Postage Stamp Table Top and Day 8 of Blogging 101

Once I got past my fear of messing things up, making this postage stamp table top was great fun. Here’s how I did it:

I started with a pre-made plywood circle. While I like the idea of using power tools, I find them intimidating. When I took scenery design as one of my required theater courses, the horror stories of lost digits and visits to the ER put me off of them for good. I have ten perfectly good fingers and plan to keep it that way. I headed to our local Home Depot instead and bought a round plywood table top for about $20. I wanted a round surface to suggest stamps from around the world.

I sanded the edges to smooth out the roughness, then added a coat of paint. Taking a page from Keeping Up with Mrs. Smith, I used left over touch up paint from our living room walls. It’s great using what you have on hand, and since the finished table goes in that room, it will coordinate beautifully.

green painted table top

Plywood table top with a coat of green paint

The following day I sanded the painted surface a second time, then froze with indecision for another few weeks. Once I started applying my dad’s postage stamps with Mod Podge® there would be no turning back. Originally I planned to use sections of the pages, but I didn’t like how it looked.

postage stamp collage

My dad’s postage album

When I realized the album had four triangular-shaped stamps I knew I had a plan.  It was December by now, so I put the unique stamps in a small wax envelope for safe keeping. The stamps ‘disappeared’ and I was sure I had inadvertently sent them off in the mail. It took a thorough tidying up of my crafting boxes to locate them once again.

postage stamp table top with triangle center

I had exactly four triangle stamps for the center.

Then one Saturday afternoon I just went for it. Using the surface of the kitchen counter, the only working space high enough to accommodate my Amazonian height, I got to work sorting Dad’s stamps. Page by page and stamp by stamp, I removed the postage, sorting them in piles by color.

Now I was in the zone. My back was aching from standing so long, but I didn’t want to stop.

I placed a pencil dot in the center of the circle, brushed on a layer of Mod Podge, and placed the first four stamps. From there I moved out in rainbow order.

Table top postage stamps

Stamps from around the world

Once I reached the outer edges, I changed the stamp’s orientation. Brown, black and multicolored stamps circle the border, completing the table top surface.

postage stamp table project

I saved the multicolored stamps for the table border

With the drama of the table top finally behind me, I went in search of a base. I really like the way it looks on the little outdoor table we have, so searched high and low for something similar. Several visits to vintage and thrift stores turned up nothing. Then I learned that I could order the same table through Pier One Imports. It should arrive this week.

postage stamp table project-003

Plywood table top

Day Eight: Be a Good Neighbor via Blogging 101

Today’s assignment: leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before. It’s all about engagement. So once I press the publish key, I’m off in search of a few (more) good blogs. Should be fun.

In the meantime, check out these DIY blogs. They make it look easy and fun. And guess what? None of these women are afraid of power tools.

Re-framing: Thoughts and Pictures

You can re-frame your thoughts and you can re-frame a picture. I’ve done a little of both.

Thoughts, Re-Framed

Last August, on the anniversary of my father’s death, I was finally able to re-frame my feelings about his stamp collection. I once viewed his stamp albums as a life interrupted. They reminded me of my loss instead of the joyful hours he spent pursuing this hobby. The stamp albums sat in a cupboard, revered. Now I see them as a gift to be shared, and as a way to celebrate my father’s kind and curious nature. I hosted a blog giveaway, and sent many of Dad’s stamps to friends and acquaintances around the world. It was an extraordinary exercise in letting go. If you would like to read the post in its entirety, you’ll find it here: Vintage Postage: A Daughter’s Love Letter and a Blogging Giveaway.

You’ll never guess what happened next? A handful of those stamps flew all the way back from New Zealand, but not for insufficient postage. This time they we’re intricately woven into a multi-layered, lovingly detailed mixed-media original by Pauline King. She named it The Wonderland of Alys. I wish you could see it in person.

Pauline King mixed media stamps

Can you spot all the stamps? Take a close look. (Copyright Pauline King)

Pauline King's Wonderland of Alys-004

The Wonderland of Alys floats in her frame (Copyright Pauline King)

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The Wonderland of Alys (original mixed media) Butterfly Sprite (art print) (Copyright Pauline King)

Pauline King's Wonderland of Alys

The Long View: Both pieces hang together in the dining area. (Copyright Pauline King)

Re-Framing Art

Early last year Pauline hosted her own giveaway and guess who won? Can you believe my luck? I chose this beautiful art print of the Butterfly Sprite.  I headed straight to the framers, picked out a standard frame and ordered custom mats to go with it. I loved looking at her smiling from the wall, but the white frame was never quite right. Once I had the second piece framed I knew what I had to do. Both pieces are now framed on a silk background with a dark frame. The Wonderland piece ‘floats’ on a piece of whisper-thin acrylic so that you can see right up to the edges.

Table Top Mosaic

Can you guess what I did with the rest of the stamps? Please pop on over tomorrow for the ‘reveal’. Here’s a little teaser until then:

postage stamp table project-007

Blogging 101: Colors and Headers

Today’s Blogging 101 assignment has us exploring new headers, backgrounds and colors. I’m pleased with my current choices, so plan to keep the current greenery in place.