Check out these legs!

Those legs  I sketched out,       cut out, sanded clean—and then set aside for a minute. . .

I’m back on them-


They weren’t quite working with my original plan  so I set them aside to focus on other projects.

Wednesday I cut out 1 more so I could move forward with a 2 bench project.

making the legs-

So~ I pulled some 1½” thick wood, drew out my profile, cut it out on a band saw, sanded them all clean.

– I tried cutting out the first leg with a jigsaw, but the cuts came out kind of beveled because the blade struggled to stay straight up & down through the thick material.
– A bandsaw is truly the best way to get a good, straight up & down cut line with thick material.  BUT, you can’t just follow all those curving lines, you need to make a lot of relief cuts and clear the chunks as you go so the blade doesn’t get “pinched.”
– I bought a specialty sanding kit that you can use in a drill or drill press.  It essentially  becomes a drum sander, and is an AMAZing help and time saver!

my new specialty sanding kit for the drill or drill press

Instead of making a stretcher to stabilize the legs, I made a decorative piece -still like a stretcher- to go under the seat to stabilize the whole bench.

I pre-drilled (including a countersink) from the outside of the leg to attach.

attaching the decorative stabilizing piece-

-attaching the "stretcher"-attaching the "stretcher"









the benches- almost finished with construction

construction- FINI!

don't let that "white" finish fool you...Okay~ “funny” story here.  See the faded white paint on the boards above?  When I cleaned them it all washed away—it was actually

bird poop.

Seriously~ what’s with the birds and me lately?

Now that I had to REaddress the finish of the tops, I decided to keep it   “natural.”  I gave them a good sanding and waxed them, which really made the wood come to life, BUT.  Barnboards can be very. . . sliver-y.

I gave them a good coating of polyurethane.  BeaUtiful!


Hope to see you at the  Vintage Market  tomorrow!

the "new" tops/seats

my new bench projects!

my new bench projects!

my new bench projects!

Vintage Market at The Grove!I’ve been working on some decorative plaques for the Vintage Market this weekend.  I need “smalls” for it.

So, what do I have?

-I have lots of scrap wood in my studio from varying projects.

-A neighbor gave me some old door casing from the REmodel of his 100yr old simple farm house.

-I’ve been collecting lots of graphics for years -and- a roll of onion skin.

That’ll work!

For my first plaques, I created a shield form in 2 sizes~and made a pattern to make them over & over!  I actually used some slab doors I bought at the ReStore for these.  

After cutting out the shape, I routered a detailed edge, sanded, and primed them. Headed back in to play with some graphics on the computer.  Wrapped cardstock paper with onion skin, and printed out my images.

Shield Plaques

I made 4 “birds” and a large B&B plaque.

the first plaques-

Next, I dug out several misc end cuts of pine boards, “squared” them up, ran them through the router table, sanded and primed.

I also stripped the stain off a couple of small ReStore cabinet doors.

REusing scrap end cuts!

creating my decoupages--Again, I played around setting up some graphics—a variety of images, mostly from the backs of vintage china.  I love the stamps and crests that were used and have been collecting those images for many years.

I printed all onto onion skin that I wrapped around heavy cardstock paper to go through the printer.  Since I have yet to master ANY transfer method, I decided to use the very translucent onion skin to decoupage the images instead!  THAT, I can do!

*You can see at right just how translucent onion skin is.

I prefer to use wall paper paste in my decoupage projects.

1– It has more open time to move and adjust things.  I’ve heard some of you say how you struggle, try this instead!
2– It’s easier to UNdo down the line.  Wallpaper stripper will help get some off, and the rest can be sanded off.  Good luck with ModPodge.
3– I use wallpaper paste to seal the surface and edges of decoupaged drawer fronts, and the finish is much the same as ModPodge.

And then I spent a very enjoyable day applying all my papers!

When they were all dry I gave them all a light sanding to their surface, and a good sanding to clean up the paper edges/sides.  I clear waxed all—then lime waxed and dark waxed some of them too.

Lastly, I ripped the 100+ year old casing (from the neighbor) into 2″ widths, and cut mitered strips on the chop saw to frame each.  Plus, I screwed “D” rings to the back of each for hanging.my scrap wood plaques!

I love the many old, gloppy layers of paint, the cut nails,  all the imperfections!

A fun project for next to nothing—


my scrap wood plaques!

my scrap wood plaques!

my scrap wood plaques!

my scrap wood plaques!

my scrap wood plaques!








my scrap wood plaques!

I ran out of board on this frame and scabbed in a corner–I luv it more!

a birdsong

-my birdsong dresserThe Urban Dictionary describes a Birdsong as

When something really awful happens, but it turns into something fantastic!

HuH~ a pretty good description for this whole project.  Except let’s just say- awful, ending with pretty good.


a $15 CL dresser

I found this dresser on Craigslist and negotiated a $15 sale.  With an action-packed schedule, it was a “..hustle to pick it up – check it out later.”  I sure was disappointed when I finally got to look it over. Uhgh~ $15 was too much and I should’ve left it there.

