Project for the day: Another curtain

While getting the fabric for the curtains in the bow window, I found a gorgeous semi-sheer fabric with stripes and flowers on it that was also on sale! I always love a good deal and knew exactly where this fabric would look wonderful- in my black and white kitchen! So now I have a cool curtain over my sink (using the 6th rod from my bow window experiment). Excellent!

I've been extra crafty these last few days- be impressed :) This is rare to have that many projects in such a short time. What to do next? hmm....


Project for the Day: Curtains

 Remember that gorgeous bow window we had installed? If not, here's what it looks like with my normal curtains tucked behind stuff so you can see it. I like being able to see the bow window but this way there is no privacy... I've been struggling with how to fix this since I'm not a huge fan of being on constant display, but I definitely want to see the lovely woodwork on that seat. Here's the major issue- the top of the window is also oak and I really don't want to drill into it, but there aren't many options for attaching a window treatment to a bow window. Especially a vinyl window (because I don't want to void the warranty on the windows by drilling into them.

Remember how I said I love solving problems...here's what I came up with:
Magnetic cafe rods and dowels with command strip tape. The only magnetic curtain rods I could find were these (which were not quite long enough, but the rod portion was hollow, so I used a small dowel instead of the small portion of the rod. I then connected the magnetic edge to a command strip and attached it to the vinyl window (since vinyl isn't magnetic). This allowed me to attach the curtains with no holes in either my windows or woodwork. Yay! Also, a bonus - these rods come with two per pack, so I only needed three to do the whole window.

After I figured out how to attach curtains- I had to make curtains to fit these small rods. I decided on sheers since they give some basic privacy while still letting in lots of light and prevent the necessity to move the curtains to see outside in addition to being relatively light in weight so they shouldn't pull down my rods. I waited until decorators fabric went on sale at the fabric store and scored 6 yards of a sheer fabric perfect for my windows for less than $4/yard.

Sheer fabric is tough to work with, since it slips all over, but I got it cut and hemmed for each curtain rod and then put up the panels. I think it looks pretty good! And I love that I can see and use the window seat. I removed the other sheer fabric curtains that were previously on the bow window and hung those over the patio sliding door to give us a bit more privacy there too. Aren't they lovely :D


Project for the day: Recover the chair

Do you have any items in your house that you know you would feel absolutely awful if they were damaged? I do, and most of them are heirlooms (that probably are more sentimental than valuable, but still priceless). One such item is the chair cover for the chair I use at my desk.

The chair is an older style with a pink upholstery cushion which is the perfect height to fit at my desk at which I work (and is definitely a step up from sitting on the ottoman or an exercise ball (which were both, just a hair too short for typing comfort). The cushion was hand-embroidered by my mother-in-law’s grandma (so my daughter’s great, great grandmother) and is lovely.

I was rather nervous about accepting the chair when it was offered because I was going to be sitting on it every single day (instead of very rarely as it was accustom to prior to entering my home) and any sort of constant use is going to create wear and tear on an item, but my mother-in-law was insistent I take it, so it came here. The point where I decided I had to save the covering was when I began toilet-training my daughter. She has been in the process of training for a little over a week and has had about one accident per day on each of my other chairs (which are scotch-guarded and so more of an inconvenience than a problem). I wanted to be sure I could save the covering for when this chair isn't getting so much use and also so my daughter would be able to see the lovely work her great, great grandmother did. 

So the first thing I did was remove the cushion to determine if it was possible to remove the covering in one piece. It had the protective black fabric found under most chairs, so I had to carefully remove the staples to that so I could see that the cover was also stapled, but otherwise it came off very easily. Once I had removed it I was able to add to the batting under it (which mostly was in really good shape) and cut out new fabric (from a scrap of fabric I had left over from a pillow I made a few years ago) that was big enough to cover the area from the former cover.

Then I went out stretching and stapling the fabric over the batting and smoothing it out so it would fit on the chair. (turned out pretty good). I then scotch guarded it so I could clean up any accidents easily and maintain the batting looking good prior to putting it back on the chair (since you don't want scotch guard to get on the woodwork). So after waiting for it to dry (and only falling through the lack of seat once when I went to sit down- oops) I reassembled it. 

Here is the finished chair. Because the fabric matches pillows in the room, it looks a bit more cohesive having my desk in there and I have the piece of mind that if I use it every day I won't ruin a treasured family heirloom in the process. Double win!


Project for the day: Toy box

I’m playing catch-up a little bit today. I’ve been a crazy crafter as of late and wanted to be sure I covered everything that I have been doing.

First off, I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few days- just a bit cranky and overwhelmed, but like most individuals with that sort of mood thing going I tend to take it out on those closest to me (so my husband) which is unfortunately not much fun for anyone involved. (I’m actually surprised he hasn’t started calling ahead before determining if he wants to come home or not. Anyway, not the most productive way to deal with crankiness.

You know what is productive? Crafting to take care of moods! I really do enjoy working on something that I can focus on and that I can look at later and say, “I made that” as it is a pretty rewarding feeling and gets those good endorphins flowing. I also love solving a problem when I craft, since it’s then an extra rewarding experience…hence the toy drawer.

see all the toys that were
under the loveseat!
We have a fairly compact house and since I work from home and watch my daughter full time, I wanted to be sure I have a lot of fun activities for her while I work. So, in the family room upstairs we have a lot of toys that have been hanging out under the loveseat in a makeshift drawer. Here’s the issue- we have way too much furniture in the family room (a china cabinet, an extra dining room chair (for company), two comfy chairs, a CD tower, an ottoman a kid’s table and chairs set, my desk and chair for work, an end table a floor lamp and a loveseat). This wouldn’t be a huge problem, except we also have an open staircase in the room which my daughter is fascinated with and a large bow window with a window seat. I don’t want to put large furniture in front of the window seat (as that would defeat the purpose of the window seat) and I don't want chairs that my daughter can climb in front of the stairs (as she likes to look over and isn't as scared of falling as I am). So that removes two whole walls of space and the room isn't large enough to have anything bumped off a wall...so the loveseat (which was in the least pristine shape of all the furniture) got donated to a charity - leaving a large mass of toys with no home.

I originally thought I would use the large plastic storage container that is in that picture to put the toys under the chairs- but that resulted in a lot of unused space, so I thought I would try my hand at making a custom toy drawer. I don't have a table saw, and no wood to do it anyway (and since I am on a huge budget saving kick at the moment (we're doing pretty good on that score- but that may be contributing to my mood...ah well, back to the box) I decided to make a cardboard box into a fabric covered drawer. Here is the spot that it needs to fit...here is the largest (flattest) box I had. Here is the tricky part. These chairs are not square.

The drawer had to be a quadrilateral measuring 25 inches in front, 23 in back and 22 inches long. It then could be up to 7 inches tall (if I wanted to make a handle on it) or 6 inches to allow for pulling out without the handle (I opted for no handle). Other issue- I have a cat...a long-haired cat. That meant I had to use a fabric that wouldn't automatically attract hair and was thick enough to be pulled across the floor without showing instant wear. So I seached through my bins and found a large piece of duckcloth that was in a mostly unoffensive pattern. 

I started by cutting apart the box into flat portions so I could measure out the perspective items. first I found a piece that was both 25 inches long and 22 inches wide. I then measured one inch off each side to determine the 23 inch side and trimmed accordingly. I then went about cutting twelve inch walls by the length of each side (and created a score line to fold the box sides and attach them to the bottom (while giving a little support). Once I had all the sides attached I temporarily taped it to make sure it fit (see), then laid it flat with the sides laying down on top of the fabric so I could cut the appropriately sized amount. After that I used Mod Podge to attach the fabric to the box, and some industrial duct tape (in a funky pattern) on the inside to prevent the box from being ripped apart when pulled by one side multiple times). 

Tada! Finished box in a black and white check pattern. that fits over half the toys (since I could only make one from the fabric/box I had available- I only made one (so the plastic bin will sit under the other chair until I have another large box come in) and can get some more fabric. 

Look for other project tomorrow!