Kat, as was true of her great-grandmother Char, loves vintage things. Clothing, furniture, cameras, books, lace, handbags – you name it, and she’s most likely a fan. Char, in particular, loved exploring the Paris Saint-Ouen Flea Market otherwise known as “Les Puces” de Saint-Ouen. She wasn’t one to indulge in quantity, but she loved the thrill of the hunt, the discovery of the one piece, painting, textile or bijou that would complete whatever “look” she was currently constructing. We spent many an afternoon sitting outside a café (les garcons always found it most odd that she brought her own tea cup), as she sketched an outfit or a room or a set of shelves and worked out what it needed. What was the missing piece? And then… voila! We were off to Les Puces!
I see that same mark of concentration in Kat when she is trying to achieve the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot or reconfigure a room. There are times when she is trying to achieve a certain look or ambiance and *the thing* to pull it all together simply doesn’t exist as she envisions it. A tablecloth or lamp shade is too, too white. The material looks too, too new. But this is a modern era. Instead of Les Puces, there is Le Pinterest.
She’s been redecorating her office, and it fills my cup to see her drawing on a vintage Parisian theme. The budget isn’t there to buy every piece on her wish list, but she’s a crafty one. A piece might not be absolutely perfect, but she can fix that.
Whether you call it “antiquing” or “tea-staining,” using tea to “age” something is an evergreen art. She recently pulled out a packet of letters and post cards Char had written to Kat and her mother years ago. The challenge had been how to display these treasures in a thoughtful and beautiful way. We both love this lamp shade project, and Kat is in the process of laying out the beautiful missives from Char that will be used.
Kat has been holding on to a couple of discolored, lace tablecloths from her mother, and there’s an end table that would look charming with a lace covering. We’ve determined that while the stains can’t be fully removed, we may be able to camouflage them through tea staining, as demonstrated here.
There’s nothing I love more than a cup of tea (for obvious reasons. I am a tea cup, after all), but I also love that there are so many wonderful things that can be done with tea!
So go ahead, experiment a little. Create something lovely for yourself or a loved one! What’s your favorite alternative use of tea?