Thursday, September 1, 2011

Marjorie's Iron Bed.

My mother-in-law's name was Marjorie. Marjorie was the BEST MIL any girl could ask for. She was kind, gentle, hard working, generous,  humourous and best of all she was the momma of my best friend and true-love, Timothy.
When my FIL, Vince, was emptying the family homestead in preparation for selling the old house, many pieces of furniture, china, silver and other stuff collected through their lifetime of living together was dispersed to Tim and his siblings. We were fortunate to receive many beautiful treasures, one being an antique iron and brass double bed. I am sure that everyone in his family slept in that bed at one time or another. Last week our daughter Ali was reminding me of one time when she and her cousins, Elizabeth, Jacqui and Erin were joyfully jumping up and down on the bed, laughing and giggling like young girls do when they are together with their cousins when all of a sudden CRASH! BANG! the bed collapsed, the matress tilted  and they went flying, bonking heads and elbows!!!  Ali is in her twenties now and still laughs when she recalls that story!
So here she is. I will call her Victoria, because she comes from the Victorian era, it is a pretty name and it suits her.

Victoria had endured many years of use and had accumulated just as many coats of white paint. Her finish was overly distressed, grossly chipped, rusty in parts, and surely reaking of lead paint. For the last five years she has spent some quiet time disassembled and resting in our garage. Tim pulled her out of the pile of furniture a  few weeks ago and I earnestly began her summer 2011 transformation.
I had some large old cardboard boxes which I opened up and placed on the lawn in the back yard. I did not want the old paint and stripper gunk to land on the lawn. Next I set up the bed and pulled an old diaper changing table out of the barn to use as my work table. (I got that change table out of the dump 20 years ago and it has been used for many purposes such as a storage shelf, potting bench to name a few.)

My favorite stripper is Heirloom Fast Acting Paint and Varnish Remover.
It is very caustic so it is vital that you wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from chemical burns and the fumes are poisonous so you should work in a well ventilated area. I prefer to work outside when I use it. I pour the stripper into an old tomato can and use a natural bristle brush to apply it. It works best in warm weather. After you apply the stripper give it time to work and loosen the paint. After 5 minutes scrape a bit off to see how the chemical is working. Depending on the temperature you may have to wait longer, but don't wait too long or the chemical will solidify again into hard old paint. I have a collection of old paring knives, paint scrappers and wire brushes to scrape off the softened paint.

I go to the Dollar store and buy 10 or so pairs of rubber gloves to use when I am stripping furniture. When the gloves begin to dissolve from the chemicals I just throw them in the garbage with the paint gunk.

I have a cardboard box handy so I can scrape the gunk off the knife as I remove it from whatever I am working on.

See the lovely scrollwork? It is caked with old paint. The middle bar is brass, but has been painted over.

She was suffering from a bit too much body cancer/rust. Way beyond Shabby for me!

You can see the brass fittings in the middle of the footboard in the picture below.

In the process of stripping off the paint I came across the original manufacturers brass plate. Victoria was made by the Hard Manufacturing Company of Buffalo New York. I did a quick Google search and it appears that the company is still in existance, but now they manufacture hospital beds. I love Google!
After MANY gruelling hours of paintstaking stripping off of the old paint, Victoria was left naked. Her hardened steel structure was exposed. Now she needed to be scuffed up in preparation for her new finish.

I used an electric drill with a wire brush attachment to remove any dried gunk residue. (I love the word gunk!!!

Now I have noticed that my pictures are out of sequence so just bear with me for a bit. Then I used some BRASSO and cleaned the exposed brass fittings on the head and foot boards.
After all the gunk was gone I wiped the frame off with an old towel rag with paint thinner on it. It removes the dust from the wire brush and makes the paint adher better.
Next I wrapped newspaper and masking tape around the brass fittings so they would not get painted.
I turned the frames upside-down and proceeded to spray paint them. I used Tremclad high gloss white spray paint. I found some 25% more cans at Walmart, each can was $5.74. I used six cans in total for about three coats. Paint was applied over a four day period. YOU MUST be patient and allow the paint to cure properly. I will be leaving the paint to cure for at least one week in this covered outside building. After all that hard work I don't want to damage the finish!

