Saturday, January 31, 2009

Linens 'N Things

How many of you collect old linens? This is the weekend clipping file for you to enjoy.
The habit, the Jones of collecting "antique" and "vintage" linens came out of necessity. They were once cheap, and unloved. Then Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart jumped into the fray, and collecting old linens became popular. They made it okay to be a working class stiff with nary an heirloom in your linen press. You could collect someone else's heirlooms and love them as if they were handed down to you.

It was quite the rage back in the 1970's and 1980's and 1990's among my friends. We scrounged around flea markets and thrift stores buying old towels, sheets, pillow cases, nighties. When we went to Europe we had to buy an extra suitcase or two to haul back the linen loot we picked up there.

We loved the thick monograms you can feel, and we didn't care that the initials weren't our own, although when we did find "our" monogram or initial we were thrilled.

In fact we loved writing of all kinds on the old linens and grain, flour, or feed sacks. Better yet if it was in French, which seemed so glam and to die for.

If you could sew a little, you could turn sacks into pillows for your couch.

Mongram towels I found yesterday buried in a cupboard -
I pulled them out for the guest bathroom since we had company

The writing is on the wall -
Cute message board!

This is the 'N Things part of the post -
I just like the wall, and think it would be a good message board idea

Even vintage and antique altar linens came into our homes. These were often the best deal of all, and they made wonderful table runners.

Altar linens

We collected so much of the stuff, that we had to get armories, so we could display our linens in prominent places.

Ticking was a big deal too. Any color from the trad blues and black and grays, to red and green.

Tick tock tick tock - time flies
Ticking in my bedroom past

Bedding was easy to use. You just put it on the bed! It didn't matter if the antique sizes didn't fit modern beds. You just piled it on.

Old Matelasse bedspread used as bed skirt in my bedroom once upon a time

If you had on odd sheet, or tablecloth, or even just a piece of fabric, you could clip it on a rod and it would be so pretty.

It was back when clips were Euro and cool, and not the passe tacky thing some would have us now believe.

My tacky clips

We collected tablecloths and napkins by the dozens. It didn't matter if they had holes or faint old stains. We used our linens everyday. We learned how to launder and iron them, and hold them together as the fabric rotted away with time. I once had a super long linen sheet that got tattered on the bottom edge. I took it to my local dry cleaner/tailor and asked that they cut off the bad part, and make me a nice hem so I could use the good part of my precious piece. They laughed at me, and told me to get that rotten piece of crap out of the store. So I did it myself, and used that sheet as a tablecloth for many years, until it finally did disintegrate.

Shabby Chic was a godsend. We happily slip covered and mixed matelasse, florals, lace, and linen. We found a two new words: Euro sham. We piled on the pillows.

Antique pretties to wear, such has nightgowns, camisoles, bloomers, and dresses also caught our fancy.

If they didn't fit us, we displayed them as a work of art.

Another 'N Things portion of the post - I just think this plastic gown is fabulous!

I collected and wore similar nightgowns from the 1930's and 1940's
and wore them as evening dresses, and learned all about the bias cut -
I got a date with Truffaut wearing a pretty like this

And the most natural thing to do with wonderful old clothing was to display it on the wall.

Antique cami on a glass opalescent tie back on my bedroom wall

Antique dress that belonged to my 90 year old friend Miss Anne

Part of costume I wore in a tango show - We did a number showing tango in the olden days -
The petticoat and cami are antique and were a close fit!

Woo hoo! A dress as wall art AND tons of pillows!

Even a pair of vintage and frayed pink satin slippers becomes wall art in my bedroom

Most of my old linens have gone by the wayside. I still have enough pieces to use once in awhile. Personal style changes as we all know, so I don't have the same places to use and display these things. What made me do this post is taking out those ratty little towels and hanging them in the guest bathroom. I realized how many images I have collected of vintage linens, and voila, another clipping file weekend post for you to peruse.

Images from: Cote de Texas, Velvet and Linen, Apartment Therapy, and that fabulous rabbit hole called Google Images.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Does Anyone Really Care?

