A Very Vintage Christmas

It is so easy to be dazzled with every new sparkle and bobble that fills the stores this holiday season. I get it. I freaking love Christmas. Still, the environment takes a huge hit by the end of the month when every family starts to trash their packaging and gift wrap and all the plastic decorations that won’t survive another year.

I try to limit myself this time of year – though it’s really, REALLY difficult – to only buying one or two new decorations for the collection. It keeps the impact on the earth low and forces me to be creative with what I have. It’s a fun challenge to try to make something new and crafty or just decorate using the pieces that I already have in new and interesting ways.

For me, vintage is an easy medium to work with in terms of decorating because my favourite Christmas vignettes are the ones that evoke a feeling of nostalgia. I like to think of the old pieces in family homes spruced up with a little holiday cheer.

Here are few examples of how to incorporate vintage into your holiday decor.

Simple Silver

21D56B7C-6431-4C5D-A505-25EB55F11F4B

Combine a few bottle brush trees with vintage silver pieces. BIG thanks to my gal Renée for scoring the tray and the sugar, creamer set for a cool 25 cents! A quarter! Talk about a Christmas miracle.

A Colour Story

92637A1F-51F0-44EA-82C2-08EC708D27B4

Pick your favourite Christmas colours and make their proximity part of the holiday scheme. These vintage books and other red pieces only needed a few candy canes to drive it home.

Merry Milk Glass

1D2DD1FF-C97E-4183-8098-36BB8D337159.jpeg

Milk glass is the perfect vessel for your holiday treats and trinkets. I threw in this red Pyrex fridgie becuse I just love red and white – must be a twinkle of Canadiana Christmas spirit.

Mixed Metals

F3625E18-EA61-4933-B1E7-E1F268A88D00.jpeg

Deck the halls with copper and mercury glass and gold leaf! I painted some white canvas with gold paint for a bonus backdrop as well.

If you’re looking to add some fun, high quality vintage pieces to your own collection – ones that will last for many Christmases to come, check out my Etsy shop where you’ll find some of the pieces pictured above and many new pieces added weekly.

Design

Like this post? Check out my other holiday posts here:

The Quintessential Feminist Gift Guide

Simple and Rustic Christmas Tree in a Frame

100 Movie New York Christmas Countdown

Minimalist Eco-Conscious Alterna-Tree

Best Worst Christmas Movies

30 Acts of Kindness (And a Christmas Printable)

UpCycle that Vintage Bar Cart

This post is part of a Blog Hop featuring other super fun posts on flipping furniture by ECM bloggers. Be sure to check out all the links after reading this post and follow the hashtag #ECMFleaMarketFlip

UpCycle that Vintage Bar Cart.png

I absolutely adore being able to rescue a dated piece of furniture by giving it new life with some simple upcycling tricks. Sometimes pieces need a bit of restoration and sometimes they only need a fresh coat of paint.

When I found this tired old bar cart at the Halifax St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, Hand in Hand, I was thrilled to snatch it up for only $10.

Now, I love faux bois as much as the next gal but the cheap MDF shelves didn’t exactly scream chic. For that matter, the tarnished brass frame was also crying out for help.

At first I wanted to remove the casters and shelves to paint just the frame. Unfortunately, those shelves were there to stay. Seriously! Try as I might I just could NOT pry them from the frame.

So, onto plan B.

I painted the shelves white and decided to just percolate some alternatives while I went on to spray the frame with Rustoleum Paint & Primer in Copper Rose.

It took three coats in the humidity but eventually that lovely sheen had covered up the sins of this bar cart’s past.

Eventually, I decided to pull

out the big guns: that’s right, découpage. I started by covering the shelves in the same Copper Rose as the rest of the frame. Then, I found these lovely thick scrap booking pages that complimented the colour perfectly.

IMG_4917

This is the best my iPhone could capture the colour but it really does have a lovely glimmer to it.

Enter Mod Podge.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Mod Podge is an easy medium to work with, even for beginners. If you look closely at the above picture, you’ll see the hint of white starting to fade around the sealed paper. Fortunately, it dries clear so after a few coats, the paper was secure and there was nary a trace of Mod Podge left. The best part is that it also lends a touch of water resistance to increase durability of the over all piece.

By morning, everything was dry and ready for business. I decided to nix the casters full stop since I’ll be using the cart in my home office and not for serving drinks (or hey, maybe I’ll do both!).

IMG_4943.JPG

IMG_4944

Happy upcycling!

Design

Click the blue frog below to view the other links in the #ECMFleaMarketFlip

IMG_0086

 

Unhelpful Recipes: What the Heck is a Fiddlehead?

This post is part of the ECM Fiddlehead Bloggers Hop! Be sure to check out the other fab posts on Fiddleheads from some other local bloggers.

ECM-Media-Bloggers-Exploring-and-Cooking-with-Fiddleheads-923x1024

Until I moved to Atlantic Canada, I had never heard tell of a Fiddlehead – with the exception, of course, of the genuine article that’s found at the top of a violin. Typical Ontarian, eh? That first spring of my residence in New Brunswick, I began to see them around the Farmer’s Market and at the grocery store. Curious, I began to probe…

For those of you who have also been in the dark on this weird and delicious springtime green, a Fiddlehead is actually a type of fern. They’re only delicious while they’re young and curled so the window of the season is quite short. Sometimes you can spot them in the forest – but definitely wait until you get home to properly clean and cook them before eating.

Personally, I was taught all this great info within seconds of asking “What the heck is a fiddlehead?!” It seems my Maritime friends were eager to share in the secret delicacy. What I didn’t expect was to open up a great debate on the best way to devour these delicious green morsels. I’ve discovered that there are two schools of thought on the matter: Team “Butter is Better” vs Team “Tart and Tangy.”

Fiddleheads Post.png
Edit: This picture is NOT an example of the genuine fiddleheads that are safe to eat. True fiddleheads are covered in a brown paperlike coating and are never fuzzy even as they grow. Shoutout to reader Rhonda for the wisdom that only a Maritimer would know!

Since, as you well know, I’m not really here to be of any help to any of you in this arena, I’ll just give you the two unhelpful recipes and let you make up your own minds.

Team Butter is Better

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain fiddleheads. You’ll want to make sure you pull off the brown/white papery sheath to reveal just a fresh, green curl.
  2. Steam in vegetable steamer or over shallow boiling water.
  3. Toss with copious amounts of butter.
  4. Serve.

Team Tart and Tangy

  1. See above.
  2. See above.
  3. Drip on a vinegar of your choice. Personally, I like a nice balsamic but cider vinegar also works well in this context. But I’m not your mother. Use whatever vinegar you want.
  4. Serve.

I have to admit it: Fiddleheads are delicious either way (and many other, more complicated ways) but I’m definitely team Butter is Better. Butter forever! Butter for all! You might even want to add a wee sprinkle of parmesan, if you’re so inclined.

If you don’t like either suggestions, that’s fine too. As I mentioned at the top of this post, I’m participating in the ECM blog hop, providing links to some other amazing local bloggers who will probably have much more detailed and helpful guides on how to prepare these curly tendrils. But we both know that’s not going to happen here on this blog.

Happy fiddleheading!

ECM-Media-Bloggers-Exploring-and-Cooking-with-Fiddleheads-923x1024