mixed greens Christmas tree

Last week I shared our front door decor for the holidays which is relatively simple and traditional.  Less seems to be more this year…

holiday door decor-5217 PM

I’ve been utilizing what nature has to offer as winter approaches.  We’re seeing beautiful holly, dried marsh grasses and bushy cedar beginning to take center stage.  A brisk walk in the woods will provide you with enough supplies to make your very own mixed greens tree.

DIY mixed greens tree

If you’ve read the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens, you may know where I am going with this project…

garden Christmas tree

There are two very important tools that you’ll need to construct this tree:  Florist wire and a tomato cage.  An upside down tomato cage creates the perfect cone shape!  You’ll need to find some sort of base for your tree.  I used a vintage enamel pot.  The handles were perfect for the tomato cage to sit on.  Wire the 3 “legs” together on top to create the point of the tree form.

Tomato cage DIY Christmas Tree-141616

I started creating the tree with cedar cuttings first and followed the lateral lines of the cage, wiring each piece on as I went.  Besides the top point, I wired all greens facing down (stems up) so it looked natural.

DIY tomato cage christmas tree-142539

After all lateral lines are wired, it looked kind of hairy.  Perseverance pays off.  Keep going!  I wired greens on the horizontal lines starting with the bottom first, making sure to overlap the enamel pot.  Each subsequent layer covers the stems and mechanics of the previous layer.

Tomato cage DIY Christmas Tree-142901

Finally, fill in your cage so it looks like a nice, full tree.  I stuck holly branches in without even wiring them.  I also “decorated” the tree with dried grasses and a burlap ribbon remnant.

DIY mixed greens Christmas tree

My DIY mixed greens tree is a little bit wild but it was fun and free to make!  It took about 30 minutes to complete.  And what else was I going to do with my tomato cage in December?

believe Christmas sign-5255

I have been back at milk painting holiday themed signs and boards as well…

holly jolly Christmas sign-5250

Oh deer!

oh deer!




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!


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?

the john

Remember my dad the antiquer?  He’s also my dad the plumber.  And when those two worlds collide you end up with an antique toilet.

True story.

The past week has been crazy busy and full of developments for Circa Dee.  I can’t wait to share all of them with you as the time is right.  In the midst of all of this great activity we spent a couple of days in Cape May.  My parents joined us and we set out antiquing on Saturday morning.  On our journey we encountered the aforementioned toilet.  Of course I encouraged my dad the antiquer/plumber to get it.  How could he continue to live without a Victorian era john?

My mom, on the other hand, was repulsed by the idea of the toilet taking up residence in her house.  Obviously she was overruled.  And being the ornate oak vessel that it is, my dad has big plans of displaying the piece in their living room.  I’m fairly certain he will be overruled in that category.

Did I mention that he plans to put a plant in it.  Seriously.  Without prompting he said he’s going to put a plant in the enamel can.  In the living room.  I will have to keep you posted on where the toilet ends up.  I have a feeling it may be the basement.  (Honestly the can really does gross me out and you know how much I love enamelware…just not this pot.)

In the meantime, my dad and I had a good time having a photoshoot with the ancient vessel.  My mom all the while kept shouting for us to wash our hands and not to touch it.

Good times.  So how was your weekend?

my dad the antiquer

It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve done a Sunday night treasure post. But I’m back with a little story this Father’s Day evening…

There are a ton of interesting blogs out there about collecting, thrifting, antiquing, etc. that I enjoy reading. I find that I click on the ‘about’ sections and so many tell a similar story…in a nut shell, the collector acquired their interest from their family. Either they were raised by antique dealers or hardcore thrifters and the interest was passed down. Makes sense to continue doing what you’ve always known, right?

Which is exactly how I didn’t develop this passion of mine.  You see, my interest is one that I’ve acquired all on my own as a young adult and it has evolved into a lifestyle.  My parents were not the type to go to flea markets or even hunt through thrift stores when I was a kid. They were not antiquers. They shopped at the tried and true commercial stores and bought new.  Don’t get me wrong, they were always sentimental about family heirlooms and treasures from their childhood.   We have many family pieces among us that tell a story.

A few years ago I dug an old, very cool, metal orange milk crate out of my dad’s garage that was holding tools or something else nondescript.  I asked him if I could have it.  He tried to tell me I didn’t want it because it was junk.  I said, “you watch!”  Little did he know at the time was that junk was going to be the fuel of my small business.  A week later he witnessed someone buy his crate from me.  That person saw the same potential I saw.

