Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blogging Return - Spring Inspired Pink and Green Primitve chest

I’ve been gone for awhile….Not only from blogging, but from my home, business, family and friends, here on the Cape.

It’s been a long journey through the ravages of the tongue cancer experience with my fiancé’s mother, Marge. What this brave soul has been through, you can’t even imagine. The condensed version: Marge went through radiation and suffered through all the painful side affects. Then, just as we thought she was on the road to healing, the cancer in her tongue started to cause unbearable pain. A biopsy was done and the heartbreaking news of the cancer’s return was delivered. Doctor after doctor and opinion after opinion, led us out of New York and into Mass. Eye and Ear in Boston. We thought she would be getting up to two thirds of her tongue removed. However, because of this cancer’s quick growth, she ended up loosing her tongue, voice box, and having a chest muscle pulled up through her throat to create a flap. She has a stoma in her neck and all her breathing is done through that. She will also be fed through a feeding tube for the rest of her life.

We've been from Mass. Eye and Ear, to Hebrew Rehab (outside Boston) and now, she is in a rehab on the Cape…Finally! This 87 year old is brave and strong. I salute her! And as for Wayne and I, we can care-take and work, right on our own turf!

So, as you might be able to imagine, getting back to everything let go for so long, is overwhelming! My shop had such a mish-mosh of the seasons in it, I didn’t know where to begin. But, we did have a few days of warmth and managed to get some spring cleaning done, both inside and out. It’s actually beginning to look like a fresh breath of spring in there!

Below are pictures of my newest piece, a pink and green primitive. I love the enhancements of time gone by, and the warm color and finish that the glazing (mocha by Valspar) adds to the piece:

Here's the piece, all sanded and ready to go!

And, these are the tools I use to prime my pieces.

What I do, is dip my roller directly into the primer/paint and then blot it on a piece of card board. Then, I apply a smooth finish.

When I am finished, or have to take a break, I slide my roller off into an air tight plastic bag.

The great thing about the Zinzer Bin primer I use, is that it is a wonderful stain blocker. It's lacquer based and therefore, broken down by household ammonia. When I am ready to clean out my roller, I fill the bag with ammonia, let it soak, and then clean and rinse the roller out with water. (If you don't use the ammonia and skip right to water, your roller will turn to muck!)

These are the original handles for my primitive piece. I've sanded them, and punched them thru card board (using their hardware).

I've sprayed them black and let them dry. Later, I will be shabbying them off.

My piece has been base coated in Ben Moore's, "Dried Parsley", with the drawers painted a pink I mixed up myself. I've ruffed up and shabbied off the appropriate places, enhancing the piece's years of wear. I've glazed the piece with Valspar's "Mocha", using Windex to help move the glaze around. (Sometimes, places dry when I am trying to remove the glaze and the Windex helps me to keep things moving.)

Here, I am applying glaze to the drawer.

Here are some close-ups of the distressed places and the glazing.

More, distressing.

I'm finished with the piece and the drawers are drying. My piece will be sealed with a matt finish by Behr.

Finished and displayed in my shop....All ready to find a new home!

Happy Spring!
Pieces of Dreams


  1. Your dresser is adorable! Oh dear it sounds like boyfriends Mom has been way through the ringer, what a nightmare!! The poor thing!


  2. What a long road you have all had. Although I am new to your blog I hate to think of any family suffering through a painful illness. Oh a lighter note, the dresser is lovely. Looking forward to many visits.

  3. Dear Karen, it was such a pleasure to meet you at the thrift shop and to see Marge again. You and Wayne will surely go to heaven for all of the loving care that you have given Marge. She is an angle herself, and we all miss her. I love how you show the step-by-step process for finishing the chest of drawwers. Maybe I can try to spruce up some flea market finds this summer by following you excellent directions. Your piece looks wonderful. Cheers Lori

  4. oh my, karen...what a sad ordeal you all have been through. my heart and prayers go out for wayne's mother. i can understand now why you've been gone so long from blogging. i'm glad to see you back and really enjoyed reading about your latest project. it's beautiful. i want to do some furniture this summer and appreciate the detailed instructions. thanks!
    looking forward to more posts....deb