Wood!

That’s it…three sessions of scrubbing down my sanded furniture and I’m ready to apply the primer.  I thought I’d capture a photo of the living breathing wood before I seal its pores again with paint.

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After some discussion with daughter #2, I’ve decided to free-form the pieces for my bedroom to capture the feeling of autumn.  So…forget Marc Chagall.  Onward and outward, Kathleen Moors!

I used this furniture for healing.  It took me a long time to recognize that…but it is so!  Alzheimer’s disease steals layers of memory so incredibly slow.  My heart goes out to every reader who has had to find strength through years of watching your dearest loved ones make this journey…and I pray with everything in me for families who have just received a diagnosis and who need to find creative and accepting ways of taking this same walk.  I came to discover as I peeled back the layers of paint over so many nights and weekend afternoons that GRACE is what helped me…GRACE is what healed me and the quiet of hours picking away at paint in the warm light of my studio.  Mom, you remain, with all of your memories, inside of me always.

 

I picked up the green vanity on September 12 of 2011 and the other pieces August 22, 2013. The fronts and backs of every piece were totally suffocated in multiple layers of paint.  I will not be removing paint from furnishings again…let it be known!

Vanity Headboard Stripping Paint

 

 

 

DIY DONE!

Alright…one project done and before I’m onto the next…a few pointers.  I have enjoyed researching and reading about different approaches to repainting and up-scaling furniture.  I enjoyed this writer’s objective approach to some of the suggested chalk paint techniques.  While I used the paint, I didn’t distress the pieces I worked on this week, simply because sometimes less is better.

This was day two and I have to say, this day was the physical day.  Rubbing wax into surfaces is hard work, but it was a very satisfying day because of the results.  I have lots of latex paint left in this colour to complete my headboard and baseboard as art furniture, featuring a study of Marc Chagall’s work, Big Sun.

Big_Sun_Marc_ChagallWhen I call my work art furniture, this would be an example.

W. Kandinsky dresser for my percussionist-son.

W. Kandinsky dresser for my percussionist-son.

I have a vintage vanity that I picked up through Freecycle; that will dawn Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflowers.  I’ve begun to prime this piece and done some clamping of the drawers.

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sunflowers2About today…

The two coats of chalk paint were completely dry.  I put the drawers into the dressers so that I could see each object in its entirety.  This makes it easier to discern how busy the piece is becoming.  Honestly, distressed furniture can feel too cliche, if not treated with a great deal of attention while making decisions.  After today, I would call the process ‘contouring’ the furniture.  I used clear paste wax for the tops (no stain) so that the tops would welcome natural light onto their surfaces.  I applied a clear paste wax coat to all surfaces to begin with.  Then, where I wanted to accentuate a detail or say that the contour was ‘going in’, I used my clear paste wax mixed with a little stain. (It really didn’t take much.)  In the case of my dressers, I chose a cherry wood stain for its warmth, thinking it would complement the copper sort of wall paint.

P1170272 P1170270P1170293I tore up a t shirt and used one rag for clear wax only and the other for wiping into my stained wax.  I quickly removed excess stain, considering the marks and the depth of the colour as I went.  At edges where two surfaces met, I left stain…as I moved out into the center of the surface, I left the pure chalk paint colour.

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Small home made night stand that I picked up at WIN for 3.00.

The rubbing action left me fully prepared for a run at Netflix and a glass of wine.  Quite a workout!  I will leave the wax to set overnight and fill the drawers in the morning.

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DIY Saturday

Just briefly checking in with my readers regarding my DIY project.  I took a couple of days off from this project, but was back at it today.  My father was wondering with all of the close ups just what I am creating, so I slid the drawers in to the dresser to give him and idea.  Nearing the finish line with the stripping and sanding.  I will be purchasing a tube of wood filler and a can of primer tomorrow after Mass.

To begin with...l

To begin with…l

Headboard for a double bed.

Headboard for a double bed.

Yesterday

Yesterday

 

Four drawer dresser.

Four drawer dresser.

Baseboard

Baseboard

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Vanity with large circular mirror.

Vanity with large circular mirror.

Storm Gathering: Now Arrived

BOOM! Boom of thunder as I type.

It felt cozy in the studio while listening to Dave Matthew’s Band on the stereo.  It’s always wonderful to be in that space when it’s grey outside.  It just feels so warm and bright.  I noticed before I began my sanding that the birds were in a bit of a frenzy at the feeder.  I wanted to belt out a warning to them.  The neighbour across the way has an ‘outdoor cat’.  I woke this morning to watch as the cat pitched a bird up in the air over and over again, batting it viciously and then tossing it again, over and over until it lay lifeless…the cat walked away…its owner, in bathrobe, sipped from a Tim Horton’s cup and smoked a cigarette while watching.  Seems like torture to me.  She was probably saying to herself, “This is what it’s like in nature.”

I kept from talking to her about it.  I try not to razz the neighbours.  I also had to change my mindset.  I remembered Mom and Dad singing this one in the station wagon.  We all laughed about the ‘wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside ‘er’ part…guess it’s the lighter side of the predator story.

Back to the birds…they seemed to be getting a good feed before the storm!

P1120352 P1120353I heard a chickadee in the tree, but of course the little thing had to wait for the sparrows to fly off in unison at the bark of my dog and then it had its chance.

P1120356All this activity happening at the front of the house, I went out to the studio to get some stripping and sanding done.

Grey clouds were gathering, but the studio looked welcoming and the music was set to playing.

P1120359 P1120361Good physical work, music and a glass of fizzy ice water…a perfect combination for time well-spent!

Yesterday

Yesterday

Today

Today

Yesterday

Yesterday

Today

Today

Yesterday

Yesterday

Today

Today

Today

Today

I came inside to find my ‘indoor cat’ jumping off the red couch to greet me.  Life is good.

 

Things Change

I purchased a kitchen chair for $5.00 at the second hand shop and decided to refurbish it to add another place at the feast table.  It’s a fantastic chair because it was solidly built in Canada.  I really like things that are manufactured in Canada!  I didn’t take a ‘before’ photo (the chair was painted white), but got one in the process.  I sanded off the old paint finish and then I adhered the Psalms and a portion of the Gospel of Matthew to the piece. Then  I began to paint layers, beginning with the red that you see here. 

Red at the elbows and ankles.

I then went into it with transparencies of burnt umber and pthalo blue, two of my favourites! I’m not certain that it’s done yet…I think I’ll be moving back into the metallic gold with some pthalo blue tomorrow.  It’s fun to watch things change while listening to good music.  Garnet Rogers, Stan Roger’s brother, played for this project.

An Afternoon With Garnet Rogers

Create some unity with gold.

 

Seeing Wood NOT Paint

Ok, so now I’m getting somewhere.  Slow-but-sure the ugly green is disappearing and I’m bringing back a nice wood surface to receive the image that is waiting to be expressed.  This is a process that requires patience and a wee bit of time each and every day.

Green is Gone - White is Gone

 

Getting There