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  1. rebecca
    September 14, 2016 @ 1:32 pm

    wish i could hear your talk! (do you give husband training lessons? yours sounds so agreeable and i am resorting to sneaking things in to avoid fits/lectures/threats of intervention…) just hit the brimfield fair (claiming it as my birthday present) and bought loads of vintage clothing, it was awesome! totally get the crazy old aunt comments– love to wear crazy vintage costumes with enormous hats and while i get some weird looks, i also have people complain when i fail to wear a weird hat… hoping you come talk in wisconsin sometime!


  2. Kat
    September 14, 2016 @ 1:41 pm

    I collect vintage things…mostly kitchen, sewing, and furniture. I don’t know why, but I feel compelled to have these items sometimes. My heart recognizes that I NEED them, to have them in my home, to be able to touch and love them, and that I will die a spiritual death if I don’t have them. The things I’ve acquired over the years have sentimental attachment for me, even though the memories attached to them may not be mine, they were someone else’s and since they can’t care for these things anymore, I must. I realize that makes me sound crazy, whatev. I have a broad array of things, not from any particular era. Rococo mirrors, mid-century modern tables, milk glass cake plates with the booze well, ColorCraft water pitchers…whatever I see that makes me swoon. I bring them home, clean them up, and love them.
    I find things on Craigslist, FB yard sale pages, garage sales, thrift stores, I bought an end table from a guy in a supermarket parking lot once out of the back of his truck. I feel like sometimes these things were meant to be mine, they were just waiting for me to find them, and that I’m rescuing them. 🙂
    I love this spoil cabinet, I’ve been looking for one!


  3. shawn underwood
    September 14, 2016 @ 1:42 pm

    I LOVE the spool cabinet idea. Going to start looking for one straight away. Right now I use old cupcake tins. Wait, isn’t that what you said you were using? Anyway, its ok but not very cute — like the spool thingy.

    So wish I could attend the event you are speaking at but alas I cannot. I’m sure you will be brill.

    My favorite places for treasure hunting are as follows in a rigid order (because I like structure too.)
    1. Church rummage sales (super uber cheap old stuff)
    2. Good Will Bins. Nothing else needs to be said. It’s like smoking vintage junk crack. (If I were to partake I imagine that’s what it would be like.)
    3. Craigslist though I’m required to bring a friend if meeting a stranger. (Husband’s only rule for my junking.)

    Anyway, well done. I always enjoy your posts.


  4. Anne
    September 14, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

    I can trace my love of old stuff back to a bike that my very frugile mother brought home for me from a garage sale when I was about 10 years old. It was rusted and ugly until I spent hours with it in our backyard, scrubbing it with Brillo pads, toothbrushes and rags; then it was shiny and beautiful, and the chrome handlebars sparkled in the sun. It was unique, and without the layer of dirt and rust it was nicer than any bike I’d ever seen. Everywhere I went people complimented it and asked me where I got it. That’s when I started seeing old, neglected things for what they could be if someone loved them. So I love shopping on Craigslist and at flea markets, and in my parents’ hoarded basement. Coincidentally, I also have a thing for tuxedo cats >^.^<


    • Anne
      September 14, 2016 @ 2:42 pm

      “frugile” should have been “frugal”


  5. Betsy
    September 14, 2016 @ 3:23 pm

    My thoughts? Hmm…it is both depressing and uplifting to read your blog. Depressing because I live in California. For you East Coasters that should translate to: I live where there are definitely NOT estate sales, and antique furniture is considered fit for the dump. My house looks like everyone else’s home in Northern California. And my quaint Tahoe cabin? You guessed it! It looks like everyone else’s quaint Tahoe cabin (but I do LOVE it).

    On the other hand, my husband (who truly loves to shop with me at all sorts of venues for all things interesting) and I are looking forward to retiring somewhere along the east coast. We plan to spend our days meandering through all manner of small towns, seeking out great finds. I am counting down the years until we head east!

    And speaking of great finds, let me just add that I would not have hesitated to buy that spool cabinet. You’re lucky you saw it before I did! I note that the cute kittens approve, what more do you need in this life?

    One last thought, advice which I, naturally, learned the hard way. If you find something unique that speaks to your soul; buy it! Do not walk away to take time to think of where you will place your find. If you hesitate and come back later, it will surely be gone, causing you much heartache and a solid week of self-pity and mass ice cream consumption.

    Best of luck with your presentation! I wish I could attend, I know it will be an awesomely good time for the lucky participants!


  6. Janet Cole
    September 14, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

    Love the spool cabinet, but the tuxedo kitten(s) are just painfully adorable! I wouldn’t be able to part with any of them…I am destined to be a crazy cat lady/superior crazy great aunt as well! My husband is “allergic” and won’t let me have a cat – he jokes that I will go directly to the animal shelter after his funeral and take every cat home with me; upon arriving home, I will simply dump his ashes in the litter box to punish him for not letting me have a cat for most of my adult life.


  7. JoAnn Doud
    September 14, 2016 @ 3:48 pm

    Your new fancy bits display/old thread case is gorgeous, Victoria. Congratulations.


