Balance Beam

Mon GCW-508 (1).jpg

In an effort to start back doing more of the things I want to do so I can still enjoy doing the things I have to do for my business, I am going to start blogging again. I might not do every day but several times a week I should be able to do. ESPECIALLY with ridiculousness like Amanda Knox going back to Italy knowing them people don’t want her over there. And did yall see that Social Security is going to be deplete in 15 years? And Prilosec and drugs like it are killing folks by giving em heart and kidney disease! Any day now one of us is going to die in a monsoon the way this weather has been kirking up and yall…there are over a hundred dolphin deaths out here recently because they opened up a spillway and let in a lot of freshwater without thinking of what it would do to the ecosystem. Like…WHERE.ARE.THE.MARINE BIOLOGISTS? SHOULDN’T SOMEONE SOMEWHERE HAVE SAID SOMETHING???????????????????

Got into a debate about Creole gumbo versus Cajun gumbo recently and literally just stopped talking and said, “Okay.” I’m good on my gumbo.

Speaking of gumbo, I have new hours at my store so I don’t kill myself trying to do it all. It wasn’t doctor’s orders it was husband’s orders. Dude was like…why are you killing yourself?

AND I FELT THAT!

I tried to return my hair to natural and was on the journey for 7 months and then decided nerp…not for me. And I relaxed again. I just didn’t have the time it seemed necessary to dedicate to transitioning. And…I caused a LOT of damage trying to transition and had to get a good cut to level it all back out again properly. So I’m rocking a layer cut that looks like nothing in my day-to-day topknot. LOL! You know…cuz I don’t have time to comb relaxed hair either.

I’m making things pretty and having an amazing time doing so. Check out my Instagram to see most of my projects. Let me know if you need any help doing something on your own. I can help you out via messages or phone! WHOOT WHOOT!!!!! www.Instagram.com/ThatGumboLife

I’ll be 50 years old in September and I’m starting to really feel this getting old thing. Aging is just wrong to women. I can’t take this hot stuff. It is honestly taking it out of me.

I’ve moved my store to a bigger location and I’m always looking for real estate for my next move. It’s super cute and I enjoy being there. I just don’t want to be tied to it every single day. Work life balance is key for me to have what it takes to choose happy. If I don’t have it…I’m just grumpy. I was either busy or exhausted. Those were my two modes.

EW.

What’s been going on with yall? I honestly miss all the different perspectives on topics that come up in the news and in my life so I’m going to try blogging again. Not every day but certainly a few times a week when it just builds up so much I wanna snap. LOL! And I miss writing daily. Massaging that muscle really helps me.

That Gumbo Life Shop

I hung a headboard on a wall today.  

Why, you ask?

I'm not taking any questions.  Just go with it.  It works.

Depression Protection: Small Vintage Writing Desk Paired With Mirror

I found this small writing desk and thought how nice it would be in a guest bedroom where you don't have a lot of space for a real desk but would like to have something in there for your guests to do some work if they have to.  As I was working on it, I remembered a mirror I bought but didn't use in my mirror gallery.  The mirror was just hanging out in the garage behind some stuff so I pulled it out and coordinated the paint with the desk.  I chose Annie Sloan Duck Egg just to have a pop of color in the space it lands.

I have to say...it is super dooper cute now!

The desk has a small drawer for note cards and pens/pencils and a little pullout shelf in case you need a bit more space.  It's pretty perfect and now I'm wondering, as always, do I take it to my shop or do I put it in one of the guest bedrooms?  Hmmmmmmm...

LOL!

I used Howard Golden Oak Restor-A-Finish followed with Howard Feed-N-Wax on the top, drawer and shelf.  It makes it really pretty.  

I know you're saying to yourself...Monnie is always doing something and to that I say...I have to.  I absolutely, 100%, always have to be doing something and if I can't do what I truly WANT to do (make my own movies), then I guess it's cool having a hobby that can consume major blocks of time so you don't sink too far into yourself and get lost swimming around searching for shit you don't even know how to recognize.  I mean...I know that happens to some people and that it is just the way life goes but I'm pretty happy knowing that all I have to do is DO SOMETHING and I don't get too low in my the spirits.

And I do get low.  Very low.  Shit...how could I not sometimes?  

But only sometimes.  You can't let that mess become a habit.

Go do something okay?  DO.SOMETHING.  And it's perfectly okay if it's something you've never done before.  In fact...that's even better.  Having your brain consumed with a project and moving is a good thing.  When the noise gets to be too loud...go do something.  It is a for real solution.

Antique Victorian Oak Eastlake Spoon Carved Vanity Dresser Chest

This piece?  SWOON!  1800s.  Astonishing.  Look at the finish before I started working on it!  

How amazing is that transformation????????  I only used Howard's Wax-N-Feed once I'd done the repairs and sanded out the insides of the drawers, followed with a quick dry rub of stain.   I used Brasso on the drawer pulls and man...it is soooooooo gorgeous to me!  LOVE.IT!!!!!

Cavalier Cedar Chest - FINISHED!

Remember that cedar chest I bought and bragged about HERE?  

Well, I finally got around to it.  I was scared because it's so awesome and I didn't want to screw it up.  I found out about these AMAZING products and, with some 0000 steel wool and a whole lot of elbow grease after the repairs were done, it looks amazing.  

I tell you what...of all the crap I know how to do and do pretty well, this has got to be my favorite thing to do.  It is just so soothing to put on an audiobook and have at it!

