Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Refinishing Thing

 So I bought this nifty really old handmade sewing cabinet from Karen, who said her great-grandfather made it!  This is what I love to find, things that are handmade SO well that they've stood the test of time but have seen better days, and are just waiting for a little TLC!  My plan is to take the end pieces right down to bare wood and stain them, no small feat as it turns out because Karen's great-grandfather was apparently a man who loved the varnish.  A lot.  This is not something I normally do, it takes a lot of time and elbow grease, even with my trusty orbital sander, but I have a vision. The front and back lids I will paint.  Today I took it apart and sanded the lids and one end, which is all I could do before the mosquitos found me and I packed it in for the night.

After some consideration, I decided to leave the inside of the cabinet untouched (except for the insides of the lids).  It has a nifty little sliding compartment for holding miscellaneous doodads, which is very cool.  And of course the inside has not had the wear and tear that the outside has been subjected to over the years, so other than the fact that it won't go with the outside color-wise, it's in really good condition.  It'll be kind of a tribute to Karen's great-grandfather's craftsmanship, a little piece of history.

The hinges are currently soaking in hot water and OxyClean, which is just magical stuff.  I use it to get years of crud off old buttons, leaving them nice and clean even in the crevices.  I have no idea what color these hinges were originally, but at this point I'm thinking they'll end up flat black.  Maybe.  That's the plan at the moment, but in the immortal lyrics of Velvet Goldmine, Everything is Subject to Change.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Projects on Top of Projects

 Because that's the way I roll.  Seriously, if I could figure out how to roll ANY other way, my life would be so much simpler...and my house would be neater.  But I've tried, and it doesn't work for me at all.  A wide shot of this desk would show no less than 7 other projects in various stages of completion,  and behind me is the shelf I posted about last time which is temporarily stalled because I need paint.
I don't know what possessed me to drag these little molds out at this particular time, but here they are.  I have a bunch of assorted metalware accumulated, and have been pondering its fate in the back of my mind for a long time.  Went on Pinterest the other day to look for ideas, and found a LOT!  And a purpose for the paint I bought in a yard sale last year.  It's Folk Art acrylic, but it's the "Enamels" line; I figured maybe it's just a shiny finish or something; acrylic paint is acrylic paint, right?  WRONG.  When the manufacturer stated that either you bake it in the oven to cure it or wait 21 days for it to dry, they were not messing around.  I found that out when I used it to paint a skate which took literally months to not be tacky.  I don't have that kind of time.  I came really close to just getting rid of it, as most of the little stuff I paint wouldn't be suitable for putting in the oven, but wait!!!  Metal molds are.  So I'm going to bake these, and see what happens.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I finished the lazy susan!  See, I do finish stuff sometimes.  It wasn't exactly the same as I had envisioned, but then very, very few of my projects come out the way I originally intend. Anyway, I was happy with it and someone else was, too, because within a week it was on layaway at the shop.

 Now that warmer weather is here and I no longer have to shell out the big bucks for the heating bill for the back of the building, the gift shop is open and I have designated the other little back room as "the baby room" and have filled it with little quilts, baby outfits, and Donna's adorable little knitted baby hats.  She's been knitting like a fiend, and brought me a bunch of new ones last week.  We had a great conversation about how addicting this all is, not only the making of stuff, but the hoarding of yarn (or fabric, or whatever your vice is) for those of us who are compelled by whatever demon/muse it is that makes us need to create.  I guess if you're going to have an addiction, this is a pretty harmless one.  Although just the other day Preston ventured into the basement where the dead furniture lays waiting to be reborn, and he shook his head sadly and said, "you just....have too many projects".

I can quit any time I want.