The Thursday Three – woolly thinking and a new apprentice

IMG_20160617_110235How do they meet this price point? I thought Primark had moved away from sweat shops?

I don’t know, this cushion was made in India, in a wool like fabric with faux patent leather piping. It’s quite spectacular and would sit happily in any designer boutique.


IMG_20160617_110615This old woolwork embroidery has recently been made up as a clutch bag, not very practical but it’s so pretty I will find a use at the French House. Clothes pegs? tights? secret documents?


I have a very willing new apprentice. When we first started the furniture relooking a couple of months ago my grandson was not impressed when he was obliged to follow me back to the car carrying one of a pair of heavy Victorian stools. He was even less impressed when I said we might as well sit on them outside the pharmacy whilst we wait for Papi (who had the car keys)

Embarrassing Grandparent Alert!

Later I explained what we are doing, how we are doing it and why, and he has become a very enthusiastic junk sifter.

He now understands that we don’t want fake wood, chip board, melamine etc as this is unsatisfactory for our finishes. He can spot veneer  a mile away.

He is only just nine and very skinny, so can reach tight , convoluted, dodgily stacked spots that Granma can’t.

We now have these heavy discussions about style, shape, work required and profit margins, mostly in the charity furniture shop near his house (where he is now accepted as my official wing man).

His rapidly assimilated knowledge of the above has bemused a few of the hardened local dealers we see in there looking for junk to flog off as antiques at posh outlets. He knows that we are not doing that; he asked me on Wednesday if I thought it ethical to buy a piece from a charity shop and transform it into something stylish and beautiful and then sell it for more?

I said, Hell! Yes!, we put in the work and it get’s a whole new lease of much loved life somewhere else, and the charity gets a regular input of much needed funds from us.

Nel got that; and he risked an avalanche of precariously piled stuff to rescue this little table.

Painted antiqued wine table

Painted antiqued wine table

The top’s veneer, which I would usually avoid, but it’s cute and, along with much of the other stuff we have   found, I now like it so much, with it’s custom  mixed paint and wax job, that I want to keep it.

That, folks, is the benchmark. If I love it, then someone else most certainly will.



About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Thursday Three – woolly thinking and a new apprentice

  1. Osyth says:

    Well done for teaching your apprentice well and young. He will thank you endlessly throughout his life. Now that cushion. I think that Primark still skate as near as they can to the sweatshop …. it’s a sad fact. I have a blogging friend currently working in el Salvador and he remarks at how difficult it is to decide whether to buy from the children working hideous backbreaking hours in the markets or not. A not so modern ethical dilemma I fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. poshbirdy says:

    Your new recruit sounds lovely. And very useful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry N, flippantly put my foot in it again


  4. Your grandson sounds very sweet and your wine table looks very sweet too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. francetaste says:

    You do beautiful work. Your grandson is lucky to learn a craft like that, whether for business or pleasure later.
    A friend’s son got into the business of buying things at garage sales (in the U.S.), fixing them up and reselling on eBay. He made quite a nice sum.
    It’s all better than seeing the stuff go into a landfill.
    As for the sweatshops, the excellent news site Quartz had this article about tell-tale signs your clothing was made in a sweatshop:
    Also this one:

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nadia says:

    Great to have a young apprentice. I think I need one of those too.

    Liked by 1 person

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