Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hi, I'm AnnMarie and I Am a Vintage Junkie

For the last year or so since I opened my Etsy shop NaNa's Things, I have been so obsessed and passionate in the business of finding fabulous vintage items to sell in my shop, that I (almost) forgot how many fabulous vintage items I already have to decorate my own home with. Most of the items I am going to show you are things I bought in the early 80's.

All winter all I cared about was when the vintage hunting season was going to start, what I might find different and unique to make my shop stand on it's own from the multitude of vintage shops on Etsy. I didn't even care about the business side of it and making money. Then I found out I had to have hip surgery and all my plans were dashed for this Spring....or so I thought.

I have made a pretty quick recovery and although I still need a cane and there is pain (!) I hunted for and hauled my own vintage things out of the basement to decorate my front porch, which dates back to 1870. I am about a month behind getting flowers to plant and placing everything just so, but then that sort of thing is ongoing, isn't it?

The wooden crate filled with geraniums above is actually a box to collect grapes in the vineyards from the Taylor Wine Company in Hammondsport, New York. They have since gone out of business and I was fortunate to buy this crate many years ago. I found it hidden in the back corner of the basement. You can just barely see the stamping on the end of the box....

This long wooden pine box with a handle is actually called a Carpenters Bench and the craftsman would fill it with their tools and haul it around at a job. I fell in love with it but never filled it with anything. I "inherited" a bunch of wonderful old mason jars from the previous owner of my house and since they have been sitting on a shelf in the basement for years, I thought I would bring them out and let them see the light of day for once. The birdie is something cute I found at a gift shop. He looks like he is wondering what kind of birds he is sharing his nest with!

One of the best finds of my early vintage hunting days is this 3 tier bench. It was quite expensive for the 1980's and it was painted an ugly steel gray. I had to have it. I repainted it to match (probably shouldn't have!) and it became a decorative piece of furniture in my dining room for years.

Now repainted again to match my porch, it has become nicely weathered to display my various collectible items, like a Dietz lantern and a late 1800's kettle. The birds nest was found abandoned in my yard. I think the birds used the streamers from one of my son's birthday parties to help build the nest, which makes it all the more special.

If anyone knows anything about this bowl, I would love a comment. I have researched high and low and have come up with nothing!

This chippy, dirty, wonderful stool is a new old find. I filled my Kraft Pimento wooden box with faux geraniums for some color in a shady part of the porch.

Another new old find is this aqua, chippy, chair found in a big barn in my old vintage hunting neighborhood.  It was $2!!! I paired it with my wrought iron milk crate and collection of vintage milk bottles, setting it by the front door as if I get a delivery every Monday morning. My plant is in between is a mass of lavender petite flowers when in bloom.

Whew! That was a lot! I have one more, well, maybe more than one more picture to show you. So many of you asked for a picture of me in my outfit that I talked about in this post, so here it is, despite the fact that I am not happy about how VOLUMINOUS I look in the picture!
I do have to brag about my necklace though, a last minute change I made to the outfit because when I saw it I had to have it! It is from a new shop on Etsy, Unique Chic & Rustics, run by a sweet girl, Jessica. Please check her shop out when you get a chance. Here is a close-up of my perfect accessory!
Okay, go have a rest on the front porch with some cold iced tea....I know I need too!
AnnMarie :)


 I am linking up with these Fabulous blog parties this week....

Sweet & Savoury Sundays
Let's Get Social Sunday
Amaze Me Monday
Marvelous Mondays
Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
My Favorite Posts Show Off Weekend Blog Party
Tuesday Trivia
The Scoop
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
What's It Wednesday Link Party
Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop
Meet & Greet Blog Hop
Fluster's Creative Muster Party
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Be Inspired
Aloha Friday Hop
Weekend Wonders
Freedom Fridays

Sunday, June 23, 2013

HoHo Cake.....not as in in HoHo's!

I have been making this cake for years and years and years and still when I ask my husband what he wants for his birthday cake or Father's Day, it is always this cake. It really does taste like Hostess HoHo's.

I decided to change it up a bit because it makes such a huge cake and there is usually only 3 of the most 6. Even at the smaller size it serves at least 8 people. It is quite rich and filling!

The recipe calls for making it in a sheet or jelly roll pan which can serve 20+ people. I decided to try and make it into a regular layer cake, which is more our size. I am still working on perfecting the perfect placement of the cream inside so it is more pleasing to the eye. You won't care how pleasing to the eye it is though once you taste it!

Here is the recipe and then below it I will explain how to make it my NEW way.

HoHo Cake

Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Cake Mix

White Icing:
5 tblsp. Flour
1 ¼ cup milk
1 cup sugar
½ cup Crisco
½ cup margarine
1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate Icing:
3 squares Unsweetened choc – melted
1 egg
1 stick of margarine/butter (1/2 cup) – melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar
2 ½ tblsp. Hot water

Mix the cake according to box directions and bake in a large cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

White Icing:
Cook 5 tblsp. flour over med-high with 1 ¼ cup milk until thick. Let cool. Mix into that,  1 cup of sugar, ½ cup Crisco, ½ cup margarine, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Beat till smooth.  Frost cake with icing and refrigerate till firm – very important.

