Monday, April 28, 2014

My Little Treat

On Friday last, April 25th, I treated myself to a little "R&R". You know I love all things vintage, Victoriana, lace, frills, ruffles..............

One of my favorite places to indulge this habit is my beloved antique mall, THE SHOPS ON WEST RIDGE  I visit there on my "special days" like my birthday, Mother's Day, and any other day that I need to be pampered. My dearest vendor there is a huge shop called Maison Fleur de Lis. Practically everything in the shop is some shade of white. The shopkeepers of Maison Fleur de Lis repurpose, reimagine, reinvent, and remake vintage furniture. Loooong buffets, carved and embellished dining room tables, elegant dining room chairs, lounge chairs, sofas, plant stands, tea tables, desks, vanities and so much more. They recover, restore, and of course, paint. I believe they use "chalk paint" (more on that in a future post). They carry a charming supply of shabby chic tchotchkes too, like cupcake servers, birdcages, recipe holders, cloches, etc.

Entering their space is like Alice walking through the looking glass. Everything is heavenly, ethereal, restful, elegant. I practically swoon.

These charming shopkeepers had a special sale last Friday and Saturday. They staged it in an old landmark theater. All time-worn, dark wood, vaulted ceilings huge windows, double door entry. Wonderful building. I visited on Friday. I wasn't looking for anything in particular. Just wanted to be inspired. And my desires were abundantly fulfilled. Tables set for lunch and others for tea, restored wicker setees with lush floral cushions, garden furniture, garden accessories, wall art. It was a feast for my eyes.

The shopkeepers, themselves, were wearing vintage inspired attire. Maxi dresses, lots of lace and florals. And, best of all ! high heels. What devotion to their aesthetic. Some even wore fancy white aprons.

This single sized bed was painted with the white chalk paint and covered with the most elegant white linen vintage bedspread I've ever seen and folded, at the foot of the bed a stunning hand crocheted vintage counterpane. I can just envision this in a little girl's bedroom.

I took some pictures with permission and they have wonderful pictures on their facebook page, too.

 Luncheon is served ~ I have a hunch that the chairback fabric has handpainted roses

Above is a very old, rusted stove, lovingly transformed into a sofa table by the addition of a glass top.

                                           Musical dress form

As I was meandering through the displays, on a small, white (of course) occasional table were three, 3 piece place settings of a child's tea set in the blue willow pattern. It was priced very reasonably as one dish was cracked. I snapped it up as if it were the last one on earth. I have two dollies who are desperate for a cup of tea and in dire need of a tea set and since there are just two of them, it didn't matter one bit to me that one of the dishes was cracked. I wrapped up the entire third place setting and packed it away. Here are a couple pictures of the dollies enjoying afternoon tea with their new tea set. They are delighted with it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vintage Pot Holders definition of pot holder: a thick piece of material, as a quilted or woven pad, used in handling hot pots and dishes, an insulated pad for holding hot pots.

These vintage pot holders make a total mockery of that definition. They aren't thick. They aren't insulated. I cannot even imagine pulling a hot pan out of the oven with these little dainties in each hand for protection. Yet in the 1930's, 40's and 50's, this was de rigueur (strictly required, as by etiquette, usage, or fashion.) for what we now call "retro" kitchens.

These "kitchy" linens were crocheted by the homemaker with heavy cotton thread. Oftentimes, they were a gift to her. Perhaps even a wedding shower gift or housewarming gift. They were crocheted with patterns for wee dresses, skirts and bloomers, attaching a small ring with which to hang them on a hook near the stove.

I was fortunate enough to inherit the ones you see here from the home of a 90 plus year old homemaker when she went to be with the Lord. I consider them most precious. Firstly, as a memorial to her to whom they first belonged and secondly to a simpler time gone by.

As you can see, I have given them a place of honor in my home (hanging above my kitchen sink - a place where I spend lots of time). I lovingly laundered them to get them pristine once more. Then I stretched them out on a mini "clothesline" of hemp cord, hung them with tiny clothespins, making of the collection a kitchen garland or banner. Perfect for my "shabby chic" d├ęcor.

