Thursday, June 27, 2013

I See... Voices...

Yes...
I do...
: )
This is a Long...Post...
actually...a Two Part... Post...
Here's the First...
: )
Liz offered to come...lend a Hand...
Monday...
I have MUCH to get done...
Open House... just a Week Away!
I thought... what do I need the most help with...
What Task... do I need an extra pair of hands...with...
: )
Yes... Virgil's Cupboard...
{'The Journey'...below}
I adore... this Old Cupboard...
I've had it perched in The Primitive area...
for Years...
It's...Not For Sale....
Never... will be....
It's a Work Horse....
From the day... I found it...at my Door...
I imagined it...hanging on the wall....
Up High!
Like a Piece of Art....
a...Sculpture...
but...
It quickly got loaded down.... and...did it's most...important job....
helping...keep a roof...over our heads...
it...stood patiently....
Peg and I...have talked about hanging it...for years....
but...when she's here... and we're under the gun...to get So Much Done...
in...so little time....
well... The Old Cupboard... was doing his job... where he was...
and wasn't a priority....
Monday... I made him...a
Priority....
It was...Hot.... and Sticky in The Rabbit Hole....
oh my...
Liz and I unloaded and moved many pieces of furniture... made Huge Messes...
{You see... it's not so 'simple'....moving a piece...
 Ya move one... Down The Rabbit Hole...
ya move...
A Thousand...: ) }
I had a Big...Beautiful Tied Quilt...on the wall... where the Old Charmer... was going....
and a Full Pie Safe....
Tons of Stuff...
that all... had to go...elsewhere....
I debated on leaving the Quilt... but... felt the entire wall needed a change... so...it came down...
When Liz and I went to move...The Old Cupboard....
we realized...it was missing many back boards...
{Liz said...while describing 'Our Virgil's Cupboard Journey' to Peg...last night....
"It's back had a 'Hillbilly Grin'!!!! He was Missing a lot of...Teeth!"
oh my...
and...when we went to pick him up... off the Old Drawers... I had him on.... his bottom... stayed on the floor...
: )
I grabbed the drill... and repaired his back...and bottom...
Then... I said to Liz...
"We are going to have to 'center' him...and hopefully... have enough 'back'... to get into a stud...in the wall..."
I was worried....we couldn't find a stud...
she said...
"ahhhh...Mom... I think... where all of the HOLES...in the wall are concentrated...HERE...{she was pointing to an area that looked like the center of a Dart Board...; ) }
"I'm pretty sure... that's a 'stud'..."
Ahhhh...yeah.... : ) : ) : )
{it's been a long time since I've seen this wall... and...they All...look like a 'Dart Board'...down...
The Rabbit Hole... : ) }
The Old Darling....went Up!
{and we were Sweating...oh my... }
With all of the missing boards...in the back... I had wished...we had left the Old Quilt...
so... thought...we'd fill the holes...with ticking....
we fed the ticking... behind the shelves.... and tucked it all in....
Then... I found a Vintage Surape...
that had such beautiful... worn...muted colors....
I thought... and Liz agreed...it would be perfect... with The Old Cupboard...
It is 9 feet long... still was too short... to drape over the top...and hang over the sides....
so... tho... I rarely.... do this...
{and...Liz... didn't like it...one bit...}
We cut it...lengthwise... so it would flank the Old Cupboard...
{I explained to her... I have had this...for a long...long... time... and it seemed.... only I saw the Beauty in it... and...it would make the Old Cupboard...Sing!
 Liz said...if the choice...was to fold it up...put it back on a shelf... or...have it stand out... 
with The Old Cupboard....
it should be cut... : ) } 
It was....Perfect... : )
hmmm...
Then... I stood back...
looked at it...
and it was all....
wrong...
The Ticking... had to GO!
too white...too...light...
Liz agreed...
so...we went on the Hunt....
looking for feed sacks... or...rugs... or...
something...with...a brown... natural... feel...and look... of texture....
we tried several things...
nothing was right...
then... I turned around... and saw rolls...of Brown...Craft Paper...
: )
I said...
Let's wad it up...straighten it out... and fill in the holes...with this!
It was...Perfect!
{ kind of...looks like...leather....
we did this at Heart of Country...years ago...on our walls...when we were in a 'pinch'... it...was...awesome...}
We poked some shredded Coconut....and Moss...in the crevices...
: )
Then... we finished the bottom... below the Old Cupboard... with a Worn... Amana Rug...
It was all...about...
'Color'...
{The Old Cupboard has the Most....Beautiful...Blue Green Paint... inside the top...}
and
'Texture'...
The Cupboard...
The Surape...
The Woven Rug...
The Wadded...
Paper....
It worked...
: )
Then...we went on...to tare the entire room apart...
We hung two more cupboards....
{little ones...: ) }
I Have...Messes...All Around...this Area!
Big...Messes!
Wish... I wouldn't have to load everything back up....
it's cool... like this...
but...
I really... Like 'FULL'...
 Orchestrated...
Full...
: )
 
Virgil's Cupboard....
as I look at this image....
It reminds me... of a Doll House...
except... this Cupboard... is 6 feet tall...
and the ceilings are 10 feet....high....
Only....Down The Rabbit Hole....: )
I have written about this Old Darling....
over the Years....
I fell in Love with it... the very... Moment...
I saw it...
 standing in a Barn....
so... very long...ago....
and it's stood in The Rabbit Hole...
'as found'....
for years...
I have had many folks...attempt to purchase...the Forlorn... Old Soul....
{some... were...HUGE.... Decorators... Big...in the Business....}
to no...avail....
You see...
They, 'See Voices'... too... : )
 
Liz and I....Really... Dove Into The Rabbit Hole....
oh my...
{I drove her... a bit... Crazy! She calls my...'life'...
"Shenanigan Filled!!!"
I'm always darting...here...and there.... diving distractions...
{I call it...'Multi Tasking'...
she... calls it...
other...things...
and...can only take...so many...
: )
Shenanigans....}
Bull's Eye!
{the walls... are truly... Dart Boards...
I Like Things...
Up!
Up!
 Up!
: )
Yep...
she knows...
I'm...
Crazy...
but...
She also knows...
All...The Best People....
are..: )
{She's...one of 'em...: ) }
When I talk about... seeing voices....
my best way...to explain this... is to show you....
These next few images are of the Old...Old...Secretary... {late 1700's early 1800's...}
that I got...from my friend, Jan....
This one....speaks Loud... without saying a word....
by it's Construction...
the Hand...Construction... and thought that went into every piece of it...
It fascinates me....
 
Looking at the inside, of the drop front of the Old Desk...there are many cubbies...
but there are hidden compartments...
many...
I had no idea... at first glance...this entire compartment pulled out....
Each drawer...and box... is hand dovetailed....
Nails...were a Premium back in the day....
Folks... actually burned their homes down...when they moved....and gathered the nails...took them...with them...
for their next home....
 
after pulling the compartment out.... it revealed 4... hand dovetailed hidden drawers...
The compartment...that pulls out...where I thought was...simply matching trim....
is also...another... hidden drawer....
I'm in awe.... of the early...Cabinet Makers...
and...ones... today, who are so...very talented...
I thank my friend, Gary Darrow.... for introducing me...to
Construction... of Early Furniture...
years ago...
I have always...always... Loved Primitives... and Hand Made pieces....
but.... truly began to see them... speak... through their Hand Construction....
Woods...{some..of the boards... are more than 20 inches...wide... One Piece...}
 Veneer...{I was pointing out a Drawered Piece, to Liz...{She actually...grabbed it...and showed it to me...then..I pointed out the Raised...Dovetails... that you can see...through the veneer...from a hundred and seventy years...of shrinkage... oh my....}
 and Style...
Yes...the Style... Speaks Volumes...
I Love... Empire Furniture.... from the 1830's through the 60's...
here in Iowa... it's not too popular....
it's Plain...Simple... and... most of the time...veneered....
However...the Craftsmanship... is... Incredible....
Much was Mahogany... I have a few Cherry pieces....
Love...Them All...
I.W. Johnson 1854 Maker
This is the bottom of a hand dovetailed drawer...that belongs to a Walnut One Drawer Stand...
I bought it years ago... at an Antiques Shop...in Fort Madison, Iowa....
When I saw the Old Finish... then pulled the drawer... to see the Lovely Hand Dovetailing...
{Our Conversation...}
It spoke...Loudly... it was later...I saw the carving...from the Cabinet Maker...
I feel like... I know him....
a little...bit...
: )

