Merlot Anyone?! - The Marquetry Wine Box Saga #12: Merlot Anyone?! - The Marquetry Wine Box Saga

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Blog entry by justoneofme posted 05-09-2013 11:25 PM 3334 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Well at long last I greet you all with the last blog on this Marquetry Wine Box Saga!!

Keeping my 93 year old father company (these past two day) while he recovers from a nasty lung infection, has given me ample opportunity to catch up on computer stuff. And now I can devote a few relaxing hours to the composition of this final blog!

Hummmmm … you’re right Mike ... Nouveau Gal does look a bit ‘sly’!! And yes … I promise to get some better pics of her to post for ‘My Project’ :)

Well it’s time to put a lid on this whole thing and cap her up in fine style!

The only part I’m cheating on here is the use of a previously made lid base … left over from my Old Wine Box days! It was the perfect size, but definitely needed beefing up and beautifying. I cut a piece of Cedar plank (given to me from Paul’s stash and which he so kindly planed to my requirements for another wine box I intend to create.) Ah yes! A future blog!!

This piece of Cedar will attach to the bottom part of the lid base … and because my (indelible ink) signature exists on the underside of my OWBox lid, I had a sudden spurt of inspiration deciding to incorporate my ‘John Henry’ in this style.

With the background lid section stained dark brown, this ended up looking pretty cool … eh?! The ‘F’ stands for Frances. The most popular question of all time when people see my signature … so now you won’t have to ask :)

It was at this particular stage of things that everything came to an immediate halt, in order to entertain Paul (aka Shipwright) ... home at last from his Southern Exposure! I don’t have a photo of him (this visit) ... but I do have this photo in preparation of his pending arrival ….........

What’s with the red wine in a bottle?! Well it’s all about ‘presentation’, and it’s just very unfortunate that my home-made cheesy onion bread and cheese plate, etc. has all but obliterated a vision of Paul’s beautiful Marquetry design on this very special gift he offered months back … feeling that he was ‘short-changing’ me on our arrangement of veneer/cedar planking exchange. If he doesn’t come into my ‘veneer-candy-store-room’ more often, I’m afraid he’ll want this beautiful tray back!! Nah … not Paul. He’s such a sweet guy!!

Feeling the glow of wine infuse my grey matter … the most I could concentrate upon (after Paul left) was to throw a few loose thoughts together. What do I want the lid to look like? Certainly not plain and simple like the poor OWBox lid. I want pizazz!!! And that’s about as far as my thoughts would go for that day!

It is amazing how the mind takes over at times when you least expect it. In the middle of that night I awoke, knowing my dreams had been playing around with lid-thoughts. My eyes opened, and ideas flooded straight through them into my brain. I’m sure I’m not alone with that miracle feeling of inspiration that makes you want to leap from the bed … or stop the car to jot down the idea before it’s lost!! I couldn’t wait to get back in the shop the next morning. However a few days passed before I was able to formulate that mind-thought.

In the meantime another visit from Paul took me back to the workshop for a brief but enjoyable moment while we discussed some possible veneer choices to depict water for his most recent project.

Even though days past, my mind remained actively involved with ideas that finally came together with my next workshop day. Exploring with NGR stains to portray a Rosewood look onto solid stock Cedar seemed to work just fine … and so I cut more Cedar for the top of the lid, having one particular reason for this in mind. I didn’t have solid stock Rosewood! And I needed solid wood to carry out my idea of ‘inlaying’ the Marquetry flower with Intarsia formation. Something I have never done before … or even thought to do!

And so the stage was set! The following photos will tell the story ….........

The flower center was glued onto the cut stock piece after being filled.

The flower petals and leaves were cut out individually, leaving a template for me to scribe onto the other section of lid. All these parts were sanded and shaped … by hand because they were way too small for tooling!

I like!! But decided against elevation of various parts as the veneered surface bumped the design just enough.

NGR stain was applied to both pieces that would comprise the lid. Walking away from the workshop that afternoon, I was happy with the results so far.

For the lid’s centre section, the plan was again a new concept for me. I glued 2 layers of Poplar veneer on each side of 3/4” Maple cut to the width of the top lid. With the design ready, it was cut ….........

......... then sanded to shape. When it came to sand shading the edges, butterflies fluttered … never having done this kind of shading before. I had to use my specialized piano tweezers in order to grip that thickness over the heat … a bit hot to handle but it worked!!

