What Inspires Me…Part Four… (TV)

I have been working hard on a couple of project which are almost complete so I will post about those soon once they are completed. I thought that I’d do another “What Inspires Me” post. The reason why I started refurbishing and up cycling is a TV show. I¬† came across Flea Market Flip one day and that changed my life completely.

Flea Market Flip is a show about two teams that go shopping at a Flea Market with a limit of $500 to spend at the flea market. The two teams buy what they think will be great pieces for three different projects. They have one day to refurbish and re-do their Flea Market finds. After they redo their finds they have one day to sell their new products at another Flea Market.

I fell in love with the show and it made me start to think of what I could do with up cycling items and refurbish them. I started to be inspired by what the people were doing and what I could be doing. I started making and refurbishing things. I went to antique stores and flea markets to find items to refurbish. Watching the show brings new ideas into my head and thoughts that “I could do that” or “I would do that differently.” It started my whole love of flea markets, antiques and refurbishing.


What Inspires Me… Part Three.. (Design)

I am working on a couple of projects right now and they are taking some time because I want to make sure they are done well. I love refurbishing anything and helping to make antique sign again. In the mean time I will post things that will inspire me and places that I go while doing my refurbishing.

This week I decided to do what inspires me part three which is all about design. The design that inspires me the most is the Celtic Knot. I do a lot of project that might not have a Celtic Knot within it but it is still something that inspires me while I do my work. I love to do project with the Irish design because of the beauty of the design and the history that goes along with it. I named my blog “A Touch of Celtic” the knotty refurbisher because I love the Irish designs, I grew up with Irish around me and I love the culture.

There are many different ways a Celtic Knot could and can be put into a design. I like the knot within the wood and seeing it carved within wood. I am going to learn how to wood carve in the future so that I can design the Celtic Knot within my own projects.

The Celtic Knot can be incorporated within a cross, in buildings, stain glass windows and more. When I see a Celtic Knot incorporated into a design I am instantly attracted to the piece. The feel that comes with the Celtic Knot is beauty that no other design can have because of the never-ending loops and the Irish feel. I can’t explain it any better than it blows me away and opens my eyes when I see a design with a Celtic Knot.

My kitchen is all dedicated to Ireland and the design of the Celtic Knot. I posted about my dinning room set before and was done with Celtic Knot stencils.


“Celtic Knot: a symbol of love and eternity, with no beginning and no end.”



1907 Receipt

I posted last week about my awesome finds at the Lancaster Flea Market. One of those great finds was an antique crate. The crate was from the Capewell Horse Nail Co. in Hartford Connecticut. I loved the look of the crate with the antique wood and the advertising/labeling on the side of the crate. I wanted to find out more about the company. I tried to contact the Hartford Historical Society but have not heard back from them. Because I had not heard back from them; I started to do some of my own research to find out more.

The first step was looking up the company and finding out the year it was established and who started the company. The company started in 1881 and made horseshoe nails. George Capewell started the company and was able to create a new and unique type of horseshoe nail that was a new standard in the business.

Capewell Horse Nail Company Hartford, CT

I bought the crate because I loved the look and the labels. I did not know what I wanted to do with the crate at that point. I knew I wanted to use it as some decoration or add it to one of my projects. I decided to google the company again and see what else was out there. I hit the gold mine! I found an antique receipt from 1907 for a client that purchased some Capewell horseshoe nails. It was an amazing antique and I had to get it to match my crate.

The wear and tear of the receipt shows the receipt is the real deal and the smell of old and vintage makes it even more spot on. I am so glad I found this piece. I also found out by luck that it fits perfectly flat into my crate. My friend and I thought of some ideas to bond the two together. Well, that is another project added to the list and I am not going to tell the details until I post the project when it is complete ūüôā

Bench Uplifted

I decided to do a quick little project to help out my parents this weekend. It took me only a day to complete it but it was something that I wanted to do for a while now. My parents have a bench they use as a coffee table in the living room and it was damaged pretty badly by dents and scratches. The reason for those dents and scratches are due to myself so I thought I would fix it for them.

