my favorite things lately

Marian ParsonsAntiques, Favorite Finds, Favorite Things, Shopping Tips32 Comments

I have found that there is an ebb and flow to the things that catch my eye.  Of course, there are constants, ironstone being the most obvious, but there are pieces that I have found a new or renewed interest in…



Baskets is one that has been the most surprising to me.  I haven’t paid much attention to baskets and was even slightly annoyed with the stacks of baskets that seem to be everywhere in secondhand shopping.  But, over the past few months, I have changed my tune.


These utilitarian gems bring so much texture to a space along with stylish storage.


What I look for in a basket…

  • The older the better.  That’s the case with a lot of things for me, but I’m looking for pieces with a nice patina and age to them.  I especially love old splint baskets.
  • Market-style or laundry-style baskets.  I also like ones that are a good size to use for plants and/or a wastebasket.
  • Sturdy handles and bottom.  I don’t mind some repairs or some missing/broken pieces, but I do want the basket to be functional.
  • Interesting design elements like wood handles and original paint.



glass jars & bottles

Antique glass canning jars were some of the first antiques I ever bought.  I bought them for our first apartment as a married couple and kept them on the counter to store dried goods.  I’ve bought a few here and there since to sell, but never really sought them out.  Well, now I have circled back and I’m finding a renewed love for glass jars.


And also bottles, which is a new one for me!  I found these green bottles with ceramic lids and I am totally hooked.


What I look for in a jar/bottle…

  • Old “wavy” glass.  I especially love glass with a green or blue tint to it.
  • Interesting lids, like those made of glass, zinc or ceramic.
  • Jelly jars and antique water bottles.



This isn’t a brand new favorite thing, but I included it in this list, anyway.  I’ve loved quilts for a long time, but I stopped collecting them for a few years.  Now, I’m on the hunt again.  I appreciate the intricate work and patterns even more than I used to.  They truly are art.


What I look for in a quilt…

  • Blue and white specifically, because those are my colors!
  • Interesting pattern and intricate hand stitching.
  • I actually look for ones with some wear, stains, holes, etc., because the cost is a lot lower, but the condition is good enough that they can still be used.




My great-grandmother, Rosa, was a machine when it came to crochet.  She could make something without looking at it, just about.  I tried crocheting a blanket once and the result was almost comical.  Okay, it was comical.  My lack of precision was on full display when it came to crocheting, so I decided that was probably best left to others.

I love the detail, but how it’s sturdier and not as frilly as lace.


I love entire spreads and tablecloths out of crochet down to trim on pillowcases.


What I look for in crochet…

  • I am partial to all white/cream crochet.
  • Again, I like the older stuff and I don’t mind if there is a little unraveling or stains.  I do look for overall good condition, though.
  • I look for pieces that can be used “today”.  I currently shy away from things like doilies and arm covers, because I just don’t know how I would use them.  I know there are all kinds of clever crafts, but I’d rather focus on pieces that can be used as is.




This is another one that was sort of surprising to me, but now that I have found a few tins I really like, I hope to find more.  The graphics and colors are so fun to use in a display and I do like that they can be practical storage as well.



What I look for in tins…

  • Color is a big one for me, so I mostly look for green and blue tins.
  • I look for sizes that could be functional and, for the most part, lids that open and interiors that are relatively clean.
  • Great graphics and pictures.



 So, what have been your favorite things lately?

my favorite things lately

Related Posts

five things | antique & vintage art supplies

farmhouse white chair makeover

Neat Steam Cleaner Review

September’s Books of the Week

32 Comments on “my favorite things lately”

  1. I too love quilts! I’m a quilter and am trying to make the patterns that interest me the most. I love toleware, barkcloth, plates and depression glass. I’m a roses girl. If it has old roses on it I’m thrilled! I like that my home has flowers all year! It’s eye candy!

  2. I love all the things that you do Marian , except I will take it in red please. Red is my favourite go to color.

  3. I too love everything you mentioned today, but I bought most things 35-40 yrs. ago…..also crocks…and am still not sure how to display them without looking cluttered…I’m aiming for a simpler look especially since, instead of white ironstone (which is hard to find on the west coast) I have blue hand made pottery from the many artists near me…although it’s not always my exact style, my MIL bought them for me for every holiday…..any ideas…

    1. Sue,
      I have two wrought iron crock stands that are over five feet tall. they hold five crocks each and have a simple architectural feel. They are on each side of the door in our sunroom and add a “tall” element to the space.

