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God smiled on me!

Oh my bejesus!It’s been a tough year.

Barely a project to work on
mom’s cancer care is my full time job.  Any little project I can find time to sink my teeth into is—a—jOy!
Sure, I’ve found a few cool things to stash till my “comeback,”  but God truly smiled on me over the weekend!

Sunday morn-  slow start-  perusing fb mrkt place, found an 80’s side table with 4 BiG turned legs.  $10.  G o t  it.

On my way home with said table—WHAAAAAA???  No way—uh uhhh!

U-turn on a dime.  Jaw dropped, a few eye rubs-  like-  am I really this lucky right now??  A look upward—”Thank You Lord, you knew I needed this, huh?”
A vintage Victorian sofa and a (not matching) chair!

Now, I understand MOST people wouldn’t see my find as a treasure–but it REALLY IS, and I’m thrilled beyond measure!  UNfortunately- I had a wheel chair and now a big clunky table in the car.  How the heck am I getting THIS in here too?  Where there’s a will~there’s a way!

(I’m sort of more like, “Where there’s a will~I want to be in it!”)

But I was determined!  I moved, shifted, shoved, and shuffled until I could fit at least the SOFA in my Santa Fe.  Half IN- half OUT with the tail gate open.  The chair remained on the curb with my teary apologies and promise to “…come back for you!”  I drove the back streets to stay out of traffic.  Plus, I’m sure I looked like an episode of “Sanford & Sons.”

a discarded, original, Victorian sofa

Back to the house intact, I off-loaded and gawked all the more at my inCREDible luck!  ROUGH shape, a LOT of work to do, but everything’s there!
Just a guess, but- looks like someone stripped it to reupholster, but quit at the daunting realization of the job & repairs.  I can appreciate, but–I CAN DO IT!

a discarded, original, Victorian sofa

Since I had to run back out for the groceries that were forgotten in all the excitement, I decided to live up to that promise and went back for the chair–it was still there waiting for me!  I fully expected someone would have snagged it on my heels.

Another appreciative upward “Thank You for the gifts, I’ll do You proud!”

details-

a discarded, original, Victorian sofa and chair!

the chair-

The fundamental detail differences between them–
NOT a pair, but both are still AWEsome!  And they were FREE!

NOT a matching set, but still AWEsome!

I’ve got a lot of work to strip them further.  I’ll remove ALL of the springs, the remnants of fabric still hanging on, and the HUNDREDS of tiny tack nails.  I’d ultimately like to strip the wood and leave it raw.  Just a waxed finish!

I’m already picturing the sofa in a thick-nubby linen OR a soft mohair–and guess what?  Under the ugly floral of it’s (???) 2nd life are the remnants of a soft pink’ish-brow MOHAIR!

I’m also picturing it with a caned back to really show off that soft curve-linear form! ♥♥♥

Are you with me?
Can you see it?

Catherine

And now some inspiration!

* It may have originally looked something like this–

Victorian sofa-

If it had to be fully reupholstered again, I like these simplistic elements–

Victorian sofa-

But I LUV the idea of a caned back!

Victorian sofa-

Victorian sofa-

just checkin' in!

Late June marked a year
for my mom of
sickness, diagnosis, treatments, and all the difficulties of recovery.

All those treatments beat her down to—nothing.
T h e n   you have to
work find your way back.
Which means a mix of
bad & good days.
N
ote that order.

“Life” as a caregiver is completely exhausting.
You truly have no idea until you’ve walked a mile in those shoes.  Uh, huh.
It seems I only get to work on projects in my dreams now, but they are A-W-E-some!  ; D
I have been collecting some things here & there for when I can “RE-launch!”
I can hardly wait for the day!

Catherine

Really miss you guys too!

Bow-fronted dresserI stumbled onto this “pretty” dresser for cheap,

then took a much needed, relaxing drive to a very small, out-of-the-way town to go get it!

An awesome drive with some aMAZing old homes along the way—I’d love to make the drive again just to take lots of photos!

Anyway- I bought the dresser.  Sure, I knew it had some obvious issues, but nothing I couldn’t handle, and the owners rapidly loaded it up for me.  When I was home and off-loading it I finally started to see other problems.
Oh boy.

The biggest problem-
a completely broken,
poorly “repaired,”
(& totally concealed) front left leg.  And remember the front is a big curve!

leg & veneer repairOkay- this is not so much a problem for MY skills as much as, with mom’s full-time cancer care—I just don’t have much time for this.  I just wanted a FUN-EASY project to work on when I can find bits of time.
So -g r e a t- let the fUn begin.

I started with all the veneer problems, and then pondered on that broken leg.  At first I was hoping to clean out the terrible “repair” job and fill it with bondo.  It never set up with enough stability, and I’d NEVER put my name on that kind of work, so after a LOT of wasted time & materials- I ended up cutting away all the damage and just REbuilding it.

*Sorry- no pics to share.  But- I used scrap wood I keep on hand, figured the angles of the straight side to the curved front, glued & nailed in place, let it fully set up—then fine-tuned/shaped with coarse sandpaper in a belt sander.  Now it is  S O L I D.

I also stripped the top and discovered issues hidden under the SUPER DARK over stain job someone gave it at some point.  Looks like it was overly sanded in a few areas, but it REstained nicely and looks beautiful now!

top stripped and REstained

I waxed the top instead of clear coating it—I just think it brings out the richness in the wood more and is softer to the touch!  But that’s just my preference!
OH!  And I heat-set the wax before the final buffing.  The wax becomes a harder, more long-lasting, durable finish. 

painted 7 thin coats w/a weenie rollerNext- I taped off and covered and protected the top, then painted the body with a spongy weenie-roller—about 7 very thin coats.  Left side, right side, front, left side, right side, front, left side, right side………
Each thin coat dries so quickly and all those thin roller-coats finish more like a sprayed piece.
*Hint- I don’t have a sprayer.

Once completely painted–it had several days to set up before I could come back to it.  Actually, it was probably a week later (hospital schedules and all).  I had planned a decoupaged face and the time-lag gave me lots of time to plan the finished look.  AND figure out some other more appropriate hardware.

Victoriamagazine on ig!I was looking through ig and this caught my eye—it reminded me of a poster in my stashes!  That’s how my plan came to be. . . with a few adjustments.  

I measured off, taped my poster to the dresser face, then used a sharp Exacto to cut each drawer section free.  I was careful to save each face-frame part since I still wasn’t sure if I’d use it or not (I did in the end).  A pencil gave quick registration marks for placement to keep everything aligned.
Working from the top down, I pulled each drawer(s) out as I worked on it.  It let me double-check the alignment because 1) paper stretches when it’s wet, and 2) I was already messing with each section by my personal method of “distressing!”

my personal method of "distressing!"

Yes!  I wad it up
into an abusive ball.

Yes, it gets torn some!
It’s all part of that
“aging” process!

Then I smooth it out gently by hand, apply a really good wallpaper paste and REapply to the drawer face.
I prefer to smooth it out and position it with my hands at first, THEN use a flex-plastic scraper to gently smooth it out, pushing out the excess paste, and finally, wipe it down with a damp rag making sure the edges are well affixed.

Here’s my poster (from Hobby Lobby).

my Hobby Lobby poster-

Positioned and taped in place.

Working on the last drawer-

working on the last drawer-

MY distressing technique!

And then I decided it really did need the slight face frame cross sections after all.
You can also see I added my selection of vintage hardware right away!
SO much better!

*I filled former hardware holes and REdrilled before painting.  I poked through the paper with an awl to reveal the new hardware placement.

the small cross sections to the face frame

Now you can see how the poster was NOT large enough to cover the face,
but I had a plan!  I taped it out to expand the size with a “frame.”
But that wasn’t all.
I used a liquid gold leafing pen to freehand outline the very outer frame edge.
Irregular on the inside edge–crisp on the outside edge.

I just like that subtle contradiction!

Creating a "frame" and extra detail.

I guess I forgot to tell you how I lightly sanded all the wallpapered edges, huh?
In hindsight, I wish I had widened the “frame’s” sides.  Oh, well. . . .

Creating a "frame" and extra detail.

This project was completed in drips & drabs of time.
I bought it May 18th and finally finished it on the 29th.
I loaded it in the car right away and it went to the antique mall the next day where I spent hours REsetting my space to accommodate it!  WoW- my space had become a neglected disaster area!  And guess what?

It sold right away!

Awesome!

But my space is a disaster once again for the new void.
So I found another dresser to work on.  Stay tuned.

Catherine

Not an antique-
not even vintage-
just  O L D.
But pretty now!

Bow-front Dresser w/decoupaged poster

Bow-front Dresser w/decoupaged poster

-my next dresser-

my NEXT dresser project

surviving cancer~priceless


First,
& most importantly

my mum is now “officially” in recovery!
Hair is growing back in– super cute, I might add!
Appetite– well, more desire than ability, but
even that’s an improvement!
The road to recovery may be looong—but
every week marks more progress!

 

Second-

some jewelry!

Mom’s full-time care has meant no time  -for Me -for Projects -for quality sleep, and am I feeling that.  BUT- lately, I’ve been able to find a little quiet time here and there and a little creativity in the form of some jewelry making!

My G-Grandmother was WaY ahead of her time apparently.  To begin, she was born in 1871, and around 1900± she had these FABulous Cameo buttons REmade into earrings!  I was fascinated by them cleaning out the Great Auntie’s and Grandma’s jewelry boxes and cupboards—and being an only granddaughter I was the next in line!  I just REfound them mingled in my own stashes & decided to alter them again now for MY style!

Cameo buttons = earrings

Another old earring found among Grandma’s things–but sadly, an orphan.
Just too pretty to discard, I took it anyway.  That was back in the 80’s.