I have had four ankle surgeries and with those surgeries came some casts and some casts and you get the point. I would use the bench to keep my leg up and the cast ended up denting and scratching the bench badly. It has been a couple of years since my last cast so it was time to redo the bench because I wanted to and I felt bad I had scratched it.

First I carried the bench outside into the my work area in the garage and sanded the first layer of clear coat off the bench by hand. I like to do hand sanding to get the first layer off because it is less work with the electric sander and doing some by hand makes me feel like I connected with the piece and really put my touch on a project. People might be thinking “what a waste of time; just use the electric sander!” I know it is easier and faster doing it that way but I like to use hand sanding to feel like I am making a change with the item.¬† After I hand sanded the first layer I used the electric sander to finish up the job. I got the bench down to the natural wood. It was beautiful! I loved the look of just the natural wood.

IMG_5525 The bench came out awesome. The scratches and dents had come out and the beauty of the grain of the wood came out. I debated if I should stain the wood or just clear coat it. I like the natural look of the wood sometimes with certain pieces and this was one of them. I sat for a bit thinking of what I wanted to do. I ended up staining the piece because it would fit in better with the other pieces in the living room. I stained the wood and let it dry. I then put two layers of semi gloss polyurethane on and now it is drying waiting to come back into the house.


A one day project came out very well and I am glad to give this small gift to my parents of their new old bench.

Antique Writer’s Desk

I have to say that this project was one of my favorites. I have done quiet a bit of refurbishing  of antique items but this one was one that I really had to work on. I had the privilege of getting this desk for a great price from a family friend. The desk was in bad shape. It had a baby blue paint on it and had some scratches and stains on it. I knew I wanted to get it down to its natural wood. The goal was to sand as much as I needed to get to that point.

I must have spent days sanding this desk to be able to get the look that I wanted. I loved the look of the desk right off. It was a small writer’s desk with a single drawer on the front. I had been wanting a desk like this for a long time so I was so excited when I had the chance to get this desk. The woodworking of the details on the legs of the desk were beautiful. When there is a lot of detail that means a lot of hand sanding but it was so worth it.

I started with hand sanding the top of the desk to try to get some of the dirt and first layer off. The desk had many layers. It had a clear coat, a light blue paint, a white paint and then a stain before the natural wood appeared. I was able to get to the natural wood sanding the top of the desk and finished by using an electric sander. I followed sanding by taking the desk apart. I took of the small shelves first, than the back lip of the desk and the legs came off after. Taking off the parts made sanding a lot easier and allowed me to get more of the coats off.

After the lip, shelves and top part of the desk were sanded to the natural wood; I started on the legs. I knew I would have to hand sand the details on the legs because my electric sander would not fit in those areas. I hand sanded and hand sanded each rounded part that I knew would lose detail if I had used the electric sander. After a couple of blisters and a cut here and there I was able to get the legs sanded to a point were I could use my electric sander.

One of the smaller shelves ended up in two pieces and I had to glue back together the two pieces because I wanted to keep those detail pieces part of the desk. I was able to use wood Gorilla glue. It works the best. I also took off the knobs that were on the desk originally. I decided that I did not want to keep them because I did not like the way it look on the desk.

I stained the top part of the desk first with my Early American stain that I use for all my projects to keep everything looking like it’s from the same collection. I stained the lip of the desk and then the shelves the same color. I stained the legs the same color as well. I debated myself if I wanted to add a pop of color to the desk. I was thinking of painting the shelves and the front of the drawer instead of staining those parts. I was thinking of a black or navy blue. As you will see I decided to not paint those parts and stain them like the rest of the desk and I am very happy with my final choice.

I let the pieces and parts dry for a couple of days before I started to polyurethane. I used a semi-gloss polyurethane to give the desk a little bit of shine. I polyurethaned all of the parts of the desk and let them dry for a day. One of the last steps I needed to do was head over to a local store and pick out new hardware for the drawer. I picked out two cast iron handles that I felt would compliment the desk well. Now it was the fun part of the whole project; putting it all together and bringing it inside.

