Friday, August 29, 2014

Before and After: Dining Chairs

Although I love, love, loved the white chairs with our "haunted" dining table, they really were too large for our small dining area in the kitchen. They just simply took up too much space.  So, I've had my eye out looking for some mahogany chairs to go with our beautiful mahogany table. 

Dining table with white chairs
My beautiful table with my heavy white chairs. 

By now, you're all familiar with my "haunted" dining table--the one I got on Craigslist for $75. Well last February, I found these beauties at the Greater Muskegon Woman's Club's Junk to Jewels Rummage Sale to go with it for another $75.  All four for $75! I just couldn't pass them up.

Mahogany Chairs
Mahogany chairs I got for $75.
The chairs were in excellent shape. What I liked about them is they didn't have any cross braces like the white ones that made them impossible to push all the way in at the ends of the table.

So I brought them home, and it turns out there was nothing wrong with the finish. I thought for sure I'd have to refinish them, but I lucked out. The wood just needed to be cleaned with a little Murphy's Oil Soap, and then I freshened the finish with a little bit of polish.

Mahogany Dining Chair
Look at the detail. Very pretty...dirty, but pretty.
The seats, however, were another story. They were vinyl, they were dirty, and they were hard. Jim and I both agreed they needed more cushion.  And, Jim, being the wonderful husband that he is, decided that I needed a pneumatic stapler to do them. I wasn't sure about it at first, but thank goodness he did, because I don't think my hand would have survived using the the manual stapler!! Now I'm hooked on pneumatic tools!

Jasper the Cat
Jasper decided to help cut the foam. 
At some point someone decided to cover the original upholstery with vinyl. I'm thinking they probably did that in the '60s. The vinyl just ripped right off, no problem at all. The fabric under it came off just as easily. Here's the weird part... The original padding was straw or something like straw. I'm glad we got rid of that, because I can just imagine what my allergies would have been like with that in the seats!!

Mahogany chair
All cleaned up with the new upholstery.
Turns out that the foam for the cushions was the most expensive part. We decided to go with two inch foam for a little added cushion, and we're so glad we did. They are so comfortable! Yes, I used the leftover fabric from when I had my channel back chair upholstered. I just love that fabric, so it worked out well. Plus, since it was leftover, the price was right!

Mahogany chairs
Nice thick, comfy cushions.
I think the hardest part was getting the fabric lined up the same way on all four chairs. If you look closely, I made sure the pattern was centered to match as close to exact as I could get. Of course, unless you look at all four chairs at the same time, you'd never know, but it's that little perfectionist in me coming out.

After: Dining table and chairs
After: Looking like new around the table.
They really do fit around the table so much better, giving us a little more room to move around. Although, now I can see in this picture that the table legs really do need to be refinished... sigh... We have gotten so many compliments on this "set" now.

Okay... now for the kicker... This week, I found five more of these chairs!! When all the leaves are in our table, it will seat eight. So I now have enough matching chairs, plus one!! They are not in as good of shape as these four, but I snatched them up for $10 a piece, $50 total!! They need a little work...some of the joints need to be reglued, and of course, the cushions need to be replaced and re-upholstered. But when they are done, we'll have a complete set.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finding Inspiration when Inspiration has Waned

I have to admit, I have been uninspired lately. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this... I have all these ideas in my head, but I can't do any of them for one reason or another, and I think that when inspirations is stymied it kind of wanes. So I've been at a stand-still, unable to move forward with the ideas I have, and it is affecting everything in my life.

One of the ideas I'd like to do in the front yard.
What ideas do I have?

Well, I've shared my kitchen redesign idea with you. That is on hold right now because there is some major plumbing that needs to be redone. It turns out that one of the main drain lines has a bit of an incline to it, and is causing some backups. So before we can install a dishwasher, we need to take care of that since the dishwasher will add to the capacity it has to handle.

I think this is the color I'd like our floors to be.
Hardwood floors... I know they're under the carpet and the linoleum. I want to rip all of it up and refinish them. Not a major financial expense, unless we find some surprises, so that's not the problem. It is the disorganization and the mess that is preventing us from moving forward on this. In my old house, I had lots of room to move furniture to other rooms and out of the way. That's not the case here. Where do we put all our stuff while we do this project????

See what I mean? It's hard to be inspired when there are little things that are keeping you from moving forward.

But hopefully, all that will soon change. Here is the project I am hoping we'll be able to do this weekend. It's a long weekend, and we don't have any plans, so it seems like the perfect time to do this.

How I hope our front porch looks when finished.
Front porch... This is a project Jim started four years ago, and just hasn't gotten finished yet. We have the roof, we just don't have the actual porch yet. And once it is done, it is going to change the whole look of our little house. It will finally have that cottage look that we want.

Flower Pot idea
This would be nice going down the steps.
Once the porch is finished, I'll do some landscaping. I love the look of English Cottage Gardens, so that's the look I'll be going for.  I don't want anything too fussy that I have to work hard at keeping up.  All I want is something that will do well with little care.

I'm hoping this project will be the thing that revives my inspiration and makes me feel like I have something to share.

What do you do when your inspiration has waned and you don't know how to get it back?

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Exciting news for my Art!

I finally bought a wide-format printer.  Now, as soon as I have all the supplies I need for printing and shipping, I will be able to start making prints as large as 13"x19".  My current prints will not be offered at that size, because they were created for a maximum size of 8"x10", so that means I get to create a lot of new art!  And I'm so excited by this!!!

Here is one of the prints that I have created so far.  I have to decide whether I want this print to be a limited edition, or if I want it to be open stock.  I'm kind of leaning towards limited edition.

Seashells and grass art print All rights reserved
"Seashells and Grass"
©2014 Loribeth Clark

Do you like it?  What do you think?  Limited Edition or Open Stock?   Give me your opinions!!!
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