November 9, 2015

England......the goods......the bad.......and a recipe

                                                      The Goods.......

Antiquing in the UK is particularly noted for leathers, blisteringly shiny brass, transferware, great art, signage, and equestrian........, all with a masculine bent. I'm smitten!
My particular joy when overseas is the antiquing with my friend Sylvia. We have the same 'eye', and love for the hunt. As she graciously drives me here & yonder we take time for fairs and markets, antique shops and auctions. I never ever have time for auctions once home.

Here's a peek at a few of the finds, all destined for the shop.
My penchant for concrete and china is a dreadful mix. We named this one Humphrey, actually hand- crafted in stone, gloriously patinaed with moss and lichens. Humphrey stands about 2' tall and weighs a ton, his ocean cruise begins shortly.

Birds seemingly were the theme this year........this pair was spied across the room, excitement barely contained, I felt myself strolling /racing across the room. Temporarily perched on a panel, the pair was rescued from a Tudor home in Minehead England. They were part of a fireplace surround. The Tudor era was between 1485 to 1603, imagine!

The panel wall they are displayed on is also coming. This piece was one of many that once encircled a room
 Loving men in art, my collection is growing. Be it whimsical as the gentleman advertising Guinness beer

or pensive like the lad below in pencil. Male art dating from the 20's through the 50's, particularly, piques my interest

The young woman below is another pencil that captured my attention
Notice the lovely pencil rim encircling the gold edged mat

 Missed it!!  A charming chalk on craft paper
Then it occurred to me that artist Sandra Mehl, in the shop, can duplicate this little guy perfectly.
I have asked
 Those old brasses........nothing like what is found in the states or newly minted. These are chestnut toasters and suffice these days as decorative accents.
Real brass or plated, how to know? With a piece of metal, scratch an inconspicuous area. If the scratch stays yellow, it is brass, it a dark metal appears, it is plated. These are solid brass with rivets in copper.

Parisian Urns. I currently have the large version in the shop, this is the small and dainty size. Imagine these on a large harvest table in a tall-ceilinged room, chock full of stems, divine!
The British dislike of 'brown furniture' is experiencing a turn-around so when I can find a piece with interesting lines, and still reasonable, I pounce.
Slated for a clients project; a Scottish pub
If I were able to manufacture, this Victorian piece would definitely be reproduced. Did you guess a wine pourer? In the shaft are several holes, simply screw into the cork, open the spigot and pour. The spigot then closes to preserve the wine. Brilliant I say!
As an aficionado of an earthy, fruity red this was found in an English supermarket. My new favorite that I am busy sourcing here

The Bad.........
Look at what I did! Drats, hair oil in my luggage spilled and permanently stained this settee! That's the gratitude extended to Sylvia for letting me use her little cottage! A quick call to the shop asking for an emergency supply of Amy Howard paint to be sent.
Yep, this paint works beautifully on fabric, simply dilute a touch with water, paint, then wax over the painted portion and viola! Has the feel of fabric, not paint

The recipe........

The Bakery Cafe Mushroom Bruschetta

Should I include this I asked myself? My image is not exactly drool-worthy. I must, it is easy and remarkably me!

One thick slice of artisan bread
A splash of olive oil & sea salt, toast for a few minutes in the oven
Top with.........
Sauteed portobello mushrooms cooked with a few greens of choice
Crumbled stilton cheese
Dash of Olive oil
Broil until the cheese melts

                                               As always, thank you for visiting!

October 28, 2015

British Wallpaper

What image comes to mind when thinking about British wallpaper? Is it something like this?

We know the iconic brands; Sanderson, Cole and Son, Osborne and Little, Jane Churchill.......

While working on a client project to create a Scottish Pub, I was falling short on just the right wallpaper. Knowing I was coming to The Land of Wallpaper, I could delve deeper into the lesser known brands

A smallish company with exciting papers and fabrics, this company came highly recommended
 Calling themselves an Art House, the originality drew me in
Sweet in a little boys room
Possibilities presented themselves. Then I heard about Andrew Martin......SCORE!
Very graphic, very original, very detailed with excellent trompe l'oeil effects.
Yes, wallpaper!
Viola! This is the one, well provided my client agrees. The plan is for a dark wooden wainscoting. The final design has not yet been approved but imagine something like the image below. The wallpaper will be a half to three-quarter wall display only.
 Won't this be perfect?
 Amazing isn't it?

Designer Tip

Do not forget your ceilings to great effect



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