new vintage

Quite the oxymoron, isn’t it?  “New vintage”.

But that’s exactly what it is.  Today, I have a few new finds to share.  Perhaps you caught a few of them on facebook or instagram.  If not, feast your eyes on what’s caught my eye recently…

Street signs aren’t typically my thing unless of course they are very old with an interesting story, real or imagined.  This ‘no parking’ sign is enamel and seems to have been 2 separate signs at one time.  It came from the rural hills of PA.

vintage enamel no parking sign

Ah, nautical lamps.  I can’t resist scooping these up when I run into them being that we’re in a beach town and all.  Lantern lamps lend the perfect bit of kitsch in a kid’s beach house bedroom, in my opinion.  The shades on these have all been updated.
vintage nautical lamps-076

Something about this chicken weather vane just grabbed me.  Was it the brass?  Or the copper?  I don’t know but I certainly wasn’t alone in my strong feelings for this cutie.  It sold in less than a day after I put in the shop.vintage chicken weather vane

Same with this battered leather doctor’s bag.  Only hours after putting it out did it sell.  That beautiful cracked leather patina is just gorgeous.  I might be a little sad to have let it go.  Sigh.vintage leather doctor's bag

More kitsch in the form of these retro teacups.  They’re just so happy!

vintage tea cups

I love wiry baskets and vessels.  These letter baskets have just the right detail.  They almost make me want to organize and pay some bills.

vintage wire letter baskets

File this stencil under the “weird & wacky” category.  ‘Less Talk’.  It sounds so rude, right?  What could this phrase have possibly been used for so frequently that a stencil had to be made?  I can only imagine that it must have been a company slogan.  Any ideas?

vintage 'less talk' stencil

library nerd

Often I’m asked, “Where did you find that?” in regards to my latest vintage score.  Serious pickers rarely give up their sources.  Just know that we’re always on the hunt.  However, today is your lucky day because I am going to reveal where I found these vintage library chairs.  You’ll never believe it.  Ready for my big source for these truly fabulous mid-century vintage library chairs?

library chairs + table-059

The library.

You never know when inspiration will strike.  Or when the coolest find will present itself.  You could be minding your own business and returning a library book when out of the corner of your eye, you see the ‘for sale sign’ and your chairs in a dim corner next to a box of $.50 books.  Suddenly you’re short of breath.  Palms are sweating.  You’re tearing down the ‘for sale’ sign and scrambling for cash while nearly shouting to the elderly librarian, “I’ll take them!” as if you’re at an estate sale and everyone is aware of the treasure around you and not just minding their business reading their periodical.

Or something like that.

After forking over the money and sprinting home for the truck with fear that the librarian would somehow resell the chairs out from under me because I outed their fabulousness, I tucked them into storage for safekeeping.  Very safekeeping.  I’ve been hoarding them ever since allowing only a few cameos.

I imagined that the set of four would make the perfect kitschy kitchen chairs.  And they do.  I just don’t have a place for them nor can I keep them all.  Its time to reintroduce them to the world and find them a home.

library chairs + table-072

I’ve paired the birch & vinyl chairs with a wood dining table from a similar era.  The table, which is sold separately, was updated with milk paint.  First, stained dark with curio and then dry brushed with grainsack and marzipan.

But those chairs…aren’t they fantastic?  They are now up for grabs at The West End Garage.

library chairs + table-060

 

may at the west end garage

May is here! May is here!

This might be one of my favorite months in Cape May, although it is really hard to be that decisive.  May brings the return of the hydrangeas, bumble bees, hot sunny days followed by cool sandy sunsets.  It also brings back full-time, in-season schedules for all of my favorite stores and restaurants.  This beach town is back for yet another season!

At The West End Garage, we put together a Mother’s Day window display with my favorite bentwood rocker and a vintage pram that is in pristine condition among other vintage mother and baby accessories.

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The pram is priced way undervalue so if you’ve been on the hunt for one, now is a great time to scoop it up!  It makes the perfect prop for a children’s boutique or baby photographer.

