Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A Twentieth Century Makeover - Victoriana Meets The 1960s

Torrential rain, gale force wind, thunder and lightning, glorious sunshine and a couple of inches of snow, our Great British Easter weekend weather was typically schizophrenic but it did us a favour. Rather than fritter away our spare cash on stuff we didn't need at a Bank Holiday car boot sale we decided to crack on with a project I'd been procrastinating over for at least twelve months.


My Mum bought this Victorian chaise from a junk shop in Walsall in the early 1970s. Back then Victorian furniture was hideously unfashionable and she managed to haggle the proprietor down to £15. She had it reupholstered in brown Dralon as it "went with everything" but always regretted not following her heart and going for leopard print. Forty years on, sitting in the empty parental home, it was in a sorry state, sad, drab & faded and ragged to buggery by a succession of family cats.


 Twenty four hours later and at cost of absolutely nothing it looked like this. Why on earth did it take me over a year to get around to it?! Apologies for the image-heavy post or if you've already seen the before and after photos on Facebook, this chaise has been part of my life for over 40 years, I still can't believe the difference.


Whoops, that chandelier could do with dusting! 


The wood came up a treat with a buff up with some good old fashioned Lord Sheraton Caretaker wood polish and now smells wonderful. Hopefully the pine fragrance will deter Stephen Squirrel and Polly Piglet from climbing up it and sharpening their claws on the patchwork.


The top panel of fabric Marrakesh by Grace Sullivan (take a chill pill pedants, I know it should have a "C"  and not an "S" in it but that's what's printed on the selvage) and produced by Moygashel in the 1960s has actually been in my stash for over 20 years!


The orange rectangle of fabric, Awning designed by Jill Sutton for Heal's, is another screen print I've had for years, it still had the original price tag attached written in shillings. I also used a piece of groovy Scandi fabric left over from a sewing project, some blue 1950s barkcloth, some vintage raw silk in peacock green and a couple of cheery off-cuts from vintage St Michael curtains.


The patchwork took me over eight hours but with rum and coke supplied on demand I hardly noticed.


 We didn't stay in all weekend, managing an ace day trip down South with some friends on Saturday (blog post to follow). On our travels we visited an incredible interiors shop I could happily have moved into until I realised that the reason I loved it was that it combined Victoriana with 1960s kitsch, vintage Bollywood filmi memorabilia, industrial salvage and antique curiosities ....exactly the way we've furnished our house.


Glass bottles we dug up in the garden of our last house, a mid-Victorian terrace.


Vintage art glass and wooden antelopes, all bought from charity shops, car boot sales or given to us by friends over the last quarter of a century.


Another weekend makeover, a movie still bought from a flea market in India & featuring my idol Helen from the 1967 Bollywood spy hit, Jewel Thief, is now housed in a Victorian ebony frame which was salvaged from the parental home. It held a still-life advertisement for Pears Soap for as long as I've been alive!


Moving furniture means lots of dusting and scrubbing down of woodwork, the subsequent cleaning took longer than the makeover. I think I've earned myself a cheeky Tuesday rum.

See you soon.

105 comments:

  1. Wow ! I would love to have it in my house , dust already exist.
    Xxx

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  2. Yay! A freaking TRIUMPH! The best makeover yet! It looks stunning with your curtains too.
    Have you ever thought about a vintage patchwork wallpaper wall? I think that would be right at home at your place. xxx

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    1. Oooh, interesting idea! I could raid the samples shelf at B&Q. The vintage wallpaper I come across is usually a bit wishy washy. xxx

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  3. That is just gorgeous!
    I love that brilliant psychedelic patchwork chaise longue!
    At first I thought cheetah print, but naahhhh that's become cliche these days .
    What a fab collection of fabrics you must have.
    I've been drawing up tapestry designs with Indian & Middle Eastern themes. That Marrakech print would look divine embroidered as a tapestry pillow, I have to do a version of that!
    Toodle pip!
    Bibi
    xox
    http://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.com/2016/03/masala-scrambled-eggs-ander-bhurji.html

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    1. Marrakech as a tapestry would be utterly wonderful. I haven't seen any of your creations. Have they featured on the blog? x

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  4. I'm not surprised it took 8 hours, but it looks marvelous! You should definitely be proud of yourself. :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. A Bank Holiday well spent, I think. x

