Something Used, Something Upcycled

Kitchen Tour With Judi Ramsey Of Artisans Mercantile, Snohomish

Antique and vintage shopping has become a growing part of my job, as has spending time in the kitchen. Along the way, the two have combined into a fun project, updating our kitchen with old and upcycled items. That is a lot harder than it sounds.

So, before moving ahead and gathering together enough to show off my own kitchen, I decided to take a tour around the kitchen of someone who is a bit of an expert in the area. Judi Ramsey, is not only the owner of Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish, but the creative mind behind 47th and Pioneer.

She has made it her job to give new purpose to old things, whether it growing plants in light bulbs, creating jewelry from what The SnoCo Kid likes to call jingle jangles, or filling old jars and containers with anything and everything. There is no shortage of any of it in her home.

When she invited me, I had no idea what I would find, or how much of it. I think she was far more surprised by the experience than I was. After so many years of things passed down and collecting antique and vintage items, they have just become a part of her family’s every day life. To me, going through it was an adventure.

It was more than that though, it was also the opportunity to hear the stories behind where things came. Everything piece she showed me had a story, and it made me realize that, I don’t just want to create a look with the things I am buying and working on, I want to create stories for my children and I to tell.

So what did I find . . . Antiques repurposed to hold new things like a letter sorter filled with tea boxes, a match box holder full of pens, and jars full of everything from beans to utensils. Chandelier prisms hung from the window, given to Judi by her sister because of her love for catching light and creating rainbows.

The best part of Judi’s kitchen, though, had to be the light bulb hanging from that same window. It once lit the sign of her family’s cafe which closed down in 1972. Now it has found new purpose giving life to a plant. I also enjoyed stories of dime store things her grandmother had been ashamed of having to buy that today mean so much to Judi and others who collect old things.

Now that I’ve learned a bit and gotten some ideas, I’m ready to get to work on my own kitchen. Stay tuned, and be sure to stop by Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish (117 Glen Ave) to say hi to Judi and check out all of the amazing local makers featured in the shop.

Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. It is all about shopping, eating, drinking, and playing local in Snohomish County. More importantly, it is about the ways that local choices can make your life better.

Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.

Single issues can be bought HERE. Monthly and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique and Artisans Mercantile in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, and Dahlia’s Vintage Marketplace on Camano Island.

Let us know what you think! Share your comments and experiences below and don’t forget to spread the love on social media at the bottom of the page.


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