Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Best thing about winter? Leggings!

What the first thing I grab on those first chilly days?

No fabric is safe from the legging pattern!

I have them in velvet, lace, rayon, cotton, you name it and it has been made into leggings.

I refuse to wear pantyhose. Ever. Never again. Do they even still make those?

Snugly socks, a pair of boots, leggings and I'm done for the winter!   

New Lace Fabric---Ruffled Romantic Lace Leggings or Tights - Cream - READY TO SHIP
Romantic lace leggings or tights are made from 4 way stretch lace with a soft ruffle at the bottom.
Under a wedding dress, tunic, as pj's or a sexy undergarment you choose how you want to wear these.

Poor Sacha has been waiting on her pair for...a year???...something like that!

I'm sorry darlin' you'll get a pair for Christmas! Promise!

I won't sell the ones I make you this time around. LOL

Thank you to my gorgeous model Whitney and photographer Greg!




Best thing about winter?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Warning! Kitty intensive post!

I've been working on a new corner to take photos for Ebay and Etsy...

Isn't it pretty?

And you would think that wouldn't be HARD....

But then you don't have a new kitty that thinks the world belongs to her...

and she could possibly be right!
Albert Einstein had to get in on the redo...

She's into EVERYTHING!

Nothing is safe...

I keep telling her the antiques are worth more than she is...

she ignores me....

Because we both know it isn't TRUE!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

House opens after 100 years

Maison Mantin. A house in a nearby town. A beautiful house. A lovely house. But what makes this house so special? 

The last owner left the house to the city when he passed away. Under one condition: it had to stay closed for a century and then be opened to the public.

The owner, Monsieur Louis Mantin, passed away in 1905... Meaning that this house is now open for the public!
It opened a couple of years later than Monsieur Mantin would have wanted, but he forgot about one small detail when a house is hermetically shut for a century: decay. It took almost 4 million dollars to get it back into shape...

Monsieur Mantin obviously was loaded. His house was the first to have electricity, had some sort of central heating system and has sterling silver window-closures, just to name a view extravaganzas. Ohw. And of course there is the room with the leather on the walls that has been painted with gold and silver. Real gold and silver. This room is  one of the two leather covered rooms that remained in entire France! Very unique.

The lightbulbs are still the ones that were in there when Louis walked around the house, the papers are still on his desk. The renovators did an amazing job on giving the public the impression to have gone back in time. Fabulous!

Up until a couple of decades ago, these lightbulbs were still produced. Now they're no longer made. So if these lightbulbs break down, they cannot be replaced.

The bathroom has all sorts of nifty features. So there was floor heating and in the middle of the picture you can see a small cabinet? That was were the towels were placed. It was connected to the central heating system, so dear Louis always had warm towels!

The large lamp contains three lights inside the crown: red, white, blue. Protest. Rebellion. But stylish. :)

And let's not forget the impressive Boudoir...

So if you're around Moulins in the Allier départment (région Auvergne), don't forget to go and visit. And if you're as wealthy as Louis was, please, consider closing your house, with all the content in it, and handing the keys to the Mayor as a serious option.

I travelled through time.


There's a wiki-page on 'Maison Mantin'

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Listing, listing, listing...

As said earlier: I'm an addictive person. I really didn't find time to list things on eBay, due to a huge 'Sacha Kay' order with a very tight deadline.

And I really missed the listing! Can you imagine? I have never 'done' something with eBay in my entire life and after a couple of weeks listing things, I just miss it when I can't find the time to do so!


The order is packed and gone...

... and I have tons of GREAT stuff to list on eBay, like there are 1860s books, an 1850s bizz-card with wax seal, an absinthe fountain and silver sugar tongs. And much more! Oh joy. :)

And yay, tomorrow I get to see my linen attic again, for I have this wonderful viscount crown monogramed nightgown, amongst other wonderful linens...

I can't wait to show off everything I have.

À plus, Mes Amies!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Addiction: Homemade Sweet & Sour Pickled Cucumbers

I'm an addictive person. Ehm. Not that people get addicted to me, but saying that I'm quite sensitive to addictions, that is.

One of my addictions is 'Sweet & Sour Pickled Cucumbers'. And I'm not the only addicted person: my husband can't stay away from them neither.

So the 'three weeks waiting time' that goes for the cold method of pickled cucumbers, wasn't working for us. We need pickled cucumbers and we need them fast.

