Tag Archive - vintage

The Story of Our Yellow Sofa

Since there is a bit of a revolving door around here when it comes to furniture and decor, when I tell people I have sold some things, nearly the first question I get is, “You didn’t sell your yellow sofa, did you?”  Next to the infamous peacock blue velvet chesterfield (holy smokes, if I had a penny for every time I got an email or question or comment about that sofa!  It’s a one-of-a-kind, folks, sorry!), the sofa I get the most “Where can I find it?” emails on is my yellow velvet beauty.  How I acquired this piece is a good story, and I have always wanted to share it with you.

It all started with a $50 CraigsList ad.  I had been wanting to find a good camelback sofa to paint the frame and recover in a fabulous velvet hue, and this looked like just the one.  After asking a million questions (this is important with CraigsList stuff!), I decided to go for it.  The only problem was it was about an hour outside of Dallas, which is a long stinkin’ way from me.  Nevertheless, a girl’s gotta travel sometimes for a $50, solid wood, camelback lovely, so I trekked out to what we will call TTT (Tiny Town Texas).

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I had never heard of the town I was traveling to before, and I will tell you, when I turned OFF OF THE HIGHWAY ONTO A DIRT ROAD TO GET TO THE TOWN, I knew I was definitely in Tiny Town Texas, especially when I saw the green sign that told me the total population was 543.  I travelled down the long dirt road to reach the downtown area where I was told, “there were lots of cute shops”.  When I got there, I thought that was a very interesting and optimistic view of this area, ha!

I felt a little weird at one point because when I pulled up, all I saw were men.  Big men with handlebar mustaches.  I’m not kidding.

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Okay, not that dramatic, but you know what I mean.  After walking around in the empty store for about twenty minutes, a very nice man with, you guessed it, a handlebar mustache, greeted me, and showed me the sofa.   I was happy, I gave him the money, and he was happy.  As I picked up one end of the sofa and looked at him to indicate him grabbing the other end, and us moving on with it, he emphatically said, “Oh no ma’am, no woman lifts furniture out of a store here in TTT, let me go across the street and get the Mayor.”  As chivalrous as this is, I wanted to laugh when I imagined his face watching me take all of the seats out of my mini van before coming to TTT.  (Seriously, I think I could break the world record for this task.)

But then came the best part of the whole trip.  I got to meet the Mayor of TTT.  He came bumbling across the street, his belly preceding him.  It was too endearingly delightful, I just wanted to hug him.  The owner of the furniture store introduced me, and this is word for word what he said:

“Mayor, this is Grace Mitchell of Fort Worth.  Mrs. Mitchell, this is the Mayor.”

I, of course, was happy to meet him.  He was darling in his too-tight suit, bolo tie, and you guessed it, handlebar mustache.  After loading my new treasure in my van, which I probably could have done more easily by myself,  I thanked them profusely and drove away, thinking what a funny and bizarre episode I had just experienced.  There’s just something special about TTT.

Here is what my camelback lovely looked like before.

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I typically like to stay true to the original design of old furniture, and I liked the yellow fabric, though it was a little more buttery than I wanted.  So I purchased a bright yellow velvet fabric off of Ebay, painted the frame, and sent it off to the upholsterer.

Side Note: I requested a sample from the Ebay seller before I purchased the yardage.  Oftentimes, they will send you a sample for free upon request.  Just send them a message with your name and address, and be specific about what fabric sample you desire.

Our yellow sofa has become kind of an iconic family piece, and it was part of some of my favorite family photos, all taken by the talented Kat Phillips, of TheGrayAttic.com.

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Number four was in my tummy at this point, and I was just starting to show.  We had only lived in our current home a few months…sweet memories.

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Aren’t those curly locks luscious?

This one’s personality was just beginning to emerge, you can already see her confidence in her little face here.  Quite the firecracker this one is turning out to be!

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Such joy in these little faces.

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Must be the yellow sofa.  (wink)

Do you have a sentimental piece of furniture?  Seriously, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Written by Grace

Paint By Number – The Everyday Rembrandt

 

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I would be interested to know how many of you would have known instantly what the above paintings were if you had not read the title of this post – just curious on what the age range is on knowledge of this type of “Everyday Rembrandt”.  

Have you seen “Paint By Number” paintings before?  If you frequent thrift stores, resale shops, flea markets, or estate sales, chances are good you have come into contact with this type of craft.  Or maybe your Mom was a PBN connoisseur?  Or your grandmother?  Hugely popular in the 1950′s and 1960′s, the first Paint By Number kit was revealed at the New York Toy Show in 1951.  Though sales were slow in the beginning, by 1954, over twelve million kits had been sold.

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I find them fascinating for a few reasons.  First of all, it was time consuming to paint all of those little sections.  You can almost tell how “into it” some people felt – if they patiently colored each section or breezed through just to get it done.  My favorite is when you find ones that are signed like original pieces of art.  I love it!  I would probably sign them too after painting in all of those tiny number sections.

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Though you can still find a ton of these paintings using this search on Ebay and this search on Etsy, they are getting harder to find and more expensive as time goes on, and they become more collectible.  Since I have gallery walls on the brain, I like the look of people using the vintage paint by numbers with that goal in mind.

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Country Living

Country Living

happydogsplay.com

happydogsplay.com

The Rug Company

The Rug Company

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Amy & Joe Keller

Amy & Joe Keller

Shannon Berrey Design

Shannon Berrey Design

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Country Living

Country Living

Country Living

Country Living

Of course, someone has to take it to the next level by painting entire wall murals based on their favorite Paint By Number pattern.

Tutorial for this project here.

Design Sponge

Design Sponge

 

Tutorial for this project here.

Easter Kiwi

Easter Kiwi

 

Tutorial for this project here. - LOVE this one!  The artist even left her son some “empty numbers” to paint as he would like.

Katie's Pencil Box

Katie’s Pencil Box

Yes, they look great as a gallery wall, terrific as a wall mural, but even if you just have one, they bring a pleasant feel to a shelf.

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I have one on my mantle!

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

Image by Kat Phillips, TheGrayAttic.com

And actually, I just bought this little beauty on Ebay for the gallery wall in my girls room.

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In fact, there is such an interest and (dare I say, a cult-like following?) in collecting these pieces, there is now an online Paint By Number Museum.  (air quotes around “museum”)  If you have one of these, you can find out if it is a valuable one or not by entering the information on the site.  Truth be told, there are a bajillion of these out there (you can get them anywhere from $5-$40 from what I have seen) so there are not many that are worth much.  But who knows?  You may have one of the really early models!

Of course, if this is simply too kitsch for you, maybe you could do a Paint By Number sweater?

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

What do you think of vintage Paint By Number art?  Do you have any in your home?  In your family?

Written by Grace

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