7/21/2017

Table Time

I spent the entire day pulling weeds, spraying weeds, cleaning in the barn and trying to get an old drip system to work in my peonies. 

I am definitely ready for something whimsical and FUN!!!! So at dusk I took my little table outside and sanded it down. I had used a "crackle" mix on it before and it was really hard to sand off.    I hope to get it primed over the weekend so I can paint on it next week and use my nifty new stencils..  I don't want to hurry this project because the best part is actually the "doing"  There will be no deadline...





I had been giving it some thought for the last few days on what color palette I wanted to use...

Most of the funky furniture I've seen as been bright jewel tones or very pastel..  I really didn't want either.  I already have a breakfront in the living room that is painted olive green with a pastoral scene on the doors. 

So I want to pick up on the green and the dining table is painted off white (antiqued) with roses. So with a burnt sienna and a little gold added this is what I've chosen...





And of course there will be lots of black and white as well... There will be some freehand painting and hopefully lots of my little stencils.







And the legs... I will save the legs for last... What fun they will be.  This is so similar to crazy quilting because there is NO right or wrong and anything goes and the more embellishment the better.

7/20/2017

Salvaged needlepoint......

I have to admit I'm getting a lot more done since I haven't been stitching... Tops on the list is clearing and sorting out the barn.. I intended to spend 2-3 hours every morning out there this summer but it actually has been more like only 4 days a week but I am making great progress.. DH is making regular  trips to donate, recycle and dump as fast as I can fill bags.

Of course I'm finding long forgotten treasures...one being a bag of needlepoint pieces from thrift stores.  It always make me sad that someone has done all that work and it ended up in a bin... I feel it is my sacred duty to salvage it and do something with it... I had been meaning to cover this work stool for some time  and finding this green needlepoint  piece  gave me to impetus to do it last night.. The bottom section was a valance I bought last February just for this stool. I was going to remove the fringe but used it as is.   I hate sitting  on faux leather.

I have these other pieces also..  The one on the left is going to cover a foot stool that is in dire need of refurbishing.  The little circle is going on some damaged lace for a piano stool. The large piece is going on another work stool.  My house is filled with work stools, footstools and  work lamps.

I use a pretty quick method to make the cover patterns.  I put a piece of freezer paper on the section I want to cover and using my finger to feel the seam I stick straight pins all the way around.






Then I use a marker to make a
line from pin hole to pin hole.. I only allow 1/4" seam as I like the pieces to fit taut.  It isn't professional quality but it does the job.



And to prove it's the right thing to do is procrastinate some times.  On the back of my computer chair is fabric I have been meaning to cover it with for about a year.. But this old chair does not go up and down anymore so I need a cushion and there wasn't going to enough material to do that too.  I had been waiting for some black velvet to make the cushion but on a recent foray to the thrift store I found this cushion.  It isn't an exact match but close enough that no one will notice and I won't have to make a cushion..  I really should get a different chair and I always try all the office chairs at the thrift stores but nothing ever feels as comfy as this old chair.

And speaking of lamps the BrightTech company is sending me a replacement part...will let you know how it turns out.

7/17/2017

Let the stitching begin...

This is a terrible picture but you can see when I sit on my stool I can get my legs under the table and be over the glass and the table is low enough that there is room under the glass to work a needle.. I love it when a plan works....

I am still sending emails back and forth with the company about the magnifying lamp.. Considering the price ($100) it is not well made... I don't want to send it back as it would be  heavy and awkward to pack and I do like it. The worst case scenario is that I will have to "Gerry-rig" my own base for it somehow.. probably by taking another floor lamp apart and cutting it down.

Another possible option is that I have a friend who has a very clever husband who I could probably get to make the parts fit...




It is especially irritating because at the same time I ordered this pharmacy lamp for by my bed.  It was half the price and I was amazed at the high quality of the lamp and materials...














Here is my table with the bread board removed and all folded up flat.

7/16/2017

My portable/foldable stitching table...

