A few weeks ago, my mom called me, excited about a message that was on my Facebook page. “Did you see the comment from Albert Crombie’s family?” I had to think a minute. From who? Oh yes! The bag!! As soon as I was at a computer, I looked at the comment.
“Hi! I just saw a post from your blog back in Aug. 2011 about a WW1 mail pouch you found at a yard sale. It was my grandfather’s, Albert Lufkin Crombie! My dad was his only child. Do you still have it?”
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you may remember this mail pouch that I acquired almost two years ago…
At a YARD SALE! For $10.00!!! I wasn’t sure what I would do with it, but I felt like I needed to buy it and try to find the family it belonged to. I put out a call for help to my readers and some of them snooped around in Ancestry.com and found some information about Albert Crombie, the owner of the bag, and his family. I tried to contact the family we could find through Facebook, but never heard anything back.
I think my husband brought up the thought that maybe the family got rid of this intentionally and didn’t want it. But, maybe, it was like my Opa’s attic…when he was serving in WWII, his mother dumped out a box of “old belt buckles and stuff.” It turns out that old box of junk was uniform pieces and trinkets from the Civil War that were found around the crater site and battlefields in Petersburg, VA. (My Opa used to ride a pony through the tunnel that was dug to make the crater when he was a boy. It collapsed years ago, but that’s pretty cool, huh?) Anyway, maybe this bag was put in a junk box inadvertently and somehow ended up in a yard sale in Gettysburg, PA. Who knows? But I felt like I needed to hang onto it…just in case.
So, after almost two years of keeping this bag in a drawer in my kitchen and almost 100 years after a young Albert kept a record of his WWI service, Patti, Albert’s granddaughter, contacted me through Facebook, excited to see her grandfather’s WWI mail pouch in an old post on my blog. How amazing is that? I just mailed it out to her today and I’m so thrilled that this little piece of history is going back to the family to which it belongs.
I just love happy endings.
So, we’re going to go backwards for a post here and there, so I can show the pieces I worked on for Lucketts. As I’m getting ready for the event, I have to move at a crazy fast pace, so I don’t have the time to post all of the details. Now that it’s over and the dust is settling, I can go back and share a bit more of the how.
Do you remember this settee?
I know it doesn’t look too bad in the pictures. It really wasn’t too bad, but the fabric wasn’t upholstery weight, so it was worn, faded and torn in some places. It was also pretty dirty. I actually found ladybugs in the tufts and under the cushion. Plus the cording was pretty tired-looking. So, I stripped everything off of the frame, including the padding.
This is when things get a little scary.
But I press on…
I sanded the frame, just to scuff up the shiny finish.
…and painted it in MMS Milk Paint in Grain Sack, which is a neutral light gray color (and definitely my favorite for upholstered furniture frames.)
I did add some of the bonding agent to the paint, because I wanted good adhesion. I applied a very sloppy coat of paint, which is okay for small, carved surfaces like this.
Once the sofa was stripped, I noticed that it was meant to be upholstered in three separate panels. The tufting, while pretty, just didn’t feel right and seeing the frame confirmed that the tufting was a later addition. I decided to take the piece back to the way it was meant to be.
So, I reused the padding, but filled in the holes created by the tufting with with some excess padding.
I also added a layer of batting to smooth out the lumpiness…
Once the fabric was stretched tight, it was nice and smooth.
Yeah…these pictures are out of order. I finally got around to taking a picture of the finish, which was distressed with some 100 grit sand paper (by hand) and then I applied a light coat of MMS Furniture Wax. I did this before adding the fabric.
This piece was definitely the most time consuming project of the fair, but I love how it turned out.
I added some cream gimp trim and made a cover for the seat (with a zipper and all…fancy.)
Look at the amazing texture on that vintage Hungarian linen…love! I have ordered some more and can’t wait to get it to work on more upholstery projects.
I even like how the original seams on the linen blankets show in a few places.
I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of this piece all prettied up with pillows on it! Darn it!
More Lucketts before and after to come…
AND I haven’t forgotten about the I’m-sad-I-couldn’t-come-to-Lucketts-giveaway.