Classic Style Using Authentic Treasures

It's all about living an AUTHENTIC life, being true to who we are and finding beauty and inspiration in our daily surroundings. Decorating our homes with found items and antique and vintage treasures, we create a personal ~ classic style ~ that defines who we are!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can You Fall In Love With A Tool?

Now, Now, Now....
I'm speaking of a Brush!

A Wax Brush to be exact!
As I am a dedicated junker and picker, addict might be a better word, I hate to pay retail for anything!

But when I read about the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and saw all the beautiful "after" shots on so many blogs, I decided to give it a try, bite the bullet, place an order and pay retail!!!  

It is an investment for sure, but you don't have to sand, prep or prime what you are painting.  Wood, Metal, Floors,Walls, can paint it.

I placed my order for four quarts of paint, and two wax brushes of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint line!  (I already had the wax and a sample of the paint).  I vacillated back and forth about buying one wax brush or two...

Here's my order just received:  
Old White, Graphite, Paris Grey 
and Duck Egg Blue...
plus two wax brushes.
 I even like the blue shipping paper!

It has been suggested on a couple of blogs that having one brush for clear wax and one for dark works better.

I agree as I don't want to have to constantly be cleaning the brush if I have several projects going on at one time.

 Looked promising!
I thought for those of you out there trying to decide whether you should order one, or two...I'd show you what I found.  You can apply soft wax with a rag, so you don't HAVE to have the brush, but with it you get more control and it's easier getting in to the nooks and crannies!

I can't believe how sturdy this brush is!  It has a nice weight to it.  It is bigger than I expected and once I opened the package and inspected it, I felt better about paying the requested price.

Isn't she lovely?

I tried to think of something that would compare to the brush size and came up with a Dasani water bottle.  

The brush circumference is almost 
the same size as the bottom of the water bottle.

The length of the brush is 
actually longer than the water bottle.

The brush is 10 inches in total length with a smooth hard wood handle!  The actual brush head is three inches long including the metal band.  The natural bristles are two inches long and approximately two inches the bottom of the water bottle.

No plastic on this baby! 
 It truly is an investment 
in the beauty of your furniture!

I wouldn't think twice about buying one or two!

If you are interested in purchasing 
Annie Sloan products, 
here's the link to the list of American Stockists:

I have furniture stored in two places 
waiting to be "chalked" and "waxed".
Sounds like a day at the spa doesn't it?

I'll post photos as soon as I get started.

First up are two pickled French style ladder back chairs.  I'm adding a more hefty white wash on these and replacing the upholstery with vintage french striped ticking in taupe and cream.

Can't wait to show you the before and afters!

Be Authentic!  Be the Real You!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Some Day I'm Going to Have a Store!

I love old books!
I just always seem to find a treasure 
or a message meant for me!

Today, while I was pricing 
a 1949 Children's Encyclopedia,
I started to flip the pages 
and read the poems and fairy tales.

The 1913 is a library id number, 
it is also written in the back of the book!

Almost instantly I came to a page 
that caught my eye:

The Poem made me smile 
as it mirrored my thoughts exactly!

I love working in my booths, but
Some Day I'm Going to Have a Store,
with a tinky bell over the door...
And say, 
"What can I do for you today?"

Welcome to any new followers and
thank you to the original 16 who have
been my faithful few!

You have to start somewhere!

Live Authentically ~ Be the Real You!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Well Slap My Face and Call Me Stupid!

"Intellect is invisible to the man who has none".
~ Arthur Schopenhauer

As I sit here writing this post, 
I am laughing at myself!
You will understand why in a moment....

I am always looking for ways to re-purpose items.
I love giving vintage gifts 
or things made from vintage items.

So, I was shopping at a flea market recently 
and came across a huge selection of older encyclopedias.

I am a sucker for dictionaries, 
atlases, encyclopedias, and hymnals,
as I use them in art projects. 
If I find a pretty set, I decorate with them.
So, I'm standing there staring at this huge display 
and I see a low shelf full of encyclopedia 
year books, in no specific order.

A light bulb goes off in my head! 
This would be so cool 
to give as a gift in honor of a person's birth year!

Are you following me?....
these were older year books from the 50's and 60's!
Right up my alley...
my husband, my siblings, myself!  How cool is that?
A vintage year book about the year you were born! 
Who needs those new birthday cards that include this information when you can have the real thing?

