No new self portraiture pics right now, I’m afraid. I have a cyst / lump on my eyelid at the moment which means I can’t really wear makeup. It’s affecting my vision too, which is a little worrying.
Tag Archives: Art Nouveau
This is Part 4 of my restoration of an Art Nouveau cabinet which I had bought and whose base was riddled with woodworm.
As you will see from Part 3, I ditched the idea of using 18mm MDF and reverted to the original construction of a sandwich of plywood and mitred softwood.
Caution: This is a pretty long post with lots of pictures!
This is Part 3 of my restoration of an Art Nouveau cabinet which I had bought and whose base was riddled with woodworm.
As you will see from Part 2, it was my intention to use 18mm MDF to construct the new base. I decided that it would be best to use dowel joints to join the base to the bottom rail. I thought it best to practise on some offcuts of MDF first.
My first attempt was to measure carefully and then drill by eye. This was a bit of a disaster. Despite several attempts, I just couldn’t get the holes to be perpendicular, which meant wonky joints. I decided that I needed a jig.
I bought a cheap jig for under £7 from Amazon and tried again. Also, I used an offcut of MDF for one side, and some harder wood for the other side as I felt this would be more representative. I think perhaps that I didn’t drill the holes deep enough, and one dowel was a little snug, so I hit the two halves with a rubber mallet to seat them, the MDF just disintegrated.
This setback made me question my decision to use MDF. In fact, the more I read about it, the more I am thinking that it is the wrong material to be using. I’ve therefore decided to abandon the use of MDF (I am sure I will reuse it some other way at some other time, perhaps as an extra shelf in an IKEA cabinet) and instead go with the same construction as the original base. Having measured that with a Digital Vernier Caliper, it is nominally 4mm for the upper plywood layer, 14mm mitred softwood for the middle layer, and contrary to what I previously thought, nominally 4mm plywood on the bottom. Although it looks like it may have had a veneer on the underside. Having researched plywood online, it looks like 3.6mm plywood is a much more common thickness so it could be that with some minor expansion. Or maybe it really is 4mm ply. I don’t know. However, the thickness of the bottom rail is 23mm, which suggests 4mm ply.
Using a sandwiched construction means I can dispense with dowel joints and glue & screw the base to the bottom rail instead. A friend has suggested that I don’t actually need to screw it (or use dowel joints were I to stick with the MDF idea) as wood glue would be sufficient given the base will be screwed to the cabinet sides. But I think I will glue & screw as it gives me more confidence of a solid construction.
Also, using the same sandwich construction that the cabinet originally had is a more sympathetic restoration.
With that decided, I moved on to cleaning up the feet.
I pulled old nails out with a Carpenter’s Pincer which I have owned for decades. Unfortunately in doing so I managed to break the tip of one of the leg brackets but managed to glue this back again with wood glue. Unfortunately I forgot to take a “before” pic. I’m quite pleased with the repair, even though you can see the joins, because it broke off two pieces and I managed to reassemble it like a little jigsaw.
I also used an orbital sander to sand off the old glue from the tops of the legs, and in one case the glued-on residue of the woodworm-eaten soft wood.
The next job is going to be assembling the new base, for which I will need to make a shopping trip, and also to buy some Woodworm Killer and treat all the existing woodwork; especially the mouldings which I will be reusing as they have woodworm holes in them and I’m not sure if there are any dormant larvae in there.
In a previous post, I mentioned an Art Nouveau cabinet which I had bought and whose base was riddled with woodworm.
At the time I thought it was beyond economic repair. However, I decided that I had little to lose by stripping it down to get a better idea of the extent of the damage.
Prising off the plywood base, I found some mitred soft wood that was heavily damaged by woodworm (but no evidence of live larvae), with thicker laminate ply above. So the base was a sandwich of thicker ply upper, mitred soft wood, and a thin ply underside. I removed all of that, carefully peeling away the silk backing that was glued to the top of the base.
Once that was away, I could see that the hardwood of the cabinet itself was free of woodworm, as were the legs.
With hindsight, I think I could have left the thicker ply upper base and replaced the mitred soft wood and lower base panel, but it’s way too late for that now.
The edging strip to the front was sound, and very secure, so I decided to try to save that if I could. The side ones are a bit beat up, with heavy woodworm damage to one of them, but I think it is better to keep these rather than trying to fit a new strip, which would have to be mitred and stained to match. I might be able to sculpt the missing bit with wood filler. Fortunately it is on the back edge so will be less visible.
