Sunday, April 17, 2011


Susanne had read about two women who had made a business in Frederick, Maryland, of interesting home décor using shabby chic and re-purposed things, along with what I call "Victoriana." Of course, we had to go see them on the occasional weekend they open a big barn full of stuff, which was this weekend. The place is called Madison and Mabel.

It was slated to rain all day yesterday, so we figured, what the heck, how bad could it be? Driving in a nice warm car (the new one, with heated seats to boot) on good roads down to Frederick and scooting into a nice old barn to look at more things we don't need.

Mr. Fisher and helper unload the island from their truck.
Before we left, though, we got a call from the Amish fellow at the farmer's market in Grantville, who is a dealer in wooden furniture. He was ready to deliver the kitchen island he had made for us and hoped to make it to our place before the rain started. He did make it just in time, and there was not a drop on the black-painted cabinet or cherry top.

But, rain it did. Almost as soon as we left and the whole drive there and home! Because doctors advise against searching for vintage items on an empty stomach, and because Susanne loves the place, we stopped at the Shamrock Restaurant near Thurmont for a bite to it. Can you tell from the picture that the décor is, shall we say, ethnic?
Celtic crosses at Shamrock.
Susanne had some sort of seafood chowder, and I, in my never-ending search for the perfect burger, had their "All American Burger." My search is not over, but Susanne was rapturous over the chowder.

Soon we found ourselves on a country road (after the malls and fast food joints ended) passing some old farmhouses and open fields. We crossed over "English Muffin Way," which led into one of Thomas' English Muffin bakeries (the aroma was delightful, like all those nooks and crannies were being toasted right in front of you), until we came to the farm where the sale was taking place.

First booth on your right.
"Scooting into the barn" meant parking in the post office parking lot next door to the property the barn is on, and walking down a muddy, puddle-riddled lane, heavy rain being blown sideways under our umbrellas.

There were some cool things there to see and some of them had Susanne's name all over them. One was a galvanized smallish clothes hanger with little clamps on which to hang stuff. Another was a two-tiered tea table for the back porch. (Once that was added to the stuff already out there, we'd be able only to stand at the living room door and look out onto the porch.) I talked her into ordering one up from her friend Debbie, who along with her husband Bill, has bought up every old table in Dauphin County at auction with an eye to dolling them up for ladies who like such things.

The sisal plant. Who knew?
We also bought a sisal-like ("imitation") rug for the summer living room. Sisal is made from the fiber of a plant grown in the tropics. According to Wikipedia, "apart from ropes, twines, and general cordage, sisal is used in low-cost and specialty paper, dartboards, buffing cloth, filters, geotextiles, mattresses, carpets, handicrafts, wire rope cores, and Macramé."

Ours is imitation sisal, so you can actually walk on it with hollering out in pain since sisal is hard and unforgiving. Come by and tell us if it looks good on the floor.

Anyway, after poking through a second, smaller barn too cramped to move in, and some sort building that reminded me of a covered bridge, we made our way back to fetch the car for picking up the rug.

The rug awaits unrolling.
After a stop at Mickey D's for some soda and tea, we drove straight home through constant rain, sometimes very heavy, the whole way from Frederick to Linglestown.

I cleverly pulled up to the mail box to allow Susanne to extract the mail from her window on the driver's side. She got almost all of it. There is a Time magazine now halfway down the block, carried by the flow of rainwater. If you care to dry it out, it's yours to read.

 The island has cupboards and drawers
and a place to sit on the other side.

 Sort of silly if you lived on this street!

 Bimbo Bakeries? So that's where bimbos come from!

 Cool cabinet with small drawers.

 Vintage furniture and other valuable stuff.

 The second story of the barn was cavernous.

 This little kitty knew where the good seats were.

 Yet more stuff, nicely displayed.

 French stuff, often the best.

 Blue was a popular color here.

Susanne shows off the hanger thingie.

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