My parents, Chuck and Judy Ferguson opened a little antique shop in Bath Maine on Front Street 20 years ago. The shop was an eclectic mix of Victorian textiles, jewelry and glassware, with some vintage and retro kitchenware and Civil War and vintage sports memorabilia thrown in for good measure. The shop was loved by many, and well known for its cheery yellow facade and stunning window displays, which my mother took great pride in designing. I often relate my love of theatrical stage design with her displays.
Mom in front of the store, 2004
As a child I remember my younger sister, Amy and I being dragged to flea markets nearly every Saturday morning. While most children were watching The Smurfs or Scooby Doo, I was picking through copies of Cherry Ames, Student Nurse or Nancy Drew mysteries. While I can't say that I loved these Saturday morning outings, I can say that I was unknowingly developing an appreciation and an eye for everything from Fiesta Ware to Homespun to pretty much vintage anything. I am now so, so, SO THANKFUL for being afforded the opportunity to grow up alongside my parents' affection for antiques.
Mom and Amy before a Civil War re-enactment
In addition to the shop, my parents really LIVED a vintage lifestyle. When I was six we moved to a small farm in Brunswick on 24 acres. The house was a white cape, 100+ years old, which my parents renovated, period style, room by room themselves. We raised chickens, turkeys and geese, had rabbits as pets and were known for always having a few dogs and farm cats around the place. My sister and I were the lucky little girls that when we said "Can I have a pony?" while other little girls were playing with their Breyer horse models, we were racing around the neighborhood on our REAL horses.
Our New England cape.
In my thirties I really began to understand that my affection for vintage ran deep. My relationship with my mother grew stronger after I gave birth to my son in 2006, as relationships with mothers and their daughters often do after the birth of a child. I spoke with her nearly every day and we shared recipes, links to fun vintage websites and blogs and photos over e-mail regularly.
Mom & Dad with James, 2007
Sadly, I lost my Mom quite suddenly due to complications from a prolonged illness resulting from heart problems in 2009. I am sure that her passing made me grasp on to my love for vintage items even more strongly, as a way in fact to hold her memory even more tightly in my heart. Nevertheless, the gift that she and my father gave me, this appreciation for things that are careworn, with chipping paint or bright patina or unusually delicate handiwork is just that--a gift. And I treasure it.
Mom & her Friend Sue clowning around, 2008
My Dad closed down Pollyanna's Antiques in the later part of 2009. He still maintains the Pollyanna's Ebay store, which he estimates has had over 10,000 sales since it went live nearly 12 years ago. Although my Mom managed the Ebay store and my father only took the item photos, now he runs the store from soup to nuts and I am so proud of him, as that is quite an achievement for someone who a few years ago barely knew how to turn on a computer.
Mom and Dad, 2008
Now I am 36 and have two small children, James, 4 and Ella 2. We head back to Maine every six weeks or so to visit with my Dad and my sister. We always head home with a car load of vintage items--be it fabrics from the 40s for my latest sewing project, car parts from the 50s for my husband's collection, storybooks from the 30s for James or Victorian dolls for Ella. I know that we live our love for vintage as a family--and hopefully when my children are older they will come to appreciate these precious gifts just as I do.
James admiring his new vintage bat and glove on a recent visit with Dad
This blog is meant to open a window onto our little world--and the small vintage part of it that we hold dear. You will find here stories of our latest finds, kitchen escapades out of vintage cookbooks, sewing, crafts, collecting and highlights of items found online in the Pollyanna's Ebay store. Who knows--as you follow along with me, you just may find yourself itching for a little piece of the past yourself.
Me, in a retro-inspired Mexican embroidered shirt.
Mom wore a number of authentic versions of this when I was a kid.
Welcome to Vintage Pollyanna.