Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Primitive Wooden Treasures Redefined as Wall Art

Here's my homage to days past when people used their hands to do everything. No machines. No computers. No electronics.  I finally decided it was time to put them to use... in a new way, that is... as wall art.

These pieces all have one thing in common...decades of authentic character and a work-your-fingers-to-the-bone patina.  I can't help but make up fantasical stories to go along with these primitives:

24" Hand Carved Wooden Dough Bowl:  He carved this critical kitchen tool by hand for his bride as a wedding present, which then became the most coveted item she had to pass along to her daughters.  Naturally, it was left to the oldest, though her sisters stopped talking to her after that.

Vintage Wooden Wash Board: All you need is this "great American invention," a bar of soap, a convenient stream or large bucket, and you're all set to join the ladies on wash day.  Plunge, Scrub, Repeat.

Milking Stool: This short wooden stool sits just a few inches off the ground making it easier for Farmer Joe to milk Bessie, especially when she begins to protest and attempt to knock over the bucket. I mean, the top of the seat is no bigger than his hand. Imagine sitting on that every morning and afternoon.

Here's another look at it all put together.

A close up of the painting next to it. (I did that, too. )

Can't decide if I want to put something on top of the stool, or leave it plain.  What do you think?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pedestal Bowl Revamped

Once: A boring pedestal bowl used at potlucks to serve up fruit salad. 
Now: A beautiful textured piece used to display fruit or fresh flowers.

 Here's how to make it:
  1. Find a boring old bowl, vase, or pedestal serving dish from a flea market, garage sale, or your local Goodwill.
  2. Purchase some rope. You can find colorful sisal rope from craft stores or online.
  3. Get out your trusty hot glue gun and attach one end of the rope to the bottom of the dish.
  4. Wrap the dish with the sisal, using dabs of hot glue to hold the next wrap in place in a few places as you wrap.
  5. Finish wrapping the entire bowl.


Reimagined Computer Desk

Once: A sewing machine/table Mom used to sew herself and the kids a new Easter outfit every year. (I'm the little one in the blue dress.)
Now:  A compact desk with extending table, perfect for the lazy person (that would be me) who wants to sit in her comfy chair with a cup of coffee and read her blogs every morning.

Here's how I did it:
I purchased a sewing table at a local flea market for $10.  I loved the clean lines of it and how it would extend out, and fold up for compact storage. For the price, I figured I couldn't go wrong.  I stripped all the old hardware off and took out the sewing machine (a lovely shade of green).

I wanted the table to be able to swing around in front of the chair I sit in each morning with my coffee reading, so I can work on my computer without having to get up. (Lazy, I know.) So, I cut off the old metal legs and added wheels.

Next, I stripped the table down to the bare wood, and after testing a stain on the wood, I found the wood wasn't the best quality and the stain didn't look good. So, I decided to paint it. I used multiple shades of browns, with a hint of burnt orange and mustard yellow and achieved a faux woodgrain.

After the painting was all done, I added vintage wallpaper from a great old sample wallpaper book I found in an antique store.  I love the character this adds!

This is the view from my chair.

Now, all finished. I can store the computer away in the desk when it's not in use and extend the table and get to work without having to get out of my comfy chair.