Author Archives: Sarah

Libation Station for the Screened-In Porch

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Libation Station for the Screened-In Porch

So I haven’t really done anything with the screened-in porch for a while now.  That is, until my dad was driving by the neighbor’s, and happened to see a door that they had put out at the curb. We went back to look at it, and I really liked that it had glass panes that were intact.  I decided to take it, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it.

The back porch didn’t really have anywhere to do entertaining, without having to go inside for drinks and food, so I decided that I could make a libation station with the door. This is what we started with. It wasn’t in perfect shape, since it had one of the wood pieces removed and filled in with painted bubble wrap. I’m assuming that was for a dog door, or something. Also, they had removed the hardware for the handle and lock.Old door on the curb

We fastened the top of the door to the wood 2x4s behind it, using two L shaped brackets we had left over from an IKEA project. We didn’t want it blowing over on a windy day. Also, we ordered a glass rack from Amazon to put on the underneath of the top shelf.  The top shelf has a depth of 10 inches, and is a laminated compressed wood shelf that you use for closets and other shelving. Although this is somewhat protected by a roof, I would still consider it to be out in the elements, so if it does warp we’ll have to replace it with treated wood.Glass rack

We installed the shelf at the top of the door using shelf brackets that we picked up at Lowes. Shelf brackets

From there, we added a second shelf the same as the top one, but this one is only 6 inches deep.  We attached it the same way, using smaller shelf brackets.Second shelf added

To cover up the holes left by the hardware, I found this bottle opener.  It’s kind of funny, and it fit perfectly to cover them up. Bottle cap catcher

To finish the station, I placed a table that the neighbors had given us, in front of the door. This table was originally used for playing games by our neighbor’s mom, so it stands a bit taller than regular tables. It seemed to fit perfectly, although I wish it was a bit taller to cover the missing wood. Since it isn’t going to be used to sit at, I might put bricks under the legs to hide the bubble wrap.Square table added

And here it is finished and all set up to have friends over. We also added a towel hook on the table leg. Libation station finished

In this picture you can see more of the old wash tub we have sitting next to it. We actually will fill that up with ice, and use that as a drink cooler for bottles and cans.  It works perfectly because it doesn’t leak, and has a hose to drain the water when it melts. Ready for some friends

Anyway, I really like our libation station, and other than the shelving items, it was pretty much a free project. All added up, we spent roughly $40.00 on it. At some point, I might want to paint everything, and figure out how to patch the wood piece, but I’m happy with it right now:)

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

Linking up with:

Funky Junk Interiors

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Between Naps on the Porch

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Convertible Doll Bed/Rocking Chair Redo

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Convertible Doll Bed/Rocking Chair Redo

My grandfather had a friend of his make this doll bed for my sister when she was a toddler. It’s a very interesting design, because it also converts to a rocking chair, just by lifting the foot board into a different position. My sister had a lovely baby last year, and she wanted this to be handed down to Miss E, only spruced up a bit.

I had actually had this for a year, with it sitting there staring at me all that time.  I just didn’t have a vision for it, and well, I wanted it to be perfect. I also wanted to give Miss E some time for her personality to come through, to see if that would help me figure out a design. Finally, Miss E’s first birthday was getting closer, and I knew I had to get it done.

This is what I started with. Like I said, it’s a really cool design, but it hadn’t been finished other than a clear coat put over the top of the bare wood.  You could see the putty that was used, in addition to the screw heads. 
Rocking chair before
Doll bed position before

Also, the part that forms the seat was held together with wood pegs and some nails at the top, so there was some damage where the joint had started to come apart. Double D fixed it by taking the two pieces completely apart, pre-drilling holes on the top of the seat, and drilling three screws in to give it more strength.  We also wood glued the two pieces together. Hopefully that lasts for little while. Broken seatOther side of Broken seat

The next step was to putty everything and let it dry.  Other than the seat part, everything was in really good shape. I just made sure the screw heads were covered, and any other dings I could see. I did leave the wood knot alone, because I thought it would be nice to have a reminder that it’s wood once it was painted.side of bedWood puttySeat with new screws

After all the prep work was done, it was time to move to my favorite part, which is the painting. Since this did have a sealer coat on it to begin with, I used Rustoleum’s primer and applied a couple of coats.Primer coat

It was time now to give it some color. Miss E’s nursery has a lot of bright primary colors, but this purple caught my eye at the store, and really never left it. I had to have it.  It’s Rustoleum’s Harvest Grape. When it first went on, I was a bit afraid because it had kind of a pinkish hue, but it dried a beautiful deep purple color.Harvest Grape paint color

Next was the decorating.  This step actually took me the longest, but that was because I didn’t have the right stencil brush, so I had to do it with just tracing everything in pencil and then fill it in by hand with a brush. I did try to do it with the stencil, but no matter how much I blotted the brush on a paper plate, I still had some paint get under the stencil.  Finally though, it was feeling some polka dots. Polka dots

Also, I traced her initial on the seat of the chair.  I really like how that turned out, and it’s personalized just for Miss E. Stencil for E

The final step was to put on a clear coat to protect the paint.  I still had some floor sealer left from our kitchen renovation, and I knew that it had held up exceptionally well on our painted cabinets, so rolled on a couple of coats to protect the surface.finish coat

