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How We Got a Table We Wanted

How many of you have seen this beauty from Hudson Furniture?

Were any of you curious enough to call the company and ask for a price?  I was and I did, about three years ago.  Before I tell you how much, I knew wealthy people bought from Hudson so I was pretty sure I couldn’t afford it.  However, there was the ‘what if’ thought tapping me on the shoulder.  What if they’re having a sale?  What if it’s not as expensive as I think?  What if I really could afford it?  There I was trying to convince myself of the possibility, but was quickly jolted back into reality when I heard $15,000 casually spill out of the mouth of the other person on the line.  Once I caught my breath, I kindly thanked her for her time, hung up, and had a moment of silence to process the loss of MY table.

After my pint-sized pity party, I got to researching.  I knew there had to be a way I could replicate the table at a fraction of the cost.  I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found Jim Parodi, out of Berkeley.  After chatting with him on the phone, I discovered he’s a master craftsman and really an all around nice guy.

The hubby and I made a trip up there to look at several wood slabs.

 Here’s a small sampling of his stock:

Although the Hudson table is a gorgeous walnut, and a harder wood, we chose a redwood, softer wood, slab.  It was less expensive than the walnut at $750 (prices vary based on length and width).  The measurements of our table are 7′ long x 4′ wide x 3″ thick.  It comfortably seats 8.

While perusing the shop, we showed Jim the Hudson table and asked if he knew anyone who could make the legs for us.  He put us in touch with a good friend’s son, Matt Jones, a metal artisan.  We took a look at his portfolio and were sold.  He’s created some incredible pieces.

Matt was willing to make the legs at a very reasonable price (minus the hammered look and platinum finish).  I can’t list the price because after he completed the job, he told us he’d charge the next person a lot more.  Sorry!  😉

Here’s the finished product:

Steel table leg with cross bar support.  Matt used a combination of stain colors to make it look worn and rusted.

Instead of squaring off the sides, we kept the ‘tree’ shaped edges.

Tree growth rings.  We counted the rings and the tree was 55 years old.

We absolutely love the table!  If we ever get tired of the finish color, it’ll be easy to sand and create a whole new look for the room.

We often receive compliments on our table.  However, it takes people a while to believe that it’s one solid slab piece; not bookend pieces or planks glued together.  It’s okay, it was hard for us to believe a sustainably obtained, high quality beautiful slab table was possible for us.

If you’re interested in Matt doing a metal project for you, his email is mattjones720[at] gmail [dot] com (formatted this way because of those pesky spammers).

Have a good one!





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Making a Lavender Wreath: How-To

I love love love Provence Lavender.  It smells divine, looks beautiful and keeps the bees happy!  It’s in its second growing season in our front yard and absolutely took off this year.  That made me super happy because I knew I’d be able to make a wreath, or two, or three.

Have you ever thought of incorporating other herbs or flowers (that dry well) into a lavender wreath?  Today, I’ll show you step-by-step instructions on how to make a lavender and sage wreath.  I also made a lavender, rosemary, and yarrow wreath that I’ll show you at end of this post.

If you don’t have a wreath and floral wire, head to your local craft store.  I bought an 18″ wreath and 22 gauge floral wire both for $5.

The first step is to cut the lavender from your plant.  Tip: Cut in the early morning as bees aren’t out-in-force as much.  However, even if you have lots of buzzing bees around, they’re quite cooperative and stay out of your way if you leave some lavender for them.

As you can see, I’ve given the bushes a nice hair cut on the under side.  Later I’ll go back and trim it even more.  You want your lavender to grow in a nice somewhat tight ball.  If you don’t prune it properly, it’ll splay apart and leave you with a big hole in the middle.

I left plenty for bees!

The hubby lugged the giant bucket back to my garden shed work space.

The bees followed him to the shed.

Next, you want to secure the floral wire to the wreath by wrapping around a few times and twisting.

Next, grab a nice full bunch of lavender.  No need to use a particular number, but the bigger the bunch, the fuller the wreath.  For purposes of this how-to, I counted one of my bunches at 100.  On the final pictures you’ll be able to see what the fullness of  bunches of 100 looks like.  Here I’m working on evening out the top and adding more:

Tops as even as I want them:

Then, I cut the stems off below my fist:

I lay them down where I attached my floral wire:

Wrap the wire around a couple of times to secure the bunch:

Next up, bunch and cut sage the same way as the lavender.  Here I am placing and securing it:

Then, another layer of lavender.  In this next picture you can see how the layering should look.  Honestly, there’s no right or wrong distance.  As long as you’re covering the stems, you’re doing fine!

After a few bunches of lavender, lay another bunch of sage.  Then, repeat that process until you get to the last bunch.  To place the last bunch, all you have to do is lift the first bunch flowers and place the last bunch stems underneath the first bunch flowers.  Make sense?

Tucking the stems in:

Then, secure with wire:

Last, cut the wire, wrap it around the wreath a few times, twist it…

…and you’re done!  The whole process took about an hour from cutting the lavender to hanging the wreath.

With the yarrow, rosemary, and lavender wreath there were just a few differences noted below:

I used a 12″ wreath this time so I had to cut the stems shorter.  I really choked up by placing my fist where the flowering started and then cut the stems.

I cut the rosemary pretty short too.

Working with the Yarrow was a bit challenging in that it was pretty stiff.  I was able to manipulate it a bit, but not much.

I definitely had to use more wire to secure the thick stems:

Here’s the wreath finished:

Here it is in its permanent home.  Our original 1950’s bathroom.  The bathroom’s never smelled better!

I was going to hang it from ribbon, but of all the spools and spools of ribbon I’m swimming in, can you believe I didn’t have one that would work with the decor in the bathroom?  What’s the world coming to?  Ha!

Hope you enjoyed this how-to!

+ - 1 comment

Denise Holm - Can we do this with artificial too such as silk ?

DIY Roundup: 5 Things for the Home Made with Lavender | The Writing on the Wall - […] Get the full tutorial from Designed on Sunshine. […]

Paola Forte - It’s gorgeus! You are very able to have create it…I would love to have a garden, one day!