Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sara's Vintage Baby Shower

Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails - that's what little boys are made of!
This vintage themed baby shower is full of creative uses of vintage treasures!
 A group of friends and sisters pooled their creative energy 
to stage a gorgeous shower on a beautiful Friday evening, for my niece Sara,
who loves all things vintage, and is having her first baby!

  The gift table welcomed guests as they entered the garden setting at a friends home.  A vintage suitcase is ready to receive cards for guests who chose to go in on the group gift.  The "Gifts" sign is clothes-pinned with a lace doily to the suitcase, which is lined with a vintage napkin.

photo courtesy of Lacey C. Photography
A vintage baby scale sits at the other end of the gift table.
Above the gift table, a clothesline of vintage hankies fluttered in the soft summer breeze.

Guest of honor, Sara, was beaming as she arrived for the shower.

A shabby yellow service cart from the fifties, holds the vintage green plaid ice bucket and the canning jars until the guests arrive.  Another vintage napkin with floral embroidery details formalizes the otherwise casual cart.

The glassware was moved to this table when the guests arrived.  A white metal bucket was given a floral decal to match the sunny floral tablecloth.  

Photo courtesy of Lacey C. Photography
 The vintage berry baskets hold the beverage napkins nicely and the daisies came from Sara's parents home.

Vintage glass shower dishes were stacked in piles on another vintage cart.  Sara's mother, Janie, and Sara's sister-in-law, Carianne, provided all the vintage floral tablecloths. 

The hydrangeas in the yard were at different stages of bloom, but added the perfect punch of color to the garden setting!

The dessert buffet was lined with a mix of vintage dishware and shabby serving pieces - from Jadite to LuRay, they sit at attention waiting to receive their subjects!

Seating was around round tables dressed in white rented tablecloths 
with vintage tablecloth toppers.  
Centerpieces were large mason jars filled with roses, hydrangeas and daisies.

 The stage was set for the special guest to open her shower gifts.  A vintage chair was draped with a soft throw, and Jessica hand made a paper garland announced "It's a Boy" in the vintage nursery colors: seaglass, mustard yellow, taupe and cream.

 A wire basket holds game supplies ready and with a vintage kitchen scale,
adds to the theme.

Bamboo poles stuck in rock filled buckets, 
held the banner aloft over the mom-to-be's chair.
Ribbon streamers, tied to the ends, gracefully danced in the slight wind.

A vintage stroller was positioned next to the chair and seemed to say,
"Come on out boy! We're ready if you are!" 

Jessica and Lacey pause for a picture before starting the games!

While the guests were arriving - the desserts were set out. Even baby Caleb arrived sporting a vintage romper - he can't wait to meet his new boy cousin!

A sweet feast awaited the guests!  The dessert buffet included double chocolate pecan brownie bars, individual blackberry tarts, shortbread cookies topped with cream fraiche and strawberries, caramel brownies, and neighbor Dianna's famed Serendipity - a luscious chocolate cookie crust bar with whipped cream filling and a chocolate glaze.

Lacey and her sisters made Cake Pops and decorated them in Sara's nursery colors!

Beverages included ice cold water with cool cucumber slices and a strawberry lemonade punch.  The large glass decanters fit perfectly on the yellow cart with the canning jar glassware moved to the table.

Guests filled their plates and ate the decadent treats while Sara opened her gifts.  This little guy, Karam, sure enjoyed his cake pop!

My favorite dessert was the individual berry tarts.  The crust was a perfect blend of sumptuous flavor and texture, the berries were absolutely perfectly ripe, and the little crust heart tucked into each tart added the perfect finishing touch!

One look at this picture and you can see why they are called 'showers' as Sara is clearly 'showered' with gifts for her new little boy!!

A vintage doll stroller for the nursery decor!!

As Sara opened gift after gift, no doubt the older guests thought back to their own showers and the younger guests thought about the showers that would be held for them in the future. 

 Sara poses with the shower planners - Julie, Lacey, Jessica, Dianna, MaryAnn and Carianne.

 With the gifts opened it was time for Sara to enjoy a cake pop!  
The baby shower is a cherished tradition and it won't be long until 
Sara has her new bundle of joy whom she will cherish as well!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quick Change: Red, White and Blue!

Welcome to my living room!  Well, its not exactly 'dressed' yet in this picture!  I was lucky enough to get new furniture this past year and I decided I would go with a neutral 'palette' that would make it easy to decorate for the holidays.  I LOVE to decorate for the holidays and when the boys were young, they loved coming home from school and seeing the house transformed.  Now that they are out of the house, I needed to find a way to decorate a little simpler, since I do not have so many hands to help anymore!
The neutral couch would be perfect for changing out pillows, the coffee table will get a runner and centerpiece, and the small shabby shelf above the couch, could hold some seasonal trinkets.  The shelf holds small, cherished photos of my grandparents all the time, but it has space for a few treasures!

  I found the vintage bicentennial tin plate with an eagle on it at a thrift store so I put it on the small gold easel.  The salt glazed pitcher and a deep red candle in a pewter candlestick add a bit of color and the metal star from Joann's Fabric Store balances the bright red of the candle. 

The coffee table vignette!  I first placed a neutral linen tablecloth I found at Homegoods, down the middle of the table.  Next came the vintage piecrust pedestal mirror - I found it that day with Margaret at the Sacramento Antique Fair.  I was so excited when I saw it because it was the nicest one I had seen in years, and in years - I had to have it for my collection. The deal was sealed when the kind lady came down $20 from her original asking price!  I added a vase, darling little crystal creamer, apothecary jar and a red vintage candy dish - to which I added (in order!) some flags and a baseball, penny candy sticks, red, white and blue poker chips, and a family favorite - Hershey's Kisses in the candy dish!

Fourth of July is enchanting for children . . .and adults!  It just brings out the child in all of us thus the reason I had to add some of my cherished collection of Boyd's Bears to my decor.  This red bear sits atop a vintage ammunitions box topped with a vintage lace hankie.  I painted the flag table years ago when three other neighbors and I all had toddlers at home.  We did country craft shows together and called ourselves 'Four Friends' - cherished memories!

Now for my quick change pillows!  I took a plain red and white striped pillow. . .

. . . and laid a large star-spangled cloth  napkin on an angle over the top of the pillow.  I folded the napkin back over the top of the pillow and safety pinned it to the back of the pillow, making sure the safety pins wouldn't show. By using safety pins, I can remove the napkin and change it out to a different one for a different season!  I needed to secure the napkin to the front of the pillow so something that will be pretty since it will show . . .

I dug into by jewelry box for some brooches!  I used a vintage sun brooch to pin down the point on the top of the pillow. Luckily, I had two sun brooches for my two pillows.  Star brooches, or even rhinestone brooches would work for the Fourth of July!  Done! You can adapt this method to any holiday.  The red and white striped pillows do triple duty for me - I can leave them as they are for a nautical look or for a candy cane Christmas! But the addition of a colorful napkin affixed with a vintage brooch and the pillows are only limited by your creativity!

Here's a close up of my other sun brooch!

Abracadabra! The quick change is complete!  A tall tin flower pitcher filled with red geraniums and white mums grounds the coffee table centerpiece.  I found the blue denim print pillow at The Tattered House, the fleur-de-lis pillow at Restoration Hardware and the red pillow with the shell accent at Homegoods.

 As empty nesters, my husband and I have lots of quiet times in the house.  The days of three boys running in and out the doors are gone for now and we can display mercury glass candlesticks on our fireplace hearth which we would never have done when they were all at home.  A photo and the teddy bear are reminders of those wild Fourth of July's when we saw sparklers and smoking snakes scar our patios. 
So from all of us, to all of you - have a Cherished Fourth!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sacramento Antique Fair

In my days as a first grade teacher, I would often read the classic Three Billy Goats Gruff to my students.  The repetitive text was one of their favorites as they echoed the troll "Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?!"  In the case of the Sacramento Antique Fair, they would have to change the echo to "Who's that trip-trapping UNDER my bridge?!!"

