Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Victorian Give Away...

I thought I'd give you one more chance to sign up and closer photos of the Victorian gifts for the drawing on November 1st.

The cute little shade is from Aunt May's Cottage and is ivory lined in white.

I didn't want anyone to think that you had to have MY ancestors, so I've
chosen one of my favorite graphics of a sweet young lady in a pale pink dress for the soft gold 5 X 7 Victorian frame.

It was a very big deal to have your photo taken back then and many folks were lucky to have had one sitting in their entire lifetime. After the turn of the century, photography was not such a science and there were more opportunities for photo shoots as cameras became easier (and safer) to use.

The Victorian ladies loved to craft something wonderful out of every photo that they could get their hands on, so I've included a Shadow Box frame.

This particular shadowbox is not very deep, but there is enough room for a small painting, a little golden gimp braid around the edge and a piece of red velvet to duplicate the shawl worn by the regal looking lady in the painting. Note the small piece of vintage jewelry also inside the frame. The winner can, of course, remove all of these visuals inside the frames and substitute their ancestors instead.

More on Victorian decorating in the next post......

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's Under There??

All of the beautiful Victorian homes that you see in the magazines are staged to look the best that they can. Most times you will see items that are put there for "show" only and not part of the everyday living of the owners. We LIVE in our home, so this parlor is in use every day by a real family and their cat. Even though we were not of this age, we use the old toys, games and books in this room and are happy to share the stories that they evoke with our grandchildren.

Sometimes things are not what they seem and this post is to show you a few ways that you can "cheat" and get the look you want without the price that you don't.

I've already shown you a couple of those with the footstool and the fern stand. Here are a couple more..

This beautiful corner covered table has been my largest display surface in the parlor. It holds my teacup while I read, it holds the cat while she looks out the window and it changes with the seasons and my moods. I don't know what I would do without it.

Lest you think it is a valuable family heirloom, here's a look under the lovely coverings. It's a $10.00 plastic yard table! I bought this about 9 years ago to use on my patio. It served its purpose there for many years and has now moved (stains and all) into my favorite room in the house. It also hides Fraidy Cat's toy box and occasionally Fraidy herself if she is in the mood to play her hide-and-jump-out-to-scare-the-pants-off-you game.

Here's another cute table that Fraidy often uses for her games. It's a great place to hide when someone comes to the house that she doesn't know. She can keep an eye on their feet to see when they leave.

It's one of those three legged cheapos that you can find in your nearest dollar store.

Tables are for more than hiding things. Sometimes I like to put something sheer over one so you can almost see a wonderful surprise under there. Here is one of those. Sidebar: the lamp on this table was purchased at a local antique store. The shade is not a replica, but a true Victorian antique....all hand stitched with beautiful trims. The cherub base is plaster.

A little closer look....

Under here is a darling vintage Moss Rose children's tea set resting on an antique wedding hanky. I'm proud to have two of these sets and will give one each to my great grandgirls when they are old enough to not use them for weapons of mass destruction.

Now, here's what you've been waiting for. The treasures on my large round table are shown below. There are white lines around the items that are in the give away. You can start your own Vintage Vignette with them. Just comment under any of the parlor posts and your name will go in the drawing dish. The more times you comment, the more times your name is in the pot. Drawing is November 1st!

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my 1848 Victorian Parlor and that you have come away with some wonderful ideas to decorate your own home. Thanks for stopping by...........

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Parlor Details.........

Wow!! I can't believe that I've been gone for almost a month!!

Vacation in Eureka Springs was wonderful. We also stopped at a few unique and historic towns on the way home. Then, I needed to concentrate on our annual church bazaar and creating items for that. Those will have to be detailed in other posts as I want to get back to the parlor and our give away! Continue with those comments as all will be counted as one entry each for the prize.

We are focusing on Victorian details in decorating. Always present is the glass covered floral arrangement. This most often contained a bird or some type of stuffed animal (yuck). I've chosen instead a beautiful porcelain pitcher from Germany and an antique crochet doily.

One of my favorite collections is lace collars from the 1800s. I have about 50 in my collection now and have chosen to showcase a few in this antique Apothecary jar. I change them often with ones that are stored away and take them out at least once a week to just look at the tatting and beautiful handwork on them. Humbles me a great deal...

Another of my collections is pin cushion dolls. This one was acquired at a flea market for $6.00. They did not know what they had as I would have paid ten times that for this beauty. The silk on her skirt is a bit tattered, but I love her just that way and could not change her a bit. Just look at that lace! I do have many busts without the skirts (pincushions) and intent to duplicate this one using one of those.

The Vics loved their clocks. As clocks were always hand crafted and very expensive, the more afluent Victorians displayed them as a collection showing off their personal status in the community. I don't love them that much, but every once in a while, I will run across one that tickles my fancy. This is one of those. I found this at an estate sale that was mostly made up of boxes to sort through. Another of those that were done by the "unknowing and uncaring" grandchildren. They had no thought of keeping anything of their grandparents as they were now sucessfull attornys themselves. With little regard to the treasures that they posessed, I asked how much for the little clock. They said $2.00 and snickered under their breath as to what a fool I was to buy it for even that. So sad. After a little cleaning, this is what surfaced.

This is another of my not-so-perfect finds. This little pitcher was purchased at a garage sale and was only 50 cents because it has a small chip out of the rim on the back side. I love the softness and color of the roses and no one even knows there is a tiny chip in it. It goes perfectly on the mantle in here with some ivy in it.

Hubby and I love to travel to historic towns and other places of interest. This is my spoon rack with souviniers from each of the places we have visited over the past six years. I'm having to double up so need to find another rack soon as we are off to Cape May next year. I can't wait!!

This little Eastlake chair was purchased, as is, at a local auction for (don't hit me) $7.50. Now, the upholstry is not original, of course. It's not even period, but I plan to recover this little cutie sometime this winter. The color is OK for now and it serves very well as a desk chair. So sorry that the gorgeous carving on the headstead does not show very well in this photo.

I found this lovely tassel to adorn the back of the chair. Victorians LOVED tassels and used them everywhere! This one has beautiful beading on it and I think I got it at TJ Maxx.

I finally got the portrait to put in the empty frame. Alas, it did not fit very well as the painted part was not quite wide enough. With a little imagination, I painted the sides of the canvas black and hand dyed a piece of beaded lace to cover the the black which make it wide enough for my stretcher. I like it even better!

I've shown all of these details to impress upon one and all that you don't have to spend a fortune in order to create a warm, inviting, interesting, romantic room. Just use your imagination and display what you love. Add a little whimsy. You will never tire of it and will always feel right at HOME.

Click on any photo for an enlargement. Please do not copy without my permission. I'll gladly give it for a good reason.

Stay tuned. Next time I'm featuring a post called "What's under there?" and I'll also reveal the treasures for the giveaway.

Don't forget to comment..........