Tag Archives: shop local


Late Friday afternoon I dashed into Main Street Art and Antiques to look for teeny tiny treasures to fill Charlotte’s Advent calendar’s teeny tiny boxes with. While there, a lovely red, green, and cream antique applique quilt caught my eye. The red tulips with green stems, leaves, and flower pots is similar to quilts from the 1930s I think. The stitching is exquisite and there were no tears or holes as far as I could see. Unfortunately, the whole quilt was very badly yellowed. After talking to proprietor Kimberly Cox (David Cox’s daughter), who offered the quilt for a very fair and reasonable price, I decided to take a chance and see if the yellowing and stains could be removed.

It had been a while since I had purchased vintage textiles. On my way home I stopped at Stop and Shop and was in luck with a small box of Oxiclean. The directions are vague but after reading a bunch online and taking advice from the lovely sales girl at Main Street Art and Antiques, I first wet tested a corner of the quilt to make sure the red wasn’t going to bleed everywhere. After half an hour, all clear, with no bleeding! Then filled a large plastic tub with icy cold water and two scoops of Oxiclean. For the next several hours, I stirred the quilt very gently every twenty minutes or so. After three hours, the tub was filled with a deep orangey yellowish water. Drained all, rinsed repeatedly, refilled the tub with cold water and one more scoop of Oxiclean. The water stayed fairly clear and the quilt was beginning to look amazing. I drained the tub again, and being very careful not to let the weight of the quilt pull on its self, to avoid damaging the fabric, I put the quilt in the washing machine. The settings were on delicate cycle, extra rinse, and cold water but with no additional soap added.

The quilt washed and dried beautifully. The applique and quilt stitches are phenomenally tiny. I am so glad I took a chance with this exquisite quilt from Main Street Art and Antiques!

Thank you to my darling daughter Liv who took the snapshots and video with her new iPhone14 camera. See more from Liv on Instagram here.

This is our first Christmas with a white cotton duck slipcover and I am having so much fun changing it up for different seasonal looks. Our former sofa upholstery I absolutely loved but was 20 plus years old and somewhat limiting in choice of coordinating fabrics. The quilt goes beautifully with the red, green, and cream Colefax and Fowler block print fabrics that I made new pillows from (thank you Zimmans!) and our new winter red and white striped cotton rug from Annie Selke. The rug is wonderfully textured and cozy on the feet! Last night I made some new Christmas stockings to hang around the house with remnants from the pillows. A sort of French-Indian-American blend of fabrics and I think our little music/living room is feeling very hygge 🙂

Main Street Art and Antiques is located at 124 Main Street, Gloucester.


Friday 11am – 5:00pm

Saturday 9am – 5pm

Sunday 11am – 4pm

Kimberly Cox shares that her Dad, David, is often in the shop on Wednesdays if you want to pop in and say hello <3

There are holiday and home treasures to be had at all our local Cape Ann shops. I’ve only touched on a very few here and with Christmas just around the corner and our daughter home from LA, I don’t think I’ll have time to write more. Enjoy the lights, the coziness, the friendly proprietors and staff and have fun shopping local!


Over the weekend my daughter Liv and I headed to The Barn at Todd Farm. We simply love how Barbara Breaker, the proprietor, decorates her multi-dealer shop, especially at Christmas time. All the dealers stock and decorate their individual areas in the holiday spirit as well. We find the most amazing vintage treasures at The Barn at Todd Farm, from housewares to jewelry to furniture to festive decor.

I also brought along my camera to take photos of my dear friend Briar Forsythe’s display at The Barn for a post I had planned for today. Briar has a wonderful new business endeavor, Ava and Ruby, where along with her friend Dona, create the loveliest of gift bundles. Each of the themed bundles are thoughtfully curated and packaged exquisitely. One of my favorites is the one for the baker on your shopping list.

Ava and Ruby bundles range in price from $44.00 to under $200.00. Shipping is very reasonable, a flat fee for all bundles. You can either purchase the gift bundles at The Barn at Todd Farm or at their online marketplace here at Ava and RubyJoyful surprise of surprises, when I arrived home Monday, there was a package waiting from Briar, addressed to Charlotte and myself. We eagerly opened to find inside the baker’s gift bundle!! The lovely hand painted box (that also serves as a recipe box) is a treasure trove of fun. Included are a charming polka dot tea towel, cookie cutters, a complete set of measuring cups and spoons, ruby red sparkle sugar, and blank cookie recipe booklet for keeping track of your favorite cookie recipes. Charlotte was thrilled, and me, even more so!

Check out Ava and Ruby’s website here: Ava and Ruby. And visit The Barn at Todd Farm at 275 Main Street, Rowley. The barn is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11am til 5pm, and on Sundays from 10am til 4pm.