Friday, February 24, 2012

Grandma's Hoosier Part 2

Grandma's Hoosier
part 2
 My father brought the Hoosier cabinet to me early in August that year.  I had setup outside, so I could strip the cabinet for refinishing.  I just knew that under that white paint, was a beautiful piece of furniture. 
 I tried conventional strippers, and scrapers, working every spare afternoon.  Sweating, thinking how beautiful it was going to be when I was done.  The conventional strippers, were just not cutting through the layer of paint.  Finally I had this bright, or not so bright idea of using oven cleaner (what could it hurt right). Layer after layer of paint came off,
my Grandmother really loved to paint that Hoosier.  I counted three different layers of white, two different shades of blue, and even a layer of yellow.  My how she loved to paint.
 I made great progress, in Oct, I finally got down to the wood and discovered the oak, oh how I love oak wood. However, all of the panels on the doors were a veneer, which I could not tell until of course the paint was off.  The frame was solid, but basically I had a lot of pieces of doors, without anything in the middle.  I was broken hearted, what had I done.  And now what on earth was I going to do.  I am not a carpenter, and at this point not a good re-finisher either. 
 One day out of the blue, my father asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  I think he must have known what a mess I had made of the Hoosier.  I said the only thing I could think of was grandma's Hoosier in my kitchen.  He smiled and said I think I can help you with that.  He came out with his truck and loaded up all of the pieces, and took them home to his wood shop in the garage.  Now, my father has a lot of talent, but I know even he was wondering if he could repair what damage I had done.
 The day before Christmas, my father brought the truck back out to my house.  He carefully unloaded the completed Hoosier.  He had replaced the bottom door panel with solid oak wood and the doors on top had been replaced with glass, so I could display my treasures.  He had lovingly sanded each piece and part and put it back together.  Oh my did the tears flow.
 That was fifteen years ago, and the Hoosier is my kitchen to stay.  One day my children will look back and say do you remember when mom tried to refinish Grandma's Hoosier and hopefully it will be a warm memory and story that they will pass down to their children.
 Pieces of the past are what make us who we are today, whether it be fond memories of boiled coffee on the stove, or a nature walk with a beloved family member, or a warm hug from a Grandparent.  Treasure them in your heart!
Mary and Cathy

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grandma's Hoosier

Mary's Story

 When I was a little girl I spent many a Saturday afternoon with my Great-Grandmother Rose. Some of my fondest memories are of my times spent at her house.  She was a gentle soul, who I never heard utter a word in anger.  That is not to say she did not get angry, but she such a gentle way about her that you never knew she was angry.    She did not have a lot of possessions.  She was born in the late 1800's and learned to get by with what she had during hard times.

She was widowed early in her 50's, so she spent the second half of her life alone in a small farmhouse that my great-grandfather built.  She was the kind of person who never seemed lonely or bored.  She had busy hands. She put out a huge garden every year, canned her own veggies, and quilted in the winter months. She always had a hoe with her in the yard in case she encountered a snake. She never learned to drive, was actually a little afraid of riding in a car.  Never ever showed her knees, her dresses were always on the long side, and as far as I know never put on a pair of pants in her life.
On Saturdays my parents would drop me off for the day with Grandma.  I would be greeted with a wonderful hug and kiss (oh how I still miss those hugs).  She would put the coffee on, which was boiled on the stove in an old perculator, and served in an old Jadeite mug. That is probably why I still love strong coffee LOL, minus the grounds of course.  And for a snack we had homemade warm biscuits with butter and brown sugar.  When I want comfort food, that is what I want even as an adult. We would discuss the weeks events, like most Grandmothers and Grandchildren.  She was full of wisdom, and love. Unconditional love, which when you are a troubled teenage girl that is what you need.  She never judged. The only time she disciplined me was when I was at that stage when hormones were raging, and I didn't have my emotions under control. Her only statement to me was don't be ugly.  That word "ugly" was the one word that gave me pause, and made me think about what I was saying.  I pull it out now once in awhile in my head when I know that I shouldn't say what I am thinking lol.

Her kitchen was not a modern one by today's standards.  She had a hand pump at her sink that hooked to her well.  She did not have true running water until the 1970's, when my father insisted on putting in a faucet.  But what she did have was a wonderful cabinet which I would later learn was a Hoosier.  It was the center of all her kitchen activities.  In it held her flour with a built in sifter.  All of her baking needs were inside of this cabinet.  Her storage needs were all met by this one free standing unit.  She had painted it white to brighten up her kitchen area.  I loved opening all of the doors and drawers to see what magical things we hidden inside.  I found it to be intriguing, with all of its little hidden places.  It also had a work space that could be pulled out, and pushed back in as needed.

Several years ago, after my Grandmother passed away, my mother asked me if I would like to have the old Hoosier. Of course I wanted it, it was a part of my Grandmother, and a huge piece of my past.

Little did I know what that was going to involve.  I had done some small refinishing jobs in the past, so I thought sure I can handle this LOL.  Famous last words, of someone in over their head, who has no clue what was really going to happen.  Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.
Mary and Cathy

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Why We Love Our Vintage Pieces

My sister and I go to resale shops, flea markets, antique stores and garage sales just to browse.  Each of us will stop in front of different pieces and say "I remember that" or "my Mother or Grandmother had one of those".  So these are items we tend to pick up as we go on our treasure hunts.

We thought we were unique until we started to receive messages from our customers at our Etsy shop and we were touched by so many of them.  People seem to want to let us know about the item they are looking at or purchasing without us ever asking.  What a wonderful sharing atmosphere we have fallen into.  Lovely people on the other end of a computer telling us their stories, never meeting us in person so we thought we would share just a few of the comments with you.

A nice gal in Texas was in the unfortunate path of the wild fires last summer and she lost her home including the dishes her mother handed down to her with only one dish remaining.  Thankfully no loss of life, but a loss of a home and treasures.  She saw our dishes and immediately contacted us and asked if we would consider holding them for her until her insurance money came through...........well of course we did.  How could we not?  Making her smile was a wonderful feeling for both of us.

Another gal's Grandmother had given her 3 starter pieces and because of that love, she is buying up as many pieces as she can.  It gives her a connection to her past.

One sweet lady bought one of our upcycled pedestals that matches her current vintage pattern she uses. She was so excited to have an add on piece that no one else in the world had, and was ready to proudly display her desserts for the holiday meal.

One artist was looking for a vintage glass patterned serving platter in a unique design.  She found one in our shop and felt she could now do justice in photographing her beautiful jewelry she wanted to sell.

So we are not alone in our adventure in treasure hunting, which is wonderful because we now have so many new friends, even though we have never met.  Some have asked us to look for specific patterns and they will buy them no matter what.  We never thought we would be in this position just from a little shopping for fun, but here we are in this wonderful spot together.

Do you have a story to tell?  We would love to hear it.
Also if you could click on our sponsor ads, we sure would appreciate it.

Have a great week....Spring is on the way!
Cathy and Mary