Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Birthday surprises!



I've got a big birthday coming up. Launching into the next decade of my life. Since I turned 59 last year, I've thought of nothing but the fact that I will be 60 on my next birthday. I was so preoccupied with that thought, I just let the year blow right by me!

So, over the past weekend, we went to our usual entertainment . . . an auction. One of our favorite auctioneers, Larry Scherer, had listed an oak sewing cabinet. I loved it the minute I saw it, but saw many people examine it, so I didn't presume that I would be the one bringing it home. I was standing on the opposite side of the auction building when it was brought up for sale. I was waiting for a box that was half full with 1940's and 1950's Workbasket magazines, while the other half of the box was vintage embroidery patterns from about the same era.

When a bidding war starts on an unusual item, auction crowd noises change. Chatter drops, and people begin to turning to look at what is being sold, and who the bidders are. In pretty short order, the only sounds are the auctioneer calling out the current bid, and the staff yelling, "YUP!" when that bid is accepted. I turned with the rest of the crowd to watch, and started looking for my DH. Finally, I saw him, standing with his hands in his pockets, kind of looking down at the floor and smiling . . . nodding his head. My legs turned to jelly when I heard the bid, and I started for that side of the building. Before I could reach him, the auctioneer called "Sold" and the crowd around DH was clapping him on the back. One of my friends, squealing and jumping up and down, grabbed me, before I could reach him, and hugged the breath out of me. When I got over to him, he just smiled, and said, "You only turn 60 once . . . Happy Birthday!"

A few minutes later, they sold the items that had been inside the sewing cabinet and placed in flat boxes. One box was full of thread, but it also had a silver tatting shuttle. They were sold by choice, meaning one placed a bid, and the highest bidder got to select the boxes they wanted. Another friend of ours wanted a couple little things from those boxes, so we didn't bid against each other, and selected 5 flats. As we were cooing and giggling over those items, they sold the remaining three flats for one price. I hadn't paid much attention, but the clerk, Eddie, made a bid for me. He's done that once or twice before, with the excuse that he knew I wanted them! In those cases, they were not getting any other bids, and his excuse this time was that everything came out of the sewing cabinet, so I should have it all! Needless to say, I have more change in the bottom of my purse than the bid that Eddie submitted for me! So, I trust his good judgment. In the additional boxes were tons of buttons and several vintage needle books.

The cabinet itself is oak. It appears that several of the drawers were salvaged from an old sewing machine cabinet, but faced with oak. The top drawer has rounded slots for spools, and when we removed it from the cabinet, we found the back of it has a slight angle, an oval opening, and glass in that opening, so we are sure it was originally part of a spool cabinet. The four sewing machine cabinet drawers are in a row underneath the top drawer. Then there is a large deep drawer the width of three of the drawers above, and to the right of the large drawer are two small drawers, which also appear to have had the oak facing attached to salvaged drawers. The lower front has a gentle scalloped skirt, and the legs are about 8 inches tall. I moved some other things from in front of the living room windows to make it a focal point in the room. When I got home from work, DH had swept the drawers, and moved the cabinet into place, and lined the drawers with the spools of thread that had resided there in its previous home. I just keep looking at it . . . can't believe it's mine! DH does have a knack for big gifts on big birthdays. My Featherweight was my gift for the last decade marker I passed.

Dh has acquired a reputation for being knowledgeable about Featherweights because we have purchased so many. There's always someone looking for one, and we sort of think of ourselves as being foster parents for Featherweights. We only purchase very clean ones, oil and grease them up gently, and take them for service if they show signs of needing it. We've found homes for at least a dozen machines. Have two orphans in our possession now that we are seeking homes for!

14 comments:

Dawn said...

Oh my gosh Linda! No wonder you were so excited! It sounded great, but that is GORGEOUS! Lets hear it for Norm! WOW! That is one beautiful cabinet!

Laura said...

Linda it is beautiful, a big hug to Norm for being so thoughtful!

Hedgehog said...

What a beautiful piece! And what a great story!

Melzie said...

I LOVE this post! I should fwd to my dh ;) Its beautiful when's your birthdate? xoxo melzie

paula, the_quilter said...

That is such a kewl piece of furniture. And you have a keeper in your DH. Lovely post. Happy Birthday! /paula

KCQuilter said...

What a wonderful sewing cabinet!!! And what a wonderful hubby! Turning 60 is not so bad--there is a certain kind of relaxation that comes with it!!!

tami said...

That is such a sweet story. I'm thinking DH is a keeper.
Love the sewing cabinet. Hope you have a really happy birthday. :o)

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

That is a sweet story - a DH that's a real keeper. That cabinet is beautiful - what a terrific keepsake and birthday gift. Happy Birthday, Linda!

BTW, I love the little lite that your DH made. Too cute!

quiltpixie said...

What a wonderful cabinet, and getting the contents too :-)

quiltpixie said...

PS, send me an email at quiltpixie at yahoo.ca -- I'd love to know more about the featherweights as I keep entertaining thoughts of getting one...

Sweet P said...

Your DH is a real keeper! The cabinet is absolutely incredible! I think I need to start attending an auction or two to see what I can find.

Lucy said...

Congratulations.. with your birthday and with the most wonderfull gift !!

Judy said...

Oh my that is one fabulous cabinet! You can tell that someone use such care making each drawer and finding just the right size for each section. I love that all the old thread looks like candy in that drawer!

Wonderful birthday present. I've got my 45th coming up and I'm not looking forward to hitting that mark!

Shelina said...

Congratulation son the cabinet and happy birthday. I think I need to go to more auctions!