A Fall Fairytale by Poetic Home

Oct 27, 2009 by

Once upon a time, orange pumpkins were touched by a magical godmother, who transformed the gourds into pale, whimsical pumpkins with a natural vintage patina.  While the fairy godmother had already completed her duty for her famed goddaughter, Cindy, she still had plenty of magic to share.

pumpkin centerpiece - fall fairytale

Just in case another poverty-stricken goddaughter needed to be transformed into a princess for just one night (we are, after all, in a recession), the godmother readied her collection of pumpkins.  To expedite the transformation from pumpkin to carriage, she repurposed her Victorian-inspired orchid magnifier into a ready frame for a royal carriage.

But the fairy godmother’s work is not done!  After all, she is all about preemptive planning.  What’s next for this fall fairytale?  Tune in tomorrow, as this story is to be continued….

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My Soul Mate: A Vintage Writing Desk

Sep 15, 2009 by

The adage “If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back, it was truly meant to be yours” is true — and I have definitive proof!


You may recall my 1930s ladies writing desk from My Favorite Vintage Things series.  Sadly, I had to sell the antique desk during the preparation for the move to Hawaii, as there was no economical way to ship this incredibly heavy wooden desk to the islands.

Imagine my surprise and utter elation, then, when I returned to San Diego — and my husband found the desk again!  Indeed, the lady to whom I had sold the desk was herself moving and had the desk listed for sale on Craigslist.  When we went to her home to pick up my desk, it was like all the stars cosmically aligned and all in the world was right (save the recession, disease, and global warming, that is).

Doesn’t my desk look happy to be back with me in my new home?  This MY desk — I had set it free, but it was truly meant to be mine!

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Would You Like Some Coffee with Your Post?

Sep 11, 2009 by

It’s been nearly five months since I’ve enjoyed a steamy soy latte — and boy, will the baby need to give me plenty of coffee IOUs when he’s born!   In the meantime, will you visually join me for a virtual cup of coffee?

vintage cappuccino cup 2

Yes, my cravings for coffee are so powerful that I’ve been creating “steaming” cups of paper sprinkled with coffee grounds in vintage Italian cappuccino mugs.  The sad part is that I am only half kidding!

vintage coffee canister

The empty coffee canister seems so naked…but thankfully, he is accessorized with retro type!

vintage italian cappuccino maker

I promise I won’t even plug in my espresso maker! (Thank goodness for Italian stove-top ingenuity!)


Thankfully, I can still enjoy an occasional cup of green or white tea.  I’ve also grown partial to Roobios, as it is delicious and naturally caffeine-free.   (P.S. If you happen to spot the above mid-century modern tea set I prop sourced to Mad Men for the new season, please let me know!  I sadly don’t watch the show, as we don’t have a TV in our house.)

What is your favorite indulgence beverage? May you enjoy one or several this weekend!

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Are Vintage Toys Dangerous for Baby?

Sep 2, 2009 by

In our most recent ultrasound, my husband and I had the pleasure of seeing…our son!  We are so excited to welcome our baby boy, and I can now truly begin curating treasures for his nursery.  In the process, I have been contemplating and researching what vintage treasures and toys would be safest for baby.

Vintage Toys Safe

From what I’ve read, babies like to put everything in their mouths…which does not bode well if vintage toys have lead paint or other dangerous toxins.  Sadly, it does not seem that many vintage toys will make the cut until baby stops chewing on all items in his grasp.

  • Toys made before 1978 may have lead paint.  While lead paint usage decreased throughout the 1960s, the CDC did not officially ban lead paint until 1978.
  • In 1931, there was tremendous growth in the usage of phylates, which are present in plastic toys.  Although these were banned in the EU in 1999, in the US, we did not ban them until 2009!

Thus, what toys can be safe for a baby?  Based upon the above, my logic says:

  • Vintage toys with paint that are manufactured after 1978 should be safe.
  • I don’t think I will be buying plastic toys made in any era, including the current one.
  • For pre 1978 toys (which I find to be the cutest), I will be looking specifically for non-painted wooden vintage toys.  To the best of my research, I could not find information connecting wood finish or shellac to lead, as lead was used specifically in paint as a pigmentation extender.  Thus, if there is no pigment in wood finish, this prompts me to believe that there is no lead (although I’m not sure how this applies to stain finishes).

Here are toys I think would make the preliminary safety cut.  However, for vintage or antique toys that make the pre-qualifications, I will still be testing them with LeadCheck swabs for my peace of mind.

Safe Vintage Toys
Here are vintage toys that would have to be stored away until baby stops chewing on everything, unless they happen to pass the Lead Check test.

Safe Vintage Toys 2

In my research, I was greatly shocked about how lax standards have been for toys, both vintage and modern.  In fact, did you know that asbestos is still technically allowed to be put in today’s toys?!   Indeed, the CDC has NOT banned the use of asbestos in toys.  All I can say is thank goodness for Waldorf-inspired wooden toys, handmade organic softie toys, and lots of creative crafting at my house!

As a new soon-to-be-mom, I have so much more to learn about baby safety.  I sincerely welcome and appreciate any advice you may have about choosing safe vintage toys!

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Let There Be Vintage Light

Aug 28, 2009 by

As my belly grows bigger, it seems as though the progress on my DIY projects grow slower.  I promise I have new projects and inspiration to share with you very soon, especially as the “nesting” stage starts :)  In the interim, for this week, I’d like to share a glimpse into vintage desk lamps and lights that have meandered through my home.  Why do today’s desk lamps fall so short in their aesthetic appeal and functionality?

vintage tensor lamp

For the love of faux bois and the 1970s….

vintage royal sabre typewriter

Live on forever faux bois!

vintage lamp

Mid-century modern, meet Mr. Gooseneck

vintage gooseneck lamp

Interrogating time

vintage tensor desk lamp

This lamp is a transformer, as it snaps neatly into itself

vintage gooseneck lamp

Twiddle Light and Twiddle Lamp

mid century modern lamp

An Unidentified Mid-Century Modern Object

vintage panasonic desk lamp

Here’s looking at you kiddos!

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Tick Tock – Meet Charming Vintage Clocks

Aug 21, 2009 by

In my treasuring hunting adventures, I’m always delighted to meet the acquaintance of vintage clocks.  I wind each clock and put it against my ear, hoping to hear that familiarly comforting tick and tock.  A surprising number of vintage wind-up clocks still work brilliantly today, which is a testament to their enduring quality and engineering.   Shall we take a peek at a few of the nostalgic time-keeping treasures that have come across my path?  I’d love to hear about the vintage clocks in your home too!

westlclox-travel clock

I took this photo to send a subliminal message to my husband: time to travel!

oldtimer small
Don’t you think this German “Oldtimer” was simply begging to be with an antique library card catalog?

vintage orange westclox baby ben

Even vintage Baby Ben clocks could not resist the grooviness of the 1970s!

westclox baby ben

Mid-century type found a happy companion in the face of a Baby Ben.

westclox baby ben and big ben

Can we say sibling rivalry?

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