Family life

It’s done! – Refinishing a 1950s maple dressing table

A few weeks ago I found this 1950s maple veneer dressing table in a local Vinnies.

I’d been looking for a chest of drawers for Sera for some time and at only $15 I had to snap these up.

The lighting in the shop was so poor that I thought the drawers were painted brown. But when I got them home I realised they were varnished.

The drawers were very scratched and it looked like nail polish remover had been spilt in one area, completely removing the finish.

The first thing I did was remove the mirror.

I used a stripper to remove the old varnish. Here’s everything out in the sun drying after I washed the last of the stripper off.

Then it was time to sand, sand, sand.

Alisi’s Daddy used the power tools to do the bulk of the sanding. However, it was a joint effort to hand sand everything ready for varnishing.

I finished the drawers with three coats of clear varnish.

I’ve retained the original handles for now. They’re a bit pitted, but I quite like their shape.

I haven’t decided whether to refinish the mirror stand. It seems a shame to split it from its base, but the mirrored part doesn’t really fit into Sera’s room. What do you think?

Out and about

The last wintery walks

The calendar says we’re in the first days of Spring.

And we’re expecting a “warm” few days this week.

So maybe the worst of Winter is over.

I’ve enjoyed these dried lavender flower heads all winter.

The roadside planting should probably have been nicely dead headed after the flowers finished. But look how spectacular they look in the afternoon sunshine!

And speaking of spectacular. Look at these gorgeous red stems.

I think it’s a Coral Bark Maple – Acer palmatum ‘Sango kaku’.

The planting in front of the pale walls of the house is a genius touch.

Family life

An upgrade for Sera’s Correctio brace

When Sera was first fitted with her Correctio brace, the orthotist covered the rubber with some stretchy tubes of bandage-type fabric. You can see it in the picture when it was new.

However, after five weeks of wear the fabric was had pretty much given up. It wouldn’t stay put on the brace so the rubber was chafing Sera’s chubby little thighs, and the sticky tabs on Sera’s nappies stuck to it and caused it to fray.

When I found out that Sera would have to be in the brace for at least another five weeks I decided it was time to take action and make some better covers for the brace.

And here they are…simple tubes made out of fabric from an old t shirt. I added ribbons to the top so they could be tied to the brace to stop them slipping down. The basic measurement for each tube is a 20cm x 9cm rectangle of fabric – not including seam and hem allowances.

Here they are fitted to the brace.

They are working really well. They’re nice and soft on Sera’s thighs, the little bows look kind of cute, and I made a second set so they can be washed.


Sera was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) soon after birth. Ultrasound at five weeks confirmed that her left hip was particularly severe with only 3% coverage so she was whisked into a Pavlik harness.

After five weeks in the Pavlik harness it was found that it was improving things, but not fast enough. So she was upgraded to the Correctio brace.

Sera has been in her Correctio brace for five weeks now and her hips have improved significantly. Cross fingers that another five weeks will do it.

I’m very much looking forward to the day she doesn’t have to wear the brace, but it’s only a bit of short term pain for a long term gain. The brace makes her a bit awkward to hold but she certainly hasn’t missed out on any cuddles because of it!