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Before and After ~ A Story about A Little Ugly Stool's Transformation

Last week I bought this very aged, very blue {homely} little stool from an antiques shop and thought- what a cute thing to add to my "Beatrix Potter" inspired pieces. So I posed this piece of wood next to it {done months earlier} to see if it matched- and- it did!
So this Saturday {a whole week later}- I decided to get drawing, burning and painting a little montage of characters onto the wood.
I drew an outline around the shape of the stool- a way of accentuating the shape that someone once cut out so long ago. I think these look like handles for maybe a milking stool? If so, I wish I knew if this is what this actually is! It is a little taller than an average child's stool and it's sturdiness definitely appears to be able to bear weight. But, problem one, when I burned the outline, the paint became pretty "chippy" wherever I would bear down with the tool. At this point, this seems to be more of a painting piece than a "burning" piece.
So, after "blobbing" white and sketching - I "blob" more paint in the image of Peter Rabbit- see there he is- up to his usual antics.
I then begin tracing some more with the burning tool and blobbing more paint to keep that dreamy "watercolor" effect.
This does not look like much and appears I still have hours to go before this is finished. It is usually at this stage that I need to stop, eat something and do laundry! Life gets in the way on a lot of these tiny projects!
So, three loads of laundry later, I somehow manage sketching out Jemima Puddle-duck {not pictured}, a little mouse, and a few other characters. The scratchiness quality of the cracking paint is starting to grow on me. Initially I was intending to sandpaper off and start again- but these lines give this old stool even more age -so, I decide to keep those rough edges.
Really, that little mouse is my favorite! I sneak him in on my nesting doll sets from time to time. Sometimes I have him look at a strawberry or flower, but his little green jacket really makes me smile!
Oh, and by the way- all this week, I have been working on this set. This went out to a lady out in North Carolina. These nesting dolls are just as much fun to play with as they are to make. I try to incorporate the story in stages - all the way down to the littlest piece. A feat that will be more impressive if I ever finish my plans for the "Alice in wonderland" nesting doll series. Moving along.....
The finished piece! A piece like this took at least 5-7 hours to create and then seal. The real art is going out to antique places and finding vintage pieces that fit with my look. I almost bought a doll high chair yesterday but felt my money best for gas for work {ah the struggles}! Maybe next week- it was only $20!
About several years ago, I had a concept called "storybook chairs" where I would take children's wood chairs and hand letter/paint vintage children's tales on them. Got as far as three chairs in and had to get a "real job". I want to think I sold them each for $25- possibly putting in as much time as this little stool. But its is worth it- the pieces I select are intentionally sturdy to survive kid's play and hopefully they still exist today.
I will share more pieces as I go, I really hope my little art business begins to grow! While I was waiting on paint to dry- I placed more tiny screws into my wooden shaped acorns- a process more for the brave as a sharp tool is required to impale a hole to bear the screw into. Yes, I sometimes "stab" myself with this same tool!
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My name is Angela Johnson and I am a weekend {and weeknight} wood burning artist {graphic designer "computer geek" by day}.
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