Thursday, July 4, 2013

On the Radar -- Brass Off

Elle Decor
I can't stand brass.  Well, I can't stand that super shiny, super yellow-y gold brass that's cheaply made.  It's just gross and fake and really, really tacky.  And I used to hold it against all brass that it had that tacky, low-class cousin. 

But as I've fallen deeper into my love affair with junk, I have developed a deep and abiding passion for old, worn, patina-ed brass.  Brass that is heavy and smooth.  Brass that has been transformed by years of wear and love.

And by worn I don't mean pits and spots and rust like that cheap brass gets.  What I'm talking about is PATINA.  Serious patina.

This kind of patina:

Penn Station, NYC
We've noticed the brass sales rising at the antique mall, and several magazines have talked about the re-emerging trend.  But let me get to the point.  When I saw that brass is back, I just wanted to lay it down for all our readers.   

Not all brass is good brass.

Here's a quick guide to some brass we love.  Of course, buy what you love.  All I can ask is that you look at the dull, sweet shine of this brass and think before you buy the cheap stuff.

From here.

From Jonathan Adler, here.

Mid Century Chair, here.

Vintage doorknob, from Counter Clock Wise Antiques, here.

Vintage Brass Numbers, from Vintage Spectacles, here.

Bonus -- Down on the Farm

When it's time to redo the window at Collector's Antique Mall, there are times that it's really easy.  We know what we want to do, and we do it.  Then there are times like this window, where we have meticulously planned a certain theme for weeks, only to change it right before we do the window.  You know, like the day we do it.

This was the fifth idea we had for this window.  But it stuck with us (and instantly felt right when we came up with it), because it is near and dear to us.  Summertime in North Carolina is a wonderful thing.  Yes, it's hot.  But we're generously rewarded with nature's bounty -- Candor peaches, tomato sandwiches, and watermelon slices with lots of salt.

Not to mention the homemade ice cream.  And cold Cheerwines.

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a grandfather who was a North Carolina tobacco farmer.  I don't remember the tobacco -- that was before my time.  But I do remember the hot summer mornings spent on the farm in Biscoe, gathering what vegetables we could from his array of crops, and then selling them to locals in the shady front yard in the afternoon.

Now, I don't know how much work I actually did.  I'd like to think it was more than it probably was.  But I'm pretty sure I played at working.  

There are four things that stick out in my memory the most from those summers -- 

1.  The mid-morning snack.  My granny and I would leave the field and drive to Nash's Store in Candor to pick up various goodies for everyone.  I remember the RC colas and the Moon Pies, but I was strictly a Nabs kind of girl.  With a Pepsi or a Cheerwine, of course. 

 2.  The farm itself.  Never was there a better wonderland for children to amuse themselves.  We were reckless and fearless, and children today would not be allowed to do what we did.  Climbing to the top of the silo and jumping into the corn.  Running from side to side on the big tobacco carts to make them see-saw.  Riding (and crashing) the three-wheeler.  Fishing in the ponds.  Making fairy houses in tree roots with rocks and leaves.  Tramping through the woods looking for adventure.

3.  Lunch. No food on this planet tastes as good as home-cooked country food made by your granny after you've worn yourself out (whether you've done it through actually picking veggies or by playing).  Her biscuits were legendary.  But if you add a fresh tomato slice, cut from one picked that morning?  Heaven.  Then you can always finish with one of my favorite things -- peanut butter and Karo syrup stirred together.  My mama eats it with biscuits, but I can eat it with a spoon.  Holy crap, that's good!

4.  Family.  I have a large family, with lots of cousins.  And we've always been close.  I remember seeing them almost every day during the summer.  Joking and laughing, playing and fighting.  Eating and working.  My best friends were my cousins.  I was the youngest at this time (not for very long, though), and they were my role models and my protectors.  Yeah, and my enemies at times.  But whether we were getting into trouble or playing Boogeyman or Hide and Seek --  we knew we had each other.  We all knew that we were loved and supported and safe.  We were allowed to explore with no boundaries.  And I'd like to think that because of that, we were each able to find ourselves.  That those experiences from our childhood spent together, have shaped who we are today.  That the principles we learned through that love and work and play, still influence the decisions we make in our lives now.

So I'd like to dedicate this window to my Papa Cecil and Granny Frances.  For teaching me the value of hard work and love.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Junk Love Monday: Love is Red, White, & Blue

I have always been drawn to red, white, and blue. I just love the combination. In fact, I have a collection of scarves in this patriotic scheme. Their place of honor is on my (navy) bedroom wall, draped on a wall-mounted coat rack. They make a beautiful cascade of different patterns and shades.

So, in honor of the 4th, and as tribute to my many scarves, I decided to search Etsy for other adorable items that pay tribute to the good old flag. Say, if I got a time  machine, and then I got an invitation to a cook-out in the 1940s, maybe I would need a cute dress:

And with such a cute dress, perhaps I would need a brooch to accessorize:
Or, if I thought I might need to know what time it is:

But, having a watch might remind me that I have a time machine, and that I could pop in on a party in the 1950s. If so, a change of wardrobe would be necessary:


With these shoes:
Properly accessorized, of course:
But, I wouldn't be able to stay very long, because I'd be on the way to a 1960s shindig. With, perhaps, a pool? July is so very hot, you know. I'd probably start with this (modesty is a virtue, or something--really, it's so fabulous, I'd wear it in the desert if I had to):
But, eventually I'd get hot, so I'd have to change into something a little breezier:
Properly accessorized, of course:
Until it was time for swimming, in two acts:
All that swimming would probably make me hungry, but I would have to wait at least 30 minutes to eat, so I might as well use that time to skip to the 70s and see what's up. Again, a wardrobe change would be necessary. It's time to salute my shorts:
Did I mention that it's a skating party?
Whew! All this partying has done me in. And made me want to wear all of my red, white, & blue scarves (at the same time!). Now, you should get ready for your own festivities. Might I suggest starting with something from our shop?