I’ve been wondering lately whether the term Indian summer is no longer politically correct. I think you have to go back to the origins of the term and see if it was meant to be derogatory to determine that. So I did some research and found a few good articles including this one on MPR.
It seems that no one knows for sure why early Americans called it Indian summer but the term has been around for well over 200 years. I always thought that it was an exclusively American thing, but recently our Venetian tour guide, whom I follow on Instagram, posted a lovely photo of the Grand Canal and mentioned their Indian summer temperatures. So apparently the term has caught on outside of the U.S. as well.
Since the jury is out on whether or not it’s offensive, I think I’ll start calling it ‘second summer’ instead. Sort of like in The Lord of the Rings when they have second breakfast (two of Mr. Q’s favorites; the movie and the 2nd breakfast).
And boy did we ever have a second summer here this past weekend! Beautiful, sunny days in the 70’s. Since we’d had temps in the teens and measurable snow just a week or two ago, it was quite a change.
I took Friday off at the day job so I could enjoy the weather, and I tried to cram as many of my summer favorites into second summer as I could. We had my niece and sister over for a BBQ, nnK and I helped Ken’s wife Arlene clean up her garden and then we ate lunch on the deck (albeit without furniture, since that was already put away for the winter), I hung my laundry out on the clothesline, I did some work in my own garden (mostly planting bulbs) and best of all, I was able to work in my unheated carriage house workshop for three days in a row.
I took advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the bench that Ken made out of a headboard way back in January.
Here is the bench before I painted it.
And here is how the bench looked up until this past weekend.
And it did not sell. I tried reducing the price, but still it didn’t sell. Ken was convinced that the problem was that I left the legs and that piece on top unpainted. Maybe he was right, but I think the bigger problem was my color choice. No one is really decorating with pale, smoky blue these days are they? I also wasn’t entirely happy with my transfer choice. It looks like the very top of it was cut off a bit.
Regardless of the reason, I decided it was time for a do-over on this one.
So I took advantage of the nice weather and moved the bench back out into my workshop where I attacked it with an orbital sander and 80-grit paper. It took a fair amount of elbow grease, and several sheets of sandpaper, but I sanded off the transfer and then I re-painted the bench in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.
And this time I painted the whole thing, legs and all.
Once it was fully painted, it really looked rather boring. Up until that point I hadn’t decided whether or not to add a different transfer, but the plain-ness of the bench unadorned convinced me that it needed a little something more.
So I added part of re.design with prima’s Parisian Letter transfer to the back.
And I added another section of the transfer to the lower part of the bench.
That little bit of trim at the top of the bench definitely needed something too, so I went with the bee from the Classic Vintage Labels transfer.
One bonus to having to re-paint this piece is the layered effect I got when I distressed the edges.
You can see hints of the pale blue underneath the white. Having a couple of layers of color always gives a bit more ‘age’ to a piece, and I like that.
So now the question is, will this piece have as amazing a ‘second summer’ as we had here in Minnesota this weekend? Will it sell now that it’s painted in a more neutral color? Or will it continue to linger unsold?
Which version is your favorite?
Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint and wax, and to re.design with prima for providing the transfer used on this project.
If you’re local and you have just the spot for a bench, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details on this one.