  4. Thanks for sharing Marian…..sometimes I don’t know what I am lovin’ till I trip over it! I am a constant ‘fixture’ at our local antique shop always digging for treasures! I just picked up a Market Basket, a metal fan and a kitchen utensil that no one seems to know what it’s use was! I love sharing my findings on my blog and Facebook, befores, durings and re-purposed afters!

  5. How about old handmade aprons? I always imagine the women who made them were having fun coming up with fabric combinations and adding details that made each one unique. They make me smile. Fun to wear and also to display a few on hooks in the kitchen.

  6. Ever since I received a copy of “Modern Mix” by designer Eddie Ross as a birthday gift, I have fell I love with this style. I love clean, uncluttered design with a touch of glam and this look really works for me.

    I have slowly moved away from the modern farmhouse/cottage style and incorporated more of a modern mix style.I recently sold my farmhouse dining table and replaced it with a mid-century vintage faux bamboo dining table and matching chairs which I re-painted in a high gloss white lacquered paint.

    At the end of the day, you have to go with a style that speaks to your heart. I must be in good company because you cant open a magazine whether it be HGTV, House Beautiful, Coastal or Southern Living without seeing this style.

  7. Love all of the above, but baskets are my all time favorite. I have such a weakness for them. The older ones can be so well made, so beautiful, and so totally functional. I can not resist a good basket!

  8. I love all the things you mentioned, plus I have a thing for vintage picnic baskets, old tin type photos, primitive cow & sheep pictures & decor, pretty blue, green, brown & clear bottles, lacey linens & doilies, colorful vintage tablecloths, mini dress forms, pretty plates and transferware and some day I hope to splurge on a pair of ladies Victorian lace-up boots.

  9. As I read today’s post I was going…”Check, check, check-check.” Always on the lookout for: souvenir plates, the more obscure the better, embroidery, STOOLS, small benches, anything child-size, metal totes or tool boxes, wire baskets, old photos and framed art. Honestly, I should just have said The Entire Universe. Sigh.

  10. Hi Marion,

    I like a lot of the same things you do. But I collect blankets instead of quilts, and my husband is the bottle collector with quite a collection. Thank-you for sharing another enjoyable post.


  11. Baskets, baskets, baskets! I am thinking it is just not all of us either….at my last sale the items people were running to our booth for were our vintage baskets!! I kept some of my findings for me–and have started the “hunt” for more for my big fall event…..

  12. I love antiques or anything old, vintage. We have an organ that has been in the family for over 100 years. I also use the old glass jars for storing dry goods. I also have a weakness for Polish pottery. Expensive, but I love it…beautiful and functional!!!

    1. I agree with that one I love polish pottery. Some of the antique malls Marian frequents have booths that sells polish pottery. Marian purchases ironstone and I come out with a piece of polish pottery :). Mom

  13. Hi MMS! Other than Craig’s List, do you use any other sites? I live in Florida and I was curious about Gettysburg, I use an app called OfferUp. The antique section up there blows Tampa out of the water!! Not to mention, it’s 10x cheaper. There’s an antique metal doll bed on there now, chippy and bluish-green….and only ten bucks! Made me think of you

  14. My favorite things/style/likes change from time to time. I’m trying to downsize and declutter. I hate to DUST! I’ve recently taken my Mom’s china and depression glass to auction. I thought it was ‘my’ favorite things because it was hers. But it sat in a cabinet for 5 years after she died and was never touched so I decided it was time to let go. So that said, my always favorite things even when I was a kid are anything ‘horse’ related esp. now since I owned my horse for 33 years before he died 2 years ago. I esp. LOVE your painted horse Marian! LOVE IT!

    Seeing your ideas and home decor has given NEW favorite things too! Thank you!

  15. Stoneware old linens these are my favorite also and right now my passion is wooden boxes,crates whatever you want to call them. i have large to small and can hide thing in them that aren’t so pretty out.

  16. I love matte white art pottery, 50’s-60’s era cowboy kitsch, chalk dog figurines, paint by number country scenes and always, baskets. One tip about baskets – just because they look old doesn’t mean they are. Depending on how it has been used and cared for, a relatively new basket can ‘age’ pretty quickly. It’s easy to be fooled so make sure that the price you are paying is worth it to you regardless of it’s age. Clues like the material it is woven with, maker’s marks and certain weaving/construction techniques can be helpful, but the best way to be sure about a basket’s age is to know it’s provenance… if your grandma used it to carry laundry out to her clothesline, then you can estimate it’s age.

