Flokati- it's a rug, it's a throw, Vietnamese silk lanterns.

Last week, I headed out with my friend Laurie for yet another urban picking adventure. We make a day of it with the goal of heading to our favorite estate company and then thrifting and shopping the whole way home.  This trip did not disappoint and although I would say I am not really in spending mode right now, I got some great items at a relatively low cost which always is good!  The highlight of the trip is always a great view of Manhattan from NJ.  I find that shopping in this area gets me a different selection of goods that are not readily available in the more country area I typically shop.  

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My favorite picks are the two Flokati rugs I bought home.  I already have one of my own, so both of these are listed for sale.  The Flokati is of Greek origin and is made of wool.  The pile is left long and it has a great shag.  They are used as a throw over a couch, bed or bench and as a rug.  They have some weight to them too.  These are both in excellent condition and have no stains or issues.  One is a larger rectangle size and the other is smaller and almost square.  Take a look and see if you can accommodate one.  They are great for MCM purists, boho and eclectic decors and more.  They add a real nice texture to a space and are a great neutral cream (natural wool) color. Both are listed in my etsy and chairish shops. Great holiday gift!

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WIKI: A flokati rug is a handmade shag wool rug. Making flokatis is a long-time tradition of the Vlachs in the Pindus mountains. The natural color of a flokati rug is off-white, but they may be dyed different colors. The entire rug is wool, including the backing from which the tapered shag emerges. After the rug is woven, it is placed in the cold water of a river to fluff the shag. They continue to be handmade in the mountains of Greece and are regarded as desirable in American modern decor and children's rooms.

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Next up, to go along with my recent Asian kick, which, by the way, is TRENDING right now!  I buy what I love, but so many times I come home with stuff and start poking around or get an email and whammo, there is my new found style, already being marketed and discussed in one of my markets!  I just got a mailing from F Schumacher, fine purveyor of fabrics, wallpaper and accessories that I have a trade account with and they are launching a fabulous fabric panel line all with beautiful Asian designs.  I do pay attention to current trends in the design world as that is how I stay relevant.   So I found some beautiful Vietnamese Silk Lanterns.  In Hoi An, they celebrate every full moon with a beautiful lantern festival in which thousands of silk lanterns are hung about town all aglow.  I picked up 3 of these lanterns, all with an inner bamboo frame system that collapse for easier storage and shipping.  They are VERY large and I find them very attractive in a grouping but am pricing individually.  The smallest one needs some glue and I have not repaired it yet so have not listed it.  You can find them on etsy.  

I get lost in this beautiful painting. The black background is actually green foliage and pink accents. It was amazingly done! 

I get lost in this beautiful painting. The black background is actually green foliage and pink accents. It was amazingly done! 

I have worked through the art and ming tables I picked up the other week and most everything is live on etsy and chairish.  I hung the paintings in my living room for safe keeping while they wait for a home and I am in love with them.  The details are lovely and it really classes up my space.  I know whomever takes them in will love them just as much.  I added everything I know about the artist, which sadly, is not much.  Most of it from observation of being in her home and not necessarily facts about her art career.  

I just accepted an offer on the Adrian Pearsall Jacks end tables.  The kidney shaped cocktail table is still available.  I will hopefully be looking to bring some of the upholstered items from this lot home shortly.  I keep going round in my head about them.  For as much as I'd love to restore them and then list them for sale or even coordinate the restoration for the buyer, I really do not have the kind of budget to invest into them without having someone lined up to fund it.  I may just offer them as is for the buyer to do their own coordination.  I have a house full of items I have a lot of money invested into and they just do not seem to find homes fast.  It makes me sad but it is what it is.  I cannot tie more money up into things that sit for a year or more.  That said, if you really love them and want me to help you get them done, I will gladly and enthusiastically take on the project.  

As the push to the holiday season approaches, I will be trying to get through some back stock to list and may even thin some of my personal collections.  I did just list an amazing tension pole lamp that I was planning on keeping but decided since I have another to restore that can replace it, I will let it go.  Keep checking my Facebook and instagram for latest additions to the inventory as I usually post it there first.  

Heading out for the weekend so any sales that come in will be shipped Monday.  Have a great weekend!  xo Malissa

Caning, Asian influences, shopping with a friend and good housekeeping practices because it's the LAW.

Greeting! After a busy few weeks, I have just completed restoration of a homemade oak rocking chair with cane seat and back I picked up earlier this year.  I took it on because I have successfully replaced sheet cane early in my restoration career and decided I was ready for another go.  I am happy to report it all went smooth and the chair is now available!  Here are a few pics from the process.

