Thursday, September 1, 2011

Something Beautiful

I recently (as in maybe a few y ears ago) realized that painting/creating new art and refinishing old furniture is therapeutic for me. I didn’t know why, until yesterday as I was painting a cheap desk that was an unbelievable eyesore in our living room. It hit me: this is what God does with me. I’m a complete eyesore. I’m messed up, old, and on most days I’m in need of major refinishing and a fresh coat of paint. God doesn’t see old and ugly. He sees potential. He sees the beautiful, unique work of art that I could be. And although sometimes the sanding and breaking apart can be painful -- and it’s definitely not the most rewarding or fun part of the process-- it is very necessary. Otherwise, the paint and beauty wouldn’t stick. God takes an old, cheap, broken, life and instead of giving up on it and getting a newer model, he chooses to use me. He cleans me up, sands me down, and gives me a beautiful new finish.  I think this is why I enjoy finding ugly pieces of furniture. This is why instead of buying new furniture every time I get bored with the way our living room looks (which is often),  at the Eaton house, we decide to just refinish what we have. We have to be willing to look at everything as if it has potential beyond what is obvious on the surface.

If I wasn’t in PA school, I would probably be sporting dreadlocks and multiple tattoos.. begging my husband to move off to some seaside town and build me a historic-style bungalow with an art studio overlooking the ocean where I would refinish old furniture, create new decorations, and experiment with paint most days of my life.  Since that’s not the life we chose, I’m studying medicine and creating/refinishing/painting during every second of my spare time.

I actually wrote this post last year, with the hopes of one day starting a blog. Or maybe even having an etsy shop.  I think I sometimes need this reminder still. It’s wonderful to hear God speak and then be able to go back later and remember exactly what you felt at that time. That’s what’s great about writing for me.

Yesterday I refinished an old-ish (yea, I know that’s not a word) vanity that my mom got at a garage sale for $15. Which reminds me, I forgot to pay her back. Sorry, mom! I took some pictures of the process that I wanted to share. It really turned out nothing like I’d hoped, but I kind of like it anyway. Or, maybe I’ll just refinish it in a few months. I still need to add some  hardware to it, and recover the bench.  I plan to post pictures of it in a few days. But until then, I wanted to post a few pictures of some other pieces I’ve redone.

 This was a free table I got from my mom. It was in her storage room at work and hadn't been used in ages. It was a dark ugly brown when I got it. It has since been painted black, white, and now this gorgeous Robin's Egg Blue.

 This was a side table given to us by my mother-in-law. It was part of his bedroom set as a child/teenager. I believe this is a true antique piece of furniture. It was a dark brown when she gave it to us. It has now been aqua blue and now this gray. We use it as an end table in our extra bedroom.

 This dresser belonged to my bedroom set as a child. It was an unfinished wood, very rustic. It has now been painted yellow, and now this antique distressed white.

 I got this piece of furniture for $5.00 at a garage sale at a psychiatric hospital. Yep, you heard/read right. I was doing my psych rotation in Wichita Falls Tx at the county hospital and they were having a garage sale to raise money for the hospital. I asked how much the lady wanted for this, and she asked me if $5.00 was too much. I couldn't even bargain with that. I really felt like I was ripping her off. It was an extremely ugly brown, and kind of unstable. I painted it this antique white and distressed it. It now sits as a table in our living room.

 This headboard is part of my childhood furniture too. It looked just like the dresser (above) with the rustic unfinished wood. It has been painted yellow, and now this blue/gray. I am not 100% liking the new look, so look for it to be re-finished in the next few months! :)


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