Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Driving for inspiration....

Have you ever been driving down the road and just let your mind wonder?  Not that I'm suggesting that...but I grew up in a small pin dot on the map top kinda town, and after miles of fields your mind can begin to wonder and inspiration can well up at the sight of golden maize in a field, a vintage Chevy truck that's found a home in an old weather beaten barn, or the beautiful blue flame licked with orange and yellows burning off gas from the oil wells.  I miss my old stomping grounds and will be going for a visit this weekend!  And I'm hoping I can find inspiration there!  In reality, I'm positive I can!  And as a bonus, it's supposed to be a balmy 48*!  Yes, balmy for me up here in Northern Illinois! (25* as I type this :)

You may be wondering for what I am looking inspiration for....let me just show you the interesting little piece I picked up the other day.
I KNOW!  It's a total MESS!  What have I gotten myself into???  Well, this is where the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" comes to play...and I'm sure after 10 hours of driving (round trip of course...Illinois isn't that long lol~), I will be filled with ideas to transform this into beauty!

As you can see, I've actually already started on this piece.  I think the previous owner had plants on it as there was water damage to the top.  Luckily, the bones of these two pieces are solid as a rock!  It even still has the vintage caster wheels!  I just love those! 

So, time to get to know YOU!  What inspires you?  Where do you find your "What have I gotten myself into" pieces?  Or how about this do you get the kids to stop fighting in the car for these road trips? lol~


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good bye my lill Clipper!

Sad but true, my lill Clipper is on her way to her new home!  Don't fret!  I'm always finding new treasures, so check back to see my finds! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My lill Clipper!

As promised, here are a few more pictures of my lill Smith-Corona Clipper.  While I was taking the extra pictures of the Clipper, I noticed there's no #1 key!  I have looked many a typewriter....old and new but never noticed that there was no #1 key.  So that prompted me to look for the exclamation point, missing too!

Now I know what some of you may be thinking...and she considers herself an experienced in vintage and antiques?  Well, yes...and no.  Typewriters, no.  Certain period furniture, yes.  The key, pardon the pun, is I know when to ask questions.  So another way to look at it is when I'm lost, yes I stop and ask for directions~lol!

Back to my lil clipper....

After further research, I found a few interesting facts I thought were worth sharing with you. First, the exclamation point was created with an apostrophe, then backspace, and then add a period.  Neat right??!!
And the number zero was generated with an uppercase 'O'. Similarly, a lowecase 'L' served dual purpose as a one. Isn't that just swell?

There are a few interesting keys on this clipper.  For example there is a 1/4 1/2 combination key.  The one I find most interesting is the @ symbol shares a key with the cent symbol!  Betchya can't find that on any computer! (sorry for the flash on the's there, and it's way cool)  Oh...and I must mention the Floating Shift!

As I mentioned in my original post...or at least I think I mentioned this, this typewriter has metal keys that are black with ivory letters.  They are very pretty and in very good condition. I'm having trouble coming up with a market value on this piece as I have not seen any Clippers with metal keys.  If you have one, or can send me information on them, that would be great!  So, it could be a good thing they are hard to find, or a bad thing...just depends on if you're the type of person with the glass half full, or empty :)  *SOLD! My lill Clipper has found a new home! Check back as you never know what I will find!*


Friday, February 18, 2011

Todays Finds!

You know how I mentioned I would bring my camera along to share one of my estate sale experiences..well I didn't realize I would be stopping at the sale I visited yesterday, but I thought since things were going to swell for them, they would be sold out of everything!  I was close, sold out of nearly everything!  The people running the sale were so nice and chatted me into buying MORE STUFF!  This time, I didn't bring home any projects! Yea me!

And you know how I said I would be posting some of my expert photographs and tutorials...well, that's my sense of humor showing!  With the help of Picasa, and a few other tweaking, I did manage to get a couple shots in my home....hope I got all the toys out of the pictures!

This first shot is of an antique Underwood Standard No. 5 typewriter.  The condition is pretty good considering it was made somewhere around 1919-1924.  All the keys work, and  the glass is in good condition with the exception of one being chipped and the tabular key is dust filled.

Was a total flash back to read the letter still in the typewriter...let's see if anyone else remembers this from typing 101...
  Now is the time for all brave men to come to the aid of their party.
 Mrs. Holland would be so proud to know that I have finally surpassed the 35 words a minute I had in high school!  And that I actually remembered that!

