Monday, August 13, 2012

The Cupboard of Determination.

My five year old son was lying on my bed looking at books before his bed time.

 I was finishing up a project in the room.

 It was this cupboard, a Craigs List deal,
and it was taking a bit more time than I had expected.

 In planning the new paint colors for the room,
I was not certain what color to paint this cupboard.

So I looked at what I had for the rest of the room.

There were these plastic birds from a yard sale.

(My Roman numeral skills needed some brushing up,
but I figured out
they're about as old as my husband.

Obviously they were meant for him to have in our bedroom!)

 I spray-painted them white,
and then painted them to try to make them look Victorian.

 These are some other things I have acquired that I plan to hang up in the room.

Seeing this lot,
I decided to take a risk,
and try black and white on the cupboard.

(Of course,
I used Annie Sloane's Chalk Paint in Graphite,
so that I wouldn't have to sand this giant piece.
I only used one coat, with a few touch up spots,
so it really does go a long way.)

 I finally found a design I wanted on the internet:
it was on a lace curtain.
I printed it in black and white, scanned it into my computer,
enlarged it to the size I needed,
and then printed it off.
Using charcoal pencil, I colored the entire back of the image,
taped it in place...

traced over the design,
and then carefully pulled off the paper.

 This was when I realized it was going to be a progressive project.

During the kids' evening baths right next to my room,
and before bed while they read their books,
I worked on this bit by bit.

It never dawned on me that they were keeping an eye on the process as well.

 Of course, keeping Lillie's little hands off of the charcoal tracing
at risk of it being wiped away
was a little nerve-wracking;
but she was kind to me,
this time.

As I finished the last of the cupboard the other night,
I was grabbed back from my daydreaming
by my son's voice:

"That's really pretty, Mommy.

I like watching you paint."

I glanced at him and saw him peeking around his book.

I hope that he might get something from this:
perhaps that determination and persistence pay off.

I was afraid I was spending too much time on something
that perhaps I could have been better using my time elsewhere.
Time seems to be a valuable gift that needs to be used wisely when the kids are little.

But if they can learn the rewards of sticking with something,
something I had to really work on myself for all the half-finished projects
I had to overcome when I was younger,
then I will feel like it was even more worth it.

 his words were sweet,
and I had to get up and plant a kiss on that little face!

(For the bottom drawer,
I used an ironworks graphic from the Graphic Fairy website,
transferred in the same way.

 The circular design on the top drawer is another of her images.)

(I am not quite sure what kind of shade to put on the prism lamp I found at a yard sale.
I suppose I'll wait and see what turns up.
Any suggestions?)

It has been fun seeing the room slowly make progress...


Now I need to go use my time to can some pickled peppers.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Linking up to some of these great link parties: 
The Prairie Homestead: Homestead Barn Hop
Betweennapsontheporch.blogspot: Metamorphosis Monday

Homespun Happenings


  1. It turned out beautiful! I've gotta try that one day.

  2. I love this Tonya! Looks gorgeous!

  3. Just beautiful! Hard to believe it's the same piece.

  4. Robin Matteson SiegfriedAugust 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Tonya!!, that is awesome!!!, as soon as I read your article about painting the chest, I was thinking, oh Man! I know she is going to paint it green!!, you seem to paint alot of green!!, but I love that it's black and white!, it looks beautiful!!

    1. Yes, I had to swallow hard and open a different color this time. The green paint was screaming at me though. :) Thanks for the kind remarks!

  5. I wish sometime you would give us a photo tour of your entire home. How I would love to see that!


    1. You motivate me to get the house finished so one day, maybe I can. :) It's been so fun having you on the journey!

  6. what patience you have. very lovely

  7. It was well worth your time!!! It looks beautiful!

  8. Amazing!! Dee from My Painted Stuff.

  9. Beautiful! You did an amazing job.

  10. super cute!! I love the cabinet and the transformation of the birds!

  11. Amazing! Just a quick question... did you seal the charcoal with anything? How do you keep it looking so perfect without smudges? Wish I had your talent!!!


    1. Sorry. I didn't explain that well. After I took the paper off, I used paint and a small paintbrush to paint the charcoal lines and fill in the dark spaces. After the paint was dried, I actually wiped the charcoal image off with a damp paper towel. I then sealed the whole piece with Fiddes and Sons clear wax, mixed with some Rugger Brown wax, mostly along the edges to make it look slightly worn. Hope that helps. :)

    2. And thank you for the sweet compliment!! :)

  12. You did a great job. It's good to for our children see us do something other than clean up after them. It makes us human.

  13. Came over from Rustic Restoration. Your son will have a wonderful memory of the quiet time the two of you spent - him reading and watching and you patiently painting. Beautiful work!

    Distressed Donna Down home

  14. Thank you for linking this up to Rustic Restorations Weekend.

  15. It looks great! Very creative. And you did it with little children under foot. Good for you!

    I had a pair of prism lamps a lot like yours without shades. I found a pair of clear hurricanes on ebay.

    Lynette @

  16. You are so talented ... your birds are lovely and that cabinet ...WOW :)

  17. Wow, that truly is a labor of love and it turned out so beautiful!


I love your comments!