Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Going Green...Nothing New to Us!

Re-purposing and recycling was a way of life for past generations. This is my great grandmother, Tennie, who used to say, "There is nothing new under the sun." She weathered the economics of the Great Depression by recycling, reusing, and re-purposing. It was a sad time and yes, back then recycling was born more out of survival than choice, but the principle, seriously heeded nonetheless.
My mother, Shirley, sisters Julie and Judy, brother Bob, and Great Gram....That's me, the one with the pursed lips...... probably pouting about never having enough shoes......oh wait, that's why I pout these days... Ha! 
As my grandmothers taught my mother, she in turn taught each of us a great deal about the value of what we had, to appreciate and take good care of our things. She was the ultimate "recycler". I guarantee that she made each of our dresses in the photo above, just as she had also done for her own sisters when they were growing up. 
My aunts- Debbie, Dianne, & Denise (Yes, they are identical triplets, it's not your imagination.)
I remember old tins filled with recycled buttons that my mom cut off worn or too-small clothing. She also removed and saved zippers. Stored away in my mother's sewing room were (and still probably are) scads of them, ready to use at a moments notice. She patched our jeans, mended our dresses, and taught us to do the same.

You probably grew up just as I did where our "things" held value because of the memories associated with them. I love knowing that........somehow it's tucked away in my heart. Some of my most precious possessions are those that were used and loved by my grandmothers. I treasure them.

The whole concept was nothing new for Beth either. When she was in 5th Grade, she and her older brother started a recycling business, "S. and B. Ecology Services, Inc." (Can you say "marketing"!) They set out to make extra spending money by building their own little business of recycling and wrote these letters for their neighbors.

How fun are these letters! Beth remembers how much work it was removing labels from the bottles and cans and of course none of this would have been possible without Mom chauffeuring them to and from their customer's homes. They were certainly ahead of their time, recycling their little fingers off!

Confession: I admit, it drives me just a bit crazy when younger generations think they are the only ones on this mission to preserve history and life as if "Going Green" is a new concept and they created the novel idea.

Recycling and reusing treasures from the past is our heart's calling at FMF Compagnie, it's who we are. Some of our best pieces are those that have been re-designed and re-purposed.

When Beth and I started FMF Compagnie, we both already knew this value had been instilled in each of us. After all, we had spent countless hours together when our children were young, making "something" from "nothing" to sell at countless school fundraisers.

 Lavender Monogrammed Sachet www.fmfcompagnie.com

Our line of antique linen sachets filled with lavender are made from beautiful old French embroidered wedding sheets, called broderie rembourrée or padded embroiderie. They are not only beautiful but sturdy and look amazing as the new upholstery for our furniture pieces or sewn into one-and-only pillows or sachets.

In one of her adventures exploring the countryside, Beth found this book containing two folded maps of England and Wales.

It looks tattered and worn from the outside, but when you opened it up, the most beautiful maps unfolded from either side. The maps have cloth backing and rich colors. What a shame they were folded up and hidden away so no one could see them. But wait.......that's now how we left them. We had the maps carefully removed from the cover of the book and framed each of them. They make the most wonderful pair of masculine artwork, and carry this sense of history that only deepens their value.
This gorgeous lamp has also been made of re-purposed old leather books and spines. There will never be another lamp base like this in the universe; recycled and unique!

This pair of Victorian period chairs are beauties that Beth stripped and re-purposed to a weathered, natural patina.

They are going to be fabulous with seats from antique "nubbly" linen, made current for today's interiors and ready to be used for many future generations.

Making something new from something old and honoring the history at the same time, it's nothing new to us!
Beth and I are proud to preserve amazing antique treasures and to in turn, share them with you in our FMF Compagnie collections. We are doing what we love and we love this for so many reasons!

The IFDA Take A Seat Design event is another fun "green" project we are working on.

This event involves members of the furnishings and design industry (IFDA) who are tasked to creatively re-imagine (recycle, re-purpose) ordinary chairs, turning them into works of art. The chairs are displayed during a free exhibition. At the exhibition close, the chairs are auctioned. The proceeds from this year's event will benefit our local Military Assistance Mission. It's a really big deal! Check out the Take a Seat Facebook page and by all means, plan to attend our Scottsdale event and support this important local cause! It will be on October 11, at The Legacy Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale.

Here's just a tiny sneak peek at some of the recycled items we are using in our FMF Compagnie chair design.

Even though the original fabric on the chair was "green" brocade........it's not staying!

I wish I could show you more, but not yet. Stay tuned for the results, coming soon.

Join us in not only going but staying "green"! Remember, it's nothing new to us!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Deconstructed Artistry

**Note, if you read nothing else in this post, at least scroll down and admire the stunning photo of the Napoleonic French Chairs by Vervain!! You won't be sorry!

So, I was at the grocery store the other day, waiting in the check-out line when I spotted and decided to peruse through the latest issue of Veranda Magazine. It has long been one of my favorites!

I wish I could say I'm a novel reader and have read classics like Earnest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" or J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" ...not so much; however, I may force myself to....one day.

