Tuesday, December 18, 2012

 Happy holidays one and all.  One week from today is Christmas day.  Where has the time gone?  Where has the year gone?  Tempus fugit is the Latin phrase.  Time flies - that is my only explanation.  As I get older, it really seems to be the only explanation.  Remember waiting breathlessly, eagerly?  Counting the days until Christmas?  I'm counting the days all right, just hoping I get everything done in time.

In the midst of all my projects for our grandsons, I had one in mind for myself that I had been trying to get done to fill in that big blank space on top of our entertainment cabinet.  I had seen this on Pinterest and fell absolutely in love with it.  This is exactly what needed to go in that big blank space.  The idea came from a blog called Beyond The Picket Fence.  Her's is stunning, made on old barn wood.  Unfortunately I was fresh out of old barn wood.  We spent some time looking in antique shops and even the Habitat ReStore where I have found some great things for projects in the past.   No luck this time.

Dan had made me some 2' x 2' pieces of MDF on frames for another project that had not come to fruition, so I decided to use one of those.  The big problem with MDF is it is so smooth, it has absolutely no grain to work with.  What to do, what to do?
Dan had made a simple frame on the back by nailing pieces of 1 1/4" trim to the MDF to give it support  and made it look more finished from the sides.  To make the wood look old, he used a screw driver and made gouges all over the wood.  He tried using a hammer to make dents in the wood.  MDF does NOT dent.  So, I took a power sander and some really rough sandpaper and roughed up the top of the wood, then used a wood rasp to rough up the edges of the board.  It's not ideal, but really looked great when finished.

Next, I used some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in graphite and dry brushed in on the MDF for a base coat. I did not want a solid, finished painted piece of wood.  It needed to look distressed and old.  The next layer of paint was some flat black that I applied using a rag.  Then a layer of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Chateau Grey which has a greenish tint to it applied with a sock.  Final layer was some more flat black lightly applied with the inside of a tube sock which was sort of like terry cloth.  These paints all dry very quickly so I was able to do the layers between working on another project.  For the final step, I used some sand paper and lightly sanded over the wood so different colors of paint showed through.  This is how the finished piece looked at this point.  This took about an hour and a half total.
To make the star, I drew a 5 pointed star in the center of the board with chalk and Dan put a long screw in the wood at the tip of each point.  Using double sided satin ribbon, I started at the top and followed the star  to finish at the top and tied a knot and cut the ends in inverted points.  The original had a big shoe lace type bow at the top, but I didn't have enough ribbon.  Oops.  That's what happens when  you are winging a project.   I like this just fine though.  If you want a big bow, get at least 4 yards of ribbon.

This is absolutely gorgeous and so easy to make.  It took about an hour and a half from start to finish.  Not bad for a beautiful one-of-a-kind art project.
Ack, look at that crooked candle.  Should have double checked before taking this picture.  Perfectionism is my enemy.
If you know my love of all things stars, you will understand how happy simple projects like this make me feel.  This will live on our entertainment center even after the Christmas decorations are all removed.  The picture doesn't show how pretty the sheen of the ribbon is against the black wood.  Simply lovely.

This would be a great gift for anyone.  You could do the star in any color ribbon, I just happen to love red.  If you had old wood, even better.  I will continue to look for old wood whenever I have the chance, because now I have a lot of other ideas for it!

It's time for Grandma to get back to the workshop.  There is so much to do and so little time left.  Tempus Fugit.  The sewing machine sings a siren's song.  Really!   Have you never heard it?  I hear it in my sleep.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School reminds us that time is precious.  Use it wisely.  Be kind and loving to all those around you.  Cherish each moment, spend time with those you love.  Be grateful.  Share what you have.  Be good to yourself.  You will not pass this way again.

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