Sunday, October 9, 2016

Unintentional Charm

The more I look at it, the more I like it.  And that's really kinda funny because I don't like stuff that appears to be intentionally distressed.  But this wasn't intentional.  Really.

There are no drawers on either my desk or my work table, so I supplement that lack by getting clever with boxes and such.  Oh, and just so you know, I prefer the lack of drawers in this instance.  Desks and work tables are creative space, so they need (in my estimation anyway) to be a bit fluid--fluid in the sense that things can be changed about on a whim or at need. 

When I found a  wooden jewelry box at a yard sale for $2, I saw that it had potential to be something useful for my work table.  But I didn't like the jewelry box.  (Alas, I did not take "before" picture; apologies.)  The box was one of those China-cheapies with a copy of a Redoute rose print plashed across all four drawers--popular 20 years ago or so.  It was tacky.  (Redoute art itself is quite nice; the stuff on the box was a very brassy imitation.)  The box was none-too-clean inside and two of the four knobs were missing.  At $2, I considered it over-priced but recklessly purchased anyway.

I had green spray paint on hand.  Fine, it would be green.  NOT.  Something in the paint of the printed flowers reacted to the spray paint, and the front of the drawers all bubbled up horribly.  I was vastly annoyed, so I put the box in the closet and ignored it for a very long time until I moved furniture a couple of months ago and then I found a place where the box could be really useful so I decided to see what could be done to put a proper coat of paint on it.

Since the box was otherwise nearly a write-off, I was kinda careless with sanding.  I didn't even take the drawers out of the box--just ran over the front with my small electric sander until I got the bubbled paint off.  And then I noticed something interesting--the flower pattern underneath emerged, and it seemed charming.  It had been too glossy and shiny before; now it was a bit flat and faded.  Pretty.  Rather than going forward with paint, I decided to leave the box as it was; and I put it on my worktable. 

The lack of knobs proved to be a nearly Sherlockian problem to solve.  The knobs were not of a normal type and could not be simply replaced.  I won't go into the many details but this required a lot of contemplation, a purchase of tiny knobs from a China retailer on eBay, another annoying visit to Hooker's Hardware (as I've said before, the store was named for a person not the profession) where the salesman once again thought I was out of my tiny mind (if those "helpful" guys don't wanna know why I need what I'm buying then they should really stop asking), a bottle of glue, patience, and ingenuity.  It was a frustrating process but I only said one bad word (well, to the best of my recollection anyway and certainly not in the presence of the salesman from Hooker's).  And, at the end of the day, the cute little knobs work. 

I like the contrast of the unpainted knobs with the partly painted drawer fronts.  I like the distressing on the box.  I like the way that it ended up being sort of pink and green when that really wasn't what I had in mind at all.  Other things that began to cluster on the work table were also unintentionally pink, too--mostly a very bright pink.  It's all charming, which is kinda funny when I recall that I am unimpressed with the distressed.

My work table is a welter of ideas.  I only want happy stuff there so I can be inspired.  And, yes, if you look closely, those are notes on the right for a recipe:  I am kitchen-plotting again but more on that another time. 

The prettier a place looks, the more I want to work there.
Life is good.

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