Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Getting there slowly!

Remember the old machine I bought for 20.00 a couple of weeks ago?  Well I am almost finished stripping the old paint off of it.  I think I have figured out why they painted it a dark color.  Under that dark paint there are three large water rings on the wood.  Obviously someone had plants on the sewing table, which I think is actually quite a common occurrence for these old cabinets.

I know several people who display plants on them - hope they are protecting the cabinet when they do this.

Anyway these rings are proving to be quite stubborn to remove.  My brother who is a great furniture re-finisher says "Keep sanding".  So I'll keep sanding, I just hope I don't run out of wood!

Anyway I am pleased with my efforts so far - now I need to head to the hardware store and select an appropriate stain and top coat.  If I can't get all the ring off the table I might have to choose a bit darker stain than I thought I would use - but hopefully it will all come off.

As you can see there are still a couple of stubborn areas where the paint is attached.  Sweat equity is the key to these coming clean, I'm afraid.  So far I have not used any chemicals to remove the paint, and I'd rather not start now.  I am proud to say I have scraped all the paint off with my puddy knife and scraper. 

I am really anxious to get this project wrapped up and the finished project moved in to the house.  I have cleaned the machine, oiled all it's moving parts and it is ready to be popped back into the cabinet.  I really want to sew something on this old girl.  I have only used a treadle machine once, and it was a thrill to experience something that was created for women in much simpler times.  I don't intend my machine to be merely a plant stand - although it might be that at times.  I want to try and use it a bit -maybe for a simple nine patch quilt or something that does not require any fancy stitching.

Hopefully the next picture will be of the finished product -

Monday, July 16, 2012

Road trip #1

As you can see we did manage to make our little trek out to Junk for Joy!  I am not being unkind when I say, there WAS was lot of junk, with very little joy!

The lady that runs this establishment has been there for over 35 yrs, and it doesn't really look like she has moved any merchandise in that long - however her prices have been adjusted many times over, I'm thinking.  I found her prices way too high for the quality she was selling.   I have seen similar things at other antique stores around the city for much less. 

I toughed out the extreme heat and musty smell to carefully go through all the rooms, and in the end all I could find were  a handful of old metal rollers and some hairpins - both will be very useful in my doll restorations.  I also had found a little Victorian doll purse, which I paid for, but which was not in the bag when I got home - so basically I paid 8.00 for this...

I doubt if I will visit again, anytime soon.

After we had finished at the junk store we drove to Portage La Prairie and headed for Island Park.  I had packed a picnic and so we found a table under some trees, and sat and enjoyed our picnic lunch. 

This was fun, we hadn't done this is years and years, and we vowed right there and then to do this more often this summer.

We poked around Portage for awhile (they have a great thrift store) and then we drove home in the late afternoon heat.

Not a terribly productive day, but so relaxing and fun spent with the best guy in the world.

I can't wait for our next road trip to Victoria Beach in a couple of weeks time.

BTW - the new little care is awesome on the road - a great travelling car for two...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Junk For Joy!

There is a place called "Junk for Joy", about an hour's drive from here.  I have driven past this establishment for as long as I can remember as it's on the highway we take to go out to the farm.  Every time we pass it I think - someday I would like to stop there and have a look.

I think we are going to drive out there tomorrow and have a look around.

I was telling this to a co-worker the other day and she informed me that she has been there several times, and that there is so much stuff there, you need to be able to spend hours and hours to see it all.  There is one main building, and also several out buildings, and she said it's stuffed to the rafters.

Does this sound like a wanna be picker's dream?  I think so - but truthfully my little house cannot hold much more "stuff".  Having said that - this little establishment is close to where my family came from.  Perhaps there will be something similar to the things I have seen in my early childhood,  things that I don't even remember until I see them again. 

Have you ever had that happen to you?  You see something and it reminds you of something else, or someone or someplace -and you can almost remember - but not quite?  Sometimes when this happens to me I think I have dreamed it - but truthfully  - do we really forget things we have seen or touched at some point in our young lives - or are our brains just so clogged with everyday "Junk" that we no longer can recall those little things that tie us to the past.

I try to keep those little things in my head, I am afraid of forgetting them - so a place like Junk for Joy calls to me.  I want to see something from my childhood - I want to be able to exclaim "Oh look - I remember these", I want to be excited to see some little thing that used to attract my attention.

You can call me a dreamer - or a sentimental fool - either fit me just fine...

But I know I'm not alone ...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lilies in the Fields!

I am going to be doing a bit of work on my site over the next few weeks - so please bear with me as I move things around a bit. 

In the meantime, work is progressing on the sewing cabinet.  I have quite a bit of the ugly brown paint stripped off, and I estimate if I continue at the pace I'm going now, I should have the entire piece ready for sanding and staining by the weekend.  Why anyone would do this to hardwood is beyond me.

It doesn't look it at the moment - but it is going to look so much nicer when I get it done.

Switching topics I want to mention the nasty little buggers that have devastated my Lilly bed.  Do you have lilies?  If so beware of the bright red Lilly Beetle.  They are almost orange-red in color and if they get going on your lilies, and you don't stop them, they can pretty much finish them off for good.

I first heard about these beetles last year from my neighbour, but at the time I did not have any in my garden.  Not so this year.  They have attacked my Tigers and Trumpets and pretty much wiped both species out.  They seem to prefer these smaller type plants along with the Asiatics and Orientals.  They fly, but essentially they lay their eggs in the ground and in spring work their way up the plant, chewing as they go until there is nothing left.

