"Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends." (--H Jackson Brown, Jr)
Joe and I both love to spend hours navigating all the paraphernalia there is to see in flea markets and antique shops.
We used to go early most Saturday mornings to the Raleigh flea market, trying to get out there before the sun would be searing hot. We've found all sorts of things that have tugged at our heart-strings over the years, and our home is testament to it.
I have a delightful set of tiny juice glasses and a matching pitcher that we got for a song--they're perfect for breakfast juices. You've seen some of our other finds: there's our bluebird salt and pepper shakers, of course, and the yellow carafe that doubles for us as a great vase. There's a pretty china container that matched the colors in our bathroom that we'd newly remodeled, and I use it for holding Q-tips! We've come away with pretty linens, and delicate little bowls in a set of 5 are still precious to me, even though I know one is missing.
There's something about rummaging through old things: I think it's that I consider how these objects lived a different life with someone else and I've kind of adopted them in mine. I like to come up with novel uses for things I find, and I'm pleased to give old things a new home. We never spend a lot on things we pick up, but I think of them as little treasures, just the same. Joe and I are good adoptive parents--we take good care of things, appreciate them, and use them; each is cherished.
This sweet embroidered piece above was calling out to me on one trip to an old antique shop in downtown Raleigh a number of years ago. I lightened the photo up a bit so you can see it better. In the flesh, it's a very old piece, on faded linen with beautifully embroidered letters, and I loved it: we hung it in the entryway of our guest room. The simple black frame came with it, and I gingerly hung it the minute we got home, since I knew just where I wanted it.
Every time I look at it, I think about some woman who sat and painstakingly dipped needle into fabric and meticulously held the soft fabric and thread in her hands. The stitches are tiny, precise "x's." I hate that it was tucked in a corner of an old shop, with no one to enjoy it.
"I collect antiques. Why? Because they're beautiful." (-Broderick Crawford)
(posted at LaGuardia airport while I wait for the next plane to Boston, since my flight was canceled.)