Tag Archives: midcentury modern

Winter blahs…

It’s finally gotten cold, well sometimes cold, and sometimes just warm enough to turn the backyard to mud again and then refreeze overnight.


It’s been a pecker party outside the kitchen window – red bellies, downies, nuthatches- mostly policed by a downy pair.

Our house has been troublesome – hot water heater, newish refrigerator, and well parts giving up varying degrees of the ghost within a couple weeks of each other – as well as our bodies with a mild but lingering cold since just before the new year, and routine and not so routine medical tests which required healing downtime and acceptance scenarios involving amputations, but turn out normally abnormal in the end.

We’ve been thrifting and antiquing a bit more, though on weekends when crowds make it a bit more unpleasant, but perhaps improve focus and curb impulse.

We said we had enough Heywood Wakefield * in our lives, but then a decent china cabinet opportunity came up and we took it – the scale is perfect for our small but not too small dining room and overflow Fiestaware.

furniture - heywood wakefield china cabinet

We’ve also had good luck finding more cheap and fun mid-century lamps.


And I still haven’t culled my vintage china herd, but I’m rotating through it with a use it or lose it tactic.


These meat on a spit plates have been a favorite for years but I rarely use them because they are large – perfect for part of a roasted ribcage – and we tend to eat on a smaller scale. I only have three plates and two cups and saucers that don’t officially match but do, so a meal that requires a large plate and coffee cup is rare, and all I can come up with is pancakes, which we make only maybe twice a year and usually with a souvenir bag of Polly’s pancake mix from the summer before.

N has been building some built-in bookcases and doors to previously un-doored closets, so the house is becoming more our own and finally has spaces for things, but I’d gotten used to our still semi-packed minimalism, so striking the balance between delightfully interesting and my previous states of delightfully cluttered is a bit tricky. As much as I loved my previous live-in cabinet of curiosity life, it was awfully dusty and too delicate (and a grand bitch to move).


I’m still unpacking hastily thrown-together boxes of supplies and organizing my work space.


And doing a bit of use it or lose it on some old WIPs – nothing much to show, just a bit of slogging through to see if I want to keep slogging through…

* When editing this post, I clicked on the link to make sure it was the right one – and good god, is my life so routine that every January has me shopping for vintage lamps, watching woodpeckers, and obtaining more Hey-Wake furniture?!?



Filed under collecting, home, home decor, thrifting

Welcome January…

nuts&bolts done

I’ve bitched about the holidays before, so I’ll spare you my annual rant and expressions of joy that it’s all over.

Except… the armchair epidemiologist in me was especially piqued and horrified this year following various blog and f*ckbook posts wherein a family gathering/food decorating/potluck event ended in various shared and publicized GI viruses – and many that started at Thanksgiving continued to pass around through giftmas…   My worst of the worst nightmare.

People, keep your hands and all of your juices, exhalations, coughs, schmears, sneezes, and hearty wet laughs out of food and away from others.

(And if a baby pukes it is because he is sick and is entirely and hugely contagious and everything and everyone around him much be bleached and quarantined and all gatherings cancelled until the incubation period is over.)


Moving on, and a brief public service announcement…

A heads-up to those reading this through ravelry and/or if you have a blog fed through there as well – the feed thing hasn’t been working right, so posts haven’t been updating since November – not sure what’s going on, but I re-entered my address and it seems to be working now.

I’m glad to see 2014 go – for no specific reason, I’m not a fan of years ending in 4.

Yes, we got out of a shit apartment and finally snagged a house, but it’s been a helluva lot of work.  The more fun part of working in the yard will come this year.

pileated pecker

(A yard that contains many beasts such as this finally spotted Pileated Woodpecker, deer, and a still yet elusive fox.)

But I’ve been hobbled by a torn meniscus and been made entirely weepily furious about the American healthcare system… And that does require a rant – I have elaborated in this sister post.

I made some stuff and will make some more this year – that’s the summary and the resolution.

And I have a deep, burning desire to become a minimalist…


But I can’t when we still need to get stuff for the house.

I misjudged the interrogative harshness of the new ceiling light in our dining room and missed the window of time to return it, so we’re lighting the room more tolerably with a few vintage lamps that we snagged on the cheap from junk shops in other states over the last couple of months.


I didn’t want to get too many new things for the house since it is smaller than our last, and I’m not a big enough fan of the mid-century aesthetic, but we were lacking in lighting already, and more than one lamp suffered in our various moves.  And these few bits of mid-century do help to tie the rooms with the house, albeit eclectically, but eclectic is the only way for me.

But I’m ready to re-paint the dining room already – it was the one major paint color fail.  It was our favorite color in our old house, but for whatever mysterious reason, it just doesn’t work here… it’s supposed to be a soft earthy orange leaning to yellow, but it’s beige in daylight and gold with the lights on… odd and disappointing.

But though I’m not really in love with the mid-century, I do really like Heywood Wakefield furniture from that time period – it’s pretty much the only mid-century furniture I do like, and I don’t like anything later than their lines that started in the late 1940s.  I’ve been on the hunt for a reasonably priced dining room set since we were in the older house and we’ve been trolling the usual internet sites and cheaper (though they really aren’t) antique stores around us, but we’re just too damn close to too many cities with residents willing to pay way more than they should for anything.

So it came as an utter whopping surprise that we recently won an auction of a mother-lode of Heywood Wakefield “Encore” (1948-1955) bedroom furniture!


And we needed nearly all of it – we didn’t have any dressers (left them in the old house because they were too heavy), and N’s current desk is falling apart – the headboard will go on a guest bed.

We got all of it for less than what new really cheap furniture would cost even after factoring in the truck rental – nay, it was pretty much the price of buying it all from a thrift store!  However, I was immensely fearful because it was an online auction… the furniture could reek of mothballs, unwashed clothing from unwashed bodies, cat piss, cigarettes, and Shalimar…

And we knew the finish was a bit worn in places, which is usually the case with this furniture, but I can’t deal with stench – cat piss and mothballs are deal breakers for me….

But all is well – it is all in the house and full of our stuff now.

heywood wakefield drawers

It does stink a little – by way of something like Shalimar or Jean Nate – a certain old lady scent, but it’s not too strong – not like thrift store costume jewelry.  And one half of the headboard smells like coconuts.

Vintage contact paper is adhered to every drawer as well, but it is okay and will stay.

heywood wakefield finish

The finish on the tops is really pretty bad though – we’ll need to address that at some point, but for now, that’s what dresser scarves are for.  The desk is pretty poor though – looks like there was a leaky plant pot on top – we’ve already started to sand it a tiny bit, but we’re not sure how we’re going to finish it yet.  The original finish is impossible to duplicate and the top coat was balls to begin with, so I’m doing some research…


Filed under collecting, home, home decor, thrifting