Holiday Celebrations

Collections – My Vintage Chocolate Box Collection

It’s no lie that I have a sweet tooth and a huge love for all things vintage. Old candy boxes bring these two worlds together. I remember my best friend growing up Sandy C, her mom decorated the basement playroom with a few heart-shaped chocolate boxes she got for Valentine’s Day. They were hung up and used as wall art and I remember how much I loved that she did that. She elevated that box to more than just a vehicle to deliver candy. She turned them into wall art and I thought they were absolutely worthy. Truth is I often find that the packaging is more magical than the item inside.


I'm a sucker for a box pleat ribbon.
80's heart shaped valentine box
close up of vintage chocolate boxes

Ornately decorated heart-shaped boxes are my favorite, but I also collect tins and beautiful cardboard boxes. Candy and chocolate were initially sold by weight and were often just wrapped in simple paper. At some point in the early 1900s, packaging became more important. It started as a way to protect the candy but it was also a way to advertise the candy company.


vintage chocolate box

These are a few pieces from my small collection. My favorites are the heart-shaped chocolate boxes of the ’70s and ’80s. But a simple and beautiful box like the Thurston &  Johnson is just as beautiful to me.  I don’t keep them out all year as my neighbor did. I use these boxes yearly for my small Valentine’s Day vignette.

paper chocolate box
thurston & Johnson
schrafft's chocolate tin close up label
vintage metal chocolate box
Linette Reading PA

Candy boxes are one of the things that are always in the back of my mind when I’m out-picking. It’s not a popular collectible and it’s also a very fragile collectible so it’s taken me 15 years to amass this small collection I have. It’s taken me this long because I prefer to find these out in the wild, and by wild, I mean estate sales, yard sales, and flea markets. I know I can buy them on eBay (for a lot of money), but the search is a huge part of collecting.
I know that it’s what is on the inside that is most important but not in this case.


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easter bunny in wheat grass

Growing your own real Easter Grass

easter bunny in wheat grass

I have wanted to grow grass for Easter baskets, and I finally did it this year. More importantly, it truly turned out beautiful. I have a long list of crafts and DIY projects. It will take me until I am 90 before I complete them all, but I am happy to say that I can check this one off my list. And I will do it again. What screams spring more than grass?

I could see it in my mind’s eye. A beautiful basket of lush green grass, with a lovely chocolate bunny nestled in the middle. I’m so happy that this DIY came out just as I had envisioned it. This is a great thing to do with kids because it’s easy and has beautiful and gratifying results.

wheat great easter decoration


  • Container of your choice
  • Wheatgrass
  • Organic Coco Coir Potting Soil
  • Plastic to lined container if needed
  • Scissors

How to grow your Easter Grass

This is the easiest thing you will ever do with the most amazing result. 

Step 1:  

soak wheatgrass seeds for 1-2 days.

Step 2:  

Prepare your container.  I had to line my basket with plastic.  And my metal basket was lined with a terracotta pot.  I could have also used a plastic liner, but the terracotta fit perfectly.  Once your container is ready, fill it with potting soil.

wheat grass for decor
tutorial grow wheat grass easter basket
potting soil for wheat grass

Step 3:

Sow the wheatgrass in potting soil and water (make sure to keep the soil moist), place it in a sunny location and wait.  That’s it.

watering wheat grass
mcm basket for decor metal

Because you have already soaked the wheatgrass, they are plump and full of water, ready to burst and take root. The seeds should start sprouting in about 3 to 5 days.

growing wheat grass for decore
wheat grass for decoration

then the magic happens

grow wheat grass dessert dish
centerpieces with wheat grass
wheat grass for table

Once it starts growing, it will keep growing, and at some point, your will need to trim your grass. Wheatgrass is full of nutrients and can be grown to eat.

growing wheat grass trimming
easter tablescape
Easter grass grown in dessert glasses on my Easter table.
easter bunny in wheat grass

I added a chocolate bunny and some eggs to the mcm metal basket.  Of all the containers this one was my favorite, it reminded me of a Martha Stewart cover.  It’s not exactly the same, but you can see the resemblance.  The shamrocks in Martha’s basket are amazing maybe I will try that next year.

martha stewart green basket

I’m so happy with the way they turned out.  Timing is everything for this craft, you need to give yourself 4 weeks to get these results, but they are absolutely worth it.