2019 now- I was struck with an idea and pulled it back out!
I snipped off the screw-back part, leaving just enough to create a loop for a necklace.  An orphaned earring made into a beautiful necklace!

An orphaned earring to a necklace!

Speaking of things found in Grandma’s jewelry closet-
look at this amazing pin!
(Is it very obvious that side of our family is British?!)

another treasure from Grandma!

I was really having fun with all my “Earring Making” sessions!  I was growing weary of wearing the same-old, same-old things, and got totally lost in all my new creations!

I made several new pairs for mom, her former teacher-friend who has helped me out so many times—and for our FAVorite Cancer Center nurse!
I needed the bit of creativity SO much!

Most of what you’ll see in the next pictures are MY creations!  I have collected all kinds of old & junk jewelry forEVER that I always intended to take apart for just the “good stuff.”  And pieced together with some amazing things you can find in the craft stores—it’s a huge WoWza!    (Mostly all mine below)

My new creations!

earrings & a necklace for my mother~

And these were all a surprise for our Cancer Center nurse!

~all a surprise for our FAVorite CC-nurse!

And the next 3 pair were created from 1 large, very gaudy, overdone pair.  But the price was cheap and I knew it would be fun to REbuild them into something else!

3 pairs out of 1 overdone, gaudy pair!

And then I got my Au Pairs in on it—with wine!  Making some for themselves, their Host moms- and for their own moms to send them in Spain & Brazil!

even my Au Pairs got in on it!

And then some random pairs for “Thank You’s” to varying people!
Yes- I got a little crazy!

Random pairs as gifts!

REbuilding parts of jewelry
into NEW jewelry!

Really just another form of
construction, right?

Catherine

W e l l-

as previously revealedonce again- I failed on the “transfer” front.
Surprise, surprise.

But, I “fixed” things with the help of a Sharpie Marker and a charcoal pencil.
I sealed both with a clear coat -and had to walk away for “mom-stuff.”

I try to work on or wrap up anything I can with each little bit of time I can steal, and I found a small window to get these two framed up!  YaY!
I used some salvage & some vintage mill work from an old torn down farmhouse.

transfer FAILS and rescues-

I’m going to  -try, TRY AGAIN-  with Polycrylic!
Which I’m told is the way to go—I’m on it David!

That “definition of Sanity” thing keeps ringing in my head,
but I’m tenacious like that!    ; D

I’ll let you know how the next try goes!

(ha-ha)

Catherine

the framed transfers-

ENTER!You truly just
don’t know
HOW
important

enter

is
until you
don’t have it!

A-MAZ-ing what that key does!  And a sticking Backspace & part time Shift key are problematic too.  Ugh.

 

♠ Did I mention this was all due to a DISTANTLY tipped-over, small glass of cranberry juice that went airborne.  Like a ballistic missile–target keyboard.
Direct Hit.

One newly replaced keyboard, 5 days, $152—and I’m ENTER’ing away now!

Enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter (’cause I can) enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter, enter away!

Corinthian Capitols-While things have-sort of-settled down & my mother readies for MAJOR surgery-

I’m getting to work on a few projects!

I’ve been wanting to do something with this pair of Corinthian capitols
for a while.  A N D- I have some “scrap” wood on hand.
Architectural stuff is always a fun project, soooo . . .
how about a pair of PILASTERS!

I cut my boards to length for a 6ft total height, then ripped them to 6″ wide on the table saw.
THEN, I ran them through the router table with a lrg cove bit to give the sides a little extra detail.
BUT, I created stops to control the end detail.

Lastly- I created a pair of plinths to overlay the bottoms and added a detailed cap. . .

. . . sanded everything and got busy putting all the pieces together!

the bases of my Pilasters-

The over-laid plinths & cap were just glued and nailed in place.
The Corinthian capitols were joined by pocket screws.
And you can see by the back stamp they were made in Italy!

made in Italy! using pocket screws to join the parts-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two things of note here-
1. The capitols are made of composite materials.  The face side is actually some type of refined molded wood (like MDF?) and can be stained.  The “fill” is a highly compressed wood chip & glue mixture.  Super strong and a whole lot cheaper than carved wood!
2. You can see my pencil marks that indicate stopping points for the router table. 

The finish may totally shock you—it’s Rust-Oleum Metallic spray paint!  Aged Rusty Metal, specifically.  Because of the mixture of materials, I was going to default to a shabby-chic white painted finish, but I wanted a dark base to show through, and this can was still handy from the previous project. . . and look at the outcome!

Don’t ‘cha love a HaPPy AcCiDeNT!
So I’m callin’ this

fini!

a pair of architectural Pilasters!

Stain would NOT have brought the varying materials together
so consistently, but this metallic spray paint DID!
AND looks like STAIN!!!

And THAT’s an easy WIN
I’ll take- all day long!

Catherine

my architectural PILASTERS! my architectural PILASTERS!

 

my architectural PILASTERS!