As far back as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed collecting older things….
Guess what? I’m that nut. Before you get all up in my grill about it, hear me out. I have a good reason to be saving all that paper (and to BOLO for vintage paper in my travels) as I reuse it for all sorts of things….
Thrift shopping is like falling in love — if you are trying too hard, maybe it’s not meant to be. But when the stars align, and you are both lucky and attuned to that around you, something beautiful might cross your path. You just have to be ready for it.
I’m obsessed with linen. There, I’ve said it.
I especially love it in white, cream, ecru, dove gray, caramel — and oatmeal. Oatmeal linen is the best– it looks sort of French with equal parts rustic and elegant. I love the feel of it, the way it catches the light, and if there was a snowball chance in hell the color looked good on me, I’d probably wear it all the time. It looks amazing with so many colors – aqua, cobalt, pumpkin, fuchsia, sage, lavender, navy, white, even black – but alas I look like death warmed over in it.
That fact, however, didn’t stop me from buying the couch I fell in love with at Restoration Hardware. It is covered in Belgian oatmeal linen, took two months to arrive, and sat for one month in my living room before I felt worthy of a long sit. It’s what I like to think of as a grown-up couch; something you buy with intention, see as an heirloom (unless kids destroy it inadvertently with a Sharpie), and can have your in-laws sit on when they visit. (Darn it! I think I see a foot print on it! I am going to have kick some major a–.)…
A couple years back I bought one like these from an artist specializing in vintage and repurposed items. She had the top seam finished off with a reprinted vintage Christmas Card, folded over. This week I found a total of five of these empty stockings at the bins, and next Christmas I am going to take that same basic idea and do that with these.
Perhaps I will then fill them with tiny packages of homemade treats — or just with purchased mini treats of a similar theme (nuts? wrapped truffles? breakfast treats?) and then leave the filled stockings on the doorknobs of friends’ front doors.
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing to wake up to?
(approximate cost of items: a quarter)
First off, notice their size. If I hadn’t put my little Fisher price man next to them for reference, surely you would think that they are fairly big, something to be used in the kitchen, right? Nope, these babies are tiny – the pastry board is just about 5 inches long and the cookie sheet even smaller. Unless I am way off base, I bet these pieces were sold as part of a set with a toy oven or kitchen – they are too big for an conceivable dollhouse, but perfectly sized for little hands.
I bought them at the bi-annual (or is it tri?) Vintage Expo here in Portland, and I seem to remember I paid around $6 for both. I remember at the time thinking that maybe I should hide my purchase from my hubby as he always gets on me for impulse buys that I don’t end up using, and even in my most creative moment I would be hard pressed to think of how to use them–they are just so stinkin’ tiny.
I do have to say, however, that I use them predictably once a year and have now for 5 years running. We usually have them nearby our other vintage holiday throughout December and then they become the ceremonial serving pieces Christmas Eve for incoming Santa and crew. The pastry board is perfectly sized for just a few tiny carrots for the reindeer and the cookie sheet holds something for St. Nick, maybe a tiny shortbread or piece of bittersweet chocolate bark.
The rest of the year these pieces come out occasionally –look, kids! Your after school snack is an entire sheetpan of cookies just for you!
Anyone have a guess as to how old they are? To me they look like are from the 30’s or early 40’s, but iwould love it if anyone chimes in with a guess as to age or provenance. I imagine they have been handled many times by little-bakers-in-training, and I love that they have ended up with me.