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Never Say Never

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Well, here I am. Back again with my hat in my hand. Can we still be friends? I hope so. After taking some time to regroup I found that I missed writing. I missed telling our story as unremarkable as it is. I missed you.
So, I am back.
My time away certainly gave me time to reflect on my writing. Before my break the blog was really making me crazy trying to meet self-imposed timelines so that I could post something.
Today I am just going to catch you up on what has been going on, if that is okay with you.

The Property

We are so lucky. We get to live on 15 beautiful acres with great neighbors and a beautiful view. I have worked really hard to stop focusing on what needs to be changed or improved and tried to focus on what we have. It isn’t always easy, but I am forcing myself to stop and feed the catfish. (My version of stop and smell the roses.)
Since I last shared anything with you, we have taken quite a bit of time cleaning up the property (and by we I mean 98% of the was done by Mr. Math with 2% coming from me picking up limbs and pointing to where I want things to go). Mr. Math planted three blueberry bushes, several blackberry bushes, a ton, and I do mean a ton of crepe myrtles, about twenty mayhaw, wild plum, and crabapple saplings, five large pecan trees and a peach tree. It is a never ending job. Right now the yard is shaggy but too wet to mow.
We have had a relatively wet and mild winter and even though our road took a beating, everything is green and beautiful here.


The House

We really have not done a ton to the inside of our house since my last post. We have changed out the mismatched window coverings in the main room for 2 inch blinds. I got them at ReStore for $5.00 each. Check out your local ReStore if you have one. It is an organization I believe in and they have great deals. I could not believe my luck finding exactly the size I needed for the four windows.
Mr. Math also built a barn door that fits our 36 inch wide bathroom door opening. (FYI a 36 inch door does not work as a barn door for a 36 inch opening if you want privacy. Lesson learned.) I have not finished making the door look old, but it is going to be great. The hardware is from Home Depot and even though it is more expensive than Tractor Supply’s barn door hangers, I like it in our bedroom.
Furniture

A friend recently cleared out a rental house and I scored big on getting a load of furniture.

So far I have finished this piece. It is great in our family room.

My craft room is overflowing with French Provincial night stands from the stuff above. I am not sure I can save them all but the parts will be reused.

IMG_1694
In our living room I am working on a dining set that will go in the guest shed. It is beating me up right now.
I have collected some great pieces since I last wrote a post and I am looking forward to some really fun projects.
This spring and summer I will be very busy. I can’t wait to fill you in on our big projects we have planned for spring, summer and fall.
Thanks for following along on our journey. After this quick update I do have a few posts on the way to let you know what is coming up and projects that are underway.
Blessings,
Karen

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A Bench for the Foot of the Bed

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This project has been a long time in the works. A year ago, before I even considered moving to the burbs, I literally picked up these legs out of the trash at a garage sale. (I did ask first.) They once were legs for a side table and were solid wood.

I did not have a plan for them but they were too nice to be trashed.

table legs

When we moved into our new house I knew I would want a bench at the end of our bed. The room is big and I love having a place to sit and put on shoes in the bedroom. I stalled on completing this project because I am trying to keep the cost down in decorating our room. I am way over budget in the den and guest room. (Like double my $100.00 per room budget in both rooms.) Before starting the bench I had spent about $80.00 on the master bedroom and I still have a few things to do. The holdup was upholstery foam. It is expensive. Crazy expensive. The foam for the mudroom bench tufted cushion was $32.00. A friend of my daughter told me she bought foam on Amazon, but it was still going to be $20.00 with shipping.

A trip to Ikea solved the problem. Have you ever been in the “As is” section of an Ikea? It is a great place to find what you didn’t even know you were looking for. Table legs, cabinet doors, scratch and dent furnishings, hardware…the place is fun to look around in for the unexpected. I found a huge cushion for a couch or chair marked $5.00. Plenty big enough for my bench.

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I sliced the thickness of the foam in half using an electric knife then used spray adhesive to attach it to a scrap of plywood pulled from the hoard and cut to fit, added a layer of batting then wrapped an old sheet around the foam and attached it to the plywood with my staple gun. This step keeps the foam in place and smooth while the upholstery is being attached. It has been so long on this project that I could not find a photo of the cushion or the big slice job. I will keep looking.

upholstery diy

In order above: sheet on bottom, then a layer of batting, then foam, then plywood

upholstered bench

use a sheet to line upholstery

Hubby built a frame for the bench base and attached the legs with thumb screws. The frame and legs got painted a couple coats of Behr Revival Mahogany.

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square corner tool

This is a cool tool. It holds the wood at a 90 degree angle so you can attach the parts.

bench frame

legs on bench

bench

Here it was while we were fitting the bench top on the base. It looks like we did not have it on evenly.

The upholstery brings a little color into the room. it was $15.00 for two yards. Well it looks like I am going to go over on this room also, but not by much. The bench ended up costing $22.00. Not bad.

bench from side table legs

 

repurposed end table legs

 

teal bench

I love how this looks.

teal paisley colored fabric

 

master bedroom with bench

 

teal master bedroom

I really want to paint the wall behind our bed a darker color. I believe it is going to be Garden Wall by Behr.

building a bench from table legs

 

master bedroom

Here she is in all her beauty. Hubby wanted some color in the room. I think this fills the bill.

Making a Tufted Cushion for the Mudroom Bench

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We are making progress on the Mudroom Bench.  No more showing it to you until it is installed!  I had planned on using an outdoor cushion that I bought on clearance but Hubby did not like how it fit the bench and honestly I wanted something a little more swanky.  We have both put in a lot of work on this project and it will be the first thing that people see when they come into our home.  I am making pillows for the bench too that you will see this week.  We have completed the cushion to go on the bench.  I learned a ton on this project.  Hubby and I have upholstered many things over the years, but I had not ever tried anything tufted.  My inspiration came from Daily Do It Yourself .  I did not know how to cover buttons with fabric but Hubby had some experience (his sisters both sew) so we got started.  I bought this button making kit at Hobby Lobby.  I love those 40% off coupons.
The kit would would only make three buttons, but you can buy refill buttons for $1.99.  Not bad.  I bought 12 buttons all together.  The kit provides a template to draw circles on the fabric.
I got all 12 drawn out on a tiny scrap of fabric.  It does not take much to do the buttons.

Place the fabric in the form provided, back side up.

Then put the rounded part of the button into the mold.

Like magic the fabric curls in when you press down on the rounded button part.


Put the part of the button that has the ring on it into the mold next. The kit comes with a blue pressing tool.  Press until you feel a click. 

Ta Dah!
It got tricky after this part.  Hubby had already cut a piece of scrap 1/2 inch plywood cut to size.  We looked at several websites about tufted pillows.  His next statement filled me with fear.  “This will be easy, all we need is a tape measure, ruler, calculator and a pencil.”  A calculator?  Hubby is a math teacher so I immediately passed the chore of marking where the buttons went off to him. 

He drilled a hole where each button should go then we placed the board across two chair backs.  This allowed me to work on top and bottom at the same time. We layered foam on top of the board that was also cut to size and then the fabric.  I even ironed!  I used an upholstery needle and heavy weight thread to go through the hole in the wood, the foam and the fabric.  I then put the button on the thread then back down through everything.  Finding the hole in the wood was a pain at first but I got better.  I did not tie the buttons at this point.  I left the thread hanging.

Once all 12 were in we carefully flipped everything over on the floor, buttons down.  Hubby stood on the board while I pulled the thread tight.  He screwed a small screw in by each button for me to tie off.  I then stapled the thread to make sure it stayed secure.  Next I used my trusty electric staple gun to staple the fabric down around the edges. 

It turned out great.

Look at how straight the buttons are down the cushion.  Great job done by the mathematician.

The cushion is now ready for the bench.  The cost was not too bad, but way more than my $7.00 cushion I originally planned to use.  The fabric was a linen remnent that I only paid $3.00 for.  The buttons cost $5.00.  The big expense was the foam.  $20.00, even with a coupon.
It is going to look great on the bench.