The first pic is the chair as found with a blown out back.  Step 1 was removing the old cane and spline.  The best way to accomplish this is with a $40 steamer.  The steam loosens the old glue.  I would say it took the better part of an hour to work the old cane free.  Then I visited my local basketmaking and caning supply shop (yes, that is a THING!) called the Country Seat and they helped me match up the cane and spline to the right sizes.  The spline has to be big enough to fit in the channel tightly as that what keeps the whole structure intact.  Then I returned home ready to work.  After soaking the new cane and spline in water for about 20 min, I got to work using the wood pegs to insert the cane into the channel.  Working from side to side and and making it taunt.  Once I had it all lined up and inserted as I liked, I would trim off the excess, cut the spline to size beveling my ends for placement.  Then adding wood glue in the channel, inserting the spline, pounding in with a rubber mallet and my peg and wiping off the excess glue.  Overall, this project took about 3 hours of my time.  The chair looks fantastic!  If you have an eclectic style like I do, you may fall in love with the texture of caned and woven goods. Sheet cane replacement can be tricky, but it is a lot easier and less time consuming that outright caning!  Stop by my etsy shop if you want to read more about the chair. CLICK HERE

While I was at the caning shop, I picked up some material to repair a 1930's Heywood Wakefield rattan rocker.  It is shown on my Diamonds in the Rough page.  I am going to get started repair the one arm that is a little dogged up and then redoing the seat.  I have some golden yellow fabric I thought would be a good choice with the aged orange finish of the rattan, but I am open to  using a pattern.  If you want to claim this baby now I will finish it per your specifications.  Amazingly enough, the rattan is actually a very tight twisted paper and not a reed at all!  When I snapped off a piece to take it along to the shop, I was suspicious and the woman at the shop confirmed it!  I will be replacing with a reed in the area that needs repaired and hoping I can do a close match of the orange paint to blend it in.  These kind of details are always challenging and fun for creative types like myself. 

NEW ITEMS.

I just picked up a few new items that I am getting ready to list.  I love to know the history of what I find so being able to select things from the home they lived in is a fun yet melancholy part of securing my inventory.  I was able to visit a home that is getting cleaned out after it's owner recently passed on.  She was a working artist who made her living selling prints and original oils.  I am still trying to get more info on her business but she did copyright everything she sold so there were definitely savvy practices being followed.  Her home was filled with late Bombay Company furnishings in near perfect condition.  I picked up a pair of 2005 era MING style end tables in a black finish with gorgeous burl tops.  I quite enjoy the Asian style and think it would be a great match in an eclectic or boho décor.  This will be photographed and listed in the next 24 hours- hoping for no rain and a little sun! I also picked up 2 very large original oils on canvas in beautiful gold gilt lighted frames.  They are both floral subjects.  One is marked Not Copyrighted DO NOT SELL.  The other has been copyrighted and her notes show pricing and editions for canvas and paper reproductions including her asking price on the original, $4,000.  I am trying to get some more info regarding where her work was being sold and what galleries she had relationships with.  

One  of my friends mentioned they wanted me to look for a couch for them.  A few hours later a lovely living room set gets texted to me from an estate guy I buy from. Well turns out my friend was as smitten as I and trusted me to handle his deal. He got my full services including condition evaluation, pick up/delivery and a complete cleaning and sanitization.  He is handling a structural issue with the couch himself.  My Facebook page blew up after I posted the pics so I think lots of people loved it! It is Bassett Premier, often misattributed to Adrian   Pearsall.  It is in amazing condition too! Looks great in his home and I get to visit them. 💕

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Speaking of sanitizing, in other exciting news, I decided to apply for a license from my state to be able to tag my own used or restored upholstered goods after I clean and sanitize with one of 2 products the state authorized to be used. I chose Steri-Fab, which is an insecticide, germicide and fungicide.  I will vacuum and steam all upholstered goods and follow with sanitizing all areas I can get to, I am certain that not all places do a thorough job with this especially thrifts, who are required to tag and any other retailer you shop with in PA.  I was letting my mall handle it for me but decided it would be something I would do for every customer I ship to. I am already following procedures but am waiting for my license to be approved so I can order the yellow tags. Buyers can remove them after receiving the item but it is piece of mind for all of us! I welcome local people to use my services! I would gladly sanitize and clean something you found or are selling commercially so you can comply with the law. Message me and we can talk about it!

HALLOWEEN

Just to let you know I have some fabulous NEW Halloween kitchen towel from Primitives by Kathy available locally at my Fleetwood Antique Mall space and currently a few styles are on ebay.  Please stop by and check them out!  ebay.com/usr/madmodworldvintage

This towel available NOW in my ebay shop or locally at Fleetwood Antique Mall!

This towel available NOW in my ebay shop or locally at Fleetwood Antique Mall!

order now so you get yours in time!  

order now so you get yours in time!  

