A New Dress For My Vintage Treadle

Three years ago, when CountryBoy and I were walking through the farmhouse with the realtor, the seller had an old Singer treadle machine sitting on one side of the double-sided fireplace.  I fell in love with it and its reminder of times past and decided, then and there, that I wanted to decorate our farmhouse with dual-purpose items from the past.  Dual-Purpose as in both decorative and functional or decorative and sentimental.  I half-jokingly asked her if she was going to leave it!  Her reply was “maybe, if I was good”. Apparently, I was not good.  Go figure, ha!

Shortly after moving in, we started discovering where the local antique and vendor malls were and we frequented them whenever we were out and about and time permitted.  Most times we weren’t really looking for anything in particular yet at every shop I found myself looking for a vintage treadle sewing machine in decent shape.  After striking out shop after shop I asked one of the shop clerks if they ever got any in the store.  I was told that I just missed out on a couple of them and that a fella would snatch them up as quick as they came in.  No wonder I never saw any since we didn’t leave the farm very often!

Not too long after that encounter, we were in another antique and vendor mall and there they were… in a room behind the counter with a sign on it that said something along the lines of it being a workroom.  WHAAAAT?!  A workroom?  But, there are vintage sewing machines in there!

As we were peering into the room and my head was swimming with the knowledge that I have found some vintage machines but they weren’t for sale (at least not in their current state) a fella asked if he could help us.  Then it hit me – THIS was probably the fella that was snatching up all the vintage machines right before I entered any of the shop doors.  GASP!

Sure enough, he bought old sewing machines in cabinets mainly for the bases and he would repurpose them into other useful things.  Sometimes, even the machine itself would be turned into a lamp or some other decorative item.

While I’m all for repurposing items that are beyond their original function the very thought of doing such a thing to a vintage sewing machine left a pit in my stomach. Especially if the machine(s) were in good shape and still worked.  Sacrilege!

I quickly recovered and asked him about all the machines in this workroom and were any of them for sale.  He said none were for sale and then he explained how he repurposed them.  sigh.

I’m not sure whether it was the deflated look on my face or the fact that I teased him about being the one that always snatched up old machines before I could get to them but after a few minutes he had a change of heart and offered me one of the machines saying it wasn’t really the style he was looking for at the moment.  I looked at CountryBoy with my hopes up so he asked how much.  $60 bucks.  SOLD!

Here it is looking how she did when we brought her to the farmhouse…

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Isn’t the cabinet gorgeous?  We love its curves and the ornamentation on the drawers.  I couldn’t believe my luck that this was the one he didn’t want!

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And the machine?

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It was in decent shape and looked like it would function properly it was just a little dusty and grimy…

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See the original wood around the machine?  I figured one day I would get around to restoring the rest of it back to the original wood.  Three years later I haven’t done a thing with it.  sigh.

Well, after sewing my heart out earlier in the month at the annual quilt retreat I attend in Florida my sewing space has been on my mind.  It’s been needing some TLC so I figured while I was still in the sewing frame of mind I thought it was time to tackle the treadle.  I figured this would up the wow-factor of my sewing space and provide me with some inspiration every time I saw it.  Plus, this project has been one of my ‘just get it done this year’ goals!

Another source of motivation for working on it was our last snow storm where we were without power for several days.  Since then, my thoughts have been consumed with getting this machine cleaned up, something done with the cabinet and ordering the parts needed to get the machine up and running.  You know, just in case we’re ever without power again I could at least do some sewing in the light of the hurricane lamps.  (Remember my decision to decorate with dual-purpose items? Hurricane lamps (and lots of them!) and a treadle = able to do something without electricity!)

After mentioning my idea of restoring the cabinet to its original wood CountryBoy reminded me of the work involved in that process and that I would have difficulty getting all the black paint off from around the ornamentation on the drawers and from around the drawer pulls.  After closer inspection I knew he was right and it had me wondering if I really DID want to restore it back to the original wood.

