Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yard Sale Recap 2010: R.S. Prussia, O.P. Co., Homer Laughlin, K.T. & K., and Syroco Stuff!

I scored some nice stuff at yard sales this season here in the Catskills.
Total cost for new pretties: $20.60.
Most pieces are American manufacturers going for a French look.  The delicacy of real 19th century Theodore Limoges porcelain and Rococo mirrors isn’t quite there, but they’re nice enough and the prices were right.

The first, my favorite, is a lidless c. 1900 R. S. Prussia sugar bowl, $10.   It’s not the usual ‘over-the-top Victoriana’ one thinks of when R.S. Prussia is mentioned, and sure enough a few minutes at an R.S. Prussia  information site exposed mine as a fake!   The period isn't after 'Prussia' and the R & S are crooked.

Oh, well.  I love it anyway, and it’ll always be a great conversation piece!

An Onondaga Pottery Company (backstamp: O.P. Co. Syracuse China) c. 1897 luncheon plate with a Limoges look, 50 cents.  O.P. Co. china was mass produced here in New York and the first in America to produce semi-vitreous (translucent or glasslike) china in 1895.

A c. 1900 Angelus sauce boat by Homer Laughlin, $1.50.  ‘Antique dinnerware is identified by the name of the manufacturer, plus a name given to the particular form of all of the pieces making up a set (called the shape name), plus a name given to the colored decoration (called the pattern name).  The Angelus shape was a favorite with both the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs 1900 - 1910, the pattern is a band of leaves. Patterns were usually applied after the initial firing, and (oddly) makers rarely named them.’ --From Turn of the Century American Dinnerware 1880s – 1920s by Joanne Jasper.

Catalog picture of the Homer Laughlin Angelus shape c. 1900
from "Turn of the Century American Dinnerware 1880s – 1920s" by Joanne Jasper.

Tiny butter pats from Knowles, Taylor, Knowles (backstamp: Semi-Vitreous Porcelain K.T. & K. Co.) of East Liverpool, Ohio, $4.  They may be the c. 1904 St. Louis shape.  Love the pink and blue sprays reminiscent of Theodore Limoges.

Catalog picture of the Knowles, Taylor, Knowles St. Louis shape, c. 1905
from "Turn of the Century American Dinnerware 1880s – 1920s" by Joanne Jasper.

What touches me the most about antique dinnerware is I’m merely the next person in the legacy of the piece, first owned, perhaps, by a young bride.  I can see her, wearing a high-necked lace blouse and her hair in a Gibson Girl pompadour, reaching into her inherited cabinet, then tenderly lifting the brand new oyster nappy from her collection to admire it.  (A nappy is a small uncovered serving bowl.  I’m most attracted to pieces the average 21st century person won’t recognize, like bone dishes.)

How thrilling it would be to receive this calling card rather than a Tweet…

…on the other hand, the Industrial Age owners of this factory were proud of it right down to the unabashed depiction of filthy smoke on their advertising.

A tiny shot glass for 10 cents.   Beautiful, useless things.   Love them.

A corroding salt and pepper set from Hong Kong that made me smile for some reason, $3.

And last, a small Syroco mirror, $1.50.   It still hasn’t spoken to me on how it’s getting refinished and where it’s going.

When you come upon treasures like this it’s worth the slog through fruitless Saturday mornings offering only baby clothes and VHS movies!

Things are winding down at work and I don't have any shoots scheduled, so I've actually been able to spend significant time catching up with my favorite blogs.   I'm ever so grateful for your comments, and I hope I'll be able to linger on your pretty pages and let you know -- for real -- how I love you all!

Until next time, stay shabby!

I'll be sharing this with:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Les Citrouilles

Rather more elegant than “pumpkins”, “Les Citrouilles” are the supremely talented
Fifi O’Neill’s French take on traditional American displays, and I daresay I’m never
going back to orange gourds and hardy mums. 

Image courtesy of Fifi O'Neill

They’re so simple to make.  
All you need is:

*Plastic pumpkins $1 - $7 each at your local craft or discount store.   (I went to Michael’s and Wal-Mart.   Real works, too, but they need extra coats of paint.)

*Hot glue gun

*Glue sticks


*1” – 2” Paint brush

*Various paints in shades of white and cream

*Embellishments   (I found the glass ‘diamonds’ in the vase filler aisle, and the tendrils and leaves in the Holiday floral pick bins at Michael’s.   I placed vintage rhinestone earrings on a few, beads on others, and sequins off a broken pair of flip-flops.)

*Glitter   (I use Martha Stewart’s White Gold and Florentine Gold from my craft kit, and some lovely coppery German glass glitter given to me by one of my gentle readers that insists on remaining anonymous.)

Paint the pumpkins and let dry.    Hot glue your decorations on.    Use a paintbrush to cover the tops with glue and scatter with glitter.    Arrange on silver or mercury glass votives and candlesticks. 

