Monday, March 1, 2021

Tales of the Traveling Tote #26: Antiquing, and Giveaway

Welcome to the Tales of the Traveling Tote #26, and Happy March! Our tales began in 2015 (go here to get the story behind it all), and here we are in 2021, still journaling our tales each quarter. You can go here for my personal travel history with my totes, Miss Luna C and Miss Charley C.

Probably the most significant trips I've made in this past quarter are two outings for the COVID vaccine. That's both me and Mr. P. pictured below (and Miss Charley C), getting our second shots in the latter part of February, almost one year since the pandemic began. BREAK OUT! We are now counting the days until we can feel a little more relaxed to eat out, shop in person, and actually travel! Let's just hope these vaccines will be effective against variants.
Most of my readers know one of my favorite pre-COVID activities was antiquing and vintage shopping. My two Panoply sisters and I have rented spaces in the South Charleston Antique Mall since July, 2008 in WV. The 3-story (+mezzanine), 18,000 square foot building (pictured below) was formerly a retail department clothing store in its heyday. Now its purpose is an antique emporium!
Since my travels during the past year have involved little more than my [mostly] weekly trips to the antique mall to restock and fluff our booth spaces, I thought it might be fun to have Miss Luna C take you along for a mini tour of our antique mall. I'll share several of our dealers' spaces, and give you a look at our current spaces as they're styled for early spring. Miss Luna C was excited for this excursion, and I hope you are too!

Our starting point on first floor is the corner of one of our spaces. We'll circle back at the end of our trip to see more of our spaces.
Still on first floor, we go to the far back and find one of our favorite dealer friend's booths. She buys a lot of big furniture, as you will see in another photo. Miss Luna C sits on an English washstand in the corner.
More of the same dealer's goods, let's see what's cooking (besides Miss Luna C in the large apple butter kettle!). Crates, curios, brass beds, large stained glass windows......
Pictured below is some of the really big furniture this dealer hauls in. Look at that massive secretary and corner cabinet. My sisters and I don't sell large furniture like this, and we never did. We now limit furniture items to what may fit in an SUV.

Moving up the stairs to the mezzanine level, this cigar store Native American is on the lookout for good deals. 
Ahh, yes, just up a few more stairs to second floor, we see a dealer who sells all things Fiesta, which is manufactured in West Virginia. 
This was late February, so he had already made green the starring color, but just around the corner of this aisle display, there was still a bit of red and white for Valentine's Day. He switches his color scheme displays monthly, and stocks more colors on the racks behind these. 
Miss Luna C wants some rock and roll. This dealer stocks an excellent variety of vintage vinyl LPs.
This dealer nearby has a vintage library with a couple chairs for customers to peruse the inventory.
A West Virginia antique mall without vintage glassware would be like a candy store without candy. Blenko, Viking, Kanawha, Rainbow, Fenton - they're all in our antique mall. Check out these fun facts on this iconic WV artistry on the state's Tourism website. We have several dealers who sell vintage glass.

On the third floor of our antique mall, we have a dealer who caters to us dish lovers! Check out that Windsor Ware harvest fruit in the cabinet! There was a beautiful china set on the table too which I hurriedly walked past without taking a photo. It had a pink rim and roses.