My attention span and thirst for the creative seem to be best attended to by beautiful color photos and amazing magazine spreads. I buy magazines for their inspiration and while I do read the articles, I find that I much prefer to soak in the interior designs and beautiful photography. One thing I do look for is how all of my beloved publications and their editors are using technology and social media.

I've recently become a Twitter user. Never did I EVER think I would figure out how to use and absorb Twitter, but now I think I'm officially a "Tweep" - "A user-created conjunction from Twitter and Peeps usually referring to the followers of the person using the word."

Who knows, I may even have "Tweeple" by now. (Oh my gosh, I really did just laugh out loud!) That all just sounds so funny to me. Seriously, though, I've actually had to search the Internet for the definitions of some of the new social media language. Not only do I "friend" and "like" on Facebook, but now I "follow" on Twitter! If you use Twitter, you can find me here: @JNFunkhouser.

Here are a few of my new favorite "Tweeple" to "follow" on Twitter:

- Chip and Joanna Gaines from the HGTV show, Fixer Upper - @chippergaines and @themagnoliamom
- Amy Vermillion, Nationally Published Interior Designer and one of my favorite people to "follow" on Pinterest - @vermillionamy
- Southern Living Magazine - @Southern_Living 
- Sid Evans, the new editor of Southern Living - @SidMemphis
- Libby Langdon, Author, Interior Designer extraordinaire and a very long list of credentials - @libbylangdon
- Brooke Giannetti, Interior Designer and Author, who partners with her architect husband, Steve Giannetti to complete some incredible living spaces - @velvetandlinen

While I'm loving the new community of inspiration I've found in all of these social media venues, I still love going back to my hard copy magazines to relax and unwind after a long day. I purchased that Veranda magazine from the grocery store........do you want to know why??

This is why........

It stopped me dead in my tracks.......two reasons:
  1. The stunning fabric from Vervain
  2. The chair........the chair, the chair! 
First of all, I love the how this fabric bridges the gap between the chic new color trends I've seen recently, and the romantic, traditional, yet classic print statement. The fabric itself is pure artistry, blending old and new!

And, what about the chair? Well, let me show you the antique deconstructed French Napoleonic Chair we've just added to our shop inventory.

Yes, that's why! Because the Vervain spread in Veranda matched my vision and gave added dimension to design possibilities for our deconstructed French and English antique chairs. (Will you just look at those old brass casters?!!)

Blending old and new, the finest artistry!

Speaking of artistry, here are more fabulous photos of our deconstructed pieces.  **They were taken by David Creighton, an amazing young photographer with so much success ahead of him. (You can ask him to shoot for you but only when I don't need him! OK, just kidding...I think.)

I hope you have the same inspiration and vision for these amazing pieces of art as I have. When I look at the details in each, I am reminded of the talented craftsmen of old who designed and built these chair frames oh so long ago.

Whether you use them as they are with their charming old burlap and muslin, or if you decided to add new fabric like the designers at Vervain did.....they bring class and presence to any space. You can find them in our Crossing the Pond collection and our Furniture collection.

Beth and I also love this more masculine chair by Vervain.  We have some terrific inspiration for masculine pieces coming this fall, but for now you know the truth, not only do I have a chair fetish, but I also have fabric envy! Lord help me! :)


Friday, August 1, 2014

The Trendiest Trend

What is that really? I was reading an article about "rustic-chic" styling this morning and it caused me to wonder which descriptive words I would use to describe our new container collection at FMF Compagnie.

For each of us, it is different. I don't think your home should display "the trendiest trend" but rather, "your trendiest trend". It is about your life, where you've been, where you would like to go, who or what has inspired you, collections of past memories, future goals, and things that remind you where true peace and happiness lie. It is your home after all and it's not about what's right or wrong.

We love the balanced look of time-worn, weathered, traditional, refined, industrial, rustic, coastal, masculine, feminine, bold, and subtle. Beth and I agree that "balance" is the key word here. Not too much of any one direction, but a keen sense of the ability to marry each together with just enough and in tasteful balance.

What is your personal home decorating "trend"?

Well-traveled, rustic, eclectic?

Dan Marty Designs

Antique French Napoleonic Chair, Antique English Leather Train Bag Antique Victorian Bamboo Side Table, Antique Chinoiserie Floor Lamp

Traditional, refined?

Antique Carved French ArmoireAntique Italian Iron Fragments as lamps, Fortuny Shades

Casual and comfortable?

French Bergere in Antique French Linen, MonogrammedEnglish Fishing Basket, Wicker Hamper

Coastal, Garden, En plein air?

Vintage Hungarian Zinc Sink, Antique English Iron Hose ReelWelsh Sun Lounger

Memory-ridden with personal collections?

Antique English Bread BoardsAntique Roe Deer Antler Mounts

You see, each of these styles has its own beauty and significance, just like every piece we have in the store.

You've just gone shopping at FMF Compagnie. Each set of style photos above has actual FMF Compagnie inventory.

Come visit us in person at Scottsdale Marketplace, 6310 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 or online at www.fmfcompagnie.com.


#FMFCompagnie #Antique #EnglishAntiques #FrenchAntiques