About thesavvyseeker

I’m Erin and I’d like to think that I’m a pretty savvy seeker. I’m a life-long learner who can’t sit still and has a slight obsession about history and the arts. I'm a professional designer and have studied everything from Norman Rockwell to medieval art and architecture. I love interesting people and interesting objects. If you have a cool collection and what to chat about it, drop me a line at thesavvyseeker@yahoo.com

54th Shenandoah Antique Expo, Part II

Hey ya’ll! I’m back and I’m bringin’ some eye candy with me! There was sooooo much to see at the 54th Shenandoah Antique Expo, in Fishersville, VA, that I thought I’d post a part deux to my original story. I was taking so many photographs throughout the long, hot afternoon…that I probably should have used my two-day pass to return and do a complete second walk through. I’m sure I missed some amazing items…it was really tough to see it all in a 4 hour spread. One guy said, “If you buy it, then you don’t need a photo of it!” And my response was, “Well, I’m takin’ the photo because I can’t afford to buy it!” Ha!

antique_painted_dry_sink

I REALLY wanted this dry sink…not that I have any more room for something like this…but look at that worn paint! Look at the awesome galvanized metal sink! Luckily, for me, this had a “sold” ticket on it by the time I took this photo.

I never know if a dealer is annoyed that I’m taking photographs or if they welcome the fact that I have such a deep passion for these artful objects. My friends (who are not antique collectors) always ask me, “don’t you get tired of looking at all that old junk?” My response…HELL NO!

antique_pie_safe

Be still my heart…look at those tins!!

paper_mache_jackolanterns

Remember my post on antique Jack-o-lanterns? Some of the more rare shapes can bring BIG bucks at the auction block.

antique_crocks

Crocks. crocks. And more crocks. Never seen so many crocks in all my life. A gentleman once told me at an estate auction, that you can never go wrong buying early American crocks because they always hold their value. And according to the prices I saw, he was right.

For me, this is how I find inspiration. I work long hours as a senior designer for a large public relations firm. I LOVE the work I do there and I’m blessed to also LOVE the folks I work with…but anyone can get burnt out. A person can only work so many hours in Photoshop or InDesign before they start to feel cross-eyed! Plus, I work on some pretty large/national brands, so I’m constantly expected to bring new ideas to clients and stay on top of the latest trends. For me, I find inspiration from the colors, patterns, textures and craftsmanship I see in antiques.

antique_north_caroline_farm_table

A beautiful North Carolina farm table, circa early 1800′s (pre-civil war era). Look at the legs on that beauty!

 

walberts_timberlake_stove_sign

LOVE. THIS. SIGN.

antique_oak_filing_cabinets

I have always loved these old oak filing cabinets. They have so much character. Plus, they are practical…you can use them to store just about anything.

I love the history and I find a rich connection between objects and the places where they were made. I like to imagine stories about the people who made these unique items with their hands…sometimes skilled, sometimes self-taught. One of the first questions that I ask a dealer about an item is “Can you tell me where this came from?” or “How did you find/acquire it?” I have heard some really amazing stories by simply asking those two questions.

antique_fire_bucket

Everyone at the show was flippin’ out over this antique fire bucket, circa 1827. It was definitely one of the earlier pieces at the show that day.

antique_farm_table

Just a pretty farm table. My mom wasn’t wild about the rounded corners…but I thought it was really sweet, with it’s green skirt and worn top.

The other thing that I love about seeking antiques is the journey that keeps me on. By traveling and going to flea markets and antique shows, I get to meet some REALLY interesting people! That’s a big reason I decided to start doing interviews on my blog…people LOVE to talk about the things they collect…all you have to do is come up with the right questions!

antique_carnival_wheel

Who doesn’t love antique toys? They can evoke a sense of whimsy to any room. We were surprised to see so many carnival wheels….we must have seen about 8 of them. This one had the brightest colors and therefore, was my favorite.

 

antique_slag_glass_lamp

I love these old lamps. This crappy photo doesn’t do it justice…the amber glow of the colored glass really is romantic.

antique_white_jelly_cupboard

And another chippy, white cabinet. I was admiring the painted firkin on top, otherwise known as a sugar bucket.

One particular time, I asked an older gentleman what he was going to be selling at a particular antique show. His response…”a bunch of sh**.” I laughed out loud. When I asked him what he meant by that he elaborated on the fact that he actually collects Stickley, Roycroft and other fine arts and crafts pieces. He saves those items and sells them in Atlanta. There’s a greater market in Atlanta for that type of furniture because there are more Arts and Crafts style historic homes that young couples are buying and refurbishing. And those couples want the authentic furniture for their bungalows to complete the look. As for the other “sh**”, he saves that for a different city because he knows the crowd is looking for smaller items, at a lower price point. Funny, but makes sense.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed my random rant on “old junk.” It was a little long-winded. If you know of any upcoming vintage pop-up markets, fleas or antique shows, drop me a line and I’ll post the dates here on my blog!

antique_penny_rug

Penny rug!! This one was a show stopper! I’ve never seen an old one with such light colors…usually they incorporate black into the design. This was a large one, which could be displayed on a table or a wall.

