I was recently introduced to Diana Petrillo’s blog, Adirondack Girl at Heart, by way of a blog link party. I’m glad I made the short trip because after one glance at her blog header, I knew immediately that it was a blog I would like. See what I mean? Vintage everywhere!
I took a little time, strolled around her blog and confirmed what I had initially thought. Diana often shares her vintage finds (which I love — who doesn’t love to go on a virtual shopping adventure?), she provides vintage 101 information (for example, pricing guides and resource information, like finding a certain type of vintage object), she introduces her blog followers to a vintage blog periodically, and (if that’s not enough to convince you that she’s a vintage lover like me), she now co-hosts a weekly link party called Vintage Charm.
I recently interviewed Diana to find out more about her, and I thought I’d share that conversation with you. If you like what you see and read, please do hop over and explore Diana’s blog!
How has your blog evolved from when you started?
When I started my blog back in August 2013, I had no idea what my “focus” would ultimately be. I began writing for therapeutic reasons and posted on a large range of topics, including things like recipes, which I no longer write about. Over time, it became clear that my posts had a vintage bent. I write about my vintage purchases, vintage oriented crafting and DIY, and specific vintage collectibles. I love antiques and thoroughly enjoy the conversations and collaborations that I’ve had these past two years with other vintage lovers.
How did you come up with the name of your blog?
I grew up on the edge of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York, where I frequently hiked and camped. I’m not a big camper now (my sweet husband’s not a fan), but I love the woods and being on water, whether it’s poking around for pine cones and acorns or kayaking on a glassy lake. I’m an Adirondack girl at heart.
What do you like most about blogging?
I know the “right” answer is making new friends, which I absolutely love, but my weird answer is I love information and get great satisfaction out of organizing it. Deep in my heart, I think I’m really a librarian(!). Now that my vintage focus is clear, I’ve found providing every kind of vintage info I can think of very satisfying. You can find vintage articles, other vintage blogs, vintage websites, vintage craft and DIY projects, and more on my blog.
Why did you start your blog?
As I mentioned above, initially I blogged for personal, therapeutic reasons. Our family experienced a trauma and creating my blog gave me a bit of an escape. It became my “happy place,” where I could focus on things that brought me some joy in the midst of the trial. When it no longer became necessary for my sanity, I found that I had fallen in love with it and wanted to continue, despite it no longer being absolutely essential.
What inspires you?
Many things inspire me–nature, historic homes (that’s Johnson Hall, above), my faith, and of course anything vintage or antique! I love considering old, discarded items and coming up with fun and unique ways of repurposing them. One of my recent favorites involved turning old vintage belts into bracelets. Anyone — even the craft-handicapped — can create these casual cuff bracelets, and the possibilities are endless given the variety of belts available. For a buck or less at thrift stores, you can afford to make an entire collection.
What future plans do you have for your blog?
I see potential for my blog to become a kind of vintage hub, both for those who consider antiquing a hobby and for those in the business. Neither my purchases nor my knowledge put me on the level of the Antique Roadshow, but I’ve acquired some understanding of the mid-level (or maybe lower, mid-level!) of the business. I have something to offer collectors and dealers in the way of connections with like-minded people, relevant articles, price guides, and some ways to decorate with and repurpose vintage finds. I also recently began co-hosting my Vintage Charm link party.
What do you collect?
Funnily enough, I am not a big collector. I do love all kinds of vintage furniture and decorations, but I tend to buy them individually and not in groups. I’m at a stage of my life where large numbers of things sitting about makes me kind of crazy. That said, I do have a small collection of ironstone, kept behind glass doors in a corner cupboard. I also have a number of pieces of green glass on my kitchen window sill, including a couple of pieces of crackle glass. When the sun shines through, they are beautiful.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; I will never be shaken,” Psalms 62:1. This verse keeps me centered whenever I worry or wonder why.
What’s your favorite time of the year?
My favorite time of the year is autumn. I’m a cool weather person and the sights, sounds, and smells of fall thrill me. Crunching through piles of red and orange leaves, while the scent of leaf smoke and (yes) decomposing leaves fills the air, is a favorite pass-time. I share this love with my daughter, who at 16 still loves to jump into leaf piles.
Name five things that make you happy.
My family, my faith, the woods, the lake, creating anything
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Ooh, easy question. Mopping the floor. I absolutely hate keeping floors clean in general (so this “hate” would necessarily include vacuuming). In fact, I chose dirt-colored tile for my foyer and kitchen, as a knee-jerk reaction to the white tile I replaced. Every speck of dirt showed up against that white. I hated it. Passionately.
What are some of your favorite books?
The Bible, The Mitford series (Jan Karon), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith), Peace Like a River (Leif Enger), Dune (Frank Herbert), Ordering Your Private World (Gordon MacDonald). I could go on and on; reading is a passion (along with hating white tile floors).
If given the opportunity, what superpower would you choose?
I’m not sure healing is a super-power, but that’s the one I’d like. There’s so much pain and suffering in this life, I’d give almost anything to have the power to heal physical and emotional pain, though I know that God uses the hardest times of our lives, including all kinds of sickness, to draw us to Him and to grow us into mature believers.
What qualities draw you to a person?
Confidence, cheerfulness, depth of character, good listening skills.
Please fill in the blank: “I wish I had more time for…”
Making stuff! I’d love to have more time for DIY type of projects, involving painting and hammering and gluing and what all. I love to paint with acrylics and water colors and create altered art. Just an hour more a day might be enough 🙂
When I paint a piece of furniture, give a second life to a vintage object, write a blog post, or photograph beautiful places, I feel as though I’m doing what I was meant to do. I know many others who feel the same way. I think it harkens back to our origins; we were made in the image of a creative God. He creates; we create. It brings us pleasure, and I feel strongly it brings him pleasure as well. I can only hope that on occasion some of the things I share through my blog bring some small pleasure to my readers. The kind comments and interactions I’ve had through my two years of blogging have meant the world to me. As has this opportunity to share some of my story with you today.