Friday, July 26, 2013

Fishy, fishy in the tank....

Friends, Matt and Andrea, asked me to paint their fish tank stand to look like something that was dug up from the sea.  Originally, it looked like this:

New, pine wood

Even had sort of a photographic finish that had to be sanded off.

First coat was a driftwood mix

Next, I layered on some sea-foam blue and painted it on in both directions for more dimension.

It's best to do the insides of the doors so they match the piece

Note the deep layers of meridian blues and grays

Found some old handles, worthy of Davy Jones' locker

And, finally......

In its new home!  ARRRGH! Thanks for trusting me with your tank stand!

As ever,
La Verne

PS  Right now I'm working on Mission Impossible.  Transforming a rickety 50's step stool/chair into a dinner table chair for a 4 year old.  Can you spell M I R A C L E ?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Heart and Soul

Remember the old song that anybody who has ever touched a piano, knows how to play? Some of the grands and their friends were over the other day and the two things they shoot for as soon as they enter the house are, either the costume closet, or the piano. Before long, Heart and Soul was playing, and one of the friends said, "You play that really good, you should be on the radio." I laughed out loud in my heart. Such innocence.  Have you ever hear it played on the radio even by a maestro?


This tiny dresser was found on an adventure with the AZ kids.  We hopped out of the van and raided a curb in River (with the owner's permission). After a good scrubbing (always essential), the kids started painting it Autumn Haze by Glidden. Over top I added a minty green-blue, with a stenciled tree filled with birds. I kept it muted and used the same green on the pulls. It can be a night stand or little dresser, and I thank the kiddos for helping me with my mission.  You will meet the other treasures on another day.

At first glance

After a light distressing

Trying to decide on waxing or poly-coating

Can someone please show me how turn these pics sideways?

How it presented at the show


I have 17 projects in my queue right now. Probably the most I have ever started at one time.  Having no boss gives me that freedom. [Or that lunacy] I gave myself a rugged schedule to get them done because I want to take a week for myself in August.  Not to go anywhere. Or spend money. Just to be able to breathe, and not always be "one step ahead of the hangman." Some things on my list are: to dig the paint and stain out of my fingernails, pull the 10 biggest weeds in my front yard. paint a tarp to look like my garage door, so now that my garage door is broken, the city won't site me for hoarding. I want to take a nap, and go to a matinee, pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and eat it at Lake Erie while watching the sailboats.  I remember when I used to like fishing, maybe I'll do that.  Maybe I will make the trip down to the basement and change the chirpy carbon monoxide detector that has been barking to have its battery changed. I could look through old pictures and reminisce about when I was young, and fit, and able.  Maybe I'll write a story that has some meat instead of having the blog seem like a misplaced laundry list....

But for now, I'll chuckle to myself and remember the tinkle of the keys from my little people, who are my heart and soul.

As ever,
La Verne


Sunday, July 21, 2013


We had a pretty acceptable weather day, could have been cooler, but settled for the no rain. Thanks to all who helped make this day possible: Neil, Alisa, Ryan, Bethany, Andrew, Peter and Patrick, and their families who supported me in every way possible, my sister Therese who came in all the way from Baltimore after talking me off a ledge following the rain and became my banker, Tom and Lynn (movers, believers and card-makers), Lisa (spreadsheet designer), Ken (pursuer of fine curb art), Sue, (giver of lasting treasurers), David, (barn-clearer-outer guy), and Ed; couldn't have done it without you.

Thanks to all who visited my space today. Had some really good conversations and hope to see you again. I thought I would share some photos of today's adventure.

Andrew, ticketing....

Supplemental space nearing the end of the show

I was able to park right next to our location

One of the two tents.

 A very warm day, happy to be out of the sun. 

This crib spring was loaded with photos. The top row Little Lord Fauntleroy had the prettiest curls.

We should have taken pictures first thing when there were no gaps.

Definitely a good show

I have been remiss in showing some 'before and afters' lately.

Middle table same bench.

After adding some stripes and a little French pizzazz.

