Oct 26, 2008

My Recent DIY Project

Well, the first thing I want to say is: my blogging padres, I've missed you. I feel like I have skipped two weeks of therapy...my viscous prescription that holds my sanity together.

Oh this feels so good. Sitting in my red, over sized chair-and-a-half with my feet propped up on the ottoman and my Sony VAIO reposed on my lap. I have a hot cup of coffee on the end table beside me and Frank Sinatra playing softly in the background. I have looked forward to this the whole time I've been away. Seriously, who needs a therapist with a diversion like this?

I have uploaded all my pictures from the last two weeks (hundreds upon hundreds of them!) and have begun six different posts...just so I don't forget anything that I've been planning to tell you. Oh I have so much to say! I've been meticulously collecting posts in my head since my mom got here and left. Okay, meticulously is probably an exaggeration. Bear with me; I haven't been able to type words like "meticulously" in days and days!

Alright, enough basking...on with the intention for this post.

When DH and I first got married, we had nuthin. I mean nuthin. We were in desperate need of an entertainment center and money simultaneously. So DH got up one Saturday morning, made a materials list, and went to Sutherlands (a local version of Home Depot). He came home and called a buddy of his to come over and help him build us a "temporary" entertainment center so our little 13" TV could sit on something other than a folding TV tray.

Because those trays are meant for your dinner while you watch TV, not for the TV itself. Just in case you ever wondered.

So these two literally threw this thing together on our shared driveway. I only mention the driveway so you can appreciate the necessity of finishing the thing in one day. We seriously rolled this 10-foot long made-of-solid-pine (meaning too heavy to pick up) monstrosity...rolled it...on a radio flyer wagon! Too bad we were too poor for a camera.

Eleven years later, our "temporary" entertainment center was less than stellar. It was less than haggard. Truth be told, it was just a notch above rickety.

Last fall, we finally bought all new living room furniture and it was time for the "rustic" (as we affectionately called it) cabinet to meet its delinquent doom. As DH was shoving it out of the living room and through our farmhouse kitchen, it occurred to him that this piece of, um, furniture, fit quite precisely along an empty wall in the kitchen.

Thus the old relic was saved. He decided to take the sagging bottom doors off and add some bead board to the back and just generally spruce it up some. Then I got some advice from an extremely talented furniture finisher at church who let me in on some creative secrets on how to get the finish I wanted for it.

After many (wo)man-hours sanding, painting, more sanding, more painting, staining, and finishing this piece, it is now something that DH and I can be proud to own! We finished it last year just before Thanksgiving with just one exception.

Remember the doors I told you he took off from the bottom? They simply had to go, but we hadn't done anything to replace them. We went just about a whole year with open cabinets on the bottom of it.

Until Momma was comin' to town.

For some reason, nothing motivates us to finish projects like someone special coming over.

When I was little, my granny had kitchen cabinets with fabric "doors." Since I like old-fashioned, I decided that's what I wanted for our new cabinet.

The only problem with that is I don't sew. At least not normally. But my DH convinced me that "how hard could it be?" and if I could labor and deliver three kids with little to no drugs, why couldn't I do this?

So I did:

Here's some pics of the top of the cabinet with the awesome bead board and finish that my friend Janet taught me:

The curtains are these precious rooster panels that say "Le Chanticleer" and "Le Coque" with their cute little French country selves! And as you can see, the outer fabric has chicken wire over black...which was just perfect. I finished them the week before mom came to see us.

But here's the entertaining part: A very good friend of mine gave me an antique Singer sewing machine several months ago that was merely for decoration. Well, a little cleaning, oiling, and some more TLC by my DH, and voila! It works!

I discovered from the serial number on it that it was made in 1926 in Clydebank, Scotland. And get this: it's a HAND crank!

And I, with my inexperienced single-handedness (since I had to crank) made those delicious curtains you see in the picture! Me! Can you believe it? It's true...here's proof:

Oh, and one other amusing component to my sewing expedition: the rubber thing that turns the thingy that winds my bobbin on the machine is unusable until I get a replacement, so my ingenious DH rigged up a bobbin winder on his drill:

Yes he did.

He's a pretty amazing fella if I do say so myself.

Well I have much more to share, but I know if I have any readers left at all, ya'll don't want a book all at once, therefore I will refrain...for now.


Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Just gorgeous!!!! It looked great in July but this is awesome! I can't wait to touch the curtains!! You are fabulous darling just fabulous.
Although I have had some opportunity to speak with you, you have been missed! :-)
Your siser, Chel

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, I could never be that creative! Good job!


Elle said...

Chel - oh my gosh - the cabinet is so so so cute and what a memory - that is so great you saved it and the curtain cabinet covers are fantastic!

thanks for sharing - I love DIY projects

Gwendolyn said...

That is BEAUTIFUL! You need to come make me some furniture now. I would TOTALLY watch and be amazed, I promise. :o)

Dena @ Green Acres said...

Welcome back! And may I say that your cabinet is GORGEOUS! I love it! The chicken wire fabric is perfect to go along with the roosters. Very creative. Although, I didn't appreciate reading about how you got your sewing machine working. My mother is forever trying to get me to sew, but all I have is an antique machine too. If she reads this, I'll be doomed. LOL

Jodie said...

So many things:
The drill bobbin winder: classic.

The finish on the cabinet: please post a tutorial and spill all the details so that we can repeat it in our homes!

The sewing machine: I love that it works! How cool is that!! And 1926?! Awesome! :)

The visitor: is a world-wide motivator. :)

Greg C said...

Why did you show us that awesome cabinet instead of the rickety old one? I can't wait to see all your pictures.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

We lost all our pictures from our old hard drive, so I think we don't have any of it old and rickety. Sorry to disappoint you, Greg!

If I get some time, I'll skim through some of our old paper photos and see if we caught it on camera way back then before the digital age. :-) I can scan it thanks to the digital age we have now.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

Wow! I am super impressed!

Tiffanie said...

No time to read... but had to say hello! Beautiful cabinet though! I'll be back to see what thats all about!!
Blessings my friend!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Chel, my friend! I have missed you! I wondered what you were up...and look at you, getting all creative on us. That is an amazing piece, and I am in awe that you made those adorable French country cupboard panels yourself. With no sewing experience, no less!

Can't wait to see your hundreds of pictures and hear what else you've been up to. :)

Tiffanie said...

Yup, diapers rolled up and stacked in the shape of a cake. I use rubber bands to hold em together. I band every three and then the ribbon around each layer holds all it all together. Then just use ribbon to tie on gifts. You can probably find directions online too. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

Merrie said...

That is absolutely amazing! I'm so impressed with your creativity and hard work. It looks incredible!

I'm from Georgia too... originally... my husband is a pastor and so we have lived all over south Georgia, even though I grew up in Atlanta area.

sure is a small world... and I home schooled our now grown children.

Have you read anything by Lisa Bevere? She has 4 boys and a huge ministry of leaving a Legacy. If you haven't, you would enjoy her writings...

Rose said...

LOL, you had me laughing at the drill bobbin winder. :) I have sewn since I was like knee high I guess. My Daddy started me out with my Aunts scrapes she would send me by the brown paper sack. Would make my Mom mad as a wet sitting hen. ;) Anyway I love your cabinet! And what memories it has for you two!!!