Upcycling Vintage Silverware
This week I’m writing my blog from horseback. That’s right, saddled-up, flannel-blanketed, campfire-making, blazing saddles horseback. Sure, my Macbook tumbled out twice now, and I nearly lost my pocket knife to the bitter cold of a snow bank, but we’ve almost reached the summit. Finally, at the top of the trail, we pull off. I’ve tethered my dappled Appaloosa to a nearby wooden pole to nosh on crisp apple. Standing up next to him, I admire a vista that simply takes my breath away. I am gazing out over the scenic ranges of the stunning place I’ve traveled to this week. I am LIVE from the Catskills Mountains!
Powerful sunsets and rolling morning fog harkening storytelling over the campfire. My ragtag clan of hikers and adventure seekers share bits of pieces from their lives. As all love sustainability, we get to talking about the joy of repurposing and the things we’ve found along the thrifting ways: a favorite jacket, an old WWII helmet. We realize history is inexorably tied to vintage and thrifting. From the surnames carefully embroidered into a sable mink capelets, to the signatures found scrawled in the leather bound first editions. There’s always a nod to the past and that’s the romance we love the most!
As I trek the magnificent landscapes of the Hudson Valley, I am inspired by not only the views, but the resourceful locals who have set up shop here. Many little thrift shops and mom and pop places now populate the countryside. I’ve always preferred the rustic charm of a place less polished and off the grid. Here in the Catskills, you can find some amazing deals even on very collectible pieces, especially vintage silverware, something I’ve always loved!
A glorious tarnish is like a spotlight to me. As we search through piles of what many would call junk, I find the pieces that call our name. For today, we choose a few classical scrolled pieces, and even find one with mother of pearl accent! Taking these gems home, we give them a once over with my homemade, non-chemical old school mix which you can find in my previous blog on refurbishing copper pots here.
Collecting these gems is a great way to keep them going and out of a landfill. As we sit down to eat an incredible meal at our cozy cabin in the woods, we use these newly brushed-up pieces. The weight in our hands is blissful. The next day we experiment with some of the misc less valuable pieces, brushing one in gold tones, another dip died in neon, using the less vintage pieces to add pops of color and eclectic patterns into another otherwise quiet cutlery. Maybe it’s the gypsy in me, but it’s a pleasant feeling to open our hiking bag and seeing a flash from the past on the open road.
So I encourage you dear readers to go find your own little gems, be it hidden in the alcoves of the Catskills, in the shelves at Goodwill or online at ShopGoodwill, there’s a million and one ways to update and honor these precious pieces from the past.
As the sun goes down over the mountains, I invite you to join me next month as my travel journeys from runway to highway continue to fuel my search for the best food, fun and fashion the world can offer. Till then, see you on the streets! Follow the adventures on Twitter #planetbrandee
Brandee Sanders is a writer, creative lifestyle and thrift enthusiast. Brandee’s work has been featured in Bill Cunningham’s New York Times style column, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, AOL and Time Out NY. Follow her runway meets the highway adventures and travels @PlanetBrandee
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