Top Image

Top Image

Spring Reveal!

Posted on: Friday, February 27, 2015

We spent all week shifting, hanging, gluing, rearranging and styling to get the store Spring ready. It is brighter, sweeter and there are more blooms than ever! Take a virtual look at our flower chandelier, oil paintings galore, deconstructed chair and scarf banner...

 come take a look for yourself!

Weekly Six: 2.25

Posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Before we open our doors for the week, check out our top six vintage picks. We constantly update our inventory, and we want to keep you in the loop of the new things coming in! So, without further adieu, we bring you:

1: Our little red riding jacket! In preparation for April's showers, grab this flannel lined and apple red coat to keep you warm, dry and looking good.

2: Springtime is just around the bend, and we are finding ourselves drawn to all things floral--even dishware. This set will have you dinning in harmony with the season and bring a little sunshine to your afternoon tea.

3: Tall, ornate, and paired together, these lamps are larger than life in more ways than one. Make a statement with your houseguests, and never read in the dark again.

4: This pendant lamp is quite the statement piece with its stained glass, ornate floral trim, and bird decals on every panel. Time to shed some light over your dinner table (and your chef skills.)

5: Where would you put this mirror? By your front door for a quick check on the way out? In place of that less-than-attractive medicine cabinet?

6: We have our eye on this bench! It must have been birthed from a saw horse and antique farm table. We love it's thin, yet sturdy profile.

Vintage Care: Rugs

Posted on: Monday, February 23, 2015

Finding a rug with a unique pattern and ideal color palette is a gem worth treasuring. And when you find that area rug, it ties the entire room together. To keep your interior design from unraveling over the years, we have a few upkeep tips for your various foot cushions. Often vintage and antique rugs are delicate due to their age, so it's key to treat them extra special. We have put together some basic care tips for different rug types, categorized based on the material/style they’re made with. Outside of basic vacuuming, it’s best to take your rugs out to a covered patio or outside space to really get your deep cleaning on.

Shake talcum powder (FYI: baby powder is made mostly with talcum, you can use it) all over onto your rug, and let it lie for 2-3 hours. Then brush the powder through the hair and shake, shake, shake. Repeat up to three times.

Then to clean the bottom, get a cloth damp with warm, soapy water and wipe down—let it air dry, and put back in place. 
For a real deep clean, the thing to check is for waterproof backing. For rubber or latex backing, use a top loading machine, arranging evenly around the agitator (try throwing in a couple towels to balance the load). Set the machine to large load and cold water, only using half the amount of detergent (rugs just don’t need a lot)—dry on fluff. When it’s all dry, take a wide-tooth comb and re-fluff the fur.

These next two types may come with fringe, in which case you want to avoid that fringe with your vacuum at all costs. When washing, divide the fringe into groups and tie them with a string—keeps detangling to a minimum.

Before snagging the first cleaning product off the shelf at your local drugstore, be warned: DO NOT use ammonia or any other highly alkaline cleaner, it’ll damage the wool. If you’re not sure whether or not your rug is wool, snip a piece and light it with a match—real wool will smell like burning hair.
Start by turning your rug over and vacuum the underneath—it loosens the deep down nitty gritty and moves it to the surface. Then, flip the rug right side up and vacuum the top (tip: wrap nylon mesh around your vacuum to protect delicate and older rugs). If it’s small enough, hang it on a clothesline next and beat it like Michael Jackson or shake it like Taylor Swift.

For a really deep clean (it’s a good idea to do this kind of cleaning every 12-18 months—aka every Spring), put the small rugs in a zippered pillowcase or mesh laundry bag and wash in cold water on gentle, then tumble dry low. With large area rugs, make sure it is on a vinyl or concrete floor first (if wood is the only option, put an old blanket or towels underneath). Sponge some commercial carpet cleaning foam on and rub it in—ending by rinsing or vacuuming, letting it dry completely before replacing.

Take a vacuum to it first, front and back. These are good ones to shake and beat outside, too. For washing, use a top loading machine, arranging evenly around the agitator (try throwing in a couple towels to balance the load). Set the machine to large load, cold water and delicate cycle—only using half the amount of detergent (rugs just don’t need a lot). These are best hung dry—on a drying rack, slatted picnic table, or stacked bricks—hanging them on a single line will distort the rugs shape.

Any good tricks of the trade? Share your foolproof rug care tips below!