At first I didn’t mind it being painted black but after looking at it in the sewing space for three years and not really being able to see it since there is no natural light source in there (making it rather dark) I thought maybe I should do something different.  Something that would showcase the beauty of it which got me to thinking (I know, right!)… why don’t I just paint it.  WHAAAT?  I know, I know.  I am the first one to want to restore something to its originality but in this case… it was already painted and as I’ve mentioned before, I could never paint original wood unless it was severely damaged, already painted or cheap wood.  So, since someone else already painted over that fine wood I figured I’d add another layer.

The last two days I spent chalk-painting and waxing my vintage treadle sewing machine cabinet and I’m really pleased with how it turned out…

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Look at the tiny drawer in the middle!  Before it was hard to see its unique shape.  I also love the simple black and white palette, how the sewing machine is featured now and the whole thing is noticeable in the space.

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I still have the lid to do.  It needs a bit of gluing and TLC and the weather has not been suitable for working on it out in the shop.

I ‘distressed’ it a tiny bit to feature the ornamentation on the drawers and tried to give it a ‘used’ look… after all, it is vintage!

 

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I also spent some time on the machine.  It had a little ‘spa day’ yesterday…

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It’s hard to see the difference but the dirt and grime are gone and the metal shines  once again.  The clear coat is mostly gone and the decals are showing wear but that’s OK.  She’s old and, as they say, just adds character!

This is a Minnesota A model treadle sewing machine and from what I’ve found in my research it was made in the very early 1900’s, probably 1910ish, and sold by Sears via their catalogue.  It was made to rival the Singer models and was mentioned as a ‘top of the line’ sewing machine.  I’m glad to have found her!

I need to find the correct bobbins and shuttle for this machine, the right needles and it needs a belt then I imagine she will purr like a kitten.  That is, if I can figure out how to sew using my feet! It will probably be a test of my coordination or maybe lack thereof, ha!

This is what I now see as I head up the stairs…

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A bit of inspiration for hanging out in my sewing/craft space whenever time permits!

The lid that still needs some TLC is leaning against a storage cabinet CountryBoy made that holds my small fabric stash behind the glass doors as well as some crochet thread, scrapbooking stuff, cross stitch patterns and who-knows-what-other-crafty-type-stuff!  The wicker basket is home to all the partial skeins of cotton yarn I’ve ever used.  Anyone know of a good scrappy project for all that yarn?!  For now I see tons of knitted dishcloths in my future, ha!

So, that’s a portion of my sewing space featuring my newly ‘dressed’ vintage treadle sewing machine.  I really like how it turned out and can’t wait until she’s got all her parts so I can learn how to use it.  You just never know when we’ll be without power again!

Till next time 🙂

 

 

 

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The Painted Hutch

If y’all remember a few days ago when our water was frozen I mentioned I was wanting to start a painting project that day.  I postponed that project and ended up finally tackling a wall hanging that was in need of being re-basted and quilted.

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I have many UFO’s (unfinished objects!) piled on a chair in my sewing room so it felt good to get started on at least one of them!  I still need to finish it up but I am over halfway with the quilting process.

Thankfully, our water unthawed late that same day and has stayed unthawed despite our below freezing  daytime temperatures.  So yesterday I jumped on my painting project…

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our dining room hutch that practically disappears into the wall.

Normally, I am opposed to painting any piece of fine furniture and especially antiques that is, unless they are beyond salvaging but in this case, well, let’s just say that sometimes we feel like we live in a cave and I feel the need to do whatever necessary to make it lighter and brighter.

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Hutch?  What hutch?  Oh, that hutch in the corner!

The interior walls of the ‘ol house are rough-cut lumber that has been stained a dark color.  Add to that, windows that are smaller than the original windows in the old farmhouse and it makes for a very dark house.

I’m slowly repainting the hunter green trim that was around all the windows and on the baseboards.  Doing that has helped break all the darkness quite a bit .

