4th of July on Chute Pond!
You know,

cheap bookcase~new face.

Yes, it’s ONE of the projects I was putting in such loooong hours for.

I hit [most of] my deadlines, before running out of steam,

took a 4th of July lake break,

and am finally getting back on track.  Or should I say I’m back to finish those missed deadlines?

*This is how I started each day off!  Nice~right?

So~ I believe I left you at “hardware.”

I decided on something a bit “unexpected” for a rustic cabinet, and some old magazine pages for the center void.

a little "unexpected" hardware

The cabinet interiors

Plan A~ starts with a crazy story.  Bill Gates commissioned a very large pair of bullet-proof, leather-clad front doors for one of his houses.  A friend’s husband was one of the contractors.  There was EXTRA material fabricated (just in case~I’m sure), and it was given to MOI~ can you believe!

I wanted to REclad the whole interior of the bookcase in it—but there wasn’t enough.

Plan B~ I thought about REcladding the whole interior with some of the obnoxious quantity of oak veneer I got off of Craigslist long ago for a whopping $11.  But it felt like more work than REsale would bring.

Plan C~  Short cut job by PAINTING the interiors in a dark chocolate and use the leather bound wood for the backboard!

06-19-16 Bookcase facelift -CL $15-004

Problem #1.  All the colors clashed together.  The split logs, the paint color, the leather.  I tried “staining” the leather—AWFUL.  I tried cleaning it off—uh, making it worse.  With nothing to lose, I applied a “natural” furniture stripper I use often. It all ended in a Happy Accident!  Well, I kinda think so.

Leather-bound wood

a leather-bound backboard

shelf edge details--

Problem #2.  The split logs were splintering-rough so I VERY lightly sanded and brushed on a matte urethane.  BIG mistake—the wood looked like PLASTIC.  I sanded the sealer-finish and/but lost the whole rustic vibe from the logs.  Crap!  Do I PRY OFF the boards and start over?  Distress-paint or white-wash?   But then I have to figure out anther backboard.  I dry-brushed two browns and sanded right away.

Problem #3.  Now I have WaY too much time into this REsale project to add real wood shelves.  I’ll have to work with the sagging particle board shelves.  I cut an inch of depth off with the table saw, flipped them wrong side up, added a strip of the log boards to the front edge, and painted.

The new face of a Rustic, Cottage-styled cabinet!

At the end of the day, it all came together

and went to the Door County antique mall—

a cottage and vacationing audience!

I think it would be great extra storage in that scenario!

◊ In the bathroom loaded with towels and other accouterments.

◊ In a bedroom holding linens & blankets.

◊ Even staged in the hall to accommodate multiple guest room extras!



Yes, I took another antique mall space.

Yes, my plate runneth over.

Actually, the plate has cracked under pressure.
HaHa!  Naaaa’… I’m still my same crazy self—just super tired.

I'm tired.

The second antique mall came by invitation and is at a distance for me to get to and set up—so it will be a go-there-once-a-month venture.  *Unless things sell well…fingers crossed!  It’s in Door County, WI—an apparent tourist mecca for Chicagoans!

My poor original antique mall space just got ransacked to complete the set up at the newer.  The original space is only 10 minutes away to REwork~you see the rationale?

Some days-

I’ve got lots of projects to share—   I’ve had a lack of time to share them, sorry.   ¦:  ∫

And now I’m hustling through replacement projects— c’est la vie.  Sharing very soon!


CL Bookcase faceliftYou know the bookcases

100% assembly-required, (kind of) cheap materials but interestingly~NOT a cheap price tag.
Convenience is the name of the game here, not necessarily style.
I found this on Craigslist for $15 and wanted to use it for display in another antique  mall (that still may or may not happen–??).

--free from Craigslist!Long story short~

since I don’t NEED it for its intended purpose, now it’s in the way and needs to go—BUT CERTAINLY NOT LOOKING LIKE THIS!

Also found on Craigslist were these split log fence boards—free!  I got first dibs and took a LOT but not all. By the time I thought about what I could do with them the rest were gone~ boo-hoo.

Heyit’s finally cottage season, how about a fun


styled piece using the free CL-boards!  But they were used raw and were really filthy from the elements, so I pressure-washed them clean!

Even after sort of disassembling the bookcase and giving it a new WOOD face frame, it was actually a SIMPLE, EASY face lift!  Albeit  t e d i o u s!
















--adding crown molding

Adding crown molding required some compound cuts.  The challenge was fun but you can see I miscalculated a tiny bit on the left (dang it!)—I caulked it in.

I laid the cabinet down on saw horses to work easier, and then set boards between to create a “stop” to start the first course of board-facing -or cladding.

the face lift

the Bookcase face lift

The fence boards were not quite long enough for my tall cabinet so I added a wood base from some salvage.  AND- you know, it gave a cleaner-finished bottom.  You can also see I added cedar feet—cut from a long 4×4 post several summers ago for multiple burgeoning projects !

I didn’t like the PLAIN wood face frame so I clad it too—which messed up the crown molding.  I’ll play more with that later.  But my immediate fix was to use a ripped length of a board as another layer of “crown molding.”

"crown molding"

playing around with the doors and hardwareThe doors. . . ugh.

