…Now all the prairie and the plain
Are waving field of golden grain:
Look till eve, from early morn
See all the valleys clad with corn.
Grey haired sires and young men brave,
Maidens fair and matrons grave,
Children bright and babies sweet,
At Harvest Home each year we meet…
That is an excerpt from R.H. Hensely’s “The Pioneer.” While the summer days continue, we cannot deny that fall is just around the corner. We have met the middle of August and that brings us football camps, school registrations and Labor Day planning.
Yes, the temperatures may still be high but the the air is changing.
Can’t you feel it?
For me, the transition from summer to fall has always transported me back in a way.
In mind and spirit.
I’m a seasonal creature of habit and that transition is like clockwork.
Instead of campfires, vacations, hiking trails, late nights and lazy days…
I think about home.
Then and now.
Back to those pioneer days when the transition was necessary.
The harvest. The planning. The hunkering.
Moving on. Settling down.
Starting something new.
In a 2014 sort of way, of course.
You have to strip it down and get back to the basics.
And that is what this piece represents.
It is my pioneer.
Like I said… strip it down and get back to basics.
This is the bottom of a very large – and very heavy – chestnut cabinet. My “before” picture of the bottom disappeared but I can show you what it looked like by showing you the top.
And it wasn’t pretty…
High gloss stain with a resin-type sealant.
(I didn’t say she wasn’t tough.)
Strip it down and get back to basics.
After an entire day of taking it down to the natural wood, the transition moved to the finish.
To be a pioneer, it had to be primitive in my mind.
So…no paint. Just stain.
And even the stain had to be imperfect -
- in a perfect sort of way.
By using Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Linen.
3 parts water to 1 part powder.
The application is key. To achieve the primitive look, the application has to be randomly controlled using a straight-edged natural bristle brush.
Long, even strokes. With the grain. No criss-crossing. No distressing. No flaking.
Stain here – but not there.
Heavier here – but thinner there.
Drips here – and runs there (do you see them?)
All purposely done.
Randomly controlled – everywhere.
This is one color of stain, but the application and how it absorbs into the natural wood brings about depth, movement and aging.
That part is random – without control.
You have to prepared to venture into the unknown when doing something like this.
Just like a pioneer.
Have a wonderful, adventurous weekend – and take the time to feel the change in the air.