Many friends have asked me about the "transformation projects" I have been working on. I have several that I have completed over the last few years, which I will highlight over the next week or two.
None however have the sentimental feelings that this project does. The project I am highlighting today is a labor of love. For this project, I refinished a small kitchen cupboard playset. This set was built by my grandfather, when I was just a little girl. Grandpa Lisenbee passed away when I was only 7 years old, and this is a major part of my memories of him, and my love for him.
My Grandma Lisenbee had this set in her home for years and years (one set was made for each family). Before she passed away last year, I asked her if I could have this piece for my daughter. She mentioned that she no longer had all the other pieces of the set, the couch, stove, table and refrigerator. They had already been given to other family members. To me, it didn't matter. This piece represents my Grandfather and Grandmother, and everytime I look at it, I will remember them.
So I took the old cupboard home. It was brown with bright yellow 1970s laminate on top. It was showing wear from many years of loving play.
I started refinishing this in late 2008, a few months before Grandma's passing and before my diagnosis. Though I have searched high and low in two years worth of files for the "before" pictures, I cannot locate them, though I will keep looking.
When I got sick, the cupboard sat in my basement, started, but unfinished. This week I decided it was time to finish the project, for me, for Grandma and Grandpa, and for my children. Last night I put the finishing touches on, as I carefully laid the new formica laminate for the counter and edges (this was tricky to cut and place, so it took a bit of work). Over night it was held tight by clamps and heavy books, so the contact cement could set.
Today, it looks like a new cupboard, the kind you cannot buy from a magazine or toy store. No, not even Pottery Barn or Toys R Us would carry a quality piece made with so much love. And, it was transformed with love, which is what made the project complete.