Piddlin’ Surcies | Plaster Wall Hangings

Would you look at these beauties?! I can’t wait to figure out where I’m going to hang these concrete + plaster wall accents. Such charm! A friend gave them to me after I noticed them sitting in her garage. I owe her, right?!

What would you do with these three beauties…

Piddlin’ Sursies | Baseball Pinball

‘pressed while letting some of the outside in!

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

–Rogers Hornsby 

 While rummaging thru a few stubborn moving boxes I came across this fun game that was a very thoughtful Christmas gift to Ryan the year before last. 

It has been helping ease my baseball fever while encouraging it all the same!  Added bonus; it serves as a fun teaching tool in the continued explanations of our favorite sport to our toddler, who seems to have already developed a love for sports!

Go Braves! (…and Yankees…and Jays…and…well, I wouldn’t mind seeing The Cubs win another…)
| keep piddlin’

Piddlin’ Surcies | Granny’s Planters

‘pressed while baking my last batch of cookies

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Prior to my piddlin’ days, I would see these greek key cement planters + not think much of them.  They seemed like they were everywhere-a dime a dozen.  Until my Granny passed away + the pair that sat on her ne’er frequented front porch–seemingly year round with potted poinsettias from Christmas past–were gifted to me on my birthday.  Because they were once hers, I now admire them + their iconic style with a certain nostalgia each + every time I step through my door.

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We filled these special vintage planters with a few of my favorites–caladiums + ferns– on Mothers’ Day with my little girl’s help.  I like to think Granny Mabel saw us in action + got a smile out of seeing us finally putting a little dirt in them.  Isn’t it funny how something so mundane can become so meaningful, just by using a small ounce of thought or making the simplest of gestures?

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I hope I get to hold onto these long enough to pass them on to my daughter + I pray she will learn to recognize value in something otherwise ordinary.

| keep piddlin’!

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Piddlin’ Surcie | Opera Glasses

Take a look at an exciting update on this fancy piddlin’ surcie!

I have posted on these once before, following the Christmas they were gifted to me in 2013.  Initially, I referred to them as binoculars, however upon further research, I have found these mother-of-pearl beauties may also be classified as “opera glasses” or “theater glasses”, among one or two other deserving names.

First, consider this brief comparison below with a side of history:

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Opera glasses, seen in London ads in 1730 (*) are a later version of the original status symbol of the 19th century, lorgnettes, in French, meaning “to take a sidelong look at”, and in Middle French, “squinting”.  Truly, they were used as more of an aesthetic accessory for a ball rather than functional glasses for seeing, still, these served as the predecessor to what is sometimes used today at the theater. (Wikipedia)  See the selection currently offered by The Metropolitan Opera for sale + for rent here.

Those who know me well know that I am an old soul, former dancer + lover of the arts.  Imagine my delight once plans were made to see some of the premier ballet dancers in the world perform in Alexi Ratmansky’s Sleeping Beauty on The Met Opera  stage at The Lincoln Center in NYC!  Upon finding tickets, I immediately began to do a little reading to see if it was acceptable to bring these antique specs with me in addition to making sure they would clear airport security.  Since being given to me in December 2013, I have made a point to take them along to every performance I have attended.

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The entire experience as a result, was transcendent; I felt as though I was experiencing ballet in another era.

In Manhattan, the spectacular performance of ballet + orchestra alone was exquisite + even more-so having this extra special + sentimental item in hand–I was simply beside myself.  The entire experience as a result, was transcendent; I felt as though I was experiencing ballet in another era . .

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The mind reels at what my pair may have fetched in their illustrious history–these made by Solar Paris appear to be dated circa late 1800s + a quick google has them sitting pretty at $75 a pair.  If you consider yourself a thespian or a balletomane then this pair on Etsy are a must have for your next performance.  –Just see how it elevates your outing!

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I will forever remember the first time I attended a ballet as a member of the audience, mom explained that a night at the ballet is a reason, nay an occasion for dressing to the nines!  These theater glasses certainly can attest to that.  Back then, we always took any old pair of regular binoculars we could find, no matter the size!

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As a classical ballet dancer of nine years, I have grown accustomed to being on the other side of the stage with the consolation of this ability to observe the smallest details of the choreography up close, the perfected technique of the performer, as well the the faces of these lovely dancers turned actors on display.

I am forever grateful for these- a sweetly sentimental surcie that I hope to cherish for a lifetime.  Thanks, mom.

| keep piddlin’

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(*) fineoperaglasses.com

Piddlin’ Surcies | Family Heirlooms

Some of the very best piddlin’ finds aren’t finds at all but may be given as sursies!!

The last time we went to NC was for a baby shower with family + friends of ours back in April! It was so sweet seeing everyone, especially my husband’s mom, brother, aunts, cousins + grandmothers.  We were so blessed to be showered by such lovely + beautiful gifts as well as most of the much needed items for the nursery + baby.

After the shower, we stopped by Grandma’s house to give a few hugs + kisses before hitting the road + she surprised us with two of the most beautiful family heirlooms that we are sure to treasure + hand down for years to come!

