28 January 2010

A fruity story

This little piece of furniture has been in use in our family since my mother (now almost 90) was a young woman. She passed it on to me and I used it until I left home. When I had children I used it for their tiny things. Then I passed it on to Melissa who used it for many years and now she is going to use it for her new baby. Over the years, it has been recovered many many times and its coverings give a wonderful insight into the colours and styles of the years past.

It was time for its latest incarnation. So one recent hot day, Melissa and I shut all the doors and windows, cranked up the air conditioning and set to work. The last time it had been recovered was when Melissa was a teenager. I had forgotten what was hiding under all those layers of wallpapers and fabrics and it was so exciting to see it again. The drawers have been made from old fruit boxes, sultanas to be precise.

As Melissa and I were laboriously pasting down new layers of wallpaper to cover all the rough surfaces, Mum, who had called by to give us some encouragement, explained that during the depression in the 1930s it was very common for people to make furniture from old fruit packing cases and these pieces are now called Depression-Era Furniture. So our little chest of drawers has an official name and I immediately felt guilty that we were covering up history. However, practicality won the day and we continued. It would be impossible to keep the baby's delicate little things in such rough drawers and, in its raw state, the piece could really only be displayed in appropriate surroundings, not the pale, clean, chic look of Melissa and Stewart's home.

By the end of the day we had this to show for our efforts.

With a little extra work by Melissa and Stewart that night, this is the finished result.

These little owls were the inspiration for the colours we chose for the quilt.

1 comment:

Marjie said...

What a wonderful find!! How extraordinary and amazing to find the lovely boxes in all their originality.But the finished product looks amazing too - well done, girls!