I've been busy for the past few days, and sadly haven't been able to read the daily blogs, so I'm sure this is old news by now ha ha. Does anyone care that Domino is kaput?

The Paris Apartment does. Read more HERE and see a great selection of Domino eye candy. And so does Live In Full Color HERE

What will happen to my 25 year subscription ha ha? And no wonder my e-mails to them checking some facts for a posting I've been working on, and keeping on hold, haven't been answered.

from The New York Times reprinted for you right here:

Domino, Shopping and Decorating Magazine, Closes

Published: January 28, 2009

Domino, a three-year-old shopping and home décor magazine, will stop publishing with its March issue, Condé Nast Publications announced Wednesday.

The publisher, Beth Fuchs Brenner, and the editor, Deborah Needleman, will leave Condé Nast, a company spokeswoman, Maurie Perl, said. A handful of staff members will be placed in open Condé Nast positions, but most of the staff of about 80 will be dismissed and will leave the company within a week.

“We tried to create a marriage between the beautiful image magazines and the useful service magazines,” Ms. Needleman said in an interview. “Editorially, we did what we set out to do, and in this economy, sadly, that’s not enough.”

Domino was not profitable, and its ad pages were falling — they dropped 26 percent in the December/January 2008 from the December/January 2007 issue, according to Media Industry Newsletter.

In a recession and a housing market crash, finding advertisers to promote furniture and housewares was difficult, despite Domino’s popularity — its circulation was a sturdy 800,000.

“The current model is built so that advertising keeps magazines afloat,” said Robin Steinberg, director of print investment and activation for the media-buying firm MediaVest. “It’s unfortunate, because the consumer loses out in the end.”

As of two weeks ago, Condé Nast was publicly supporting the magazine, announcing an organizational change that had Domino reporting to a top executive and discussing “the brand’s vitality in the marketplace.”

Ms. Perl said recent economic news had changed that opinion.

“In hindsight, in continued evaluation, perhaps we would have asked to take the last two weeks back,” she said. “The economy just drove the decision to discontinue the publication.”

The home design category has suffered at almost every major publisher in just over a year. Time Inc. closed InStyle Home and Cottage Living, Martha Stewart Omnimedia closed Blueprint, Meredith closed Country Home, Hearst closed O at Home and Hachette Filipacchi Media closed Home.

Domino had a lively feel, with affordable products and do-it-yourself projects.

“What Domino did that none of the other higher-end magazines did was to make décor more accessible,” said Cassandra LaValle, who runs the home décor blog Coco+Kelley (

Domino, which began publishing in April 2005, is the third Condé Nast magazine about home décor to go under in about a year. Condé Nast closed Vogue Living, a supplement to Vogue, in August and House and Garden in November 2007.

These were not the only steps the company took to cut costs. In October, it asked each magazine to reduce its payroll and budget by 5 percent, which resulted in a handful of layoffs at almost every publication. At that time, the company also folded Men’s Vogue into Vogue and reduced the number of issues of Condé Nast Portfolio.

Ms. Perl said other Condé Nast magazines with ad-page declines, including Portfolio, were still stable.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sorry I'm Late Audrey

I have it marked on my calendar. The day Audrey died. January 20, 1993. She was born in 1929. My father was born in 1927 (and passed away long ago). Audrey is the "mother" to all of us women of style. You just type the name "Audrey" into Google, and she comes up first, with a zillion entries.
Audrey bio HERE
Nice Audrey blog called Fab Audrey HERE
This is a picture post of the images I have accumulated in my clipping file. Enjoy them, as you evoke your own fond memories of Audrey.

With her mother

She loved flowers

UNICEF was her life's work

Fashion icon

Truly a fair lady

With one of her husbands - Mel Ferrer

Animal lover

Guest in The White House
and recipient of Freedom Medal of Honor

She even makes appliances look good!


The muse of Hubert de Givenchy

First she was a dancer

She inspires decor (and Christmas trees!)

Near the end of her life

Age 10 - at the beginning of her life

A simple resting place -
Well lived Miss Audrey!