Remember these craIgslist chairs that I reupholstered with dyed canvas drop cloths?
I still love the color and the lines, and in fact felt totally validated when I saw this photo from BHG recently, but my first major upholstery project left quite a bit to be desired and they are, literally, coming apart art the seams. Also I never finished the backside of one of them.
My mother in law, Alden, loves history and is very sentimental. Almost every piece of furniture in her home was built to last and passed down through the family. Her father recently moved out of his home and several family pieces have migrated to her house. While rearranging things to make room she asked me if I’d like to take a chair that had once belonged to a wonderful friend of the family that everyone called Aunt Kathleen. All the kids adored her, maybe because from what I hear she brought over homemade sugar cookies all the time! As much as I liked the gray canvas wing chairs no way could I pass up a chair that was much higher quality and had sentimental value. I suppose I could have kept the gray chairs and put this new/old chair elsewhere in the house, but honestly I think it’s beautiful and fits really well in here. The gray chairs will go to craigslist for someone else to reupholster properly.
With only one chair here there’s now room for a wider table or maybe even a credenza below the window. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for something solid wood so as not to embarrass the stately chair.
Someday when we no longer have small children and naughty cats in our midst I’ll pay to have it professionally upholstered. For now I actually kind of love the floral print. It’s totally granny chic.
One of the reasons I was really excited to replace the bifold doors on my pantry was so that I could add some storage to the inside of the doors for spices, medications, foil and plastic wrap, etc. I worked on these on and off over a week or two and I don’t feel like my pictures do a great job of explaining the process, but I was heavily influenced by this and this from Shanty-2-Chic so if you want to see how someone who actually knows what she’s doing made something similar you can click over there.
So I started with some 1×3 boards that I already had (they used to be slats for a bed that we no longer have, but I pried out the staples and saved the wood).
The boards were 30″ long so I cut them down into a bunch of 10″ pieces (to fit nicely on our 13″ wide doors). Then I used a 1/2″ spade bit to drill two holes in eight of the pieces. I clamped them together and drilled several simultaneously both to save time and because the exit hole seemed to always get torn up really badly. By clamping them together I had fewer boards with a lot of damage to sand down.
See how the top board on this stack is kind of messy but the one lower down has a nice clean hole? That’s why I clamped them together. Also in this photo you can see a 1/2″ wood cap (sold near the dowels at Lowe’s) that I later used to cover each hole.
To assemble each unit, I put two drilled pieces perpendicular to the ends of a piece that had not been drilled, then secured it with nails and glue. Unfortunately the boards were too thick for the 3/4″ brads in my brad gun so I had to hammer them, which was kind of hard.
Then I put a 1/2″ dowel that I’d cut to length through each set of holes and finished each end with a bit of glue and a wood cap. The piece pictured below was for foil/plastic wrap, but for the spice racks I added an additional shelf.
I primed them, painted them, then attached some painted pieces of 1/4″ plywood (also from my scrap stash) to the back with more nails and glue. I also drilled two holes in the back of each for hanging.
I attached them to the pantry doors with a screw through each of those holes I’d just drilled. It took some adjustment to get the positioning right so that they wouldn’t bump into each other while opening and closing, but once I had them in just the right spot my celebration was short-lived because I wasn’t pleased with the rough edge of the plywood.
I couldn’t find any trim that was small enough at Lowe’s, so I picked up these wood sticks at the craft store and cut them using a pair of wire snips.
I used them to trim out the edge of the plywood, attaching them with glue and the occasional nail and then applying wood filler to the edges.
Then I just used a small brush to paint the trim and voila! My new pantry storage!
I went through my spices as I moved them and ended up throwing most of them away because they were expired by a year or more. That’s okay because now we’re down to just the ones we use the most and it freed up room for some medications/vitamins that we take daily.
Moving all of this stuff to the pantry doors was part of my master plan to make room for the cutting boards under the area where we actually prep food and to pave the way for the microwave in the pantry. I’ve still got a couple more projects to do in there, including possibly starting from scratch with the door hinges because the one on the left is still not closing properly–I guess the reason why doors come prehung is because it can be hard to get right!
These last few months with Jack have been a lot of fun. He’s finally walking all over the place, he’s picking up new words every day, and his little personality is just sparkling.
His physical therapist comes every week and he loves her. She helps him do fun things that will also make him stronger, like climbing steps, carrying things around, and walking over the old sidewalks in our neighborhood–they’re riddled with tree roots and the extra challenge is good for him.
He is so sweet these days. He says please and thank you and still loves to be held. He wants to read books and play outside all day.
He’s really into opening and closing doors of all kinds. He loves walking out to the sidewalk and closing the gate to our picket fence behind him, then continuing on his mission to make it to the neighbors’ yard before I reach him.
He’s also still a big fan of his swing. His PT told me that this kind of stuff–swinging around and even going upside down–is actually really good for developing his sense of balance. Something about fluid in the inner ear. And those bucket swings in the park are even better because they work the core muscles. I’m really enjoying getting to pick her brain every week while she works with him.
I’ve got to say, I am loving the toddler stage. My personality is much better suited to chasing after a toddler than tending to a demanding infant. I can see little bits of both Nick and myself in his personality–he’s stubborn and bookish like me, cuddly and sports-loving like Nick. And of course every kid has that certain je ne sais quoi that is theirs alone.
So after writing yesterday’s post about my garden I went a little crazy pinning rosemary recipes left and right. I’m so excited to try some of these out! Rosemary is really easy to grow in a container if you have any outdoor space available and adds a really delicious touch (plus I love the look of it. So sculptural!).
I love using natural home deodorizers to fight back against my three stinky pets (and I guess us three humans don’t always smell like roses either). I’ve done oranges and vanilla before but never lemon and rosemary. I’m putting lemons on my grocery list so I can try it this weekend.
If you don’t like rosemary, sorry! I can’t find the recipe right now but I’ve also put it on roasted chicken before and it was DELISH. I’m not sure I ever met an herb that I didn’t like. I love cooking with lots of flavor. I use so much garlic in so many dishes I cook that I can barely even detect the flavor anymore; and even though Nick isn’t crazy about them onions go into everything as well (he’s fine with them as long as they’re cooked down and no longer crunchy).