When we were discussing Christmas traditions last week, I forgot to mention an important one of mine.
Growing up, my next door neighbors were like surrogate grandparents to my brother and me. Both of my parents worked full time, and my brother and I would spend hours there. They were the original DIY’ers. They had huge gardens, June made her own clothes, and Cecil was an amazing wood worker. He would make amazing toy trains and little wooden dolls, and then June would sew their dresses and paint their faces.
Under June and Cecil’s guidance, I learned how to knit and sew (by hand — I can’t run a sewing machine to save my soul). My brother learned to work on cars. We would make popcorn on the stove. We loved spending time with them, and my parents loved that we weren’t home alone so much. They truly were a couple out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
We started a tradition, a long time ago, where we would go over to June and Cecil’s every year, right before Christmas, and and enjoy a big dinner and exchange gifts. My brother and I were extremely picky eaters, and so every year June would make us a big breakfast for dinner (since my brother and I loved breakfast foods most of all). She would make huge skillets of scrambled eggs, pancakes, two huge platters of toast and literally obscene amounts of bacon! We loved it, and we did it for years. As our family expanded, we folded Topher into the routine, and our then daughter, and now my brother’s lovely wife.
Sadly, Cecil lost his battle with cancer few years ago, and since then we have moved the feast to our house to make it easier on June. Our dinner will be this weekend, and we are heading out to buy the massive amount of food needed for tonight (starting with two dozen eggs, two loaves of bread, eight pounds of bacon, (at least) two bottles of wine, and some Prilosec — if you’re doing the math, that equals a pound of bacon per person). My dear hubby helps me prepare the feast, and it’s one of my favorite days of the year.
The scariest part: We never have leftovers. So if I happen to miss a post one day this week, it’s because I’ve consumed my weight in bacon and am so filled with sodium I can’t bend my fingers.
The project below is one of the three big projects eating-up my time (get it … “eating up”). I found this armoire on Craigslist this summer. My client is putting it in her baby’s nursery.
This took a lot longer than I thought due to doing all of the distressing (especially the front of the doors by hand). I must say I have no skin left on any of my right hand fingers. I painted it with my own DIY chalkpaint — it took about 3 coats. I distressed it, glazed it and did several coats of wax on it. I think it is perfect for a nursery, but will transition nicely into other rooms once the baby grows up.
The French Hen's Nest says
You are amazing, what a difference! Most would pass this by, good job. It will look great in a nursery.
Roxanne Reinhart says
Love your redo. It is perfect.
I can smell the bacon cooking right now! Great transformation of the dresser and I love the color. Thanks for linking to the Open House party.
What a sweet and wonderful tradition. These are the real important things that happen in life while we are not looking. They become the memories we cherish most.
What a fabulous job you did on the furniture piece, that is going to be an amazing nursery!
Wishing you a happy and blessed new year.
Thank you Patti! That tradition is one of my favorite nights of the year!
Katherines Corner says
Oh my goodness, I love bacon. What a wonderful tradition! Love the armoire too. Thank you for sharing at the hop xo
Beautiful armoire! Great work! 🙂
Thanks so much Dawn! Happy New Year!
Jann Olson says
What a wonderful story! I use to own a business and I had a dear older man named, Cecil who would cut wood for me and my partner to paint and teach classes. My sweet mothers name was June. So as I read your account I couldn’t help but think of them and how they were both such loving and giving people also. I love that the tradition is carried on by you. The armoire turned out wonderful. I love how you left the inner drawers white. Hubby and I are going to finish our basement. I will be looking for a fun piece to redo for my craft room. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup. Have a wonderful New Year!
I think all the June’s and Cecil’s out there must be special people. Good luck on your basement! Happy New Year!
Turned out great!! I love the color and distressing. Thanks for sharing with us!!
Doris H. says
We always do Breakfast for Christmas too. There’s always something everyone likes.
I have no idea why this will not let me type in small letters….Sorry.
Doris H. says
Well it posted right. lol
Wow, what a beautiful transformation!
Thanks Marilyn! Have a great weekend!
Crystelle Boutique says
What a gorgeous chest for a baby nursery! Lucky client. Sounds like your neighbors are pretty amazing people! How wonderful to have good people around when children grow up….
Happy mothers day to you!!..… 🙂
Thanks so much Crystal! Happy Mother’s Day to you too!
Diana Rambles says
Beautiful. You have inspired me to paint the many thrifty projects I have been saving for rainy days. Why do you skip the glaze part on some projects? I noticed that on some, your steps are: paint with chalk paint, distress, then wax. And on this one, you painted, distressed, GLAZED, and then waxed.
Another question: besides Annie Sloan wax, what would you suggest for a final step that you can buy at lowes, etc?