Category Archives: Refinishing

My work is on Apartment Therapy!–Custom refinishing

My work is on Apartment Therapy today! Can you believe it? I can’t. Oh my gosh! Seriously, this is so exciting! Remember the custom work I did on the card catalog turned dresser for a nursery. Well, Sophie’s nursery is featured on Apartment Therapy.

Gorgeous finished baby dresser!

Gorgeous finished baby dresser!


Custom work for a nursery!

Congratulations Amanda & Karl on your brand new baby girl! It’s not every day that my work coincides with a client bringing a new life into the world, but when it does, it’s a pretty groovy thing. Getting ready for the arrival of their little bundle, Amanda & Karl prepared an adorable, tranquil space for the baby. The one thing that still needed some finishing touches before the big day, was the baby’s dresser. Amanda & Karl had found a retired card catalog from UW Madison’s Memorial Library. This piece is gorgeous; clean lines, great color, and years of wear that have only added to its charm. The only trouble was that this particular unit was a center piece in a bank of catalogs, which meant that the ends were completely unfinished. Amanda and I discussed her ideas for the piece, and we mulled over some possibilities. Amanda settled on a plan to cap the ends of the card catalog like the ends of an antique dresser. I won’t bore you with details, but the design entails putting a thin plywood finish behind border pieces that frame the end of the piece. Going into this project, I was thinking that I might have gotten in over my head. This was going to require all of my skills as a carpentress, plus a few more that I would pick up along the way. From finding and sourcing the right wood, to matching stains, to piecing it all together miles from my workshop comfort zone, this project was a labor of love. I was happy to get the chance to challenge myself to do something I haven’t done before. I was proud that the card catalog came out as well as it did, and that Amanda and Karl were happy with what we came up with. My plan for this business has always been to take on commissioned work, and that is starting to look like a reality now. So, congrats to you both. Enjoy every moment with your lovely daughter, cherish her, shower her in kisses, and sleep every chance you get! And to you, little baby girl; take it easy on your parents, and if they find you an antique writing desk some day that just needs a little fixing up, have them give me a call : )





Day 8….remember learning curves?

I have another before and after for you today! Do you remember my Learning Curves post? If not you should check it out. This chair was always beautiful but now she is modern too. She would make a great addition to your home!

Here she is before!

DSC02559a DSC02561aHere she is after! Isn’t she stunning! You can pick her up at my upcoming market in just 8 days! (Photos courtesy of Christy Tyler Photography)

NI4A6199 NI4A6191 NI4A6192 NI4A6195 NI4A6197

Day 10…presenting Skinny Minnie!

Yay! I am so excited to share with you a big reveal. It is finally time for a before & after post! Skinny Minnie is one of the pieces I picked up this fall. I found this adorable gem at an estate sale. She got her nickname for her thin legs! As you can see from the photos she was missing a drawer. I figured I could retrofit a new drawer and it totally worked!  I love this table. She would make a great entryway or side table. She is so pretty! Instead of going on and on I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Skinny Minnie before.

Skinny Minnie after! (photos taken courtesy of Christy Tyler Photography) Thanks sis!

Skiny Minnie

Skiny Minnie


Beautiful legs!


Drawer detail


Gorgeous grain!

Oh, and this beauty can be yours at my upcoming market!

Day 26


Image provided by

Today, the kids are at Grandma & Grandpa’s and will be home after dinner. I was going to get so many pieces completed today it was going to be crazy! Going to…but then the weather happened. I woke up to snow flurries, which means the temperature had dropped drastically overnight. It is now 34 degrees and I can’t polyurethane or stain a thing! When can I get a heated workshop? A heated shop is creeping up the priority list. It was on the “wish” list but it has moved onto the “priority” list and just keeps climbing that list every time I am hindered by cold weather.

Looks like I need to change gears! I have one last piece to sand and prep for stain so that will get done today. Then on Friday when it is supposed to be warmer I will be able to stain and polyurethane everything!

Time to bundle up and head on out to the cold workshop. Have a great day and think warm thoughts!

Day 28!

This will be short and sweet because I am tired. I just had to share my favorite piece before heading off to bed. It’s a sewing machine table turned mini-bar. Check it out!

Oh look a sewing machine table!

Oh look a sewing machine table! Ho, hum.

No wait, it's a mini-bar!

No wait, it’s a mini-bar! Whoot, whoot!

I love it! Oh and someone needs to teach me how to merge this into one photo side by side! (ahem…little sister 😉 ) Oh, and it isn’t quite done. I need to add the handles to the top because it is a removable serving tray. How awesome is that!



Where is spring?

I know we are all thinking it…WHERE IS SPRING? Seriously, I have been waiting patiently, okay maybe not patiently, for warmer weather since the end of February. I even started bundling up in layers just to work in my shop in the freezing cold. However, I cannot stain a thing until the temperature nears 50 degrees and right now I don’t think it is ever going to happen! Everyday I wake up in the hopes that today the thermometer will creep above 32, only to check the weather and see that it’s still in the 20’s. The past 2 days we have been lucky to get above freezing by early afternoon. For now, It looks like I will just keep sanding, sanding, sanding all day long! I am hoping for some warm weather next week! I want to post some before and after pictures soon but I can’t until the temperature cooperates. Come on Wisconsin let’s have spring! Everyone think SPRING!

Now everyone, THINK SPRING!

Now everyone, THINK SPRING!