A close-up

Finally, Nancy ("Ruby") and Jim came by and and wanted something to keep their "stuff" in.


I got 59 minutes' sleep last night so am hoping to get decent shut-eye tonight, and then back to special projects.  Thank you all again. Talk to you soon.

La Verne

Sunday, July 14, 2013

And so.....on with the show!

One week from today is my show at the Westlake Historical Society's Antique, Vintage and Craft Show at Clague House Museum and Grounds, from 10 AM to 4 PM. [Rain date is July 28th].  I have been readying all my items for transport and getting ready to stage them.  There are well over 100 items, mostly furniture, but also some smalls, wrought iron pieces, and some surprises. Cost is $3. per person, but the little darlings under 12 are free.

This is a new piece I worked on that was made on February 27, 1950...

and how it looks now.....

This was formerly blue, but had a coming of age and now is an Ohio State bookcase with pull down front.

A shot of the hand painted drawers. This piece went to grandson, Liam for the next several birthdays.

This is a partial glimpse of the staging area.  You have no idea how packed this is going to get,

        A couple more van-full's to go.

I've really been busy, painting and sanding and trying to keep the 'puter running, so no time for posting. Hope to see you all at the show. Pray for good weather and thanks for all your support; especially to my family. Even the AZ peeps who came to join in.

I have to nap now-birthday parties the last few days and working til very late last night.

As ever,
La Verne

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The flag is wet... is the grass. We are so fortunate in Ohio to always have the possibility of its 'raining on our parade'.  I talked to my brother in Arizona last night and he won't be camping this weekend for a worse reason than rain. The risk of fires. Wildfires. Where we camp here, a campfire is an expected ingredient in the experience, whether it is for cooking, or pretending to cook, by making s'mores. There is something healing and mesmerizing about a fire.  The watching of the fire licks and swirls, the unpredictable "snaps" and "crackles". In water, the sound of the waves, rolling and crashing, hypnotize and suck us in. Water on the roof (yeah) or filling the basement (yuck). A choice between rain and fire, (I've had both), I'll take rain. And, a plateful of gratitude.

"When peace like a river, attendeth my way.
When sorrows like a sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."
(Horatio Spafford)


Wishing all of you a safe and thoughtful Liberty Day with this generic scene from somewhere up in Maine.
And, a reminder from our mutual friend, Dr. Seuss......

As ever,
La Verne

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I had a dream.....

....that last Thursday I made 250 meatballs for a party.  I know it was a dream, (even though I remember eating some and giving more away), because when I showed up in Maryland for my nephew, Max's (and Blair's) Engagement Party, they were nowhere to be found! Calls were made to Bethy's neighbors who found them in her garage-packed in an ice cooler. No matter. Repeat process. Party was beyond wonderful.  Kids had a great cousin time, swimming, volley-balling, basket-balling, and snow-coning. Yes, who has a party with 6 flavors of snow cones for kids?  Blair's parents. Family friendly yard. Food plentiful and excellent!

Then, while the families went to Ocean City...

Therese and I ate crabs, watched the Dexter premiere, hung out at Goodwill/ hardware stores, and refinished furniture. See the before and after when us technically challenged have access to "friends with skills".

Here is a project I'm working on for nephew, Bryan, that most people who have seen it would say is "Hopeless and Unsalvageable". I, however, am an optimist.  This is how it looked when I first saw it. Great bones (skeleton).

I have since measured it, removed all the rotted wood from the wrought iron, and started to wire brush it.  Only one of the bolt connections seems compromised, and with the right, new transplants, (wood), will live on another 50 years.


We got a chance to see The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. Really, really funny. I will be seeing it again soon, as Bethy wants to see her boy Joe in it. You can't hear the word "Nawk" too many times. We watched a slew of van movies too: Father Goose, Pollyanna, Secretariat, Schoolhouse Rock and more. Leg room in a van filled with bodies, camping gear, beach chairs, coolers and backpacks is over-rated. Best trip. Little drama. 

I wish had more photos, but, in the line from Charlotte's Web, "that'll do".

As ever,
La Verne