Thursday, 14 May 2009

Just a Scattering of Stuff ...

Words instead of pictures today.

Yesterday I picked fiddleheads and fried them in olive oil and butter and then doused them with balsamic vinegar. Yummy addition to a dinner of leftovers.

I had spent most of the day painting a bookcase/room divider I bought in 1963. It was once teak, then blue washed, then white. Now it is simply ochre and holds all my painting supplies out of sight and supports a lot of plants more attractively than they were displayed before on a broken table base and an ancient table top.

It began life in an apartment situated just north of the railway tracks in Beaconsfield. Maybe you have seen a print of that station done by G.A. Scholes. I used to commute from that station every day ... and one day almost died there in a gory accident. I was waiting for a westbound train to pass and almost stepped into the path of the eastbound train that had been hidden and silenced by the first train. When I close my eyes and remember, I can still feel the roaring heat that knocked me backwards out of harm's way.

The bookcase moved in its original teak state to a number of homes in and around Ottawa. After my dad died, I had a great many of his watercolours framed. I redecorated the spare bedroom in the yellows and blues of Provence, and created a gallery for them. That was when the bookcase was stained blue. Much later I lived in an apartment in Westboro, painted the bookcase white, and used it to display pottery pieces in the diningroom. For the first two years at the Hermitage it held linens, bath salts and laundry detergent in the laundry room off the main bathroom.

Now it is downstairs starting a new life in front of a large window overlooking the lake.

While I was painting it ... a base then three coats of ochre acrylic and then two coats of polyurethane, I painted a board to make a new sign for the hermitage. Then I began to sketch and letter it in chalk so that it will be somewhat like the happy chair I made. I will post a photo when it is ready.

On Tuesday I learned from Rowboat Flo that my child-sized chair stained aubergine is not a child's chair at all. I knew it fit me but was much closer to the ground, and thought it odd. Now I have learned that it is a potato peeling chair. Imagine! Some farm woman, tired of peeling mounds of potatoes at the wrong height, and remembering that in summer she peeled spuds, shucked corn and took fresh peas from their pods in comfort while she sat on a step outdoors with a pail between her feet, simply cut the legs of a kitchen chair down to size ... and now I have it sitting in a corner of my kitchen so that I can use it that way too. (Rowboat Flo is a woman in her seventies who spends summers at the lake ... I met her while she was fishing from a rowboat near my deck a couple of years . Some day I will write a post about Rowboat Flo ... who is at least as colourful as Tugboat Annie.)

I need to get my propane tank re-filled and buy some more paint so that I can try a new palette. I am thinking rich jewel-like tones such as you find in stained glass windows. Or maybe dusty pinks and mauves. More grown-up than the happy chairs, but I still have lots of chairs that I want to make happy as well.

This morning I was looking at Haliburton's calendar and discovered a course being offered that would teach me all kinds of techniques for re-painting furniture. Hmmmn!

Have a great day and send good thoughts to my daughter who meets with the oncologist this morning.


Barbara Carlson said...

Certain pieces of furniture are like an old friends -- enjoyed your memories your bookcase inspired today.
The bright paint on the pieces must be like living to the accompaniment of a banjo-picker. Optimistic!

Re potato-peeling chair height -- I saw one at Upper Canada Village and the compere said it was a "nursing chair" -- it helped the baby fit better in the mother's lap.

I am sending white light to surround your daughter today.

Oma said...

What a great way to put it ... the comparison to the banjo playing ... wish I'd said that!

I also have a nursing rocker in my bedroom ... bought when the Wild Thing was expected.

Thanks for the white light ...