Although not an avid antiquer then, my dad wasn’t exactly new to “junk” but had never seen an item for more than exactly what it was or it’s original purpose.  Actually he’s always able to give me some background on an item I need more history on.  And now he thinks outside of the box and sees further potential in a found treasure like I would.

In developing my interests and business, I have been able to influence my parents over the years and they’ve certainly become antiquers. They hunt for treasures, brake for barn sales and call to ask me what I think like I’m the expert. I love it! I simply love that I have been able to sway them in such a way. I love the dynamic among us.

So anyway this week’s treasures were picked by my parents for me.  They picked out a few staples that I tend to go for.  I think they nailed it.

Enamel pots.  One of my original loves.  A really heavy one too!  And a small old ironing board.  I’m officially collecting these.  I have 3 in various sizes and heights.  Ironing boards are so versatile and pack up so easily.

An ash bucket.  I probably would’ve missed this but I’m so glad they picked it out.  It’s classic.  We will probably fill it with wood and keep it on the hearth of the fireplace.

A couple of old washboards.  Did you know these are being used as musical instruments?  I didn’t and tend to pass them up.  Fortunately my parents found a wood one and a brass one with beautiful patina.

The other side of The Brass King.  I will have to bring these into the shop so we can play during down times.

I think my mom and dad did pretty good out there!  I’m so glad that I’ve been able to share my passion and hobby with my parents.  Do you have any shared interests with your parents?

Oh and, finally, here is a harvest table that I picked up last week.  I love everything about its rustic and worn style.  Unfortunately it is just a bit too big for our dining room and we actually don’t need it anyway.  Darn because I think it is pretty amazing.  It’ll go in the shop when I’m ready to part with it.

Happy Father’s Day!  Thanks for reading a little bit about us.

spring cleaning

What an absolutely gorgeous weekend!  I’m sad to see it come to an end.  The sun was shining.  Birds were chirping.  Daffodils were blooming.  And I successfully purged and organized the growing hoard in the garage.  For real.  I took 4 boxes to the thrift store on Saturday and did not step foot in the store to shop for more because that would pretty much cancel out the entire effort of purging.  Ok so the 4 boxes were tiny.  But still I purged. 

However, I did shop for some fab vintage earlier in the day.  I couldn’t let you down and not pursue any new finds.  So I shopped for you, my good friends.  My buys have certainly been more selective lately.  I’m buttoning up my buying strategy and only getting the most awesome vintage accessories I can find.  I have to really, really love it.  Like can’t-live-without-it love it.  You see the, um, stock room is full with my increasing furniture projects which only leaves a little room for the small vintage treasures.  And I’m fine with this strategy.  Just rollin with the punches here at Circa Dee, ya know.

So my neatly curated buys for the week…

You’re thinking it doesn’t look very exciting, aren’t you? And the cart the treasures are on is from a couple of weeks ago. Remember? I thought I would paint it this weekend but didn’t get to it. BTW I decided on a bold yellow for the cart in case you were wondering. I did manage to paint 3 other things though…also in yellow. Perhaps, my new fave color (after green that is). I will share those soon.

Anyway, the finds. I really, really love this teal bowl. I have a growing collection of antique mixing bowls in this color family. Yes, can’t live without it.  And the 3 bobbins just went so well so I got them too.

I love scales. I think we’ve established that. Although this scale is not super interesting looking I have never seen one quite like it so had to have it. The 30 pound Health-o-meter stork scale is circa 1930s/40s and would have been used in a pediatrician’s office. It has an enamel top – another love of mine. Currently it found a home on my bookshelf.

Finally my very first lot of transferware. I usually bypass it but for some reason I was drawn to the popular English collectible this weekend.

And the buy of the week was this big milk crate. I can just picture it filled with vases boasting cut flowers from my garden that I’ve yet to plant.

How was your weekend?


I love staycations!  I spent the last 3 days shopping, antiquing, junking, painting, crafting & gardening.  The exterior of our house is full on Christmas now while the inside is still celebrating Thanksgiving.  I also managed to find some Christmas gifts.  Geez, I’m exhausted come to think of it! 

Now onto the treasures…

I made it to several estate sales, an antique mall, junk shop, a flea market and an auction.  So here are the highlights.  I will spare you the shiny brites (there were many) and glass bottles (only a few).

