Tuesday, December 18, 2018
August has this bad habit of if he doesn't like something he declares "no like it" as he dumps/pushes/throws/flings/etc said item onto the table. He won't allow it on the edge of his plate, or on his highchair tray, oh no, it has to be all the way out of his area on the table. This has resulted in a nearly constantly dirty tablecloth. And since our table has been a "temporary" (which has turned into 4 years) folding plastic table we used at our wedding, it always has to be covered with a tablecloth or it is revealed to be an ugly utility table. It doesn't look so bad with a tablecloth. But I was sick of the stains and weekly washings. So that spurred a looking online during black Friday. Looked at World Market, Overstock, Ikea, and CraigsList. We still have a pretty narrow spot so it could be the same length but only a bit wider. And there wasn't much out there. Or if there was, it was like $400 for something I didn't 'love' and was cheap construction. So I drew up a plan and asked Dad if he had any free time. And luckily he made some time for the older of his 2 craft loving daughters :) Picking up the supplies. Already turned table legs for the win! I think I made 3 (2-4 hour) trips up to Dad's shop and we glued the 3 main boards together for the top, figured out where the legs would go, sanded and routed the top edge, made the table skirt support thing (which also meant a trip to Home Depot to get a better top board and wider boards for the support since I wasn't following a plan and just had bought a 3" where a 4" would've been better). The things you learn when your dad is a woodworker and you are not. We joined the legs to the support sides with wood glue and dowels, and Dad did a couple things himself like drill the holes for counterscrewing the top to the support skirt and the final attaching of the two. Then he delivered it to me for staining. No matter my test samples, whenever I stain it seems to always end up a totally different color! My pick was in the bottom top corner. It was way to cold to stain in the garage, and we have no basement, so our house smelled like a chemical factory for a couple days as I had to stain in the entryway. The legs got super dark because they have all that rough edge from the lathe. Fan on and windows cracked in wintertime. I used wood conditioner first because the wood is pine and to prevent splotching. And wouldn't you know, it splotched anyway and did this weird ugly thing on the edges. So I sanded them down again, wood conditionered again, and stained those areas again. And had a bit of a panic because as I was wiping the stain off the edges it looked so obvious that it was a patch job, so I had to re-stain the entire top part again quickly so it would all be wet at the same time and luckily, that worked! It did make the table darker than I had planned, but I was much happier with the splotching issue. Splotches were a lot better. Next came 2 coats of polyurethane to the bottom, and 3 thin coats to the top. Another stressful job making sure there weren't drips or brush marks. And finally I could set it back up, it helped that I was hosting bookclub the next day, so I was motivated to get done! I love the coloring! But a new problem was revealed, our (from mom & dad's church) chairs looked ridiculously short next to the new table! So the morning of book club, Doug my hero looked on CraigsList for new chairs for me. Then on his lunch break drove over to pick them up, crammed 6 chairs in his Jeep, brought them in, and then helped prep dinner for my girlfriends while I scrubbed away like a mad woman cleaning them. They had come from a Sign of the Beefcarver restaurant that was closing and are really solid wood chairs (Amish made according to the ad) for only $15 each, but have some dings, a few had a couple gouges, and had crusted food and BBQ sauce and who knows what on them. Yay! It looks so nice. And after trying and returning a whole slew of table runner and other centerpiece options I think I finally settled on this simple one: So the cost breakdown: wood, stain, wood conditioner, poly, and brushes for table: $175; 6 new wood chairs: $90; jute placemat, white plate, and candlesticks: $25; hours of Dad's time: priceless. Total was less than $300 for the whole things and I love it. It's just 3 inches wider, but it seemed to make a difference and felt a little more spacious around the table. It's still pine, which is a softer wood, so it probably won't be scratch free forever. On August's side he has a new plastic place mat to help prevent marks when he bangs his fork, cup, etc, but I am hopeful it will last at least another 4 years :)
Monday, December 3, 2018
I'd been wanting to make something special for my new baby. I saw this quilt on a girl's instagram and fell in love with these large faded floral patterns. However, I was reminded that one is limited by the selection of their fabric store. Jo Ann Fabrics did not have a single thing that looked old and faded, and didn't have much by way of large floral prints either. But I did really like this pink and yellow floral pattern, and then picked some other fabrics in corresponding colors. Step one, washing the fabrics and the dreaded ironing. Then cutting the squares and sewing them together. This goes pretty quickly when just doing squares. I don't know why I laid this out and thought it was ok. I ended up having to rip out a bunch of my seams so I could switch the order around to a pattern I liked better. Sewed on the soft pink velvety fabric for the border. I used an old soft creamy yellow sheet for my back fabric and sandwiched in the quilting material. Then held down the edges so I could pin and do my machine quilting to sew all 3 layers together. Professional quilters have this awesome table for this purpose, but people like me use the floor! Trimmed. Sewing all the lines. The last step was folding over the velvet part over the back and hand sewing to avoid a visible stitch. This part was a pain and literally painful to the fingers to poke through all the layers. It took several episodes of watching something and stitching all 4 sides. I'm actually not super happy with how it ended up looking kind of pulled there on the sides, but I'm not sure how I could've done it any better. Here it is all finished. The back. Part of me still likes the other girl's more, but I like that mine is handmade by me and I'm sure it will be fine. It is soft and pretty. I really do love that floral print so much I had my mom buy a yard and she is going to make me a new carseat cover out of the same material. So that's nice of her, she had made one for August and I didn't think she'd mind being asked to make a second. 4 more months!