Tag Archives: house

A New Chair Seat for an Old Chair

21 Aug

This green chair is from my great aunt Isabel’s home.  It is a favorite of mine.  But it had a problem.

That old pressed paper seat had finally given way.

Pounce loves to sleep in the chair.  On the  bottom side the tear was full cat  hair.  Yuck.  I only used it when company came and we didn’t have enough seats.

I finally got around to searching online for a replacement pressed paper seat.  And found one.  And brads to attach it.  And eventually I used brown shoe polish to color it and spreadable silicon shoe protectant over the polish. It was a very yucky off color skin tone originally.

Then after sitting a few more weeks today I asked Jay to help me. He took off the old seat.  I made a paper pattern and transferred it to the back of the new seat.  I washed the chair up but declined the offer of new paint.  I like that old patina of use and age, bare spots, paint drips, and all.

After finagling with a jig saw he discovered he could use scissors to cut the pressed paper and did so.  Then I sandpapered the edge, shoe-polished and protected the front and back again.

Then with Jay as consultant, I used his rubber mallet to pound in the brads and connect the seat to the chair.

Irregularity is the mark of hand made, right?

Voila!  A beautiful old chair with a new seat. Now up for grabs for me or Pounce.

Jay estimates I won’t even pile stuff on it for ten days.

Bed-Room Carpets–For Twelve Cents and a Half Per Yard

27 Jul


Sew together the cheapest cotton cloth, the size of the room, and tack the edges to the floor.  Now paper the cloth as you would the sides of a room, with cheap room paper; putting a border around the edge if desired.  The paste will be the better if a little gum arabic is mixed with it.  When thoroughly dry, give it two coats of furniture or carriage varnish, and when dry it is done.

It can be washed; and looks well in proportion to the quality and figure of the paper used.  It could not be expected to stand the wear of a kitchen, for any length of time, but for bed-rooms it is well adapted.


My guess is that “the cheapest cotton cloth” in 1870 was heavy duck canvas, not lightweight thin stuff, which would have been saved for dresses.  If doing this today, I would use heavy canvas,  cut it to size and hem it, then glue the paper on outdoors and let it dry there, and varnish it there before bringing it inside.

What a great idea, though, don’t you think?

Pink Ladyslippers

28 Jun

Sunday afternoon Jay and I went down into the nearby bog.  This time we were just in time to see the last few Pink Ladyslipper orchids in bloom.  Most had gone by.

There is a lot of green in the bog.  And a very little pink:

See it?  Almost in the center.

In other news:  Hawthorne, on his own,  found a young woodchuck in the alfalfa.  Isabelle and I had to intervene.  Dog 1, Woodchuck, O.  Although it did get a few chews in.

Just finished  most of my part of painting the upstairs landing and halls: five doors and all the framing and molding involved around them and the floor, and nine wall surfaces.  Still to do: the rest of the ceiling.  Whew.  White for the doors and molding.  A Benjamin Moore color: Glass Slipper, for most of the walls. White for the stairway. The pale gray blue changes with the daylight and interior light.  Sometimes it looks almost white.  Sometimes a pale blue, sometimes gray.

What is New Here

9 Jun

The fields behind the house got cut.  The Boblinks left.  The tree peonies finished, the deciduous peonies are almost done.  The foxgloves are in their full glory now.  Lots of rain came on the heels of running a line from the spring to the west of us because of the depth of the dry.

The heliotrope, dianthus, clematis, roses, alliums, sage, thalictrum,  campanula of one kind, irises, perennial and annual poppies are in bloom. Just started harvesting hellebore seed.  The beans, sunflowers, cucumbers, etc. are up.  Not the pumpkins yet.  This rain will push them up.

We are harvesting garlic scapes, swiss chard, lettuce, herbs, and peas.  The wild strawberries are ready. Last night we had fettucini with scapes, chard, dill, fake crab (cooked in chicken fat) with parmesan and cream.

Isabelle has started live trapping rodents for the snake. Goldilocks has eaten one live mouse,

been bit by a shrew (which she then left alone), and rejected a dead vole. She was not given much opportunity with a chipmunk because the brother protested.  I was not home at the time.  One well-placed bite by the chipmunk could have killed her.

Painting on the upstairs has commenced.  Scraping and painting on the west side of the house has also commenced.