I love natural light and we often wonder what Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame would say if she ever darkened the doors of our old farmhouse!  Get it?  Darkened the doors – hahaha!  Sorry, I couldn’t resist…

Anyhoo, a few people have mentioned painting our walls but I just can’t.  For starters, rough cut wood is difficult to paint and well, you know how I struggle with painting wood so painting the walls is out.  Besides, I think it would lose that cozy cabin-feel if we did.

In pondering my options and perusing Pinterest I found some really great hutches that have been painted with chalk paint and I decided to go for it.

I saved up some extra money I’ve earned at work and bought some Annie Sloan chalk paint, wax and the recommended brush and finally, I could start on my painting project.

That first swipe of paint was difficult but once I got started there was no turning back.  I finished it up today and have to say, that I-love-it and am super pleased with how it turned out!

I left the slats on the doors the original color to tie in with a small bookshelf CountryBoy made using some shutters.  I painted it white but left the shutter slats raw.  Our dining chairs are also white and natural as you can see below which makes them all come together nicely.

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I think the painted hutch did a lot to lighten up that corner and the light coming in the window also reflects off it and helps lighten the whole dining room.

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I did not want the solid white brand-new look so I did some light distressing after I waxed it which adds to the character of this piece and ties in better with our rustic farmhouse style.

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I also like how much better our collection of pink and green Cherry Blossom depression glass shows up against the white.

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So pretty!  I can’t stop looking at it, hahaha!  I guess that means it was worth it.

 

Piddled & Foraged

I had the day off today.

I stayed in my house clothes the.entire.day. and it was awesome!!!  I have come to treasure these kinda days since I am now back in the workforce.

I didn’t have anything in particular that I wanted to get done so I just started piddling.

I wandered into the greenhouse and started straightening it up a bit.  It seems I am forever finding permanent homes for all our stuff.  And, it doesn’t seem to matter that I have tried to eliminate unnecessary stuff.  There’s still lots.of.stuff.

But, I digress.

I ended up rearranging a few of the plants that were brought indoors for the winter months; cleaned up the dusty, dirty heater CountryBoy brought in to the greenhouse for use on the below freezing nights; and I repotted one of my mint plants.

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It smelled so good and minty fresh!

I also spent some time foraging around the farm.  Not the typical kind of foraging for herbs and shrooms and such, but foraging for items that were here when we moved in that could be used as décor or other purposeful items.

One such thing was a beat up galvanized bucket that I had thrown a bunch of broken glass and metal bits in when we were cleaning up the small garden.  I decided I wanted to use it to hold a hanging plant from a pulley so I grabbed the bucket from the garden, cleaned it out and CountryBoy hung it up for me.

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I told ya it was beat up!  This plant normally hangs on a shepherds hook outside the greenhouse so I wanted to leave the original container in tack but wanted to put it in something more decorative and this did the trick.

Here’s another plant I put in another galvanized bucket that was left here…

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This plant is usually on the front porch on a plant stand.  I think I have a thing for plants in galvanized buckets (wink!).

It was pleasantly warm working in the greenhouse – out of the wind and cold.  I even had some company…

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Creamsicle and…

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Greyfus – also known as ‘the boys’!  They enjoy the greenhouse both day and night, that is, when they’re not out hunting for something a little more tasty than dry cat food!

CountryBoy had to remove Greyfus from his ‘bed’ so that he could get our old work jackets to put back in the truck.  (It never hurts to have something warm in your vehicle during the winter months, you know, just in case.)

Another item I found in the tack room while I was looking for greenhouse stuff was a small wooden shelf.  My mind immediately saw it being used as a spice rack.  But would it fit the space I wanted to put it?  After I finished up in the greenhouse I went back to the tack room in the barn and grabbed it. Mercy was it ever dirty!  I scrubbed it down and brought it in to see if it would fit.  It did, woohoo!

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I can’t remember whether this shelf was in one of the guestrooms or the loft that is now my sewing room but we took everything down so that we could paint the walls.  Wherever it was originally it ended up in the barn but is now back in the house being used as my spice rack.  And, it’s perfect!