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  5. Patchwork perfection so it is! I love it and can't stop looking at it. I'm touched that your mum didn't have it recovered in leopard print like she wanted. I bet she'd love what you've done with it. Your print is fab too. Isn't it intresting when you nip in to a vintage/interiors shop and lov eeverything in it becaus eit's already in your home!! I'm always pleased when I find broken dolls and the kind of nonsense I love.
    I'm gonna join you in a cheeky school night rum. Cheers.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxxx

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    1. Aww, cheers Em! She never saw my patchwork obsession but she'd have loved it.
      I love those shops filled with our kind of stuff, I always think collectors of the weird are few and far between but there must be enough of us to keep a few shops in business! xxx

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  6. Well that was a good days work. It does look very stylish and blends with everything like it was meant to be. Betty

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    1. That's why I love patchwork, it goes with everything (and makes me happy!) xxx

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  7. All I could think while I was reading and oohing and aahing was how thrilled your Mum would be with what you've done to the chaise. It's stunning and fun and the fact you've worked so hard on creating a further piece of history.
    Philip has brought me some wire bread trays to add to the garden paraphernalia. I'm waiting for a bit of dry weather to get out there and start faffing xxx

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    1. You're right, Lynn. Every fabric I used has a story behind it.
      I've been faffing in the garden today, it's been perfect for pottering and planting up. Looking forward to seeing those wire trays being used in a weird way! xxx

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  8. Fantastic! The colors make me soooo happy! xo

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  9. That is so beautiful!! You've made a dowdy old Victorian Cinderella into a beautiful Princess in her psychodelic frock! I absolutely adore it! X

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    1. Kezzie, I love that analogy! Thank you. xxx

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  10. Love it its fantastic its got to be good as i have just showed Dave and he liked it too , xxxx

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    1. Yay! Glad you both like it, patchwork rules. xxx

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  11. Your chaise makeover is FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC Vix! Wouldn't your Mum love it? You've made an excellent job there. And I'm so reassured to see that dust...plenty here too. Enjoy that rum tonight, I'll be catching up with Indian Summers. xx

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    1. Thanks, Fi. She'd have lit a fag and cracked open in lager in amazement!
      Indian Summers! Cynthia has got a kind streak, who'd have thought it? x

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  12. Amazing makeover! You obviously have the patience of a saint, that glorious patchwork would have driven me insane. Pour that quadruple rum right now, and recline on your handiwork xxx

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    1. Thanks, Claire! There was a fair bit of swearing involved! x

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  13. Procrastination, I know all about it! Anyway, you got around to it in the end, and what a work of art it has become. The colours of the patchwork are just fantastic and will brighten up the darkest of days. Wish my Easter weekend had been as productive as yours, but unfortunately I gave in to the call of the charity shops and the flea market. xxx

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    1. Thank you! We did squeeze in a bit of charity shopping today so I haven't been a complete saint! xxx

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  14. Love, love, love it Vix! I am especially fond of upholstered furniture and adding color, lots and lots color - tres magnifique!

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    1. Thanks, Tami! Amazingly therapeutic, hammering in those gimp pins, too. x

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  15. Love the patchwork, beautiful! As for the dust we have plenty too lol I love it when a blog is real instead of shiny and staged. I only do reality on my blog too, perfect doesn't exist here lol the cats and kids see to that. X

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    1. Thanks, Dawn Rose. With cats you can't help but have dust balls and fluff everywhere, that's my excuse anyway. xxx

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  16. that's the most fabulous revamp I've ever seen!!, wouuu, it was a lovely furniture piece, but you've give it a twist dressing it in a magnificent patchwork creation!!! bold amazing colors, and fabulous decoration!!
    And I agree, sometimes it takes more time to clean up than the makeup work, but it deserves it!
    besos

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    1. Thank you, Senora!! I know you love a bright print or three. xxx

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  17. You're such a clever thing, you really are. That's just so beautiful. You've transformed your Mum's chaise and I bet she would be delighted with it. That's one of the things I love about patchwork, that you can sew your history into it and remeber every time you look at it. That combination could only be yours. I've taken up a bit of patchwork recently, must be in the air. Helen looks perefect languishing in that Victorian ebony frame. You are finding very creative ways to integrate your parents' stuff into Stoneycroft, it's lovely. Ooh trip darn sarf? Exciting. Xxxx

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    1. Patchwork in the air! Could be a song. xxx

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  18. Wow! What a piece! You did a brilliant job of Vixanizing this : )

