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I spy…


I don’t really know why certain things catch my eye.  I’ll be walking through an antique store and just see it.  Something that is interesting or has a special patina about it.  I just know it when I find it.  One thing that’s been catching my eye lately is…binoculars and opera glasses.  I guess that’s two things, but they’re kind of the same, right?



I keep them on a shelf in my home office and pull them out occasionally for photo shoots.



I think I like them for the same reasons I like cameras, typewriters and fans.  They’re something that were meant to be utilitarian, but now they just look cool.



What’s caught your eye lately?

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  1. Erica C says:

    I love to imagine the story behind the piece. I can only imagine the story your wonderful binoculars and or opera glasses could tell. You inspire me. Have a beautiful weekend. Enjoy shopping for more treasures. I will be :)

  2. So cool, and really the everyday can be used to make a place beautiful-homey-comfortable! I like that! Love to visit your blog.

  3. I have never come across one but I’m not giving up!

  4. Little copper kettles! lol Not sure why…..but they pop out to me!

  5. The history behind vintage articles is so facinating to me. Makes you wonderful what hands held these items, when they held them, etc….

  6. Those are great finds! Hmmm too many things catch my eye.But today I found paper nests at a garage sale.I bought three a friend bought one.We left behind one that was HUGE! My husband is going to think I am nuts LOL! I am keeping one and selling the other three in my space.There is something beautiful about them.Except when they are full of bees buzzing round your home!

  7. Sarah Clark says:

    Isn’t it true. Collections go in sperts. Just recently I find I am drawn to wool plaid blankets. Why? Not sure other than they are utilitarian and pretty.

  8. Susie says:

    Love your choice of “eye candy”…fun pieces.

  9. Love, and yes I have a pair, and old vintage eye glasses….love the patina
    Copper as was stated….love the glow and patina of items that were used
    Pottery, the items made with a artistic hand, and talent
    Rocks, yea crazy, butt the beauty of age, mother earth and his hand, it tells a story to me..

    Love the post have a good weekend

  10. Sandy says:

    Just happened to pull out my grandma’s “Tilt Top” Juice-O-Mat for fresh squeeze oj this morning. It’s steel with a white painted base that is definitely “chippy.” I calculated it to be close to one hundred years old. It was manufactured by the RIVAL CO. in Kansas City, MO. Definitely vintage and “eye candy” for many a blogger.

  11. metal tool boxes and ammo cases!!!! <3

    I like the binoculars too. They would make a lovely accessory for metal boxes and ammo cases, don't you think?


  12. all kinds of things catch my eye – but i especially like things that were meant to be utilitarian – and are STILL utilitarian – hence my love for enamelware – i use my old pieces on a daily basis. i’m always hunting for odd and unusual pieces.

  13. Kris Fisher says:

    Some pieces have so much character that they nearly scream with it. I look at pieces like that and can feel the story, the history surrounding it. My imagination conjures up all kinds of scenarios.

  14. Carolina says:

    I love vintage & antiques and everything that has that special something and patina that catch my eyes…just like you Marian with your beautiful binoculars. Lately I find interesting antiques glass oil lamps in different color and shapes I have several now that I love to display in mix with Ironstone items (another love!) ….and not just to display… I love to bring them back to life and turn on their flame. Their light create a beautiful atmosphere especially when I turn on more than one at the same time.

    Thanks and have a great weekend xoxo


  15. I actually bought a pair of your binoculars when I was at Lucketts! I had never really given them a second thought, but when I saw them sitting on the table they called to me and now I’m always on the lookout for them. :-)

  16. With all the pressed wood, laminate flooring and Feaux, I just love the “real” materials used, to make old things. I guess that’s one reason to use the somewhat over-used term “authentic”, but it’s certainly fitting!

  17. Silver plate items have been calling my name – tea sets, trays, goblets . . . . can you hear them? They’re whispering “Jeeeaaannnie, Jeeeaaannnie, over here . . . ” and I just can’t resist. I display them in my house until they sell.

    Love those opera glasses too!

  18. Carol G says:

    I cannot resist old antique picture frames! My family makes fun of me because I have so many. My favorite are the old “swing” frames that are hinged on a base made of wood. They make me wonder who’s family pictures were hung in them for display and who spent many moments looking at them lovingly. They too are utilitarian and I have old family photos resting in mine. I use a lot of antique frames to hold hand-made stitcheries of the primitive sort…it just makes them look all that much better, I think.

  19. Feathers have caught my eye lately, and I probably noticed them on your blog first!

  20. crewel work catches my eye! maybe because I want to do a wall of it in my daughter’s room, but I love the texture and colors!

