A few years ago, we started buying wood furniture.
Vintage and second-hand, to be sure.
Rockefellers, we are not.
Buying at auctions and garage sales is good for the budget. Plus, I like the hunt for old stuff, yes indeedy. Usually, the more unloved, the better.
Rocking chairs with the rockers worn off? Sign me up.
Cabinets, magazine racks, abandoned table at the side of the road? I’m out of the car like a chubby magpie.
Slowly, we have replaced any of the press-board, laminated stuff that we used to find at a certain lovely big box store. (I still go there for the window shopping, tasty meatballs and $1 ice cream cone, of course.)
Forget grey hair: the press-board-to-wood-conversion is a sure sign of advancing age.
The other part about buying used is that it lowers the guilt factor.
The guilt factor when I go about doing that thing that I always want to do.
You know–that thing that makes some people cringe or exclaim in horror.
(Insert Practical Man’s cringe and horror here.)
That would be painting.
Painting (say this in breathy, hushed tones): Real Wood.
As in, our fireplace mantel (giant chunk of pine).
As in, our kitchen cupboards (giant room full of knotty pine).
As in, this china cabinet that used to belong to my Grandma Verna.
It’s been “wood” coloured for as long as I can remember, including the last 20 years that it’s been in our house. I think it hails from the 1940s or thereabouts. Definitely vintage and lovely but, oh so browny-brown-brown.
Which is really only good if it’s made of chocolate, yes indeedy.
This fall, I could no longer let the china cabinet live in peace.
So, it went under the knife.
Rather, the brush, as the case may be.
Don’t be so dramatic, wood lovers!
All that wood was going away. Even though some of it, on the underneath part, was cool vintage crate wood with retro advertising.
We kept that.
Practical Man did some considerable muttering under his breath.
It might have been because he always seems to end up finishing the painting that his paint-happy wife barely started.
Or, it may have been an apology chant to the wood–the wood which his callous wife had so gladly forsaken.
He and my dad are both woodworkers. They make beautiful things which I have (cross my heart) never painted.
The struggle is real, my friends.
But, back to the china cabinet, which they Did. Not. Make.
Hello, dreamiest cream and robin’s egg blue!
Oooh, how I love your new tra-la-la.
If you do too, check out more great ideas at Vintage Chic – A Room by Room Guide by Laura Preston. I hope to feature her as a guest blogger here soon!
None of it brown, as you might have guessed.
Today’s dilemma is this antique tea cart, with its original shade of woody-wood-wood.
Of course, I want to paint it.
Pinterest wants me to paint it.
What do you think?
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Posted by Christine Fader in Crafts, Flea Markets/Auctions/Sales, Retro Decorating, Vintage Shopping, Vintage Viewpoint Tags: auctions, decor, furniture, garage sales, heirlooms, Humor, Humour, interiors, lifestyle, marriage, painting wood, Pinterest, refinishing, retro, upcycling, vintage
It’s nearly Christmas so naturally, we are going camping.
Yes, I know we live in Ontario, home of frosty windows and big, fat snowflakes and other wintery stuff (like -40 antifreeze for the car because we need that, yes, we truly do) but, camping in December is not such a stretch.
We’ve got trees in the forest on our property.
We’ve got a fire pit, around which to toast marshmallows and the like.
We’ve got the super-duper, flannel, camping sheet set and three or twelve duvets (and a partridge in a pear tree.)
We’re not camping.
That’s just Practical Man, driving around the lawn on your average Tuesday, towing our vintage Boler travel trailer.
I’m pretty sure the neighbours are whispering about me. They wouldn’t blame it on Practical Man because they all know him. I’m the mysterious person who drives up the driveway into the garage and disappears inside (away from The Nature). He is the guy who is always out in the yard on one tractor or another, or on the roof, or in the forest, or building something or growing something. Plus, he fixes things for the neighbours, regularly. People who fix things don’t drive around the lawn on your average Tuesday in December in Ontario, towing their travel trailer, unless they are very sweet and have been put up to it by an annoyingly festive ELF.
Like this one:
Or, as I like to say at Christmas, when I’m wearing an elf get-up that I made out of a green sweater, some felt, and a pair of socks:
Aren’t you glad you don’t live with me?
(The socks are at my wrists, in case you can’t concentrate, after my costume-making teaser.)
It all began when I joined one of those groups on Facebook–or maybe, I can blame the Facebook algorithm. You know the algorithm: it thinks I need bifocals and wrinkle cream.
Yes, let’s blame it.
Anyhoo, I kept seeing pictures from some group foisted on me by the evil, mind-reading algorithm. Disturbing, provocative pictures–you know the kind–pictures of pretty barns and burlap all swirly-dirly and bells and thing-a-ma-bobs that bring out the inner decorator dictator in me.
