Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sewing Table

Last year in a fit of purging I put a whole bunch of things on kijiji to sell.  One of those was my antique, Singer treadle sewing machine.

I didn't think it would sell so quickly, but it did!  I was a little sad to see it go, because it had been something I had wanted for a really long time.  After owning it for a while, I could see the limitations for me.  It was awkward having the presser food sit on top of the treadle (because there was no other place for it); and all that cast iron plus the machine made it really heavy.  I did miss the drawers for storage and the extended surface though.
For the past several months I have been on the hunt for a new sewing table that would give me enough surface for sewing and storage for my notions.  Before Christmas I found the perfect solution at Goodwill, and it was half price furniture day to boot!

Just for the record, it did not look like this when I bought it!  It was all dark, dark brown, and the added pieces were plain MDF.  She wasn't really very pretty!

At one time this had a sewing machine with it, but a previous owner had removed it and cut a piece to fit the hole the machine swung down into.  They also put another shelf underneath the knee well.  This was just fine for me, because all I wanted was a table.  Both added pieces are on hinges as well, so it's really convenient.

Of course I hemmed and hawed for a week or so deciding how I was going to give it a make-over.  I have always wanted to give chalk paint a try, and thought a nice pink or duck egg blue would be lovely.  In a magazine I saw a picture of an antique table, painted cream with a stained top.  *Ping!* I knew I had found my finish.  Also one that Mr. Crafty World wouldn't cringe at!

I have to say I am underwhelmed at the chalk paint finish.  I used Martha Stewart chalk paint in 'Linen', but I find it streaky and there are lots of brush strokes showing.  I have a feeling that if I ever bring this table upstairs and get to see it in lots of natural light I am going to hate it.
The original finish was a nightmare to sand off.  I only did the top parts of the fold out pieces and decided to paint the interior parts.  It was only after I stained one of the  top pieces I remembered I had originally decided not to stain, but to only wax the top.  Grr!

 I wanted to wax the entire thing after painting, and went completely domestic-geek and made my own wax!  Lavender scented too:) I have to say the whole table smells delicious, so that makes up for the previous gaffes.

On a recent trip to the thrift store I found a roll of this wrapping paper which I thought was so pretty.  I used it to line the drawers, and also to cover the MDF shelf under the top.  Since I will be storing my machine on that shelf when I'm not using it, I covered the wrapping paper with some clear vinyl to keep it from getting ripped.

Now I am puttering around and filling up the drawers with all my bits and pieces that have been stashed here and there.  I am very excited to use my new table!

Here's a funny little post script:  a while back I was driving down the main street of our next town.  I looked out the window and what did I see, but my old Singer treadle machine in the window of a dry cleaner/alteration shop!  So glad to know she didn't get disassembled for parts, and gets to be admired by lots of different people on their way by.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Between Coats

Hello, hello!  Did you have a good weekend?  I was supposed to have the weekend to myself as everyone else was scheduled to be somewhere Friday and Saturday night. I was looking forward to it because I wanted to get my kitchen painted with no interruptions, etc.  My Favourite Boy's plans got cancelled, but as he is pretty easy-going I was able to do it anyway.  He even cooked the hot dogs for our lunch on Saturday!  I have no dramatic before and after pictures of my kitchen to share:  I went from a lighter yellow to cream.  I'm hardly on trend or anything, but it looks good and I'm happy!  The biggest shock was that I actually lived with one colour for eight years!
During the time I wasn't painting, I worked at a few quick projects.  Michael's has cotton yarn on sale again this week so I picked some up on Friday night to make some Swiffer cloths.

 I use washable Swiffer cloths already, but they are starting to come apart.  I found this pattern on Mary Maxim and used it for my first cloth.  It is made up in three parts, and after getting it together I figured I could do better.  I changed the numbers a bit and just stitched one long piece; then I folded over and stitched up the sides.  Much better and way less ends to weave in!  Each one takes about an hour to make from start to finish.  What I like about these is that you can turn them inside out and use the same cloth twice before washing.  Oh, and they work really well too!
I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton in 'Love', 'Green Dream', and 'Poppy'.

A few months ago I discovered a set of crochet videos on You Tube. Donna has a website as well, where you can see all of her projects and they are linked up to her videos.
The infinity scarf project using ruffle yarn really caught my eye.  Instead of unravelling the yarn, you just treat it like a really bulky yarn and use a large crochet hook.  I bought an 'S' size hook on Friday night, and used it with this yarn I got on clearance for $2 at a local yarn shop.

I bought two skeins and used both of them up to get this:

I really like it!  It's not too bulky at the back of the neck and it isn't heavy either.  I have a lunch to go to on Wednesday and have the perfect jacket to wear with it.  Not bad for $4!

I also made some good progress on my sewing desk, but I will wait to show you that when it's all finished.  It has warmed up considerably here and it really feels like Spring will make her debut sometime in the near future.  Until then, thanks for visiting!

xo  Jenn

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