Sunday, August 15, 2010
MY FIRST COFFEE TABLE
My friend Concha (click on her blog "Concha's Cauldron" to the right on my blog) wrote that she was going to wallpaper using old road maps. (Gerald, there are forty road maps in one of the library desk drawers!)
It reminded me of my first coffee table. In my first apartment everything was recycled. The only furniture I had was the furniture from my room at home which consisted of a bed, dresser, chest of drawers, radio, record player and a chair. I couldn't afford to buy any furniture; I used whatever anybody gave to me and what I was able to "scrounge". A friend saw a couch that was being thrown out and we were able to get it. I had two wooden crates that I used for end tables beside the couch.
I put the two wooden crates together and on top of them I put the mahogany top that had come from our first television set when I was a kid. Voila! A coffee table. On top of the mahogany, I put a piece of glass that had been left over when another piece of glass was broken from my friend's baker's rack (hey, it was 1969!) and she decided to get rid of the whole thing. I used the baker's rack--minus the glass shelves--to hang my plants! Gerald bought a 19-inch Zenith color television set for me the next Valentine's Day and it lasted until 1990!
I love leaves. In school, I had the biggest leaf collection of anybody as we would go to my grandfather's farm in the hills and I collected many different types of leaves--paw-paw, persimmon, butternut--I even found a Blackjack Oak which is very rare in Ohio. [My younger brother used my leaf collection for his own when his class was required to collect leaves; I was so glad he also received an "A"!]
For my apartment, I collected leaves (from ginkgo, three different kinds of oaks, sweet gum, and maples) and shellacked them. I put leaves under the glass for my coffee table; I pressed the leaves and "decoupaged" the wooden crates with leaves! I used leaves everywhere! To this day, for one of my Thanksgiving arrangements, I shellac leaves from the trees in our yard--ginkgo, oaks, sweet gum, maples--and put them in a big cornucopia. I love the smell of shellac and the leaves and the brilliant autumn colors!
Boy, that RCA television when I was a kid was a beautiful piece of furniture. A console television set with wooden doors and brass handles concealing a 12-inch television on the left side; on the right side was a radio and a 45 record player; below was a record player able to play 78 and 33 1/3 records. When the television died, the cabinet was so beautiful Mother couldn't bear to part with it; on top of the RCA television was placed a "portable" Sylvania that weighed about 200 pounds! We used the cabinet for storage for years and I can't remember when or why we got rid of it, but the top was still remaining so I was able to use it for my coffee table.
The mahogany top is in Gerald's workshop today!