It seems like forever since I wrote in this blog, and probably for you as well, as I know you miss me desperately when I go away - right? I said...RIGHT? Of course you do, I knew that, its just nice to hear, that's all. It has been a hectic two weeks for me, what with a regular avalanche of relatives, and with teaching fresh-faced students the magic of what I do for a living, and finally more a recent gobsmacking surprise that have left me more than a little stunned (and it is hard to be clever when one has been gobsmacked.) Quite frankly, I feel like I have been riding a bull lately. Of course, the first problem with riding a bull is that it isn't a very good idea even if you and he are on a first name basis. The bull really has issues with the concept, and even could be said to be miffed if you try it. The second problem, and generally the bigger of the two in riding the bull, is the whole mystery of how to get off its back without the bull "driving home the point" that it doesn't like anyone to ride it in the first place. It really is at that time you appreciate the timely appearance of the temporal equivalent of a rodeo clown. Now I said "rodeo", mind - if a circus clown turns up - shudder - I frankly would be inclined to take my chances with the bull. I think my rodeo clown is due, so things can get back to normal as I leap over the fence and ignore the man in grease paint behind me frantically waving oversized and brightly striped underwear in my friend bull's face so I can get away.
Anyway, we are solidly into September, with Summer giving us that one last little kiss before she walks away and leaves us to miss her terribly. Already there is a slight chill in the air, even if the days are 30 C. Next week we have our Peddlar's Market, a sure sign that winter is coming, as members dig out their forgotten treasures from their closets, to sell to other members who will then transfer them to new closets. The circle of life, really.
Today, I worked on my wine cellar. It is starting to take shape. I am still madly considering lighting it, and went out and found these:
Festive lights are starting to appear in the box craft stores for the upcoming Halloween, and I picked these up for $6 or so. I was quite smug about them, until I discovered the lights I thought were clear, were actually purple. Not quite what I had in mind, needless to say (yet, I did). Probably I will have to wait until Christmas supplies (a.k.a. next week) come out for the clear ones, or see if I can scope out a battery box plus lights elsewhere. Once I get the right colour, however, I think this is going to turn out really rocking. Eventually I will build the box up to hide all the light casings, etc. In order to do this I have removed all the hardware and the lid. I will do something else with the lid a bit later, I imagine, or something to pair it with the main box.
I gave my cellar a nice plank ceiling, and stained it. Eventually I drilled through, and still have to hide that a bit. Its all good.
In the meantime, I went on to my second piece of furniture for my cellar, this lovely "cast iron" table above. It is a very delicate laser cut piece from Karen Benson. I am quite pleased with the kits I have put together already - she is also fairly reasonable in her prices, and I like that too.
The table, deconstructed. There are "extra" pieces in this kit, one option to make a plank table, and another to make a glass top. Since this is a cellar, and it will be a working table, I chose to keep it more rustic with the plank table.
A closer shot of the pieces. Note the delicate size of these pieces compared to the ruler and paint brush. This is the kind of project that you find yourself very religious with, because if you use even the wrong kind of pressure on those delicate little pieces, there just is no coming back, so you pray like mad until you are good and done.
This is me, using the tiny plastic packing case as a jig. It took me a while to get these fiddly bits in place as they are almost too small to hold, and eventually I realized that building the frame and then adding the table top was an exercise in madness. I ended up building part of the frame, gluing on the tabletop for, and then adding the leg brace piece to that so I had more to hold. Again, teeny tiny little pieces, but well worth the occasional "poing!". Certainly far more intricate and delicate than I can achieve with my relatively clumsy tools.
The Finished Table! I did not use acrylics to paint the legs, but water colours, which worked as a delicate stain. Time will tell if it is long lasting. For the top, I used the water colours again, this time in ochre. I am pleased.
I felt my door needed a little more attention. Here I am, painting a thin strip of cardboard black, which I later cut into rectangles which I further cut down to make hinge-like bits. I finished the hinges off with a dot of gold paint. Mmmm...gold paint. I also made a "cast iron" door handle as well from a strip of this painted paper.
Voila, one "old oak door with cast iron hinges and cast iron door knob" (patent pend.). Yeah, by the way, you caught me ... I was working on this while I was letting glue dry on my table. Always a good idea to have more than one project on the go, so as to avoid that whole "is the glue dry yet" syndrome we are often afflicted with.
I decided to make a few bottles for my honeycomb. I did buy, of course, bottles from Karen Bensen, but felt they were a little "flat" when I went to use them in the stands. They are better as stand ups, so I will use them as such. These are tiny little polymer clay bottles. I started off with a ball of clay, and lengthened it and tapered one end to make a suggestion of a bottle. Once baked, I stained the bottles with green water colours, and then painted details on with acrylics (such as labels, and changed the wine colour, as any self-respecting oenophile wouldn't exclusively collect white wines only (or I suspect this is the case. You never know with some people, though). I finished the bottles off with my trusty gold pen.
They don't stick out in real life as much as they look to be doing in this picture. However, this is a good shot of my new table, and the wine barrels I made the last time. I have also made some accessories, and you will have to use your imagination because I didn't get pictures yet, to add a little charm around the place. It is definitely taking shape now!
That is all I had time to do, but I didn't also want you to think I had forgotten our date, and hopefully you have enjoyed your visit here once more. To finish off, I thought you would enjoy and/or be inspired by seeing another little wine cellar, this by someone named "Dany". Until next time...