More About Leslie - She Turns Ugly Ducklings Into Swans

Topiary fini

My sister loves to play with paint! And not just paint! Varnishes, sealers, texture makers, glues, fillers, and all manner of tools from brushes to chains.

Mostly all stuff I consider yucky! Been there, done that. Never again!

While her big sister is now perfectly happy to dabble with food coloring in Mod Podge, Leslie dabbles in the serious stuff - breathing exciting new life into old beat-up landfill worthy furniture or decorative items OR making a brand new chair, table or vase look like it has been sitting in a barn for three centuries!!

While I am happy to paint a few flowers on a gourd Matryoshka, Leslie comes up with magic potions and formulas for fillers and base coats and finishes and textures and colors.

Mostly, she works with furniture. She can make a new armoire look like it has been made of salvaged barn doors or refinish chairs rescued from the thrift so that they match exactly a painted finish of a favorite old family heirloom table.

What I admire most about her talent is that unlike her big sis, she can see wonderful possibilities in almost everything - from a cast-off vase to a mud room.

The little urn/topiary above is just a tiny example of what she does with her magic potions!

Topiary 1

When Leslie found this 10" brass urn in a thrift, it was badly pitted all over the entire surface and had obviously been exposed to very high heat as part of the surface was covered with "heat rainbows" - you know - those metallic rainbows left on the bottom of metal sauce pans forgotten on the stove?

The piece had most likely been rescued from a fire and had been polished to reveal the luster of the brass but was otherwise a mess. Leslie saw only potential and despite protests from her partner, took it home.

Using her magic and wizardry, she completely filled the pits and dents then began building up layer after layer after layer of base coats, middle coats and texture coats and coats to add color and coats to cover the color......

Topiary 2

At this stage she has applied something called verdigris - one of those "middle coats" that gets covered up I believe! BUT it is important in the end result! I have been told.

Topiary 3

Her vision for her little urn - a small topiary. And believe me she has all the stuff she needs to create one too - materials and talent!

Topiary 4

Nearly finished! I guess she was right about that miserable little brass urn - it did have potential!

Now scroll back up to the top and take a look at that ribbon.

Apparently, that too is covered in layer after layer of finishes and stiffeners and who but Leslie knows what! She doesn't share her secrets!

But she DID share that she became so disappointed with the results she was getting - or rather not getting - that she took the ribbon out on the concrete patio and ceremoniously tried to set it on fire with a barbeque lighter.

When the few reluctant flames disappeared - the ribbon was still there covered in soot. But ... but... wait! Brush away the sooty layer and - OMG - something really, really cool happened in the flames!

Again - potential!

Needless to say - the ribbon was saved and lives happily on the topiary to this day.

The end.

(tomorrow - Leslie turns cardboard into leather!)

There's old chairs in a pole

There's old chairs in a pole barn waiting for me to refinish them...please come over. ;)

Such excellent work!!

What a talented family! I

What a talented family! I wish I had the patience and endurance to transform furniture, your sister does some great work. Now about setting the ribbon on fire.... I wonder if I could get away with that with some of my frustrating projects....