Friday, July 19, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

My tablecloths for sale on eBay right now

These are all for sale on eBay under my id:  Ridgewood5.  I'd like them to all find new homes ~

Every one of these is a vintage cloth that I've washed & ironed.  I don't use any starch since I don't want them to yellow while they're folded.  I have to stop myself from trying to match china to each cloth. 
Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Update - Suitcase Remake with contents

Here it is.  I added a wonderful 50s tablecloth, cherry-patterned tin, plaid wool blanket, red thermos, cheese board & cutlery travel pack, white & green melamine plates, & cloth napkins.  The good part - it all fits.
I still need to polish the hardware on the suitcase, but otherwise - ready for a picnic.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Little Miss Muffet's Tuffet with a Talbot skirt

I found this footstool at a recent estate sale for a good price & wanted to see if I could re-cover it.  Bare bones - nothing but potential.
I had the frame, but I wanted to use what I had on hand to see if I could do this project without a trip to anywhere.  I had a Talbot skirt that I would never fit into again.  Hmm ...
I liked the pale mint color & the big flowers [reminds me of a tablecloth].  I deconstructed the skirt.  Brought it out into the sunshine & thought about the insert.  I had a pillow form that I was going to use with an upholstery remnant (not big enough for the footstool - I checked).  It would be poofy, but I thought I'd like that look.
It took a lot of finagling, but I was on my way.  I was thinking about adding a vintage doily that I had & since it was the right shape & shade I kept laying it on the top.  Not quite done - I wanted a little bit of trim.  I didn't want a big fringe, but wanted the edge to be finished.  Upstairs to see what trims I had.  I found a pretty golden/olive trim that I think is the perfect sclae.  It doesn't fight with the busy pattern.  I glued the trim on, tacked down the doily & voila - a tuffet has arrived. 
I think it needs a stuffed spider if I bring it to the flea market to sell.  I wonder how many people would get the reference. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Card Catalog comes to our house

Yesterday I went to an estate sale not too far from home.  It wasn't being run by either of the 2 local estate sale women, so I wasn't sure if it was actually an estate sale or a tag sale, but thought I'd check it out.  When I got to the house the early bird pros had already been in & taken what they wanted.  The house belonged to a retired physician & his wife (I'm going to guess that she was a nurse since I saw a nurse's cap at the sale along with the physician's dress military uniform.  I knew that there were stories waiting to be told, but didn't think there was anyone there to tell them.  As I gathered up my treasures (a wooden ironing board, an old drafting table, a footstool that needed to be recovered & a few linens) I started talking to the man running the sale.  He had actually worked for the woman of the house doing her gardening after her husband died (about 10 years ago).  His last "job" for her was to sell the items from the house that there 2 sons didn't want.  I was so surprised to see her wedding gown boxed up (but I didn't open it because I knew it would come home with me).  When I went into the furthest room from the garage (all of the sale was held in the basement) I found a room that had been set up for a ham radio operator.  Apparently - one of the doctor's hobbies.  Built into the formica counter was (what appeard to be) an intact 15 drawer card catalog.  I almost yelped out loud, but tried to stay calm.  I asked the seller if it could be sold as a unit or if he was selling the drawers separately.  He gave me a high price (at least I thought so) & told me I'd have to remove it from the counter.  I talked to David about it (& even though he thought I was nuts), he agreed to go back with me today & (if the price was better & it wasn't sold & if we could get it out) it could come to our house with the plan to resell.
We did it & David was able to negotiate a better price, but the piece needs a top to complete it.  It must have been removed to build it in under the counter.  Now I need to figure out what the best thing is to do.  Being the granddaughter of a librarian I suppose it was inevitable, but I don't need 15 drawers.  I'm going to meander around Pinterest & the web & decide what to do with this new treasure. Any ideas?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Recycled Suitcase using Vintage Tablecloth

My kids are both hunkering in their respective neighborhoods in Boston.  Our son is about a mile away from the Cambridge home of the terrorist suspect.  Our daughter is in her dorm & both are behind locked doors.  I don't normally go to the office on Fridays & wanted to keep myself busy while I watch the progress on TV.  I purchased this grey suitcase a couple of weeks ago & didn't open it before I bought it.  When I did I was really discouraged, but wanted to save this case if I could find a way.  I left the Greyhound bus tag of the lady that had previously owned it.  It feels like a connection with her...
What do you think of the before & after photos?