Then they were set in order for staining, and lacquering … before assembling what will become a free standing Intarsia handle!!

In the meantime … I had qualms about the ‘Rosewood’ Cedar … it didn’t look just right. I kick myself for not thinking of this right off the bat … but you know what they say about hindsight! The surface was sanded completely free of NGR stain … don’t ask me why I did that because I didn’t need to. I guess my mind was in a quandary over my next step, and so I needed extra time to ponder! Maybe that’s why it takes so long for me to get things done!!!

I decided to veneer over the Cedar with Rosewood. Duh! ... why didn’t I think of that before now?!! But before I could do that I had to do a ‘rub’ of the recess area in the cedar.

Both Rosewood sections were padded together, and cut along the inside of the penciled rub. Inside … because you want a tiny bit of excess to trim off, instead of the cut being too large. The handy-dandy Dremel will clean things up!

And because I’ve now applied a layer of veneer over my solid stock portions of the lid-to-be, effectively eliminating the elevation of my Marquetry Intarsia-ed flower, that section cut from the Rosewood is glued into the recess … elevation solved!!

I can read your minds … OMG!! what is happening now?!! Yes, those are paint stir-sticks from Cloverdale. Perfect for my little dream-inspired notion! Rosewood glued onto sticks … then sticks separated … sanded ….

.............. these miter-cornered trim pieces were glued in place around the semi-finished lid … before the insertion of flowers, etc. so I had a flat surface to work with.

Strangely enough I didn’t take photos of the miter-cutting process which was done on my bandsaw table set at the most ungainly angle!! My mind was on the horrendous task of concentration … mitered corners!!!

See them pretty mitered corners!!! The stir-sticks give the accent I had in mind! ... and now the lid is ready for a few coats of lacquer sanding sealer with recesses protected. Actually at this stage, the top has already been given a few coats … before the trim was applied. The surface shows up much lighter in this photo than it really is.

I was so impressed with myself, I made more ‘Rosewood sticks’. Stick around and you’ll see how they were used!!

OH NOOOOOOOOOO!! In my hast to spray one more coat of sealer onto the box so I could stop for lunch, my precious article of excessive hours slid off the spray table and landed with a crash while I had turned to pick up the spray gun. I froze … afraid to look!!

So much for being impressed with myself. Puff up those feathers, and something bad is bound to happen! It’s either that … or my stomach was protesting over lack of regularly scheduled nutrition!!

Have I ever mentioned those special spirits I have in my workshop? ... watching over my every move?? Well … somebody up there loves me, because the damage (although to the upper front corner) was easy to fix!

One smart smack, a bit of glue … and a dab of touch-up pen was a very quick fix indeed. With only preliminary lacquering at this stage, the added coats will hide all signs of distress. Thank you my Workshop Spirits!!

Hummmmm! ... You would think I could have at least shown the repaired injury!! I guess you’ll just have to trust me that nobody will ever notice the boo-boo … But did you happen to notice the Rosewood-stir-stick trim around the bottom of the box? I think that’s what I was trying to capture in this photo for you all to see!! I also forgot to show the cork bottom on this box, to prevent scratching our countertop.


Well my LumberJock Buddies I’ve come to the end of this series of blogs on my Marquetry Wine Box Saga. I know … I know!! You’re screaming: ”What? Where’s the finished lid??!” Even after enduring this very lengthy blog, you still want more?!!

This (I feel) is the perfect place to stop … minds filled with anticipation!! I like to think that you all are anxiously awaiting the posting of ‘My Project’ so you can see those finished photos! Besides … I think my father is getting a shade annoyed that I’m spending more time on this computer than I am paying attention to him!! LOL! He’s been keeping tabs on my blogging … and once back fit as a fiddle, I know he’ll want to read this final one too. That’s my Dad!! ... :)

I’m always ending blogs with thanks … and this one is no exception!!

AGAIN I thank you all for joining me from start to finish. It’s been a wonderful journey, made more so because of your involvement! Each time I pour myself a glass of wine from Nouveau Gal … I shall think of you all.

Merlot anyone?!!!*

-- Elaine in Duncan

24 comments so far

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8638 posts in 3769 days

#1 posted 05-10-2013 12:31 AM

Elaine, you are truly a creative genius sometimes.
That is some nice lid!!

Do the folks at Cloverdale Paint ask many questions when you just come in for stir sticks?

