I was born in Italy and came to the U.S. when I as 16. My mother decided we would have a better life here since we her parents lived here.
After graduating from Georgetown University, I worked in International banking in NYC. Then I got married and moved to PA to be with my husband Jim. In Pennsylvania, I worked as a credit manager for multinational companies. After a very long and debilitating sickness, I could not go back to the job that I loved so much. I needed to find a new purpose.
My love for vintage and antique pieces and the love for hunting such pieces has made me who I am today. It all started with a tea cart. I saw it in the corner of a dining room at an estate sale. It had belonged to an Armenian family. It was covered with dust and had watermarks on the top and bottom shelf but I saw through all of that and imagined it being used at tea parties. I decided to take it home and give it a new life. After consulting with my neighbor Larry (who gave me some direction), each day I went into my garage and worked on it. I cleaned it, stripped it, sanded it and stained it — making it new again. It was beautiful again. I started thinking I was much like that cart.
From the tea cart I moved on to making coasters out of tiles. This craft gave me the opportunity to use photos I had taken while traveling. Working with the photos transported me to those places I could not go again, reliving those memories. Then I decided to crochet again. This was a bit more challenging as due to intense chemotherapy, I had to learn it all over again because I had forgotten. My doctor encouraged me to take up crocheting again. And so, I found a class in town and on Wednesdays I would go to class. I started making things. A poncho for my granddaughter, a scarf for a friend, a tea cozy. I felt useful again. Even If I could not travel or was too fatigued, I was creating something with my hands and felt that I was accomplishing something. I continued to go to antique stores and flea markets searching for pieces that had been abandoned – wanting to give them a new purpose. It became my mission. One day our daughter brought me an old window. She had moved into a new place and the owner had a basement full of old windows. I cleaned it, then stripped the paint and repainted it. That did not seem enough. I wanted to fill the panes with pictures and use it as a picture frame. So next I learned to photo-transfer and decoupage. Then I created a window with pictures from our trip to Tuscany.
And so now I am officially a crafter, a vendor. I am not sure if this is going to be my new path but creating things gives me a new purpose in life. I am a different person now – I learned to reinvent myself and I like who I am.Most of the pieces I sell are one-of-a-kind. They are items I find during my treasure hunt at estate sales and garage/yard sales. A table leg makes a shabby chic candle holder after I am done with it. A vintage shutter can be converted into a coat rack or headboard, depending on its look and size.