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

 

54th Shenandoah Antique Expo, Part I

Hope you got to do something extra fun this past Mother’s Day weekend! This past Mother’s Day was extra special for me…not only was I celebrating my first Mother’s Day with little Sunny baby (well sort of…I’ve been a step-mom for 8 years now, so I feel that counts for something too!), but I was able to sneak away from work and hit the road to the 54th Shenandoah Antique Expo in Fishersville, VA! For those of you that might need a little reminder as to why I love this particular event so much, read my first entry about Fishersville.

The view early in the morning...cars lined as far as you could see...

The view early in the morning…cars lined as far as you could see…

I’ve been to this event several times before, but have never gone on the first day, as the gates were opening! Whoa! My folks and I parked and headed over to the parking lot area where hundreds of dealers were lined up, ready to wheel and deal with their treasures. It was a pickers paradise! One thing about going that early though…I felt as though I was in an episode of Nickelodeon’s Super Toy Run!! Remember that? Kids were given 5 minutes, a shopping cart and the opportunity to run rapid through Toys R Us, grabbing whatever toys they could. Seriously…people were definitely in a hurry to be the first to grab whatever collectible that was hot on their list.

The morning rush begins!

Grab your coffee! The morning rush begins!

It took my parents and I, 3.5 hours to make our way through the parking lot, two barns and expo center, to view everything that there was to see! That came out to 2.5 miles of walking!! What a great way to burn off that leftover baby weight! There was sooooo much to see…that you almost couldn’t see it all in one day (now I understand why they allow the early bird shoppers to have a 2-day pass!). I took so many photos, that I thought I’d break this post into two parts…here is just a taste of some of the things we saw…

antique_english_ironstone

Do you love English ironstone? These fine examples did not come cheap, but were in pristine condition.

antique_jelly_cupboard

Look at all of the layers of paint on this old cabinet. I loved the round feet and the layers and layers of paint almost seemed to tell a story. This was one of my favorite pieces from the show.

antique_hanging_cupboard

How about a sweet primitive chippy white hanging cabinet? This would be cute in a laundry room!

antique_pie_safe

I saw more pie safes at this show than any show that I’ve attended in the past 10 years. Making a comeback? Did they ever go away?

folk_art_boxes

How fun are these tramp art boxes? The dealer said these were from his personal collection.

vintage_bicycle

Need some wheels? How about this cutie?

vintage_pedal_cars

Or some retro pedal cars? I liked them in a group…

architectural_salvage

Is architectural salvage more of your thing? At first, I was admiring this Coca Cola button, but then I noticed these awesome antique shutters.

mission_table

I’m a sucker for Mission furniture…and this solid oak mission lamp table was a STEAL at only $150.

primitive_cupboard

Crocks, crocks and more crocks. If you collect crocks, then you need to come to this show. This beautiful cabinet had it’s original paint on it and sported a “sold” sign.

primitives

This dealer drove in from West Virginia and had some of the prettiest primitives I’ve seen a long time.

west_virginia_antiques

I love the original blue paint on this cupboard. Too bad that the top half is gone…I’m sure this piece was a base to something.

white_pie_safe

This beautiful white pie safe looks almost identical to the one I have in my kitchen. I love the delicate work on the metal tin screens.

So at the end of the day, what did I walk away with? I was on the hunt for some antique advertising to hang in my family room…and boy was there a lot to choose from. Advertising is soooo hot right now and almost every dealer had at least one or two pieces in their booths. Prices ranged from $150 up to $500 for most. I fell in love with the patina on this early 1900′s sign from a mill worker, located in Richmond, VA. I was able to negotiate with the dealer and walked away with a price I could live with (and not have buyers remorse!). My amazing father carried this giant sign for most of the time that we were walking around. I bet he was glad when we finally reached the car!!!

antique_advertising

It’s a family affair…picking antique treasures that is!

Stay tuned next week for more eye candy from this awesome event!

