When a (non) plan comes together – vintage shabby traditional Cape Cod-ish coat rack

It seems like a lot of our projects take a long time to complete. But this isn’t because they are particularly difficult – sometimes we are just unmotivated, sometimes it’s almost a hundred degrees out for weeks on end and it’s just too hot out in the garage/workshop. Sometimes, a piece just has to sit there unfinished until the right element comes along to finish it. And sometimes you buy a thing and you don’t really know what it’s going to become, but it’s just too interesting and too full of vintage mojo to pass it up.

Well today I’m happy to share a project that encompasses – and overcomes – all of these obstacles. It began for us as one of those random auction purchases, basically an old and well-used chunk of wood that we surmised came off an antique dresser. It’s about 40 inches wide, very heavy, has some damage, and like other pieces we’ve purchased came with free spider egg sacs. (Score!!)  True to form, I forgot to take an actual “before” picture, but I did take one shortly after I started painting it.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Fun side note: it took me several weeks to decide to paint it… and at the time I started, I had no idea what I was going to make out of it. But I knew it had to be painted.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Eventually I thought it would make a great wall-mounted coat rack, so I rounded up some just-right-rusty cast iron coat hooks and…

Rutledge hooks and stars | Hazel & Verdie
… well, hung onto them for several more weeks. I knew hooks would look great across the lower portion of the piece, but that left a large empty space under the arched portion. Thought about finding a mirror to fit, or painting some roses on it, but just couldn’t decide. Then, a great piece came long at a flea market.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Can you tell – it’s a cast-iron eagle, again no actual “before” picture but the unpainted backside of it shows the original color.

I painted the eagle with a custom-mixed mint-green chalk paint. Once the green was dry, I dry-brushed white chalk paint over him, creating (hopefully) a time-worn effect.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

I sealed the bird with some spray-on satin-finish polyurethane, and attached him to the board with small screws I had saved off some hinges. Here it is finished, resting on a small patio table.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's

 

And here it is finished, resting on a box in the dining room. It’s kind of hard to get a good picture.

Coat Rack Project | Hazel & Verdie's
Now perhaps the biggest challenge of the whole project: how to hang it on the wall. Since I’m planning to sell this piece, I decided not to commit to a hanging method. Instead, I’m going to keep the sale price down for my buyer and simply include a recommendation for a French Cleat, which they can acquire on their own… or make a different call as to how to keep it on the wall.

I think this thing turned out really neat, given that I had essentially no plan. I almost feel like this mixture of elements has combined to create a new design style: Beachy Federalist, anyone? (Hey, George Washington had to hang his swim trunks SOMEWHERE, right?)

More soon,

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Vintage Treasure Tuesday #2

Up next in our “Vintage Treasure Tuesday” series is this interesting piece I acquired at the What Cheer Flea Market in early August. It’s a chunk of wood with a handle on one side and a design carved on the bottom, and it was used to print the design onto fabric or possibly wallpaper.

Fabric printing block | Hazel & Verdie's

Fabric printing block | Hazel & Verdie's
I’ve personally never seen anything like this (unless you count the potato printing block I saw in an issue of Pack O’Fun and always wanted to make but my mother would never approve because she didn’t need paint-covered potatoes or something).

This primitive printing technique goes back thousands of years, although it’s certainly more likely this block is from the 1800’s. I love finding items like this because it helps me understand that so many things we take for granted – tasks that are automated today – were once done painstakingly by hand… in some cases with a potato.

More soon,

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More flea markets on a long weekend

Editor’s note: I wrote this post back in early August, but had to publish another post before I could publish this one. The four-day weekend referenced in this post was the first weekend in August.

It’s Monday as I write this and I’m on day 4 of a four-day weekend. I’m planning to spend the afternoon helping my daughter clean her apartment. She is just back from six months living in Orlando, working at Walt Disney World as part of their college program. I had a great time going to visit her in May – we spent Mother’s Day at the Atlantic Ocean and the following day from open til close at The Magic Kingdom.

Atlantic Ocean 2016 | Hazel & Verdie's

At the Magic Kingdom 2016 | Hazel & Verdie's

 

She arrived home last night and now she heads back to her apartment in Ames to start a new school year at Iowa State University. But not without a deep clean of the apartment, and copious amounts of laundry!

Meanwhile, Greg & I spent the first two days of our long weekend at a fabulous outdoor flea market in What Cheer, Iowa, followed by an overnight stay at The Catfish Place Campground in Arbela, Missouri, then a visit to the outdoor market in Colony, Missouri.

The What Cheer market was excellent – we have been on the lookout for a few specific items lately, items we have noted are selling well in the antique malls where we have our booths. We were lucky to find a couple of them: in particular a wooden ladder and a small wooden barn gate. Here are some pictures from What Cheer – their next market is September 30-October 2.

What Cheer IA Flea Market | Hazel & Verdie's

What Cheer IA Flea Market | Hazel & Verdie's

What Cheer IA Flea Market | Hazel & Verdie's

What Cheer IA Flea Market | Hazel & Verdie's
En route to Arbela, we stopped at a couple of small-town antique stores. This one in particular was fantastic: Anderson’s/Cherry Grove Antiques in Downing, MO. This shop is amazing – rooms and shelves piled high enough that you get to dig a little for treasure, but overall very well organized and one of those places that is much bigger inside than it looks from the street. Unlike a lot of shops, this one also makes full use of its basement area. That’s where I took most of my pictures – it was amazing!

Anderson's Antiques, Downing MO | Hazel & Verdie's

Anderson's Antiques, Downing MO | Hazel & Verdie's

Anderson's Antiques, Downing MO | Hazel & Verdie's

Anderson's Antiques, Downing MO | Hazel & Verdie's

Anderson's Antiques, Downing MO | Hazel & Verdie's

Our stay at The Catfish Place was quiet and uneventful – this is a small family-owned facility that includes primitive and full hook-up camp sites, a few cabins, a restaurant, swimming pool, shower house, and small ponds with rentable water toys. A few of these amenities were in a bit of disrepair during our stay, but our waterfront spot was quiet with a beautiful view of the sunset and the opportunity to interact with a trio of pretty ducks. (Confession: I fed them pieces of potato chips and named them Bob, Ted, and Felicia. Of the three, Ted was the only one who wouldn’t take the chips right from my fingers.) Our camping spot was quite affordable at $13 for the night, and the one amenity we really needed – the shower – worked great. So it was well worth it!

Catfish Place, Arbela MO | Hazel & Verdie's

Catfish Place, Arbela MO | Hazel & Verdie's

Catfish Place, Arbela MO | Hazel & Verdie's

 

On Saturday we headed a few miles down the road to Colony. This market takes place two weekends a month throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall. On one of those weekends, it coincides with the Rutledge Flea Market about 4 miles away. We attended both of these markets back in April, and thought at the time that we might come back down to Colony since we had previously walked that one toward the end of a rather long day.

On this trip, we came down on the weekend when only the Colony market was open. This turned out to be a disappointing mistake. The Colony market is notably smaller than Rutledge, and on the day (Saturday) when it should have been the busiest, literally only four vendors were open when we walked through an hour after the posted opening time. Needless to say we concluded our walk-through in record time and headed back to Des Moines, and we were home by early afternoon.

Despite the lackluster showing at Colony, we had, once again, a great weekend of treasure-hunting and campsite-sitting. Many good weekends left in this outdoor market season!

More soon,

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Vintage Treasure Tuesday #1

I’m starting a new series here on the blog to highlight some of the interesting things we find in our treasure hunting ventures…  auctions, thrift stores, flea markets large and small… all are great sources for the items we acquire and re-sell. Some of them intrigue me to the point where I feel compelled to research them and learn a little more about them. Such is the piece I’m featuring on this very first Vintage Treasure Tuesday.

Wellsville Pee Pot | Hazel & Verdie's

Wellsville Pee Pot | Hazel & Verdie's

 

I bought this pretty little vessel at a rural auction last year. Because of its size – the opening is about 11 inches across – I assumed it was a chamber pot. Because we as a nation haven’t really used chamber pots for many decades, I knew this piece had the potential to be a true antique – meaning, 100 years old or more.

A bit of internet research based on the backstamp shown on the bottom of the piece tells me that my pee pot was made by the West End Pottery Co. of Wellsville, Ohio. The word “Cuban” refers to the shape of the piece – the low, wide stance and beautifully curved bowl. I imagine it came with a lid, long since broken and discarded.

Wellsville Pee Pot | Hazel & Verdie's

This company manufactured dinner-, toilet- and hotel-ware from 1893-1938. Specifically, the mark on my piece indicates that it is ironstone toilet-ware made sometime between 1893-1910. That means the piece is anywhere from 106 – 123 years old!

Wellsville Pee Pot | Hazel & Verdie's

Wellsville Pee Pot | Hazel & Verdie's

 

That it has survived all these decades simply astounds me. I have put it in what I think is a safe place, hopeful it will survive a few more decades before I manage to drop it or otherwise smash it into a zillion pieces.

Wellsville Pee Pot | Hazel & Verdie's
Completely as an aside… can you imagine what it would be like to actually have to use one of these on a regular basis? Simple enough for a man… but for women… I assume you just sort of… squat over it? I just… I can’t… let’s just say I’m glad I was born after the advent of indoor plumbing.

More soon,

Hazel & Verdie's