Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Piano Bench Before and After Breakdown...

Hey There!
Boy, am I the luckiest girl in the world or what?!?  I was overwhelmed by all of your emails, comments, messages, and support!  I sincerely appreciate all of you.  After all, YOU'RE the ones who helped me and you probably didn't even know it.  I was down-sad and very lost.  Starting this blog helped me find myself again, and helped me FEEL again.  I cannot thank you all enough.  I've received a lot of questions on the bench, so today I'm going to show you exactly how I did it.  Here's what I had...Isn't she beautiful?  Just wait!

 I didn't re-cane it because although it would have been fairly easy and inexpensive, I wanted to do something different.  So, after I ripped all of the canning out, I was left with just a rectangle.  I wasn't sure what to do.  I thought of a side table, but was afraid one of the little monsters would break the glass, and then if I did put glass on top...what would I do with the edge?  So as I was rubber-necking around in one of my favorite junk spots, I spotted an old antique serving tray...2 handles, glass bottom, and a frame...only $2!!??!  I'll take it!  

I was reading a lot of blogs before I started mine...and I stumbled upon them because I was researching "painting furniture"....boy was I in for a surprise!!  I loved the look of contrasting pieces.  Unpainted tops, and accented parts...I was smitten!!!  So, that's how I found ASCP.  If you remember, my post on my First Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Piece I used ASCP in Arbusion Blue!  I didn't want to "go right after" this piece, so I practiced on an old dry erase board I picked up at a Salvage Store.  THIS piece is what I was practicing for! :)  So, I used the blue on the legs, and corner braces.  For the top and bottom braces, I sanded, stained, and poly-ed.  I LOVED the contrast!

I disassembled the tray and decided I wanted to have a piece of glass made for it.  I wanted tempered glass just in case the little monsters decided to break it.  The total cost of the new piece of glass was $18.  I used gold rub and buff on the metal parts of the handles.  I'm sure this is what started my "gold-loving kick".  I wanted to paint the frame to have it stick out a little bit, but wanted to keep some of the originality of the tray, so I cleaned up the handles a bit and gave them a coat of stain and poly.  

Then, the more I saw the bench, the less and less I wanted to use it as a side table.  I came up with the idea of making it a shadow box.  I was kicking a few ideas around and at first, I was going to put hinges and have the bottom open, but since the bench had corner braces, unless I wanted them to show from the top, the hinges wouldn't work.  Instead, what I decided to do was cover a piece of plywood with burlap, and use the corner braces to hold the shadow box "back" in place.  I hadn't secured the top, so at this point, after I was finished screwing the corner braces into place, I built the shadow box from the top.  

Underneath shot

Building the "box" progress
Close-up of the handles/distressed frame.
 Here's the final product...  To adhere the frame, I used Liquid Nails.  

