Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Mother's Ironing Board

I grew up in the days before easy-care clothes were available (or the wrinkle-look was stylish!). For some reason, ironing shirts for six brothers is what I connect the most with ironing. First I 'sprinkled' water on the shirt, then rolled it up tight for the water to dampen it and finished it off by wrapping it in a towel to keep the moisture in. So different from the easy-care clothes of today. I chuckle to myself when I remember what my dear friend Rhoda says..."she hopes folks think her husband's Sunday-go-meetin' shirt just got wrinkly on the way to church!' No, ironing was not a favorite laundry job.

After my parents passed, I ended up with the ironing board because I couldn't bear to let it end up in the trash heap and because of the memories attached to it. It spent a lot of time in storage. I used it outdoors for one summer as a garden prop and it went back into storage again. It came out last summer when I used it to display my collection of watering cans for a garden tour. After browsing through some blogs I saw the beginning of an idea and the ironing board found it's place in 'my hall of memory fame.'

In the laundry, of course!

Our laundry is very narrow and it's impossible to get a direct picture but one gets the idea.
I'm as pleased as punch with it!

Now I think fondly of ironing my brother's shirts and can still hear
my mother's voice giving instructions in the art of ironing.
Because we grew up six boys and six girls in my family,
it made sense to use the number twelve to give it a lovely finish.

Folded up, the back is an art in itself and could be displayed like this as well. I am thinking of cutting the legs off so it hangs flat against the wall but that's still undecided. There are no screws to take out; rather it's a kind of welded (?) bolt on it so I used plastic ties to keep the legs together.
The weathered finish is just gorgeous! Product of the natural aging from the summers spent outdoors.
The lettering was very simple to do and I used a permanent marking pen to outline the letters...
and didn't bother about being particular filling it all in.
 It got a good sanding to finish it off. I'm totally, totally pleased with it
and it comes under my idea of rustic glamour!

What do you think...
let it as is?
cut the legs off?

(wonder what my mother would say if she'd see it now?)


Rhoda said...

Cut the legs off? NO WAY!!

Anonymous said...

So delightful, makes me kinda jealous, sista. But then again i can now look at it from here. Mom was very particular about ironing shirts, she once told me her bro Paul liked her ironing best.:)

Leslie's Garden said...

What a fabulous way to use something of such poignant value! I would leave the legs on,just because it's really part of the whole. But if you take them off, that's good too. Wow! 12 children! Whee!

Blondie's Journal said...

I just love this, and your sweet memories, too. I would leave the legs on. I love how you stenciled it. You brought back memories of my mother who "took in" ironing to make a little extra money. The ironing board was entirely made of wood, even the legs and it was permanently set up in the living room! I ironed hubbys dress shirts for work for the first ten years of our marriage and after he complained about a few leftover wrinkles, I had him take the shirts to the cleaners to be pressed. He still does! ;-D


Rose @ Walnut Acre said...

It's beautiful. I love it!

Dianne said...

Leave it as is. It is lovely!

Kelley Dibble said...

It's beautiful! Part with -0- of it. Let it be-- words of wisdom-- let it be!

Precious memories. What a treasure!


Anonymous said...

very nice.Hehe on your comment about my "laziness"!RN

Rita said...

OMG your board is gorgeous.

Helen said...

I grew up ironing everything, too. One of my first "jobs" was ironing for my aunt - at 15 Cents an item. She was very particular and precise about how my uncles flannel shirts turned out. Looking back, I see it was a great learning experience. What a great way to keep a treasured item.

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