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Monday, May 2, 2011

My Telephone Table - Part I

I appreciate when an experience leads me to a place of beauty.  Hard work is like that.  Hard work is a journey that if walked with care, beauty is discovered every step of the way. 
I found something that’s going to require a bit of hard work.
And I hope I can make it beautiful.
Meet my antique telephone table.
I found it thrifting in downtown Phoenix, you know the scary part of the city with industrial graveyards and dirt lots, but I braved it anyway.    
It sat in my garage for several months. 
I thought about finally taking it to QcumberZ, but this last week, I turned into a crazy painting fool.
I want to paint every piece of furniture in my house. 
I finished my vintage buffet.  
Turquoise blue, I love you.
And stain finish, you’re my best friend.
Chandler and I also worked on this vintage beauty.
Didn’t she turn out nice?
So, now I’m looking everywhere on my premises for things to paint.
End tables, dressers, headboards, telephone tables.  I have no problem acquiring this stuff, but I haven’t had the guts to actually paint it.  I cop out and re-sale it every time, but not anymore.
This weekend, I was at ACE hardware three different times looking for all sorts of different paint colors for more projects then I care to mention. 
Back to the telephone table.
I knew I’d have to take off the upholstery.
It has a moldy smell all its own.
Plus, it’s stained and ripping.
Now, I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, but I want to get this right.
I start with taking the top off.
And to get it right, I have to take out all these furniture tacks.
Payson comes in, strong and dedicated.
 but his skill is no contest when he’s brothers  run past him and jump in the pool.  
I’m back to pulling out these horrible staples on my own, I’m talking 5 to 6 staples per furniture tack.  
Really, whose idea was it to be so thorough with the staple gun?  
Did he think an elephant would consistently be pulling at these furniture tacks?  
Did he think he would need to use the top of this telephone table as a shield in military combat?
Or was he just an amazing craftsman with superb skill?
 Either way, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed when my dad comes over.
I offer him dinner, some Parmesan chicken I'm cooking up, when he asks what I’m working on.
“I’m just pulling at out these furniture tacks,” I say as he walks closer, more interested then I expected.
“Do you have a small screwdriver?” he asks.
“I think so,” and I pull one out of my very limited tool box.
He starts to jab at the staples and they slide out with more ease then the pliers I'd been working with.
For a few minutes, we work side by side, until I’m called on by one of my kids in the pool for a towel.  Next, I’m taking dinner out of the oven, making up a bottle for the baby princess and I realize my dad’s still working on the telephone table.
I pull a chair up and feed the baby while my dad continues tugging away.
We visit; him sharing how things are going at work and before I know it, where talking about things of depth; like the last few weeks he had with his dad before he passed away and how he had re-tacked some patio carpet out on my Grandpa’s kitchen balcony. 
How he picked raspberries from my grandpa's garden and helped him eat breakfast when he couldn’t do it on his own anymore.
How they’d sit and watch Lawrence Welk, enjoying each other’s company, just like him and I were doing now.
A tough project with equally hard work brought me time with my dad.
I still have to put her all back together, sand her down and paint. 
Maybe my dad will come over again.  I'd like that.


  1. It sounds like you went to The Salvation Army in downtown. That area of Phoenix DOES feel like an industrial graveyard doesn't it. Do you ever go into the Zinnia's mall right by Cucumberz? I actually find stuff to resell there. A couple of the booths are dirt cheap and have some fun items. Anyway, glad you got to spend time with your dad it is actually priceless.

  2. Ever since I read this post, I have been wanting a telephone seat. I am quite lazy but I was willing to redo one if neccessary. You are a great inspiration. Well today I found my seat and the best part, it doesn't even really need to be redone!

  3. I just love your ideas and telephone table furniture design. We can also use those table for multipurpose like to store books, a telephone directory, a flower stand near to telephone which will give a antique look to table design. Thanks a lot man for such a wonderful share with great ideas.