These eggs have hatched.  Other robin eggs have hatched.  Isabelle has been feeding young robins in their nests.

This morning Hawthorne jumped a very young fawn in the hedgerow where he was searching for his favorite woodchuck hole.  He chased ten feet behind the poor thing around the field for minutes, me chasing them yelling his name, the fawn bleating as it ran.  It was piebald.  They eventually ended up far down by the road’s edge where he broke contact.  I hope it went into the hedge before the road, though the girl and I could find no trace of it.  Hawthorne would not have hurt it.  He likes chasing, though.  The noodle.

He weighs about 10% more than he did a year ago.  Between 54 and 55 pounds.  He was too skinny.  Now he is just right.  He is built like the older typical Airedales.  Many of this breed are now tipping the scales at 70-90+ pounds.  Much too big, in my opinion.

The piano soft pedal got fixed once again.

Five of us went to see the movie ‘Babies’ last night.  I really liked it.  The babies from Namibia and Mongolia made the US baby in particular look like an incredible wimp.

Snow and Flowers

9 Mar

This morning I waited until it was up to freezing to take Hawthorne for his walk.

I took the red plastic sled with us, and after the first run down the hill almost directly behind the house, I got some snow shoes on.  Not knowing when one is going to sink in up the knees is disconcerting.  The clematis arbor stopped my descent.

Then we went up to the hill east of the house and I sledded down that one, Hawthorne following.  Then we went back further to the middle of the field and slid east.  The snow was so slick and fast that I had to put brakes on (feet and hands) for nearly half the hill’s length to ensure I did not go into the bushes at the bottom.

For the last run of the morning I walked west across the east field (there is alfalfa underneath all the snow) through the hedgerow and up to the hill’s high spot just outside the cornfield and went down towards home.  On this run, I veered to the right of the arbor, over a flower bed, narrowly missing the roses, and ended up right in front of the open garage door, much to the chicken’s amazement.  At least they sounded amazed.  Maybe it was my whooping.

I woke up this morning so thankful for the snow.  February winds play havoc on the foliage and buds of the hellebores.  But not this year.  They have all been safely tucked under great deep banks of snow.  Jay thinks there may be March winds that could do the same.  I hope not.  Even with today’s 50 degree F temps, it will take days for the snow to uncover the plants.

Saturday before Angela arrived I cut flowering quince and pussy willow branches to force into bloom.  The pussy willows are already beautiful; they have been sitting on the kitchen table, soaking up heat from the oven and drinking lots of water.  Lovely pink and grey pussies are out.  I pick off the curving brown, loose, hard outer covers from the flowers–they are like small claws falling off as they bloom.

The quince branches spend part of the day on the dining room table and then the nights out on the porch because Pounce is a little too fond of water.  He would tip the whole container over to get some in the night.  The buds are swelling slowly.

Number of Pounds Gone in 2009

29 Jan

Yeah, I know Angela has been hogging attention with her incredible adventures getting to athletic Wolverine status.

But let it be known that I, too, got rid of quite a bit of poundage this past year.

It just was not on me.

It was in my house.

Most of what I ditched were books and periodicals and paper.  But there were  a few folding chairs and clothes in there, too. And yes, I kept track.

Grand total for the year: 473.25 pounds of stuff exited our door.  That is a conservative estimate.  I did not count the mail we threw away, or the trash, daily and weekly stuff like that.  This is stuff I had held onto, some of it for decades.

So yay for me.

January of last year I threw away 45 pounds.  This year so far only 13.

Got to get to work.

Back on My Feet

1 Oct

The train arrived home six hours late a week ago Monday.  I then caught the nasty cold the girl caught from Uberimma’s son # 2 and felt like a steer who had been hit in the head with a hammer all the rest of the week.  My mother came to visit–yay!–and stayed two nights while she attended a reunion event during the day.  She brought lots peaches.  Eight friends whom we have not seen for ever so long also came for supper one night while Mom was here, and then to stay after she left. Lots and lots of cooking.  We are so happy to have them here!  Oh, and I worked a short part-time job last week also at a friends’ request.  It was very icky work packing up an incredibly overstuffed, filthy apartment for a man who is quite ill.  She is helping take care of him, though I doubt he sees it that way.

Now that job is done, the cold is mostly vanquished.  Still no hard frost so I am using lots out of the garden to cook very large suppers.  Just need more sleep.

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