Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Orange Zebra Chair

Some of my projects make me very happy.  This is one of them.
"Antique Chairs, $25.00" the Facebook yard sale ad read.  Who could resist that, I ask you?  I went to buy just one of them but came home with 2.  I even only took $25.00 with me and my station wagon, which I thought would only hold one chair, to be sure I didn't come home with more than I need.  Well, apparently my car can hold 2 chairs and the seller of the chairs was willing to take a check for the second one :)  Maybe I do need 2 chairs.
These chairs belonged to the seller's grandmother and grandfather.  Can't you just picture your grandparents in these?  They appear a champagne color but when I stripped the one down I saw it once was green.  So, a-shopping I went for fabric.  The plan is for this to go in James' office.  The color palette is grey, orange, brown and white.  I texted him a picture of the fabric and asked, "Is this too wild for you?"  He replied, "Not if you like it.  Looks like a fake animal".

Only in Roanoke, VA can you find a rare orange, grey and cream colored zebra hide.  It was a done deal.  Before ripping it apart I numbered each panel with a marker.
I painted the wood a cream color, then grey on top.  I sanded it a bit so the cream would show through.  I also added more cushioning to the seat.  I took pictures every step of the way, and I mean, EVERY step.  I'll spare you all the pictures but in case you decide to do this yourself you'll understand how very important it is to do this.  Here are just a few.

This last picture shows how they pieced things together above the arm.  I decided to be brave and make that top piece and the one below the arm all one piece.  I now know why they did it in two pieces.  It was much easier that way but I decided I didn't want that many seams.  Luckily, it all worked out and I was able to do it all in one cut.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I learned with this chair but I'll mention just a few things.
If you're going to attempt reupholstering the first thing you need to do is save all the fabric you removed to use as a pattern.  As I said earlier, take pictures.  Watch Youtube videos.  That's how I learned to use the flexible metal tacking strip so I could attach the final back panel, which was originally sewn on.  I had to buy 100 ft. of this tacking strip so I could use 7 feet of it for this chair.

The original chair had decorative upholstery tacks for the trim but I chose to use double welting since I've gotten so much better at this and I like the look.  Also, it tied the dark fabric to the zebra print.
Instead of using cotton piping from the fabric store I used parachute cord which is made from nylon and creates a very tight cording.  Of course, now that I'm getting better at using my sewing machine and zipper foot that makes all the difference in the world.
This whole project cost around $205.00 and I have enough fabric and supplies to cover the second chair too, so 2 chairs for around $230.00.  Not bad.  I plan to build a foot stool or ottoman to match.

I'm in the process of tanning a goat hide.  A real one, not fabric.  I don't know what I'll use it for but I hope it will be used for something I find as much fun as this chair has been for me.

Monday, November 21, 2016

With the cold comes the critters

Mice have moved into my barn.  I was grossed out by the rats we were infested with a while back, that have since moved on (I hope), but these cute little field mice are rather entertaining.  As I milk they pop their heads up over the milking platform to watch, then quickly duck when they get nervous.  They run around my and the goats legs with nervous energy.  This would freak my mom out.  She once asked if I taped up the legs of my jeans so they can't run up them.  I don't.  They don't bother me and the goats ignore them unless a sudden movement startles them.  Still, they continue eating.

What does bother me is the other critter that has been coming around.  I have no video or picture of this next intruder and I don't want to see him.  There have been at least 2 mornings I've found about 1 tablespoon of yellow liquid in my dog's food bowl that smelled very strong of skunk.  I thought that the oddest thing.  Did he just back up to the bowl and use it as a commode?  Why did my dogs not attack him and why would a skunk enter a fence that has 2 giant great pyrenees in there who could rip him apart?  If that doesn't seem strange enough, the 3rd morning I found the calling card in Rex's bowl I found skunk scat in Keri's.  It appeared to have hair in it (yes, I studied it) so I think he's eating some of those adorable field mice.  I shouldn't even type this because I know it's going to come back and haunt me - Keri and Rex have never been sprayed by a skunk.  Maybe they just know better than to mess with it.  I hope so.  I haven't seen evidence of the skunk in almost a week now so I hope he's moved on.

Now I'll share a picture that will make you go awwwww.  The folks who own Mickey and Wendell sent me a text this morning to let me know Mickey had 10 piglets. I miss Mickey, Wendell and babies but I'm glad they're doing well, are loved and are living on a gorgeous pig-friendly farm.  This is her second litter with them.  I think the first time she gave them 13 piglets.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ms. Magnolia

For two years I've been wanting to have a dress form Christmas tree but I had no dress form.  A few weeks ago I found one on Craigslist for $40.00.  What a steal!  I dressed her up for Halloween but that was pretty pitiful so I won't post a picture here.  Today, though, I'm pretty pleased with how pretty she looks (if I do say so myself).  This is her Autumn outfit.
This is her naked.
A friend is coming to visit early December and I'm hoping she'll help me make her spectacular for Christmas.  She will no longer be Ms. Magnolia.  Maybe she'll be Suzy Snowflake, I'm not sure.

If you've never seen dress forms decorated go to Pinterest and look up dress form Christmas trees.  There are some really beautiful ones.