Friday, December 18, 2015

Vintage...and home stuffing.

Just a block from our front door the Label Traders market is held once a month, and it's a delightful treat for me to wander the various open air stalls of home-made, vintage, and re-furbished items marked for sale.
I never tire of seeing the cleverness and ingenuity of everyday people who breathe new life into old things, and always come home inspired to have a go at their ideas myself. But, truth be told I'm yet to follow through on that plan, though I'm hopeful next year will see a turn around in my success.

It had been three months since my last visit when I walked around the corner to stroll the stalls last Sunday, but I knew this was a month not to miss with Christmas almost upon us and I was right.
Oh, if only I had an endless supply of coin and notes - Mr E would have needed to bring the Jeep around to carry my purchases home for me! 
But, I was a very good and thrifty girl, and only bought what I truly wanted and what I could afford on the day.

The little jug and the leaf bowl were $4 each and in excellent condition. They will be put away for gift giving next year...

 ...whilst the $8 make-up brush will be washed and given as a gift this Christmas. Isn't it beautiful? 

The unused iron on transfers in this $3 book may well be embroidered onto handmade baby items in 2016 as we have two precious little bundles due in April and July.

The final vintage treasure was a gorgeous hand embroidered table cloth with crochet edging. Only $10, which truly surprised me, but I did not argue with the stall holder - just handed over the payment, blessed her, and headed home again for a closer examination over afternoon tea with Mr E.

Each item warmed my heart, which made me realise just how much having vintage and pre-loved treasures in my home (or on hand as gifts) defines my personal style. 
I'm looking with fresh eyes at the furnishings and decorative items which are on display through our home presently, and have decided once Christmas has passed us by for another year that I shall be making changes - changes that will cause this house or any house we end up living in, to be an honest and comforting reflection of who we are and what we love.

It's just too easy to cram 'stuff' into your home, don't you think?
My friends may say the house does not looked 'stuffed' at all, but to me it does. And that's because a fair amount of what's scattered through the rooms isn't truly "me". 

So now I have a notebook, ONE notebook,  and I'm writing ideas down as they pop into my head (because I will lose at least half of them if I rely on memory);  things like "make decorative storage bags for storing sheet/pillowcase sets from my stash of vintage linens" and "paint the craft room chest of drawers and replace the handles with the six blue ceramic handles I bought on sale two years ago".

Actually, a number of my ideas were found scribbled on a dozen scrap papers I'd left in various journals and decorating books - thing I'd planned ages ago and never got around to! As I've been browsing the books again and cleaning out my pile of used journals, those old ideas have been literally falling at my feet.
This is why I now have ONE notebook and I write every idea into it. 
I should perhaps make a cover for it.

Before I sign off today, can I ask you one question? 
When you look around your home, really look, do you see yourself in it or is it stuffed with an unrecognizable style?



  1. Jenny, I think you are ME, just in another country! Everything you spoke of in that post was me. The things you found at the market were ME. My house is full of stuff like that because I love it so much. I don't have a "style" but I know what I love and it's always old stuff, or sweet stuff like that. And the idea things you spoke of, having to make lists to remind yourself. Oh my, I think there must be many others like us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I don't really decorate, I just accumulate things to surround myself with that make me happy having them.

  2. Thanks for the great idea of having a notebook to write down things you want to do... like you I forget or lose pieces of paper. As for your question;that is something I will have to ponder over. I don't think I have ever really truly looked at my house in that way. I do know some of my treasures make me smile every time I see them, so maybe that is a good place to start.

  3. The notebook is a great idea. I have mostly 'me' now having got rid of several bits when we replaced our dresser and had a general sort out, to be honest I would like more of 'me' around. I love the transfers, so special. I hope you have a truly blessed Christmas Jenny. xx

  4. i have a fair bit of 'clutter' it really annoys me.... i have been decluttering and then my mum gives me something... sigh.... ive told her i dont need or want ornaments any more.... then she gives me something that is semi valuable... and a family type heirloom... arrghhh!

    I love my little bits.... just wish they didnt collect dust!

  5. Thank you my dear for such inspiring post..
    Big hugs for you x

  6. Beautiful finds and a beautiful post. I love watching how you make your rental home "you" with your vintage finds and beautiful needlework. I started to look at my home in the way you suggested this summer, but had sort of gotten out of the habit - which happens to me when I don't write it down and refer to it everyday! :) Thank you for the reminder!

  7. My answer is 'both'. I've been doing some deep cleaning, and I've been taking lots of stuff to the thrift store. Some stuff I just can't get rid of (yet). I love that make-up brush!!!!

  8. Good Morning Jenny! Oh goodness, you did find some treasures! I really liked the redone makeup brush, that is a nifty idea. Until recently, older dishes even very unique ones never really caught my attention for very long. With discovering Pinterest, I have found myself looking at items in all sorts of new ways especially tea cups and saucers. Who knows if I will ever actually ever buy any though. LOL. Yet, it really can be fascinating what people are capable of creating with items. Plus, you are so right they do make fantastic gifts!! To answer your question...our home is yes filled with items that both Hubby and I have chosen to make this our home; I do Know for certainty that it needs a great dusting down low...hee,hee..and I think that there are some items that could go or at least be moved around after the Holidays. Great question to ask in my opinion so thanks! So have a great creative day!

  9. What great treasures you found! I love vintage linens and I have a hard time passing them up. I have a few things around me that I consider "me" but some are not. I've had a little trouble defining what is "me" because I am drawn to things because they looked good at the store or in someone else's house. Those things don't usually stay long. I too have a notebook that I write down my thoughts about things so I can make some changes when I have time or energy.