What's in the box?  And why is it in there?
Smile Sticker-Grandma and Grandpa paid for my braces, so she always used to remind me to smile.  She didn't like to see me unhappy, and even if I was upset, I tried as hard as I could not to show it if she was around because I never wanted to upset or hurt her. 
String of faux pearls-Ma & Paw lived close-we all spent as much time at their house as possible.  She LOVED crafting.  We did it together.  When we cleaned out the house, mom gave her craft supplies to me because she knew we loved doing those things together.
Knitting needle-Grandma taught me how to knit.  Another favorite memory!
Yellow Rose-This was the one single flower on Ma's casket.  She always told me; "when I die, don't let your mom and Heather spend money on flowers...It won't matter, I'll be dead...who cares if there are flowers.  I want one single yellow rose, that's it!"  So, that's what she got.  The ribbon was leftover from my wedding.  We (Mom-Ma-& I) made almost everything.  The ribbon was yellow, and I tied it around the beautiful flower for the services.
Christmas Gift Tag-If you've read any of my Christmas posts-you already know by now that I tend to go overboard...in every aspect possible.  It comes from her.  She was Santa, and it was her favorite holiday-(probably why it became mine)...and we have many fond memories of Christmas Celebrations over the years.
Cat sticker-Ma loved cats, and that's probably why I started loving them too.  NO ONE else likes cats in my family, but I sure love them.  We used to play with all of the stray cats at Ma's house all the time.  She fed them...so they kept coming around.
Hotel sticker-Mom and Dad couldn't afford much. (Neither could Ma & Paw) but they made everything possible.  When I was 10 I started playing travel Fastpitch Softball for the Indiana Magic.  Every weekend, we lived in hotels across the country.  We drove and drove and drove.  They are responsible for me going to DePaul to play softball on scholarship.  Without them, I'm not sure if it would have been possible.  The day I signed my National Letter of Intent was one of my proudest moments, and it was for them.  I was proud for making them proud.
Indiana Magic Bunny pin-Every year, we bought tons of these, and traded them with the teams we played.  I have so many memories of travel ball, pin trading, hotels, and everything in between.  It makes my heart happy just thinking about all of them.
Band-aid sticker-My little sister actually gave Ma her nickname Grandma Boo Boo.  She was around 3 or 4 when Grandpa passed away unexpectedly, so since my mom was Ma's caretaker, Allison went to all of her doctor's appointments.  She knew their names, what they specialized in, and where the wheelchairs were kept.  It's not every day a 3 yr. old knows what a Cardiologist does, let alone a Podiatrist.
Round Tropical Sticker-That was a seal from our wedding invitations.  It's fitting because she actually introduced me to my husband, and she had tried 6 years before finally succeeding.  I'll do an entire post on that later.  She was a little match-maker!
Red button & Thimble-Ma taught me how to sew also.  We made a lot of things!  Some of them must have made her laugh hysterically when I took them home, nonetheless, I can sew with the best of em!
Wheat/Cattails-Grandma LOVED cattails.  I have no idea why, but she did.  We used to stop by the side of the road if we saw them just to pick a couple for her.
Saint pin-The Saint pin stands for a couple of things-She is my Saint!  She was a Saint...by every definition of the word!  The pin was actually one she earned for her letter jacket in high school, and ironically enough, almost two years before she passed, I told her she was a Saint.  I was going through the RCIA classes to become Catholic and one night we covered Saints.  I remember calling her as I was driving home and told her, "We learned about Saints tonight." She said, "oh yeah?!" and I responded, "ya know-you are a Saint"....she didn't think so, but I insisted because "God didn't define Saints by pre-naming them-all the Saints are Saints because of how they lived their lives, by the sacrifices they made to others...you are a Saint!"  She rested her case. :)
Angel pin-She gave this to me on my 16th birthday.  She told me never to drive faster than she (my Angel) could fly.  She always had a way with words.
Life Sticker/Happiness sticker-She wrote letters to all of us.  When she passed, we all got to read them.  In mine, she said, "I hope you remember how beautiful life is-you have a special heart for those around you.  Never forget to love the little things in life-remember to smile!"

Thanks again for all of your support.  This month hasn't been easy to say the least, so thank you.  I'm wrapping up this week with how the blog got its name, and that'll take me a few days, but it's a great seg-way into the exciting news I have been waiting to share with all of you about the trip.  Since it's taken so long, the giveaway will be in April, but it's gonna be great!  Happy Tuesday!

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  1. I love how every single piece of your shadow box was a memory and love you have to remember her!! So sweet!! I hope I can make that kind of impact on a friend, my children or my grandchildren some day. Very sweet!!

    1. I'm pretty sure you've made that kind of an impact already!!! :) At least for a friend for sure!

  2. I read every single thing you said about the items in your shadow box and really enjoyed hearing what each meant to you. You did a great job on the project! ~ Maureen

    1. Maureen-your beautiful comments always make me smile. Thank you so much! It means the world to me.

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Thanks so much for stopping by! Comments make my day! Do not panic if I don't get back to you right away! It probably means the little monsters have broken something and I'm fixing it!