This elegant centerpiece cost $12.    I went for an all-white theme because I knew
I’d have photoshoots for Skona Hem magazine and the wedding website
Kiss The Groom this October.

For a more natural look, try the popular little white pumpkins available at
specialty food stores and farmstands, or grow them yourself!
Pumpkins should be started indoors around April Fool's Day and planted
out after all danger of frost is gone.

Here, Mira Schnepf of Belle Blanc uses white “Baby Boo” pumpkins,
simple and unadorned, and the result is as magnificent as sparkle and rhinestones.

I’m thrilled to think I’ve either met or corresponded with Fifi and Mira,
and I’m so happy to spread the word these sweet and talented women
have books coming out soon!

Fifi is the first editor to take an interest in my studio,
so I am very grateful for her and her friendship.
You can pre-order her book "Romantic Prairie Style" at Amazon.

Mira is the first author I’ve interviewed, and she’s as kind and generous with words
as she is with sharing her decorating ideas. 
(I’m trying my hand at writing articles while clinging on to my day job with the other.)

BELLE BLANC - Aus Liebe zu Weiß
available on Amazon February 2011 EUR 29,90 (D); ISBN 978-3-512-03354-4
It is written in German, but beauty transcends language.

They’ll be as loaded with eye candy as a child’s sack after Halloween so be sure to buy each!

Until next time, stay shabby!

 I'll be sharing this with White Wednesday at Faded*Charm,
and Cindy's Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home,
please join us in sharing all the pretty submissions! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Serenade

It’s not the end of warm weather; it’s the beginning of fireside snuggling.

Pink Grootendorst, Hybrid Rugosa, F.J. Grootendorst, Netherlands, 1923

My King always picked this for me whenever we stopped at
a little park on the Peconic Bay when we lived on Long Island.

Seed pods often are as pretty as the flowers that preceded them.

Photo: Toshi Otsuki, Victoria, October 1990

Antique Apples: Calville Blanc, grown in Louis XIII’s garden, this French
dessert apple should be eaten in the company of an aged Cheddar or robust Stilton.

Photo: Toshi Otsuki, Victoria, October 1990

Pedigreed Pommes: Twenty years after
wishing I had every apple in this article I planted a Mutsu in my orchard.

Autumn is ripe fulfillment, pregnant with seeds.    Reap the harvest.

Until next time, stay snuggly!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Skona Hem Shoot

Emma takes pictures in my loft.
White rose petal garland, Ozma of Odds.

Vanilla meringues from my sweet King, and Earl Grey flavored macarons 
from the energetic Simon of The Macaron Parlor.

Hej!  Sunday I spent a most lovely day with two professional Swedish photographer/stylists. 
Emma Mattsson and Petra Kjellstrom are as beautiful inside as they are outside. 
I drove them to Woodstock, NY where we saw a few highlights of that delightful village,
hit a yard sale, and dropped in on Fredrick of Scandinavian Grace. 
He was most surprised to see the women that did their first story on his house located
on one of the many islands off Stockholm's shores walk into his shop in the Catskills!

Petra (r) and Emma (l) ready for the next shot.

A few of my props, a pink rosary on a chippy mirror and glittery pumpkins a la Fifi O'Neill.

Emma, me, Zuzu, and Petra by the streamside 'working model of my studio' where I'm
re-creating and shooting the how-to portions of my book.

Photo: Todd Foster

I'm crazy for Scandinavian design, so getting asked to be in Skona Hem (Beautiful Home) was
very exciting.  We don't know when the story will run, but I of course will share it with you!

Tills nästa gång, stanna shabby!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A New Look: Toile Wallpaper in My China Cabinet

I'm so glad you stopped by to visit!    I extend a warm welcome especially to my new followers.
Welcome everyone!   In August, I was wondering how I could make my studio look
a little more summery, but I didn't want to do anything permanent.
Then, I remembered this roll of pretty grayish-blue toile wallpaper I never used for the
library in my old house.

I simply cut it to size for each quadrant in my china cabinet, then taped it in.
Of course, it'll curl up and look natty someday soon, but who cares?
I'm taking it down in October, anyway.

Once gold, this $5 yard sale urn was easy to spray paint white.
I love the classical motif.

The wallpaper is Ralph Lauren's Saratoga Toile.  You are quite right to guess it is 
horribly expensive--$40 per roll--and they make you buy two.  
Very sad I decided to sell the house before I could hang it,
and even sadder I couldn't unload it on Ebay.  
At least I can enjoy it in some fashion today.

Theodore Haviland Limoges china with a pink and green unmarked saucer
with a stylized violet pattern.

As I often do, I pretend I have a kitchen in my cottage, where I would use my blue
and white glass cloths in the summer, on a salvaged counter made from my old dresser
and its delightful neo-classical pulls and appliques.

Until next time, stay shabby!