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antique trophy

Valentines Day Floral Arrangement with vintage silver trophies

Having worked as a florist for over 10 years, I can honestly say that red roses are my least favorite flower. Talk about predictable. There are just too many beautiful flowers in this world, why say I love you with red roses? Why not give a jewel-tone arrangement of orchids and lilacs or a pastel arrangement of tulips and peonies?  

I created two valentine arrangements for myself, and both are supermarket flowers, but more importantly, not a red rose in sight.

Romantic Pinks and Purples

On a recent trip to WholeFoods, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw these fantastic carnations. They had a bad wrap for a long time. They were considered cheap and common. But boy, have carnations come a long way. This carnation was a hybrid creation, two-tone fuchsia pink and dusty mauve. It is just so beautiful, and one of the best things about carnations is that they last a long time. Between the color and longevity, this was a no-brainer.

mauvy pink carnations

This grocery store flower combination was a bunch of carnations, some beautiful purple hydrangea, and a silver lambs ear. A simple and easy combination.

vintage trophy purple pink flower arrangement

I also picked up some pink heart meringues. Why? Not sure, but I felt like they would bring another texture and fun element to the arrangement. And it’s a fun way to celebrate love in a non-plastic, eco-friendly way. I am not perfect, but I try my best to celebrate without plastic.


I love how the cool tones all worked together.  

Hot Citrus Hues

valentine roses arrangement

This second arrangement comes from the flower selection at Trader Joe’s.  They really do have a fantastic flower selection, with excellent prices.  There is no reason not to go home with some beautiful blooms for your home.

Again I went with a silver-plated trophy vase, but this one is special.  This trophy vase has a cage flower frog top.  It’s comes with its own mechanics for your floral creations!  I went a vibrant selection of roses.  

I used gorgeous purple garden roses and peach and hot pink spray roses, all from my favorite TJ’s. I bought these 3 days before Valentine’s Day, and I was so impressed with the quality of the flowers.  Unfortunately, I underestimated the size of the vase. SOME MECHANICS WERE SHOWING when I was done because I needed more roses to fill this container, but I covered whatever mechanics showed with moss. And at the last minute, I added a little red velvet box pleated ribbon and let it trail off the edge. I loved how it came out.

red velvet box ribbon roses purple

So here are a couple of ideas for Valentine’s Day flowers. I hope you enjoyed and more importantly, I hope you are inspired to celebrate love with a different palette. Happy Valentine’s Day, no red roses here.

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adirondack pack on front door with greens

Vintage Adirondack Pack Basket – My Christmas Door 2021

I have been searching for a vintage Adirondack basket for years.  It’s been on my wishlist ever since I saw a reproduction in the pages of Ballard’s Designs catalog.  I clipped that picture and pinned it to my vision/idea board and there it stayed for what seemed like forever.  Well, it took me 3 years but I found one!

Adirondack hanging basket

One Saturday this past August, in the last hours of an estate sale, I hit the jackpot!  I found an Adirondack basket among other finds,  in near perfect condition and I got it for a song. Needless to say, I could not wait for Christmas to come this year.  This basket from my vision board was going to come to life!

The History of the Adirondack Backpack

I tried to do a little digging on the history of the Adirondack basket and I couldn’t find a definitive answer. This style of basket, pack baskets (large woven basket designed to be carried as a backpack.  Primarily for utilitarian purposes like traveling, hunting, and or gathering) is often attributed to native American people.  The truth is that you can find examples of this pack-style basket all over the world, for hundreds of years, each with its own twist.  The Adirondack pack style is adapted from the pack baskets used by native Americans in the region.  It has a definitive look with a cinch at the top and is typically made from ash  Other styles of pack baskets like the Maine pack baskets have a more rectangular shape. 

vintage adirondack basket 40s photo
I found this old photo from the 40's of an adirondack basket in action on a boys hunting trip.

I recorded a quick video showing you how I filled the basket.  It’s a large basket, a very large basket, and it takes a lot of greens to fill this basket.  So I filled the bottom of the basket with empty amazon boxes (tis the season). I bought a few different types of greens and berries.  I used Juniper, Magnolia. Fir tips and winter Ilex berries.  I layered the greens using mostly drippy cedar greens, but you can use whatever you want.  I love how it turned out. If you are looking for a unique way to dress up your door, I highly suggest a pack basket.  You can find vintage baskets on Etsy and eBay, but you can also find new baskets like this trapper Maine style basket on amazon on Ballard designs.