Over the fall, I had found a doll bed quilt at an antique store, and purchased it for the bed. Now, I figured the quilt had to have a mattress to go around, so I measured some fabric, and sewed three sides together that I then stuffed with batting. After that, I sewed the remaining side closed. I then made a pillow envelope to go over the little bed, so if it needs to be washed, it can just be removed, and tossed in the washer. Pillow case envelopeFinished pillow case envelope

And here is the finished piece. It’s so cute, and fits Miss E’s personality, I think:)convertible doll bed/rocker

I never can resist a good before and after photo, so I’m adding one here.  Hopefully Miss E gets lots of use out of it, and maybe passes it down to her kids some day. Before and after of finished doll bed/rocker

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

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Between Naps on the Porch

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Saving Grandma’s 9 Patch Utility Lap Quilt

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Saving Grandma’s 9 Patch Utility Lap Quilt

I know I’ve talked on here before of how my grandmother made quilts.  Big comfy quilts that have lasted through all kinds of treatment. She also made all of us what we called lap quilts, which we took with us in cars in case we all got stranded in a snow storm. This, of course, was before cell phones, and AAA. My mom asked me to look at this one to see if anything could be done with it.

Well, this poor thing had definitely seen better days.  Grandma’s quilts have always been utility quilts, meant to clearly receive everyday use. Lots of washings, and plenty of sun damage had turned the fabric brittle. Some squares had gaping holes where entire chunks of fabric were missing, and a lot of the fabric would actually rip, just by handling. I knew I had a job ahead of me, but I wanted to use as much of Grandma’s squares that I could while trying to keep a true representation of what it originally was.  This is what I started with. Utility quilt in rough shape

And a couple of close-ups. Top and bottom photos of utility quilt

I started by doing a LOT of seam ripping and taking out the squares that didn’t seem viable at all. Most of the squares that I removed had five colored squares, and four white squares in the 9 patches. I did use five squares of the red fabric to incorporate into a new block. Old fabric removed from utility quilt

And this is what I was left with. I thought I would be able to use the three brown squares, but as I was ripping the seams for those, the fabric started tearing. I decided to not use those.  That did leave me with six viable 9 patch blocks that I did use.Remaining square in okay shape

That meant that I had to make 15 blocks to replace the old ones. Because I used the red fabric from the old squares, I measured those to find the size, and started cutting 4″ squares out of scraps that I have. The pink floral fabric were from my curtains in my room when I was growing up, and the brown floral fabric was from a quilt made by Grandma when I was a young girl. 4 inch square fabric

Here is one new block that is along two old blocks. Quite an improvement already. New quilt block vs. old quilt blocks

In this picture I have 13 completed, with two more to go.  I did try to find colors to complement each other, and I focused on having more red, since the original blocks had quite a bit.Two more 9 patch blocks to go

I laid the blocks out a couple of different ways until I settled on a color combination I felt was pleasing to the eye. Finally I was able to start piecing the quilt top together. Also, I decided to put the blocks that I was able to save of Grandma’s on each end of the quilt, so Mom would always know who did what. Rows in process of being sewn together

Now… we get to the part that we all lovingly call “the extender strip” in my family.  I thought about this the whole time I was working on this quilt, and I still don’t have an answer for why Grandma put these in her quilts.  But a lot of our quilts from her definitely have these.  I wish she was around so I could ask.

I have come up with a theory that since she was raised in the Depression, and was super thrifty, she probably made the quilt top around the size of the backing she already had. Or maybe she made the quilt top, then found a piece for the backing, and it was bigger, so she just filled the space in with additional fabric?  I don’t know, but since I had resolved to try to match the original quilt as much as I could, I begrudgingly sewed it back along the side, right where it had been. I’m glad Mom isn’t allergic to cats, because Shadow definitely was my supervisor for most of this.Extender strip

Finally I was able to start pinning the top to the backing. Previously the quilt had just been tied, but I wanted to quilt it at least a little bit.  I did a simple stitch-in-the-ditch to reinforce the seams.Pinned and ready to be quilted stitch-in-the-ditch

And I did tie it, in the center of each 9 patch.Tied 9 patch quilt block

Finally the last step was to close up the binding for each side. Thankfully, the quilt top turned out the be really close to the same size as the one that was in there originally.Binding sewn together

And here is a picture of the back.  I have no idea where Grandma got her fabrics, but I’m sure that it was items that had been given to her, or that people wore. As you can tell, there were two different fabrics used for this, and there were some tears in the yellow part.  I just went ahead and patched them using some fabric that I had in my scrap pile.  The color is similar, which is what I was hoping for.Backing saved with fabric patches

And because I am always amazed at how items turn out when things go right, here is a before and after.  It’s a night and day difference!Before and after

And one more picture of the finished quilt. I am glad I was able to save it from the state it was in, although I do wish I could have saved more of Grandma’s blocks than I did.  Nothing on it is perfect, and it isn’t going to win Best in Show, but we can look at it and treasure the memories we have of Grandma. Now it can be used by Mom on a daily basis, and hopefully will have many years of life left in it!Picture of completed 9 patch utility quilt

Thanks for looking!

Sarah

Linking up with:

Funky Junk Interiors

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