Category Archives: home decor

When “easy” projects go bad ~ re-covering a chair

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My daughter has been suffering thru the entire school year with a semi-broken desk chair; until fairly recently I had the brilliant idea of pulling one of our old chairs out of storage for her to use. Yeah, okay, that’s not like a flash of brilliance, is it, to use something you already own but forgot about? Our stuff has been in storage for far too long! Two trips across county and five years in storage… urrrrrr. Anyhoo…

What a great plan! So I took her to the fabric store to pick out some material she’d like the seat covered in because that’s easy to do. I mean, I’d done it before and it was easy.

I don’t know what went wrong. Well, first of all, the seat frame was broken (the thing is over a hundred years old, I don’t blame it) so I asked my dad if he could fix it. Well, would fix it… of course he could. And as expected, he did a better-than-necessary job. But. Whereas before I would have just tacked the new fabric over the old (which I had done once, and apparently, as dad discovered while pulling it apart, had been done 4 times previously!) well, he stripped it down to the hundred year old cotton stuffing, so I had to start from scratch.
Here you can see all the holes in the frame from the multiple tacks used over time to hold all that fabric –IMG_1578

Mom helped me sew some muslin around the inner wire frame, then dad put all the parts back together… I just needed to recover it. Just.

I got it started so nicely, all smooth front and back. When I turned it over to check it out, I realized the pad had slipped back so you could feel the wood frame in front – because that’d be comfy. Plus, there was a weird lump. I didn’t remember there being any lumps. So I had to pull out the tacks and start over! I hate that. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise though because that weird lump turned out to be an old rusty upholstery tack that somehow had gotten stuck up in the pad – someday some poor sitter would’ve gotten stuck in the bum! I decided, since I was back at step 1, that a hundred years of sitting had made it kinda wimpy, anyway, so I asked mom for some batting and put another layer of soft on the seat. Much better.

At one point my husband came out and tried to help me. Why? WHY?? He’d love to think of himself as “handy”, but he’s just not. I mean, he does a lot of good stuff, but he is no craftsman. So, after he messed things up, and lost a couple tacks on the shop floor (a shop I quite often go barefoot in) I kindly (sort of) told him I was done with his help…

By then I was cranky, and quite possibly having a hot flash, so I got in a big hurry and managed to pinch my finger with the hammer. I don’t think I’ve done that in… decades.

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Of course for the life of me I couldn’t get the stupid corner to tuck correctly. I re-did it three times then used the old family cry of “good enuf fur who it’s fur”.

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The back corners worked beautifully, of course.

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I have this curse of perfectionism that causes me to quite often not do things at all, because I know I can’t do them perfectly. It’s why it took me weeks to get around to doing this chair once I had the idea. I hate little imperfections in what I make. I am working on overcoming that… which is why I will call this chair fine, even if the corners annoy me, and I wish the seat were firmer, or more stuffed. It’s fine. Dad will screw the seat back down for me tomorrow, and it will be just fine.

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And Kiki will have a desk chair to sit at her school computer. Now that she has 3 whole days of school left in this year.

…sigh…

That’s okay. She’ll still have a desk in her room, and she can still use a chair to sit in.  If not I’ll recover it and put it in my room! Ha.

 

Hunting Christmas Trees in Idaho

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This is how we get Christmas trees in Idaho.

We traipse through the woods.

Tree cutting, nana's tea, some work stuff, ksilly 297

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After we find the (very im-)perfect tree, we strap it to the top of the car.

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We have soup, sausages cooked over the fire, hot cocoa, and of course – s’mores!

We also have a bunch of fun with friends and family.

I need an identity… or, for others at least to see the one I’ve got.

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I feel like I’ve lost my identity. And not because someone stole my credit cards or something.

One of the hardest parts of not having my own home is that no one knows my “style”.  That sounds sort of weird, I suppose, but it’s true.  I realized the other day that of the people who are my friends now, not one of them knew me when I owned my own home… they have all become friends since we moved back here to Idaho, and we’ve lived with my parents the whole time so far.  (I suppose that also says something about my lack of friends, but that’s another story for another time)  So, you know, people use to come to my house and say “oh, you are into horses” because of the pictures and statues and stuff; or “gosh, I love your purple couches” or the antiques or oddities, or the way I’d painted my walls, whatever. It said something about who I was, in a way.

None of these people knew me before I was fat, either. All I ever wear these days is jeans and shirts, flipflops in summer, tennies in winter… a skirt on rare occasion. I don’t hate fashion;  I hate how I look and just can’t abide spending money on things I will look crappy in anyhow.  So there is nothing that says “this is the sort of flair I have”.

Also, no one really gets that I am passionate about horses. I haven’t owned any in, well, over 10 years, so that seems like a part of my life that is so far gone that no one even knows it used to be the biggest part of my life. I don’t even do any horse-related stuff, like go watch shows or go to the big Horse Affair they have here each year like I used to; it’s just too depressing to be so far removed from that life that I try not to think about it at all.

No one really knows me, I guess that’s what I am saying. And I am beginning to wonder if I truly know myself anymore. Who am I? Certainly not who I used to be… I don’t think… and I’m not really sure how to find out.

Happily, blissfully alone. Unless you count the pack of hounds.

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One of the hardest things about living with extended family is that there is always someone around.  I like people, honest. But not every waking moment.  I need my alone time.  Badly.  And I haven’t had any in…. like a year.  Or two.  It’s a wonder I’m sane.   (some might say that point’s debatable)

This week we’ve been crashing with my sister and her family. No, we’re not trying to spread the love – my parents just decided this would be a lovely time to tear up the carpeting and put in hardwood floors instead. We have to be out of the house for the entire week while it’s getting done.  Well, the kids are at school, my husband’s at work, and my sis and her hubby have some errands to run. So, it’s just me and the dogs!  All four of them, (my sister’s two, my parents’ dog and mine) which is way too many for one house, lol. But I am all alone! Yay!!

UPDATE:  Well, that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped. I thought I’d have at least an hour and a half, but within 20 minutes my sister was home, happy that they’d gotten through their task quicker than expected. ~sigh~

Well, we’re back at home now and it’s smells like crazy in here. But the floors look beautiful, even if we do have to sit directly on them as we aren’t allowed to bring the furniture in yet.  Sheesh. Still, it’s good to be “home”… as home as it gets for us at this point.

Still, I wish I had a home of my own. And a little more time alone!

It’s done ~ my Paper Tree

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Well, on close inspection you can find plenty of flaws… pencil marks I can’t get erased, chunks and tears in the paper and foam core, and I even accidentally “pruned” a couple leaves off! However, at an ‘over all’ glance, it looks pretty decent. I hope my sis is happy with it.  I will try to get a couple pics tomorrow when it’s in use so you can see what it’s used for!

(the slits are so you can slip it together to stand up)

 

 

It’s all over but the carnage (also, 2 more Christmas gift craft ideas)

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Welcome to The Day After.

 

Actually, it’s never too bad at our house.  As soon as the stockings are emptied, before the unwrapping begins, someone goes and grabs a trashbag and we clean as we go.  Still, at this point we are left with dozens of boxes that need to be put somewhere, and gifts and stuff that need to be put away in an already full house.

The space under the tree is empty. (My dream is one day to have a not-cheesy-tree-skirt…and a real tree.  I can’t stand fake ones, but such is life at the moment.  So no giggling at mine.)

Stuff needs to go someplace… soon…

One of my fave gifts this year is a new coffee cup!  I’ve been wanting one that is just mine and just right (I’m rather picky.) Living in my folk’s house, I’ve just used theirs; I mean, it’s not like we’re gonna unpack a kitchen box or 12 just to find my favorite coffee mug.  So here is my new one!  I actually picked it out; Kiki and I were shopping and I loved it, so she “snuck” it into my shopping cart, lol. We do that when she’s Christmas shopping for me.  (Gosh, at World Market this year she picked out a bunch of stocking stuffers for me, put her little handbasket in my cart, and had me look the other way while she placed them on the counter and the gal bagged the stuff!) Yeah, obviously I paid for my own stuff, but it’s the thought that counts..?

It’s beautiful, a white-on-white design.  The picture really doesn’t capture just how pretty it is.  I adore little wild birdies – the other gift she picked out for me (again, while we were together, this time at the tree festival!) was this little snowy, pineconey guy that I set with a couple of my other birdie friends –

Oh! Here are some pics of more craft – gift projects.  One is another ‘thrift shop plate and cups’ jewelry holder for one of my nieces.  Her room is painted with these huge circles on the walls, so we were so excited to find this plate!

The other is a stuffed animal (well, it might be an animal. I dunno) that is made from a sock. This was a last minute gift (for Kiki’s stuffie friend) so altho it would have looked nicer with an embroidered face, I just used a Sharpie and called it good.  It only took about a half hour or so to make.  Would’ve been quicker if I’d sewn it on the machine but everyone was in bed so I didn’t want to make noise (the sewing room is across the hall from my parent’s bedroom.)

Well, it’s nearly 2pm, so perhaps I should go take a shower now.  I hate to leave the quiet of the moment, as everyone else is out and about and I have a little time to myself – which is rare here.  I am loving it!  However, they will be returning soon, so I guess I should get dressed or something….

Hope everyone had a wonderful (at least mostly wonderful) Christmas!

Cheap Christmas Craft – mug and saucer jewelry holder

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We are pretty strapped financially this year, as are so many people in this lousy economy.  I really wracked my brain to dredge up some ideas for gifts that wouldn’t cost much.  This gift was, by far, the least expensive thing I came up with!  The following pictures are the one I made for Kiki; I will post pics of two others we are making after they are done.  (for a couple of her cousins)

I bought the “parts” at the thrift shop – 50 cents apiece for the cup and plate, and 20 cents for the spoon.  I had the glue, so of course that didn’t cost me anything… altho, if you had to buy it (E6000) I think it’s around $4.00 a tube, and it will go a looooong way…

So, total cost to me on this gift – $1.20.

I glued the mug to the side of the plate, and the spoon inside the mug.  I had to hammer the spoon a bit to get it at the correct angle.

 

A different view –

See how you can put necklaces in the mug, or on the saucer, and hang earrings over the edge? Also, rings can slide down the spoon (not all rings, the spoon is sort of thick so it depends on the size of your rings – of course, the new fashion rings with stretchy bands will go, and that’s most of what the girls have right now!)