Thanksgiving Buffet

Happy Thanksgiving!  To all my American readers - Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving is my favourite weekend of the year.  Not only because it's my birthday, but because I always have SO much to be thankful for.

The weather always seems to be just perfect during Thanksgiving.  The leaves are all turning colour, the air is crisp and fresh, and it's just cold enough to turn your cheeks rosy and make sipping hot apple cider purely enjoyable.

Last week I didn't get a lot done.  Okay, I didn't get ANYTHING done!  This week we're back into the swing of things.  Here's a buffet I found on Kijiji:

Sometimes when I pick up pieces, I encounter sketchy situations.  This was one.  When I got to the house, I really wished I had sent Mark.  There was a frazzled lady, trying to clean out the buffet (totally unprepared that I was coming - even though I had called her twice), her 30-something son swearing and yelling at her the whole time, a little girl in pajamas screaming and running around uncontrollably, and all sorts of stenches coming from the house.  At least the husband appeared helpful, and he helped me lift it into my van.  I gave him the money, and the wife came back outside, yelling at me for her money.  I couldn't leave the place fast enough! 

This piece I decided to re-do in Annie Sloan's 'Old White'.  It took about 3 coats to cover the entire piece.  Then I sanded it down, and finished it with the clear wax.  After that, I took the dark wax and applied it to all the corners, edges and detail.
I've never used dark wax on an entire white piece before, so I was a little nervous.  At first I got incredibly frustrated.  The very helpful ladies at The Painted Bench (where I buy all my paints) told me to use paint thinner to control the dark wax.  That is what I did, and it turned out splendidly. 
My father-in-law is slowly cleaning out his garage, so he gave me this old antique lantern.  He thought it'd look neat with some of my pieces, and wanted to see it on my blog.  So here ya go, Dad.  Isn't it pretty?  :)
This piece had some issues with it when I got it - it didn't have a back panel, and the drawers were sagging on the right side (you can see it on the 'before' photo.  Mark is a little busy this week drywalling our basement, so I tackled the fixes my self.  A few nails and the back panel was back on, and a couple whacks with a hammer and some screws, and the sagging problem was fixed.  Here's my response to people who say, "I don't know how to fix it".  I say - "Did you try?"  I'm not exceptionally talented at these things - I just try.  I'd say, for every 3 successes I have, I have a failure.  A quote I heard today is, "If you fall flat on your face, at least you're still moving forward".  Just try - you may succeed.
For thanksgiving with Mark's side of the family, we went to Peterborough for the day.  This is me with Hannah outside the Silver Bean Cafe.  My brother and sister-in-law, Michael and Andrea, own the cafe.  If you are ever in Peterborough (during May - October), you must visit the cafe.  It's situated on the Trent River, and is one of my favourite places on earth.

We had a photographer take some family photos for us there, and I will definitely be sharing them when we get them.  In the meantime, here are Mark's parents with all the grandchildren.

Xavier, Hannah, Emanuel, William and Caroline.
William has another sibiling on the way, which we are ecstatic about!

 For my family's thanksgiving, we celebrated in the nursing home where my Opa is.  He has Alzheimer's, and it's progressing.  He didn't know who we all were, but he really loved the babies.  He sang songs with us for them, clapped at them and made sounds for them.  We put the girls in his walker, and walked around the home while Oma showed them off to all the residents.  They were quite a hit.  

(Sorry the photo's blurry!)

My Grandfather has always had a special little place in his heart for me, as he does with all his grandchildren.  When I was little, he would ask me to play the piano.  He didn't care if I made mistakes - but he did care if I played to fast.  "Play slow!" he would say.  Then he would sing along - "bum bum bum..."  It's hard seeing him slowly lose his way.  The other day Oma was with him, and a nurse asked them where they were going.  Opa said, "You may not know where you are going, but I know that I'm going to an eternal home with my father in heaven!"  It's comforting to know that in his confused state, his faith still has him grounded.

      For the beauty of the earth, 
 for the glory of the skies, 
 for the love which from our birth 
 over and around us lies; 
 Lord of all, to thee we raise 
 this our hymn of grateful praise.  

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  1. Don't go into homes by yourself! That's super scary... If I have to do it I call mom or Jon and keep them on the phone the entire time... But beautiful piece!

    1. Oh I didn't go inside - no way! I could hear all the commotion from where I stood 20' from the door. Horrible! But that's a good idea to keep someone on the phone. Sometimes it's inevitable.

  2. Hey Jen,

    Just wanted to let you know you inspired me to try chalk painting. Our kitchen table needed refinishing and I tried walnut stain but it took unevenly so I thought I'd try a chalk paint finish. I used Homestead Cranberry with Annie Sloan French Linen on top. It turned out pretty well, just some trouble getting the wax finish evenly shiny. I bought my supplies at the Painted Bench and mentioned your name, and was told "Jen is the best milk painter in Hamilton". No doubt!

    1. I was actually at the store about 20 minutes after you, and they told me you were there. I'd love to see a picture of your table! Try buffing the wax with a dry cloth to get it even, and let it sit a few days. The sheen should be even then.

  3. You buffet is gorgeous! I have an old one that I'm wanting to paint using your same technique. Interesting story behind yours! And I love the lyrics posted at the end of your blog. It's one of my favorites. You have a great blog! I'm visiting from your link on My Romantic Home.

  4. I've been dreaming of a buffet like this for a LONG time! Can't wait to try the dark wax on something....someday I'll get the time and the nerve!