Tag Archive | decorating

Magical Mermaids

Mermaids are legendary creatures of the sea. The head and upper body are of a female human with the tail of a fish. Mermaid is a compound of old English – merely meaning sea and maid, being a young woman.

Above image

Mermaids are a part of worldwide culture! Sightings of mermaids have been recorded over many centuries. Are they a myth or true?

The first known story was that of goddess Atargatis of Assyria that transferred herself into a mermaid out of shame from accidentally killing her lover.

Above: Artargatis

Mermaids have been popular in both art and literature over many centuries.

Above: Leighton-The Fisherman and the Syren-c. 1856-1858.

The most famous mermaid story that children love is Disney’s The Little Mermaid. It follows the story of mermaid Ariel who falls in love with a Prince and wants to be a human, as to be with her true love.

Above: Ariel, Disney’s Little Mermaid

I have recently purchased vintage wall mermaids! I have wanted to get some for such a long time as I adore them, but I waited to get the perfect set to match my bathroom decor.

Above: My vintage mermaids

Vintage mermaids can range in price from $120 to $350, depending on their makers. There are some really good vintage wall mermaid sets by Lefton, Norcrest, McFarlane, Bradley, Lane & Co, Joty and Holt Howard.

Above: Vintage mermaids sets

Do you love Vintage Wall Mermaids? Let me know! Do you have any vintage wall mermaids? Send me photos, I would love to see them!!

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Bag a Barsony

My latest obsession is with the Barsony Lamp. I love the look of the lady figurine and the shades are gorgeous!

Above: Barsony lamp

Below: a Barsony lamp collection

I’m about to purchase my first Barsony lamp!

Barsony Ceramics was an Australian company in production from the 1950’s to 2005. They boomed in popularity from the 1950s to mid ’70s. The company was founded by couple George and Jean Barsony. George was a sculptor from Hungary who arrived in Australia in 1949. Shortly after his arrival, he met his English wife Jean who had also recently arrived in Australia, and worked in a Sydney pottery. Together they started their company that produced ceramic items including ashtrays, figurines, wall plaques and lamps recognisable by their signature matte black finishes. Barsony Ceramics were best-known and most loved for their black lady lamps. With such increased popularity, Barsony were in production for a period for 24-hours a day. No joke!

Above: Ballerina lady lamp 

Barsony lamps can be found mostly on eBay or Etsy. However you could be lucky enough to stumble upon one at a garage sale, vintage shop or  market! Through my research, I’ve seen they can range in price from $150 to $1200, depending on the rarity. With some shopping around, you can hopefully purchase one at a good price.

An interesting feature of the Barsony lamp is that the shade is made of plastic ribbons. The shades are the first to deteriorate due to their plastic material, so to find one in mint condition is a fantastic find! The shades can be very expensive to purchase and range in price from $50 to $250.

I love the unique look of the Barsony lamp. They are such a stand out piece that can be blended with any decor style!

I have just managed to purchase my first Barsony lamp which I purchased through eBay! I am very excited for it to arrive….

Above: the style of my purchase! 

Do you have a Barsony Lamp that you love? Send me photos, I would love to see them.

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro Xx

Trick or Treat

Halloween is celebrated in a number of countries on the 31st October. It is a time in the liturgical year that we remember those that have departed, also known as All Saints Day, a time of both celebration and superstition.

Image: some of my decorations

Halloween was believed to originate with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. This is where people would light bonfires to ward off ghosts.

Image: Samhain bonfire

Halloween is one of Americas favourite holidays and has evolved into a child friendly, community-based event. Popular traditions include scary house decorations and families dressing in costumes to roam the neighbourhood to trick or treat.

Image: Trick or Treating

America’s tradition of ‘trick or treating’ is believed to have come from early England’s All Souls Day parades where poor citizens begged for food, and were given soul cakes in return to pray for the families dead relatives. This replaced the tradition of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits.

Image: soulcakes

In Ireland, they believe that a young woman should hide her ring in mash potatoes on Halloween night to bring true love from the diner who found it.

Image: Irish girls learning to cook

In Scotland, fortune tellers recommend that a single woman should name a hazelnut for each of her suitors, then toss it in the fireplace. The nut that burns to ashes rather than exploding will be her future husband.

Image: Scottish Fortune Teller

The tradition of dressing up for Halloween comes from European and Celtic times. Winter was cold and nights appeared early, and spirits were believed to roam the streets. People believed if they left their homes wearing masks the spirits would not recognise or attack them. Also, to stop ghosts entering their house they would put bowls of food outside.

