Sunday, November 28, 2010

An obsession with vintage jewelry....

My grandmother gave me her engagement ring shortly before she died. She told me to wear it and never worry about losing it. My grandmother truly believed that things you love should be used and if you lost them, it was just part of life. I still wear that beautiful platinum and diamond ring often.

Since that early age I have collected vintage jewelry. Most of my personal collection are Art Deco and Depression Era pieces. I have diamonds and gold, lockets and pearls, rings and necklaces. I am usually drawn to a similar style and I can spot them a mile away. My collection has grown and thus, I've started to sell some of it. I love passing on each special piece to a new home. I especially love knowing that the items that leave me will be worn and cherished in their new home.

Over the past couple of weeks I've listed some great pieces of vintage jewelry in my Etsy shop. Each piece is as unique as the person browsing them. I would love to wrap one up and send it along to it's new home. Gift wrapping is always available for free.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Using vintage daily....

I remember finding a friend of mine some jadeite berry bowls she'd been obsessively looking for. I waited until her birthday and had them wrapped in a simple brown box with beautiful tissues paper. She was so excited to open them up, taking each out with care and placing it on the coffee table in front of her. "We can use these for ice cream and cake," I offered knowing she'd be looking for an excuse to use them. "Oh no, I can't possibly use these." I looked at her with a baffled expression. You see, she felt the bowls were too "valuable" to use.

Collecting is one thing. If you want shelf after shelf of beautiful things that you dust, catalogue and look at I'll leave that to you. For me I want to use vintage and antiques in my every day life. Take my china plates for example. I serve snacks, dessert, appetizers on mismatched 6" china plates. I love them. I pick them up at estate sales and flea markets but most have been given to me by family. Our family all collect stacks of these charming plates. I find that after friends have seen me using them they often want to start their own collection. Remember that vintage has already survived a long time. Items were meant to be used. Enjoy them!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A love begun in childhood....

When I was ten my parents went on vacation to New York. The family friend, who was watching me, took me to my first antique mall. Rows and rows of fabulous pre-loved merchandise. I couldn't stop reading the little tags affixed to each object: "1930's egg beater," or "1890's quilt, all hand pieced." Each item had a history, a clear use and purpose so long ago. I was already a big fan of the "Little House in the Big Woods" series and so I was hooked.

My very first purchases at this little antique mall were a worn early 1900 stuffed mouse (a clearly loved play thing from some child's life) and a brass metal coin holder from the 1950's. I wish I could tell you I still have these very two first purchases but they are long since gone. What remained, however, was my love of antiquing. Later, in high school, when I was using much of my own money, I developed a love for thrifting and finding my own treasures before they hit the antique stores.

Friends who knew me in high school can probably account for long drives out to the best picking spots, flea markets in the middle of nowhere and garage and estate sales where homes had been lived in for 50 plus years. I was a treasure seeker and I often had luck. I began finding items and selling to auction houses as soon as I could drive. French Art Glass, Weiss brooches, antique Mercury Glass Christmas ornaments and more. Antiquing and thrifting had become a game I loved to play.

Now that I've grown up (mostly) I still love to collect. Mountain Vintage was originally my shop on Ebay back when I moved far from city life. Now, fast forward nearly eight years and you'll find me here. I'm still living in the mountains, selling my collections and finding all new ways to enjoy thrifted goodness every day. I hope you'll enjoy my stories and journey as I write it.