Piddlin’ Trips + Finds | Long Time, No Write!

Well hey there, stranger! Long time, no see-

I have been quite a busy piddler lately! Since March I have been…to

  • 5 weddings
  • 3 bachelorette parties- not including my own,
  • shopped for 4 bridesmaids dresses- for myself and for my own fair ‘maids,
  • then attended 3 engagement parties
  • 5 wedding showers
  • opened countless packages and cards filled with wonderfully thoughtful words and gifts
  • attended a delicious food tasting at Newton Farms
  • had fun at Charleston Fashion Week with the cutest neighbor who is also Charleston’s favorite Lilly Pullitzer store manager
  • house sat at my favorite antique mansion
  • acquired my first passport
  • created a wedding registry at 3 of my favorite stores
  • took a ferry trip up the beautiful coast of North Carolina, also known as The Outerbanks (that’s OBX for all you tourists)
  • ate the best teriyaki ahi tuna sandwich of my life at an undisclosed location en route
  • and met lots of Ryan’s friends and family

…all while making plans for our own special day (coming soon to a church near you). Through all this, we have been renovating what will soon be “our” kitchen and I have managed to hold onto at least 25% of my sanity at all times.

Now you can see how there has been little to no time for piddlin’ nor even so much as a sentence-length update to the piddlin’ press and I have really been having withdrawals- All work and no ‘tiquin’ (that is…antiquing or piddlin’) makes MC a dull girl! I mean look, for 3 years now, I have been able to post some type of preview, image or update almost every month and for the very first time I have gone some 5 months without so much as a peep! So last weekend, when we knew a trip to IKEA was in store, we took the opportunity and ran with it!

Ryan and I started renovating the kitchen back in March and it has been such an adventure! I was on a friend’s bachelorette weekend in Florida when the first of the revamps took place and I was genuinely upset about not being able to help with that first round of demolition—which everyone knows is THE best part of renos! Ok well, let’s face it, I do love to paint and pick colors, tiles and the like, but I digress. Each phase of the process my handy architect sits me down and walks me through the step by step process at hand and we discuss back and forth a bit about how it will should go. It was during the most recent chat we decided to replace the old (circa 1970-something) counter-tops, with beautiful beech butcher block counters! Now, my fiance, being the crafty/resourceful man that he is not only found out that IKEA sold butcher block, but also had planned in a side trip to one of our happy haunts: Sleepy Poet! We, correction, I have had my heart set on a very specific screen-door style. While this type of door is available new, Ryan and I have a love of all things worn-in over the brand new, so we set out on a hunt for just that- our new/old screen door.

While this trip may not have produced any screen-door finds, we did manage to rustle up a few great picks. You mind, now- I have already picked out the perfect paint for said door, hahah…I just haven’t quite gotten my hands on that particular object for painting it as of yet! (mercy)

So, in the meantime, check out the fun finds below that we snagged on this (much needed) trip and look for more updates on home improvement with Team R+C. (total nerds, yes)

[>] This is a piece I have been wanting for some time now! …it’s an old ceiling tin square that used to make up the ceilings of just about every restaurant for a time. The tin is magnetic and can be used as a magnet board for photos, mementos and notes! I can’t wait to hang this on a wall in my finished kitchen or even upstairs in the hallway!

[>] These awesome gas station numbers (below) were discovered by Ryan at Sleepy Poet! So in love with these- once we hang them we’ll have no trouble remembering our anniversary! 😉

[>] Next, you’ll see more gas station lettering here with our two favorite initials that also make up the name of one of our favorite collectible items: RC Cola! Ryan grew up drinking RC on Saturday mornings which he spent working on tractors with his granddaddy at his Case International tractor shop!

When Ryan and I were first dating, I bought him an antique iron bracket that I knew he would appreciate as a repurposed door stop with him being an architect. This was after he had once told me, “you’re more than welcome to fill up my house with antiques!” I took him completely seriously and the piddlin’ habit grew. The second antique I ever gave Ryan, was one that I found at Metrolina in Charlotte- it was a wooden RC Cola crate. Prior to gifting it to him, I filled it with RC Cola cans, knowing he was sure to love it! It was later on that we realized the letters in the drinks’ name were also our initials.

[>] These fabulously-French inspired dishtowels are tres-chic and tres-handy! We found these gems at IKEA of all places…can you say .79 a pop? The antique version goes for MUCH much more!

[>] Now, the next couple photos are finds that we picked up at Riverside Antique Barn in Wallace, NC on our way home from the wedding shower thrown in our honor!  It was Memorial Day weekend, but we had no idea they were open and had even looked up their hours online, once in the car. Ryan decided to drive me by it so I could see what a killer warehouse it really was (he had been once before). It was just our luck that they were open on the occasion and here is what we found!

[>] Some fabulous antique clothespins

[>] These 2 precious red + white enamel refrigerator tins (that’s pre-tupperware, ladies and gents)!

[>] and lastly, these Dr. Pepper bottle caps which will be magnets by the end of this week! Love the 10 -2 and 4 on these especially!

That is it for now, thanks for checkin in and catchin up! Don’t forget to let me know of any items you’re looking for as I am always happy to pick up a sursie or two for anyone! (Meredith, still looking for your ladder!) Hope to have more again soon to share. ‘Till then-

| peace, love + antiques for all

Just Piddlin’ Y’all!

Okay, first order of business, I owe you a post and it will be a good one when I finally find the time to polish it up! More importantly, I awoke Saturday morning to find a lovely little magazine article from a publication you may have heard of…Southern Living – !!! posted on my facebook page.

“The Fine Art of Piddling”

The article is in this month’s issue and talks about the art form that is piddlin!!! Please, don’t take my word for what a fun read this is! Just read it here in Rick Bragg’s Southern Journal! {Enjoy}

Keep Piddlin’!

Life is FULL of Surprises!

Mom always said, “If you’re good, life will be full of surprises!” So let’s see…there were a few stops in Southport, NC for Thanksgiving where Ryan’s brother lives, even though I wasn’t entirely sure we’d have time what with all the cooking, eating, napping, and football watching we had in store this Thanksgiving (our first together). That was where I first saw and fell in love with this *GEM* which was later given to me from Ryan’s parents for Christmas! *Such* a fabulous, fabulous surprise!

Then there were the somewhat surprise stops in Landrum, SC and Inman, SC en route to Asheville, NC where we actually found some very fab vintage coke glasses for Uncle Tom-which he LOVED, a neat baguette board as seen in this picture holding the green and gold ornaments:

and then from Inman,SC : we found these very fun Spanish tiles which I plan to make into coasters very soon!!

That was early December so our next trip came on December 22nd as we drove to Elizabeth City, NC to celebrate Christmas with The Jennings Families! We stopped just outside of New Bern, NC (yes, the birthplace of Pepsi) and found this wonderfully unique “Maola” milk crate complete with heavy steel/aluminum bottom. SO AWESOME:

AND the other fab find was an addition to mom’s collection of Royal Doulton children’s dish line, “Bunnykins.” The find? …a bowl that pictures bunny’s picking peaches!! AH! I wanted to keep it for myself, but she started her collection first! Hopefully my name gets written down to inherit it (wink, wink)!!

As if these great finds weren’t enough, we even were gifted with some cool antiques this Christmas that ONLY mom could have found—she always finds the BEST stuff!

So first-this awesome red, brit-inspired, mailbox!!

and then this really cool vintage baseball game given to Ryan, that brought back memories for our parents and grandparents alike! It proved to be very fun- and addicting! If it is not yet obvious, we are baseball junkies. You should see our house!

Last but not least, my sweet fiance found some very perfect items at Antiques Market that reminded him of me, a small sampler chalkboard (not pictured) and this fun sign (I’m def a beach girl!- very perfect!)

That’s all for now, but there’s STILL more to follow! So stay tuned for another update from the piddlin’ ‘press!

Happy Piddlin!

Bouckville 2011

A guest post by our friend, Sarah from New York on her piddlin’ adventures near and far: Enjoy!!

Bouckville, or should I say Madison & Bouckville, are quaint villages located side by side about 30 miles southeast of Syracuse, New York. The two locales are known for their numerous antiques shops and enormous antiques festival held every summer. In mid-August, both communities transform into an endless piddler’s delight; fields & fields of vendors, tent after tent, shop after shop, and deal after deal. There’s something for everyone at Madison Bouckville’s Antiques Week.

I’ve had the privilege of attending this antiques extravaganza over the past 4 years. I know I’ve never come close to seeing it all! I recommend you arrive early and stay late. Eat salt potatoes amp; fried dough at any one of the many food vendors you’ll find street side along US Route 20. Bring a wagon or cart – you’ll need it to carry your many wares. No one wants to trek back to their cars once they’re in their groove.

This year I picked up 3 old Maxwell House Coffee tins (without lids) for $1 each:

…a blue & white vintage spice rack with ceramic jars depicting the following spices: salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice & paprika for $25:

and an old blue & white swirl graniteware colander for $20.

I also purchased a piggin gift for my Sister Jessie (aka Pig). Hint: it’s so “piggin” cute; hope she can use it for her cookbooks in the kitchen. This represents the least amount of purchases I’ve ever scored at Bouckville.

In years past I’ve picked up kitchen chairs, more blue & white swirl graniteware and a collection of equestrian goodies that I used to decorate my daughter’s bedroom (back when she was interested in horses). BTW those items are now for sale if y’all like horses.

I’ve been with a friend who scored an oak desk for her hubby (that helped justify her other purchases) and another friend who found the perfect side table. Last year I found 2 kitchen cabinets that I absolutely loved but knew I could not justify buying them. They weren’t there this year; I know as I looked and looked thinking I might just break down and “acquire” one. “Acquire” is what I say to my husband when I don’t exactly tell him how much an item was. (editor’s note: this is a sign of a good seasoned picker! haha)

If The Piggin Piddler (aka Mary Catherine) allows, I’ll update y’all from Central New York next August as I return to Madison Bouckville Antiques Week in search of the perfect piggin’ kitchen cupboard.

Sista Sara |

Thanks to Sister Sara for the fabulous post! What a great pick she had! If YOU are interested in guest posting, just email me at! Stay tuned for the latest on this piddler’s recent move and revamp of the soon to be love nest~ until then keep piddlin’!

Old, New, Borrowed & Blue

So as they say…good things come in threes. I don’t know that I have ever experienced this phenomenon in the past, but I can definitely speak for it now.

I managed to make it through every day of last week with a smile on my face (which is a huge accomplishment), received countless encouragements from my co-workers, and on Friday evening I received a wedding proposal that was out of this world amazing (more to come later.)

It may be hard to believe, but these aren’t even the three good things I intended to share with you.

On the night of my engagement I also received three antiques. They are three that I will forever associate with the happiest time in my life to date.

1. A “nautical” antique lantern: given as a third of five clues leading me to Ryan on the beach and the aforementioned wedding proposal!

pondering the initial use of a lantern like this one…

2.  An antique I have been searching for everywhere since I first started piddlin’ with gusto: a fabulously old painter’s ladder with hardware to boot! Given as a gift from the one and only “sister Sara,” who is the sister of our dear neighbor Jessie Buck. (who we also call “the pig”- and that is a whole post for another day)

um…how piggin’ perfect is this ladder !?!?!

3. And finally, the most perfect ring I have ever seen and more than I ever dreamt it could be ….mine?! Yes. This is the third antique I was given after a beach dinner picnic and the 5 clues (baseballs with messages) leading up to it. I am not completely convinced that I deserve something of such stunning beauty, but I am forever thankful and quickly humbled by such a gift. I mean, just look at it: Found in Ryan’s very own Elizabeth City, North Carolina…a city just as beautiful as this ring and now, forever a part of our life together!

The most unique 1910-1920s Art Deco Estate Gold Filigree & Platinum Engagement Ring anyone has ever seen!
after a trip to the jeweler…its back on my finger clean sparkling and fitting like a glove!

It has been a long week, but every time I look down at that ring on my left hand, I am reminded about how much I am loved…and not just by the giver of such a beautiful gift, but also I am reminded of the love of his parents and mine who have spent and sacrificed so much of their time to bring us to this point. We are all truly looking forward to planning and celebrating such a happy occasion.

Finally, I must add that tomorrow is THE TRIP of a LIFETIME…

Okay. well. maybe not a LIFEtime, but it is certainly a big trip for any piddler, because since I knew it existed I have always wanted to take a trip down south to Atlanta, Georgia’s very own Scott’s Antique Show. I have only ever heard stories but tomorrow and subsequently after work, travel and sleep time, (Saturday) I will finally lay eyes on the closest antique Mecca South of the Mason Dixon and East of the Mighty Mississippi….SCOTTS! FINALLY!


WHOOHOO!!! We’re finally getting married!!!! I am the happiest and luckiest girl in the world!!!!

I leave you with one of my favorite lines by Emily Bronte, taken from Wuthering Heights:

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Stay tuned because there are sure to be all sorts of fun finds on the blog next week!

happy piddlin!


Vintage Virginia

ROANOKE & BLACKSBURG,VA–Virginia is a long way away from the tidal coastlands that we call home…and I will admit, I am bit of an antsy pants. (i.e. can’t sit still for more than 2.5 hours at a time). Regardless of the seemingly endless drive, there are perks: absolutely beautiful scenery worth photographing the whole way up and down and through the mountains; the fresh, thin, mountain air that infiltrates your lungs and fills your soul, and (my favorite) LOTS of antique stops!

