Thursday, September 16, 2010

Filling in the Gap

I have ignored my blog. And, evidently, you who have checked in on me. I had no idea anyone was interested in me or my blog until I received word today that, yes, indeed, someone has looking in on me to see what I've been doing. (Waving Hi to she who sent me a kind note!)

It has been an advent-filled summer. I went "home" to upstate NY for a wedding in July. I wore an outfit I made and felt lovely (but not nearly as lovely as the bride!). I'll have to model my outfit for you. We took the opportunity while in NY to pack the house and put our things into storage. I purged most of our worldly belongings and only regret tossing my old jello molds. Such an odd thing to regret and since they are the only things I do regret, the purge was a great success, don't you think?

I have been living in southern VA for over a year. My husband had been down here nearly 3 years and "commuting" back north to visit. He moved here to build a manufacturing plant and the state of Virginia wanted his business, so here we are. It is a privilege to provide American made product and to provide jobs for the wonderful people here in rural Virginia. The plant is doing well and growing - we are up to two shifts and a second line is being built with hopes that it will be online soon. Prayers for success and growth would be welcome!

We have two college-aged children who were still using (and needing) the home base up north while attending school, so we were unable to close out the house until now. They moved here with me a year ago last spring after my husband was diagnosed with CLL - Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia - two years ago. The greatest outward symptom of this type of disease is fatigue. The commute north got to be too much for him, besides, he needed his family full-time and so we each dropped what we were doing, packed a suitcase, and joined him here. We're now fully settled with the kids in schools down here - one at a local college so he can also work with his dad at the plant (and loving it), the other at a university 3 hours away (and working at the plant during school breaks) - close enough to come home and visit on occasion.

Meanwhile, I sew. Not quite. I prepare to sew. After returning from the great house purge, I found a Necchi Nora on Craigslist in a nearby city. I am thrilled with her.

Isn't she lovely? This is after cleaning decades of grime. She had been lovingly used for decades by a woman who sewed upholstery. You can see the yellowing in the paint from those years of use. I have been told I might be able to buff it out with Minwax. I'll be trying that. Nora came with lots of feet but her cams are missing.

Nora's cabinet was tired. Sturdy but ugly. See? A typical used sewing cabinet.

I feel Nora needs a throne worthy of her. So I set about making that happen. I lightly sanded the throne. But then thought it needed a deeper sanding so I did that. And then I primed. But when old red finish oozed through the primer (turning my paint brush red), I knew I was in trouble. I sat and looked at the mess for a week. I decided to add primer to the latex paint and try a coat of that. I only made the mess worse....and red still oozed through. Nora needed her throne. I need to sew. Tears were in order.

I decided to try oil based paint. What was there to loose at this point? I chose a pink to match the Nora (although I wanted a light gray) with the hope that if the red continued to ooze, it wouldn't be as noticeable. I got high gloss so that fabrics would glide more readily.

Finally! Success and no ugly red ooze. Which makes me wish I'd tried the gray. Ah well. I will post a photo soon. The throne is still out in the garage where it will stay until I determine the paint is fully cured.

I wanted new handles - I do have all four but they are tarnished and disgustingly dirty. I had visions of something feminine and beautiful. A trip to the store indicated that these 1959 Italian made handles have a 1.5 inch span between screws. Newer handles have a much larger span. I am unwilling to drill holes so painting the handles seemed a likely compromise. In the process of cleaning, they revealed a pink patina! I returned the spray paint and will use them as is. I think they will be perfect and will give the throne a regal air of antiquity.

I need to find fabric to cover the seat. I have no clue what I'd like. I'll know it when I see it.

I shopped the Labor Day fabric sales online. I used the Nora to zigzag the edges prior to washing. What a dream! What speed (there's a fast switch)! What precision!

Sew anxious!


K-Sue said...

Congrats on having the whole family together again.

I'm looking forward to seeing the newly painted cabinet! I'm wearing my painting togs today in hopes of painting a wicker rocker, so I am all for a little inspiration.

Stash said...

Yay! Glad to see you post. I think your new machine is awesome! I am also glad that you did not have to paint the handles.

What a good thing that you were able to join your husband and that everything is going so well with you and the college kids. Soon you will have an "empty nest" another milestone in your life. ;-)

It's really nice to see your blog toward the top of my blog list this morning.

Huskerbabe said...

So glad you were able to salvage the's the old hardware that really does the trick on that older furniture...and the handles look unique to me.
Can't wait to see the finished product!

Remnant said...

Thanks for your comments.

K-Sue - this is my first piece I've painted. I'll take a photo once I move it - probably not till Saturday. I'm trying to be patient until that paint totally cures as it is an oil base and still feels sticky on parts. The chair feels fine, but the main table top doesn't feel ready yet. How did your wicker turn out?

Stash and Babe (smile) - it took awhile, but now I'm glad to have salvaged the handles. I think you're right - older furniture needs that original touch. These are unique and the history will be a bit better preserved.

I plan to write what history I know in a drawer. I have a couple of antique pieces that came with tiny scraps of paper describing a wee bit of their history. I'd like to know more. I think writing it would be nice for the next person....maybe a grandchild! :)