Elsa & Our Decoupage
Arundel Eccentrics have had a rather trying month. We have an 11-month-old puppy, Elsa, who we almost lost twice. Why? A grass seed went into her leg. It wasn't found. Normally they migrate and come out through the skin, somewhere else. Apparently! Now I'm no expert. but, not this one, it migrated to her spine. We were devastated. The surgeon told us her chances were slim, but she came through the op and when infection set in afterwards, they said she may not last the week.
Customers came in to find out how she was doing. Locals stopped us in the street in Arundel to enquire. Even people we didn't know followed the story. They came to the warehouse eager to see Elsa. She became quite the celebrity.
Why am I telling you all this and how is it relevant to our antique business? Well, it's kept me housebound for a while, so I got on with all the upcycling work. Cut out decoupage while sitting by the huge crate we had borrowed from our vet, all the while watching over the poorly pup. So now we have several pieces of our English Victorian bamboo and boxes appearing on our Hoarde site, and where it's wonderful if the original can be retained, the Victorian bamboo pieces we find are often way past their prime. So...we take them to our Arundel studio, which sits at the end of our garden by the river Arun.
First, we sturdy the wobblers. Take away the ripped rattan with 100 years of dust. Worm them. Clean the bamboo and polish it. Put on a new board so we have a flat surface to work on. Paint, decoupage, varnish and finish.
And oh! yes, it's many hours work.
But thankfully we love what we do and are passionate about giving these battered pieces a new lease of life. Worth it? Well, I've put a couple of before and after photos. I'll let you be the judge of that.
The finished articles have wound up in some pretty posh magazines and shops in both the UK and US. (The photo shown is when we arrived in Liberty London and the magazine a bamboo cabinet we did especially for the House and Garden shoot.)
And Elsa? She is amazing. Growing stronger by the day. Back on duty, as you can see.