Vacation Time!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We are off to sunnier and (potentially) warmer climates and we won't be blogging much next week. We hope to come back rested, relaxed and with a few new treasures to share. Until then... happy hunting!

My mother, myself?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Clockwise photos: old hotel/restaurant silverplate items, vintage grey rubber glove molds, a perpetual calendar stick from the 60's, and two old ice cream parlor counter stools.

Today is my dear sweet mother Pat's 77th birthday, so it just seemed appropriate to write a little "Ode to My Mom".

If you don't know her, my mother is a woman of amazing talent and vast knowledge on many subjects, but particularly the history of American anti
ques and furniture. Being raised in Pennsylvania, she is and always will be a die-hard collector of east coast primitives and early American furnishings.

My love of old things is a sentimental one because I was raised by this charismatic and dynamic woman who loves and covets antiques, as did her mother before her. With each item they collected they had wonderful historical "stories" to go with them. You couldn't help but learn to love old things too. It was the way my sisters and I were raised. It's all we knew!
For them it was all about finding them, trading them and selling them. When I was in my teens, they shared an antique business together. I have fond memories of sitting with either or both of them at countless country and city auctions waitin
g for the pieces that they had their "eyes" on to come up.

Vintage tin toys
To this day, though my grandmother has passed, there is not a month that goes by that my mother isn't attending some great sale or auction --- homemade piece of pie in one hand and an auction paddle in the other! She tells us she is only going to look , but we all know better than this.

Where this story is leading is to tell you how very different my mom's and my tastes are these days. You see, I love all things that are vintage and quirky, utilitarian, or graphic and unusual .... but my mom is very much a traditionalist. She
collects things that are elegant, yet understated, leaning on the primitive colonial side. Early American pieces with heavy English, Welsh or Dutch roots make her heart skip a beat. The Windsor chair is the end-all for her, and if a primitive antique is hand-painted----all the better.

So maybe you can see why she will see a piece I have bought and she will say ..."why o
n earth would you want that? "

With that in mind, here are some of the things I have recently found while those very words were ringing in my ears!

Happy 77th, Mom!
Love you~ Alison

Old 1950's diner stool
(to be recovered soon!)

Kid Stuff

Monday, March 15, 2010

We have an area of the shop that is just so much fun. It can be found full of globes, tin toys, maps, games, school supplies and industrial storage and that is only naming a few of the fun finds. We just recently reorganized and here are a few photos:

We hung that green shelf on the wall... wouldn't that make a great headboard for a kids room?! The soldiers on the shelf are old targets. Can you tell that we love globes? I just can't get enough of them. I think I may have some type of globe or map in every room of my house. If you love globes as well, where do you have them?

The Sandbox

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I found this sandbox while out shopping one afternoon.

It is from the 1940s or 1950s I think. It has wood sides and a metal bottom. The seats are wood too. The paint is all original and the seats have toy soldiers across them. The metal is in such great shape... no rusting at all! This was obviously kept in a covered location ... maybe even indoors? I can't imagine that this ever saw the Chicago winter. Well I was thinking what could I do with this and I decided to turn it into a bookshelf. I can just imagine it in a little boys room. I added the shelf in the middle with help from my handy hubby and then put a wire across the back to hang it. Here what it looks like now hanging on a wall in our shop:

Here is another picture:

What do you think? Tell us what you have repurposed lately??

Friday Find

Friday, March 5, 2010

Well another weekend is here. While you are out antiquing this weekend stop in to Borders, the convenience store or your favorite independent bookstore and pick up a copy of this:

It is jam packed full of great inspiration!!!!! Sit down with your cup of tea and devour every word. I know I have read through every detail once and can't wait to go back and do it again. Tell us what you thought was the most inspiring article...I know I am ready to head to Canton, Texas to the incredible Trade Days--the oldest, consecutive flea market in the country. What about you?

Welcome to our new blog!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Well, the day has finally come ... the Blue Cardinal blog is official!

We are s
o excited to share this new phase of our business adventure with all of you. As many of you may know, last March my business partner, Jenn, and I opened a small antique booth located within a larger antique store (called
Anna's Mostly Mahogany) on the northshore of Chicago in the small town of Highwood, Illinois.

Since then, we have been in hot pursuit of great items to put into our booth. We have had so much fun shopping, searching, traveling, and collecting unusual and interesting things to put into it. With many road trips, minivan rentals and cheap hotel rooms behind us ... I think we can honestly say we have earned the title as the midwest's newest "Picker Chicks"!!! (If you have not seen the History Channel's new series ... "American Pickers"... you need to TiVo that for sure.)

It only seemed natural to take the next step which was to add a blog to the mix ... and here we ARE. Jenn has been working for months (literally --- many sleepless nights included) with our super-talented blog designer (Katie Runnels) to create this amazing site to share with all our family and friends --- and customers.

The two of them have done a
tremendous job to put this beautiful, creative, clever, and informative blog together. Watching it evolve through the processes has been interesting for sure. Isn't technology amazing? I know Jenn is terribly humble so I wanted to be sure to give her a giant pat on the back and the enormous amount of credit she deserves!!! GREAT JOB, JENN! You did it!

We hope you enjoy this ever-changing place where we will share and post our latest finds and projects. We get inspired by so many fantastic blogs online and appreciate all the talented people out there who ... like us are trying to make the world a little lovelier, a little more special ... one found treasure at a time.

You will soon see how much we LOVE to collect and to possess collections of things we love. Truthfully, I have noticed how happy our husbands have been to see that not
everything we find now is for our own homes. Sure, we are probably borderline hoarders (hate that word) ... but at least we have a purpose now, right? (As for me ... it's all my mom's fault. :)

So ... if you are ever in the Chicagoland area ... please be sure to stop by our little shop, Blue Cardinal. You can find directions to
Anna's here. The shop changes weekly as new items come in from our weekly excursions.

We also have a few items listed on Etsy and hope to fill our online shop with lots of fun and quirky vintage items that we love and hope you will too.

Thanks for stopping by and please check back with us often as we share the bounties from our unending pursuits of the perfect find. Give us your feedback ... we would LOVE to hear from you.