Image: Celtic Halloween mask wearing

Today, Halloween in celebrated by people dressing up and going trick or treating, making jack-o’-lanterns, decorating their house with scary objects, lighting bonfires, celebrating at parties or visiting haunted attractions.

Image: House decorated for Halloween

Australia is getting bigger each year with celebrating Halloween with more kids now trick or treating, more parties & celebrations and more people decorating their homes. I have been decorating my house for many years now, since my daughter was young and I have hosted a few Halloween parties! I also like to dress up on the day. Many of my favourite labels have been releasing new shirts, skirts, dresses and brooches each year

.

Images from top to bottom:

1. shop.dangerfield.com.au – silver web dress

2. sourpussclothing.com – Vixen Ben Cooper striped monster mask swing skirt

3. sourpussclothing.com – Vixen Ben Cooper sweetheart trick or treat dress

4. hellbunny.com – Harlow 50s dress

5. hellbunny.com – Haunt 50s dress

Do you celebrate Halloween? Send me photos of your outfits and decorated homes. I would love to see them.

Image: my Happy Halloween sign

Back soon….

Ridiculously Retro xx

The Many Uses of Vintage Suitcases

I absolutely adore vintage suitcases – the look of them and the history behind them. I especially love when you find a new suitcase and see the tags and names of the owner inside them, wondering who the bags owners were and which countries they had visited!

There are many ways to use your suitcases in your decor:

1. They are great for creating a succulent garden. Succulents or cacti do not need to be in dirt, so fill it up with rocks or bark instead. You can leave them in pots or plant them directly into the suitcase. This is a really quick and easy project!


2. Vintage hat boxes can be stacked on each other to be a great bedside stand. They also add plenty of storage for books, night creams or pyjamas. You will find them really handy! They are even great for storing all your hats. Place your bedside lamp on top or your alarm. 


3. Vintage suitcases are perfect for extra storage. They look great on top of your wardrobe, like I have shown below. Try to get suitcases in similar shades or styles to add a sense of unity! I store my vintage overcoats in here as they take a lot of room in my wardrobe. 


4. A vintage suitcase can be made into a bedside table. Get your hands on a vintage side table or the legs from one. I love the look of vintage designer Eames table legs. You can purchase the legs in second hand stores or online. Then to make the suitcase sturdy, screw the legs to a piece of wood, cut to the exact size of the suitcase, and screw the suitcase to the wood. Glue some vintage paper to the inside of the suitcase. Leave the lid of the suitcase up and put in your bedside lamp, or any other cute vintage items you would like to display. You could also use it as a side table in your lounge room and keep the lid closed, for extra storage. 

5. Get your hands on a full set of vintage suitcases for a great statement piece in your room. My daughter got me the below full set for Christmas. I absolutely adore them!! Stacked on top of each other, they look fantastic and you will be surprised by the amount of storage that is available! Try to purchase suitcases in their original set collection, but if not, try to collect suitcases in similar style, shape and colour.


6. Another option is to screw the suitcases to a wall to make shelves. I found this by searching online on Pinterest and thought it was a great idea! This is a creative and unique way to show off both your vintage suitcase collection and vintage artefacts you display on top. I have not tried out this DIY project, but I found a handy step-by-step intractable on how to complete this. Check it out here.

 

7.Vintage suitcases are also excellent to use for the original intention – luggage bags when going on vacation. Vintage suitcases are always large and spacious for your items and made with quality so are always hard-wearing and durable. Their durability will make them last forever! The vintage authenticity will add a retro look to your own outfit and will look totally unique and different! 

8. Other ideas are to screw in small legs and add a cushion and decorate for a cute dog or cat bed. The lid of the suitcase can be used to store your pet’s toys! You can open a larger suitcase and add in some shelves buy cutting wood to size and screwing them in place to make shelves. A great idea for stacking books or CDs. My final idea is to  put legs on the bottom of the suitcase, remove the top, add foam filling and cover it with material, for a funky footstool.

 

Enjoy looking for the perfect vintage suitcases to suit your personality and finding many more creative uses for them. Let me know if you have any other ideas!

Back soon……

Ridiculously Retro xx

Shelf source: https://au.pinterest.com/pin/384143043203995885/
Foot stool source: http://redesignreport.com/upcycle-this-18-ways-to-reuse-vintage-suitcases/upcycled-vintage-suitcase-ottoman/
Dog bed source: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/do-it-yourself/