Mere minutes scrolling through these groups and I get obsessed with teeny, insignificant details…like angels and angles.
Now that sounded a bit confusing.
That is to say, I’m obsessed with whether the angels on our shelves are at a 45 degree angle to…I’m not sure what.
They looked so good on Pinterest.
There are evil algorithms there, too.
Algorithms and angled angels anon.
(That’s called festive alliteration.)
Lest you think I’m reaching, I’ll have you know that “anon” is the festive word for “and other junk that I feel the need to copy, for reasons that must be based in my primitive, lizard brain because it is un-explainable, even to me, why I would care about this kind of fluff”.
To get back to my point, I was on one of those groups and there were other vintage trailer weirdos like me and well, they don’t live in Ontario. They live in warm climates where there is still green grass visible on the ground, not to mention palm trees (public service announcement: it’s very un-Christmassy to blatantly display aka gloat about your palm trees at this time of year to a Canadian). Then, to add insult to palm-tree injury, they post pictures of their vintage trailers all dicky-doo’d up for the holidays.
I do love a little festooning and such.
So says the evil algorithm.
Insert lizard brain here.
But, I live in Ontario, home of frosty windows and big, fat snowflakes and other wintery stuff (like -40 antifreeze for the car because we need that, yes, we truly do).
Year-round festooning. What luxury is this?
The luxury is living in San Anbambino or some place where they don’t know what long underwear is–that’s what.
Still, all I see is post after post of cute, vintage trailers with Christmas lights and mistletoe and plaid blankets and stuff.
Sometimes with snow (why oh why doesn’t our snow fall when I have a camera in hand?)
Sometimes without snow (and avec the aforementioned gloat-y palm trees.)
‘Tis the season to be jolly.
Or, as I like to say,
‘Tis the season to be jealous.
At any rate, before I knew it, out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter.
The clatter being due to the fact that I had batted my not-insignificant eyelashes (Rimmel’s Extra Super Lash mascara) and asked Practical Man to hitch up the “sleigh” (aka vintage Boler travel trailer) and move it to a more photogenic location so I could get my festive festooning underway.
On the one day we haven’t had snow in the last 2 months, yessirree.
Practical Man is forever granting my Christmas wishes. Year round.
But, even he can’t summon the snow where the snow won’t be summoned.
Palm trees, either (although with enough notice, I have no doubt he would have grown something from a pineapple nub he got at the grocery store).
The point is, there I was, in the front of the front yard’s brown-ish grass, throw cushions and wreathes in hand, decorator dictatorship rearing its ugly head.
Cue the whispering neighbours.
My lizard brain was desperate to decorate and I love our tiny Boler but, its figurative chair (or vintage, metal lawn chairs, as the case may be) is never at our Christmas table, on account of it’s always put away for the winter at this time of year.
It’s kind of the Tiny Tim of our yard.
But now, joy of joys! Thanks to Practical Man and my lizard brain, here was my very own Tiny Tim, in the front yard. So, in the repentant manner of Ebenezer Scrooge, I got busy with the festive festooning while also reflecting on the 2016 ghosts of past, present, and future.
- Practical Man had a near record maple syrup crop in the Spring.
- I learned more songs on the guitar from musicians too-soon taken.
- We met new friends who joined us as I twirled my way through our first Bolerama. And, Practical Man survived!
- We shared wonderful memories (and mosquitoes) with family and friends in the summer.
- We worried about people fleeing violence around the world and here.
- We cried for Practical Man’s Mutti, who died in October. She will be cried about for some long time to come.
- I made a snowman, tobogganned and shovelled snow with some English sweeties, before Winter was really due.
- We are trying to be advocates and people of hope in the wake of an earthquake-y election, even though it wasn’t ours.
I feel so lucky to have a small, safe place like a Boler.
It’s a little nest. A place to curl up and take a nap or maybe just stare around the inside or pretend you’re Laurie Partridge for a while (because when you’re a Boler geek like I am, that’s a fun afternoon).
Of course, the Boler is not my only blessing or refuge, by a long shot. I am sheltered and fed and loved and safe.
Occasionally, I have useful eyelashes.
I am so, so lucky.
I hope you all are, too.
Except for the evil algorithm.
That was my lizard brain again.
A Very Merry Christmas and Happy Everything from our house to yours.
Posted by Christine Fader in Inspiring Lives & People, Vintage Celebrations, Vintage Vehicles, Vintage Viewpoint Tags: algorithms, Boler, camping, christmas, Christmas Carol, decorating, Dickens, Facebook, festive, fibreglass, glamping, Humor, Humour, Pinterest, retro, RVs, Scrooge, tin can tourists, travel trailer, vintage