A chicken a day: off the wall with mystery breeds!


He’s a handsome guy, isn’t he? I’m not up on chicken breeds, though. Is this a Spanish chicken? An Orpington?

I’m way behind on a chicken-a-day, so let’s play catch-up a bit.

This little kitchen plaque was made 47 years ago. I can prove it!


It’s Syroco! From MCMLXVII! (That’s 1967 to you non-Latin speakers.)

Syroco made all sorts of decorative doodads.

Here the picture is printed on heavy card and stapled into the unbreakable and never-needs-painting frame. There’s no glass, so the paper is authentically aged and foxed a bit after 40-plus years.


But the frame was designed to look “distressed” and “aged” right from the get-go. This isn’t quite an example of Ye Olde Earlie American Fake Antiquey Stuff, but it’s close.

I like the scooped corners on the frame. And that green is just marvy. It’s vintage but could go modern at the same time.

But wait! There’s more!

-Extra! Extra! Read all about it!>

Make way for noisy ducklings!



The Easter chicks have landed!

The fireplace mantel in our family room is never bare. It’s long, it’s plain old white, it’s just begging to be dressed up with a collection of something.

For Easter season, some of my pottery bird planters (plus a stray bunny friend) have come to visit. They’re all in cheerful Lu-Ray colors.


Boring white mantel! The starry quilt (made by my mom!) and the silvery-framed mirror are always there. Everything else changes with the season.

On one side, a big bluebird, a tiny chick, a green duckling, and that party-crashing rabbit.


On the other side, more noisy ducklings and an exuberant yellow songbird!


None of the critters are marked, except for the fat bluebird—he’s stamped “USA.”


You can see traces of cold paint on the beak. I like them better without the paint, though.

Some of them might be McCoy, or Shawnee, or some other American pottery. I don’t really care. I collect them for their charming shapes, not for their brand names.


More cold paint! The upside-down blue pot with butterflies is probably McCoy.

What I really love about this vintage pottery is their soft glazes. The way that the clay of the high-relief bits shows through the translucent glazes is so pretty.

Isn’t it funny that something so small can make me so happy?


Signs of spring at Sage Farm


Sage Farm’s April show was titled, “A Hint of Spring,” but that was completely misleading.

There were no hints. It was SPRING ALL OVER, baby! Everywhere you looked.


Lots of green, like this fun shelf. Its leafy color really pops against the perennially popular white ironstone pieces.

Yep, there’s more!

Remedy for the winter blahs

The twelve days of Christmas are over. Partying, decorations and celebrating are fond memories now. The days are short, the nights are long. And boy, is it ever cold! It’s enough to give you the blahs.

Fortunately, we’ve got a strategy for winter blahs at This Old Row House: a thick afghan and a great, old movie. Oh, and some fabulously easy microwave caramel popcorn!

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn I’ve got a pile of vintage afghans. In this drafty old house you really can’t have too many.


I love their kaleidoscope of colors on a black background. Each one has a different texture and personality. Right now I’m favoring a heavy wool Granny square afghan that Luray bought for me at Sage Farm in New Hampshire. (Psssst! She’ll have a booth at Sage Farm in February!)

Yep, there’s more!

Bake, then decorate. Or is it the other way around?


I {heart} aluminum cooky cutters.

Pretty sure my mom had a box of them in her kitchen. Maybe that’s why I {heart} them so much. Read the rest of this entry »