Chocolate icing:
Mix all ingredients till creamy. Spread over top of white icing. If white icing is not firm enough, it will be very hard to spread the chocolate!

Refrigerate cake when done. It is best eaten cold.
I baked the cake mix in two 8" baking pans according to directions.
After they were cooled, with a spoon I hollowed out each layer. Save the cake!
I filled the hollowed out layers with the cream and put the two layers together. There will be extra cream it!
The frosting goes on smooth enough to frost the whole cake....there will be it!
Put in fridge and serve cold.
With the extra cake, cream and frosting I just layered it all in a trifle bowl and yum! Two desserts from one!

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Found The Perfect Accessory.......An Easy DIY!

We have a wedding to go to at the end of June. It is an afternoon ceremony with a "light reception" to follow. I interpret that as maybe hors d'ouerves or desserts and a little on the casual side.

I had no idea what I was going to wear. I knew I wanted something different and I have been so in love with the vintage, romantic style with a touch of Boho clothing everywhere online.

Then I found the most adorable ruffled wide leg pants at Katie's Rose Cottage Design. This site features wonderful vintage style clothing and accessories as well as vintage handmade items, cottage farmhouse and flea market items.

I was reluctant but I went for it and ordered them. They are light taupe and made from a gauzy material. I had the lace tank and cami from last year. Perfect!

The pants look adorable on and go great with the ivory lace top. I just happen to have a pair of ivory sandals that help complete the look. But my cute outfit still wasn't complete.

I really wanted one of those Boho ruffled, or lacey, Victorian purses to add a bit of Victorian charm. I started checking online and wow, they are quite pricey.

"I can make that", I thought to myself. And so I did. In a few hours. Today.

I just happened to have a dark taupe lightweight knit vintage purse that I decided was going to be my base. I have a bag full of vintage doilies and I wanted to use those in some way. I have been intriqued by the burlap flowers I have seen on wreaths and on purses and pins and so I wanted to incorporate those somehow on my purse also.

I had to learn how to make them first! I went online, found a tutorial and tried it out.  So easy! Before I knew it, I had made two large flowers and three little buds. I glued one pearlescent bead in each center.

I hand sewed two vintage doilies onto the front of the purse in a diagonal design. The "leaves" are hand cut from the two colors of burlap. I played around with placing tiny vintage buttons on them but in the end I decided not to use them.

I glued the leaves onto the doilies and then hand sewed the flowers on from underneath all the way through the front of the purse to anchor them.


 I hand sewed another vintage doily on the back just to give it a finished look....

The purse has a long handle and tassels on each side.  I LOVE how it looks with my complete!

My jewelry will be simple. Just this pretty pair of teardrop, burnished gold vintage earrings with pearls will adorn my ears.
Okay, so now it has to be a beautiful warm, sunny day the day of the wedding. So I can wear my outfit.......oh, and for the bride too!

AnnMarie :)

I am linking up with these great parties this week!

Marvelous Mondays
You're Gonna Love It
Amaze Me Monday
The Scoop
The Gathering Spot
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
BeBetsy Brag About It Tuesday Link Party
Tuesday Trivia
Flusters Creative Muster
Nice to Meet You Blog Hop
Meet & Greet Blog Hop
Weekly Wednesday Blog Hop
DIY Sunday Showcase Link Party
Adorned From Above
What's It Wednesday
Be Inspired
The Aloha Hop
Crafty Girl Linky Party
The Pin Junkie Friday Link Party
Freedom Fridays Blog Hop
Bloglovin' and Twitter Blog Hop
A Bouquet of Talent Linky Party

Thursday, June 13, 2013

On The Brink of Summer.....

I look forward to the beginning of June every year because of this tree. There is just something about white blooms.


I believe it is a mock orange tree. It's buds start forming the first week of June and by mid-June this is how it looks in all of it's glory. And it smells heavenly! Just in time for the beginning of summer.
This is the view I have when I walk out to my side porch in the morning......
It's long, bending branches, heavy with flowers and rain, completely block the back door entrance, much to my husband's dismay. He has strict orders not to cut a branch until all the flowers are gone!
There are two other mock orange trees (one is just to the right of it) in the yard but do not even begin to compare to it's magnificance. This tree is quite old, it's trunk all gnarly and split, and every year I am afraid it will be it's last. My weathered carved wooden owl feels right at home at the base nestled in with the English ivy.
It is the bright spot in that corner of the yard as nothing else is blooming yet. My patch of Marguerite Daisies are almost ready to burst into bloom, my Hydrangea have just the tiniest showing of buds and my Day Lilies are just pretty greenery right now.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. Summer is almost here!
AnnMarie :)
I am linking up with these great blog parties this week!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Thrifting Does the Heart Good

I decided that I couldn't wait any longer. It was Friday and my husband was home and there were garage sales, barn sales and thrift stores just waiting for me to hunt and pick through their things. It has been awhile.

