A few weeks ago my friend Ali gave me something I've always wanted, a writing desk. (she calls it a bureau). She had rescued it from her neighbour who threw it out as rubbish. To me there’s something special about writing desks, maybe they remind me of when my Dad was alive. When I was a child he’d take me to antique stores and our house was full of beautiful antiques.
My son was very excited about the desk, he loves fixing stuff and he knew something old and wooden meant a project for our little family. It had seen better times though! Phoenix cleaned it for me then my husband repaired it. The desk part did not open and close properly (screws had fallen into the sides of it and were jamming it), the back of it was nailed straight into the back of the drawer, lots of gaps and a couple of splits. After my husband repaired it, Phoenix and I sanded it.
Then it was mine to paint and fabric decoupage. That was a tough decision. Kaffe Fassett fabrics make any decoupage project look amazing and that was my first thought but it was also an opportunity to use up some of my prints I bought a while ago with no idea what I’d use them for. I am much more selective these days, only choosing fabric I can see myself using in an art quilt, I have enough modern patterned fabric that I could easily make several pieced quilts and have plenty leftover. My next thought was what fabric would I love to see more of every day that I have plenty of to use and I thought of my Dia de Muertos (Day of the dead) prints.
I adore the Alexander Henry fabric Zocalo from their Folklorico collection. (This also came in a cream background and in laminate). Zocalo is the type of print that makes you feel happy and cheerful when you see it, it’s joyful and positive, and the colours well balanced, a beautiful design. I decided to use this one and paired it with Alexander Henry Corazones Primavera print in black. I like to paint my decoupage furniture in either high gloss black or white and I decided I would prefer black, then I found the leftover blue paint. It’s from when we painted a large lightning bolt on my son’s bedroom wall so it’s a few years old but it still went on ok. People often think I have some great reason for choosing something, a clever “arty” reason but often it’s just me making use of what I have leftover from other projects. The drawer knobs I chose were spares I purchased for my large 9 drawer unit I decoupaged with old Futurama comic books a while ago. Apparently buying banana yellow ceramic knobs is next to impossible in New Zealand so I got them from China and they were perfect.
So now I have a new home for my quilting books, textile art magazines, a stand for my metronome and buckets of brushes, pens and scissors and apparently a great place for my son to sit on his Tripp Trapp chair and enjoy HIS new desk!