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

 

3rd Annual Vintage Home Market

Howdy ya’ll!! Hope everyone had an awesome weekend, doing something fun! This past weekend, the Mr. and I, along with my parents, packed up Sunny baby and headed out to a very special event in Richmond, VA. We got up early Saturday morning and attended the 3rd Annual Vintage Home Market, at the Richmond Raceway (not that I wanted to wake up extra early after working a long week, but my mom insisted we go to the show early).

vintage_home_market

I’m glad we did go early…I was so surprised to see all the “sold” tickets on items once we arrived! This show has a strong following and the good stuff goes QUICK! So if you decide to go next year, go early!! You’re probably asking what makes this show so unique? What I liked about this show is that it combines flea market finds, handmade, up-cycled items, high quality antiques and barn found objects – all in one place! So if you read magazines like Flea Market Style or follow blogs like Chez Fifi, this is the show for you. Here is just a smattering of some of the fun and funky things we saw there…

chippy_childs_chair

I love this sweet little chippy white child’s chair…and I’m always a sucker for anything lavender!

antique_desk

I fell in love with this desk. The photo doesn’t do it justice…the craftsmanship on this piece was stellar and who wouldn’t love to fill up all of those little drawers! So much storage!

antique_kitchen_cupboard

Ya’ll know my passion for antique kitchen cupboards…too bad my kitchen can’t fit in any more! This booth had several and a few had already sold.

Check  out the chippy paint on this old jelly cupboard! I could see this as a buffet or in someone's entry way with a cool mirror placed on top!

Check out the chippy paint on this old jelly cupboard! I could see this as a buffet or in someone’s entry way with a cool mirror placed on top!

vintage_costume_jewelry

There was also some amazing jewelry to select from…made out of vintage buttons, brooches and typewriter keys.

vintage_garden_decor

Do you like garden inspired or shabby chic decor? If so, there was a lot to see and choose from…

vintage_toy_globe

The Mr. had to talk me out of purchasing this adorable vintage toy globe for Sunny baby’s room…how cute is that??!!

vintage_tweed_suitcases

The Mr. was also eyeing these vintage suitcases until someone else purchased them just as he was pulling out his wallet…oh well…you snooze you lose at this show!

vintage_wardrobe

I thought this adorable wardrobe was a nice versatile piece for any room…especially for a little girl’s room.

By the end of the morning, we needed a break, so we grabbed some free cookies and southern sweet tea…and also had our family portrait taken in the photo booth area! I think Sunny baby liked the feather boa…what do you think?

thesavvyseeker_family

Never too early to get the kids interested in home decorating! Ha!

 

Q&A: Becky Helms of The Pink Samurai

Q: Tell us briefly a little about yourself. What are your interests or your hobbies?

A: I’m a cat lady, a crafter and total nerd.  I live in Austin, TX with Andy, my husband, and our two cats Turks and Sprinkles.  I love drawing, crochet, embroidery and collection super cute stuff.TV-Star

Q: Describe your style in three words or less.

A: Bright, colorful, happy

Kokeshi-Collection-1

 

Austin-Antique-Mall-Austin-Texas-mcm

Q: On your blog, The Pink Samurai, you feature a different vintage shop for thrifty treasures from the Austin area. What was the inspiration behind this?

A: I grew up thrifting and antiquing with my mom. When I was living on the East Coast I made this giant google doc spreadsheet of all the shops I’d visited and wanted to visit. I started sharing it out with friends and thought more folks besides us might like to see the shops, too. So I started putting them on the blog!

austin-thrift-vintage-shops

Thrifty-Thursday-Leighelana-Austin-Texas-vintage

A cowgirl's paradise!!!! Look at all of these boots!!!

A cowgirl’s paradise!!!! Look at all of these boots!!!

Q: Do you have a favorite place to find your unique antique treasures in the Austin, TX area? What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled for vintage finds?

A: Rave On Vintage is definitely my favorite spot in Austin because they specialize in mid-century goodness. They’ve always got the best stuff!  And I think the furthest I’ve ever traveled was around 3 hours. Andy and I went to The Factory Antique Mall in Verona, VA. I’d heard about it from Jenny Mitchell, one of my favorite vintage bloggers and just had to go! It was a gorgeous trip through the mountains of Virginia and turned into a really fun day-trip.

Rave-On-Vintage-27

Rave-On-Vintage-19

Q: Your handmade scarves are gorgeous! What was the inspiration behind your Etsy shop, The Pink Samurai?

A: Thank you! The Pink Samurai has worn many hats since opening. I used to sew purses, and design buttons, but after teaching myself to crochet, I decided to take the leap and started selling them. Through all my different offerings, The Pink Samurai has always been a place for bright colors and silliness. I try to bring those elements in with my color palettes and branding.

March-Recap-3

Impossible-Scarf-Three-1

Q: You’ve had your Etsy shop since 2006…how have you seen the Etsy community evolve since then? What are some of the trends you see on Etsy?

A: Etsy has changed quite a bit since I first started. But, so has the internet as a whole. I’ve seen the forum switch from being a promotional tool to more of a team setting and there’s a lot more knock-off shops on Etsy then there were in 2006, that’s for sure. With the evolution of twitter, instagram and pinterest, I don’t really spend as much time networking through Etsy anymore. As for trends, I’m seeing a lot of geometric prints and simplified color-blocking in handmade right now. There’s also a lot of really cool laser cut wood designs that are popping up now.

