Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let’s Talk About Antiques – Primitives

Let us continue to talk about one of my favorite things…Antiques (you thought I was going to say shoes – had ya fooled).  If you are just joining the conversation, be sure to get caught up by reading previous blogs.  For the last three posts, we talked about repurposing, which I believe goes hand in hand with antiques.  I love being able to reuse an antique and give it a new purpose.

If you follow my blog, you know even though I grew up in upstate NY, I come from Midwestern stock (namely Nebraska).  My ancestors who pioneered and settled the Midwest had to use and reuse items until they could be used no more.  There was no Wal-Mart or Target to run to in pioneer days.  I am proud of my Midwest pioneer heritage.  I am also fascinated by how my ancestors were able to settle the plains with such limited resources.

I think it is this fascination that makes “Primitives” so appealing to me.  You may be scratching your head and asking “what is a primitive”?  Well dear reader, I am about to tell you.  As a blogger, I feel it is my responsibility to bring you the most accurate information I can (this may be due to my broadcast journalism minor I had in college).  I know what I believe a primitive is, but I also research the topic before I blog.  In the case of primitives there isn’t a clear definition.  Some people define it as early American farm house items (I agree).  Others include more recent farm crafts in this definition (they lost me there).  For the purpose of my blog (and it is mine so I get to make the rules,  hehe) I am going to define primitives as early American farm house items.  I see them as items my great grandparents would recognize if they were to walk into the house.

A couple of years ago my husband and I gave out kitchen a face lift.  The kitchen received new paint, a new counter (tile) and a beautiful tile backsplash.  After this was done, it was time to decorate.  I took my kitchen in a primitive direction.  My kitchen has a ceiling, so I had lots of space to decorate on top of the cabinets and in an inset.  Here are some pictures for a visual aid
Here I used a mix of new items (the cow pattern cappuccino maker) with primitives. I have the cappuccino maker in an old crate with a tobacco tin on top.  To the right I have a kitchen scale with a reproduction soap box on top (orange is a great contrasting color with blue).
Here we have an a child's cast iron toy stove with a kraut cutter.  What is a kraut cutter?  I am SO glad you asked (this is where I can get my German pride on).  These boards have blades in the middle to slice up cabbage.  The cabbage would sit in a frame that was run back and forth over these blades.  The cut cabbage would then be turned into sauerkraut. This one here is a more "industrial" size one.  I also have a smaller hand held one.
Here is my inset that sits high above the kitchen.  I have decorated it with an old tool box (clearly made by hand), an old step ladder (give great visual interest and "shelves" to display more primitives) with old flour sifters and a lard tin sitting on the steps, an old mop bucket and a rug beater.  I've also included some greenery for color.
Also in my inset I have an old screen window and an old milk crate with some milk jugs.  The milk jugs that are "white" are filled with old bean bag styrofoam beads to give them the appearance of being full.  I'd like to take credit for this neat trick, but I in fact learned it from my friend Karen.

So there you have it.  Today you learned what primitives are.  I hope I have given you some ideas on how to decorate with them.  I think they are a great way to get a touch of history into your house. Happy decorating!

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

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