inspiration

February Faves

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Hello! I hope you’re having a cozy winter so far, and if you’re done with winter, hang in! Only a month or so to go! My days have been filled with posting vintage items into Posy’s shop, navigating the shopping feature on Instagram, applying for vintage markets, reviewing last year’s numbers and putting them to use for 2019’s goals and lots of baking, organizing, listening and reading. I thought it’d be fun to do a round up for you of my current February faves!

First up, nothing works better at getting me out of bed in the morning than a hot cup of tea and something baked. My go-to are Sara Foster’s muffins (particularly her banana oatmeal chocolate chip muffin) and the Test Kitchen’s pumpkin spice muffins. But I also love a good scone and prefer ones with oats in them for extra fill and energy! Last night, I baked up a batch of the Test Kitchen’s Glazed Maple-Pecan Oatmeal scones; they are hearty and delicious! Here’s the recipe in case you want to give them a try:

Glazed Maple-Pecan Oatmeal Scones

*Sidenote: Rolled oats will give the scones a deeper oat flavor, but quick-cooking oats will create a softer texture; either type will work here.  Half-and-half is a suitable substitute for the milk and cream combination.*

(Makes 8 scones)

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats or quick oats

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes and chilled

Glaze: 3 Tablespoons maple syrup & 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, whisk until combined and drizzle over cooled scones

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread oats and pecans evenly on baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7-9 minutes; let rest on wire rack.  Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.  When oats are cooled, measure out 2 tablespoons for dusting counter and set aside.  Line second baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk milk, cream, maple syrup and egg in large measuring cup until incorporated.  Reserve 1 tablespoon in small bowl for glazing and set aside.
  3. Pulse flour, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined, about 4 pulses.  Scatter butter evenly over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 12-14 pulses.  Transfer mixture to medium bowl and stir in cooled oats.  Using rubber spatula, fold in liquid ingredients until large clumps form.  Mix dough by hand in bowl until dough forms cohesive mass.
  4. Dust counter with 1 tablespoon reserved oats, turn dough out onto counter, and dust top with remaining 1 tablespoon reserved oats.  Gently pat dough into 7″ circle about 1″ thick.  Using a bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut dough into 8 wedges and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing wedges about 2″ apart. Brush tops with reserved egg mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon sugar.
  5. Bake until golden brown, 12-14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.  Let scones cool on sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Serve.

One of my favorite designers, Emily Henderson, just welcomed a new member to her team, Michael, whom she’d first met at the Rose Bowl Flea.  He loves vintage, thrifting and wrote an enthusiastic and fun post “7 Tips for Creating a Unique Home You Really Love” (hint: a big part of his suggestions is to incorporate vintage!). When you have a moment…perhaps with a scone in hand…give it a read! Also, I’m really excited Emily’s bringing back her features on trolling Craig’s List for their best finds, city-by-city, as well as DIY projects for the home and more thrift store finds and tips.  Emily, and now Micheal, do a terrific job showing you how to bring in the vintage and mixing it with the new.

Michael Keck Living Room 21

A good maker friend, Amy Richards, introduced me to Danielle at the Merriweather Council Podcast which has “Tips, Insights, Advice and Tough Love For Handmade Business Owners.” I know Posy’s not handmade, but a lot of her advice, like reflecting on your own buying habits to market your business’ products, is helpful. And the first episode I listened to sought small biz owner advice from one of my favorite shows, “Gilmore Girls!!”

A podcast that really struck a chord and I can’t stop thinking about is the episode “Finding More Life In Less Stuff” on the Young House Love podcast featuring an interview with author Joshua Becker. He is the author of “The Minimalist Home,” which I can’t wait to read.  The way he talks about not wanting to be a manager of stuff, and what are we really working for, is exactly how I’ve been wanting to live my best life. He’s not saying get rid of everything, but he is preaching “rational minimalism.” As a business owner, who is selling tangible things, this really helped me focus my goals with Posy and how I want to be a resource for those special gifts as well personable items in your home that invoke positive memories or connection to a loved one, and not just selling stuff.  I highly recommend listening!

My sister-in-law, an avid reader, gifted me with a beautiful book for Christmas that I recently finished.  It’s Vanessa Hua’s debut novel, A River of Stars, and is story of motherhood, friendship and creative survival.  Really special book!

Been hard at work getting lots of fun, colorful and personable vintage into Posy’s shop! Here is a roundup of some of my faves:

Alright, time to get back to washing out turquoise mason jars and posting quirky “new” planters into the shop! Keep an eye out on (@posymarket) Instagram for the latest shop updates and peeks into beautiful old homes as well as inspiration for incorporating your thrift store finds into your space! And if you really want to be in the know, and get a discount on your next Posy purchase, be sure to sign up for the Posy Post (our quarterly newsletter)!

