Alice’s wooden tea set
Many moons ago, we found this glorious book at Avid in West End (our favourite Brisbane bookstore). Everything Alice is a right little charmer of a book – an enormous range of projects demanding skills from a wee bit of cutting and glueing to quite complicated toy making. And it’s not just useful for parties – there are many projects in here that Abby and I long to make. We have pored over this book together for hours. Most weekends, since bringing it home in July, have begun with another study of all the projects we wanted to add to her birthday party.
One of our favourites was the idea for a wooden tea set with which to decorate the back garden. And so, I bought a sheet of thin plywood from our local hardware (Penhalluriack’s – the original rebel!), gridded it up with my square quilting ruler and drew Abby’s requested teapot, 3 teacups and a milk jug. I would have done a sugar bowl too, but ran out of ply. Never mind :-)
I cut each piece out with our jigsaw – this was rather laborious as I had to use the kitchen bench as my work bench, and the shape of the tea set pieces made it very hard to balance the ply adequately let alone properly clamp it. Halfway through my arm was practically vibrating!
The edges on the cutting side were a bit rough – I had bought finer blades but in wonky lily-style, couldn’t work out how to get the old blade off, so just soldiered on with a blade that was probably too coarse and certainly a bit blunt. Ahem! So I gave the edges a thorough sanding.
Each piece received two coats of paint -colours chosen by Abby – including one coat on the back. Then I cut decorative flowers and stripes out of a pretty piece of wrapping paper I bought at an elegant stationery store in Fitzroy – Zetta Florence.
I stuck a garden stake onto the back of each piece with liquid nails, hammered them into the ground and then sprayed them with a coat of gloss sealer. Truly, they did look unbelievably sweet and were the recipients of many an oooh and ahh! As for Sweetpea – she was very, very good and didn’t even give them a tiny, exploratory chew – well done Sweetpea!
Now, looking at the photos, I realise I forgot to trim the paper stripes – oy! Oh well, Abby didn’t seem to mind much :-)
Oh this was a gloriously fun project - made me long for a lovely wood workshop with awesome tools. Oooooh the things we could do! Hmmm ….