Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Cabin

When we bought the 4 log walls, there was a bit of construction "stuff" left lying around that also became ours.  Unused logs, 2x8s, 2x4s, scattered around on the property, what some folks might want to haul off to the landfill.  But. not. me.  To me they were treasure, just waiting for the right use.
Especially interesting were the 2x8s that had clearly been laying out for quite a while and had seen a bit of weather.  They were beautiful and I wish I had a picture of them in all their cast-off, silvery-gray glory.   I also wish I had a picture of my husband's face when I told him I wanted to use them for the interior window framing.  He looked like he's been hit by a 2x4!

These old photos don't do them justice but they were beautiful.

Bedroom before it was all purty'd up.
The final productThe nightstand was a freebee as I recall.  It was dark wood which I painted yellow (probably the first thing I ever painted yellow), dark glazed and sanded back. Looking at it now, I still like it.  Yes, those are IKEA shades, which I believe are no longer available.  And the ubiquitous wood lamps which I love and have bought several over the years because they can be painted to fit with any look.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cabin in Creede

We had a cabin in Colorado, Creede CO to be specific, for a while.  A short while.  Creede is a funky little town in the San Juans of southeastern Colorado that is nothing like her more trampy sisters on the front range.

Anyway, we were traveling through Colorado browsing.  We had money in our pockets from selling another of our projects and  thought an investment we could visit from time to time to remove ourselves from the hellish Tucson summers might be nice.  It was September, the aspens were aglow and we fell in love with the beauty of the area, the lack of glittery tourism, and the relative proximity to Tucson.  And then we found this:

Now, this looks easy to fall in love with.  But picture 4 log walls, just walls.  No roof, no interior floor, no framing, nothing, nada, zilch.  Just a view out one of the windows (no glass, just an opening) of the mountains with rivers of golden aspen flowing down to the valley; that's what we fell in love with.

Over 2 summers my husband and the tall boy who was about 14 at the time, finished the cabin.   And then we sold it.  We hadn't been able to rent it as we had planned, real estate was getting hinky and we were starting the house we live in now.  We did OK on the deal and found that owning a cabin  a 12 hour drive away wasn't for us (remember relative proximity, not so much for a weekend visit).

But I sure had fun planning and decorating the place, all from second-hand and thrift stores.  I wanted the feel of an old cabin filled with things that had always been there.
I think that fridge cost $15 dollars and at one point we had to tie it closed.  It was due to be replaced, because Beverly Hillbillies was not the look I was going for.
A second hand table attached to a cabinet turned into extra eating or work space.  And see the corner wall cabinet without a door, that eventually got a cute leaded glass door that we had to order and wait and wait and wait for.  Building 2 hours from the nearest Big Box is an interesting adventure to say the least.
The table I received as partial payment for some wall painting I did for a friend.  The chairs came from a church tag sale. The floors in this photo are the plywood subfloor stained blue.  Flooring for the living areas was in the next year's budget.  The bedrooms and bathrooms did have flooring.

While the inside is cute and cozy and all, here is the best part of the cabin:

the view of the La Garita's from the front porch...which was to get a swing....eventually.  And where you see the evergreens, that's the Rio Grande River.  Yeah, it was nice.  I'm glad we were lucky enough to spend some time there.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feeling Inspired

This is an inspiring TED talk by Dan Phillips, a builder in Huntsville, TX.  And although his topic is building, his words are true of so many aspects of life.  Hope you enjoy and are inspired.  Now, I have projects to finish.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I've been called out!

Thanks to Lady With a Knife, who writes:
I need you to go faster and get those pictures of how you installed the clips,;D My have disintegrated as well and I don't like pleats either. I am visual as well and am thrilled you are posting "as you go" pics. Thank you! 
I'm finally catching up on some project blogging, specifically putting the curtain tabs on my pleatless curtains.  When Ladies with Knives ask, I deliver!

Here is the beginning of the curtain saga, omigosh, a year ago!  The curtains have been up all this time, really.

So here's the rest of the story,

Once the curtain itself is complete you have a large rectangle of fabric which is easy to work with.  Remember there will be a lot of stress placed on the fabric where the tabs go so the top header and the bottom...well, it's not really a hem, I guess it's a bottom header, need to have some weight.  My fabric is very lightweight so I lined the curtains and also used buckram, which you can find at most fabric stores.  You can see that process in the post I mentioned above.  The buckram also keeps the top of the curtain crisp looking.

 Just an example of measuring placement-yes, this shows T tabs and G tabs
I used a mixture of new and old plastic tabs, and those we purchased came without elastic.  I used some 1/2 inch elastic I had and cut it to approximately the same length as the original tabs and then threaded it through the tabs.  I did this while watching a movie on TV.  I then lined up an old curtain header with the new curtain header and  marked placement with a pencil.  Also make sure to measure your new curtains top to bottom with the old.  If your tab placement is off lengthwise it will make the new curtains either too "blousy" or too tight and very difficult to open.

When I had the placement figured out, I pinned the tabs to the wrong side of the curtain header. I then set up my machine for a narrow, close zig-zag like that used for buttonholes.  Make sure your thread blends with the outer fabric as the stitching will be quite noticeable.

I then started sewing, going forward and then reverse and then moving on to the next tab without breaking the thread.  This goes quickly.

On the right side the stitching is barely noticeable.  See the 2 tabs close together?  That's the end that meets the other curtain in the middle of the window.  It's a good idea to do this.  The tab on the end allows the curtains to look neat when closed and the other tab gives uniformity to the soft pleats that form when the curtains are open.  And as this is where the curtains are pulled on to open and close, the 2 tabs give a bit of strength which defrays that repeated stress.

These snaps come from that big box store that starts with W and ends with a T.  When I first made the curtains I hadn't decided I wanted to use these, but after a few trips it seemed that these would make the curtains look more finished.  They are easy to do but require some thinking.  Practice with one on some scrap fabric if you've never used them before.  The instructions are on the back of the box but I think it helps to mark the  pieces that go together before you start.  This size fits the receiver snaps on our Airstream.

I marked placement of the snaps with the curtains in place at the windows.  If you plan to use snaps, give yourself a little extra fabric at the sides.  If your fabric is lightweight, a small square of a heavyweight fabric should be used to beef-up the area where the snap goes.

And, there you have it.  Not a difficult job, just takes some planning and thinking.  Next time it will be a snap!

I have another Airstream story to tell about our aborted visit to Gilbert Ray Campground but that will have to wait until later.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I looked back through the blog and realized I have a lot of projects to catch-up on and to catch-you-up on.  I've been in a bit of free fall for the last month of so.  I can't pin-point why other than it's been almost a year since Mom died and last fall was the beginning of her downward spiral.  She and I spent a lot of time sitting outside in the cool autumn breezes and just the feel of the air, or the angle of the sun brings back memories of that bittersweet time.

And that leads to reassessment of my life, where I am, where I'm going. What's the quote from Emerson?  "Life is a journey, not a destination."