Archive for the ‘benches’ Category

the TREFOIL table & bench

It’s a completed project–that’s about all I can say.  I love the construction of both pieces, but that’s where my affection ends.  I guess things fell apart at staining the wood tops.  As I said last post~it’s all the same wood used in several other projects that I LUV’d!  It looked EXACTLY the same raw, yet finished COMPLETELY different.  NOT in a good way.

◊ Did it squash my inspiration?

◊ Did I just run out of steam in a tough week?

the tops to the Trefoil table and bench

the TREFOIL table & benchI don’t like painted tops—and I was about to go there,  I really hate them that much.  Things like to stick to them in humid weather.

But I left them stained and began the struggle with the color of a painted base.

White–too easy.

Popular pale gray–I’ve done several in a row already.

Green–WAY too cliché here.

Blue, barn-red, mustard—uhh, NO.

I still had out a range of pale beige & peanut butter, so I mottled them together in a sloppy finish.  The finish looks better in person, but just –EH– with the stained tops.  I wouldn’t be surprised if whoever buys them REpaints them.

At the end, I waxed both completely to a silky smooth touch.

W e l l– I guess not every project can go 100% right.  Moving on. . .


*It’s really tough getting good color pics in the antq mall with all the fluorescent lighting.

the TREFOIL table & bench

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It has been a week full of interruptions and distractions,

and SORE muscles

so I’m STILL working on these two projects.

But I AM much further along.

I really struggled making a decision on the finishes-  stain or wax, and paint.  The tops of the table & bench are the very last of the REALLY long pallet boards I stumbled onto and used in numerous past projects.  It sanded & stained really pretty in each of THOSE—but NOT this one and I’m SO disappointed.

I don’t know why this time should be so different, but staining it has brought out a look of “burnt wood.”

I’m moving forwardbut prepared to make future “adjustments.”

Here’s another view of the table and bench in construction.

a work in progress~ the table & bench

a view of the table top-

–A view of the TABLE TOP

–A view of the BENCH TOP/SEAT in construction -I decided to frame the seat to close-in the end boards.

The final picture is of both stained & clear-coated, and upside down on sawhorses so I can paint (without a backache~I have enough sore muscles).  Both are only just base-painted—with the SAME color!  That’s light manipulation (no flash) at it’s finest!

I should finish up today (barring any MORE interruption) and get them to the antq mall 1st thing in the morn.  WISH ME LUCK~

’cause I’m not feelin’ it yet & things may shift 180°—


the BENCH--

--a work in progress

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I WANTED to title this post–

my Muscles took Tuesday off

But that might be too weird.  Very true, but weird.

I started at 7:30am with a tough cardio workout then decided to make it a weight lifting day too.  My arms were already tired, but I had a LOT of thick-heavy woodcutting to do.  And sanding.  Lots and lots of  aggressive  sanding.

I finally quit and cleaned up at 8pm.  A very long and physically exhausting day.  I didn’t sleep well for how achy my muscles were, so I just couldn’t get up for the gym Tuesday morn.  It HURT to change the tv remote-kind-of-ache.        No gym–No projects.  Day off.   *Maybe I can lift a glass of wine.  Medicinally.

I opened the door just long enough to take this picture for you to see how things looked from Monday night.

NOW I’m trying to figure out the finishes– ugh.  Two different woods, that both look cool—but I don’t want a COMPLETE stain job.  Same with the bench so far.  Double- UGH.

my TREFOIL sofa table project, and a bench!

my projects~

Here’s a look at my bench ends.

They make me laugh so—they look like fat thighs & butt!

Seriouslydon’t they?

A N D -back from the gym, and back on these pieces,






Gym Humor-  and how I usually keep going through the aching muscles…


Gym Humour- how I keep going!

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Quatrafoil imageI’ll start with my

TREFOIL project!

I’ve always known about a


so –duh– I guess I’m working with a TREfoil!  Although~did you know that each “leaf” is called a LOBE?

Thanks people for cluing me in!

image of my TREFOIL salvage piece


My project is actually 2 parts.

A sofa (or console or hall) table & a bench!

I shared my LAZY-girl’s pattern-making and cutting it out in my last post.

Sunday was so aMAZingly beautiful that I got to open the big overhead door to my work shop– blow out the excess sawdust and let things air out!  AND, it meant I got to play with –and problem solve– my SIMPLE table design—OUTSIDE in the SUNSHINE!  YaY!

Sometimes SIMPLE is pretty complicated.  I want to nestle a bench under the table, which means no bottom shelf or stretcher connecting the legs for support/stability.  Finding the right angle for the legs to flair out became a bit of a game—5° seemed to be the magic number!

THEN– to leave the legs/sides solid and plain or cut in a design.  Leave the very bottom of each side SOLID or cut them to create FEET?  Without “feet” the table could wobble on an uneven floor.

