Monday, May 23, 2011

Early American

I finally (well I should give credit where credit is due - the intrepid husband found them AND he also found my great grandmother's baby doll! More about that down the road - she's like a giant Frozen Charlotte or whatever the name of those china doll heads you see everywhere now.) found a box of my mother's recipe clippings up at the house. They used to be in a kitchen drawer but living in their former home, was now a huge quantity of kitchen towels (too funny! my mother must have had the worlds largest collection of those relentlessly teehee cheerful, kitchen towels with bunnies and teddy bears, etc.).

I have been searching high and low for her recipe clippings and EUREKA, found at last. I have been longing to find them, hoping that perhaps some of my fraternal grandmother's recipes might be amongst them. Please please please. Let my grandmother have granted her daughter-in-law, her favorite and most oft requested recipes!

(Don't you hate when people won't share a good recipe?! Especially when it's family! What's up with that?!)

I've only begun looking through the box and it's so much fun. I found an envelope marked "house ideas" in my mother's handwriting.

My mother had champagne taste on a beer budget as they used to say. Probably the most frequently uttered words in my childhood home were "We can't afford it" and "When my ship comes in".

Many spare moments were passed dreaming over home decor magazines, oohing and awing, and visits to fine stores to window shop and dream some more.

My second childhood home, (the first having only been for a couple of years and having left no mark on my memory), was where my mother lived out her Early American dream. Early American furniture was all the rage when I was a kid. I found these pages that my mother had saved and sniffled and weeped with joy.

We had a Dry Sink, like the one featured in two of the images below ... which is still at my father's house (my third childhood home), which I am hoping to find room for in my house. (Along with a piece my mother called a Dough Box - so wonderful!). There is also a table/desk and a coffee table but I don't see how I can fit four pieces into my house that is the size of a closet?!

For some reason my memory tells me that the pieces are "real" antiques, not reproductions - I seem to remember, my mother and I visiting a man who sold antiques here in the Valley in Southern California. Could that be true??? Surely my memory must be faulty?!

Any ideas on how I find out?

(The dry sink pictured in this photo to the left of the stove, is very much like my mom's,
except for the latch. The credit states that this one above was made by Lane.)

(Here's a better photo of the dry sink from another publication, isn't it CUTE?!)

(We had lots of chairs like the one in the forefront on the right,
my mother called them Captains Chairs.)

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me! You're the best!
Wishing you all a very Happy Monday!


  1. Oh, my. You know I have a "dream home" file folder filled with home decor ideas. this glimpse of your mom and what dreams came to be makes me tear up somehow. Even those scraps of paper are a treasure. Glad to see you post and have been missing your bright inspirations.

  2. I remember in the 70's when early american was in and the dry sinks were do wanted...forgot all about them. Isn't it fun going through those boxes of family treasuer?

  3. Sally,
    I've been keeping up with your ups and downs about your Dad. It must be mind boggling going through stuff and looking for certain things. I dread doing that some day. I also remember the Americana stuff-those pic's bring back memories of my best friends house when I was a kid. Her Mom decorated in that style. Hang in there kiddo! You're doing a great job!

  4. I would look for markings on the bottom of the furniture, tags, etc.
    Also look at craftmanship. If you have a drawer does it have markings on the inside, pull the drawers completely out, check for how they are put together.
    Most were maple, some were hard rock maple. That's quite a treasure.
    If you are still unsure. Look or talk to someone from that era. Be careful if you talk to antique dealers. They get a hungry look in their eye, they could mis inform. Do your homework before settling.
    Good luck

  5. Oh my gosh Sally, these could be pictures of my mom's decorating scheme in the 60's!
    dry sink... check
    maple furniture...check
    Too funny!
    Have a wonderful Memorial day, Nan