Tuesday, February 4, 2014

THE LAUNDRY LINE

I wanted to start using our homemade headboard as another vignette background.  This month after the long cold winter here in the south, I was looking forward to spring, which makes me think of my grandmother hanging out her laundry.  Grandma always did her laundry on Mon., ironing on Tues. and so on.
 I found this image on Etsy (Cost $65.00 for the set) of the linen tea towels that women of long ago used.  I'm not sure if it reminded them of their cleaning schedule or not.(Romantic Homes is showing a similar set in their March 2014 issue.)

 
 However, I will do the laundry the thrifty Valentine way.



Using my favorite collection of vintage white baby dresses was the inspiration for this post. I still recall finding small boxes of white infant dresses in our attic lined with tissue paper.  I don't think they were ever used.  Since then, I have  collected vintage white baby dresses and not sure why.  Here was a posting to put them to good use.
 
  I wanted to simulate my own laundry line in the bedroom to remind me that spring will come again. 
 
 Look at some of the amazing intricate designs on some of my favorite pieces.












When I find these dresses at estate sales or in the attic at home, all of them had noticeable yellowing. 
Using 1 cup of Biz detergent powder and 1 cup of Suavitel, a fabric conditioner that I buy at Wal-Mart in the laundry detergent aisle, I combine these two ingredients with a bucket of the hottest water that I can get out of my laundry room faucet.  I submerge all the dresses and let them sit for about 5 days.  Then, I repeatedly rinse out the dresses and hang them on plastic hangers to dry overnight.  A good ironing brings them back to being pristine white.

I originally used the Suavitel and Biz mixture to lighten crochet doilies.  The  smell that lingers from the Suavitel fabric conditioner lent me to use this in all my loads of wash now.

In collecting these vintage items, I always look
  for vintage wooden baby hangers in order to display them.  My friend Tara helped out and found a few of these hangers for me. 

When I first started my blog, I found an old hanger but wasn't crazy about the color.  I went to my acrylic paint box and picked out a Ballet pink paint and painted two coats onto the wooden hanger.  Through a website, I purchased vintage rose decals and applied one to the hanger.  One coat of spray polyurethane finished the hanger.  I gave this particular hanger away, but I could redo any vintage wooden baby hanger the same way.

The hangers I am using in this project have already been painted with added various designs.  Initially, I wanted to hang the dresses from twine and clothes pins, but when I had such cute hangers, I just hung the dresses on the top crown molding of the headboard.


Before I show you the entire headboard, I would like to show you some of the added items I placed on the top crown molding.

The first is an old champagne basket that Grandma used to store her knitting and crochet needles.


On the other side of the crown molding, I placed two etched vintage bottles and a powder duster.


The last decorative element was a basket of towels representing clothes being folded after being on the laundry line outside.  The basket came from an estate sale that I found in October which really wasn't a laundry basket at all.  In fact, it was a bicycle basket.


Simply laying a microfiber kitchen towel over the metal piece creates this look. See, it does look like a small vintage laundry basket.


Look at all the layers of textures in the white matelass√© quilt, the towels and the resin applique on the blanket chest sitting at the foot of the bed.



You can almost smell that fresh breeze of the laundry from the clothesline outside.

And finally, the entire view......










Notice the second hanging dress from the right.  This one had never been worn and it was in our attic at home.  Other than the noticed yellowing, the dress had never been worn.







Simply by hanging the dresses on the line and suspending them from the crown molding at the top of the headboard leaves such an airy display.

This is one of those posts that I literally collected items around the house for a free vignette.  I love it when that works out.

The blank canvas of the headboard leads to limitless ideas of decorating throughout the year.

Does it give you the feeling that spring is right around the corner?
 

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