Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I bought this little fish plaque from Beachcomber Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, for $1 at a garage sale not far from her Mar Vista home. Like Ruth, I was attracted to the crafty nature of this little treasure made of two wooden angel fish who look like they might be smoking cigars under water. And they'll look perfect in Ruth's heartwarming and retro-tastic kitchen!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The dial from an old clock looks perfectly pleasing above an elegant wooden chair and placed just below a grouping of brown china mounted inside a white, wooden frame.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I must be fair to the fair, however. This year's annual event started on September 5 and runs through October 4, so these cakes have been sitting in their display cases for several weeks, and unfortunately, most haven't aged well. We chatted with one of the supervisors who told us that all of these cakes were delivered in pristine condition, shared the dish on the antics of some of the judges and regular contestants, and even told us how every decorated cake gets a fork stuck into it (hopefully discretely) just to make sure it's the real deal, and not just a gussied up hunk of foam.
I'm ready for a slice of cake, so let's take a stroll....
Ruth and I giggled over this fish cake and its sliced candy scales. Why, the decorator even gave this fish lovely, long eyelashes!
Aw....this cake reminds me of what most of my cakes look like. I'm sure it was gorgeous when it was presented and must have been a chocolaty delight to take a Third Award.
I'm a sucker for coconut cake, as must have been the judges. It also looks as if it were baked in my tilted oven.
Perfect timing for Halloween, this ghoulish gob of goodness was one of the judges favorites in the decorating category, most certainly before the cute spooks slid off the hill and onto the ground.
And finally my favorite. The pineapple upside-down cake. I'm certain it was light and airy when first baked, even though it now resembles a pineapple pancake.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I was taken back to my childhood when I saw this sign in the window of a Brooklyn boutique. First of all, it's sale time, and these days, any way to save a dime is a welcomed sight. And secondly, the display makes clever use of a Lite-Bright screen just like the one my sister and I played with for days on end in the 1970s.
We would plug the Lite-Bright into the corner of the living room right by the piano, and spend hours in front of the plastic board creating images -- a snowman, a chicken or maybe a boat -- out of it's translucent plastic pegs.
This clever display also reminded me of the tune that ran along with the Lite-Bright ads from the 1970s:
"Lite-Brite, makin' things with light.
Outta sight, makin' things with Lite-Brite."
I leave you with a video of the ad from 1971 --
The Elegant Thrifter
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sonya at Dime Store Thrift isThe Object of My Desire today. I am thankful for her fabulous giveaway of The Find:The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects and Vintage Details. She is a delight, and is officially in The Elegant Thrifter's Inner Circle.
Friday, September 11, 2009
If you've been following my volcano-making over the past few months, you know I've been working frantically to make 21 volcanoes for Jonamor Decor's Senor Amor and Jonona's wedding coming up this Sunday. All of my lava lovelies made it to LA just fine, and Jonona greeted me on Tuesday evening with our brown babies all gorgeously glittered! Just wait until we add more red and black lava rocks and the floral explosions that rise from the mouth of these vivacious volcanoes.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I visited Carlo's shop the other day and marveled over the creative use for old furniture, from old tables with flip-top lids to hid precious wines to tables and desks that make for clever shelving solutions, all created with an eye for style and a respect for budget.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
LeAnn: "I can't, I can't, I have to get these things ironed for the Antiques Week in Round Top coming up at the end of September!!!!, " she says with a spritz of her water bottle. " You know that; you're going with me, you goose!"
Stan: "Okay, fine! I'll just ask the questions and you can answer. Keep ironing. Spray me again and I'll shave your eyebrows while you're sleeping!"
LeAnn: "I watched my Grandmother (we called her Meme) very carefully, when she used to iron. I would sit and watch her press our clothes and drive
LeAnn: "At the moment I'm working my way through my stack of monogrammed Damask napkins. They're my best sellers."
Stan: "Just how did you become The Vintage Laundress?"
LeAnn: "When I first began my vintage business, I was heavy on furnishings. The cottage-shabby-chic thing was really popular, so, I painted everything I found white and distressed it. About a year into my venture, I discovered printed tablecloths from the '40s and '50s - and I was hooked! I began gathering and restoring printed
Stan: "What's in the laundry right now?"
LeAnn: "Well . . . . let's see . . . a bin full of monograms, a bin full of pink linens, a bin of damask (sans the monograms), a bin full of printed blue, red, and pink napkins, a bin full of Vera Neumann scarves and table textiles and a bin with vintage Christening gowns."
Stan: "When it comes to vintage linens, is there a quick way to assess the seriousness of an obvious stain or spot?"
LeAnn: "I've gotten pretty cocky over the years. Not many stains scare me. If it's a rust stain, I use a product called Whink or I use a more natural approach and use cream of tarter in hot water. My throw-down mixture is OxyClean and Era liquid laundry detergent together in the hottest water I can get. Most times, I heat the water to a boil on the range and then put it in with the mixture and let the linens soak for about five or six hours in big coolers on my back deck. I really have the white trash vibe goin' on out there when I'm washing and soaking! And some times if you listen really closely, you can hear the theme from the movie 'Deliverance' playing in the background!"