Renegade-SXSW-2014-betawife

Renegade-SXSW-2014-betawife Renegade-SXSW-2014-fartsy-arts

Q: What are the advantages of shopping on Etsy vs. Ebay for vintage finds?

A: That’s a great question! I think you’ll probably pay a little bit more on Etsy for some vintage finds, but it’s a much better experience. You’re working with a seller who specializes in vintage and curates their shop very carefully. Ebay can be hit-or-miss. If you’re looking for something specific, I would check both. But if you’re just browsing for a hidden treasure, Etsy is the way to go.

il_570xN.384012106_dxt3

il_570xN.384012220_rna4

Q: Besides crocheting beautiful scarves, you also create the loveliest illustrations. I read on your blog that you hosted a “crafternoon” at your house…could you share with my readers what that is?

A:  Crafternoon was a really fun event that I hosted to get some crafty locals together to make stuff and swap supplies. I had special embroidery patterns we all worked on and we traded supplies and had a great time visiting and talking about making stuff. It  was so fun and I’m hoping to do another in the summer!

April12.Grilled-Cheese-Day

Crafternoon-Event-Photos-making

 

Austin-Crafternoon-embroidery-group

Special thanks to Becky Helms for taking the time to do this interview! Be sure to check out her blog, The Pink Samurai.

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Q&A: Kath Parker of Machine Dance Vintage

Q: Tell us briefly a little about yourself. What are your interests or your hobbies?

A: I am a pink haired, native Virginian with an absolute love for history, film and treasure hunting. I live with my two Boston Terriers, Wednesday and Pugsley. You can often find us elbow deep in dirt, meandering through the woods, and uncovering some sort of treasure with the trusty ole metal detector.

kath_parker

Q: Describe your style in three words or less.

A: Bubblegum and Glamour

kath_parker_straw_hat

Q: What is the story behind Machine Dance Vintage?

A: “Machine Dance” started out as my pseudonym over 10 years ago. I started out as a photographer and found, at that time, using a fictitious name served me better than using my real name. In 1931, Margaret Bourke White, photographed the Moscow Ballet School. All of the dancers had very machine-like qualities, prompting White to title her images “Machine Dance.” Having been recognized for so long with this name, I decided to use it for my vintage shop as well. Machinedance Vintage got started a little over three years ago the way many vintage shops get started. I looked at my closet one day and decided it was time to start parting with some of my old clothes. And then it hit me, an epiphany, I was finding so much joy in sending off my once cherished clothes to new homes that it became all I wanted to do. That’s when I started spending every free moment I had hunting for treasure and sharing it with others. Now, over three years later, vintage has turned into something so much more. A lifestyle, a way to connect with others, a way to preserve fashion history and to reuse and recycle.

machinedance

Q: Do you have a favorite place to find your one of a kind vintage clothing items?

A: The most thrilling part of the process is ‘the hunt’ and ‘the dig.’ I love getting dirty and finding less than perfect items to try to bring back to life. I love when a house has been in a family for generations and that family has not been in the basement or attic for years. Whether they’re too scared or just don’t have the time to clean it out, I am always more than happy to lend a helping hand. Attics always tend to be the best places to find the really good items.

1940_red_hat

Q: You currently have not one but two gorgeous cotton walking suits from the 1910′s in your Etsy shop. Where did you find these amazing items in such perfect condition!

A: I travel far and wide to find items for my shop. Although, I don’t want to give away too many of my secrets, I will say these two beauties were found in an extremely old town, about two hours from Richmond, where families tend to maintain the same homes for generations. When you hunt in these less “transient” towns, finding older more unique items is much more likely!

womens_walking_suit

Q: How do you feel about retro inspired clothing companies such as Mod Cloth?

A: I absolutely adore them! I think companies such as Mod Cloth really make the style more accessible for many. Although, more and more, I really pay attention to the quality of my clothing. I tend to shy away from clothing made in places like China and encourage others to do the same. I really appreciate many of the vintage inspired companies popping up that are manufacturing great quality goods in the USA.

Q: If someone was just starting to get interested in vintage clothing, what are the top 5 pieces their wardrobe should include?

  • Day to evening dress – There is no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a single dress for every occasion. Instead, look to buy a dress that can work as a day dress and a cocktail dress. Finding clothing that can serve more than one purpose will save you money, time and space!

vintage_black_dress

  • The perfect scarf – A single scarf can do wonders for an outfit or hairdo. There are so many ways to incorporate a scarf into your hairstyle and many of them will give you an instant vintage look. You can also tie a scarf around the neck or waist to spruce up a look.
  • A good red nail polish and lipstick – Just like with the scarf, red lips or nails can give you can instant vintage look. Reds were the most popular lip, cheek and nail colors during the 1930s and 40s and really stand out.
  • Seamed stockings – Again, a great and inexpensive way to add quick and easy vintage flare to any outfit.
  • Beret/Hat – Many men and women feel awkward about wearing hats these days. My recommendation is to ease yourself into it by picking up a Beret. Hats will turn out to be your best friend if you decide to experiment with vintage hair styles or simply do not have time to fix your hair. Once you become accustomed to hats, you’ll find it’s hard to leave the house without one!

vintage_berret

Q: I often see vintage clothing for sale at flea markets and estate sales. Is there an advantage to buying these items at such places? And if so, what are some tips that someone should look for?

