The Pottery Shelf






There is a slight over population of pottery in our house. While a good portion is squeezed onto a blue double shelf in the kitchen, a second shelf has been needed.

Dan brought home a bunch of scrap wood that filled about half of the trunk of my car. I picked out two pieces that I thought would work well together with these decorative brackets I picked up at a yardsale last summer. Look hearts. How cute.


First the wood all needed sanding and the brackets needed a good cleaning. I did this by hand. It reinforced how much I want a palm sander. I would have given the brackets a smoother surface if I had one. I attached the back piece to the brackets first. Then added the top shelf. I wanted the back piece to have a strong connection with the wall since I was picturing pottery on the shelf. I think it came out pretty cute.


I used the dark walnut stain I have from a previous project. (this stain will be around for a while as it is a large can.) This wood soaked up the stain much more than I expected. It is darker than the previous piece that was done in oak. I do like the dark color.

There was some, um, challenges with attaching it to the wall. We have stone hard plaster that is very thick. The first try for a hole needed to be filled and repainted. I happen to think I did a pretty good job at the spackling and repainting.

Once the shelf was up, it didn’t actually get the pottery I originally planed. Instead, it has some pewter pieces and the leaky teapot*. The sconces were also added to balance out the space. I’m pretty happy with it. When I unpack the matching pewter pieces to the service, I’ll trade out the silver.


Project costs:

  • Wood – Free
  • Brackets – $.25
  • Stain – Already had
  • Screws – roughly $1.60 and $3.00

*The story of the leaky teapot – A couple years back, I wanted to have a spring millinery tea. To have a tea, I needed the right teapot. As everything was buried in storage, I looked for a teapot. Of course, I didn’t want to spend money on just any teapot. So, for weeks I drove my husband crazy looking for the right teapot. We saw lots of teapots. Each of them was the wrong teapot. With a week to go, we stopped at a shop Dad used to go to fairly often. When we pulled up, we realized she was closed. As we were about to leave, she came running out of the house and opened the shop for us. Given this, we knew we had to buy something. At this time, our budget was very tight after a stretch of bad. It came down to this one silver teapot. After all, I needed a teapot.

I washed it up. Used a little toothpaste to polish it lightly. Rinsed it off and let it dry.

Millinery tea day came. I filled the teapot and put it on the tray with other tea goodies. We had a lovely day sewing and chatting. As it was warmish, we stuck to cool drinks. When I went to clean up, I noticed the tray was filled with water while the teapot was not. 😦

There was a leak teapot.

It is right at the curve inward where I would have never noticed it. I had quite the laugh over this teapot’s leaky spot. I’d love to keep flowers in it eventually as it will hold just enough water below the leak.


Hanging Rope Shelves

This is my second set of shelves this fall. I probably scrolled by the photo of the white shelf hanging by rope a dozen times on Pinterest in the past. While cute & rustic, it hadn’t caught my attention before. Well, that was until a couple weeks ago. I finished my livingroom shelf and my mind was storming with “make something to….”
Throw in this problem area in the kitchen. This is actually one of several. How is it possible to have a kitchen 4 to 6 times larger than my previous kitchen but have a fraction of the space?!? One word = pantry. Hopefully, I’ll get to that. Back to the space. This space:


This is the sort side of our kitchen with this little cut-in housing pipes. Well, I assume that is what is in there. Just to the right is a window; further is the sink. When hubby got his “soda stream” this became the designated spot. With the actual machine come bottles, lots of bottles. Bottles with mix. Bottles for the drinks. Well, bottles become clutter. We attempted to use one of those shower organizers to store the bottles. It would have been a good idea, but…. the ‘shelves’ curve in just enough to make only one flavor bottle fit. Not ideal.
Thus, the need for a better organizer, up off the counter with making minimal wall holes.
Hubby brought home some scraps of wood. (You’ll find that I love making things from scraps.) I picked two that were 18″ long. (Pre-cut is a current must as all I have is a small craft hand saw.)



They needed to be sanded. Really, really sanded. Being a soft pine, they sanded up quickly. I managed to conceal the two holes fairly well.
After sanding, they each got 4 quarter inch holes. These were 2″ from the end and 3/4″ from the sides.
Then came staining. (Thought I took a photo, but guess I didn’t.) I had a dark walnut on hand from my previous projects. (This walnut will be used a lot.)
The 12′ of rope was cut into 2 pieces. I wrapped the ends and cut spot with tape before cutting. This helped with the fraying and acted like the ends of shoe laces Each was folded in half and marked 18″ from the fold. I threaded the rope through the top shelf and made the knots at the marks. I then marked 10″ below the knots. Threaded the next shelf and made the second set of knots.
To keep the rope below the knots from fraying, I melted about an inch of rope below the knot with the grill torch. Then cut the rope to length.
I hung the rope on a pair of 25 pound hooks.
Here is the results:


(I’ll be better about taking step by step photos as we go.)

Welcome to “Don’t Paint the Cat”

Cat Painting 1For years now, I’ve kept a history focused blog full of research, projects, interpretive tips and events. Now, it is time to add something a little different….

This blog will include the non-historical fiber crafts I enjoy, as well as other fun, crafty things I happen to do.

What will you see?

Well, I’ll be deciding that as I go. You’ll be seeing some fabric crafty projects, some holiday projects, occasionally some how-tos. You’ll also see some things around the house like my fondness for shelf building. (This will likely include some laughs as I am newer to power tools.) Chances are there will be some refinishing as space allows. You may even occasionally see attempts at food.