I am still recovering from the hip surgery I had on May 1st. I cannot drive yet because it is my right side and getting in and out of a vehicle is a little trying.

No matter. I was on a mission.

Tucked away in my little town are some of the most fabulous places for vintage finds. The barn sale on Miner Rd. is one of them. It is just outside of town and if I could only go to one sale, that would be it.

It is a huge barn and it is full of stuff. I am so excited about the things I found there. The choices are as eclectic as my taste.

After a wonderful time of thrifting there, it revived my love of the hunt so much that I had enough energy left to stop by the VOA in town for a few more fabulous finds!

I have grown to love all kinds of vintage as you will see in what I chose to take home with me.

For the kiddies, or collectors of toys, I found a 1965 Fisher Price Milk Wagon Pull Toy, a Mattel wooden truck with two drivers marked 1971, a 1965 book collection called The Wonderful Worlds of Disney, and a set of three baby Pluto wooden hangers and a set of two Donald Duck baby wooden hangers from the 1970's.

For your man and/or just in time for Father's Day I found a 1940's - 50's galvanized kerosene can, a 1940's socket set in a rusty green metal box, a red tool or utility box and a tan corduroy magnetic travel Backgammon set.

For the ladies, because it is, after all, our home to decorate....I found a wonderful floral tray with indentations for glasses, a cute pair of porcelain owl bookends, a plate for hanging in the kitchen which says "Kitchen Closed Due to Illness....I Am Sick of Cooking", a deer with a baby fawn porcelain figurine, a pretty enamel floral teapot by M.Kamenstein, and a heavy, green glass bottle.

Here is a close up of that beautiful teapot...

That's not all ladies! I got two hand carved wooden molds, a marble and solid brass stand or compote, and a trinket box and coaster set handset with vintage mini tiles.
One of the most unique items I have found in all my days of thrifting is this next item. It is a collection of Cracker Jack box prizes and gumball machine toys. I'm not sure what I will do with them but I HAD to have them!

I will be cleaning, organizing, researching and listing all of these items in my Etsy shop NaNa's Things over the next week or so. The guys things are already listed since Father's Day is next week!

It feels good to be somewhat back into the swing of things.....doing what I love and having so much fun doing by myself. It is always fun to go with my husband or a girlfriend or two also!

I have my own way of looking for things, and deciding what to buy. I also just go with my instinct sometimes and grab something that looks great. Other times I pass by something great only to go home, research it and have to go back for it, hoping it is still there!

Do you have any tips for thrifting? I am always interested in ways to perfect the hunt!

AnnMarie :)

I am linking up with these great parties:

My Favorite Posts Show Off Weekend Blog
A Bouquet of Talent
Say G'day Saturday Linky Party
No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Raising Imperfection
Let's Get Social Sunday
Marvelous Mondays
Amaze Me Monday
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
The Scoop
Flusters Creative Muster
Tuesday Trivia
 Adorned from Above Blog Hop
Meet & Greet Blog Hop
Dandelion Wishes
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake......with a Twist.....

......of lemon, that is!

It is almost strawberry season in my area but I can't wait for the local crop. The strawberries offered at Walmart and Aldi's have been really good so I have been making strawberry shortcake ALOT.

Recently I had some fresh berries in the fridge and because it is such a quick, easy dessert to make last minute I decided one night that we would have it for dessert again. Only one problem. It was 90+ degrees outside and I did not want to turn the oven on to make the shortcakes.

I had some lemon bread on hand so I used it for the bottom layer and WOW! It was wonderful! Who knew?

Of course you have to have the best lemon bread there is to start with, so I am going to give you the recipe for it! I found it on Pinterest and it happens to be Starbucks recipe for the lemon loaf they sell.

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons lemon extract

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup oil

zest of one lemon


1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Whisk to combine.

Directions for loaf:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon juice with a mixer until blended.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add oil and lemon zest and mix well.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour glaze over it*, then cool in pan on a rack.

* I did this the first time I made the loaf and it was melty and runny but tasted delicious. The second time I decided to wait till the loaf cooled to put the glaze on. Not as good! I think by putting it on while hot makes the glaze soak into the bread....yum! Lesson learned...follow the recipe!


AnnMarie :)

Linking up with these great  parties:

The Scoop
Marvelous Mondays
Monday Funday Link Party
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
Tuesday Trivia
Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop
Fluster's Creative Muster Party
Sweet Tooth Tuesday
All My Bloggy Friends
Meet & Greet Blog Hop
Tasty Tuesdays
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop
Freedom Fridays Blog Hop
Sweet and Savoury Sundays
Tuesdays with a Twist