Piddlin’ Trips | Functional Finds from The Queen City + Beyond

‘pressed on the road, at nap time + a polished off after supper

One October past, I took an impromptu solo road trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to peruse some of my favorite piles of junk at Metrolina’s Antique Extravaganza!  Oftentimes, my love of discovering old things sends me off in new directions exploring unfamiliar or less frequented territory;  this is key to finding the gems that keep me coming back for more.

It was fun flying solo on a crisp fall morning to one of my first out of town stomping grounds, but there truly were not many finds to be had.

Little did I know, this trip would break the mold!

It seems to me, that as decorating with old things has grown in popularity, the prices continue to rise at the more frequented stops + the search for a bargain find has become more + more competitive.  I did manage to find a couple of very useful treasures, as luck would have it –behold the jackpot items below!


[>]  This green hardware trough {pictured above} has found the perfect spot in our home in a number of ways, most recently as my cutout cookie co. packaging supplies organizer for the past year and a half + prior to that, it effectively + beautifully corralled the cache at my surcie-wrapping station  {two of my other hobbies: baking + packaging//presentation}.

After our upcoming move at the end of the year, it will most likely find a new life as the perfect gardener’s assistant atop a potting bench, or even help sort my handy husband’s tools on his workbench…stay tuned for more on all that!!

[>] The second find of the day was a perfectly-sized box for our dog bowls!  It was purchased with a specific idea in mind- i.e. cutting bowl sized holes into the top of the overturned box to place the bowls inside the top slats {or bottom depending how you look} so they sit flush with the flat side of the container. This saves our sweet {aging} pup from having too much pressure on his back/joints while eating + drinking while keeping up with the vintage feel of our home–all in all, it’s a big win!



For now, we are using the bowls on top of the box because we wanted to make sure our boy would not have any qualms with the new set up– and sure enough, he loves it!

I am not sure that I want to cut into such a great box just yet…I love the aged look of the wood + can hardly stand to even think of repurposing such a great old container in such a permanent way; there are SO many great uses for a box of this size!  Either way, we love this addition to our family room + it’s safe to say the pup does too.


The Depot at Gibson Mill was my second stop + replaced my usual haunt on this trip, The Sleepy Poet.  Since my first piddlin’ trip to Charlotte some years ago I had seen The Depot advertised all over, yet had never had the chance to make the trip to Concord, a bit outside of The Queen City limits.

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 When I pulled up to Gibson Mill, my senses were on overload; from the country drive into town + the train that speeds by adjacent to the parking lot, to the sight of the monstrosity that is the mill housing The Depot–how would I ever get through this entire place without my trusty sidekick pickin’ beau?!  The initial daunting feelings quickly evaporated when I came upon the most amazing item I had seen in some while…

[>]  A perpetual calendar was waiting for me in the fifth booth down, on the first aisle I chose.  I could hardly believe my piddlin’ eyes as the rush of disbelief + excitement came over me just laying eyes on this item.  I held my breath as I picked up the calendar to see what the price would be: $21?!  Another item scratched off the antique wish list, unreal.  I was one aisle + five booths in and already began thinking– Gibson Mills FTW!


[>] Speaking of wins…not many paces away down the same aisle, was this classic college pennant tin trash can which I had recently seen featured in Country Living…what luck!!  I cannot wait to see this in our finished sports room–another project that is currently many years in the works, thanks to our collecting-albeit discriminating- habit.  Check out the matching lunch pail we found a few years back, while spending Thanksgiving on the coast of North Carolina…

What a great trip it was to Charlotte–just writing about it makes me eager to head back! Who’s up for a Fall piddlin’ trip?!

There is simply nothing better than piddlin’ in Autumn.  Oh, I cannot wait for the cooler months to grace us with their presence: crisp air, crunchy leaves, football, pumpkin spice everything + piddlin’– bring it on.

| keep piddlin’!




This post is published in homage to Metrolina: one of the first antique “shows” I ever attended as well as the first place I successfully bargained with a vendor.  June 2 was the last show and I am elated for the future it opens up for finding new haunts at better prices!  Memories made there will not be soon forgotten.

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Piddlin’ Finds | Art Deco Earrings

A few birthdays back {I have officially stopped counting}, my thoughtful fiancé, took me on a birthday piddlin’ trip through the Atlanta area.

