Category Archives: repurpose

Summertime, summertime, summertime.


English: Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. R...
English: Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. Rosemont, Illinois on Sunday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just looked at my timeline for the first time in a long time.  My o’ my, where has the time flown.  It’s been six plus weeks since I have posted anything.  You would think I fell off the earth.   Actually, I have been quite busy with back to school things.  Things like getting the daughter prepped and ready for school and getting myself ready for the back to school grind.  Actually that part was easier this year because I taught summer school for the first part of the summer and the daughter attended two band camps of which I participated by being the second camp chauffeur .   The hubby did the first camp during my summer school phase.

Then there were the busy summer sales at both stores.  We put these on in between band camp and summer school.  I love summer sales.  I was trying to decide just what items to put on sale when the hubby said, “Just put it all on sale.”  So we did.  He’s so practical.  In the afternoons and on the occasional weekend, we did manage to get out and go picking.  He’s into collecting and selling “netsukes” and vintage pens and I let him put some in “Dad Corner” in my space at American Classics.  He also has his display in Case 409 there as well.  I love our excursions to the antique stores, estate sales, and garage sales.  Together, we love the flea markets.  It’s where he occasionally finds some of his best treasures.  The weather was hot most days, but we endured.  (it’s a tough life isn’t it?)

So that’s my excuse for not writing and I’m sticking with it.  Been too busy to write and too busy being busy.  In all fairness, I could have simply sat around all summer and complained about the heat.  I know many people who did; so I let them, all by themselves while the hubby and I played.    But now, it’s back to work time.

However, every weekend and after school many times, you will still find me in one of my locations, nose deep in my linens, getting my weekly fix.  If you see me at either the Treasure Shoppe (B4) or American Classics (C30) and I have that glazed look in my eye, know that I’m in my own little heaven.  Feel free to grab a handful of freshly laundered linens and join me.   It’s OK, I know what you’re feeling.  You’re welcome here.

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Steampunk Colorado – not a place, but a state of mind


Steampunk

I have to admit I didn’t know much about steampunk.  I probably still don’t know a lot about steampunk, even after my long conversation with two neat people who came into my store dressed in Victorian steampunk style.  I’m learning however.

However, I am always curious and open to new things.  Shrugging off my middle America farm girl cloak, I went looking for answers to my question “What is Steampunk?”  Thanks to Wikipedia I learned that Steampunk is a genre that originated during the 1980s and early 1990s and incorporates elements of science fictionfantasyalternate historyhorror, and speculative fiction.  It involves a setting where steam power is widely used—whether it be an alternate history such as Victorian era Britain or the “Wild West” era United States, Science fiction depicts Steampunk in a post-apocalyptic time —that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy.

Now I understand it.  Turns out I do know some of the steampunk styling’s after all.  TV Shows such as the television series The Wild Wild West (1965–69), which inspired the film Wild Wild West (1999) with Will Smith as James West. is a Steampunk genre.  The popular “Sherlock Holmes” series is considered Steampunk, the modern version with Robert Downey, Jr. more so then the older versions.  I love these type of films.  If you want to know more about the history of Steampunk, look up the Wikipedia article.  It’s a comprehensive look at the genre and the history.  I understand why it is attracting so many young people today.  It’s creative and inventive and that is exciting to anyone who has a pulse and the ability to fly in the face of convention.  I understand this.

I find myself involved because of the linens and the lace that I have in my stores.  Turns out the Victorian style genre that steampunk builds on, incorporates the linens, lace and the styles from the Victorian era.   Both of my stores are perfect for the creative imaginations of the steampunk aficionados.  Even my husband’s collection of desk and writing items; some from the late 1800’s,  plus his ornate watches that he has tucked into “Dads Corner” suit the genre.  I can’t say that you will ever see me dressed in the steampunk style, (as a teacher I may frighten the conservative parents of my students) but I love the freedom of expression and uniqueness the genre brings.  I’ll continue to furnish the lace and satins, but it will take a more creative stylist then I to make the material live in the steampunk tradition.   I would love to see the results however.

I’m sure I will have more to say about this fascinating art in later posts.  Readers feel free to help me out here.  Point me in the right directions.

The Care and Cleaning of Vintage Quilts


I just put in a bunch of 1900’s to 1960 vintage quilt pieces (scraps, fats, squares, oh my)  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, as I started to say before my mind wandered off to its secret place, I put of load of vintage quilt material in both stores, and this got me to thinking about how to take care of vintage quilts.  I called a friend who quilts all the time. First words out of her mouth were “very carefully.”

my new (new to me) antique quilt! i lurve it.
My new (new to me) antique quilt! I love it. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I asked what she meant by very, she explained.  Never dry clean a cotton quilt since the weight of the ‘fluid’ may place more stress than ‘water’ on old fabric.  I emphasized fluid and water for a reason.  Dry-cleaning fluid is heavy with chemicals. (Who would have thought?)  Its weight will tear old fabric.  Her next bit of advice was “never hang a wet quit on a single line.”  Same reason.  The water pools at the bottom, placing stress on the seams and threads at the top as they drape over the small line.  If you have to dry a quilt outside, then hang it over two or even three lines, evenly distributing the weight of the quilt.  If you have a lot of quilts or need to wash and dry many for sale, then consider making a rope drying rack. The look like an old rope bed.  One of my mother’s friends uses an old king size bed frame she weaves a bed of ropes.  Bottom line of all this is be careful with vintage quilts.  I am sure you have seen some beautiful ones for sale in an antique store, only to turn it over and find the material separated, or the stitching torn out.  Makes you want to cry doesn’t it?

