Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Caning Chair Seats

Chairs are at a premium when all the family is over, so with visits already planned for this summer, I knew it was time to get a couple of seats re-done.
Unfortunately, the blue side chairs with the covers I made to match the curtains haven't held up very good. but I had always planned on caning them once the covers gave out!

 This is a fairly easy project. I don't use any special tools, though there are plenty available.  An extra wide flat head screw driver, a utility knife and heavy duty scissors do the job just fine for me. The pre-woven caning I purchased from Rockler.
To start, you need a chair that is clean and has a groove around the center hole(if there are small holes around the center hole, it was caned by hand, not pre-woven caning). You will also need to soak the roll of caning and spline in water for at lest twelve hours. (Mine actually soaked for almost a week as I didn't get to it as soon as I thought I would!)

 Cut off a square of caning that will cover the center hole with plenty of extra around the edges. Trim to shape so it covers about 1/2" past the groove. To help make sure I put the caning in straight I lined up a row of caning along the edge of the center hole.

 Along the front edge, gently push the edges of the caning down into the groove with the flat head screwdriver. Check frequently to make sure the caning stays straight.

 Push the spline firmly into the groove working your way across the front.

 To get around the corner, while bending the spline, push it into the groove.

 Trim the caning if it looks like it will stick up beyond the spline.

 Continue poking the caning into the groove and pushing the spline down.

 Once you have worked your way up both side and around to the back, continue until the spline ends meet.

 Now all that is left is trimming the ends!

 Make sure you trim the spline so the ends are at lest touching or overlapping slightly. When the caning and spline dry it will shrink.

And that is it! One chair seat done!


 I am really liking the contrast of the natural caning with the blue, so I will probably just put a clear coat of shellac on it.

Another project crossed off the summer To-Do List!
What is on your list this summer?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Not Many Apple Bloosoms


 Spring is in full swing here and we can feel summer already on it way in the yo-yo of weather. Lilacs are filling the air, crab apple trees are putting on a magnificent display and we have already mowed the lawn three times!
But my little apple tree is surprisingly naked. The top branch does have a few blossoms, but the lower branches just have leaves. I don't know what happened.......

 There is lots of other spring things going on around here though! Mandy and I have been tackling our quite hefty to-do list. We are getting a head start on summer and visits from relations! So there has been a lot plumbing(leaky kitchen faucet), changing cabinet hinges, cleaning(oh that spot under the basement stairs!), fixing(no more tipping t.p. holder), caning chair seats and general busyness. And if we have any spare time on nice days, there is always a spot of yard work! A few beans were poked in, some carrots and radishes scattered about  and lettuce planted. 
I am still plugging away at my sewing closet. It is so close to being done! But I am distracted with other projects and a sewing project for someone else that has a deadline. For right now I am enjoying the view into the sewing room, loving the calmer cleaner look.

Kerri enjoying a little outdoor grooming.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

More Spring Tulips

 I hope you're not tired of spring flowers! I'm not! I never seem to get enough of  tulips and daffodils. They are such a long awaited event. These will probably be the last of them though....

This week has been a typical week, a bit of sun followed by overcast skies and rain. Hopefully, the weekend will be nice. I am torn between tiding up the last few things left on my sewing closet re-do or getting outside and working on the flower beds! I guess I will have to wait until Saturday and see what weather we get......
Hope your weekend is filled with lovely May flowers!


 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

CookBook Project: Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies, with plenty of raisins, are one of my favorite cookies!
While reading the King Arthur Flour baking blog; Flourish (I found the post on reducing sugar in cookies fascinating); I came across the mention of molasses in oatmeal cookies. Sounded intriguing to me!

A look through the cook book collection turned up these two recipes from Good Housekeeping's Book of Recipes and Household Discoveries. I was delighted to see that version 2 used molasses and cooked oatmeal. What I didn't realize is the recipe called for a half of cup of molasses!

Yes, they turned out to be molasses cookies with raisins and odd lumpy bits of oatmeal. Not too good. The cooked oatmeal also gave the cookies an odd texture. Perhaps I didn't cook the oatmeal enough, but the dough was very sticky and I had to drop by spoonful onto the pan. Once on the pan, they cooked just like I had dropped them.

Not really cookies with a spongy-gummy cake-like texture. I decided not to waste time and put the dough/batter into a 9 x 9 pan. It made a not too terrible molasses cake.

Now that I had a taste for Oatmeal Raisin cookies, I decided to go ahead and give version 1 a try. They turned out lovely! Lots of raisins, a bit crispy on the outside, but soft inside.
I found it interesting the recipe called for rolling and cutting out the cookies, even though I just rolled the dough in balls and flattened onto the cookie sheet. 

Have you ever had/heard of oatmeal cookies with molasses? I am still intrigued with the idea and will keep looking for recipes.
It has been such a long time since I have posted a Cookbook Project post! What is it all about? Read Here For more Cookbook Project posts Here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

LIttle Mitts

 I have been stocking up on little mittens for the nieces and nephew. Since it is hard to gauge how much they will grow over the summer, I am making a pair in every size! Eventually they will wear them!

It took a bit of looking, but I finally found the perfect pattern, Knits for Everybody Mittens by Knit Picks. A fingering weight mitten pattern in a wide range of children's sizes. (Adult sizes too!) The pattern is actually part of a book with sweater, hat and sock patterns. All the patterns come in a wide range of sizes and have worsted and fingering weight versions.


 I love knitting mittens! They are fast, use up scraps and are a fun way to experiment with colors. Especially since they are for kids. I am really going wild with the color combinations! At each color change, I knit four rows alternating the old color and the new color. I love how it turns out extra stripey!

 The sisters and I love making socks, which means we have quite a large stash of leftover bits and bobs. Hopefully, my mitten project with whittle it down a bit. 

Since I am making mittens for the nieces and nephew, I am trying not to make any of them extremely girly. Just bright and colorful! Here are my next three pairs all mapped out.
I might be getting slightly addicted to mitten making! It is just so fun matching up colors and seeing how each pair turns out.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More Spring Flowers

 It feels like it is still Easter here with spring flowers in the house. I cut a few tulips this weekend  and had way too much fun taking photos of them!
Saturday was a glorious day. Warm and sunny, the perfect spring day. I spent it inside knee deep in my sewing closet, cleaning. It got a good shaking out. I am so excited it is getting a re-do, it was getting very un-manageable. There is still a bit to do, but I can't wait to share the improvements!

 All of these photos were taken on Saturday when I cut the flowers. They have faded since then, so I took another bunch of pictures yesterday morning.
These lovelies came with the house and are squeezed in on a few inches of dirt between the house and driveway. They end up getting a bit trampled, but never fail to spring back the following year better then ever. This year we might finally getting around to moving them to the cutting garden along the East side of the house and out from under our feet.





 These were taken yesterday. You can see they have faded and opened up a bit more. I think the more they fade, the brighter the yellow becomes!
I have no idea what type of tulip theses are. They have very small and glossy leaves and are rather miniature in size. Does anyone have a similar variety?
I love how the look like they are growing right out of my vintage hobnail vase!