I started filling up my buggy!  

They didn't have newer ones, 
so I couldn't get any for my children...
until I was at Goodwill a few weeks ago 
and low and behold, 
there were year books from the 90's decade.
So I bought my boy's year books too!

I was so proud of myself, thinking about 
how I was going to blog about this great idea for another re-purposing project.

Until I gave my teenage boys their books....
I presented them with their books 
and explained that the year books high-lighted everything going on in the world 
the year they were born!

They both stood there looking at me with this 
"here she goes again" smile on their faces.
Can you see it?...
I was so excited...they were completely blase'!  

So, a couple days go by 
and I see the 15 year old's year book 
on the coffee table...
and think, wow he's reading his book!  

I was so proud of me!  


Start laughing now OK?  
Because I have to laugh to keep from crying....

My 15 year old comes in the kitchen and says,
"Hey mom, you know that book 
you bought me about my birth year?"

I say, "yes honey, what about it?"  
(thinking he is going to tell me how neat it is),
"It's the wrong year!"
"What?" I say..."doesn't it say 1995?"

But the 1995 book 
is all about what happened in 1994!!"

I grew up using these books!  
I knew this!!  Somewhere in my brain I knew this!

So my sweet child,
seeing the dejected look on my face,
as I realized I had a box of  year books in the basement I couldn't use, said,
"But that's OK mom...
I want to keep it, it tells all about 
the OJ Simpson trial!!"

I just died laughing!  
I mean rolling out loud 
and he stood there looking at me 
like I was mindless!

So again I say, 
"Slap my face and call me stupid!"
One last thought!
It is a great idea for a gift!
Just make sure you buy the year book titled 
AFTER the year you need!
I may be putting a few in my booth to sell!!

Be Authentic....
if you can't laugh at yourself 
then no one can laugh with you!
Join me in my laughter...will you?

Be Real ~ Martha

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Treasure Between the Pages

"The man who does not 
read good books 
has no advantage 
over the man 
who can not read them." 
~Mark Twain

Have you read
any good books lately?

Books, I am afraid,
may be an endangered species!

I must say, that of all the things
I enjoy collecting,
are my all time favorites!

I use them all over my house
to decorate, to add interest,
to make me smile!

This is a February, 
1961 Edition of Winnie the Pooh!
In Latin!!!
Didn't that make you smile?

Any time I find a book from
the early 1900's or older,
I am thrilled!

But there are those 
special books 
that hold treasure
between their pages!

Not only the thoughts 
of the author,
but gifts of time 
that have been 
left behind
by previous owners!

My old books 
range from 
dictionaries, hymnals,
cook books, fictional stories,
poetry (my favorites), 
and really
that catches my eye.

I am always thrilled 
when I gently turn 
the time worn pages
to discover 
newspaper clippings,
bits of fabric, 
or little dried flowers.

I sit there in awe 
and wonder
how this 
little piece of history,
meant something 
to this person.

So endearing, 
it found its way
between the pages 
of this book,
to be saved 
for another to find!

Cook books with old
hand written recipes, 
and clippings
of cooking the perfect roast.

Garden guides 
with magazine articles
shoved between the pages,
mapping out flowers and seasons.

Old school books
with hand written notes
about assignments!

It is like a 
time warp
right out of that
person's life!

I want to share with you
a few of my
special finds!

I consider myself
to be their guardian 
for now - 
until they find 
their way
into hopefully 
another pair 
of  appreciative hands!

The title caught my eye! 

The first thing I saw
when I opened the book,
was a piece of the original
dust jacket ~
carefully, cut and glued
 for the sake of posterity!

Written by the doctor himself!

 I always check the copyright...1939!

Then I saw this inscription and
my hair stood up on my arms 
and I got goose bumps! 

 When I saw this, I knew I had a keeper!

 This book had been passed down,
and now in the hands 
of another relative,
held a 1969 newspaper clipping
with information 
about their family name and coat of arms.

As I turned the pages,
I came to find a bittersweet
memento of Dr. Holley's family. 

Dr. Holley's Funeral Program from 1947.

And the subsequent Obituary notice.

How could anyone leave this 
on the shelves of a thrift store?

My most prized treasure 
to date ~
isn't due to its age,
 but what lays within it!

A very bland looking book,
would you have picked this out while shopping?