Happy cocooning this winter!!

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Vintage Treasures

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Whether you’re tackling some spring cleaning, or just want to focus on fixing up your latest vintage score, the tools you need are right in the kitchen!

Recently, my husband accidentally placed a still-wet bowl on our vintage wooden sideboard table, leaving a white ring behind. At first I panicked, and then after a surprising online search, discovered that the mayo in our fridge could remove it! I learned from Bob Vila that the light mark is actually a sign that the moisture is trapped in the varnish and hasn’t gotten through to the wood yet. He suggests ironing, which I don’t recommend. It left more marks, rather than removing the ring. I followed his steps for using mayo, “Dab a bit onto a rag, then gently apply the mayonnaise directly to the stained area. Let it sit for at least an hour or as long as overnight, reapplying the mayonnaise if the initial coating dries out.”  I left my mayo for a few hours and it did the trick. You can’t even tell where the stain happened!

Photo of vintage wooden furniture with vintage baskets

Personally, I’m team patina, but I know not everyone likes their brass that way. So, if you’re team shine, there’s an easy way to bring it back! Using Apartment Therapy’s guide to cleaning brass, you can mix the juice from 1/2 lemon with 1 teaspoon or so of baking soda, creating a paste that you can apply with a rag or toothbrush. What I love about this technique is that it doesn’t completely strip the brass of it’s vintage patina, making it look brand new.  You buy vintage because it’s vintage…not something that can be easily found at any big box store.  Also, as a sidenote, the Oxo brush is amazing…small head, firm bristles and this little rubbery pointy nub on the other end that’s great for crevices.  Be sure to check to see if your piece is actually brass first! Use a magnet…if it sticks, there’s probably another metal at play, but if it doesn’t, then you’ve most likely got a true brass piece.

Cleaning vintage brass with baking soda and lemon juice

Finally, some folks are wary of taking home a vintage piece that has a less-than-pleasing odor, but there’s a remedy for that too! When it comes to containers, or things that have been closed and left for long periods, an odor naturally develops.  As long as there are no signs of mold or other serious issues, I typically have found that some baking soda, coffee grounds or even tea tree oil can nip that stinch in the bud! For plastic containers, like Tupperware or thermoses, I’ll simply shake a good amount of baking soda into the container, covering the bottom, and let it sit with the lid off. I’ll even put a layer on the underside of the lid, as I don’t want to trap the scent back in there next time it’s closed.  For jewelry boxes or wooden furniture, sometimes I’ll put sprinkle baking soda directly on the piece and later vacuum it up, or you can put the baking soda, or even coffee grounds, on a small plate inside the piece to soak up the scent.  If it’s something washable, like glass, I’ll use diluted white vinegar if the dish soap doesn’t do the trick.  Another great trick, I learned when my kids were babies and I was using a Diaper Genie to dispose of their diapers, is a little dash of tea tree oil on a piece of cloth left in the container.  It’s a great odor neutralizer!

Vintage red yellow black plaid thermos

Alright friends, I hope this was helpful! Happy spring cleaning!

Benefits of Going Green With a Vintage Twist

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Did you know that house plants can lower your stress levels? They can also help you be healthier and heal faster. Other green benefits, as mentioned in this HGTV article, include: make our air fresher by removing pollutants, bump up our creativity and concentration, add oxygen and there’s evidence that plant owners are more caring and empathetic. Domain magazine mentions, “Plants help to increase our levels of positivity and make us feel more secure and relaxed. They can also help with loneliness and depression. Caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding…”

Yes, please, to all of the above! I like to amp up the happy factor that plants bring into our home with either a classic terracotta pot for texture and simplicity, or, more often, a colorful vintage planter.  Succulents really pop against a cheery yellow McCoy planter! Over the last year, when I’m on the vintage hunt, I’m often drawn to planters…particularly, quirky animals or retro heads. Double the fun and dose of positivity in my opinion!

Posy has a whole stash of creative, colorful or classic planters now in the shop!

In case you need a little guidance when planting succulents, which seems to be the trend that just won’t quit, I found this article by Southern Living Magazine to be helpful. My local nursery walked me through the basics and my succulents have been rocking it! I started with a layer of charcoal and then filled the container with soil meant specifically for succulents (took away the need to mix in sand) and then I only water when the soil’s dry.

Now for the fun part! Pick out your plant and a fun planter and you’re on the way to healthier and happier days!