At the time, I had been sucked into- embarrassingly enough- a show on the CW called The Vampire Diaries which films in + around a small town outside of Atlanta; Covington, GA.  If it sounds familiar, it is also where the pilot episode of late 70s-early 80s tv favorite, Dukes of Hazard (1979-1985) was filmed.  While I have many fond memories of this particular road trip with my beau, among the highlights are these spectacular “ear bobs”, as my Granny Mabel used to call them.


One month from our wedding, I was still dreaming of wearing a fabulous pair of heirloom-worthy earrings, though I had nothing particular beyond that in mind nor any clue how or where they could be found.

When I saw these Art Deco sparklers in a case at one of the antique shops in Covington, it was fate.  I asked to see them, only so I could better read their tag.  While I prepared to be heartbroken at what I assumed would certainly be a three digit price, I found the pair were surprisingly affordable {$23!!}.  Although they were clip-on + lacking the original clip padding, I decided these were meant to be + simply could not be left behind.img_8701-1
I wore them to our wedding reception the following month + they were just the finishing touch to my attire that night to make me feel the part!

Never did I dream that all those clip-on earrings I played dress up with in my childhood were preparing me for this occasion.

I toyed with the idea of wearing them on several occasions since then, but it never felt right–until one night recently at The Met Opera at The Lincoln Center in NYC.  The event was a unique opportunity to see some of the finest ballet dancers in our country on stage with American Ballet Theater dancing in Alexei Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty.
For the occasion, I knew my ensemble had to be feminine + flawless, as this would be the ultimate night at the ballet for me to date-truly an evening I have only ever dreamed of!  When taking in a ballet, I prefer to dress the part + wear a ballet inspired outfit; I chose a pastel pink, pleated midi skirt + paired it with a favorite white lace tank, black velvet ankle strap sandals + a leopard print clutch.

As I took in the sights of this grand venue, from the gold railings to the crushed red velvet drapes, wall coverings + seats, I was awestruck by the glamorous Art Deco sconces all aglow + the twinkling “Sputnik” chandeliers reminiscent of another time while at once demanding all the attention of an art exhibit inside the atrium as well as inside the theater. It was uncanny the way my fun costume jewelry fit right in with the grand ambiance of this extraordinary evening!



This sentimental piddlin’ find was the finishing touch on the perfect outfit for an unforgettable outing on cloud nine…for the second time!

I also brought along my vintage mother of pearl theater glasses, making the experience completely magical.

See more of the enchanting details of our night at the ballet + the opera glasses here.

|keep piddlin’

Piddlin’ Decor | Polished Powder Room

When a collection of vintage framed photographs + artwork 5 years in the making finds a new purpose in a tiny wash closet, the result is a polished powder room!  See how a few piddlin’ finds came together below:


This project has been years in the making- no exaggeration.  The wheels have been spinning on this room since I moved into the townhouse my architect beau acquired + fixed up prior to our meeting.  Upon my arrival on the scene, he had taken off at least one layer of wallpaper + turned this wash closet into a functional + modern powder room with dark slate tiles, wainscoting, a small vanity sink, a n d…butter yellow paint.

The blah yellow had left me feeling washed out for the last time- it had to go.

About the time I found myself daydreaming about the fun, punchy, patterned wallpapers that were sure to be the quick fix I was looking for, I was convinced otherwise by my architect husband that wallpaper–i.e. the same stuff he had so painstakingly removed from almost every wall in our home once already– would certainly not be the way to go + so I was tasked to pick a paint color.


F i f t e e n…paint chips + a few weeks later, with the help of my alarmingly astute toddler “we” picked Urbane Bronze from Sherwin Williams + I could not be happier with how it turned out!  It’s bold, earthy + warm without bringing too much purple or blue + has a hint of olive that reminds me very much of the pluff mud of my coastal upbringing.

