Travel with me today on the backroads to Vermont, where Mother Nature exhibits both her fury and beauty, and I find an antique Millinery hat mold at one of my favorite second-hand shops along the way.

Mother Nature | Vermont Floods

It’s about a 3-hour and 15-minute drive from our home in Maine to our home in Vermont. Just far enough away, yet close enough to get to easily. And as you’ve probably heard, Vermont got hit pretty hard with rain this summer, and it caused many of the Vermont rivers to overflow, flooding many towns, businesses, and homes. The devastation is very real with long-term consequences. We first experienced Vermont floods when tropical storm Irene hit us about 10 years ago when we first moved to Vermont.

On my drive home, I first noticed the rising rivers when I reached the Contoocook River in Antrim, NH.

Thankfully the roads overall were mostly clear on the drive back to Vermont. Although the rising river water must have flooded the roads, as I did see quite a few of the breakdown lanes fractured, now covered up with orange safety cones. I also saw a few police cars blocking side roads from the thru traffic, as there must have been some down powerlines, fallen roads, or bridges.

The Cottage by the Brook

I was pleasantly surprised when I reached my favorite second-hand shop, The Cottage by the Brook, to see that the brook they sit next to was rather low. But they did mention that the brook came about a foot and a half away from flooding their shop when it was peaking just a couple of days ago.

I don’t think I have ever passed by this second-hand shop without stopping. It’s an absolute gem filled with vintage goodies both indoors and out. You may also enjoy seeing The Best Antique, Thrift, and Second-Hand Shops from Vermont to Maine post.

On this day, I didn’t have anything specific I was looking for in mind.

So let’s take a walk around and see what we can find.

My Vintage Haul

Did you see anything that you liked? Here are a few vintage items I liked and brought home.

Vintage Brass Duck

The first item that caught my eye was this vintage brass duck. I love adding touches of brass with collected animals on my white bookshelves. Turtles, rabbits, geese, and now this patina duck.

Vintage Brass Duck on Bookshelf

The turquoise patina on the duck was just too fabulous to pass up for $18.

Vintage Brass Duck

This post may contain affiliate links, which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


Do you know how to play Dominoes? I never learned. My mother gave me a beautiful set of Dominoes for Christmas one year. I wish I could find them today, but at some point and time, they must have been given away, unfortunately.

So when I spied this bag of old Dominoes for $4.00, I thought they’d look cute in a small Simon Pearce pitcher I used to keep old Scrabble letters in. You may see the Scrabble letters two photos above…

Holland Mold Vase

A Holland Mold pitcher caught my eye too for $12. A pitcher that would display beautifully with a table setting, on an outdoor table, or displayed with flowers.

Who and What is Holland Mold? Holland Mold Inc. was founded in 1946 by Frank Hollendonner, an Austrian immigrant who learned mold making at a tile company in his homeland. He moved to Trenton, NJ, and started his mold business with his brother Rudy and it thrived for 51 years.

Holland Mold Pitcher with Sunflowers

I love the colorful raised fruit design on the pitcher. It has such a vintage appeal to it.

You may also enjoy 58+ Old Fashioned Bargains and 3 Summer Vintage Markets post.

Millinery Hat Mold

And the final prize on our travels today was finding this antique Millinery hat mold.

Millinery Bowler Hat Mold

What is Millinery? “Hat-making or millinery designs, manufactures, and sells hats and other headwear. A person engaged in this trade is called a milliner or hatter. Historically, milliners produced or imported an inventory of garments for men, women, and children and sold these garments in a millinery shop. The term “milliner” or “Milener” originally meant someone from Milan, in northern Italy, in the early 16th century. It referred to Milanese merchants who sold fancy bonnets, gloves, jewelry, and cutlery.” Source: Wikipedia

A wooden hat block is a carved wood form shaped by woodworkers. Hat blocks are the tools of the trade for milliners in creating a unique hat shape. Milliners have extensive collections of different hat blocks because there are specific hat sizes and custom shapes for every hat block.

Millinery Hat Mold

This hat mold detaches. Meaning the inside lighter wood piece comes out of the base.

This Millinery hat mold is called a Bowler, which is a smaller hat often made from wool felt. The brim is shallow and upturned and sometimes features a ribbon or other fabric around the hat’s brim.

The numbers on the front of this Bowler hat mold reference this particular hat mold from its Millinery.