I carried in the legs unattached to the desk because I thought it would be easier to carry and put together inside. I attached all the parts and the desk is beautiful and everything that I wanted it to be. The desk made me feel like being back in history and how someone might have used the desk by candle light writing a letter or drawing. The one unfortunate part about the desk is the marking of the tag under the desk was ripped off so there is no way to tell of a date or location. I know it was stored away for a long time but would love to find out the age of the desk.

Now onto writing my own story….

Oh the Places To Go…

One part about refurbishing and redoing items is finding great places to purchase items. It is awesome when someone donate an old or messed up item that needs to be redone or to give it to life. I also love going to a flea market or antique store and finding pieces that inspire me when I see them. I have been to a few antique stores and a flea market but I have a list of places that I want to conquer and see what they have.

Laconia Antique Center is my favorite antique store to go to. It is a mall of antiques and so many items. It is a place that I could spend a whole day in. The shipping crate that I turned into my coffee table was purchased at the Laconia Antique Center. The store used to be an old department store. It has two levels and aisles and aisles full of amazing stuff. A place that everyone should visit.

601 Main St, Laconia, NH 03246

Another great antique store that I just visited about a week ago was located in Lancaster, NH. The store is called the Potato Barn Antiques. The store is so cute and it is what I think of when I think of an old fashion antique store. When you enter the store the smell of old and antique. It is not a bad smell. It is a smell of something old and where a story is to be told. The store has old barn wood floors and makes the squeak when you walk around. It has two levels of items. The bottom floor was my favorite. The amount of antique items and history was overwhelming and I could have spent a long time down there. A place for sure everyone should visit if they enjoy old town antique stores.


4208, 960 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, NH 03584


I talked about the Lancaster Flea Market in my last blog so I will not go on and on again about it. I am very excited about going to another flea market in a couple of weeks in Whitefield, NH. I have heard that they have a lot of great items and a variety of stuff.

My list of antique stores and flea markets that I will mark of, hopefully soon, include a lot of great places. I like to go to antique stores and flea markets local in New England because I was born in New England and love the history.

  1. Vermont Antique Mall- 5573 Woodstock Rd, Quechee, VT 05059


2. Saranac Street Antiques- 141 Main St, Littleton, NH 03561


3. Applewood Antiques- 580 NH-117, Sugar Hill, NH 03586


4. Waterbury Flea Market- 1901 US Rt. 2 W, Waterbury, VT 05671


     5. Village Treasure Antiques- 52 Church St, Barton, VT 05832

What Inspires Me…Part Two… (Locations)

I get inspired by certain location that I have been to and even places that I have not been yet. I feel like being inspired is a huge when it comes to refurbishing and up cycling items. I find certain kind of architect to be more inspiring than others.

I have always been attracted to castles, forts and historical sites. As you can see (The Knotty Refurbisher) my name has to do with Celtic Knots because they are something that I find beautiful in architect of buildings. Imagine living in an old fort that has so much history within? Or living in a castle of medieval times and waking up to the feel and smell of being back in time? I know for myself, I would love to live in any of these places that I will be mentioning in this blog.

My first favorite location to visit and to be inspired by is located in Rutland, Vermont. I have not been there in a while but has a special place in my artistic motivation. The location is Wilson Castle. The castle was built during the 19th century and has beautiful stain glass windows. Here is the link to their website if you want more information  http://www.wilsoncastle.com/.

The second location that I have not visited but have seen numerous times is located in Rouses Point,¬† New York. I go to Plattsburgh, NY a lot and every time I cross the bridge going from Vermont to New York I see this amazing fort on the shores of Lake Champlain. The fort has rich history and is beautifully made with stone and arches. The fort was built-in 1816. The fort also has the name of “Fort Blunder.” More information can be found at¬†http://www.historiclakes.org/explore/Montgomery.html. It is really a cool and fun history to learn about.

