The Big Reveal; what fabric did I choose?

Hello all, the long-awaited reveal is here. I apologize for the wait; Monday I was supposed to reupholster, but I needed one set of hands to stretch and one set of hands to wield the staple gun. I tried to get the 4-year old to help, but it just did not seem worth the $200 co-pay at the emergency room. My other option was the dogs, damn evolution and their non-opposable digits. I told them they need to start earning their keep, all they do is lay around, eat, shed and bark.

“What do you mean I have to earn my keep? As soon as you get that new fabric on I am going to figure out a way to lay my short-haired, yet sheds constantly body all over those chairs.”

Since no one was available to help on Monday, I had to wait until yesterday for some available adult human hands. My prayers were answered by my very close and very crafty friend, Julie. I hesitate to type the word “crafty”, as that word does not begin to cover her multi-tasking skill set. Julie goes beyond crafty, this girl can install a toilet and change a tractor tire with one hand, while processing a bushel of tomatoes and sewing a peacock Halloween tutu with the other. She is ah-maze-ing. And she probably has arthritis after all the fabric pulling I made her do yesterday. However, the chairs turned out fantastic, and it was a blast.

I wanted to share pics with you last night when we were done, but I had a technical glitch trying to load them into our newly acquired Photoshop program. Luckily, I was able to fix the issue today, and once I figure out how to use Photoshop (on tonight’s agenda) I will post a step-by-step tutorial so you can reupholster your own dining room chairs. Trust me, you are going to want to find some $7 chairs at a flea market and make them your own after you see how mine turned out.

So without any further ado, here are the new, old chair seats:

Newly reupholstered chair seats

What do you think? I have decided not to paint these; I really like the bright, bold print with the dark wood. Instead, I plan to do some more Craig’s List/flea market hunting and find 4 MORE wooden chairs that are not as nice. I am going to paint those a green or red to coordinate with the newly reupholstered seats. We are planning to get a big, farm-style table, so we will need more than 4 chairs, and I really like the idea of some painted and some not.

As a reminder here is what they used to look like:

Chair-before new fabric

And here are what they look like now, we decided to highlight each design in the fabric.

Chair #1

Chair #2

Chair #3

Chair #4

So what do you think? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. I am sure they would have looked as equally awesome with some of the other fabrics, but am so happy with the one I chose. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Weekend Wrap-up: Choosing Fabric & Moving Boxes

I hope everyone had wonderful weekend, ours was a very productive one. On Saturday the child and I went fabric shopping, and on Sunday we moved boxes…again. Hopefully for the last time, the next time they are moved it should be to unpack them. We are running out of friends to move our stuff :).

Let’s start with the hot, sweaty, no-fun part of the weekend. Moving stuff. Again. I mentioned last week that we needed to empty the attic so the spray foam could be sprayed. To lighten the load (literally), I bribed my mom and some wonderful friends with crabs and beer in exchange for manual labor and sweat. Lots, and lots of sweat. (There were torso sweat marking the sides of boxes.) The hubby got up bright and early Sunday morning and headed up to the Yrppie homestead to remove the tub from the shanty bathroom to make room for boxes. By the time we arrived, my beast of a husband had ripped out the carpet that smells like urine and had lugged the cast iron tub OUTSIDE. HE IS A BEAST.

Here is what it looked like before the beast was released:

Shanty Shower

Shanty Room with urine carpet (this is from last summer, there is no AC unit in the window now)

After the beast was released:

Missing shower, cast iron tub and wall to wall carpet

Shanty room without carpet

Obviously I missed the point of this picture and did not get a good shot of the uncarpeted floor, but you get the point. We had to move everything that my sister and her boyfriend had helped us move to the attic two weeks ago, back down the attic stairs, and then down the main flight of stairs. We also had to squeeze an attic-full of stuff into two small spaces, the shanty bathroom and shanty laundry room. I remembered to take pictures of the attic once we had it half empty, but you get the idea:

Hubby kindly wondering why I have a topless shoebox full of Martha magazines

Attic stuff

More attic stuff

Even more attic stuff

Last of the attic stuff

After about two hours of time and two hundred gallons of sweat, we had completed the greatest game of “moving boxes Jenga” ever. Below you can see how many boxes we fit into the old shower/tub space and shanty laundry room:

Goode’s tight bicep and tightly packed boxes

Shanty Laundry Room filled to the ceiling

We rock.

