Tuesday, April 7, 2015

All the Threads

 Our life is made up of so many parts, so many threads. Since we retired, it seems there are even more of some pieces while there are less of others. One of the new threads has been the reselling business, and redoing furniture in particular.

The last few days I've been busy on a few new projects, like these chairs. There are two of them; there are oak but one had a bad spot that could not be corrected so they got painted, with pretty new blue toile seats. That's one of the fun parts of this work, deciding what a piece's new look will be. I have a small round table that I will paint white and distress to go with them.

These go to a small desk that had an amazing amount of drawer space. It's my first attempt at stenciling, and I think they came out okay--although I did get a couple of them upside down on first try, and had to redo them! The desk was originally a dark wood finish--now I am deciding about how to finish the metal pulls for it, and whether to distress and glaze to make it look old, or leave it fresh and clean like it is now.

I loved doing this table. This one was a diamond in the rough--it was missing a piece of wood trim and the veneer was peeling off. The veneer on top had evidently been removed at some time. A lot of sanding and prep, new trim pieces on the sides, some bright teal paint, distressing and glaze, Java gel stain and General Finishes Top Coat to seal it all, and she's a perky girl now. While it sounds like a lot of work, it really didn't take long. The prep and sanding were done here and there when Larry had time, and I worked on the rest in between other projects.

A few smalls are in the works too. Painted picture frames are good sellers, as are small cabinets. I'm playing with painting little boxes now and really enjoy doing them. This long yellow one is my third attempt.

Another thread in my life is storytelling; yesterday was paperwork day, getting contracts sent out, completing paperwork and sending thank you notes. I really enjoy getting handwritten thank you's and I am sure others like it as much as I do, so I try to do them as often as I can.

EBay continues to be part of our lives too, as sales ebb and flow. I buy on eBay too, things I know I won't find locally. This picture is of a very poorly wrapped piece I bought recently. It's a miracle this fragile glass compote, made in 1887, survived being shipped with no more packaging than this.

But somehow it was safe and sound. Whew! When I ship, I probably overdo the bubblewrap and packaging because I want happy customers, and I hate to be responsible for ruining something that has survived for so long.

And here it is, in place on the buffet. This pattern is called Block & Fan and was made by Richards & Hartley. The funny story is this: I once owned a compote in this pattern, bought it dead cheap somewhere, but then decided I had too much glass and something had to go. So last year I sold it on eBay (and packed it carefully!). Then I missed it and was sorry I had let it go--so I started looking for another one, and here it is!

Another thread--gardens and flowers. We're mulching now and it's looking so pretty. The old trailer outside the window is a big help to moving the mulch around the yard; we put down 20 bags yesterday and have 20 more to do today. It's a big job but once it's done the gardens look great and are so easy to maintain.

It's time for outdoor dining again, and we had our first outside meal on Easter Sunday. It was just the two of us this year. Our sons and their families are at that point in life where everyone is going in many directions, and visiting time is scarce. New jobs, college, sports, etc all intervene but when school and sports wind down we will see more of everyone. I remember well how it was with our youngest son, when we were in our forties and both of us working and I was in school working on my Masters; then Tommy was in baseball and I was storytelling and life was crazy busy. That's where my guys are now in their lives. The 40's and 50's are a hectic time for sure. But we will see everyone in a month or so at our family reunion, I hope, and probably some of them over Memorial Day so I am looking forward to that. I do miss the crazy family gatherings we used to have, but maybe one day that part of life will return.

And of course, the writing thread. I'm keeping up with NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) so far and it does feel good to get back to writing. I've been letting that thread drop the last year or two. It's time to pick it up and weave it back in again, a brightly colored addition to the fabric of my life.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


annie said...

I love the re-dos!
It's amazing you got that compote, it must have let a great big sigh go when you lifted it from the box.
I liked the "thread" parts of your post. I can really relate to that!
Hoping you have a wonderful spring!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love that big beautiful compote but oh how I hate it when things are packed well. I'm enjoying your blog! Have a wonderful day! Hugs, Diane

Kelly said...

Doing a little blog-trekking (trying to visit blogs from every state) and I had the pleasure of coming across yours! Enjoyed reading the sentiment of the "threads."

Nance said...

Catching up! I always like to see what you are buying, selling, shipping, re-doing, writing and going. Have fun!

Nance said...

PS: I like to send and receive hand-written Thank Yous, too.

Stephen said...

The chairs that you reworked came out extra-well I thought - the ones in the first photo. They really had that old farmhouse look down to a 't'. Adding your blog to my favourites!

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