Friday, October 30, 2015

Furniture Friday: Antique Hat and Umbrella Stand

 This wasn't a large or difficult project. In fact all this project took was a little bit of spray paint. 

I found this antique hat and umbrella stand in someone's garbage pile while I was walking around the neighborhood close to my previous home.  My poor walking partner, Kim, was always such a good sport and would often be ok with an interruption in our walk to help me to load other people's junk in the back of my car - and if it didn't fit in my car, she'd offer to load it into her van and drive it over to my house!  What a great friend, right?!  She's amazing.  But I digress...

My husband and I love this umbrella stand, but when we moved into our new home, there just wasn't a place for it - and now we have a coat closet right by our front door.


He had the fantastic idea of using it for towels and robes in our master bathroom!  I love that he so easily thought of an unconventional way to use a piece of furniture!

Sadly, the hooks on it did not like having wet towels hanging from them and our new white towels now have a number of rust stains on them.

So, today's project was spray painting those hooks so they won't stain our towels and to match the other hardware in our master bath.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Baking Through the Alphabet: The Letter H

The Letter H:

Letter H Meal:
  • Hamburgers
  • Hotdogs
  • Healthy Salad
  • Hidden Valley Ranch

For the letter H, we decided to bake Hanukkah Apple Cake.  We were making it because we were having guests over for supper.  We received a text about two hours before they were due to come over with a reminder that one of them was gluten and dairy free!  SO...instead of making it completely from scratch, we got some gluten free cake mix and substituted the butter with applesauce (because it's far cheaper than dairy-free butter!)  We placed the apples in the bottom of a 9x13, added brown sugar and cinnamon, poured the cake batter in and baked it.  We used these two recipes as reference: hanukkah apple cake and gluten free apple cake.

Movie Musicals:

  • The Happiest Millionaire***
  • The Hobbit**
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame**
  •  Huckleberry Finn**
  • Hello Dolly**
  • Hercules**
  • Hans Christian Anderson*
  • High Society*
  • High School Musical (1,2,3)*
  • Hairspray

Have you ever seen The Happiest Millionaire?  This is by far one of my favorite musicals ever!  Again, we have Tommy Steele as a character in a musical, and Leslie Ann Warren, and Fred MacMurray.  It's fantastic and my kids LOVE it!

They also love The Hobbit cartoon musical!  The animation is pretty rudimentary but the music is pretty decent and pretty catchy.

My son didn't care much for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (remember that he doesn't like confrontation or people getting into trouble).  But it's a classic, so I have had them watch it.

The next three I think they could watch pretty easily, but Hans Christian Anderson, other than the song "Inchworm", is a little depressing.  High Society was fun, but the slow moving plot is rough on younger kiddos.

I haven't seen any of the High School Musicals or Hairspray, so if you have thoughts on those, please let me know.  Could kids watch them?  How is the music?  Do you think they are fun to watch? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Baking Through the Alphabet: The Letter G

The Letter G:

The G Meal:

  • Greek Gyros
  • Green Beans
  • Grapes

For our baking project, we did an old standby that my daughter, and my son, were both super excited to learn to make!

German Pancakes.  I was raised on these - mostly we'd have them on Sunday mornings when our church didn't start at 9:00, but was in the afternoon instead.

They are some of the simplest things to bake!
  1. Melt 1/2 stick butter in a pan in the oven set to 400 degrees F.   
  2. While the butter is melting, place 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, and 6 eggs into a blender and blend it until smooth. 
  3. Pour the mixture into the melted butter
  4. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F
  5. Enjoy with fruit, powdered sugar, jam, etc.

Before it was baked.

 Delicious looking, right? Yummy!

Letter M Musicals: (* = ones that are , in my opinion, decent or fun to watch; ** = kid friendly; *** = the one we watched for our alphabet musical)

  • The Great Muppet Caper ***
  •  The Gnome-Mobile ***
  • Gnomeo and Juliet
  • The Goofy Movie
  • The Gay Divorcee
  • Guys and Dolls
We LOVE the Great Muppet Caper.  My kids cackled and chuckled through the whole most of it! They also love Peter Ustinov, who has a cameo. They also noticed: "Mom, isn't that the guy who plays Nearly Headless Nick?"  