Did a little tweaking and added some more upcycled items.  I think I have it done now.  If I lived in an apartment I could just lift the breadboard off, fold it up and stow it in a closet.  Pretty nifty...Cost $0.00


The lamp has been good news and bad news.  The good news is the light and magnifier are great and will work well I believe.  The bad news is the rest of it is inoperable... The top part does not fit into the bottom part and I am waiting to hear back from the company on that..
It's not very stable and since the lamp and magnifier are heavy and tend to drift, the whole lamp falls over far too easily.. and often.  I'm hoping to solve that somehow. Cost of lamp $100.00

Here it is all folded flat and would be perfect for someone with limited space.. easy to even load into a car.  I plan on taking it out in the garden to stitch when weather permits




















News on the chicken front.  Adding extra nesting boxes really solved that problem.  The old hens wouldn't let the new hens use their boxes and they couldn't stand that the new hens had their own boxes.  They had to use them too and pretty soon who laid what in what box was a moot point. 

It worked so well I used the same tactic on the roosting issue.  I added another roost perpendicular to the old hen's roost.  It took about 5-6 nights for the new hens to make their way to the top....which put them at the same level as the old hens which would never do.. Try as they might the old hens couldn't control both roosts and now they  all sleep  somewhere on both roosts.. I go out after dark with a flashlight to check who is sleeping where.  I feel like a house mother in a college dorm making bed checks... and the bullying has ended so I think I'm the winner on all fronts... Peace at last in the henhouse...

7/10/2017

A treasure hunt for a stitching table....

I haven't picked up a needle since March.. I was so frustrated that I packed everything away until I had time to give my options some thought.  I figure if I can paint buttons I can stitch but I have to get    everything right...  Yesterday I was moving all my machine laces from smaller bins to one large bin and was thinking if I dyed them they would be perfect for the foreground in my UFO peacock piece.

It's not that I hadn't been thinking all along.  I have been researching other lamps I thought might work.  I adore the lamps I have but I have not been able to stitch with them....when I get them low enough all the work surfaces are too high, One is attached to my painting table and the other is not that easy to move about.  I did order this lamp to try which Amazon assured me would arrive today. It is adjustable in height and had an 88% approval rating.  It only has 1.75 magnification though.



So I began to think about a work surface and my dream list was:
1. Low - no more than 24" tall and preferably 22"
2. I must be able to get my legs beneath it/
3. It must have wheels or be light enough to easily move from spot to spot.
4.  It would be even nicer if it folded up and stored or taken in the car...




I started in the house...  The  little table I'm going to paint is the right height but not easily moveable.  My little green table is the right height and folds up but it is very unstable.  The TV sits on an old typing table which has casters and I can get my legs under but it is much too tall and would be difficult to lower...so my search moved to the barn. 



This is another old typing table that my shrink wrap machine sits on.  It again fits most of the criteria but is too tall and difficult to shorten enough that my legs would still fit beneath because of the shelves.






Then I noticed this old walker with a seat...  I use this as a portable chair ALL the time in the barn and the flat seat got me thinking... I knew I had at least 3 other walkers in the back of the barn... With each injury I move up in quality of walkers..   My latest one is red with a basket and a cup holder... very classy.  I think that was the broken leg.








But this was the oldest grungiest one that I found.  It was literally buried in the very back of a horse stall... I knew it might be just what I was looking for... Even with the casters adjusted to the lowest point, it would not sit level.... but I could fix that.










So I went in search for something to use as a work surface and settled on either the orange thing or the cutting board.  The orange thing just wouldn't work but the cutting board had possibilities and I loved the little groove around the edge.  The metal tub tray may work as a shelf....maybe.






I first had to cut off the tubing on the back casters to get them low enough and   that went   well....except I wish I could have gotten them a little lower.  The whole thing was so filthy that I took it into the shower with me and gave it a good scrubbing with a brillo pad.

Here it is all shining and clean.  It has casters and folds.  I could even take it in the car...actually even on a plane. I can get my legs beneath it. The cutting board is hanging with some garden tool hooks and easily goes on or off.   It is 24" tall  but figured I can lower it to 22" when I get some eye bolts and S hooks.  I am so happy with it but now Amazon emails me and tells me my lamp is delayed in route and they will advise more info later. 

..........And in an emergency I could still use it as a walker.


7/08/2017

Bring in the clown!

I've been painting buttons for a long time and it never occurred to me to paint a clown..  But I recently had a special order for one and decided to do a few more.  I don't ever think that I have seen a CQ project with a circus theme but wouldn't that be a fun one...  One of these clowns is just waiting for someone to do it... They are all 1 1/8"  MOP - about the size of a quarter.
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