North and South Shabby

Massachusetts, United States · 288 Sales


North and South Shabby

Massachusetts, United States 288 Sales On Etsy since 2013

5 out of 5 stars

Announcement   Take a peek at the 286 vintage and crafted items that have been purchased from our shop by clicking here:


Last updated on 03 Mar, 2018

Take a peek at the 286 vintage and crafted items that have been purchased from our shop by clicking here:

Patricia and Rebecca

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Patricia and Rebecca

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Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
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Which would you rather have in your bathroom? Add a beachy feel to your decor. A bonus, our vintage dispenser even comes with a matching pillow vase!
heart️It's here our one and only sale of the year! November 25 26th 27th and 28th… Don't miss out everything in the shop will be on saleexclamation
Our customers are in a Christmas state of mind. Shipping out a vintage Christmas figurine set and a coastal Xmas ornament. We have lots more in our shop-come look!
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Artful Shabby Creations, Vintage Finds and Nautical Whimsies from a Mother and Daughter Team, North and South Shabby

We are a mother-daughter co owned shop. We feature crafted shabby decor, nautical treasures and vintage finds for your home, a special event, or for gift giving.

Our shop offers shabby home decor that has been collected or has been meticulously crafted. Our items are ones that will bring you feelings of comfort, warmth and coziness.

We choose our shop name North and South Shabby, from circumstance. Since one of us lives in New England, and the other, in The Florida Keys, the name "North and South" seemed to fit. The word "Shabby" was a given, as it's the decorating style that we both use in our homes.

North and South Shabby is an extension our personal home styling. There is nothing in our shop that we wouldn't be proud to display in our own homes. We absolutely love everything in our shop and hope you do too.

A Guide to Vintage Ceramic Elves

I have been collecting these whimsical big eared elves for many years. Unlike a uniformed vintage seller who happens upon a cute elf on a thrift shop shelf and offers it for sale, this particular style of elf has been my guilty obsession for many years. While not professing to be an expert, over time I have gained a bit of knowledge that might be helpful when deciding to purchase one. I know what the common flaws are, and where to look for them and I try to a fault to describe them accurately in my listings. Every elf I offer has been thoroughly cleaned, and observed under magnification.

Let me start off saying there are no perfect elves! Let’s face it, if you have been around for 60 plus years you are not going to be in the same condition you were in when you were young. The same is true for these guys. Beware of uninformed sellers who boast that their elves are in perfect condition-believe me they are not!
Big eared smiling elves were manufactured in Japan, post-World War II. There were quite a few factories that manufactured these, and from what I see, they blatantly copied each other’s design. Companies such as Thames, Ucagco and Lego were the most prevalent.

These particular elves all have bisque faces with shiny enamel painted outfits that were “cold painted” by hand onto a fired base. Some have gold hearts on their chest, some have gold loops under their chins with a chain that attached them to a smaller pair of elves. Unfortunately, few of these chain attached trios are out there now.

Most elves were plain tabletop figurines, but sometimes they were salt shakers and vases. I have even seen some ashtray face ones! There are some cute sports themed and chef themed elves out there as well. The smaller sized elves were often sitting or leaning on logs. The elves range in height from the of largest in 6 inches, most common size was 5 inches, followed by 4, 3 and 2 inch tall.

The most common color of the outfits was red, and a close second were those with white with red and gold polka dots. Some elves had green outfits, but rarely were they dressed in blue or black or yellow.

Paint wear, in my experience, appears all these vintage elves in varying degrees. It lends an endearing, shabby appearance to the elves and in no way effects the collectibility or value. Some uniformed sellers may touch up the paint wear, but this negatively effects their value. Because the enamel paint used for their outfits was “cold painted’ atop of a glazed surface, the paint, over the years gradually wears off from friction, particularly in prominent spots, such as the top of hats and the edges along arms and legs.