We have plenty of Mother’s Day gift ideas in stock so bring your mama to the beach this weekend.

Be sure to visit The West End Garage on Saturday for a milk paint demo.  I’ll be there to answer questions!

MP demo may

spring happenings

Spring is just around the corner!  My favorite time of year.  Everyone comes out of hibernation.  Daffodils begin to emerge.  The days continue to get longer.  We start freshening up our porches and outdoor spaces while confirming summer vacation plans.  Oh the prospect of the season ahead.  It is so exciting, isn’t it?

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6024

We’ve made a few plans of our own.  Circa Dee is heading to Clover Market this spring.  We’re keeping it small and sharing space with In With The Old at 2 of the 4 spring markets.  We’ve been stashing vintage finds for Clover Market all winter long.  It is going to be fantastic and I can’t wait to see YOU.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6021

Expect to find Circa Dee and In With The Old at the season opener in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, April 12th.  And the season closer on Sunday, June 7th in Bryn Mawr – note the new location.  You can check out all of the market details here.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6027

The next milk paint demonstration is scheduled for this Sunday, March 23rd at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.  All are welcome.  No registration required.  Just plain fun.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6028

Down at The West End Garage in Cape May, we’re stocked for spring.  Be sure to stop by and visit us while you’re at the beach!  The West End Garage is open Friday-Sunday in March & Friday-Monday in April.  Hope to see you soon.

Circa Dee at West End Garage spring 2015-6031

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

an empire table

We had a great group turnout for the milk paint demonstration on Sunday. They left me inspired and ready to tackle some of my own projects!  As a result, I painted the day away yesterday using the new European colors.  Everything is “in progress” so today I’m sharing a December project that I’ve yet to post.

This table was nearly a goner.  The veneer on the base was chipped and needed some repair albeit not perfect.  We needed new molding around the column to secure it too.  It just needed TLC to inject some life into it again.

lucketts green empire table-5608

Empire style furniture dates back to the 1800’s.  Often pieces are identified by that round, circular-like foot.  I have seen dressers like this but this was the first table so I snatched it up.  Those curved feet were what attracted me to it in the first place.

lucketts green empire table-5612

The wood was very worn and raw – a perfect match for milk paint without any bonding agent.  I applied 2 coats of Lucketts Green followed by furniture wax with a little bit of antiquing wax to add depth to the color.  This table has so many possibilities for its next life.  A dining spot in a small kitchen.  An entry table in a large foyer.  You name it.  It is for sale at The West End Garage.

lucketts green empire table-5613

And these arrows.  I can’t get enough of them.  The colors are so bright and cheerful.  I’ll tell you, I become a real hoarder this time of year.  Constantly editing and re-editing vignettes at home.  It might be time to thin out this collection though.

lucketts green empire table-5616

windows of 2014

In just a few short hours we will be celebrating the arrival of 2015. It sounds completely surreal: 2015!  We certainly live in the future.  The age of hashtags, selfies and admittedly more social media acronyms than I can keep up with.  True confession, I thought #MCM stood for mid-century modern.  Who knew man crush Monday was a thing?

I am happy to celebrate the past everyday surrounded by pretty and practical vintage things.  I thought that it would be fun to close out 2014 with some of my favorite displays from our window at The West End Garage.

We took up residence in this space in March and started off with an Easter themed window.

easter spring window display

Spring came with a walk in the garden.

spring summer window display

Summer arrived along with our busy season and the omission of a few fun windows.  I have resolved to take more photos with an actual camera in 2015 to capture all of our displays!

patriotic window display

Fast forward to fall…my favorite season and perhaps my favorite window of the year.

fall window display

fall window display

We closed out the year with the magical Victorian dollhouse. A mini version of Christmas in Cape May when historical homes are decked out from eaves to gingerbread trim.