This booth has a nice set of chairs hanging on the wall. That's a trick we often use (and are currently doing in one of our spaces!). Those barrister bookcases like the one on the floor below the chairs are consistently hot commodities at auction, estate sales and even antique malls. It won't last long here.
Coming back downstairs to first floor, we'll make one more stop, right next to my sisters' and my booth. This dealer specializes in postcards. Miss Luna C is propped up on the section of travel postcards.
I promised a few photos of our booths as they are currently styled, so the rest of the photos you will see are of mine and my sisters' rented spaces. This first space is what we refer to as our main booth. It's directly beside the dealer with the postcards.
Not pictured in the photo above, but barely visible on the right are one, double-sided rack of our vintage linens.
Directly behind the right side louvered dividers of our main booth is our mall's service elevator, and the aisle turns right. If you think of the floor layout as shaped like a U, we would be situated at the base of that U. You'll perhaps have a better idea of that as I show the additional spaces. We have a space directly beside the elevator. We refer to this section as our "mantiques". The guys (and gals, too) gravitate toward it.
Directly across the aisle from mantiques is yet another space. This space is sort of a mixture of vintage  country/farmhouse/primitive items, seen below. Through the shelf and louvered shutter divider at center, you can see the staircase that leads to the mall's upper floors.
See the backside of the lamps on the right? Here's the front of that table (picture below), which is on that aisle that turned right from the service elevator I mentioned earlier. 
Lastly, we end up where we started this mini antiquing adventure, at our space on the corner of another aisle, at the foot of the staircase. From here, you can look back all the way to our mantiques section. It's one continuum, with a left turn at mantiques taking you to our main booth. 
Behind the repurposed chifferobe pictured on the corner above, we have the space behind it also. The wall is pictured below. There's that chair I mentioned we hung on the wall. We work around space restrictions such as the HVAC system ductwork, and optimize what space we have.
I know that was a whirlwind tour, particularly of Panoply's own spaces, but I want you to now read about our giveaway and take some time to visit my tote tribe sisters! I'll try to show our antique booth spaces in more product detail in a future post. We have a lot of fun inventory, both vintage and antique.

NOW, ONTO THE GIVEAWAY!

The Traveling Totes Tribe is offering another giveaway and Jackie at Purple Chocolat Home is our giveaway sponsor this time. One lucky reader who leaves a comment on Jackie's post today will have their name thrown into the hat for an opportunity to win this MacKenzie-Childs Tulip Tea Kettle Dish Towel. This is a perfect accessory for welcoming spring in your kitchen! 

Be sure to check out my other traveling sisters' posts to see what they've been up to during these past few winter months.
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths
Emily with Miss Courtney Childs@ The French Hutch
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @ The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C @ Panoply (you are here!)
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie with Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess de Monet @The Sketchy Reader

Join us again on June 1, 2021 for another edition of the Tales of the Traveling Tote. I'm dreaming of a real vacation!
Thanks so much for your visit. I love reading your comments, and be sure to leave one on Jackie's blog for a chance at our token gift. Stay safe, and Happy March!


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Party of Two, Please

Hello, readers, hello February! We are nearly halfway through winter, and that is worth celebrating. Add to that a Valentine's Day celebration, and I'd like seating for a Party of Two, Please.  
For this Valentine's Day tablescape I've set a simple yet thoughtful table for just Mr. P and me, in front of our loft's fireplace. Playing it safe throughout the pandemic, we have not been to a restaurant since early March 2020, nor have we gathered with family or friends indoors. Although we are still mostly keeping to our home base, it makes me happy to create and set tablescapes at home. We generally eat casually at our kitchen counter, side-by-side, so this face-to-face setting elevates our normal dining experience.
I am one of several stylists among a group organized by Chloe Crabtree from the blog Celebrate and Decorate, bringing you what we hope to be a visual feast of inspiration. 
My idea for this table evolved as I was planning it. I started with a plan to use my winter cardinal dinnerware and play off the tiny red cardinal perched in the birch tree design, but soon took a creative detour.  The real inspiration came from a ceramic heart dish, which is actually a trinket dish.
Always one to look at an item and envision more than its intended purpose, I decided the trinket dish would make the perfect salad plate. Offsetting the heart dish on the dinner plate gives better visibility to the tiny cardinal and tree design. The cardinal is often interpreted as a symbol of a loved one passed or vitality of the living spirit, as explained in this tablescape here, when I used the china set several years ago. 

