Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Style Mavens

The dining room table has been piled high with items in transition. It's no way to live. Something had to be done. The family is growing increasingly vocal about their inability to find room for their plates at mealtime.
Here is the dining room table during one of my rational moments when the projects were cleared, it looked pretty, and we could actually eat here.

Nowadays, "Where are we supposed to eat?!" is the standard dinnertime mantra as multiple projects await their fate where diners once enjoyed a meal. The kitchen table is the crafting table (waiting area), but you know, a kitchen table turned workbench/artist's table/crafter's space is nothing new. I am just carrying on the legacy handed down to me by my mom during my childhood in the 60's. After dinner, on many a night when I was growing up, my mom would get out her paints and canvases and create oil or acrylic works of art for our home and those of our friends. She was always doing something creative, and I was always crowding in to get a good look as she roused beauty from canvas and paints with her artful strokes.

"Please don't shake the table." were the gentle words I heard as I scooched in as close as I could, leaning (more like draping myself) across the table to see the forms take shape as she painted. I think she liked having an audience, but I do believe I shook that table quite a bit, despite my attempts to comply with her wishes for me to be still.

In those days, we didn't have to whine, "Where are we supposed to eat?" because the paints came out after dinner and got put away when mom was finished for the night. The next evening she might have the typewriter out, and I could be found crowding in again, listening to the rat-a-tat-tat, mesmerized by the speed at which she could hit those keys without looking. The next night she would be sewing, teaching me to work the machine, or she'd sit knitting, crocheting or working her latest ceramic project. Never, however, do I remember the stuff overtaking everyday living space for any length of time. Those were different days than these I'm living - to be sure.

How come I got the crafting, painting, creativity gene, but not the "keep it in order and put it all away when you're done" gene? Hmmm? These days things pile up at an alarming rate. (But then I do not recall my mom ransacking the neighbors' trash and dragging home treasure by the carful either. Apparently there is room for a little individuality in our lives despite the legacies handed down.)

So this past weekend, decisions had to be made about the pile on my table without further color and style dilemma. It was time to just pick some things up and finish them off. My family would be so pleased. I could hear their coos now. (Yes, I have a stellar imagination.)

You may remember that I had a run on finding wood mail sorters a while back. I painted the first one raspberry pink, with some coral and white added into the mix. That one went to live with my daughter around Easter.

Bucking the pink trend, the newest sorter started with a coat of white 

and then it was topped with an aqua paint treatment so the white letters were highlighted. 

It has hooks at the bottom for keys. Fancy. The finish is still a little rough looking. Not sure if I'll live with it or tweak it. I may just call it done. I am trying to finish things, remember.

Now, here's another little gem you may recall. It started life with me as a brown wood version of itself, but it fell under the spell of raspberry pink and coral too.

You see, not only did I have a run on mail sorters, but I also had a run on wood handled trays. Shortly after painting the first one, another came my way, along with a sweet wooden jewelry box shown here, and the tray has been on the table for sometime half painted. 

The new handle tray is a good bit bigger than the first one. The two, I decided, needed to be a style pair. Raspberry style mavens.

"Who would want a pair of raspberry pink wood trays?" you might wonder. Well, I happen to find them to be quite a fabulous little accent in a house overwhelmed with blues, greens and aqua. The small one is currently busy holding all sorts of baubles I've picked up, so it was too busy to get in on this shot.

When I found the jewelry box a while back, I was underwhelmed by its wood finish, and being in the "paint everything in sight" mode, I attempted to remake it to look like it had a weathered finish.

 A bit too late did it dawn on me that it's original wood was actually quite beautiful and my weathered rendition of it was actually a bit of a travesty. I think I should have left it as is.

Now you know why I fuss over decisions so. The white didn't blend as I'd hoped and it has a bit of an odd look up close. However, at the moment it's serving in my dim bedroom as a backdrop to a starfish, some candles and some wispy beach grass. The low light and some distance does wonders for it, not to mention for its style companions. Too bad that item didn't come with a match. Then I could have redeemed myself by leaving one of them in it's original state.

Last, but not least, on my "finish it this weekend" tour was the lazy Susan I bought for 50¢, oh, about a month ago or so. Yes, isn't this a great picture of it buried underneath that week's haul? It's actually quite a fine lazy Susan and has a cool sort of cone shaped base. You'll have to take my word for it since I never got a picture of it alone until I was done.

It's solidly made. You don't find 'em like this any more, quite literally, because, well, I painted it too.

Yep, you got it. Ye olde "Milk and Cream Co." graphic straight from Angie at Knick of Time! Yes, you've seen me use it before on a cute little white caddy I bought for nearly nothing. You can see that HERE. You can see some of Angie's creations with the same graphic HERE, HERE and HERE. She has loads of great graphics available on her site. Check them out her antique graphics printables page HERE. I just love the sharp look of this graphic with its cute font (esp. the R). I waxed it after I finished painting it and it turned it a yellowy color that sadly really detracts from the milk and cream feel. Now it could be called The Churned Butter Co. [sigh] It takes a while to paint these letters, so I was not happy with the yellowed look the wax left. Hmph!

But here it is in happier times, right before I waxed it, when it was keeping company with some milk bottles and a milk can that I recently found for next to nothing at a yard sale.

