Pretty, Purple Princess Chandelier

I’ve been dying to get my hands on a chandelier with potential so I could redo it for a pretty, pretty princess. Enter Goldie here. I picked her up at a garage sale over the weekend and immediately started cleaning her up.

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier – Before

She wasn’t in horrible shape, she really just needed a warm, soapy water wipe-down. I loved her shape and I loved all of the bling. The crystals (plastic, by the way) all came off and got cleaned, and so did the light cup/fake candle combo. The glass dome got hand washed and set aside while the frame got detailed and painted.Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier 04 before collage.jpg

The fun part, of course, is the painting, so I got busy on this beautiful day, and painted all day, starting with the underside. In the sunlight, it almost looks white, but it’s actually a flat lavender color from Valspar.

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier 02 during and after collage.jpg

The end result is a little big magical. I can only imagine the fabulous room this beauty will end up in. I’m a little bit jealous already. On to the next one!

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier 03 after.jpg

Coolest Thing I Saw Today! And it Hides a Secret!

I go to estate sales all over Kansas City these days. It’s a good day when one is happening in my very own town. Today was such a day.

I was one of 30 people in line when the doors to this shoemaker’s estate sale opened up at 9:00 this morning and I’m so glad I was. I had my eye on something in particular – this 1920’s cast bookend, which I was lucky enough to grab up.

1920's cast bookend - boat captain and wheel

And I also put my hands on this beautiful walking stick, and didn’t let go (estate sale-goers are crazy!). All I knew about it was that it was old and gorgeous.

late 19th century walking stick with hidden blade

It wasn’t until I got home and was playing with it that I realized that it had a secret hidden inside: it is also a knife.

late 19th century walking stick with hidden blade

A little research and I was able to determine that the item is probably from the late 19th century and made in India. It features carved bone and hand carvings in the wood, which has been ebonized. And I love it.

As much as I think I would love to be a little old lady who walks with a cane that has a hidden 22″ blade in it in a few years, I have decided that I am not ready for a cane just yet. So on eBay it goes. Isn’t it fantastic?!

UPDATE: eBay doesn’t allow hidden blade items. If you have an interest in this item. Let me know. I’ll be enjoying it in the meantime. 🙂

Nothing Chair Has Glamorous Past!

This poor chair has been with me since 1994, when my son was born and I was setting up my first, very own “home”. It was, undoubtedly something that my grandparents picked up years ago at an auction, as they were known to do that here in Clay County.

Let’s see – this chair has moved with me no less than 10 times (let’s see: Pittsburg-Topeka-Creve Coeur-Overland-St. Charles-Virginia Beach-Virginia Beach-St. Charles-St. Peters-Miami-Liberty-Baltimore-Liberty) in that time. I never paid much attention to it. If it’s had a place in my home, it’s had a slip cover on it. It has always looked just as it does in this pictures: Blah.

It was only recently that I checked the underside to find this label: Brent’s Homes furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, Calif. Naturally, I was curious. And guess what I found? Practically NOTHING! The only thing I could find was a reference in the Advertising Cyclopedia, using their catchy “Homes Furnished Complete” slogan as a teaching tool, and a 1922 Los Angeles Directory with their name included.

Not one piece of furniture, not one ad.

So here it is, world, the only surviving piece of Brent’s Furniture.

And it has a weird splatter paint on it and nasty blue corduroy. There is another layer of fabric underneath the blue, and the deep maroon color holds some promise, with the understanding that the spatter paint goes and this is as gorgeous as I think it is underneath. I would guess it’s oak. We shall see.

Another project just made the list.

antique chair labeled Brent's Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

antique chair labeled Brent’s Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

antique chair labeled Brent's Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

antique chair labeled Brent’s Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

antique chair labeled Brent's Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

antique chair labeled Brent’s Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

antique chair labeled Brent's Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

antique chair labeled Brent’s Homes Furnished Complete 716-722 South Main St. Los Angeles, CALIF

GOP Convention 1976 Swag

It’s not very popular to be a Republican these days. I could rant. I won’t.

