Friday, August 25, 2017

Brunch Baby Shower - Family Style!

I come from a big family - I'm the youngest of nine - and we try our best to support each other in family life events. There are a total of twenty kids among my siblings, twenty-seven grands, with one more on the way. We recently got together for a family (and close friends) baby shower for a nephew and his wife and that one more on the way.
The nephew's sister was host to the shower, and put it all together almost single-handedly, scouring Pinterest for her ideas. She rented a fabulous shelter at our local park, complete with a full kitchen and restrooms, and a playground for the littles adjacent to it. All the decor was homemade.
There was a mom-osa bar {smile}, along with mocktails, go-gurts for the littles, and a cute fruit tray carved like a baby buggy. There were even PB&J sandwiches for picky little eaters (and big ones, like Mr. P.). A banner of onesies with baby's name spelled out was hung on a line at the shelter's edge.
No games were played, but guests were asked to offer parental advice to the couple (our niece has two boys from a previous marriage, and they've lived with their bonus dad - our nephew - for three years, but he has yet to experience a newborn). Guests were also invited to help create an ABC book for baby by drawing and coloring pictures for each letter. Even grands were helping draw pictures!
Our guests of honor live in Texas (hopefully out of harm's way of Hurricane Harvey this weekend), and came to West Virginia for this and a visit with my sister and her husband. Their boys love WV and all the fun of exploring in our woods and hills. Somehow they didn't seem to get too excited over girly things.
A really sweet idea for the guest takeaway was a little votive candle tied up in a voile bag with the label directions shown above. Isn't that a great idea?!
My daughter (L) helped my niece (R) set up the morning of the shower brunch, along with my sister (that's my soon-to-be-Grandma sister and her son in background).
It's always a treat when my siblings can get together, and this occasion had a quorum - six of nine of us present! My sister standing in the back is the soon-to-be Grandma. Once her grand is born, I will be the only one without grandchildren but hey, I'm fine with that. It's logical, since I'm the youngest.
Outtakes with siblings - it's like herding cats, trying to get a decent picture. My other brother's wife even got in on the rabbit ear antics.
A montage of family and close friends who came to the baby shower is pictured above. Like I said here, family is one of the top things that makes me happy. This baby shower was a happy event.

What makes you happy?

Rita C. at Panoply

Friday, August 18, 2017

Antique Mall Anniversary, Booth Sales, Moves

The Panoply sisters have moved several items from our antique mall booth inventory since my last update (you can read more about that update by clicking here). I'll try to catch you up with a quick look-see of some items going and coming recently in our booth spaces. Panoply's been in the South Charleston Antique Mall for 9 of its (the mall's) 11 years in business!

At the very end of June, sister M sold a mirrored dresser, and guess what? She had another one waiting in the wings, lol! It looked very much like the previous one, only more petite, so that was a smooth transition without much booth disruption.
Panoply 2017 main booth mirrored dressers: (L) late June; (R) early July
Shortly after, M scored this terrific Hermann Rudisuhli Munchen (1864-1944) print, below. You can read about this artist's tragic life here.
1920s Hermann Rudisuhli Munchen framed scenic print
A still vivid, scenic lithograph in its original 1920s frame and wavy glass, we made room for it in our main booth space.
Panoply main booth July 2017
A pair of Maitland-Smith lamps of mine sold from this same booth space (captured below from styling earlier in the year).
Sister J brought in one of her lamp picks (L), and I brought in one I had sourced in Atlanta last year (R).
At the end of July, we bundled several of our vintage linens in order to clear the way for more new (old) linens. We placed the bundles on a vintage bench, central in this booth space.
Sister J also brought in a vintage chest of drawers.
Panoply main booth late July 2017: vintage chest of drawers added
Our Mantiques booth space got a few things added from June to late July. When floor space is needed for other things, we simply figure a way to climb the walls. In this case, we dismantled the upper shelf (top frame of photo below), added a rocker, and replaced the oval sign for the Mail Pouch painting. :) The flag sold, as did several of the man cave brass sports trinkets in that corner cabinet. Sister J sold the handsome, ovoid crock on top of the corner cabinet.
Top: Panoply mantiques, late June 2017 ; Bottom: Panoply mantiques, late July 2017 
Our corner booth space as viewed from the mall's stairwell was last seen as below in late June.
Panoply Booth from Stairwell, late June 2017
The base table to the white hutch cabinet sold (#!&*), so we had to scramble for a base. Needless to say, a lot of unremarkable shifting took place that day, but the main thing was the hutch and new base took the place of the ladders. The ladders went against the wall, the wicker cart moved forward.
Panoply Booth from Stairwell, mid-July 2017
The little garden shelving unit was moved against the shutter and shelving unit, and we brought in another summer-to-early-fall transitional styling with the green swing.
Panoply corner booth, mid-July 2017
In typical domino fashion, the swing displaced the convertible ironing board/chair, so it was moved to the area just beyond the shutter and shelving unit, where we have the vintage laundry sign and casual linens.
Panoply laundry styling, mid-July 2017
Directly in front of the laundry setup, we have an old marble-top washstand. If you recall, I had my jadeite styled there with a 1960s tulip drinkware set since spring. The drinkware set sold, so we made a transitional late summer, early fall styling, utilizing the jadeite which remained unsold.
Panoply vintage jadeite styling - spring to late summer 2017
We moved the linens from the bench that sold from our main booth...and placed them on the wicker cart in the booth near the stairwell.
Panoply corner booth near stairwell, late July 2017
Each August marks the anniversary of our antique mall in business. For the last several years our management, along with several of us dealers, work to organize and promote a storewide sale, with dealers encouraged to extend discounts to our customers. Dealers' discounts ranged from 10-50% off regular prices in their booth items, and we offer free refreshments for customers while they shop.
Overall traffic for this sale has picked up in the last couple of years, perhaps with the public's growing awareness through Facebook posts, newspaper ads, and word of mouth. We've been busy!

