in the garden

These sunny April days have me craving the garden.  All I want to do is get my hands dirty and dig in the soil. We’ve planted seventeen varieties of heirloom vegetable, herb and annual flower seeds with about six more to go.  We’ve also established two new garden beds.  I am calling one the pesto garden as it will become a patch of basil.  There is never enough basil.

This year we’re sowing Hudson Valley Seed Co. organic heirloom seeds which we are now selling at The West End Garage. Not only are the seeds heirloom varieties but the packages are little pieces of art that are totally frame worthy.  Each one is designed by a different artist which you can read about inside the envelope.  I love beautiful packaging.

in the garden - april-6358

Some seeds were started indoors in the beginning of the month like our squash, tomatoes and zucchini.

Others were direct sown such as the salad mix, beets, carrots and peas.

To free up some space in the vegetable bed, we have created a kitchen container garden on the deck with the direct sow vegetables.  The peas have just emerged and will soon be taking off up the lattice with a tub full of salad below.  It’s nothing fancy but this little setup will be where our June salads are harvested.

I can’t wait to grocery shop from our yard all summer long!  This one lonely kale made it through the cold winter.  And the oregano is back with a vengeance.  As is mint and lemon balm.

Once we get all of the vegetable seeds direct sown or transplanted we’ll shift our focus to the adjacent flower bed which is already offering a show.  First with flowering bulbs and now with perennials which seem to grow an inch everyday.  I plan to focus on companion planting between the flower and vegetable beds to repel some of the more common pests.  Last year we had an issue with cabbage worms.  We’ll be armed with scented geraniums to the thwart the worms.

This period of time, the spring days in the garden, is full of so much promise.  I’m dreaming of June salads, kale smoothies and big bunches of zinnias.  July zucchini bread and August caprese salad.  Roasted eggplant and fresh tomato sauce.  Yum!

to plant a garden...

What is growing in your garden?

 

new inventory

As much as we’re loving winter and the quiet simplicity that it brings, we’re already considering spring and perhaps a flock of chickens too.  Paper mache or the real thing. We’re undecided.  What do you think?  The paper versions are pretty darn adorable and require very little work.

paper chicken

We’re obviously about 2+ months away from digging in the garden soil but it’s not too soon to start preparing,right?  How handsome are these forged iron tools?

forged iron tools

If we can’t have garden flowers, we might as well have galvanized flowers!  galvanized flowers

There are galvanized roses for your sweetheart too.  Valentine’s Day is just about 2 weeks away.  Check out these pretty vintage-style cards…

valentine's day cards

We’ve put together a new window display featuring an antique oak bed, vintage chenille popcorn blanket, garden chandelier…  valentine's day window

and a hand painted B&B sign.

valentine's day window

Valentine’s Day falls over a long weekend this year.  Come visit us in Cape May!  Everything pictured in this post (and more!) is being added to our inventory at The West End Garage.valentine's day window

live spring mantel

After my bridal shower, the house was in total disarray for a day or two.  It was great to find a new place for everything, purge some old hand-me-downs and do some Spring cleaning along the way.

With Spring cleaning, came a new Spring mantel (although it continues to snow here and stay in the 30’s…ho hum).  I have to admit that I halfheartedly put an Easter mantelscape together last week but I was totally uninspired by it…so I took it down before Easter even came.  And up went a simple scape consisting of live plants with our new painting as the focal.
spring/ easter mantel

I found inspiration in the painting’s color palette and went from there.  By the way, doesn’t mini Wilson look so much like real life Wilson?

spring/ easter mantel

Since spring has been so slow to show around here it is nice to have it on display right on the mantel, live plants and all.

spring/ easter mantel

These little ferns, succulents & baby tear’s in the galvanized buckets were also left from the shower.  I just love ’em.

spring/ easter mantel - baby's tears & fern

It actually occurred to me that just about everything on this mantel was given to me at some point or another!  That’s why you should always shop around your home first when ready for a new look or vignette.  The props you need are probably already there.

spring/ easter mantel kalanchoe

The beautiful, blooming Kalanchoe was left over from a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago.  I used a few vintage canisters as planters.  That is actually a great use for an incomplete set of canisters or one where the lid is lost.  You know, put a plant in it!

kalanchoe - put a plant in it

This bottle was left over from an engagement gift we received last spring.  Once we finished the rhubarb alcohol (sold locally at Art in the Age) I couldn’t toss the bottle.  The graphics & label are too cool.

spring mantel with live plants

And this peacock feather was left over from another wedding.  Perfect in what else but a blue ball jar.

peacock feather & ball jar on the spring mantel

A subtle nod to Easter comes in the form of this wire chick.  Instead of eggs, she’s displaying ice blue vintage camera bulbs that once belonged to Ryan’s father.

