Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A love story...truly!

Choosing happiness...and feeling very chatty today!

Elmer was a fisherman. He was born, and lived most of his life (apart from four years) on the South Shore of beautiful Nova Scotia

Elmer came back from WW 2 in 1944, having spent several months in hospital recovering from a war injury in France.

Very shortly after he came home, he married his high school sweetheart, Faithie, on December 20th., 1944. This was his wedding gift to his love, who was sixteen years old when Elmer went off to war. Of course, it was much prettier then.



Elmer settled back into his life here in Nova Scotia, and spent fifty years on the sea, fishing its bounty.

They were never blessed with children, but were devoted to one another, and lived in the same small house from the day they married to the day they both died... within six months of one another. They left their house, and all their worldly possessions, to an old friend. She was unable to keep everything. I spent some lovely time with her when I purchased this sideboard.

Sixty seven years after Elmer gave it to Faithie, I spent many wonderful hours honouring them and making it mine.


As I scrubbed it down, just LOOK at the treasure I found stuck behind a drawer! Please click on it so you can see what it says...I'm not telling you...(lol). Hint: look closely at the dates, the napkin is all wrinkly...ummm...much like my face...


Aaaahhhh, so... stripped it with Heirloom gel stripper, scraped it, sanded it, with very fine sand paper and a feather-light touch.

The top was stained with two coats of Minwax Ebony Wood Stain, then protected with three coats of Minwax Polycrylic. The top is dreadfully bowed, and the long drawer didn't fit at all...just wouldn't close. Being relatively new to all this, I had no idea how to fix the top, so I decided to sand the top edge of the drawer...and sand...and sand...and SAND...so it'd fit. Well, although the top is still bowed, at least I can close the drawer! The rest of the piece was painted, as you can see, using Martha Stewart "Heavy Cream" and "Silhouette" (black) paints. The inside of all drawers and the little cupboards are black. Very little chipping and sanding were done after it was finished...just "touches" here and there. A wooden embellishment was added to the bottom drawer, which was sanded and chipped a little. Fleur de Lis images from a great little Etsy shop, Graphique were transferred onto six wooden drawer pulls, using the acetone transfer method. The other hardware was cleaned and painted with Rustoleum Hammered Black spray paint.

Here's the first view:

Can you see the image transfers on the wooden pulls? Here's a closer image, with the disclaimer that I don't even PRETEND to be an adequate photographer.


I live in a garden level condo in Nova Scotia, and often work on my patio. As I was adding the finishing touches to this piece today , some visitors came to munch on my gardens...within a dozen feet of my patio!


What graceful creatures. I'll share my gardens with them any time. Their appearance makes me wonder whether they were little "messengers..."

...they were two of them, you know...see the top picture...can you guess what I named them?


Aaaahhhh...what a WONDERFUL distraction...life is so very GOOD and I am so very blessed.

Okay, back to the present...back to my muses, Elmer and Faithie.

I decided to add a shelf to the bottom of their sideboard, for a little more storage capability...mmmm...seriously LOVE that Ebony stain...and these are the last hydrangeas from my garden this year...



My livingroom wall colour is "Lichen Green," a Benjamin Moore colour, so I spray painted little woven baskets to match, and they (conveniently) hide my stereo speakers behind them without distorting the sound...just a little bonus.

One last look, before...



...and after. See that plant? It's called a Hoya, and I brought two leaves from its mother back from BC ten years ago...it has served me well. I have three of them now, and have gifted my friends with many, MANY of its children. I really LOVE me a plant that doesn't need a lot of attention!! (lol) Let me know if you want a cutting...


I will enjoy this piece for many years, then perhaps one of my children, or my grandchildren might want it...they all know at least the Part One of the story...I'll enjoy it for Part Two...and wouldn't that be just so wonderful if THEY enjoy Part Three?

I'm not so sure they'll enjoy THIS though (lol), and I'm really not so sure I can salvage this poor thing, but I love me a good challenge! More about this next week...maybe...


It's a learning experience...hmmm...wood hardener for rot...Plastic Wood is my friend...but how to make it stay where I want it to be?


OOOOHHH ME NERVES!! I'm beginning to think I might need a mental health consult.


Thanks so much for coming to visit, and for reading my ramblings today. It's another spectacular fall day in Nova Scotia, and I'll be out on my patio trying to restore that poor orphan above.

I'll share this post here and with these fine bloggers.

Choosing happiness today, and wishing you a day filled with the people you love, doing the things that you love.

55 comments:

  1. i love the color of those baskets! And i love the shelf on the bottom!
    Old pieces with history are the best. :)

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  2. Love it...I'm working on something similar tothis!

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  3. Wonderful story! Beautiful sideboard!

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  4. Beautiful, can't wait to see it in person. But am I the only one a bit confused by the dates on the napkin?

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  5. Such a lovely story from start to finish. It's so wonderful when the pieces in our homes have a special history!

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  6. Hey Lesley...not sure why you're confused....oh WAIT...the napkin is wrinkled! The dates say 1944-1994, but if you don't look closely, it might look like 1992...look again! SO looking forward to your visit next week!!

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  7. i love your sideboard. and i really love what you did with it.....what a sweet story about the owners.....

    hugs, cindy

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  8. I'm so glad you visited my blog because now I've found yours! What are a great newly stylized piece! I'm on board with anything black and whit- looks great! Newest follower!

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  9. the cabinet is beautiful, as always! and i love the title and your words and photos.... if you read the beginning of my post you saw i am reading the happiness project. i am trying to simplify and force myself to enjoy life more, hug longer, let go of anger until those things just become natural and part of me.

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  10. OhMyGosh I am so in love with this piece and the amazing story behind it! You did a wonderful job, it's so pretty! I would love to have a piece like this that tells a story. Beautiful!

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  11. Aww it's so pretty, you did an amazing job on the sideboard. Good look on the other piece of furniture hopefully you can salvage it!

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  12. Oh, wow. You took an amazing piece with a beautiful history and made it even better. Great job!

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  13. Beautiful re-do! Thank you for commenting on my anti-crackle hutch... I appreciate the feedback :) I'm your newest follower and I hope you will follow me as well!!!

    Erica

    threeoclockwinds@gmail.com

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  14. this is a great piece. i love the treatment that you used on it. it is very modern yet classic....i did a similar piece and decided to keep it because i loved it so much..

    hugs, cindy

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  15. WOW! You are a furniture WARRIOR aren't cha'!? I love the side board and enjoyed your pics. I must say..I did wince at the initial picture of the dresser you showed...ouch! hahhaha..You'll turn it into SOMETHING Fab..I'm sure!
    Happy rehabbing! ~Melissa
    Shabby LOCO

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  16. this is awesome, and the story behind this makes even more memorable, thank you for sharing, & I love the baskets !!

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  17. What a lovely story,and beautiful job on the dresser! Aahhh, aint love grand?!!

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  18. I just LOVED this story. How very sweet!
    jennifer
    miss-maggiesplace.com

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  19. love the story, love the piece and LOVE your update! i think i have the cousin to this piece in my garage awaiting some attention. now i'm inspired!!

    amy

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  20. sweet story, sweet visitor and a sweet piece of furniture! Love it all! Enjoy your day!

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  21. So glad I clicked on your link! I love the story and history behind that great piece!

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  22. Such a lovely story! I love your visitors too! Great job on repairing this! You have nerves of steel! Thanks for sharing this amazing transformation!

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  23. That looks amazing! You did such a great job transforming that piece.

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  24. You're right, a wonderful love story. The piece turned out beautifully.

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  25. What a great story! And, as usual, you did beautiful work with it - you have the most inventive eye when it comes to these things.

    Good luck with that other one - it looks.....daunting.....

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  26. Wow, your sideboard is so beautiful now! I love the two-toned look and the shelf you added on the bottom.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Stop back by for my new giveaway :)

    xoxo
    Amanda

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  27. Well done- you were brave to tackle that one. Plastic wood - ah yes, a good friend!
    And those deer , they are beautiful, but we are not happy when they come in our garden and eat all our plants :-)
    Thanks for dropping by my blog today :-)

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  28. I love a good background story. That's what makes vintage goods so much more valuable to me than new stuff. Your re-do is wonderful, I think Elmer and Faithie would love it!

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  29. Oh I love the story of Elmer and Faithie...How beautiful and blessed we are not only to do what we love, but to carry on the stories that go with the furniture. BEAUTIFUL.
    Karin
    www.artisbeauty.net

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  30. What a lovely story, Deborah! It makes the piece that much more appealing. You did a beautiful job restoring it! Just wonderful! and I'm so glad you found that napkin!

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  31. Awwwww...I think Elmer and Faithie would be very happy to see how their piece looked today...You did an amazing re-finish...

    Take care,
    Lisa

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  32. I LOVE reading your posts! They make me so happy. I am so happy to have "met" your friends and visitors! I can't believe they came so close! And I also love the story behind the plant on your master piece....but now I must say that I ADORE that buffet please please adopt me?!? I would LOVE to have a mother who liked to re-finish treasures like this! Goodness it is beautiful! You have such great vision too! Ohh you inspire me! :o)
    Jaime

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  33. What a sweet story (and treasure). Thanks for sharing!

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  34. Oh, yes! The best part of an antique is thinking about all the other people who used it and loved it. Lovely post!

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  35. Hi Deborah! I love the story behind your new treasure (and now its saved for all time in blogland!) Beautiful redo! Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing at the Tuesday To Do Party!
    Smiles!
    Jami
    www.blackberryvine.blogspot.com

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  36. What a beautiful story and a beautiful transformation!
    Following you!!!

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  37. What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it with us. The sideboard turned out beautiful! You did a great job on it.

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  38. What a great story and lovely transformaiton. Even you deer were talking about it!

    I'm delighted you linked to Potpourri Friday. You are appreciated and I hope to see you again this week!

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  39. Just lovely! And what a great story that was.

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  40. What a great story (especially the napkin from the 50th) and what a fabulous piece. I think you transformed it beautifully.

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  41. I love these old buffets. I've been looking for one forever, but they cannot be found where I am at. What a great story to go with it! andrea@townandprairie

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  42. I loved reading the story behind this piece! Pieces with a history are so great! You did a lovely job restoring it.

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  43. I like the contrast in this!!! Im your newest follower!

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  44. the sweetest story ever! and maybe the deer were little messengers (sniff sniff), just the thought melts my heart. You did such a nice job on the buffet and it is an amazing treasure. And you did a totally unbelievable job on the shelf unit! Unbelievable. I'm blown away by your creativity and sheer tenacity! Great job!

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  45. I love this piece. You have some serious talent, I must say I am a bit jealous that you get to do your work in beautiful Nova Scotia.

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  46. What a wonderful piece. I love what you did to it. And what a beautiful love story. *Sigh* Thanks so much for linking up to Fabulous Friday!

    Warmly, Michelle

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