Monday, May 3, 2010

Pretty in Pink~ cherished china

I've always been a bit old fashioned at heart. From the time I was a young girl I have been in love with anything old. Old towns, old houses, old furniture, old gardens and old ways too. I know I'm not alone in my ability to romanticize the past and I love to bring the yesterdays we romantics long for back into the here and now through the art of creative recycling.

 While my friends are reading the latest best selling novels, I'm luxuriating in books on The Decorative Arts, Arts and Crafts Period, Victorian Living, English Decorating and Gardens, and I adore watching movies made in the time period 1700's to late 1800's just for the scenery, ( rolling green hills topped with castles and English country homes), costumes ( glorious gowns fashioned in beads, brocade, silk, satin, velvet, and fancy feathers) and mode of transportation ( horse and carriage, enough said ? ) alone! Oh, and the accents of course. Who doesn't love an English accent?

I began collecting antiques and china in my mid 20's as a hobby.

For years I stored most of my china collection in my kitchen cabinet's.What didn't fit I kept boxed up and only brought out certain pieces for a holiday dinner or a special Tea Time date.

I cherish each and every piece and the memories of love and friendship that come with them.

I collect for the pleasure of it.

I use the heart beat factor as my guide. If I see something and my heart skips a beat, I know it's meant for me! Like these EGG CODDLERS I picked up in Santa Monica,Calif in an English China shop.  I just had to have them! Aren't they cute? Once I got them home I promptly learned how to cook coddled eggs and served them for breakfast fairly often until the fascination wore off ! I haven't done that in years, but I love to see them peaking out of my china cabinet and still remember the  rush of excitement I felt when I discovered them!

For all collectors, the time comes to decide how to display our treasures. I always wanted a china cabinet for my little gems, but it had to be just the right one. Some of my furniture finds are meant to remain as I have found them, but others that have lost their luster from a previous life call out to me for something more today! 
Like this " lady in waiting" .

A dear friend of ours was moving from her home of 30 years and called to see if I would be interested in another piece of furniture to recycle! The cabinet ( made in the late 1800's early 1900's from quarter sawn oak) originally belonged to her grandmother and had been used to store misc. items in her basement for most of those 30 years. The original oak shelves had warped due to moisture so I replaced them with new glass shelves. There were also stains and gunk on the bottom shelf from years of spillage of who knows what. I loved that it had glass on all 4 sides, and that the entire front of the piece was glass too.  On the way home I envisioned my cherished china pieces arranged just so in their new home. 

 All I needed was a bit of inspiration!

This tassel ( a birthday gift ) was all I needed to get me rolling.

 I decided early on that this Painted Lady was going to be something special. I wanted it to be an expression of my personality. She's a little on the sassy side and a bit funky too... but at heart she's really just an old fashioned gal!

I combined the art of stenciling, Mosaic work and a bold color pallet for a total design of Sophisticated Whimsy!

The red glass tiles frame the top of the piece, reflect the sunlight during the day and tie in the red which surrounds the door and adorns the inside back of the piece.  Black and white toile pattern on the mosaic tiles add old fashioned charm to the rounded feet.

Inside the back is painted a rich deep red and stencilled with a gold metallic paint swirl design. Oh, you want to know about the Cheetah Spots on the front? Animal prints have been used in the decorative arts for centuries. They can be used in a myriad of ways in any room.

They're just plain fun! Use a little or a lot! 
It's your house!

Lady Deborah
The most important thing to remember when re-purposing your thrift store and flea market finds is to have fun and be bold in the personalization of your pieces. They'll be more than just recycled, they'll be your " one of a kind " family heirloom's for years to come.

This post is linked to The DIY Show Off  Project Parade!
Over 200 entries... amazing!

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