Friday, September 23, 2011

Bring Vintage Linens Back to Life!

I once had a craft/antique shop in Cocoa Village, Florida - a quaint shopping village located on the Indian River in Cocoa, Florida.  I had a customer who was enthralled with vintage hand embroidered linens of all kinds with hand crocheted edges.  She had an inspiration to put together quilt squares using bits and pieces of these old linens.  She would cut out her 12" X 12" muslin square and start working with her linens, cutting and arranging them on each unique square until she got it just right.  She brought her works of art into my shop to share with me one day, and I've never seen such a beautiful collection.  She then put them together into a quilt for her bed.

This would be a wonderful use for any old crocheted doilies or hand embroidered linens from your family (or you could purchase and collect them as she did).  We always have a great selection of linens at Memories for you to browse.  Once her quilt was finished, she also made pillows for the head of her bed - so romantic and beautiful!

I have also seen ideas for using vintage hankerchiefs the same way by using one hanky for each square of a quilt and trim with crocheted lace or doilies.  Another way to use old hankies is to hang them from corner to corner on a curtain rod to make a valance - so sweet for the bathroom or feminine bedroom.

I have used old embroidered pillow cases and inserted an 18" X 18" pillow form, folded down the embroidered edge of the pillow case for a lovely pillow for the bed or bedroom chair!

Of course, you can always use the doilies and linens on your furniture and chair backs as they were designed for - for a romantic look that softens the decor of your home!  The ideas are endless!  Think outside the box when you are browsing in the linen section of your local antique store or when you are going through your Grandmother's hand stitched treasures.  Reuse and recycle - that's what we do here at Memories Past and Present!  It's a fun and unique way to decorate!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Creative New Uses for Old Frames

I had a customer in the other day who works in a framing shop, and she told me that she will never look at framed prints and pictures the same way again!  She has a renewed interest in just the frames - and not particularly the pictures in them.  After you read this blog, you will have a new interest in frames!

One creative use for old frames is to take out the picture and insert vintage photographs, wedding invitations, special greeting cards, your Grandmother's hand crocheted or tatted doilies, old music, old decorative hankies, or whatever strikes your fancy.  Place them on a background of fabric that matches your room or even wallpaper or wrapping paper.  These can either be fixed to hang on your wall just like you would a picture - or you can purchase two handles at your hardware store and mount them on the ends of the frame, and you will have a beautiful tray on which to serve your next cup of tea.

These look so pretty just sitting on your coffee or side table for a place to sit your coffee or tea when you are relaxing to read a book and sip your tea!  Another way to make your tray even more special is to purchase little decorative brass or wooden legs and affix them to the bottom of the corners.  The ideas are limitless and are guaranteed to make you never look at antique framed pictures in the same way ever again.  Also, this would be a perfect, one of a kind, gift idea!

Another great idea is to hang an empty frame on the wall and inside it hang a smaller picture or even a pretty vintage plate!  If the frames are damaged when you find them (and many of them are in antique stores), just paint them in whatever color you want, or paint them white and then sand lightly to give the cottage or shabby chic look.  If you are looking for the perfect mirror for your bathroom and just can't find it - check out your local antique store for old framed prints and take the frame and get a mirror placed in it. 

I promise you that you will never look at pictures at antique shops, garage sales, or flea markets in the same way again.  What's Old can be New Again!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Owls Popular Again - Who Gives A Hoot?

Again, I will mention the 1970's as I was a young married woman, just out of college and starting housekeeping.  I remember the avocado green, harvest gold, mushroom cookie jars, and owls - owls were everywhere!  I'm sure you've noticed that lately, there are those "hoots" again - everywhere!

My daughter has recently had a new beautiful baby girl - while she was expecting, she was working on a theme for the baby's room and she would chat with me on facebook and send me links to decorating ideas she found that she liked.  I couldn't believe it when the theme she chose was these cute little owls sitting on branches in trees.  I mentioned it to the lady next door to my shop who operates a kids clothing store, and she said when she went to market that was all she could see - owls everywhere!!!  And so I helped my daughter decorate little Sadie Caroline's room in pink, green and brown owls sitting in pink polka dot trees!  And, believe it or not, it is so cute and feminine - there's even a soft owl pillow in the rocking chair.

Young girls have come in my antique store (girls in their teens) and gotten so excited over my owl jewelry and anything else with owls on it.  I asked them if they knew that owls were popular 40 years ago?!?  One punched the other and said "I TOLD you it was the 70's" like that was so long ago - I mean ancient!  Hmmm....I smiled.....doesn't seem that long ago to me!

Well anyway, when you are going through your Mother's or Grandmother's things, don't discount anything as being old and silly and outdated - you just never know what trend will come back around and be the next, new hottest thing.  So at Memories, we are seeing vintage owl items make an appearance - necklaces (those big ones with the bright colored beady eyes), brooches (even one from Avon that holds solid perfume), needlepoint purse, crystal paperweight, salt and pepper shakers, figurines, and more!  There you go - what's old is new again!  Who woulda' thought - owls!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Colors of Fall

When the seasons change, it is always a time of reflection and new beginnings.  We start to think about changing out the decorations in our homes to prepare for the coming season.  When I think of Fall, I think of colors - red, orange, gold, green and brown, that represent the colors of the leaves as they turn and start to fall to the ground.

When I was a young married woman in the 1970's, the "in" colors were avocado green and harvest gold - all the really modern homes had these colors in their carpet, kitchen appliances, and accessories.  Today we would say "yuk" because the trends are different and these colors are not in favor.  But when it comes to decorating for Fall - there they are - and we need to be able work them into our home to reflect the season.

I remember in my dining room in the 70's I had a large bay window with glass shelves - they were covered with sparkling glassware in green and gold - I had little bells, bowls, toothpick holders, etc. in those colors proudly displayed all year long for the sunlight to reflect through.  One of the favorite patterns of that time was "Moon and Stars", a lovely glassware pattern that came in all colors - it is still popular and collectible even all these years later.  Another beautiful idea for Fall is amberina glass - it is a beautiful glassware that blends from red to orange to yellow - each piece is unique and the colors are vivid. 

When thinking about decorating your kitchen and dining tables, consider these items from long ago as your accent pieces and centerpieces!  At Memories we have a multitude of beautiful items to choose from, including sugar and creamers, baskets, banana stands, compotes, bowls, and more!  Think outside the box this year, and consider the idea of decorating with someting "vintage" rather than purchasing new!  The glassware is durable and will give you pleasure for many years to come.  Stop in for some great Fall decorating ideas at Memories this season!