The Quimper vase on the ledge in the background is filled with tulips and magnolia leaves, and its handpainted windswept image suggests winter is very much still present. I am using nice quality faux florals and greenery, something that can either stand alone or add volume to real arrangements.
My glass chargers are also fitting for a winter tablescape, symbolizing ice patches typical in winter. Similarly, the vintage sterling flatware and silvertone napkin rings also seemed fitting. The lighted tree in the background on the opposite side of the fireplace ledge mimics the tree motif on the plates, bare in winter. 
The textiles I'm using are a mix of cozy and crisp. A snow leopard throw and velvet placemats lend comfort like winter layers, while the white linen napkins evoke a crisp feel, like winter air.
Our setting this year may not be in a restaurant, but with just a little added attention to detail, it can feel every bit like that of one. 
Our restaurant comes with a pretty nice view, too!
 Party of Two, Please Source List
(provided for information purposes only, no affiliate sponsorship)
Snow Leopard Throw, Glass Chargers, Silver Napkin Rings - Pier 1
Winter Cardinal Dinner Plates - Kohl's
Heart Dishes - MacKenzie-Childs' Taylor Ceramic Cabbage Rose
Placemats, Napkins - Crown Linen Designs
Vintage Prelude Sterling Flatware, Pink Glassware  - Auction Finds
Vintage Quimper Vase - Antique Mall find
Faux florals - Afloral
Lighted tree - Celtic Serenity
If you enjoy tablescaping, the links below will take you directly to each of the blogs participating in this tablescaping event. Reading these posts is comparable to leafing through a wonderful special interest magazine, full of ideas! Be sure and visit each of the bloggers listed for a variety of Valentine-themed inspiration. A special thanks to Chloe for organizing us!
Panoply (you are here!)
Thank you so much for your visit today. I appreciate your readership, and invite you to return again and encourage you to leave a comment. Stay safe, and be well.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Chasing Winter Blues with Forest Greens

Hello, readers! Today I'd like to welcome you inside our home for a peek of how I am chasing away the winter blues...with nature's forest greens. 
I've segued from holiday into winter decor with inspiration found from nature's forest greens, a few new and vintage finds, and a gift received over the holidays. The table is set and waiting for you to join me!
I'm collaborating with some friends today in a Welcome Winter sharing, organized by Cecilia from the blog, My Thrift Store Addiction. If you've just come from Jen's blog, Midwest Life and Style, I'm certain that hailing from Nebraska she knows a thing or two of winter cozy style!
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I'm letting winter linger a little longer inside my home, trying to make peace with the inevitable winter blues from the grays outside. Although all my Christmas decorations are put away, I left my bare tree up just to enjoy the lights. When not in use, the tree is stored in our garage, while all the other Christmas decorations are kept in offsite storage. The fact that it's a tabletop size and stored on premises makes it a good remedy for chasing away winter blues.  
Speaking of winter blues, my New Year tablescape was full of blue and white. While I plan to use more blue and white in my decor closer to spring, currently I'm mostly focusing on colors seen in nature now - greens, creams and browns. 

I was the fortunate recipient of a Lynch Creek Farm New Year centerpiece giveaway in December, from my friend Shirley's Housepitality Designs Monday Morning Blooms blog post.
My centerpiece arrived on December 21 (picture above while Christmas decorations were still in place). Even as of this writing, over three weeks later, it is still alive and looking pretty fabulous on my dining table. I freshen the water and spritz it daily, a chore worth savoring the fragrance of evergreens each time I walk by it. 

Back in September I ordered a set of Forest Deer salad plates from Hobby Lobby. Together, the plates and the centerpiece were the springboard for what I knew would become my winter tablescape and decor after the holidays.
All other table elements were pulled from things I already had. Always one to mix old with new, the vintage brass deer and WV artisan quilted placemats fulfilled my style mix on the table.
Looking toward the fireplace in the great room, holiday poinsettias and other winter greens have replaced my Nutcracker collection. I knew when I purchased the white/chartreuse poinsettias I wanted to extend their use as winter greens, and their color blends exactly as I hoped. 
You can see the Christmas tree lights are reflected in the glass casing of the fireplace in the photo below.
I kept the framed artwork at the fireplace, knowing it would also remain relevant long after Christmas. 
Mr. P. and I walk almost every day. I have been foraging magnolia leaves regularly, and use them throughout my great room space. The other day I also picked some holly branches as a neighbor was having her large trees pruned. I tuck them randomly into small vignettes. Sometimes I put them in water to make them last longer, otherwise I simply collect more as they become dry and brittle.
Keeping winter greens in the condo along with little lights lifts my mood, especially on gray days, not to mention the long nights of winter. You may have also noticed the lighted tree pictured above, an after Christmas purchase. It's my latest addition to little lights, a tabletop tree that's powered by choice of batteries or USB cable. In addition to my forest deer on the table, other creatures are joining my chasing winter blues, including a fox (doorstop), feathered and felted owls, and a small twig bird next to the fireplace poinsettia. 
I'm not sure how long I'll leave the tree in the great room, but for now it satisfies my need for light therapy. I guess it's no surprise to read that winter is not my favorite of seasons, but I think chasing the winter blues with forest greens is good way for me to welcome winter. I hope you're finding ways to do the same. 