Unfortunately I damaged the back whilst removing the base, so cut that back flush. I don’t think it is going to matter too much as you won’t be able to see it when it’s against the wall. If it is an issue, then I can always make a repair strip.
Next job was to cut off the captive screws that had held the base and cabinet sides together, remove any old nails, and generally tidy it up.
For the new base, I decided to go with 18mm MDF which I used a Rosewood wood stain on. Dark Walnut would have been better, but I had the Rosewood anyway and decided to save money by using what I had. It’s not like anyone is going to see it anyway, as the only part of the base that will be visible is the underside which will be in shadow.
Don’t worry about the overspill of wood stain on the edges of the wood on this photo – I sanded that back and then applied another layer.
That’s as far as I have got so far. I intend to use dowel joints to attach the front edge bar to the MDF, and will glue & screw the legs to the MDF base. Once that is dry, I then plan to glue, screw, and dowel the base to the cabinet itself. I’ll also need to use some contact adhesive to re-attach the silk lining to the base.
Bear in mind that I have never done anything like this before, so I might be going about it all the wrong way and a solid base might be the wrong approach. We shall see!
Oh my goodness, I think I have just found the most beautiful bed ever created!
I was looking for something on google and stumbled upon this amazing bed by William Doub Custom Furniture in New Hampshire in the USA.
This is just so “me” it is untrue. The design is fantastic, and the attention to detail in the execution is breathtaking. It is truly a work of art.
No copyright infringement is intended by this post, and full credit is given to William Doub.
I am self-hosting the pics out of courtesy so as not to leach their bandwidth.
Today I went to the huge twice-monthly Antiques and Collectables fair at Kempton Park Racecourse at Sunbury-on-Thames.
Unfortunately, despite walking around for over 4 hours and walking 5+ miles (according to my FitBit Alta), I didn’t find anything I wanted to buy apart from a tall galvanised bucket to use as an umbrella stand which was a reasonable £10.
However, once back in the car I asked google to find me nearby antiques shops, and it came up trumps with the Ashford Antiques Centre at Ashford in Middlesex, which was kind of on the way home and which I duly drove to.
Within moments of walking into this Aladdin’s Cave I saw a wooden display cabinet in an Art Nouveau style which I fell in love with, and even better it was a very reasonably priced £30.
I was pretty sure that it would fit in the car, but the owners suggested I measure the cabinet and then measure the load bay of my car, which I did. Fortunately, the measurements checked out (just!) and I was confident that it would fit and agreed to buy it.
However, it was only when it was in the car that I could see the underside, and it is riddled with woodworm. And upon tapping the bottom, a load of frass (sawdust-like substance) fell out.
I’m unsure whether this is old woodworm or active woodworm, which makes me rather nervous about taking this item of furniture into the house. I think what I am going to have to do is prise off the bottom layer of plywood to assess the extent of the woodworm, treat it, and then make a new plywood base for it.
Also, the lock is missing its key and will need to be replaced.
Suddenly my £30 bargain has become a project.
Well, it looks like I’ve bought a pup. I got it out of the car and it’s so rotten that it’s falling apart and one of the legs is almost falling off. *sighs*
Yesterday I returned to Farnham Maltings for their monthly market. You might recall from a previous post that I went to the June one.
Given the slight confusion that buying earrings in guy mode caused a seller last time, I made the effort to go in girl mode this time. I wore the Dorothy Perkins dress that I wore in the photos I posted to Flickr a few weeks ago, which wasn’t ideal for photos as I like to have a different outfit in each pic I post to Flickr. But this was the dress I wanted to wear (it’s very comfortable, fits me really well, and is very flattering), so that’s what I wore. If that means I have 4 photos in a row in my Photostream with me in the same dress then so be it.
I got down to Farnham in good time, although the dual carriageway down near the station was rammed solid as usual. I must try to find an alternative route in future.
The first surprise on arriving was that the Pay & Display machines in the car park are now active on a Saturday and charge £1.30 for an hour, and £1.40 for two hours (rising to £5.40 for all day). I guess that even adding on the 50p admission fee for the Market, this is still not too terrible but is obviously a big jump from last time when parking was free.
The second surprise was that, unlike last time, the Courtyard, Great Hall, the area behind the Great Hall, and another room (whose name I forgot to note), were all closed off and without stalls. This meant that the Market was probably about half the size of June’s, which was rather a disappointment.
I had a good browse, and talked to several stall holders. I don’t know if it’s a case of me being more relaxed and talkative when in girl mode, or the way people (especially women) react to other women, but people seem a lot more friendly and chatty to me when I’m in girl mode. People even smile at me.
