Monday, February 24, 2014

Kitchen stuff

Here's another post of things that will eventually go into the kitchen.

I always wanted a spice rack with milk glass canisters. My husband found this on a work related trip. I am happy that he took a little detour on his last day after Some of the canisters still have old spices in them and the scents are still quite strong.  These were made by Griffith's and date to the early 1940s.

Here's one of my husband's new hobbies. He has a few vintage advertising tins from local companies.

When I was little I loved the Pepsi and Coke fast food character glasses. Now that I am older, I have been collecting all of my favorite glasses whenever I can. Most of these glasses were produced by Coke or Pepsi during a time when families could sit down and eat together all of the time (9-5 shifts...remember those). Here are some random pictures of my glasses. There are a few new glasses but most of them are mugs. I have so many that I had to get a cabinet just to store them in until we renovate the kitchen (years away). Most of these promotional glasses were distributed from the mid 1970s through the mid 1980s. It seems like the end of the fast food glass era was around 1988.

We use the Charlie Brown and Smurf glasses the most because they are easier to find and there are a lot of them available.The Peanuts glasses were distributed by McDonald's in 1983 and there were two series of Smurf glasses, one in 1982 and another in 1983. These were distributed by Hardees.

I have some rarer ones that are packed away in a box for safe keeping including some mid to late 1950s Mickey Mouse Club glasses. I would like to find a Slowpoke Rodriguez or Andy Panda one day. These were part of the mid 1970s Pepsi character series and both had very small production runs.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

More furniture

Here are a few random pictures of furniture that needs to be restored and a few pieces that are finished.

This piece is next on the list to be restored during the summer or early fall. I always wanted a Victorian home but a room full of Victorian furniture will do. This wardrobe cabinet is in the Eastlake Victorian style and was made around 1880. Luckily for us, all of the pieces were there and covered with about eighty years worth of It has so much paint on it that a lot of the original details are filled in! I am going to strip this down to the bare wood and finish it in dyed shellac, which is how it would have been originally.

Here is a side view of the Victorian wardrobe.

Interior view

I also like Victorian pieces because they come apart easily. Wardrobe cabinets like this are sometimes called "knockdown wardrobes" because they are held together with dowels and screws and can come completely apart within a few minutes. This was to make it easier to move throughout the narrow hallways of a Victorian home. We have a few big pieces of furniture from the Victorian era and they all come apart like this. Just look at the picture joke this is the same piece from the above pictures. The entire wardrobe fit into the back seat of our extended cab truck!

Yes, this is the wardrobe from above. Excuse all of the random crap in the Even the store owner laughed at this sight. If I can't do anything else I can definitely pack stuff!

We had a lot of DVDs, VHS and video games laying around the bedroom and another small room. I opted to get a cheesy DVD holder from our local walmart and it really sucked. We used the two stands and a bookcase for about two years and I finally decided to look for something else to store the DVDs and games in. I have seen multiple sheet music cabinets in our travels but I never thought about using it for modern day use. One Saturday, we decided to visit a secondhand furniture shop (one of our local favorites) and there they were waiting for me. I starting thinking what can I use these for (the light bulb lit up) and I decided to use it for a DVD, CD, VHS and video game holder. Problem solved! It's funny because one of the employees asked my husband what are we using them for so he told them and she said, "that is very creative". Just patting myself on the back

The original keys came with both of these pieces. The first one is more ornate and dates to about 1900. It is covered with mahogany veneer.

Just to give you an idea of what we use it for.

Sorry about the hanger in the picture but this was the best picture I could find without moving everything around in our bedroom to take another picture. This one is oak that is finished in a dyed shellac to look like mahogany. This one is a little newer than the other one, probably circa 1910. *Side note: the radiator will eventually be sand blasted and repainted at a later date. 

Check back for updates!

Miscellaneous items,

I am really big on steamer trunks and blanket chests. I restored the inside of the steamer trunks so I could put out-of-season clothing inside. The exteriors of the trunks and blanket chests were cleaned, but otherwise left alone. Luckily some of the trunks came with the original inserts. I am still perfecting re-lining the trunks.

This is the first steamer trunk I restored.It's a medium-sized circa 1890 dome-top trunk. All of the ornate trim is present and in good condition. Someone repainted the flat metal areas at some point, which is not uncommon, as these trunks took a lot of abuse in their day.

I did not restore the outside of this trunk because I wanted to keep the original wear. I love the worn areas the most because it shows the age of the piece and its everyday use.

Here is the inside of the trunk after restoration. I re-lined the interior with masonite board covered in jersey fabric. I wanted to use velvet, but it was too expensive. Sorry, I do not have any before pictures because I was so excited that I forgot to take some...silly me. I did not fix the latch on this one since it was my first project.

Here is the another beautiful trunk. This one is a little later - about circa 1900. Again, someone re-painted the flat metal and decorative tin areas.

I also restored the inside of this trunk. I did not take any inside pictures because it looks like the first trunk's inside from above.

I wanted to show our "traditional styled" Christmas tree. The artificial tree is fitting because it was a hand-me-down and it is over twenty two years old. It is starting to become the Charlie Brown tree because every time we move or lift it a lot of the needles fall We collected a lot of ornaments from the era of 1910-1960. The pig ornaments were made in the former Soviet Union in the 1970s or early 1980s. The tree topper was a last minute find after Christmas. I just love this stuff!

