Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Decorating the Old House with Old Stuff

After two months in the new very old house, we've managed to get mostly settled. I still have aspirations of a little nook in the bedroom that will require scrounging used furtniture stores and garage sales for a chair, but for now--we're done.

Project Alpha was curtains for the great room. I used some silk dupioni I've had sitting around for ages. Quick overview of the process--I hacked rectangles slightly larger than the window of the silk and a linen facing, plus a thin quilt batting, then sandwiched the batting between the lining and silk, and hemmed all the way around. I left a larger hole in the top to stuff the curtain rod (so cool--it's built into the window) through. There are several rings stitched in a two rows down the back to raise and lower the curtains (and make fun poofs with). Love how the grain of the fabric shows through when it's light outside.

I love the deep windows and the woodwork. And yes, that's my Tower O' Wine between the windows. I have a little bit of a fetish for nice wine glasses.
The mantle was also fun to play with--especially as all the pieces were things we already owned. No buying decorations for us, no sir!
From the left: Monkey my husband won in a dance contest on our honeymoon (don't ask, and for the love of all that is good, don't ask him to demonstrate); the green bottle was a wedding gift from reenactor friends; I have no idea where the pewter cup with the rabbit face on the bottom came from, but it's kinda creepy; the pictures are actually calendar pages--I love bird prints in the style of Audobon; peacock feather because, in case you didn't catch onto this with the Peacock Gown, I love peacocks.
One of the bonuses of reenacting is that you're ready equipped with stuff to decorate your house with. If you like decorating with pistols, swords, and various martial paraphenalia, that is.
Shelves with three kinds of fun: Games, tea party, pistols.
Close up of the pistol and the hangar (sword-like thingy) on the shelf. With more peacock feathers. I had to fight to keep those there. My husband thought it was too girly to have peacock feathers on his pistol shelf. I think it's dignified. Thoughts on this one?
Also fun for display--a powder horn my father made. I'll have to do a full post on scrimshaw, the art of etching designs into horn, antler, or ivory someday--I have some gorgeous pieces made by my father.
Any unusual decorating strategies in your house?


MrsC said...

I LOVE the black and white toile UNDER the pistols and the feathers! :) Old houses are fun to do up I agree, and you are doing a lovely job of it :)

Ax said...

Love the look! And a post on scrimshaw would be awesome. Stuff you never wanted to know more about until someone mentions it and then its like oh awesome, tell me more! So what does it feel like to move into a place that isn't already cluttered with other people's crap or college boxes? :p

Kat Zhang said...

I love the bird calendar prints, too :) Your new house seems very lovely!

anachronist said...

My mum is very fond of peacock feathers and I am planning to make her a pair of earrings with these. Your courtains are incredible and the whole house looks nice!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rowenna! I totally just stalked your blog via a comment you left on Erica's blog . . . hahaha! (evil stalker laugh)
Love your silk curtains!!

Anonymous said...

The house is beautiful and reminds me of a Georgian house my husband and I rented as our first home here in Australia. The bedroom was so big one could play a game of cricket! Beautiful deep set cedar windows and large doors and overlooking a river and across to a mountain called Ben Lomond.
The scrimshaw powder horn is magnificent... we have antlers from the deer on the farm and I wish I knew a scrimshaw artist here who could do something for us! Write a blog on the scrimshaw soon!

Rowenna said...

MrsC--thanks! Believe it or not, it was wrapping "paper" for a wedding gift--the tea set on the lower shelf!

Ax--Hiya :) I'll have to get Dad to weigh in the scrimshaw post!


Anachronist--peacock earrings sound awesome!

Jenna!! *enthusiastic waving hello*

Mesmered--thanks--I love this old place :) Will post on scrimshaw soon!