Found side table gets weekend facelift!

Sohrab and I spotted this little side table in a pile of things marked 'free' and thought it worth carting home.   Someone had painted it with a thick coat of very dark brownish red, and it was quite unpleasant to look at.   So last night, while the mister dove deep into the world of Diablo III, I resigned myself to a few hours of video game widowhood and set about giving this table a facelift.

Coarse sandpaper
Soft clean cloth

  1. Prepare a work area by taping garbage bags (cut open) to the floor,   I layered some newspaper over the bags in case of serious paint spillage.
  2. Use the screwdriver to remove any hardware, in this case it was the drawer pull, a cheap plastic thing.
  3. Using a coarse sandpaper (we had some stripping grade sandpaper left from our balcony makeover), go over the whole surface to give the paint something to adhere to.  You're not removing the paint, just roughing up the surface a bit.
  4. Use a soft clean damp cloth to wipe off the dust from sanding.  Wait for it to dry, or give it a wipe with a dry clean cloth.
  5. If you have primer, apply a coat and wait for it to dry according to instructions.  I didn't have any, but  didn''t mind an uneven painted finish in this case.
  6. Apply first coat of paint.  I like to start in the middle of the surface and work outwards, to prevent paint from dripping off the sides.   Paint in the same direction as the grain of the wood if possible.
  7. Wait as long as you can - ideally over night.  I only waited an hour.  Patience is not one of my virtues when it comes to projects that turn the Trove into a mess!
  8. Apply second coat of paint.  Wait til dry.
  9. Put in hardware - in this case, a simple but very heavy solid brass pull we'd scored the same morning.
  10. Find the perfect space for it!

We're both very happy with our little table - it replaces the larger bar cart we had there before, and doesn't compete with the low profile of our couch.   I'm thinking I might pick up some dark gold metallic paint to give it some accents on the legs, but am willing to live with it a while longer before changing it.


In which we try not to hurl on the way home from an estate sale...

Last Saturday: Sohrab and I were kerplonked after a hectic day of treasure-hunting, but we spotted an estate sale sign on the way home, and said, alright, last one.   We walked up the narrow stairs into an upper duplex filled with gorgeously framed oil paintings, African wood sculpture, far north soapstone carvings, fanciful antique lighting fixtures, and all sorts of other evidence that someone with great taste and funds to indulge such had inhabited and adorned this home.

We walked into a light-filled living room and our eyes fell on this stunning cabinet.   We looked at one another, silently acknowledged that we had fallen hard and fast for it...and then walked right past it, thinking that there was no way this was going to fit into our budget.   A cursory glance revealed a small brown paper tag with $1500 written on it, crossed out, and $700 written below that.  Worth it?  Oh indeed.  Within our budget?  Not a snowflake's chance in hell.

We spent a few more minutes exploring the home, enjoying the sense of it being a well-loved, tastefully decorated space.  Then we wandered back to gaze wistfully upon the cabinet's time-worn beauty once more.  The owner walked over to us and said, "I bought this 20 years ago, it's Tibetan, and at least 200 years old."   She opened the doors, and showed us the thick planks making up the back and shelving.  She ran her hand over one knot in the wood and said proudly, "Solid walnut."  Then she said quietly, "I'm moving, it won't fit into my new apartment, and if you want it, you can have it for $300."   We thanked her, and walked outside, walked one block, turned, walked back, and said, "We love it and we'll take it."

We headed to the bank, returned to the house, handed over the cash, exchanged contact info, and then tried not to lose our lunches all the way home.  We kept repeating variations on, "Did that just happen?  Is it really ours?  Do you feel nauseated too? I'm SO HAPPY!!!"

This past Friday:  The mover I'd booked on Monday TEXTED me to say he was running late and could he meet us at 8pm instead of the agreed upon 6pm.  It was 5pm. FIRED.  I went into angry panic mode.  Sohrab went into rescue mode, and (miracle!) found a crew of 3 movers who could do it on super short notice.  I dashed home in time to see the movers in front of the building, examining the bottom of the cabinet.  "Hey Peter,"  one said to the other, "check out the nails on this thing.  It must be older than Methuselah."

I ran upstairs and quickly moved furniture and breakables out of the way.   A few minutes later, it was in place in the Trove and I was incoherent with glee.

It is now filled with goodies, and waiting for Trovers to enjoy as much as I do!


Yoga in the Park (Sunshine! Health!) tomorrow

Hello ladies,

You are cordially invited to Yoga in the Park with Tara!   I've been to the first two, and am very much looking forward to another.

Who: in the company of lovely folk, all body types and levels of experience are welcome, beginners most certainly welcome
What:  75 mins of mindful breathing & challenging yoga poses, under Tara's knowledgeable & encouraging guidance, just bring a mat and some water
Where: Girouard Park in NDG, under the trees near the corner of Sherbroooke and Marcil (5-10 mins from Vendome metro by the 105 bus)
When: 10:30am this Sunday, June 17th
Why: good sunshine, good company, good health!
Cost:  $10

Feel free to contact me with any questions, or to confirm.

