July 22, 2014

Climb in and fasten your seat belt.  We're flying over to London and
taking a quick tour of the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Road trip!

Often called the V&A, the Victoria and Albert Museum holds the world's largest collection of decorative arts.  Founded in 1852 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A covers over 12 acres, consists of 145 galleries, and houses over 4.5 million objects spanning 5,000 years of art.  That's a lot of stuff.

There is a category for every type of collectible from around the world:  jewelry, clothing, painting, porcelain, glass, toys, furnishings - the list seems endless.  There's even an extensive collection of  antique and historic cloth fragments with pieces dating back several thousand years.

The red silk remnant, right, was found near the Limes Watchtower in China and dates back to 200 BC.

Though unappetizing today, porcelain animal head
soup tureens were popular in the mid-18th Century.
This boar's head was imported from China by the
Dutch East India Company between 1760-1770. 

Silversmith Sir Edward Thomason is credited with manufacturing
these bottle tickets, the precursor to the decanter labels.  ca 1830-1831

 Lady's shoe, ca 1720, left; lady's boot, ca 1850, right

Man's boot, ca 1845, left;  woman's boot, ca 1865, right

Little boy's leather shoes, ca 1850

This 16th century German-made brooch was
donated to the museum by Dame Joan Evans.

It's hard to imagine that tea was a luxury that only the wealthy could afford.  This tea caddy was made in Guangzhou, China, and imported to England in 1790.

A teapoy was actually an occasional table used for storing tea.  Carved from mahogany, this teapoy was made between 1825 - 1830.

The perforated neck of this vase identifies it as a scent jar.  Usually placed on a mantle, the vessel was filled with potpourri and it served as an air freshener. ca 1826

Child's christening cap, jacket and collar, Belgium lace, ca 1650

Designed to resemble a six-sided Gothic tower, this pierced silver verge head was made in Valencia, Spain, in the mid-16th Century.  Attached to the top of a rod, it was carried by a verger, a church official, during high ceremonies.

Found in the ruins of the Kirkstall Abbey, Yorkshire, by John Dixon in 1829, this fragment of an ivory chess piece has been dated to 1140 AD.

Lady Clementina Hawarden, South Kensington, 1862

The 17th-century hand-embroidered woman's waistcoat was worn in the portrait of Margaret Layton, ca 1610.  In the painting, Margaret Layton wears the waistcoat with an Italian needle lace collar and cuffs over a black velvet gown.

Egyptian made 19th Century silver filigree earrings

These late 19th Century learning blocks were manufactured in the United States by the J.A. Crandall Company.

A rare lot of German-made doll clothes
and a pair of wood dolls, ca 1830

I don't know about you but today's brief glimpse of a few of the treasures housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum leaves me wanting to see more.  Imagine the luxury of living in London and having the opportunity to browse through the amazing collections at your leisure.  The V&A just got penciled in on my bucket list.

July 21, 2014

Repurposeful Mondays

are some of my favorite posts.  It's so interesting to find and share useful ways to upcycle the most common of items.

Let's start with an idea to make your
next tea party a little sweeter:

 Use icing as 'glue' to make these adorable and
edible ice cream cone and cookie teacups. 

You can also use ice cream cones to make
cupcakes.  Click here for the easy tutorial. 

Frozen milk, cream and coffee cubes really do come in handy.

 If Dad has a shirt he no longer wears
use it to dress up baby boy's onesie.

So smart.

 An entertainment center was
turned into a planting station.

Last week I saw an old door lying beside the
road.  Wish I had stopped and picked it up.

This is an especially good tip in the
Summer when boots aren't worn.

Strange Closets
Vintage car ramps provide manly shelf support.

I ahhhhhh-dore repurposing an old piece of luggage into an
end table and this one is particularly charming.  And I'm
also kind of crushing on the black shag carpet.

Repurposing AND Before & After?!  I'm tingling!
Blue Roof Cabin
Such a nice salvage.

An old twin headboard is now a unique chalkboard.

Okay, I see where they're going with this idea:
For a boy's room I would spray paint the cars just about
any color other than gold or simply not paint them at all.

It can be a pain to get cards back into their
original box.  Here's a brilliant alternative:
Baby wipe boxes!

Most thrift shops abound with unused
glass vases.  They make lovely fixtures:
Etsy Source

How cute would this old minnow bucket
light be in a nautically decorated room?!

An old porch light fixture is charmingly
being used as a flower vase.

Glass globes can also be used as
silverware caddies for outdoor
entertaining or to hold votives.

Habitat for Humanity restores are great sources
for inexpensive light fixtures and chandeliers.

Click here for an easy tutorial on how
to turn a chandelier into a patio planter.

I hope you enjoyed today's repurposeful ideas.  Upcycling is so economical and just plain smart.

July 18, 2014

Welcome to another fun fleaChic Before & After Friday.   Let's dive right in.

A dated hand-me-down dresser and
hutch were given a country makeover: 

A pitiful dresser was given
an extended useful life:


One can of paint completely changed this china cabinet: 
Decorating Files

Look what you can do with a thrift shop dresser:


The beautiful details of this distressed
credenza were hidden by the stain:

 Vintage Key Antiques
Sanding and a paint wash highlighted the scroll work.

Here's another example of paint bringing out details:

Furniture Fix
What a lovely shade of blue.

This pair of end tables went from blah . . . . .

Design Sponge
. . . . . to ahhhhh!

We've all seen these pressboard side tables
at yard sales and thrift shops:

Crafty In Canada
Click here to see more photos of this colorful project.

An intriguing little occasional table . . . .

. . . . was made a little more interesting:
Design Dazzle
Love the argyle pattern!

A pleasant sideboard was painted . . . . .

. . . . . a sophisticated shade of gray:
Life In Grace

I don't know about you but I would probably
have walked right past this dresser:

Paint and new hardware completely transformed it:

Beautiful transformation . . . . . .

Look what a difference paint made
to this bedroom chest and dresser:
As Jules Is Going

Yikes!  This little desk was almost beyond salvaging:
My Painted Furniture
What a cute addition to a young girl's room.

Here's another astonishing desk makeover:


It's easy to end up with different pieces of mismatched
furniture.  This charming little end table and an old chest
of drawers were painted to match:


The next time you happen across a distressed little nightstand . . . . .

. . . . remember this nautical makeover.
Revived By Delia

Today's last before and after project will make you smile.
A very clever homeowner turned their ugly pool filter
into a Despicable Me Minion: 


If you're out thrift shopping this weekend keep an
eye out for your own potential makeover projects.