Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chairs are done ... porch sitting time! A-n-d ....... Surprise!!

I finally put the redwood chairs back together.  I had to cut several of the old bolts to get them apart, which meant I had to go to Lowe's to pick up some replacement.  Sigh, the more things I learn to do around the place, the more I love hardware and tool stores ... they're as much fun as a fabric store for me now.  And if you knew how many bins of fabric I had, you'd know that was saying something!

I love the hardware section - all those pretty bins filled with shiny stuff just waiting to finish off a project.  My husband sometimes compares me to a crow ... 'Oooooh, shiny'.   Anyway, I picked up 16 shiny new carriage bolts, 32 washers and a small package of nuts.  I love that I could buy just the number of bolts and washers I needed - not like the old hotdog/bun situation.  But I digress.

The chairs feel so sturdy now, and make me feel very happy!

Here are all the disclaimers, lol - please excuse the cell phone picture, I was too lazy to pull out the 'good' camera.  And it's not staged because it's the only clean section of my back porch, I don't know how to stage things.  You're lucky I used the leaf blower to blow 6 12 24 months worth of cobwebs and dirt off the concrete.

I only finished one cushion but wanted to show off the chairs.  The pillow is a down insert from Ikea ($6.99! whoa, Nellie, that's a good price, and it is comfy!)  I winged it making the cover - it has a zipper in the back and ruffles on 3 sides.  Wider ruffles would look better, but I'm not gonna change them now.    

Now on to the 'Surprise' portion of today's program ...

One of the reasons we like living on acreage is that we love our critters.  We have 3 mutt dogs, 2 roosters, 9 hens, 2 barn cats, and 2 horses. 

Here are my two horse buddies (once again, sorry for poor cell pics).  They are so friendly, and love to follow us around.

Boone - 11 year old gelding - he's just an old ranch horse, but such a pleasure to ride!

Lightning - a 3 year old Pinto mare

Last week I was at a work conference in Dallas, and my 20 year old son was taking care of all the critters for me.  He called me a week ago Monday and the conversation went like this:

Z:  Mom, there's something I need to tell you
(this is *not* a good sign)

Me:  Ok

Z:  It's about the horses
(my heart sinks, stomach roils)

Me:  O ... k ....

Z:  There's 3 of them now

Me:  ...
(thinking, huh?)

Z:  And one of them is a lot smaller than the other 2.

Me: ...
(stunned silence)

May I introduce the newest addition to our little menagerie - no official name yet, we're thinking "Surprise" or "Lightning Strikes" ...

We did *not* know Lightning was pregnant.  My brother in law brought both horses to live with us last Thanksgiving.  We knew she had been bred, but the vet said it hadn't taken. 

Surprise   :-)   

Praise the Lord that nothing went wrong with the birth.  Poor Lightning had no mare care (just regular feed and water), and no vet during or after the birth.  But both mama and little guy (yep, he's a little colt) seem to be doing fine. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Big Burn pile sendoff and Mom's Patio Chairs

I have so many furniture, sewing, yard, decluttering, and decorating projects in progress, sigh.   

At the top of my list was a HUGE brush pile to get burned. 

I have been clearing cedar and underbrush from my oak trees for 2 years - this field was full!  I wish I had a picture of it from just a few weeks ago.  The pile stretched 50 yards down the field, 15-20 feet across, and 4-5 feet high.  And now it's all gone, yay!!  There is still the trash from the previous owners, but that will be gone this week.

One job down, but more to clear ... I have so many beautiful live oak trees hidden in almost impenetrable underbrush.  These pictures are just to the right of the field above ... the leaning oaks remind me of the wind battered trees at the coast, I love how sculptural they are. 

My son named the tree below "the sitting tree".  It appears to be healthy and sturdy, it just grew sideways. 

I have also done a little furniture work.  When my mom downsized several years ago, I took her vintage redwood patio chairs.  Time and the elements have taken their toll, but are in very good condition for their age. 

I started priming the first chair and realized it would be a crummy paint job if I didn't take them apart and do it properly.  Here's the first one primed (before taking apart) ...

The chairs are held together with 8 bolts, so I started taking them apart.  Unfortunately some of the bolts were extremely hard to remove (important tip - do not paint over bolts you might want to remove ... ). I spent almost two hours on the first chair, and only got 7 of the bolts removed.  I didn't do much better on the second chair.


Then I remembered I had this little baby:


About 5 minutes later (it would have been faster, but I had to find the metal cutting blade) ... I had a bunch of these:

The savings in time and aggravation is WELL worth having to buy new bolts, nuts and washers.

By the time I got the chairs apart, it was dark, and a cold front came through, so the painting won't take place until this weekend. 

My plan is to paint them white, and make new cushions.  I have pinned a few inspiration photos, these are my two favorites:  White cushions   and   Colorful cushions.

Until next time .....