@vintage_bu_te_antiques Finally! Filled my antique adirondack basket with winter greens today. I am so behind this year with my decorating. #myvintagehome #antiquelover ♬ It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas - Michael Bublé
bells and adirondack basket

Truth is this basket deserved to be on display for more than one month! So, I decided to transform it from Christmas decor to Winter decor!  I removed the red berries and bow and added faux branches to fill it out and give it life. My favorite addition was the gold bells. Bells are a huge trend right now, and they were the perfect finishing touch for this winter Adirondack basket. I found my bells on amazon they were the perfect size for the basket and I love how it looks.

Christmas basket winter greens berries bells
My Christmas Door 2022
side profile adirondack basket front door

Update:  I thought that would update this post with a photo from my 2022 door.  This year I added the prettiest frayed edge velvet ribbon in cranberry red from amazon.  In case you are interested here are some links to the ribbon and bells.  I used a mixture of faux and real greens.  I recommend real berries, because the faux ones don’t do very well in the elements.  There is also a link to an new adirondack basket if you don’t want to hunt for a vintage one.



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Halloween Witch’s Broom – DIY Tutorial

For me, Halloween is a time to celebrate my inner witch.  And every year, I strive to transform my home into a witch’s den. I try to stick to a theme because I think that the look has more impact when you have a theme. You’ve already seen my Martha Stewart cutout witch, and she’s the centerpiece of my Halloween decor.

So this year, I wanted to play up the whimsical and use a lot of brooms and witch’s hats. When I looked I could not find a witch’s broom that I liked. It was a goldilocks scenario. Everything I found was either too small, not full enough, or plastic.

To get the look I wanted, I realized that I would need to make my own. I have created a quick video tutorial to show you how I made my brooms. This broom is purely decorative and is made out of a birch branch and twigs. I ended up embellishing the broom because it needed a little something extra.  

Here is what you will need:

  • Natural Birch Twigs – I bought mine through Amazon. This link is to a box of 4 bundles. Enough for two brooms
  • Birch branch for the handle – 48″ in length, 2′ in diameter, but you can choose to make your broom handle longer or shorter, and it doesn’t have to be birch.  Choose any branch that is long enough for the handle. I recommend going for a hike and finding your perfect handle.  The more bends and knots the better.
  • Twine
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors/clippers

I started the first layer by gluing twigs to the lower portion of the branch about 6 inches from the bottom. After the first layer was glued down, I then wrapped it with twine and followed with another layer of branches and then wrapped them again with twine.  The key is to line up the ends of the branches so the it looks nice and neat.

 At this point, the broom is done, but I prefer a fuller look, so I glued individual branches to give it a fuller look. You can leave the broom plain like this, but I felt like it needed a little something.

I added cedar roses, end of summer hydrangea (that means is already starting to dry on the plant, great for dry arrangements), and a few sprigs of black sparkly branches from a Halloween pick. 

And even after that, I felt it still needed something. So I took a little chalk paint and lightly went over all of the edges of the pinecones, hydrangea, and the twine.

But then it was too dark, so I went over everything with a bit of gold gilding wax to brighten it a touch. The final result is a slightly gilded and aged broomstick. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out.  It’s spooky and pretty.

cedar rose pinecones on witch broom
halloween witch decor

Above is a shot of the broom in my booth.  I hung it above a fireplace mantle and love how it looks. 

This is another version of the broom I made, but in this version I added some sparkly black and orange Halloween picks from the dollar store.  It looked great on  it’s on, but what can I say I am sucker for anything sparkly.

I hung this broom in my portico, keeping with my witch’s den theme.  

I love my Hocus Pocus banners, the black and orange works perfectly with my theme and they are perfect over my sidelights. 

Thank you for stopping by, if you end up making your own broom be sure to share it on social media and tag me, I would love to see your brooms!

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Outdoor halloween decor

Halloween Decor – Dressing up my witch’s den!

Outdoor halloween decor

What’s your favorite holiday? I genuinely struggle to choose my favorite holiday. It is a very close tie between Christmas and Halloween, and if you ask me in October. Halloween is my favorite. Ask me again in December, and my answer will probably change. I love the theatrics of Halloween, I am not one for blood and gore, but I love spooky and spectacular. Hocus Pocus is one of my favorite movies because it speaks to my inner witch. So every year, I try to transform my home into a witch’s den.