I forgot to mention the absolute importance of wearing a dust mask and safety goggles when you are using the drill and brush and when you are spray painting. If you chose not to wear protective equipment you will inhale the tiny dust particles and the tiny paint particles and SERIOUSLY! INJURE YOUR EYES AND LUNGS!!

So her she is after two coats. I gave her the final coat this morning and now she is just waiting patiently/curing for the next week. I have to buy a new boxspring and mattress and then she will be moving into our guest room.

Stripping furniture is very time consuming, but I believe that it is worth all the hassle in the end.
Once I get the mattress I will show you what she looks like set up in her new home!

Wow!! It feels so good to be back in Blogland!
I'll be back soon, so stay tuned!!
Love and warm hugs, Laura

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Clivia

Thank you Beverly at
for hosting this weekly gathering of friends who have a lot of PINK mixed in with their gray matter!!!
I am back!
I was sick another week (missed two weeks of work) but went back on Tuesday and worked Tues (13 hrs), Wed (13.5 hrs), Thurs (14.75 hrs).  On Friday I felt like I had been hit by a truck, but I went out for lunch with my girlfriend, Wendy, and that helped a great deal. We only had a couple of hours together, but we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at a new seafood restaurant in Belleville. It is called "Kalay's". I had their pan-seared Digby Scallops and they were Delicious, Exquisite, Plump and for lack of a better word YUMMY-SCRUMPIOUS!!!!!   Do I need to tell you I love scallops??!!!
I came home from dropping Wendy off, picked up my daughter, Alyx, to drive her back into the city for work and promptly came home and went to bed at 3:30 in the afternoon and slept until after 6 pm.
So, today is Saturday and I feel much better after a good nights sleep.
This is what greeted me as I entered my livingroom.

This is my Clivia. Many years ago my Mom gave me a baby plant from her ancient plant and this is that same baby plant today. I think she is twenty years old!

The next 2 pics below were taken 7 days ago when she was begining to open her flowers.

And today she is in full bloom!

My latest treasure is an antique Mueller Volksteadt Dresden lamp.
It is soooooo beautiful!!! I think she is from the 1920's to the 1930's.
She needs a very gentle bath in warm soapy water, a new cord and a special shade. When I get her all spiffied-up I will do a post about her!

I hope everyone has a restfull!!!!! and wonderful weekend!
Love and warm hugs, Laura

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Pink Saturday From Your Long-lost Blogging Buddy Laura!

Happy Pink Saturday!!
I haven't posted since mid January and I cannot believe that it is now the fifth of March!
I have come to realize that the older I get the FASTER time flies by!!
Much has happened since I last posted, so here is quick update.
Monday January 17th I handed out 5 resumes to local nursing homes (all within 20 minutes drive of home).
By 4:15 that same day I received a call for an interview. It was from the nursing home where I really wanted to work! By noon the next day I had received calls for two more interviews. The next day, Wednesday I had three interviews. I was offered a job at the hursing home where I really wanted to work on Friday and started the next Tuesday January 25th. I received job offers from the other two nursing homes as well. What a boost to my ego that was! This nursing home is brand new and absolutely the best one in our area! I love working there!
Our daughter experienced a huge cut in her hours where she was working and moved home at the beginning of February.  She is back in her old room, the new sewing studio/guest room. The only piece of furniture I would let her move back in was her bed. (I didn't want her to get too, too comfortable in there). She has now found a new job and it is turning out to be great for her and will soon be full-time hours, so we expect that she will be apartment hunting very soon.
Last Saturday I woke up with a sore throat and that quickly manifested into influenza. I was smart and did get the flu shot in the fall, but the dag-blasted bug got me anyway! I have spent the better part of a week in bed. I did manage to read abit, "Coming Home" by Rosamunde Pilcher ( I have read it three times and I still LOVE it!). I sipped on weak tea and toast when I felt like crawling out of bed. My sweet hubby looked after me when he was home in the evening. He is just the best in the whole wide world!! My chest still feels heavy and my strength is coming back slowly and I do feel better, but I will be going up stairs for an nap shortly.
Yesterday, I received a letter from Sweet Beverly at "How Sweet The Sound"

 asking me to link-up for Pink Saturday. I thought to myself, "If I am feeling better that is just what I will do!" So without further ado, I would like to welcome you to Pink Saturday in my cosy livingroom.