While we were working the child kept herself occupied by coloring, feeding stray cats, taking pictures of her feet and posing as the Statue of Liberty:

The child keeping herself out of trouble

One weird kid

A portrait of Maggie’s feet as a young girl

When we were moving things a strong storm blew through, which cooled things off significantly. The cool air was greatly appreciated, as were the beautiful views afterwards. Images like this remind me how lucky we are that we have this opportunity to move our family to the middle of nowhere:

Fog rising from the mountains after the storm

The weekend was not all about moving boxes and sweaty beasts. Last week a number of you asked what kind of fabric I would be using to reupholster the chair seats. This was an excellent question, which I could not answer. My plan was to decide to paint or not paint and then go pick fabric. However, fabric first definitely makes more sense. I knew I wanted something with a bold print, colorful and bright, so I did have some idea of what I was looking for when Maggie and I went on a fabric hunt Saturday. When we arrived at JoAnn’s I saw this sign.

60% of all outdoor canvas and upholstery fabric-yippee!

Maggie saw this (FYI-she has poison ivy around her left eye, the more it heals the grosser it looks):

Maggie loves pink animal prints

Once I convinced her that it was not the correct fabric type for chair covers, we moved to the back of the store and starting picking fabrics. I only had my phone on me, so the pictures are not fantastic, but I did try to adjust the pics so the colors are close to what they looked like in the store.

Citrus Background, Pink Flowers

Fruit Stripe Gum Fabric

Bright green, pink and yellow print

Hot Pink Zebra

Green & Purple Circles

Coral Coral

Bold, Orange circles

Green Zebra Print & 4 year old with an attitude

Those are the finalists. We were there for a while. I wanted to pick three and then get some input from the blog world. However, 60% is a great deal, and that deal ended Sunday, so we had to make a decision and a purchase. Which one would you have chosen? Do you love zebra as much as I do? The choice was really, really difficult, but I think the chairs are going to look fantastic. I cannot wait to share them with you, check back tomorrow to see the results!

Friday Pie-day (and a follow up on the paint or no paint dilemma)

To start, I still have not made a decision about painting the chairs. I do agree with people who said they need more information, so the child and I are going to JoAnn’s today to pick out some fabrics. I will post the choices Monday and you folks can tell me what you think. It is pretty divided down the middle,  I love that people are passionate about what to do with $7.50 chairs; it makes me feel normal :).

Today’s post is not a DIY or renovation post, but a recipe for pie. I thought Friday would be a good day for a Pie-day. Delicious, sweet blackberry pie.

Blackberry Pie & Sunflowers-summer on a table

When I was little we lived on a dirt road in one of the cutest named towns ever, Fawn Grove (the street signs have baby deer on them and the phrae “A Deer Little Town”, the hubby finds these signs amusing). Every summer black raspberry, blackberry and wineberry bushes along the roadside and the wood edge would fill up with plump, sticky berries. We would pick them to eat and to make pies with. When you are little, living in the middle of nowhere and being able to eat berries straight from the bush is awesome. This is part of the reason why I wanted to move when we were given the opportunity, children should have wild spaces to roam.

