life

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!

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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!

April Patchwork Market

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Morgan Grimm, talented lady and event planner extraordinaire, puts on one good market. I have never been disappointed as a vendor at her Patchwork markets, even when my sales weren’t spectacular. I always leave energized because of the folks I’ve met. So many amazing vendors under one roof, all willing to share ideas (and sometimes granola bars) and talk shop, as well as these terrific customers who are excited to grab a delicious Fullsteam beer and support local makers and small shop owners. I feel like I’m part of something when I’m there…living in this area, this resurgence of small batch, quality goods and creative folks collaborating. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday! (Did I mention I get a 5 hour break from my kids too?! Icing on the cake.)

Photos taken by the lovely couple behind Radian Photography:

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antique mall

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I’m very excited to share that Posy will be renting a spot at the eclectic antique mall, Cheshire Cat Gallery, in downtown Raleigh’s Cameron Village starting February 1! It’s such a relief to have a place to share all the great furniture and big vintage items currently taking up residence in my attic. It’s my own little spot in the vintage world and one that I hope will get more eyes on Posy. I get to paint and decorate however I’d like…which means I’ve been Pinterest crazy of late! One wall, one peg board and some definite elbow grease needed to get this spot shining! (This is a pic of my spot with its current resident. Keep on the lookout for Posy’s transformation!!)

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new year

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As much as I’ve enjoyed a nice long break over the holidays and some quality time with my family, I’m getting more excited as the days go by to get back into the swing of Posy things! I’ve got a great stash in the attic of vintage from estate sales, auction and other treasure hunts to post in the Etsy shop or ready for market. We’re talking midcentury metal and wood school desk, lamps, vaseline glass, an amazing turquoise midcentury bookshelf, more linens, record albums, a vanity stool, child’s rocker, and so much more! I never thought I’d be the kind of gal to miss her office…but when it looks like this, I do!

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blue ridge parkway

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This summer I went on my first vintage-buying trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway and scooped up a car load of gems.  It’s a 3-day miles long adventure along historic US 21. If you’re into picking/thrifting/vintage/bbq, I highly recommend going!

My Nana made one awesome wingwoman…she’s got a great eye and knew what some things were that I didn’t. Of course, she got bitten by the good deal bug and I eventually had to ask (i.e. beg!) her to stop for lunch.

This trip was a dream…getting to hunt down awesome vintage to share through Posy. I hope it’s one of many. I’m ready to roll down the windows, turn up the tunes and take that left off the dirt road and see what I can find!

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a small business summer

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Well, one kid is officially done with school and has begun her summer vacation…i.e. there goes my “free” time. Luckily, Olive, my 5 year old, will still take a quiet hour, but when you’re trying to build an inventory and keep up with all things small business, one hour is but a drop in the bucket. So, I need to take a moment this weekend to regroup and figure out how this summer is going to work. Just this week, I took on another custom project (hemming panel curtains for a nursery) and washed a boatload of new fabric which need to be ironed, cut and sewn into fabulous napkin/placemat sets. Speaking of napkins and placemats, I dropped off a fun batch to DecoRaleigh this week! At night, with the final episodes of “Gilmore Girls” on for company, I’ve been embroidering my veggie character tea towels. Walt and Henry, my mushroom friends, are done (and in the shop!) and I’m half way through Carrot and Beet. Still haven’t decided what summertime activity they’ll be enjoying…catching lightning bugs, maybe?! It’s challenging because I have a lot of energy I want to invest in Posy, but two beautiful babes end up redirecting it their way! Maybe by the weekend’s end I’ll have a brilliant plan in place…fingers crossed!

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Mun’s been bitten by the swimming bug! Goggle ready!

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Olive helped make my birthday cake look beautiful with sparkly pink gel frosting and a ton o’ sprinkles!

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