A: It so happens I work for an estate sale company out of Fredericksburg, VA called Liberty Park Estate Sales! I have been working for them about as long as my shop has been open so I guess you could say I have the inside scoop on Estate Sales! I think Estate Sales and Flea Markets are wonderful places to buy vintage. Many Estate Sale companies work with their client in mind. They have a timeline in which they need to clear out a home so they often price things to sell. Because I am a dealer, if I find a really great sale, on the first day I arrive early and stand in line in order to have first pick. However, this can be an extremely stressful experience but there are still great things to purchase after the first sale day. Estate Sales companies also typically don’t offer discounts on the first day (and I wouldn’t recommend haggling for a deal on the first day either.) Usually on the second and third days they will offer 25-50% off and polite haggling is also an option!

Early 1930s Wool dress found at a Flea Market in New Hampshire.

Early 1930s Wool dress found at a Flea Market in New Hampshire.

Special thanks to Kath Parker for sharing her awesome vintage clothing with us! Be sure to check out Machine Dance Vintage online.

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Antiques And Ghosts In Petersburg, VA

Hey ya’ll! Last weekend, my folks and I decided to hop in the car and drive just 30 minutes south of Richmond to Petersburg, VA. The very historic downtown area of Petersburg is quiet and quaint and offers an antique collector a few unique spots to stop and look for treasures (and a few great cafes for lunch options). Here’s a run down of some of the places we visited…

The Oak Antique Mall

the_oak_antique_mall

This two story building was once full of antique dealers with lots of furniture and collectibles to choose from. Sadly, when we went in, it seemed a little sparse. I don’t know if dealers have left and moved on to other locations, but we were little disappointed in what it had to offer. The front of the shop had a few large scale items…nice primitive cupboards, wardrobes, expensive crocks…but as you walked further back into the shop, the items offered seemed more retro than antique.

the_oak_antique_mall2

Sycamore Antiques and Architectural Art

Can you tell me how to get...how to get to Sycamore Antiques!

Can you tell me how to get…how to get to Sycamore Antiques!

Just a few blocks up the street from The Oak, is this small store front. Step inside and be pleasantly surprised at the quality and and quantity of items to select from. I found some beautiful crocks, unique tramp art and some stellar arts and crafts pieces for sale. This was one of my favorites places that we visited…plus the shop owner was very nice and welcomed us as I toted my giant baby stroller with baby Sunny in tow.

I fell in love with several of the mission style pieces that they had in the shop…here are a few…

mission_style_desk

I would have bought this antique mission oak arm chair, except that I already have one that is very similar!

I would have bought this antique mission oak arm chair, except that I already have one that is very similar!

There were some other awesome items…including this miniature tramp art chest for $495 and this great Coca-Cola sign.

tramp_art_chest

And YES...I would love to have this sign! Wrap it up!

And YES…I would love to have this sign! Wrap it up!

Penniston’s Alley Antiques and Collectibles

This 200 year old building has served as several businesses since it opened.

This 200 year old building has served as several businesses since it opened.

The most unique spot that we found was a place that we just happened to find while walking further down the street and around the corner. First we noticed the a cute tea room that served all kinds of homemade sandwiches and sweets. Then, we realized that there was an adjoining antique store. I’m certainly glad that we stepped inside!

penniston_antiques2

This beautiful building was built in 1812 and has survived a city wide fire and the great siege during the Civil War. One of the best secrets about this treasured building is up on the second floor…take a look a this gorgeous arch!

If these walls could talk...over 200 years of stories to tell!

If these walls could talk…over 200 years of stories to tell!

And of course, while on the second floor, I spotted this beauty! A Stickley Brothers petite rocking chair! Too bad I’m out of room at the house!

I love the petite size of this Stickley rocking chair.

I love the petite size of this Stickley rocking chair.

But if you go, be forewarned…don’t go up on the third floor! We asked the store clerk what was up on the third floor of the building and she replied, “Bob.” My mom asked who “Bob” was and she said, “Bob is our grumpy resident.” So, if you like antiques AND ghosts…than this spot is for you! I just hope that the ghost doesn’t come home with you if you make a purchase!

Be sure to check out some of the treasures that I picked up in Petersburg, that are now available in my Etsy shop!

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Q&A: Cabell Harris of WORK Labs

Q: Tell us briefly about yourself – What are your interests and hobbies?

