Friday, February 10, 2012

My life with SuzAnna's Antiques..............

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

Those of you who have visited here over the past several years know about my delightful relationship with SuzAnna's Antiques, the owners Susie and her daughter Jenny, their charming Bruce the ever helpful husband/best daddy in the world (Jenny's words), former partner Anna whom we miss but who is now an important addition to the equally important USO where she works, and all the girls who work there including, on the weekends, my granddaughter Jasmin. What a great learning experience for a young teen who rarely gets the opportunity to 'have a job' making some cash for all the things young girls need/want!  I hope Susie and Jenny know how much their kindness has meant to Jasmin and our family. When SuzAnna's first opened in 2007 I was one of the first customers I think....and the then 'little girl' Jasmin often accompanied me, spending time organizing the large button container, all while listening to we 'big girls' bantering back and forth about our love of the old, chipped paint, yellowed lace, and decorating with items that had already experienced life years earlier. 

My dining 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.  

My kitchen

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 friend Paula! Yes, Paula's even come from San Francisco and visited SuzAnna's, and brought her daughter, and her dear friend Kim.....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 was loving this cute shelf painted a soft green - unusual shape looking almost like a corner unit but lays flat against the wall.  If only I had another would've come home with me yesterday!
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'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(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 AntiquesThe Two Old Birds; Vintage; and the other fun'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.


  1. I love all the gorgeous things that are in Suzannas, but sadly it's just a bit too far for me to travel to, so please keep posting your visits so that I can drool!
    I live the corner cabinet but sadly like you wouldn't have a spare corner...
    Have a great weekend Mary, keep warm.
    Rose H

  2. Oh Mary, that unit belongs in my house, next time you come to the UK pop it in your bag and bring it over for me. LOL.

    Love the photographs so many lovely things......

  3. I've always enjoyed your posts about your adventures at Suzanna's, as well as in your own shop. My regret is that I doubt I will ever be in the area to visit. Well, maybe, if we visit Asheville again {which is up in the air} we could take a day trip.

    Funny how our tastes change over the years. When I first got married, I was very much into a Victorian mode...lots of lace and fern plants everywhere, wallpaper in deep rich colors. Then I had my Country look, then I really started lightening up as I became enamored with the Shabby Chic style. I have to say, both of my homes are a a big mix, but getting lighter in color. I still love color, but like you, in muted shades.

    Didn't mean to write a post...sometimes we think so much alike. I enjoyed your last post on getting ready for the tea with friends. When you can't buy, fluff what you have! :)


  4. Oh. My. Goodness. Mary I love this post! I love that you got rid of things that didn't make you happy,and painted things new colors, and changed things up big-time! That is just what I want to do to my house, and I am going to do it. I want to paint my kitchen cabinets, but for now my husband doesn't agree with me. I'm not pouting though because he won't care what else I do. Thanks!

  5. I so hope to get there some day. Did you know that Jenny was up my way a few months back? They stopped in my friend Heidi's shop (which is only a mile away from my house) and Heidi wanted to call me but they were in a hurry and knew they wouldn't have time to wait. Darn it! I just missed meeting them!


  6. I so truly want to visit Suzanna's with you some day! It looks like the best place to while away the afternoon.

    I love the direction you headed with your decorating. It is so serene.

  7. Miss Mary, We value your friendship as well, and don't know what we would do without Jasmin!! How else could we travel the world but through your amazing photography and your delightful gifts from all over the world!! Your pictures and blog inspired our own! We love you!!

  8. Suzanna's is wonderful! I might just have to drive up to Raleigh for a visit one of these days!

  9. Mary, I always enjoy tagging along when you go to SuzAnna's. Would love to have that corner cupboard in our home. If only there were a corner and TX wasn't so far away. I've long dreamed of a corner piece, but never have had one. A beautiful secretary is my other long time dream. I haven't given up though. ;-)
    Hope you have a terrific weekend. ~ Sarah

  10. Hi Mary: I like looking at your photographs and recreate the antiques show us, I'm in love them and your blog is great to find pretty things.
    Thanks Mary for your comments on my blog I am very excited to receive them. A loving hug. Manoli

  11. Mary, such gorgeous photos of your home. It's so like a French home!

  12. Hi Mary Sweetie...
    Oh my goodness, what a beautiful share. I am so tickled to see the photo of you, your daughter and Jasmin ofcourse. I loved seeing her. She looks precious. Growing up so fast.

    Love all of the photos, as they are so pretty. I especially loved that lamp, covered in burlap with the beautiful lace flowers. I am so darn tickled to see that idea. Just beautiful. Love your corner hutch as well. Is that not gorgeous. I don't know how you gave it up.

    I can't wait to see where you are off to next. I love it when you travel, as you always take me along too. Thank you for sharing sweetie. I haven't been out much since before Christmas, I got sick again, and today is my first real day to be out and about. I am so enjoying visiting my friends.

    Happy Valentine's Day as well. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

    P.S. Please give my love to Jasmin as well.

  13. Oh dear!! What I lovely post! It always means so much to me when I read my name in the lines of your thoughtful writing dear. You know you will always be in heart! Love you much!! Will miss you when you go on to your next adventure, and anxiously await til you get back to hear all about it!!! Love and thanks, Vanessa

  14. Oh I could spend a bundle at SuzAnna's. Sweet little picture in the last photo. Your cabinet is wonderful. I would have a hard time parting with it too. I was just yesterday wishing I had more wall space for things. Now where are you going next. I can't wait to hear.

  15. I'm craving paper lanterns like those! Love this post... and I took your advice re: followers. :)

  16. You have such a great sense of style! I loved this visit with you to SuzAnna's. How wonderful that it has been such a large part of your life ever since you moved to Raleigh!

  17. Hello, Mary dear ~ Remember a few weeks ago you posted a photo from Two Old Birds showing the Country French upholstered end-of-the-bed step-stool/bench? I bought it! I love it at the end of our bed.

    Trying to catch up on your blog. I haven't been here for awhile!


  18. Mother, daughter, granddaughter! What a lovely family you have Mary, and you can certainly see the resemblance! Paula and her daughter favor each other too. So nice to be able to go about and share that time together. I love those paper lanterns, and have been looking at some too for my garden area. I also have that same stack table as yours! Saw on the news that your area got the snow so I'll be calling my aunt later to see how they are doing. Too bad you missed the snow, but what a lovely place to be right now!
    Take Care,


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