Here's a closer look at the keys..they look pretty funny to me in this shot! I'm not quite sure why...guess it could be due to the fact that I never thought I would be taking a picture of typewriter keys...
I have additional pictures if you would like to see them, just let me know and I would be more than happy to email them to you. 
Market price is $115.
I also snagged another typewriter!  I know! Two in one day!  The next typewriter is a vintage Smith-Corona Clipper.  This one has metal keys that are quite cute!  From my research there were 3 types of the Clipper made.  The one shown was the standard which most schools purchased to teach typing.  Then there were the Sterling and Deluxe models where were higher-end.  As you can see this one has a bit of wear, and several keys do not work.  On the standard and Deluxe models there was a red airplane, it as worn off on this baby.  The case has also gotten quite a ride as the hinge has snapped in half and the material has loosened a little on the edge.  I know, this sounds like it's ready for the trash...BUT LOOK AT IT!  Timeless beauty!  And just think, all those computers, lap tops, Mp3 players that we toss out after a short 2 or 3 years of use!  These aren't many left around like these, and they just don't make em like they used to!  Oh the good ol days!  Market price is $50. *SOLD! My lill Clipper has found a new home! Check back as you never know what I will find!* 
I just realized I didn't snap a picture of the keys on this one. I will try to get one and add it tomorrow! 

Here is a beautiful, antique, oxymoron.  Yes, an oxymoron.. a figure of speech that combines contradictory here's the contradictory part... This is a nursing chair, or more accurately a Lincoln Rocking chair dating back to the 1800's.  I don't know about you, but when I think of Lincoln, I think of TALL and stove top hat.  This chair is not tall or large by any measure.  So how could this be a Lincoln, nursing rocking chair.  Well, let's look at the difference among two types of rockers.

There are two notable differences between a nursing rocker and a rocking chair.  The first and most notable is the size.  Nursing chairs were made smaller for women.  Often times the seat would be cushioned.  This rocker had a cushioned seat and back.  When looking at the picture of the back of this rocker, you can make out small nail holes...most likely from where the cushions were attached.  I am guessing time must have gotten the best of the cushions and around the 70's or maybe early 80's the owner had a rush seat and back crafted.  The second difference are the arms of the nursing rocker are much lower., and in many cases armless.  Traditional rockers have higher arms for reading books, shelling black eyed peas, and keeping the kids on your lap during reading time...or so that's what I think as that's the way I always remember my grandpa doing it!

I'm not quite sure of the wood used here.  It is definitely a hard wood. Many were made from walnut, but this wood is too light to be walnut.  If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Here is a picture of the back of this lovely chair.  As you can see by the joinery, there are no nails or screws holding this together.  It's simple peg joinery dating from 1870's to the early 1900's. Market price for this chair is $200.

So this is just a sampling of what's to come!  I hope you enjoy my banterings and  will come for a visit soon!  I'll be posting more within the next few days!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

First Post

So this is my first post on my new adventure!  I hope to fill these pages with shabby chic furniture, gifts, and home decor.  Now I realize I'm not the first person to ever do this, nor will I be the last.  But  I do hope to entertain you with my quick whited humor, fantastic finds, and my oh so professional photography and movie tutorials!
First up, a vintage shield arm chair...or maybe an antique Eastlake bed with side how about a French Provincial night/end much to share, so little time :)
Maybe next time I'm on a pickin adventure I will bring along my camera...get some feed back from all of you out there (out there....out there...that's my tiny little voice echoing in the abyss of world wide web!) to see what you want to know about!  Oh...guess that I should tell you a little about me...

My name is Christie and I graduated from Harrington School of Design in Chicago.  I have about 15 years of design experience including commercial, residential. and historic.  Due to the fallen economy, design jobs are slim in the area I live. SO I am looking to create a little niche for myself in the small town I live in.  Oh, speaking of where I'm located...I live in a far west suburb with my family in the cutest little town of Sycamore!  My location my be too far for me to travel for work, but it puts me in a prime location for vintage pieces, antiques, and other oddities .  Some of my favorite things to do are go to barn sales, estate sales, and flee markets. 

I have the most awesome ability to find what ever it is your looking for.  Though I am not an appraiser, I also know what those weird things are that no one else seems to know.  Everyone has a gift, mine is knowing what the heck that thing is!

Enough about me.  I'd love to hear from the abyss of the world wide web.  Let me know what you're looking for, what you've found, questions about furniture and design!  I'd love to help!
aka Carters Cottage