We've traveled a lot this summer and everywhere we've gone, I found the most beautiful flowers. The gorgeous hydrangeas above came from a lovely gourmet market in East Hampton, NY, called Citarella. They had buckets and buckets of the prettiest fresh-cut flowers. The roses were truly stunning.
Just look at the saturated color...
I've mentioned before that I think Martha's Vineyard is one of the prettiest places on earth. One reason for this is the abundant Hydrangeas. I really think Martha's Vineyard should really be known as the Hydrangea capital of the country because everywhere you go, there are huge, lush blooms.
Along every white picket fence...
each and every one.
I just wish I could have brought some home with me!
The daughter of a very good friend of mine is having a Hawaiian-themed birthday party next month and I wanted to make her something special. So, I came up with the idea of making a paper lei. The little girl's favorite color is pink, so I knew the typical bright, Hawaiian color palette wouldn't work, so I decided to use some pretty pastels instead. I found all the supplies I needed at Target. I started with these beaded bracelets that I found in the Dollar Spot.
The beads on the bracelets were the perfect size.
All they needed was some pink paint.
I had my younger daughter help me with the painting.
After we finished painting the beads, we cut them off the strings and allowed them to dry. Next, I cut out a bunch of paper flowers using some paper punches and some pretty scrapbook paper that I also found at Target (in the scrapbook aisle, of course!).
Ideally, I would suggest that you use two-sided paper or card stock for these flowers (to give them some more stability), but I really wanted to use this paper, so I just glued two flower shapes back to back.
Next, I punched some holes in the middle of the paper flowers.
Then, it was time to start stringing. I used seam binding, but you could use thin ribbon, string, or heavy duty thread.
I just alternated the flowers and the beads, but you could make any pattern you want. Next time, I think I'll vary the size and shape of the flowers for added visual interest.
That's it! A pretty paper lei that can be customized in your choice of colors, patterns, and shapes!
While Brimfield was a wonderful diversion, it was only a small part of our family vacation. We were primarily in Martha's Vineyard, which I truly believe is one of the prettiest places to visit. I was especially excited to go this year because I had read that a new cupcake place, Sweet E's Cupcakes, had just opened. I was so anxious to check it out that we pretty much got off the ferry and headed straight for the cupcakes! :-)
Sweet E's did not disappoint. It is a truly adorable shop with a very shabby chic-vintage vibe. The cupcakes are displayed on a variety of cake stands and trays behind pretty glass doored cabinets.
The cupcakes were as delicious as they looked - they were taste-tested by the whole family!
The fun part is that you get to select your own cupcakes and then place them in a bag or box yourself. Such cute packaging, don't you think?
The baker often decorates the cupcakes right there in the front window. Don't you just love the bead board and lacey curtains! And the walls that look like they are covered in pretty pink wallpaper - they were actually hand-stenciled by the owners!
So, if you find yourself in Martha's vineyard, don't forget to head on over to Sweets E's in Vineyard Haven and get yourself a pretty cupcake!
OK, you asked for it! Here, as promised, are my fabulous Brimfield finds...
These hats covered in millinery flowers were a great find. I saw a lot of hats at Brimfield, but many were not that wonderful and those that were, seemed very over-priced to me. I found these in a tent filled with a bunch of old tools and almost walked by until I caught a small glimpse of something pink out of the corner of my eye.
I love the dotted tulle ruffle on this one...
This one is totally covered with pale pink velvet flowers. I don't know if you can tell in the photos, but the stamens are aqua blue!
This hat has the sweetest little cloth forget-me-nots. very old and delicate.
A band of pretty pastel roses.
Sadly, I didn't find any large rolls of vintage wallpaper at Brimfield, but I did find some of these old border rolls. They are great for scrap-booking and covering old hat boxes.
Vintage Stationary Boxes
I had to get these vintage boxes of stationary.
While some still had the stationary inside, it was the boxes that I adored. The illustrations are so beautiful!
And the colors are so perfectly shabby chic!
I will re-purpose these to use in my office as storage. Don't you just love the names of the stationary?
Wicker Basket Purse
I always scoop up little wicker basket purses when I am lucky enough to find them.
This one has some lovely little millinery flowers on top.
Flower, Flowers, and more Flowers...
These millinery flowers were my very first purchase. My older daughter and I sat down on the ground and went through about four huge tubs to find these, but it was worth it!
I found lots of pretty aqua and minty green ones.
Love this velvet and silk rose.
Some pink flowers, of course...
I love this pale blue linen one - it just needs a good steaming.
Millinery Flower Petals
These are the same millinery flower petals that I showed you yesterday, but here are some more photos.
Definitely one of my favorite finds of the trip.
Ruffles and Tulle
I couldn't pass up this pretty crinoline - I just love the tiers and tiers of ruffles.
The softest pale pink.
This petticoat was just too fun. It has layers upon layers of frothy pastel colored tulle.
I may have to donate this one to my girls' dress-up box.
This dotted tulle crinoline is such a gorgeous lavender color.
Yummy layers with satin edging!
And finally, this pleated pink silk ribbon is TDF! It's very, very old, but in excellent condition.
Well, that's about it. :-) I have a few other little things that I will show you another time. I think I did pretty well considering we didn't even get to Brimfield until Thursday and things were probably fairly picked over by then. I really can't wait to go again...hopefully, soon!
By now, you probably know that I am a big fan of storing craft supplies in glass jars. I love them because they look so nice and orderly and you can easily see what's inside of them. I found this very cool Mason Ball jar at Target in the kitchen storage aisle.
It's just like a regular canning jar, but it's much larger - perfect for storing all your little bits and pieces. It's actually a collector's edition commemorating Ball's 125th anniversary this year. It has a one gallon capacity and a wide mouth, so it's perfect for storage.
Having gone to Brimfield last week, I was in need of some new storage! This jar is perfect for one of my favorite Brimfield finds - these gorgeous vintage millinery petals.
When I saw these, I really almost died. They are little stacks of the petals that were originally used to make millinery flowers.
The colors are absolutely beautiful.
They came from a New York milliner that went out of business. Aren't they lovely!
I love the slightly fraying edges.
True "petal" pink.
I also found these cute little Mason jars at Target - a bargain at four for about four dollars.
I am using them to store some of the smaller petals that I bought. These are the softest velvet and came in my favorite aqua blues...
Well, we did it. We made it to Brimfield. And let me tell you, it was quite an experience! I'm not sure what I had expected, but it wasn't exactly what I had pictured. For one, it was huge. HUGE!!!! Yes, I knew it was going to be big, but I really had no idea. I consider myself to be an experienced shopper, but even I was a bit overwhelmed by it all. If you've never been before, just picture a VERY long street lined on both sides with huge fields and each field brimming with dealer's tents. Or see for yourself....
It goes on and on like this for as far as the eye can see. There are many different antique operators at Brimfield and each one has it's own field with it's own days and hours of operation. We were only there for one day, but I did mange to make it to about 80% of the fields. We were blessed with very good weather - not too hot and, although it threatened to rain, it never really materialized.
It was hard to even know where to begin, but we started with May's, as it was just opening for the first time on the Thursday that we were there. We got there just before 9 o'clock and there was a long line of people waiting to get inside the gates.
Ideally, it would have been great to have had a few days to leisurely walk around and peruse each and every stall, but given our time constraints (and the girls), I was only able to take a cursory look in most of the booths. I was a little disappointed that I didn't find more. I have no idea how much great stuff may have been scooped up in those first few days of the show. I probably missed out on a lot. Nevertheless, I found some really great stuff.
I was very focused in what I was searching for: vintage floral fabrics, millinery flowers, vintage hats, anything made of tulle or embellished with ruffles, vintage wallpaper, vintage ribbon & trims, and tole trays. Surprise, surprise, right! So, here are some pictures of some of the pretty things that I found...
I am always on the lookout for millinery flowers, so I was very excited to see tubs and tubs of them.
You had to pick through them, but there were some beauties to be discovered.
I really wanted to find some vintage hats and there were tons of them.
This dealer had some lovely prom dresses.
I'm still kicking myself for passing up this gorgeous vintage bias cut gown.
Vintage fabrics and clothing were everywhere. This vendor had them stuffed in garbage bags!
But, if you were willing to go through all those bags, there were some treasures to be found.
I love these pretty floral print bedspreads.
And the print on this vintage bed jacket.
There were sets of barkcloth drapes and old fabric panels.
Lots of buttons, trims, and lace.
There were several dealers specializing in shabby chic items.
This booth was breathtaking.
I soooo wanted to take this vanity home with me.
I loved the delicate carving on this bed...
and this pretty toleware sconce...
Some pretty scraps of vintage wallpaper in pastel colored frames.
A basket with some delicate millinery flowers.
Loved this flower basket door knocker.
A stunning glass tieback in the prettiest aqua blue.
Wonderful old tins.
Fabulous tole chandeliers and sconces.
Old ceiling tins and wrought iron fencing painted in pastel colors.
Aren't these old wood spools fantastic!
A very old pin cushion with a pretty lavender millinery flower.
So, yes, Brimfield was great and I would totally go again. I'd probably do a few things differently. I'd definitely go on the opening day, I'd bring a big cart with me (you can buy them there at reasonable prices), and I'd stay for at least several days in order to see as much as possible. Other tips: bring lots of cash (they do have portable ATMs there), wear comfortable shoes, have lots of sun block and water on hand, and don't drink too much - those port-a-potties are not for the faint-of-heart!
Tomorrow is Target Tuesday, but I'll be back later in the week to show you all the pretty things I bought at Brimfield. Now, I must go start unpacking and try to get some laundry done...
Well, we're off. This summer, for the first time in my life, I am headed up to Brimfield, MA, for the famous Brimfield Antiques Show. I have always wanted to go, but for one reason (kids) or another (kids), I've never made it. This year, we decided to go to Martha's Vineyard for a family vacation and, while researching the antiquing opportunities up North, I discovered that we we going to be in Massachusetts the very same week that Brimfield was being held. What a coincidence! No, I swear I didn't plan it that way - it was just one of those serendipitous things. I have dreamed of Brimfield for many, many years and I am soooo excited to see it for myself.
Now, I'm nothing if not realistic. It might be a little rough. I can already hear my girls whining - "I'm hot, I'm tired, I'm hungry, my feet hurt, it's too sunny, when are we leaving?". And that could all be within the first ten minutes! So, I am going to be prepared...and I don't mean with water bottles and sunscreen. No, I'm talking major bribery. Whatever it takes. Candy, toys, more candy. You name it. Sure, I may not get the Mother-of-the-Year award, but at least I will get a few blissful hours of shopping for some pretty new vintage finds! :-)
So, I'll be back soon...with lots of pictures. Have a fabulous week!
P.S. The cute polka dot oilcloth bag is from Target's Dollar Spot!
I must confess that I am kind of obsessed with J. Crew lately. Especially their jewelry collections - all very "vintage glam". I saw this bracelet there the other day and totally fell in love with it. But, at $75 for costume jewelry, it seemed a little steep. So, I was sooooo excited to find this at Target yesterday.
It's a dangly pearl charm bracelet! And it was a bargain at only $7.99!
The pearls (there are tons of them!) have a slightly pink cast to them.