Sunday, 1 December 2013

A very Happy (early) Christmas or "There's treasure in that there chest!"

Hello there!  Do you remember the steamer trunk I mentioned previously?  Just to recap, I bought an old steamer trunk which we think dates to around 1900.  There was green canvas and wood battens on the top and sides.

In some areas the canvas was ripped.

So, I addressed the outside by trying to clean the canvas.  The glue which, given it's age, could well have been equine gave off black muck into the water.  The canvas on the top of the trunk was good enough, and we have a small paint of olive paint that I might use to stipple the colour to a slightly deeper intensity just to rejunvenate it.  However, the canvas on the sides was just too, too disgusting.  I had to pull it off and then scrape the remnants of the glue from the pine beneath.  Then Pete got to work, he sanded the wooden areas, and cleaned up the tin and discovered that the lock was brass.  He sanded and buffed with Tung Oil so that the oak battens, pine panels and even the tin panels now have a warm sheen to them.  The leather handles, which sadly don't show in the photos, felt very hard, but with liberal use of the Tung Oil the leather is now a mid-brown rather than brownish-black and feels like leather rather than wood!

When I came home last night from a craft fair it was all ready for me. 

How beautiful is that!!

It is now positioned in front of the big picture window, you can just see my pin cushions on the window ledge, my stitchy chair is to the right of the picture.

Of course, we did not forget the inside.  When we got the trunk, the paper on the interior surface was dried and flaking.

It was most probably pretty once upon a time, but sadly could not be salvaged.  I had to peel it all off.

So, the inside was then sanded down, and then Pete applied two coats of polyurethane. We decided that would be best as I shall be storing, among other things, materials in the trunk and if we finished the interior with an oil it might react with the materials potentially staining them.

So the inside is now pristine too - long gone is the smell of age and mould which the paper housed.

It didn't take long for me to be putting things into the trunk.  In fact it is looking rather full already.

The steamer trunk cost me $30 and Pete refinished it as part of my Christmas present.  It is now a fabulous piece of furniture, a relative treasure chest and I love it.  For next year Pete has promised to make a tray for the interior, you can just see the battens on which it would sit in the above photo.  I can hardly wait!!

Monday evening of the past week we had our first real snow.  About 8 inches fell that night and the world really was a winter wonderland the next morning.  You may just be able to see that the road had already been cleared, they are really efficient at that in our area.  This is the view through the front window.

This is the view from the kitchen window on to the deck and then the back yard.

In fact it has been a weird week, weatherwise.  Thursday and Friday we had very cold temperatures, dropping to -20C Friday morning.  Saturday it flipped up close to 0, and today around +3 giving drizzly conditions.  So, some of the snow has now gone, what is left has compacted down.

I have now started work utilising the merino wool sweaters I purchased at Value Village (it was 50% off day).  They are felted down and I have redrawn my cat pattern to see how it looks in a bigger size.  Photos to follow.

Have a happy day!

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