Saturday, July 15, 2006

Old things

Steve and I both like old things - old books, old furniture, old houses, each other. (Small joke, there!)

A lot of our furniture is old, though for the most part we got the pieces as hand-me-downs or from junk stores. We never had the $$$ to spend on new furniture, and with young children the old wooden pieces held up better, so we kind of drifted towards "antiques."

Our house is old. The first floor was built in 1875, and the second floor was added in 1906. The first floor was renovated and remodeled about 8 years ago, but the upstairs still has the tongue-and-groove walls, the doors have china doorknobs and skeleton-key locks, and the floor creaks and rocks.

These pictures of the front of the house and the western side of the house were taken back in the spring before everything got so dry and burnt.

A few blocks away is a little antique store owned by Barbara. She always has neat things, and if I ask her to keep an eye out for something she will. She also bought a lot of the furniture that belonged to the former owner of our house. One day while browsing her wares, I saw two of the fireplace mantels that used to be in our house. I told Barbara that we had bought that house, and she delightedly gave us a very good price on them so we could put them back in the rooms they'd been in before.

I've also gotten two tables from her - one small for the front porch so that we have a place to set our coffee, tea, newspapers, books, knitting, etc. when we're sitting out there in the rocking chairs; and a larger one for the upstairs landing to be used as a sort of library table for the children. She also sold me a dresser with a mirror that I put in the living room.

It's not really living room furniture, but I love the mirror and how it reflects the light and brightens up the room. And Barbara even found the skeleton key for the drawer locks so we can lock the drawers if we want to.

Last weekend I ran into her shop after dropping off the clothes at the drycleaners next-door. I was only going to say "Hi!" when I saw something. I said hello to Barbara and gazed at the "something." Barbara told me about the piece, and then I saw another something, and a third something. The first thing I saw really isn't a useful piece, but I can make it useful. The other two are very useful, perhaps even necessary.

Here you can see what I brought home:

This is an iron "gathering basket." It's the perfect place to keep my yarn. It's necessary.

Marley's sitting on the little stool. It's a milking stool from Japan. I'm a bit skeptical about that, but the stool is perfect for Marley and Sam to use in the playroom. It's necessary.

This is the top of a lectern. Isn't the sliding door and the compartment for papers, etc., neat? I'm thinking this is the perfect accessory for the homeschooling mom. Forget the fact that I've homeschooled perfectly well for 16 years without one of these, or even being aware of the lack of such a thing. This is sure to make me teach better, explain more lucidly, correct papers faster, and always speak to my little lambs in dulcet tones - no sharp words or snapped retorts from the teacher with this in front of her. (I'm not even convincing to myself - now maybe if I keep a Bible open on the top of it... .) But I'm determined to make it useful.



Blogger Jennie C. said...

Our decorating style is "thrift store eclectic", too. I don't mind though. At least the older furniture is made out of real wood! And they sure do hold up to kids and moves.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

I was just saying today as I wiped the water away from a sweating glass someone left on the coffee table how glad I am that we don't have expensive furniture. :-)

I used to describe our furniture as early attic. :-)

Our upstairs floors are very creaky too. When we had babies in cribs it was always a tough call as to whether we would risk waking them up by checking on them before we went to bed.

I do like your finds and I think your house is beautiful. I was disappointed I couldn't enlarge the pictures anymore in order to read the titles of the books. I did notice lots of Hentys.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hey, you'd make a good detective! You *did* see a lot of Hentys. You saw a lot of fiction by "H" authors. Uh, there's some Herriot, Hugo, and then on to P.D.James. On the second bookcase I think you can see a lot of "M" authors. I know Montgomery is there, and MacDonald - both George and Betty - to tell you more I'd have to go upstairs and look.

I like the appellation "early attic." I've heard "early American yard-sale" and that about describes us!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

Thank you for humoring me in my curiosity over your books. When I go to someone's house I always tend to gravitate to their bookshelves to see what they have.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Beautiful house...and I think a beautiful old house like that should have lots of antiques inside! Although I haven't done it recently, I use to love to browse antique shops and did it on a regular basis. I love old things too, and always wonder about the story behind them. (Do you ever watch "If walls could talk" on HGTV! It's all about what current residents find stashed in their old homes...facinating show!

As for us...we simply just have an "old new" house...;) Needs work, minus the character. And some of our furnishings are not so much antique, but just yard sale finds. Still, we're content for now.

Anyway...some of the Christian blogging gals are participating in the Show of Homes...are you doing that? You're ready with the pictures already- the info is on Boomama's site (but I'm not savvy enough to link you- sorry!)


8:13 PM  
Blogger Amber Dawn said...

Even Marley is looking more grown up! Love the finds, and your house is beautiful! I hope I get to see it for myself one day!

11:56 PM  
Blogger Marla said...

Beautiful house! I'm glad I have the picture now, so I can imagine y'all in it! Have you heard from Tom??? Still praying!

8:34 AM  

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