Monday, August 31, 2009

More Details

This is the fourth in a series of the Parlor Makeover in our 1848 home. If you've been a regular follower, you may remember when I purchased this settee. I've never been sorry and have loved just seeing in my home. In reality, it's not very comfortable unless you put your back in the corners of it and put your feet up on the seat. However, its original intent was not for comfort, but for sitting upon with your bum on the very edge and holding a cuppa tea. Ladies, back then, did not lean back in a chair or settee during a visit and would lounge on a chaise only at home.

Let's look at some details in this photo. Notice the underskirt on the corner table next to the settee on our right. Its pattern is not the same as the settee, but it goes very well because it has the same color family and background color. The table on the left is covered in the same light weight netting as the header scarf on the window above. Because the settee is high off the floor, I wanted something more grounded on each side of it.

Pillow details. I've talked before about how important pillows were/are in Victorian decorating. This was one of the ways that the ladies of the house could showcase her stitching talents. Here, I'm practicing to make the rosettes on the Victorian Lamp shades. I love how this turned out on the pillow. The under fabric is an ivory Dupioni silk and, as the Victorian's would do, I've made this a sham so I can change it out often with something new to showcase.

This little beauty is an antique find. It is made from a very fine netting with pieces of lace hand-stitched over it. It has a beautiful lace ruffle and an embroidered rose medallion. I suppose this to be from the 20s or 30s because of the machined lace. This is also a sham. I made a Dupioni Silk pillow to fit the sham. Back in the day, it would have been done the other way around.

Let's look in the corner to the right. The Victorians loved to decorate with plants so I've put a tall tree in the corner to draw the eye up to the ceiling and that wonderful crown molding. To the right, notice the empty frame. It is waiting for a canvas that I ordered and won't be here for about a month. The portrait is of a lovely woman in a black dress arranging flowers in a vase and duplicates many of the same colors in this room.

The lamp on this table was an antique store find for $20.00. I rarely spend that much on anything, but I just HAD to have this lamp! On this table, covered with a silk velvet burnout piano scarf, I've put some family photos. The Victorians LOVED to show off their ancestors in wonderful, ornate frames. These frame are available in Aunt May's Cottage, too. From left to right are my grandmother (and namesake) and grandfather Pease, his father, his mother-in-law (my great-great-grandmother) and his wife with her second husband. According to my cousin who has researched my family back to 1170 AD, my great-grandfather was "a bit of a scalawag, preferring adventure to fatherhood". Other items on the table include, a musical bronze egg, two silver boxes, a StereoViewer marked 1898, my grandmother's glasses and a popular woman's magazine dated 1896.

This is the fine net with embroidered roses scarf swag over the settee. In the center, I have fashioned a rosette that was popular in the 80s, made with a rubber band and some poking. This adds a little color at the ceiling and ties in with the covering on the little square table to the left of the settee and its pillow. This will be the summer window treatment for this room. The winter one will be much heavier and is still on my drawing board.

As I said earlier, the Vics loved their photos. If you have a current photo that you would like to showcase in your period room, just run it through your printer on a sepia tone or take out almost all of the color in the photo as I have done here with my great-grand girls.

This little corner cabinet was purchased at an antique store in Saint Joseph, MI for less than $25.00. Shown on the bottom shelf is a tiny tea set I purchased on eBay over an ivory, fringed piano scarf.

This painting is by my favorite rose painter of all time....Igor Levashov. There are two of his paintings in this room.

I purchased this little musical jewelery box at a porch sale in town recently. The graphic on the top is in silk and it plays "Somewhere My Love" (Laura's Theme). I use it on my desk to hold some hand painted stationary, note cards and my favorite pens. I won't tell you what I paid for it 'cause you might hit me........Oh well, OK....two bucks!

Don't forget to leave a comment for the drawing. Just a will be for something in this room!! Every time you comment on this series, your name will go in the hat.

Stay tuned for more..........

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's All In The Details...

This third post in my series will show you some of the details in the parlor. Be sure to catch all of the photos in this series.

This antique pump organ was purchased at a barn sale. I was leaning on it while my friend was paying for her items when a gentleman asked me if I would be interested in buying it. Thinking he was joking, I told him that I was sure that I could not afford such a fine piece of history. He asked me how much I thought it was worth. After a little more conversation he said, "If you can get this out of here today, you can have it for a hundred bucks". What???!! I told him that I'd be right back with the truck. Wouldn't you??

Detail of the crown molding and corner crown blocks. These make it easy to do the corners if you have walls that are over 100 years old and are not square. They are worth their weight in gold for the headaches they prevent.

This stack of little books are treasures that I have picked up since we bought our home. They are all copyrighted in 1848 and are a delight to read. One is written in German, so I have no idea what it says, but it's nice to have items from the year our house was built in it. The exception is the book on the top. It is a Bible written in 1846 that my great-great-great-grandfather carried with him during the Civil War. Inside is a piece of red silk that I believe to be from his sword sash.

Below is an old clock case. I bought it this way from an antique dealer in town that had a box of stuff in his back room to sort through. Being a long time customer and after my weekly purchase, he let me go through it and pick out anything I wanted for $5.00. This was my choice. Inside is the first bouquet given to me by my hubby while we were dating and a couple of lace collars that were my great-grandmothers.

This is my collection of Hall's China. Hall, I understand, was given as a premium by the Jewel Tea Man on his weekly routes to deliver and take orders for food, spices and household items. There were many Hall patterns to choose from and this is the Silhouette pattern. I have this particular pattern because a small set of about 5 pieces were given to me by my grandmother in 1968 when she moved into a nursing home from her long time residence. I have been collecting them ever since and now have accumulated over 40 pieces.