  8. Mary Nelson
    September 14, 2016 @ 4:22 pm

    I love your posts. Many of these things I have done, and I have lots of great (to me) stuff. I got a Victorian settee at a garage sale. It is uncomfortable. The upholstery has a few dark grease stains, a few ink stains and the front and seat are faded and going to wear out before the rest of the couch does. Why did I get it? I love the look and with the stains I knew I would not worry if the kids and cats got on it. Besides, two antique dealers who were also at the sale offered to haul it home for me. It goes well with the Victorian rockers I have, the Eastlake side chairs and my bed, dresser and wash stand which were my grandparents wedding present in October 1880. The problem–now that I am an old lady I need to start getting rid of the stuff, but I do not want the Victorian furniture to go to just anyone. Of course as a person who always wanted to be a museum curator I purposely got things which tell a story and go together. I have a doll collection–given to me by friends of my mother. I have perfume bottles, porcelain dishes, pottery, sterling flat wear, Wm. Henry Jackson chromolithographs, baskets, California Mission things and Santos and religious items from before 1900. Did I say I also have a chair fetish, and inherited a lot of things?. The grand kids and kids do not want any of those things. The hunt and decorating was so much fun, but the kids are shuddering over the thought that they will be the ones to go through the stuff and get rid of it. I love your spool cabinet–I passed on getting one because where would I put it–on a chair? I am happy you are fostering your kitties. Oh yes–we collect cats to. They just come to us, so what does one do when they arrive and say they want to stay? We keep them after they have been spayed or neutered.


    • fixitchick
      September 15, 2016 @ 3:40 pm

      There are people who would adore your treasures. Have you given any thought to writing down the story that goes with each piece and sharing it with an auction house, or antique society of some sort? There is nothing better than seeing your item go on to someone who is part of the mutual admiration society.

      I think the reason we were able to purchase our home from the children of the previous owners [yes, I house stalked War of the Roses style] is because of our affinity for the property and the caretaker mentality with which we approached the sellers.


  9. Tina Bedwell
    September 14, 2016 @ 4:43 pm

    What an awesome find and so perfect for your collection of vintage jewelry!! And I love all of the pictures with the foster kittens. It’s so funny how cats will thoroughly inspect and try out a new piece of furniture or pillow or box or whatever it may be. They have to get inside, if possible, climb on top of it, under it, lay on it, then curl up and go to sleep on it. It’s so amusing!

    I would love to meet your great aunt! That’s the way I picture my future self. It’s practically a goal of mine.

    I just want to say I love reading your blog posts! One of my favorites was the post about the “Kingdom Mirror”.

    I wish I could come to the Autumn Spectacular in New Hampshire, but I can’t.
    So, about finding old stuff… Gosh, where to start. Well let’s see, I like vintage metal and crystal chandeliers, old ornate frames, vintage silver-plate candelabras, vintage fabric, especially barkcloth, old lace and hand embroidered linens, dough bowls, old clocks, which I have a collection displayed in my home, old typewriters, milk pitchers and orphan creamers that have lost their sugar bowl mate, old books with beautiful bindings for stacking or placing on a bookshelf, just to name a few. I could add a lot more to the list, but I will stop. I find stuff at yard sales, estate sales thrift stores, craigslist and on the curb, all the places you mentioned. It’s fun making my home look like I spent a fortune when in reality, I did not. Well, maybe not a fortune, but at least look like I dropped some bucks. Occassionaly, I will pay a lot for something, but generally will pass up things that are pricey to eventually find it for a great price. I can’t think of an interesting enough story about my escapades in finding stuff, at the moment, so I will leave that to you ’cause you are so great it!! Best of luck with your speech and presentation and PLEASE have it recorded, if possible, and share it here! Either way, I can’t wait to hear all about it! I know you will be great!!


  10. Camille
    September 14, 2016 @ 4:44 pm

    Never be afraid of a piece just because it’s a little scratched/dinged up. A solution of equal parts olive or coconut oil & vinegar will clean up most scratches and dissolve most stains (or at least blend them in to the surrounding wood). I scored the most luscious waterfall 6 drawer tall boy (had to be from the 20’s or 30’s- art deco inlay, tiger-grain, original hardware… the works) for $60 because it smelled gross and was a little rough around the egdes. My oil/vinegar solution spiffed the wood right up, some brasso got the hardware looking good again and some Downy Scent Booster in a couple of sachets chased away the mousy smell (bonus: now my guest room smells like I just did laundry. Ha ha ha. I clearly did not!). But seriously. Dude. You can’t even buy a six drawer MALM from IKEA for $60, and I scored the mother of all waterfall dressers for as much. Moral of the story is that if it has good lines and is structurally sound, work it!


  11. Laura
    September 14, 2016 @ 4:56 pm

    Kittens!!!! That is all. Oh, and good luck in NH!!


  12. Bernie
    September 14, 2016 @ 7:34 pm

    This is the one I covet:
    I think we are kindred spirits.