The cloth lining the "after" photo is a vintage tablecloth.  It had several large holes & yellow stains.  I wanted to see if I could use this fabric to create a picnic hamper.  I have a red Thermos that I think would be perfect.  I've got a piece of the tablecloth soaking to see if I can make a small picnic cloth to take with us.  Somehow I don't think that paper plates will be quite right for this set-up, but I can imagine some old plastic dishes that I could possibly find.  This was a lot of fun to work on & only took a few hours from start to finish.  I did use the old lining as a template & to figure out the order for reassembly.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vintage Tablecloths, Embroidered Runner, Old Buttons, Dried Lavender - all together

I had purchased some tablecloths recently & they have quite the provenance.  These tablecloths were purchased at an estate sale in Springfield, Mass.  I had arrived bright & early before our daughter's Math competition (yup - she won - but I need to stay on the subject ---> tablecloths).  When I arrived at this new house I knew that I was in an area of Springfield that had been hit hard by the tornado of June 1, 2011.  The pros mulling around were talking trash to each other saying things like, "new house - nothing good - guess we'll have time for coffee".  I was pretty sure that I wouldn't find any old furniture (not that I'm usually looking for any), but it seemed like there just might be some old linens that could come home with me.  When we went in I found a few tea towels, some napkins, but I wasn't seeing any tablecloths.  Where could they be?  There were plenty of other items that screamed "older homeowner".  I turned a corrner & there (hanging on hangers inside of dry cleaning bags) were some tablecloths.  It all became clear - these tablecloths had lived through a tornado.  The bags still had their July 2011 tags safety-pinned on the hems of the cloths.
I love embroidered pieces.  It doesn't matter if they're cloths, runners or handkerchiefs.  I love the handwork of embroidery.  I purchased a runner & when I got it home I found a hole & a large stain that didn't come out.  I wanted to find a way to use the cloth.  Here's my solution (hanging from a couple of the tornado cloths & another from my stash)
These hearts are stuffed with filler, a little dried lavender & have vintage buttons for some added visual interest.  I have the tablecloths hanging from pant-hangers that I found at an estate sale.  I think that they're a great way to store/display tablecloths.  Each of these tablecloths (along with the hearts) will be looking for new homes at a local flea market sometime in the next month or so.  The pant-hangers will not be for sale.
What have you upcycled lately?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Estate Sale Treasures

After our daughter's soccer game yesterday we made a stop at one estate sale & one multi-vendor flea market shop.  Here are some of the treasures I brought home.
There are 8 new tablecloths here.  They're tucked into a big tote soaking & then they'll be hung out on the line.  The 3rd cloth from the bottom is a sweet, sweet pink & magenta cloth with a lily of the valley pattern.  At least some of these will find their way to Ebay.  Did you notice that I found a new scale.  The dishes in the front have a delicate magenta flower pattern.  They are probably from the 50s but there's no name on the back for me to id them.  I'm sure that they'll make an appearance on my table at some point since there are 6 of them. 
I came home with 2 suitcases.  One is a brown leather suitcase with the initials JWB in gold.  It's a pretty good size & immaculate on the inside.  I might have to make some repairs, but it won't go to waste.  The other is a grey suitcase & I didn't open it before buying it (shame on me).  The inside fabric is stained & I think it will have to be replaced.  I'm not sure about that project, but we'll see what happens.  I might post a before & after if I come up with something fun.
I think of things that I buy as part of a bigger picture.  I don't look at them necessarily as "good price that I can resell".  I see the pieces as coordinating with other things I have or even as just elements that I'm drawn to.  My husband says that you can't be emotionally attached to things that you're reselling, but I think I have to buy what I like.  Since I don't need 2 scales - 1 is going to leave.  It's only a question of which one.
What did you do with this lovely Spring weekend.  It's time to get ready for another soccer game.  This one's an hour away. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Dinner Table Setting with Mikasa & Prints Charming