Still, even though I spent my childhood living in a very rural area, roaming all over the woods and creek beds, I still have a lot of anxiety about moving from Harrisburg to really rural, really small, Klingerstown, PA (population 102 according to Wikipedia). When I start to feel myself panic I try to think about all the good things that will come with the move, because there are a lot. For instance, moving an hour away from a grocery store with an organic section is not a big deal when you can pick your own berries for pies and jams from your backyard. I had every intention of picking berries after mom and I put the sink together on Tuesday to make the hubby a birthday pie, but we ran out of time. Instead I bought some beautiful local berries and made this old-fashioned and yummy Blackberry Sugar Pie inspired by The Runaway Spoon. I was intrigued by the simplicity of the recipe: pie crust, berries, milk, sugar and flour. I added two other ingredients, a splash of lemon juice and a little salt. For the pie crust, I used a recipe for the “best pie crust” from Eat, Live, Run. Check out the results (taken from my phone, I was too lazy this AM to get out the camera):

Slice o’pie

If you are in the mood to make some pie but not totally turned on by latticing crust or peeling peaches, try this one. Obviously it was a hit in our house (I did not even get a picture of it before someone ate it for breakfast; I will not mention names).

Blackberry pie, breakfast of Olympians

Make sure you check back on Monday to weigh in on the fabric choices for the wooden chairs, and in the meantime I will daydream about sitting in my newly installed kitchen, with a big mug of hot coffee and some home-made pie.  I am really trying to instill a no-stress or at least a low-stress philosophy as the summer wraps up. Renovations will continue to renovate and I will continue to waver on life-altering decisions like chair painting, what kind of tub to put in the bathroom (post coming next week), who has better abs, Lochte or Phelps, etc, etc.

Are you making any pies this weekend or cooking up something delicious and summery? Let me know in the comments below; I get really excited when my comment icon lights up orange :).

To Paint or Not To Paint…that is the question

Hamlet obviously had bigger decisions to brood about, but today I am torn in two different directions with regards to the flea market chairs I scored a few weeks ago. Progress has been clipping along at a steady rate since the flea market, but right now we are at a lull in renovations. Do not misunderstand; there are a million things to do, but we are on hold until the spray foam and plumbing go in. We are almost ready for the spray foam; the only thing we have left to do is lug the 700 boxes we moved to the attic two weeks ago , BACK DOWN from the attic, DOWN to the first floor to the shanty. There they will stay. Why didn’t I think of this grand idea BEFORE we moved them to the attic? I have no idea, but realizing we could have saved a lot of manpower by moving them to the shanty instead of the attic causes me to bang my head against something hard and curse like a sailor whenever I think about it. We could have just moved them down one flight of stairs and there they could have stayed until they were unpacked. Nope, we moved them up one flight of stairs to move them back down the same flight plus another flight, two weeks later. I digress though, this is not the point of this post, and I need to stop thinking about it before I owe $7.25 to the quarter jar.

Today’s post is about what to do with the flea market chairs. I cannot decide if I want to paint them a bright, fun color (maybe red, maybe green, maybe fuchsia) or rub some Old English on them and let the wood be wood. Regardless of the painting decision; I am still going to reupholster the seats. It should be relatively easy; the previous owner already did it once.

Bottom of seat; I plan to pop it off and reupholster.

Even though I am confident about reupholstering; I am wavering on painting. The wood is so solid and in great shape. I am not sure what kind of wood it is, nor am I sure how to find out. I would hate to paint over a real wood, like cherry or walnut. On the other hand, I paid $7.50 a piece for them and bought them for the specific purpose of making them “painterrific”. I have been following Young House Love forever and think their spray painting projects always look awesome. I am torn.

Here are what the chairs look like now:

Full chair in all of its chair glory

Chair Back Detail

Chair, showing a little leg

Now that you have seen the pictures you can probably see why I am torn. Or maybe not. This is where I need some reader input. What would you do? I want to get to work on them before school starts so I need to make my decision soon. Let me know if you would paint or not paint in the poll below. I will post the results on Friday. I hope the poll works. I am new to “Poll Daddy” and it always makes me think of “Go Daddy” and Danica Patrick in a bikini. Weird. If you can’t decide or have additional thoughts to share, let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you!