If we look at a large pot filled with them, we just cannot stay away. And hiding the pot in the basement or somewhere doesn't really help. There's always one of us knowing where the pot is hiding...

We had to come up with something 'We make it now, we eat it tomorrow'-proof. And we worked out a warm method of making them. And that works! Even the next day they're already good. Of course they get better when 'resting' longer, but we're already happy. :)

Since I figured that we're probably not the only ones being somewhat impatient, I like to share our recipe. It's not higher science, so I don't give exact measures, there's really not much to do wrong as long as you got the vinegar / sugar ratio good.



- cucumbers
- vinegar
- salt
- sugar
- peppercorns (or dried spanish pepper even)
- onion
- garlic (optional)
- mustard seed
- dill
- other dried herbs (or spices) to your liking (like thyme, rosemary, etc. and/or spices like clove, juniper, etc)

Wash the cucumbers and cut them in slices or fingersized pieces. Put them in a container and cover them with salt. Leave them rest to for 24 hours.

Put the cucumbers in a colander. Don't rinse!

Measure out 2 : 1 vinegar and sugar. So if you use 1 liter of vinegar, use 500 grams sugar. Heat up the sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, pepper and herbs in casserole.

Meanwhile peal the onion and garlic and cut. Put the onion and garlic in a thoroughly cleaned (canning) jar.

When the vinegar mixture is boiling, throw a batch of the cucumbers in it and bring back to a boil. As soon as the cucumber gets the typical 'pickled cucumber colour', get them out with a slotted spoon and put them in the jar. Don't leave them in too long, otherwise they'll get 'snotty'. Repeat that batch after batch till the jar is full or all the cucumbers are done.

Then pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers in the jar. If all is well, you get to cover the cucumbers. If not, bring some more vinegar and sugar to a boil in the 2:1 ratio.

Close the jar and let cool down. If cool, store in fridge or basement. This mixture should stay well for quite a while (even up to a year!), for the vinegar and sugar are preservatives.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Feather Bolster Pillows

French Bolster Pillow

From France:

Sacha has had so many requests for the Feather Bolster Pillows that we are going to list them for you.
We are always surprised when we run into such a cultural difference!
Something so very normal to her, is something very romantic French and unattainable to me.  
Not anymore!  I'll be having one of these on MY bed soon!
These are brand new. Pillow form ONLY.

A bolster pillow case is quite plain and simple, yet an essential item for that perfect French Made Bed. No real French bed goes without a bolster. Even hotel rooms often still have those laying on the bed and to be used, not the 'hard decorative ones'!
On the pictures it's filled with a standard French bolster pillow that has a length of 160 cm (63"). The sides are traditionally left as is: open and hanging down, not tied with a ribbon or something!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sacha and her wonderful finds!

And of course, Sacha Kay finds the most amazing things in France! This piano shawl conjures up images of flappers singing on piano's in a smoke filled room with a cigarette in one hand and a glass absinthe in other....liberating women from the bonds of corsets and society!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bag??? WHAT BAG????

I have this most gorgeous Italian crocodile briefcase and Sacha is making me sell it!!!

My laptop fits right into it...I should be able to keep it...yes???

Don't you agree???


(LOL  Poor Sacha, she gets blamed for everything!  She actually encouraged me to KEEP it, I almost fell out of my chair!  It's so gorgeous she was allowing me to have it in my closet...bless her heart!)

How many of these can a girl have though?

Fine. It's in our Ebay shop Sacha Kay. I want more lavender. Humph.

And my Victorian Celluloid Photo Album...

Lots of old cabinet photos.

I love these old pictures, everyone looked so serious!

And that's my round up for the day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

It works! Homemade Laundry Powder!

And what do you think Sacha and I do when we're not cleaning, listing, flea marketing, 
listing more, and just plain working?

We play of course!

 I found a recipe for homemade laundry soap and being as that we have to wash everything that comes through our doors, anything to save some money I'm going to give a try!

Of course I was skeptical. I've been using Tide since my Mom used it on my clothes and I'm 53.
So getting me to use something else was going to be impressive!

And as soon as I remember WHERE I found this on the internet, I'll link back to it.
Not that I stayed with the original recipe or anything..but still...


I tried the grating method on my first batch. It works like a charm in the washing machine.
I hand wash and soak a lot of linens,
so my next batch I put in the food processor and ground it small.
Love it!

Found it!  Being Creative 
This was the original recipe:

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle.
(this is optional, I added it into mine because I have pretty messy kids and the cleaner the better)

You should be able to find all of these items at your grocery store.

**Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. I know that does not seem like enough but this recipe does not have fillers like the store bought detergent so you only need 1-2 Tablespoons.**

My recipe:

And yay! I found a new use for my pink depression glass cookie jar!

I left out the oxy clean and used the baking soda, laundry powder, and Borax.

I used the 3 bars of Fels-naptha. 1.00 each at walmart!

Put a bar of Dr. Brommers Lavender Castile soap in for the smell good factor.

And next time I'll try some Kirks Castile soap.  .99 a bar off the internet.

Mixed it all up in a 5 gallon bucket and I've used most of my first batch and have never looked back! So long Tide!!!

How to make a French Bed

People are often complaining how it's just too bad that the antique French linen sheets are too small to make a 21st century bed properly.

It's possible though. I'll show you in this picture 'how to', how I've done mine!

Every bed is different and has it's own challenge. My bed starts with being 1m80 x 2m00 (70.8" x 78.7") with a matress of 1m60 x 2m00 (63" x 78.7") and open.

So first thing I did, was planting my scissors into an antique linen sheet. Brenda forced me to say that it was a 'project sheet'. So I'll just say that to make her happy... 
There are lots of sheets that have so many tears and wears that it's just no longer possible to use them other than for projects and they are cheaper than perfect antique sheets. I turned one of those sheets into a custom bedskirt...


I didn't particularly liked the ceiling above the bed, therefore I put up curtains there. Nothing fancy. Simple cotton Ikea curtains that had been lying in my studio for several years. It's for covering up, anchor the bed into the space and adding a little more romance. And I sew some pillows for the head of the bed.

I covered the matress with a 'modern' white fitted sheet. Then I took a simple antique 'fil de lin' sheet without monogram. Fil de lin is the finer linen, not the extreme thick heavy weight one. I like the way that feels on my skin better than the other one. Might be a personal thing, but it feels more luxurious. This sheet I put across the bed ("length to width" so to speak). Just to get some drape on the side and cover up the hole in between my matrass and bed...

Of course now I've got way too much drape, for I made the bedskirt on the side of the bed as well...

I simply folded it back on both sides of the bed to show off my bedskirt.

Time to get the duvets on the bed. I've got two single person duvets in that wonderful duvet blue color. Way too nice color to hide in a duvet cover. So I fold them double and put them on top of the sheet.

And here it comes. The crème de la crème. The diamond amongst the Linen Bedsheets. A 19th century bedsheet that has been made on a 1m05 (41") loom, so it's only 2m (82") width (they are always two panels). With a wonderful hand embroidered, centered monogram. The really heavy weight linen sheet. All handmade. Indistructable. The sheet that is a slight bit more expensive, but is the centerpiece of a bed. The eyecatcher. The cream on the coffee. Or something like that.

I've put this wonderful sheet over the duvets and folded it back to the middle of the bed. I really want the monogram to stand out and not get lost by attention drawing pillowcases and such.

Now I'm in the luxurious position of owning a 2m x 2m (82" x 82") vintage French cotton white blanket that I topped over the sheet. But depending on the climate, an extra layer might not be necessary in every area.

And of course... A French bed cannot... I repeat... CANNOT go without a "traversin", a bolster. That is a basic French bed essential. They are still to be found everywhere. It's a common pillow. And isn't it romantic to use one pillow with your loved one?

Mine is fit into an antique simple crochet trimming decorated linen cover.

Then throw in some pillows. I don't like to take too much attention away from my monogram centerpiece, so I'm always going easy on the pillows. There's just one rule...
It is NOT allowed to use two of the same pillowcases. It's an antique French bed. That has been made with all unique (handmade) items. Having two of the same pillowcases just doesn't fit into that picture. 

To finish the bed off, I like to hang some beautiful panels on the bed. Either for their nice trimmings or for their extravagently beautiful monogram. Or just a 'simple' antique hand laced fichu.

Et voila. All done. Simple. Chic. Crispy clean. Inviting. My bed is made. 

It took me: 

- One thicker antique linen project sheet (not the extreme heavy weight one)
- One simple, non monogramed antique Fil de Lin Sheet (the fine linen)
- One terrific, wonderful, beautiful, antique top center monogramed heavy weight linen sheet

And a couple of hours to get the bedskirt and bedhead pillows done.

Next on my to do list... Curtains!

À plus, mes Amies!


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