Mr. Johnson's Dovetails....
This is a Little...Mid 1800's Hanging Cupboard... I have had for nearly 20 years...
Once again... it was the repairs... from long ago... The Pegged Mortise and Tenon Doors....
The Hand...Construction... that Spoke...to me....
It's not only Furniture....that Speaks....
This...Old...Old...Shoe...
that I found...somewhere... on my travels...years ago...
has been The Shop Mascot... and Show Mascot.... as well...
I love...having it... close....
It Speaks... Volumes... about...
'The Journey'...
without saying a word...
Some...Lady...wore this shoe... with a hole in it... for a long while....
yes...
The Journey....
This is an Amana Nail Pouch.... Hand Made... from Leather...
with the owner's initials...and date....
yes...it...has a voice.....
Hand Punched Tins... in Old Pie Safes...
yes...they speak...
They are the Original Artwork... from Long Ago....
Think... about the time...it must have taken...to punch these teeny.....tiny....holes....
and... the Old Pie Safe... is fitted with...2...on each side....
oh my...
This...is the Fractured...original...Early 1800's Glass...
from an Old Cupboard... that Spoke to me... tho...when I saw it...for the first time... It had no doors....
the doors were tucked behind it... in an Antique Mall... in Minnesota....
I was set on buying it...before...I saw the doors...
It was Love...at first sight...
as...found....
It is...Amazing....
 
The Old Harvest Table...
That only me...and Harold...could Love...{and Ed...}
Yes... This Table...spoke to us....
To Harold...and I... even when the top was so sway back....
dear...Lord....
Neither of us... could walk away... from the sweet voice... this Old Table... whispers...
Some folks... I think... can hear it... more...than others....
oh my....
 
Virgil's Cupboard.....
 
