Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where's Me Washboard?

I surprise even myself sometimes! But always keen to rescue some old bit of fabric, decrepit furniture, or tattered paper, I decided to take a risk with this very soiled piece of vintage hand embroidery. (Yes, I did actually pay money for this!)

The crinoline lady stood in her cottage garden amongst a riot of pretty colourful blooms...and a rather nasty brown stain at her feet :(
She had languished unprotected in a picture frame without glass, and the years had not been kind. I carefully removed her from it (I shall probably paint the (potentially!) pretty frame and make it into a display board, similar to the one shown half way through this post) and brushed away the cobwebs.
The linen that she had been embroidered on was still good and strong, so I thought it worth risking the boiling method!
She bubbled away for a few minutes, and at first I wasn't sure if it was going to have any effect...In fact it looked like things were getting worse! But soon she was drowning in a brown soup-like liquid and a transformation had taken place.
A good rinse, an hour drip drying on the washing line and I'm pleased to say she scrubbed up nicely!
A few marks remained along the edges, but these would be easy to avoid. I had to trim away slightly more than I would have liked, but at least she's been rescued.
Today I sat her amongst more vintage flowers and she now features as the centrepiece to this patchwork cushion.
Where hopefully she will be enjoyed for many more years to come.
(The reverse with tie fastenings.)
Other items that have come my way recently (and which required a lot less work to make them presentable :)...
A Victorian decorative plate.

A C1940's cake plate.

A large linen tablecloth with a huge amount of hand embroidery (which did require a good laundering, and a very therapeutic ironing session - am I sad?!)
And two pretty lace panels for windows.
A cute baby blouse. (I sold today, thank you!)

Glass bead necklace and three vintage costume brooches.
(Pale lucite brooch sold today - Thank you"!)

A cute child's garment cover in the sweetest vintage print fabric.

A Victorian religious text print.
Furniture; including three French bistro chairs and an occasional table with distressed paint effect.

A set of lustreware eggcups and this little daydreaming pixie posy holder.

And finally a C1950's half hat with velvet flower trim.
Thanks for stopping-by...I appreciate all who check-in, comment, or email...I know time is precious.
Enjoy the rest of your day,
Niki x


  1. Iys so nice to see how you cleverly transform unloved or wornout things into something beautiful. Like you i am also keen on trying to recycle things.I have just put some vintage bunting on my blog It would be nice if you had a look. I would also love it if you followed my blog.....xx

  2. Well rescued Niki, she has made a beautiful cushion cover.
    Carol xx

  3. Anonymous7:37 pm

    Hi Niki,
    Wow the cushion is beautiful and i love the last picture of your shop it looks so cozy with the lamp light,

  4. Maravilloso trabajo.
    Besitos desde Tenerife.

  5. Great finds and I love how that pillow turned out! The back is perfect with the sweet ties.
    I love the glass buttons also. I used to see those everywhere when I was a little girl but haven't seen any in over 30 years.
    I also cannot pass up anything hand embroidered even if it is stained!
    Tina xo

  6. Restored not just with care but, love!
    That is a particularly pretty embroidery, reminds me of the mirror we had hanging over the fireplace in my childhood.

    Thanks for showing these treasures.

    Sandie xx

  7. What a coincidence - I have the exact same crinoline lady, only mine was luckily protected from dirt as it is under glass as a tray! It is beautifully stitched and such a pretty design, so well done for rescuing yours - it looks fab as a cushion! Some other lovely finds -one of these days I do so hope to get to Shepton Mallet...

  8. You always have such pretty things. Your posts are joyful and full of life. Sea witch

  9. I love that you put so much into making something lovely out of something old and pretty!!! The pillow is so sweet. Hand made twice!
    By the way, I am getting compliments on the little purse I am using right now, and I've used that piece of fabric in a recent post on my blog. LOVE IT!!!
    Thanks again and blessings,

  10. Niki I am so glad you rescued the crinoline lady. What a lovely piece of the past.Your cushion looks wonderful. :)

  11. Oh, so much gorgeousness! So glad the crinoline lady was restored - the cushion is fantastic!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  12. Anonymous9:11 am

    Love your blog about Kents! I recognised Alan Cosby in one shot (about 1970s) You may come across hair brushes made by Cosby instead of Kents. I have one.

    Enjoy your day off!!!

    Love Mumx

  13. Hi Niki, I love your beautiful blog! I was wondering what was the solution you boiled your crinoline lady in? I have some vintage lace that has similar stains and I'm frightened it might fall apart in the washing machine! Take care, Sue x

  14. I simply just love your blog with all its beauty and sweetness. Greetings from the Netherlands

  15. Always a feast for the eyes here Niki. x

  16. Hello Sue,
    Thank you for your comment on my blog.
    I used my regular washing powder tablet in boiling water to get my linen clean. If you click on the link I have added to this post, I wrote the full instructions a few years ago. (Clickable link: 'the boiling method')
    Please don't boil anything precious - this is a 'last resort' process for things that need desperate measures!

    Enjoy your lace,

  17. What fab pre-loved things have come your way! Good for you and your bravery in the boiling department, she makes a beautiful cushion. xxx

  18. Wow, Niki! I never would have thought of boiling. I have a few vintage pieces that will certainly be on their way to the vat now. Thanks for all you do for us! Mary

  19. You brave, brave lady!

    But, well done for rescuing her.
    So as well as brave, you're lovely in my book :o)

    She looks beautiful Niki.

    I love your finds as well, especially that too cute baby gingham blouse :o)

    Have a great bank holiday weekend.

    Donna x


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx