Happy August Days ~ Painting and Gardening

I’ve painted and sold a lot of furniture this month.

1930's Dresser with Mirror





 It looks like I forgot to put the handles on this one before I took the photograph. I was lucky to find this piece with all the original Eastlake handles still attached.

Kitchen Scale/Ironstone Milk Paint

This is Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint – a mixture of Kitchen Scale and Ironstone White. The jury is still out on this piece. The handles are fabulous.


 I love this melodeon bench with the needlepoint seat.

The melodeon was an important part of the social life of 19th century people. Whenever I look at this bench, I wonder if it came west in the back of a wagon. The needlepoint cover is probably from the 1920’s. People seemed recover every chair seat, pillow and stool with needlepoint in the 1920’s.

~ Some of My Gardening Work ~







Did I ever tell you that I take care of five of the village gardens within a few steps from my back door? It is one of my favorite things to do. The gardens start out in the spring in purple, then changes to pink and the gardens end the summer in yellow. When I took over this job, the gardens were filled with ornamental grasses and I’ve been slowly turning them back into old-fashioned Midwestern perennial gardens..


I have a backyard that measures 17′ x 17′ and in the summer it fills with Zinnias and dill. I like the smell of dill. I save the Zinnia seeds to replant and the dill comes up on its own. That is my neighbor’s fence in the photograph. I thought the backyard was on fire the first time I saw it through the curtains when painted this color. It is terribly, uh, bright. Now, I think it is cheerful.


eBay Items to Sell or were Sold this Month







 Little Japanese Boxes


 An 1930’s Enamel Child’s Set with the Original Box

These Civil War related things sold on ebay. The letter, penned by a soldier to a young woman he addressed as Miss Neal, told her what surely must have been the most cheerful aspects of the war, that he had attended services on Sunday and had been eating Shad. He made it plain through some very flowery speech that he was missing her and wondering why she hadn’t written. In three pages, he never mentioned one horrific thing he had seen or suffered. Men can be so valiant.


One of my favorite artists is William M. Thompson. I have saved every Thompson print that I’ve ever found for over 40 years. Today, this woman came in the shop and told me that she believes that the pastel above the bench is a William Thompson original. It is unsigned. I almost started crying when she told me that she is William Thompson’s great-niece and recognized his style.

I’ve love this pastel upstairs where I lived with it for about three years but I thought I really should sell it. I don’t think that is going to happen now. I made Mrs. Lang give me her autograph. She was so gracious and I was like a groupie backstage at a rock concert. Wow, William Thompson’s DNA sitting right next to me.

Till next time,


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A Vintage Buffet Gets a New Look for Autumn

IMG_9758Moss grows on the north side of the alley pavement behind my building and I brought some in last week in anticipation of missing everything green in January. I filled plant saucer pots with soil, pressed the moss inside and had fun displaying vintage cow creamers in their own little fields. On retrospect, it is easier and safer to buy dry green moss rather than use living moss. Living moss needs a lot of misting and watering to stay green, a recipe for disaster on a lovely wooden top. In this case, the lovely top is mahogany on a small buffet I brought back to life this week.

The top only needed a few coats of varnish. The base was sanded, primed and painted with Benjamin Moore Satin paint in Camel Back. The buffet measures 4 feet wide and is 18 inches deep; adding two shelves and two drawers to small dining rooms. It is enough storage for liquor bottles, linens and those serving pieces that are kept for festive gatherings. A felt-lined removable wooden flatware tray is original inside the top drawer for the ease of setting the table. The top has plenty of room to hold serving dishes or to use as a bar.

Cow Creamers displayed on a newly painted buffet.
Cow Creamers displayed on a newly painted buffet.

The last of the summer zinnias join a vintage Austrian squirrel.