The extras: I LOVE how the antique ladder-turned-towel rack, the preserved mini boxwood wreath that adorns it, the repurposed sterling creamer {pretty polished or tarnished} + the paint color chosen, all work together to compliment the salon style art on the walls {featuring a mixed motif of coastal inspired art + vintage group photos}  As a result, this is currently + perhaps rather oddly, my favorite room in our home.



| More exciting piddlin’ adventures to come…




Piddlin’ Finds | Southern Gems

I haven’t been piddlin’ very often so far this year, so two Fridays ago, I was able to get over to Antiques Market in Mount Pleasant for a speed-pick just before they closed. Sometimes, I just like the smell of an antique mall and the comfort of being surrounded by old things just waiting to be rediscovered. After all, the secret to great piddlin’…

I haven’t been piddlin’ very often this year, so two Fridays ago, I was able to get over to Antiques Market in Mount Pleasant for a speed-pick just before they closed. Sometimes, I just like the smell of an antique mall and the comfort of being surrounded by old things just waiting to be rediscovered. Afterall, the secret to great piddlin’ is that nothing has to be purchased, often times it is a scouting trip that turns out to be time better spent than a big buying trip. On this occasion however, I was pleasantly surprised to have these two Southern gems find me. Let’s not forget that is how it happens after all!

This lovely, well-worn piece of driftwood came home with me for $8 and this classic “blue book” of etiquette {Emily Post’s no less} was on sale, so I snagged it for $16! I just LOVE the gold engraved writing revealed, now that the dust cover is no longer on the book! The font is exactly what I would imagine for a book of this subject matter! I can’t wait to flip through it’s beautifully yellow-ed pages and see what’s changed and what hasn’t since its publish date! What Southern lady or gentleman doesn’t love a little etiquette refresher after all? I will have to share a few excerpts from the book once I have a chance to look through it. Have you been enjoying any good piddlin’ lately? Please, tell me about it below!! I miss hearing from everyone!

| Until next time!





Piddlin’ Finds | For Auld Lang Syne

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It’s already 2014 and I still have piddlin’ finds and stories from 2013 to tell! So- without further ado let me show you a few of these sweet finds that brightened my year, but first have a quick peek at the fun time we had ringing in the new year in our own backyard to the sound of area fireworks!

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Now to the good stuff! We picked up these sweet piddlin’ finds from Antiques Market this past September with a little birthday money I had been given in August and I have been loving them so very much.

I have been looking for some uniquely fabulous milk glass pieces to jump-start the collection. What is not to love about this hob nob milk glass vase? It’s ultra feminine and just so perfectly retro.



Next up: this pretty little toast rack that was just featured in February’s Country Living! {see below} I looked everywhere in 2013 for something just like this one to hold our outgoing mail + correspondence {call me an old soul; I am a *huge fan* of sending and receiving snail mail} + we finally snagged this one for $10? $12? also found at Antiques Market!

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Lastly, take a look at a few of my favorite {vintage gifts} I was given for Christmas! Aren’t vintage gifts the BEST!?

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This {little lion locket} is my new favorite!! My mom has named him, “Leo the Lion”…I’ve never seen anything quite like him- have you?

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I am loving our evolving collection of milk glass– look at this mini hob nob milkglass vase for the dantiest of flowers!  Perfect size for a guest room, window sill or bathroom sink- so sweet.

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These gorgeous mother of pearl binoculars are the PERFECT thing and just what I have been hoping to find for a night at the ballet! Mom and I recently went to see The Shanghai Ballet at Sottile Theater and we had dad’s football binoculars with us…not exactly what a lady should take to the theater! {These beauties} will be classy & fabulous for our next girls’ night out! PLUS: I spotted the very same ones a few days after Christmas featured in Southern Living! Jackie O would be so proud. That Santa always knows just what to give!

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Ryan’s Grandma also loves antiques and she gifted us with this fun little vintage bottle rack! I’m thinking it will be perfect to store some vino or perhaps even the milk jar collection we started so long ago! I’ve also seen organizers like this used for magazine and condiment storage! What would you use it for? Regardless, it’s the cutest thing with the little wooden handle that’s sure to add a nice shabby chic touch to any room.

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Also, while we were at Grandma’s for Christmas, Ryan’s brother had asked about trying on a pair of their grandfather’s cowboy boots. As luck would have it, Ryan was able to fit into this amazing pair of boots that he remembers his Granddad wearing. This was one of the coolest things we brought home from Elizabeth City because last Friday was one year since we lost Granddaddy Sam. These will be such a special reminder for both of us, but especially for Ryan each time he sees them! There is nothing more special, nothing more truly vintage than a hand-me-down.

