Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Porch 2017

 This morning I dashed out and snapped a few pictures before the clouds rolled in! We did a little rearranging of the porch this year. It is all the same elements, just a different way. But my what a difference! It feels fresh and new again.
I just have the windows left to wash, then the porch will be spick and span for summer! Last week when the heat wave came through I hauled all the wicker out onto the front lawn, gave it a good hose down and scrubbed the porch floor. Earlier in the day the pillow and cushion covers were put through the wash.

I love how this picture captures the green surrounding the porch. We have such a leafy neighborhood. The tree in front of the house also provides a larger and larger amount of green each year.

Last year's porch in the Spring and Summer.

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.