Kitschdesigns

It’s A Girl!

February 3, 2011 08:50 by ehouston

Just kidding.  No more babies for now.  I am talking about my new furniture baby, though.  Finally, after years of searching I found the perfect dining room table and chair set.  Right before I met The Mister I acquired the teak dining room hutch that you all have seen in many of our recently DIY’d dining room pictures. 

DR-Hutch-Progress

During all these years together, I have been on a search for a Danish Modern dining set to match…even though we have never had a dining room in any place we have ever lived.  I know, I’m crazy.  I just knew that one day I wanted a dining room and I thought it would be nice to have all the pieces in a similar style.

Well flash forward about 13 years and I find myself window shopping with a friend at the beginning of January.  This is not a time that I spend money.  In fact, I always try to plan out our Christmas spending so well that we can hit the sales at the beginning of the next year, but things have yet to go my way in that area of organization.  So here we were just taking some mom time, alone, to check out a few of the consignment shops around our area, when we stumbled upon it.  “It” being the perfect little round table with cute corded chairs.  They had it set up as a little reading area, but the split down the middle of the table caught my eye.  I realized this table potentially had matching leaves and it could be “the one”. 

Sure enough, the table had not just one, but two leaves, opened to eight feet and had six chairs!  There is definitely a lot of restoration work that needs to take place before this new furniture baby is brought back to its former glory and we will need to find two end chairs to have decent seating for eight.  Also, several of the chair seats have seen better days, but I could not pass up the cheap price.  I found this set, which ended up having a seventh chair hiding in the warehouse, for $400 bones!  That’s right, my entire dining room furniture set (table and chairs, refurbished bar and vintage hutch) comes in at a whopping, wait for it…..$545.00!  Yeah, that’s right!  It’s high five time for the budget!

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I definitely have some work to do and I have been surfing the web and sending out emails to different Danish furniture sites for help with the best way to refinish everything.  So far it sounds like a cheap and easy fix with just a lot of elbow grease involved.  The only thing I am sort of fearing at the moment is reworking the cords on a couple of the chair seats.  Several have just a broken string or two (See Below) and I know with a little patience I can fix those, but one in particular looks like it was hit with a weedwacker.  I may have to breakdown and pay for it to be made whole.  I don’t know yet.

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This room is finally coming together in a way that makes all of us very happy.  The Mister likes that we have a functioning space, the Little Guy loves running circles around the dining set and I am happy my search is finally over.  Whew!

Kitsch Krafts


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Collecting–Ornaments Part 2

January 5, 2011 02:07 by ehouston

Well, better late than never, right?  As promised last month, I am going to share a few of my favorite holiday decorations.  I did this once before, as you can see here , but this time I wanted to concentrate on ornaments.  I have a confession to make, I did not get a chance to pull the ornament shots off my camera until after we took the tree down and put everything away for the new year.  Unfortunately most of them were dark and very blurry, so I will only be sharing a few of my prized possessions this year.  But, hey, that leaves room for more show and tell this coming holiday season, right?

For years now I have collected the glass ornaments from Old World Christmas and I love their vintage appeal.  I always thought I would one day have a tree that was covered and just dripping in only glass ornaments.  While they definitely make up the bulk of our stash, we certainly have quite a few pretties that land outside that category.  Here are several of my most cherished:

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The Needlepoint Santa, made by my crafty aunt after much begging.  Now she is making smaller ones for the Little Guy.  He will have an incredible collection when he finally leaves the nest (sniff!).

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A classic sliver moon.  This was a gift from another aunt years ago.  It still gets a high spot on the tree every year for perfect viewing.

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A newer favorite, this one was made by my mom and given to us a couple of years ago.  Yep, that sweet smiling snowman is hiding a standard light bulb.  So clever!

The next few pictures are close ups of our family room décor.  The ornaments featured here are my ultimate vintage collection and most prized.  The majority are from my grandparents attic, while the filler (more simplistic) balls are from estate sales.  I try to find different ways to display these each year.  In 2009 we placed garland around the large picture above our fireplace, on our banister and across another large display of pictures in the family room.  I used these ornaments to add some bling to the swags.  This year, all the breakables had to go up high since we now have our own personal marauder on the loose.  So, I placed them in my collection of vintage pots and vases on display in the family room bookcase.

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So, do you have any pieces that come out each year that are a part of your family’s past?

Kitsch Krafts

PS- I will have more family room décor shots soon to continue the Kitsch Designs -  Christmas in January event!


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Collecting–Ornaments Part 1

December 9, 2010 07:55 by ehouston

Since the holidays are here and in full effect I thought I would take a moment to talk about one of my favorite things.  That would be hauling all the boxes out of the attic every year to decorate the tree- NOT!  Actually, after the hauling is finished my favorite thing involves looking through all the ornaments I have collected over the years.  Before I share my collection with everyone, though, I thought I would take a moment to feature some cute ornaments from someone else’s collection.  Who they belonged to, I will never know, but they are all pretty cool.