  10. Oh Jenny!!! My house is definitely full of the unrecognized instead of me! My husband is a bit of a collector of "stuff" and just puts it where he can find a "spot"....I go crazy some days when trying to clean around that stuff or trying to integrate it into our home so it doesn't just look mish-mash. He took it upon himself to hang family pictures on the wall a few months ago and I still look at that wall in horror. Fortunately, we don't have a lot of guests in our home...I'm so embarrassed by just that one wall. I love your treasures and especially your one notebook idea. I think I will definitely adapt that idea. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

  11. Just catching up on some of your posts Jenny - gosh you sure did travel a very long way with Mr E ... your scenery & countryside is amazing. I adore your new vintage purchases & what bargains they all were too. My house is an eclectic mix of bits & bobs ... a bit how I would define myself really. Lots of it is "me" but some of it is not. My Mr has very opposing tastes to me & I have to consider this also. I sit in my friend Sallys home & she has a definate vintage theme going right through her home & it always feels peaceful & lovely. I definately do NOT have a theme as I like so many different mediums ... vintage, shabby chic, primitive, country etc so you can imagine the chaos!!!! Perhaps one day "when my ship comes in" I can have a theme too :-) Hope this makes sense Jenny. x x x

  12. How lucky ytou are to be so close to that marketplace.

    Since I am currently "living" in a hotel, it does not reflect much of me at all, except I do have a favorite quilt on the bed...but I hope to find a place soon and then all my treasures will come out of the boxes in storage...

  13. Those are beautiful treasures you brought home, Jenny. The make-up brush looks like it has a silver handle. The vintage cloth is just lovely. I will look forward to seeing what you do with it, and to seeing the changes in your home as you post in 2016. I would love it if there were something like that here, what a great idea! I had to laugh when you talked about making a cover for your idea book. You are the only person I know who never just has a notebook. It's always covered with something pretty. =)

    I do have a nice antique shop up a mile or so, and they aren't all expensive antiques. That's where I got my pie safe, and she let me put it in layaway, because it WAS expensive. The guest bed, a little day bed, came from there, and the dining table and chairs - which need new seats, while the table needs a new finish. Not doing it means I don't have to worry when things are spilled, though!

    When I was young, we furnished in what we called early attic, because a lot came from Paul's parents. I think I never outgrew that, because everything in my house today came from someone else's house, a lot of it free, or from a thrift store! Even my piano was gifted to me by someone whose daughters no longer played. I've been blessed. =)

  14. It has been "stuffed" with a lot of things that are no longer "me". So, I have begun emptying out things that I no longer need or love. It is amazing how much more "free" I feel already! My goal for 2016 is to continue this "big" purge through the entire house, but pay close enough attention to our home throughout the year, so as things are no longer useful or no longer express our personalities, they get purged immediately. I'm tired of feeling "trapped" by four walls and long to be nurtured within our HOME! Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. I have downsized to a small unit in a retirement village and mostly all my handed down to me things only made me grieve about my departed loved ones,so I chose a antique dealer,got a fair enough price and do not regret this as I don't have to stress about caring for old furniture! I do like the idea of getting things that are my choices,not necessary expensive either,then I will change things around too.At the moment very sparse in my unit!

  16. Some really lovely purchases there Jenny. My house isn't stuffed, just homey. I can't have a lot of clutter around as we need space for hubby to get around in his wheelchair, However, if you could see my sewing room, yes, that is certainly quite cluttered LOL. I have small collections of things such as tins, thimbles ( on a rack my dad built for me), witches, chooks,owls and cats. I am an avid reader so I have a huge collection of books that are overflowing from the book shelf to the floor but I don't see that as clutter. The bedroom that was my youngest daughter's is certainly stuffed with her humongous amount of teddy bears adorning the top of the drawers and in the wardrobe. As for that wardrobe, well, we won't talk about that. I am keeping most of her things until she has a place big enough. Meanwhile, each time she comes to visit I get her to sort through things and toss some out. I am now in the process of cleaning out drawers and cupboards and it feels SO good.

  17. Since our youngest left the nest I have done a good job of tossing, packing away or re-doing to fit us. Getting there slow but sure, had a huge sale this summer of "sewing stuff" could definitely have another...where did all this quilting stuff come from!

    It feels great to go through things and keep what is needed. And the things that are "wanted" are really now treasured.

    Jenny you are truly an inspiration to us all! Wishing you and Mr. E a fantastic holiday season. We'll be driving over 3000 miles round trip to go see our daughter and the house they just bought, taking our son so very blessed to have all of us together.

    Hugs, Kalli

  18. Al principio de mi matrimonio, hace 23 años, la casa tenía un estilo homogéneo, que representaba bien el carácter de mi marido y el mío. Con los años, y el aumento de la familia, la falta de espacio ha condicionado la decoración. Hoy , la casa es un hogar práctico, sin estilo definido, salvo en los pequeños territorios personales de cada uno de los componentes. En esos pequeños espacios de cada cual, se sí puede reconocer un estilo. ¡Y no tienen nada en común! :))

  19. Such lovely purchases Jenny. These days the house is definitely me! But I sure need to employ some dusting fairies to help me out at times.

  20. A wee bit of me and lots of my husband's various collections of stuff (his nickname is Gadget Man). It is cluttered and drives me crazy! I long for minimalism - so much easier to keep clean!!

  21. Love your newly acquired treasures and that little jug will be perfect for a little embroidered and beaded doily cover. As for my home reflecting me??? Some of it is me and some of it is hubby. I will admit to having waaaaaay tooooo much stuff! Hubby has a rule..."Volume In Equals Volume Out". Fortunately for me I find packaging to be HUGE volume. However hubby says it does not qualify. Drat! 2016 will be my year to seriously downsize my stuff/clutter. With your wonderful inspiration Jenny Dear I know I will be successful. Blessings...


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