A coveted petite aqua fan…

A pile of crusty, rusty funnels and a hose head – all with great patina and even a few graphics! I have a future project lined up for these.

A little old US postal scale.

Two sets of old hooks with a great green base. These came out of an old gas station. They were used for hanging hoses and things. I am thinking they would look pretty in a bathroom or mudroom.

A vintage Christmas tea towel.

Ok I have a problem. I bought another retro cooler. This one is aluminum.  Why? Why?

You think that is bad. Wait until you see what I am hoarding inside the cooler. More enamelware. I can’t stop. I need to. I have a problem. That is the first step though right? Admitting I have a problem.

A cute old cupcake pan.

And some architectural salvage. A chippy board, another frame and a huge spindle…all purchased with projects in mind.

That’s all folks…

Linking to:
Her Library Adventures

quality over quantity

The good picks are slowing down as the temperature drops.  I only have 2 finds to share from this weekend but I think each are quite stellar and a bit Restoration Hardware-esque.

I’ve got a thing for crusty rusty old scales right now.  Who doesn’t really?  They’re hot!  The more industrial the better.  What do you think of my latest?  It is a very heavy cast iron 5 pound scale with a flat enamel tray.  You know how I feel about anything with enamel.

It has a 2 sided face.  One still has glass in tact.  The scale is by John Chatillion.  I researched this one and cannot find another like it.  The flat tray would have held meat to be weighed at a deli counter.  Have you ever seen a scale like this?

My other spectacular find was an old card catalog.  Horizontal.  Ten whole drawers long!  That’s almost too many drawers to fit in this picture.

The drawers all work and have their original hardware.  Wouldn’t this make a cool console table?

That’s all for this weekend.  It wasn’t a total wash though.  If you follow me on facebook, you know that I finally got my first Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  And I can’t wait to try it out this week!

Linking to:

Her Library Adventures

pull up a stool

Did you get a stool to pull up?

No?  Well, I did…I got a few.  It was that kind of day on this weekend’s pick.

I got a white one.

A brown one.

And an oh so perfectly chippy pink one.

But I am getting ahead of myself.  Here’s the whole haul of vintage lovelies found this weekend.

Now let’s break it down…

Gilted framed mirror.  Yes please.  (And a gold frame hidden back there too.)

Herringbone mid-century suitcase.  Don’t mind if I do.

More galvanized buckets.  Yawn.

And enamelware.  Love the big basins.

I can’t seem to stay away.  I’ve never seen an enamel bucket like this one.

I’m always drawn to vintage chippy green.  What a great garden table.  Plus it folds up!

A fun green tool chest.

I’m loving this for storage.

This post is basically all just things I love.  How about an old wire kitchen strainer?  Love wirey stuff these days!  What to do with it you ask?  I am picturing Spanish moss peeking out all over the wirey edges with a small plant growing in it on a kitchen windowsill.

Oh and I almost forgot these ahhhmazing antique sconces.  I hope to have them rewired and hung flanking either side of the bed in our master.  Umm, Ryan?  He’ll have to handle that part.

I’m spent!  We had a great day at Clover Market today with absolutely beautiful fall weather.  How was your weekend?

lost lot of loot

This week I’ve got not one but two treasure posts.  As I was looking through my photos I realized that I never posted this lot of vintage finds from a few weeks ago.  Oh no!  And don’t miss yesterday’s stellar finds either.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought this many dishes in one day but there were some good ones including this set of pyrex nesting bowls in mint condition.  Retro olive green!

A perfectly worn enamelware bowl with the iconic red stripe.  This makes a perfect fruit bowl.  Don’t miss the wire milk crate behind it.

I’ve never in my life bought a dog figurine until now.  Maybe I am getting old.  This little hound reminded me of Wilson.  If  he keeps gaining weight, he should look like this guy in no time.  We’re using it as a pen holder.

I love milkglass!

I got a pair of Christmas milkglass plates for the dish display rack.

They’re both hand painted.

A turkey plate also turned up.  It’ll do for Thanksgiving decor although if it were milkglass, I’d be more impressed.

Another embroidered tea towel.

This beat up antique side table is going to get a Circa Dee update.  Stay tuned.

There may just be apple bobbing in this huge galvanized tub’s future.

More orchard baskets.  I can’t seem to stay away from them.  I have to stop.

That’s it.  Find anything good this weekend?

Linking to:
Her Library Adventures
Apron Thrift Girl