Shady Lane- Turtle Bench or Table

turtle table

Invasion of the Turtles

The idea for A Little Bit Shady started with this turtle table.   I needed a small gardening table or a stool. Nothing special. A very simple design that could handle a bit of abuse in the backyard.

Checking my inventory, I had a few leftover 2x6's and 2x4's, so I decided to see what I could do with them. The base of the table ended up with a coat of marine blue outdoor paint to handle outdoor weather.   Afterthought--- maybe I shouldn't have painted the sides of the table top boards for a cleaner look.  I still hadn't figured out what to do with the top surface


While working on our pond, an old memory came to me. Many, many, many years ago...

Growing up, I was a tomboy, there was no doubt about it.

On one of my many adventures, I found this rather large mud turtle buried in the sandy bank of the lagoon we played by.  This was no small turtle, he was huge (at least in the eyes of a kid) and I remember he was missing a few toes. Thinking I was rescuing this poor creature from a horrible life, I somehow ended up with him in my backyard. Getting him there was a feat in itself.

My dad was not impressed with my newest rescue. Who knew turtles could dig such deep, huge craters in his perfectly manicured lawn? After many discussions, my mom convinced me the turtle would be much happier at the lagoon. So back to the muddy waters he went. Whenever I visited the lagoon, I always looked for him. Really--- who doesn't love turtles? They are all about attitude. They go through life at their own pace and can set up housekeeping wherever they want.

Back to the present....

turtle table

Since the table would be used mostly near the gardens and pond, I thought a turtle design would blend in perfectly. I was happy to find that (my go-to resource) Pixabay has quite a few photos of turtles to study from. Using several turtle images I got the look I wanted.  Their shells have natural shading and character helped with the staining. The legs gave me the most trouble, so I decided to do a closeup and avoid the problems I was having.  Turtles have simple shape and strong lines which made it easier to sketch and it fit across the top of the boards nicely. I wanted to try my hand at wood shading with stain for a while and thought this project would be a good start.

The reaction I got from others was amazing. My husband and neighbours were impressed (and a little shocked) which built up my confidence and soon I was trying different mediums and designs. Before I knew it, the idea of A Little Bit Shady started to emerge.

I still smile when I look at that stool, reminded of a little girl who liked getting as muddy as her turtle friend.

These heavy duty benches / stools are great around the house- indoor and outside.  Any design would work, not just sea life!   I needed another one at my side door, so I tried my hand at celtic design on another bench.

note:  for those who have mentioned to me there is a difference in looks between a mud turtle and a sea turtle ... yes, I am aware.  When it comes to turtles, I prefer the look of sea turtle.  Shame that they weren't hanging out at the local lagoon!

not all art needs a wall   :)