A: I’m 6’3”, if I lost 20 pounds, grew some hair, was 20 years younger and had a personality, I would be quite the catch. I was raised in Richmond Va. Went to art school at VCU. Began my advertising career here in Richmond, then was recruited to NY, Boston, back to NY, then to LA. I started my own agency, WORK, in LA as an agency resource for other agencies around the country. Moved the company back to Richmond in 1995. WORK still works for other agencies, have our own clients and also create our products and brands, blah, blah, blah.

Interest includes graphic design, photography, typography, movies and scotch by the fire.

Take a peek into the creative mind of Cabell Harris!

Take a peek into the creative mind of Cabell Harris!

Q: Describe your style in three words or less.

A: Eclectic. Vintage. Quirky.

Every quirky home needs to have a door for a mouse!

Every quirky home needs to have a door for a mouse!

Q: You have had a very extensive career in advertising and design, that has allowed you to work with some of largest brands in the nation. How has this shaped your design sense?

A: Every job has a different challenge and every project requires me to stand back and look at it from different perspectives. I have been fortunate to be surrounded with many very talented individuals and teachers. Also, it helps to stay current and never stop looking for stimuli.

worklabs_logo

Q: Your company is called WorkLabs. How did the name of your company influence the way you designed your workspace?

A: We work under several entities, WORK, WORK Brands, WORK Labs and WORK HQ. When we first started WORK was more of a1940’s industrial feel. The main office was inspired by architect Frank Israel deconstructionist designs. The man-cave WORK HQ was more of a desire as place to hibernate. It is a place that is propped with the things I like and feel the most comfortable with. Oil cans, filled test tubes; Industrial enhanced furniture and concrete floor.

Lots of great interior work at the WORK headquarters! Love the industrial ceiling light fixture!

Lots of great interior work at the WORK headquarters! Love the industrial ceiling light fixture!

Q: Your garage/man-cave was recently featured in Vintage Style Magazine. What was the inspiration behind your unique space?

A: Even though it is in the backyard I wanted it to transport me to the mountains. I was thinking, Robert Redford in the movie Jeremiah Johnson. A working wood burning fireplace was a must.

I would totally be down for a man-cave that looked like this!! Wow!

I would totally be down for a man-cave that looked like this!! Wow!

Cabell_Harris_mancave_interior

Detail of the awesome antique cabinet that is the focal point of the man-cave.

Detail of the awesome antique cabinet that is the focal point of the man-cave.

Q: You came up with many creative solutions for the design of your man-cave…most of which you designed or built yourself. What was the most challenging aspect of creating your perfect space?

A: Working within a tight budget, then again that may have helped. Often when you don’t have the money you need to use your head more.

Cabell_Harris_mancave

Q: How do the objects that you surround yourself with influence your working style?

A: I think vintage items have character and are made better. I tend to think that these items become items that you want to engage with and invite storytelling.

I love the look of these over-sized chess pieces.

I love the look of these over-sized chess pieces.

cabell_harris_objectsQ: Where do you like to go to shop for vintage finds?

A: Salvage yards, antique malls, friends, ebay, etsy… just keeping eyes wide open.

Notice the use of an old educational botanical chart as a pull shade on the window!

Notice the use of an old educational botanical chart as a pull shade on the window!

Q: Is there a particular treasure that you’ve been on the hunt for – for your own home or to add to your man-cave? If so, what is it?

A: I’m out of room. We are getting ready to start an online garage sale for some of WORK’s finds.

cabell_harris_kitchen

Special thanks to Cabell for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to us!! Want to learn more about WORK? Check out their website!

Special thanks to Tony Giammarino Photography.

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

The Savvy Seeker Is Now On Etsy

Howdy folks! I’m really excited about today’s post! I can’t tell you how busy I’ve been in the past few weeks…recovering from the pregnancy, learning about taking care of an infant, sleeping less, changing diapers ALL THE TIME…there always seems like there is so much to do!

vintage_image_change_diapers

In preparation for baby Sunny’s arrival, I was cleaning the house like a wild banshee!! De-cluttering, rearranging things on the walls, moving furniture around…needless to say, I drove everyone in the house bonkers. Once I calmed down and the “nesting” phase was over, I realized two things. My house was really REALLY clean. I mean insanely clean…but because I have three dogs, a 13 year old step son and now a new baby…it wasn’t going to say that way.

vintage_image_nesting

The other thing I realized is that I had a pile of cool, vintage stuff that I didn’t know what to do with. I took some big items to a local consignment shop…but what was I going to do with all of the other stuff just lying around??

I could have a yard sale...or try something else!

I could have a yard sale…or try something else!

