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Thursday, 28 March 2013

My Winter Workout

My Winter Workout
by Amie Stark of 
Here in Connecticut where we have long cold winters, if you are not a skier or winter sports enthusiast — which I am definitely not — the only sport left for us girls is running to estate sales and thrift shops! It might not sound like much exercise, but you can get a pretty good workout. There’s a lot of bending down, lifting and reaching. There’s also finding something so sublime that it makes your heart go pitter-patter, which in turn is good for my physical being. You get where I’m going with this?

So instead of heading north to Vermont or Massachusetts to fly down a freezing cold mountain attached to two tiny little skis, I prefer to spend my weekends on level ground planning out which estate sales and thrift shops to visit. I cannot break my leg doing it, it’s deeply fun, and it’s how I stock my Etsy shop up with so many fabulous vintage finds for everyone!
A few weeks ago I saw an ad for an estate sale near our house. My husband Steven usually goes along, because he likes these kinds of things too. So we get in the car, and even though it was only a mile or so away, he insisted on using the GPS to get there. One thing about Steven is that he absolutely will not go anywhere without using the GPS, because he hates getting lost. Anyway, we drive up to what turns out to be a really shabby, and not shabby chic, apartment building. I mean, I have had nightmares about places that look like this. But we decided to go in and have a quick look around anyway. OMG am I glad we did! This place was obviously an elderly lady’s apartment, and it had mid century treasures stuffed in every nook and cranny! I headed into the tiny kitchen first (my strategy of late) and spotted a set of vintage orange lacquer coasters with painted daisies, then an adorable set of French silver kitty fork rests. In the bedroom I found several vintage Vera silk scarves in perfect condition, stuffed in a dresser full of junk. Then in the living room I discovered a cardboard box filled with beautifully tarnished silver bowls and ancient copper vessels. This was one cool lady who had lived here!
On another afternoon my fellow thrift hunter and I (and the GPS) headed out for a sale at a home that was so enchanting I hardly noticed any of the contents in it that were for sale. The house was built by an architect named Frazier Stevens in the 1920’s, and was this incredibly charming, rambling English Tudor with a real turret. I was way too busy daydreaming about what a great childhood I could have had there playing fabulously exciting games of hide & seek to even shop. I just missed out on a gorgeous and highly coveted orange Cathrineholm casserole dish with a lotus design that another shopper claimed she had found first, as she snatched it out of my hands. All I left with was a glass ashtray, but I was still happy.
Thrift stores often turn up treasures too. They are perfect for the much-needed mid-week workout. Last week I spotted a really cool brown enamel teapot in one that l thought might have a been something good, and I was right! It was an authentic Arabia of Finland, designed by Kaj Franck, an iconic mid century modern vintage piece. I left feeling extremely satisfied with this little treasure.
So that’s my winter workout. Another weekend is just beginning so I need to run so that I can lay out my plans for another fun-filled adventure. After all, a girl has to keep up her exercise routine to stay happy and healthy!

Thank you so much Amie, it sounds like you have got your winter workout down pat.
If you would like to write an article for Chantal Loves Vintage please get in contact.


  1. I prefer your winter work-out choice as opposed to skiing! LOL

    Stopping by from Blogging Buddies

  2. So many beautiful things! Definitely my kind of work out :)

  3. Great story - love the part about the 1920's house with the turret. I would have been doing the same thing.


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