There is no chemical or spray available to use, the only real method of controlling them is to pick them off and smash them with a rock.... ugh!  To control them one needs to do this morning and evening - and this is why my bed has been depleted.  I already get up at 5:30 am for work - no way am I getting up even earlier for a stupid red beetle.

I decided to try and save my plants so I dug them all up and put the bulbs in a baggie (for now).  I might try and sterilize them by dipping them in a bleach solution and then potting them in some fresh soil.  I might loose them anyway - but at least I will have tried everything I know before hand.

There is lots of information about this pest on the net - apparently it has been around a long time.

So do your lilies a favour, read up, check you plants morning and evening and get the rocks handy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back I go!

Remember I was telling you about the book I left behind at the thrift store?  Well it just bugged me that I had been so careless, so I decided to go back and see if it was still there.  Actually I also wanted to check out the doll section, as we left in such a hurry the day before that I hadn't quite finished my usual tour of the store.

So back we went early Saturday morning before it got too hot out.  The book was right where I had set it down - guess they don't do a whole lot of straightening up in that store...  I backtracked to make sure there was nothing added to the craft section and then headed to the doll section.

There was the usual stuff - lots of Barbies and Bratz and a few larger dolls.  I was digging through the pile, and pulled on a pair of feet and out came a pretty 18" doll in really great shape, with all the original clothing except shoes.  I picked her up, put her down, picked her up, put her down and then decided to take her home.  I didn't think she was highly collectible - but she did look like she needed a home.

So it was spa day at my house.  She got a bath and her hair washed and in curlers, clothes washed and hanging up outside to dry.

I set her in the front window to dry and every little girl, and even some older girls, were pointing and smiling as they walked past my home.

She was still looking a little lonely so we decided to make it spa day for several girlfriends.
 How fun!

She cleaned up nice, I'll probably trade her off somewhere down the line or maybe I'll find some little girl who will want her for a play doll.

Now I have to stay away from that thrift store for a few weeks.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

The right Place at the Perfect time!

Another beautiful weekend has come and gone, and it seems that the summer is moving along much too quickly.

Gary and I are spending every moment we can in our tiny little patio area.  It seems we haul everything outside so we can enjoy the beautiful warm summer days.  I have friday's off all summer long so we try to do all our running around early friday morning so we can head to the patio for the rest of the weekend.

This past friday we had to take Molly back to the vet for another antibiotic shot, and she really loved her ride in the new car.  She has never been a car dog, but she didn't want to leave the car when we got home.  We did some chores around the house and then headed out to the patio.  After supper I got the itch to get out for awhile, so we decided to head to the thrift store.

I was taking my time going through the craft area very slowly as I always do.  I did manage to pick up 30 meters of tulle, 30 meters of lace and two large rolls of thick edging all for 2.99, so I was quite happy with my finds.  Gary found me wandering around and presented me with a Stitchery book he had found which has crochet, knitting, tatting, embroidery, rug making and macrame stitches in it.  I was excited about that too.

We wandered into the furniture section and there sat an old Singer treadle sewing machine.  I wasn't even going to look at it because usually when I see something like this I get all excited until I find it's priced way out of my means.  Well I did wander just a bit closer and nearly flipped when I saw a price of 19.99 on it.  There were a couple of women hovering around it so I draped myself over it (with my hand covering the price) and pretty much threatened anyone who came near!

Of all times not to have a van anymore.  But it turned out not to be a problem, with the back seat down we had more than enough room in the little Golf for the machine.

I certainly have seen much fancier cases, and someone has painted this one dark brown - however the paint is peeling so badly that I decided to get busy and remove it all.  Before we took it apart we discovered that the machine works.  There is even a needle in place and thread in the bobbin.   I did some research on the net and discovered it is circa 1908 or so.  So all in all I think I did well with my purchase.

I have wanted one of these for years and years - now all I have to do is get it cleaned up and this little heirloom will be lovingly displayed in my home.

But - in all my excitement about the sewing machine - I set the stitching book down in the store, and forgot it there... bummer!

Ho - hum - that's the way it goes some days!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

God Bless our Home and Native Land!

I wasn't kidding when I said  "Bring on Summer"!  Sheesh is it HOT!  But it is what we asked for...

Personally, for some dumb reason - I am enjoying the heat this year.  I almost never enjoy heat - but this year I am craving it.  It was very hot and humid all weekend here - I had 4 days off and the majority of it was spent outdoors.

I wasn't really exerting myself much - aside from pulling a weed or two (literally) and watering the garden, I mostly just sat outside in the shade and did some hand work.  Our patio is mostly shade (thank you, Elm trees) and I discovered if one sits close enough to the AC unit (not difficult on my little patio) one actually can feel a bit of a breeze from the madly spinning motor!  Seriously!

Ice tea (lots of it) some home-made weight watcher Popsicles (lots of them) and the odd spritz of cold water to the face, and the heat is beat!

This in much preferable to the wall to wall people at the lakes and beaches.  You have to really enjoy crowds to venture there.

There was a huge 3 day street festival in celebration of Canada Day within walking distance - but we stayed away.  There was a concert right on our corner a 1/2 a block away - but we stayed away.  There was some, not so bad fireworks, I'm told, not too far away - but we stayed away.  Boring people?  Maybe.  Content?  Definitely!

But still one can't possibly pass this weekend without wishing our beautiful Canada a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  So HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!

and never to be forgotten - our good neighbours to the south.


God Bless our Countries!