I could go on and on for days and days about our most recent trip to The Old Dominion State, but for the sake of time I will sum it up the best way I know how, with pictures, ENJOY!

one of MANY beautiful views, looking straight up, while hiking on Dragon’s Tooth Trail in Salem, VA

From the lookout on top of the mountain crest! We made it the whole way up (4,000 ft above sea level, if I am remembering correctly)

Ryan’s second home is this campus, this beautiful beautiful place in Blacksburg, VA. We got to see the whole place covered in a morning fog and it was simply magical!

our favorite! HOMEMADE framed chicken wire…if you haven’t seen these yet….pick up the latest issue of Country Living! I already have one hanging in my office! LOVE THESE.

We found this AWESOME white barrel in Christiansburg, VA – just $35-!! I have put it to use as additional “counterspace” in my quaint kitchen!

Been looking for this EVERYWHERE….now if only I can snag a South Carolina, the abbreviated collection will be complete! Piddler’s be on the look out for me!!!

The finishing piece of the trip! The highly sought after trunk which is now by new COFFEE TABLE! yesssssss. This was a great find, in great condition, complete with wheels on bottom. Although, the side (leather) handles were long gone, the brackets that once held the old straps  are GORGEOUS with stars shining brightly. This is definitely one of my TOP 10 finds. I knew it was meant to be, when the tag read: ” old trunk, would make great coffee table” SOLD. What an adventure that was!

There are so many pictures from this trip, it would almost be impossible to share them all, although I would really like to! I will try to post more on facebook in the near future!

thats all for now, | keep piddlin’ !

Summer Piddlin’

So it’s been awhile since the last post, & we have some catchin up to do! -check out the fun piddles i’ve come across over the last three months:

…these fabulous finds have been rustled up and found a new purpose from all over including Mount Pleasant, Inman, Hendersonville & Asheville, NC, the most recent piddlin trips to the last three spots were part of the surprise trip that my beau took me on in early celebration of my 24th birthday.

We spent a nice relaxing LONG weekend in Asheville, exploring each block sidewalk by sidewalk, store window by store window, corner by corner. It was quiet & peaceful and so nice to have a little live folksy local music when least expected.

The trip included a full tour of The Biltmore Estate, gardens, grounds, and winery. SO BEAUTIFUL!!! It was everything I imagined it would be and so much more!

sweet potato pancake topped with whipped peach butter and lightly fried pecans & powdered sugar! ooh & how could I forget the creamy grits with pimento cheese(me) & cheddar(ryan)?

Highlight of the trip, hands down, breakfast @ Tupelo Honey, downtown Asheville. I can honestly say, nothing will compete with this breakfast for some time: feast your eyes y’all!!

Pickin’ + Piddlin’


“We’ve all heard of antique dealers, but most of us know next to nothing about antique pickers. And yet these specialists are a crucial link on the chain that drags valuable relics out of obscurity and into our stores, museums and living rooms. In fact, if it weren’t for expert pickers like Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, many antique stores would go out of business. Some historical artifacts would never have made their way into display cases. And an entire fleet of classic cars would still be up on blocks.

These self-described “modern archaeologists” are a far cry from dumpster divers. Ask any American picker, and you’ll probably learn there’s a science to their scrounging, a method to their memorabilia-seeking mission. Antique pickers like Mike and Frank travel the country, meeting collectors, hoarders, amateur historians and other individuals who all have unique stories to tell. Each and every treasure they uncover is a new history lesson, providing a glimpse at American life in the recent and distant past.

And then, of course, there’s the thrill of the hunt. Sometimes, it’s a race against time, with various pickers traveling from far and wide to check out–and compete for–a hot lead. Working for clients such as set designers, photographers, decorators and dealers, pickers go on wild goose chases for anything from motorcycles to military regalia to Ferris wheels.

So where do pickers track down their wares? Often, it’s way off the beaten path, in rural towns across the country, or right on the side of the road, especially on garbage pickup days. Sometimes they literally end up going from door to door, hoping to explore an abandoned barn or a basement packed to the gills with junk and gems.

Like antique dealers, pickers need a fabulous eye, especially when evaluating potential purchases that are covered in mildew, buried under dust or broken into fragments. It’s a risky business, too: after all, one person’s trash doesn’t always translate into another’s treasure. Or, as Mike and Frank put it, ‘You’re only as good as the last deal you made.’ ”

Source: :

pickin’ or piddlin’- call it what you will- these guys have definitely got the right idea!!!

Check out the American Pickers every Monday @ 9pm on The History Chan! *update: now catch them on Wednesdays at 9pm.

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!