Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Silk Purse From a Sow's Ear

I always have some sort of furniture redo or craft project going on, and I always have a list of a 100 more projects, waiting in the wings. Usually, the furniture rehabs are done on the worst pieces of junk you could ever imagine. I find them in thrift stores, garage sales, trash bins, and sometimes even on the side of the road. I’m always looking for stuff for decorating, and these are cheap, or even free, which are some of my favorite words : )
I come by this naturally. I was at my parents’ house one day, helping my mom with something in the backyard. Dad had recently died, so his garden tools and equipment lay forgotten at the side of the house. I glanced at his lawn mower and laughed. This lawn mower normally (key word here: normally) had a grass catcher made with a metal frame and canvas sides. Well, apparently the canvas had worn out, and in typical Dad-fashion, Dad had cut up an old pair of blue jeans and had sewn them to the metal frame with cording. Not a pretty sight, although who else can say that their lawn mower has pockets!
Dad was born in 1919, and lived his early life in poverty. His family was poor even before the Depression, so Dad spent all his life knowing how to “make do and mend.” He was an extremely practical man, so his fix-it projects weren’t often pretty. Dad could care less how they looked; he wanted them to be useful and to function properly.
I can’t honestly say that I inherited his practical gene (hence, all the stuff I collect). But I did inherit the desire and ability to enjoy taking someone else’s junk, and making it better. I call it: Making a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Thank you, Dad!
Here are some of the projects I’m working on this week:

My sister found this 1940’s desk at the side of the road and gave it to me when I moved. The veneer is cracked on the top and on the sides, so I’m scraping veneer off, and will paint it. I have both a china cabinet and a sideboard in a style similar to this desk. It will be perfect as a computer desk for me; it’s just the right height and size.

This frame belonged to my grandmother. Loved the frame, but hated the tacky print that used to be in it (sorry, Grandma!). Haven’t decided what to do with it; I have some ideas brewing, though.

This little desk was found next to the garbage bin at my old apartment. Certainly not beautiful furniture, but it will make a good table for my sewing machine.

This little shelf was a thrift store find. Not very pretty, but I’m always on the lookout for any kind of shelves, and for $5.88, I couldn't pass it up. Paint is in its future.

I will be posting the finished results of these projects soon.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! If it were mine, I would just refinish the wood. I love that original look.


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