Great project and wonderful blog.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View justoneofme's profile


844 posts in 3450 days

#2 posted 05-10-2013 01:13 AM

Gosh … only sometimes Paul?!! :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Woodbridge's profile


3740 posts in 3389 days

#3 posted 05-10-2013 02:22 AM

HI Elaine, thanks for a great blog, a glimpse into marquetry and for sharing your project build with us. I look forward to seeing your posted project. Is Nouveau Gal base on an Alphonse Mucha picture?

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View tomd's profile


2221 posts in 4741 days

#4 posted 05-10-2013 02:44 AM

Thanks for the great blog, I learned and enjoyed it. However now I am addicted and your leaving us cold turkey. How about Nouveau Man, or boy, dog, something. Looking forward to your next project.

-- Tom D

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3044 days

#5 posted 05-10-2013 02:59 AM

Hi Elaine, what an amazing journey! An awesome project! I’m looking forward to seeing the photos of the finished box lid and all on your project page. I love the way you have signed your piece. Great idea!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View justoneofme's profile


844 posts in 3450 days

#6 posted 05-10-2013 03:32 AM

Yes Peter … you are absolutely right! When I was searching for an Art Nouveau design, that’s all I googled and up popped a plethora of designs without any credits given … just the images. My thanks to you for his name which I immediately googled … and found my Nouveau Gal!! ... along with Alphonse Mocha’s many beautiful Art Nouveau paintings.
Tom … actually I’ll soon start working upon Nouveau Lady for our granddaughter’s 13th birthday. That blog will be short and sweet as most of it was already blogged in the Wine Box Saga … but you’ll have to wait until the end of June for that blog to happen. Can you hold off that long?!
Thanks Anna … glad you liked the signature. I thought it was pretty cool myself, and hope to carry the idea through to future pieces!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View shipwright's profile (online now)


8638 posts in 3769 days

#7 posted 05-10-2013 04:28 AM

OK most of the time.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3905 days

#8 posted 05-10-2013 05:33 AM

That was a wonderful ride Elaine. Full of excitements and pizazz.

I Will be waiting for your project with anticipation; I got to see the lid:).

End of June works great. Business is picking up again, that means less time for hobbies (:

Thank you for this great blog series.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3596 posts in 4683 days

#9 posted 05-10-2013 05:38 AM


What will I do for entertainment now that your blog series has come to an end? I must admit that with dial-up and all the wonderful photos that you shared, it took up many hours of my time over these past weeks just waiting for it all to load and then enjoying the read, but it was all worth it! (It has made for some very late nights because I don’t like to tie up the phone line while someone could be wanting to call us.)

I’m really looking forward to your project post when you reveal the finished lid. And I’ll be sure to check for your blog in late June on your granddaughter’s birthday present.

I hope your dad is soon fully recovered. We’ll be traveling to see my folks soon (94 and 95) and know how precious the time with parents can be.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4305 days

#10 posted 05-10-2013 08:15 AM

I very much enjoyed your witty, amusing blog on this beautiful wine box Elaine and I learned a lot too. I always read your blog at least three times. The first time for the fun of it. The second time to get my head around what you have actually done, and finally a third time to appreciate and understand the artistic choices you have made to give your work the wow factor! I also really love the signature you devised, very artistic and cool. I’m sure your father will be glad to get you back now, but we will surely miss you while you are away. Thanks for sharing with us.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3827 days

#11 posted 05-10-2013 10:58 AM

Elaine I’m sorry to see it end :(
I’ve really enjoyed the whole process warts n all
I felt for you and the box, but you carried on.
Looking forward to seeing it in all its splendor

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Skylark53's profile


2843 posts in 4031 days

#12 posted 05-10-2013 12:58 PM

Thank you again for just doing this! The project is certainly beautiful and following the progress is inspiring to each of us; your candid, honest blog is entertaining as well as educational. Its been a fun trip. I hope you take us along again. Best wishes to you and your family.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3837 days

#13 posted 05-10-2013 01:03 PM

Elaine, you do absolutely beautiful work and I loved the pictures and explanation of it all. I surely want to see more of what you do and how you do it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6873 posts in 4950 days

#14 posted 05-10-2013 01:17 PM

Hi Elaine,

I’ve somehow missed seeing your work before, but I’m adding you to my buddies list, so that doesn’t happen again!

Very nice work.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 4005 days

#15 posted 05-10-2013 01:18 PM

Great series, and has left us like many of our TV shows do at spring time, wanting and waiting for more episodes!

-- ~Julie~

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