Pumpkin path lights

Because I love witches, they are a big part of the overall theme. But, I also love to use pumpkins (spooky, not scary ones) and orange and purple is a big part of my design. I think sticking to a theme helps make the look stronger, rather than a little bit of this and a little bit of that, which can end up looking like Halloween threw up on your front lawn.

martha stewart witch silhouette

The show stopper is my Martha Stewart Witch silhouette. As a lover of Martha and everything she does, I had saved the witch silhouette idea for many years, and I was so happy to bring that idea to life. You can find instructions here. She comes out October 1st and assumes her place out on the front lawn. The little ones love her, and I think maybe as much as I love her.

I dress up the front door with this spooky black wreath made of torn-up trash bags. It’s a wireframe and dollar store trash bags. I love how it turned out because it almost looks like black crow feathers blowing in the wind when the wind blows.

halloween decor

The portico gets lots of pumpkins, cobwebs lights and draped fabric.  I recently purchased these Hocus Pocus banner for my side panels and I love how they look.   That movie is the inspiration for a lot of my décor.  I try to incorporate a lot of vintage items in my décor like these beautiful lanterns, I think that it levels up the whole look when you can find vintage pieces to incorporate into your décor.

I like to have the stairs dripping with spooky pumpkins, and I try to add a few more every year. One of these years, I will make a pumpkin arch, but I am going to have to find a few more to make that happen.

Mr Bones Trick or Treat Halloween decor

Of course, Mr. Bones come out to say hello to all the trick or treaters.

pumpkin the snow

These are photos from last year, when it snowed the day before Halloween.  Due to Covid, trick-o-treating was different.  I am looking forward to a Halloween that is a little more normal and sharing this years additions to my décor.

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Patriotic glamour coral and brass

Celebrating the red, white and blue with vintage flair!

Patriotic glamour coral and brass

I love any reason to celebrate, but I especially love celebrating this great country on Independence Day. From bunting to tablescapes, I love to dress my house up inside and out with lots of red, white, and blue.

How Do I Incorporate Vintage Items Into My Patriotic Décor?

I do make a conscious effort to stay away from anything disposable and if I buy something new I want it to be a quality piece that will last for years.  I like my décor to have soul and whimsy. It’s not just about putting flags everywhere, but when I do you can bet that they are vintage.  It’s about finding unique accents pieces that celebrate our pride and joy.  Really highlighting the red white and blue in both conventional and unconventional ways.

Here are some decorating ideas to celebrate America's birthday in vintage style.

Americans have been decorating their homes for the 4th with flags and bunting for a long time. It’s classic and timeless and it’s where my patriotic décor begins.  When in doubt, adding some bunting to your windows and doors or hanging a gorgeous vintage flag will transform your home.

vintage patriotic decor

Do you know what direction to display the american flag?

When displaying the flag either horizontally or vertically against a wall, from a portico or in a window, the stars should be uppermost left hand corner.

A large American flag draped in the portico, bunting hanging from windows, always satisfies my soul. I am partial to using red, white, and blue scarfing fabric. Not bunting, but the long fabric.  It’s my favorite way to decorate doors and porches. It’s a classic way to dress up the outside of your home.   I recently found some vintage scarfing fabric with the most amazing patina.  I love when the white has lost some of its crispness, it gains a certain significance and presence. I realize that this is not an easy find, but you could recreate it with new patriotic scarfing and then tea stain it.  Or add to your wish list.  Do you have a vintage wish list?

Celebrate America old glory
Hanging your flag outside for 4th of july

I am always looking for beautiful old flags when I am out-picking.  I found a huge one this summer, and I love it.  It’s well-loved but not ragged or worn.  For me, a good flag is made of cotton, has some weight to it, but is still vibrant.   Although I can appreciate a faded flag, I like prefer strong colors in my flags.

I think we traditionally think of patriotic décor to be an “outside” thing. However, don’t neglect the inside of your home. 

Vintage Patriotic Indoor Décor Ideas

I can not pass up vintage flags, and I have been picking for a long time. As you can imagine, I have amassed quite a collection. I like to display them collectively in old cider bottles or vintage metal cans.

Old Falls City bait can filled with vintage flags
Celebrate summer with vintage patriotic
Vintage cider jar filled with vintage flags.

I collect flags on sticks, but I also collect sad flags that have lost their stake. So often found in the garage or basement of homes in forgotten boxes or drawers. I love them. They have a great patina.

