Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Home/Farm Improvement

We have now been living on our farm for three years.  One of the great things about moving here was that the house was not a fixer-upper, as most of the old farmhouses we looked at were; it had been lovingly maintained and updated. Thus, nearly all of our efforts over the past three years have focused on outbuildings and farm projects. I have been looking forward to this winter to finally tackle some indoor projects.

Project # 1 - Reupholster the breakfast chairs.  Last week, I un-upholstered the shiny yellow damask fabric that covered the seats of these two carved chairs I found at a thrift store.
The chairs had an interesting structural feature hidden under the cushion: strips of tire inner tubes woven to support the seat.  I like that recycling  strategy! A few strips had pulled out and needed to be reattached.
The finished chairs.  This is where we sit to drink our  morning coffee and watch the birds breakfasting at the feeders in the back yard.
#2 Dishwasher.  We got a new dishwasher a year and a half ago (after the old one leaked all under the floor), but last July it stopped running, and hasn't worked since, despite many service calls and replacing the control panel four times.  Finally the  manufacturer agreed to replace the lemon machine and  AT LAST, today, the new dishwasher was installed.  I washed a load of dishes and they came out sparkling. Hooray!
Project #3 - Hydrant. Well, back to an outside project.  A couple days after our well pump was replaced, I noticed that the hydrant by the chicken coop was leaking badly--it was standing in a pool of water.  Rog dug down to see if it was something he could fix, but the hydrant needed replacing.  Mark, the  well and pump guy we are getting to know all too well lately, arrived with  a backhoe today to replace the hydrant.
Mark's assistant down in the hole, pulling out the hydrant. On the bright side, it was an unheard-of  40-degree December day, so the ground wasn't even frozen. On the dark side, the ground wasn't even frozen and now there is a huge  muddy mess from all the digging and water. On the bright side, it is bound to get  really cold in a day or two and all the mud will freeze solid and be covered by snow. We won't have to worry about it until spring.
Project #4,  Meanwhile, back in the house, I am tackling my next upholstery project, this sofa, also obtained at a thrift store (I like furniture with history.) It is in really great condition, but the shiny blue striped fabric has to go.
The hardest part  about upholstering is the un-upholstering part.  This piece was seriously constructed. intended to not come apart too easily. I removed thousands of staples. When my poor arthritic wrist gave out,  Rog removed a couple thousand more. Then, as long as we had the fabric off, we touched up the finish of the wood.

Sometimes you find a bit of change and a few lost treasures in the crevices -- we found a bunch of Legos, two tiny plastic  dinosaurs and 52 cents.
I was hoping to be further along than this by tonight, but now, attaching the first few pieces you can get a sense of where it is going.  I intend to use ten or twelve different fabrics in mostly earthy green, gold and terra cotta patterns. My goal is to get this sofa done in the next couple days so we can clean up my sewing mess (you can't see  it in this photo, but there is quite an impressive mess) and put up the Christmas tree. Then we will sit on the sofa and admire the tree. Or maybe sit under the tree and admire the sofa.


Camp Amnicon said...

AMAZING! (oh, your artistry too, Sue, but...) THE DISHWASHER! A Miracle, I say. Now lets see if it lasts...

katiegirl said...

Wow, your upholstering skills are impressive! Isn't it nice to have a working dishwasher?

And congrats, you won my soap giveaway! Just pop over to the blog and let me know for sure what scent you'd like! :-)