Some of the very best piddlin’ finds aren’t found, but are given as sursies!!

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Such incredible family heirlooms! Thank you so much Grandma for letting us look after these gorgeous family mementos. We love you so much.

 

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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.

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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

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Piddlin’ Sursies | Mom Knows Best!

In my haste to share our piddlin’ treasures from the birthday road trip-I forgot to share the great ‘tiques mom gave me the night before we left town! Mom taught me all about antiques and got me around people who appreciated a good vintage find as well as creative family friends who purpose the heck out of some old items!

Take a look at two items that only mom could have picked out for me! 

[>] First this too cute coffee tin…from none other than: Charleston,SC!  Isn’t she a cutie?! This tin will certainly hold something fun soon, but in the meantime I am just admiring all the decor and vintage typography along her sides! Miss Carolina Coffee….who knew?! See a few creative ways to use vintage tin cans to organize + decorate around your home here.

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[>] Also, this beautiful damask hemstitched linen tablecloth! I cannot wait to use this for a pretty spread for some wonderful occasion soon. I can just imagine it at a wedding or baby shower! Isn’t this pattern so pretty?!

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Mom truly knows best! 😉
| keep piddlin’!

Piddlin’ Decor | A Piddlin’-Perfect Christmas

Decorating for Christmas is always fun, but it’s even sweeter with a few antiques in the mix!

I saw this precious idea in a couple of magazines and with a little convincing Ryan was able to figure out how to pull off placing our tree in this galvanized tub! We have loved it this year and probably will keep it as one of our newly established family traditions for years to come! *Bonus* It’s so easy to clean up those pesky pine needles from around the tub too without having the worry of accidentally catching the tree skirt in the vacuum! {I speak from experience}galvanized tub treegalvanized tub up close
This little guy stands a brilliant 2.5″ tall and came to us at Christmas last year as a gift from my mom, Dina. It is part antique-find, part inside-joke which makes it all the more special. While our dog Chipper has needed some time to get used to him {and this has resulted in quite a few life-threatening tail wags for dear “glowing-Santa”} he has been a wonderfully cheery and bright greeter throughout the holiday season to everyone as they enter the front door of our home!
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This is one of my favorite views of our home- the sled we decided would be so pretty perched just next to our tree and was gifted to Ryan from dear Aunt Frankie. The sled was hers as a girl and Ryan even got some use out of it while spending winters at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg,VA!! I wish I knew what it was like to ride a sled through snow and having this one in our home makes me smile thinking of all the snow it’s seen and all the snow I can only hope to see in my lifetime! It certainly makes it easier to dream about a white Christmas with it in our home! {and its always on hand in case we ever get a chance to use it again!} sled and lanterns
Although the lanterns you see here on our table are not true antiques they are two of our favorite wedding gifts; beautiful wooden lanterns with perfectly aged metal accents and glass windows; they make a really great centerpiece and can be used year round!

Now- these next lights are truly something special- they were some granny Mabel’s favorite Christmas lights that used to hang in her oak tree next to the driveway. I still remember going to Granny’s house with my dad, mom and brothers to help her decorate her house in early December once I got home from college for break. It’s easy to see why she loved them- they are just the right size to add a little something to any size yard and they twinkle brightly in the crisp, cold nights of December. I miss her so much and Christmas this year was so different without her this year, but it’s the smallest things like these snowflakes that warm my soul and remind me she’s watching over me and will always be with me! I can’t help but laugh when I think about her- she still seems so alive to me-almost 4 months after her passing. Merry Christmas, Granny!!
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Here are two shots of some of Mom’s antiques used for Christmas decor! First, some FABULOUS vintage paper cutters {used to create “Santas workshop” and also used as fully functional wrapping paper cutters!} Too cute!!! I love these- they are so sturdy and equally as decorative as they are useful! Piddlin’ perfection right there!santas workshop paper cutters

Lastly, this pretty little vintage bar cloth looked so pretty outside on mom’s outdoor bar! I love the little touches she uses to make the smallest spaces festive! I must get that from her!vintage bar cloth

Below, check out the ‘tiques Santa brought us (piddlin’ surcies), the piddlin’ finds we gave to others and our “brown paper packages” for a little extra vintage throwback!  Glad you stopped by, hope to see you again soon…

| keep piddlin’!


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Piddlin’ Trips | Piddlers’ Speed-Pickin’ Surprise

This Thanksgiving my boys + I traveled to Southport for our second year eating turkey and oysters with the fam…so I made sure to bake a few of great grandmother Helens cutouts!sugar cookie tradition
Another tradition around this time of year is piddlin’, both while meandering in downtown Southport, as well as on our way home! 

