Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 297/365 Spirit of the Forest

If you have the money to spare (and the room for storage), this is the time to be buying antiques and vintage furniture. Unfortunately everyone seems to know this, and it makes life harder for dealers (like moi) to find quality items. This weekend yielded *one* small item worth purchasing.

A small carved table...previous owner stripped it but it's nice and sturdy, and covered in carvings.

The Green Man appears on each side. He's the Celtic or Pagan Spirit of the Forest.

Being of Scottish descent, and more than a little Pagan myself, this little table may never make it to the booth. It's not often the ancestors speak directly to us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 296/365 Table Redux

Slim pickings today, but this mahogany table did come home with us. At first glance it's considered a Duncan Phyfe style 1920's reproduction.

Duncan Phyfe (originally spelled Fife) was born in Loch Fannich, Scotland in 1768 but emigrated to the newly established United States of America in 1784, at the age of 16. He apprenticed with a cabinetmaker, and eventually became one of the most reputable furniture makers in America, producing furniture in all the popular styles of the day, including Federal, Neo-Classic, Empire, Regency and Rococo Revival.

The one style he *didn't* produce was Duncan Phyfe, since every element that is now considering an identifying element of his furniture, was, in fact, already popular long before he began building furniture.

Splayed ribbed legs? Yep. Already popular in a variety of styles. Very familiar to the American colonies.

Brass paw feet? So common that their absence would have been remarkable.

Drop leafs? Done to death. Mahogany? The pine of its time.

So Duncan Phyfe himself would have no idea what we meant when we say something is "Duncan Phyfe" style. A piece of furniture actually made by him in the early 1800's would have a paper label attached, clearly labeled Duncan Phyfe. However, one hundred years and twenty years later, Duncan Phyfe reproductions would actually eclipse the original furniture maker, and become a "style" all its own.

And so we have this mahogany Duncan Phyfe repro dining room table that followed us home today. Worn spots, water marks, deep scratches, and what I think may actually be traces of grey paint in a few spots.

Once I fell for the misguided random thought of "I-can-take-it-home-and-strip-and-refinish-it...It'll-be-a-project". Now I know that this will never actually happen. The projects will simply pile up and overwhelm me. So I need magic fixes and quick solutions.

Like Old English. This time I'll use the Dark Wood liquid, but it comes in Light Wood and Lemon Oil as well.

It's magic. Grey paint disolves, scratches disappear, the wood actually glows and grime that has accumulated over the years is removed. Total time: 15 minutes.

Duncan would have killed for it. Or maybe he invented it. Yeah, that's probably what happened.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 295/365 Things My Daughter Finds for Me at Target...

Remember when your kids were little and they'd bring you grimy handfuls of dandelions and it'd be all like a Hallmark moment?

Yeah, me too.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 294/365 Bamboozled

Pickings were scarce at today's estate sale but we did find this late 1890's bamboo and wicker sewing table.

You can see the bamboo ribs in the legs, with slightly bulbed feet and a gradual outward splay in each leg.

The second shelf is wicker set inside a wooden frame.

Best of all, the wooden top is hinged along one side to allow the top to lift up.

A divided wooden tray sit inside, waiting for thread, needles, buttons and other sewing sundries.

The wooden tray sits on two wooden rails, leaving a large open compartment underneath -meant for scissors, patterns, extra fabric, cut quilt blocks or other larger sewing supplies.

All I need to do is clean it up, decide whether or not to paint it (the brown isn't original), and then migrate it over to the booth.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 293/365 Hope Closet

Living in a house built in 1858, (by people who apparently only owned 2 sets of clothing) means that over the last 153 years, our existing closets were carved out of larger rooms. Electricity wasn't part of the consideration. Well, except for that overhead light that keeps breaking because someone yanks on the chain too hard. The one I quit replacing after one too many yanks.

So when I needed to clean out the closet (having promised to send my Minnesota sweaters up to my cousin in the mountains) the first thing I had to do was round up extension cords, power bars and lamps.

Due to the lack of electricity (energy,motivation, whatever) it's been a few years since the closet was cleaned out. I actually found jackets that still have shoulder pads. And a strange blazer-sort-of-thing I have no memory of ever buying (and a window).

More quilts, more afghans, more comforters and two burgundy pillows that look like they came out of the Arabian Nights.

Best find of the day: the baby quilts I made for my daughter. They fit perfectly in that big drawer at the bottom of the new armoire.

And the satin crazy quilt my great-aunt Sadie made. This would be the same one I took to the hospital with me the night my daughter was born.

And her first (and only) cut (measuring about 10" long) - covered in patches - her dad was driving truck then, and she had to have Mickey and Minnie ....

Apparently she was also a Marine, a member of the Beatles, owned an eagle, and was a Danish/UK/Scot. Learning to spell and sit up would come later. Priorities are important.

Also found the cat under all those afghans. He was *not* wearing his cut.