Here are some planter options in Posy’s shop…ranging from quirky ducks to classic McCoys:

Vintage Christmas Obsession

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Vintage Christmas is one of my favorite things to shop and display! I’m always keeping an eye out for retro holiday…because those details, materials, colors! Festive and quality. This was definitely one of my best holiday collections yet, and based on the amount that sold, I’d say Posy customers are right there with me and my Christmas decor obsession! Pieces came from as far as Ohio and Illinois and as close as the Blue Ridge Parkway, Tennessee and local estate sales. With a year of buying trips and yard sales, I can’t wait to see what I’ll find next…and, of course, which pieces I’ll share in Posy’s shop!

angeldioramaornament_2

blueglassornaments_5

ceramicsantaboot_1

glassdioramaornamentset_2

ivoryspunornament_1

goldbeadedornaments_2

poinsettiaandholly_2

poinsettiatray_2

redpoinsettiaornaments_2

santabell_5

santacandyholderornament_1

santashaker_1

santamugtrio_2

santaandwreathstablecloth_1

santawithpipeornament_2

Felt Ball Garland Tutorial

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A felt ball garland is such a fun and bright way to add a splash of color and festivity to your holiday decor…or to any space year round! In case you’re interested in making one on your own, here’s a quick tutorial to show you how: ‘

First, get a strong needle with a bigger eye for lacing yarn or even baker’s twine, your felt balls (my garland uses 50 balls) and a length of yarn (I use just over 10 feet of yarn to get a 9 foot garland) and poke through the center of your felt ball.

feltballgarlandtutorial_1

feltballgarlandtutorial_2

Move the ball to toward the end of your yarn, leaving a tail to hang the garland from (I prefer about 6″ of tail at each end).

feltballgarlandtutorial_3

Now, we want to knot the yarn so that the ball doesn’t move and once the garland is complete, so they won’t all become a tangled mess. Put your needle through a smidge of the ball right in front of where your previous yarn exited (the opposite side of the end tail).

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This will create a loop, which I like to hold with my thumb.

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You’ll then put the needle through the loop completing the knot.

feltballgarlandtutorial_6

Give yourself some space, I usually do about 1 3/4″-2″ before adding the next ball.  Continue adding balls until you’ve reached your desired length.  Be sure to leave another tail, the same length as the first, for hanging.

feltballgarlandtutorial_7

My favorite part of the process is picking colors! Whether you go the random rainbow route, or stick with a sublime pattern, it’s a fun and creative craft that I hope you’ll enjoy!

 

Adding vintage to your home

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Oftentimes, when I’m at a market, folks ask me for ideas on how to add vintage to their home. They love the funky aesthetic of gas numbers but aren’t quite sure how to incorporate them into their decor. Or they love the whole succulent fad but don’t want to stick them into any ol’ boring pot. Or they want a touch of rusty farm to add some interest to their otherwise traditional space. Not everyone that buys vintage is whole hog into it…they like this but not macrame that. I get it! My house is a blend of hand-me-downs and IKEA/Crate & Barrel/Target/World Market/flea market. But if you ask me about my home, the pieces I’m most animated about are the vintage…the whole cliched “pieces with a story” rings true! It’s much more fun to talk about the soda crate I got off the Blue Ridge Parkway, but not so exciting to tell you about that Target Threshold cabinet I picked up along with some toilet paper. So, I thought of a few goods Posy is currently selling and found great ideas for putting them to use in your space!

I have a red gas number in my son’s room to represent his age, 4, and at his next birthday can move it to another room to highlight how many are in our family. I love the bright contrast of the red against the white walls and amid the other pops of color in this Better Homes and Garden photo:

gas-numbers

I sold my first Serape blanket to an authentic character (cowboy hat, boots and job in leather work!) wanting to put it over the bench seat of his truck, but my current Serape could be a beautiful throw for the bedroom like this Urban Outfitters‘ number. They also make a great rug or couch cover.

serape-blanket

I went on a bit of a toolbox/tackle box/tool caddy spree this summer, but I love their many uses.  I use my big turquoise carpenter’s chest on the screened porch for tools, painting supplies and ottoman. You can also put in those ever popular succulents or Posy’s long wooden tool caddy would be a beautiful centerpiece that could be filled seasonally!

toolboxplanter

toolcaddyplanter

I love the look and feel of enamelware…the durable metal with the creamy coated finish…especially when there’s bits of rust and wear showing! This gorgeous display would be a Christmas stunner!

enamelwarecenterpiece

Sometimes, I stumble across something so pretty I just have to scoop it up, even if I’m not quite sure how to use it…yet! Posy’s selling sets of 1960’s Reader Digest books and I just love this craft putting them to use that was highlighted in Country Living Magazine!

readersdigestcraft

And sometimes, you just go easy. We’ve currently got some beautiful silver pieces and I love this Apartment Therapy display idea letting the silverware simply shine!

silverspoondisplay

Adding vintage to your home doesn’t have to be scary, or expensive, or all over your house like Grandma’s den, but, instead, it can be fun, colorful and a creative way to include a touch of personality to make your home better reflect you!