I recently found an old, weathered sailboat mast. I clipped on all the loose flags with tiny red clothespins, and I think it looks fabulous! You could also clip the flags on some string and make a banner for your mantle or wall.

Old sail boat mast with vintage flag clipped on with red clothes pins.

Vintage Patriotic Vignettes


Find spaces in your home where you can celebrate the season, whether it’s Easter or, in this case, 4th of July. Having an area to switch out with themed décor is a great way to decorate without overwhelming you or your space. My hall table always has a stack of vintage red books. For the 4th, I add some blue vintage books and vintage trophies and filled  them with white hydrangea. It doesn’t take a lot to change the space. You could add a picture frame with a vintage patriotic print.  I recently found this beautiful patriotic cross stitch that look great in this vignette.

Vintage Trophies with cross stitch

Patriotic pottery vignette


Chinasoire pottery lends itself beautifully to patriotic décor. If you collect flow blue or blue and white pottery, adding some red flowers to your display will make for a beautiful vignette. The best part of this look is that you just embellishing décor that you already have.

My collection of blue and white pottery accented with faux red hydrangea.

Utilizing color in you patriotic décor


I like to  make use of things for their color and often ignore what they are. For example, I use vintage books as décor. Stacking vintage red and blue books with a small vase of white hydrangea is a classic look, with patriotic flair.  It doesn’t always have to be about flags and bunting.  

Red, white and blue can be achieved with fruit, flowers, books, paper, fabric, and baked goods. You can add faux fruit to a blue and white ironware bowl for a stunning look on your kitchen counter.  Red gingham napkins on a blue plate can elevate your tablescape.  

Repurposed Pickle Crock turned into a side table
Red White and Blue Christmas ornaments

Another thing that I collect are vintage glass Christmas ornaments.  I collect all sizes and I use the small ones in bowl for different holidays.  Above is a grouping of red, silver and blue mini glass ball ornaments in a cut crystal pedestal bowl.  I love how they are sparkly and pretty.   It’s vintage, it’s patriotic and it’s a different take on glass ornaments.

I hope you found some inspiring ways to celebrate America with vintage flair and style. 

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Collecting Vintage Christmas Ornaments

I have a list of things I always look for when I am out picking. And Christmas is number one on my list. My love for vintage Christmas is so big, vintage Santa’s and hand-made stockings, oh and vintage Christmas cards! It’s always a magical day when I find vintage Christmas, but what I love most are antique glass ornaments.

Germany is famous for its glass ornaments, and many consider it the birthplace of glass ornaments, but Poland and Japan also made beautiful coveted glass ornaments.

During the early 1900’s America became the biggest importer of glass ornaments. At least it was until WWII, which resulted in a ban on German goods. With necessity being the mother of invention, a German immigrant named Max Eckardt used the Cornings E-Machine technology (used to make glass light bulbs) and perfected the production of glass Christmas ornaments. They were able to mass-produce glass ornaments, and Shiney Brite was born.

I don’t have a preference. German, Japanese, American, I just love the fragileness of the glass, the muted colors, and the crackle in the paint. Even though the colors may be muted, there is still so much life in these ornaments.  And nothing says Christmas like a silver bowl full of vintage red glass ornaments. The various shades, shapes and sizes. It’s one of my favorite things—each one unique, with its own patina.

To me nothing says Christmas like a silver bowl full of vintage red glass ornaments. All different shapes and shades.  It’s one of my favorite things—each one unique, with its unique patina.  

Over the last few years, I have opted for a bare tree with just lights.  I have found that I prefer to enjoy my ornaments in bowls and jars.  I can group colors and styles together, and I feel like they have more of an impact.

how to clean Vintage christmas ornaments?

I learned to be VERY carful when cleaning the ornaments.  Be sure to spot test.  

My advice, don’t use soap or cleaners.  Only use water and use it sparingly.  In the past I have accidentally washed all off the paint with dish soap.  If you do end up removing the paint, the beautiful mercury glass underneath was pretty lovely as well so it’s not a total loss.  

Not as bad as dropping a 70 year old ornament on the floor.  Which has happened way to too many times!!!!

My score of the year, are these lovely glass ornaments in pastel yellow and green; they are just so delicate and sweet.   Not traditional Christmas colors, but really beautiful.  I bought these back in August!  And while I didn’t forget about them, when I opened the box last week,  it was just as lovely as the first time.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my collection.  Happy hunting!

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