>> Monday, April 21, 2008
I still haven't got a craft or art studio for real, but our living/dining room is definitely starting to look like one. I painted the china cabinet that I use to store my fabric and I this is how it turned out: As I mentioned in a previous post I just couldn't decide about painting it but the wood really didn't have a great finish and it created a dark corner in the room. Painting it white really made such a difference in how bright the room feels.The only difficult part is having the patience to do all the priming and painting of all the nooks and crannies and of course the mullions (ie. decorative thin piece of wood behind the glass) in the glass doors. It's fairly simple, it just requires extra work. You use a putty knife to gently pry out the quarter round strips of wood around the edges that hold the mullions in place. They are held in place by small nails (which you can use again when replacing them). Then you can take out the glass and paint all the pieces before reassembling.
When you pry out the strips of wood be very careful since they are quite thin and can break easily. Someone had broken two at some point and the pieces were held in place with wood glue. It's not difficult to remove them just by wiggling the putty knife, and then I used a little bit of wood glue to reattach the pieces.
Here's a detail of the tins I have on top of the cabinet. I was noticed that Amy Butler has the same vintage tin as the tomato red and white one I have in front here! I saw it in a magazine article about her, and in the Midwest Modern book photographed on her desk. It's so familiar to me now it was funny to see it in someone else's house. I thought it was expensive when I bought it but couldn't resist the design. The bottom says "W. & R. Jacob & Co. (L-Pool) Ltd. Biscuit Manufacturers Liverpool, England. Manufactured in England". I wish cookies still came in nice tins like this.Here's another tip, by the way. That tin was a bit grubby, and while I like things to have their vintage patina, this one actually cleaned up very nicely with gentle application of one of those mr. clean magic erasers. It took dark marks off that I thought were permanent - without removing the original paint. Of course I'd be very careful if it's a special vintage tin that you have.
And finally I have a "new" sewing machine! This one came from Goodwill and I took a chance because I didn't know much about it. But I've been using one from the 1940s and thought I should upgrade to one from the 60s at least. The main difference is it can do reverse and zig-zag.It's a Singer Fashion Mate 217. I find the beige/grey colour sort of elegant and I didn't want a modern machine. I'd like to do something about the bottom casing though, which is in rough shape. It's kind of green paper covering plywood. Not as nicely made as the old wooden cases. But the machine has turned out very well, love the zig-zagging, and it's very quiet and like the old one I have it's a real workhorse and can sew through many layers of heavy material easily. The only downside that I can tell so far is that it weighs 33 pounds.