I ALSO FOUND– that the Trefoil design was hidden under the top and I needed to lower it.  2″ seemed enough to still clear a bench.

AND– what about a bench design?  To be a MATCH or just be a fun bench?

This was Sunday night

working on the design-

Monday I loaded everything up and headed for the strippers.

They gave me their thoughts on the 5° angle of the legs and “yes” to cutting in “feet” for stability–but not too deep with soft pine!

AND they let me use the pressure washer to clean the boards for the top, and the bandsaw to cut my bench legs!  I owe them BIG!

I’ll have finished pieces to share next time!

Until then~

Hello Spring!

Hello Spring!


I playfully made one from misc lamp parts laying around!

a BIRD FEEDER from misc lamp parts! a BIRD FEEDER from misc lamp parts!



Parts from a hanging lantern, a mercury glass cover from a ceiling mount light fixture, the center rod for a lamp, an escutcheon plate for a chandelier, and a very large lamp finial!

drilling holes in china!

AND- last week I drilled holes in 2 Noritake plates to make a cupcake/goodies stand!  I used my diamond-encrusted drill bit, water         and a DEEP BREATH-  at a little slower, steady speed!  I have a collection of those tiered handles!


making a cupcake stand!

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I’m just now circling back. . .

Ottilia Catherine's BENCH

. . . it’s actually such a sweet bench  A N D  awfully tempting to keep!

I was digging through my big closet of fabrics hunting for my staple supply of matte lasse to reupholster the newly padded bench top.  But instead~

I REfound something I LUV and FORGOT about!

Something a bit UNexpected—which makes it all the more fun!

Otillia Catherine's BENCH

Ottilia Catherine's BENCHYou can see by the picture above that it’s almost like the top/seat is a little small.  I, personally, didn’t think anything of it, but I overheard a few harsh comments about it  -AND it’s UGLY covering-  while at the antique mall.

So to address that weird transition   I added a new 2″ thick pad and wrapped it down the sides to make the seat BULKIER.  Just NOT enough apparently.

It’s better for sure—but the gap persists.  Arrrgh.  And unfortunately, the top edge stands out being lighter than the sides. 

The simple solution would be to run welting, but I didn’t have enough fabric.  I was thinking some vintage crochet’d trim might be interesting—hmmm.

I tacked it on VERY lightly with hot glue.  Lightly enough to take back off if I didn’t like it.  Or someone buying it doesn’t.  This way~IT’S OPTIONAL.

Ottilia Catherine's BENCHI sort of just want to keep it now, I mean~

you can always use a bench!

And I LUV window pane plaid!


Ottilia Catherine's BENCH

Ottilia Catherine's BENCH

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—also known as—

multi tasking?

The dresser project is not  quite  going as planned so I stepped away for a minute to look at a BENCH project.
An UNsold item from the Ottilia Catherine estate sale.

No one. . . seemed. . . to like it. . . ?

So I ran it over to the strippers asking for one of those “Quick & Crappy” strip jobs.  They think I’m nuts most of the time.  But I like the PATINA of RESIDUE!  Yeah-yeah, Nuts.

Ottilia Catherine's BENCH

I  ALSO  LUV  RAW  WOOD  just waxed!

That’s the “original” needle point top. . .

so I thought.

Ottilia Catherine's BENCH

I removed the needle point (for another project) and discovered THIS was actually the original bench top.   Uh~ wOwza!  And~ gag me.  And in case THAT wasn’t a good enough view—

Ottilia Catherine's BENCH

Y i k e s,  right?

Stripping opens wood grain~ that’s why you have to sand.  But I didn’t want to sand away that cool stripping RESIDUE!  So I buffed it with extra fine steel wool to a silky smooth touch.  For MYSELF, I’d WAX it—but this is REsale.  So I grabbed a Matte Clear Coat to give it a more protected finish.  BIG mistake.  BIG.

The wood sucked in EVERY drop of hydration and gave it a STAINED look.  Oh, sure, it DOES look pretty—it’s just not the look I was going for.

Ottilia Catherine's BENCH

The look of RESIDUE is lost now so I’ll grab my Behr Pecan Sandie paint I like to use for “oxidation” to highlight those nooks and crannies in carved pieces!

AND~ I’ll dig through my remnants of Matte Lasse to reupholster the seat, then it’s back to the antq mall!  Any one?  Any one?


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Keep Calm.....or whatever....It’s easy to be

over-taken &


BY LIFE, in general.

And YES, I needed a blog-break.  But dang, I’ve just been outright neglectful, and even I’M surprised.  Well, a New Year is nipping at our heals…full of

Fresh Starts and a REfocus of Priorities and

I’m back!


If you follow me on Instagram

you’ve seen a few things along the way, otherwise~

let me get REstarted with this quickie!

