Comfort in Old Things

January 28, 2011

Lunch served on Carol's great-grandmother's dishes

Old, hand-painted plate, lovingly used

“Comfort is born out of use.”
     — Mary Randolph Carter, A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life

My definition of comfort: the warmth of lunch at a friend’s home on winter day. . . the table graced with lovely, hand-painted plates that once belonged to Carol’s great-grandmother . . . good food and good company.

Lovely Old Things

June 7, 2010

Vintage embroidered linens, Farm Chicks Antique Show

Things Men Have Made
by D. H. Lawrence

Things men have made with wakened hands, and put softly life into
are awake through years with transferred touch, and go on glowing
for long years.
And for this reason, some old things are lovely
warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.

Let Me Grow Lovely
by Karla Wilson Baker

Let me grow lovely, growing old —
So many things do;
Laces, and ivory, and gold,
And silks need not be new;

And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these,
Grow lovely, growing old.

I think these two poems capture the allure of old, worn, vintage objects that were used faithfully in everyday life.  I can see why I am drawn to old, handmade things like the items at the Farm Chicks Antiques Show I attended this past weekend.

Vintage chickens

Vanity plate

This weekend my sister, brother-in-law, husband and I took a road trip across the state to Spokane for the Farm Chicks Antiques Show.  I first became aware of the Farm Chicks when I came across their book, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen: Live Well, Laugh Often, Cook Much by Serena Thompson and Teri Edwards.  Since reading that the authors were from my state of Washington, I’ve been wanting to attend one of their antiques shows and sales.

The Farm Chicks book

I had no idea that the Farm Chicks were such a major phenomenon!  This year’s event was held at the Spokane fairgrounds, and they attracted a big crowd.

Long line waiting to get in to the Farm Chicks Antiques Show

Inside, there were almost 200 vendor booths packed with vintage and country-themed items.  I enjoyed looking at the old, worn things that called to mind my childhood on the farm.  Some vendors re-purposed old items and gave them new life. 

Vendor at the Farm Chicks Antiques Show

Vintage apron with red rick-rack and white button

Screen door with hook

Crowd reflected in someone's prize mirror

Lovely embroidered linens

Although I’m a country girl at heart, I’m not at Farm Chick because I can’t carry off the glitz and glam that these women revel in.  I loved people-watching, and took some photos of women who epitomize the Farm Chicks style:

Pink boots and feminine skirt

A vendor adding up sales on a calculator

Stylish shopper

Cowboy boots and ruffles

Vendor's apron made from vintage handkerchiefs

Shopper resting between purchases

One-of-a-kind head band

My sister and I had a wonderful time at the show (our husbands took off on their own Spokane adventures). The Farm Chicks have certainly tapped into something — it was fun to be with a community of women share a common interest in all things country.