  21. I agree they are just cute! Old picture frames always catch my eye. And lately I like anything with an industrial side to it!

  22. Love these! I also love vintage fans, typewriters and glasses. Lovely photos!

  23. Maria says:

    My new hobby and interest is hand dipping beeswax candles. So……..what catches my eye is odd rusty industrial pieces that can be used as candle holders. Yesterday, at the Canton Flea Market, I purchased old oil metal funnels, fluted cake pans, metal ceiling light fixtures and tractor implements and pulleys. It’s been fun! I can make the candles fit any size opening by dipping to desired diameter. I love this blog and all the ideas and inspiration! Thanks!

  24. I’m the same way…just drawn to those wonderful pieces. I always wonder about the person who used them and how they used them. Love the vignettes you create!

  25. I am always on the lookout for vintage metal trucks with a open bed so I can make a cute planter out of it. I love to plant succulents in them….and the adorable piece speaks for itself! Love reading your blog Marian!

  26. Carolyn says:

    It just came to me that I have been buying lots of rugs lately. Any that are hand woven and have been made of rags.

  27. I have my dads binoculars and the case. He’s been gone 42 years. They don’t show much wear however as they were always kept in the case. I also have some opera glasses that belonged to my grandparents who died before i was born in 1965.They are beautiful! The glasses and the metal handle that you attach them to to hold up to your eyes is trimed all around each lense with dark mother of pearl. I’m not into displaying the vintage things like you as my house is decorated with a different feel but vintage, especially when it is your family’s vintage stuff makes you feel connected for sure. When I moved my mother in with me and went through her things I found some oil paintings of Indians like the ones in “The Piano.” I had them appraised and they told me that they were from an artist named Federick Goldie from New Zealandand estimated to be worht $5000 each. I knew that my great grandparents imigrated from there. My husband contacted an art gallery there and sent them pictures and they offered us $20,000 for the set. We sold them to help pay for college for my daughter. They had Goldie’s own notes stuck to the back of the canvas describing who was portraiyed in the paintings and some of their history. A chief and his spouse.

  28. Starla says:

    needlepoint pillows :)

  29. I inherited six antique cameras that belonged to my great grandparents. One of whom was a stringer for the L.A. Times. I also have two sets of opera glasses one of which has an elegant gold and mother of pearl inlay. I’m the family historian for my generation, so my elders tend to hand me down anything that they felt a sentimental attachment to. They know that I love history and that I appreciate the sentimentality in an object that is no longer in mint condition. I also inherited costume jewelry dating back to the 1930’s. Many of these items are displayed in the distressed collector’s display table that we use as a coffee table in our living room.

  30. I love opera glasses! I’ve got three in my collection so far. One from NY, one set from Prague and another from the UK. You’re right they just add something special to a look – some kind of vibrational connection to another time. Love it! Thanks

  31. Sharon in Chicago says:

    I have a small collection of pyrography boxes — love their intricate, yet simultaneously rustic woodburned designs. First box was my grandmothers hankerchief box.

  32. Harriett says:

    Glad you are having a great week! Old doorknobs and drawer pulls are my main attraction. . .aside from those beautiful feathers. Did you mention once that you collected them on a nearby farm or. . .I mean you sell lavender buds; what about feathers? I would go from New York to Lucketts for those (and milk paint, of course) Take care :) :) :)

  33. Maybee's Mom says:

    I love the look of vintage eyeglasses and this will sound creepy….false teeth….I have a jar full of them….I started 25 years ago…at an auction …found a flat that had teeth…perhaps his and hers….then every once in a while another pair….I thing when people got new teeth they always kept their old…just in case….my friends parents died and she gave me their teeth….I have several bridges and partials…odd…but I think they look fitting in my bathroom…..with a couple old wooden handled tooth brushes…perfect…when my daughter had her wisdom teeth pulled I kept them…I mounted them in a black velvet shadow box….she has them in her bathroom….of course they are all bleached and sparkling…..

  34. Love your photos! I collect those carpenter rulers, since they are usually super cheap, and any cool vintage desk tools. Last weekend was lucky enough to find a portable Royal Typewriter with the glass keys! It had the case & instructions and in great vintage shape…the ribbon was not even dry…so someone must have used it fairly recently.

  35. Brenda says:

    Depression glass is something I always hit the brakes for! I love the color, the raised designs, just everything about it! Mostly that when you bought oatmeal, you got a piece of glass! How cool is that?

  36. Old trophies! The older the better and the inscription makes every piece even more special.

  37. Gorgeous pieces. I absolutely love this post. I write my blog on my laptop while my typewriter rests a foot away. I love objects that have somewhat retired, that no longer have a purpose other than to be wise with time.

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