This little vignette is comprised of a re-vamped thrift store find on the top left, the tea pot that goes to my set of vintage Stetson china, a Battenburg lace fan, a photo of hubby and me on our first trip to Branson and the last bouquet given to me by hubby. I always display items in groups of odd numbers. For some reason, it's more pleasing to the eye and mind.

Looking up again to the ceiling medallion. The chandelier had to be moved to the center of the room but it left a huge hole in the ceiling that I could not patch with my still recovering right arm, so I opted for the Victorian's way of hiding things......under something beautiful. Now, my plan is to complete the ceiling with some type of border around the edge, but that will have to wait for a fully recovered right arm.

The chandelier was a purchase that I made after my friend, Connie, got one. I love hers so much that I had to have one, too. Soon this will be a makeover as I am in the process of making shades for it.

That's all for today. Stay tuned for more details in the next post and don't forget to leave a comment for the upcoming drawing. More about that later....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reveals and Makeovers #2

This is the second post in my series of closer looks at the items in the parlor of my circa 1848 home.

I've had this stand since our first trip to Charleston. I bought it because I loved the shape and the fact that it's one solid piece of wood, made from one tree. You can see the growth lines on the bottom of it. It started out life as a candle stand and, for many years, I've had this displayed with a large candle atop it. I needed a fern stand for this room. All Victorian parlors had a fern stand!! Instead of a fern, I chose a gilded cherub urn and floral arrangement . I've had lots of ferns, but they always seem to "shed" for me and create a big mess.

The lovely lace doily looks old, doesn't it. It's not! It is brand new and was created with a few old elements. I took a piece of lace from my stash and added an old Battenburg doily to the center. Then, sewed on a row of narrow lace, some Venice lace on the edge and dipped the entire thing in a tea dye to age it a bit.

Closer look at the top....

Now, the big reveal...
In order to make this stand top large enough to sit my urn on it, I had to make some modifications. I could have cut a piece of wood to make the circle top, but I was in a hurry to take photos so decided to make a temporary "fix" instead. A couple of washers and a long screw to attach this to the center worked like a charm.

View from underneath. Yup, it's a Santa Platter!! Shhhh..don't tell anyone.....

I may just leave it like this forever!!
A little hint about floral arrangements..... I always fill my arrangements with fresh baby's breath. It adds a wonderful fragrance to the room and is an inexpensive way of adding a freshness to your silks. When they dry, they still look great for about 6 months! You can usually buy a nice set of sprigs at your local grocery chain for about $5.00.
If you are enjoying this series, please leave me a comment and let me know. I'm going to have a drawing and will include all comments from this series. More about that later.

Stay tuned...........

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reveals and Makeover #1.....

This is the first post in a series of closer looks at the parlor.

This first makeover was on the easy side. Most of you can do this at home on a rainy, Saturday afternoon. This is the finished footstool or tuffet as the Victorian's would have called it. It is actually more the color of the walls on the base of the fabric with the damask print in a pale rose. It has box pleated corners and a straight skirt with ivory chenille fringe.

The fabric started out life as a tablecloth that I purchased at Burlington's on sale for $9.99. It was large enough for this foot stool, a table cover and two chair seats.

This is how that footstool began....

The cover opens for storage....

It came from Big Lots for a whopping....

I bought the fringe on eBay for a song. How's that for an easy afternoon project.....a lovely Victorian tuffet for less than $25.00.

If you'd like directions for this project, just email me. I'd be happy to share.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Before & After or Come Into My Parlor....

....said the spider to the fly.

I believe that we never really have a house but that we are it's caretakers for the short time that we inhabit it. Every house has a character of its own and this old place has seen many, many inhabitants. Some that cared about her and, sadly, some that didn't. When I saw her, I knew she needed someone that cared enough to give her back her youthful beauty. After all, she was showing her age at 156 years old.

(click on any picture to enlarge)


Testing the paint color on the wall at left.

Wall of books.

What was I thinking??

Fireplace awaiting the gas insert.


Coming in the front door from the foyer

Looking to the left.

Straight ahead at the big window.

Around the corner to the right.

From the other side of the room.

Fireplace detail

Looking back at the front door. That's the foyer beyond.

Changes in this room are..... new crown molding, paint on walls, ceiling and trim, new trim around doorways, fireplace and floor, refinished floor, new bookcase, new lighting and chandelier, fireplace insert, mirror above fireplace, new carpet, old furniture and new artwork.

We did all of the work ourselves, so this room cost remarkably little to complete from Before to After.

This room was the original dining room but, since you couldn't burn the fireplace with a table sitting in front of it, we moved the dining room to the old carriage room on the other side of the kitchen. This room has had a couple of different looks since the "before" shown here. It was more of a library then. We have a computer room that has a wall of bookshelves that we use to store most of our books now as we never sat in here anyway. I think I like this look for this room the best. What do you think?

Stay tuned as I discuss in more detail several parts of this room in posts to follow. I'll also show several before and after make-overs in here that you can do for
a few minutes and few dollars. You'll also see some secrets to this room that will surprise you.

Isn't she pretty now?? Not bad for 161 years old, huh?

I've added this post to Hooked on Houses Friday. Come see other fabulous homes and things bloggers are hooked on.... HERE!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Broken Promises....

Gee, I'm so sorry I did not keep my word about posting more often. I can't believe how the time has flown by this summer!

I've been really busy the last couple of weeks remodeling the Parlor in this old 1848 house. Photos to follow when I finish (or get closer to finishing. Are we EVER finished??).

Meantime, here are some wonderful old parlors from my Inspiration Journal.


I have this fireplace screen.

Don't you just love the details of these beauties?