Millinery Bowler Hat Mold

I used my trusted old Restor-A-Finish in Maple-Pine for the mold’s center and Mahogany for the base of the hat mold to clean and shine this old gem. Then finished it off with Feed-N-Wax to bring out the natural color and glow of the wood.

Millinery Hat Mold

This antique Bowler Millinery hat mold is going to look so charming in our guest bedroom here in Vermont. I have some different spaces in mind for it. Like on this cobbler rack, bedside table, and/or at the base of the bed on a vintage suitcase rack. It’s going to be so much fun moving it all around.

I’d also like to add a vintage hutch to this newly renovated guest bedroom, and I think this Millinery hat mold would be so darling on top of a hutch. You may also enjoy the post, Meet My Ol’ Gal, Miss Mannequin Dress Form

Antique Millinery Hat Mold on bed.

You may also enjoy Irresistible New England Antique Barn Sale | Budget Friendly.

Thunder Storms

I’m always happy when I return to Vermont. The mountain views make me feel so much at home. But when I arrived home, some storms rolled in that looked flat-out intimidating.

Massive Storm Clouds

And Vermont was just 2 days out from recovering from all the high rivers and flooding around the state.

Mother Nature was surely on display during and after this summer thunderstorm. Just amazing!

Check out the Eclipse 2024 Vermont, RV Boondocking post too, which may also inspire you.

You may also enjoy the post, Our Year-Round Vermont Mountain Views.

After Summer Storm Sunset


On another note, our Berner, Ella had ACL surgery this past Monday in Maine. And she’s doing great! We can’t get over what a good patient she has been. She started bearing weight on her leg immediately. She feels great and is still sassy as ever. But she misses being able to get in her cozy spot on the couch and in bed.

So glad we have pet insurance:)

And very grateful for the Dog Recovery Sleeve and the X-Large Inflatable Dog Cone that helps protect her knee while she heals.

I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us today at our Home in Vermont.

Be sure to check out our Home in Coastal Maine too where we spend summers and weekends when we are craving a walk on the beach or a visit with old friends.

Mother Nature And An Antique Millinery Hat Mold

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  1. Great photos of Mother Nature in all her fury! I am glad that Vermont is recovering from the flooding. That hat mould is so cool! I have never seen anything like it! Hugs to Ella as she heals!

    1. I hadn’t see one either, I can’t wait to spend some quality time with it getting it all decorated.

  2. Kathy Munday says:

    Feel better soon Sweet Ella!!!!

    1. Thank you Kathy. She’s doing great❤️🐶

  3. Hi Ann: Love love love the milliners hat. What an awesome find. Right up my alley. I have never seen one. Have fun playing with it and be sure to share.

    1. Thanks so much Shelley, this was my first time with a Milliners hat too. I certainly will! Have a great summer Shelley!

  4. Miche Ortega says:

    Oh, The Cottage by the Brook — what an awesome, fun store. Love your finds. My husband and I visited Vermont several years ago. We loved it. We visited many of the covered bridges. So glad Miss Ella is recovering nicely and your Vermont property is safe. Take care. Love your blogs.

  5. Poor Ella, sending her good vibes. One can never have too many brass animal figurines. 🙂 I often wear my woven bowler, it’s a straw-like fiber.. The restored hat form is lovely. I have never ever seen skies like that! We get almost daily booming thunderstorms this time of year in FL but never saw a yellow sky. Is that common up there?

    1. It’s been extreme weather for sure this summer. And we do see all kinds of dramatic weather here. But this was the first I saw clouds that large and that low. The sunsets are beautiful here especially after a rain storm and the rainbows are magnificent too. It’s just ever changing honestly. Thanks for dropping in Pamela! Happy Saturday!

  6. Great post! I love your blog always, but this was the perfect post. You took us along shopping, then showed us how you styled your find, and taught us about the backstory for each of your purchases. Sure glad Ella was here, too. The inflatable dog “cone” is about time! Cool stuff and fun read.

    1. Thank you so much Jan, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for your sweet note! Happy Saturday!

  7. Cara Gannon says:

    Hi Ann,
    Great post! I love your haul! Happy yo hear that Miss Ella is fairing well from her surgery. Her eyes are so expressive.
    On another note, I’m relieved for you and Steve that your VT home was not affected by the recent storms.
    Happy Saturday! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Cara! Yes we are all doing well and thanks so much for popping in today!