We aren't usually home for Easter, but this year we went away the weekend before.  David's brothers & their families are joining us.  I thought it would be fun to fuss a little & I wanted to use some dishes I recently picked up. 
I only had a service for 4 of the Mikasa dishes so I thought I'd be a little creative with the place settings.  I used the dinner plates with a transparent green salad plate alternating with a white dinner plate with the Mikasa salad plate.  I think it works ~
This tablecloth has a wonderful name:  Prints Charming Williamsburg.  Isn't that a great play on words ~  Here's a close-up of the cloth detail -->
I have some tablecloths for sale on eBay under ridgewood5.  They'll be listed for a week.  Fingers crossed that they'll go to good homes.
Easter 2013 Menu
Spiral Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Glazed Carrots
Carrot Cake
Can you tell that David comes from a Polish background?  If I had time I would have made golumpkis, but not this time.
Stay tuned for more adventures as Spring approaches.  I'm thinking about occasionally being a vendor at a local Flea Market.  What do you think?
Happy Easter

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rhode Island Treasure-hunting

Treasures from The Ocean State

We're back from a fun weekend in Rhode Island.  I'd checked online for any estate sales that might be close enough to check out.  I found 1 in Jamestown & our friend, Mike, was willing to go with me.  David, Katie & Mary listened to the call of the Atlantic Ocean.  It was in the 30s & windy - I think we made the better choice.  The first sale was really a poorly organized garage sale, but I did leave with a baggy of vintage handkerchiefs.  I had a list of local shops & we'd paid to go over the Jamestown Bridge so we went to the first local shop.  This little shop is open for 2 hours twice a week.  Down the stairs we went without too much optimism.  I found a tablecloth for Lauren, a vintag breakfast set (creamer, sugar bowl & egg cup) in a faded yellow.  I could picture it on one of my tablelcoths.  I turned around & found a lazy susan condiment set in turquoise & white.  It was complete & I'm sure I can resell it at a profit.  The gentleman in charge of cashing out gave me a great bulk price & off I went.  A happy gal.  We went to our next store & I found the small Mexican-themed tablecloth on the bottom of the pile [see photo above].  It was in a pile that said, "This & That".  I also brought home some buttons [sorted by color - sweet] & a large platter.  Mike stopped into a nearby comic book store & found some treasures.  He also found a used bookstore & left with a book about Mad Magazine articles.  We headed back to share what we'd found & have lunch at Flo's -- GREAT SEAFOOD!  In the afternoon we went to a large, crowded consignment store & the single purchase was the scale above.  I'd been looking for one.
Today we had to check out of our resort by 10:30.  We had a relaxing breakfast & Katie went to Alex & Ani's with her godparents (now sporting a delicate new bracelet with a virgo charm).  I had asked about shops that carried tablecloths & the woman at the store in Middletown gave me the name of another store, but it didn't open til noon.  Since it was my "birthday weekend" we waited for it to open & I left with the 4 tablecloths on the scale along with a tea towel (still had its tag on) & a yellow tablecloth with 4 napkins.  When I took a look at the cloth I saw that it was still sporting its price tag from Shepards.  I did a google search & Shepards was in Providence, RI until 1973.  The price on the tag was .97.  Hard to believe, but I'm leaving it there ~
Such a good time & I think that everyone found at least 1 thing that made the weekend fun for them.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lilypad Tablecloth & Spring Dinner

Tonight we're having a friend over for dinner & I'd just washed & ironed a new (to me) tablecloth with a lilypad embroidery pattern.  The tablecloth & Spring coming up were my inspiration. 
I didn't have time to get to my favorite florist (Carey's Flowers in South Hadley, MA) but wanted to have something fresh on the table to go with the colors in the tablecloth.  This will have to do.

I wanted a photo of my pretty square plate with the daffodils. 
They gently whisper Spring to me.
The view from the end of the table. 
There will be 5 of us at dinner tonight so I just sat down & took a photo.
Dessert will be ginger snaps on this lovely cookie plate. 
The spice jars of jelly beans were a whimsical addition.
View of dessert from a chair.