Beneath the freeway bridges at 21st and W-X street in Sacramento, there are lots of treasures, and yes, you may even find a vintage troll or two!  Held the second Sunday of every month, The Sacramento Antique Fair has grown to be one of jewels of Sacramento. 

Under beautiful blue skies this past Sunday, I had the pleasure of introducing my friend, Margaret, to the fair.  We arrived early, found parking easily, paid our $3 entrance fee and we were in!  Watching my friends' jaws drop is something I cherish!  Margaret was no exception - she was in awe of the numerous vendors, and the selection of merchandise.  As I was explaining pretty much anything can be found at this fair, we walked by these 4 foot bunnies!
I mean, seriously, where else can you find four foot bunnies?!  They would be great for a store window display for perhaps Easter?  Since Margaret and I were not in the market for 4 foot bunnies we moved on!
  I found this vintage train case at the Sac Antique Fair months ago and I bought it with the intention of reselling it at Melange but . . . I loved it so much I couldn't give it up!  So when I came across another one I had to check it out to see if it was better in anyway.  The new one has initials of the previous owner as well as the original 'Samsonite' label on it's underside so you guessed it!  I bought it to keep for myself and now this one is on sale at Melange!  I have an affinity for old suitcases but I'll save that story for another post!
Vintage dresses, hats, purses are plentiful!  If you ever need the perfect costume, this is the place to come!  So many decades are represented, 
from the gold rush days to "Mad Men" days!
We saw vintage fur coats, stoles, jackets, hats - you name it!  There were all kinds - rabbit, mink, sable, and even those little scarf like ones with the fox heads and feet still attached - decided not to take a picture of those!
Its always fun to treasure hunt for a particular item!  Margaret searched all the tables filled with vintage dishware for candlewick crystal and Fostoria!  

She found a beautiful candlewick relish dish and a candlewick tab handled dish from two different vendors.  These will be cherished reminders of her first visit to the Fair!
Antique and vintage furniture is everywhere to be found down under the freeway! Dressers, mirrors, beds, cafe sets, armoires, bookcases - some with the original finish, some have been refinished - I plan on painting this headboard I bought. If you like super chippy style or refined, you will love the variety the Antique Fair offers.  Even if you don't need furniture, it is fun to look at!
My oldest son, Max, came with me one day and looked at all the vintage guns and tools. Alex, my youngest, came with me to the May show and found a vintage Bourbon decanter to celebrate his 21st birthday!  One look at the picture above shows the variety of treasures to view - a chest of flatware, a vintage scale, Chinese checker board, wicker and bamboo side tables, and a bobble head dog like we used to see in the back of cars!  Just goes to show you, one man's trash is another man's treasure!
See that little sailor boy riding that seagull?  I found him on a previous visit!  He won my heart and I bought him but had no idea what I was going to do with him until I got home.  Somebody was kind enough to bring him to the Sac Antique Fair 
instead of tossing him in the trash. 
 Now he resides over the vignette that includes a photo of my three sons when they were much younger.  He reminds me of how I used to dress my boys in cute sailor outfits to take their picture.  I wonder - what is his story?  Just a fleeting glance over a vendors table and the sailor boy jogged a memory of the day I took Max, then 2 years old, to get his photograph taken. I'll post the picture when I find it!!

Margaret and I had a great time that day. As Margaret walked the aisles at the fair, she spotted numerous items that were inherited by her generation from her Aunt Celie or Grandma Erica - the items were once cherished by them, and now remained with a new generation to be part of making new memories.  And that's why I cherish this show - from the vendors, to the shoppers, to the merchandise - so many treasures waiting to be found and so many stories waiting to be told!