Kilkenny Castle is a place that I dream of going to someday. The castles located in Ireland are beyond beautiful and breath-taking. I am saying that even without seeing any in person. I know one day I will make it to Kilkenny Castle and know how much it will inspire my Celtic refurbishing. The castle is located in Kilkenny, Ireland. The castle was built-in 1195 to help with route ways. The design of the castle and the way the stone is placed is very inspiring in the way I do my own work. Definitely look into the website to learn more about this awesome place http://kilkennycastle.ie/.

Do you ever day-dream about going back in history and living in certain locations? I think of these places often and wonder what inspired them.

Lancaster Flea Market 2018

I had the great privilege of attending the Lancaster Historical Society Flea Market on Sunday.  A flea market is a great place to get inspired and come up with great ideas. I had wanted to go to a flea market for years and I was so excited to when last Sunday came around. My best friend recently moved to Lancaster and enjoys antiques and flea markets as well so we decided to go. We had a blast. There was so many items and ideas were following. I could have spent a lot of money there because of all the great stuff.

We walked around the flea market for a couple of hours looking at each vendors tent. She was able to purchase some local food products, a book and a painting. I was able to purchase a couple of old crates that I loved. I love the look of old crates made years and years ago. We looked at many items from books to furniture. I cannot wait to go back to the flea market. We are going to try another flea market in a couple of weeks which I am very excited about.

The first item that I purchased was an older large crate. When we first walked by the crate it caught my eye and I pondered in my head if I wanted to buy it. My friend and I sat down and thought of things that I could make with it. After finding out the price of the crate; I walked away with a great item.

The crate was wooden with two advertising logo on two sides of the crate. The information on the crate included: red ink reading 150 and a number of 9-11 on one side and 9-10 on the other. It had a number 35 in black ink with Nellie White in the right corner. The name of the company is written in cursive in black ink. It reads Gloeckner.

I had no clue what the company was or what the numbers meant. I decided to google and look up what Gloeckner was. I did not come up with two much information. I found out that the crate was probably used for shipping Nellie white Easter lilies during the Easter season. I did not find the origin of state or the date but have emailed a historical society to find out more information. I will update this post with anymore information that I find out.

The second item that I purchased was an old smaller crate. It had great markings on the side of an old horse nail company. It had a feel of being old with the wood and the duck tail joints that held it together. I was attracted to the crate right off and purchased it. On both the ends of the crate it had great graphics. The crate read “Capewell Horse Nail Co.” and was marked 25 lbs. and No. 7. The saying of the company was on the crate reading “The Best Driving Nail” Hartford, Conn. The companies logo was printed in the center of the writing. On one end a sticker/marking was placed but was hard to read.

I love knowing as much as I can about an antique so I got to researching. I did a google search of the company. I found out the company started in 1903 in making horse nails. The company was founded in Hartford, Connecticut by a man named George Campbell. It is said that in 1881 Mr. Campbell made a machine that made horseshoe nails which helped Hartford become the nail capital of the world.  I have contacted the Hartford Historical Society for more information on a date and more information on the company. I will update this post with anymore findings.

Celtic Knot Themed Coloring

Celtic Knots are one of the most beautiful designs I believe to hit the world. The way that the design can be used in any type of picture or design. The never-ending of the knot has so much meaning. I have always liked the look of Celtic Knots from stain glass windows to movie. I bought awhile ago an adult coloring book that was all of Celtic drawings. I saw it in the store and I was knew that it was perfect. It was everything that I love and the art design. I used the pages to inspire more ideas of what someone could do with Celtic Knots.

When I think of Ireland, Celtic, Irish, etc.. I have colors that come to mind right off. Of course the main colors are orange, green and white (Ireland’s flag). I also think of a couple of other colors as well when I think of this design. I decided to add in light green, yellow, black, some red and blue. I felt this colors all worked together well and made me think of Ireland.

My plan is to use all of these coloring pages into a project in the future that I have not decided to do yet. I will either frame and use them as a wall decoration on the wall or decoupage them onto wood/project.

Enjoy a taste of Ireland’s¬†Celtic Knots through my eyes..


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