Monday, July 19, 2010

New Life for a Crystal Lamp

I have been wanting a new lamp for my bedside table for a long while. A long, long while. I've had the same little ginger jar ceramic lamp since I got my first apartment, and that's been many years back. Sure, I've replaced the shade, looked at other lamps, but never actually put out the money to buy a new one. Old Ginger just kept on going, and there were always other demands for my cash.  Lately, though, I've been checking out the array at Goodwill, hoping to find something which will complement the more romantic look I want to pull in there. Last week I wandered to the lamp corner and saw a white cherub lampstand. It was rather big for what I wanted it I love seeing cherubs as part of other people's shabby chic romantic design, but I'm actually not a cherub person myself. Bit too baroque for me.  I look a bit further, and there it is. A crystal lamp, just the right size, just the right look, and at $5, just the right price.

I've always loved crystal lamps. Actually, I love anything crystal, but I've always wanted a crystal lamp. In fact, my husband and I bought a crystal lamp once, well, he bought it as a gift for me, but we took it back, closer examination revealed that the seal line was very obvious and looked cheap and tacky.

Tell me, is it too terribly dated?  Not that I should care, but I know that the polished brass base is of a hue considered 'dated' elsewhere. Mind you, not 'vintage', or 'antique,' but 'dated'.  Gives a much different association, doesn't it.  I can, I suppose, put a bronze metal leaf over it, maybe brushed gold leafing, actually, that sounds nice when I verbalize it, doesn't it?

It needs a new shade as well, the one it came with is old and cheap, feels practically plastic. That won't be too much of an expenditure, and it will give it an almost new feeling.

I am very happy with the new setting it creates. Okay, I have to share the truth. The first picture is my 'ideal' setting, so sweet and romantic. Here's how it will actually look, with my trusty clock radio, also a thriftshop find from years ago, and those most important glasses. You might even find the tv remote there occasionally, if you were to peek in unannounced.

A definite improvement in the mood of my nightstand, however. Old gingey, the ginger jar lamp is put away in the closet. Maybe one of my girls will want it for her first apartment. By then, it might even be vintage.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Finally! A Shabby Grouping

I am so delighted with my actual full grouping of all shabby chic pieces. I have to admit, I love the look of shabby chic, but really have never applied it to our home decorating. One reason is my dear husband, who shares a rather traditional decorating style with me, but sees no real good in 'old' pieces. So my more vintage or antique looking stuff has been an odd piece here or there.

One of the pieces I got a couple years ago was this delightful bird. I bought it, clearance of course, at JC Penneys. I had seen others there in different poses, but by the time I scored this at 75% off, this was what was left. I love the sweet detail of it, but imagine my chagrin one day when I picked it up and discovered a new chip on its perky little tail. That had not been there as early as a couple days before that. When I gave the usual suspects my hotheaded suspicions, my older daughter debated that the cat must have knocked it off. Really? And did the cat also pick it back up and replace it in its proper place? Sigh. So it's a bit shabbier than the original design called for. I still love it.
This green birdhouse was picked up a few weeks ago at Michaels, where we were getting a gift for hubby's mom's birthday. I saw a whole shelf of variations of these adorable birdhouses, marked down from $20 to $7. The hardest decision was choosing just one. I don't think you can see it very well, but it has a glass doorknob for a perch under the hole. Now I'm thinking I should get some of those hanger/murals I've seen made like that, with the glass knobs.

The final piece to my collection is the scrolled antique finished photo frame I found last week at the Goodwill. $1.50, just my price. I think it really wraps up the set nicely. In fact, I'm thinking I can expand my collection and actually concentrate shabby chic in my bedroom. Hubby doesn't mind too much what I do there, and just so long as I don't get carried away and start painting the Thomasville dressers white, he should be good with it. I can't wait!

My sister Julie has joined me in Adventures in Blogland.  Julie is a wonderful woman, the mother of 4 precious boys, 2 of them on the autistic spectrum. Julie is a very talented crocheter, she loves to blog about her latest project.  She's linked up to a crochet pattern giveaway this week. You can check out the giveaway blog here crochetdovegiveaway  or visit Julie's blog at crazymotheringchick - she's new at this, like me, and we're both still operating on a learning curve.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mom's Birds

My mother was a simple woman who married young and started having children right away.  She was from a large family herself, and this was all she imagined for her future, to be a wife and homemaker in the rural Missouri area close to her mom and siblings.  Life was hard for her, though, my dad had recurring health issues which put him in and out of the hospital on many occasions, and when he worked, even if he brought hom a decent salary, it never seemed to stretch far enough to keep up with the needs of  the eventual eight children they produced.

I was the second child mom delivered. When I was growing up, Mom was too busy wondering which child needed the next pair of shoes the worse to be able to buy pretty things for the house. Most of her home decorating involved determining where to arrange the furniture when the rain started leaking through the ceiling. She had a few items she treasured, one of these was a large wood steamer trunk we always referred to as the Civil War chest. Supposedly it was a relic from that period, but for us it served as coffee table and mom's hope chest. It was where she kept a precious small collection of crystal serving trays and delicate tea towels. Ever so often I would see her take them out and lovingly look through them, then pack them up neatly away from the reach of grubby, clumsy small hands.

My siblings eventually grew up and moved out, as did I.  My father had left her a widow while she was still raising the youngest kids. I moved to California and communicated with her by phone and letter. In 1998 she told me she had cancer and would be going in for surgery. I boarded a plane and flew back for the first visit I had made back home in the 20 years since I'd moved away. Mom was accepting of the fact that her cancer was bad, her health failing. She was at peace with the idea that her days were numbered, and was gifting out her few possessions to her children.  In the years since the kids grew and left, she had the begun to start collecting and displaying her items around her house. She had dolls and sewing machines and ceramic birds. She pressed me to choose some things. I chose a few things for sentimentality's sake, including this ceramic bird figurine. I packed it as well as I could for the flight back home, but a tail broke. We fixed it with some super glue, and it's barely noticeable, I had to look for it when I took it out from its place in the curio cabinet.  I had not thought about this bird for a long while, but I am seeing it anew through my Mom's eyes. Mom waited a long while to be able to gather and display items she loved. It has no monetary value, but it stores such sweet memories for me. Even just now it occurs to me how appropriate I can remember her by this depiction of a lovely bluebird tending to its young.

I am linking up to Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday. Let's join everyone there to see what others have to share.