For years now, I've been picking up little metal pieces here and there - picture frames, silver plate trays, wire baskets, a pewter pitcher, etc, etc, etc. The thing is, I really like them rustic and tarnished. Back in the 1980's, I used to polish - brass, copper, silver, etc. It was a mess. But, occasionally, I'd find some old piece, and I couldn't bring myself to polish it. I just think tarnish adds to the charm of a piece. Occasionally, I'll buff a piece a little to bring out the details, but that's about as far as it goes.
In the photo above is a silver plate lamp - not an old piece, but I found it with a broken globe. I knew I'd find something in my jaunts that would work, and sure enough the crackled glass globe is lovely, and I paid a dollar for it. The two frames hold photos of my parents. Aren't they cuties? The little box was purchased in an after Christmas sale a few years back - I think it's supposed to hold a little gift and hang on a Christmas tree.
In the photo above, there's a pewter pitcher I bought at a garage sale for $2. I use it regularly. Next to it is a wire basket I think is supposed to hold a wine bottle. Note to self: buy a bottle of wine. In front is a wood box with a grayish color with metal trim on the corners.
Above is a wire basket I've had for years - I can't remember how much I paid for it, but it was cheap. I'm a frugalista, so I know it was not more than a couple of bucks. I've used it for magazines and other things, but I plan to put it on a shelf in my future studio (Mason's room) with spools of string and thread in it. It will look nice and be functional. The old drawer is something I purchased at a friend's shop, along with two old croquet balls. I think I paid $5 for the lot. Next to the box is an old rubber stamp holder. I've been trying to think of a way to use it that would be functional and still show the form. Do you have any ideas?
In this photo is a silver plate tray I picked up last week for .25c, another very tarnished silver plate bowl, a box from India (via Tuesday Morning) that I found for $3 in a thrift store. I love lidded boxes and baskets! There's a very old perfume bottle with crackled glass and a pump-type lid. It was from a family member. The silver plate frame holds another photo of my mom, and next to it is a little orphaned silver plate cream pitcher.
Above, the old wire chicken-egg basket is perched on a galvanized tin vase I picked up for .50c a few months back. (It's upside down.) In front is a wire planter with two clay pots I purchased last week for $1. In the same thrift store, I found the pewter candlestick, made by Wilton of Columbia, PA for $1. I love the English look of it.
This photo shows a selection of my folk art metal pieces - the hammered tin lantern was .50c in a thrift store a few years back, and the candlestick was a gift from my friend Vivian when she moved to New York years ago. (I got LOTS of cool things from her then! I like having them, since I don't have her nearby anymore.) This adorable frame was purchased on a trip to Santa Fe years ago. Inside is someone else's relative - she was in another frame I purchased for a few cents, so I adopted her. I'll never understand how people can just toss out photos. It always makes me a little sad to see them still in frames at thrift stores. (Lord, save us all from ending up there!) I included a little bowl of old keys - another thing I collect and use in my art projects sometimes. Behind all these items is a little hammered aluminum plate - it's really thick. I've used it as a coaster or as a place to toss keys or pocket change.
I love a little metal in the mix in most any room. It gives a texture and patina you can't get in any other material.It looks great in mono-chromatic rooms or as a resting place in highly colorful ones. Mix metals for an eclectic vibe, or keep it to one color for a more traditional one. It's functional, durable and practically indestructible - the perfect choice for a lived-in home!
Word for the Day:
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.