A Cup of Coffee & A Good Book

What better combination?

While picking up an old "National" 1923 (Candy/Ice Cream Parlor) Cash Register with Joe in eastern Oklahoma in 2017. We were granted private access by the register owners to a closed up old dusty antique store that literally sat in the beautiful foothills of the Ozark mountains, off the side of the highway, once owned by their father, who had sadly passed 12 years earlier.

He had collected all his life and had developed a treasure trove of antiques, relics, and curiosities over the years. However, he was a gentleman much like myself, who often found himself more interested in the history, and the story of a piece, than the financial value it could bring him, or what was trending on certain websites, and might bring him a quick buck. According to his daughter, he often found himself torn between keeping and departing from a piece due to those interests. So his shop was quite interesting because we had an opportunity to wander through his store area and his private collection stored in another space.

And while gently searching through his incredible collection, I happened to come across some very fascinating old library books. One hundred and fourteen years old at that time, to be exact. Per the layer of dust on them, we could conclude that they had been tucked away for many years, but upon studying the place in which he had them stored, they must have been very precious to him. His daughter was not even aware they were there.

They were a little worse for wear, but even more, unfortunately, having been stored in this old damp, dilapidating building that had been closed up and locked since the father's passing, they had also experienced some mildew damage to many of the pages. However, knowing what I do for a living, I was not deterred because I knew they still had something to give...

Even if I wasn't quite sure what just yet...
The pages were beautifully riddled with age and had very feminine curious illustrations.
I couldn't just leave them to continue to decay!
I knew I had to find a new life for them,
and in a similar curious way.

This was going to take some pondering...
So we brought the books back to our shop, carefully stored them in inventory, and waited till we came up with a fun idea that would do these pages justice...
Skip ahead 2 years, and we're visiting a Habitat for Humanity in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
(One of my favorite places on earth, lol.)
When I come across a massive hoard of old cupboard doors...
There were TONS of them! In every size and style, you could imagine, lined up on the floor.
So I bought all the most unique.

But none excited me more than the enormous 1970's style one with 2 massive inlaid coves on the front.
It was the only one they had, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it!
I didn't realize what books I wanted to use until I got back to my design studio.
I remembered the beautiful books I had found 2 years earlier, with their exciting illustrations.

It was time to give these 2 pieces a new life.
Something fun. Something attractive to the eye. A conversation piece.

So I set to work.
Finding the perfect salvageable pages, deciding their arrangement, picking my hooks, determining their placement, painting my base color, and deciding on my top color.

Once my base & top coat were applied, and the pages were permanently placed, it was time to entirely seal my piece and give it back its respectable aged appearance.

And finally, time to attach my hooks. I chose a matte black finish to tie into the color of the ink on the pages.

And it was complete.

Sometimes a piece takes a little while to come to fruition, but if we have just a little patience and we give it time...and have the storage space...We can genuinely create unique pieces that do not only carry an incredible story but truly complete each other in
The End.
(See what I  did there? 😉)