My Uncle Jack, who is now 87, sent me a letter a few weeks ago and in it he included a $5. bill with a tiny note stuck to it, "To buy a treat!". Last Saturday when I was feeling yucky witht he sore throat, I purchased two little pots of pink! hyacinths. They have opened up and are filling the house with a lovely spring-time fragrance! Thank you Uncle Jack!

This is the table behind my sofa. Do you see the snow outside? Soon it will be gone. Two months until the lilacs bloom!!

Sweet hyacinths in an Aynsley plant pot.

Some of my "pretties".

When my mother died, I found this poem and framed it in this vintage convex glass frame. It has brought me great comfort over the last few years.

Some of my "Ladies".

My cousin, Heather, gave the card to my Mom and Dad on their 60th wedding anniversary. The coupel swing back and forth. The little guy on the right is a first issue Royal Doulton named "Golliwog".  His face is so angelic.

"Laura" by Renaissance China in England circa 1940-50s.

A tiny Dresden lady.

A large Dresden lady.

I collect jugs!

More jugs!

I also collect vintage  cookie and candy tins. But they will have to wait for another posting on another day.
It is raining here today in eastern Ontario. The temperature is currently 41 F (5 C). It is going to cool down to below freezing later this evening so the wet will turn into freezing rain and then snow. I am going to have a snooze whiel huuby goes groceriy shopping then I will make a pot of tea and read through my new Victoria magazine.
Happy Pink Saturday Everyone!
Love and warm hugs, Laura

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winner Of My First Give-Away!!!

Hello blogging buddies!!
I have been so busy this past birthday week I have not had any time to sit down and post the winner of my first give-away.
Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes!!
I did the draw the old fashioned way by writing the numbers out on a piece of paper,
 then cut them out

and placed them in a cache pot.

My son, Wes, drew the winning number.

The lucky winner is number 73!!!!!

73 is

                                                                     Malay-Kadazan Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                       Congratulations Sweetie!!!
Please contact me so I can get these treasures into the mail for you!!!
I am still working on getting items listed on Ebay. I am not a technical gal, so it is taking me a bit longer than anticipated to get things up and running. I think I have most of the glitches (brain farts!!) worked out (EEGads!!! that sounds sooooo bad!!!) LOL!!
I'll post tomorrow and introduce you to my Ebay listings.
Take care!
Love and warm hugs, Laura

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Please Pray For Sandy, Sarah and Simone in Australia!!

Hello to all my blogging buddies world wide.
Three of our blogging friends in Australia are facing absolutely horrific floods in Queensland, Australia.

Simone at

Sarah at

Sandy at

I am sure that you know of others in our blogging community who live there also.

Flash floods are occurring and sweeping cars and people away into rapid currents of turbulent muddy waters.
The loss of life and wellbeing is catastrophic!
Please say a prayer for all people facing these challenges and send this message far and wide so our positive thoughts and love circulates and keeps them safe and sends them hope for recovery soon.
Love and warm hugs, Laura

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year to Everyone! A New Venture for Me and Presenting My First Give-Away!!!!

