Friday, 30 December 2011

Lazy Bloggers!

Yes. We have been lazy bloggers of late and work at Elegantly Wasted headquarters has slowed to a stop. This is mainly due to a little event we are currently planning- our wedding for next Christmas! However, as we have now secured the church, venue, our awesome photographer, caterer, band and florist; we can now turn out thoughts back to our business venture again. Exciting plans are afoot, Ben has been asked to collaborate on a vintage fair/vintage wedding fair project scheduled for sometime in February in Plymouth (early days: more news to come soon!) and we are in the process of sourcing tired furniture that is just crying out to be elegantly wasted. We are also looking forward to the Nostalgic Mix fair in Totnes on 31st March so we  have plenty of projects to keep us busy! 

Yesterday we aquired a lovely pair of cups and saucers from Ben's Dad's shop- Old School Antiques in Penryn, Cornwall. I was drawn to the Union Jack handles and the typical 1930s shape. They commemorate King George and Queen Mary's silver jubilee in 1935 and look fab displayed with red roses in. Let us know what you think!

A belated Merry Christmas!
Tara and Ben

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Draw up a seat and read about our latest transformation!

We have just finished painting and waxing some beautiful chapel chairs, which we decided to premier in our local park! The chairs are Edwardian and previously spent their lives in a cornish church-so they are well blessed!

Above: The base coat.

Above: The finished results!

 We have painted them in Annie Sloan Greek Blue and think they would be ideal in anybodies kitchen , conservatory or garden. We have put the chairs onto eBay at the jolly good starting price of £50. So what are you waiting for? Grab your mouse and click your way over to eBay!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Divine Intervention

We are very excited tonight. We've just won a 19th century french benitier and vignette on ebay which we think will look divine (literally!) in the hall way. Benitiers are found inside Catholic churches, they hold Holy water for Catholics to use to make the sign of the cross upon their foreheads when entering the church. We can't wait for this heavenly parcel to arrive!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

I'm Wasted!

Yay, excellent news, today we sold the monks bench for £90 - our very first sale!  Check out my hand stamped tags with our stag motif. Next up, the 1940s school desk. Ben has been busy sanding and tomorrow the first coat of Greek Blue goes on. Continuing with the 1940s school theme, we have recently purchased a complete boxed set of  Eileen Soper school prints on Ebay. If like me you went to a primary school that was built during the early fifties, you may remember seeing some of these charming relics still hanging about on corridoor walls.

Eileen Soper illustrated many Enid Blyton books and also created some Nature Plates to illustrate Blyton's lesson plans for use in infant schools (a world away from the lengthy planning I have to do now for literacy!) They are totally gorgeous and we are thinking of selling them alongside our furniture, framed. They would look amazing in a nursery or make gorgeous birthday/christening gifts.

We have decided to keep number 60 (the Christmas tree scene) for ourselves which will look just great at Christmas!

Inspired by the 40s school theme, I'm planning on rocking a Miss Jean Brodie (in her prime) look tomorrow-i'm thinking horsey-tweed-jacket-with-elbow-patches and sensible shoes. Excellent.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

In a frenzy over Tretchikoff

If a necktie strangler was stalking women in 1960s London, it made sense to Alfred Hitchcock to furnish the killer’s (fruit and veg seller Bob Rusk) pad with Tretchikoff paintings to emphasise his lack of taste and odd nature. Although I have never used my neck tie for any other means than a decorative one to show off a dandy pattern, I share not only Mr Rusk’s love for the necktie but also his paintings of choice.

The Tretchikoff paintings are that rare thing. Pieces of art that are now treasured yet only a few calendar years ago could usually be seen being callously dumped into a skip by an embarrassed family member clearing out his late mothers last possessions. What? A piece of sixties  kitsch being treated in this way? Where was the respect for the Chinese Girl I hear you say?  The love for Miss Wong? Even the Balinese Girl could be seen at a knocked down price in local charity shops, her fate looking equal to that of the Max Bygrave records  she was invariably placed near (no offence to Mr Bygraves, his 100 Golden Greats was a staple part of my Gran’s record collection.)

