piddlin’ finds | august

Take a peek at our piddlin’ finds from August’s return to treasure hunting! Lots of fun stuff here.

We are back on the piddlin’ trail today, so please, always let us know what you are hunting for- we can keep an eye out for you! We’d love to help look–

Piddlin’ Trips | Family Pickin’

As I mentioned before, we really kicked off this new year with a few back-to-back piddlin’ weekends, all mostly around town. One particular weekend in January, we loaded up the crew in the piddlin’ pickup + headed north.

I had caught wind of a promising estate sale + the pictures were enticing. Despite the low draw it had on instagram it was also listed on an estate sale website, so the place was absolutely crawling with folks by the time we arrived (mid-morning). Items were all exactly my vintage style, but relatively overpriced in light of deep discount/liquidation sale prices advertised. It was a fun target + something that really slingshotted us away from the usual piddlin’ fare, which is so important to do from time to time. We got to enjoy the mountain views + pastoral scenes of the North Georgia Mountains, just by driving an hour away from home!

We were recently that way for a celebratory family field trip to go hiking + see a double waterfall this past summer. It brought a smile to each of us as we journeyed back to the area six months later in a different season. It’s nice to recall the warmth of summer memories in the midst of winter’s cold.

Even though we didn’t get to haul a bunch away from the main draw as anticipated, we found some items on this trip that we otherwise may have never come across. Simply leaving town makes a piddlin’ trip memorable. More often than not, the best treasures end up coming from the little side stops along the way + the journey is made all the more fun + spontaneous because of it.

Take a look at the great things we saw on our family pick:

duck, duck, GOOSE!!
This scale is absolutely gorgeous!
Always on the hunt for that special church pew we’ve wanted to add to our home for years!
Quilts have always been among my first antique loves!
Wooden organizers, crates + typewriters—oh my!! What’s not to love?

Here are the items we brought home!

[TOP] extra large, old glass window pane // lots of charm on this extra large, chippy white, antique-glass window; my architect says it was likely used in an old church or factory
[BOTTOM L] “vintage” toy cars // The part I most loved about this trip is how the girls got to pick out something that excited them! We’ve started giving them a few dollars to spend, so they pay close attention to the “number tags”, which is becoming a bit of a game for them!
[BOTTOM Center] 1940s royal companion portable typewriter // I’ve been writing on it since we got her tuned up + working again!
[BOTTOM R] black + white enamelware tray // just like the butcher used in Mrs. Maisel!

The girls discover such wonderful treasures, oftentimes items which I may never notice, if not for them. This time, they unearthed these toy cars, a cute little Curious George lunchbox + a pink fishing pole. None of these things were terribly old, but the fact that they are learning to hunt alongside us, learning the meaning of seeing value in something no one else wants at a young age is pretty fun to see!

I’ve been doing this so long, I only recently realized it’s so green to collect old things + find different ways to reuse + repurpose them– so much better than buying those cars, or that typewriter or containers from a store. On top of that, these trips are great family quality time for all of us + we always ask them for input before setting any plans on Saturday morning as to what they want to do.

The real fun often, is just riding in the piddlin’ pickup together + even more now that they have been given their own pint-sized piddlin’ picnic basket-!! These are the days, + this is how we love spending them right now– out + about exploring this great big world, with our crew. The family that enjoys piddlin’ together, stays together!

May all your piddlin’ journeys be full of smiles + memories to last you a spell…

Piddlin’ Trips | Girls’ Road Trips

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!

Mom with the dough bowl she picked for me at Scott’s, circa 2008

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’!

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’ Finds | If Tables Could Talk

‘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?

—happy piddlin’!

Piddlin’ Decor | Kitchen Scale

‘pressed while watching the Oscars! 

One of the first antiques we found some five or six years ago (in Newburn, North Carolina) was this vintage kitchen scale.

I knew I wanted a scale to liven up my otherwise empty kitchen, though it never occurred to me that I would one day be using it to roughly measure ingredients.  


Score one more for the super useful piddlin’ finds! This piece has been doubling more often as kitchen decor in the past four years in our little-kitchen-that-could + now look at it in all its glory. Just like that, a mundane kitchen task is elevated to a simple pleasure by using something old for something new -so fun!

| keep piddlin’

Piddlin’ Wish List | Vintage Pickup Truck

Sometimes I get carried away in visions of grandeur in which I come across those incredible, once or twice in a lifetime piddlin’ dream-finds: a beautiful piece of furniture, perhaps one with an organizing persuasion; a large card catalog or a full-length antique mirror; a stunning crystal chandelier or the persian rug of my dreams.

Alas, I always come to my senses upon thinking “how would I get the {object of my affection} home?!” Truly, this kind of scheming would simply be out of the question if not for every serious collector’s ever reliable sidekick…

…the pickup truck!

My right hand piddlin’ man + I both have our heads on a swivel if ever we see a vintage beauty in our vicinity.  Largely in part, because we rode off on the back of this gorgeous old ivory chevrolet after waving goodbye to friends + family.  It was magical!

