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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Auction Chicken-Out, Craigslist Treasure, and a Cuddle of Cavaliers

We set off on Saturday morning, with all good
intentions of bidding ourselves cuckoo
at an auction 'way out in the Jersey boondocks.

We drove through beautiful countryside, 
 passing farms, horses, cattle, mansions . . . .
 and barns!
and finally got to the auction location.
(Full disclosure: it was only a 45 minute ride from That Old House.)

But then, we left.

It was very crowded.  The odds of getting really excellent
bargains at a heavily-attended auction are slim.
I need bargains, because I re-sell them.

So, home we toddled.  And instead, cleaned out closets in our bedroom.
Bonus: several big bags of clothing to donate!
There's always Craigslist.
My almost-never-fail source.

Last week, a small French chest of drawers caught my eye;
I contacted the seller, and bought it for $44.
(Yes, an odd number; don't ask.)

It's veneered in what may be satinwood, but I'm no wood expert.
It is old, with handcut dovetails and thicker veneers than modern furniture.

Plus, it speaks to me of being old.  I feel it.
 (No jokes about "it takes one to know one," okay?)

It has issues.  Lots of missing bits of veneer.

I kinda fell in love with it.
These are before pictures:

Before: Chipped veneer, scratches, blobs of old candle wax . . . isn't it gorgeous?
Even its dirt has character.  :-)

Before: Well, maybe not all of it is gorgeous!

So this brings us to yesterday.
Before: Great lines!  And the brasses, and the original locks, still in place.
I love the cockbeading (I am not being rude),
which is secured around the drawers with teeny tiny nails.

As I have neither the skills nor the patience to
do real repairs to her, it was a lick-and-a-promise job.

See any difference?
This is an after:

I got rid of the dust, cobwebs, and (thankfully dead) spiders, and carefully
scraped off the candle wax lumps with my poor fingernails.

After cleaning her with a mild furniture cleaner and soft rag,
I massaged the old gal with Old English Scratch Cover,
which is pure magic for disguising, well, scratches.

Looking better, don't you think?
Still "boo-boos" on the top of the piece, but it was in such rough shape up there
that I'm okay with what is there now.  I'll settle.
(The cloudy stuff is sun glare through the big sunroom windows.)

I didn't take the brasses off, but just rubbed them clean(er).
I'll do a better spiffing up, someday.  Stop laughing.

I think Fifi LeChest is pleased that she no longer looks
like something that the cat drug in.

She's a long way from perfect, and that's just fine.

Today I'll wax her, being very careful not to 
yank off more veneer by mistake.  Ouch.

She's staying right here at That Old House,
no sales tag for her.

Speaking of perfect . . . Mr. Dylan DiPoochy has a new ritual:
morning snuggles with Gilda The Red. 

 Our sunroom is blindingly bright in the mornings, and warm, and
Gilda loves to tuck herself into a corner of this loveseat for a good snooze.
Now, most mornings, she has company.
Since Dylan usually loves to tease his "big sister," this is A Good Thing.
In the old days, he'd have jumped on top of
her - several times - just to be a brat.  Yay for change.  :-)  -- Cass

Link Parties!

Linda's Coastal Charm is the place to be for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.  Click here!
Marty at A Stroll Through Life hosts Inspire Me Tuesday.  Click here.
And I'm a bit late, but I'm hopping onto Susan's Metamorphosis Monday,
at Between Naps On The Porch.  Click here!
And a new, to me anyway, Link Party:
We Call It "Olde" at the We Call It Junkin' blog.  Click here!

Inspire Me TuesdayOne on sidebar


  1. I adore the chest it is so small and so perfect, love the swirvy front, the shape and style is just so sweet, thanks for sharing this little beauty...Phyllis

  2. Fifi looks great!
    The pooches are so cute.

    M : )

  3. You're silly. If I would have driven that far, my husband would have made me sit there all day long! Your chest (hee hee) is beautiful! That Old English stuff is amazing!

  4. I was on the edge of my seat to learn what you did with the missing veneer, but I think you dressed this old gal up real nice with her shine. You don't even really notice the veneer spots.

  5. Nothing worse than going to an over crowded aution...people will run the rpice up and not really want the item. I wonder why the craigslist person didn't wax up that dresser . It truned out nice. xoxo, Susie
    P.S. the dogs look cute.

  6. That is a great old piece, Cass. Old English is a GREAT cover. I have used it lots of time in the past. Those pooches sleeping together are too, too cute~ xo Diana

  7. Wow...a little spit and a whole lot of polish makes this ol' girl look much better! I can see why you are keeping her.

  8. Good job on the little chest! Have you tried Watco Danish oil for stuff like this? It's my very favorite finish for wood that's basically bare and dry ... used it on an old rope bed a couple of weeks ago, and the difference is amazing! After the oil cures, then I put on a good coat of wax.

    You know that I ALWAYS love it when Gilda and Dylan make an appearance.

  9. That is a beautiful piece with the original pulls etc. It does look a lot better with a bit of polish and wax. Guilda and Dylan look so sweet together. I'm glad they are getting along better.

  10. (with my hands on my hips) We do all the same link parties, now how is it I never found you before?! I love your house and I love this chest, and I'm so glad you didn't paint it. Perfect as is, adorable pooches, too. I hope you'll share this with my readers at my We Call It Olde Link-Up, starts every Tuesday and goes til Saturday. Come on over! -Dawn @ We Call It

  11. I just want to kiss the tips of those adorable noses!!!!

    The chest looks great!


  12. Oh Cass that chest is beautiful and I can see why you want to keep her. So glad that you didn't paint her. What a couple of cuties taking their naps together.
    Have a good week.

  13. She's a beauty, Cass. You done good!

  14. OMG! The difference is like night and day.
    Your babies.....are beautiful too.

  15. Oh what a fabulous chest. . Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  16. How exciting! You really scored a great deal Cass! Why are there always spider cocoons on the bottom of old furniture? I almost always find them. I guess it goes with the territory. Love your pretty house all dressed up for Fall too!
    Your South Jersey friend, Kim

  17. I just came back over to say thank you so much for sharing this at my We Call It Olde Link-Up. Another party starts on Tuesday, hope to see you there again. Take care - Dawn @ We Call It

  18. Cass, that chest is beautiful, and yes, it is amazing what your tender, loving care did for it. What a deal you got! The puppies are so sweet. laurie

  19. Oh my gosh, this is gorgeous! What a great job! She looks well-loved!

  20. Love that little chest, and good thing you are keeping it, as it saves me the trip up from Virginia to purchase it. :)


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