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Hot Junk to Get
Well, you can go get glasses at the local Lenscrafters, OR you can hunt down some spectacular vintage hand cut frames at your local antique shop and have them fitted with your prescription lenses. Or maybe---do both. I have some very normal, "don'-t-cause trouble" frames, and some "in-your-face" frames I like to wear when I am feeling "con cohones" and have had a drink or two.
Better to buy "new old stock", if you are going to invest much in the lenses. It is not good to throw money into old frames in bad shape that will fall off your head or lose an arm and need that proverbial piece of masking tape to keep them together.
Unless that is the look you crave--the look of half the boys in my nerdy seventh grade class circa 1965. If so, I have an old briefcase and a pocket pen holder I would like to sell you. I'll throw in the slide rule.
Lawn art and ashtrays
Back when guys stayed home more, listened to the radio and do other things at the same time, they probably labored over homemade lawn art, standing ashtray holders, and door stops. Usually they were made out of plywood, then painted. Look for slightly crackled paint. Many of the best of these were old comic strip characters like Jiggs and Maggie, or the ocasional Disney character. Black cats are plentiful. Also Butlers. You do not have to smoke to appreciate them.
Many of these come from the 20's and 30's. You can often guess the age of the piece by the dress of the person whose portrait it is. Hung together on a wall, they have a wonderful impact.
Old cookbooks by local groups: i.e. Grange cookbooks, church cookbooks, college cookbooks, etc.
When is a vase of flowers more than a vase of flowers? When it isn't a vase at all.
I confess: when I am arranging flowers for a dinner party or for decorating, if I end up having to use an ordinary vase meant expressly to hold flowers, I am not pleased. I find vases boring. I think the containers that flowers are displayed in should be as unique as the arrangements themselves. Sometimes I will resort to a vase depending on the flowers, the setting, or, more often than not, the amount of time I have to throw something together. But when I have time, nothing in my house is safe. I've used cookie jar bottoms, vintage planters, sugar bowls, old tin beach pails, and anything I can get my hands on. Flower arranging purists will disagree I am sure, but I love the contrast of putting flowers in something unexpected. Generally I follow this rule: the funkier, the better.
While antiquing a few weeks ago, I came upon this old delivery basket used by a milk man of years gone by. Fortunately, there were also some vintage glass milk bottles also available for sale. I ended up with only four, since the assortment of bottles in this shop were on the pricey side. I'll have to keep my eyes open for others. When I got home I realized that I have another delivery basket I completely forgot about (the curse of the zealous collector: repeats) ! That means I'll need even MORE old milk bottles...
The open bottom allows the print to show through. The old wooden handle adds to the combination of the glass,metal, and flowers. The steel gray of the basket picks up on the weathered teak of the table.
Fooling around with another selection from my stash of vintage table cloths. Two of the bottles flanking the holder. This particular basket holds ten milk bottles. My other basket holds eight. A really spectacular effect for a large table would use ten bottles with even larger blooms, as well as more bottles on either side.
This arrangement holds a variety of flowers from my garden. Some Astilbe, Knock-out Roses, A variety of Hydrangea, day lilies, and Salvia, among other blooms. I thought I might make this a recurring post topic, so if you have a wonderful arrangement in something unexpected, send me a picture!