Monday, February 25, 2013

First Catherineholm Piece

I've been ogling this enamelware for a while but it apparently was never a trend around here because I never see it - not even for ridiculous prices at antique shops. Yeah, I can buy it off ebay but what is the fun in that? Needless to say I wasn't expecting this to be a real piece when I picked it off the table at the flea market this weekend. I also wasn't expecting the price tag to read $1!

Too bad I don't have any friends to display it with yet but it fits in with my colorful Pyrex so I'm OK with it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

English Pyrex

My first piece of English Pyrex was a lid. I mentioned to my mom I needed a certain size lid and she, of course, said she had one. The next visit she brought it for me. Obviously this story is heading towards the fact the lid did not fit any of my Pyrex because it was an English lid. I asked her where she found it and, just as I had suspected, she found it in Canada while thrifting with her sister.
This weekend I found lids along with the bottoms at a thrift store here!

The pattern might look a little 80's/90's but I think it's pretty and so different from any of my U.S. Pyrex.

The handles also have a unique shape.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Camera Lurkers #1 - Vintage Chair Reupholstered

I'm horrible with follow through of my projects here on the blog plus last year was hit and miss with my postings anyways. Last summer I posted a story about a chair which I bought to reupholster. Did I ever reupholster said chair?? Yes! Yes, I did actually and the photos have been floating around waiting to land on a post for how many months now?

This was the chair last summer which I wrote about here

and here it is finished!
I had been wanting to try my hand at some reupholstering but the only project I had was my grandparent's couch and I didn't want to start with that! 

The first step was to kick off the cat.

 (don't worry Cammie. You can have the gross fabric when I'm done)
Since I had never done this before I started out by carefully photographing the various seams and folds as I took off the old fabric.

 After the old fabric was off, I used it as a pattern for the new fabric.
 (after taking this picture I realized the 2 top side pieces should be sideways. The fabric needs to run the same direction on all of the pieces!)

I started with the piping first since that looked easy. And it was. Joann's had the blank white cord and I just used the quilting foot (which is super skinny) to sew my matching fabric as close to that cord as possible. 

I was nervous about the seat and back but with some pinning and basting it was easier than I expected. Of course with the piping and 2 pieces of upholstery fabric it was too thick to do on my machine so I had to sew it all by hand. Meh, I was 8 months pregnant. What else was I going to be doing? 

When this was all done it formed a kind of slip cover over the chair. 

To make sure the side pieces were extra tight I stitched them after a few of the staples were in place. 

The staples were fun as I could really start to see the finished product and it was actually looking nice!

Oh Cammie. You're doing it wrong. Silly Kitty. 

The buttons were next. How was I going to manage those? I measured and guessed and measured some more and amazingly it worked!

I just covered over the old buttons with some new fabric. They have metal tabs on the back which fold out so I popped them into my marked locations and opened the tab back up. 

Hmm, it appears I did not take any open photos of the back of the chair so here is one with the old upholstery.
(You can see were the metal tabs are for the buttons too)

Once I was to this point I had to figure out how to get the final piece of fabric attached. 
They were a little bent but fortunately I saved the original nail strips for the sides and fortunately the fabric easily attached. I pulled it tight and nailed it in place. The top I stitched in place and the bottom stapled to the underside. 
I'm sure I didn't do it the easiest way and probably not the official correct way. (If there is a correct way to reupholster a piece of vintage furniture?) I did surprise myself and it came out looking almost professional. 

Now if I could get my curtains made! Yeah, I know but the tension went out on my sewing machine. This has happened before and it usually somehow fixes itself if I don't use it for a few months (don't ask why or how!) so it is about time I try to use it again. At least there are shades but the curtains explain my chosen green and orange color scheme. 

and a side note - my 1930's Mickey Mouse tea set and table will be leaving the room as soon as someone becomes mobile! A safe place will be found which sadly might be my closet again for a while.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dreamy Knotty Pine Estate Sale

I would say 99% of estate sale houses we go to are uninteresting. We may run into a fantastic vintage kitchen or an aqua and pink bathroom but rarely do they make me wish I earned 200K more so I could rationalize spending so much money on taxes, maintenance, utilities etc.

Walking up to the house, it was rather unassuming. The neighborhood is nice, in my opinion the nicest in Lincoln, (people who like new houses will beg to differ) full of pricey houses ranging from the 1920's to the 70's and the exterior on this one had a generic colonial revival vibe happening. Inside however, whoa! We walked in and true to its exterior it was a colonial revival with a wide foyer and fancy staircase with banister running up the side, a fancy archway led into the living room with dental work trim around the ceiling, small built in shelves and a fireplace. The kicker was all of this fancy woodwork and even the front door were knotty pine! Really? This 3,700+ sq ft house was not a cheapy when it was built WHY on earth did they use knotty pine for all of this fancy woodwork!? The rest of the house was hard wood - it was just the formal foyer, entry and living room. As I got to the kitchen I realized something was off. The cupboards had a 1920's vibe and then we spotted the bathrooms which were art deco with beautiful tiles and original fixtures. Hmm, this is strange as we assumed immediately with the knotty pine that this house was built 1950's and then we heard 1931. 1931!? Well, that explains the bathrooms and kitchen but the knotty pine? Did they rip out the original hard woods and replace it with pine!? the banister? the paneling around the fireplace? fancy archway into the living room? The front door? These seemed complicated and pointless to replace, especially since the knotty pine still was detailed with the same colonial features the rest of the house had so it wasn't like they were trying to modernize the place! It was finally bothering us soo much my mom had to ask some of the close to original family who were helping with the sale. The woodwork was original to 1931! They said it was the latest modern style and top of the line in 1931 and it was very expensive to have done at the time. They know of a few of the other big houses in the area also having it. Crazy! I have never seen ornate knotty pine woodwork.

They are putting the house up for sale soon so hopefully it will make it to the real estate listings and I can share the link. It is at times like this I wish I had a phone with a fancy camera! So now I am wondering if it was just one of the cool people in Lincoln who decided to start this trend and a few others copied so they could be just as cool or if it was actually a real trend which didn't catch on with the mainstream population until after the depression and war were over?

Whew, that was a long rant. Did I find any treasures here? Why of course! I got a stack of 1950's/60's decorating books and magazines which I may find time to look through someday!

I'm not a big George Briard fan - usually too much black and gold (i.e. the cocktail napkins) but the fantastic pink stand on the casserole caught my eye along with the pink lid (the photo doesn't do its pink-ness justice).  I also like the teal butterfly so I grabbed the matching dish and those napkins were only .50 for the set so I figured I better not leave those behind.

Conveniently this game came with 2 game boards because I wanted to hang the board in little one's room.

So now I can display one and we can still try our hand at selling tobacco for Virginia? Yeah...this would not be the topic of a child's game anymore. But look how happy the little man is about his tobacco.

and this guy I was debating about for so long she came down to $5. It's just so big I still don't know what to do with it! He is stamped Masketeers 1961 on the back. I believe the same company which does the trio of wood ducks. I think this is an eagle? with a scroll? They seemed to like their bi-centennial decor. In fact one room was red, white and blue with bright 1776 wallpaper. Again, I need one of those cameras I can inconspicuously take photos with!