Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Maple Bench Of My Dreams

Hey, remember when I had a dream last fall and ended up creating a miniature art gallery complete with a cute little bench in my bedroom?

If you like, you may refresh your memory here.

But if you're not in the mood to ricochet around the internet, I can catch you up. The art was made by me, and the bench a collaboration between

me (the visionary)
my husband (the tool guy)
a sweet slab of live edge maple and
four hairpin legs.

Together, we created the bench of my literal dream, and we were all very happy.

Then came the winter and our hardwood floor project. In order to clear the decks for the work team, we carted every stick of furniture out of every room on the first floor, and then three weeks later, had the fun of moving everything back in. 

I may have made a few small changes along the way, and we ended up with new, smaller desks in the library, which left a big open space in the middle of the room where the bigger tables used to be. And suddenly the couch in front of the window looked sad and forlorn all by itself over there on the opposite side of the room. 

In a flash of what I would call genius but my husband would call more work, I imagined my art gallery bench - which I must admit had become a bit of a drop zone for stray objects in my bedroom - as the perfect candidate for a slim new table in front of said lonely couch.

I believe it was around three a.m. when I carried her down the stairs for a trial run. Never too late to rearrange the furniture.


By daylight, anyone could see that the pairing is a match made in heaven and since that early morning in March, my maple bench has been a happy camper in her new home. 

Sadly, I must report that during all these months of its adventurous life, my maple bench has been roughing it.


Though the wood was fairly well pre-sanded when I bought it, I did not take it from good to great.

Bark crumbled from the live edge.
The wood was pale,
the grain lost to the low contrast.
And the top was, well, naked. Completely unfinished.

What she really needed was a thorough sanding and three coats of Varathane. But I was not up to woodworking in the cold garage.

I'll tackle that job next summer, I told myself for months on end.

But as the summer has come and almost gone, my poor maple table languished in the murky depths of my to-do list.

I am not proud to admit that.

But I'm glad to say that this story has a happy ending. 

Saturday, I awoke with a vengeance and in a fresh burst of affection for my maple table, I tackled her first thing. The project unfolded with little drama, and today my maple bench sits proudly in her spot in front of the couch, her rich grain gleaming under the shiny coats of satin finish, her live edge polished to beat the band. I'm so happy with how she turned out. 

 And though my maple table no longer lives in my miniature art gallery, where I originally dreamed in her into existence, she is making my dreams come true in new and surprising ways.

P.S. Though Gracie patiently dreams during my late night work sessions while draped across this very same couch in front of the maple bench, she was not impressed with my daytime photo shoot. It was high time for our walk, and she had already put up with a number of delays.

Poor Gracie. Her life is rough.

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