This trunk will be restored at a later date because the inside needs to be fully restored. It's the largest of the steamer trunks we have and we were able to date it to 1887 or 1888 based on the manufacturer's address on a label inside the lid. This trunk was made in Baltimore on Howard Street. The exterior was refinished at some point. I will post the inside of this trunk on a later date because I have tons of stuff inside of it right now. :)

Isn't she a beauty! I can't wait to start restoring this piece but I have five thousand other things to do first. :(

Here is an early Queen Anne style blanket chest that my husband found from one of our favorite spots. This thing is huge! The sides, base, and lid are each made from a single old-growth pine board. It's an American piece and we believe it was made in colonial Virginia around 1740. Look at those hand-made hinges, lock, and rosehead nails! Each one was hand-made by a colonial blacksmith.

Not a great picture but it is just to show the size of the blanket chest compared to our little one. She was scared of it at first but as time went by she just toss her toys up against it like everything else in the house.

Our little one again. She really hates to have her picture taken but she will just sit there for me once in a while (saying get this over with).

Check back for updates and thanks again for viewing our blog.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Recent furniture finds!

We have a lot of furniture all over the house some are currently in use and others are tucked away for future use. Most of the wooden furniture in our house consist of mahogany. I always liked this type of wood and the color. Some pieces that are in use still need to be restored (small areas) while others need a lot of TLC.

Here's a list of furniture pieces that we have as of right now:

 Since we are still renovating some of our pieces are used for everyday convenience. This wardrobe is currently being used as a linen closet; eventually, it will be moved into a bedroom on the second floor and used for baby clothes (distant future!). This piece has crotch mahogany veneer applied over a secondary of mahogany. It's a late Empire/Neoclassical styled piece that dates to about 1840.

I always wanted a dining room with corner cabinets so we started searching and luckily we found a pair. Eventually, we have to strip and paint these cabinets, but they are solid and are intact. These date to the early 20th Century, probably around 1910 or so.

A fumed oak china cabinet from the first decade of the 20th Century, probably circa 1905. The lock on this piece still functions and luckily the key came with it. We need to do a little touch up on some scratches but overall this piece is in really good condition. The escutcheon on the door is missing but we can easily find a replacement. 

The shelves are still sturdy but eventually we will add some hardware in the middle of the selves (underneath of course) for extra reinforcement. Right now, we have some ruby colored souvenir glasses that date from 1893 through 1920 on the the first and second shelves. Pictures of these glasses are located on the Miscellaneous page.

This piece does not have the popular claw feet but I still like it and it will go with the sideboard nicely.

I didn't realize until recently that I liked curio cabinets! I'm like a woman from my grandmother's It took a while to find this piece because I have a lot of glassware and I'm still collecting...wink, wink. At first I wanted a cabinet with claw feet but they cost way too much. We were able to get this for a reasonable price from one of our favorite dealers.  This piece will eventually be placed in the dining room once we start renovating that room.

The pictures above show the details on one of our sofas. It was made in Philadelphia circa 1830. We are 99.9% sure it was made by Anthony Quervelle, who was a very famous furniture maker in Philadelphia in the 1820s and 1830s. The piece has several of his signature design elements incorporated in it. Quervelle's furniture was so unique and so well-known that President Andrew Jackson commissioned him to make furniture for the White House during his administration. Some of this furniture remains there to this day. This sofa will eventually go on the sun porch once it is done (still have a few more years before we can start on that project) so for right now it is in the living room. We will get it reupholstered with cloth from that time period eventually. There are a few pieces of veneer that needs to be re-glued (we have all of the pieces) and some have loosened up over the years. I would like to add some small pillows for decoration and comfort. Our dog seems to like this one the best because of the's very comfortable.


Out of the two sofas above this is my favorite one. This is a traditional Empire style sofa that was made circa 1825-1830. From the details of the styling, it was made in either Philadelphia or New York. I think this one has more of a feminine frame and details. This piece will stay in the living room once we move our dog upstairs. We will eventually have this piece reupholstered, but the 1950s gold upholstery is in decent condition and will suffice for now. Even though this sofa came with two pillows, I will eventually like to add more pillows for decoration and comfort.

 I really like some furniture of the Neoclassical era. The legs of this table are in a scroll pattern and there is a drawer in the middle of this piece. It's veneered in crotch mahogany with a solid mahogany secondary. Circa 1835-1840. This piece will eventually be placed on the second floor landing (the landing with the stand glass window) with a sconce and a gilt mirror (located on the gilt mirror post).

Yes, that is a cash register in the corner but I will address them later. Another hobby of mine.

Wow! Just look at the detail on this table. Truly a masterpiece. Just think all of this was created by hand unlike today. The family that own this table had to be rich to order a creation like this.

Even the feet are beautiful.
 I know that I have quite a few favorite pieces but this is number one in my book and in my husband's top five group. I really like this piece because of the detailed work. This table was definitely created by a master craftsman! This piece will be placed in the sun room with a glass covering to protect the surface. It's in the Queen Anne style and is likely English. Underneath, everything is consistent with a mid 18th Century piece. Everything is made by hand and there are rosehead nails and hand-made screws and nails that hold the drop leaves in place. Circa 1740-1760.