I always like to provide a source list of my tablescapes, both as a courtesy to my readers and for my own future reference. My blog is not monetized; I simply buy what I like, and use what I buy. 
Source List for Forest Deer and Winter Greens Tablescape
Tablecloth - April Cornell
Napkins - Target
Chargers - Pier 1
Glassware - Wayfair
Flatware - Horchow
Dinner Plates - Pfaltzgraff
Salad Plates, Napkin rings - Hobby Lobby
Brass deer, Quilted placemats - vintage finds
Centerpiece - Lynch Creek Farms, gifted through Housepitality Designs' Monday Morning Blooms

Tablescapes are one of my go-to creative activities at home, and vintage shopping has been a niche outlet that serves both my creativity at home as well as outside the home. I share booth spaces in a local antique mall with two sisters and resell much of what I find in estate sales, antique shops, and auctions. If you're not already a regular reader, I hope you'll take a minute and see my menu header for topics I like to share. If you're so inclined, I hope you'll return!

A special thanks to Cecilia for inviting me to share my winter welcome with you. I hope you'll continue this mini blog hop and visit CoCo at The Crowned Goat next. The links are conveniently listed below that will take you right to the other stylists' blogs. 
Panoply (you are here!)
Does winter typically leave you wanting to hibernate (regardless of the pandemic pretty much making us do that!), or do you jump into projects? Your comments are always welcome. Thank you for your visit, and stay safe!



Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Panoply 2020: It's a Wrap!

Once again I've packed away all my Christmas decor, and now it's time to collage all my blog posts for 2020 as a final step before closing the book, so to speak. I'll have all my posts bound in a yearbook style format using Blog2Print (no affiliation, I just love the product and service). 

I only blogged 27 posts (counting this one!) in 2020. It was the year we stayed home, but finding new ways of staying busy (cooking and baking, mostly). Life in limbo while staying home definitely underscored 2020's theme, and it came in waves throughout the year from March and beyond.

What you'll see below is a photo collage of each of my topics this past year, with individual post links below the photos if you're so inclined. Alternatively, if you click on each of those topics at the header of my blog and then sort by date, you'll see the list of the posts pulled for each of the categories. All of the collages are by topic categories, pulled from my main menu. It's just another way of keeping things organized.

Tablescapes

Purple Hearts for Valentine's DayKeeper of the Cloth: St. Patrick's Day Shenanigans; Spring Tablescape: A Blooming Celebration; Easter Bunnies in the Flower Garden; Diving into Summer Tablescape, a Side of Patriotism; Llama Mia, Here We Goat Again; Celebrating a Fruitful Fall with St. Clement Faïence Tablescape; October Skyline Table for Two; Hallows' Evening Tablescape; Thistle and Pheasant Run Tablescape; Botanical Christmas Tablescape; New Year Tablescape: Now What, 2021?
Miscellaneous Musings No. 17, Blenko Blow Your Own Bottle Workshop, Miscellaneous Musings No. 18: Life in Limbo
Tales of the Traveling Tote
Traveling Tote Special Edition: MacKenzie-Childs RecognitionTales of the Traveling Tote & Giveaway!Tales of the Traveling Tote, and GiveawayTales of the Traveling Tote: Safely SocialTales of the Traveling Tote: Safely Social Pt 3
Reflecting on the past year, family matters more than anything to me. Even though we're still in a state of limbo, I am happy to say I've grown stronger in my faith this year. I've also taken pleasure in noticing the smallest of things as tiny miracles. I have hope that we'll all be graced with taking notice of our many miracles each day. 
I so appreciate each and every one you, my readers, and love the friendships struck and continued through blogging. I hope those of you who read but don't always comment will feel welcome to do so anytime. I always try to visit blogs if you have one, and try to respond by email to comments. It's rare that I can't figure out who the commenter is or that I don't have a contact to reach you, but if so (and you're no-reply commenter), I'll leave a response on the post. I'm really looking forward to hitting 2021 with optimism and enthusiasm. I hope you are, too.

Happy New Year!
Rita C. at Panoply