Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fleur de lis

This is what I started with ~ found at a yard sale last fall.

I really had no idea what I was going to do with them until this
weekend when I decided to tackle a French makeover.
I started by taking the pictures out and painting the frames black.

While the frames were drying, I scanned the internet for a couple
French designs I could use on them.  I settled on two
different versions of the popular fleur de lis, one of which I
found on The Graphics Fairy.  
I downloaded them to Photoshop and used the magic wand to
highlight all the black areas.  Then I sized them down to fit my frames
and  printed a practice sheet on white paper.
While it would have been easier to buy parchment paper, it was
late at night and I was on a roll, so I tea-dyed some card stock paper 
I already had to obtain the vintage look I was after.  
I let the paper dry overnight, ironed it to get the ripples out, and
then printed off the fleur de lis designs.

After cleaning the glass, I laid it on the paper so I could see exactly

how I wanted to center the design, traced around the glass,
and then cut it out.

I lightly distressed the black frames, and then applied a layer of 

polycrylic.  When dry, they were ready to put back together and 
here is the finished product.

They would look nice mounted on the wall or sitting separately 
on a black rod iron easel.

 This was my first attempt at anything French cottage.  It's not
the style of anything in my home, but I wanted to have a variety
of decor options at my Open House in May.  I may try 
some pillows next.

Linking with
Gorgeous and Fun for Being Creative
Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Dittle Dattle for Amaze Me Monday
Making the World Cuter for Making the World Cuter Monday
The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Maple Leaf

I found these sweet salad plates last night at Goodwill while out

getting groceries.  It is so handy to have a Goodwill near your
grocery store ~ makes getting groceries so much more enjoyable, especially
if you save the Goodwill stop for last.

I only found 4 plates, but anytime your find an even number of plates
at Goodwill, it's a plus.
They aren't from England or France, but I couldn't resist their
sweetness.  They were made by Homer Laughlin here in the USA.

They are the softest shades of cream, pink and green ~ my
favorite combination, with scalloped gold edges.

I guess I wasn't paying very close attention, because I was very 
surprised when I got them home and discovered the pattern is
called "Maple Leaf".  I thought those were little pink flowers.
I paired them with one of my favorite dinner plates, my mismatched
vintage silverware, a vintage doily for a napkin and a pink goblet.

I purchased them for my Etsy shop, but even doing this post, I find
myself getting more and more attached to their sweet beauty.  It 
will be hard to part with them.  I must find a way to keep from
falling in love with everything I buy.  Woe is me ~ what's a girl to do?

Linking with
How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday
Little Red House for Mosaic Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays 
House of Grace for Twice Owned Tuesdays
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brown Transferware and the Great Clean Up

I wanted to share with you the brown transferware I found at the
Scott's Antique Market last weekend when it was here in Columbus.

I purchased this lovely set of "Athol" Mellor Taylor & Co. dishes
for only $30.  I really only wanted to purchase a piece or two for my hutch,
but the dealer obviously wanted to be rid of it so she offered a price I 
couldn't resist.  There are 6 each dinner and salad plates, 5 soup bowls,
3 saucers, a serving bowl, a beautiful butter dish and what looks like
an oversized sugar bowl.

Some of the pieces were rather stained with use, but she told me
how to get the stains out, so I wanted to pass along that information too.
I realize many of you may already know how to do this, but I actually heard
it from three different sources last week and this information has made
the difference between my buying and not buying vintage dinnerware.  Although I
personally do not mind some pieces  for "display only" looking old and stained, 
I don't want them to be pieces I'm going to eat off of.
Here is a "before" picture of what some of the plates looked like.

These very stained plates were at the bottom of the pile and I didn't see
them until I unpacked them at home :)   I don't always love surprises.  It
was time to see if this remedy really worked and I'm here to tell you it does.
You start by soaking the plates in 40% hydrogen peroxide for several days
or as long as it takes the stains to lift out of the plate.

I purchased a gallon of the mixture at Sally's Beauty Supply and it cost
around $10.  I also purchased a 14 x 14" plastic container with a lid from
Joann Fabrics.  I think maybe it is probably meant to hold scrapbook
paper, but I wanted it large and deep enough to hold several plates at
a time, so it served my purposes just fine.

After soaking the plates for several days, I take them out and scrape off
the excess solution with a spatula and set them on a disposable 
aluminum foil cookie sheet.  Be sure to wear plastic gloves when you do this!

Then I pop them in a low oven set around 220 degrees and bake them
for an hour or so.  I am told the baking pulls out the rest of the stains.
When the hydrogen peroxide has pretty much baked off, I turn off
the oven and allow the plates to cool slowly.  After bringing them to
room temperature, they are ready to wash in hot soapy water.
Here is a picture of plates that I have already done and the serving
bowl that still needs to go through the process so you can 
see the difference.

It will take a few weeks to put all the pieces through the solution/baking
process, but in the end, I will have a lovely set of brown transferware
that I can not just display, but also use.
Unfortunately there were no teacups to go with the saucers in this
set, but I think the saucers will look pretty in the fall holding a
candle or a pretty mini pumpkin, or even this pretty pin I made
out of tea-dyed bits and pieces of fabric and lace leftover from the
vintage eggs I made.

The dinner plate with this set is slightly smaller than the average dinner
plate, so I'm looking forward to using a larger solid plate underneath and
then stacking the plates high for interest and texture.
Look for these plates to make their debut sometime this fall when
they are all cleaned up and ready to "strut their stuff".

Linking with
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday 
Frou Frou Decor for Fabulous Friday Finds
Southern In My Heart for Inspiration Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vintage Eggs

I saw the cutest idea over at The Vintage Nest last week and decided to 
give these cute eggs a try.

Lynn gives a complete tutorial on her blog, so I won't repeat all the directions
here, but be sure to visit her blog if you decide to make them.
She also tells you how frustrating they are to make and I can vouch
for that fact.   I did find that instead of getting up to wash my hands every
few minutes, I kept a wet wash cloth nearby and that saved a lot
of time and frustration.
What I like about this project is that each of my eggs came out different,
and mine look totally different from Lynn's.  They each take on
a unique personality depending on the materials you use.  Besides
the materials that Lynn advises, I tore up a couple doilies and I 
like the feminine touch they added.
I didn't have a beautiful silver piece to put my eggs in, so I 
used a vintage muffin tin instead and nestled mine in  moss.  

I tried not to make my eggs specifically for Easter, but stamped words
on them that would allow them to be used any time of the year.

Lynn was ambitious and made  a set of eggs for a giveaway, herself, and a 
set for her Etsy shop.  I didn't have quite that much patience, so mine are going 
to my shop.  Maybe next year I'll make myself a set.
This little sweety is my favorite.

Linking with

The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Dittle Dattle for Amaze Me Monday
Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
A Collection of This and That for Simple Pleasures
Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday
I Love Pretty Little Things for Friday Pretties


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thrifting Finds

I just wanted to share a few fun things I've been collecting for myself.   
Usually I'm on the lookout for my Etsy shop, but these are just for me.
I found the vintage silverware at the Scott's Antique Market last
month when it was in town.

I found a booth that had four good sized boxes of silverware, so I started
going through it piece by piece.  I was trying to find enough pieces
to make a matched set for eight.  Well ~ that didn't go 
to well ~ so then I started looking for eight forks that matched,
 eight spoons that matched, and eight knives that matched.
After about a half hour, a lady came up and in less than five minutes, she
had picked out eight place settings with none of the pieces matching.
So ~ guess what I did too?  It still took me longer than five
minutes to pick out my mismatched pieces, but I came away with
a set of whimsical silverware and very black fingers.

Next, I started looking for mismatched glass vases or containers

to display them in.  It took a few trips to Goodwill and an Etsy buy,
but now I have my three mismatched glass containers to
match my mismatched silverware and I'm loving it all together.

Now I must admit, I don't know much about glass or how to

tell if it's vintage or crystal or just cheap glass, 
but I do know what I like when I see it.
To this happy trio, I added a sweet vase  and teacup
I found at Goodwill, and a small bunch of white tulips
from the grocery store on clearance for $1.

Since I'm not a coffee or tea drinker, I'll probably take
this sweet little teacup and plant a flower in it.  It's
just too pretty not to use in some way, and I think
a violet might just the thing for it.

Nothing in this grouping was expensive or a collector's item,
but I love it all the same for it's elegant simplicity and
the way it makes this corner of my kitchen a little brighter.

Linking with
Faded Charm for White Wednesday
All Things Heart and Home for All Things Inspired 
Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday 
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Upscale Thrift Store

I stopped at a new thrift store yesterday while I was out running errands.
It was run by The Ohio Cancer Society and it was quite a surprise.
Everything in the store was very nice and a bit on the pricey side
for a thrift store.  Not the bargain prices you'll find at Goodwill.
I heard a sales woman telling someone it is an upscale thrift store.
That explained a lot. They even had set up a chocolate fondue fountain
and lots of yummy Valentine treats for the customers.
I was about to leave when I found this lovely tulip arrangement.
And the price was right ~ it was only $15.

It was missing a few tulips, like someone had come along and
snippped them off.  But that didn't matter to me ~ I loved
it at first sight.

So I snatched it right up before anyone else could.  The
sales lady said it had just come in that day and I
felt blessed that it was going home with me.
The tulips were in a beautiful pot with ivy at the base. 

 On the way home, I stopped at Michael's and picked up new tulips
to replace the missing ones and the squiggly sticky thing.  I
stuck them in and it was perfect ~ well, maybe a little large
for my small dining room table, but I love the way it commands
attention when you walk through the room.

And I love the way it makes the whole room seem like 
spring has come. 

Linking with

The House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Dittle Dattle for Amaze Me Monday
Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday

Friday, February 11, 2011

Be My Valentine

Just as in grade school when we exchanged Valentines
with all our classmates, I am sending a
Valentine I made to all my blogger friends.
Wishing all of you love and happiness with your
sweethearts and families. 

 You have all enriched my life and become dear to my heart
and for this I say "thank you".
Linking with 
Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Little Red House for Mosaid Monday 

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