I tried laying the boards vertically, horizontally, and in a chevron pattern. Nope.  Nothing looked right.  A picture frame pattern looked the best of all -but what to do with the center void. . .

Did I mention there’s going to be some leather—?

Perhaps another surprise to the finish!

More tomorrow,


the BoxElder tree in the 90'sA tree was determined.

It grew out of, and killed off the almond bush that WAS planted there.

It thrived AND dropped jaws for 48 years.

It was commonly called


And was an AWESOME climbing tree!

loosing the BoxElder tree...


But Mother Nature has been brutal to it & struck yet ANOTHER blow June 7th.  The last sort-of-center branch came down in a severe thunder storm with 50 mile an hour winds.

And it came down on my concrete/iron table and garden sculpture.  My heart is broken.

For ALL of it.

--I'm gonna cry here.....

. . . awwwww. . .

In their glory days. . . .

...in the glory days...

--the right tools for the job--a crane.The tree guy said he couldn’t get to us for about 3 weeks, then promptly shifted his schedule to come Monday after seeing the new situation.  Clearly, it was not good.


3 days before our scheduled “rescue,” another severe storm came calling.  Producing a very short-lived tornado about 10 miles from us—WE were spared.

The tree guys came  -with a monster crane-  to take it down in really the only safe way left now.  What an event.

The man in charge rode the ball and chains up into the tree to secure each part before cutting—it was ALL aMAZing.  AND down in less than 2 hours and 9 sections.

Taking down the BoxElder tree

Taking down the BoxElder tree

Taking down the BoxElder tree

Each of the 4 leafy branch ends were lowered almost standing straight up and looked like large trees in their own right!  The 1st (& smallest branch cut) was announced to weigh in at 1,600 lbs—the total tree came in over 10 tons (about 25,000 lbs). . .


--a new project is on the horizon

The garden has gone from shade to shade-sun, to sun-shade, and NOW full out sun.  The always sunny kitchen practically requires sunglasses!

Our “new normal” is going to take some getting used to.  As you can imagine~ I’ve got several ideas whirling around in my headstay tuned!


PS~ we’re in the midst of another severe storm.
With no more tree to worry about—BRING IT ON!

Mother Nature-

Craigslist--FREE!…you find a surprise FREE listing on Craigslist that’s TRULY interesting!

SHIELD-back chairs—and table.

The table –ehh– but how I love a shield-back chair!  And, well, that table does have some fun legs to use in a future project!

Free is always good, but is it truly—FREE?

In THIS instance, NO.


All four chairs were SO loosey-goosey and with some open joints, that I just grabbed the appropriate tools and knocked each completely apart.  It took a good bit of time, but I REglued every. single. joint.

Those chairs are now really  S O L I D.                  from CL ad ↓

the FREE chairs--

repairing the FREE chairs--

repairing the FREE chairs--

I love the fleur de lis backs!

Fleur de lis Shield-back chairs!

I set the chairs aside giving them over night/24 hours to fully set up and dry, and moved on to stripping off the nasty, soiled, fur encrusted fabric from the seats.   -Just gross enough -I donned some gloves—eeeeewwwwww!

After stripping down the double layers of fabric, I beefed up the padding, then REcovered with a botanical print.  BUT- each seat has a different interpretation of the print!

*I toyed with sewing a box cushion and welting, but considering their REsale value—I couldn’t justify adding that much more work.  Oh well.

new fabric for the free SHIELD BACK CHAIRS &Table -CL-001

I took the easy way out and sprayed each chair with a soft white primer, sanded & sealed.  Period.  Time was running out to take them to the pop-up show and my Time-Materials-to-REsale was NOT adding up.  So much for “FREE.”

My "FREE" Craigslist shield-back chairs!. . . forgot to get some “after” pictures to show you the botanicals on the seats, sorry

but they were really pretty!

Trust me!   ; D

They didn’t sell during the show and I was bummed—

but Hip-Hip HooRaY!

A fellow vendor snatched ’em up before I could load them again.


the free SHIELD BACK CHAIRS from Craigslist

I know, I knowI’ve been horribly absent.

"out of stock"

Like everyone else, I’ve had a thousand and one things going on.

Blogging, heck  -just opening my laptop-  has taken a total backseat.

One weekend after another I’ve had— a bridal shower, a big pop-up show, the outdoor wedding of my niece/Goddaughter, the twins’ huge birthday party, a graduation & party, a surprise 70th birthday party. . . and all the work and prep associated with [a few of] the events.

Plot Twist!*Add to that  -in the vain of my standard klutziness–  I took a little tumble at my niece’s outdoor wedding, spraining my left ankle and right knee.  Suffice it to say that even a low heel and undulating, soft ground don’t mix.  AND, before the night ended I also got a fat-split lip in a hugging accident with a VERY tall nephew.  (Murphy’s Law’s got nothin’ on me.)

I generally just consider it all “Catherine’s World”

but I believe this could be my new mantra  and  a sign for my studio!   Do I hear you laughing…?

I’m also weeding and working on the gardens.  Losing our huge BoxElder means a LOT of plants need to be moved, so I’m taking advantage to REarrange and REcreate some of the garden vignettes!  This will launch a couple of architectural-construction summer projects too!  ♠ the Domino effect!

I have been squeezing in some actual projects here and there, and have several post-drafts in the works to share with you so

c’mon back!


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!


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