(insert photo from button book)
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In celebration of this coming year’s “National Cherish An Antique Day” on April 9, this seven generation button collection was pulled out of my archives with the hope to finally get several of the earliest mounted on cards and framed for others to enjoy.
This annual observation was created to encourage “seekers of the story” of these special heirlooms and personal treasures, filled with history and provenance —and in my opinion, is meant to be shared with others.
Are these buttons of historical significance? A thing of beauty? A subtle nod to a specific political opinion ? Or a symbol of genre, class, or culture?
Following are three examples of early English button collections. They mounted their collections in their own unique ways . . .
The large carded collection originated in Ilfracombe England from the early-mid 1800’s and brought to the US in its entirety by the family in the first quarter of 1900. All exclusively English pieces. Examples on the cards mostly consist of metal shank grouped by theme.
[insert over all table top photo of collection] [close up of several metal theme buttons]
The button string traditionally put together by all young girls of earlier times, was strung by the family in early 1900 positioning buttons smallest to largest. Several included in the string are early 1800 ‘Norwalk’ pottery buttons made in Norwalk CT. Examples show their highly glazed, mottled red brown tone in appearance.
[ insert button string photo] [2 ‘Norwalk’ pottery buttons close up]
The third example card is from the 1940’s and shows a variety of black medium, patterns and techniques being used in buttons found here in the United States.
[card with black buttons] [close up of largest button from card]
If you are like me, you may have a special family treasure that you want to mount or display…or you can find a special item of your own that can now become a first generation heirloom.
On this day, we encourage you to go find yours and the rest will become history. . .
[National Cherish An Antique Day logo insert]
Blog “How Vintage Wares Put My AirbnB on the Map ” (insert photo from button book)
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It’s just home to me. And, it is also home to dozens of visitors each year passing through the Triangle region.
About 4 years ago, I decided to open an Airbnb in my home. Since then I have hosted hundreds of interesting visitors from around the globe. I did this for two reasons – I really enjoy meeting and learning about people and I also really enjoy sharing my stories.
During each of their stays, someone always mentions how many interesting things I have and how comfortable my home feels. Some say I am an antiquarian. I like to foster my guests’ curiosity.
My initial response to these guests is that my home is filled with family heirlooms and that I just have found myself in the final possession of far too many. The history got passed on and they have landed in my home. It is hard to give up things that have been around since my childhood. They give me comfort. They are a window into my life.
[insert photoVictorian sign / horse sign]
Both of my grandmothers were antique dealers in the 1940’s. My mom’s name was Gladys and my Dad was Art. My grandmothers knew each other professionally as antique dealers but mom and dad had never met. Dad’s mom asked Gladys (at age 20, at the time) if she would be Art’s pen pal during WW2.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
I truly prize my grandmother’s antique store signs most and the tin horse made by my grandfather and used throughout the mid-1900’s by local farmers as the stencil over their barn doors. I have its image painted on my shed in my own kitchen garden.
I do like having things around that are meaningful to me as well as decorative. If you don’t have family pieces yourself, now is a good time to start collecting your own.
[insert photo of red cooler]
If you need inspiration as to where to start figuring out what you might like to start decorating with, try looking through your photos, especially the old ones.
Look closely at the overall setting and then more closely at all of the details. If you find lots of your family or yourself at the beach, that can be a natural theme for decorating.
Colors? Look at the background. I still have a red vintage cooler we used all the time at the lake cottage. Not a Coke cooler, but still colorful, functional and I keep it on my screen porch.
So what if you don’t have the specific item, it could be found in one of our on-line estate auctions, or rummaged at a local thrift store or estate sale.
Search for vintage clothing like an old Madras plaid hat, camping gear like the cooler, transistor radio, old metal lawn furniture. Even framed art of a lakeshore or a cityscape that you visited gives your walls interest.
Think of treasures you can search out for your own home, or Airbnb. Creating heirlooms of your own will give the next generation memories and stories to share.
So now when my Airbnb guests comment on their stay, they say that my stories, the history of these items and the feeling of comfort my home provided is what they will remember and why they will return.
What do I remember? The gift to be able to share my history and my memories with my guests.
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