I miss those days of meandering amidst endless cardboard boxes falling apart at the seams with chipped china plates + scuffed up architectural pieces. You just haven’t been piddlin’ until you’ve seen a show like that!
I’ve been spending lots of time lately at the usual haunts around town. After meeting a new friend late last year + kicking off 2020 with a piddlin’ streak, you could say the antique bug has bit once again! There are SO many fun stops around Metro Atlanta; this helped make our decision to relocate here so easy. Pro Tip: the areas that surround Atlanta are full of piddlin’ potential for miles for those willing to put in the travel time.
Sometimes you just gotta leave town to get a fresh look!
This past Friday I traveled a couple hours away to do just that. I found a lot of fun, saw some wonderfully unique things + also brought a few home. It was sensory overload with all the pretty booths + vignettes throughout the vintage market, though I’m forever on the hunt for a classic antiques show like the ones I cut my teeth on.
So here’s a few glimpses from the “show” + a few items that spoke to me that came home!
Piddlin’ finds that came home with me!
Does anyone remember Metrolina?
This quick day trip was a great change of pace + I’m beyond lucky my family can provide the flexibility to be able to let me go. I love the pause I’m given to think + reflect. I also found myself smiling, reminiscing about the time I snagged my first deal at Metrolina in Charlotte. I circled a very primitive wood bench (probably quite obviously, looking back), 😂 until I finally worked up the courage to make an offer. To my surprise, the dealer + I bargained a bit until finally settling on the exact price I wanted to pay for it. I have been hooked on hunting for treasures since. I still have that bench + have always treasured it as a symbol of the self-confidence I gained that day as well as the love for piddlin’ it instilled in me.
I so wish we could find another place where we can take a walk through piles of chippy, patinated junk as previously seen at places like Metrolina + Scott’s. I miss those days of meandering amidst endless cardboard boxes falling apart at the seams with chipped china plates + scuffed up architectural pieces. You just haven’t been piddlin’ until you’ve seen a show like that!
I’m talkin’ piddlin’ finds worth the bargain made for them. Those awesome things that hadn’t yet been dusted off or brushed up; rusty, dusty, fabulously forgotten finds. There is a bit of authenticity given to the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” when you are actually digging through the tangle of tossed things found at a great antique show. Bonus points if the piles of stuff are found outside! There is simply something added to the whole experience when it’s out in the elements.
I also got to meet up with my mom!
This was an awesome time for the two of us to spend some rare one on one time + we both really enjoyed the spontaneity of the meeting in the middle for the day. One thing we are equally interested in is antiques-!
When I was in middle-school, mom’s mom + her aunt took my cousin + I to “The Flea Market” at the Gaillard in Charleston on many occasions. While we honestly didn’t love it at first, we grew familiar to the experience what, with all the visitin’ with my grandmother + great aunts friends, + we began to look forward to picking out the souvenir hankie we would take home. We ended up with quite a collection. Though we grew away from those trips, mom continued to go until the building was renovated. I can still remember the last time I went with her while it was being held at an adjacent building—that was where we found my beloved Bermuda bag! Such memories made at an event that I would have never asked to go to otherwise.
Mom has also taught me a few of the tricks of the trade over the years, like how to make a deal, how to stay nourished while piddlin’—always pack a piddlin’ basket for the “intermission” tailgate, + how to efficiently pack up the car for the ride home. When I go piddlin’ I always carry my cash in the sterling cigarette case she gave me. She has a lot of stories from all of her trips with friends + encourages me to make a few of my own with my girlfriends too!
Over the years our styles have evolved, but the silver lining is we can now appreciate each other’s eye + pick side by side, while helping each other a little along the way. Remember this tip: the best piddlin’ partner is one who is willing (eager) to go check out a few local spots before heading back home.
A friend of mine also made a girls’ weekend trip to some of her favorite spots + they snagged a church pew for $125 (steal) – at their FIRST stop!! Doesn’t get any more meant-to-be than that. They also ventured to an auction which is what drew them to the area + walked away with some lovely Americana pieces—a beautiful GE fan, a sturdy wooden pulley, some enamelware frigidair refrigerator drawers with beautiful art deco type, a wooden checkerboard with loads of charm, a ladder for almost nothing, some nice vintage metal bin labels with great type, vintage ice skates + roller skates!! It’s so fun to make a girls’ trip out of these journeys because even if you haven’t found what you came for, you walk away with such memories!!
Have you done any hunting lately? What’s your favorite thing to collect?
I’m already looking ahead to see where my next day trip might be + making a wish list for it. Until then…keep piddlin’!
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?!
