Monday, June 30, 2014

My green phase.......

I've been doctoring a lot lately. Not by choice. It seems all my professional people have retired or are on medical leave, so they have advised that I break in new people. Not being a "doctor" person, I find this off-putting. Their fingers click away as though I'm telling them something different than the volumes that went before them. My mantra is always the same...fix my broken knees! Enough about that.


This blog should have been posted a week ago, but lacked photos. It still lacks photos, but I'll go with what I have and change them out as they become available. Starting off with a little plant stand that my friend Lynn was looking to re-home. 

It is now a sage distressed and all the screws are tightened.Don't you love hydrangeas? This is from daughter Alisa's last years crop and this year is even better.

A coffee table and two end tables transformed in a custom mix of grey and green tones.  I bartered work on these for some old college lockers. More on those in a few weeks. They require some major carpentry and that part of me is on hiatus.

 This little item was found on the curb. Nice Jacobean structure, but badly cigarette burned and scratched. Unless you have spectacular vision, this seems like a "pass-me-by"".

It had a beautiful inlay. Who even does that on furniture anymore? It had been water logged and had raised panels, and virtually no color remained.

I sanded the top and scraped any loose varnish. It is not wise to sand too deep. An overzealous hand will tap into the next layer and ruin the surface. Cleaned thoroughly. 

I painted an undercoat of a diluted Van Dyke Brown and put a wood conditioner on top so that the stain would spread evenly. The richness reminds me of a mahogany. 

 I then topped it with the green-gray mix ever so lightly. I wanted the deep channels to remain chocolate-y.

 If you could only see it in person. Maybe someone will have mercy on me and shoot me a photo. 

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This table reminds me of the old poem, The Touch of the Master's Hand, by Myra Brooks Welch, wherein an auctioneer can barely get three dollars for a dusty old scarred violin, until a man enters from the back of the room and plays as the angels might.The instrument then is auctioned for several thousand dollars. It ends with....

"And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin, is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin. A "mess of pottage", a glass of wine; a game - and he travels on. "He is going once", and "going twice", He's "going, and almost gone." But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd, never can quite understand, the worth of a soul and the change that's wrought, by the touch of the Master's hand." 

My comparison is just to say that a little love and elbow grease can save a multitude of craftsmanship from the crusher.


My friend Michelle also had this desk from her husband's family that she painted white and stuck in the garage. She was hoping I could turn it into a kitchen island. I removed the feet thinking I could put them back on the new base, but they were not wide enough for the casters.[The blue base cart I'm working off of is something Alisa found on a curb.]

First I had to glue several of the drawers-nice tongue and groove. Note to self: Get some longer wood clamps.

This desk has marvelous detail. It reminded me of art deco or a 1940's movie markee.

This is upside down. My friends, Lynn and Tom, had a 9 FOOT plywood board that I cut a new base off of and screwed on movable 4" locking casters. I jigged the edges to make a plateau effect.

Note the back is finished also, so it can present anywhere. It rolls like a dream. The casters may have come off of a hospital or a morgue gurney.

It doesn't even look like the same top.

I built a new shelf for storage and primed in a brown paint.

This color is called Lemon Smoke and was given to me by friend, Lisa. I wish you could truly suck in the flavor of this color. My borrowed camera went back to its owner for a fishing trip to Gloucester, Mass. The menfolk from Ohio catch eatable fish-unlike the Arizona "catch-and-releasers".

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Much deeper in person!


I will give you a few days to chew on this and then tell about my trip to "West, By God". It is full of elves, fairies, angels, Samaritans, paint, cows, fish, gum, tires, rain, movies, prayers, games, but no cell towers.

Talk to you soon.

34 days and counting...
As ever,
La Verne

Friday, June 6, 2014

Plan B

There is nothing quite like being invited to stay at someone's house to attend Max and Blair's wedding shower and then messing the house up. Badly. I have this problem with always being busy. I thought I could relax, but no, It seems I can't. Fortunately, the shower was at Blair's Family House, which had no mess.


I didn't bring any tools with me so we had to hunt in the garage and make several trips to the HD for supplies. The trouble is, NO ONE ASKED ME to fix their table. My sister uses table cloths that cover any imperfections. It's like the Bible story, getting the speck out of someone else's eye when I had a plank in my own.

This corner piece of the table where the veneer had pulled away was bothering me. When we all gather to play Telestrations (FUN GAME-buy it), it was not a good surface to draw on. Hence the bee in my bonnet.

Therese had refinished the table years before, but at that time the leaves were not with it so they still had the original stain still on. The table came to them by way of the basement when they bought the house. 

I added a newly made veneer piece out of some kind of wood that was stapled to the bottom of the end cap. I sanded the glue off and used a razor and cut through both layers of wood for a tight fit.

Trouble is....after stripping, sanding and staining, it looked like crap! Far worse than it did when I started.

In the sanding process, I went through another layer of veneer which showed through the crossgrain. Yuck.


I watched FROZEN for the 6th time, thinking, thinking, thinking, then decided to go in another direction. When I think of my sister, besides her being loving, generous and funny. I also think of the BEACH. I could rescue the table if I made it look like something one would find at the beach.

I had picked up a 50 cent Oops cream colored paint in a little pint version and painted the top and the leaves. Next, I sanded again, tacked, and used a special walnut version of MW over the entire table and rubbed it dry. [See the seam on the end cap? That is where I pieced the replacement veneer]

I LOVE IT. Not sure how the family is taking it though as there was (and probably still is) S A W D U S T everywhere.  

The grain of the wood took on a whole different appearance. 

Therese is going to sand and second coat it as I had to get on the road again. Time to go home. What do they say about fish and guests after a week?

I love it when a (non) plan comes together.


Among the gifts we brought for the shower was a homemade First Aid Kit. I bought an old metal document box at Salvation Army for $1.99 and painted it up with the Red Cross symbol similar to this box I saw on Susan at Homeroad's blog. 

metal first aid box

 Check her out at:

Below is my interpretation.......

{The blotchiness of this photo is sawdust)

I filled it with all sorts of rescue remedies, mostly for Max's sports injuries. While at the outdoor wedding shower, a guest got stung by a bee. The kit's Benedryl was put to good use immediately.


Update on little Adam:

Since his two hospital stays, he has improved rapidly and miraculously. He is this moment jetting to Finland and Denmark with his family for his Dad's work conference and family vacation. Thank you all for your prayers.

As ever,
La Verne