“… make the space to do the things you love to do.”
Somewhere in the chaos of life: running kids to school, helping with homework tasks, working another job, running a business or two, cooking dinners, and grocery shopping … I find some space to create. It might be in between folding washing and sweeping floors, but when there’s something I really love to do, I make a space for it.
“… usually I just tell you the part that actually involves what I did to the piece of furniture …”
And so this week I thought I’d take you through the process of re-creating the look for this rustic coffee table, but usually I just tell you the part that actually involves what I did to the piece of furniture.
But if I let you in on a little bit more of how I find time to actually do this stuff, maybe it will inspire someone else to make the space to do the things you love to do too.
So here it is:
Picture this random table sitting in a market stall … ’cause that’s where I found it.
No, I wasn’t spending a leisurely Sunday morning at the markets. I was actually on my way to Church!
What? Yes, way.
In fact, it was after dropping a son off at church early to run through the song set with the band (he plays guitar) … I had about an hour to spare and I’d known of some good markets nearby which often have pieces that are great to upcycle. So, my girls and I raced there, grabbed a few items including this table and a few picture frames, and we were back in plenty of time for the 10am service!
So I get it home, but I’m busy till about Wednesday, after I finish working my Monday to Wednesday job. I have just picked up the kids from school, and during my half hour trip home, I’m half listening to the kids talk about what went on at school today (I really do listen – I multi-task listen 🙂 ) …
when my mind starts to wander to thoughts of that coffee table and what I’m going to do with it.
Before I know it, we’re home and kids are piling out of the car. I’m wondering what we’re going to have for dinner tonight, but at the same time (I multi-task think as well … c’mon, you know you do too) I’m wondering if I could possibly just whip the sander out and give that table top a quick sand back.
I go for it. Dragging the stuff outside and about to power up the sander when my neighbour appears in her yard next door and our eyes meet. Now, I know I’ve got to speak to her, cause it always pays to get to know your neighbours better and we hardly EVER talk … so we chat for another 1/2 hour …
and I finally get to my sanding. Sanding took about 1/2 hour, and then the solution of what to have for dinner became the quickest thing I could find to cook in the house that night, which I can’t even remember! Probably spaghetti! Thankfully I have helpful girls who gave me a hand. YES, it was spaghetti, because I now remember that one of the girls had a plate of spaghetti that slipped off the plate as she carried it to the table and the ENTIRE dinner ended up on the floor! NO kidding! HA HA. (you’ve got to laugh at this point, right?) Well, the dog thought that was AMAZING, and helped clean it up, no problem (mopping can be done later…) and I had made extra dinner, so we just dished up some more. Oh well … no use crying over spilt … spaghetti!
After dinner I really wanted to get back to this project. You know how it is when you set your mind on an idea and you can’t wait to see how it turns out?
The boys did the dishes, and the girls got busy with homework, so I quickly got out some paint I had left from another project – Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint – Trophy (also one of the MMSMP colours of the month for March)
I added some water to dilute it to a “stain” type consistency, and began to apply it with a paint brush, then rubbing it off with a chux rag as I went in sections. You can see the contrast between the very blonde wood, to the Trophy colour stain. Trophy is normally a greyish silver, but used as a stain as I did here, it has a brownish tinge to it.
Here it is after staining the whole top surface:
See the difference in colour to the original varnished wood (below) which I am about to paint another colour. The Trophy colour stain does look a little greyer in this pic below.
At this stage, it was time to put the younger one to bed. So I did that, then came and applied one coat of MMSMP Eulalie’s Sky – a beautiful pale blue, aqua colour. (Lighting doesn’t show true colour here).
Then I got a call for help to gather ingredients with my daughter who is doing year 9 Hospitality, and making Lemon Tart tomorrow. WARNING: If your child decides to take this subject there are some pros and cons. On the pro side – we get to eat the food she brings home, and it’s always delicious!
The downside is that you always need to buy extra strange ingredients that you don’t normally have in your pantry … like cardamon pods, vanilla bean (yes, the actual BEAN, not just vanilla essence!) And they aren’t just making “Lemon Tart” … no, its a dessert dish, so they also make an Orange Comfit (saucy stuff) to go with it, which involves soaking oranges overnight and all sorts of crazy stuff happening on the stove, and then before I know it I’m helping her make pastry and I’m asking, “Are you supposed to do ANY of this at school tomorrow??” Eesh! What is with that?
Anyway, back to the coffee table … after the Hospitality ingredients are “gathered” (meaning 1/2 cooked and gathered) … I finally get to the second coat of MMSMP Eulalie’s Sky.
I also finished the top with two coats of MMSMP Hemp Oil, rubbing it in with a lint free cloth.
This wood and paint were quite porous and soaked up the first coat really well. So the second coat (applied the next morning) gave a more lustrous finish.
BUT, I thought I mixed up enough Milk Paint powder for this little table. I can usually estimate pretty well, and had measured out one scoop (about a tablespoon). I know, hard to believe it would only take a tablespoon of powder. Well it ALMOST did! I was so close, that on the second coat, I got to the very last leg, and just thought I could stretch it, using every ounce left in the jar and on the brush, but I couldn’t finish the very base of the one last leg! HA HA – we have to laugh, or we cry right?
So at this point, it was quite late, I gave up, went to bed and came out the next morning and mixed a tinsy bit more to finish off the leg!
I sanded back to distress the base and gave the whole piece a covering finish of Hemp Oil the next morning … and here she is all pretty!
It still looks all shiny in some of these pics, because the Hemp Oil isn’t dry yet:
Some close ups of the finished top:
So there you go!
… and that’s how we roll here sometimes at the Hankins house!
I hope that gave you some insight into how I get things done! Please don’t tell me I’m alone, or are there other crazy, seemingly disorganised paint-aholics out there who just grab any mad chance to paint a piece of furniture? Or are you super organised and plan things out well in advance for a “painting day” setting everything else aside?
I do have some days I can do that – but it seems lately, I’m painting between life.
But it’s nice to have quiet painting moments to reflect, sing, pray and ponder – because that’s my breathing time, my relaxation time, down time, “me” time. And we all need some ‘o that!
Happy Painting lovely friends!
I am now a retailer of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Australia, so let me know if I can help you with any products if you are in the South East Qld region. Our website should be up and running shortly, but in the meantime, you can contact me via email for a product order form.
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