refurbished furniture

The art of editing creative works

I love writing. When I was young, words flowed freely and I’ve always treated other people’s words with a kind of sacred awe. I used to hate editing. Part of my brain didn’t want to go over my work, fearing my best work was already there. The first writing would always be my best work. Or so I thought.

Several years ago, I joined the NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote my first short story. If you haven’t heard of it, then do a little research of your own to discover what it is. Basically, would-be writers spend an entire month trying to get 50,000 words down on paper as a novel. When this crazy month is over, you have two basic choices. Congratulate yourself and then forget about it, or congratulate yourself and then look over what you just wrote and start editing. Once I got over the initial pain of altering my words, I fell in love with the editing process.

Why am I writing about writing here? Because the lesson I learned about editing is true in any creative process. It might be true that letting go is hard, but holding on is not necessarily easier. Digging deep and finding new possibilities while being playful and not precious about what we do in life is liberating. Now, with my new refurbishing business, I faced a similar challenge. I had already invested time and resources into this two-drawer side-table, but no one had shown interest in buying it.

It was time for me to re-imagine it and give it another chance. Ironically, I had hoped for a quick sale, choosing Fleur’s gorgeous Trendsetter Blue, which I had at hand, and highlighting carved features and drawer handles with gold wax. I liked it. However, waiting for someone to fall in love with it is a luxury my limited storage space denies me.

After procrastinating for a bit, I finally gained the courage to try again. When I started stripping off the recent paint, I lacked inspiration. I sanded the top and drawers back to the veneer while the carcass was simply scuff sanded. In the end, I went with a gorgeous green by Dixie Bell Paints called ‘Collard Green’. To add a little colour to the top and drawer fronts, I used an antique patina by Borma Wachs. The drawer fronts had an additional lotus flower motif stencilled on them. I also did a bit of distressing, to typical ‘wear’ points. To complete the refinish, I wrapped everything in a gorgeous layer of wax and then buffed it to a slight sheen. Dixie Bell paints don’t need that extra layer, but I love how wax really deepens and enriches paint and provides that extra layer of protection.

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