Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pieces of the Past . . .

You may have gathered from my blog design - and some previous posts - that I'm a fan of all things "retro".  A leisurely browse through an antique store is one of my favorite ways to pass the time.  You can't shop like you would at Wal-Mart - dashing in to grab one of dozens of identical items. An antique store requires time to look carefully through the displays, to consider each item's story, to ponder it's alternative uses, to be sure you don't miss a hidden gem.  The town where I work has a lovely antique mall where I can frequently be found during my lunch hour. 

Recently I spotted this vintage card table that folds flat to stand against the wall.   The legs were wobbly and the top was scarred and stained, but it had potential.  After eyeing it on several visits, I finally convinced the proprietor to let me have it for $20.  


A little wood glue and a dowel rod stabilized the legs (thanks Dave), but the top was beyond repair, so it got a new look.  Daughter Amanda - the Mod-Podge Queen - helped me select some vintage-look scrapbook paper and the proper Mod-Podge for the job.  One evening of cutting and pasting, and the table had a whole new look.

Other recent finds include:

.. a treadle sewing machine cabinet (no machine).  This one belonged to my sister-in-law's mother-in-law (did you follow that?).  It's a less ornate version of the first one, so we are using them as bed-side tables.

...this flour sifter, which makes a perfect pencil holder in the kitchen.

...and a couple of small dishes for "leftovers".  The one on the right is 1950's Pyrex - just like my mom had (or may still have).  On the left is a 1940's "refrigerator dish" which, by the way, is not microwave safe - a fact I discovered when a previous purchase "popped" into several pieces during use.  So this one will be used for storing foods that do not need to be reheated - or just on the counter for decoration.

Teri @ Henningsen Happenings recently posed the question "What is the attraction of antiques?"  Antiques, and the memories they stir, give her a bittersweet feeling that she can't quite name.  Happy memories mixed with a longing for youth?  Sadness over aging parents? I admit to having a twinge of those things when I spot something from my youth - followed by a moment of panic that my childhood is now "antique"!  But mostly I feel comforted.  Owning and using things that have a story give me a feeling of peace and beauty and continuity - a connection to the past.  Teri brought me two beautiful vintage tablecloths when she visited recently.  I'm not sure how they'll be used - but they, and my other pieces of the past, give me joy.  


  1. We have so many old family pieces, true antiques, collectibles and retro pieces, and I love them all. But I also always game to take anyone else's cast offs and find new treasures in the antique malls and at garage sales. They all have their stories!

  2. Love what you did to that table.....I also like your idea of the sewing machines as bed side tables. I have one that looks just like it but it has the machine in it. It was my grandfather's, he was a tailor. I agree, they are happy memories from our past. I love retro too.

  3. I love hand-me-down items from my family members who have passed. I wish I had a better eye to see potential - like you did in that very cool table/