Spring Dinner Menu on a Friday Night
Marrakesh Vegetable Curry (found on Pinterest, but I am not using eggplant)
Rice (with slivers of scallion & carrot)
Assorted sides (Chop Salad from More-with-Less cookbook, coconut, peanuts, apple bits)
Slaw on the daffodil plates
Ginger Snaps (from Joy of Cooking)
I'll let you know how it goes.  What are you having for dinner tonight?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Noritake Beaumont, a new/old tablecloth & a hummel

Here's a photo that I took this afternoon for submission to the Vintage Tablecloth Lovers Club.  They wanted a little information about me & asked for a photo so this is one that I sent over ....
The pieces of china that you can see are my treasures from Las Vegas.  They are Noritake china in the Beaumont pattern & I absolutely LOVE them.  The pale pink plate under the pears is a piece that I have from my grandmother.  I have several pieces of pale pink & pale green.  They are important to me & I do use them.  The book seemed to fit since it's almost the 17th & I do love DK books when I travel.  The little Hummel is called The Merry Wanderer.  Doesn't he seem just right for those that know me well?
I don't know the pattern on the tablecloth but it's all hand-stitched in pristine condition.  I like how it compliments the border on the china.

Today we're getting heavy, wet snow.  It's early March - Time for snow to stop & flowers to start thinking about pushing their way through the cold soil.  I can't wait to see if my 2 rhubarb plants appear.  That would be a treat!

Don't forget to set your clocks forward this weekend. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Franciscan Rustic England dishes & Bucilla Tablecloth

I wanted to let everyone know that the dishes that I packed in the luggage made it back safely.  What a surprise!  One of the sets is listed on Ebay under ebay name ridgewood5.  These are Franciscan Rustic England dishes.  I have plates, cups, saucers & small plates along with this sweet platter.  They're in great shape.

I've been busy online with the Vintage Tablecloth Lovers Club.  I've asked questions re: a tablecloth that I have that still has its' tag.  I had no idea what kind of treasure I have.  The general consensus is that I should keep this gem.  I'm just not sure.  I love to use my tablecloths & if I keep this one with its tag I'll only be able to occasionally look at it.  That's not really what I want to do.  If I'm going to sell it I have to have an idea of its value & that's another puzzle to be solved.  I'm working on it ... Stay tuned.
I'll share some info regarding the 2nd set of china when I take some pictures.  I'm a busy gal these days ...
Stay well ~

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vintage Vegetable Tea Towels, The Vintage Tablecloth Lovers Club & Ellen

Vintage Tea Towel - will be for sale on Ebay early next week under seller ridgewood5 [that's me]

Vintage Tea Towel - will be for sale on Ebay early next week under seller ridgewood5 [that's me]
I love these adorable little tea towels.  They are hand embroidered on soft cotton.  There's a 3rd towel that I'll be including in the sale [think mushrooms].  The embroidery isn't complete so I'm going to add it as a surprise to the winning bidder.

I joined the Vintage Tablecloth Lovers Club  If you want to know anything about tablecloths - they are the clear source of knowledge.  I had purchased several books (all beautiful photos, but none containing MY tablecloths) so I'm excited to find an online group that can tell me more about all of these linens that I keep washing by hand & hanging out in the sunshine.  Check out their site.

I wrote yesterday about going to Viva Las Vegas Stamps.  I had initially learned about them from The EllenBee's blog  She always writes as though you're sitting in her livingroom with a cup of tea.  I have been reading her blog for a while & when we were coming to Vegas I knew this was a stop to make.  After navigating my way through VLVS I sent her an email & she replied right away.  I look forward to keeping in touch with her & hope that you'll go check out her blog. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stuck in Vegas

