To feel childlike joy, the fastest way is to get your hands dirty.
It’s proven science that getting your hands in the soil produces endorphins that make you feel joy.
It may not be proven by science, but I get the same feeling from painting with my hands.
It’s “handy” when the weather or seasons prevent me from getting into actual dirt.
I recently gave an Art Deco waterfall dresser a facelift, as I had had it for sale in Kansas City for over 6 months at a super low price, but had no takers on the art deco vibe. It was structurally sound, the drawers are all in great shape, and they slid easily in their slots. The bones were there, but I think the Art Deco look and the fact that it’s part of an incomplete set is what kept it from being wanted.
The rest of the set was destroyed in a basement flood. This piece didn’t get wet at all, and the homeowner came to me to see if i would like to buy it. I tried rescuing the dresser from the Dumpster, but it had mold forming in the drawers and the veneer was bubbled all over it. The bedstead was in decent shape, but the bottoms of the legs had sat in water, so we disassembled it and repurposed the knobby posts on it long ago.
I couldn’t find a comparable art deco waterall chest online anywhere. Nothing in the same shape at all. But there are plenty out there that are the same style, with the decorative inlay in the wood and all. This set shows you a similar drawer-front style. Really pretty. But no one wanted it.
So I drug it back from KC a couple weeks ago and gave it a new look. I painted the whole thing with Rustoleum Chalk’d in Patina.
Then it sat there for a couple days, until I watched Dionne Woods do a fingerpainting tutorial of an abstract butterfly, and I knew it would look amazing on the front of the waterfall chest!
I asked her in the Live chat if this would be a suitable tutorial for the waterfall chest (I had shared a pic of it with her in one of her “work in progress” posts, so she knew what I was talking about), and she said absolutely. I paused the video, grabbed a bungee cord and tied the drawers from the chest together, and got to work.
Here’s a progression of the cabinet itself. I wanted it to be the garden, with a nice airy dappled sky on top.
Time for the moment of truth…I was concerned about the 4″ gap between the top drawer and the one beneath it…
Oh dear. Her head was cut off! Time to work some fingerpainting magic…
The front and the drawers were not stained yet or even really complete, so this is fixable. I erased her head from the top drawer and used my fingers to incorporate that 4″ gap into her wings with just a few minor adjustments in the original shape. I left the artwork on the 4″ gap; there’s no way I could recreate the swirly look on the wings on that curved area (it was really challenging to paint it as is with that curve on it), so she has a strip of background in her wings, which I love!
She needs some work around her edges yet, so i removed the drawers and worked my stain magic.
The drawers have been stained, as has the cabinet front, and I’ve applied a satin poly finish to protect my work.
There she is with hardware re-installed! I lost one of the buttons from the bottom left pull, and had to clean my workshop in order to find it…it was hiding in the bottom shelf of my big work table, so i cleaned over half the shop before I finally found it! Casey said “I think when you get over to the freezer cleaned, you should stop and clean the bottom shelf of the work table.” He was right…it was down there on the opposite side from where I had dropped it and felt it hit my toe. My hacky sack instincts fro 20 years ago kicked in (literally) and when it fell, I had apparently automatically popped my toe upward and kicked it into the table. Gah. It’s always something. At least I found it tho before I took her to KC!!!
On President’s Day, Cale didn’t have school, so we loaded the trailer with furniture and ran it up to KC West Bottoms, where I have a space on the 4th floor of the largest warehouse in the bottoms. We put up a new wood and tin wall for staging large furniture in our space (blog post coming soon on this) and staged the Queen of the Garden.
I just love her! What do you think? I pray someone falls in love with her up there and snags her up! She is a perfect statement piece for a garden themed room or just someone who loves butterflies.