Junking 101: Turquoise

Posted on: Friday, February 20, 2015

For those of you addicted to the vintage treasure hunt, we bring you our series on knowing a bit more about your valuable finds. Junking 101 posts will focus your eye in on items that have stories to tell in history, and when to spot a truly unique lovely! It's gold, Jerry!
Western iconography carries within itself much more than a simple dollar value. The connotation of nostalgia, beauty, adventure, and nativity has seeped into the pores of objects such as cow skulls, indian trade blankets, cowboy boots, and cacti. They hold within themselves dreams of open roads with the windows down, dry wind whipping undone hair as you take in the majestic nothingness of the deserts, watching the background mesas slowly turn to snowcapped mountains in the distance. And the exploration of finding gems in the deserts, of wandering somewhereor nowherethe West doesn’t ask for decisions, it just beckons you come.

So when we happen upon treasures reminiscent of our beloved Southwest, it is easier to evaluate its dollar amount congruent with the feelings evoked in the treasurer—but what about its market value? What, exactly, are we looking at? We traveled to the High Noon show in Mesa, Arizona, where experts of all things Western come to share their finds and collectors come to admire them. Original saddles and trade blankets going for thousands of dollars, leather goods alongside silver goods, and what we are illuminating today: turquoise. With the vast array of hues, textures, and shapes this one mineral can come in—we wanted to know more.

And so we found out.

We found out the popularity of this mineral reaches further back and spreads wider than we expected. It carries deep meaning in cultures all over the world. And there are so. many. colors.

Before there was the West, there were Egyptian graves and Persian Empires. Ancient Egyptians inlayed turquoise in grave furnishings; and ancient Persians wore the sky-blue variety around their necks to protect against unnatural deaths (if the stone began changing color, it was a sign of doom for the wearer—dun dun dun). Later on, Europeans imported these gemstones from Turkey, gaining their name from the French word for Turkish, turquoise. From there, the name then spread to encompass the blue-green color (synonymous with the stone) as well. Only gold, silver, and copper carry the same promiscuity of being so commonly used for the color the mineral represents (think Kleenex for tissues, or Xerox for copy machines—turquoise sure branded itself well).

And now we journey to the Americas.

Native Americans really valued turquoise, trading the rough gemstones as well as turquoise objects even down into South America. Worn on the body or for ceremonial purposes, they believed turquoise signified the god of the sky was alive in the earth. It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that they began pairing coin silver with it to fashion their jewelry (a stroke of genius!) an this giving birth to the now famous duo: sterling silver and turquoise.

What has made us all, for thousands (and thousands) of years, prize and popularize turquoise? It’s primarily due to its color—blue gemstones are quite rare on this planet. But within this one color, there are numerous variations due to the chemical elements that make up the mineral. Turquoise is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminum, meaning water seeps into the picture (a.k.a. underground), and magic happens. Or, rainfall soaks into the ground and dissolves small amounts of copper, which then dries, mixes with phosphate and aluminum, and leaves deposits of turquoise in fractures underground. If you’ve ever noticed the beautiful blue-green patina oxidized copper produces, you’ll understand—magic! 

Pure goodness is when the chemical process produces the most desirable turquoise: sky, or robin’s egg blue. From there, other elements come into play to produce different hues of less desirable color: blue-green, yellowish-green, stones with brown/black spider webbing, or patches of brown/black. When bits of iron substitute themselves for aluminum in the recipe, the result is always greener—the green tint is directly proportional to the amount of iron imparted. And then there is the host rockor matrixfor you geology buffs. When the host rock gets entangled in the process, the spidery veins and patches form in turquoise. Though many cutters will do their best to cut these ‘impurities’ out, often they are unavoidable. And besides, some of us like seeing the matrix mixed with the bright blue—one of those “perfectly imperfect” kind of situations.

Arid climates cultivate the best conditions for turquoise formation (think the Southwest region of the USA, China, Chile, Egypt, Iran and Mexico). The leading producers of turquoise in the States today are Arizona (number one), New Mexico and Nevada—with second string mines in Colorado, California, Utah, Texas and Arkansas. Those who know their turquoise can often identify the place and/or mine in which a specific stone originated. Which is additionally impressive, especially considering turquoise can change color over time, from exposure to light, cosmetics, acidity from our skin, and/or dust—nature’s great mood ring. Since turquoise isn’t found as one solid crystal, rather as an aggregate of micro-crystals packed together, its porous character makes it more susceptible to these environmental influences. Which also gives turquoise its waxy—as opposed to glassy (like gold or diamonds)—luster.

When shopping around for turquoise, beware of the cubic zirconia (a.k.a. impostor) version—its synthetic antithesis. Both foreign (mainly Russia and China) and domestic (Gilson Company) producers have made glass, plastic, and ceramic look-a-likes since the seventies, damaging the market. These materials are often died blue, so a simple scratch will reveal whether it’s genuine turquoise or only skin deep. But if you happen upon a piece of genuine turquoise, you possess talisman teeming with luck, success, ambition, and creativity. 

So what turquoise stone types catch your eye—the smooth blue, the patchy blue-green, the chocolate brown matrix?

Ruby Rose All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger