Monday 27 June 2011

Magpie Monday - The sweet smell of...?

It has finally happened.  It was only a matter of time really.  I think you all saw it coming. I have finally gone stark, raving bonkers.  I've flipped my lid. 

I have been too impressionable. I've succumbed to peer pressure. I got carried away in the moment.

Yes, I have bid and won an insanely large amount of old lady pomanders from ebay.  186 of the blighters to be precise.

I was caught up in the notion that there is a pomander revolution on the horizon.  Old lady chic is coming into vogue and I wanted a piece of the action.  Here was my chance to get ahead of the game and make my fortune.  I could see the headlines:

"The sweet smell of success"; "Thrifter comes up smelling of roses"; "Sniffing out a bargain"...

Before you condemn me to an asylum full of crazy online auction purchasers, consider this. And then tell me who is the more affected...

The lady who owned these aromatic fancies displayed them by cementing them onto her bathroom wall.  All 186 of them. In fact, I suspect there were more and some were lost in the arduous removal process.

I can only imagine the odious odours that must have been emitted in that water closet which required an entire wall of pot pourri to keep it at bay.

Like a scene from Se7en, without the aesthetic appeal of Mr Pitt.  What was she thinking?

Consider this.  The offspring of the late owner decided to list the collection for sale on ebay.  They apparently didn't feel in necessary to describe how the ceramic nosegays had been plastered onto the masonry.  Clearly, it wasn't required of them to explain that all of these pomanders were caked in white plaster and gloss paint from their vertical suspension for years on end on in their late mothers toilette.

Consider this.  My obliging and trusting old man, left in charge of collecting the perfumed bounty whilst I was away, thought not to question the encrusted ceramic globes.  Quietly he handed over the cash and loaded them up in the car, delivering the bouquet of bounty to me.

So. Who is the crazy one?

However, all is not lost.  I intend to turn this tale of woe around. I have discovered that soaking the sullied spheres in hot water for hours on end, then painstakingly scraping the paint and plaster off does eventually result in a restored pomander.  Granted, they will be bereft of their contents and missing their labels, but they are again usable.

So begins the arduous task of disemboweling them, picking out the stale and musty brown rose petals, and destroying my finger nails.

It will be worth it.  There are some beauties.  Truly, there is a pomander for every occasion and taste.  From the kitsch:

and quirky

To the quintessentially English.

Depicting dog roses, primroses and violets

or retro floral delights

From the sublime

to the ridiculous.

If I have in any way tempted you with my nose candy, please do speak now.  I can assemble a small collection to meet your requirements, and on transfer of cash by the magic of paypal, I shall wrap, pack and mail the beauties to you.

Me and My Shadow
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  1. Ughhgh..*chortle*....Seriously?....186...plasteredto the bathroom wall...*chokes with laughter*...oh dear! And your other half didn't query it? And you decided you needed 186 of them in the first place?

    Brilliant. I may be changing the focus of the 3rd part of my 'Magic and Madness of Ebay' feature now...

    Seriously Liz, you've made my day!

  2. Liz, I don't think your bonkers, I think your a genius! What a great collection of pomanders, every style you can think of is there! This could be a great investment for you. I especially love the bird one, I have never seen one in a bird style. They would make great birthday pressies. Bx

  3. oh me, oh my ... you go girl!
    Maria x

  4. Oh dear, I do have a problem with having to make up new words to a song when I read something funny. Remember Craig Mc Laughlan? Henry in neighbours? Didn't he sing " I'm in love with a girl called Amanda'? Well, now I hear him sing " I'm in love with a swan shaped pomander".
    A labour of love will ensure these gems end up restored, rehomed and cherished, as they should be. The lady who plastered them would be proud.

  5. Made my day! I thought there was only me in the whole world that bid on things like this, now I'm comfortable in the knowledge that I'm NOT alone!!!!

  6. Yes you are certifiable but in a good way. You are also very useful to me as now I can tell my husband there are worse cases than me! Think your Other Half has grounds for divorce on unreasonable behviour grounds but suspect you are so quirky that he will stick with you.

  7. Oi, Lucewomen, I'm a girl called Amanda, and I'm in love with the pomanders! LOL
    Handing over CC details as we speak!!! Lol
    Now seriously, down to business!!! Have you got a green set? And can I have the sublime set!!!!

