Map Trunk Refurbish pt. 1

Map Trunk Before and After

I found this trunk at the usual place, an estate sale. It looked pretty terrible, but it was really sound structurally. It was sturdy, the latches worked really well and lined up perfectly. Excellent candidate for a project. First, to prep the trunk, was the usual sanding process. You can see the difference here, from where the top is sanded and the bottom wasn’t..

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Then the whole thing. The interior panels were just plywood, so not really worth sanding down.

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When I was re-doing the Dome Top Steamer Trunk, I was thinking of different ways I could re-finish its interior. Ultimately, leaving the bare wood the way it was won out on that trunk, but one of the ideas I came up with was using some of these maps I had as a covering. These maps weren’t super old and full of character. They were from the era just before GPS and Google maps, so they were kind of ugly and obnoxious. I used some different stains and paint on a test piece to see what I could come up with. Two different stains and some dark brownish paint later, and this was the result…

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I was pretty excited with how it turned out! It kind of had an old leather map look. Huge improvement! The next step was to cut the map pieces down to size.

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I ALMOST cut the piece too small because I didn’t take into account that I was going to scrunch it up for texture. That shrunk it down quite a bit, but thankfully it still worked out. Next, I tried to stick the map to the trunk using 3M Spray adhesive. As soon as I applied the stain to the paper, it completely detached from the wood. Time to break out the Mod Podge! Worked like a charm.

I applied the lighter stain to the whole map…

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Then I worked the darker stain around the outside and then lightly through the middle. The final touch was the dark brown paint only around the edges. I used the same old rag that applied the stain to blend in the edges of the paint with the stain.

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Tada!! Lastly was a coat of polyurethane and it was finished! My favorite part about the maps is that both sections have locations in them that have been major parts of my life.

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I’m still toying with the idea of using something to line the map and make the edges cleaner, but we’ll see. There are also big plans for the interior, but they’re still in progress. I’ll keep you posted!!

#TBT: Hunebedden Edition

Here’s a throwback all the way from 1991. If you haven’t seen the article of hilariously recreated childhood photos, check it out here! I decided to do my own version while I was in the Netherlands…

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And in 2013…

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Now, about the Hunebedden. Well everyone knows that England has Stonehenge, but did you know that there is a whole cluster of ruins that is even older, in the north of the Netherlands? There are approximately 54 sets, with 52 of them just in the province of Drenthe. They are over 5000 years old and, just like Stonehenge, no one knows exactly how or why they were built. The plaque near this particular site says that Napolean rode his horse across the top of these ruins in order to demonstrate his superior horsemanship.

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I wouldn’t advise trying that yourself….

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This great website has a lot more Hunebedden information, for those that are interested.

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Just one of the many reasons why everyone should see more of the Netherlands than just Amsterdam!

Photographing the Terrible Twos

I recently did a maternity photo shoot for a friend and discovered (for the second time) how difficult it is to get a two year old to cooperate for pictures. Here are a few things that I learned that helped make the whole process run a little more smoothly.

1. Prioritize.

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They are over posing for pictures pretty quickly. If there are any cute ideas that you were really wanting to try, get them out of the way immediately or they probably won’t happen.

2. Aperture.

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See this picture ^^^ ? It looks like the little guy is happy and laughing, but he’s actually screaming… and this was only about 10 minutes into the shoot. Oh, boy. Use aperture and focus to hide that grumpy face.

3. Improvise!

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Try taking pictures while they’re doing something they enjoy. You might end up with a little boy riding around on a 4-wheeler in 90% of the pictures, but at least he’ll be smiling.

4. Wardrobe!

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One of the benefits to photographing a two year old, is that they are almost always adorable, even just walking across the yard. You can take plenty of cute candid shots that look great. If that two year old is wearing a shirt that says something like, “Big Brother.” Bam. That makes it part of a pregnancy shoot.

5. Patience.

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Take breaks and alternate between poses with the whole family and ones that just have the parents or mom. This way, the youngin’ can run around a little bit.

So, that’s what I learned last weekend. It was an adventure. If you want to see the rest of the photos, check out my Facebook page!

Step up your game, Bradenton!

It has been WEEKS since we had a good Estate Sale in the area. My thrifty senses are becoming extremely bored! If you look at the pictures for this weekends sales, everything looks like it came straight from Pier 1 in 1997. In honor of my next trip (a road trip with a friend through Tennessee! I’ll post about it later) I decided to do a little “window shopping” of the sales going on in the Knoxville area this weekend. I have to say, I like what I saw, like beautiful vintage cabinets that I will dream about refinishing…

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Piles of junk to sort through…

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No telling what you’ll find here!

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Wooden boxes of all shapes and sizes…

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And a fantastic GE fan. The cherry on top…

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Hellooooo Tennessee! See you in a few weeks!

St. John the (oh so) Divine

On day one of our itinerary-less trip to New York City, we were walking to breakfast surrounded by a bunch bland apartment buildings until there was a clearing for a small park.¬†That’s when we saw it, looking down from the hill across the park where it sits in all it’s spired¬†and stained-glass glory. Just like that, we had an itinerary….

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Choirs were there rehearsing for a competition over the weekend so the beautiful halls were filled with music that was equally stunning.

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There was a small monument in a side hallway to commemorate the 9/11 attacks and those that we lost. I don’t know if it was the surreal music ringing through the hall that made it so moving, but it was the most touching memorial that I had ever seen.

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The top half is that of a woman, and the bottom box has a piece of the World Trade Center inside of it. It was just completed in 2012 by Meredith Gang Bergmann..

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There are also several mini-chapels in the back of the building, each with a different theme and purpose..

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The whole thing is in the middle of a remodel. Here you can see the divide between the old and new walls..

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It is right next to the Columbia University campus, so if you’re in the area you should go check it out. They do not charge a fee for entrance, but giving a donation isn’t a bad idea. It all goes towards the restoration of the building.

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You can also donate in the form of a candle purchase. They’re actually quite cheap and you can write a small inscription. There were many candles with writing in several languages. Some were in memoriam, others were prayer requests or notes of thanksgiving… All very beautiful.

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