Paint splatter are stray dots of paint usually appearing on the face, made by careless hand painters. Paint spatter can also refer to stray brush stokes that missed their mark. Usually found on the bisque areas of the face, particularly where the ear joins the head or on thehands, most are observable only under magnification. Paint spatter does not affect the collectibility or value of the piece.

Little black dots which are specks of carbon which occurred during firing. most visible on the face. These dots are quite common and do not effect the collectibility or value of the piece.

Small round holes in the glaze formed during firing when air bubbles reach the surface of the glaze. There are two types of glaze pops. The most commonly found on these elves are the ones that the bubble burst, forming a small dimple on the surface ranging from a tiny dot to about pin head size. Sometimes, however, they do not burst and look like a bubble instead. I have seen glaze pops on at least 75% of all the elves I have collected. Most glaze pops do not affect the collectibility or value of the piece.

It is not uncommon to have a repaired elf! Repairs refers to a fix made to an elf when a piece has broken off. Let’s face it, these elves were displayed during a busy time of year, and they often got knocked around. Most common are the leg repairs. I have seen many an elf whose leg has lovingly been glued back on. Though less frequent, heads have broken off and ears and then reattached. Depending on the visibility of the repair, the collectibility or value of the piece could be negatively impacted. Small repairs with glue not showing are acceptable.

Fine crackling or spider web like cracks that often seen on vintage glazed ceramic dishes ceramics. I have not seen this on any of the elves I have collected. This would definitely affect the collectibility or value of the piece.

A hairline crack is a crack that goes into or through the clay body of the ceramic piece. When rubbed with your fingernail you will feel a slight click over the hairline crack. The presence of one of these will affect the collectibility or value of the piece, depending where they are located.

A chip is damage which penetrates the clay body of the ceramic and results in the loss of some of the clay body material. The tips of the elf’s ears are often chipped. Depending on the size of the chip, and the area where it is located, this could affect the collectibility or value of the piece.

A glaze chip or flake is a shallow chip that does not penetrate the clay body of the ceramic. They involve a flaking off of the glaze surface and sometimes impacts the color at the flake site. They most common area for these is the tips of the elf’s ears and the top of its bangs. Depending on the size of the chip, and the area where it is located, this could affect the collectibility or value of the piece.

I you have questions regarding our elves feel free to send a convo!


We achieve our time worn look by a process known as distressing. This is achieved by applying at least two layers of premium paint to the original surface. Light sanding is then applied and in selected areas the original base, or the first layer of paint is revealed, thus achieving the shabby “distressed” look.
Our products are then sealed to preserve the look. This is accomplished in two ways depending on the product. One method is by hand waxing, using premium waxes. First, a clear wax, followed by a dark wax in selected spots is applied. Usually we wait a full 24 hours for the wax to set. Then the pieces are hand buffed in order to give it a a smooth feel, a soft shine, and a time worn look. Another method we sometimes use to seal the distressing is by applying an acrylic top coat. Either way the effect creates a shabby time loved look.

We find our vintage jewelry by attending estate sales, going to thrift shops, and on line auction sales. A base is designed by hand, or, at times, purchased. Jewelry pieces are then selected that will blend well together. Each piece of jewelry is carefully applied by hand using a strong adhesive. As each piece is applied it is fitted together with other pieces much like alike a jigsaw puzzle. Another layer of jewelry is then affixed on top of the original pieces creating a dazzling, multilayer kaleidoscope of texture, depth, and sparkling color. At times bits of nautical treasures such as real sea glass, and shells are applied as well. The rims of our finished pieces are then finished off with an outline of jute twine, providing a shabby finished detail.

The fabric we use in our rag creations is vintage, as we feel it lends such a time worn look to the piece. We also sometimes use vintage lace and doily pieces as well. The freshly laundered fabric is hand torn, creating shabby frayed and stringy edges that are characteristic of a true rag piece. The lace pieces are hand cut.
WREATHS ```The strips are hand cut to length and then hand tied to a railed wreath form. Another method is that the strips are hand cut to length and then hand woven around a wreath form and then tied.