‘pressed to the sound of Van Morrison’s latest album, Three Chords + The Truth while the girls play + sing Frozen for the umpteenth time since we saw Frozen 2. “No, I’m Elsa + you can be Anna…”
Some of the best finds are the ones that come from an impromptu pick…you know, the really surprisingly delightful finds that pick you.
It was that way for this table.
I. [backstory] When we were first married, Ryan + I used a new table that his parents had bought for him. It was rectangle in shape with a dark stain, had chairs, a bench + space for guests. It was nice to look at, but that’s about all we really did with the table, look at it + pile things on it. We made some changes to open up the galley kitchen since we always seemed to be talking through the wall when between rooms. We took out the top portion of the wall to create a more open feel with the adjacent breakfast nook. Throughout the process of making edits (before, during + after) we talked about the table + how we thought the eating space should function. It was more in-play now because where there had once been just a doorway connecting dining area to kitchen, there would soon be a ledge for us to visit while cooking + the long rectangular table was taking up too much of the available space. It would be hard to make the new open space flow without editing the size of the table.
II. [booth, please] My dream then + for the forseeable future was + is to have a breakfast banquette. It’s a cozy notion, don’t you think?
When given the option, I am always a bench-seat-prefered kind of restaurant patron, so it’s a no-brainer to bring this cozy seating option to my favorite place to eat! I credit this, in part, to a time when I babysat for a sweet family with three boys + their home had a breakfast nook, tucked between two walls, not so different from this one:
The booth seating was very non-traditional, + limited, but ever so inviting. I’d always be more likely to be found cozied up in the banquette instead of in front of the TV when Caroline + Dean would come home + to me, that was the most comfortable spot in the house—which, was architecturally gorgeous by design. We had a few life talks at that table + as fate had it, they later introduced me to my husband. I can also remember another sweet family from early in my babysitting career, who had a larger built in bench below a grouping of kitchen windows for their frequent, impromptu little family gatherings. I still remember watching that young mom + dad feed their little ones Mama Brown’s barbecue until their tummies were stuffed full of pork, green beans + mashed potatoes. The bench was loved + pretty beat up, but it boasted extra storage + functioned to perfection for their convivial family time around the table. I remember thinking how fun it made meal time at their house.
III. [table lineup] Until we have a banquette of our own, we have been relying on a lineup of antique tables to make family meal memories that count. What a blessing it’s been, to have tables with such character gracing our home.
First, there was the craigslist table. You’re probably thinking, “what? you never really know who or what you’re dealing with on craigslist”; I tell you, it was simply meant to be! The listing led us to my uncle’s neighborhood–okay, so we were safe at least. Then to a gentleman who was parting with not just any old table, but one full of memories from years spent eating, doing homework + living life at this beautiful oak table which originally belonged to his grandmother from High Point, NC. It was scuffed + loved + after we measured, we knew it would fit perfectly in our nook.
The table with four leaves + oozing with charm, had picked us to be it’s new keepers.
We brought it to our townhome + began making so many memories, mostly after we had our first child. It provided a close spot for us to huddle together over amateur, home cooked meals + provided a nice flow as the go between from the renovated kitchen to the living room. We realized a few months after our baby girl was born, we needed to start making family meals a “thing” just as we did with our parents. Even though she ate her evening meal much earlier than we did, we began the tradition we continue today of sitting together + sharing time + family fellowship around a table. A couple months after that tradition began to stick, I began baking cutout sugar cookies for friends, families + lots of new customers. That table was crucial to getting my orders completed, from rolling copious amounts of dough to cutting, cooling + decorating. That noble table once held 13 dozen Clemson Tiger Paw cookies (wedding favors). If you know me, you know it was practically a crime to have one, let alone 156 of these abominable symbols painting our table with their audacious orange. What self-respecting baker turns down a wedding order? It was an honor, regardless of team loyalties + it was a big moment for me, for the table, for us. I often wonder if the table could have held up to the growing output from our little-kitchen-that-could. It will forever be a special chapter in our family’s story.
Before we knew it, our second child was on the way + we were uprooting our little family of four + moving to Atlanta.
The table made the trip + was a very important piece of “home” that helped us establish our family’s new normal in Georgia. Different state, same table, same family.
The summer before the round table made the permanent move to Atlanta, we still needed a place to have a meal together while we rented. We looked + looked but weren’t able to find much of what we envisioned for our family ritual. We made-do by gathering around the house’s kitchen island until finally, in the last month of that summer, we took a chance + introduced our first daughter to Scott’s. As fate would have it, we found our second antique table, outside in what my mother always refers to as “the dregs” + what I refer to as chippy good stuff. After admiring the table on the first walkabout, we circled back after walking around inside + bargained a deal for this beautifully aged, green farmtable. We just barely fit it inside my Volkswagen + around one carseat. Upon unloading it back at home, we realized it needed a little love, but with time running short before our second babe’s debut, it got put on the back burner.