    • Kathy Gray
      October 5, 2016 @ 7:45 am

      OMG!!!! How did I miss that beauty on Antiques Roadshow? Absolutely phenomenal!!


  13. Laura Barnes
    September 14, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

    This is, I think, one of your best posts, in ‘autobiographical blog’ terms, or really, just in plain good interesting writing terms. I adore your posts, your GFT obsession, and of course your house, Paul, and beasts (maybe in that order). But your writing, style and content, has just been mesmerizing and is only getting better. I’ve been reading Beatriz Williams’ novels lately, and I realized about mid-way through the second one that that sense of familiarity was attributable to someone I read regularly – someone with the same snappy dialogue, ability to set and capture a scene, as well as her female characters – and then I realized that I was thinking of you. If you have not, please read at least the first of her novels, A Hundred Summers, although it’s her second novel, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, that really rings the bell. And, oddly, the heroine of that novel is a Vivian. Go figure. Keep up the good work!


  14. Laura Carder
    September 14, 2016 @ 8:29 pm

    My best advice for you as a speaker is to practice several times, then record yourself speaking. I was a keynote speaker at a work related conference and didn’t realize how many times I was saying, “um” or “uh” in the middle of my talk!

    As to content, as others said, pretty much anything you say will be fantastic!!!


  15. JayneZ
    September 14, 2016 @ 9:21 pm

    “Foster” kitties?!!! Sure. They are darling and I’m sure have brought you a lot of joy. Was hoping you would keep all of them and the momma kitty especially!


  16. D'Arcy H
    September 15, 2016 @ 1:25 am

    About 20 years ago, a coworker who was moving gifted me with a Corticelli Silk spool cabinet, still half-full of colorful silk thread on wooden spools! I, too, use the drawers that don’t hold spools for jewelry. What I love most about my cabinet are the two decals of gray kittens holding spools of thread in their mouths. You foster kitties are adorable, and I’m so glad to hear the other cat is well and ready for her new family!


  17. Sherry in Alaska
    September 15, 2016 @ 1:51 am

    Now you get to be the crazy auntie and the crazy cat lady! Mame with a basket of kits! I applaud you.


  18. judy
    September 15, 2016 @ 5:12 am

    I’m with all your followers who can’t attend your presentation…so disappointing but just too far -hope you make a regular tour of the USA and wend your way to Virginia.
    I have saved way too many books, 9 bookcases 6 ft tall by 3 ft wide packed and boxes in the attic. I gave a slew to a prison when we left our last house and I know I should donate these but they give me a weird sense of pride that in my lifetime I read so many books. Even I know that is illogical reasoning but at 76 I get to be dotty…its part of the job description. I hope you do a video of your talk,it would be so much fun to see it. Do it for YouTube, the Kittens are darling and it would take at least 3 if not a dozen to replace Elvis. That’s me helping you toward your destiny of crazy cat lady. You are truly brilliant and you will be more so if you know that -no false modestly..own your Sparkling Self…She is Fabulous!


  19. Beverly Benczik
    September 15, 2016 @ 7:04 am

    Thank you for brightening my day. I love your sense of humor regarding all the craziness.
    I once owned five dining room tables at the same time and they were all on the main floor of a 2000 sq ft house until I could pick one or was it two?

    I am currently redoing the main floor bath of an 1884 house and have purchased four sideboards for the vanity over the past 4 years. NONE of them have met with the specs of my contractor or have been deemed acceptable to hold the $20 flea market sink I bought 10 years ago. You see where this is going?

    Actually if this isn’t solved this soon I will have to be going, as the entire downstairs has been torn up since the bath was gutted in March. Did I mention the contractor who did that has disappeared with half the money for the bath? I had to hire my friend the contractor who does beautiful work, but does not listen to me, clean up his mess, work within my budget, show up on time etc. (I had 3 other contractors look at the project and none of them gave me an estimate. )

    If this is rather disjointed and difficult to process it is because I have been up since 3:30 per usual since all this started. This is my second old house redo since 1971 and it has to be my last as it is not as much fun as it used to be. It is starting to feel like work!

    The kittens are really special. Good job.


  20. Carla Minosh
    September 15, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

    A life-sized marble statue of an Egyptian Princess holding fat little baby in a basket.

    Because I don’t do anything small…imagine a Victorian house without nicknacks, and full of big pieces of furniture, and that’s mine.

    She was in a little, out-of-the-way auction, the last remains of a seafood restaurant, being sold off along with the deep fat fryers, vinyl booths and worn-out flatware; and all the while, the huge empty space in my front baw window was begging for a bold piece of artwork. The price was more than right, especially since the auction house completely botched the spelling of the artist’s name, and mis-read the date carved into the back. The transparency sheet we brought, tucked into a folder, and pulled out when no-one was watching, showed Milan’s premier marble carver’s submission to the Philadelphia 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia ” Pharoah’s Daughter Finding Moses”.

    Holding up the black-and-white transparency printout of the photo from the Centennial, the image in the photograph lined up precicely with the piece in front of us.

    She looks perfect in my bay window, by the way. Love your blog, keep writing!


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