Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Framing Sea Fans

Oh I do love sea fans. They are just stunning aren't they? When I look at these soft corals around my home they remind me of my days scuba diving not only here in Australia but particularly of my time spent while living & working in the dive industry in Costa Rica many years ago. 

It was only late last year when I started following Em @beachhousehames on Instagram (IG) that I decided that I would actually love some for my own home. Em has been renovating an old home by the sea and in between renovating & raising a family, she is also a beachcomber. Fortunately, for her followers on IG she sells what she finds and when she has a sale, you've got to get in quick, otherwise you miss out! 

In this blog post I've decided to show what I have done with one of the large ones that I was lucky to score.
First I bought a shadowbox frame that had been made specifically for this type of thing. However, I found that the sea fan was a tad big.

So what to do? Rather than trim the sea fan, I thought I would discard the mat. 

Now it looks rather dull against the brown backing doesn't it?

So I painted the background white with Annie Sloan's chalk paint, then sanded it and waxed it.

I then put it back in the frame. Although it looks great framed, it still looks a little bland against my white walls in a white frame. It would really stand out on a dark coloured wall. However, I'm not quite ready to change the colour of the walls in my abode as of yet. (we only just moved in a few weeks ago)

So instead, I decided to paint the frame in the colour Aubusson Blue.

And  after a couple of layers of paint, I then sanded the frame and waxed it. 

I choose the darker wax rather than the clear wax to give it an aged look.

And here it is. I'm still undecided as to where to hang it, but I think it looks quite nice on my sideboard alongside the paintings I picked up in the Caribbean a few years ago and my favourite piece of vintage coral (see earlier post) 

What do you think?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

And, in the next blog I will share a few ideas on how I have styled some of those other sea fans I have and other beachcombing finds.  This photo is of my home office shelves filled to the brim of all my favourite coastal vintage things and sea treasures. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Old Purple Bottles

Have you seen old purple bottles before?

Gorgeous aren't they?

Ever wondered why they are purple?

You may remember in my last post about old bottles that I would explain the reason why some old clear bottles can turn a shade of purple over time.

Well there is a simple reason and it all has to do with manganese, an element that was used in the making of the clear bottles or glass during that time. It was discovered later that over time and under ultraviolet light, the manganese combines with the oxides in the glass causing the glass to turn a light pink, then a lavender colour to a moderately dark amethyst or purple depending on the amount of manganese and amount of ultraviolet light. 

As a result, these bottles are commonly called 'sun-purpled' or 'sun colour amethyst' glass. 
 Beautiful aren't they? 

So if you have some old clear bottles, pop them out in the sun for a few months and see if they turn or if you have an old glass fishing float, it may change colour too. 

As seen here, the float on the left has been left out in the sun for a few months and as you can see is starting to change colour. The one on the right was left inside.

And this is a French float that has been left out in the garden. It has turned a brilliant colour purple. Simply gorgeous isn't it?

I hope you've enjoy learning all about purple bottles & floats as much as I did when I discovered this phenomenon.

If you are interested in purple bottles, the bottles in this post and others are available. Simply click this link:

*Thanks to J.L McKilligan & Tom Rizzo for sharing your photos of the glass floats
** Source of information about how this phenomenon occurs came from www.bottleantique.com

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Old Bottles - Coastal Vintage Style

Do you love old bottles? Oh I certainly do. Particularly aqua & cobalt blue.

When I started sourcing old bottles for my store Coastal Vintage, funnily enough not all made it to the shop. You will find them scattered in different parts of my home placed in areas just out of reach of little fingers. I often fill them with flowers, sea fans, starfish or palm leaves. Or I collate them in groups on their own.  They are beautiful historic pieces which can create a lovely, yet simple coastal vintage sense of style.

 These bottles are displayed in the foyer of my home with fresh flowers picked by my little ones for Mother's Day.   

Here is a lovely collection of aqua blue bottles. Many old bottles were embossed and most of these are old remedy bottles. Don't they look great as a collection?

Or why not have a few different colours in a collection? I've included green, blue and purple in this group of 7. 
Gorgeous colours aren't they?

These green & blue look lovely with the coloured glass floats and palm leaves.

And this sweet trio of such vibrant colours - cobalt blue, dark purple and aqua green. These would make perfect little vases.

Have you seen old gin-bottles before? These are 100+ years old & look gorgeous with palm leaves in them don't they?

Aren't these sweet? Tiny old ink bottles. 

And this is a lovely old perfume bottle with a gorgeous shape.

Have you seen a soda torpedo bottle before? This shape was designed so that the round end prevented them from being stood up. The idea was that the soda kept in contact with the cork and stopped the cork from shrinking. It also created an advantage for the merchant because the consumer had to finish the beverage before the bottle could be laid down.

This is one of my favourite collections - old tiny cobalt blue poison bottles. 
To those with poor sight, the size, shape and ridges gave away that they weren't to be drunk!

And finally, purple bottles. All these are old sauce bottles and were made pre-1920. I know this because of the colour. Originally they were clear. Do you know why they are now purple? 

Well, I will let you know in the next post all about how they became purple and a little history. 
They are simply gorgeous displayed with shells and starfish. 

And until then, feel free to pop over and see the huge variety of colour bottles we have in-store  by clicking on this link:

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Glass Float Giveaway!

It's Percy the Seagull! He is back and we are having a Coastal Vintage give-away! 

To enter simply leave a message here on the blog & follow us by entering your email in sidebar

and you can increase your chances of winning by popping over to our Facebook page.
Look for this image and simply like & share

You can see the range of glass floats we have on the website 


Drawn Wednesday 7th May.

Drawn by random.org

And the winner was: