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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Redo of House Front Part 2

     As part of the redo of the front of the house, we (meaning my husband) refinished this swing.  We bought it several years ago from a vendor at the Wisconsin State Fair.  It was supposed to come with a cover but they never shipped it and after many phone calls we just gave up.

     As a result, the finish on the wood split and it was starting to discolor.  Our painter, Scott Franzen, sold my husband all the materials he would need to refinish it.  My husband untied the ropes and took the frame apart.  Then he spent many days sanding it down to get a smoother surface.

     He rigged up a system in the garage so he could then stain and then varnish the pieces.  This took a while since there was a long drying time between coats.  We washed the cushion and he then reassembled the swing.  It looks like new now.

     I bought a couple of pillows from Target to made it even more comfy.  It bought them instead of making them since they went so well with the rug we got from Target also.  It makes a great place to read or take a quick snooze.

     I bought some fabric to make a cover for the swing to protect it from the elements during the winter.  I just need to figure out how I am going to do it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Redo of House Front Part 1

Large bush overhanging the front walk

     I am going to do a series on the redo of the front of our house.  A few years ago we replaced the porch decking with Trex.  They also did some repairs including leveling the lower portion and pouring new footings.  Last summer we had the house repainted and changed the color.  We went from a dark grey to this deep, almost navy blue and a bright pink door.

Bushes gone, looking better already

     This summer we decided the bushes were overpowering the house and decided to remove them.  Even though we were having someone come every spring to trim them out, they were overhanging the front walk.  There was one on the left side of the bay window and two on the right.  The biggest problem was that all the utility lines run in front of the house, you can see the markings in the photo.

New planting bed in place

     We hired Victor Soto to remove the bushes and build a new planting bed.  I had already removed a bunch of plants from next to the sidewalk and we had removed the flagstones that were our attempt at a planting bed.  They did a great job removing the huge bushes and built an awesome planting bed.  They replanted the tiny bushes I had put in during the spring, New Jersey Tea, native plants that will stay small.

Grass in place and planting bed filled in

   I did plant a bunch of tulip and daffodil bulbs in the planting bed.  Over the winter we will spend some time researching what we want to do for landings on either side of the bay.  I want to be sure they don't grow too much and once again overwhelm the house.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

New Outdoor Cushions

Can you help me to recover these?

     A client sent me this photo and asked if I could help her make new covers for the cushions on her outdoor chairs.  I said of course I could teach her how to do it.  We set up a time and then started on the project.  We took apart one of the old covers as she was going to reuse the foam/filler that was inside.

Old chair

     The first lesson, we made patterns for the pieces and worked on getting some of them cut.  We played with pattern placement so we could get a matching set.  She opted to use the print on the sides of the top piece but the solid as the boxing on the seat part because we would be able to railroad the fabric and have less matching to worry about.

Starting to come together

     She also was planning on skipping the covered cord because she didn't feel like it was something she could do on this project as a beginner.  Our second lesson we finished the cutting that needed to be done and started sewing the tabs for the hook and loop closures that would hold the cushions in place.

Hand sewing the cushions together

     After a week or two, the client called and said she really didn't have the time to do the project and would I finish it up.  I said sure, and that is when we decided the covered cord would once again be part of the cushions.  I was hoping to sew hook and loop to the parts where the cushions met but I could not get it under my machine, I wound up having to hand sew the pieces together, ouch.

New fabric and paint job, wow so different

Back of the chair

     I like how the fabric she chose picked up the scroll work design of the chair frame.  The client was delighted with the final product and was happy to say she had a hand in some of it.

Summer dining in comfort and style

     Doesn't this look like a delightful place to enjoy a meal?  Let me help you with your outdoor project, Creations by Celeste.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Redoing a Pillow

Old dirty limp pillow

     My daughter has a chair and a half that she has used a lot, reading to her children, napping and just general use.  The pillow for the chair had gotten very beat up and pretty dirty.

     I found on Pinterest a link to a blog showing how to clean antique linens.  Even though this wasn't an antique, I used the idea to clean the cover.  I removed the stitches at the bottom of the cover and threw out the old pillow form.

     I then mixed the Biz and Oxy-Clean and added the hot water.  It did spill over onto the floor so I just placed an old bathmat under the bucket.  I placed the pillow cover in the bucket and soaked it for two days.  That water was gross.  I throughly rinsed it and washed it a couple of times with just vinegar.

     After it was all clean and dry, I got a new pillow form and put it inside.  I did use the sewing machine to quickly close up the bottom, not easy with the plump form inside.  She now has a new, clean, plump pillow for her chair and a half.  She just needs to get the chair cleaned.

Clean plump pillow

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Box Pleat Valances

Family room all installed

     A client reached out to me because she wanted new window treatments.  She had pleated shades but wanted to get rid of all the cords and also update the look after painting the rooms.

Pieces cut and labeled

     I connected her with someone for her shades and then we started to look at fabrics.  She wanted a neutral buffalo check.  She looked for a bit on her own and then asked me to take over.  Greenhouse Fabrics had several for her to choose from.  She chose a more textured one for the family room and eating area.  The fabric for the piano room and dining room was a little more gold and a smoother texture.
Ready to be mounted on the boards

     We then chose a solid to go with each one for the contrast pleat.  She chose a box pleat valance because she wanted just a clean look to finish the windows.

First valance done, pattern matched the dust cover to the front

     I did the math, cut all the pieces and then joined them.  I added the lining, did the side hems and then it was time to mount them to the boards.  As I finished each one I had to find a place to put it so they wouldn't get wrinkled.  The two extra bedrooms upstairs were put to use.

     Finally install day.  Bob the Blind Guy did a great job hanging them all.  They were mounted about eight inches down from the ceiling, giving the windows a little more height.
Installing and adding height to the windows

     A final smoothing and a little tagging on one, and we were all set.

Piano room

     The client was very pleased, she said they were just what she wanted  and gave the rooms that finishing touch.
Dining room

     She did say she now feels like eating in her dining room.  Mission accomplished.  How can I help you love your home more?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Sammy's Quilt

Finished Pathways quilt

     All baby's that are born into our family get a quilt after birth.  I try to have a boy quilt and a girl quilt always ready to go.  This quilt is more gender neutral but I fell in love with the cute baby print and just had to make a baby quilt with it.

Block detail

     Our newest grandson is the recipient of this quilt.  After he was born, I just had to embroider the label with his info, sew it in place, and finish the binding.  I was able to give it to him when we visited him shortly after they came home from the hospital.

Label 1 with piecer and quilter listed

     The pattern I used was Pathways, A Three Yard Quilt.  I usually have two labels on my quilts, one with the piecer and quilter listed.  The other has different info such as the name of the quilt or the recipient and occasion.

Label 2 with baby info

     I like that these quilts are big enough to keep them covered until they are at least 6 or 7 years old.

Quilting detail

     It is fun choosing the fabrics and then the quilting design to compliment the quilt.  Thanks to my machine quilters that make that last part possible.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sammy's Blanket

Such a sweetie

     Six week ago, our newest grandchild was born.  I like to make them a receiving blanket that is embroidered with all their stats and also a quilt.  The receiving blanket is two layers of flannel.  it is soft and cozy and works well to cover them up in a car seat or to lay on the floor when they have tummy time.


     I cut the two pieces of flannel to be the same size and round the corners.  Then I embroider their birth info in each of the four corners and add their name to the middle.

Name of newest grandchild

     It is a lot of fun choosing the coordinating flannels.  I then pull one of the colors from the print to use as the embroidery on the solid side.

Hedgehog fabric for the back

     Fast, fun and useful gift.