garage since the day the doors opened nearly 5 years ago.  It is Cape May’s most unique shopping destination boasting an eclectic mix of vendors that we’re proud to be a part of.  You never know what you’ll find hidden in that wonderful, old building.  It’s worth the trip!

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ

The best news of all is that we’re already open for business in our new location.  We’ve been busy bees.  Stop in one weekend this spring or any day this summer!

The West End Garage

484 West Perry St. Cape May, NJ

Here’s to a new chapter in our story…

chestnut hill, here we come

I have always loved the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.  It is situated in the northwest corner of the city and boasts lots of historic charm on either side of Germantown Avenue.  I grew up in the suburbs to the north and my first grown up home was in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk, just south of Chestnut Hill.  To me, Chestnut Hill has always been a sweet spot between the suburbs and the city – literally and figuratively.  The are large, historic homes and mature trees plus its very own flavor of urban flair found on Germantown Ave. which is lined with unique small businesses.

Last spring when I found out that Clover Market would be venturing to Chestnut Hill for one day, I was all over it.  One of my favorite neighborhoods in the area?  Plus my favorite vintage market where I love being a seller?  In beautiful, crisp October?  Yes, please!

Clover

Circa Dee will be at Clover Market in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, October 27th from 10-5.  The market is located at 25 W. Highland Ave. off of Germantown Ave.  For information on this new location and parking, click here.

It is our last market of the season so we are bringing it!  I am talking about the goods we have been hoarding for months if not years.  Some never seen before and some of my favorites from my own collection are going to be up for sale too.

Like this 1940s enamel kitchen table in a rare large size with 4 chairs and 2 cutlery drawers with glass knobs.

1940s enamel top table

My beloved painted antique piano stool.  Tear.

piano stool

This mid-century swivel club chair.

mid-century swivel chair

And these vintage library chairs which sadly I have no use for…

Library Chairs

Can you tell I am itching to do some redecorating this winter?  Or at least make room for Christmas decorating.  Yes, I went there.  Speaking of Christmas, Clover is a good place to get started on your holiday shopping with over 100 art and antique vendors.

Picture 034

Is there anything else you’ve been coveting that I can be talked into selling?!  Not my dog or husband – everything else is negotiable!  Will we see you Sunday at this new Clover Market location?

dried lavender rocker

This sweet rocking chair is looking for a new little girl to love it!

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

It started out with a bit of an orangey finish.  That had to be remedied.

rocking chair before

I imagined giving it a bright new paint job along with a story.  Perhaps it was passed down between siblings with an updated coat of paint in between.  And now, due to wear, the layers are starting to peek through.

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

So I started with a mix of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Eulalie’s sky lightened with some grainsack.  I mixed that with the bonding agent and applied the first coat.

eulalies sky + grainsack

Next, I liberally rubbed the wax puck across the seat, arms and back to create a resist for the 2nd coat.

wax pucks

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

The next coat I applied was dried lavender milk paint.  I gave it a good sanding and distressing to reveal the layers of color beneath.  It came out quite girly and I like it!

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

I sealed it all in with a tiny bit of antiquing wax on the high points and furniture wax on the rest.

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

Do you love the little throw pillow?  It is the perfect size for this petite rocking chair.

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

My friend found a bunch of vintage sugar sacks and gave me one.  Lucky for me, I have a husband that sews!  I stuffed it and he stitched the top so now we have a new tiny throw pillow out of this old fabric!  I love the graphics.

Vintage Sugar Sack Pillow - Dried Lavender Rocking Chair

The chair is for sale but the pillow is not!

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint