1940’s Barbershop Scene

set up 2 (2)This Barbershop scene was started by my dad, Bennie Day, around 1955 before I was born. Recently I got it out of storage and decided I would finish it in honor of my dad. Bennie was a wood carver and loved making scenes that represented Americana. He completed a football exhibit with over 100 figurines that featured a Sugar Bowl game in 1950 with LSU and Oklahoma, a Western Saloon scene, and an old time Country Store.  He  didn’t complete the Barbershop scene – life with 5 children and a full time job made it difficult to get to his hobby of woodcarving. I tried  to make it look like a 1940’s Barbershop by doing some research on the internet. If my dad had completed it everything in it would have been hand crafted including the figurines of people that would have been there. Unfortunately I couldn’t do that but did get my siblings involved and we all handcrafted something for it. (some items will be added later)

collage of barber shopThis is what it looked like at the beginning of the project. He had the walls already painted green, the checkered floor painted, the cabinets, shelf, and sink were done. The barber chair was handcrafted by him but not put together yet and was in about 15 pieces. So that was the biggest challenge – to figure out how they all went together. He ended up having all the pieces to it done except one – the part to connect the leg rest to the bottom of the chair. Thankfully my husband was able to attach a piece of wood for that part. The chair has a base with a small rod and it actually swivels. The window and door had been completed back in 1955 also, they just weren’t glued in yet. I love the sign he painted on the window along with the lettering that he so carefully placed on both the door and the window.

 

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views of barber chair

little items & furnitureI bought miniature objects to put in the scene from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and ordered some from “Mary’s Miniatures” online. Some items I had to change or paint but most came ready to use. My favorite items were the shaving kit with a mug, brush, and razor. My sister and I made the aprons & capes. We have some other items that will come soon from my siblings who live away.

gluing process

It was hard for me to finally settle on where everything would go on a permanent basis. I used  regular elmer’s glue which would be easier to remove if I have to later.

making plexiglass cover

My husband made the covering for it out of plexiglass.  He attached it with screws so that it can be taken apart when needed to add items or to fix anything.

finished collage

A special look at...

These are my 2 favorite pics. I love looking through the window and thinking about what it would have been like in the 40’s and the characters that would have been there. I’m sure my dad was thinking of the story of his sister and brother in law running off to get married in the small town of Hahnville, LA. in 1942. World War II was going on and they wanted to get married before he was called off to war. The Justice of the Peace was also the town barber so they got married in the barbershop. He pulled the Bible from under the slot machine and that is why I made sure a bible was placed in this scene – to commemorate this story. The 2nd pic is looking through my dad’s magnifying glass at the barber chair that he created so long ago. I felt as though my dad was looking down on me during this whole process of bringing back to life something that he had a vision for. I think he would be happy with the way it turned out.

 

 

Sandra and I (2)The Barbershop Scene is now on display at our restaurant. We happened to have an old Barbershop cabinet that we used for storage and that works well to display it on. This is my sister and I on the day it was put out. We love sharing our dad’s work and are so proud of him.

 

 

 

GINGERSCOMPUTER - IMG_4425 (2)Here is a picture of one of his other scenes – the Country Store. This shows what a wonderful carver he was and how he captured the scene so beautifully.  Bennie never worked from pictures, but preferred carving from a memory of what the scene should be like.

 

 

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French Povincial Nightstand

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I found this French Provincial nightstand while antiquing in North Louisiana. It brings back memories of my childhood since I had a large set of this type bedroom furniture in my teenage years and I saved it for my children to use for a while.  The top of the nightstand has the melamine surface so I left that alone since it was in good shape. I painted the rest of it with a white/primer paint.  Then I painted the front of the drawers with Sherwin Williams Drizzle made into chalk paint. I painted one area above each drawer with some enamel gold paint. I distressed lightly some of the areas where the original gold was. I love the way the gold looks with the Drizzle color. I put CeCe Caldwell’s clear wax on everything but the top. I replaced the beautiful original hardware on the drawers. My husband replaced the gliders to the drawers since the original ones were messed up. I purchased a drawer track guide kit at a hardware store.

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This shows the painting and distressing process.

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This shows putting the drawer lining in. I already had this beautiful wallpaper type paper that my daughter had given me. It is smooth and durable and can be wiped clean. I usually paint the inside of drawers but I think this works really well to give it that vintage look.

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Here is a close up of the finished nightstand. I will put it in my shop today and I don’t think it will be there for long.

Vinyl Chair Painted & Stenciled

I love working with vinyl furniture! It is so easy to paint. I used Sherwin Williams Drizzle made into chalk paint. I used Sherwin Williams Dover White for the chair legs and for the white flower stenciling.

New Phototastic Collage

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My inspiration- The flower stencil and the pillow. I knew the seat would be perfect for this stencil and the color Drizzle matched so well with it.

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stenciling and varnishing

It was my 1st time to use a foam pouncer by Martha Stewart. I really liked the way it went on smooth and was easy to clean. The flowers did not all look perfect but that’s ok. I put 2 coats of Polycrylic to seal the vinyl part of the chair. I painted the wood parts of the chair 3 coats, decided not to distress it and used CeCe Caldwell’s clear wax to seal.

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Here it is in my shop. I think this would be a fun accent chair. I’m not sure how well painted vinyl will hold up if the chair is used a lot and probably not animal or kid proof. I think a good name for this chair is “Grandmother’s Doilies”. The flowers remind me of lacy doilies.

Custom painted pieces for a friend’s vacation home

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My friend asked me to paint some furniture pieces that she owned for her family’s vacation home they just purchased.  I don’t do custom pieces too often but I decided to take on the projects.   It was a challenge with the pieces being so massive but somehow it all got done within 2 weeks.   She picked out the colors for all of the furniture and sent me pics of the bedspreads that would be used on both beds.

The first piece I worked on was a King size headboard and footboard. I painted it Sherwin Williams Drizzle made into chalk paint. Then I distressed it, then sealed it with clear and dark wax.  We decided to leave the metal lattice the way it was. I love the designs on the sides of the headboard and how they came to life when distressed and waxed.

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The after picture of the King size headboard

before and after of the footboard

before and after of the footboard

The footboard was so thick and solid it could stand up on its own. This made it easier to paint because I didn’t have to lean it on anything.

 

 

 

img_2837The next piece was a dresser that my friend wanted to match to the bed even though they originally didn’t go together.  I first planned to paint the entire dresser but as I examined the wood I didn’t want to cover it all. The top was in great condition and had such a shiny varnished surface.  I knew it would be better to leave it alone. The parts of the dresser that framed the drawers were also left with the original wood .  I experimented with leaving the middle panel of wood on each drawer and the cabinet with the original wood but ended up painting that later.  I kept on the original hardware & added some rub on bronze to help them tie in with the bronze accents on the metal lattice on the headboard.

This was what it looked like when I experimented with leaving some wood on the drawers. It was interesting but not what the client had in mind.

This was what it looked like when I experimented with leaving some wood on the drawers. It was interesting but not what the client had in mind.

img_2898_collage-before-afterimg_2901_collage-before-after    Next I painted a matching nightstand and mirror.img_6492_jpg

Here is the picture of the complete set in her vacation condo. I think the colors she picked really work well with the bedspread.

 

 

 

 

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img_6495_jpgAnother furniture piece was this headboard for another bedroom.  It is a very unique piece and had bamboo inserted in the center ovals. I painted both front and back with Sherwin Williams Viva Gold.  I sealed it with a clear and dark wax.

I was very relieved and happy when I finished all 6 pieces and they were picked up from my workshop, just in time for Thanksgiving.  They were able to set up their condo and enjoy it Thanksgiving weekend.  It is always a learning experience to do custom pieces and it was great to work with such high quality furniture.  It is rewarding to see the pieces in their new home and one day I plan to go see it in person.

 

 

Refurbished Rocking Chair

img_3550This poor rocking chair needed some serious TLC.  I have a friend who sells me furniture and other items. She has been in charge of an estate in North Louisiana and also picks up projects for herself to work on here and there. Months ago she unloaded a trailer full of stuff  that she needed to get out of the way and didn’t have time to get to. She was trying to help her daughter who flooded also. I wasn’t there when she unloaded the stuff into my workshop otherwise this rocker probably wouldn’t have made it into my workshop.  My husband said I should throw away the rocker when I asked him if he would reinforce the seat.  He didn’t want to put the work into it. Well it sat in my workshop for about 5 months taking up space. I kept looking at it and I could see potential in it.  I knew  I couldn’t repair the ugly holes in the wicker part but I figured I could make cushions to cover the back and the seat.  When you sat in the rocker it was sturdy even though it doesn’t look like it in the picture. It has many layers of the wicker.

I  decided that I would redo this rocker for my oldest daughter to put on her porch when she gets to move back to her home that flooded.  She loves sitting outside and drinking her coffee. She lost her two rockers in the flood. One had been given to her as a house warming gift (one of those nice Cracker Barrell rockers) and the other one was given to us as a wedding gift 37 years ago. I had used it in my classroom for many years and gave it to her when I retired to rock her babies in.  She would appreciate the rocker even if it does have some issues.

img_3884img_3886 My 1st step was to put some wood glue on some of the areas where the wicker pieces were coming loose. I painted the rocker with 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Essex Green Exterior Duration Paint. (No chalk paint this time) I already had the paint from repainting the shutters on our rent house.  I knew it would be perfect for using on an outdoor rocker. As you can see the paint really made a difference not only to the looks of it but helped to make the wicker stronger.

Then I made 2 cushions for the rocker. The back piece was made from a piece of foam, covered with a piece of muslin type material that I stenciled a saying on. The seat cushion was made by covering an old cushion I had in my workshop. I made the straps to tie on the cushions to the top and the bottom. This was my first time to ever do that and I really enjoyed the sewing project.  I bought a huge roll of this fabric at the thrift store where I volunteer and it is perfect for making cushions and pillows and does well with the stenciling. I’m hoping it will be durable enough to last on an outdoor project.

The finished Project saved from the garbage dump! My daughter absolutely loves it and I can't wait to see her rocking in it on her porch when her house is repaired.

The finished Project saved from the garbage dump! My daughter absolutely loves it and I can’t wait to see her rocking in it on her porch when her house is repaired.

 

 

 

Collage table with remnants from “The Great Flood of 2016”

img_3636 My daughter’s house flooded in the “Great Flood of 2016”. When the trucks came to her house and lifted the pile of household debris there were some objects and fragments of things left on the ground.  She saved these items in a bag and told me she wanted some kind of memory table or box made to put these items in.  This year for Christmas I was able to make this project for her.  These fragments hold memories  and she can now have a safe way to keep and display them.

I found the end table at a Thrift store in New Orleans. It did have an edge on part of the top shelf but my husband took that off and made sides around the top and bottom shelf. I thought maybe she had enough objects to fill in both shelves but they ended up all fitting on the top shelf.

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My 1st step was to stain the new wood that he added to it so that when I distressed it a pretty wood color would show through. Then I painted it Pewter Gray and distressed it.

img_3623_collage-of-putting-objects-onThis collage shows the process of putting down the objects on the top shelf. I hot glued the objects down to the table so they wouldn’t move around. Then I poured 1 quart of  Park’s Super Glaze on top. I waited 24 hours before pouring on another coat and really thought this would cover all the objects but it did not. The 1st coat went on smooth and didn’t have issues with bubbles. The 2nd coat did not do so well – it had a lot of imperfections and bubbles that showed up too late for me to do anything about it. But for this project it was okay. It looks like the objects are in a flood and it certainly was not pretty and smooth when all these objects went through the real flood.  I may end up putting a little more glaze on it.  (Warning – this stuff is expensive!)

final-collage-of-bottom-shelfThe next step was to do something special with the bottom shelf. I decided to decoupage pictures of her house during the flood, her debris pile and a Louisiana map. I stenciled the word STRONG across the map to show that we are Louisiana Strong.

 

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On Christmas Day I surprised her and the grandkids with the table. It was very emotional for her as her and the kids started pointing to the objects and naming them. A lego, a paint set, paintbrushes, Mr. Potato Head glasses and a ear, a spool of thread, a piece of the tile floor, knobs from furniture, a spindle from a chair, video tapes of her 1st child’s birth are just a few of the things in the collage. One day she will be able to look back and see how some good things did come from this experience and she can still hold on to some of the memories from before the flood.

Antique Singer Sewing Machine

image2_collageMy sister and brother in law found this 100 year old sewing machine at a garage sale about 2 years ago and gave it to me to refinish.   I finally got around to giving it some TLC and some much needed sprucing up.   I just love the old pedal sewing machines and I can’t help but think of how exciting it was back then to use one of these for the 1st time.  This one still had a lot of the parts, bobbins, etc. in the drawers and the pedal on the base still works fine but unfortunately the leather treadle belt is not attached anymore. I did not refurbish the sewing machine other than to clean it with some polishing cream.  I just wanted to make it presentable where it could be used as a table.

IMG_0787_collage My first step was to work on the 4 drawers. I decided to paint them a light teal color, distress them , and then seal them with a coat of clear wax and then dark wax.  The dark wax toned down the bright color and made it look more natural for an old piece of furniture.  When I placed them back in the cabinet I saw how the original wood looked great next to the drawers so I decided to not paint that area.  I knew from the beginning that I needed to salvage as much as I could of the original piece.  As you can see in the 1st pictures the veneer was missing on most of the top so that part had to be painted.

The cleaning of the machine with the polishing cream.

The cleaning of the machine with the polishing cream.

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IMG_0856_collageI kept the part that folds out to display the sewing machine with the original finish. I refreshed it by staining it with Minwax polyshade.

 

 

IMG_0862_collageIMG_0871_collageThere were some places where I had to scrape and sand the veneer to make it smoother. I was not able to get off all of the veneer but I knew it was going to be painted and distressed  so I figured it wouldn’t matter.  I painted the top surfaces just like I did the drawers,  sanded, and then clear and dark waxed.

My favorite part was clear waxing on the original wood on the holding areas for the drawers and inside the drawers. It really made a change in the wood and was exciting to see it come to life.

 

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Here is the finished project. It is now in my shop and I am putting some of my sewing related items for sale displayed on it. The sewing machine is priced at $120.  Update: This sold after being in the shop for only a week.