Things I learned from my week building furniture with my mom:
1. Never buy reclaimed barnwood because you can probably find some for free if you go driving around in the country
As soon as my dad left, my mom and i got cracking. We went on a quest to find a sewing machine in Brockport at this wonderfully crazy lady’s house (she has over 100 sewing machines in her cellar). And I ended up getting a beautiful old Singer, which i am so excited about and used to make a kind of skirt today…
But on the way there, we saw a huge pile of wood just laying on the side of the road calling out to us. So we stopped on the way back. The wood was on a vacant lot and had clearly been there for a good long time but I still kept expecting to hear sirens coming up behind us. Which brings me to…
2. Nothing makes for a better time than feeling like you are about to get caught and or arrested.
3.Finding useful boards in three different piles of a carelessly bulldozed house means a sticky, dirty, splintery, rusty nail, broken glass, huge furry spider kind of a process. But it also means free wood! And an adventure!
We made it back to the apartment with all the wood and the car intact miraculously. We sanded everything down, measure it and cut it. We ended up getting enough wood for a headboard and a coffee table (yet to be completed). Which is when I learned that:
5. I can conquer my fear of power tools one at a time. First vacuum cleaners (when I was like 7), then staple guns. During this project, I dominated the jigsaw.
7. It is possible to build one headboard, two shoe shelves, a dresser, a kitchen cabinet, a coffee table and a bathroom vanity in three days but only if you have your super-mama with you.
It’s funny how the projects that my parents were always working on never seemed very exciting and it was usually a bummer to get dragged into them. And then now, I find almost nothing more thrilling than being able to make something for my home.
So thanks mom. Love you! Someday I hope to be as awesome of a handywoman as you!