Christmas winter window display, victorian dollhouse

Fun fact:  The West End Garage is a very old building that was originally a Ford Model T dealer.  I believe this front space was the showroom hence the beautiful tin walls and ceilings that are still in tact.  Then it became an auto shop called, none other than, The West End Garage.  We’re so lucky to be part of such a unique space.  If you haven’t been in before, you have to put it on your list for 2015.

Circa Dee at West End Garage in Cape May, NJ (26 of 28)

If you’re lucky enough to celebrate the New Year in Cape May, be sure to stop by.  Everything is on sale today and tomorrow.  Thanks for a great year and Happy 2015!

 

 

 

 

new milk paint display

Recently I completed one of my largest milk paint projects to date.  This armoire is an oldie but goodie.  It dates back to the 1800’s and was built to be easily taken apart for moving purposes.

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4952

It was love at first sight!

armoire before

It is a real stunner composed of beautiful wood.  Fortunately the inside wood was in great shape with minimal damage.  However the exterior finish was faded and worn.  chippy milk paint antique armoire-4954

I painted 2 coats of shutter gray and the door insets were painted in 2 coats of ironstone.  It led to the most authentic chipping paint which fits this particular old piece very well.  It seems like this armoire would be right at home in a centuries old farmhouse.

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4957

Quite reminiscent of chipping lead paint…a look I love so much but one that can be pretty dangerous.  This paint has zero VOCs!

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4958  chippy milk paint antique armoire-4960

The interior raw wood was brought back to life with all natural hemp oil.

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4959

MMS milk paint’s newest topcoat option is tough coat which proved to be the best choice for such a textured and chipping piece.  Tough Coat locks in the chipping paint so it doesn’t continue to flake off.  It leaves a nice durable finish with a little luster. Tough coat is now available.

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4965

One of the original brass drawer pulls was damaged.  I looked for a replacement at the flea market but that was basically like searching for a needle in a hay stack.  Ultimately, the drawer pulls were updated with clear glass handles.  They are also available for sale at both Circa Dee locations.

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4967

The size of this armoire works perfectly as a display for our milk paint at The West End Garage.  Come check it out in person!

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4968

So what do you think?  Is this much chipping paint a look you love or loathe?  You know where I stand already!

chippy milk paint antique armoire-4956

black & brass

About a month ago I crowd sourced facebook for some feedback on what to do with this little night stand.  I’m not usually a crowd-sourcer.  Typically I just follow my instinct but this one initially had me stumped on what direction I wanted to go.  I really love the shape and style.

vintage chest before

Thank you all for your feedback.  It was very enlightening!  Ultimately I decided on a soft black with light distressing highlighting the brown stain underneath. Typewriter (black) also happens to be the Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint color of the month for October.

I achieved this look in a very controlled way.  Although the top was a little scratched up, the finish on the edges was in great shape so I wanted to highlight it.  Before I even started painting I rubbed the wax puck over those high points to preserve that nice finish.  Normally I use the wax puck to create a resist between layers of different paint colors.  This seemed like a good time to try the same technique on the original finish.

Typewriter night stand-4837

After the wax puck was applied, I painted on 2 coats of typewriter milk paint with bonding agent mixed in.  The finish on the veneer was pretty shiny and I didn’t want to risk major chipping on this mid-century piece.  The bonding agent worked like a charm.

Once the paint was dry, I carefully pulled away where the wax puck had been applied using a putty knife.  There was no need for sanding as that would have scratched the bottom layer.  Also, no dusty mess!

Typewriter night stand-4838

I finished the entire piece with furniture wax for a protective topcoat.  I love the original brass knobs against the soft black.

Typewriter night stand-4840

Pictured are also a pair of apron strings candlesticks finished with lots of antiquing wax for a warm fall look.

Typewriter night stand-4839

The typewriter nightstand is new at The West End Garage.  Check it out!  We’re open everyday through October and move to a shortened week in November.  Typewriter night stand-4875

In the meantime, our Fall Furniture Sale is still going on with mark downs on select pieces!

Fall Furniture Sale