From raspberry pink to aqua and milky white, here is the colorful clan that used to inhabit a pile on the the dining room table. They have moved on and the table is once again a nearly blank slate.

You know what that means, don't you? A clear horizontal surface might as well be a vacuum, and you know how nature feels about that. Perhaps I should set the table and seat everyone for a meal immediately before the piles of treasure begin to multiply again.

Hope you'll stop and visit some of these fun link parties this week:


mop it up mondays

Thursday Favorite ThingsFunky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Furniture Feature FridaysFrench Country CottagePhotobucket

Adorned From Above  

Ivy and Elephants


  1. I love finding those old wood pieces at the thrift! They're so useful and are so easy to paint up! I love that Milk and Cream graphic. I have it somewhere and have meant to use it for SO long! You sure got a lot done!!

  2. Hi Liz,
    I love all your painted wood pieces. I even love the chippy jewelry box!!! Your Milk and Cream graphic from Angie is great. Love it all.

  3. I'm glad that I'm not the only one to have half painted things all over the house.
    I love your painted treasures...a pair of raspberry trays? Style mavens, indeed!

  4. I love the raspberry tray and the aqua mail sort...
    but I'm swooning over that lazy susan! Seriously, I just watched the original "Yours, Mine and Ours" w/ Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda last week and oh my! they had one of these on their table the night that she came to dinner to meet his children; and the oldest boys got her drunk.
    Their lazy susan was a bit bigger than yours...but the speed and accuracy with which that little turn table delivered the goods was shear amazement to me! I thought to myself, right then and right there; "I will look for one of these... I must find one!"
    I have 'lazy susan envy' ...
    and now, I must go and clean off my kitchen table. :) Pat

  5. I did not see what was wrong with that charming vignette of the before lazy Susan, Woody(?), and the assorted goodies on the ladder. I love that raspberry punch with your turquoise. I was not going to mess up my dining room table so I brought out a card table. WRONG!!! It has attracted all kinds of projects. It is as if a giant project magnet is working.

  6. And now your family can eat dinner together lol!!!
    I love that lazy thing ( I refuse to call it a Lazy Susan - what a horrible name )
    Suzan lol

  7. I loved reading your story about your mother and the kitchen table. Kitchen tables conjure up all kinds of memories as it seems to be the heart of a family. Anyway, you write beautifully and I clung onto every word! Thanks for sharing this with all of us! And your projects? Love the colors you chose.. especially the raspberry pink. Quite a favorite of mine! I am now your newest follower and love, when you get a moment, to visit mine. Love making new friends!!

  8. happy family eating time :) I love how you give life to all those wooden pieces you find. Such amazing transformations...I love that milk and cream writing

  9. Your tablescape is beautiful Liz. I know what you mean about the dining table filling up! I love the lazy suzan. Too bad about the wax. Have you tried using mineral spirits to take the wax back off? I read that works, but haven't tried it myself. Have a great week!


  10. strangely enough those once "nondescript" wood items that turned out so GRRRR8 are the ones I would have walked by...turning up my nose at them. Oh well I have to leave a few treasures for the REALLY gifted people like you.

  11. Great projects. Love the colors and the lazy Susan is perfect with that neat graphic. Visiting from Share Your Cup Thursday.

  12. I like the way your jewelry box turned out! I just bought one myself this past weekend and I'm planning to paint it for our granddaughter. I'm hoping it looks like a doll dresser when I'm done.

    I had a bit of painter's remorse myself. I painted the dark wood trim in our front entrance and now I'm kinda missing the old dark dingy wood. I'm hoping once I get used to it, I won't have that pang of regret every time I look at it.

    Wishy washy in MN. :)

  13. Love all your pretty pops of color and I think the jewelry box looks fabulous!

  14. Great story Liz... wish your Mom a Happy Mother's Day for me this weekend! Love your Milk and Cream lazy susan too. Must be a 60's thing too... I have a hard time putting things away. :)

  15. Oh my gosh, Liz - I LOVE how the lazy susan looks with that graphic on it! I'm featuring you next week at Knick of Time Tuesday - thanks so much for sharing at the party!

  16. Hi Liz, I love your finds! My mom was creative, too and I liked reading your story about her! Jean

  17. I love to paint everything (small items) I get! Still not doing big projects much. I like your painted treasures!

  18. Liz, I think everything turned out so fun. Love the lazy Susan! I would like to use that graphic on something. I think I can hear the dinner bell ringing and your family running to the dinner table. lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  19. Nice job on the lazy susan! :)

    As to this : Nowadays, "Where are we supposed to eat?!" is the standard dinnertime mantra as multiple projects await their fate where diners once enjoyed a meal.

    LOL! Yes this is the life for those people who have ordinary sized homes without craft rooms ...must be like this in 3/4 of the USA :)

  20. Hi Liz, just hopping back to let you know that I will be featuring you at SYC. later today.

  21. I love the lazy susan and now feel sad about the one I didn't get at the thrift store. I also just did that same little caddy in my last post that you had a link to. New follower~

  22. You did such a fabulous job! LOVE the aqua and love the raspberry!!! applause!!!! hugs and tfs!

  23. Is sex dirty? Only when it’s being done right. Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)


Thanks for coming by. I hope you'll say hello and let me know your thoughts. I'd love to hear from you! Unfortunately spammers have been at an all time high, so I will no longer be able to accept anonymous comments.