LeAnn: "My husband, Scott, went selectively blind and deaf approximately 24 hours after we said our "I dos." He has never complained about the piles of linens and furniture that litter our home and, as a matter of fact, he helps me add to them.
LeAnn: "The Hubbs has brainwashed my babes into thinking that their mother is
Stan: "Where's is the oddest place you've discovered a vintage treasure, and what was it?"
LeAnn: "I didn't find these pieces in an odd place, but they certainly seemed odd to me at the time. I discovered four bedroom sets of metal furniture at the Round Top Antiques Week several years ago. They were from a military base in Georgia, and there were several pieces like a bed frame, a desk, a chair for the desk, a side table and a dresser with a mirror attached. They were from the '40s I believe, and were covered with several coats of paint and lots of rust. So, I decided to rent a sandblaster and strip them and seal them with clear coat or
Stan: "Have you ever sold something that you wished you'd never?"
LeAnn: "Yes, I sold these marvelous round Vera Neumann placemats that had these graphically printed flowers, like pink poppies and big floppy butterflies on them. Whenever I think about how rare they were, my jaw kinda tenses and I throw up in my mouth a little bit! But, they went to a loving home and a lovely lady here in Austin, so, I have visiting rights if I want."
Stan: "I know you have an Etsy shop, which by the way, is tempting. Where else do you sell your wares?"
LeAnn: " I have a website in addition to my Etsy store and I have been setting up at The City-Wide Garage Sale here in Austin for close to 10 years now. For the last 7 years, twice a year I have been participating in the Antiques Weekend at Round
Stan: How did you develop your utterly creative eye?
LeAnn: "I graduated college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Graphics Design and Illustration. All of the Art History, color theory and design courses really broadened my horizons, visually speaking. After school I designed and illustrated for various publications and newspapers. Those experiences were key in my forming the daily habit of gathering images and logging away color combinations and pairings that I use in creating my home's interior design. My philosophy on decorating is don't take yourself too seriously and have some fun. Most of the time, it's just paint and that can be changed really inexpensively."
Stan: "What are your creative inspirations?"
LeAnn: "This is probably going to sound cheesy, but, my Mom and Aunts have always had beautifully decorated homes without spending a gazillion dollars. It almost makes my home seem even more special, because I managed the decorating on a shoestring budget. You know what I mean?
"Also, these days blogs are my instant gratification when it comes to inspiration. It seems all I can do most days is hop from one to the other. I just sit and gaze upon all the 'super-delicious' photos and discover all these companies, designers, crafters, thrifters and artists. Such is my crush on some of these people that all I want to do is pass them little origami notes that read, 'Can I feature you on my blog? When I grow up, can I be you? Circle Y or N.' I recall one of my first and strongest crushes being on some guy named 'The Elegant Thrifter!'"
Other than blogs, I'm always inspired by Philippe Starck, Trina Turk, Nanette Lepore, Jonathan Adler and any and all things French."
Stan: "Ah, mon dieu. Moi aussi.....If you could search for treasures anywhere and your budget was limitless, where would you go?"
LeAnn: "I would love to scrounge around in the flea markets of Paris. Belgium, Italy and Greece are other places on my wish list."
Stan: What do you tell people who want to decorate their homes but are afraid to give it a whirl? (And relish the pure gorgeousness in her own home, will you?)
LeAnn: "There was a time in my life when I did a lot of keeping up with the Joneses, if you know what I mean. I thought I needed to decorate my home like so and so's or dress like this person. Then I realized that really wasn't what it was all about. I began to think about my life and how I could live it like no one else - you know, authentically. My motto is don't be timid and squeamish: Experiment! The more experiments, the better. You have to live in your house, so make it something that you love."
Stan: I couldn't agree with you more! What would the ultimate Vintage Laundry be?
LeAnn: "I have a lot of goals and dreams for my business. Unfortunately, these goals are set by my brain. My brain and chaos are very close friends. I'm not sure if it's the artist in me or what, but linear thought is not my forte. My own personal chaos theory goes something like this: some random thought inspires some seemingly insignificant decision, which, in the end, throws my whole universe off it's axis.
THE THOUGHT: I want to start a textile design business.
THE IDEA: Research it to death and realize it takes a lot of cash.
THE DECISION: Find someone to partner with.
THE RESULT: A sprained cerebellum and an up-close-and-personal look at my other Forrest Gump-esque personality. My brain over-heats and smoke comes out of my ears in little spirals! Then I get frustrated and stop moving in that direction all together.
"But, if I were able to get through all that nonsense, the ultimate Vintage Laundry would be multi-faceted. I would love nothing more than to continue to gather vintage textiles, furniture, lighting and china, but along the way, I would like to develop my own designs inspired by vintage pieces. The pinnacle of the wish list would be to have Vintage Laundry store fronts all over the country. Having my own fabric line is long time dream of mine, as well. "
Stan: "Ok, now lets fold this stuff up and go have some Tex-Mex and margaritas!!"
LeAnn: "You read my mind! But on the way, I have this great little thrift store I'd like to show you!"