Archeology of a chair

You may or may not remember this chair. I bought it from my friends at The Vintage Advantage. Not because of its stunningly dusty barkcloth upholstery and its ugly lines but because of its handmade appearance. There was something about this chair. I lifted its skirt (yes I am a furniture pervert) and saw that the seat was an old box. A piece of depression era furniture I thought? It sat for months leaving sad little piles of dust until last week when I decided to undress it. What an adventure. What a find. Layer upon layer of fabric that just got older and older. Then I found even more ...

Six layers of fabric on the body and nine on the arms. Then finally the arms appeared to be covered in a piece of quilt ...

Except it wasn't a quilt. It was a pair of sleeves with cuffs and underneath were pieces of old clothes. Late Victorian/early Edwardian women's bodices, sleeves cut off and wound around too. Beautiful, old, ruined rags. The back was "webbed" with two old sugar sacks for support. Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd Brisbane. CSR as it came to be known. My early and not too thorough research shows it was known as Colonial Sugar Refining Co Ltd up until 1915 when it started to be differentiated by region ... Colonial Sugar Refining Australia or Colonial Sugar Refining New Zealand and Fiji. I'm not so sure that my piece is a depression piece. I'm tending to believe that it was a piece of homemade furniture from the early 20s. There was a lot of soldier settler activity west of here after WWI as bush farm tracks were opened up. My romantic notion is it was made for one of these farms when money was tight and people were inventive.

The box reads "Brisbane" faintly as well. I've cleaned the chair, pulled out a lot of the upholstery tacks (from 6 layers of upholstery) but still left some for their effect. A little judicious sanding mainly for splinters and a careful oil to bring out the old grain. As rough as old guts but just splendid in its utilitarian plainness. It's sitting under the stairs in the new "library". You'll see it there when I take photos of the space soon.


Don't judge a book by its cover

Or a hallway by its pages. I thought I would show a progress shot of my entry hall/weird space/soon to be library. I have papered or is that paged as far as I can reach without ladders and trestle. There's the delay. I'm waiting on the trestle and some nice tall ladders from a friend but he hasn't come to play yet. I'm thinking that to do the last 2 and a half rows I'll need to climb up and down the ladder I have as I scoot around the small space. Oh my almost 50 year old legs!

It doesn't look much in these photos (some of it is still wet) but in real life it looks kinda cool. The colour is closer to the last two photos. The paper is from a 19th century encyclopedia and is almost silky to the touch. Bookcase needs to come in, comfy chair, side table and reading lamp. Don't forget the rug. The two small pictures hanging on the walls won't stay. That was just me hanging things on the nails that were in the wall. Lazy me didn't remove them. Hey I plan on driving in even more. I'm thinking gallery wall on the left wall and a very large painting on the right. Or maybe two large paintings and just get over the whole gallery wall thing.

I always wondered why they left the power point and phone socket hanging so high up on the wall then I realised that that is where the ground level is. This part of my house is buried into the hill side. So there they stay. My bookcase will cover them though. OK that's it. Show time is over. Hopefully finished soon, styled up and ready to be photographed properly. Maybe :)

P.S. Speaking of judging a book by its cover here's a quick snap of me today sans make-up with messy hair and skew-wiff eyebrows. Never thought I'd post a shot like this but I'm actually getting to an age where I don't care anymore. LOL. That's what I tell myself anyway.


This week's finds

The Thrifting Gods have withdrawn themselves to their upcycled, restyled, reused and dirt cheap palace on the lofty heights of Mt Frugality leaving their poor minions unable to suppress their instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint . In other worlds I have found bupkis at the local charity stores. Doesn't mean I have found nothing in my travels though. Remember I have always been a little tardy in my ability to suppress my instant gratification. Behold the treasures (read other people's trash) I managed to dig up in a couple of secondhand shops.

The Vesuviana. No not Mt Vesuvius but a vintage stove top espresso machine. Consider it a poor man's Atomic. The day I find an Atomic dirt cheap at a thrift store is the day I will sacrifice my first born to the thrifting gods. (Note to self. I am childless.) Needs a clean but it does work. Remind me to leave the lid up when I finally run the coffee through. I didn't on the water only test run .... oops.


Next a small piece of shibori. Love Japanese tie dyed indigo. No idea what I will do with this. I'll just add it to the textile collection.


How about dozens and dozens of mehndi stencils? These will become a large bricolage. Lined up regimentally in a super large frame. Just have to thrift the super large frame. Hang on there is one in the garage! Fabulous!


The parrot formerly known as Sunny

Sunny would like you to know that he is now known as Pookie ... or is that Pooky or Puky? He was named by the pet shop owner but it seems that every sun conure parrot that comes through her doors is named Sunny. One day while I was inanely repeating "hello, hello, hello" he was calling softly back "pook, pook, pook" and well one thing led to another and he was renamed Pookie. I think I prefer Puki and will pretend it is the Finnish spelling. Or maybe his formal name should be Puca DeLucca, the Paraguayan Parrot. Anyway Puki/Pooky/Pookie it is.

He's starting to get his adult plumage. More yellow is coming in across his back and orange feathers are coming through around his throat. He's still cheeky and still madly in love with me. He even showers with me every morning. We both sing along to the radio :)


Channelling my inner florist

Help the flowers are taking over! I can't believe a week has past without me posting anything here on my page and then what do I post ... more flowers. Just some of this week's offerings at ES Traders. Heliconias tied with gymea lily leaves, bunches of beautiful lilies with dozens of heads ready to open, irises wrapped in lotus leaves and those acid green mums. With Valentine's Day on Tuesday we were steering clear of roses ... for now. Nothing like a 5.30 start to the day, a mad rush back to the shop, arranging and tying bunches of beautiful blooms while scoffing down cappucinos to stop the yawning. Shame I didn't get a shot of my first two bunches (big fuschia coloured dahlias with acid green mums wrapped in lotus leaves and tied up big fat posy-like with rough string). Those first two walked out the door before the doors even opened to make their way to a double birthday breakfast. This is not my new career :) Just helping a friend add more layers to the business. Still a beautiful way to start the day.