Monday, January 30, 2012

Caning with Grandpa!

Here is what we were working toward! (Aka: the finished product!)
I got this chair either out of the trash or very cheap. I cannot actually remember, as we have a host of chairs without seats in them waiting for a new lease on life. I have been wanting to work on a chair like this for some time. I had a dream a few years back of me sitting and caning a chair with my grandfather. Ever since that dream, I have wanted to see it happen.
So this last weekend, I made the trek up to Indiana to spend a few wonderful days with my grandparents. The days spent with them are like living in another world. They have no TV, so we spend lots of time talking, reading and playing games. They live out in the country, and you can see the stars up close. It gets darker, since there are no city light or lights from other homes...which means they want to go to bed at 7pm. :-)... AND wake up at 4am.
We got started caning the chair in the cold basement. All of Grandpa's tools were down there, so we couldn't take it upstairs. Besides, I think he enjoys the peace and quiet of the basement. He started the chair for me, showing me how to place the caning and how to weave it.
After the first few, I got to take over. It was quite the task and let me tell you a lot of bending over. However, it was neat seeing it start to take shape and really be strengthened with all the layers.
Here we are hard at work. I love my time with Grandpa. He is hard of hearing, so it is nice to get him away from people and talk and sing and laugh with him.

Here is the end of day one. There is still quite a bit to be done: another diagonal weave and the binding.
I love going there by myself. I get spoiled and we have such fun! The last night I was there, they didnt want to eat leftovers...again. So Grandma said it was milkshake night! She gave Grandpa and I HUGE bowls (see the red one? Yeah, that was mine.)

Here is the finished product after everything was done. It took two days to complete it. We did go off and have a few adventures which took our time, but this is no quick task.
A finished chair ready to be sat on! Thank you Grandma for putting up with us and Grandpa for sharing this legacy and craft with me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's Cookin Wednesday

Yes blogworld, I've been cooking. Just haven't had time for posting! My good friend Julia was in town over the weekend and when I saw this on I knew this was something she'd love!


2 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup honey (or agave)
1 cup uncooked quick oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly spray a 8 x 8" or 9 x 9" ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish. Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, 1 tbsp of the honey and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt; stir together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.

Remove the bananas from the oven, then pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries.

Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the the top.

Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.

This was good & I love that it didn't take long at all. We skipped the nuts (since I didn't have them), but everything else stayed the same. I didn't love the banana texture, but I like firm bananas (not mushy ones!). This says it makes 6 servings...I'd say 4, but Julia & I also knew we were going for a hike after breakfast so we might have eaten more to store up!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's get in the right decade - part 2

I was supposed to post this last Tuesday after J posted her part on Monday, but I got a wee bit busy ;-) (we shall see how long I milk this excuse...and how long until I tell you readers what I've been doing on "the side")

For Christmas we asked my parents to make a list of "first impression" things at their church that they would like modified. Our plan was grand (they each had 10 things on their list and maybe 2 overlapped!), but we ended up "only" repainting/decorating 1 bathroom and hanging some art in another.

Here are 2 photos of what the bathroom (kinda) looked like before. We forgot a before picture, so this is the upstairs bathroom that has the same wallpaper & features.

This might be my favorite "during" photo ;-) But it is a good picture of the paint color...

More during photos:

We bought these plates and put lotion on each of them between the sinks.

After: (it's hard to see the gray of the walls, but it's there - I promise!)

The entry way after:

The brother & brothers-in-law told us the wallpaper in the men's bathroom wasn't that bad...and we agreed. We just added some motivational posters.

We'll see what projects we drum up for Mother's Day, Father's Day and their anniversary :-D

Monday, January 23, 2012

Zero to hero...just like that!

Since my family are off to Disney World this week, I thought I would pay them homage and write a title from a Disney movie: Hercules! This weeks transformation is easy, and you could do it to your own piece of furniture in a few days.
This dresser started off in a similar emaciated state as puny young Hercules. Little did everyone know the true strength that laid behind the exterior. Its legs were two different styles, and we tried so hard to recreate the cool round one! Alas, it was not to be. The drawers were four different colors of veneer. All in all, it looked like a hot mess.
But, with a little paint for the outside, and a little paint for the pulls, it turned out pretty well. It has really nice lines, and is a blinding white with black pulls. A neat little transformation.
I put several layers of the white paint on, letting it dry between each coat. The knobs were spray painted, also allowing them to dry for several hours between coats. I did wait 24 hours, before turning them over to do the other side.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lets get into the right decade!

This little bench was in need of some TLC. There was nothing wrong with it, it was just bland...and looked like it was from the '80s.
So with a few hours (including dry time)...
You get this little guy! I used a little glossy black spray paint and new graphic fabric. The fabric is white, grey and black. It was for a bathroom reno that was done (more to come soon).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's a new year!

Oh how we neglected this poor blog over the holidays! It doesn't help that all 4 of us got sick in some fashion while we were together...too much together time!

The holidays this year were full of family, less traveling and way too much fun with a 20 month old.

But we didn't slack off! For my parents' gift we did a decorating project that we will bring to you next week ;-) J's been getting advice for fabric to work on a new project and tomorrow I'm unveiling my big project that took me all fall (and a lot of help!).

So do not fear, few readers, you have not been abandoned for 2012!

Also, Happy Birthday today to one of my longest blog readers.