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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And In My Spare Time . . . .

To-Do Lists.
Why are there always more of them, than there is
time in a day?  Or a week?  Or a month?

There ought to be a name for this phenomenon;
I don't think Cass Syndrome will catch on anytime soon.

My today project is this:

A Victorian settee, from an auction last week in Pennsylvania.
The fabric on it is intact and clean, but poorly done and cheap.
I aim to replace that fabric with something less poorly done.
On a side note . . . I have never done this before.  Could get interesting.
"Dear upholstery gods . . . help!  Amen."

There's a home dec fabric outlet shop nearby, with a clearance room out back,
where all the bolts sell for $5 a yard, and the trimmings are a buck a yard.

The settee was a very good bargain, so I didn't want to spend
a lot on new fabric.  I want to sell this at a reasonable
price to someone who will love it, so I need to keep the costs low.

In the clearance room, we found (okay, Anne found) a simple upholstery
fabric in a neutral green with a little quilted diamond pattern,
and a multi-colored gimp that tones nicely with the fabric.

The fabric and gimp together cost me $27.  Now that's what I call
a bargain, and I can pass that savings on to someone else.

Wave bye-bye, little settee.
I am about to do scary things to you.
After my whining over the weekend about not finding anything 
at that auction in Connecticut, I need to show you a recent
New Jersey auction find.  Nye and Company in Bloomfield
holds live online auctions, and during the last one I made a
ridiculously low bid on a late Federal (early 19th century)
turned maple rope bedstead . . . and won.

Bonus challenge:  Guess what I paid for it?

I picked it up yesterday.
It's lounging, wearing its original 200 year old dust, in my front hall. 

 I love the swoop of the headboard. 

Obviously, it needs a good cleaning and
a beeswax massage at the That Old House Spa.
Easy peasy.

Good sturdy legs.
Perhaps it played field hockey once upon a time.

And once upon a time it had pegs along here, below, to hold the ropes
that supported those lumpy mattresses of olden times.
Someone sawed off the pegs a long time ago, probably at the 
request of his wife who was tired of dusting between them.

Yowser! that's a lot of dust.

And that's all I can think of for today.
Except that my next project is an old Sheraton style washstand
in mahogany.  It weighs a ton, despite its slender good looks.
Must have an excellent metabolism.

I hope your Wednesday is as beautiful as mine!
New Jersey is showing off the last of its August weather. -- Cass


  1. What great finds!!!! Love that bed -- and knowing you it was really cheap!!!! The upholstery is a good choice for it will be nice and should fit in with most decors (is that a word)? You find the neatest things! Looking forward to the 15th!

  2. I have the same trouble just not enough time

  3. Hi Cass! You get around! How fun it would be to go to some auctions in your neck of the woods! I bet it is beautiful up there. The settee is cute and a good choice of fabric. I was going to reupholster a pair of Renaissance Revival chairs, bought a stripe material, stripped the chairs of EVERYTHING and then chickened out!! Now my chairs are VERY expensive chairs!!! (because I took them to an Upholsterer)Oh boy, I'll never do that again! If you want to see them you can find them on my "Step into the Parlor, Part 1" post back in March I believe, or maybe April. Have fun with that settee and I want to see the finished product! Gina

  4. That is a gorgeous settee..., love the washstand, and the rope bed! Oh I wish you were closer, I would so be shopping your booth! donna :)

  5. Looking forward to seeing the finished settee.
    When you find the answer to your "to do" lists and time, please let me know. I have the same problem. :D

  6. Hi Cass,
    I can't wait to see the settee all dolled up.. the carving is lovely on this piece. The bed frame is amazing and in such great shape for it being so old. I have an old dresser in the garage just waiting for me to give her a new coat of paint. Maybe this weekend I'll get started. You will be a busy girl with your new projects.
    Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

  7. There are tons of tutorials and videos online if you need a bit of advice to get started on your upholstery project. In short, the settee you have should be pretty easy. Strip it down. Hopefully you can keep the existing padding, just freshen it up with an overlay of cotton batting. The new fabric is stapled on, then trimmed close to the staples. I hope you have a pneumatic stapler. Then, glue on the gimp, and you'll be done!

    I love those old rope beds! I have two of them in one of my sheds, waiting patiently to be cleaned up and loved.

    You're sure finding good stuff.

  8. A few years ago I invested $300 in a professional upholsterer's stapler. It was worth every penny! My husband pulls out the old tacks and staples for me. You do find great stuff up there, and Anne has a great eye for the fabric and trim. You all may be big time before you know it!

    1. Excuse me, that was $200 -- I can't see this early in the morning.

  9. I look forward to seeing what you do with this! Such lovely carving! And the wash stand and foot pretty too! Great finds!

  10. I just love seeing all the old stuff you find ... it reminds me of being up north where the antiques seemed more genuine and beautiful than what you find down here.

  11. Show me, show me!!!!! I can't wait to see the finished product. Love that you are making old new again without ruining the age of the pieces.


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