One of the best things about being a “Construction-Girl” is that when you NEED something ~you can generally just go build it!

I realized I needed a VERY LARGE TRAY to cover my tufted ottoman during our Christmas gathering.  There’s always a minimum of 17 adults and 15 big-to-little kids.  So there’s a LOT of nibbles, goodies, and dinner food to make room for!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!

I’ll use the over-sized tray for nibbles, a 5ft sofa table will become the dessert bar, and the whole kitchenette becomes a buffet-styled dinner!  PLUS, a hot chocolate bar for the kiddos, coffee bar for the sleep-deprived adults, and/OR Christmas Spirits bar~where you’ll find me by the time I’ve finished all the work it takes to get this party ready!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!This picture~  trying out service pieces for the What-Why-How!

The tufted ottoman is 41″ in diameter, the new over-sized tray is 37″!

Now~how I did it!

•I happened to have a former table top (Craigslist-find that was gutted for parts!) that was 31″ & also an octagon!

•I ripped a long pine board to 3″w, cut 8 generous sides,

•ran them through the router to create    1-a rabbet & 2-a finished beveled edge.

•Cut/mitered each side on a 22.5° angle, and glued & nailed each piece to the 8 sides.  The rabbet gave a stronger connection and the bevel gave a finished edge!

•Finished the wood to look as much like the ottoman as possible (different woods) and added over-sized lion head drawer pulls.

A N D, things are getting finished in the lower-level!



this scrap cut shows you the RABBET & BEVEL

*you can see the Herringbone pattern through the paint










with the new sides extending the diameter~

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. . . there’s a missing wall in this space.

Because it used to be ONE – HUGE space and is now subdivided.

And the neighbor has this large 3-paneled screen.  With a dog.  A ridiculous dog.  Annoying me to NO END.  So I’ve come up with a remedy I’ll work on today.  Otherwise, I’m trying to take it easy today—I need a day off!

I NEED that beach I’m dreaming of…sigh

THIS is my HaPPy PLacE!

Okay~ dream over~ well, deferred


what's WRONG in this picture?

WHAT doesn’t belong here . . . hmmmm . . .


what's WRONG in this picture?

Ottilia Catherine's pop up estate sale!

Ottilia Catherine's pop up estate sale!

Ottilia Catherine's pop up estate sale!

AND there’s WaY more waiting for space to free up. . .

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OTTILIA CATHERINE's pop up saleThe estate sale I’m working on has a LOT of interesting things,

giving me a lot of angst to RESIST!

I really don’t NEED more things.

I confess I AM adding to my silver collections though!


An upstairs bedroom was storing a very old, pitiful-looking bench.  Sure~it needed a good dose of love, but would be great for their sale! Catherine to the rescue!  ; D

It had a broken arm, a warped leg, and was pretty loosey-goosey.  The seat’s springs had become pretty wonky, but its leather was intact and still relatively supple.

Overall, a basic REdo!

an entry hall bench

~I drilled out/cleaned up the original doweled joints to fix the arm.

~I used a pocket screw method to reinforce and firm up the wiggly frame.  Which seemed to straighten the “warped” leg some.

~I applied new furniture-upholstering webbing underneath to REsupport the springs and pulled the nail heads.

THEN I sanded, primed, and painted!

Already looking better, I added it to the growing list of pieces that would need to be REcovered.  But they’d all be done together in a few days.

an entry hall bench~ REPAIRS

an entry hall bench~ UPHOLSTERY

I had several projects going at once, but when the weather changed for the worse on us I decided to go “play” indoors with some upholstery!

I played with several options for this bench–like vintage linens and ticking, some unusual damask patterns~ and a feed sack.

In the end, the feed sack won out because it was more FUN!

And I trimmed it out with vintage pillow case tatting!


an entry hall bench~ UPHOLSTERY

My coat hook rail happened to match so I moved it over here to pair them in staging!  I’ll share pictures of the space soon—it’s really taking shape!

an entry hall bench~ UPHOLSTERY

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Besides MY OWN crazy array of the usual projects,

I have been ~ I am

juggling projects for 2 other families!

TOO MANY projects at once!

For Judy~ REstyling some ladder-back chairs AND a trestle table,

plus a REdesign for a change of TV.

And THEN there is a “pseudo estate sale” for a senior couple leaving their home of MANY years–overwhelming and exhausting in the best of circumstances.  I’ll be helping them sell their treasures at the antique mall beginning April 1st!

The preliminary work is almost daunting–almost.  One bite at a time, it’ll get done!  Dressers are getting stripped–one completely REstyled!  Things are getting painted, even REcreated—

and EVERYthing is getting cleaned and polished!

Bear with me—COOL PICTURES ARE COMING!  I promise!  ; D


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