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The spice rack I was using was custom made by CountryBoy for the fifth wheel but it was too small for the house and I had spices everywhere – to the right of the stove, to the left of the stove on a shelf and in the pantry.  Now, I have all my spices in one area.  Sweet!

I really love foraging and finding items that I already have and being able to put them to use maybe even in a completely different fashion than they were originally intended.  And, the price is always right!

(By the way, I am still trying to figure out where my missing photo files are.  sigh.)

 

Be Our Guest

Be our guest, Be our guest, Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin ’round your neck, cherie
And we provide the rest…

Were you singing that as you read it?!

Sorry, I used to work at Walt Disney World and couldn’t resist, hahaha!

Anyhoo, our first guest room is coming along.  Two and half years later but, hey, they tell me Rome wasn’t built in a day (wink!)

We have company coming this weekend and the next so I’ve been working on it bit by bit over the past two months.  First up are my nephew and his lovely wife stopping by for a few days then CountryBoy’s folks are heading this way.  It will good to see and spend time with all of them!

So, let me show you what this room looked when we moved in…

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It certainly was bright with glow-in-the-dark stars stuck to and hanging from the ceiling!

While I do like yellow walls I usually go for more of a buttery yellow so we painted, added some wood panels to the lower part of the wall and painted the floor since I couldn’t get it to look clean and I couldn’t get the paint off.

Here’s what the room looks like today…

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We switched the fan out with the one that was in my sewing room.  Since there is no central heat or air we put a box fan in the window to bring in the cool night air during the spring, summer and fall and there’s an electric fireplace for the winter nights.

We brought the white cabinet with us and I’m using it to store extra quilts and afghans as well as a few baby quilts that are for sale when the opportunity arises to set up a table somewhere since I no longer have my Etsy store.  Which, by the way, is a long story but basically Etsy was asking their sellers to do something I was not comfortable with and since they issued an ultimatum to either comply or be suspended I chose to close my store.  Someday, somehow, I’ll have a venue to sell some stuff.  Meanwhile, they sit in this cabinet and in a plastic tote.

There’s a luggage rack for ease of getting into one’s luggage and the military trunk I refinished stores old work shirts and miscellaneous stuff.

As I was editing the photos I noticed my printer cover draped over the quilt frame.  I promptly went up there and removed it and put it on my printer which has been relocated downstairs.

The quilt top was made by my great–great-grandma on my mother’s side.  My Mom had it finished years later after it was handed down to her.  I’m using it, even though it doesn’t quite fit the bed, because I have yet to finish hand-quilting the quilt I made for this room.  sigh.  Maybe this winter I can work on it.  I’m not sure what I was thinking when I thought hand-quilting a queen-size quilt was a good idea.  Phfft!

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I’m still looking for just the right thing to go over the bed.  I’ll know it when I see it!

There’s a chair in the corner that can be used to either sit down and read or put shoes on and be used as a night stand.  In the other corner is an antique wash stand with basin and pitcher.  Since there’s no bathroom upstairs I’ve got half a mind to fill it!

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We’ve had many guests come visit over the last two and a half years and this is one of the things I’ve learned… that having their own refrigerator would be handy.

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Many travel with snacks and medication that need to be refrigerated.  When we know company is coming we stock up the kitchen fridge to the gills since we live so far from town which doesn’t leave very much room for anything extra.  My solution? a mini-fridge in their room!  There’s a container of water in there for them and plenty of room to keep whatever they brought that needs to stay chilled.

We found this awesome handmade tea-cart at one of our favorite venues in town – the Peddlers Mall.  I thought it was perfect to set the fridge on to make it easy to access.

I also thought it might be nice for our guests to have access to a bit of coffee or tea whenever they like.  Maybe they want to do some reading early in the morning before heading downstairs or after everyone’s in bed and sip a cuppa java or hot tea.

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And, maybe they will want a little snack with it…

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Fresh banana bread with some soft butter!  I got this idea from my B&B employer (wink!)  I made three mini loaves this afternoon and, of course, I had to sample it and man, was it good!  There’s another loaf in the freezer for next weekend’s company.

