Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and a New Project

Tomorrow will be a landmark Thanksgiving for Bob and me. It will be the first time in 22 years that we will not have one of our children with us. Our son is in Arizona finishing up his Senior year, and coming home for a long weekend is just too much of a hassle and expense. Our daughter is spending the weekend visiting her boyfriend. So it's just the two of us.

But not really. We tried to resurrect our "Orphan Family Thanksgiving" that we did a few times before, but didn't get any takers. But we were invited to join the fun at a friend's house, where we have been promised abundant food, fun and, perhaps, a Trivial Pursuit marathon (oh boy!).

The hostesses are a couple we have known for years. They're Wiccan, so I wanted to make them something that would be both meaningful and useful for them.

Hooray for Urban Threads! Their Wheel of the Year design was just what I wanted. I used it as the center design on a table runner.

It's really nothing fancy, but I hope they will like it. The main fabric is a "linen look" from my stash.

Urban Threads' designs stitch out so beautifully.

I added the "Blessed Be" to both ends of the runner. I created the design using Embird's Font Engine.

And, in case they ever just want to have a regular runner, the back side is a drapery fabric remnant from my stash.

I will be giving this to them tomorrow afternoon, as I acknowledge my good fortune in having a wonderful "chosen family" to spend Thanksgiving with.

May your feast be bountiful and your blessings be many!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'm officially a lost cause.

I might as well just admit it; I'm a complete lost cause when it comes to doing projects for my "practice grandchild." He's been pretty sick this past week, and I've missed seeing him, so I decided to make him a little "feel better" present.
The first time I made a stuffed animal from the Carol's Zoo pattern was when my kids were in Montessori school, and one of them was in a production of "The Velveteen Rabbit." I made the rabbit for the play, using this pattern, and loved how easy it was.
This evening I decided to make a "Feel Better Bunny" for Gavin. Rather than use fleece (of which I didn't have any appropriate color anyway), I decided to use two thrift store sweaters (pure lambswool, for $2 each!) that I had felted last year for an as-yet-undetermined project. The pattern pieces just barely fit, but the end result was worth it! I also added a design for the tummy to make it more personal.

I'm going to give him the bunny tomorrow morning. I might add buttons for eyes, but then again, I kind of like the plain look too. The sweaters were easy to work with and should stand up to lots of cuddles.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recovering an old footstool

A few months ago, my hubby and I took a day trip to Baltimore to scope out some antique/vintage stores, including HouseWerks and Second Chance. Both these places are treasure troves, especially if you're a fan of digging through musty, dusty areas to find that one special gem. Or, just something cute that calls to you and says "Take me home!" (This happens all too often. Which is why I'm not allowed to go to pet stores).
I confess that I especially love Second Chance, simply because its mission has two very laudable goals: first, to deconstruct old buildings and salvage their parts for resale, thus preventing lots of building materials from ending up in the landfill. Second, they offer a "second chance" to the unemployed, underemployed, and others facing barriers to employment.
Anyway, during our meander through their FIVE warehouses, I came across this cute little footstool:
What attracted me to it was the shape of the feet: they are an almost perfect match to the two chairs in our breakfast room. I knew it would need some "TLC", of course, but since when would that stop me?

This evening I finally started the restoration process, beginning with taking the footstool apart. Luckily, getting the top off was a matter of just undoing four long screws.

(Yeah, those feet do need help.)

The upholstered top just came right off.

So now I can refinish the frame. I'm actually thinking of spray painting it, rather than staining it. But it will depend upon what fabric I end up choosing for the new top.

The footstool wasn't very "cushy", so rather than just attach new fabric over the old, I used my staple remover to pry up the old, old staples holding the fabric in place.

Cough, cough. I swear, the thing was padded with STRAW!

Sure looked like straw, with just a token covering of batting. It all went into the trash, leaving me with a bare piece of wood for a nice, fresh start.
I've been thinking about my options, and I might actually want to do something a bit more fun than just a flat fabric top. How about tufting? And maybe a fringe around the edge? Or nailhead trim? One thing's for sure: it's going to have more padding and it sure as heck won't be straw!!
Stay tuned...