2011_walker-jennings
Photo by Virgil Bunao

Pickups sure are a handy thing to have around when the time comes to load up those wonderfully soonworthy piddlin’ finds, but wouldn’t the ultimate piddlin’ find be one of these?!

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-9-20-19-pm

 

…A girl {and guy} can dream!



| keep piddlin’!

mcwd-charcoal-marycatherine-script

Piddlin’ Decor | Wire Egg Baskets

It’s amazing to me how many wonderful uses there are for antique wire egg baskets, which makes it another essentially great piddlin’ find!

Originally used as the best way to collect eggs from the chicken coop, these baskets are often still used today for the same purpose.  It does seem that smaller, more modern baskets, as sold at Williams Sonoma for example, have taken the place of these rather large carriers.

Many vintage baskets I have seen are typically made of coated wire that gingerly support the eggs while keeping them from rolling around + breaking.  One of our baskets has an inverted bottom to further discourage eggs from taking a spin around an empty basket.

We currently use ours to corral shoes by our entryway which is excellent for teaching our two-year-old that shoes, like her toys, have a place where they belong.  She often can be seen visiting the basket multiple times in a day to “change shoes”.  Other uses around our home include toting diapers + wipes on road trips + providing a spot on our stairs for items to be toted up + put away.

img_0308
Take a look at a few more of my favorite creative functions for these baskets below + see more inspiring ideas on my piddlin’ wish list (here).

I particularly love the idea below of using one for apples or perhaps potatoes in a pantry like this one below.  Wouldn’t it be idyllic to have one kept by the back door for collecting freshly picked apples often from your own backyard orchard or something even more simple like chopped firewood? Life seems full of such visions!

img_0062

Thanks for stopping by! Have you been piddlin’ lately?  Please do let me know what fun finds you have discovered; leave a comment below!

| keep piddlin’ 

mcwd-charcoal-marycatherine-script

Piddlin’ Wish List | This Kitchen

‘pressed while thinking of what we’ll be noshing on for the “Big Game” next Sunday…Go Falcons!

As I began to write this week’s post about wire egg basketsto be continued– I realized I would be remiss to not first discuss this D R E A M of a kitchen gilt with piddlin’ decor:


source

Where do I begin?!

  • the chalkboard made from an antique mirror + funny enough, similar to ours! // A chalkboard in the kitchen; little makes more sense! //
  • The wire egg crate holding apples // how have I not thought of that?! //
  • the beautifully aged wood walls
  • the unreal jadeite collection… // surely this is the precise color of envy! //
  • the whitewashed original wood panels inside the pantry…

Wouldn’t you just love to see the rest of this home!?  // You can by the way, simply follow the source link above. //

We have a dear family friend whose home is decorated in this way, ceiling to floor, front door to back porch.  Without her as my first piddlin’ muse, I may not even know about this style of living!  You know who you are–JB!  Also, big thanks to mom for introducing us.  There is such an incredible energy I get just walking into + through her home each time I visit…every item of piddlin’ decor just seems speak to me + each piece has been placed with the utmost thought + intention making for a very cozy home, regardless of size.  One of my favorite features in her home is an antique screen door on her pantry as well as the bathroom full of mirrors!  //  “Don’t forget to sign the guest book!”–yes, really. //

This vignette above captures my home’s style perfectly.  What a better way to make old things new, than turning one’s piddlin’ finds into piddlin’ decor that help keep things tidy to boot!?  Swoonworthy!

What do you love most here?  I would so love if you’d tell me how you use your favorite antique around your home!

Speaking of…more to come on egg crates next week, plus it’s almost time for February, which means all things: ❤️💘💕💖😍

| keep piddlin’

mcwd-charcoal-marycatherine-script

Piddlin’ Decor | Curating + Culling Collections

‘pressed while watching my Seattle Seahawks play the Falcons here in Atlanta–Go ‘Hawks! 

img_8922

Turns out moving is tricky for a “collector”…not only did we have many fragile items to pack, but it has made me even more aware of my hoarder tendencies! …I kid, though I as of the New Year I am seriously re-evalutaing which pieces bring me a sense of joy.  I had always heard moving to another state can be a catalyst to fixing this problem + I can see why.  In a matter of two weeks, it has turned from heavy stressor to exhilarating opportunity!

My beau + I always loved traveling to football games when we were dating, engaged + newly-married, so piddlin’ happened on our way home from most road trips we took.  This hobby really took-off after I was describing my love of old things + how I simply had no room in my apartment to add any “new” finds.  All he had to say was “you can fill my house with antiques” + it was off to the races!

Fast-forward a year or so, + it was he who had found so many of the fun things that now furnish + organize our married home including this iron lantern pictured above.  The lantern was found by my husband + given to me the day we were engaged; it serves as an excellent reminder to only keep the items that bring pleasure/joy/happiness to our home.  See the full story of this sentimental antique here.

As each room slowly gets unpacked here, it is encouraging to see each of these “old things” find new purpose or perhaps a new home while I remember their stories.  As each year has its seasons, so too may we all have a time to curate + cull our treasured collections!

| keep piddlin’

mcwd-charcoal-marycatherine-script