    Your house is so wonderfully colourful, vibrant and eclectic. I love it.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Vixanizing! Love it. Thank you, Suzanne. xxx

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  19. Fascinating :) Love that colourful decoration~ Very unique and fun idea to mix antique with 60's style~

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  20. I have always longed to own a chaise longue! (And live in a house with an arched window - I blame Play School...) The transformation of your mum's chaise from drab Draylon to multicoloured glory is a triumph! And it's so you, and looks perfect in your window. Now - photos of you looking suitably Helen-esque lounging on it, please!
    I always love to see all the bits and bobs in your home, you and Jon have fab taste, and knowing that it is all either inherited, bought for next to nowt of given as pressies makes it all the more special.
    Busy bee indeed - the rum is definitely well deserved!
    Love you!
    PS. If you've caught up on The Voice... is it me, or is it very disappointing? xxx

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    1. It's disappointing Curtise. I thought the girl who wore her grannies skirt was the best. Wonder why she dropped out x

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    2. Hmmm...wonder if I have a Helen-type outfit somewhere in the depths of the wardrobe?!
      The Voice. Very disappointed. Shame Cleo's decided to drop out, wanted keen on Beth, too much like Tina Turner does karaoke. Got to be Cody to win - although Kevin does have a great voice. xxx

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  21. Eight hours? It would have taken me eight weeks just fitting the upholstery tacks in correctly. Great job (you've inspired me to take a serious look at a Victorian armchair we've had sitting around for ages. I'm still looking...looking....yeah well, we'll see if anything comes of it, but I know it won't look nearly as cool as yours).

    Don't worry about the dust, the "Matte Look" is in this season.

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    1. Matte Look! Nice one.
      Go on, have a go, Goody. It isn't as scary as it looks. xxx

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  22. Eight hours? It would have taken me eight weeks just fitting the upholstery tacks in correctly. Great job (you've inspired me to take a serious look at a Victorian armchair we've had sitting around for ages. I'm still looking...looking....yeah well, we'll see if anything comes of it, but I know it won't look nearly as cool as yours).

    Don't worry about the dust, the "Matte Look" is in this season.

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  23. You did a fabulous job with the settee. I absolutely love it's new outfit. It is so you. Your settle now has a whole new psychedelic life. Love it. Cheers, Michele

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  24. I never done any recovering of furniture. But it sure bright and cheery. Plus I'm horrible at haggling. But usual what found out here most so call second sale are pretty good deal. Coffee is on

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    1. The haggling was done for me, luckily! xxx

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  25. Your chaise is gorgeous! Looks like a great place to relax with a book, and that cheeky rum that you do, indeed, deserve. :)

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    1. Rum and a book? that sounds like the perfection way to spend an evening on the chaise! xxx

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  26. Hi Vix, you do deserve a "cheeky Tuesday rum". That was so much work, but your chaise looks fabulous. A nice place to relax for you, Jon, and the cats! ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Cherre! The cats have both decided they love it, I haven't had a chance to sit on it yet! x

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  27. God Vix its just stunning what a wonderful transformation adore the fabrics and colours. Its unique, bright and beautiful and your Mum would be so proud of you, dee xxx

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  28. I love the new look, it's so perfect with the rest of your décor ♥

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  29. Wow, that looks amazing - so much better than the cat-scragged brown, and so very Vix and Jon. And your mum got it for £15? Clearly an eye for a good buy is a family trait.

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    1. She was a far better haggler than me, though! I bet it will be cat ragged psychedelia in a few months knowing our badly behaved two! x

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    2. I spend far too much time bellowing, "THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!" at the urchins. We've resorted to keeping a scratching post in the living room.

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    3. The cry of the cat owner, I know it well! xxx

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  31. Wow, what a makeover! The chaise looks fantastic, so bright and colourful and playful! Simply unimaginable that you did it yourself and in just 24 hours!

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    1. Once I have a plan there's no stopping me! x

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  32. Fabulous, Vix! the patchwork is brilliant and feels so mod, and the old chaise looks like better-than-new (you can't buy new like this). What a talent you are! xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti! It was crying out for some type of a sympathetic update. xxx

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  33. beautiful job on the lounger. Dust? What dust? If it above my head I don't see it.

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    1. You can call round any time then! x

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  34. You've created your magic again! The chaise looks fantastic and fits perfectly with the unbelievable chandelier. This is a wonderful way to honor a piece that your mother discovered so many years ago. Your creativity continues to amaze me.