Virgil was an Amazing... Man....
Kind... and such a Hard Worker...
He...Loved Wood... and could repair... or Create.... Anything....
My friend, Colleen... told me of her Friend, Virgil...over a dozen years ago....
She would sing his praises...as we bounced down the road....together... Anitquing...in
 The Great White Hope...
{The 81 Ford...Ton Truck... : ) }
She introduced me to Virgil... and I had him do repair... as well...
He was... a Genius...
He used Old Wood...for repairs... and...'Listened'...to the piece....
That... is a Gift...
to be able to hear a piece....speak.....
Virgil...saw 'Voices'...too...
He'd carefully examine each piece....that needed repair.... Then...like a Chameleon... it seemed Virgil.... could match, the Furniture's...First... Creator's.... design....
Using wood...from the same period...he always gathered...
{as...we do...We are Old Lumber...'Hoarders'!}
When I'd take a piece...every now and then to Virgil's Farm.... for him to make...'Whole'....again...
We'd have such a Lovely Time....visiting....
He'd show me his latest projects....
Amazing Pieces... he'd created...for his family....
We'd go dig in his Barn and sheds....for the perfect pieces....for the projects....I'd lay at his feet...: )
One day...while digging in his Barn.....
I spotted an Old...Old...Cupboard...
oh my...
It...was actually...little more than a 'shell'...of an Old Cupboard...
Had Grease...and Dirt... from a Hundred years... layered...on it....
Mouse Turds... and...who knows what....else.... lending it's...Perfume....
as well...: )
The doors were long gone.... it was missing 2, of three drawers.....
It sat...flat...on it's bottom.... no feet....
I yelled at Virgil...
"Virgil! What are you going to do...with this Old Cupboard???? Is It For Sale????"
I thought, he may have brought it in...for parts...
To my surprise... he said he was going to make it 'whole'...again...
He said... "Nobody...would ever want it...this way.... and... see...it had paned doors....I'm going to strip it...and make it... as it once was".....
and... he could have...too... no doubt....
I said..."Virgil...if you ever...decide to sell it... Call Me... I Love It... 'As Found' "...
Virgil....Roared...!!!!
Thought I had Lost my Mind!!!
and we kept diggin'...
Every time I'd find my way... to Virgil's door...
Basket Case...in Tow....
I'd ask...if he'd started on The Old...Cupboard....
; )
and give it a pat.... when I'd walk past it....
Virgil...was a Huge Help.... when we were adding on to the house....
John did all the work... work...that he had never done...in his life.....
Finish Carpenter Work...
Liz and I...salvaged a Big...Oak Staircase out of a Parsonage.... and...it was going to have to be modified... if it was going to fit...
John...was perplexed....
I asked Virgil... if he'd come... and help John... with the Old Staircase... 
{John...isn't much...for asking for 'help'...: ) }
Virgil was Happy...to....
He came... whisking through the door... His...Handy Dandy...tool box...in tow...
and had it all figured out... in short order... : )
{I think of him...often.... when I sit down... and look...at The House....without him... our staircase may have not been used....}
One February... day....
My first day... back down the Rabbit Hole... after being in Nashville for a week....
at Heart of Country....
I called my friend, Pam...who had been watching the shop.... to go over a note she had left....
she said...
"Oh... an Older Man... had stopped by...
with a Cupboard.... for you...
He put it in the Gazebo..."
I asked her...what was it like...? who...was the Man....?
She said...she didn't know.... he declined her offer to help...to unload it....
I ran... to the Gazebo...
and...There it was...: )
I knew...exactly who had brought it....
: )
I took it directly to the shop...
and started scrubbin'....
Called Virgil.... and wanted an explanation....
and... wanted to know... how much I owed him....
"Nothing! Who's Gonna Want That Thing...but YOU???"
he said....: )
I asked... why... he wasn't going to fix it...
Virgil said.... he'd gotten some news... news... that he wasn't going to have 'time'... to get his projects...done....
{I couldn't believe it.... this was a Man... I have seen climb a Mountain....of Chairs...
Two Stories High...in his Barn! Fit...as a Fiddle!}
{sigh.........}
I Miss.... Virgil....
He was soooooo Funny!
and... just a Wonderful....Soul...
When Colleen and I... went to his Funeral....
{I didn't take Kleenex... I told myself....I would NOT Cry....
I had long conversations with Virgil... while he was well... and ill...
I knew...Virgil...was in a Better Place.... He Loved...The Lord....
and...he was so...active.... that illness.... was keeping him... from...
'Living'.... and Virgil... Lived... : ) }
But... The Priest knew Virgil....
and... began sharing one of his memories...with us....
oh dear...
He said... Virgil had been too ill... to come to Church..... but... a few weeks prior...to his death.... during a Sunday Service.... one of the Pews... Cracked...Loud....
Everyone sitting on it... stood up...
and moved to another...
{oh my... : ) }
The following... Wednesday....
The Priest...walked into the Church....
saw a tool box... in the middle of the Isle... and feet...sticking out... from the bottom...of a Pew....
The One... who was Making Noise...at the Sunday Service...
The Priest...couldn't imagine...who...it could be...as he thought.... it couldn't be...Virgil....
He had been to visit Virgil.... and...he was...not...well.....
So...the Priest...yelled...
"Who's Under There! : ) "
A man.... replied....
"Who Do Ya Think It Is???!"
Yes...it was Virgil....
The Priest asked What...He....Was Thinking? He should be Home....
Virgil said....
"Then...Who's Gonna Fix This?!"
That...Was Virgil!!!!!
and...
I...
Lost...
It....
I wept.... and wept....
Sorry...Virgil.... couldn't help it....
 
 
 
 
I have wanted to.... hang this Old...Shell...of a Cupboard....
For...the Old Cupboard.... and...my  Dear...Friend....
Virgil....
I could have sold the Old Darling... Many Times...
to some....Very Prominent... Designers....
but...
This...Old Soul....
is...Priceless.....
as was...Virgil....
Thanks...to Virgil.... for setting the Old Staircase....
He....was a Magic...Man....
: )
 

4 comments:

Rita C. said...

Read the entire post....so, so good. Yes, I see voices too. Love that old cupboard from Virgil, and it looks so majestic with the way you styled it in your home. Happy wall!

simplyiowa said...

Thanks, Rita!
It does seem Happy....
But... it's actually...in The Rabbit Hole! {Shop }
It has been a Most...Wonderful...Old...Gnarly...
Grungy...Work Horse!
I have used him...as a Display... for years...
I...Adore...Him... : )
and think of Virgil...Every Time...I look at him... : )
Love to ya... Sweet Pea!
Barb C.

cindy said...

Just a few more days until I can come see what you've been up to in the Rabbit Hole and see "Virgil" up on the wall. Would love to come help if you could use me for a bit.

simplyiowa said...

Cindy...would love to have ya! Anytime...just... come...and...visit...
or...if ya stay too long... yes...work... will find ya! : )
Love Ya....
Barb C.