Once we moved permanently, it sat in our shed for months + months until we realized it’s full potential as a backporch summer supper table. It has become a functional piece in our lineup now for six plus months of family meals, happy hour charcuterie feasts, birthday cake toasts, puzzle working + even a backyard party or two. It is easily one of my favorite pieces ever, simply because of it’s soothing green patina + classic structure.
Back inside, the round, brown table was front + center in the new kitchen + it was really showing signs of wear + tear. It was nice to sit + recall how at the same round table, we fed both of our baby girls their first rice cereal + solid foods, welcomed a second high chair + continued the intentional family meal tradition we started years ago. The stain was long past time for a brush up, so we got crazy, bought a sander, took it back to its original wood + then—we painted it!! I got the idea after seeing a high-gloss end table painted an enchanting color of blue/green in an Architectural Digest magazine. I had a few moments of doubt during the process, but generally loved watching the beautiful blue-green glistening paint go on coat after coat. The scalloped underside of the table + turned leg details were highlighted beautifully with the color + I couldn’t wait to get it back in rotation for meal time!
That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; it was a bold move + everytime I look at it, it gives me such a feeling of confidence in a style that is all my own.
We’ve made it work in a space that isn’t quite the right size for the beloved round table for almost three years, here. So the time finally came in the week after New Year’s Day, when we found ourselves scouring the internet for the next table for our stone farmhouse. Our home was built in the mid-late 70s, so many of the rooms have a certain quirk to them; some of the floorboards creak, occasionally there are doors that curiously cross paths + none of the rooms measure like most houses built these days. Having said that, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Quirk brings charm in our book, + charm begets a cozy value to a home if it is simply embraced.
So the ideal table for our oddly sized kitchen space would have to be a long, narrow farm table. When the sizes we kept finding weren’t falling into our ideal price range, we loaded the girls up in the pickup + went piddlin’!
We perused together, up + down aisles + saw some pretty fun picks. When we came across this table, I quickly we had that feeling; I found I couldn’t move from the spot. I hovered as I was trying to take in the table, it’s beautifully turned legs, its chippy layer of aged, white paint, it’s phenomenal pine wood versatile top:
I was entranced, just taking in all of the details. I didn’t want anyone to notice the treasure I was ogling, so I quickly found myself checking out the other items in the same booth that was chock-full of that vintage Americana style I always hope to see while piddlin’. When I come across a booth with such soul, I positively cherish it; it’s like meeting a new friend. We walked away to mill on the find, as one does + all routes led us back to see the table. It felt so right, so it was time to ask for a deal. Sure enough, it was on sale for 20% off. . . SOLD!
We got it moved inside + so began a piddlin’ inspired furniture chess game. Blue table to the dining room, those chairs here, china cabinet over there, it was all a bit mind boggling. Now that the dust has settled, I most love the way this new addition feels in the former breakfast table’s spot. Part table, part kitchen island, it is everything this room needed + opens the whole space up just like our first antique table did all those years ago in our townhome. It’s already become a favorite space for creative thinking, writing + soaking up the afternoon sun from our southwest facing windows!
Now-a-days, all eating takes place at the breakfast table in the dining room + we have had so many fresh ideas hatching since! As a creative mind, I so love a good shake up, it really gets my wheels turning. This is a good sign that our recent finds are truly meant to be. I once had a co-worker + friend from Buffalo, NY describe to me a kind of wives tale that all vintage/antique items carry a little of their past “lives” with them + some items have a kind of positive or negative energy about them. This idea sounds similiar to a feng shui concept, or as Ryan calls it, feng-fooey! Take it all with a grain of salt, y’all— for now, I’m loving the vibes of this new-to-us table. If only she could tell us where she’s been all this time! Imagine what stories each of these tables might tell.
What are your thoughts? I hope to have a few more updates to follow + I always feel we have a lot of catching up to do, so thanks for stopping by today.
What have you been up to so far in this new year?! What’s on tap for you in 2020?
‘pressed while singing “Row row row your boat…” (tongue in cheek)
These are one of my all-time-favorites-buy-whenever-you-see-them kind of piddlin’ finds!
Boat oars or paddles are classic antiques to have around the home + porch…below are a few glimpses of the two we have at our nest (an unmatched pair-which adds to the charm in my opinion) as well as a few fun ideas from around the web!
I have always sat these oars together for some added texture + interest in an otherwise boring corner of my home, but I always dream about how I may end up using these in a myriad of other ways! lf baby no. 2 is a boy, I can very easily see them in his room from day one to hold curtains, as I have always wanted to use them for this type of DIY:
…on second thought, these would certainly be handy in case we find ourselves navigating through “Waterworld” this weekend! I kid–! Though, we will be hunkering down for a good old fashioned hurricane party this weekend.
