Antiques, and Not Antiques

comments: 16

Blueygreenpottery72dpi It's disturbing how lazy one can become in so little time. I was supposed to be working on our belated Christmas cards this week -- I've been horridly tardy on these for years now, and I know there are family and friends out there who think we don't care about them anymore. I hope they aren't reading this, the evidence of my sloth. Left to my own devices, I've done nothing but putter around for the past two days, shuffling through my regular antique shopping venues, vaguely looking for my usual favorites: aqua blue creamers under $8, charming children's planters under $12 (I'm extremely picky about these and feel they have to have very cute personalities before I'll even consider turning them over to see the price), buttons still on sweetly illustrated cards (these I cherish, but can't really afford), teensy tiny chairs, and '40s-'60s sewing patterns. Today, the creamer in the foreground for $4, and a dozen or so vintage doll-dress and Barbie-clothes patterns from the '50s. It's been fun to just slip-slap around aimlessly -- the stores are rather empty and picked over, so you really have to dig, which I don't mind and actually prefer.

One thing I noticed was the vaguely disturbing trend for the dealers to include lots of reproductions in their settings, alongside the actual antiques. In fact, some booths offered mostly new stuff, styled to look old. Much of it I recognize from looking at manufacturer's catalogs and magazines, but if I didn't know better, I would be fooled. (Please note, I'm not a professional antique-r by any means, of course, just someone who appreciates things from other lives.) Nevertheless, it seems like the dealers should be required to indicate on their tags when something is reproduction, I think? I don't know if there are rules among the malls about this, but I know that as a shopper, I found myself completely skipping booths where I could see lots of new things whose tags didn't indicate their contemporary provenance. I guess it's my own fault if I don't know the dif, but I just didn't want to have to think that hard (on vacation, lazy, etc.).

The quilt in the background of this photo was made by my husband's grandma, the aforementioned Ruth of the brooch on my sister-in-law-made neckerchief. She had given him her car in the late '80s, before he left for college, and this quilt was in the trunk. I'm not quite sure when it was made; I'm guessing '60s? I don't really know what a postage-stamp quilt looks like, but I'm guessing, this. Although he (I) got it by slippery default, it has become a bit of a cornerstone in my collection of vintage stuff and in my style in general -- I appreciate it more than ever, almost fifteen years since. Picture me hugging it with eyes closed and a Snoopy-ish jig happening below and you'll see how I feel about it.

It's inspiring to me because a) it's not square -- it's trying to be square, but it is most definitely rhombuzoid; b) it's comprised of so many bright and clashing colors, which I would never do naturally but, it turns out, the freedom inherent in that is what I love most about this thing; so, a lesson there; and c) it's is the work of someone who liked tough little things. These squares are each about a finished square inch. Can you imagine? And they are zig-zagged within an inch of their lives. This is the sturdiest quilt I have ever seen, and I take that greatly to heart.


Beautiful little still-life, the colors just sing. The image of holding a quilt while doing a Snoopy-jig made me smile... :o) And the quilt is a treasure, found buried (albeit in a car trunk) as only the best treasures are. Think of how long that zigzag thread would reach if it was stretched out!

That really is a fabulous quilt-I think your aqua creamers really "pull out" the aqua patches in the quilt. I love the way you have specified certain parameters for your antique hunting. I get a little overwhelmed by all the great stuff! I do like Wexford glassware, but seem to have trouble finding cute ways to display it. Good for you on your laziness! You deserve the break!

Quilts are such treasures. I like your dish pieces -- fun color scheme! That thermos in the back really catches my eye.

Absolutely lovely still life! That is such a wonderful story about your quilt - what a treasure! I have that same thermos and just have it sitting on my kitchen counter - never used, just enjoying the way it looks ;)

What a pleasing & charming image, makes me sigh contentedly! I agree with you wholeheartedly on "digging"...

A delightful read today. I love that shade of blue. I've just started learning to use the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine, so this pretty quilt has given me ideas of how it could be used. Thanks for sharing.

I love the colours of your finds, beautiful!

I am so in love with the pitchers! I have one plate with the blue carnation. Lovely things.

What beautiful colors, I love your new creamer and the quilt is just AMAZING!
I think you're so right about the new/vintage deal: I just hate those places, where they try to look "vintage" - hate it!

my cards are dismally late as well!

I love the still life, and must ask you know anything about the little ivory creamer with single daisy- blue inside?? I have the matching gravy boat. At least I think it's a gravy boat..

Thanks everyone -- three cheers for aqua, then! The ivory with the single carnation is actually just a teacup -- it's a pattern called "Boutonniere" from Taylor Smith and Taylor in the late '50s, early '60s and very popular at antique stores here in Portland (i.e.: not worth much at all). Someone told me that it was once part of the china giveaway program at Fred Meyer (our local grocery/everything chain here in Oregon) but I'm not sure -- it would make sense, since you see it around so much. I think the color on the inside of the cup is the most beautiful shade of robin's egg I've ever seen. We've had the dishes for about eight years now and I never tire of looking inside that cup.

Thank you for the info!! You are is the most beautiful color! I found my piece for just $ marks on it! I found a bowl once too but it just didn't have the intensity of your teacup. :)

wow, everything is so beautiful!

Such a lovely still life! And.... I have that thermos! Except in pink! When I found that thermos I fell in love, but didn't have the money. When I did about a week later, I couldn't find it at first and figured I was too late. I mentioned it in passing to a salesperson and she directed me to a corner where there was one left! I was so thrilled! Ok. That's my dorky story of love and a thermos.

Tunie Ramey says: July 01, 2010 at 11:17 AM

I hope you get this because I'm curious about the cup with the blue carnation on it. I have a bowl from my grandmother with the same flower and I've never seen that pattern any where else. Do you know anything about it? There is not a stamp on the bottom of the bowl.

Another perfectly charming post and darling photo.
Sometimes your words feel like i could say them...

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.