As mentioned earlier, the slipcovered bench sold from our main booth during this sale, as did the small sideboard table at the center back wall (seen in the third photo in this post). Sister M brought in the diminutive credenza pictured below during the sale weekend.
The corner booth near the stairwell pretty much looks empty after the anniversary sale! During the sale, the brown pieced quilt that was on the swing (pictured earlier) at the front of this booth sold. Also, the green shutter set, two ladders and one stepladder against the wall all sold.
Panoply corner booth near stairwell, mid-August 2017
Also sold just prior to this anniversary sale was the piano stool previously stacked on the chair against the wall in the photo below. 
We juggled things around in this booth to fill the space, but are contemplating a full-fledged fall display in the near future. We'll remove most of the garden and summery things.
Panoply booth from stairwell, mid-August 2017
After the anniversary sale weekend, we're thinking perhaps if we offer free food a little more often than once or twice a year (we do it for our Christmas open house also), we may just get results like these more often. What do you think? :)
I'm curious, do you have favorite stores you wait to shop, knowing there are particular event sales? Remember, your readership and comments are always appreciated!

Rita C. at Panoply

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Panoply Travels, July Finds

This post could just as easily be titled "Strangers in a Strange Land".

The Travels
July had nearly come to an end, and the Panoply sisters had yet to have a road trip for vintage shopping in 2017. Since we were together in West Virginia for a farm-to-table event the last weekend of July anyway, we decided to venture out for a little vintage shopping, in a little vintage town called Harrisville, West Virginia. If ever you go there, don't blink, or you'll miss it altogether!
Why Harrisville? Well, our primary mission was antiquing, but we'd heard Harrisville also has one of the oldest, if not the oldest (as they claim) five & dimes in the US. More on that in a minute. First, we hit Arlo's antique mall.

At Arlo's we were greeted with an outdoor section full of architectural salvage, piled all around the building's exterior, as well as under a carport/porch sort of entry with taxidermy deer stacked high, and peeking around almost every nook and cranny. It was a rainy day and we didn't want to get filthy bugs right off the bat, so we went inside where the decor was, well, let's just have a look-see....
Is that Tippi Hedren, and is she wearing a taxidermy bear coat??
Besides being a taxidermy haven (we resisted), there were aisles and various floors full of stuff, and the place was like a labyrinth to walk through. Naked mannequins positioned alongside reliquaries, deer head on top of most everything, and lots of the typical glassware, kitchenware, china, pottery, etc.
Strangers in a strange land: each aisle stranger than the one before, or the next to come
Though not too many things, and not at very great prices (disappointing!), we did manage to pick a few things at Arlo's.

Onto Berdine's Five & Dime, which has been around since 1908, we'd  been given a heads up by a dealer friend that this store takes only cash and checks. :)
Berdine's Five & Dime Since 1908
Stepping inside was like walking into the past, creaky floors, tin ceiling, wares and all, including candy sold by the pound.
I snapped the photos below without customers, but the place was packed with customers shortly after!
While my sisters were picking out a few novelty items as gifts for kids and grandkids, I couldn't help but choose the two little items pictured below: a cute little lamb, and a WV handcrafted hummingbird nightlight.
After Berdine's, we stopped for lunch next door at Carolyn's. Carolyn's only been around 50 years. ;)
Finished with lunch, we traveled further down country roads until we got to a point of zero wi-fi in a town called Cairo. Zero, as in my cell phone couldn't even navigate. A one-truck, multi-purpose town, or so it appeared.
It could have been Cairo, Egypt for all I knew, but they pronounce theirs as "key row". I had to look at a map to get us back to civilization! We walked into an antique store which had no one working and, in fact, no one around, but the doors were open! We walked right back out when no one answered our calls of "you who?" Talk about Country Roads! Strangely, I had taken a photo of  the antique mall but it disappeared into the Twilight Zone through which we were traveling so I cannot prove it.
Antique Mall of Marietta, OH
We then headed across the river into Marietta, OH, and hit the Antique Mall of Marietta. This turned out to be our best vintage shopping of the day. Situated in an old school building, the 8,000 square feet of creaky wooden floors, old subway tile walls and remnants of perhaps a principal's office housed about 100 separate, small booths.

