Monday, January 6, 2014

ReStore Upcycle Challenge-Part 1~Daisy Whatchamathing

This past spring my local ReStore had an Upcycle Challenge to bring awareness to their store and mission and to raise a little cash.  I was so excited because while I love to do projects and repurpose things I don't have a place to keep everything I want to try or make, this gave me a great excuse to try a few things I'd been wanting to make.  I ended up making several things so I'm gonna break my sharing down into several blog posts.  Today I'll start with the favorite thing I made, really the only thing I wish I had kept!

My table top Daisy Whatchamathing!  

I know, I can hear you now...what the heck is a whatchamathing?  I don't really know either but I've seen them on people's tables, they usually hold things like a napkin holder & salt & pepper shaker, maybe things you don't want directly on a wood table?

This project was inspired by another of my blog stalk-ees Sawdust and Embryos where she redid the top of an old buffet she rescued from a burn pile, she redid it with a 'charcoal shading' type of technique using wood stain.  I fell in love with that technique however I'm years removed from doing any fine art type work myself,  although I've been itching to rekindle my love affair with pen and ink old barn drawings.  I know I couldn't pull off a large scale project like she did so when I found this chunky wood cabinet door I figured it was the perfect chance to try it on a much smaller scale, plus it was only .50 with the tag color 75% discount...BONUS!. The original  door was from one of those octagonal end tables that open for storage, the sides were slightly beveled and not completely square, it might just be the rebel in me...but it made me like it even more. 

I sanded all the old finish off till I was down to bare wood and drew my offset daisy on the wood with some chalk and began laying in some color with the stain.  Although Beth gave a pretty detailed tutorial for how she accomplished her design I know I'd have to just wing it, I couldn't copy her style because the flower I chose wouldn't work for that exact shading technique so I just used hers as an inspiration.  

I wiped off the original stain from the inner circle and then went back over it as well as I started laying in the beginning of the petal layers.  I kept wiping and reapplying the stain where I wanted the darkest areas.  I then began adding in the secondary petals in-between the bigger ones.

 Did I mention this was just a trial and error project?  The error comes into play because I didn't think about wiping the stain off in a controlled manner and instead I just wiped it across the whole damn thing, which in turn darkened the whole area as well.  NOT the look I was really going for but ya live, experiment and go on right?  

Once it all dried I went back in and sanded some of the stain back off to achieve the look I think I was going for.  Notice how I carried the design onto the side as well? 

 This is how it looked once the stain was all dry and finished and although kinda cool, I was disappointed.  It didn't even come close to the image I had in my head but I was hoping that once it was coated with a finishing coat it would tie it all together and I would like it more.  My mojo was deflated so I sat it aside for a week or so before deciding my next move.

I got my craft paints out and began to experiment, I ended up giving it kind of a color wash to bring out the flower a bit more.  It certainly brightened it up a lot and was more like the daisy I had in my head but was it too much?

  I figured that once again, since nobody else could see the image I had in my head it was probably good enough, besides...I wasn't gonna keep it anyway...right?  Although I did want it to bring in some money for the ReStore, and I have a habit of overthinking things at times so I figured I'd go ahead and wax it before I changed my mind again.  I was going to put a coat of poly on it but I had the wax out because I was doing some chalk-paint projects too so I just waxed and buffed it.  A few coats of wax and some elbow grease buffing it out and I fell in love with it, it was much closer to what I'd imagined.  It mellowed the color a bit and the gradual fade around the flower smoothed out a bit so it looks much more unintentional. 

I found some wooden ball knobs at Hobby Lobby and stained them to match the top, to attach them I found the double ended screws and screwed them to each corner of it so it would sit up off the table.  Of course I forgot to take a picture that showed them but here is my finished wooden daisy whatchamathing! 

 I took a picture of it with a vase of flowers that the hubby bought me, he's kinda wonderful that way. 


I suppose if I was a fancypants kinda gal I would call it a 'centerpiece'...but I'm not, and I still don't know what to call it other then....awesome! 

 I wish I had kept it, I hope it's new owner is kinda diggin' it too.

I'm linking up at Gail's Catch as Catch Can over on her My Repurposed Life blog and over at Kammy's Corner for her Trash to Treasure Tuesdays.



  1. I really like your finished project, and I appreciate you putting all the intermediate steps in too. It's so important for everyone to remember that *trying* is often the most important part, because that's how we learn!!!! Great job!

  2. Well, I think you know that I really like daisies since that is about the only flower I seem to paint anymore! LOL...I love how this project turned out...You sure could have saved yourself some trouble just by hitting the paint to start with!! BWAH!! I don't like dealing with stain! No, I SO understand SEEING something in my head and trying to get it onto a surface...SOMETIMES it works and well, then others, I just hope someone likes it! =)

  3. This is a huge "want" for me.!


I love to read comments left by my visitors so please just leave a quick hello if you've enjoyed your visit.