23 March 2017

Back In Action. Lots and Lots of Action.

I haven't been on the blog much the past month.  There were some personal things I had to take care of that occupied 100% of my time for a few weeks; and at the moment I'm neck-deep in a few different projects.  So far, I don't have much to show you, but I figured I'd at least tell you what's going on:

1. Refinishing A Corner Desk 

Once upon a time, someone ruined a perfectly good piece of furniture.  I'm not normally one of the "Never ever paint wood!" people.  I prefer stained to painted, it's true, but I know that either can be done well and produce an attractive piece.  This desk is neither of those things. 

It's a five-legged corner desk with a drawer, made of solid walnut, which was once stained (badly) and then painted (badly!!)  twice.  The paint job is full of drips and mucky thick spots; the top of the desk is cracked all over, which could be age, or lack of proper surface prep in the paint process, or both.  Also, the original drawer was, at one time, replaced at one time with a badly-constructed one made of cheap pine. It doesn't fit the desk well, and is so thick-walled and over-engineered you'd think someone was using it to store very small explosives.

Regardless, overall, it's a potentially gorgeous piece. The walnut wood itself is in great shape, and so far, it's stripping nicely, so I'm hopeful that I can restore this thing to its former glory.  I have no idea how old the desk is - I think at least 80s, maybe 70s (?)  The hardware is oddly shaped, and blackened and rusted with age; but it's sound, and so far I've been able to clean most of it up pretty well.  I haven't seen a maker's mark yet that might give me a clue as to where and when it came from;  I'm hoping I'll find it buried under paint. I hope it wasn't on that missing drawer.

2.  Repurposing the Bicycle Storage Area Dining Room

The desk is part of an ongoing repurposing of the dining room.  Let's be real here:  I don't use a dining room, or own  any dining room furniture.  I eat in front of the TV.  So  I've got this big, empty room which is flooded with natural light, and adjacent to both the kitchen and the living room.  It's well-lit, and there's a ceiling fan. 

Oh, hey, look!  There's that corner desk in the picture, behind my mountain bike.  

Anyway, 90% of the things that were stuffed into this room temporarily have been removed to other locations, and this room is about to become a(nother) shared creative space - a room where I can set up my big easel and start painting again, and where Sylvan can sit and work on her novels on days she doesn't feel like going out to a coffee shop to write.  I'm also about to start remodeling and refinishing a table for her to use as a writing desk. 

3.  Creating An Outdoor Entertaining Space From Scratch

I used to have a really pretty, comfortable back porch space, many years ago.  I'm not entirely sure what happened to it over the years, but, new house: new awesome patio.  Right now I'm only window-shopping (my last surviving patio chair is on it's last legs), hunting around for patio furniture and decorative stuff. 

The Zilker Garden Festival is this weekend.  I haven't been in a few years, but it's an AWESOME little weekend event, and I plan to come home with many, many plants for the patio - decorative flowery things, vegetables for a container garden, maybe a small potted tree? 

Y'all, I bought my very first leafblower this week.  Do you live in central Texas, or somewhere else chock full of Live Oak Trees?  Then you feel me when I say: fuck those messy, crusty, little oak flowers!  And all that nasty, sticky, yellow pollen!!  UGH.  The mountains of stiff leaves aren't helping anybody, either.  They're not even terribly good for compost, because they're so thick and hard that they take forever to break down.  Those leaves and crunchy little flower strings are about to become my bitch.   

I'll have updates over the next couple of weeks on how all this is going.  I'm hoping the corner desk will come first.  I'm having a lot of fun working on it, and I'm excited to see how it turns out! 

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Meanwhile, wanna see a gross spider pic?  I thought you would: 

This is Frances.  Frances is a Funnel Web spider (Agelenidae) who lives on my front porch. She's about an inch long, and occupies a corner right next to the front door, by the doorbell.  Needless, perhaps, to say: people don't ring my doorbell anymore. 

Frances is harmless to people (she's not related to the Australian Funnel Web spiders you may have heard about).  She enjoys collecting dead bugs and hiding behind the trim on the siding, and usually cleans out her web long before it reaches this embarrassing state.  Bad Frances. 

Frances has an upstairs neighbor named Rapunzel who has a web about three feet up the wall.  I don't know what kind of spider she is.  She's much pointier in the leg and rounder in the body, and a bit larger.  I think she's some sort of false widow, but I haven't gotten a really good look at her just yet. 

Anyway, back soon!

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