Monday, October 22, 2012

From the Mud to a Stud

I always sort of kick myself whenever I realize (much too late) that I didn't take a "before" picture of something. I'm sure many DIY-ers can relate. When you finally decide to throw yourself into working on a piece, you start to see how it's coming along and then it hits you. "I forgot to take a BEFORE shot." Much exaggerated grumbling ensues.

This frame is exactly one of those instances. If ever there was a time I should have captured a *before* picture, this was it. My husband went up to the nearby woods for a walk with our dog. (Our Jammer-boy). While on his walk, he came across a big wood frame in a mud puddle. Knowing our penchant for transforming ordinary frames into sweet chalkboards, he lugged that wet, muddy, beat up brown frame home.

I didn't even want to touch it (yes, I'm one of *those*). I can get my hands covered in paint but keep nature-dirt away! Dirt harbours bugs. Paint doesn't. Anyhow... We propped that frame up to dry for a few days. When I took a closer look at it, it was still with a girly tip-of-my-fingers gesture. Heaven forbid I should get dirt on me. This frame was still caked in dried mud. I handed it to my husband, much like somebody would hold a sodden dirty diaper away from their nose. "Here. Do something with this *thing*."

So he set off to wash, and clean, and scrape, and sand and tighten the thing. A few hours later, you could register the visible surprise on my face when he presented it to me. Wow! It looked amazing! I caressed the smooth edges, eyed the classic design... All of a sudden I wanted it back, ideas starting to flow of how I would paint it.

Hubby then spoke up "I thought maybe it would look good if I oiled it, you know, with the Danish walnut oil." Screech! My internal Pinterest-ovision turned abruptly off. Hmmmm... Oiled? The idea had merit. So I gave him creative control over the frame. I thought it was only fair since he lugged it home and made it so un-dirty and all.

Well he buffed and he rubbed that frame until it was truly a thing of wonder. I was in awe! The oil was definitely a good call. It made the wood look rugged and full of character. Excited, I now wanted to see what it would look like with a chalkboard insert. So I painted up a chalkboard for it and by the time it was installed in the frame, I almost didn't want to sell it. Almost.

Sunday morning, just before leaving for the Queen Square Farmer's Market, I took a picture of the frame and uploaded it to Facebook. Within a couple of hours, we had a buyer for it. I called up my hubby a the Market and asked him to mark the frame as SOLD. I don't know if he was a bit disappointed that it sold so quickly, or proud that it did. We would have been just as happy to have it hanging in our home too. Even so, we're glad that it has a new owner, one who loves it like we did, and who appreciates the story behind it.

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