Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Singer Sewing Machine

In my garage is the now broken down Singer Sewing Machine table. You likely know these well, they lurk in the corners of many homes for reasons only slightly unique to each owner. Mine is a hand me down from my great aunt another one of the antique items acquired through the Wood Furniture refugee program p-man and I have run since our early 20's. We never met a piece of wood furniture that we could let go to goodwill; not even the ones we really don't need.**

So, I had the treadle sewing machine. About 8 years ago I also had a super cute blueberry iMac, one of those first generation thingys. I thought the sewing machine cabinet would be perfect as a computer desk. I got some keyboard glides and did a conversion. After numerous arguments with my Dad about how I should be doing it I got it done. Out came that machine and on went my new INTERNET machine. I wrote my Masters at that desk, my first website, I trafficked in serious amounts of email and got ready to blog from there, I figure.

I thought about it then -- and still -- how I didn't convert much. The easy transition 19th century sewing machine for 21st century portal; a machine that enables, a new opportunity for independence and intention. I felt the connection over time to my aunties and grandmas who worked at the many many identical veneer table tops night and day. I expected the time they would have spent at that appliance would have been quite comparable to the time I spend at the interface, but who knows. I feel still some romance for this now broken down symbol of womanly enterprise, its resonance of solitary exertions with bounteous outcomes.

P-man observed the table's surplus status in the recent inventory of the wooden unpurposed we shelter. He thinks we should get rid of it. It's true I could get rid of it now but part of me really hopes we don't actually know how to throw out furniture.

**I have always wanted to take the tv parts out of our antique tv set and put in a goldfish aquarium.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love second hand furniture. I like the idea that my stuff had a life before me. And I'm cheap. These two things mean that I have home decor that my teenage neighbour thinks is urban and kooky, but that some more earnest people think is baaaaaaaaad.

But I must confess: I have never met a piece of wood furniture that I've not wanted to paint. Debbie Travis is my hero.

I love that old tv. If you take out the tube be careful not to break anything and/or get yourself killed. So says my husband, Mr. Science.

9:17 p.m.  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

I love that conversion. My mom's singer is open in the entry to the house, showing the beautiful paint on the metal machine, the flipped open table a place for the mail.

She used to use that machine years ago, until she ran her finger through with the needle. I covet that machine, but I have no idea where I would put it or what I would do with it.

10:10 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dunno if you have HGTV, but if you do, check out "Junk Brothers:"

The premise of the show is this: Two brothers drive around the night before garbage pickup, take something (usually furniture) that's being thrown out as junk, transform it into something funky / odd / cool and then return it.

They have some tips here:

Geoff G.

1:36 p.m.  
Blogger L. said...

After reading this post, I know you must empathize with the pain I feel, getting rid of my furniture before we move. It literally hurts!

10:28 p.m.  
Blogger Mad said...

Keep it. Keep it. Keep it.

My sister ended up with the legacy machine from my heritage.

5:05 p.m.  

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