Sunday, May 30, 2010

Heirloom toddler chair

On a recent trip home to Kansas, my hubby and I made a side trip to his dad’s house in order to pick up a special heirloom for our son, Cameron. Over 60 years ago, around 1950 or so, Cameron’s great-great uncle…also named Cameron (yep, that’s where we got the name)…built a rocking toddler chair for my hubby’s dad. Uncle Cameron had a lot of jobs, and one of them was in a custom furniture and upholstery shop. He designed and built this chair himself, as well as did the upholstery work.

Unfortunately, time and storage had done a number to the chair…it would have to be reupholstered. We decided to take it apart ourselves, though we may end up having it upholstered professionally, so we could take a look at its construction. It was well worth it.


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We started with the arms and front of the chair.


You would not believe the amount of tacks we pulled out. And no doubt they were all put in by hand (no pneumatic nailers in 1950)

Two front panels, sandwiching some piping, were removed. The upper edge, where the panels attach to the seat, were stitched in. I love thinking about Uncle Cameron sitting there with a big upholstery needle and thread, stitching this chair together for his little nephew. So awesome!

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The side panels came off next.

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Then the arm layers came off. Under a typical layer of wool batting, there was a layer of, what we’re guessing is, horsehair padding. Wild!


This is my favorite picture. We found an old candy wrapper within the layers. And some old pennies. Cool!! You can even make out Uncle Cameron’s handwriting on the wood frame, reminding himself which piece is which.



The frame was covered in burlap, which sandwiched the springs inside. What a neat chair…they don’t make them like this anymore!


My hubby will clean up, sand and possibly refinish the wooden rockers. In the meantime, I will either decide to tackle this project myself or just have a professional do it. Not sure which yet. But either way, Cameron is going to love his new chair!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

I-Spy Swap

I’m Participating in a fabric swap. I was so excited to fill the last slot over at Obsessively Stitching. I sent off these 10 fabrics  cut into 4X4 inch squares. I’ll be getting back 200 different squares!!!



If you haven’t seen this Blog you should check it out. She does some beautiful Quilts and has great tutorials for some cute kid stuff.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

felt food

I made a set of felt food for my niece for Christmas in 2008. I made an extra set of some of it and put it in a bag and then completely forgot where I put it. Since I am in the process of moving I’ve been packing up my stuff. After packing up most of my crafting supplies (sniff, sniff) I came across the bag of felt food. This was my first attempt. Now that my machine tuned up I know the next set will be even better.
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The strawberries are my favorite

Friday, May 7, 2010

Play Kitchen Challenge - Construction

Now we’re getting somewhere. It’s time for the kitchens to go together. Best…Day…Ever!

Before we started construction, we had to do some necessary wood-filling. Plywood’s layers tend to split and chunks can fall out so wood filler is required to make it look nice. We didn’t take any pictures of this cause it was, well, not that exciting. You understand.

So skip ahead to construction day! My wonderful hubby gave us a quick tutorial in pocket-holes…it’s a really neat, and strong, method that hides the screws in an angled “pocket”. You can then fill these pockets with plugs…sand and paint and you will never be able to find the screw hole. Yep, we’re professionals…

Here’s what they look like…


And here’s how you make them…the blue thing is a pocket-hole jig. You clamp the jig to the board at the spot where you want the screw holes and drill into it. The drill has a “stop collar” so you don’t go all the way through…the location of the collar and placement of the jig is all calculated very precisely (by my husband).


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Once the holes are drilled, we’re ready to screw the pieces together! YAY! We used right angle clamps to hold everything at 90 degrees, and started building.


Ruth modeling the first kitchen/microwave piece. (She apparently had a lil “captain” in her that day)

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This is the sink/oven part. Ruth is attaching the piece on which the oven knobs will be placed.


Twooooo play kitchens! Ah ha ha!

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We were giddy at this point, whether from excitement or exhaustion…both, probably. But check it out! All the doors are in place (not attached, obviously) but you get the idea. Sink bowl in place, along with stove burners (coasters from Ikea). Sweet!


And Cam loves it already! Apparently, the coasters…sorry, burners…are delicious. Om nom…



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Play Kitchen Challenge - Cutting and Sanding

Hooray! My first post! I think I’ll start with our biggest collaborative project…the play kitchens. Ruth has already laid out the plans so here’s how it’s going so far…
First, using our awesomely drawn layout, we cut the huge plywood pieces into the proper sizes.
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And Cam had to help…he wasn’t too keen on the muffs, though.
Then, of course, we sanded everything….please ignore my horribly cluttered garage.
And Ruth admires our handywork…two stacks of cut and sanded boards.
Next, we put the routed edge on the counter top and fridge top pieces. Then we used a jigsaw to cut the sink hole in the countertop. We also did a bit of experimenting with the oven and microwave door openings with the jigsaw…but more on that later.
It’s hard to tell what I’m doing here, but this is a hand-built router table (my hubby’s design) and I’m running a test piece through it.
Ruth starts her sink hole cut.
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And my attempt, next to Ruth’s great example!