Happy New Year to you!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

As the clock winds down on this year, let us rejoice in all the wonderful finds we have scored this year and look forward to all the treasures we will find in 2011.

And here is a look at some of my treasured tin party horns...
Happy New Year to all!

Plaid Tidings to You

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

is Christmastime at Blue Cardinal

Stop by soon to see our special collection of holiday decorations and Christmas gifts.

The shop is bursting at the seams with wonderful items to decorate your home,
and unusual one-of-a-kind gifts for just about everyone on your shopping list.
We are especially mad for plaid this time of year so stop by and see the great classic tartan items we have to spruce up your rooms this season. There's a fun selection of stockings made from vintage plaid fabrics, gorgeous wool blankets and throws, tartan suitcases, purses, boxes, and plaid/tartan themed artwork and prints.

For the anglophile on your list, we have many British-themed items to include framed prints, books, mugs, dishes, silver pieces and bus blinds to name a few.

We have groupings of decorative pieces for those who love dogs or horses.

Our vintage toy department is full of fun things to remind one of Santa's visits from years gone by.

Please stop by and see us soon.

If there is something special you are looking for, send us an email or leave us a note in the Guest Book at the booth.

We'd love to help you find beautiful things for your home.

Happy holidays from
Blue Cardinal's nest to yours.

Fall harvest velvet pumpkins.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Check out these fantastic velvet pumpkins we found during our trip to Minneapolis last month. They are handmade and have dried natural pumpkin vine stems. Each one is unique and will last for years. Some of the velvets used have a beautiful luminous depth to them that can really only be seen in person. They are so lovely!

These wonderful pumpkins are perfect not only for your Halloween decor, but they'll also make a festive addition to your Thanksgiving table later this month.

These were made by creative genius Daria Knowles and her line is called Hot Skwash.
Here is her website if you'd like to know more about her!

(You can find them here on Chicago's northshore in Lake Forest at Romancing The Home.)
Hurry if you want a few for yourself --- they sell out quickly!

BEFORE & AFTER: Re-purposing Vintage Maps

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Spring, my friend Liz found this old chest of drawers that she thought I "HAD to have." My husband went and picked it up for me and brought it home. It had a great shape, Liz was right, but it was in bad shape. Not only was the paint peeling and cracking, it had two missing drawers bottoms and needed a lot of sanding and a fresh coat of paint. Another "project" on my list!

Needless to say.... it sat there a few months until Jenn and I were out shopping for treasures and found some great old vintage maps. They seemed to be the perfect solution for this tall old chest of drawers, so I decided to crack open my bottle of Mod Podge and decoupage the whole thing from top to bottom. It was so much fun, though it did take several days to complete the job.

Here are some pictures so you can see the before and after. Enjoy!

Summer travels

Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, the summer is quickly coming to an end. It has been a great
one. Jenn and I have been away on our summer vacations,
traveling around the country with family and friends and loving every minute of it!

Since I just got back from my most recent trip, I wanted to share the two best spots that I know about....one an old find and the other a new one. (Jenn will write a separate note telling you about her finds too.)

While I was in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, we made our annual stop in the charming town of Boulder Junction, near the spot where my family and I go in the summer, Manitowish Waters. One of our most favorite shopping stops is.....Camp Edna's Mercantile... a wonderful store filled with upscale Northwoods themed hand-crafted furnishings, artwork, linens, lighting, tableware, jewelry, clothing and accessories. They have an entire house there just packed with goodies and displayed in the most creative settings.

In addition to their rustic homegoods, they have terrific wines and cheeses, sweets, and other imported delicacies you don't often find in the northern lake areas. Please go visit them if you are in the area ... you will not be disappointed! The folks that run the place are very friendly and helpful.

(<>Camp Edna's Mercantile)

A friendly gal shopping at the Mercantile mentioned that I should venture out to check out a hidden antique shop called Perennial Antiques located far off the beaten path in Harshaw at 8096 Fawn Lake Road, not far from Minocqua.
She also mentioned they had antique wicker and hickory furniture and a collection of authentic totem poles for sale. I got my map and headed down there.

These are just a few of the quaint sites that you will see as you enter the property nestled deep in the woods that is known as Perennial Antiques.

After driving a little over an hour, I came upon the painted screen door entry sign for Perennial Antiques. (The days and hours of operation are limited, so make sure you call ahead or go online for hours.) A long wooded driveway with matching rusted bikes on entry gates open up to frame the way to several barns and cottages that make up this fantastic rustic compound.