There are some hooks to hang a few articles of clothing as well as another convenience for our guests… a charging station for all those devices we have now-a-days!

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One too many phone cords have been left behind.  Maybe now they won’t be!

And, of course, a few books to choose from while eating banana bread and sipping something hot!

I also made a sign that welcomes our guests to the farmhouse and has our internet access information on it…

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Tomorrow I will put a couple of fresh flowers in the bottle, put some half & half in the creamer and put it in the fridge and fill the canister with coffee grounds.

We LOVE to entertain so my desire is to make our guests feel welcomed and comfortable during their stay while enjoying the beauty of the farm.  We’ll see if I’ve succeeded in doing so!

 

 

 

Rainy Day Ramblings

It’s Monday.  It’s raining.  And, both are just fine with me.

The rain is nourishing the gardens. The onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes are coming along nicely and the recently planted watermelon, okra, turnips, beets and corn will all love this rain!

Also coming up much quicker than the crops are weeds.  Lots and lots of weeds!  One could hoe 24/7 and still not keep up with the weeds.  We are doing our best, though, to not get overrun with them this year.  We’ll see how that goes!

My flowers are also loving this rain…

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It’s been a nice, gentle rain which is perfect for newly planted seeds.

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It’s also good for all my potted plants.

Prior to this rainy Monday, I spent several hours over the weekend re-locating my ‘office’.  Again!  Originally, it was in my sewing and craft room but there are no windows in there and I found myself lacking any desire to get in there to do any blog writing or computer work in general.  So, I moved my ‘office’ (which consists of a laptop, printer, computer software, paper & card stuffs, and files and stuff for Young Living) into one of the guest rooms.  Ah, windows!  I suddenly found myself a bit more motivated!  But, it still wasn’t the perfect location.  When we do have guests, I am hesitant to do any blogging or computer work as I feel like I am intruding on our guests space.  And, I felt ostracized from the goings-on downstairs.  I don’t know if that makes sense or not but it was just how I felt.

So, I decided to move my ‘office’ downstairs.

The only somewhat suitable spot was in the dining room.

My overly-large roll-top desk was already in there so I decided that was where my ‘office’ would be. But first, I had to tackle the mounds of paperwork that covered the top of the desk so that I could put my laptop on it and yesterday morning was the day I felt as if I could conquer it.  Ha!  Please tell me I’m not the only one that lets paperwork get out of control!!!  I love to be organized but if anything is going to whip me in the organizing department it will be paperwork.  sigh.

Anyway, after moving the desk to anther wall so that I could look out the window while I worked I set about sorting, filing and tossing and eventually I saw the top of my desk.  Yay!  So, I started bringing stuff down from upstairs and getting it set up.

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It still needs a little bit of tweaking here and there.  I will finalize the space as I figure out what works and what doesn’t.  But, for now, I’m happy to be downstairs writing this here blog post, happy to be out of the guest room and happy to be able to see outside.  Happy, happy, happy!

I also spent a few hours over the weekend working on an old window that was left behind when we moved in…

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I knew I wanted to do something with this window but I didn’t know what so it’s been moved around from one storage shed to another waiting for me to be inspired.

As I was looking for a wooden box that I wanted to use in my new ‘office’ space (later to remember that I was already using it in another guest room to store bedding) I came across the window and a lightbulb went off!  I was going to clean it up and hang it on wall in the ‘office’/dining room.

It required lots and lots of elbow grease to get the paint off the windows…

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and while I was at it, I cleaned up the backside and ran a bead of clear silicone around each pane to help secure them…

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There was a pane missing so I tried to cut a piece of glass I had leftover from a water-damaged picture frame but I didn’t have the right tools.   So, to avoid a potential disaster I let it be.

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For the window frame itself, I simply scraped off any loose paint which exposed the original white paint and, in some spots, the wood itself.  I love the character that is left behind!

This wall, which is the only wall in there with drywall, is in need of a coat of paint.  I’m hoping that the window will be the focus and not the badly needed-paint job.