Shop members

  • North and South

    Co Owners

  • Rebecca

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    Daughter, sand angel, Caribbean traveler, artist. Attended Massachusetts College of Art

  • Patricia

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    Mom, avid "repurposer", vintage treasure hunter. Retired elementary school teacher.

Shop policies

Last updated on 03 March, 2018
Welcome! We are so very glad you stopped by. Browse through our virtual shabby style aisles of crafted, repurposed, vintage and nautical home decor!

All items in our shop are chosen or crafted with care. They are ones we would proudly display in our own homes. After all, if they don't sell that's where they will be :)

Our shop reviews show happy customers, pleased with their items and shipment. We have had many more unreviewed successful transactions as well. We aim to keep those positive reviews.

Please make sure your address stored on Etsy is current, before you purchase!

Thank you for your visit!

Accepted payment methods

  • Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept returns
Contact me within: 5 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 14 days of delivery
I don't accept exchanges or cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalised orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
-We truly hope you love your purchased item.

-All vintage items have detailed information regarding condition and wear, as well as photos which serve as part of the description. Please keep in mind that all vintage items have had a previous life, and will wear subtle reminders of their past.

Please convo us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your item, and the accuracy of our description and we will do our very best to set things right.

Should your package be returned due to an error in your listed address, we will refund your purchase, less shipping cost.

Orders will be shipped to the address you have on file with Etsy/Paypal. Please check it prior to submitting an order! Anything returned due to an incorrect address will result in new shipping charges, which will be the responsibility of the buyer.
This shop accepts payments from Pay Pal and Etsy Direct Checkout. We have successfully used PayPal for years, and are very confident with the reliability of this service.Paypal remains a secure way to pay. PayPal does not share your financial details with sellers, so you can shop with peace of mind.
We also accept Direct Checkout Payments as well, and have had many successful transactions with this service.

**Please note that if you do NOT have a Paypal account, you can still make a purchase through Paypal using a major credit card. Just follow their checkout instructions. ( They are user friendly!) Just click the link that says use Paypal.
Getting your package is .....

→ Easy, Quick, & Worry Free ←

♥ We will make every effort to package your shipment safely. We love the items we sell and pack them with an abundance of tender loving care! You will receive your item wrapped in a soft blanket of tissues, and sweetly adorned with ribbon or other whimsies.

-We do use sturdy recycled boxes for shipping whenever we can. We believe trees should be allowed serve a much greater purpose in their habitat!

Combining Multiple Items for Shipment:
-We would be happy to combine packaging for multiple purchases if possible. Please be aware that our shop operates from two locations, and combined shipping may not be available. Should the items you want be at the same location, we might require an additional processing day in order to locate a box suitable to hold additional items. In some cases, it might be more economical to ship items separately. Under other circumstances your fragile item might fair better shipped alone. We will be happy to work with you for the best option.

- We will ship within 3 business days of payment receipt, in most cases sooner. We are proud of the positive feedback that we have received about our fast shipping. See our reviews here:

We will continue to make every effort to get your package to you quickly!

-Shipping to United States at this time (unless noted otherwise).

Shipping Carrier :
-All packages are sent through USPS Parcel Post, or USPS Priority Mail.

-You will receive an email notification with a USPS track and confirm number and link as soon as your shipping label is printed. Please allow 24 hours after you receive this notification to begin tracking the number.

-Rest easy, your package is insured against loss or damage!

Shipping Cost
-Please bare with us!
Etsy has just initiated a shipping calculator to determine your shipping cost before purchase. The shipping cost on many of our listings is still using the previous method of an estimating cost. We are gradually recalculating our many items.

Should you want, we will calculate your shipping cost before your purchase if it is not available -just contact us via a convo. Should you proceed with the estimated cost, If we determine, once your shipping label is printed, that the estimate was too high for your area, you will receive an immediate refund that reflects any over payment made.
Additional policies and FAQs
Please contact us with other questions!

We has been a selling on Etsy for over 5 years and have been successfully selling on a popular online auction site for over 19 years.