Collecting: I Love my Vintage House, Christening Gown, Toy Horse, Cookie Jar & Anchor Pin

Today’s post features the final photos and stories submitted to our I Love My Vintage ____ Contest. Thank you so much for all your submissions. Reading your entries has provided a respite from a world of meaningless, throwaway stuff and given me a glimpse into just why it is that sometimes, stuff still matters. Read on for the final submissions…

I ♥ My Vintage House

Vintage Love Contest: HouseI love my vintage house on Main Street in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. When my husband and I bought this home back in 1998, we thought we’d be here for 5 years. Now 14 years later, the house is finally on the market as we anticipate moving to the family homestead in the country. Through the years, we’ve taken off layers upon layers of wallpaper (yes, the bottom layers were quite vintage!) and transformed every square inch of this grand 1900’s bungalow to make it a wonderful home. In spite of the “old house” problems which still exist – crooked floors, cracked plaster and ancient wiring – this is our home and we love it.

— Amy, Mechanicsburg, Ohio

I ♥ My Christening Gown

Vintage Love Contest: Christening GownThis christening gown was made by my maternal grandmother back in 1953. My brother was the first one to wear it followed by my 3 other siblings and myself. Each of our children (10 grandchildren in all) have also worn it and my son was the last to wear it back in 2010. My hope is that my children’s children and their children will continue the tradition.

— Lori, West Fargo

I ♥ My Vintage Toy Horse

Vintage Love Contest: Toy HorseIt was tough to decide, but this little fellow always warms my heart. I discovered him on a dusty, high shelf in an Oregon antique shop, and I visited him many times before finally bringing him home. I love his beautiful, full gallop, and I’m sure his old steel & rubber wheels took some lucky children on some amazing adventures. I heart him.

— Scout, Gloucester, Massachusetts

I ♥ My Cookie Jar

Vintage Love Contest: Cookie JarIt was a wedding gift to my parents in 1954 from my father’s stepfather. His own father had died of tuberculosis a few months before he was born, and being extremely poor with 6 children to support, my grandmother didn’t take long to remarry. I don’t have a lot of memories of my step-grandfather since he died when I was about 4 years old. However, the one memory that stands out was from a short time before he passed away. He was very ill and lay on the sofa in the main room of the very small house. My parents had left us there for the day and my sisters and I were playing outside in front of the house. My grandmother had a hog she’d raised that was getting close to ready for butchering. The hog occasionally broke out of the small space where it was kept penned and was not in a friendly mood when it did so! When the hog got loose that day, my older sisters ran into the house. I stood paralyzed as I watched a large angry swine charge towards me. Then my very ill grandfather got up off the sofa, stepped out the door and pulled inside the house before the hog reached me. As for the cookie jar itself, I remember it in the kitchen in the home I grew up in. Even when cookies (usually store bought — Oreos! — occasionally homemade) weren’t in it, the smell still lingered. My parents eventually divorced in 1980 and my father remained in the house, with the cookie jar still in the kitchen. When he was cleaning things out a few years later, he asked if I wanted it and I gladly jumped at the chance to take it. It has followed me to different homes, different states, through a marriage and divorce and other relationships, and now, in my Gloucester home, it is still with me, sitting on my kitchen counter.

— Diana, Gloucester

I ♥ My Anchor Pin

Vintage Love Contest: Anchor PinMy grandmother, Doris Velma Driscoll, ( I just love her name), wore this pin during the summer months on her freshly ironed cotton blouse. She had so many pins! A pin for every occasion! My first memory of her was her bringing me to Salem Willows when I was probably 6 years old. This pin reminds me of her love for the beach—she taught me well!

— Karen, Gloucester

Voting for your favorite submission ends on Friday, February 22nd. To see the submissions not included in this page and/or place your vote, click the image below:

Click the image to see the other entries.

Click the image to see the other entries.

 

Collecting: I Love my Vintage Camper, Painting, Lamp, Sweater & Suitcase

Here are five photos and stories featured from our I Love My Vintage ____ Contest with the rest to follow this week. I hope you enjoy reading what people love and why. Feel free to vote for your favorite over on Facebook. (The voting ends on Friday, February 22nd.)

I ♥ My Vintage Camper

Vintage Love Contest: CamperI love my 1986 Toyota Camper, (which is) not being built anymore. Custom, 20 feet long, 8 feet wide. Traveled all over and met fantastic people. Bought in Maine, original owner used for hunting and fishing…once a year. 16,000 original miles on it. Interior: mint, wood closets, gas heat and stove, microwave, small bathroom in the back corner, overhead — above driver’s cab — held antiques. I minimized possessions…dishes, food, clothing, blankets and towels, reading matter, CDs (CD player plugged into inverter), great speakers and wonderful curtains and matching striped upholstery. ‘Gaucho’ couch convertible to bed, swivel seats & console table for entertaining guests. Great gas — 16 miles to the gallon…went south, campgrounds, street parking, rest areas, woods and on the ocean: Atlantic and Pacific…Florida, cross-country to California…through mad snowstorm in 2006, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. Wish you were here! Elizabeth Enfield

— Elizabeth, Gloucester, Massachusetts

I ♥ My Vintage Painting

Vintage Love Contest: PaintingWhen I reached my teens, I could barely stand being in the same room as my father. I thought I knew it all and he didn’t. In my later years before he died, I never apologized for being a nasty little so-and-so, but I tried to hang out with him in the kitchen and learn from him, hoping my current actions might speak louder than previous actions. One day in 1993 I told him how much I liked the painting hanging in the entryway of my parents’ home and he took it off the wall and gave it to me, nasty little so-and-so notwithstanding. That example has taught me much about being a parent. So while I love this painting for its NE coastal subject (the artist hails from Lynn – 1864-1940 – and painted the coast up to Ogunquit), I love it more for the lessons it teaches and memories it conjures.