Also on this wall is a built-in shelf.  This shelf was originally a window but when, what is now the mudroom was enclosed the window was removed and, I’m assuming, this shelf was built…

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I’ve not known what to do with this built-in. At one time, I was thinking about removing it to have a solid wall and not have to try and ‘decorate’ around it.  But, since this shelf is near my ‘office’ I’ve decided to store some extra Young Living goodies on it…

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as well as a few things that remind me of the farm…

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I pulled that honey comb off the bottom of one of the medium supers I temporarily had in the large brood box.  It’s so cool and the handy work of the bees just amaze me!  It’s also a reminder of my ‘why’ for growing my Young Living business as well as my handmade/homemade farm goods business.

Speaking of handmade goods, I was asked by a friend of mine to make a quilted wall-hanging for her dining room.  She and I both like traditional quilts so I spent some time searching for just the right pattern.  After finding the pattern the next challenge was finding the perfect fabric.  I finally found some and, as you saw in my last post, I started cutting it.  I finished the quilt-top last Friday.  I love it!

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Simple nine patches around a double star.  Here’s a closer look at the gorgeous colors…

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Now to decide how I want to quilt it.  I find piecing the top is the easy part – quilting it, not so much.   I’m starting to come up with a plan.  I’m wanting to keep the quilting fairly traditional and I want it to add to, not take away, from the quilt top.

I did a second one with completely different fabrics which gave the quilt a completely different look…

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The sun was shining bright when I took this photo so it’s hard to see the colors but here’s a closeup…

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This pattern was so much fun!.  I will definitely be making more of them.

I also had some fun with the embroidery machine…

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I decided to make a pillow with this one.  I want to do another one but will use different colors.  SEW fun!

Earlier in the week, we decided it was time to let the chicks out of the grow-out cage during the day…

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CountryBoy cut two openings in the cage just large enough so that the littles could go in and out but the big girls couldn’t get in to eat all the food.  Cuz, you know, the chicks are getting better food than they get.  smirk!  We close the openings each night once they are all in safe and sound.

Occasionally, the big girls throw their weight around trying to tell the littles who’s boss but, for the most part, all is well.  Fuzzy Foot is really the boss but he just keeps thinking about the fact that he’s got even MORE girls to watch out for!  Poor Fuzzy Foot!

The rain has stopped for now so I will end my ramblings.

Thanks to all of you who faithfully read my ramblings and for the sweet comments letting me know that you actually enjoy reading my ramblings.  Y’all are too kind!

Projects Galore

OK, maybe not galore but we did manage to get quite a few projects done in the past two weeks.

But first, I want to share with you this morning’s foggy sunrise over the mountain…

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It was magical!

I can’t believe today is the last day of September.  This year has really flown by.  Soon, we will be buried under quilts, stoking the fire, eating the fruits of our labor and relaxing.  I, myself, am also looking forward to doing some sewing and quilting.  My sweet LizzieBelle is already buried under her blanket…

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So cute!

But, back to the past two weeks…  after discovering that our chickens were still not safe even in the fenced in paddock we decided to close off a portion of the paddock and make a chicken run directly off the barn.

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We purchase 150 feet of chicken wire, re-used some metal fence posts from around the farm and got to work.

After a long days’ work we had two sides done.

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Still to do was add the chicken wire to the outside of the fence by the driveway but, at least, they were safe from predators stalking them from the mountain side of the paddock.

While we were purchasing the chicken wire I, of course, had to check out the clearance aisle where I found some lovely perennials marked down to $3.  Score!  So, we took a break from the chicken run to work on some curb appeal.

Our driveway actually ends at the side of the house.  There were a few Hostas and some wild Lemon Balm along the front of the porch and nothing along the back of the house where we and everyone else enters the house.

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I decided to move two of the Hostas, divide them and plant them along the back of the house from the corner of the porch to the door.

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Hopefully, they will fill out again but we’re liking where they are now.