This is a culture my husband + I have grown up with for the past three decades so we are highly accustomed to protocols and precautions of being in a hurricane’s path. This is not to say we are in some way exempt from the dangers and warnings, rather we have been a part of making decisions like these for sometime and know what sort of safety hazards + damage timeline we are preparing to see. We have family in town–also staying–if things go from bad to worse and we need reinforcements, so don’t anyone worry about us for a second.
Some houses have just one team they cheer for on Saturdays, but in our home we have at least two we follow each weekend in the Fall, so it’s helpful to have a schedule handy! … It also helps us keep track of which team flag we’re to fly out front–best ranked gets the honors.
I love everything about vintage chalkboards, so this is just a no brainer for Gameday Piddlin’ Decor! Class it up with a gold frame, or dress it down with a more rustic or traditional school board frame:
This chalkboard was once used at an area church for Sunday school lessons! I love when I pick up a piece with a story.
This won’t be the last time you see me “talk” about my love of chalkboards! Wouldn’t I just love to find a massive board on a stand with casters?! Ohh-an antique lovin’ girl can dream! Let me know if you see one in your travels–please!
Cheers to Week 4 of College Football! …as always, may the best team win!
How was your Week 2? Whelp, things around our house got a little rocky…
It was tough enough for our “house divided” heading into last Saturday knowing we’d have two games to watch simultaneously. However, as we have done many times before, we raised our split flag out front, set up our two TVs + settled in for the long night.
Things started out pretty pitiful for The Gamecocks, but they went from bad to worse following a long weather delay in Starkville, Mississippi followed by a flailing, second-half, Hokie team in Bristol + all in all, it made for a rather unpleasant night of football watching.
Despite over 500 miles between our two game venues there was an obvious theme–the annoying reiterance of two well-known + beloved (by many) gameday traditions: the Tennessee Volunteers’ catchy-at-first fight song, “Rocky Top” + the clanging cowbells of the Mississippi State Bulldog faithful. (read more about the cowbell tradition here)
I have always loved the sound of a simple dinging cowbell–that is, a single bell by it’s lonesome, or even the strands of bells seen around the holidays, mostly for the bucholic visions it brings to mind– however it certainly became it’s own entitity among the crowd at Davis Wade on Saturday. Gamecock fans present, went from outnumbering Vanderbilt at home in Week 1 to fading into the similarly colored sea of maroon–and cowbells! Yikes…rough start to our season.
I believe wholeheartedily that gameday traditions are what they are + if they adequately deter from a game, well then your team should come up with something to overcome it– it’s part of how you play the game– I digress.
This is my antique cowbell that I found in my early piddlin’ days… it is a rusty, perfectly patinated thing of beauty and each time I pick it up, I imagine the farm animal that once wore it. It’s sound is one not often heard much anymore in its original fashion, but it brings an instant smile to my face–as long as it’s not naptime…
Whether the cowbells of Mississippi State have worn on your last nerve or not, you have to admit it’s a pretty unique tradition + a no brainer to share with you here today!
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.
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?
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.
Today is the day we kickoff another season on the gridiron, between the hedges, in the grove or in some other hallowed arena. Tonight + all through the weekend (unless of course your team has already kicked off in some far corner of the world), we’ll be cheering, crowing, gloating + perhaps groaning at our teams that represent those assembled + gone before “in the glory days”.
In honor of all those years we spent studying at our alma mater with our fellow co-eds + walking campus alongside the seemingly super-human student athletes, we will watch in hope + we will cheer to see if that “University of”, “State” or “Tech” College will mystify us with an elusive undefeated season + if not, we’ll keep watching in order to hedge our bets on how our odds fare against that big bad rival sitting at the bottom of our schedules.
The magic + nostalgia of each of those worlds we lived in once upon a time, however brief or long the chapters ran in our lives, give us a special feeling about this day. It feels like Christmas with the shiny new helmets + a sparkling clean record to preserve.
No matter how you choose to celebrate today, this weekend + the months ahead, we cannot ignore the time-honored traditions that make the cheering-good, bad + otherwise- a little more bearable. I hope to share a few of these with you through the college football season.
I found this impossibly cute Carolina bobble head in the most unlikely of all places-my brother’s small college town of Newberry, South Carolina. It remains one of my favorite piddlin’ finds of all time + I will relish the day that I finally have a proper place for him to look over us on Gamedays spent in our sports room! As for the signed football- it’s not an antique quite yet, but as of this season, it is well on its way!
May the best team win…stay tuned for more fun piddlin’ finds to use at your next tailgate!
| keep piddlin’