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Just listed, Chimney Sweep for good luck!

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Angel on sled, SOLD!

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Fully jointed Pinochio.

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Just listed, Vintage Train.

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Child on Rocking Horse, SOLD!

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Postman with letter

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Birdhouse, SOLD!

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Gingerbread House, SOLD!

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Buggy with Baby, SOLD!

I don’t know the owners of this collection personally because I purchased a large box of vintage wooden ornaments from an estate sale about two years ago in the Nashville, TN area.  They appeared to all have been made in Germany and most were even marked.  Although I did not get the opportunity to know these people, I could tell from their home that they had travelled all over the world.  There were so many unique items that clearly were brought back as a memory from their travels.  Part of the reason why this collection seemed so special was because I know that they picked these out on a trip, brought them home and I am sure the family did the same thing we do every year….go through the ornaments remembering where each one came from and telling the story behind the reason for bringing that particular one home.

Even if I have to put off something else I always make time for going through the ornaments each year and to remember all the times before.  Do you guys have any traditions that must happen no matter what each year?

Kitsch Krafts

PS- The ornaments that are still in stock are listed at my Artfire shop, here.

PSS- Stay tuned for Part 2


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Collecting: Texasware

February 24, 2010 05:08 by ehouston

It seems like nearly every time I stop at a thrift store or hit up an estate sale I see a piece of Texasware or other type of melamine kitchen items.  Most of the time they have lots of scratches and stains because I think people used them often since they were nearly indestructible.  Every once in a while I will come across pieces that are nearly perfect.  At some even luckier (is that a word?) times I have come across whole small sets of this cute stuff.

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I love this sweet shade of pink!

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I love it when I find neat old patterned pieces too.

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After several years of hunting and gathering I finally decided to let these pieces go and have them listed at my Etsy shop.  They still have a lot of useful life left in them, or they could be turned into something crafty and completely different.

Like this really neat birdfeeder…

…found over at iVillage.

Or, one of those kitschy light fixtures like this one at Craftstylish.

Simple planters from Woman’s Day Magazine.

Okay, I am starting to think I may need to take these out of the shop and make some things for myself instead.  Like one of these:

Photo from Etsy Paper Twirlies.

Or, one of these…

from Cupcakes & Yoga.

Oh man, I am now rethinking the destash, am inspired to create and…well…now I want a cupcake. 

So, how have you reworked some of your collections in the past?

Kitsch Krafts


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So Many Holidays, So Little Time

January 19, 2010 23:03 by ehouston

It occurred to me this morning that we are already past the half way point in January of 20-10!  It seems like time has just flown by.  I have been noticing the luscious Valentine’s Day candy creeping in to every corner of my favorite big box stores, ready to fill the void a week of no leftover Christmas treats has left in my life.  I actually eyed the last few cartons of eggnog last week while grocery shopping, but forced myself to keep walking.  I never allow more than two cartons in the house each holiday.  I am the only one willing to drink the sweet stuff, so that rule is absolutely all about weight management.  I also realized that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and I need to start figuring out what treats of my own to come up with for my sweetie, and decide if I will make or buy a card.  I always have these great intentions of making the most romantic, yet hip and stylish card, only to end up finding the perfect thing out there already.  I guess I should be happy about this, but I have always seen this holiday as one that demands the handmade.  Unless of course you are in elementary school and have thirty classmates expecting a card from you in their revamped shoebox holiday mailbox.  By all means, please save yourself the insanity and buy a bundle of cute cards.  My Nonna (she is Italian and that’s Italian for Grandma!) actually buys and mails those bundled cards.  She just picks whichever cartoon character set that makes her smile.  Then she writes sweet little notes on the backs of each card, folds them around a $5.00 bill and sends them to all of her grandkids.  I know this because even though I am the oldest of all the grandchildren in her family by about 18 years, I still receive one every February.  This is not done as a senile old lady thing…she thinks it’s hysterically funny to keep sending these funny little cards to me.  She will write things like, “Maybe you can get a cup of coffee!?!  HA!” or “Don’t spend this all in one place!”.  She is a total crack-up and I love her dearly. 

Here are some Vintage Valentine Card images from my FLICKR file. 

www.flickr.com
KitschDesigns' Vintage Paper photoset KitschDesigns' Vintage Paper photoset

If you are interested in giving a vintage Valentine I still have several available.  They can all be found on sale at my Artfire Shop.

I hope we all find the perfect treats and cards for our sweeties come February 14th!  Do you have any vintage Valentine’s or other cool vintage paper products that make your heart swell?

Kitsch Krafts


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Collecting: Vintage Chalkware

March 3, 2009 10:10 by ehouston

Over the years I have come across some pretty interesting pieces of chalkware and have seen some very cool collections in magazines and on-line.  Chalkware is not something that I come home with very often, but I do have a nice grouping of small fruit pieces like you would find in your grandmother's kitchen.  I have used them before on a kitchen window valance at a sweet little bungalow we rented years ago, but since moving into a bigger home they have yet to find a permanent display spot.  I have been thinking that I may brighten up the laundry room one of these days and just go to town with a vintage tablecloth and fruit chalkware theme.  But, that is another entry for the future.  In the meantime, I wanted to show my fruity fruit, plus some other fun pieces I have come across during my thrifting hunts.

Vintage Fruit.  Perfect for Grandma's red and white kitchen.

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One of my favorite pieces and on permanent display in our guest bedroom.  My mother gave us this piece at our first year anniversary.  We think it may have come from a bookend set because it has a flattened back, but we are not sure.  I smile every time I look at this sweet, yellow with age, little couple.

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I found this poodle piece at a local store a while ago and I searched diligently for a mate.  I thought these would be great in our pink and gray bathroom, but I never could find a match.  Oh well, I think this one may go in to one of my shops so someone else can add to their collection.

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Vintage Chalkware Poodle Plaque

This is another odd piece I found while out thrifting.  I don't know why I grabbed it exactly because it has a very naive quality to it.  But something about the little golden star painted on the forehead was just to much for me to walk away.  I imagined a little girl picking this plaster piece out of all the other fun shapes while she attended vacation bible school or camp, or at some other crafty gathering.  She picked the horse because she had been wishing for a pony since she was three, and after reading Black Beauty she knew what color her perfect horse had to be. 

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Vintage Chalkware Horse Bust Plaque

Then at the last minute she decided to crown her pet with a gold star just to make it a little bit special.  At least that's the story I made up about this one.

Do any of you have chalkware or plaster pieces that you collect?

:-D

Kitsch Krafts


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Collecting - Vintage Kokeshi Dolls

January 14, 2009 07:10 by ehouston

About two years ago I was rummaging through a garage at an estate sale and I came across this weird figurine.  I had no idea of the age, what it was used for, or supposed to be for that matter.  However, something about it intrigued me and I had to bring it home.  Plus, it only cost $.50!  I asked as I was paying what this thing was for and the lady at the money box stated she thought it was some kind of doll and that she believed it had been purchased as a souvenir when the family had been in Japan years ago.  So, I left with my strange little treasure and did not think much more about it after that.

Then about a year after later, I was at another estate sale and found two more similar dolls.  This time the sellers gave me a little more info.  They stated that these were Kokeshi dolls that the family had brought back from a trip to Japan.  So, the stories were similar and my research could begin.

(pulled from Internet)

Apparently, these dolls originally date back to the Edo Period (1600-1868), but the reason for their creation varies depending on which site you visit.  The exact city or region of their origin also differs, but I have included some of the stories that I found.  Some people believe they were first made in an area known for forestry and lumber production.  Because the workers in this region had very little money, but plenty of wood scraps they would use them to create very simple (no arms or legs) dolls for their children to play with.  I also read that some historians believed these dolls were created to stand in place of unwanted children (as in infanticide- how sad) or children lost to injury or illness.  I found several sites that seemed to confirm that once these dolls grew in popularity they started being produced in all different areas of Japan for all different types of businesses associated with the tourist trade.  Basically they became souvenirs.

So, that is the Cliff Notes version of the Kokeshi Doll history.  These dolls are very simple, made of wood with very few, if any, features to them, both carved or painted on.  Some of the newer dolls or those from bigger cities show the artisans started to branch out and add more color and carving to their creations.

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(my "collection")

One of mine (far right) is one of the very simple variety.  However the colors are pale and nontraditional so I am not sure how old this one is.  Typical colors for these dolls are red and black with some yellow.  I also have two of the "creative" versions that have more of a carved structure to the hair, clothing and even some added accessories.  All three have a Japanese character mark on the bottom showing the maker, but the two with more color also have a "Schmid Bros." sticker.  I cannot find out much about that company, other than that they were importers of small toys, figurines, etc and they were based in Massachusetts.  I am beginning to think they are not that old, however I have found sites stating their item, marked Schmid Bros, Inc. dates back to the late 1800's.  So, your guess is as good as mine as to when this business started up and when they began importing Kokeshi dolls.  Some of my research suggests that some time during the 1940's these dolls started trickling over to America.  I am sure the war had something to do with that.  If anyone knows any more about these dolls or this company please let me know.

My favorite tidbit that I came across during my searches: The Nintendo Wii creators modeled the players after the Kokeshi doll.  That explains the resurgence in their popularity on everything from fabric

Fabric sold at Volksfaden.com.

to notebooks

Momiji Pink Notebook

From BlossomDolly.com.

to keychains

From Wunderkind.etsy.com

and jewelry

I believe these are actually vintage, but they are sooo cute!  From ChopSueySistersHawaii.com.

Happy Hunting!

Kitsch Krafts


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