December 7, 2012

Oilcloth Doorstops

Hello, bet you didn't expect to hear from me again so soon after my last post ;)

My family and friends who read my blog won't be surprised that I haven't been able to wind down as much this week as I planned to ;)

This project came out of necessity...a necessity to create, which is constant for me, and the need to stop my doors slamming.  We are very lucky to live in a stunningly beautiful coastal village in an area with a wonderful climate that to me feels like summer almost all year round.  It does get hot in the actual summer but because we are near the beach we usually get a lovely coastal breeze that helps cool things down a bit.  I love having the doors and windows open to let the sea air in, but that means doors don't stay where they should, and often slam.  I have been using those little rubber wedges but they don't stay properly under all my doors. I was staring at my pile of pretty oilcloth offcuts the other day, thinking I wanted NEEDED to make something with them, it came to me...oilcloth doorstops.  I had seen some in this pyramid shape a few years ago and thought 'I must try those one day'. 

So here they are...
Once I had made a few for myself, I figured I'd make some to sell as well - they are cute and practical and I am sure I'm not the only one with slamming doors round here!  I think they'd make a great gift...something the recipient can use, but also something nice and pretty to look at, something a bit different.  Some of these have sold already, and one customer said to me she'd been looking for a doorstop but all she could find was a chicken, and she didn't want a chicken (don't blame her, lol!)
The doorstops are filled with sand and weigh approx 2.5kg each.  I have double stitched the seams to ensure no sand escapes.  Where I left a gap to turn them in the right way, I glued the gap shut before hand stitching it.  The base measures approx 17cm square and the height to the top of the handle is around 21cm.  This fabric is known as oilcloth but it is nothing like Mexican oilcloth which looks and feels completely different (it is basically plastic).  My oilcloth is actually pvc-coated cotton and excellent quality.  This stuff will last for years and years.
I've amassed quite a collection of prints and styles of this beautiful fabric over the years, and look forward to replenishing my stocks in the next few weeks.

I will have a selection of these with me at the Port Macquarie Foreshore Market tomorrow.  
They are $25 each.

December 1, 2012

Client Commission: French Country Hall Table

Hello!  It is a hot one here today as forecast so I have been hiding in my workshop finishing off the table that I mentioned yesterday that I had been battling with.  Here is what the 'before' looked like:
A cute enough hall table but just a bit outdated colour-wise.  And that colour was what gave me all the was covered in thick wax which proved a bit challenging to remove but I got there in the end with a trolley load of 80 grit sandpaper.  
I think I lost 2kg in sweat working on it yesterday, not that I am complaining about that ;)

I primed it with Zinsser BIN which is the best product to use on a previously waxed or oil-contaminated timbers to ensure the paint adheres properly.
The top is being left natural, the timber (I am not sure what it is) is beautiful and has lots of character on the top, it would have been a shame to cover that with paint.

I had to paint the sides and back of the drawer which isn't something I would normally do, but due to the design of this table, they are visible (you can see what I mean in the finished photos further down this post).  

The owners of the table wanted me to trim it down a bit to fit in a specific space, so I had to get over my fear of using the circular saw in a hurry!  To ensure I cut a nice straight line I measured 15mm out from the front and back outside legs of the table, then used a sliding square to draw a line up the edges and along the table top.  

I then held my circular saw on the table top and lined up where the blade would cut with the line I just drew. (The little notch on the black part of the saw marked '0' is where the cut will be).  I held a piece of scrap timber against the right hand side of the black part (don't know the technical term for it!) and clamped it in place at one end.  I then measured the distance from the edge of the scrap timber to my line (35mm), and measured the same distance at the other end to make sure my timber ran parallel to my line, then clamped that end and fired up the saw.
I am pleased to say it worked a charm...what a lot of sawdust two little cuts make though!

After one coat of primer I gave it two coats of off white, lightly distressed it and waxed it - clear wax over the paintwork and liming (white) wax on the table top.
You can see what I meant about the drawer sides being visible in this photo above.

I'm also just about to put the finishing touches on a little pine side table I bought a couple of days ago, I think it will be a keeper as I have just the spot for it on my deck, right between my wicker armchairs.

Once that is done, that will be it for me and painting projects for the year. I'm closed for commissions from now until the end of January so I can spend the next few weeks getting into the Christmas spirit in a relaxed fashion...baking Christmas treats with my kids, attending the school end of year Christmas concert and prize-giving assembly, Christmas shopping, packing for our holiday home to NZ for Christmas (which we are all VERY excited about!), then enjoying the rest of the school holidays in January before school starts again in February.  Sounds like a long time away but I bet it will all go in a flash.  Always does!

I have one more market stall for the year, The Port Macquarie Foreshore Market next Saturday 8th December.  I will be having some super special deals on the day so if you are local and have had your eye on something, here's your chance to grab a bargain!  Even better if you want to make me an offer before the can contact me here if you want to do that.  And you can see here what I have got for sale at present.