First stop: Olde Church Antiques in Supply, NC just outside Shallotte! Sitting right on the highway, I had definitely been in once before on a little piddlin’ outing with a family friend, her daughter, and my mom while we were all vacationing at their beach house on Oak Island; we were fascinated by the number of vintage signs that lined the ceiling!
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This trip was predetermined to be a speed pick and so it had to be quick, especially with the pup in tow. We did a blitz of the upstairs and ran downstairs “just to see”…not 3 minutes had we been spelunking this old, cold and wet basement, when Ryan {who seems to have become even better at eyeing the finds than myself lately} find a wonderful double wash-basin on casters that we plan to turn into a bar! All his idea! {What a catch!}
After spotting the red dot on the price tag, we knew we’d get a steal on the awesomely aged, two-tub basin and can’t wait to get it in commission so we can host friends when they come over during the holidays! {consider that your open invitation}
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Now since then, we have seen an incredible streak of piddlin’ luck! Take a look at these other piddlin’ basics we’ve been lucky to find:
This perfect little red and white enamelware bucket, a perfect match with the other one we have to store cleaning products!! {Makes it super easy to tote around the house from room to room and it’s much cuter than any old plastic bucket for sure!}red and white enamelware bucket
I have been searching for what seems like months for a rake head just like this one!! Go figure, Ryan finds it- in the back of a pretty large antique store in downtown Georgetown {on Front St} -of all places! It will be great once we hang it on the wall for organizing necklaces and bracelets! What a fun contrast that’ll be!!
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Now this was a GREAT find! I have only ever found ONE other paint by number which now hangs on our French-inspired bedroom wall pictured is a Paris street with a cafe, art peddler’s cart and a view of the Eiffel Tower! It was a ridiculous $5 at Metrolina in NC! This one is a beauty and sure to be among our wintery/Christmas decorations for years to come! $10 at the awesome ‘tiques store downtown Southport! Just feast your eyes!!!paint by number winter scene
Check out this egg basket! Currently sitting under our tree and filled with tree trimmings + makes a great organizer for just about anything! For now it makes a great decoration!

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This next beauty stole my heart while we were piddlin around the antique shops in downtown Southport! It was just recently featured in Country Living this past Fall as they showcased a bunch of collegiate memorabilia…I have a feeling it’s owner knew this, as the price reflected its newfound limelight; so it stayed in Southport and I left daydreaming about all the uses for it at our tailgates to come-napkins, utensils, cookies. Ryan and I both decided it would have been worth it had any “good” schools (i.e. ours)  been included…hahah maybe next time!college pennant lunch pail

Lastly, I have to share this fun locker rack that we found while poking around the cutest little coffee shop! 20121218-234028.jpg
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…and found Josh Duhamel’s scribble on the wall from his recent time spent in Southport filming Safe Haven! Josh Duhummel was here
I love our Thanksgivings in Southport- always so full of fun and excitement! Christmas in Ryan’s hometown of Elizabeth City is always fun too- I love spending time in the town where he grew up and spending more time getting to know all of his family better!

Next up: take a peek at how we do Christmas decor with antique flair!

Lots of Christmas joy and love to you and yours,

| keep piddlin’

Wedding Bells Are Ringing!

I hear wedding bells! 2012 has been deemed “The Year of Weddings” for many of my friends as well as Ryan and I. We have a wedding to attend in February and April, followed by three weddings in June, then our wedding arriving in September, and the most recent addition to the calendar is another Charleston wedding in November for a sorority sister. That adds up to 7 total! Did I mention that I am slated as a bridesmaid in a least four? Everyone told me it would happen this way and I must say, so far, it has really been FUN!!

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With our engagement party last weekend,The shower season is finally upon us and in full swing. Now, in regards to piddlin’ matters I must first share with you a few antique sursies given to Ryan and By a few friends close to our heart, our engagement photog, the always fabulous, one and only, Sally Lund Freshour; our sweet matchmaker, Caroline Delongchamps; and my hardcore piddlin’ girlfriend Jessie (aka, for those of you who know her well, “The Pig” (a nickname her brother gave her as a young girl – haha everyone needs a brother!) So here goes: This perfectly vintage cake topper is the most fabulous one I have seen to date! Found at Charlotte, NC’s Seasonal International Antique Expo at Metrolina.

That Sally is some kind of awesome and I highly recommend her for any of your (engagement, wedding, baby, family, professional) photography needs! Added bonus: this girl will travel, so check out her website. And tell her I sent you! sallyfeshour.com This pretty, antique cross made of beadboard is from Sweet Caroline D and has already found its place in a prominent spot by the door in my town home (which is where Ryan and I will live after the Big Day!)

And then, this fab sign- a staple item for every antique collectors home! So fun!

At this point, I cannot continue any further without sharing an item we acquired this Christmas!! This “Flexible Flyer” sled is authentic as they get and was once ridden down the hills of Blacksburg, Virginia by my fiancé! How amazing is this sled?!

Ryan has been telling me about it since last Christmas so naturally it was the first thing I asked about upon our arrival to Ryan’s parents’ house on December 23rd! She is a beauty and I’m already looking forward to putting a big fat bow with a nice fresh spring of cedar and fir next Christmas season! This poor sled may never be ridden in snow again, but it will always have a place of honor in this home!! Love her!!! Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I would have such an authentic sled in this picker’s antique inventory!

There is so much more to show you, so for fear of overloading you with excitement, I will have to leave it here for now ~ to be continued!!