Friday, August 20, 2010

The Value of Vintage

I woke up today with an urge to do some embroidery. This does not happen every day. I knit and crochet, and I gave up cross stitching 20 years ago because I got too impatient. But today, I really wanted to draw with floss.

It's part of the nagging nostalgia that accompanies me wherever I go, I think. That's why the Farm Girl Sisterhood is so appealing. That's why I pour over my old family photos again and again. That's why I spend too much money at junk shops. I love Old Stuff, and I want it around me. Especially family stuff, but in a pinch, I'm happy with a flea market find.


If I can't get to a junk shop, I scour the internet for pretty things that take me back to my childhood, and my grandmother's house. The memories are sweet.

When I discovered eBay, I realized that I had access to just about any kind of Old Thing I might want. I bought some very nice things. But I realized that what I gave up was the Hunt - the Search. A large part of the appeal is stumbling upon some old treasure that someone has cast off.

So it's back to the old roadside ramshackle shops that just might hold a treasure. I know where some of these are around here, and our friend Gail has some out in the country that I'm dying to check out--you know, the real mom-and-pop places rather than the busy tourist traps.


I also like to make stuff myself, in the old style. It's very popular now to use old stuff to make things that work in our lives today -- lanterns out of mason jars, flower pots out of cowboy boots... you get the idea. This has been a casual quest of mine, replacing plastic containers and tools with old things that fit the purpose. Reuse, recycle. Felting sweaters and making baskets, pot holders, purses, and the like. Granite ware... I'm a huge sucker for granite and enamel ware.

Even old furniture makes me happy. Old, or made from natural materials. I've wanted a willow chair set for the longest time. Someday...

But the question I keep coming back to is, Why? Why do old things bring me such warm happiness? What is it about the past that is so appealing?

Do you have any theories? Wanna go junk shopping and talk about it?

All these images are linked to their sources. Plenty of virtual exploring there... Go check them out and tell them I said Hi!

6 comments:

  1. As I get older, the more I love old things! I always exclaim that there is more personality, more character, more LOVE, in something that has been reused, saved, and cherished.

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  2. I love vintage, too. I'm kind of picky about what I will take home with me, but I do love rummaging!

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  3. I have a longing for simplicity. I guess I connect the old with the simple... *;)

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  4. Me, too, K... ;-) We know it's just "stuff" and "stuff" will pass away, but while we're on the earth, why not have stuff that reminds you of people and times you loved? That's my plan and I'm stickin' to it.

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  5. I'm right there with you! Road trips with me take longer because we have to stop at the junk shops along the way! This was how I started the New Year: http://auberginetexas.blogspot.com/2010/01/local-and-thrifty.html

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  6. Well, it is almost Canton weekend, and if you wander to the back, well, I never seem to leave empty handed from the 'primitives' area.

    I guess I'm lucky my family is from East Texas and I get back every couple of months. I know Gladewater is supposed to be the antique capital, but I love some of the other little towns.

    But then again, I like going to Bowie trade-days, been trying to make the one at Greenville for a while, even McKinney's used to be a lot of searching heaven.

    I also am lucky I inherited most of my grandmother's linens/tea towels because I loved them as a child, and my mom saved them for me - along with some McCoy vases and (okay, I know this is silly but I love them) Depression pressed glass candy dishes.

    For a while I went to estate sale/antique auctions at least once a month - I got a lot of furniture that way. And 'stuff' as my Dad calls it - Vaseline glass, glass top hats, silver spoons, etc. Yes, pity the poor child who will have to clean out my estate.

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