Happy New Year!!!
I hope everyone had a blissful Christmas and Holiday Season.
2011 is here and with the new year comes a sense of adventure and new beginnings.
After many years of telling my hubby that I am going to sell on Ebay, I have finally taken some measures to do just that. I have been collecting treasures, crafting and refinishing furniture and lamps for more than forty-five years and the time has come for me to let these beauties travel to new homes where they can be appreciated and loved by others. I have thousands of antique and vintage items such as jewelry, clothing, shoes and purses/handbags, crocheted and embroidered linens, art, figurines, depression glass, milk glass, pottery, china, majolica, American and Canadian Brilliant Cut glass, silver (sterling and silverplate), copper, brass, lamps, books, dolls, toys and just about anything you can think of!! So stay tuned for more information about my Ebay selling. I will be posting again in a few days to give you the particulars.
Today is also Tuesday, so I will be participating in Teacup Tuesday with the lovely Martha and Terri of
These two wonderful ladies have hosted 43 Teacup Tuesday celebrations. The weekly party allows bloggers to invite new friends into their blogs, showoff their teacup collections, and share a cup of tea or coffee and the happenings in their lives. Martha and Terri were very supportive when I first began blogging in May 2010. I cannot thank these ladies enough! They are both genuine, beautiful human beings to the core!!
We are having a late morning tea today, as it is now eleven o'clock. I am using one of my favorite tea sets; it has roses on it!! The teapot, milk and cream jugs, cups and saucers were made by Wedgwood under the Imperial Porcelain manufacturing name. Some of the cups and saucers do state the name Wedgwood. This pattern is especially dear to me because it bears the name of my father-in-law, "Vincent".
Ther is a wee guest joining us. His name is "Mai" and is made by Goebel of germany. Do you see the butterfly he holds in his hand? He is telling us that on this cold and snowy day we should remember that spring is on her way! Do not give up hope!!

I have prepared some nibblies. You may choose from Almond biscotti, date squares, raspberry coconut macaroon bars or chewy chocolate and coconut bars. They are displayed in a beautiful American brilliant cut glass dish.

I have not yet found a sugar bowl in this pattern so I am using the sugar from my Birks silver tea service. The spoon belonged to Laura Mulligan, my maternal grandmother's best friend; she was one of the women I was named after.
The gorgeous tray that the tea set is resting on, is from England and made in the 1920s. 

I think this is the first time that I have shown you my tea wagon. I bought it from my friend, Dee. It is made by the Gibbard Furniture company of Napanee Ontario, which is just a twenty minute drive from my house. It was made in 1910-1920 I think. Gibbard closed its doors in 2008 after an incredible 173 year period. 
Here is a closer picture of the cup and saucer. Remember that you can click on any picture which will enlarge it and then you can zoom in on the view as well.
I am using five o'clock spoond in Birks sterling Chantilly pattern. They are dear little spoons!! 

Miss Bear has joined us! She is wearing her pearls and mink stole.

I think I'll nibble a piece of biscotti. Which would you prefer?

Yummy!!!  I promise I won't dunk!

NOW!!!!!  Presenting my first EVER give-away!!!!
As many of you already know I love roses! So, I have collected a couple of items which I wish to send off to a lucky someone. This give-away is open to anyone on Earth. I am sorry to exclude my alien friends from Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and the other planets, but I am sure you can appreciate the fact that the shipping to Pluto would be (tee-hee!) astronomical!!!
I am giving away a Royal Albert "American Beauty" cup and saucer, a gorgeous scarf covered with roses made by Tabi, a sterling and freshwater pearl bracelet and a pair of sterling and freshwater pearl dangling earrings. I will draw the winner on my fifty-first birthday!!! January 13th, 2011 at twelve o'clock noon EST (my time zone).

You may enter my give-away by doing any or all of the following:
1. Leaving a comment here on this posting.
2. Become a follower of my blog and leave me another comment on this posting that you have done so. If you are already a follower you are automatically entered into the draw.
3. Tell the followers of your blog about my Give-away by posting about it and then leaving another comment for me here.
4. Post a link to my Give-away in your sidebar and yes, please leave another comment to tell me that you have done so.
I wish everyone luck in this, my first give-away!!
I am off to work on laundry and some more of the everyday life of a middle-aged girlie!
God bless you and give you a blissful life in this new year!
Love and warm hugs, Laura.