Friday, January 17, 2014

The Empress Emerges

antique wardrobe The Empress just did fit into the Blazer. 

Finally a clear, warm day arrived, and it was time for her to emerge.

It was a bit like birthing a heifer.

Well, I don't really know how to birth a heifer, but I have seen it done on TV.

I carefully jiggled and wiggled her over the tire wells.

 I got her out onto the tailgate.  

Pet peeve:  Why do they not put tailgates on SUV's anymore?

Do they not know how useful they are?

Listen up, Detroit!

 Back to the Empress.

I removed her drawers as she sat on the tailgate.

I also was able to free the treasures Leia and I had found on the Chilly Low Country Crawl.

I will show those later.

I promise.

 With her drawers laying (lying?) in the driveway, I painted her bottom turquoise.

I know no one will probably see her bottom again, but it was like giving her lacy underwear.

I did let the paint dry before moving her.

This is wet paint drying.


 Keeping in mind I am sixty with a frozen shoulder and only 5'2" stretching, I got that bad girl out by MYSELF!

I used the tailgate as leverage.

(Are you listening, Detroit?)

Here she stands in shabby, very shabby beauty.

All the drawers but one in good shape, a missing mirror in one door, and missing trim.

 She did not need a lot of cleaning - my niece was using her.

When Leia was young, her mother wanted an old wardrobe for her baby clothes.  She had a friend who did clean-outs in downtown Charleston, SC.  He found her this one.

It is the only real story I know personally of someone finding treasure.

When she was cleaning the wardrobe, she found money taped to one of the drawers.

The Empress thought she was as naked as she could be.

Drawers off and doors opened.

BUT . . .

Her back was toast!

Brittle and falling off.

Too many moves.

Too much handling in her life.

So I jerked that back panel off!

And laid the Empress completely and totally bare.

I even ripped away her privacy curtain seen hanging dejectedly in the door missing its mirror.

Washed her down good before the trip across the yard, to the front door, up the steps and into the living room.

 The Empress nestled in the corner of the living room.

I will be totally honest here.  I managed to get her on the dolly, across the yard, but not in the house.

Chucks helped pick her up and carry her the rest of the way.

Grumbling and mumbling about all the work we had done to CLEAN the living room before Christmas and what happened to my vow to keep it clean and he hoped Leia was renting a man with a truck to take it back when I finished with her and did I think I would be painting her in the house ... well, you get the picture.

He was not happy!

 A wonky photo to show that wonderfully wavy mirror in her door.

Oh, yes, I let her put her drawers back on!

I love the hatbox section in wardrobes, don't you?

This one is in good shape - door fits snugly, but someone replaced the mirror with glass.

Now what to do with her?

Spend a lot of time, effort, and money to make her right for our house.


Spend a little time, effort, and money to make her a display for linens at the booths.

I need to make a decision quick.  

I am afraid when Leia sees the Empress in her new clothes (you knew I was going there, right?) she will want her back.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Meanwhile a cruel thing has occurred here in the South. 

 We have a REAL winter on our hands for the first time in several years.

And the painting projects are piling up.

See y'all!

Note:  Several of my finds are finding themselves to my Etsy shop.  Check the sidebar for the link.  I add new things about three times a week.  Horror Monster and Chucks thank you!

Use this discount code to receive 10% off your purchase at the Distressed Donna Etsy store:



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  1. Still LMBO about birthing a heifer! Good for you for giving furniture "lacy underwear" LOL! Nothing is sadder than an over-handled empress. I had no idea that square section was called a hat box section. I call mine the pajama door because behind it are all of my jammies. I think you should fix it all up and gift it back to Leia.

  2. Donna ... that looks like a wonderful piece. I know you will "make-her-up" and dress her beautifully. Anxious to see what you do. Looks like fun for you and maybe Chucks will change his mind. Good luck
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  3. Dear Lord Donna! No you did not move that piece. She will be gorgeous painted. I say keep her. Then you do not move her again. I have a rock maple table in my den and a coffee table in the dining room and a table in the shop all waiting for paint. Plus you know I detest painting. I have spent the morning hanging curtains, pictures [you know I need more] and mopping. Hyper I am. No more lifting please. I think we are due for a field trip, Olive

  4. I haven't been able to paint anything this winter. I have three projects on hold. Today I saw a wardrobe exactly like this. I think I'll go back for it tomorrow:)

  5. I would probably keep it! It's a very cool piece!

  6. I'm so Glad your Friend Audrey sent you over for a Blog Visit because I thoroughly Enjoyed this Post Donna, I can so relate to a Scene unfolding like this! *winks* It would be difficult to part with a Special Piece like this, I'd be inclined to want to keep her.

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  7. This is the first time I've heard the phrase "like birthing a heifer" in regards to refinishing a piece of furniture. You're awesome, and that is going to turn out amazing!

  8. You had me laughing all the way to the end. She is a beauty indeed and will be gorgeous once she's all decked out in paint. Careful with your back:-)

  9. The empress is quite a beauty...even in her stripped-down state! Can't wait to see what you decide to do with her, Donna!

  10. Oh, I can't wait to see what you do with her!

  11. Oh I just love the empress Donna! The turquoise is fabulous. I would definitely have to keep her.

  12. Love this piece - can't wait to see the rehab!

  13. I think we might both live in SC! Yes, this weekend is bitter! Can't wait to see what you do! I am doing the same thing this long holiday weekend! Coming over from

  14. What a great piece. I can't wait to see her all dressed up!! Love her underclothes. Di

  15. We had a piece like this growing up, my sister has it now. Why does she get everything?!
    Love yours and can hardly wait to see how it turns out!

  16. I LOVE her underwear - sort of like a pair of Louboutin shoes !!!!!!!
    And I can't believe you carried that out by yourself - are you nuts?
    With your shoulder?
    Love ya - miss ya - drowning here in reno's

  17. Love that you painted her aqua blue on her bottom...:) Have you decided if you are keeping her yet? I am excited to see what you pulled out of her! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

    Blessings, Vicky

  18. Donna, you could have been describing me getting her out of the Blazer. I am only 5' and have a jeep that gets jammed with stuff. LOL! Can't wait to see what the Empress looks like when you are done with her. Hugs!

  19. What an amazing piece of furniture! Can't wait to see her all dressed up again!

  20. OMG, please! please fix it up to keep! I don't think it would be too hard and so worth the effort when it was done! I am also super impressed that you lifted this by yourself!!

  21. I chuckled over your girl's lacy underwear! What a cute post.

  22. I can't believe you got that out of the Blazer all by yourself! It's an amazing piece. I would love to see it painted! As for giving it back, after all that work I would say it is definitely yours to keep ;) Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great week!

  23. Birthing a heifer! Hahahaha! You're a trip, Donna, but I hope you didn't hurt yourself, you should've had help. But I've done it before too, so I can't talk. Can you believe how cold it is down here, what the heck?! Anyway, I love that wardrobe, it's awesome. So lucky for you to have gotten it, whatever you decide to do with it, I know it will be great. Thanks so much for sharing this at my History & Home Link Party this week. -Dawn @ We Call It


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