Saturday, February 18, 2012

Picture Perfect Memories

It seems obvious to say that as you age so does your family.  There are things that accompany the aging of your family that you may not anticipate (or enjoy). Eventually family members like your grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles begin to "hand down" things that belonged to them. Some of these things are fine and some not so fine.  I've always been a little quirky about the things I like to decorate with, so often - as dear as these loved ones or their memory may be - their belongings don't fit into my decor.   In spite of this, I love having immediate reminders of beloved family and friends so I don't want to just pack them away.

When given a choice what I want from a relatives treasures, I generally gravitate towards the things no one else wants - old junky mirrors, furniture (like Peggy Sue), old costume jewelry...  Most of these things I make something out of and share with other family members who might appreciate them but didn't quite have the initial vision for their potential.  This eliminates the need for storing or displaying the items.
And - if you are anything like me - you have gone through many phases in your "creative life."  I have had a sewing phase, a painting (eternal) phase, a cross-stitch phase, a quilting phase, a mosaic phase, a lampshades phase, etc, etc, etc.  Most of the things I created in my various phases were gifts for others.  But I have some things, especially from my cross stitch phase, that are meaningful to me (or expensive to frame) and I don't really want to get rid of them.  When my children were very young, my friends and I would stitch and bitch to our hearts content.  So not only do these pieces remind me of my own children, but of the community of people who helped my children grow into the lovely people they are today.  I don't, however, decorate with cross stitch anymore.  

Another thing that happens is you move from one home to another and those things that had the perfect spot in the old house don't find a home in the new house.  This happened to me when we moved into our current house.  I wondered what would happen if I just took all the things that didn't work for me in the rest of the house and put them in one small room......

This is my little picture book of how I turned my decorative, historical, and emotional baggage into what I call our "Pretty Room" or our "Heritage Room."

First I selected fabrics, then painted the whole room (molding, doors, built-ins, ceiling, dormer) one color.
I added the little shelf and batten above the window, for display and to hold the curtains.
Then I crammed in everything I could imagine!
I selected several patterns - figured I would go "cluttered" all the way.  Also, I had to find new fabrics when I ran out before the projects were completed.
I painted the bed this lime green because I wanted to add a little more quirk to the room.  Seeing it in these pictures makes me think I need to distress it and use a little dark wax on it...  See that painting in the upper right corner - Mr. Quirky's great grandmother painted that.
I even got to use some handmade buttons I received as a gift about 20 years ago!
The walls on either side of the dormer were plastered with gastly dark brown cork board.  After attempting to remove it, I decided it would be better to cover it.  I painted it first and then covered it with this toile.  This was actually the first fabric I purchased - a $5 flat from JoAnns. 
I also covered the end of the dormer with the same fabric and added the board at the top to match the other window.

I covered this pillow with fabric scraps and used some of the antique buttons I got from Sue to embellish.  I used her old earring to tie back the curtain.
This camisole was made by Mr. Quirky's great grandmother - Lelah.  The fabric came from the slip she wore under her wedding dress.  I never met Lelah, but I know we would have been fast friends!
This is a shirt made by "grandma Quirky"(Sue) for Mr. Quirky's father.  She made it from his christening gown.
My mother made this for my daughter when she was born.
This room also gives me a place to put my collection of medicine cabinets.  The china was of course painted by Sue.  Note the little night light - it is the bottom half of one of the lamps she made for us but I broke...
I use this covered cork board as my jewelry box, and to display some of the old jewelry I haven't recycled.
This dresser was handmade by Mr. Quirky's grandfather.  I painted it high-gloss "white"
This hat was part of Sue's collection - it must have belonged to her mother or grandmother.  It is really old - reminds me of the ones you see in movies on ladies that wore bustles and rode on stage coaches.
The mirror belonged to Mr Quirky's Aunt Annie.  Check out the silver and green boxes on the right - they are cigarette cases.  One belonged to Sue and one belonged to Annie.  They each contain the cigarettes that where left in them when they quit smoking!  The hand prints are my children's.
I used knobs from Anthropology for my "hooks."   The shelf serves well as a plate rack for the many hand painted china plates we have received from Sue over the years.  This chair was one of Sue's - either she or her mother needlepointed the cover.
This little sewing machine belonged to Aunt Annie.  The books were a gift to me from my mother when I was a girl.
This sewing machine belonged to Sue - as well as the books and Beleek china pitcher.
A collar made by Sue's mother, Lelah.  It is tatting - which seems to be a lost art.  Even I haven't been through a tatting phase!
Sue and Lelah's sewing, crocheting and tatting tools.   I know, those boxes need a little work.....
More of Sue's painting skills on display here.  This was her book of Burns poetry.  The clock belonged to Annie - and was on her bedside until she died.
Sue's painting - and her hat pins too!

