Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Poppet's Vintage Desk

I wanted a nice art space for Poppet that she can access whenever the compulsion grabs her. We had a coffee table before that we used for any arty projects but it was a little low and the plastic seat we had didn't quite go all the way under so she ended up standing most of the time.

I remembered that my sister and I had old-fashioned ex-school desks when we were young that my dad found and completely fixed up, so I crossed my fingers and asked if they were still lurking somewhere - lo and behold, they've been up in my parents' attic all these years! My dad is a joiner and made us quite a lot of wooden toys when we were young but not all of them are still around, being passed down to younger family or lost along the way. I was so pleased the desks were still around. He had made little matching chairs with our initials carved into them to go with the desks, and luckily Poppet shares the same initial as her Aunty, so I quickly asked my sister if she would mind if her niece had her old desk. Of course she said yes being the kind generous Auntie that she is!

A few weeks later (it felt like ages!) I finally got to see it.

It looked not too bad at all considering how old it was already when my sister had it as a little girl 20 odd years ago! It even has the little ink well for writing with ink. There were some old exercise books in it belonging to my youngest brother so we had a good laugh reading through some of his masterpieces from the 90s! Highlights were 'Complaint letter to JJB Sports' and fictional accounts of imaginary injuries. His teachers must have thought he was mad.

It brought back so many childhood memories seeing the desk again, and we found lots of graffiti on it, my personal favourite being 'wrong the best living thing on earth is Lisa' (obviously in response to the question 'What is the best living thing on earth?',  how confident of me).

There were also picture of cars, and various names (here is our cousin Richard making his mark).

All the desk needed was a good sanding down and a coat of varnish and it was ready to provide many more years of enjoyment to the next generation. I sanded the chair, my dad the desk, and we were careful just to sand it enough to take the grime off but leave the markings that give it it's character and charm. It looked lovely after and I couldn't wait to show it to Poppet when she woke up.

I filled up the inside with some art materials so that they are quick to hand and Poppet doesn't need to ask me if she wants to draw. She loves opening and shutting the desk, and so far we have had no trapped fingers!

I'm hoping to pick up a little china inkwell to put in the hole at some point just to finish it off, but Poppet is equally as happy using it as a place to stick some of her pens into. Little has very much enjoyed this new spot to pull up on and practice her standing skills too so it's smiles all round!

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