Cheers and happy weekend,

Mary Jane

*SOLD* Mid-century Czech teapot and serving platter: $20

*SOLD* Beautifully full-bellied mid-century teapot & oval serving platter, made in Czechoslovakia. The pattern is a delicate combination of gold swirls and deep pink barely sketched aster blooms. The teapot is in very good condition, however there is some crazing on the serving platter.
Price: $20


*SOLD* 1950s kindling storage fireplace box: $50

*SOLD* This gleaming storage box is meant to hold kindling or coal by your fireplace. It was made in England and has three different raised brass tavern scenes on the top and three sides. The interior, back, and bottom are wood. It measures 18" across, 12" tall, and 12" deep. Don't have a fireplace? This box would function well as dark storage for potatoes and onions in your kitchen, as small gardening tool storage on a balcony, or even as as a small storage unit for pet toys in just about any room in your home.
Price: $50


*SOLD* Antique primitive blacksmith or farrier's box: $30


*SOLD* Toe calks are pieces added to horseshoes to provide additional traction, which would have been very important given our icy cold winters.   This small divided primitive box once held 25 lbs of these toe calks, which were made by Franklin Steel Works in Hamilton, Ontario.

The box is very well made, with finger joint corners, and it measures 7" across, 4" tall, and 10" deep.   It would make a nice place to temporarily store your mail til you dealt with it, or to house a couple of small house plants (perhaps succulents!)

Price: $30


*SOLD* White wicker blanket chest, toy chest, or coffee table: $30

*SOLD* White wicker storage chest, perfect as off-season blanket or linen storage,  as a toy chest, or as a casual coffee table - you can tuck away magazines, remote controls, extra cushions and other livingroom paraphernalia in a flash. If you have the space, this makes a spacious laundry hamper.   It would add a seaside cottage feel to your patio or balcony as well, providing storage for gardening tools and BBQ tongs! 
It measures 35" x 15" x 17" and is sturdy enough for kidlets to use as a bench.   It could definitely use a new coat of paint.
Price: $30


Treasure = Yoga in the Park for just $10

Hi everyone,

My dear friend Tara is a certified yoga instructor and she's offering a special outdoor class for just $10!

Who:  All levels and body-types welcome!  Beginners VERY welcome!  Please note that Tara is the only certified instructor of 'Yoga for Round Bodies' in Montreal.
What:   75 mins of yoga, in the wonderful outdoors!  All you need are comfy clothes, a mat, & some water.
Where:  Girouard Park in NDG  (near the corner of Sherbrooke and Marcil - 5 mins from Vendome metro by the 105 bus)
When:   This Sunday, June 10, at 10:30am-11:45am
Cost: $10

Please email with any questions - I've taken several classes with Tara and have always enjoyed the experience.


Mary Jane

*SOLD* 1940s or 50s silver plate serving tray: $40

*SOLD* Large vintage 1940s or 50s silver plate tray, unmarked, quite heavy, with a raised edge and elaborate handles.   I've lightly polished the rectangular surface of the tray, but not touched the border or handles, so you can see the difference between the two.   At 20" x 14", this would be a stunning center piece topped with blooms and pillar candles, and it would also work well as a drink tray for guests or a vanity tray in the bedroom, for your jewelry, cosmetics and prized tchotchkes.
Price: $40



*SOLD* Large ornate mirror: $100 (delivery included)

Do any of your rooms need a serious KAPOW? That's the sound that went off in my head when I spotted this beauty this weekend. It would be downright majestic over a mantel, or, if your living room lacks a mantel, then this heavy mirror would make a darned amazing focal point! Perhaps you could draw a fireplace onto an appropriate wall, and then place this above it. I also like the idea of using this large mirror to open up a small dining nook, landing, or entryway. It's made of pressed wood, and is painted a warm silver (it looks like silver painted over pale gold).
Measurements: 48" tall (look at it - it almost covers my fireplace!), 31" across, and 1 1/2" deep
Price: $100 (this mirror retailed for over $400)
Delivery on the island of Montreal included.

Inspiration: mix with more modern and mid-century pieces


*SOLD* One vintage lamp, three different looks! $30

*SOLD* This pretty vintage lamp stands almost 20" tall, has a sweet milk glass base adorned with pink daisies, and has three different lighting options!   Click once for top & base to light up, click again, and just the base lights up, click once again, and just the top lights up!
Price: $30


*SOLD* Solid maple kitchen island: $100

Gorgeous solid maple kitchen island! It measures 49" long, 25" deep and 36" tall - perfect for adding beautiful additional workspace, storage space, and seating space to your kitchen. It would be stellar in a craft room as well, the taller-than-table height makes a great crafting space. Reinforced under the top - this is a very sturdy item. It was in a well-loved and well-used home for 20 years, and it has some surface scratches.

Price: $100
Note that comparable pieces (size and material) retail for $350+, so this is a great budget-friendly way to get that island you've been dreaming of!