Shabby Chic: In Praise of Old Things

Hail, Shoestringers! Today I sit at home stuffed up and snuffly with a cold and cabin fever is beginning to set in. I'm thinking about old stuff of the "shabby chic" variety. I think it's those beloved, seen-better-days mementos that can best imbue a home with elegance. Ironic, no? In that spirit, I've snapped a few pics of old things of mine that I love. The photo quality is a bit shabby chic as well --I took them with my phone for I still have yet to get a new camera. Regardless, I hope they inspire you to find new beauty in old things.

1. My sewing box: a Rembrandt cookie tin that belonged to my great-grandfather, a top-notch tailor. It was passed on to me via my grandmother.

2. My blue chair: this diminutive rocker was a salvage find. It is all form and no function, true, but with a glittery scarf and new pillow it makes for a cheery addition to my gloomy front hall.

3. My spooky skeleton key: I found this in the cellar of my childhood home. As you can see, I've turned it into a wall decoration with the help of some green satin ribbon and blue/purple buttons.

4: My Grimm's book: I love fairy tales and this selection of stories by the Brothers Grimm is my most favorite of all.  My mother read this as a child and in turn read it to me when I was little. This is not the same copy however. The original was read to tatters and where it went I do not know --Yikes! The trash?-- but I loved it so much I tracked down this one on Ebay. I read it all the time and my favorite stories are "The Three Little Men", "The Three Spinsters" and "Mother Hulda" (aka Mother Holle). For those interested bibliophiles, it is Doubleday's Junior Deluxe Edition with illustrations by Leonard Weisgard.

And last but NEVER least...

5. My bunny: Bunny came with a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit and you will see he has no hind legs in the Victorian/Edwardian style, just like in the book. I love Bunny to bits and will never get rid of him. He is definitely the worse for wear and has been resewn from top to bottom and back again but to me he will always be beautiful. I would like to swap out his stuffing though, but have been putting it off. After all it is major surgery!

Note his jaunty scarf and hat ensemble. That was a later addition. Many years back I took a knitting class and on a whim made Bunny the scarf with some of my left over yarn. My friend costume designer Michael Berg (a fabulously talented fellow) loved that I'd kept Bunny all these years and absconded with some of my yarn --then surprised me with the matching beanie! Bunny's chapeau was crocheted and as you can see it even has expertly-placed ear holes.

Well, that's enough trips down memory lane for today! The Kleenex beckons and the snuffles and sniffles keep snuffling and sniffling. Til we meet again, Shoestringers, I wish you prosperity and good cheer.


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