Monday, July 19, 2010 the Days of Decoupage

I just bought this:

And what's interesting about this is that my Dad....when he was probably about the age I am now, decided he wanted to be an "Artesian in Wood".  Now he meant Artisan...but after having 1000 cards printed up with Artesian on them...there was no going back.

He got into refinishing furniture, but mostly he made wood candlesticks.  Give him a chunk of tree and out would come a candlestick.  I remember the year he paid my brother 10 cents for every Christmas tree he dragged home. (Yes...Jeff was occasionally a bit of sucker.  I think he ended up earning a dollar.)

Dad made candlestick after candlestick after candlestick.  If you happened to stop by our house for a visit, you couldn't leave without a visit to his basement workroom to check out his latest creations.  Many guest were kind enough to shell out a few bucks taking one of his candlesticks home with them.

I actually am lucky enough to have a few of his candlesticks.  Here's my collection:

As an additional creative output, he also started to do his own version of decoupage.  (For all you youngin's that was real big back in the 70's.)  Basically, he would stain and varnish pieces of wood.  Then he would soak labels of any jar that passed through the house.  Smucker's jelly was a particular favorite.  Using his giant bottle of his favorite Mod Podge (see, I finally got around to the Mod Podge) he would glue the label onto his homemade wood frame cover it with a few coats of MP and whalla...Art.

Needless to say, his teenage children were pretty merciless about his creative genius.  To his great credit, whenever we would start teasing...he would sit and chuckle quietly (I can still see his belly shaking).

And the enormous irony, is that I have a project in mind that requires...MOD PODGE.

I only wish he had enough of his faculties so that I could share this with him.  I'm sure his belly would shake a little bit.


  1. What great memories! I only just bought my first bottle of Mod Podge! Hubs is already asking if he'll be coming home to stuff MP-ed all over!! : ) happy tuesday

  2. Oh I like them! And you meant to say "candle holders" candlestick are the waxy things you light up aren't they? Anyway I know you're glad you kept a few. They heirlooms now. Too bad you don't have any of his decoupage work-on the Antique's Road Show they call it folk art and it's very valuable!


  3. Isn't it great how an unassuming tub of white goo that dries clear (I think I remember it being that way)can evoke such touching memories. This is a lovely story about your dad that you'll have for the rest of your life. That's the real treasure!

  4. Your dad sounds amazing. And he has obviously influenced you (and perhaps us as well!!!). I've seen this stuff and always wanted to do some decoupage. Didn't know the process was this simple. I may give it a try!

    That's a gorgeous set of candlesticks by the way. They look great together too.

  5. Wendy...the process isn't exactly that simple, that was just my dad's interpretation. Real decoupage had to do with layers of the images...kind of 3D.

    But thanks. The really cool side of posting this is that now all his candlesticks are up around my house and not in a box in the garage. Which makes me happy.

  6. My father was also a woodworker in the 70s but he built furniture. Sometimes small things like foot stools - which he did decopauge - but mostly furntiure. I still have a bookcase with drawers that he made. For my dad, woodworking was a way to escape everything. I remember him going down the basement (where his workshop was) after dinner and staying there all night sometimes working on something.

    I't great that you still have the candlesticks.

  7. I'm thinking that perhaps your dad and my mom went to the same decoupage school. There was a time when nothing was safe from her decoupage urges.

    Your dad's candlesticks are great and I can't help but notice the gorgeous plant container in the background and the flowers look just perfect in it.

    BTW, I heart you, too.


  8. I remember those candlesticks. I think my mom had a set of 3 of different heights.

  9. Les...there is a really good chance your Mom has some of these candlesticks. I'm sure she didn't escape the trip to the workshop.

  10. My dad was a woodworker. I have a lovely clock he made and a weed pot. Thanks for the memory. I use mod podge a lot. I'm so glad you have your dad's candlesticks out.