Easter chick displaying vintage blue camera bulbs - mantel

And that is what is happening on the Spring mantel.  What’s on yours?  Did you go all out with Easter decor?

Easter/ spring mantel

Linking to Jennifer Rizzo

our merry winter mantel

Our mantel is redone for the season. I really love the symmetry and scale of it this time.  Let’s take a look in the living room shall we!
living room winter mantel

Don’t be distracted by the king’s chair!  Here is a close up of the mantel.

rocking horse mantel

I decided to skip pine roping this year in my decor.  I purchased a couple of plain jane spruces from the hardware store and dropped them in a pair of galvanized buckets.

galvanized planter spruce tree & vintage grain scoops

This way we can plant these along with our ball & burlap Christmas tree in the yard.  See the theme this year?

IMG_8855

Things evolved from there.  I have a growing collection of vintage grain scoops that I knew I wanted to work into the mantelscape this season.

vintage grain scoops

They seem to make the perfect candle holder and are interesting to look at even when they’re not lit up.

vintage holiday/winter mantel

And as for the focal point – that horse!  It is a piece of folk art history that may have been part of a child’s rocking horse or vintage advertising.  I don’t really know for sure.  This is that state I found him in.

folk horse

As soon as I saw him, I knew he was going on the mantel.  Plus he is a perfect match with the rocking horse ornament collection that we displayed on our tree this year.

folk horse

The chippy aqua door is a fun, non-traditional holiday backdrop.  I had a set of 3 of these doors.  The set had once been used for an outdoor cellar entryway.  I sold the other 2 and this is the remaining one.

chippy aqua blue door

And here’s what we’re normally seeing – the glow of the evening fire and mantelscape!  I love it.  I also love the fact that this scene is not specifically Christmas so I won’t feel the need to undo it on January 2nd.  It just might stay up for a few weeks beyond the holidays. IMG_8761

So what do you think the horse’s original use was?

folk horse

Linking to Ten June, Funky Junk Interiors

a vintage monday

It’s been a while since I’ve had some good vintage loot to share on a Monday morning. Well, guess what, I found some good treasures this weekend!  I’ll let the pictures do the talking…mostly.

Let me just cut to the chase.  I think this is the coolest thing in the group.  A very old, theater poster for the Wood Theatre which was in Woodbury, NJ (now closed) highlighting Gone with the Wind starring Clark Gable & Vivien Leigh.   Circa 1939.  A Real collector’s piece.  Plus I love the green graphics!  This is why I get up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays.

And while we’re talking graphics, a double sided Guests sign.

More graphics – flounder tournament and minnow bucket.  The #12 will be great framed in a beach house.

I always thought this style minnow bucket would make an interesting wine bottle chiller at a backyard or back bay summertime party.

Lots of wirey old baskets and such.

I think I’ll save this adorable hen basket until next spring.

Speaking of spring, how could I resist a pink galvanized watering can?  I mean seriously!

And then I found a few small items like this mixing bowl. You know I have a thing for mixing bowls even though this one isn’t aqua.  And that glass compote, I just want to load it up with guords for a fall display.

Did you see the toolbox?  I bought this from an elderly man who said it belonged to his father who used it for years.  His father probably made it in the 30s or 40s.  I love stories like that.

So there you have the highlights from the weekend’s score.  There are some other smalls mixed in as well.  I do love the Victorian frame but it needs some work.  What is your favorite find?  And did you find anything good this weekend?

P.S. I stopped by Phantastic Phinds today – both the shop and blog!  The shop because they are now stocking Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for the Philly area.  And the blog because I wanted to talk about how excited I am that they’re now stocking Chalk Paint.  And to share a project.

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.

lighting up

Hello there!  I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend and got some R&R.  We took a little time off from our never-ending to-do list.  Opening up a store, no matter the size, certainly can occupy your time.  Believe me.  There are friends I haven’t spoken to in weeks since I signed the lease.  (Sorry guys.)  And all of our fun house projects have gone to the wayside.

Until last week.

We squeaked in one lighting project that has been on my wish list for the last year since we moved in.  I have shared very few pictures of our kitchen on the blog. (Not to be confused with the beach house kitchen and the nearly famous pallet backsplash that is one of the most read posts here.)  Our full-time home is a 1949 Cape Cod with the original kitchen in place for the most part.  I love that no one gutted it in the last 60 years.  It has all of the charm of the original kitchen with some modernizations in paint and appliances.  Over the sink was a nondescript fluorescent light.  Eww.  I never liked it and visualized cute pendant lights since the day we moved in.

Back in December, I picked up a few perfectly old galvanized funnels.  I knew these would make fabulous light fixtures for the kitchen.  They did some moonlighting as a junky Christmas tree first and then sat in a box for a few months.

