Friday, October 10

Peeking into the Past at Wit's End!!!

I told you that yesterday I would be posting about fall colors and also my adventure at Wit's End Antiques. Well, as you can see, I posted my fall color photos but never got to my Wit's End post. You see, I got side-tracked because I started cleaning (playing) projects in my sewing room and then there was the whole stock market thing to think about and I never quite got back to posting. Here I am now and with a real "peek at the past" as I take you on a visit to Wit's End Antiques on Main Street in downtown Henderson, MN.

There are a number of lovely antique shops in our area but Wit's End has to be my favorite. Patty, the owner, used to have her shop in Jordan, MN just up the road from Henderson (another great place for fall colors) but moved her business to Henderson a few years ago. I am certainly pleased because I just love to go in the shop and wander around. Sometimes I find just a little something for me or a gift for someone else. Last year shortly before Christmas I took my son's girlfriend into Wit's End as she enjoys vintage items just like my daughter Collette and I do. She happened to comment on a lovely beaded handbag and I thought "oh, my, that's the gift I can give her at Christmas this year". I just love it when that kind of thing happens. My son-in-law ended up with a white enamel coffee pot that he loved and my husband wondered "why". I think I could safely say that my husband prefers new with a longer than-one-would-expect warranty on the item. :-) That's not what I look for as I love things that have been "dearly loved" and want to be "loved" once again! These pictures are a mix of a photos I took on a visit in mid-July and then from this past Wednesday. I found some lovely treasures to take home on both visits. :-)

Patty's shop has a first and second floor. The first floor has some lovely, fine antiques but it's the second floor that calls my name - it's only one flight up to "cottage, country and classy finds" and I am there. As you climb up the steps you can see the old "box office" window where tickets were once purchased for theatre productions for this was once the local "Opera House"! Just the thought of all the plays, the singing and dancing that must have taken place here is exciting in it's own right.

Once you step into the large room upstairs, the first thing you notice are the high ceilings and then all the things that are set about to look at. Here are some of my favorite vignettes that Patty and her staff have created for all of us who love vintage and antique items.

I love the pink wooden chairs (reproductions) and they capture your eye as soon as you come into the room. In the background you can see a whole array of things just waiting to go "home" again. :-) Each time I visit the shop, I pick up a few items so that I may give them a good home. :-)

Opposite the pink chairs, are these pretty little white wicker chairs. If I had a screened in porch, these would be mine.

Here's the corner that was once the make-up area. Can't you just picture the scurry of activity as make-up was applied, costumes changed and the call came "on stage now, act II is beginning!!"

Around the corner from the make-up area is a little niche with odds and ends. Isn't this little piece sweet? It was once an old sewing machine and the sign on it said "would make a good coffee table". I saw this piece in July and said "hmmmmmm, that would be really nice with my old quilts......."

I loved this laundry corner and that cute sign. Hope it makes you giggle just like I did!!

The kitchen corner is a favorite of mine because I love to look in the doily baskets and at the wide selection of vintage cook booklets. Most are little booklets that were likely free with a product or for a few coins and a postage paid envelope. I realized that I am now more vintage than I might like to be when I found some little booklets from the 1960's and 70's that I have at home in my cupboard! I love the ones from the 30's and 40's and each time I stop in I try to pick up a couple (by the way, I keep saying I "pick up" this and that but I do pay for the items, I don't just "pick them up and take them home"!).

Those black enamel coffee pots are similar to the one I gave to my son-in-law for Christmas last year. I remember cooking on a stove like that in one of the first apartments that we lived in. I really like cooking, though, so I am happy to buy little vintage cookbooklets but I love going home to my modern kitchen and my cooktop and oven.

Here's another favorite area in the shop - the "Chicken Coop Corner" as I call it. I had chickens in my kitchen for 33 years prior to our move and I decided they were going to be replaced by an apple theme in our new kitchen. I don't bring home any chicken items as I still have three boxes of chicken stuff to unpack that will decorate my laundry room when I get a shelf in there. Chickens remind me of my grandma and grandpa's farm and when I was a little girl. I am blessed to have such good memories of my childhood.

Dotted around the displays are a few of these lovely gift-boxed items. What a neat gift for a friend, right?

Way in the back, I found this cozy little scene and it brought two sounds to mind - the clickety-click of the old adding machine and the scratchy sound of records played on an old phonograph. I like the thought of both those sounds. Brings back memories of times in my hometown of Lehigh.

That's just a little sampling of what is on the second floor of Wit's End. Every time I visit, I see something new and always go away wishing I had a little extra cash for some certain something that caught my eye. Oh, well, another time and if it's still there when I have the extra cash, then it's meant to be mine. If not, it's a treasure for someone else to take home.

I only took a couple of pictures of the first floor of Patty's shop. This scene is on the right just as you come in the door. I love the way that she set the chest inside of the bed frame. All of her displays are just like artwork!

Speaking of Patty, here she is at the counter. Lovely lady, lovely shop. I like the name she chose. I am always at my "Wit's End" as to what items to purchase and what not to because not only can I not afford everything my eyes see but I also don't have room for all I see!!

So, you're at the end of the tour of "Wit's End". Hope you enjoyed it. In these tough economic times, think of this as shopping trip with no cost. Take an imaginary trip through the displays and pick out the things that will make you smile. And, of course, I'm sure if you see something you really like, you could stop in the shop and check it out for yourself (or give Patty a call)!
Now then, remember that little green sewing machine piece. Well, I saw the piece on my visit to Wit's End in July and it just screamed my name so I bought it. I knew it would look really nice with my vintage quilts but even more - I knew my grandson would like it as it would go in the room he sleeps in. You see, the top lifts up - as Brown Bear is so kindly showing you - and where the sewing machine once was, there is now a "cubby hole" for storage. I knew Jacob would like this feature. The first time he visited after I had bought the piece, he went up to "his room" and shortly after I followed him. Sure enough, he had already discovered the "cubby hole" feature and had placed some bears inside and other stuff. Too fun!!!

Poor Brown Bear is not left hanging, though, as the lid goes down and the quilts go on top, making a comfy place for Brown Bear and friends to sit.
You can't see the front of the "green sewing chest" but you can see how it looks just right in my little green bedroom. And so, the burning question is "what did I find to bring home from my visit this past Wednesday?" Well, I found three things that will all show up in future posts - one item has to do with crazy quilting, another has to do with the doily basket and pincushions and the last one is those little cook booklets. You'll hear more about all three in upcoming posts!
Hope you are having a great day!!


pdudgeon said...

oh what a wonderful shop!!! i see some things that i would like to take home too. thanks so much for the tour.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Well that green cabinet looks lovely. It caught my eye too as I was reading and scrolling through your post. I don't think I've ever seen as nice an anique shop as that one. When I was growing up my dad would take me to the auction house sometimes and that is where we would find treasures. Utah doesn't have many antique stores at all. The room looks lovely with the quilts and the stuff toys. How fun.

sparkle jars said...

Love, love, love your field trips and poetry. Your blog is so much fun.

gin said...

I love antique shops. I could find me something to pick up too.

Kathleen said...

What an awesome store! I'm jealous that I can't shop there. Those things would fit so nicely into my home decor. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Love Percy the pumpkin and the poem...m..

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