My first purchase was a lovely pair of earrings in an Art Nouveau style. The seller wanted £30 for them and wouldn’t budge on price, pointing out that the stones were topaz and amethyst. It was more than I wanted to pay for a pair of earrings; in fact I think it is the most I have ever paid for a pair of earrings. But I thought they were really special so I reluctantly agreed.
My second purchase was a figure of a lady, around 10″ in height. The age and provenance are unknown, and it feels like resin. It’s stamped Annie Rowe on the base of the casting, and on the underside of the plinth it says “The Leonardo Collection”.
The seller was asking £15 and reduced that to £13 when I asked if it was her best price.
Some research on google once I got home has suggested that, as I suspected, there isn’t much age on this and it is of this century. eBay suggests that I paid pretty much the going rate. So that’s fine.
Finally I was all done – there was nothing else that I desperately wanted so I left.
When I got home, I changed into my shorter wig as I was a bit hot and bothered, and when I looked in the mirror I liked the look it gave me, so I took another selfie.
I didn’t really do much for the rest of the day – just lounged around taking it easy and watching telly.
I was at one of the bi-monthly (as in, once every 2 months) Antiques and Collectables Fairs at Sandown Park Racecourse on Sunday, and was looking forward to catching up with Amita Vetta of Love That Jewellery. Amita and I had already exchanged a few emails prior so I knew that she would be attending and likewise she was expecting me to be there too.
When I arrived I saw that she was busy, and indeed this continued for quite some time although we did see each other and managed a smile and a wave. But eventually she had a moment and we were able to talk.
She was keen to see what I had done with the conversion of the Pilgrim bracelet to a necklace, and also of the conversion of the earrings from posts to fish hooks. I was wearing the earrings, and we both agreed that they sat far better like this. The Centre of Gravity was completely wrong with posts which caused them to drag downwards, whereas with the hooks they hang naturally.
Amita was also nice enough to say that the necklace looked great when I showed it to her – I wasn’t wearing it because the chain turned out to be too long for the neckline of the dress I was wearing. I will have to shorten it some time.
Whilst we were chatting I suddenly interrupted myself and said “Ooh! I like those!” as I spotted a lovely pair of enamelled metal drop earrings in the shape of Swallows. Well, I’m presuming they’re Swallows – I’m no ornithologist. At £5 they seemed like a no-brainer purchase.
Amita also mentioned that she now has a Facebook page, so I made sure I followed that. It’s at https://www.facebook.com/Lovethatjewellery if you would like to follow also.
Incidentally, it also gave me the idea to set up my own Facebook page to complement my Twitter account, so if you’d prefer to follow me on Facebook rather than Twitter then you now can at https://www.facebook.com/hayllamas
I didn’t want to take up too much more of Amita’s time, as I was very aware of how busy she was, so I let her be after that.
Also at this fair I saw an unusual Japanese-style necklace with a butterfly motif which I immediately loved. Again, I think it is enamelled metal although, unlike the Swallows, it is dull and matte rather than gloss. I don’t know what the age and provenance of it is, but I tend to buy stuff that I like rather than getting too hung up on that.
Even the clasp on it was interesting. It uses a spring-loaded barbed tongue into a socket and has a square of enamel on it. I’m not entirely sure it is meant to be upside-down though.
The seller had a label price of £34 on it and I asked what the best price might be. She said the best she could do was £25 and I thought that was a fair price so didn’t try to haggle down any further than that.
The only downside of the necklace is that it is very snug on me and sits almost as a choker which I’m sure it’s not meant to. It’s probably designed for a much slimmer and more delicate Asian woman rather than my fat Western neck. I’m not sure what can be done about this. Maybe if I can find some similar chain I could perhaps extend it a little.
Another necklace that caught my eye was one with lots of flowers and butterflies (are we seeing a pattern here?), predominantly in green, with green glass pendants. I was in two minds about this one, but a price of £10 swung me towards a “yes”.
I decided I had bought quite enough by now, and fortunately didn’t see much more to tempt me, so left not long after.
The only other purchase to report on was one I made a couple of weeks ago at a small Antiques and Collectables Fair in Hartley Wintney. I bought these tiny stud earrings in a butterfly design. They are Sterling Silver (although I confess I can’t see a hallmark on them, so maybe they aren’t) but at £4 I don’t really mind. What is important is that they are my new favourite daily wear studs when I’m in guy mode and I absolutely adore them.
Apparently the “Swallows” are actually Swifts. I told you I wasn’t an ornithologist!