  8. And I though I was the only one who committed eBay lunacy! Well done. I'm no the only lunatic here!!! xxx

  9. You are insane in the membrane love but I doff my cap to you. I could be persuaded to take that little violet number off your hands! ;-)

  10. omg liz can't believe they had them plastered to the bathroom wall and failed to mention that in the listing!! :0
    At least your able to salvage them and im sure you'll make a neat little profit ....... and i don't think your mad it was a bargain that couldn't be passed lol
    Will deffo buy a few off you just let me know prices etc x

  11. Don't you just love eccentric people! some nice ones there, though. Are you setting up a market stall?

  12. The story of those on the wall made me laugh so much! How strange, but thats the English eccentric for you! Great collection-love the animal ones. I couldn't post last week as my hard drive died but I am in love with that little monkey! He has a very nice face.

  13. Am impressed you managed to get your husband to go and collect them for you - any tips on husband motivation much appreciated!!! As for the pomanders themselves ... well, rather you than me!!

  14. Oh my, someone actually had to plaster them all to the wall? And then take them back off? And I thought the woman I visited with badly cut-out magazine pictures of cats glued to her bedroom wall, outlined in red felt tip pen was crazy.

  15. p.s. I promise faithfully to join in again next week. I miss my magpiemonday xx

  16. LOL! So you decided there was just no way you could hide them then and telling the Mr was the only way forward? Loon - love it!

  17. hilarious! why would anyone cover a I refuse to think about the oddness (I am slightly taken with the idea actually - just for it's surreal-ness) you are right though! there are some real gems there. Have fun.

  18. Wow. That's a lot of pomanders. How much did your haul set you back and what are you going to do with them all?

    Madison xxx

  19. Umm, you have definitely got the pomander market cornered there! I would LOVE to have seen them on the wall in all their splendour haha! *whispers* I have a pair of rabbit pomanders which I adore... will take a twitpic for you!

  20. Super post...made me laugh! Kitch but rather delightful object d'art! The Mouse is truly sweet. Good luck in your sales!

  21. I am lost for words. Plastered to a wall, that is sort of a bit creepy - what was behind that wall?? *Shudder!*

  22. Oh, my....You are going to be busy for a long time!!! Very unique find!!!

  23. Oh my goodness! what happened to nothing that wouldn't fit in your handbag??? And your other half collected them for you? That's more than my man would do :)

  24. Brilliant! It's the only thing that kept me going through two and a half hours of torture in the dentist's chair - thinking of the tales of pomander I would read when I got home! And even funnier than I'd envisaged! You could always plaster them onto your own bathroom wall? *ahem*
    As Amanda has already beaten me to the sublime set, put me down for a little bird (only out of feeling sorry for your predicament you understand) :) xx

  25. Hahaha...I think they are fabulous! Its the kind of ebay purchase I would make! x

  26. thank you all for your lovely comments. I hope my temporary insanity made you smile!

    Lakota - don't you dare tar me with the same brush as the voodoo sellers and spirited dolls LOL.

    Lucewoman - I too am now singing that song! Brilliant. Speak now or forever hold your piece - the swan is destined for the bin!

    Amanda, all yours are sorted, I just need to pack and weigh, but I should warn you that I hope to recoup the cost of a manicure after scraping all that plasterwork off with my fingernails!

    Jane, let me know how many you'd like, and what sort of colours and I'll get them packed and weighed so I can give you a price.

    Everyone else: I suspect you're just jealous ;0)

  27. Some of them are actually lovely! And I'm not just saying that. You did crack me up with that though, I can imagine you going mental spending hours scraping pomandas with your fingernails. I reckon you'd make a bomb at a car boot with that lot. Displayed well, they'd be a hit I'm sure! I bet your house whiffs right now, PSML!!! :O)

  28. Yes Kay - you remember my nice finger nails?? Well, they are no more :0(

    And yes, it does rather whiff of old ladies round here at the moment!

  29. Good grief! And I thought I was bonkers....

  30. OMG, you made me laugh so hard my coffee nearly came out my nose! Aren't hubby's great? and I can't believe they didn't publish the condition correctly!

    It seems though you are making roses out of thorns. Good for you :-)

  31. I love pomanders. I have been collecting them since childhood, and I'm almost 50 now. Lots of English ones, as well as beautifully painted ones in the shape of houses and birds. I also have a few special ones for each holiday-Easter, Christmas, Valentines Day, Halloween and so on. I keep them down to about 100 of my favorites. I can't imagine plastering them to the wall though. I don't envy the amount of work you have to go through to clean the plaster and paint from them. I empty them, being careful to save the label if possible. I usually don't care for the scents, but appreciate the beautiful ceramic form.