I thought I had died and gone to heaven! (It has always been a desire of mine to one day own a simple lakeside cottage and if I ever do..... THIS is the place where I will go to furnish it!)

Owner Mary (shown in the pink shirt) has the most clever eye for displaying her items. She has everything from old canoes and carved totem poles to Native American Indian blankets, vintage wicker sets, pine tables and chairs, camp-style artwork and linens, garden ornamentation, architectural salvage and more. A true feast for the eyes!

The owner, Mary Adams-Pflieger is a sweet friendly woman with a keen artistic sense of display. She pulls things together in a way where you just want to buy EVERYthing she has!


Perennial Antiques can be reached by phone at 715.277.3043

Please tell Mary that Blue Cardinal sent you!

Save the Date!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An antique market is coming to Highwood, Illinois on June 26th and 27! Saturday from Noon to Dusk and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Info and ticket information can be found at randolphstreetmarket.com. It is going to be right by Anna's (at Green Bay & Highwood Avenue) which is blue cardinal's home base. Grab your friends and come check it out! Other dates this summer are July 17 & 18; August 21 & 22 and September 18 & 19. 

Oh, the places you'll go!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

There are so many wonderful travel-related items that one can collect.

When I first met Jenn, I was awestruck at the amount of old globes she had collected through the years. Not only are the oceans of blue colors fantastic, but the vast array of shapes and sizes, and decorative bases make each one a unique sculpture. Have you seen vintage black globes or globe lamps or globe-shaped radios?

Globes are great. Here is a wonderful use of an old broken globe, re-purposed as two bowls.
(This photo is from Katywhumpus.blogspot.com) How clever to decoupage the inside of each bowl with more colorful vintage maps. Notice the clear glass marbles used on the base to keep the bowls from tipping. Brilliant!

I like to collect travel items too, but my passion is for old leather trunks and suitcases that have been covered in colorful graphic stickers from the places that the owner had traveled. I have two in my "new" collection that I cannot part with, but wanted to share with you.

I love the fact that every single label must have held many great memories for that traveler. Doesn't it make you wonder who they were and how wonderful it must have been to live a life where they were able to afford a vacation in far away places? Especially during a time when only books or radio shows told the stories of distant lands .... a time when the touch of a computer button or TV knob was never even imagined?

That great Dr. Suess book's story lines keep creeping into my mind .... "oh, the places you'll go and the people you'll meet ..." Looking at these tattered suitcases can help but trigger one's imagination. You could write a lovely novel based on a sticker covered suitcase, couldn't you?

Old maps are great too and the bigger the better. Outdated ones are especially interesting to see what they used to call things..... like "Persia" for instance. Vintage classroom maps that pull down from canisters are among our favorites to find. When we opened the shop last march, Jenn had several for sale that looked a lot like these roll down versions shown below.

Here is a chest that is covered with maps.... from the recent Wisteria catalog. I am hoping to find an old chest and do just that with Mod Podge....stay tuned for that in an upcoming "Before and After" blog post! (One more thing to add to the "to do" list of projects.....)

Do you collect something travel related --- like maybe old postcards, maps, luggage or travel diaries? Tell us about what you love! We'd love to hear about them.

The Toaster Man

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This past weekend, Alison and I were at the Grayslake Antique Market where we met Rick Rhodes and his amazing collection of Toasters. Rick is the self-titled Midwest Toaster Authority! He has an amazing collection. You have never seen chrome so shiny.

Rick gave us both a great lesson and history on some classic models. The Toast-o-Lator was particularily fascinating as it "walks" toast through from one side and drops it out the other--perfectly browned. Rick has a loaf of bread handy in his booth and gladly plugs in any model you may want to see and pops in some bread. In just a few minutes... toast! Alison has been searching for a "new" toaster and looked over many different models. After narrowing down her choices, she ultimately chose the Pop-Down model seen here:

Isn't it fabulous! You put toast in on top and it comes out below perfectly browned as you can see in the photo. Rick's toaster obsession began after reading an article in the newspaper about an old toaster and deciding that an old toaster would be a great gift for a retiring brother-in-law. Well, as we antique lovers all know, one toaster turned into ten, which then turned into twenty and so on, and now he is the Midwest Toaster Authority! If you or any one you know is looking for a toaster contact Rick. He will be glad to help you out!

Rick and Alison