CountryBoy tilled the ground at the far corner of the porch and then I planted my clearance plants.  He added some stones for me to help keep the weeds down.

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It’s easy to mow around and helps show off the flowers.

All of my lovely clearance plants!

Once that project was over we got back to work on finishing up the chicken run.  The girls, and Fuzzy Foot the rooster, are happy and we feel good again about their safety.

The next project was installing a temporary wall to close off the bathroom from the laundry nook and pantry.

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I say temporary because, one day, we have plans to renovate the bathroom after we get a half bath put in upstairs.  We’re not sure when that will happen so in the meantime we decided that we needed to go ahead and close off and separate the bathroom from the pantry.

Continuing the reclaimed fence boards we used in the pantry CountryBoy got to work on sanding the remaining boards down, putting up 2×4’s and cutting the boards to size to create the wall.

He also relocated the door into the pantry/laundry nook/bathroom and used it as the bathroom door.

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SO much better!

Since the wall is temporary I simply tucked the metal rack we’ve been using for towel storage in the wall alcove but removed several shelves to accommodate the wall mounted gas heater.  CountryBoy added some small shelves by the tub/shower for a little bit of extra storage space.

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I can’t tell you how nice it is to NOT see the bathroom when I walk into the pantry for something or when I’m doing laundry.  It’s the little things, haha!

Yesterday, while CountryBoy was re-working our winter dining table (it sits directly across from the wood burning stove!) I got to work on the cover for the crib-bench in the living room.

After mustering up the courage to cut the fabric, I washed it and finished cutting out the pieces that I needed.  If there’s one thing that will make me procrastinate on starting a sewing project is the cutting of the fabric.  You know, that whole fear of messing it up and then what do I do?!  Once that’s done, it’s a piece of cake!

I didn’t quite think the whole thing through when I started but it went together fairly easy and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

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I made it like a pillowcase with snaps on the one end so that it can be removed if it needs to be washed.

Once CountryBoy was finished stiffening up and sanding down the winter dining table I did a final sand and put a couple of coats of polyurethane on it.

I love how the polyurethane brings out the grain of the wood.

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CountryBoy made this table last year out of boards that were salvaged from right here on the farm.

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So pretty and ready for winter!

I’ve also been removing Lavender seeds and flowers from a box of Lavender that we were gifted with as well as working on the ever-present need to get organized and find permanent homes for everything.  Happily, I am finding those permanent homes and feeling a bit more settled in.

I’m sure I’ve missed something else that we’ve done over the past two weeks but those projects were the bigger ones.  Which one was your favorite?

Some Farmhouse Kitchen History & Seed Germination Test

After moving into the farmhouse we decided, rather quickly, to completely gut the kitchen.  Had we known that in a few weeks we would have a massive snow storm we might’ve considered waiting a bit but, that’s neither here nor there.  We gutted it clear to the exterior wall exposing the house to some very chilly temperatures.

During the demo process we removed the drywall and discovered layer upon layer of wallpaper and even some newspaper covering the rough cut wood walls.

We saved a section of them knowing we wanted to display them somehow.

When I was in Florida back in January I had purchased a shadowbox that was 50% off and it has been taking up floor space in the pantry ever since.

The weather today is cold with snow flurries off and on.  Not a good day to be working outdoors if one doesn’t have to.  So, it seemed like a good day to finally do something with the ancient wallpaper.

CountryBoy took on this project and enjoyed sifting through the layers and creating the display.

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Fourteen layers!  The newest is on the left with the oldest, the newsprint, on the right.  He even used the original tacks which were used to hang the wallpaper.  (Yes, we saved a bunch of those, too!)

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Pretty cool!

I’m happy we kept it and now some of the history of the farmhouse kitchen is on display.

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A couple of weeks ago I started a seed germination test on beefsteak & roma tomatoes, green peppers and jalapeno seeds.

The green pepper seeds did nothing and appeared to be molding up so I tossed them and all the seeds as well.  Who knows how old they were.  They were some I had saved a few years back, so, not a huge loss but disappointing nonetheless.  I started another germination test using some seeds I saved a few weeks ago from a pepper I used.  We’ll see how they do and if nothing then I’ll buy a pack of seeds.

The jalapeno seeds also did nothing but they were not moldy so I will let them go a bit longer.  We’ve not had very many sunny days so that may be part of the germination problem.

Both the beefsteak and roma tomato seeds did well with 7 out of 10 seeds sprouting with nice roots.

I went ahead and planted all of them since the remaining seeds appeared to have a root starting to emerge from the seed.  If those seeds end up sprouting then I will have a germination rate of 100% of the tomato seeds.  Currently, the germination rate is 70% which is pretty good.  The beefsteak seeds were purchased last year and the roma’s are from seeds I saved and are, at least, over a year old so I’m happy they did so well.  If the rate remains at 70% I will simply start a few extra seeds to make up for the ones that may not germinate.

CountryBoy saw where someone had used toilet paper tubes to start their seeds in then you simply put the tube in the ground when ready.  Sounds easy enough so we’ve been saving them.

I put ten tubes each in two shoebox size plastic totes, added seed starter soil and placed the tiny sprouts one per tube.

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I think they’re happy to be out of the cramped quarters of the paper towel and baggy!

Now if we could get some sunshiny days to help these guys along.

Have you started any seeds yet?  Are you planning on it?  If so, what are your garden plans this year?  I’d love to hear about it!

A Shelf Project for My Sewing Room/Office

My sewing room and office space is slowly evolving.  I am trying not to rush it.  Which, for me, is sometimes difficult especially when I am wanting to work on a project and the stuff I need to do it is all over the place.  ugh, I can’t stand that!  I want it organized and easily accessible.

As I said, I am not rushing into designing this space.  I am letting it evolve.  I want to make sure that I think through all the ways I will be using the space and then coming up with the best possible storage solutions to neatly accommodate all my craft and sewing supplies.  I also want it to be a cozy space since it’s what you immediately see when you go upstairs.  And, at the same time, I don’t want to spend a lot of money making it happen.

Creating a space this way, rather than purchasing new or ready-made items, takes a bit of creativity and sometimes ingenuity.  When a clear idea comes to me then I proceed without stopping (much to CountryBoy’s chagrin, sometimes (wink)).

Just such an idea came to me last night so, of course, I had to tackle it today!

I was needing something to put some of my photography and clipart books on and on something, preferably, near the computer.

When we moved into the farmhouse, there were two shelves mounted on the wall above my computer desk.  We had taken them down to paint the walls and, well, because they needed some TLC.  They were put in the barn.

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I decided that one of those shelves would be the solution since they were custom made for that wall and made well.  And, because it wouldn’t cost me anything but a little bit of my time.  But, I didn’t want it up there in its current state.

The white paint was yellowed from smoke and there was glue or caulk badly smeared in several places.

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I decided to give it a more shabby-chic look so out came my orbital sander.  Before long the yellow was gone as well as most of the glue.

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Much better!

Now to make it blend in a little better with my espresso stained desks so, out came my espresso stain….

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I covered the white paint and all, allowed it to dry a few minutes then wiped it off.

I let all of it dry for another fifteen minutes or so then put a coat of dark wax on it.

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Yes!  That’s exactly the look I was trying to achieve.  Yay!

Now to see what it looks like on the wall…

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Oh yea!  Works for me.

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As I was rubbing the wax on it I kept thinking that it now looked like a shelf I might find at Hobby Lobby but without the price!

As I mentioned earlier, this space is slowly evolving.

Here it is in its current state…

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Still needed are storage solutions (which will go on the wall behind the rocker) and utilizing more wall space.  I’m thinking about using a piece of pegboard that was left behind by the previous owner, cleaning and dressing it up and using that as well to hang embroidery hoops, scissors and maybe some thread.  Still pondering that idea so I will wait until I have a clear picture in mind.

But, for now, I am happy that it is coming together and that I am able to use it in the meantime.

Bit by bit!