NEWS, Va. — Patrick Blake grew up in a house in southeastern
Virginia, where his mother devoted one room, the living room, to
loved walking around in that room, gazing at her bed warmer hanging on
the wall, the old spinning wheel in the corner, the iron and corn
popper leaning against the fireplace," he says.
Now 43 and
living and working as a freelance visual merchandiser and designer in
the same area, Patrick still loves those items, and shares that
passion nationwide with more than 7,500 fans of primitives through his
Facebook page — Primitive Lane. You can go www.facebook.com/p.l.blake.primitivelane,
and join in the conversation that includes people from Ohio, New York,
Florida, Utah and Maine, as well as Virginia.
that this group has members from all the country," says Tammy
Zuch, a "Primitive Lane resident" from Pennsylvania.
echo those sentiments and find the online fellowship refreshing and
invigorating — a club where everyone shares their fabulous finds and
fond memories. The posts are often nostalgic, a way of looking back
and reflecting on the good times they had as children.
Primitive Lane because it takes me back to being a kid and going to my
Aunt Maggi’s house," says Lisa Marie Case of Windsor, Va.
Lane also shows how you can take a yard sale find and make it a new
treasure; these items make a house go from a cold room to very warm
and inviting home."
Martha Middleton Simpson finds Primitive Lane helps her realize the
value and beauty of items like the bobbins, spools and printer’s
tray she recently purchased at a nearby quilters’ festival.
pictures of my purchases on Primitive Lane," says the Eastern
Shore Virginia resident.
to see the bargains everyone gets."
In Newcastle, Wy.,
Crystal Soares posts photos of snow outside her home and her
"primitive snowman" hanging on a wall indoors.
For some like
Rebecca Gingo Kosierowski in northeast Pennsylvania, primitives make
getting married and having children and pets, I love the no-fragile
aspect of primitive antiques. I never mind if things have chips or
scratches because after all children do that to your stuff," she
love the purpose of primitive items — buckets for holding sugar,
crocks for canning. I also love the quality of these items that have
existed for over 100 years.
What is a
primitive and where do you best find them?
is a style of living," says Patrick.
you back to Colonial times when things were simple and flaws were
welcomed. The word primitive is today’s name for what was once
considered Colonial in the 1950 and 1960s, Early American in the
1970s, Country in the 1980s and Americana in the 1990s. It seems as if
each decade has a new name for this decorating style.
is an item that is over 100 years old. So a vase from 1900 is an
antique but not necessarily a primitive item. I always like to say
primitive is "Little House On The Prairie" meets "The
Waltons." Look at the sets and props used on these shows. That is
are the best affordable places to find primitive pieces because
antique shops tend to want higher prices. Patrick also searches eBay,
Etsy Facebook, CraigsList and yard sales.
primitives among his collection include a spinning wheel, wooden
mashers, canning jars with zinc lids, rolling pins, crocks, Hoosier
cabinet and old milk bottles – as well as an old radio that his
grandfather used to listen to baseball games and a bench his dad made.
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gone so this simple piece of furniture is worth millions to me,"
wants to perk up a primitive piece, he employs a painting technique he’s
nicknamed the PPPP — Patrick’s Primitive Painting Process, which
he says is a simple technique: sand, paint black, paint desired color,
sand, stain and apply paste wax.
process creates a wonderful aged patina to any item," he says.
If you want to
read up on primitives and how to achieve the look you want, Patrick
"Seasons At Seven Gates Farm" by Country Living
"Hearts" by Mary Emmerling
Country Look, Making-Do" by Barb Rice & Debra Williams
The Love Of Old" by Mary Randolph Carter
To Basics" by Reader’s Digest
American Primitives" by Conover Hill
"Country Living Country Christmas (1990)"
In addition, you
can glean the latest in primitive looks from The Olden Days magazine,
a publication that has just added Patrick as its stylist and
contributor. The fall issue features a map for a fall treasure hunt on
the Peninsula, as well as Patrick’s PPPP recipe in detail and
before-and-after photos of how to create primitive vignettes.
enthusiasts may confine the look of yesteryear to one room of the
house, Patrick devotes every corner to primitives – even the
bathrooms, he says.
bathroom, use a set of ice old ice tongs (like the ones the ice man
used to pick up blocks of ice) as a toilet paper holder," he
"Use an old
Mason jar to hold tooth brushes … old crates on the wall to hold
toiletries … an old basket for rolled-up bath towels.
give your home that feeling of warmth and a lived-in, comfortable
feeling," he says.