*Cannot find my Before picture—it’s already getting worked over here…

It needed a LOT of repair and REbuilding and was disGUSTingly dirty!  It still amazes me how people can sell stuff like that and keep a straight face.  1- I take care of my belongings, and 2- pride, decency, and upbringing would never allow it.

I stripped its top

—because I’m just not a BIG fan of painted tops—things like to stick to them.  It revealed an interesting veneered top—also in rough shape.  I opted to leave it natural and only waxed it (adding a little liming wax later).

the stripped top-

Realizing the REsale limitations of this dresser—I was trying to strike a balance between doing right by it and not giving up a lot of my time.  Ha-ha.

I chose a paint color scheme and started painting.  Of course that didn’t work—it had some awful, inconsistent finish that resisted the paint.  I tried to give it a “tooth” by sanding, but—NO.  I think it may have been polyurethane’d, even Kilz primer needed 2 coats, but I was finally back to painting—

a Gray frame with white drawers.

I thought it would look clean, simple & classic, but instead, it just looked boring. Moving on to Plan D -or E or F by now- I pulled out a bird stencil to help expedite an idea, loosely moving it around and flipping it over to create a form I liked.  I added dimension with some over-painting by hand—

and gave it a light sanding, then clear waxed and lime waxed.

I also switched its hardware to simple wood knobs painted white.

hand painting a Bird dresser

The drawers were the bane of this project with multiple broken drawer boxes to repair ~beginning with undoing and correcting someone’s totally awful trys at repair!  This all meant even MORE time spent on this $15 mess.

In the end, there was no choice but to paint the insides too—like 50k times.  Yes, even the drawer boxes were still resisting paint- 4 coats in.  Arrrgh!

And here’s the perfect ending to this project—

-a BIRDSONG project--really.BeaUtiful pre-summer day!  So I opened the big overhead door of my work studio (aka- the garage) to let it “air out.”  I shifted the many working projects around and staged THIS dresser by the big open door since it was leaving for the antique mall by afternoon.

A bird flew inside and


on its top.

Etching through the wax.

ANOTHER repair.

And I thought this would be a fast, easy flip.
There’s probably some deep seated message in here, huh?



Yes, finished.  At last.  Been a  L O N G  time coming and I know Judy is so happy to have it back!

If only surgery came with a crystal ball so you could plan accordingly.  I’m feeling -mostly- back to work, but some tools are still out of bounds for safety-sake.  Handwriting is also still a big struggle, but I’ve adapted to typing on the computer—YaY!

--w e l l--it's getting there!

With many things to share,

I’ll start with this ENDING

read the original stories of this project  HERE  and  HERE.
Judy's dresser- BEFORE

BEFORE- a nice MCM. . .

Now, inspired by Swedish design.

the REcreation of the MCM


Besides painting, there was the “ordeal” of choosing hardware.

I struggled—then Judy came to make the selection and

stah’ r u g g l e d  too.

So many things worked—simple wood knobs to blend in, a L&R pull, a variety of drops.  She finally settled on simple brass drop handles with the accent of some acorn drops.

-the struggles of choosing hardware

-the struggles of choosing hardware

And then we needed to TARNISH away that bright shiny brass.

She wanted an old look, and bright & shiny wasn’t gonna cut it.


"Tarnishing" that bright shiny brass...


sharing with Terry at The Curator’s Collection!

-scatterbrainedI’ve got so many irons in the fire I’m feeling a little bit schizo’.

Sometimes- it’s best to work on something from start to finish.

Sometimes it’s better to work assembly line-like.

I’m finding the latter to be more effective right now and—why I’m so scattered.  Which makes it all tough to share with you

  what I’m working on.

Here’s the big deadline for a lot of my projects. . .

If you’re in the Chicago area—would LUV to see you!

Vintage Market at The Grove!

Check out these legs!

Here’s a peek at one of (maybe 2) those projects.

Drawn out, cut out, even sanded clean and ready for the next step of the project!


Marie's chair-My niece-i-l found this cool old chair thrifting!

My nephew hates it.

He has no vision.

And apparently neither did the chair.  

Have you ever worked on a project that fought you at every turn?

Me and this chair—we did not get along.  It seriously resisted change.

Marie sanded & REstained it, and came with it and some new fabric to get REupholstered Saturday night.

It all started with the chair being seriously ornery about just boosting it up on saw horses to work.  Then the staples kept shooting through the fabric.  Every angle was impossible to get into/at.  The velvet in the fabric kept throwing off the timing on my sewing machine while I was running welting.  AND I burnt my fingers a ‘cazillion times wrestling with and gluing the welting in place~arrrgh.

A simple enough job that should have taken an hour (maybe two)

finally finished Sunday afternoon.

Marie's chair-I’ve never been so happy to say

it’s finished!

Now leave me and go back home. . .


Marie's chair-

Marie's chair-

Earth Day Earth Day



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