It all seemed so sad. Now however, thanks to a sixties revival and general interest in all things kitsch, the Tretchikoff paintings are hot property once more.
Tara and I wanted very much to introduce our walls to Tretchikoff , and like many, hung onto our laptops and went into a mouse clicking frenzy online to secure ownership of our first one. Fellow savvy bidders outbid us, other paintings were seen to be not in their original condition (under glass? No!) or not in that crisp white frame with the Boots sticker on the back, a stamp of authenticity only matched by Tretchikoff himself delivering it to our front door. Finally, after cufflinks were taken off to allow sleeves to be rolled up, and fevered foreheads were dabbed with hankies, the tense bidding war was over with the hammer coming down on our first winning bid. The Balinese Girl was ours!

We discovered she was living in an attic in Saltash after a lifetime of hanging in the main bedroom and scaring the owner's son, who was the one who put it on ebay to sell. We counted out some crisp pound notes and pointed the car towards Saltash. One rainy night drive later, and she was hanging on our wall in pride of place, above our stereo system who welcomed her with the dulcet tones of Frank Sinatra and his friends, Dean and Sammy.  A jolly good result for all, and one less for Tara and I to hunt for. However more good luck was to follow, as well as a coincidence powerful enough to knock the trilby of any gentleman’s head
We decided to purchase Tina, the wonderful John Lynch painting that, like Tretchikoff’s paintings, were stocked in Boots the Chemist in the 1960s, available to anybody with or without a prescription. We were not strangers to Mr Lynch's world. Indeed, every time the call of nature beckons, we are greeted with the sight of The Nymph, Lynch's beautiful goddess who certainly adds a piece of 1960s wall art to our bathroom.

 After taking to the internet to win the bid, Tina arrived wrapped up with her suggestive look every bit as captivating as when she was first painted. Not four days later my father, an antique dealer with a vast antique emporium who intercepted many vintage items riding the south west waves, excitedly told me that he had found a John Lynch painting in a clearance in an old fisherman’s mission. By the sounds of it, the painting had survived a lifetime of cigarette smoke, alcoholic fumes and incoming darts, while having a ringside seat to nautical debauchery. When my father arrived with the painting (whose identity he was vague over) he handed it over with a brown cover obscuring the front. I slowly ripped the cover to reveal yet another Tina staring at me with her come hither eyes. I couldn’t believe it. Of all the portraits, another Tina had arrived, and it surprised me with a jolt equal to a pang of my gentleman’s braces!

The white frame was shaded by the years of cigarette smoke which had misted over Tina’s eyes. I reached for a damp sponge, and slowly removed the grime, revealing a painting untouched by the ravages of time. When I had completed the restoration, I placed it next to my other Tina. We then had to decide, which one would hang on our wall, and which one would join Dorian Grey in the attic. It was decided that Tina number 2 had lived in a nicotine filled world for long enough, and it was time she shared our dreams in the master bedroom. And so Tina now looks over both Tara and I, a piece of vintage history another to curl the moustache of any gentleman with pride!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Project number 2!

No more English, No more French
No more sitting on the old school bench!

As a primary teacher, I see a lot of school desks but none have the appeal of the 'old school' variety. Storing your salt 'n' shake snack, straightening your books and having a discreet rummage around when teacher wasn't looking was all part of the charm! Unfortunately these no longer grace the modern primary classroom but look just right in a child's bedroom or study.

We aim to salvage this beauty - we're thinking pale blue with a Cath Kidston oil cloth fabric inside (perfect for wipe clean quickness if The Naughtiest Girl in the School spills her ink!)

Keep watching and we shall soon reveal the transformation!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Our first elegantly wasted piece!

What an exciting time! Today we finished, styled and listed our first piece for sale on EBAY!
A dark, heavy Edwardian monks bench was given a new lease of life and an elegantly wasted make over with some Annie Sloan old ochre paint,  wax and some artful sandpapering. The result delighted us (in fact, we don't quite know how we shall part with it!) and has us bubbling with excitement for our new project and joint business venture. Check it out on ebay at:

Here are some before and after pics for you to see the transformation!