Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thank You Irene

I want to express my personal thanks to Hurricane Irene for helping to remind me how much I love 1970’s girlfriend comedies. 
This past weekend Irene blew through and luckily it didn’t hit the North shore too badly…a few boats beached, a few trees lost and a few days without electricity.  Sure could have been worse…of course I was not thinking this way as I worked my way through 3 days without power. 
I love reading so didn’t miss modern entertainment much until last night.  It was just too dark and too quiet at my house.  So, I logged on to Hulu and did some quick browsing to find something that would speak to me (literally)…I found Rhoda.
One of my all-time favorite shows ever is the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  As a kid I thought she just had the life…beautiful clothes, glamorous job and her own apartment where she could stay up as late as she wanted (I had an 8pm bedtime) with friends coming and going.  Even at 10 years old I had huge appreciation for her apartment.  Mary was the ultimate in glamorous to my mind.
Rhoda was Mary’s best girlfriend who after a few seasons living in the (very pink) apartment above Mary moved home to New York and into her own show.  She was a department store window decorator so of course she had a fabulous New York apartment.   I thought this was just great then and I have to say I still love it.  It’s so dated looking but so fun!

Rhoda's sister Brenda's apartment.  The posters
are so reminiscent of the 70's

Rhoda with her sister Brenda & husband Joe...look at
those textiles.  So fun!

Rhoda & Brenda in Brenda's kitchen...my Dad had a
refrigerator just like this one.  He covered the front with orange
and brown mushroom contact paper...he thought it was
If you’re not familiar you should definitely check it out.  My favorite episode is season 1 episode 4 “Parents' Day” - so funny!

Photos from sitcomsonline.com

Monday, August 22, 2011

More Calabash Design

One of the many wonderful things about my NY/Calabash friends second home is that it’s so comfortable in a totally uncluttered way.  They have a fabulous screened porch (perfect to watch fireworks from) that in my opinion is just perfect for lounging on a nice plush sofa with a fabulous book.  Since it’s not 100% weather proof though it would need outdoor friendly furniture….I have a vision.
While adventure hunting in Calabash we were heading for Island Classic Interiors and I literally did a U-turn in the middle of the road when I saw a really cool bamboo patio set outside of Almost New Consignment.  I decided…Lisa had to have this for her screened porch…it was PERFECT!!! 
Almost New Consignments
6692 Beach Drive, Ocean Isle Beach NC
Isn't that sofa just an invitation to relax with a good book?
She didn’t so much agree but we did have fun looking at all of the other treasures at Almost New.  There were so many possibilities for someone needing to furnish a home on the cheap (I mean budget conscious).  
Furniture that is more contemporary in its age than necessarily in its design - there were quite a few pieces I would most definitely live with. 
Nice selection of Dash & Albert and Company C
Rugs..would add great color to any room!
Since I was limited in suitcase space (darn it, I really need to buy a larger suitcase don’t I) I settled on a beautiful blue plate that adds the perfect pop of color to my almost finished dining room.
Love that this has a seaglass-look quality to it!
Next stop was our initial intended destination Island Classic Interiors on Ocean Isle Beach.  What a lovely little shop – all I could think of was Earnest Hemingway (see his Key West house by following this link to Lulo Design's Blog) while I was perusing the British Colonial with a Beach Flair feel of this shop. 

I got so many ideas from this shop…I’ll never have enough time to execute everything I want to “knock off” for my house. 
I am so going to make this shade!
The striping on this brings such a updated look to this
very classic style...again a great way to bring some color
to a room.
 It might just be easier to sell my house and move in to this shop…do you think they would mind?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hey HGTV Ripped Me Off!

One of my favorite things to do on a rainy Sunday is to stay indoors with a good book and veg out enjoying the rare moments when I can be still without guilt.  Well, we seem to be having our fair share of rainy Sunday’s lately and this past Sunday was no different. 
So, I spent my morning diving in to the stack of books I just picked up at my soon to be closing L Borders (can you say 50% off J) and my afternoon catching up on all of the bad reality competition TV I had saved on my DVR. 
I am now totally caught up on who is going to be the next Food Network Star (congrat’s Jeff - although I hate to say it but it’s highly unlikely I’ll actually ever really watch his show) and who the real contenders are on HGTV’s Design Star.
Wow it’s an interesting group this year and I really love to see the stuff they come up with.  Imagine how excited I was on last week’s episode when Meg put a “board with holes in it” (otherwise known by us professionals by a peg board LOL) in her designer kitchen to hang pots from.

Meg's challenge partner Kevin presenting their kitchen
(pegboard in the back)

HGTV pegboard up close - they could have
at least framed it out or something...
Mrs. Johnson who lived in my house for 60+ years before I bought it was so far ahead of her time…she had peg boards installed in the stairway off my kitchen.  They were in desperate need of a nice coat of paint and some new hooks but I thought they were great and kept them and you guessed it hung my pots from them!
My pegboard - fresh coat of Ben Moore
"Celadon" paint
I’m sure Mrs. Johnson had no idea she was so styling with her peg board but hey if a designer on HGTV presented it must be a good idea right?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Two Faces of Calabash

After my meeting last week I took the opportunity since I was on vacation to head to see some good friends from New York who happen to spend their summers in Calabash NC.  For those who don’t know where Calabash is, it’s just north of Myrtle Beach over the North Carolina border.  While I knew it was a bit of a drive from Charlotte I had no idea it would be such a long drive – 4 hours of rural highway (i.e. 2 lanes) and not a Chick-Fil-A in sight!  It was so nice to see my pals though and they were so gracious about exploring the area’s vintage scene with me.
Ok I’ll admit it, the name got me.  While perusing through the long list of antique & consignment shops in the area of course I would pick The Fancy Flea Antique Mall and think “ok, this could be a fabulous spot”.  Well, I am here to tell you that while there is a huge selection of goodies at this shop unfortunately it most decidedly is not what I would consider fancy.
Fancy Flea Antique Mall
2763 Hwy 17, Shallotte NC
There were definitely some cool items but you really have to focus and not be distracted by some of the many other not so unique things.  Lots of older things that were still and interesting look but….not anything that was really interesting enough for me to pack & ship home.
Very Cool Vintage VW Peddle Car!

Lots of bottles...I wonder if that Coke is still fizzy...
Perfect Imperfections’ booth contained some really pretty things – mostly of that painted furniture cottage variety I am so fond of.  They specialize in reclaimed, repurposed goods and do a really nice job of displaying their wares.

Perfect Imperfection's booth...love the painted dresser
The variety of goods at The Fancy Flea was really staggering which made for a very interestingly eclectic mix but it was definitely more Flea and less Fancy.

After leaving The Fancy Flea we headed to Miss Minnie’s Antiques and upon entering Miss Minnie’s I was immediately struck by the difference between these shops.  I couldn’t have planned back to back visits at 2 more different spots. 
Miss Minnie's Antiques
4710 Main Street, Shallotte NC
Miss Minnie’s had very select items that very clearly fit with her POV (point of view for those non-Food Network Star fans).  Everything hit the look she was marketing perfectly – very girly!   
Can't you just imagine a lovely little cottage bedroom with
this in it?
 One of the things I likes best about Miss Minnie’s was the clean look of everything in this store – she has perfectly mixed vintage items in with repurposed items and even added in some new “vintage inspired” pieces.
Vintage Inspired Pillows

Repurposed...would love to make this for
my niece's playhouse...
This is the kind of place I like – not mired down with the seriousness some antiques inspire but showing people how to live with and enjoy vintage items.  It’s not about living in a museum folks and Miss Minnie’s shows that perfectly.
Beautiful Ballet dress/shoes!  Perfect condition!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Charlotte or Bust...

Last week I was in Charlotte to present at an operational regional meeting.  I love Charlotte great weather, yummy southern food, fun city and it is a super easy flight (2ish hours direct from Boston) so it’s just a real pleasure all around.  The unfortunate timing of this trip was the meeting was scheduled right in the middle of my vacation soooo I made lemonade out of lemons and took the opportunity to stay a few extra days and visit with some good friends who spend their summers in Calabash NC. 
After I finished my part at the meeting I decided to venture out to see what was near my hotel for excitement.  I was staying in Pineville just outside of Charlotte and after poking around Bing a bit I discovered that historic Pineville was fairly close to my hotel and appeared to be loaded with antique and fun shops.  I was very excited and thought I would head out in the morning have a nice lovely breakfast and meander for a bit.  It all sounded so perfect…
Main Street Pineville
And the other side of Main Street Pineville
The next morning, I arrived and was immediately struck by the fact that it was not nearly as bustling as the town website had made it seem.  But I did not let that deter me….I quickly headed into the first shop only to find it was a used book store where everything was $1 (or so the sign said).

Regrettably it was a real miss (apparently sometimes you can judge a book by its cover) so I moved on to the next shop and this is what I found:
Unexpected on a Wed morning
...out of luck

It was all more of the same until I spotted the only open shop - Bargain House. 
Bargain House
A Nice Second Hand Shop
330 Main Street
Pineville, NC
This is a nice little shop at the end of the block where there were 2 lovely ladies busily working while I was there spiffing up their shop (although they were not to busy to make sure I didn't need any help).  It’s not a huge shop but is filled with some unusual things - nothing that compelled me to ship it home but still fun to poke around.
This picture was really cool.  It was much
larger than this photo appears - probably
3ft tall by 2 1/2 ft wide

Can't imagine this in my house but it
is interesting...

 So, for the most part this leg of the trip was a bust…stay tuned though because Calabash is a whole other story!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mission Nobleboro Antique Exchange

The first time I visited Nobleboro Antique Exchange it was because I had been sent on a mission.  My grandmother, who if you’ve been reading this blog you know loved antiquing or as she called it “junking”, had been ill and not able to get around like she used to but had read about Nobleboro Antique Exchange and was dying to know all about it.  She didn’t feel like she could manage the cavernous expanse of this shop – 3 floors and room after room.  She was probably right but sure did enjoy sending me to get the skinny.
Well, this weekend I was in Maine for my class reunion.  I can’t believe so many years have passed since I have seen most of these folks – I was the girl who left my hometown and never really returned (except for Christmas and occasional summer visits of course).   It was so nice to see everyone and hear the good, the bad, and the ugly of everyone’s life stories. 
And since I was in the area I of course could not pass by the opportunity to stop by some of my favorite old haunts. 
104 Atlantic Highway (RT 1)
Nobleboro ME
Nobleboro Antique Exchange is on Atlantic Highway (Route 1) in Nobleboro Maine.  The first time I visited it was pretty much a normal antique shop with many vendors renting out booths - great variety of goods and something for everyone.  In the intervening years it has evolved into more – they still have the same variety of goods everything from Victorian antiques to mid-century kitsch but now they offer restoration/repair services, jewelry repair, custom framing, etc. as well as some more modern decorative items. 
A nice selection of Tiffany items fill one whole case!
The front room is rented out by Sweet Woodruff and is stocked with lovely pillows, painted furniture and garden collectibles that includes a family of garden ducks.  I loved everything in this room and am totally going to copy the yellow dresser they had for sale!
Love this color!  I am definitely using this in
one of my rooms!
Wouldn't these just look divine in my
The downstairs hasn’t changed as much from the first time I visited with booths filled with kitschy “antiques” and collectibles.  So fun!  If you are looking to replicate that 1950’s chrome & Pyrex look this is your place.
One of my other grandmothers had a similar table
when I was  kid...her house looked a little like 1953
but she liked it.

These make me think of my Aunt Hilda who
had a vintage radio in her kitchen and I have wonderful
memories of "Mr Sandman" playing on it when I was a kid.
Upstairs has become less about more of the same and more about a reading room with vintage books as well as a nice collection of vintage magazine ads.  Last year, I bought a really cool Max Factor ad to hang in my bathroom.  Now I just have to get around to framing it.
Such cool vintage ads for any purpose you can imagine

British Royal Family Commerative Cups
They have massively expanded their vintage jewelry selection with a large part of the cash wrap area filled with all the bling a girl could ask for.
One other notable addition is the large room in the middle that is dedicated to restoration, framing, jewelry and clock repair.  It appears that if you break it they can definitely fix it.
Nobleboro Antiques holds a special place in my heart as I will always recall recounting what I found the first time I visited with my grandmother and how excited she was to hear of all the treasures it had.  I have since been able to share this spot with my Aunt who enjoys it as much as I do.

Blueberry Flats - I lasted 1/2 day raking
blueberries when I was a kid...way too
much work for too little yield for me!
Love the decorative feeling of these though...