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About Julie:

Julie is a homemaker, mother, teacher of special needs children and an entrepreneur. As a teacher with along history of teaching students in the elementary grades, she obtained her credentials for Special Need teaching and advocacy late in her career, because – as she puts it, “these kids need to be taken out of the corner and given a voice.” As a means to lessen the stress that comes when one deals with bureaucracy, Julie – her Mother-in-Law and her daughter, opened the Mom & Me Vintage Linens and Lace shops late in 2011. Now with two locations in Colorado Springs, (The Treasure Shoppe – downtown CS and American Classics on N. Academy) she has managed to gather a rich following of friends and steady customers who look forward to seeing her come in with an armload of vintage linens, fine lace and the occasional vintage purse or pillow to round out her diverse selection. Julie can be reached by JClark@Linens2Lace.com . You can also follow her blog at www.Linens2Lace.WordPress.com, and her Tweets at #MomNMe.

Save the Leather


You bought that vintage suede jacket.  It’s beautiful, but when you get home and take the rose-colored glasses off, you

Suede
Suede (Photo credit: AMagill)

notice that dark color you thought was only from the poor lighting, is actually a large stain.  Suede is leather with a brushed or “napped” surface.

NEVER use leather cleaning products on suede unless it says it is specifically designed to clean suede.  Instead, make a paste of fullers earth and water.  Brush clean with a soft brush after drying.  Re-apply as needed.  Make sure the past is wet enough to stick.  Allow it plenty of time to dry fully.  Brush the area gently.

We obtained some suede pieces that had been mixed in with some linens we purchased from an estate.  A couple of pieces had small stains of unknown origin.  So before we ut it in the shop, we tried this and found that it worked well.  Will it work on every stain?  Don’t know, but it’s a safe method for trial and error.

Happy repurposing.

——

About Julie
Julie is a homemaker, mother, teacher of special needs children and an entrepreneur.   As a teacher with along history of teaching students in the elementary grades, she obtained her credentials for Special Need teaching and advocacy late in her career, because – as she puts it, “these kids need to be taken out of the corner and given a voice.”
As a means to lessen the stress that comes when one deals with bureaucracy, Julie – her Mother-in-Law and her daughter, opened the Mom & Me Vintage Linens and Lace shops late in 2011.  Now with two locations in Colorado Springs, (The Treasure Shoppe – downtown CS and American Classics on N. Academy) she has managed to gather a rich following of friends and steady customers who look forward to seeing her come in with an armload of vintage linens, fine lace and the occasional vintage purse or pillow to round out her diverse selection.
Julie can be reached by JClark@Linens2Lace.com .  You can also follow her blog at www.Linens2Lace.WordPress.com, and her Tweets at #MomNMe.

Lick that Lacquer


English: Sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogenca...
English: Sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogencarbonate, sodium bicarb, “baking soda”, “bread soda”, “cooking soda”, bicarb soda Deutsch: Natriumbicarbonat, Natriumhydrogencarbonat, “Natron”, “Backpulver”, “Bullrich-Salz” natriumvätekarbonat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You see a beautiful brass or copper antique pot, kettle or other metal object in the flea market but some fool has lacquered it.  You know it’s a vintage piece, but its value is greatly diminished by the now yellowing lacquer.  However, the price is right and when you point out that its been lacquered; the seller offers to make you an even better deal.  So you buy it with thoughts of leaving the lacquer and using it for a trash can.  (shudder)

What can you do with that lacquer?  Try this.

Mix ½ cup of baking soda with

1 gallon of boiling water

Put the newly found lacquered pot into this solution and let sit.  When the water cools the lacquer should peel right off.  Be careful not to use any sharp metal instruments around the crevices or tight areas.  Use a toothbrush instead.  If any lacquer remains, repeat the process.  You should have a completely restored piece by the end of the day.   We’ve not tried this on varnish or an other finish other than lacquer.  If you do and it works, let us know.  We’ll pass it on and give you credit for the advice.

Oil Down, Don’t Strip


Have you ever bought an item from an antique store or flea market only to get it home and realize that the seller glued a %@*$#+ sticker on the wood or other finish, that will not come off without the threat of ruin?  Don’t use alcohol, scrape it or use any abrasive.  (shudder)  Don’t even pick at it with your finger nail.  Instead, grab the salad oil or mineral oil, pour it on a soft cloth and cover the sticker, letting it sit and soak for a while.

If you have already pulled parts of the sticker off, use the cloth, rub the oil into the glue in a circular motion until it softens and rolls off.  If the sticker is stuck fast or has been there for a long time and you can afford the time, (and with some stickers you may have to do this anyway) pour either one of the oils directly on the paper and let it sit overnight.  The following day it should be soft enough to pull off, glue and all.

While we are on this topic, every collector should have mineral oil around.  A small amount of mineral oil works great on removing light scratches from vintage furniture, without stripping the original finish or patina.

Patience and Talent


What happens when you combine patience with talent?  You get one of the most unusual bedspreads we have ever seen.  Done by hand, we were told it was a bedspread, but as big as it is, it could just as well decorate a large table.  It’s in the store now.  See what you think.