Antiques, Buying Used and Change the World Wednesday Challenge

This week Reduce Footprints has put out a challenge that I fully embrace.  Here’s what she wrote”

This week consider antique stores for household purchases. If you’ve never been in an antique store, visit one to see what items they offer. If you need a couch, table, tools, dishes, etc., check out an antique store before buying new.”

This is something I love to do.  I love the challenge, the browsing and the hunt.  This sort of thing fits well with my eclectic taste as well.  My mom was also great at this and many of the items I have today she either found for me or I inherited from her.  Some came from my grandma and my Aunt, while others were special things I found on my own or with my husband.  One year we even did all our Christmas presents from antique or second hand stores.  One little item for each person wrapped in a scarf I had knit for them as well.  There was a broach for the MiL, cookie cutters for the SiL and so on, a hobby horse for a nephew.  It was so much fun, trying to find something that spoke of each person we were shopping for.  If I could I would do stuff like this far more often.  I thought that for this challenge I would share pictures of some of my treasures.  I hope you enjoy them and are inspired to find some of your own.

I’ll start with my most prized antique, an Art Deco Secretary that my husband gave me for a wedding anniversary.

It has become my special place for displaying favorite things and where I love to store all my favorite stationary.

Often there will be other second hand treasures sitting on top of it.  Like the blue pottery piece holding some Farmers Market flowers in the picture above.  And the cut glass bowl filled with shells and a tea light below.  The shells are mostly ones I collected from a beach shortly after my mom passed away and the bowl was one she gave me.

My mom gave many beautiful antique dishes and my grandma gave me a few as well.  My absolute favorite is in the fridge right now holding something so there won’t be a picture this time, but it’s a yellow Fiesta-ware like bowl that gets used all the time.  Here are a few of my other favorites, but definitely not all of them!

As a tea drinker and the daughter of a woman who loved teapots I have quite a collection.  Here are my two favorites.

One winter when we were living in Olympia Washington there was a power outage that motivated me to buy this hand coffee grinder for my husband, that way he wouldn’t have to look forlornly at the whole coffee beans in the cannister, ever again.  He took this to work where he made grinding his coffee by hand part of his French Press coffee break ritual.  Now it’s at home with us since he no longer has his own office.  I think he hopes it will be joined by a French Press for at home – preferably one from a second hand store or a locally owned business.

Antiques and second hand finds are used in the everyday life of our home.  I’m not one for just having them sit around collecting dust.  Here are a few examples of where second hand finds have become essential to our homes organization, especially in the kitchen.

Two crocks sit next to our stove holding various cooking utensils including an antique bright yellow butter melter and plenty of my favorite kitchen utensil – wooden spoons!  The pink glass dish holds fair trade organic sugar while the orange glass holds a collection of chopsticks.  Both glass pieces came from my grandmother.  The crocks were finds by my mother and me and are one of the things I always want to buy more of when I’m in an antique store.  Below you can see that the table these all sit on is serving as extra counter space next to the stove and is an antique itself.

Another antique find from Olympia was the spice rack below along with several of the spice jars  It was originally brown.  I sanded it and painted it the pale yellow it is today.  I also sanded a break in one of the drawer fronts to give it a curve instead of leaving it looking ragged.

One of my all time favorite things to look through at Antique store are the linens.  I’m constantly dreaming up ideas for vintage fabrics, from using them for what they were intended to letting my creativity loose and letting them become something new.  Here are just a few things in my collection.

I hope all this will inspire you to find the potential for antique and second hand stores in your life.  I haven’t mentioned half the things that are second hand and antique in my life, but I was writing a blog post not a novel!   I’ll leave you now with a picture of my favorite candle holder, a metal filigree thing that always has a beeswax candle in it waiting to provide a nice candle light ambiance.


4 responses to “Antiques, Buying Used and Change the World Wednesday Challenge

  1. Ah Maurie love your secretary! I just about only buy at garage sales and ‘brocantes’ (the slightly less expensive version of antique stores), but mind you I just spent the last few years making new objects out of old and am now totally addicted. Guess we both love linen too!

  2. Oh I love seeing all your special second-hand finds … they are so beautiful! All that beauty … without hurting the earth! Brilliant!

  3. What a great challenge! I believe I do this for most everything besides food or fuel, oh then there’s my pesky phone, cable, etc… Anyway, this is my first time to stop by your place and I notice how lovely it is here. So now I’m off to enjoy a look around! ~Lili

  4. Thank you so much for the retweet today! I clicked over t oyour blog and I’m glad I did. I LOVED this post! It made my whole heart happy! 🙂 Unfortunately my bf loves all things new and modern so the house was pretty much done up that way when I moved in, but my office is my haven for all my thrift store finds and I have a lot in the kitchen too!

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