 There are no copyright dates,
 but I assume from the pages,
printing style and design,
that it must be early 1900's.

In the beginning of the book, 
the owner underlines a few sentences
in the preface regarding 
Omar Khayyam's character.
Did you read what it said?

"(Omar) having failed of finding 
any Providence but Destiny,
and any World but This, 
he set about making the most of it;
...he very likely takes a humorous 
or perverse pleasure in exalting the
gratification of Sense above that of the Intellect."

 If you have read this far in the post,
then I ask you to stop
 and read the clipping below.
 Can you imagine yourself in her shoes?

 After reading the clipping,
I was immediately drawn into this woman's life!
What did she look like, where did she live?
 Was she melancholy?
 A day dreamer?

Then I found a multitude of 
endearing treasures
 that will forever leave me wondering...

Was she in love?  
In an unhappy marriage?
 Hoping for Good Luck?

Did she have a secret lover?
 Who gave her these gifts 
so precious she saved them?

I wondered ~
do the quatrains of poetry 
have any significance
 with where she placed the roses?

page 81
And this I know:  whether the one True Light
Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me quite,
 One Flash of It within the Tavern caught
 Better than in the Temple lost outright.

What!  out of senseless Nothing to provoke
A conscious Something to resent the yoke
 Of un-permitted Pleasure, under pain
 Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke!

 I feel such empathy for her.
So sentimental in her dreams for happiness.

A beautiful poem about 'Transience'
and with it,  a humorous quote!
  I would have liked
to have known this woman.

A Red Ribbon from a special evening,
perhaps from a corsage!

A hand written note!  I love it!
It reads:
"A leaf from the "Bo-Tree"
(Sacred Tree of India) under which "Buddah" meditated),
which I picked up in Lafayette Park L.A. early in July.
I have a mate to it.  It's a glorious thing when fresh.
Please return this with ??? and snap shot."

And then, one of the final gifts:
The Red Feather ~ 
If she were a superstitious type,
it symbolized courage, physical vitality, 
good fortune and life!

I hope that life was good to her,
and that she experienced 
extreme joy in her daily living! 

The next time you see an old book
in a pile of things at the thrift store,
will you consider what it may have to offer?

It could be a treasure 
it could give you a gift 
of knowledge,
 a life lesson!

"To sit alone in the lamplight 
with a book spread out before you, 
and hold intimate converse 
with men of unseen generations - 
such is a pleasure beyond compare." 
~Kenko Yoshida

Live Authentically!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Hey Bubba! Pass the Gravy!

"I come from a family where gravy 
is considered a beverage!"  ~ Erma Bombeck
Ok - so I am from Georgia - 
and yes we do eat a lot of gravy down here.
A true Southern woman always has at least one gravy boat,
and some of us have more!

You know you have to have one for formal dinners
and one for casual meals around the kitchen table.
When I got married, 
I received one in silver plate,
one that matched my china pattern 
and one out of Wilton pewter - that's my everyday!
(Ha - Like I make gravy on a weekly basis!)
If I do, 
its out of a jar 
and we certainly don't use a gravy boat! 

On one of my recent junking excursions,
I picked up an attached, silver plate gravy boat!
It made me smile and I stood there thinking, hmmm
would someone even buy one of these anymore?
Then I thought, it is so pretty, I'll take it home and 
use some silver polish and see what I can come up with!

I challenged myself to a 
"Gravy Boat Re-Purpose Challenge"!

Ready to smile?

 Hey, Why Not?  It's perfect to hold water 
and a place to hold your brush!

And speaking of water...what about floating
a flower or candle on the dinner table?

Add a splash of silver to your vanity 
& drop in some jewelry.

I thought this was a great way to serve nuts.

 A fun way to hold your utensils for buffet service. 

 A regal way to collect loose change!

 Dress up your Mints or Candy.

Buttons and Baubles, or Beads or craft items. 

Crafting or Office supplies, 
what a fun idea for your desk.

Rocks - no really!  I collect them, too!

Sea Shells - one of my faves!


Candle Scape anyone?

  Do you save your corks?  
Why not display them?

Can you think of any other ideas?

When you are out antiquing next time, 
think twice before you pass something up!
I bet you'll be able 
to come up with other ways to use it!
We need to give all those dust-collecting,
Gravy Boats out there a new job!
And isn't that what Re-Purposing is all about?