|The finished medicine cabinet|
My mother can remember when my grandfather built the staircase in her childhood home. There was just a ladder to the basement for a time until he built and installed a staircase all by himself, I believe. One of my great uncles may have assisted him in installing it. He also laid the floors and paneling in that house and built in captain's beds for the children and bookcases and cupboards all over. Somehow he seemed to have picked up all kinds of skills without any formal training.
I guess he could probably make a little medicine cabinet in his sleep, so when my mother asked for a wooden one to complete her paneled bathroom he agreed. As I remember the walls in that powder room were paneled in ebony boards and the floor was some kind of brown vinyl. I think maybe it was patterned to look like bricks or stones. There was a shaggy latch hook wall hanging featuring trees under a full moon. My grandfather built a wooden cabinet and stained it ebony to match the walls, so you can imagine, the room was the height of 1970's design!
|The sanded cabinet|
Fast forward to Christmas of 2015, and my husband and I have really been wishing for extra storage space in our master bath, especially for small things like toothbrushes and makeup and stuff. My husband was up in my parents' attic putting Christmas decorations away after the holiday and saw the old wooden cabinet up there. It was deemed too outdated to hang in their remodeled bathroom. We asked if we could have it and they agreed so we brought it home with a plan to paint it. My husband sanded off the dark stain and I really liked the unfinished wood. Our furniture is mostly painted, so I thought some wood grain might be a nice thing in the house. I told him to just stop and leave it as it was.
|I used tracing paper to lay out the design.|
|I transfer the design from the paper to the wood.|
I thought the bare wood would look nice accented with rosemaling and gold wax. When we moved to North Carolina in the 1980s we brought the medicine cabinet to our new house. The powder room there was blue and my mother collected several ceramic and glass blue bird decorations and displayed them on the open shelf of the medicine cabinet. I wanted to feature blue birds but still wanted rosemaling since my Norwegian grandfather made the cabinet, and I wasn't sure if rosemaling ever featured birds. I found a book of traditional Scandinavian decorative motifs and did see a few that featured birds, so I decided it would work. The birds I drew are more like blue quail or peacocks than bluebirds; a nod to my California childhood when we saw quail around our house all the time.
|After the paint was finished I applied gold wax as an accent.|
|The finished cabinet|
The reason I haven't finished much of anything lately is shown in the photo below. I actually started this blog post a week ago, but that coincided with the entry into our lives of Miss Luna, our Australian Shepherd puppy. She's actually about twice as big as in that photo already, after just a week and a half. Puppies last even less time than human babies, but that's a good thing I guess since Luna has only slept through the night once since she arrived and gets into everything so much during the day it's impossible to get anything done. I'm so tired I hardly know my own name! I definitely forgot what it's like to have a baby in the house. Hopefully things will settle down and allow me to complete some new projects soon.
|Luna, our new puppy|