Apologies for the gray day in the pictures. Nothing I could do to change that. I did give you a shadow of the lamp over my kitchen table, though - in this picture.

Monday, April 7, 2014

5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party

This is a milestone for me - joining a "linky" party. Reason being: I am almost completely technology challenged. I did not grow up with a tiny hand-held computer for a toy. I played with dolls, hopscotched, hid and seeked (sought), played school, bathed my dollies, went to the library where I borrowed all the Madeline books, almost never went to the movies, took piano lessons, put on plays with my playmates which we charged our parents to attend and all those sorts of things. We had no computers in school or university. I never even saw one until my kids got an Pong game on a small Atari computer for Christmas one year. And the computer invasion has amplified since then until it has taken over my phone, my TV, my desktop, my lap, my purse, my shopping habits, my recipe collection, my communication with friends and relatives on Face Book and on and on...............

I solicited technical help from my dear sisters on the castteam          (Christian Artists Street Team) on etsy to help me understand just how to get that little pink badge that you see over on the right column of this blog. If you click on that, it will take you for a visit to the  5 Minutes For Mom blog home page. Two sisters blogging about Mom Entrepreneurs. If that's you, too, pay a visit to their blog. I think you'll like it.

For the "linky" blog party, I am supposed to share a little about what sammysgrammy is all about It all started because I'm a "collector". I collect vintage linen. My collecting fever started when I wanted all handmade lace trimmed napkins for setting my dining table. I didn't want plain linen napkins. I wanted them embellished with the hand crocheted lace made in the 1920's, 30's and 40's.

I began going to estate sales. I discovered plenty of lace trimmed linen. More than I could ever use. I began to re imagine the napkins into other things. Mainly angels. Angels were in vogue then. Everyone wanted them. Either to trim their Christmas trees, or to give as a Christening gift or hostess gift or just to hang on a door knob. I sold a lot of them at craft shows and on consignment at local gift shops. I had not heard of etsy yet.

My estate sale habit got bigger and bigger and I began to branch out to collecting other than just napkins. But I was and still am in love with vintage linen. The more embellished it is the better I like it. Handmade lace, embroidery, fancy needlework, monograms, stitchery, etc. It always gets re imagined and reused to make something that will delight a modern bride or homemaker. Fortunately, I discovered etsy and sammysgrammy was born.

                  This purse is completely re imagined, using vintage handmade lace doilies.

               Banner made with vintage lace trimmed hankies

Bride's wedding garter re imagined from a strip of handmade lace. Interestingly, young girls practiced their crochet skills making strips of lace. The mama's then used these strips to festoon everything linen in the household -  towels, pillowcases, table linens, bed sheets, and petticoats.

It delights me no end, to rescue these treasures at estate sales before they end up in a landfill. Sadly, many have. I delight to remake them into something that can still be used today - almost 100 years later. A true heirloom.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Walk

I recently spent a week in a warm, sunny clime visiting my granddaughters. The weather is so pleasant there and, oh, so different than where I live (southwest shore of Lake Ontario). Where I live it's still winter. Spring may or may not arrive on or about the end of April. Then you'll see daffodils, tulips, lilacs and all the flowering trees bursting into bloom. But where the granddaughters live, sunny, balmy, blue skies most of the time and never, never any snow.

So little 4 year old and I took a walk one day while her sisters were in school. We walked to the grocery store to purchase supplies so grammy (me) would have materials to make dinner. These are some things we saw on our way.

                                        A Pond

There were two turtles on this pipe with the blue heron but they dove in when they heard us. I wonder if this is the blue heron that made off with the goldfish in my backyard pond.

                       She loved seeing her shadow in the bright sunshine.

Split leaf philodendrem and mother-in-laws tongue grow naturally and heartily outdoors. You'll see them in the landscape plantings around the neighborhood.

Where I live, we keep these tropicals in clay pots INDOORS and they never look as happy as they look in these pics taken in the south.

        She "rescued" a hibiscus from a roadside planting and made like Dorothy Lamour

This beautiful tile mosaic scene is on the wall outside of the grocery store. It was a lovely walk. She got her free cookie at the bakery department, grammy got her dinner fixins' and we made out way back home.