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The day after Christmas we enjoyed the scenic drive from Charleston to Kiawah to be with our Walker Family!

As a new tradition this year, we decided to play White Elephant Gift Exchange instead of exchanging gifts to each member of the family. It was such a blast especially since I walked away with Granny Mabel’s Framed High School Diploma–!! Everyone was in an uproar as I opened it’s bright red wrapping because half the family didn’t even know it existed. The best part? It will be kept by the relative that opens her then, brought back each Christmas -wrapped- to be included annually in the Walker White Elephant Exchange! I love this and I am so elated that I got to take it home first! It is the biggest, most beautiful diploma I may have ever seen.

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Last, and certainly not least, we received a very, very special antique this Christmas…

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…this beautiful {sterling silver rattle} that will be held, loved and cherished in the Summer of 2014!

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Here’s hoping your 2013 and Christmas season have been filled with love, hugs and lots of laughter.

May your 2014 be bright and blessed.

| with love




Piddlin’ Finds | Carolina Cane Chairs

These chairs really compliment our new to us antique table’s character + were found in Gibsonville, NC just NW of Greensboro where we spent the weekend taking in the ACC tournament- a huge tradition among basketball and all college athletics fans alike. It was fun getting a chance to spend time with Ryan’s dad leading up to his birthday too! 

Here’s a close up look at the chairs when we found them in the antique mall…Ryan has gotten so good at finding these places that all I have to do is go along for the ride! See all of our recent trips on the “Past Piddlin’ Trip” page found up top!

and here’s one more of the beautifully unique table legs on this amazing find originally from the area near High Point, NC! The table belonged to a man who lives in Mt. Pleasant, who had inherited it from his mother, originally from that area in North Carolina! …we found it…..on Craigslist.  Definitely a case of an antique finding us…just meant to be.

| keep piddlin’!

Oh Piddlin-Trips!

Charlotte, NC / Columbia, SC

One month ago, while piddlin’ I came to the conclusion that I had seen all the antique shops in town (and surrounding area) and decided it was time for another trip to Metrolina. After quickly checkin out their schedule for upcoming “extravaganzas” I called our dear friend, neighbor as well as my own personal antique collecting muse, Jessie.

[piddlin’] is about having an eye for certain items that you may or may not be in need of and having an intutive sense of what these items can be used for.

A little background: Jess is a sun-kissed yankee transplant, a vivacious + passionate mother of two all-american kids that do it all.  Being originally from Upstate NY, Jessie was always exposed to some fine + primitive antiques + her love of such started at home- with her mom. I don’t know how she does it, but mygoodness this lady can piddle with the best-of-em.  She even takes along her special piddlin’ bag for the occasion, loaded with her favorite piddlin’ snack: almonds + dried cranberries…yum!  One of the many things I have learned from Jess is that piddlin’ is not only about finding a diamond in the rough piece, its about having an eye for certain items that you may or may not be in need of + having an intutive sense of what these items can be used for.

I’ve picked up quite a few great items lately, so this update will likely need to be spread over the course of a couple entries (so check back soon)…

Suffice it to say- the antique show at Metrolina in Charlotte was a great time , although not nearly as hustlin + bustlin as the usual show in Fall.

Here are a few items found last weekend:

…another coke crate for my RC Cola lovin beau! I recently found out that RC stands for Royal Crown, it being based in the Queen City- Charlotte, NC!  I also love that these are his + my initials.
"Little Queen"
…another coke crate for my RC Cola lovin beau! I recently found out that RC stands for Royal Crown, it being based in the Queen City- Charlotte, NC!  I also love that these are his + my initials.
crock 1
…another coke crate for my RC Cola lovin beau! I recently found out that RC stands for Royal Crown, it being based in the Queen City- Charlotte, NC!  I also love that these are his + my initials.