How's that for a starter line? I know that lots & lots of people would trade places with me in a minute, but for us it feels a little like "how does this keep happening?" Let me go back for a minute & refresh. In October 2011 we planned to fly to Italy & take a transatlantic cruise across the Atlantic. Unfortunately - a horrendous storm hit the East Coast & we were without power for days. I hurried to work (happily anticipating the hot coffee that would be available) & we stayed with friends for several days. I packed in the dark (which explains what DIDN'T make it on the trip) & off we went. We spent wonderful, relaxing days in Rome & boarded the ship. Finally - our opportunity for recharging would begin. Not so fast ---> a "once in 100 year hurricane" hit the Med & we were held just off the coast of France. That doesn't sound so bad, but the weather was horrendous. When we finally left the Med we found out that we would have to adjust our trip to include an extra evening in Barcelona (that was a highlight) but we wouldn't be stopping in the Azores (which meant a very L O N G trip across the Atlantic). That was 2011 - we came home saying, "no more transatlantic crossings for us in the near future". 2012 came along & David found a great deal on a river cruise. Aha - a week on the Danube (no transatlantic & stops ever day). Sounded great. We coordinated the trip to include an extra week in Bavaria & looked forward to a wonderful time. Weather decided to mess with us AGAIN. Superstorm Sandy decided to head for the East coast & especially for Newark, NJ. Now we never, never, never fly to or from NJ, but David found a great deal on flights to/from Europe so he'd booked it. We have always liked Lufthansa & didn't expect this experience to be anything but positive - BUT there was a storm headed for the East Coast, we had a boat to catch in Vienna & Lufthansa was saying, "wait". Finally - after days of watching the Weather Channel - we opted to get out of town & fly from Boston to Vienna via Dublin on Aer Lingus. Within hours we were on the plane with a "we'll figure it out later" attitude. We had unseasonably cold weather in Vienna [get used to that statement] but we did board our river cruise right on schedule. We had a good week [albeit very cold & foggy] & disembarked in Nuremberg for our week in Bavaria. We had great intentions (including a balloon ride in the Alps, but .... it was cancelled due to weather). David didn't get the full "take your breath away" experience that I counted on, but we made the best of it. Driving in heavy fog on unfamiliar roads & the Autobahn are memories we will never forget. We drove 8+ hours to Berlin for our return trip & went to check-in with Lufthansa (remember we'd flown over via Aer Lingus, but still had a return ticket on Lufthansa & a connecter to Boston). Lufthansa's message to us, "your tickets were cancelled when you were a no-show on your first flight. We can get you on the flight for $6,000 USD per person". You can imagine my reaction. It wasn't "ok - let me get my credit card". It was, "I'd like to speak to a supervisor". After about 15 minutes of explaining, reviewing dates, etc they agreed that it was unusual circumstances & allowed us to return home. So - we've now had 2 major trips with weather issues ~ Which brings us to this trip --- We came out to Vegas for David's National Conference last week. I am not a fan of Las Vegas (don't even try to convince me that I should be - I'm not), but I do love a chance to travel with my husband, so he always adds on to these trips & we have a good time. This time we opted for a few days in Sedona, AZ -- Of course, it's been unseasonably cold [do you see a common theme],but we enjoyed Sedona & came back to Vegas for a couple of days before we were scheduled to fly home. I'd had a frustrating time with trying to add to my vintage linen stash, but had found 3 sets of china [carrying my favorite set in our carry-ons & packing 2 sets in 4 pieces of checked luggage with lots of prayers that any piece arrives at home unbroken]. We thoroughly enjoyed Jersey Boys & had a wonderful meal at Chef Marc's Parma [one of our favorite restaurants]. I stopped at Viva Las Vegas Stamps [an experience not to be missed] & while there David received notification from Southwest Airlines that they recommend we change our flight due to anticipated weather in Chicago. We were 95% packed so I was ready to head to the airport -> no flights available until Wed. We each took care of a specific detail - David rebooked our flight & extended our car rental. I worked to add a day onto our timeshare stay (thank heavens we're in a suite & not a tiny hotel room), our car park time in Hartford & notify work & family. So - we were mentally ready to go home yesterday & David has tons of work to do following the conference & I'm checking emails remotely in order to keep an eye on what's happening at work. But there are positives here -- We're together (always a plus), we're safe, we aren't cold or hungry & it's a story to tell. Additionally, my creative husband went out for snacks & I told him we needed cream for our coffee. He stopped at a small store with no cream - he bought french vanilla ice cream instead. Melted it makes a perfect creamer & we've enjoyed our morning coffee. I also had a revelation. I've always struggled with why am I the way that I am. Why do I have such insatiable wanderlust? Why do I love fabrics (especially embroidered, vintage cloth)? Why do I still read my horoscope when I get the chance? Today I found the answer ~ Either I am (or have been in a previous life) a gypsy. It makes such sense (although I have no known Romanian ancestors). So - stay tuned to see if the gypsy in me shows up again ~