The Finds
So, what did I buy? I picked a few mantiques, including a pair of vintage Canadian snowshoes, a 1952 TX Medical Field Service School framed photograph, a 'W' sports letter, and a pretty cool vintage air pump with wooden handle and brass body.
I also picked a small, Alfred Meakin (England) "Tintern" green and white transferware pitcher.
All in all, the resale pickins' were slim for July, but I did manage to also get to an estate that yielded the items pictured below: a small, rattan side table and three quilts. The quilts are nice, but machine made, not hand-stitched, which makes them less desirable to me (no desire to foster, that is, but will offer for sale right away).

That's it for recent Panoply travels and picks.
Mid-June yielded but one auction's finds, of which I'd almost forgotten about. One is already in the booth, a Mail Pouch barn sign, (regionally painted) oil on canvas.
The other two items are a child-size Windsor chair and homemade, hand-painted toy chest.
While I could probably get into my basement stash and find other things I've long forgotten about and feel as though I just went shopping, my Panoply sisters and I are already making plans for another trip over to the Cincinnati area soon. We seem to always do well there, and sister J's husband cooks for us. ;)

Thanks for coming along for July's weird sort of antiquing adventures. Have you ever been a little disappointed in scouting out new-to-you places, whether it's retail, antiques or estate sales?

(A special thanks to Linda at Coastal Charm's Show and Share No. 374 and to Dagmar Bleasdale's Home Link Party #180 for featuring this post!)

Rita C. at Panoply

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Am I Blue Plate Special

Images often evoke song titles for me. They can be figurative interpretations, or they can be literal ones. Then, sometimes the interpretations take a little twist, with a play on both. Today's table setting is a bit of both interpretations, and I'm calling this the Am I Blue Plate Special tablescape. It's also a little like the Before and After game segment on Wheel of Fortune, if you've ever watched that. ;)
Am I Blue Plate Special
I have had a random collection of blue and white china for many years. I have given away and traded much more blue and white china than I've even kept (I know that's hard for you who know me as a dish collector to even believe!).  

Am I Blue is a song recorded originally in 1929 by Billie Holiday, but I became familiar with it in 1972 with Bette Midler's version (from the Divine Miss M, great album). Every time I see blue and white decor - whether it's a classic, nautical theme, antique Asian, English, Delft or any other country's porcelains - I get this sort of sad feeling. Why? The reason is because I don't have blue of any significance in my decor.

Since my collection is somewhat randomly mixed for this table, it prompted a phrase coined sometime during the 1920s, "Blue Plate Special". The phrase was coined by small restaurants offering special meals - different each day - at special pricing. Well, I certainly am using different plates all around this table, all of them either vintage or antique.
Am I Blue Plate Special Tablescape
Some dinner plates are what I call one offs, from past estate purchases.
1920s Phoenix Bird or Flying Turkey, Made in Japan

1920s Wood & Sons Wincanton Blue, Made in England
Other blue and white dinner plates I own may have 6 or more in a set, but no full service in the pattern.
1920s Abstract Cherry Blossom, Nippon
The plates below are a portion of what I won at an auction of a woman who owned a family-style restaurant in town (who was my mother's age, b. 1920). She displayed these plates and many, many more in her home and restaurant. I have 7 of these, and have always liked them.
1896-1912 Empire Works Porcelain Co, Stoke on Trent England
Some of the Empire Works plates have a pattern majority on the left side
Some of the other Empire Works plates have the pattern majority on the right.
I'm using the Empire Works plates for my salads in today's table - two of each pattern.

With a blue paisley tablecloth (RL, Homegoods), blue and white hand-dyed napkins (Sundance Outlet), and all the blue & white dishware, the glassware (vintage Blenko, dimpled crackle) becomes nearly transparent on the table.
The white chargers (Pier 1) and flatware (Horchow) allow contrast so the place settings aren't totally lost in the sea of blue.
There's lots of mileage to be had with hydrangea blooms as centerpieces.
I later switched out the centerpiece because, well, why not? The graduated hurricanes are part of my summer sunroom table decor, and they're currently holding Blenko glass balls (vintage) that coordinated.

I know a lot of people everywhere have infused blue and white into their decor, no matter what style they gravitate towards. I think I need a little blue and white in some part of my own decor at some point. This tablescape was just another reminder.
What's your favorite way of seeing or using blue and white in home decor?

(A special thank you to Cecilia from My Thrift Store Addiction's Vintage Charm #96 , to Kathryn of the Dedicated House Make it Pretty Monday #225  and to Kathy at A Delightsome Life Home & Garden Thursday #279 for featuring this post!)
Rita C. at Panoply