Today’s Treasure

I had to have it. I saw it and instantly knew I had to have it

We sold the contents of our last home and as a result got to go on an extended shopping spree this summer. Every weekend we packed a lunch and set out to shop and visit our favourite antique and vintage shops. One Saturday we were at Annie’s Acres and on a shopping tear. “We’ll take that… that… AND that!”. Having run out of merchandise to show us, Annie took us into her overflow storage area – her garage. She lifted the garage door and there it was against the side wall.

A -“Oh…um… well”
C -“Come on! How much?”
A -“Well I was thinking I would make a mirror out of it. I don’t think it’s for sale”
C – “Of course it’s for sale. How much?”

I had to have it! Eventually she relented, yelped a price and an agreement was made. An agreement was also made with self to not be, in future, an antique bully.

Into the back of the car it went and into the storage locker it would sit for another few weeks. It has finally, like our house from the vinyl siding, been freed from its cage and is ready to soar. It will be hung in the dining room as it is the inspiration for the paint colours that will eventually adorn the walls of that room. The question now is, do we hang anything in the middle of it and if so, what? My framed portrait of Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Canada?

What this is, in case you are wondering, is a frame for the 9th Station of the Cross (Jesus falls the third time). It hung in a local church for many years before it was taken down and eventually found its way into our home. I love it.

If you are wondering about the house renovation, so are we. Things are at a bit of a standstill right now on account of life. In the meantime, enjoy today’s treasure!

Today’s treasure

The Hudson’s Bay Blanket is one of our most recognizable national symbols (in my humble opinion), and I have wanted one for a long time.  I love the vintage look, and as an accessory they scream ‘true North strong and free’.  Lately they have become de rigueur, and I have been seeing them pop up in design magazines all over the place (like here, and here, and here, and finally here).

All this attention they have been getting has ramped up my need for one, and so a few weeks ago is spoke to our friend JB (The Antique Whisperer).  We have over the past few months gotten to know JB a little bit, as he is a bit of an antique wheeler and dealer, and has a small antique shop in his basement.  We call him the antique whisperer as he seems to have an uncanny ability to unearth just what we are looking for (more about JB later).

I called JB and spoke to him about the fact that I was looking for a HBC Blanket, and asked him if he had any for sale.  I was originally looking for the traditional multi-coloured blanket, but also spoke to him about the holy grail of HBC Blankets, the “Coronation Blanket”.

In 1937 (for one year only) HBC produced and issued a blanket to commemorate the coronation of King George VI.  Imperial blue with red stripes and points, this is one of the rarest HBC blankets.

Once again, in 1953, HBC produced and issued a blanket to commemorate a coronation, this time for HM Queen Elizabeth II.  Also very rare, this blanket is Imperial purple with white stripes and points.

About two days after I spoke to JB he called and said he had a blanket for me, and asked me if I wanted to come over and take a look.  The next day, C. and I took a drive to go see JB and lo and behold, look what he had for me………!

A blanket fit for a queen.

This blanket makes me very happy.


The Couch: Part 2

In this post I talked about the need to reupholster our couch and the reasons why. I also mentioned it needed to be steam cleaned. Well, we did steam clean the couch but it wasn’t without incident.

C steamed cleaned the couch last Saturday morning; it was a beautiful day. To help the couch dry we placed it outside on the lawn. You know exactly where this is going and going is almost exactly where our gorgeous, new-to-us couch almost went.

I was sitting in the living room by the open window and the couch was just outside. I saw a mini-van roll by the house rather slowly and suspiciously – then it stopped. Then my heart stopped. I was in total denial as to what was happening despite knowing full well what was. Out hopped the Missus and the Mister to inspect the goods. They picked up the cushions “Smells clean…” whispers the missus, “It’s in great shape” says the mister. “No, no, OMGNO, this isn’t happening…” is all I could think. Well it started to happen. When I finally decided to look they had all of the cushions in their van and were starting to lift up the frame of the couch. How they thought it was going to fit is beyond me.

I stuck my head out the front door and said “Sorry, that’s not for the taking”. “Oh, oh sorry” said the Mister with the Missus chiming in shortly thereafter with “Oh sorry, the house looks abandoned”. I said “Oh, well, oh… it isn’t. It’s fine, just put everything back. We washed it this morning and had it out in the sun drying” to which the Missus said “Well geez, you have a dumpster in front of your house so it looks abandoned”. Um, we are restoring/renovating the exterior. Fearing I may lose it at the indignation and turn an honest misunderstanding into a small war, I asked C for back-up. He stuck his head out to which the Mister said “Oh, oh sorry for the confusion” with the Missus chiming in shortly thereafter with “WELL! There are no curtains on the house… it looks abandoned”. C told them, as I did, to just put the cushions back; all was fine. They did put the cushions back and leave but not before the Missus said to the Mister “Well Jesus, it does look abandoned and like it was just there sittin there for the taken”. We took the couch in shortly after this incident.

I am glad we didn’t lose the couch. I am also glad I know my limits.

The Couch

The Couch

I love this couch. I do. I didn’t at first, but I do now. If you squint when looking at the photo you can see the previous owner(s) also loved it; they loved it so much they left a perma-sweat/grime stain on it. This must go.

When C first sent me a link to the ad for the couch on Kijiji my immediate reaction was “NO!” because at the time we were thinking of a different decor direction for the living room. However, as we were going through the decorating process our direction changed and my love for the couch blossomed. It is just so long and has so many tufted buttons. It is fierce.

When we went to view it before purchasing, it looked great. However, we were in the basement of a split level in the suburbs – the light was deceiving and we did not have a clear picture of the work the couch needed. That, combined with it being thrown in a storage locker for a month, lead to our denial. We thought a good ole fashioned steam cleaning would take care of the issues. Wrong. Then, of course, there was the rogue cat incident.

Our house was a beehive of activity the first few days we moved in with many people in and out all the doors. At that time a neighbourhood cat got in, and stayed in our house for at least a day. Our cat lost her mind. She also lost bladder control… all over the couch… three times. See, the rogue cat was in the basement where her cat box is and combined with being afraid to go through the cat door she refused to use her litter box. So instead she pissed all over the white couch leaving many stains and a wretched smell. It was as if she was trying to take us out of our couch denial “This couch is dirty, psssssst… you need to re-upholster this thing, psssssst… as if you are going to be so cheap you won’t add more fierceness to this thing, psssstt…” Thank- you Pickel, point taken. So now we will re-upholster it.

The challenge now is to find a fabric that is fierce, complementary and works with the room. The living room walls will be a dark grey and the Berger chairs (more on these later) have accent colours of grey, black, taupe and most importantly, citrine. We are very excited about what will be the new couch but more importantly, we are excited to go fabric shopping. We are setting out this morning on a hunt for the perfect fabric and perhaps another new treasure, or two. Stay tuned to see how our adventure turns out and eventually, what fabric we choose.