My grandmother (McKenzie) enjoyed framing and reframing things that touched her, made her nostalgic or happy. Every season or so, on different walls, a new item would pop up. This was always one of my favourites. From an old tea-towel with calendar below, she cut off the top because she loved the old barn in winter (as do I – it reminds me a lot of the red barn her husband and I built together for my pony when I was 10!) and she loved the verse, which is of course what that whole side of the family thinks about “old things.”
“I like old things that time has tried
And proven strong and good and true
I like old things, they have a depth
Unknown by anything that’s new.”
Simple. Straight-to-the-point and exactly what my china-collecting, antique-refinishing, old-book-reading family has believed for many generations. And I’m so glad this love of characterful items and buildings has been passed on to me. However, when something CAN’T be genuinely antique or old, I’m not beyond having a good replica, to make me pretend the charm of the originals is within and about me. And that’s the case for the lovely additions you’ll see next:
This week we got the 2nd piece-de-resistance of my Blue Belldon kitchen. Twenty-five years ago, on my first farm, I had an 80-year-old cookstove brought in that I loved, but never got around to hooking it up due to the certification and repairs and insurance. Plus, it was a monster, which is fine – if you have the room. The kitchen at Blue Belldon is much smaller and thus needed what I remembered both the Elmira and Heartland companies offered: a small replicated model called “Sweet Heart”. So, I’ve been keeping my eye open for a used one, and sure enough, just on the eve of a trip to Fredericton (2 hours away) there it was! It’s only about 30 years old and barely used. And right in Fredericton! So Richard and I both loved it at first sight, and bless him, he made a special trip down a few days later and brought it home. It isn’t hooked up yet, but this time, once all the renos. behind it are complete, it DEFINITELY will be. I enjoy baking my bread every 2nd day – but it will be heaven and TASTE like heaven, doing it on this new/old stove. (The photo to the right, taken 25 years ago, was on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen, just below a photo of Alanis Morissette… but that’s all a very long story indeed. You’ll have to pay extra for the facts behind THAT tale! )
Another “replica”, if you like, is the very trendy ‘barn door’. In the summer, I found one in the barn that had been left by the original owners. I needed a door to separate Mom/Joy’s upstairs from our downstairs living quarters, but I needed it to have a window to let light in to the darkest part of our pantry/hallway/mud-room. So when I found this in the rafters, I was delighted. Pulled it down myself and repainted the one side to match the kitchen ( “replicating” the chippy-paint so popular with shabby chic lovers at the moment, whereas the other side, in Mom’s entry, is actually REAL chippy paint, and likely LEAD paint – so I’ve left it alone for now. Will likely get it professionally refinished down to the bare wood at some point). So, having that door installed in the kitchen pantry has made me pleased (a start at getting rid of the god-awful 1970s dark-stained hollow doors! that do NOT fit in to a country property! The upstairs -and the one I removed from there and put on our downstairs master bedroom, are lovely original old doors, but the downstairs was FULL of those 1970s things.) But what about a door from the hallway into the living room? There is no space for a door that opens, so we found the perfect solution again: a “barn door kit” at Kent Lumber! Because Fixer-Upper-type shows have made this recently such a popular and trendy ( trendy? ME?) addition to houses of any type today, we lucked out. Richard installed it, I stained it, and we think it looks great and is a feature! (Besides being handy to close for privacy for guests on our davenport, to keep heat in from the fireplace when we’re trying to be restful and cozy, and to keep dog and cat OFF the davenport during their sneaky night-time hours!) Click on each photo to make larger:
And lastly, Richard the wood-working wunderkind has finished the one side of the library shelves I wanted in the living room (other side of fireplace will be done similarly “in due course”, I’m told!) to hold all my antique books and some of the pottery for our dining room (also in the living room) dishes. Isn’t it marvelous?
Here are some additional lovely shots from this past week. Be sure and see the bottom of the Thanksgiving Thermals post as well, for more from that particular lovely weekend of scenery and fellowship.
And lastly, for this week – now that a lot of the pressure of getting renos. done before fall visitors, and getting the harvest in, Richard’s catching some ‘zzzzzzzzzz’s on the chaise longue. Remember what I said at the beginning: “I LIKE old things that time has tried…”