Friday, 23 September 2016

10 Painted Furniture Before and Afters

I've got back into painting furniture in the last few months, both for myself and to sell. I have been experimenting with a  variety of paints, including latex, Annie Sloan chalk paint, Fusion mineral paint and home made chalk paint. I think I like the Chalk paint the most, but am looking for an Australian made product, and one that I may be able to sell in the future. Let me know of any recommendations!

I do list everything I'm selling on my Facebook page (click the link at right or go to kittenvintagemackay), but I thought I'd show you all a few before and afters.....

1. This one was for a client's daughter, home made chalk style paint and beeswax, hand painted lettering (sold)

2. An old kitchen cabinet I found on gumtree, sanded, sealed and feet added (sold)

3. Old meat safe, replaced mesh, sanded, decoupaged and sealed (sold)

4. Old dressing table, stripped, sanded, painted, sealed and new handles (for sale)

5. Cane bedside table for a client, sanded, painted with gold, distressed and waxed (sold)

6. Old dressing table, sanded, painted in home made chalk paint and waxed, new handles (for sale)

7. Small lamp table, painted, distressed and waxed (for sale)

8. 1920s timber chairs, contact removed (yes contact), sanded, repaired, seats painted and sealed (sold)

9. Small laminate bedside table, painted in chalk paint, waxed and new handles (sold)

10. 1970s carved timber cabinet, painted and waxed with dark wax (sold)

I try and paint every day, weather permitting as I work outside....for now!
I have been working on staging and found a spare wall to photograph against, and things have sold faster. Here's another photo of a dining set I painted and sold the first day...I just don't have a before photo.

Hope these inspire you to get painting!
Deb x

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Vickers -From church bells to Sewing Machines

Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. The company began life making steel castings and quickly became famous for casting church bells

 In 1867 the company went public and gradually branched out into making hints like marine shafts, propellers and armour plate. In 1890 they made their first artillery piece and soon manufactured everything from torpedos to machine guns.

In 1911 the company name was changed to Vickers Ltd and expanded its operations into aircraft manufacture. By then the company was employing about 70,000 people. In about 1914 at the start of WWI - the war that was meant to be over by Christmas - the company was already looking at products that could be profitable in peacetime. And an item that was made in Germany and could no longer be imported into England, or the colonies, would be even better.  Sewing machines fitted the bill! 

One importor of Frister & Rossmann German sewing machines was looking for a British manufacturer and he did a deal with Vickers giving them all the designs, agents and markets they needed. The German machines were basically a copy of Singers, with an added reverse stitch, and as the patents had mostly run out, Vickers could easily step in. Everyone in England, and Australia for that matter, wanted Bristish made - buying made in Germany was not an option!

The machines were sold as either portable models, or in writing desk style cabinets, usually made in the country where they were sold. In Australia the cabinets were made by Bebarfald.

During the 1920's and 30's Vickers sewing machines flourished, as women were encouraged to sew not only their own clothes but those at their families.

Ad from 1933, above, and 1934, below

By the end of the 1930's demand was so high for armaments for the next World War, the sewing machine was put on the back burners as Vickers concentrated on the more profitable weapons, ships and planes.

It's thought that Harris & Co bought the rights to the Vickers sewing machines in 1939, and the company produced the model 7000, in black and also a yellow-cream. By the end of the 40s and the end of the war there were cheaper imports available with more features and the Vickers/Harris models became obsolete.

Of course the machines are still able to be bought, and are highly collectable. And, if like me, you love to sew, they can even be used as more than just lovely pieces of furniture!

Read more:

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Vintage Pattern - 1930s Cosy Knitted Slippers

I do love knitted slippers, as you may remember, and this week's magazine from 1935 has another lovely pattern.  These have soft leather soles and are lined with fleecy lambs wool.  They are apparently simple to make, in any 4 ply wool. Perfect for our wintery Australian days...

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Kleenex and the death of hankerchiefs

As a child, I learnt to iron when mum let me do the hankies and the tea towels.  I loved the large checked hankies for Dad, the smaller hankies for Mum that I folded into rectangle, and the tiny hankies for my sister and I that went into neat little squares.  I still use tea towels every day, and now my own children are learning to iron on them, but hankies have sort of fallen by the wayside.

My family love their aloe-vera softened, eucalyptus oil enriched tissues - recycled tissues are 'too scratchy" and hankies are too much effort....until they leave a tissue in a pocket in the wash!
A pretty vintage hankie
A pretty vintage hankie
Cloth handkerchiefs are not only vintage, they are of course better for the environment. Up until the 1970s everyone carried a handkerchief. They were useful as bandages and little bags if you were a child, and even as a make do hat if you were a balding man, like my grandfather - simply tie each corner.  Of course dapper gents would have one sticking out of their breast pocket. I've heard they also make a good tea strainer if you are desperate!

In the 1930s there was quite a stir in Australia when the Handkerchief Association of Great Britain (I kid you not) decided to make hankies larger, meaning of course more fabric, more hemming, and more cost.

Although the Japanese have used paper facial tissues for hundreds of years, Tissues as we know them today were first introduced by Kimberly-Clark as Kleenex in 1924, as a means to remove cold cream. They didn't really take hold in Australia until the 1950s - a time when clean and new became more important that environmental friendly or frugal. And what couldn't tissues do?

Kleenex tissue ad, 1955
Kleenex ad, 1955

By the 1960s kleenex was still being advertised as a beauty aid.

vintage kleenex ad, 1960s
Kleenex 1965

But the ads also became cute - little girls, little boys and pets started to appear - although the slogan "don't put a cold in your pocket" was still used.

vintage kleenex tissue ad

Despite Kleenex's claims, I don't think using hankies make you sicker.  As long as you wash your hands after use, which you should do with tissues as well, and wash them well, they are fine.

Well, I have started using hankies again. I even iron them - or get the kids to - after soaking, washing and line drying!  I have sold quite a few vintage hankies in my store - the blue or white lace ones are popular for brides, and some pretty hankies are bought by crafters for turning into dried flower sachets.

If you are crafty, why not try making your own hankies, and even try a little's a pttern from 1967 to get you started!

vintage crochet pattern for hankie edging

Friday, 27 May 2016

To Transform the Homely Scone

What to do when you've made soup for dinner but are out of bread and short of time? Make scones!
Every 50s housewife know how to make scones - usually sweet with jam and cream - but a scone recipe is adaptable, and can be savoury as well.

vintage scone recipies

If you follow me on instagram you will know I make scones now and then for afternoon tea (seriously its quicker than driving to the store). This is my easy never fail, cheat recipe -

3 cups self raising flour
1 cup lemonade (or other soft drink)
1 cup pouring cream

Mix ingredients together gently, don't knead, and press into a round about 1cm thick. Cut into circles with a floured glass. Place on greased tray, brush with milk, beaten egg or water and bake for about 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!