I have always admired antique phonograph cabinets but I never had the courage to separate the cabinet from the workings inside, fortunately this one was empty. The veneer on top was splintered, peeling and missing in spots. The back was missing, the bottom shelf inside was covered in oil and the whole piece had been neglected.
I remove the veneer from the top and found beautiful poplar wood underneath. I began restoring the rest of the wood and reviving the stain. I put a birdseye maple veneer on the bottom shelf, made a new back piece, put a new finish making sure to cover the top (only) in urethane for protection. I have always wanted to repurpose one of these pieces into a wine cabinet so here we are! I love the rich golden brown color of the wood.
It is easy to be in awe of creation when you look at the random patterns of beauty in an orchid flower. It is easy to ponder creation and the creator when you watch the earth awaken in spring.
We go about our day "creating", working, moving. Stop for a minute and ponder this, we of ourselves cannot create anything. We cannot take molecules and energy and light and create a single thing. We cannot make something from nothing...there is only One who does that.
The best we can do is take all that we have been given, all that surrounds us and fashion something useful and beautiful or destructive and terrible.
We can take a stone and fashion a tool that will feed our family and our brothers family. We can take a stone and use it to build a dwelling for our family or our brother. We can take that same stone and lob it at our neighbor to cause him harm. The choice is ours. We have been given everything we need, we have been given an infinitely creative mind to do great things. Our choices. OUR choices have brought us to where we are today. So what will you choose to do today?
Creation or destruction? Forgiveness or vengeance? Giving or selfishness? Compassion and mercy or judgement and condemnation?
Our choices today will be the world we live in tomorrow.
My favorite stone is Travertine. I love the color, I love the lack of uniformity, I love the porous look of the natural stone. However, travertine in its natural state, does not make a good table or countertop so the manufacturers have learned to cut and polish it to make it useful. It is a beautiful, natural stone.
The original designer of this piece selected really nice wood with strong grain patterns and then the wood was covered in a stain and finish popular in the 1970's that actually hid the wood.
I pulled the old finish off, exposed the wood and finished it. Now the table has a very rustic, natural look. Perfect!
This little table was just needing a home. I am a huge fan of wood and iron so this piece HAD to come home. Cleaned up the tin top, added some color and gave the sides a face lift. All beautiful and so functional!
I have to admit that sometimes the reason I pick up pieces are completely silly and then they wind up being way too much work. That is the story with this piece. I wanted the cabinet because it had hand carved handles and I just KNEW there was a treasure hidden under the paint. I was right....under 4 layers of paint!
It took a long time to get all the paint stripped off and to be honest there are still little flecks of paint in the wood. Once I got the paint stipped away, I had to take the thing completely apart and start rebuilding it. Sigh...it was a long process.
I had to put the top back together, build a new back, new from leg piece and shelf. In the process of pulling things apart I discovered old square nails. For those of you who are not familiar with those, they used to hand make nails by cutting the metal and hammering them into a square nail. they look very much like horseshoe nails except smaller. Manufacturing of the square nail ended around 1860 but many remained in circulation until the very early 1900's. I actually reattached the top with new horseshoe nails! It is finally complete. It will never look brand new; it has nail holes, cracks and flecks of paint...but it is finally original....beautiful....Black Walnut. Hard to find that anymore!
My sister purchased an old house and needed to find furniture that fit her design ideas. Now that was a challenge I could handle. So we began looking. My husband found these old pieces and we brought them home. The frames were solid with hand carved detail. I did not want to strip these pieces because I did not want to alter the detail. I wanted to find a way to bring the finish back to life and get rid of the oxidation and damage that had occurred over the years. In the process I got to learn some new tricks and apply some old ones.
I can't give away all the trade secrets but I will tell you that Formby's is my best friend, stain gives life and you cannot work on furniture without triple ought steel wool. The result? Amazing! The wood came back to life, every detail was spared and the normal wear just enhances the age of the pieces. They are now timeless pieces that will grace a home for years to come. In the final picture you will see that the owner has decided to re-upholster these pieces in tartan plaid...from Scotland.
I have been so remiss in posting blogs and I didn't realize my last post was the beginning of December!
Of course December was a very busy month. I sold several pieces of decor and the bed steps/ library steps. I helped my sister start a renovation project on a home she purchased, I restored some antique pieces, finished some pieces and started new ones. Now that is busy! So... now for the rest of the story. Stay tuned!