How I Caught the Vintage Collecting Bug

Please join me today to hear How I Caught the Vintage Collecting Bug as part of the Fantastic Fifty Fall Blog Hop.  I am excited to be a part of this wonderful group of bloggers.

I love the vintage look and always had a few vintage goodies as decorative pieces around my house.  My early collection is items I inherited from my grandmother and my mother.  My grandmother is really the one who gave me vintage bug when she gifted me with her antique dough bowl.  She used it to make biscuits from the early 1920’s when she married my grandfather.  I’ve had it since the 1980’s and it is still my prize possession to this day.

Even though she gave me the vintage bug I didn’t get into real vintage collecting until I was well into my 50’s.  Before that I was busy raising two daughters with my I sweet husband.  .

Then in 2012 my life took a hard turn in May when I lost my husband to cancer.  As he and I planned before his death, I retired in December of that same year.  By then I had discovered blogs and knew I wanted to share my love of vintage and thrifting.

Blue Willow House became a reality in 2013.  My first post is about a vintage brass bar cart I found at one of my favorite thrift stores for $35.

Thrifting, collecting and sharing is a way of life for me since that first post.

Vintage Collecting bug

I can’t think of anything that makes happier that a great vintage find at a good price.  At this point in my life I am wise enough to know what makes me happy and follow that path.

My Philosophy

Getting older is a fact of life but being old is a choice and I choose not to be old.

Don’t forget to check out what the other Fantastic Fifties bloggers are sharing today.


  1. Sharon, I was happy to see you as part of this group. I feel aligned with you in many ways – our love of collecting, our age, our first year of blogging (same!), raising two daughters. The friendship may be virtual, but it is real. I’m happy to know you. Oh, and that bar cart is the bomb!

  2. Dear Sharon, I have to confess my vintage craving must be genetic, as I deal with 4 generations of ‘goodies’ I am blessed/cursed with. My mom dragged me to auctions and antique shows all over the midwest. Often I had to bid my allowance as she would run out of money after seeking her treasures…lol. Great post, loved everything.

  3. Laurene Shewan says:

    Sharon, sorry to learn of the loss of your husband through cancer but am glad something positive came of it – your redirection and new career.

    I started collecting butter pats in 1974, when I was a young wife and Mother. This led me to yard sales which in turn, started other collections……blue Moon and Star glass (1960’s era), cookbooks, floral frogs (like you), and linens. Mostly for investment, I tell myself. 🙂

  4. Sharon, I didn’t know the loss of your husband was so recent! So sorry for your loss, but I’m glad you got into vintage collecting. You really need an outlet after a major life change like that. I’m happy you’re a part of this group too! I feel that we are kindred spirits since we’re both into vintage junk. I don’t think yours is as much “junk” as mine is though!

  5. Happy that you decided to blog. Enjoy your posts.

  6. I love Vintage,too. Thank you fro sharing your thoughts and how you got the Vintage bug.

  7. Loved hearing more of your story, Sharon 🙂 I’m with Rita–that bar cart is AMAZING! As are your other collections 🙂

  8. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says:

    Sharon your last sentence is so true, we may be getting older but we don’t have to be old. I agree with you 100%. And I am happy to see that you also found a passion after the tragic loss of your husband. We all have different ways of coping with loss and blogging does help to ease the pain.

  9. Is that a pipe stand/holder with the Christmas lights in it? I just love it! I do enjoy your vintage collections as well as the interesting ways you display them. Beautiful!

  10. I’m a bit of a minimalist at heart but still have a few nice little things that I’ve picked up along the way. I come from a family of collectors but the bug seems to have skipped over me – too much stuff and I start to drown 🙂 Leanne |

  11. I am pleased to meet you through the Fantastic Fifty Fall Blog Hop! I too love antiques and vintage items! Especially if I find them at the thrift store…
    🙂 gwingal

  12. Jann Olson says:

    Sounds like a very fun group! Anyone who loves to find vintage treasures just has to be fun. 🙂 You know that you and I love and collect many of the same things. Nothing quite like the high of finding a thrifty treasure!

  13. I am so sorry! I did not know you loss your dear husband! You are a rock star to me and I love what you do. Its very inspiring since I love vintage finds and junking. Thanks for such a lovely post Maria

  14. pamela groppe says:

    What a great post! So happy to meet you in this group. I don’t collect per se but love seeing others display their great treasures and reading the joy of their treasure hunt.

  15. I just love your cart and other collectibles! I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. My husband has cancer too and I know the battle all too well. Thankfully, he is doing good! I just love your decor pieces. So glad to have found your blog!

  16. I only have a few vintage treasures but I love to think about the history and how the original owner must have cherished each piece!

  17. I love the fact that as retire we start a new phase of our life and can take the time to enjoy our passions. Collecting vintage items is so interesting and can make for a special and unique home.

  18. Hello Sharon,
    I think collecting must be a genetic thing, too, as others above also feel! My father would go to our local flea market in Placerville and happily I would tag along. That is one of my best memories of time spent with him! I’m sorry, I didn’t know about your husband’s passing. I know you must miss him terribly, but I am happy for you that retirement has been a joy with having fun finding vintage items to collect! <3 Happily posting many of your finds to my Pinterest boards.

  19. p.s. Happy to be on the Fantastic Fifties Fall Blog Hop with you! <3

  20. You’ve published some beautiful photos in the post! I think my favorite vignette would be the clock collection. ‘So pretty! I have a lovely old typewriter that needs a nice display! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Visiting from the Fantastic 50 Blog Hop

  21. So nice to find you through the 50s group! I enjoyed reading about your love of vintage things. We have a few things passed through family and I agree with you that those things just make home cozier and more meaningful. 🙂

  22. Lovely post, Sharon! It was fun learning more about you! The dough bowl is a true treasure!

  23. I love old vintage items… of course I have lots of them from my mother and grandmothers. But I am desperately in love with your bar cart! It is a treasure, a jewel and this price … OMG!

  24. Sharon, I’ve always admired your vintage collections. Another thing we have in common, my love for vintage (& thrifting) was inspired by my grandmother too! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  25. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. But it’s so inspiring to see you move forward to find things in life that you love. Things worth doing and getting up in the morning to do them. We all need to hear that and I’m sure that you inspire many. I love your collections, especially the clocks. For some reason I have a huge affinity for them. Maybe it’s because time keeps moving faster the older I get! LOL I want to collect all the clocks and slow them down. LOL

    I love this quote from your article-Getting older is a fact of life but being old is a choice and I choose not to be old. And I agree with you. I may aging, but I work to not be old!

  26. I am so sorry for your loss, Sharon; but I’m happy that you’ve been brave and strong enough to move on and create a new life for you. I’ve had a love of vintage and antiques for years! I think every room of our house has plenty of old vintage items in them. I love what you said about being old is a chose, because I, too, choose not to be old.

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