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    1. You are kind, Judith. I'm really happy with it, too. x

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  35. wonderful job!!!
    the victorian chaise and your colorful patchwork are a fab pairing!! love it!
    while i see your floor lamp and then look at mine i know mine is needing new fabric too! a fleamarket visit is in need - to find some cool textiles....
    xxxxxx

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    1. I'm dying for our flea market/car boot season to kick off properly. They are the best hunting grounds for cheap and groovy fabric. xxx

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  36. All this gobsmackingly brilliant work you do, I risk drenching myself. This is a masterpiece. I'd say, yes, time to go get smashed - you've earned it. Hahaha. Or tipsy, and you can flounce onto this wonderful furniture so elegantly afterwards. Applauding here, can you hear it?

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    1. I can, all the way from Canada. Cheers, love! xxx

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  37. Fantastic job on the chaise, get yourself on it with your rum!
    I love the bottles you dug up. I used to go bottle digging back in the day, mine are all packed up and in my Mum's shed, no room for them in my current homestead.

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    1. I love old glass. We used to find loads. A great incentive for doing the gardening. x

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  38. Words fail...this is jaw droppingly, sublimely incredible.

    Many hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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  39. Murphy's Oil Soap and a bit of fabric strategically pinned have been the extent of my furniture renovation efforts to date. However, your chaise longue success is inspiring me to flip over a side chair just to see how the seat is affixed to the frame... Did you add any padding or remove ancient horsehair stuffing?

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    1. Hi Beth! The padding (horsehair) was in pretty good shape once we'd removed the Dralon cover, it just needed a bit of a scrunch in the bits where it had shifted over the years. I found a Mother-of-Pearl button tucked away inside which must have fallen off the dress of a Victorian lady, a tiny time capsule!
      Once we'd removed the tacks I carefully cut the Dralon off in sections and used it as a template for the replacement patchwork. It was a lot more straightforward than we expected. xxx

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  40. Gosh this is utterly fab! You've done a mighty fine job, I hope you rewarded yourself with a bit of lounging on it whilst sipping your rum. XX

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    1. I wrestled the cats off it and did just that! xxx

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  41. Wow it is fabulous! LOVE it! 8 hours sounds like an amazingly short time to produce something so beautiful. I think you deserve a double. x

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  42. You have so many talents, Queen of furniture makeover this week!! That looks bloody gorgeous. I have seen modern day things like this in patchwork selling for disgusting amounts of hard earned money, your re do is by far better.

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I've seen some horrors on the internet, wishy washy fabric on poorly constructed frames. xxx

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  43. This is absolutely stunning! I love it. It looks amazing and totally worth the time spent on it. A bank holiday well spent I'd say.

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  44. That is a truly magnificent chaise!! I thought your curtains were amazing and then seeing them together with the chaise it was like kismet - you are very talented!

    Melissa

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. If it stays still long enough it gets patchworked! x

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  45. that's so gorgeous!! Love it and the bright cheerful room. Bugger "goes with everything" brown, that is so much more fun!
    PS Happy not a wedding anniversary!

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    1. Hello Julie and thank you! xxx

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  46. The chaise looks like a completely different piece of furniture after your makeover, and it makes such a cozy, colourful space with the curtains. I think your Mom would be pleased with the transformation, although I bet it would have looked fab covered in Leopard print.

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    1. I did look at leopard print but great quality stuff was so expensive. xxx

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  47. Absolutely fabulous! You had a great idea!

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  48. What was the deals with Pears soap advertisements being decorative - my mum had decorative Pears soap advertisements as well, I thought it was a little weird especially as we never used Pears soap (I've still never seen any actual Pears soap). Well never mind, onto more important things like that stunning couch - holy crap what an amazing change. I was blown away with the change when I saw the second picture, then when I realised you have sewn the fabric into patch work I was even more amazed. Well done Vix its fabulous!

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    1. Pears Soap advertising was everywhere at one time. I used to love the soap, it's still massive in India but making a bit of a comeback here, too. xxx

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  49. Goodness, this is incredible! Well done you, I wouldn't even know where to start. Leopard print also sounds utterly fabulous xxx

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    1. It wasn't as complicated as I'd originally thought, certainly not worth a year of procrastination! xxx

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  50. Those fabrics are incredible! What a great piece to have In your home...

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  51. Love the makeover, you did a fantastic job here! ... Chandeliers need a lot of dusting but never get one in our home... ;)

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Love from Vix
xxx