Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bathroom Renovation Begins!

For a LONG time, I've wanted to get rid of the really disgusting tub surround that's been in the bathroom since who knows when. It's impossible to clean, it's never been what I really wanted in there, and it's just ugly! These are the before pictures: Yesterday, my handyman pulled it out and removed the wet layer of dry-wall that was behind it. This is what was under that - plaster and lathe on the top half and real wainscoting on the lower portion!

Here's the bucket of parts - I hope I can get the calcium deposits off the faucet pieces because they're perfect for my bathroom of the future!

Someday in the future, I want a sink vanity something like this one:

The style is perfect, but I'd rather it had either two doors opening traditionally or sliding doors. It would be great to have a laminate top with a hudee-ringed sink, too, but the laminate companies are rapidly discontinuing any laminate pattern that might work. They all seem to just love anything that looks like granite or marble, but nothing with the sparkle and charm of 1960!

Although the wainscoting is mostly in good condition, that's for the person who owns my house fifty years from now and wants to renovate the bathroom. My plans are 4" tiles with bull-nose tiles around the edge. Don't know the color yet (although, since it's "forever," it will probably be predominately white so it goes with anything), but it's going to be something very 1950's-1960's. I don't care that my house was built in 1870 (the original portion), 1915 (the front room and attic over it, along with this bathroom), 1941 (the kitchen) and 1965 (walling in the back porch), the rooms are (eventually) going to reflect a mid-twentieth-century impression. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dressing Up the Bed!

Really, really complete primer on making bedspreads! I especially like the photo on the last image, probably because it's orange and rather unique. I'd probably end up making something much simpler than that one, though! Have fun!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On to Slipcovers!

Today, I thought I'd put up the instructions for slipcovers fromt he 1970 Better Homes & Gardens Sewing Book. Slipcovers can cover stains and rips, protect upholstery, fit into a decorating scheme and unify.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Making Curtains and Drapes via the 1970 Better Homes & Gardens Sewing Book

One of these days, I'm making my own pinch-pleat draperies. I've wanted them for a while, but everything in the stores is really expensive (if you can even find nice looking drapes), or they are really nothing but glorified curtains. And I have perfect instructions right in my BH & G Sewing Book binder, printed in 1970. This is the divider for the "Sewing for the Home" section:

For anyone else who wants to learn more about it, who might want to try it, here are some images from the book, showing the process:

Keep watching for "Slipcovers" and "Bedspreads!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Newest Branchell Melmac Dishes!

Quite unplanned, I was in an antiques mall yesterday, browsing, not planning to buy anything. All of a sudden, I spotted a great find - at least in my area! Forty-three pieces of Branchell Melmac, mostly Color-Flyte, for $22.00! Thank you, Auntie's Antique Mall in Parkman, Ohio! Although I had several of the pieces already (of course, I can certainly always use more dinner plates), there are seven lug bowls (with the little fan-shaped handle on one side) and a pastel yellow dinner plate - not Color-Flyte, but definitely Branchell - that I did not have!

These are just a few of my other Branchell pieces (I have some cups in the pastel colors that are still wrapped from when I bought them - since I don't use the cups very often, there's no point having them out until I have a good place for them. I also have miscellaneous other pieces, like another butter dish, at least one other set of Color-Flyte-style sugar bowl and creamer - the two bright green pieces in the photo above that look like tea cups, but have a different handle, a turquoise Royale-style sugar bowl and creamer, and some others). I started "collecting" (never meaning to really be collecting!) Branchell because that is what my grandmother used in her home when I was little (well, really all the way up to the time she sold her house). She only had Color-Flyte, but I've found I love it all! For those uninitiated, Color-Flyte colors consisted of Mist Grey, Glade Green, Glow Copper, and Spray Lime. The colors of the Royale line were Gardenia White, Charcoal Grey and Flame Pink during the first run, and Turquoise Blue was added later. There were also several different patterns - my favorite is Flyte, Buttonflower, and an unknown pattern that sort of looks like it has an atomic symbol rolling around on the plates. In addition, and probably among the last ones designed by Branchell's designer Kaye LaMoyne, were some beautiful spring-like pastels in yellow, pink, blue, peach, lavender, aqua, and green. A really definitive site (not complete, but very good) on Branchell Melmac can be found at, for anyone who finds these dishes as fun and interesting as I do (and they don't break!)

Dinner plates

Platters, serving bowls, salt and pepper shakers, and (hiding, sort of) serving spoons

Bread and butter plates, salad plates

Royale-style sugar bowl and lid, gravy boats