Monday, September 23, 2013


Hayes Christian! Newest grandchild.

Born today at 10:04 AM @ 8# 4 oz. He joins his Presidential siblings of Reagan, Kennedy and Grant. This boy is no lightweight. I expect him to have a list of summer jobs like lumberjacking, deep sea fisherman or calf wrestler.

I got to hold him this afternoon and he is such a dear. Thankfully, my son, Ryan took the above photo. Mine turned out with a caption that should say-amateur!

While a serious photographer would engage their subjects first, I thought that candid shots would be better.  I was wrong.

New mom, Meg, with her shadow.

New dad, Ryan, gathering up school bags (homework done) so they can head for home.

Other Grandma Sue, engages guests, while siblings look on. They were actually very happy to hold their brother, and hoped no one else would show up so they would have to relinquish their prize.

First day he got to wear his "Big Brother' shirt. 

Seriously La Verne? This is the best you could do on a family shot? Well, at least All the Noses Are Here.

Congrats on the safe delivery of a new, healthy boy.  He is a grand addition to the Wrecking Crew.

As ever,
Grandma La Verne

PS  Those of you that were looking for my blog yesterday and could not find it.....apparently, it is supposed to be renewed yearly, and my IT manager overlooked it. Luckily, he remedied the situation. Welcome back!
Check out yesterday's post if you missed it.  Worth the peek.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Usually, I save the best for last

Tonight, I will treat you to a resurrection of a buffet's Cinderella moment. 

If only you could pretend the moving blanket to the right were some well placed, aesthetic back drop. FCP. Field Conditions Prevail.

Previously, much like Cinderella herself, she lived in the country with her kindly step-sister, and many, many cats. Many cats. Months earlier, she had been orphaned, and the step-sister had to parcel estate contents out to meet the king's ransom.

One could only guess the life she lived.  Interior drawers held remnants of sewing parts and old news clippings.

Part of her history was surely in a leaky carriage building, or used for filleting fish.

My first step was to tighten up all loose joints.

The top back required major corner mending and some veneer repair.  I had purchased some mahogany veneer banding that fit nicely with the help of a utility knife and an iron.  

As I sanded, I saved the sawdust and mixed it with a little linseed oil to act as the stain on the new wood.  I tried to bleach out a miserable stain, but was without luck, which meant I would have to stain darker.  A wood conditioner over the entire top first gave it a more even appearance at the end.

The center post in the top middle drawer had to be removed so that the future electronics could be installed. I then had my son cut a piece of 1/4" luan to fill that space. New 1/4" is not the same as when the cabinet was built, so I used cork sheeting as a filler, Bondo'd it, sanded and painted and glazed to match.

The former buffet now serves as an entertainment center, and toy hider for a little boy who turned 2 today.  Happy Birthday, Jake.

The center fabric below is called, Crayola Twisler, and was turned in to new pillows for their family room.


Daughter-in-law Angie, sent me a picture of a child measuring chart the other day that she saw on Pinterest by Painted Therapy out of New Hampshire, and asked if I could duplicate it.

 I was hoping to use old barn wood as that was what was used, but found none safe enough for kids.  My sister's door way between her kitchen and dining room contains a wide molding that has measured kids for decades without benefit of any measurements. I'll bet there are over 150 markings with kid's names and dates as to their height. And, not just her kids. Anyone who comes into the house. No doubt, Angie was looking to repeat that memory.

Here is my attempt.

I made it to attach just above their 4.5" their baseboard. It only took a short time and I used permanent marker instead of paint. Beforehand, I had sanded it, stained it and gave it a light poly coat when I was done.


Update on Josie: 37 days old. More than 2# 6 oz. No ventilator. No IV's. 
Big brother, Luke's face says it all!

[As for saving the best for last....I DID]

******More BIG NEWS tomorrow!******

As ever,
La Verne

Saturday, September 7, 2013

One curb's junk

is another family's treasure.

Bethy found this partial end table on the front lawn in Brunswick, minus a top.

It looked and smelled as though it had been stored in someone's basement.

It had fine markings and beadboard sides and interior.

I mixed up sort of a sea green latex paint, after cleaning it well with bleach.

The top I appropriated from a Lane (Ken) table stacked in the garage.

The lower half I will use for a firewood holder this winter.

After stripping and bleaching the stains, it was ready for a pre-conditioner, so the wood would stain evenly, and some walnut stain and poly.

The inlaid oak and teak stained very richly.

The distressing and glaze gave the end table a warm dimension.

The drawer is large enough for 50 or more Match Box cars.

The large interior is big enough for a hefty basket of toys.

I changed out the knobs for something a little less entertaining for a two year old boy.

Jen and Andrew's new family room side table.


I thought I would show you a couple of wooden boxes that I shabby chic'd before the antique show. 
[No longer available]

This box gained  a colored lath strip and re-purposed as a toilet tissue holder. [NLA]

And, an old shipping crate became a bathroom towel storage box.


This grainy photo shows a bathroom cabinet that the owner wished to look more formal than this flowered display.

The new, deep Still Water made a statement.

Because the cabinet was made of fiber board, not wood, it could not be distressed,only a dark dry brush. 

Followed by several coats of poly.

