Sunday, July 26

Sunday Farm Photo: Going Vintage Green

Form and function—a few of my new favorite old things

Before I moved from California to Missouri in 1994, I was, among other things, a part time antiques and collectibles dealer. This side business began—as it so often does—as a way to fund my own slightly-out-of-control collecting habit. I specialized in selling things from the 1920s through the 1950s because that's what I bought for myself.

For years I spent countless hours (and countless dollars) prowling around flea markets, yard sales, junk stores, and antiques collectives in search of cool and saleable stuff.

These days I'm more into hunting for heart rocks and bird nests than Bauer Pottery and bakelite jewelry (though I do still cherish my prized collection of it), but I've recently gone on a couple of local buying binges (thanks for the birthday money, mom!).

Except for a few really nice pieces of 'Made in Japan' pottery that fit perfectly with the ones I already own, I've mostly been bringing home things that not only make me happy when I see them but can also be put to good use—like a beautiful antique garden shovel and those two vintage quilts that now adorn the bed.

I've always been partial to kitchenware—everything from homemade aprons (I have a couple dozen and used to wear a different one to work each day when I had my little bakery), printed tablecloths, and bakelite handled gadgets to Pyrex refrigerator dishes, formica dinette sets and early waffle irons. Yet for some reason I never found myself drawn to old rolling pins or enamelware. This was probably a good thing. I am loving this gorgeous shade of what I call forties green—and that red stripe. I fear my collecting bug may be back.

I've also recently discovered the wonderful world of design & decorating blogs (where have I been?), many of which feature vintage finds. Decor8 is fabulous, though slightly dangerous (as in, Um, where did the last two hours just go?). I've been totally inspired to declutter The Shack, better display and make use of my treasures, and share more of them with you.

So what do you like to collect? Any favorite vintage/decorating sites?

©, the timeworn foodie farm blog where we love the fact that not only are old things often better made and better priced than their brand new counterparts (I paid $16 total for all three items in this photo), but buying something used is the ultimate form of reducing, reusing, and recycling.


  1. Oooooh, I LOVE that color! Right now my main collecting frenzy is books - the majority of which are diy, how-to, organic farming/gardening, farming, horticulture, sustainability. My parents brought me my childhood collections last year so I have those but haven't added to them in a long time. Every year around Christmas, Mattel would release a new Indian Barbie, so I have 4-5 of those. I also have quite a few horses and unicorns! Do you count fabric and yarn stashes as collections too? ;-)

  2. I love your photo! I too enjoy collecting beautiful things that are also useful. I collect coffee mugs, handmade ceramic kitchen ware, and lots and lots of books to name a few...of my collections!

  3. That shade of green is so pretty. I would have to say that my guilty pleasures are pitchers, carafes, and trivits. All useful to me and soo pretty to set out.

  4. Green stuff. I have a glass-front cabinet of green stuff. All old, all heartbreaking. And it doesn't include my green-handled rolling pin.

  5. gorgeous color! I collect coffee mugs - I can never get rid of them because each one has a story.

  6. I collect alot of things but kitchen antiques are my favorites. I collect Pyrex, Fiestaware, GayFad, Fire King, rolling pins, enamelware, pitchers, creamers, jadeite, wood handled utensils, crocks and bowls, bowls, bowls.....My biggest problem is not being able to display most of it. I love green!

  7. I collect a lot of things, unfortunately: yellow and white mixing bowls from England, Medalta Pottery products, cream pitchers from Ireland, cat books, books in general. I love garage/estate sales, the Salvation Army stores, and all secondhand stores. I rarely buy from dealers or e-bay. I am also partial to the enamelware although I have only been able to find the white ones in my area.

  8. I collect heart rocks and bird nests too! I don't have much room in our small farmhouse to really collect anything, but if I could - I would probably collect vintage cake stands.

  9. I love collecting, too.
    My main (?) thing is - Carnival glass, white enamel ware w/ a red stripe, antique quilts, little oil " pitchers ", and these have to be usable , or no matter how pretty they are they stay put. Oh,I almost forgot - dog figurines.
    But my most used and favorite thing is an 18 inch wooded rolling pin - it is just an 18 inch piece of lovely wood that's been made into a solid " pin " without any handles - it works like a dream.
    I do believe it's time to go antiquing !!!!!

  10. Oh, beautiful! I've never seen the vintage green with the red rim. VERY cool! I lost decor8 when my computer died - thanks for reminding me!

  11. I love vintage white ironstone and have lots of pudding bowls and platters. Also brown transferware.
    I've gotten rid of lots of other stuff in my decluttering mood. If I can't have it out to look at and use, I try not to bring it home.

  12. i am trying not to collect! part of this simplifying/decluttering thing, but fabric is my HUGE weakness and not just cut fabric, but i came back from our trip to west virginia with four vintage bedsheets from a thrift store...i'm thinking pyjama pants!

  13. Collecting things for my kitchen is so much fun. There is my cobalt French 500 glassware from Luminarc. It is very sturdy and with lids it backsup as containers for small amount of leftovers in the fridge. I also have collections of molds made out of tin, aluminum and copper in addition to a growing number of bundt pans in all different designs. But my favorite is the collection of antique utensils - pancake turners, spoons slotted or not, variety of tools to core fruits, knives, etc, rolling pins that have been carved with patterns on the roller.

  14. hey there farmgirl! as you already know about some of my collections I thought I would invite you to my picassa web album to see the birds nests that I've collected...another thing we have in common...boy could we do some good walks together! your vintage kitchen must have had a great shop...

  15. Oh I've totally got the same bug - and I've focused it on my Etsy site -

    I also love vintage green. One of my favorite pieces of Fire King just broke last week and I'm still getting over it!

  16. Oh my and I could totally hang out...although we might fight over who gets the hreat rocks and the bird nests! I collect those, too! And like you, I love kitchen stuff...most recently I've been slowly making the switch from plastic to glass storage...jars, Pyrex, etc. It's a slow process as I am buying everything from the thrift stores...and I like it that way!

    Thanks for the comment over at my blog...I appreciate you stopping by! I'm going to add you to my list of blogs I visit...if this is not OK with you let me know and I'll fix it!

    ps...gorgeous vintage green items. I love that it is not only beautiful but also useful!

  17. Uh, I just love your blog. I often read it to/show the pictures to my children at night before bed. I enjoy that you bring all the little things in life to the surface to be enjoyed.

    Your collections must be amazing, the quilts brought back memories of garage sales in Wisconsin as a kid where I would occasionally find a quilt I could buy for Mom with my own money. (They would of course be a mess, but a quilt for mere dollars just the same!) I look forward to seeing more of your treasures along with all the future cute yet to be discoverd. 8)

  18. I have a small collection of rolling pins, including one that looks quite a bit like yours. Rolling pins, like colanders, are one of those things it is impossible to have too many of. Or so I hear.

  19. Oh so lovely! I have a passion for mixing bowls. Especially turquoise in color - like the Homer Laughlin Orange Tree bowls..

    ..and books. I am a sucker for books!

  20. I like collecting vintage tablecloths. I especially like food or mexican style ones. I love the old aqua/peach combos, too. Oh, I just like them all! I love using them for parties and always get nice comments about them.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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