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Looking at the Overlooked

March 10, 2013

Keeping your creative juices flowing is really about keeping your mind open to possibilities.  Everything must be contemplated with new eyes and ears.

Like when you spend every Sunday in a friend’s backyard, sprawling on a pair of old, worn benches that you pretty much take for granted.  But then you realize you’ve been looking at them so long, you weren’t really seeing them properly.  And suddenly, you NEED those benches.




I have really great friends.  When I asked my friend what I could trade her for one of the benches, she smiled broadly and replied, “A hug.”  Two hugs later, I carted both benches home and set to work fixing them up.  (Okay, just in case I sound like a bit of a weasel here, let me add that my friend is in the process of moving, and was not planning to take the benches with her.)


In order to realize my idea, one of the benches had to be shortened in length.  Since my dad lost four of his fingers to a circular saw, this required enlisting another friend’s help, because I wasn’t touching a damned power saw with a ten foot pole.  Also, your grandad was right:  measure twice, cut once.  (Well, maybe your grandad didn’t say it, but both mine were trade carpenters and their wisdom must be heeded.)

After that was done, I went through about a tube of wood filler and a serious amount of sandpaper.


bench in progress


I’m really sad that oil-based paint is so hard to come by these days.  I know, I know, the environment.  That meant these benches required primer, a couple of coats of acrylic paint, and a couple more coats of polyurethane.  This combo never looks quite as good on furniture to me as oil-based paint finishes do, but I’ll live with it.


bench painting


The master plan here, once I realized there was a master plan, was….

1) to have a spot at the front door to drop groceries and whatnot on, to sit at while pulling one’s boots on, and to stash footwear ‘neath so that everybody will just stop tripping on shoes already (and by everybody, I mean me):


entrance hall bench



2) to have a spot down the other end of the Treehouse to stash the kitty litter and the recycling under, so that it all looks not so much like hoarder territory in the hallway:


hallway bench


I think it worked out well.


Happy Sunday!  Now get out there and do something creative!


Dodie Goldney

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related posts by Dodie Goldney:

Kali the Destroyer: Cereal Killer Version

Creative Tools

Creative Thinking = Accidental Organizing

After and Before


7 Comments leave one →
  1. debra permalink
    February 11, 2014 2:54 am

    This post is a very nice reminder of how it’s really worth the work to make something useful and good-looking. I like the green you used on the benches, too. *ahem* is that a wall phone I see? With a curly cord? 😉

    • March 3, 2014 1:36 pm

      Ha ha! That is my intercom to the front door of my building, actually. I haven’t had a landline in years. Thank you for your nice comments. 🙂


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