Now they hang proudly and illuminate the sink and counter.

Ryan flexed his electrical skills by wiring the 3 lights into the power source.  I may or may not have stood in the sink holding up the entire fixture while he hooked it up.  Now that you have a visual, don’t try that at home, ok?

Prior to the electrical stuff, Ryan constructed the base of the light fixture out of a pine board and mapped out where each pendant would hang.  I should probably just change the name of this blog to Circa R, huh?  I guess that would actually be Circa Are.

Anyway, once the light fixture was properly wired in we had really cool industrial lighting!

I love the subtle, faded graphics on the funnels.

And here’s how they look when not illuminated.  Yes, you’re looking into the sunroom and backyard.

Swoon.

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Linking to Met Monday, Get Outta My Head, Restore Interiors

all that glitters

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree!  How I lo-ove thee! 
Our tree is trimmed and presents are starting to accumulate underneath.

We chose a tall, skinny Fraser fir that fits just right in the window space we carved out for it.  The tree is actually in our dining room.  Tonight we had dinner next to it and it was really quite nice!  Plus, it provides for a holiday focal in that room while the living room’s focal point is exclusively the oversized rustic mantel.  And  did I mention that the tree smells ah-mazing!

I tend to stick to a traditional color scheme when trimming the tree.  White sparkly lights and gold ornaments with a hint of holiday red.  This year the traditional decor was accented with our overall Christmas theme of galvanized, burlap and sheet music to coordinate with the mantel.

Burlap played a major part as the tree garland. 

The only new ornaments added to the collection this year are sheet music DIY balls.  I just inserted strips of vintage sheet music into clear glass balls.  And now we’ve got sheet music on the mantel annnd tree.

Did you spy where the galvanized comes in?  I skipped the tree skirt this year.  We put the tree and stand right in this big galvanized tub.  It keeps things tidy when watering the tree, looks awesome and seems to spare some space under the tree…for more gifts!

Yes, even the gift wrap follows the rustic theme.  Natural brown paper.  Burlap ribbons.  Sheet music wrapping and tags.  Plus hints of gold and red.

Consistency really pulls it all together.  It is easy to have a theme in your Christmas decor by simply repeating the core elements and colors.

What is your Christmas theme this year?

Linking to:

vif187

rustic & reclaimed mantel

Falalalalala.  Ok, so I’m in full on Christmas mode.  The mantel is complete, the tree is up, the cards are, well, they’re in progress.   

It’s kind of hard to believe it was 70 degrees again yesterday.  We didn’t wear coats to buy our tree which seemed odd.  I have no problem decorating for Christmas in any weather.  I could do it all year!

 I love the scent of the Fraser fir tree we selected.  But the live princess pine roping on the mantel is just gorge!  It is so delicate.  It balances the rustic, woodsy decor.

I used an old Royal Crown Cola crate as an upright display shelf for some vintage Christmas balls.  I have acquired a ton of these old ornaments.  They’re on display in just about every corner of the house.

Remember my architectural salvage finds from just last week?  The chippy green board provides a background for the Victorian pink spindle turned candle holder.  In fact, all of the items that make up this mantel vignette are from recent picks.  Who needs family heirlooms this year when we’ve got perfectly good junk to display? 

I’ve fully embraced burlap, galvanized, reclaimed wood and sheet music in my overall Christmas decor this year.  I’m really happy with the rustic combination so far.  See the cute little burlap stocking?

You know that phrase “Go Big or Go Home”?  That is sort of what I adapted with me 3 foot plus Santa.  The huge poster was surfaced over the summer and the barnwood frame came from another pick.  I put them together and voila…

Because the poster is about an inch smaller than the frame around, I added yellowed book pages to create a matting.  I am also really happy with the birch pieces.  Side note: Ryan cut all of the birch for the fireplace not the mantel.  They’re just too pretty to burn though, aren’t they?

Oh!  Remember the old gas station belt hooks I got last week?  The mint green worked perfectly in this vignette.  I didn’t even plan that in advance.  The hooks also function well for the mini sheet music wreath to hang from.  Yes, I have gas station junk out for Christmas.  So what?

There are the galvanized buckets…the perfect flower-pot for my white poinsettia.

More burlap.  This old toy sack is excellent for holding firewood.

More green…this time in a dented pail that I just love to use as a flower-pot.  Yes, there are white pumpkins still out for Christmas.  Why not?  The color goes perfectly with the poinsettia.

And there you have our rustic & reclaimed Christmas mantel!  Stay tuned for more burlap/galvanized/reclaimed wood/sheet music decor from Circa Dee this rustic holiday season.  Do you have a theme for you decor this year?

Linking to:

HOGPhotobucket

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