We also love The Gnome Mobile enough that we watched it too.  My 11 year old daughter enjoyed this far more than my almost 14 year old son, but the song is really catchy (I even caught my son laughing at a few parts - I mean those old Disney movies have some funny things happening in them! - Like the car rolling down the hill and the steering wheel coming off in the hands of the driver, etc. - great for kids of all ages!).  

Gnomeo and Juliet we haven't seen since the movie theater, but it was a good movie!  I've mentioned before that my kids have soft hearts and we sometimes have to force them to watch new movies, including animated films.  Such was the case with this one, but they both walked away with smiles on their faces.  

While the Goofy Movie isn't a favorite of mine, my son (and brother) thought the "leaning tower of cheese-ah" was pretty hilarious.   

Guys and Dolls I ended up watching again before showing it to my kids and I'm glad I did!  There were some places (like the dance scene) where I wasn't sure if I wanted my newly teenage son to be watching.  But I hope they can watch it when they are a bit older.

And I haven't actually seen The Gay Divorcee, but it looks like it would be a fun watch.  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Furniture Friday: Lookalike Restoration Hardware Upholstered Lorraine Chair

I LOVE Restoration Hardware! Or really I should say that I love window shopping at Restoration Hardware!  My husband and I were out window shopping for our anniversary and decided to browse around to find ideas for our new house when I saw this beautiful Lorraine Chair!  Isn't it dreamy?  At least I think it is! 

 Sadly, it cost  $595 (on sale from $795)

That is soooo out of my budget!  Luckily, when my friend moved, she gave me a chair, that was similar to this one.  It just needed some tender, loving care.





Take pictures as you go so you can refer back to them as needed.  

Strip the wood. 

I stripped the wood after I took off all of the fabric, but because I like to keep as much batting as possible (because it's a bit pricey), I may strip the wood first next time.  This cotton batting kept getting caught in the stripping tools.

Use the old fabric as your pattern for the new.  This allows you to not have to worry as much about measuring correctly; it's already been done for you! 

Lots of people like to stick keep the insides of antique chairs the way they were originally.  For instance, this chair had some horse hair and cotton batting as part of the cushioning.  As much as I tried to keep the cotton batting in tact, life happens and sometimes batting gets messed up.  I was happy to have this smooth polyester batting available instead.  It was easy to apply and didn't bunch up like cotton batting.  My fabric is also drop cloth, so it's much, much thinner than your average upholstery fabric and would have shown every dip and mottle of the cotton batting.    

The "hard" parts of the chair also need some cushioning.  Again, the cotton batting just didn't make it through two moves and just every-day life, so a little mixture of polyester and cotton works just fine.

And for the cushion, 1/4 inch foam batting - easy to cut to the desired shape and super easy to install with a staple gun.

The picture below is just illustrating all the staples involved in getting tight, smooth finish. 

Then comes the finishing work (to cover the staples and make it look pretty).

Once the bulk of the chair is finished, you can start on the cushion.  Truth be told, this is my least favorite part but that's only because sewing is tedious to me.  It really isn't more difficult than the chair itself and actually takes less time than taking the old upholstery off of the chair.

Remember that you will be using the old fabric as your template here too.

Trace it...

See how it was sewn, where...

Compare lengths...

I use chalk a lot when upholstering because it is erasable and this particular piece is illustrating for me my sew-line.  When you're matching the band and it's cording with the seat deck fabric, it gets tricky to keep the line straight. Drawing the sew line on the fabrics helps you to not have to pin (which is a hassle with such tight sewing) and to keep the sewing on track so that the finished product is very close to the cushion of the seat deck. 

I do pin some, but just to keep the pieces together to get started. 

It's not perfect, but it's finished and after a five year sabbatical from major upholstery work, I am pleased! 

This is with the chair finished except for the cushion which, for company, was covered with an old sheet.

RH Lorraine Chair $595 (on sale from $795)