It is important to also paint the interior of a piece if it is too be opened and closed often.

Some details of the crown molding.

The dark tones are a grey'd shade of Still Water.

I experimented with just layering colors for the base and think I will do more of that in the future.


One of the best skills I have is my cooking ability. Today, I was able to bribe a daughter to come cut my grass with the promise of scalloped potatoes and ham. And, she brought all the ingredients.  The kidlings did little chores and earned quarters for their service.  I gained all around. Sticks were gathered, leaves were raked, weeds disappeared, my van was emptied, and furniture got moved. It was a nice serendipity from what I had anticipated the day to be.

Sometimes, when I flail around between tasks, it feels as though no progress is being made. Although no furniture projects were worked on today, I felt as though massive headway was made, just by their presence. Thank you, middle child, and your young'uns, for service to your mother, despite post ball playing soreness!

As ever,
La Verne

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Asking one more thing...

Right now, some dear friends are in an awful hurt. An awful hurt. Please, if you can squeeze out another prayer for them I would consider it more than a gift. If I tried to explain why, I would have no words. Forever after, any grief or pain I have, cannot compare to theirs. And, for those in the wake of this storm.

La Verne

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Put me in coach

This piece of furniture had been 'benched' for quite a while in my family room/project warehouse.  The night before the show I decided it was tired of "watchin' it from the bench" and time to get in the game. It's a nice oak piece and sturdy as anything, I had hoped to maybe restore it to its original beauty, but, the clock was ticking (even though there's no clock in baseball) and "it was time to give this (game) a ride. Anyone can understand the way I feel." {this dialogue won't make sense until the end}

This color was invented by mixing several little neutral pots I had, along with some Tumbleweed and Driftwood. I love the 'little dart and egg' trim along the sides. I would guess the bench was made back when 'Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio' played ball.

I photocopied this reverse French lettered graphic from The Graphics Fairy a couple days prior.  Don't ask me what it says, it's probably advertising some shoppe that sells marbles.

I marked off grain stripes with green or blue tape (not giving the name as I'm not getting any royalties). I painted between the tape with Driftwood Grey and gave it a quick glazing with Van Dyke Brown and several coats of poly. It was "ready to play". 

I was pleased that Andrew and Jen snapped it up at the show. Maybe that "brown-eyed, handsome man" Jake will find it a good place to hide his "beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes".


This 'ice cream parlor chair' came from my friend, Sue.  It had been stripped, but did not seem like it wanted a natural finish. It wanted to be French too.  je t'aime. Seriously, the only French phrase I know is asking to go to the salle de bain (bathroom).

                        I did a wash of another made-up color and Modge Podge'd the graphic on. It wasn't MP, maybe Omni, or another matte finish. (I am playing with an unrelated one tonight using a technique The Graphics Fairy suggested. She gives away free printables and tutorials)

Pretend the background is the parking area for the Tour de France.

 If I didn't already live on the world famous perfect name for a street, I would want to live on a street called the Rue St. Denis.  Sweet.


On the keeping it 'slightly real' scene, here is a bench that was eager to get in the game, also.  Asked to play "Centerfield", no less. It was going green. [Again, the staging person should be fired. Couldn't they move a thing or two around?]

It "took its lumps" and was stripped and sanded to get the top ready for a medium pecan finish.

It ended up with a distressed, Isle of Pine paint ("new grass on the field")

Some glazing and several coats of poly...

[The rustic patina'd antique welding torch is a nice prop-still available]

And this bench is rounding third and "headed for home."*


*Seeing as how there were two benches in today's post, I shamelessly abused lyrics from John Fogerty for this segue. Josie has been born into a HUGE baseball family. Jack's dad was the photographer for the Baltimore Orioles.  Jack is the "J" of JSB Baseball, in case you are over 30 and looking for a fantasy BB adventure in Pirate City, FL. The family plays, coaches, and attends "any-kinda-baseball'.  His man-cave should be on Cribs. Their yearly mecca is to Cooperstown. What Josie needs as a little incentive, is a baseball uniform. Who is going to get on that?  Here are Bryan and Jessica, at Max and Blair's party in June. Love how happy they are.

Update from Bryan:

First of all thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

I have the medal, love it!

Josie does not have a "hole" in her heart...patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a condition in which the ductus arteriosus does not close.  The word "patent" means open. The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that allows blood to go around the baby's lungs before birth...thanks Google.  This is typical of preemies and not an emergency.  Josie needs this vessel to close so she can start feeding and growing. She will have a surgery early next week [August 26th-successful and back at St. Agnes  LD]

Our nurses have told us that in the last 20 years they have not sent a baby for this procedure that did not come back. [Hooray Johns Hopkins!]

Please continue your prayers and overall, to bring her home!

You are wonderful and we thank you for your support!

Bryan, Jess, Luke and Josie

I talked to Therese tonight and the doctors are thrilled with Jo Jo's (Luke's name for his little sister) progress. She is off the ventilator and the eye mask is gone.  Breast milk has been added to the feeding tube in her stomach every four hours.  Jess got to hold her.  Prayers are still needed, but thanks for all the ones you sent so far.  Forever grateful.

As ever, 
La Verne (hitting the showers)