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I have always loved roses and rose prints, especially the softer versions now known as Shabby Chic.

When I was a very small child, my mother made me a little wooden trunk that she padded and covered with a rose chintz fabric. I kept my dolls and doll clothes and special treasures in that little trunk for many years.

Later, I used to sit in - or rather lie across - a big chair with cushy rolled arms and read. The upholstery (I think it was linen, maybe bark cloth) had an ecru or cream colored background with big roses and mossy green leaves and stems on it. I remember idly tracing those roses with my fingers as I listened to programs on the radio, too.

This setting began when I found a wonderful print of red and creamy pink roses on a mossy green background that transported me back to those days. I could hardly contain myself until I did something with it.

The first thing I did was make the table. Its base is a cut-down frozen orange juice can. I did not hem the fabric; just trimmed away the excess at the bottom with very sharp scissors when the entire cloth was totally dried. Because the last inch or so of the cloth had been coated with glue, there was no raveling. You can see a mini-tutorial on making skirted tables here.

I had an interesting chair that I liked and recovered its cushion, too. The original was dark red velvet.

This luscious dessert is made with ladyfingers, Devil's food cake, and red raspberry glaze. The compote I purchased from Dawn Weaver, I think, and the knife is Chrysnbon.

I had been experimenting painting Chrysnbon dishes and decided to use them here.

Not my best work, but on the table they look fairly decent for shabby chic anyway. Maybe I will paint some better ones next time. I think Chrsynbon is one of miniatures' great classics; affordable and well made.

I fringed a couple of napkins.

My original Shabby Chic Rose Table!

The roses were a show purchase in Chicago. The pitcher has been in my stash for a long time, but I decided its roses look a bit too pinkish, and since I already had the white coffee pot, I decided to change the container.

I had this cranberry glass vase in my stash, and like it much better. I also added a couple of little gold cupids just for the heck of it.

At first I was just going to use the table and chair, but kept having this nagging feeling that I had something somewhere that would go with this print. And then I remembered that when my friend Michelle was downsizing recently, she had included some upholstered furniture in the boxes of stuff she brought me. I looked through, and there it was, an old-fashioned sofa that said Shabby Chic and Roses!

I decided to use the print again for a pillow, which I purposely made rather flattish to duplicate pillows that my mother had when I was a very small child.

I used a piece of graph paper to determine the size of my pillow, which I wanted to be a bit larger than normal sofa pillows. I used cosmetic squares to cut the stuffing.

I wanted the suggestion of tufting, so used a big needle to pull a couple of times through each of the big roses in the front. I forgot to take a picture of the paper which I used atop the cotton.

Here you can see the thread through the batting and the paper to form the tufting.

 

At first, I thought I would use fringe on the pillows. To make it, I cut moss green grosgrain ribbon in half lengthwise then pulled the lengthwise threads. (The fringe looks shinier here than in real life). I looked at those threads and thought, Hmmm...

... and made tassels by tying knots along the entire length of the threads, then cut between them. I wound up not using the pillow with the fringe, but made another one and used the tassels. I like it much better because it really looks like the pillows from my childhood.

Here is the tasseled pillow, along with a chrocheted throw made from a doily.

Mother's pillows had rather untidy tassels, too, as I recall - perhaps because I was always picking at them absentmindedly while I was reading. lol

And speaking of reading, I couldn't resist duplicating one of the library books from my childhood.

Mother walked by one day as I was draped across the chair reading A Dog of Flanders and asked, "Why in the world are you crying?"
"Because it's so SAD," I said, practically sobbing.
"Well, if it's making you cry, why do you keep reading it?" she asked, brow furrowed and hands on hips.
"Because it's so GOOD," I said, and continued reading through my tears.

And in case that old book stuck with any of you the way it did with me, here is a copy for you.

Recalling those childhood days as I duplicated that old book, I also remembered when we made valentines boxes about that same year. The teacher told us to bring in a shoe box on the day before Valentines, and the last thing we did before we went home was to work on those boxes. She handed out colored construction paper and paste and her precious stash of scissors and we happily cut and pasted hearts and scallops to decorate our boxes.

To make this simple box, I glued together two little wood cubes from my stash and covered them with white paper. The hearts were done with a paper punch, and I used decorative scissors to make the scallops and other trim. There is no real opening in the top; I just painted a black long oval and cut off the valentine at an angle and glued it in place.

My mother always insisted that if I were going to buy valentines, I had to give one to every person in the class. "You don't want anyone to have hurt feelings if they don't get a valentine," she said. "You can always give or make a special one for special friends."

I said the same thing many years later when my own children were buying valentines.

So, in case you didn't get a valentine this year, have some from the 1940s! I used semi-gloss paper at the best picture settings, and cut around the edges of the designs for all except the tiniest ones, I think. The designs are much sharper and clearer in real life than they appear in these photos. I just don't understand why I can't get good pictures of the valentines in this darn lamp!

The little heart wreath hanging on the cabinet knob was a show purchase some years ago. Its simple appeal caught my eye.

 

I really enjoy walking by and peering into the lamp at this from-my-childhood setting.

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Copyright <>Juawanna Newman . All rights reserved.