— Jane, Amesbury, Massachusetts

I ♥ My Vintage Oil Lamp

Vintage Love Contest: Old Oil LampThe Old Lamp: This lamp is a repurposed oil lamp designed to stay in use! I have had it since I started keeping my own house…a garage sale find. I can’t help but picture folks lighting it in the 1900’s with oil and flame whenever I turn the now electrified wick-feeder.

— Joanna, Xenia, Ohio

I ♥ My Vintage Sweater

Vintage Love Contest: 1960s sweaterThis hand knit wool sweater was my mom’s back in the 60’s! It’s the best- so cozy, warm, and cheerful! Mom had good taste in elementary school.

— Julia, Providence, Rhode Island

I ♥ My Father’s Suitcase

Vintage Love Contest: Suitcase with Family LettersMy favorite vintage item is this old leather suitcase. It has obviously seen better days, having long lost its handle, covered in nicks and dents, and plastered with an old bumper sticker. However, it is what this suitcase represents, what it holds within, that I cherish. It spent many years, even decades, in my parent’s bedroom, tucked hidden away under my father’s side of the bed. It was a sad turn of events that finally brought this suitcase to my attention. I think that even my mother had forgotten about its existence. But my father never did, adding little things faithfully to it over the years. My father never spoke much. He was a quiet man, not apt for conversation unless it was about cars or motorcycles. But this suitcase speaks the volumes he never could, hiding away words and memories, holding the treasures of his heart. On a brisk November night in New York City, over three years ago, my father left us for heaven. It was 10 days before his 59th birthday. It was on the day that my son turned one year old. It was a day I will never forget. And now the suitcase holds even more significance for us all. Honestly, I have never seen what is inside. It was probably sometime last year when my mom called me, and I heard a small catch in her voice, a quiver. She had opened the suitcase and was pouring over its contents. Through tears and smiles she had re-read the love letters of long ago. He had saved every one. Letters from an era that no longer exists, that seems so far away now, but it was only the late 1960’s. There was no such thing as texting, and mom was only allowed to call him once a week. No computers, no cell phones, no email. And I am so glad, for all of this would have been lost. They met when they were teenagers. One of their favorite places was Word of Life in upstate New York (hence the bumper sticker), and that was where my mom met the Lord. Amazingly, that was where I met my husband many years later, as God brought us together in what many would term a serendipitous meeting, but we know better. This suitcase symbolizes even more than a love story. It symbolizes a promise made that was kept. A vow that was never broken. Till death do us part. I was there with my dad on his last night here with us. I watched as my mom, who had slept in a chair next to his hospital bedside for almost 8 weeks straight, tucked him into bed one last time, prayed with him, and faced her darkest fears as she laid her head next to his and waited. Waited for a miraculous healing that was not to be this side of heaven, waited for my dad to call out her name for help so she could attend to his every need, waited as the leukemia slowly took over the life we all knew. With tenderness and love she waited by his side, a picture of faithfulness until the end.

— Paula, Louisburg, North Carolina

Thank you so much for all your submissions. And whether they were cheerful, funny, poignant — all of them were so heartfelt. To see the other entries, click the image below.

click the image to vote!

 

Winter White & Silver

Thomas Philbrook: Rockport in February

Main Street in February: Rockport, Massachusetts {photo credit: Thomas Philbrook}

It’s snowing here in New England again, and if you’re a kid, a skier or someone who plows for extra income, then today is a good day for you. Right now I’m sitting by the fire with a hot cup of fresh coffee, so it turns out today is a good day for me too.

Another feature of today is that it is the last day to enter your story in our I Love My Vintage _____ contest, which really serves as an excuse to hear your tales and see your stuff.  If you’ve taken the time to participate in this year’s contest or last, thank you so much! I plan on sharing your stories over the next few days so that everyone can enjoy them, especially non-Facebookers (and there are many of you out there).

As I was harassing people this all week about entering, I began to think about my favorite vintage item and what I would choose if I were submitting an entry to this contest. It’s actually tougher than I thought. Because what is meaningful to me isn’t necessarily all that appealing, or it doesn’t have a great story attached. And sometimes it’s hard to articulate why we care about the things we care about.  I look around my house at all my stuff, and nearly every piece holds significance of some sort, even if the item itself is worthless.

One thing that I’ve carted around with me since I was 16 years old is a large silver loving cup. I picked it up out of a pile of trash during an auction at an old YMCA just before it was torn down in Springfield, Ohio. It was one of the first times I felt brave enough to defy convention and publicly declare my affinity for something that other people considered trash. All these years later, Midwesterners still love to tear down and throw away anything old (every time I go back to Ohio another old building has been reduced a pile of rubble), but now I’m smart enough to know that they’re the crazy ones, not me.

Vintage Love Contest: Trophy

Everything I buy is vintage and smells funny. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a boyfriend.

— actress Lucy Liu

Interiors: Hipster Decor

Last year I wrote a post on the hipster haven that is the Ace Hotel. Since then I’ve been surprised at how many people find this blog by googling the phrase “hipster decor” or, by using another popular search term, “what is hipster decor?”. I began to realize that if so many people are asking, the thing formerly known as post-college/early-20s malaise decorating has morphed into a full-blown trend with its own name: Hipster Decor. If this is the case, what, exactly, does the term signify, or rather, what are the signifiers of this style? What follows is a superficial analysis of Hipster Decor, sub-types included at no extra charge. And I even hand-wrote this post to honor the most cherished of hipster tropes: anything analog.