Here’s something you haven’t heard Shopping Siren say before: Spinning wheels are cool.

OK, they may not possess a commonly accepted form of cool, like an iPhone or 3-D TV. But they’re cool in a wow-people-actually-used-that sort of way. Cool in a look-how-far-we’ve-come sort of way.

Cool because antiques just generally are.   

Which is why the Poland House and pretty much everything in it — including the spinning wheel — made me giddy.

Located in an old Victorian on Route 26 in Poland, the Poland House is stuffed floor to ceiling (no exaggeration) with antiques, collectibles and gifts. Some rooms have obvious themes — Easter, for example, or kitchen kitsch — while others seem to be hodgepodges. If you’re looking for a Kodak pocket camera from the early 20th century, you’ll find it here. Porcelain dolls? Cookie jars? Country-themed decorations? All here.  

And a spinning wheel. That’s here, too. Trust me; it’s really cool.

* Hand bell, $7.95

The kind of bell that sat on every third-grade teacher’s desk, once upon a time. Set it on your bookshelf and reminisce about those childhood days filled with spelling bees, reading groups and recess. Then be happy you aren’t in Mrs. Swain’s class anymore.  

*Singer sewing machines, $65 and $189.99

The Poland House had an array of old sewing machines to choose from, including at least two Singers. The $65 model had red-scrolled designs painted on it. The $189.99 model was a sleek black. Other than that, I’m not quite sure why the price difference. One was older? One was rarer? One turned straw into gold? Oh, no, wait, that would be:

* Spinning wheel, $465

Nestled among decorative signs, pillows and various country-themed decorations, I almost missed this as I browsed (a distinct danger of packing so much stuff into a single retail space). I was unaccountably delighted to spot the spinning wheel, considering I don’t sew or knit or need to spin anything for any reason. Maybe I did in a former life? Or maybe it’s a sign I need to start making my own clothes. Because that could happen. Someday. Maybe. Stop laughing.

* Pillsbury Doughboy cookie jar, $39.99

All cookies taste better when you get them from a Pillsbury Doughboy cookie jar. I’m pretty sure it’s been scientifically proven. 

* Stonewall Kitchen Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pie Mix, $9.95

One of the many Stonewall Kitchen goods sold at the Poland House, though this was the only whoopie pie mix that I happened to spot. (But it’s chocolate and peppermint, so, really, any other mix would pale in comparison, anyway.) Celebrate the whoopie pie’s possible ascension to Maine’s official state dessert and bake up a batch.  

* Child’s tea set, $24.95

Set includes tiny cups, plates, teapot and sugar bowl, all white with blue flowers and all made from what felt like easy-to-break china. For the young or the young at heart (with very small hands).  

Pair with:

* Doll, $59

Pretty African-American doll in a plaid dress, black Mary Janes and a red bow in her hair. About a foot or so tall and made of china, porcelain or another delicate material. Very sweet. Also seemed very breakable. How she survived long enough to end up on a shop shelf is beyond me.

* Christmas tree garland of faux popcorn and cranberries, $10.99

For that old-fashioned look without the old-fashioned fire hazard.

Best find: Pocket Kodak camera, $29.95

Yesterday’s “pocket camera” is today’s behemoth. Makes me wonder what tomorrow’s cameras will be like.

Think twice: “Have a Happy Day” cookie jar, $69.99

Round, yellow, smiley-face cookie jar with “Have a Happy Day” emblazoned along the base. Is it vintage? Probably. Do I want to see such unabashed sunniness as I stumble blearily into the kitchen in search of caffeine each morning? No, I do not. But then again, I was intrigued by a spinning wheel. At least it wasn’t yellow.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who love all kinds of cookies, no matter what kind of jar, bag or box they come from) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.