I could very well take everything you see here to a consignment shop…but for each item, I’d only get 50% of the profit. So, I decided that I wanted to try something new…

etsy_savvyseeker

I’m so excited to announce that I now have a shop on Etsy!! It’s something that I’ve been talking about trying for a long time now. I got tired of talking about it and decided to make it a reality…a goal for 2014. Here’s a preview of some of the treasures that you can purchase from my Etsy shop right now:

How about a pair of heavy bronze bookends from 1928?

How about a pair of heavy bronze bookends from 1928?

This awesome silver plated champagne bucket sold within hours of going up in the Etsy shop.

This awesome silver plated champagne bucket sold within hours of going up in the Etsy shop.

Pack your bags! How about adding this groovy vintage leather suitcase to your home decor?

Pack your bags! How about adding this groovy vintage leather suitcase to your home decor?

Collect vintage photography? This was just one of too many from my own photography collection in my home.

Collect vintage photography? This was just one of too many from my own photography collection in my home.

If you’d like to see more…be sure to visit the shop here. Why Etsy? I have been a customer of Etsy for several years now and have always loved how EASY it is to make purchases and directly talk to shop owners. Plus, it makes me feel good to support small businesses! I’m also pretty sure that the Mr. will appreciate this stack of stuff disappearing from the corner of our living room:)

What goals have you set for 2014?

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

2014 Winter/Spring Antique Show Round-Up!

Hey ya’ll! Do any of you have a case of the winter “cabin fever” blues, like I have? I’ll tell you…I’m enjoying my maternity leave and spending time with baby Sunny Grace, but being locked up indoors during the cold winter months is tough!! If you are looking for something to do, how about marking your calendars for some cool upcoming antique shows? Here is a smattering of some events coming your way:

The 66th Raleigh Antiques Extravaganza

Enjoy antiques indoors and outdoors at the NC State Fairgrounds!

Enjoy antiques indoors and outdoors at the NC State Fairgrounds!

This has always been one of my favorite events! I spent much of my childhood in Raleigh, N.C. and have fond memories of going to the Raleigh flea market at the state fairgrounds with my mother. This antique show is indoors and features more than 125 vendors selling quality antiques and collectibles. However, as an added bonus, you can go for a stroll around the fairgrounds and hit up the flea market as well. I purchased my first piece of antique furniture at the fairgrounds when I was in my early 20′s. It’s a small oak farm table, that now resides in my kitchen. I still love it today as much as I did when I was 21!

Where: Exposition Center, NC State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road
When: March 7th, 8th and 9th (the next show is July 18th, 19th and 20th)
Admission: $6.50

For more info, visit: www.antextofnc.com

The Richmond Antiques Extravaganza

I saw one of the most beautiful antique Pennsylvania dry sinks I've ever seen in my life at one of these shows.

I saw one of the most beautiful antique Pennsylvania dry sinks I’ve ever seen in my life at one of these shows.

Don’t want to drive to Raleigh for some prime antique pickin’? Stay close to home and attend this show in Richmond, VA. I hadn’t attended this show in years and went to the show in January. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection…lots of quality primitives, advertising and jewelry. I saw more antique/vintage sterling silver and turquoise jewelry then I had seen in years! Prices ranged from moderate to very high end…so there is something for everyone.

Where: The Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 East Laburnum Avenue
When: April 11th, 12th and 13th

Need more info, visit: www.antextofnc.com/richmond_April_antique.htm

The Richmond Antiques Spectacular

More old goodies at Meadow Event Park!

More old goodies at Meadow Event Park!

I haven’t been to this show yet, but have heard that it’s a nice, mid to upscale antique show. You’ll probably see similar items at this show as the show at the Raceway, so my advice would be to pick one, not both, to attend. This show is just 15 minutes north of Richmond…so if you’re going, why not stop in the quaint town of Ashland for lunch! My recommendation? Stop at Homemades by Suzanne near the old railroad tracks and then drive just mile down the road to Hickory Creek Antiques.

Where: Meadow Event Park Center, Exhibition Hall in Doswell, VA
When: March 22nd and 23rd

More info here: www.renaissancepromotions.net

The D.C. Big Flea Market

(photo from The Pink Samurai)

(photo from The Pink Samurai)

Don’t feel like driving south? I’ve got a show or two for you to attend heading north, up the East Coast. I have heard from other dealers that this is a great place to grab a deal…lots of vendors, lots to treasures to select from. For a really good write up about this event, skip on over to The Pink Samurai.

Where: Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA 20151
When: March 1st and 2nd

Get the scoop here: www.damorepromotions.com

Heartland at Howard County Antique Show

Did you know that Sharon Osborne collects early american folk art?

Did you know that Sharon Osborne, wife of Ozzy Osborne, collects early american folk art?

Attention serious early american folk art collectors!! This is the show you do not want to miss. If you are very particular about what particular items you add to your collection, then you probably want to go to this show. One day only…and only features 85 top notch exhibitors that specialize in 18th and 19th Century furniture, accessories and folks art.

