Sunday, January 29, 2012

Took Long Enough

Not long after we finished the headboard, I found this cool old window at an antique store. It hung for a long time just the window (before pic here). Two weeks ago I (we) finally got around to putting the map behind it . . . the maps I bought off of ebay 7 or 8 years ago - the humungo maps of the coasts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire that were so huge I did not know what to do with.
It took a little planning to get all the panes filled (we couldn't just stretch the map across the back and call it a day, we cut each pane separately) and then Craig cut up cardboard to hold them in and went to a huge amount of effort to tape up the whole back (but I didn't take a picture of that).
This was Craig's idea for this window, but in the days before we did it I saw a cabinet door done like this with a map on pinterest and I was like, oh man, that was our idea. But it was the motivation I needed to get off my butt and do something.

We love how it turned out . . . I have to say, I do like it better filled than empty. It does annoy me that you can see reflections in these pictures . . . like me standing on the bed there. But glad to have another DIY crossed off the list.

Friday, January 27, 2012

In which I improve upon a good thing

(OK, I started this post on the 14th. I'm hoping to post it tonight.)
Our dining room chairs are falling apart. They creak, sway, and generally are not stable. Two of them already broke apart. We sort of half-talked about getting a new set but there's so many other things above new dining room set on the priority list.
I saw a great pic (pic 3) in Country Living of a dining room with slipcovered chairs and found them for $30 each. Plus I don't have a big white room and a big dark table like the pic, but I thought slipcovered chairs could work for us. Sure Fit had these for less so I asked my MIL for them for Christmas. She, being a generous gift giver, gave me 4 (many, many thanks).
I was thrilled and immediately put one on a chair. After looking at it for several days I began to think I should hem it to make it shorter. I realized it needed to be pulled up from the top of the chair back.
(near chair is straight-out-of-package [well, not really, I washed it]; far chair is tailored.)
First, I washed and dried the slipcovers so they if they were going to shrink, they would be shrunk. Then I measured how much they needed to be pulled up and took them down to my craft cave.
They had this funny kind of tuck in the top so I pulled that out with my seam ripper.
I marked my machine (with the water-soluble quilt marker, which smudged but lasted long enough for this project) 3.5 inches from where the seam would be - so I would have a straight seam.

Somehow those pictures are a big block that I can't space apart but I'm sure you can figure out that I sewed a seam, lining the top of the slipcover up with the marker line, and then I re-did the funny little fold thing.
Craig braced up the chairs:
And now they are covered and the whole thing is lovely. Next up, refinishing the table. Wish us luck.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wanting to Want to

I never want to do my housework (shocking confession, I know). Never. There is always something better to do, like pinning, or reading, or crafting, or using the power tools (those things are heavy), or just whatever.

But then I get so discouraged because my house is a mess and doesn't look a nicely lit and whitewashed like those pictures on pinterest.

Last week, I thought, man, I wish I wanted to do my housework. That I wasn't always trying to avoid it and feeling bad that it wasn't done. I want to want to do it. And it was like a voice said, Just ask Me.*

*Don't get all worked up that I said I heard a voice. I didn't "hear" a "voice," but it was like a still, small voice in my soul. A quiet prodding. A reminder.

So I did. I prayed, "Lord, help me to want to want to take care of my home. I want to want to do these things before I flake off and check out."

And He answered me. He gave me what I asked for, a peace and motivation to do what needed to be done. A lovely, quiet peace about carrying on with my duties, a statisfaction of a job well done. A dedication that's lasted through this last week. If I feel it lagging, I bring it back to Him. "Thank you, Lord, for helping want to do housework. Help me still."

It's been so encouraging, too, to be reminded that I can bring everything to God; He loves me and wants to give me the things I ask for.

And wow, is my house clean.