Thanks for reading, your comments and emails!  XO Malissa

Preserving a masterpiece and other things about fine wool rugs you may not already know.

I always enjoy a good research project.  The Leger rug has become this summer's mission.  My first stop was Ward's Oriental Rugs in Allentown, PA.  I am always concerned about pieces I bring into my home and having this professionally cleaned was at the top of my list.  I also wanted to talk restoration.  

My family did not have heirloom rugs so care and maintenance was not something I was familiar with. I am skilled enough in textiles to recognize the moth damage and know that a textile such as this needs regular maintenance and care to survive generations. The first thing I learned about care is regular vacuuming is essential to keeping your wool carpets from degrading.  Embedded dirt wrecks the fibers.  Also on the agenda should be regular washing by a professional rug cleaner. In low traffic areas, this should be done every 3 years.  A rug in a high traffic zone can be done yearly. 

Moths are attracted to dirty wool.  Rolling up a rug to store that is not clean is pretty much an invitation for moth activity.  They move in and work quickly at ruining woolens.  The larvae actually eat the knots so the piling just falls right out. But most modern rugs like my wall to wall modern carpets, are not something they would go for....that was a relief to hear!  I learned that freezing the rug will actually explode the moth eggs.  Good to know when you are bringing in new pieces all the time.  If they are small enough to get in my freezers, I am good to go. Wards has a large freezer so step one for them was to keep my piece in it for 3 days. Then they would do a thorough wash, protecting the dyed yarn from bleeding and I already knew it was not colorfast. Once clean and all of the damage was exposed, I would receive a quote for reweaving the areas of missing pile.  This is done by a skilled weaver who will match wool to the rest of the piece.  In most cases, a restoration adds value to a rug and unlike some antiques where repairs are not recommended, this does not detract at all from the value of a rug.  

The largest area of moth damage after the wash. This will all be repaired by an expert rug weaver. it could have been much worse so glad I was able to save this beauty!

The largest area of moth damage after the wash. This will all be repaired by an expert rug weaver. it could have been much worse so glad I was able to save this beauty!

The showroom at Ward's Oriental Rugs in Allentown is full of beautiful hand woven carpets, new and vintage. 

The showroom at Ward's Oriental Rugs in Allentown is full of beautiful hand woven carpets, new and vintage. 

Ward's Oriental Rugs has a fabulous showroom in Allentown, PA.  If you are in the area, they have a fine selection of new and used carpets and are extremely knowledgable about them. It was a pleasure to work with them and I look forward to finishing this restoration!  Due to the slow time of year and my cash flow, I am holding off the the reweaving until I can fund it but hopefully it will be complete in the next few months.  

Materials I reviewed in the library at the Philadelphia Art Museum. 

Materials I reviewed in the library at the Philadelphia Art Museum. 

My research:

 In the mean time, I have been researching this rug like crazy. I spent a day reviewing some catalogs at the Philadelphia Art Museum and ordered a 1960's catalog from a tour of Marie Cuttilo's works, of which the Maquette or working sketch for this piece was included. The rug in the tour was larger than mine and slightly different coloring, so I really want to make sure that this rug was not copied by another maker.  I am certain that everything on this piece follows suit with what she made, however, but the only way to be sure is to find the proof. I have a magazine coming that has an article about her tour so hoping that helps as well.  She had this tour in the 60s to sell more rugs and although that did not go as well as she had liked, I suspect that this rug was one of those she sold.  I have some good comps on it that all provide a little more info and provided those galleries did their research thoroughly, I am still convinced this is her piece albeit a mid century produced piece and not from her beginnings in the 20s and 30s. Regardless, I do believe this was a very small series of about 20 so it is definitely not going to be something that pops up a lot for collectors and that makes it very special.  Whether a fan of the artist Leger or a fan of the amazing woman who attempted to bring back the art of tapestry by translating fine art into fiber art, this rug is just an amazing representation of a time when both worlds collided. 

A Marquette is the working drawing that was commissioned by the artist and which the rug design was based on. Most refer to this design as 'Blanc' which is referring to the white background on this design. 

A Marquette is the working drawing that was commissioned by the artist and which the rug design was based on. Most refer to this design as 'Blanc' which is referring to the white background on this design. 

The cleaned rug all ready for restoration. It was frozen, cleaned and treated with a moth deterrent.  I would hope my future buyer will consider hanging it, but I was told it has many years of life left on the floor if properly maintained and in a low traffic area.

The cleaned rug all ready for restoration. It was frozen, cleaned and treated with a moth deterrent.  I would hope my future buyer will consider hanging it, but I was told it has many years of life left on the floor if properly maintained and in a low traffic area.

I will update more if I discover more about this piece or start to proceed on the restoration work! 

XO Malissa