Saturday, September 18, 2010

Giving in to Autumn Gracefully

September must be the most gracious of months. Not only does she provide perfect weather, but she also eases me out of summer and into fall effortlessly. You probably thought autumn would have to physically drag me away from summer whilst my wails of protest echoed from the mountaintops. Instead I looked around yesterday while I harvested my lavender crop and could only revel in the peace and quiet of an almost-autumn evening.

Really...I did.

The daylight is softer, the shadows gentler, the breezes more playful, the crickets less hurried with their chirping. Meanwhile the fall bloomers are beginning to color my garden in soft hazy hues.
I can't resist Michaelmas daisies flowering next to purple mums. Or the tinge of cherry-red that's peeking through the green of my burning bush.

Yes. I've been clipping off the hollyhocks and old tiger lilies with a bit of regret. And the waterlilies have more yellow leaves than flowers.
I'll console myself with a trip to buy some purple-striped crocus bulbs for the pond border very soon. I've also had the fun of digging potatoes and checking how much longer till our peaches ripen. The taste of a ripe peach swimming in milk is enough all by itelf to resign me to a change of seasons!

Today my summer pastels are being replaced by my September wallhangings. Their harvest colors are so homey. Rusts and sunflower golds and olive greens and deep ivories--ahh, they make me want to come inside and feather my nest. I want to rearrange my furniture and plump up some pillows for cozy evenings with Netflix and an embroidery hoop.

Today is going to be a perfect day, I can tell.
I have this rather large desktop slathered with stripper (the nice citrusy kind) waiting for me to begin scraping off the tired old finish. And I discovered that Large Old Desk Number Two is much closer to being done than I'd expected.  (Now you know how I can store four executive-style desks and still park the Forester in our garage--I'm an out-of-the-box thinker.)
Do you realize that if I can make both desks entrancingly, irresistibly spiffy, I'd not only reclaim a major portion of our garage, but I stand to earn a few dollars when I sell them on Craigslist. They're large, yes, but they're solid wood, hold office supplies and computer equipment efficiently and hide all the cords--whoo-hoo!  I couldn't live without the one in my workroom.  With a little luck and the right buyers, these two desks could magically turn into shutters for The Big Guys bedroom and/or bedroom drapes.

While I wait for the varnish and stain to dissolve on the desks, my iron bed is going to provide instant gratification via my palm sander.
(This photo should be titled "Truth in Advertising"--I make large messes as I work and they stay messy until everything comes together at the last minute. This may be the real reason I've "saved" these projects until the Mister is gone.)

When the last bit of paint is sanded off, I'm ready for the next step. I spent last night "shopping" at this website for a new finish.  (I like Blacksmyth, Ralph Lauren Waxed and White Chipped.)  The trick seems to be the combination of a primer, colors, and judicious sanding.

Then I started browsing colors.

I was leaning towards ivory white...
but I love the red finish (focus on the color not the comforter that shouldn't be inflicted on any child no matter how bad they've been.
I truly love this black. 
Ahhh, turquoise.
I want to know why no one's done a bed in apple-green?

I can't go wrong whatever finish I choose because if there's anything easier than removing paint from metal, I've never encountered it.

 Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work I go!

p.s. Can't I get ONE person who wants me to scrape popcorn?!


  1. All of the beds are so pretty. I looked at your inspiration finishes... quite a job. Looking forward to seeing your finished project. Great looking desks too!

    I only eat popcorn!

  2. I like the idea of apple green. :) Different and perky!

  3. Call me a traditionalist, but I think you have greater flexibility down the road if you go with the white or black. If you are going to invest the sweat equity, do it once and be done for a while. It is better for the environment, too. OK, you can call me a party pooper. I just don't have time to redo things and why I have such a hard time making decisions and I have enough difficulty finding time to do things in the first place!