  17. Wire baskets are are my favorites finds, from locker baskets, to canning racks, freezer baskets, shopping baskets, and even wire laundry baskets. Quilts have always been a fav, they are more affordable now than ever. I have crocks too, on a wrought iron stand. Like them to on top of cupboards. And I love doilies, those little round things can go under anything, and look good over baskets too. They can go under crocks so they don’t scratch floors or furniture. Happy Antiquing!

  18. I am a sucker for vintage tea-towels, doilies, embroidered table cloths, and linens. I also am always on the hunt for vintage tool boxes and galvanized buckets, tubs, and watering cans! 🙂

  19. I’m on board with the baskets! And pretty much anything else old…but baskets! It’s one of the few skills that a machine cannot mimmick…I even went as far as making one from honeysuckle vine and intend to someday get good at it…someday.

  20. Quilts! They are such a labor of love that each one deserves to be used and treasured! I have only found 2 antique quilts that I could afford but I’m always on the lookout!

  21. I seem to love anything that was created 100 years ago. It could be hardware, jewelry, architectural salvage, garments, linens, and dishes. And I do love the things you mentioned as well and love your photography and the way you style. Your posts are something I look forward to reading. Thanks for sharing!

  22. In addition to everything you mentioned I absolutely die for LETTERS. I especially love old letterpress letters. I’m not sure why. I don’t even use them to write out words, I just enjoy looking at them. Each one is completely different and unique.

  23. I love dollies I use them on back of my chair. Reminds me of my Mother. She died in 2011 at the age of 99 yrs 6 months. Small dollies I lace on table in front of my favorite p

  24. I like dollies. I place them on back of my chair. Reminds me of my Mom. She died in 2011 at 99 years and 6!months. Almost made it to 100. I also place small ones by small pictures on book shelf. I l

  25. I collect doilies and use them in between china dishes and tea cup saucers. Anywhere they help items from scratching.
    from Oregon

  26. I’ve always been a reader and I love old books! The older, the better. Not only do many have beautiful artwork, but they feel different, more substantial than a new hardback. And, they are a record of unvarnished, unedited history- what people thought and how they lived, as well as facts and figures. The older they are, the more “plain” on the outside, and that blends with any style of decorating. And, yes, I actually pick them up once in a while and read them!

  27. Hello,

    Well, aside from the tins, we are enamored by most of the same things! I have bought gorgeous well-loved old quilts from the last several community sales I have been to, it seemed as though no one else was interested! Score! I sure am, and I didn’t pay very much for any of them, maybe the trend for them is at an ebb. I have had great luck with the aqua colored vintage bottles, too. Some of them are a bit pricey, but I found some that were excitedly inexpensive! Oh, and the baskets! I have always collected them, but I am very picky and my tastes do change as time goes on. I went to the Las Vegas Market and ventured into the ‘temporaries’ and found French style baskets for a song! Some I have seen for hundreds, yes hundreds, that weren’t even $100. It was a blast!

    Cheers to collecting!

  28. Oh dear, I love sooo many things. When I was a child, maybe 7 or 8, my mom had a tiny ironstone “platter” (not sure what it was used for) and it was crazed and had stains. She washed it, but bleach in it out in the sun to whiten it and I was hooked. I have loved ironstone ever since especially those little platters. No, I don’t remember if it worked, but I was hooked. I also love roses, anything with roses – curtains (especially barkcloth ones), linens with roses, china with roses, vintage framed prints or oil paintings with roses. You get the idea. I love and collect architectural pieces, galvanized items (chicken feeders, washtubs, watering cans, etc.) industrial items, gray graniteware buckets – I guess the list is endless! Love reading what everyone collects – oh and yes, I love quilts too. Have a few my grandmother made and I got hooked. I have been running into some beautiful ones from $5 to $20 – some I sell in my antique booth (which no one buys anymore) and most I just end up keeping!

  29. Quilts, quilts, and more quilts. I am a relatively new quilter, I so appreciate all the time and effort that goes into quilts, especially the beautiful old hand-quilted ones!

  30. Right now I really like Stiffel lamps, old staplers-especially industrial looking ones, pewter, and any kind of handwork but especially needlepoint, and copper and brass cache pots.

    I am also a sucker for glass Christmas balls that are either shaped or glittery.

    I am constantly shopping for my booth.
    My method is to buy what I like, but since the items on my list don’t sell well for me, I get to keep those for myself.
    Although I am no longer allowed to look at Stiffel lamps and my pewter collection is getting a bit too much…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *