When I found my board on a boot fair, I immediately fell in love with its beautiful carving and the lovely seeds. It is the Kalah version, one of the most popular Mancala games for kids: two rows of 6 small pits. It will motivate your school-aged kids to count and think strategically, encourage them to conduct thought experiments, counting tokens and comparing tactics in their heads, before they move a game piece. Grown ups will love it for its high degree of tactical play but watch out it is incredibly addicting for those who need to feel a sense of accomplishment! Mancala offers a nice parallel to real life, forecasting moves and considering consequences can have a real impact on your everyday decisions.
Look at these gems of my latest treasure hunt for the Woohoocuties’ shop: a beautiful double inkwell, a bundle of vintage keys and empty WWI war shell cases and one of them real trench art! I can imagine, certainly with the shell cases that non- military people have no idea what a wonderful story the markings at the bottom tell! So I thought I’d better write about them so that in case you buy one, you know what to look for.
We should celebrate every birthday we’re given, and today it’s mine, always going hand in hand with the end of the year celebrations and welcoming 2016 ahead. Finding this magnificent vintage double inkwell set, I thought what better moment than today, to decide to start keeping a diary filled with things I’m thankful for, indeed confiding the rough gems of my own mind to a gratitude diary. I wish to be more in tune with the good things in my life and want to be fully aware of the best things that happen to me on every special day. What a wonderful way to record life and memories. (more…)
With Christmas on our doorstep, we all start thinking about our table décor, how to make our table sparkle, whether it’s a formal or relaxed dinner. For my parents the only way to set a table was with matching sets of dishes or china. Nowadays dreaming of vintage table settings at your rustic, nostalgic or just cosy parties, wedding reception, baby shower… setting the table with your vintage collections, is considered as “the” creative outlet! And who can resist designing a culinary stage including this blue china Broadhurst Ironstone lovely creamer or jug, with its blue pattern on white background, decorated with flowers and “The English scene”.
All I want for the December month, Christmas and New Year is to create a memorable holiday with just that little bit more precious time with family and friends! Of course with sunny days, around 18 degrees during the day here in the South of France, it doesn’t really add to the Christmas atmosphere. But to me these days are special, so preparing for them means joyful moments. It’s all about alleviating stress.
Doorstops and door wedges aren’t the first thing people’d think of as an original new home gift or Christmas present, why not be the first do to so. They always add an interesting detail to any home, bring back nostalgia (remembering your gran’s house), decorative and functional they often invite comment and compliments. If you are a doorstop collector enthusiast, or just have a feline collection, you have to admit that this super cute, carved wooden sleeping, vintage cat is adorable.
Doesn’t time pass quickly? After beautiful sunny days, November decided to serve up rainy, icy cold days here in the South of France, not the ideal weather when you have to go outside to feed donkeys, goats and chicken. We now just have one chicken and a rooster left, so finding that one egg a day is always a joy. Knowing how tricky boiling an egg can be, using a vintage hour-glass egg timer, the assistant in timing the cooking of the eggs, has always been handy. One adds charm to a vintage kitchen using an hour-glass egg timer as device to mark the duration of time in order to obtain the perfect egg.
Don’t you love vintage sheet music? My favorite recycled paper is sheet music, the perfect background for all sorts of projects! Imagine my surprise when I came across packs of them in the local “trocante” here, in the South of France. Some were even handwritten, most of them printed, my guess is a local music conductor retired and got rid of them. (more…)
Finials are used extensively as a decorative feature, architectural detail, for furniture, clocks, cabinets, mirrors, balustrades, fence posts, bed posts, curtains, flag poles, any restoration or repairing vintage of antique or even new objects in general. They are actually the final touch in decorating and in architecture, combining fashion and function. Whether it’s the industry or used for individual design finishing, refurbishing your woodworking project, is done with finials. More and more they are resurging in popularity, mostly as decorative accessories on lamps and curtain rods.
My next attic find is in good condition and has a wonderful vintage look to it. Wooden chess pieces, for “the game of kings”, elegant, beautiful and ornate, are nowadays often used to add luxury to the home décor, whether it is in the game room, study, or even in modern offices. People like to add an artistic touch with these chess shapes. In a natural finish, each of these unique wooden pieces, hand turned by a talented craftsman, can make a statement on their own.
No excuses, if you’ve broken or lost some of your pieces anymore, get back playing the game of planning and foresight, the game that originated around the 6th century AD and is historically associated with the powerful and awesome, Genghis Khan, Napoleon and so many others.
Improve your social skills, memory, spatial skills, numerical abilities, verbal aptitude, creative thinking, problem- solving, and reasoning skills. Get ready to raise your IQ, prevent Alzheimer’s, exercise both sides of your brain, increase your creativity, improve concentration and reading skills.
And know that the brain building benefits will stick and support you, long after the chessboard has been put away.
But what if you don’t master the game? I thought why not dare to add some fun to the soon to build festive decor this year with these fabulous chess pieces and use them as decorations on the Christmas tree or as very special gift tags. I’ve even seen earrings, necklaces made out of the pieces!
Think carefully though: “Who’s who” at a party or in real life? Let’s have a look:
The pawn is the hard worker, often the first one into battle and he can be promoted to queen!
The rook, swift and free, representing the castle’s walls, will protect the king, queen, bishop, and knights. Two rooks operating together can be more potent than a single queen!
The knight is unique in the way it moves and thus can make a move that even the queen cannot make. Remember, only the highly educated and wealthy men could become a knight.
The bishop, being the third-most important piece (next to the king and queen) in the game, is swift and free, with diagonal, mirroring snake-like moves. Predictable and limited in its role but a decisive tool of play from middle-game onwards.
The king is the piece the whole game revolves around, the most precious one. But it is the least powerful piece in terms of ability to move about the board. Without the king, the game is lost. Know that the king can work to secure a win, though not on its own!
The queen is of course the most powerful piece on the board. She can move any way she wants! And we all know that behind every successful man (King) there is a woman (Queen). But the poor queen has to do most of the work while the king just stays idle most of the time…
Whatever purpose one could give these chess items, some of their names always provoke inspiration don’t they: living like a king; acting like a queen/beauty queen/drama queen; get on your horse/eat like a horse/ a dark horse/ a Trojan horse… I’m sure you’ll find a good use for them.
And last but not least, the first-move advantage in chess is always for the white/ light colour, that on its own is the best lesson of all to me: go for the light not the dark in life!
Were in the Woohoocuties’ shop but sold the next day!