Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Few Projects

The past two days have been icky weather, and, rainy or cloudy, so we've kept close to the house. There's no shortage of things to do inside, certainly! And then the workroom and the back porch are always full of projects so weather doesn't mean we're bored with nothing to do.

Here's a few things we've been working on.

I had this wood box in my booths for a long time. It was just rough unpainted wood; so it came home for a make-over. I used the transfer technique for the graphic.

 The same story with this little basket. It was black, with gold trim and the paint was all coming off. I almost tossed it, but the green velvet inside and the velvet ribbon trim were perfect, so it got a paint job and a transfer too.

Then I filled it with vintage sewing supplies. Let's see if it will sell now.


Another back-from-the-booth item. This table was natural finish on top, white below. It didn't sell in a year, so it came home and became a lady in red.


Besides furniture, there are the usual spring cleaning projects. I've been taking down my glass and washing it all while we give the house a good dusting.


Of course, there's storytelling work too. I'm planning my summer programs now, searching resources for story ideas. This is a fun activity, can't really call it work! It becomes work soon, though, as I start homing in on the stories I want, and planning how to tell them. I also want to make a crankie for this summer's library programs, and that will take some time in the coming month.


A larger project has involved both of us. We took an old door and sanded it down, finding the nicest layers of paint as we worked. We painted a shelf to match the door,

and built a boot box/seat to go on the bottom. The seat will have a hinged lid, and we'' add hooks under the shelf for coats, etc. We're close to being finished with this one.

Under the door is another Hoosier cabinet project. Larry removed the side because it was in very bad shape; he'll put a new one on, then the whole thing gets sanded and painted. That yellow is a little much! The top is also yellow, so we've got a lot of painting ahead on this one.


It's time to add supers to our hives, so Larry has been getting the boxes ready.


The supers are resting on  one of these; we bought two wheelbarrows last month, and they're both getting new paint as they look pretty rough. We will take these to the big Ripley On Sale event at the end of May, where we will have a booth set up.


A slower project: this old window frame was a lot bigger but so rotted that we had to cut it down and make it three frames instead of nine, daggone it. I am planning to paint it, then tack part of a cutter quilt into it. I think (hope) it will come out well.


A small project that fills time as I wait for paint to dry on other things.



And other time-filler, repainting this from dark navy to white. I think it's a lot prettier now.


Another frame that will get a quilt piece in it. I hope.


Six woven seat chairs that were in poor condition are getting some color and will be sold at the Ripley On Sale event as decor/flowerpot chairs. The seats on most of them have some damage; you can still sit on them but I don't want to sell them as seating due to their fragile condition.


Ebay continues to be part of almost every day's work. Yesterday I finally listed these two framed art pieces; the first is a Japanese wood block print from the 1920's. The second is called Prayer in the Desert and has a handwritten date of 1916. Both were thrift store finds, and are fairly valuable. Not like thousands of dollars, of course! I should be so lucky!



And last, cooking. We're picking fresh lettuce and asparagus now, and I am trying to use up some of the food we've stored in the freezer and cellar, so we've been eating well, and yet both of us are losing a little weight. Probably because we've been so busy. Today I wanted to make bread, something I haven't done in over a year. I made whole wheat honey bread, and it came out so nicely. I do love my KitchenAid mixer! It does a great job on mixing and kneading for me.



So that's some of what's kept us hopping lately. This is one busy time of year, and I admit, I love every minute of it. Except the dusting. That I could live without!


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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Finds

I've cut back on buying for the past six months or more because we had so much inventory. But this week I broke my rule and went on the hunt. It was fun! Here's a look at some of what we found:

a couple leaded glass windows. Both have one cracked pane but I am betting someone will find a way to re-purpose them.


A table full of stuff, which is now all nicely priced and packed away for the booths, or taken to my ebay room for listing.

The Boscul ti might already be spoken for; the scale was an ebay bargain (they are still to be found sometimes), and the basket was made in Williamsburg in 1993--marked on the bottom so I know :)

I love the amber egg plate and the little beaded bag.  Behind the egg plate is a small blue Fenton fairy lamp.  The aqua tea tin is also a favorite.


Isn't it pretty? Those curvy black cats will, I hope, catch the eye of a mid-century collector. The jar by the tea tin is a Ball jar, very unusual shape. I put a zinc lid on it and the blue jar beside it; they sell better that way.


Sweet tea set was made in Japan, which means probably pre-1990? After that I think things were imported from Taiwan more often, and then from China.

I have a lot of these Currier & Ives pieces on ebay; they're slow sellers but serving pieces like this usually move pretty fast. The platter to its right is a Johnson Brothers Haddon Hall design, apparently fairly rare in the blue.It has a few stains so it's getting a soak in Oxyclean. The platter in top center is already sold--it was from Jackson's Mill here in WV, and dated 1939. I listed it and it was gone in 15 minutes.
 Some nice vintage tea towels, and then those things I bought last week and finally got priced and put away.

Tall wood spice box was a bargain and I think it will be a fast seller.


A few bigger pieces: a wicker mirror and a gold-framed mirror that will both be painted, a sewing box footstool that will also get paint and its feet replaced, and the orange stool that will be taken to the upholsterer to get a new cover because there are a couple holes on the back vinyl.

Old rusty minnow bucket and granite pan have a good rustic appeal; the Coke glasses are aqua, bright blue-green and amethyst, colors that usually sell.

Two metal fridge drawers from a vintage refrigerator. These will go on ebay.

Another surprise bargain was these 3 chrome soap dishes from the 1940's-50's. They look unused. These will also go on ebay for the people doing vintage restorations.


Two lovely candleholders that I think are Cambridge, and a Fire-King tulip cheese bowl.

Here's a better look at the Jackson's Mill platter. It has the 4-H emblem on it, and was made by Warwick China in Wheeling, WV.

Then there was this:

We were coming home with the van full of finds, flowers, potting soil, you name it, and there by the road were these vintage theater seats. They'd been left out in the weather but still...so we turned around, knocked on a door and found out who to contact. I called the owner of the property and she said please take them. So we did! They need lots of work but I can't wait to get started on them.

Tomorrow I'll post photos of what we've been working on lately. Enough for today!

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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Upcycled Lamps

Two lamp projects were finished today, and I an pretty happy with them.


The little milk glass one I bought for a quarter, and it was filthy dirty and the brass bits worn. But it worked! So I cleaned it up and made a shade from two doilies and an old shade I had that had lost its covering. I admit I cringed at having to cut the doilies, but I think they made a fine shade. Then I painted the brass parts with a pretty soft green, and it was done.



Here's the before of this lamp, on the left. I've also cleaned up the one beside it and painted the rusty harp with antique white. It looks lovely now, just need to find a shade. The glass one needs to be rewired, and the last one of the right needs wiring too.


I have had this weird hot pink shade for about two years, and have been looking and looking for a lamp to suit it. This one seemed right, and at $2 the price was good. It was burnished metal color, but I thought it would look great in shiny black, a kind of oriental look with the shade.



I have a lamp thing, you know. I have them all over my house, and quite a few in my booths. I am always buying them and fixing them, or getting Larry to fix them. Then the hunt is on for the right shade. I have a stash of those, too, along with many more lamps waiting to go to a booth. They are steady sellers, I've found, if I can keep the price below $25.

Now, back to the paint pots. I have a half dozen projects underway!

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