These souvenirs from the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri were kind of sight for sore eyes in a local antique mall today. This is the first time I’ve seen any memorabilia from the event for sale in my journeys, so I had to have them. The blue t-shirt has seen better days and I can’t read what size it is, but I’d guess a Large. The convention logo is in pristine condition though and I think it’s a pretty nice piece of local history.

The bag, I don’t think, was ever actually used. I may have to think about what to do with these guys.

I could really upset some bleeding heart friends by wearing the shirt…

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Even Damaged Slag Lamps Are Beautiful!

So there I was, cruising my favorite local thrift store and there it was. This beautifully imperfect slag lamp, in two pieces – just sitting there looking sad!
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Having never bought or even thought about buying one of these hard-to-find treasures, I had no idea about, well anything related to it. I texted an artist friend of mine who can do just about anything, including make stained glass, and asked her if she could help me fix it up. “Is it slag?” she asked. Slag wasn’t a term I’d had any exposure to. “Huh?” was my answer. Needless to say, she bowed out quickly, which left me to internet research.

The lamps and their bases are typically made from pot metal, Pot metal—also known as monkey metal, white metal, or die-cast zinc—is a colloquial term that refers to alloys of low-melting point metals that manufacturers use to make fast, inexpensive castings. (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot_metal)

The slag glass is kind of a tan color when it’s not illuminated but when the light is on it turns to a pretty golden yellow. It’s missing one of the slag panels and another panel is glued together pretty clumsily. AND the metal needs to be repaired in one place. Luckily, the base is still in near-perfect condition (a scratch or two) and the finial was in tact.

Despite its imperfections, this beauty has still earned a place in my living room and it is so freaking gorgeous. My husband even turns it on from time to time to greet me when I come home from work.

I saw two of these exact lamps for sale on eBay last week for $600 or $900. What the what? Wanna’ know what I paid for this one? 🙂

Gesso Frame example

Gesso Frame example

I cleaned the middle part of this relief in a frame I picked up in Greenfield, Indiana. At first glance, it looks like wood, but it’s actually plaster that’s been stained. It’s my now-goal to learn how to repair this so that I can continue buying old, imperfect frames for cheap; I intend to use them to (finally) preserve family portraits of my Clay County relatives and hang them at home. It doesn’t make sense to put 100+-year-old images in brand new frames, and I just can’t afford the antiques that are in great shape. Updates to follow!

Blue Grass Pastures by Paul Starrett Sample

Blue Grass Pastures

In an effort to track down more information about this charming print, I called the C&O Historical Society. They were incredibly friendly and helpful, and here’s what they said:”The print appears to be of one of the paintings that was commissioned by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway for use in the new cars on their post-war streamliner that was to be instituted between Washington and Cincinnati for daylight travel from serving the major cities along that route, but to primarily to provide convenient daylight arrival at White Sulphur Springs, WV to serve guests of The Greenbrier, C&O’s famous resort. The train was to be called The Chessie and while its equipment was all built and delivered to the C&O in 1948, the passenger train market was drastically changing, with air travel coming into favor, and the train was never actually operated as intended. Some of the equipment served on C&O for a short period, as they waited delivery for other new equipment that was designed to modernize their other long-distance mainline passenger trains. Eventually almost all of the cars from the 1948 group were sold to other railroads and served well into the 1970s and even went into Amtrak service in 1971.

Generally,each of the coaches built for The Chessie, had a display case incorporated in its interior to contain and exhibit original paintings of scenes along the C&O route that the train would travel. The Paul Sample painting was one of those pieces of art. C&O had art prints, suitable for framing, produced for all of the paintings in the collection and they were available to persons who were interested in obraining them. Whether they were sold or provided as gifts, I am not certain, and I am not sure how many were produced. The B&O Museum in Baltimore sold prints in their gift shop in the late 1960s and 70s.”

The question remains: Where is the original?

As of today, this post is the only record in cyberland of this particular work by Sample.