Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Antiques Roadshow Here We Come

Guess what arrived late last week?

antiques roadshow tickets

Our tickets to Antiques Roadshow in Richmond! We're so excited. And since the date is now just a little less than three weeks away, it's probably time to decide what we're bringing with us to have appraised by their experts.

Wanna help? I'll show you what I'm considering and you can vote in the survey at the bottom of the page. Ready? Let's go!

mystery color field painting

Washington, DC is known for its color field painters and I haven't been able to identify the signature on this one. This might be something or it might be nothing, but if I bring it, at least I'll know!

old mystery doll

My parents recently mailed me everything that was left at their house that belonged to me. There were old yearbooks, Barbies, trophies and this doll. I have no idea where it came from or how old it is, but it's in pretty nice condition so this is another candidate.

studio pottery vases

Here's another signed item that I haven't been able to track down: those three vases in the middle of this photo. I've had a suggestion that maybe they're Herman A. Kahler (link goes to eBay) from Denmark, but frankly it doesn't look much like his work to me so getting an expert opinion would be great!

bjorn wiinblad print

bjorn wiinblad print close-up

I've got a lot of Bjorn Wiinblad art and decorative pieces. This one is up in the bedroom. I bought it the same time as the one that's up in the office and I've always wondered if it's hand-signed and if I should have it conserved since I'm pretty sure the mat isn't acid-free.

marshall studios lamp

marshall studios lamp gordon marshall signature

This would take some serious doing and I'd be anxious about breaking it all day, but I'd love to bring my Marshall Studios lamp. Any idea how to safely transport a four foot tall lamp with a delicate handmade shade 100 miles in the car and probably several hundred yards through a convention center?

adrian pearsall craft associates coffee table

Finally, another pipe dream is bringing this coffee table, mainly because I got a stellar deal on it and I want to be told that I'm brilliant. Ha ha! Just kidding. (Kind of.) Seriously though, I got this Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates coffee table at the DC Big Flea about three years ago before Pearsall mania hit the mid century collecting world. I think I know what it's worth, but I would love to see Pearsall's work get broader exposure since I think he was a genius and an Antiques Roadshow appearance would be just the ticket! Though I'll have to clean the coffee cup rings and puggle nose prints off the glass. Whoopsie!

So, what do you think? Remember, I can bring two items to be appraised. Which should it be? You can pick two choices below. Or have you seen something else on my blog that you think I should bring instead? You can write that in the "Other" field.

Oh, and seriously, if y'all pick that lamp or the coffee table, I doubt I'll be able to handle anything else!

Now vote!

Survey link for those reading in feed readers.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Homemade Nutella Pop Tarts

Last Friday, Doug had the day off so we hopped in the car and drove into downtown Washington, DC to have lunch and stop in at an art gallery. After wandering up and down 8th Street, we settled on Ted's Bulletin as a likely-looking place, primarily for the all day breakfast and homemade pop tarts on offer.

I had a salad and Doug had breakfast and then we split a strawberry pop tart. And it was good.

Which got me thinking...could I make homemade pop tarts? I mean, the commercial kind are pretty gross. Kind of cardboard-like and chemical-tasting. But the homemade variety? Like of like a tiny little pie. And who doesn't like pie?

So after a bit of Googling, I settled on Smitten Kitchen's version plus a glaze recipe that I ripped from an HGTV baklava recipe. For the full, delicious instructions, definitely visit Smitten Kitchen because Deb is an amazingly precise blogger and she gives lots of great tips on different fillings and working with pie dough. I did alter it slightly though and I've also included the glaze recipe below, which I've halved because I had enough glaze for 50,000 pop tarts. Enjoy!

Homemade Nutella Pop Tarts
inspired by Smitten Kitchen and HGTV

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) milk

1 additional large egg (to brush on pastry)

9 tablespoons Nutella

1/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Pastry & Filling Instructions
Go here: The only thing I got confused about was how to cut the dough so the rectangles came out to be the size Deb specifies. So here's what I did.

Roll out the dough and trim so it's 9" high by 12" wide. (I also saved and baked the trimmings as indicated. I'll show you what I did with those in another post.) Make two horizontal cuts with a sharp knife or pizza cutter at the 3" and 6" mark.

Then make two vertical cuts at the 4" and 8" mark. That will give you the 9 pieces for each section of dough.

Once the tarts are baking in the oven, make the Nutella glaze.

Glaze Instructions

1) Combine all three ingredients in a small bowl.
2) Using a hand mixer, beat on low speed for 30 seconds until combined (so the powdered sugar doesn't go everywhere).
3) The beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
4) Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over the top of the pastries once they come out of the oven and have cooled for 15 minutes. Allow to cool until the glaze is set (if you can wait that long--we totally couldn't).

A Nutella pop tart is part of your balanced breakfast.


Linking up to:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Middleburg Summer Antiques Fair

On Saturday, Doug and I and a couple of friends made the drive out to beautiful, historic Middleburg to the Middleburg Summer Antiques Fair at the Hill School.

Not only was it a beautiful setting, the dealers at the show were beyond sweet to us. We arrived early and a few of the dealers were still setting up. If I have a favorite show tip, that's it: get there early. We arrived at the show about 10 and left about 12:30. Many of the items we'd seen early were already gone or marked sold. My second favorite tip for shows is: always negotiate. You may not get too much off the price, but even a little is something. Also, antique shows aren't really like flea markets. You should certainly negotiate, but don't expect to get stellar deals the last day of the show. Many of these dealers have shops and long-time clients so they'd rather pack it up and bring it home than discount something too much.

But really, a lot of a show like this is just about the eye candy. Here are a few of our favorite finds!

Country Sampler of Greensboro, Maryland

Lucile & Jim Albaugh had many little interesting things. In fact, their card says "Antiques and Other Things of Interest".

The next stop was the Joyful Antiques booth. A plethora of cool vintage lighting here plus that monogrammed vintage suitcase was just fab!

The only mid century specialist at this show was Hearthside Home & Garden. I spent quite a while poking around the booth and chatting was Steven, the owner, and his wife. Nice people and a fantastic eye for mid century modern! Look for another post about their store here soon. It's in Poolesville,Maryland, just a ferry ride away, and Doug and I have been looking for an excuse to take a boat ride and drive out to Frederick. Oh, and they also have an Etsy store.

$4,000 but easily to sharpest thing at the show.

At Debbie Turi Antiques, we commiserated about being "young folks" in the business. She had dozens of amazing bookends, among many other great things.

I also discovered a wonderful new-to-me mid century modern painter, Paul Hollister. His estate is represented by Ingeborg Gallery run by Gert C. Werth. If what Werth had with him is any indication, Hollister painted mainly urban, industrial, New York scenes. The frame below was also made by Hollister. I have a definite preference for artists who craft their own frames as the vision remains consistent. There is nothing worse than a great painting in an awful frame. 

The chaos and go go go of the city, the Italian reference in the window,
the darkness and light. This captures the essence of New York, right?

After a long morning of antiquing, we were all pretty hungry. So off we went to Leesburg and Doner Bistro. Apparently Doner is a German street food by way of Turkish cuisine. It's kind of like a gyro and oh boy is it good. They also serve German beers in the proper glass for each type of beer: perfect for real beer enthusiasts. Even if you're 15 miles away in Middleburg, it's worth the drive.

Mmm...Doner Bistro.

My Doner and my beer. All in my belly about 20 minutes later.

The meat is all roasted here in the Mighty Midget Kitchen.

Such a DC area joke.
So what did you do this weekend? Hit up any summer festivals? Any thrifting or projects going on?

Friday, July 26, 2013

One Piece Many Ways Link-Up: Unique Vintage Dress

Audrey over at Putting Me Together is hosting a link-up next week. She's calling it One Piece Many Ways.

Audrey challenged her readers to take one piece of clothing from their closets and style it in at least two ways. Since I love repurposing things, I figured I'd give it a shot. It's not like we've never covered fashion here before, after all!

For my piece of clothing, I chose my new dress from Hep Kat Clothing in San Luis Obispo, which I bought when I visited there recently. The label is Unique Vintage and the dress is now on sale! I just love vintage style clothing, especially because at a modern size 8, it's quite difficult to find real vintage clothing that fits me!

You might not think this dress would be so versatile, but here I've styled it three different ways: casual for a BBQ with friends, dressy for a night out with my husband and demure for church. I opted to go sans crinoline just because when it's poofy it's a little more costume-y I think, which isn't what I'm going for day-to-day.

Casual BBQ

Dress - Unique Vintage
White button-down shirt - Ralph Lauren
Wedges - Aerosoles (similar)

Bonus - I used this pin to roll my sleeves J. Crew style.

Dressy night out

Sash - J. Crew (old)
Clutch - vintage (this purse in my Etsy shopsimilar)
Shoes - Seychelles (similar)
Necklace & earrings - Basic pearls

Bonus - A great sock bun video.


Cardigan - LOFT (similar)
Shoes - Jack Rogers

Once we got started, we thought this was pretty fun. Doug took the pictures and Chester sniffed stuff.

Thanks for letting me play fashion blogger for a day, Audrey! It's easy to get stuck in a fashion rut (ahem, shorts, ahem, t-shirt, ahem, every day) so it was great to put my thinking cap on and restyle this dress I just love.

Do you ever get stuck in a fashion rut? Are you even interested in fashion?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Field Trip Thursday: Prince William County Thrifting

It's been a while since we did a Field Trip Thursday so this week I decided to head out to Prince William County, Virginia to take in their thrifting scene. I wasn't sure what to expect and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. I found one real gem and two other really solid stores. A warning: this is a long one with lots of pictures.

Here are the spots I visited!

House of Mercy Thrift Store
8170 Flannery Ct.
Manassas, VA 20109

Normally I'm a "save the best for last" kind of person, but in this case, I wanted to share the actual route I took, which was to get off of I-66 at the 234 Bypass headed toward Dumfries. This started me at the far end of the county and I worked my way back toward Fairfax. House of Mercy Thrift Store is a little off the beaten path (kind of out by Jiffy Lube Live--always in my head it's Nissan Pavilion) in a light industrial park, but it was worth the drive and I know I'll be back.

First of all, I have found that the smaller charity shops (like the INOVA stores and Bargain Loft in Herndon) often do a great job of editing their wares and this place is no exception. There's typically not a lot of junk and things get displayed nicely. Goodwill and Salvation Army are good too, but more for sheer volume. The for-profit stores like Unique, Savers and the like I tend not to mess with. I need to get in and out and they just have too much junk.

Apparently they have different special every day here so check before you go. Yesterday was 25% off everything. I bought a few things here, but let's start with what I admired, but didn't buy.

Antique (perhaps reproduction) wash stand

California Pottery casserole dish, sadly chipped

Burl veneer wall units. No joke, kinda loved these.

Came this close to getting this, but it was $40, which seemed a little steep.

1920s version of Federal writing desk

Ben Seibel for Iroquois, many sadly chipped and stained

I did buy a few things though, mainly art, which I really have to stop doing because one gallery wall is enough and I'm pretty much out of wall space.

I bought four of these, a few of the pieces from above that weren't chipped or stained.

Watercolor by Philoma Goldsworthy, listed California artist.

Here's another mid century painting. I believe this is one of those ones where the background is printed and the painting is then given texture by hand. I can't find reference to the artist anywhere online and on the back, there is an indication of a printer's plate. That said, the colors are nice, right?

11201 Balls Ford Rd.
Manassas, VA 20109

This is the biggest, most beautiful thrift store I've ever visited. It was packed, probably because it was 25% off everything, just like the store in Annandale. I didn't actually buy anything here, but if it were a regular haunt, I could definitely see finding a lot of stuff here due to size alone.

Tons of furniture
Tons of art, though admittedly the boats are a little cheesy

Antique model ship, very tempting

Super cool decor

Cool, right?

7381 Sudley Rd.
Manassas, VA 20109

Community Thrift was the only dud of the bunch. It's a small store and there was truthfully a lot of junk. However, they also had a ton of dishes so I could see turning up the occasional find here, but on this trip, I left empty-handed. If this were on my regular route, I'd probably still stop in, but my expectations would be low. Admittedly, I might be missing something because the store gets really good Yelp reviews.

Pretty standard thrift store fare here

8014 Sudley Rd.
Manassas, VA 20109

Last but not least was the Goodwill. To honest, everything I saw here that I liked, I actually bought. Plus I try not to take photos when there are a ton of people in the way because not everyone wants their pictures taken and this place was packed. There weren't any discounts up that I could see so I'm guessing this store is just always busy considering that it's right on the main drag shopping route through Manassas. My experience with DC Area Goodwill has been that one is as good as another and this store was no exception.

Doug does not understand my fascination with vintage paint by numbers. Back me up here?

Two for $7. Hoping to grow (and not kill) some herbs.

Vase marked Kite '57 MWC

This might be my favorite find of the day. I picked up this vase because I thought it was rather good and the signature is nice and clear. The price tag was stuck over the "MWC" and I didn't see it until I removed it when I got it home. If I'm not wrong, this piece has a story. While trying to identify it, I decided that "MWC" might be Mary Washington College. And indeed, there is a reference to an "Amelia Kite" in the 1957 yearbook. And William Leyton Kite, resident of Manassas, passed away December 12th of last year and was preceded in death by his wife. It mentions he has a sister living in Hot Springs, Arkansas: Amelia K. Maddox. I think this is too much of a coincidence. I've imagined that Miss Amelia made the vase at school and gave it to her brother as a gift. I don't suppose anyone knows people in Arkansas?

In any case, it was a very successful trip to Prince William County, I'd say!

The other stores I looked up, but opted to save for another time were these, since they were all at the other end of the county. 

Salvation Army Woodbridge
13287 Gordon Blvd
Woodbridge, VA

Village Thrift Stores
13770 Smoketown Rd.
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Savers Thrift Store
14427 Potomac Mills Rd
Woodbridge, VA 22192

ACTS Thrift Store
3661 Canal Rd.
Dumfries, VA 22026

B Thrifty
13412 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Woodbridge, VA 22191

Second Time Around Thrift Store
17471 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Dumfries, VA 22026

I'll definitely have to go back and do the Woodbridge area stores at a later date. Are you aware of any Prince William County thrift stores that I missed? 
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