Thursday, August 28, 2014

Busy Hands Are Happy Hands.

Blank canvas!
 Yes indeed.  Busy is the way to go.  Earlier this year I found this little table waiting for me at a yard sale.  Looks like someone had intended to do something with it, as there was a little evidence of sanding.  It also looked like it had been left on a porch or in a basement or something, as the finish on the legs was all but gone.  But it was a structurally sound, well-made little table, and I like the Shaker legs and the fact that it had this kind of picture-frame thing going on on the top. I don't think it's too old, but  the drawers are dovetailed and it looks like it was maybe factory-made before most factory-made furniture was crap.

The consensus here is that it's a sewing table, and who am I to argue?  It's got some sort of drawer inset in it, could be for spools of thread or could be for pencils, I have no idea.  It came to me with only one drawer pull, so the hunt was on.  But the first thing I found out was that the screw holes were too close together!  Modern drawer pulls have holes 3" apart.  So I had to plug them and drill them out again.

You can't really tell in this light, but the legs and outer edges are painted a very pale seaglass aqua.  The top frame is sandy brown, as are the side and back panels but those are going to be painted with a slightly darker aqua. The top surface is primer with a little sand mixed in, and I'll discuss that more tomorrow. I did the brown on the side panels because the plan was to use a crackle finish...and after a quick google search on how to do that without buying bottles of crackle medium, it turns out all you need is Elmer's glue!  How about that.  I guess it's all on the Elmer's page, but I found it here, in this really cool blog!
I don't think it's supposed to look like that.

So I got the glue and followed the directions--or so I thought--and the results were....well, see for yourself:

Here's what I think happened, so you can learn from my foolishness.  Combination of:
1.  Not waiting for the glue to get tacky.  The instructions clearly stated that you need to do the top coat before the glue dries, or it won't work.  I think I didn't wait quite long enough.
2.  Too thick top coat.  This was also probably due to the fact that the glue was too wet.  My brush kept disturbing the glue underneath, so i was using a lot of paint so I could just apply it on top of the glue without making a mess.
3.  Working on a vertical surface.  That was just plain stupid.  Everything just went south.
So I got a rag and a bucket and washed it all off and started again, laid the table on its side and did one panel at a time.  That worked much better. I had already done the drawer fronts, so I know the technique worked.
Also, check out those drawer pulls!  I looked all over the internet for pulls that would suit my nautical theme, but not only didn't I find anything that that seemed like it was going to match, they are bloody expensive! I would have invested a little more in the pulls seeing that I didn't pay all that much for the table, but then I found these wooden ones at the Habitat ReStore in Charlestown, brand new in the package. All I did was paint them, then get out the wood glue and wrap them in twine. 

So the painting is all done now.  What's next is going to be to apply the mosaic top.  That's why the sand in the primer, research about mosaic revealed that the surface to which you apply the Thinset should be rough.  And sealed.  So that accomplished both.  This is why I was excited to find this table, the top with it's picture frame edge just screamed mosaic, and my favorite mosaic material is seaglass.  The challenge was to find enough seaglass that was flat, because being a table top I thought the least I could do was to make it level so it could actually be used.  So that's what's on tap for tomorrow, putting on the top.

Other than the table, and trying to figure out just how many projects I already have in various stages of completion, I have been working on this baby afghan using the diamond stitch that Sue taught me.  It takes me forever to crochet stuff, whereas she can bang out 6 or 7 hats in a day AND make dinner. 

This is just one "square", I guess you call it.  The whole thing will probably consist of a dozen of these, with a border.  Don't hold your breath.

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