Friday, 3 June 2016

The Pretty .... and the Not So Pretty

I stopped for a break between planting row upon row of little Spring Onion seedlings earlier on this afternoon, sitting on the patio in the blazing sunshine is so much cooler than working in the polytunnel and this little 'weed' caught my eye.

Isn't it just so delicate and with such a lovely combination of colours.  I have no idea what it is but in my eyes it is the most perfect little flower I have seen in a long time :-)

Not quite as pretty to look at but also a thing of beauty to me is this old chest.  We found it when we were emptying Mum and Dad's garage of Dad's hoard of old things.  Buried deep amongst all the other 'treasures' it was full of bits of junk, I couldn't see it thrown in the skip when it had obviously meant something to Dad, so it's been languishing in one shed after another of ours for the last couple of years.  I suddenly had the urge to finally do something with it.

As you can see it's made out of really old and rough offcuts of wood, the sort of thing a woodworker would knock together to hold his bits and pieces, rather than a chest fit to grace the best rooms of a house.

Rather coincidentally it has exactly the same handles as the old drawer I use to keep all my seed stash.

My seed drawer, bought from a car boot sale for £1 off an old guy who was selling tools that were in it .... he was amazed I wanted it, but I thought it was just lovely.

Inside it has the same little ledge on one side that you find in many old blanket boxes.
A neat little touch I thought to make something so rough and ready in the style of fashionable blanket boxes of the time.

I have just started on it's renovation, unfortunately due to the miss match of the wood and the state of it, I can't just sand it down and keep it in a natural state so it will be painted.  And as the handles, hinges and catch are so firmly attached with old completely rusted up screws they will have to be dealt with in situ.

I'll let you see it when it's finished  :-)

Sue xx


  1. The flower looks like a scarlet pimpernel. Very pretty.

    I love that chest and can't wait to see what you'll do to/with it.
    I have my father's old work bench where he used to repair TV's at. He would probably be impressed to know that I have it in use in my craft room. Or, he might just want it back. lol

  2. oh Sue it is lovely. I cant wait to see what it will become. I have seen handles like that lately that have been painted and then the raised parts buffed back to the metal. Myself I would have it as a coffee table. the little shelf I would use for the TV remotes. What a fab find.

    Ps what about a little WD40 on the screws to see if they will loosen over night?

    Good luck

    1. We tried WD40 on the screws ... absolutely no joy. They've been Hammerite-d in situ 😊

  3. I agree with Patricia above - it is indeed a Scarlet Pimpernel - and beautiful it is too. What a pirt it is classed as a weed (I always think this about buttercups until they begin to invade the garden!)

  4. LOVE the chest, an honest piece of work.
    Yes, the flower is a scarlet pimpernel, supposedly a pernicious weed, but I am happy to see it as it never seems to take over and is so pretty.

  5. Good luck with your project for the chest. Being a longtime reader, I know it will be a wonderful transformation. Happy weekend!

  6. I can't wait to see that chest finished. It looks like a real workhorse and will outlive any modern bit of plastic tat.

  7. Seed box looks very organised. With my addiction though I think I'd fill it three times over - I think I have a problem! I like the shelf in the chest very practical.

  8. Sue, if you really didn't want to paint it might I suggest using an electric sander to clean up the wood a bit. Then use one of the Annie Sloan type waxes, which are available in different shades. After this treatment and buffed up you'd be amazed at how well old wood can be revived. You may well already know this, but thought it worth a mention.


  9. What a treasure you have found and the flowers are lovely! I love finding old trunks, chests, and furniture parts like missing drawers. We recently found an old piece of furniture that we wanted to put in our yard sale and I looked everywhere (or so I thought) for a missing top drawer but couldn't until the day before the sale. Its a beautiful buffet probably made in the early 1900's. I found the drawer under our stairs filled with plumbing parts and fuses and we assume they needed to clean out something else and the drawer was the closest thing to use as a storage. Hope you'll show us the finished project!!

  10. Your wooden chest reminds me of the things referred to as "Tuck-boxes" when I was at boarding school in the 1960s and 70s. They acted like lockers - a place to keep your personal possessions. They also had the little compartment like yours, for keeping small "treasures" in. We used to take them home with us at holiday time.

  11. Oh Sue, I have exactly the same box in my summerhouse, being used as a coffee table. It belonged to my friends father and the only difference is the handles . Ours are the big metal loop type. Even the inside is the same. Ours had been painted black at some time, so we just cleaned it and popped some wax on it. Have often thought of repainting it but never got round to it.

  12. what a beautiful box! i think the missed matched wood would look lovely oiled or stained in it's natural state but that's just me, i love the look of natural wood. look forward to seeing it finished.
    thanx for sharing


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