I did find a few other items however they are being stowed away for a special occasion {shhhh… don’t tell Ryan}

| to be continued


Well there’s more where that came from! How about these fabulous chippy shutters with that black on blue patina?!  Found these in the little fox den of an antique shop nestled right over the Gervais St Bridge in Columbia, SC…who knew!!?

shabby shutters

I had lots of fun picking out these fun vintage bottlecaps out of one serious collection @ Metrolina, now, they’re magnets for the fridge at the townhouse!

classic bottlecaps

unique bottlecaps

rare bottlecaps

I snagged this beautifully aged nautical flag for $12 also at Metrolina…it represents the letter “X” or can be interpreted alone as ” Stop with your intentions” as a means of boat to boat communication. SO. COOL. and such a great find!

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The ultimate find of this particular weekend must remain a secret, but will be revealed after the 2nd weekend in May when I present it to Ryan for his birthday! I think he’ll really like it…

…what will it be!!?

| check back soon!






Between Piddlin’ Trips

iron "doorstop"
a little piece of history for my architect beau; seen here as a front door stop

My mom has updated her booth recently!  Sterling Silver Tradition has traded two dusty cases for a beautifully aged wood + glass case…swoonworthy.

Also, be sure to stop by throughout the week to see SST’s latest purchases fresh from Atlanta to you (via Scott’s Antique Market)

What did she bring home for me, you ask?  Well…two very fabulous finds, if you don’t mind my braggin’.

first doughbowl!

…the first  being my very own dough bowl!!! at long last, I have one to call mine! Can’t wait to serve up some steamin’ lowcountry boil…I can already smell the ole’ bay! MmMmMm! …can’t go wrong with a receipe like this! (via Garden & Gun Magazine)

The second surcie is equally as fun as it is functional, a pretty antique-French-blue fleur-de-lis which looks great on a bookshelf or even as a doorstop!

fleur de lis

Now- I must add, just a few other finds I’ve been lucky enough to stumble over in the past month:

milk pail
This chippy little wooden bucket with rusted bands is perfect for holding my current reading materials + later, just about anything else! (via Northbridge Antiques)
blue school desk

The best part about this desk is how we found its matching counterpart while in Walterboro: a sweet little matching blue school desk chair which will one day make quite the study table.
Cannot seem to collect enough of these antique washboards; they will be so pretty in my laundry closet!


until next time- keep piddlin’!!





when i received a text from mom on friday: ” road trip tomorrow?” i knew this past weekend was guaranteed to be good. we both had long been discussin’ a trip to savannah, ga for many reasons. however, when our dear friend & neighbor, Jessie, suggested we could snag some fab finds a little closer to home, we ran with the idea.

we set out-dunkin donuts’ coffees in hand- around 8am. by 8:30 we were headin down highway 17 s to some of the smaller towns of the south carolina lowcountry. the scenic route...hwy 17 s

lady’s island was our first stop. it was our favorite kind of antique store: mini-mall. this is where many different dealers have “booths” under one roof. so it amounts to one-stop shopping for all kinds of odds & ends. it makes for a great day of antiquing, because you never know what you’ll find.

we found these cute little hand stitched pillows for $3 to be used on the two blue chairs in my new townhouse:
  handmade pillows

also, a new unusual mason jar for my collection @ $8

mom snagged a handful of  $2 vintage green-glass coke bottles for her backporch milk carrier. all the bottles were from near-by bottling plants including: beaufort,sc; augusta,ga; & savannah, ga. too cool.

we jumped back into the car and headed to walterboro, where there are 12 advertised antique shops, so you can imagine, some were quite the tourist traps! all that we saw was so great, each store in their own way. the mini-mall style is always the best, however. we pulled up to the main strip in historic, downtown walterboro and our first stop was a quaint little coffee house where we grabbed a couple bagels and vanilla lattes. {delish!} that gave us an opportunity to get excited about the first store across the street that had at least 4 display windows and a sidewalk, full of wonderful finds: downtown walterboro: antique mecca!

Ultimately, we just brought home a few surcees, but the find of the day was this old school desk that has a light wood veneer atop a pale, antique-y blue legs! $15!!!!!

We were bummed we didn’t have more time to spend there. We spent too much time in the last store on the street; we really wanted to check out this great little roadside stop in ravenel, en route back to mount pleasantspeedin' past Farmhouse Antiques…but of course, we ran out of time. Overall, it was a such a great trip, and a much needed break from reality. mom’s are great like that.

| piddles!