Now, I promised a decorating post this week, but I don't want you to get your hopes up. My decorating talent does not lie in the realm of Whipping Up Fabulously Crafty Home Decorator Items Out of Everyday Household Objects. It is more along the lines of finding things in the shed that I bought ten years ago from a garage sale, and putting them on a shelf somewhere. Just so as you are warned. Ok? Here we go then.
So last November I accidentally had some ugly shelves built in the study downstairs. First I despaired, then I painted them all white, which is my standard response to anything challenging in the DIY department. Then I went up to the shed and pulled out all the cardboard boxes that are labelled 'Jo's Special Things'. This is where, at the beginning of our renovation, I stashed all my inherited and thrifted treasures (and bits of seaweed I found on the beach. And special stones and shells and interesting shaped pieces of wood. I never actually outgrew that particular phase..).
The shelves were much improved when I decanted all of these treasures onto them (as you all assured me they would. You are always, always right, my lovely readers). Here it is. I did not buy anything at the time, as I have been collecting all those white filing boxes at sales over the years, and storing them in inconvenient places for The Man to trip over. Now that he has moved out, the tripping hazard has been neatly filed away. Hilarious, right?
My Grandma's tea cannister:
An excellent sentiment in the room where I pay the bills. Look, the bill spike next to it is empty. I wonder how that happened?
Now for this week's decorating project. First, the set of wooden shelves I bought in a junk shop some years ago. I always knew I would use this in the study, but wasn't clear how, because all the shelves are quite shallow. I think they were originally used to store envelopes or something - maybe pigeon holes for an office? I don't process many envelopes, but I do collect vintage household tat, because it is hilarious, so that is what is in the shelves now. A large number of items in this collection belonged to a very old lady, the mother of one of my mum's friends. When she died, and my mum helped clear out her house, Mum rescued a lot of unwanted vintage sewing notions for me. She is a star!
This op-shopped tin is covered in anenomes. It is my very favourite tin in the whole world.
Up the top is a collection of bottles I have dug up out of my garden over the years, and an iodine bottle from under the floor. My favourite bottle advertises cheerfully, 'Pink Pills for Pale People'.
Then there are a collection of boxes of pins - still full! 'Dandy Steel Household Pins Are Manufactured In Australia From the Finest Australian Material, the Quality of Which Cannot Be Surpassed'. How absolutely delicious that the manufacturers of these pins were so passionate about, well, steel pins. I do feel that such patriotic enthusiasm is hard to come by in the household products of today.
These Kodak film cannisters must have been immensely useful for storing any number of household items in.
On the top shelf here is a tin inherited from a grandmother, great aunt? Someone in the family. Guess what it was for? A slice of wedding cake was popped into it and posted to any guests unable to make it to the wedding. Adorable! (and incidentally, the method used to poison a victim in one of Agatha Christie's novels) Those pegs I found under the laundry floor, along with some newspapers from the 1930s.
Last of all, a collection of sewing notions. An ingenious needle threader, a tiny Singer sewing machine box, a needle book, and that red box with the spools of thread? That is thread for mending stockings, and the sentiment on the lid - 'Another hole? Darn it.' Sewing was once so much more hilarious. Even trouser patches stood proud. Look at this:
Self-supporting trousers? Who knew?
Well, that was my decorating effort for this week. I warned you. Putting things on shelves is about as clever and crafty as I get. But, better out than in, right? Plus, now I know I have a lifetime's supply of pins, a fact which I had forgotten. Thrifty!
I would still love to see all your thrifty decorating projects. Give me a shout out if you post one, and I will link to it. Love to see what you are all doing without spending to make your homes more homey and pleasant to be in.
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (17) and Posy (12). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much..