An assortment of the buttons that Sue used as she created her wardrobe over the years.

Some of Sue's hats. I can't really afford cloches large enough to cover them so these terrariums from Pottery Barn have to make do.
I made this mirror for my mother.  I guess she didn't like it because she kept it in her garage for like 10 years before I stole it back.  She still doesn't know.

This is a Christmas tree that makes the cut for full time display.  I painted and an old metal tree white and covered it with the "jewels" from Sue's and Annie's costume jewelery.  The middle suitcase belonged to Annie.  The bottom suitcase belonged to my father.
I did a little redo of the closet as well
Every mother of a daughter should learn to smock.  It's just too adorable.  I made this for my daughter to wear in her aunt's wedding.

Sorry for the picture overload.  I hope that maybe now you have a few ideas for some of those inherited things you have packed away.  Or at least you know where you can send them!!

Make something wonderful today.


Oh, yeah - I linking up with this cool party today - Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound  Can you believe there is a whole party dedicated to pink?  Pretty neat huh?  It is what got me to finally sit down and do this post. 

And a new party I've never been to before called Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now

Oh, and Funky Junk - I can't miss a party there! Saturday Nite Special


Joy@aVintageGreen said...

I am totally in AWE of the room you created with love. Gobsmacked actually. I LOVE what you gathered and displayed. Thank you so very very much for sharing your special room.

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Thank you Joy! I'm glad you liked it. What an honor to have Gobsmacked someone!!!! That is such a great word - I have to remember to use it :).

Unknown said...

Hi Karen,
I hardly know where to begin...I enjoyed this post so much! I love how you have displayed your collections and family heirlooms...every detail is perfect. Your photo caught my eye right away on Sat. Nite Special because I have used the same fabrics as you in our MBR...the Waverly "Old Rose" with the red toile. I love the combination. (Great minds must think alike!!!) I know what you mean about going through decorating and crafting "phases"...I do the same thing and always thought it was "just me". I love how you displayed Sue's buttons. The whole room is perfect!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Thanks so much Cheryl (and thanks for following!). I just wish that Sue, could see the room. I hope they would love it. I have decided that my next phase is going to be WELDING!! Wish me luck!

Bliss said...

You have some great things in your cast off room. The mantel? Oh yeah.... and how cute are all those buttons in a frame? I might have to see what I have in the button jar and find an old frame.


karen@somewhatquirky said...

I just sewed them through a cardboard covered in velvet. Easy peasy. The hard part was getting the glass in - which is why the glass is broken! Thanks for following - I've been following you!

Kim said...

I heart quirky. You've got a rockin' blog. Happy to be a new follower. Stop by sometime.

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Thanks Kim. I visited and am now following you! Have you decided whether you are going to go with Linky Followers when Google followers goes away?

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Thanks Kelly. I've got your back on Linky Followers. Thanks for hosting the party! Fun, fun, fun.

Marilyn Holeman said...

Visiting from BNOTP. I LOVE this room! What treasures you have collected. Thanks so much for sharing.

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Thanks Marilyn. I appreciate your kind words.

sweet violets said... did a smash up great job there!!! I absolutely LOVE how you put this all together to make such great sense!!! The room is wonderful and what a tribute to loved ones!!! I don't know where to start with all the elements that are so striking....fabric covered walls, knobs to hang the curtains, the dresser that was handmade, Sue was an extremely talented painter....lucky you to have so many of her treasures!!! I will be visiting a few more times to find thing I overlooked!!! hugs...cleo

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Thanks Cleo! I'm glad you like it. By the way - your collection of vintage kitchen gadgets is to die for!

Elegant Economies said...

I love your 'PRETTY' room! Wow!!!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Thanks Audrey. Thanks for visiting!

Lynn Stevens said...

What a wonderful collection of family heirlooms!

Holly @ Bella Nest said...

Karen, I don't know where to begin! Your "cluttered" room is beautiful! I could comment on everything I love about this room, but we'd be here all day. Every little detail you put into it is lovely. Thank you for sharing your room full of memories!


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