I did not intend for this to be such a long post! I guess I got carried away as I often do when talking about things I love in life! It's rather dreary and cold out so I'd planned to stay home and attack my to do list. I'll be off on the road again very soon - more about that in a later post. Well, the list hasn't received many check marks yet, and you get to read my ramblings instead!
Corner of my living room
Let me tell you, before SuzAnna's - and visits to the French countryside where my family live - I was a neat polished wood, mixed prints, traditional yet to me somewhat boring decorator, since then everything has changed.....for the better, in my home and in my heart. We each know what we love and tastes are different, which is great. I learned to let go of many things I didn't enjoy resting my eyes upon in my home. I painted everything I could in colors I love such as grey-blue, slate, cream and warm whites, as in this pic of my now dining room. I added lots of linen fabric on the beds and in simple drapery panels, covered chairs and pillows in authentic grain sacks I brought back from France or found here in antiques shops. I had off-white slipcovers made to cover older but still good sofas and chairs. I have a great husband who didn't mind me changing things..........except paint the woodwork, sigh! Oh well, a girl can't have everything her own way....and I did eventually get to hang a chandelier in the kitchen, a huge win! Nothing I changed cost a lot of money because I bought nothing brand new, nothing from the very pricey popular home decor shops.
SuzAnna's has also been the catalyst of so many of my precious friendships. Because I started taking photos there, and I'm an amateur photographer who still uses just point and shoot digital cameras, I used my earlier blog Across The Pond, then this current one, as places to share them, what else could I do with so many pictures of old stuff? I then had people come up to me in grocery stores, or stop me at the Post Office, or comment on my blog, saying they recognized me as Mary from Across The Pond and that they would like to meet up with me to shop at SuzAnna's. I made new friends who came from across the state, even out of state, all because of SuzAnna's Antiques. So, I can't stay away for long, even though lately my visits have been too short, and far too few, as it seems I'm always off somewhere a bit exotic.....thanks to my best friend Paula! Yes, Paula's even come from San Francisco and visited SuzAnna's, and brought her daughter, and her dear friend.....imagine that, California gals coming East in the freezing cold of Winter to shop, ha! ha!
My daughter Kim, me, Jasmin, Kim and Paula from California - at SuzAnna's just before Christmas 2010
Paula and her daughter Julie trying on vintage hats at SuzAnna's - Winter 2010/11
Anyway, there's always something new and exciting going on there, and tons of antique and vintage treasures you want to bring home to start a new life in your own home. Yesterday I stopped by with my dear friend Vanessa - she who keeps me young and active. If you don't have friends younger than you........go out there today and make some, it's something really special and makes life wonderful. We started out sharing a booth, then each had our own as we needed more space. We shopped in a frenzy each week to find treasures to paint and upholster, turning them into pretty things we hoped customers would love. Miss it so much, but life got in the way for a while, meaning travel and school these next two years, but we may be able to do it again later, I really hope so.
At SuzAnna's I collected the two paper lanterns I've had on hold - the near and far ones in the photo. They will hang illuminated in the gazebo come Spring, replacing the faded stars in there now. I think they will be lovely while sipping a cup of Empress Grey (my new fave tea - only available from M&S so I'll stock up when I next go home) at 4 o'clock on a warm afternoon. Later, while we sip an aperitif at dusk, watching the last birds of the day at the feeders, followed by supper as the garden fades to darkness and quietness settles around us, I know I'm going to love these lanterns.
I always check this larger corner unit......because it's mine! I used it in my booth and now have it at SuzAnna's Antiques on consignment because, not only do I not have any spare wall spaces, sadly I don't have an empty corner in my cottage either! It hasn't sold yet so yesterday I marked it down.......it's a great solid wood piece, well actually in two sections which makes it easy to move, and I know someone out there really would love this piece in one of their cottage corners!
Above pic shows the corner unit when it was in my much missed booth. It's painted a cool white, with a little chippy distressing. It has much of the very popular Gustavian/Swedish look, especially with the diamond-shaped panels on the lower doors. Oh my goodness, I really want it for myself seeing it here in these old photos. Bob, please build on an addition.....with bare walls and a couple of empty corners!
Before leaving SuzAnna's my eye rested on this adorable vintage panel - the colors on the embroidered PJ's and little dog are just beautiful..........I know a certain grandma-to-be a (we had breakfast together just yesterday!) who is awaiting a new little boy's imminent arrival in her family......and this would be perfect for a pillow cover, or framed, in the nursery.
If you're in our area - Raleigh, North Carolina - and out and about this weekend, be sure to head over to the Vintage Village on Durant Road to enjoy SuzAnna's Antiques; The Two Old Birds; Vintage; and the other fun shops......you'll have great time and there's so much to see and buy at reasonable prices to get your home ready for Spring. Be sure to tell the girls Mary sent you!
Update: A lovely lady, who knows me from my blog, apparently went to SuzAnna's Antiques over the weekend and took my cabinet home! Wow, I'm so thrilled to know it will soon be snuggled in a special corner right here in town. Thank you dear reader - I hope we get to meet soon.