Speaking of audiobooks, have you added the Overdrive app to your phone yet and synced it with your library card?  I'm telling you...it's the best thing ever.  That and Hoopla.  LOVE.THEM!

Oh yeah...the products I used?  

1.  Howard Restore-A-Finish, Cherry:  I applied this with the steel wool.  I just REALLY got into it and it worked so well! 

2.  Howard Wax-N-Feed:  This product is my new favorite thing in the EN.TIRE.WORLD!  All of my stuff will be waxed and fed by this stuff from now on at least once a year!  This stuff is amazing!   

1940s Double Glass Door Bookcase

This piece was seriously rusted and busted when I found it.  Poor thing was all creaky and hadn't been looked after in forever.  Folks are always looking for bookcases and having one with glass doors is pretty cool because you don't have to dust the inside as often as you're used to.  

So...I went to work.

We blew it off with the leaf blower and then wiped it down inside and out with a mild dish soap in a gallon of water making sure to wring the towel out super well so the wood wouldn't be "wet" if you know what I mean. Once it was wiped down I just looked at it for a few days trying to come up with a design for it that kept it as um...stoic as possible.  Just seemed this piece didn't want to be "happy."  LOL!  It's pretty serious about that life.  THUGS RISE UP!

The back of it was pretty busted so I removed it and added a piece of fabric to it using spray adhesive.  Then I took the doors off and soaked the hardware in some rust remover solution.  Next I sanded the whole thing down (did the doors by hand), stained the top, shelves and bottom with Minwax Dark Walnut stain using a brush on the top (it was pretty bad with water rings and whatnot) and a rag inside so I could get all the corners and whatnot pretty well.  

I painted it in Benjamin Moore's Chelsea Gray (love this color) because it coordinated really well with the Waverly fabric I used for the back and followed that with General Finishes Pitch Black glaze wiping it off quickly on the sides but letting it set in a bit longer along the details of the top front and doors.  Once I put it all back together, I finished the top, bottom and shelves with a polyurethane to protect the surfaces.  I kinda like the thought of the painted parts getting a bit more weathered looking.

I like it.  It makes me happy to look at.  And isn't that really all that matters?  That you're happy with what you're doing?  That you're content in the knowledge that you can set your mind to do something and then you can make it happen exactly as you saw it in your head?  And then...what you saw in your head is actually really pretty?  Yeah...I like it.  There is a bit of odd satisfaction in being able to find something unloved and busted and bringing it back to life in such a way it makes a statement.  Just says a lot about so much.  Yup.

Holla.

Vintage Drexel Triune Coffee Table COMPLETED!

This piece just might be my favorite so far.  Seriously.  The lines and heft of it are just so perfect that it makes me smile. I know every inch of this table as I've stripped it and started over twice because I love it so.   I just had a vision for it you know and I knew I could make it look like exactly what I wanted it to look like.

The brass hardware is original and took 3 separate scrubbing cleanings to get all of the old grime off it with Brasso, 0000 steal wool and using cheesecloth as a polishing cloth.  The scratches on top have been mostly buffed out and the deeper gouges were filled in with stainable wood filler so the top is smooth to the touch.  I love this piece so much, I would want it to have a custom glass top cut to put on top of it for protection.

The finished piece has been stripped with Citri-strip, sanded by hand with a 120 grit sandpaper along the base because of the carved details and sanded using my new Porter Cable electric palm sander (The Robinator is awesome!) on the top.  Then it was stained twice with light sanding in between coats using 220 grit paper and Minwax Red Mahogany stain.  Finally, two protectant coats of Minwax Polyurethane in clear satin were applied (first coat with a good bristle brush, final coat with sponge brush) with a light 220 grit sanding after first coat dried for 24 hours.

I cannot express how completely I love this piece.  The closest online comparison of it that you can currently buy by Drexel is this cocktail table for $1,929 and it's in cherry, not rare mahogany as this one is. Drexel Cocktail Table  

They call them cocktail tables now and that cracks me up.  LOL!  I guess people are more fond of cocktails than coffee these days.  LOL!

This piece already has a home, unfortunately, as someone I love claimed it when they realized I wasn't going to keep it.  They have excellent taste and recognized the quality of it immediately too.  I have been doing a soft discouragement campaign using the techniques of saying nonchalantly, "You know you don't have to buy it. It might not match your stuff now cuz it came out so dark.  Don't feel obligated to follow through just cause you said you were going to." But that hasn't worked.  *sigh*  LOL!

I am having SO.MUCH.FUN doing these pieces I'm finding!  GO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOTTA KEEP BUSY! Isn't it gorgeous???????

Vintage Mersman Round Coffee Table

Mersman 31-25

Mersman 31-25

I was looking for something I could try the shabby chic look on and glaze.  Since I only paid $5 for this piece, I wasn't scared I'd screw it up. LOL! And hey...even if I did screw it up, I could always strip it and start over right?  Right!

One of the things I really enjoy is doing the research on a piece and finding out who made it and when. I always get excited when a piece has the manufacturer's name on it.  

This table is from the 1950's and has a nice bit of solid heft to it. In the 1950's, laminate furniture was popular and this piece had a laminate top.  Because of this, I sanded it and primed the entire table before painting. Then, I distressed the base with sandpaper and put on a coat of polyurethane.  Next I used General Finishes glaze in black on the top and the shelf to give them a distressed look too.  I haven't decided if I want to glaze it again or not but once I do, I will do another coat of polyurethane after a super light sanding.

upload.jpg

Whatcha think?  This is my first attempt at distressing with sandpaper and glaze.