Where: Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, Maryland
When: March 29th, 9am – 4pm

More details here: www.heartlandantiqueshow.com

The 54th Shenandoah Antiques Expo

Its sometimes difficult to take it all in! There's so much to see!

Its sometimes difficult to take it all in! There’s so much to see!

I saved my favorite for last! Just two hours south west of Richmond, VA, this big show does not disappoint (you can read about it here). Not only is there tons to see inside the Expo Center, there are even more treasures to sift through outdoors! It’s a beautiful ride past Charlottesville, through the mountains and if the weather is nice, I promise…it will make for a great day! Wear some good walking shoes, grab a hot dog and bring some cold hard cash!

Where: Expoland, Fishersville, VA, I-64 (exit 91) in the Valley, near Waynesboro and Staunton
When: May 9th and 10th, admission is $10 the first day and $5 the second day

Plan your trip: www.heritagepromotions.net

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.

Art, Antiques and Design at The Science Museum of Virginia

Hey ya’ll! Hope you had an absolutely lovely Valentine’s Day weekend! Did you go out to a nice dinner or take your loved one to see a romantic comedy at the nearest movie theater? This Valentine’s Day, I managed to convince the Mr. to take baby Sunny and I to a unique event at the Science Museum of Virginia, called Arts, Antiques and Design in Richmond (Plus, it was Sunny’s very first antique show!!! Never to early to start…right?).

The Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, VA (Photo from RVANews.com)

The Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, VA (Photo from RVANews.com)

For three days, a small group of antique dealers from Ohio to the Carolinas, gathered in the main room of the Science Museum to showcase some select and beautiful high end antiques. Overall, I would say the show definitely had a very southern feel to it…with more traditional pieces such as bow front chests and highboys, transferware, Hepplewhite and Sheraton pieces, as well as artwork.

Below is small sampling of some of my favorite items that we saw:

Pretty as a picture...LOVE these two framed transferware tiles that featured sunflowers!

Pretty as a picture…LOVE these two framed transferware tiles that featured sunflowers!

This dealer had the most pristine collection of English transferware that I’ve ever seen…thus demanding top dollar for most of these pieces. I feel in love with these two framed sunflower transferware tiles.

I wonder how many hours went into making this tramp art picture frame (dated 1890-1910)?

I wonder how many hours went into making this tramp art picture frame (dated 1890-1910)?

This tramp art jewelry box with personalized with the original owners name. Even with some slight damage, this piece was still a show stopper!

This tramp art jewelry box with personalized with the original owners name. Even with some slight damage, this piece was still a show stopper!

Now ya’ll know that I love folk art! I nearly fainted when I laid my eyes upon these two objects! Look at the craft-work on this early tramp art picture frame and jewelry box. Love, love, love!!!

Mahogany chest with original drawer pulls.

Mahogany chest with original drawer pulls.

Love this old farm table! Can you spot the Mr. with the stroller in the background?

Love this old farm table! Can you spot the Mr. with the stroller in the background?

Instead of pewter, this display featured copper lusterweare and Imari porcelain.

Instead of pewter, this display featured copper lusterweare and Imari porcelain.

Gates Antiques had several booths that showcased their fine array of early american and English antiques. Out of the lot, I especially liked this mahogany chest, early farm table and large English pewter cupboard.

I had my eye on the pewter dish, underneath of the teapot. Priced at $75...I felt that was a good price for its age.

I had my eye on the pewter dish, underneath of the teapot. Priced at $75…I felt that was a good price for its age.

If pewter is more of your thing, then this dealer from Ohio had the selection for you…all very reasonably priced.

Drool. That is all I can say...

Drool. That is all I can say…

Okay…lately I have been obsessed with Early American salt glazed pottery. It doesn’t matter if it’s from the Ohio/Pennsylvania region or down in South Carolina…I’ve got to add one of these to my collections of antiques in our home. Look at the blue markings on the front of this example!! Gorgeous…but at $395…I’d have to save a few more pennies before I invest in one.

Oh la la...look at this adorable french painting from 1920!

Oh la la…look at this adorable french painting from 1920!

Having a minor in African history, I am always drawn to American folk art created by African Americans.

Having a minor in African history, I am always drawn to American folk art created by African Americans.

With a background in illustration, I’m a sucker for stellar antique artwork. These two examples were my favorites from the day…A french painting from 1920 of a young girl and her cat and a folk art watercolor by an African American artist from 1930 called “The Dance of Big Apple Mother.” If the Mr. would let me spend about $6,000, I could have walked away with both.

Well, there you have it folks! Lots of goodies at this three day event! If you’re intrigued…keep an eye out as this show will roll around again next year around this time, so mark your calendars! Speaking of calendars, I’ll soon be posting my 2014 Antique Show Listing for spring…so be on the look out!

Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.