Greetings and Salutations!

Thanks to the prodding of several (you know who you are) I am today sitting again at the computer. The six month (yikes! nearly nine month) hiatus really wasn’t planned. It started simply enough. We came home from the mountains deciding it was time to start some major updates to our home and well, one thing led to another and before you know it it was spring and now it’s already summer again. If you are a homeowner there is always work to be done.

As you may remember, I think life is like a Galileo thermometer. 100_3556Projects percolate up to the top as a priority just like the temperature bubbles do in my thermometer. For some reason last fall the project bubbles filled all the available space. It started with the fact that I NEEDED to get rid of the popcorn ceiling in the house. “Why?” you ask. Well, it’s those darn DIY shows we keep watching: Popcorn ceiling out of date. Clean smooth ceiling up to date. I blame the DIY channels. Curse you HG TV for planting all these ideas in my mind.

But I digress. I will write about the popcorn ceiling project soon. I have pictures. It something you can do. This winter we also made the huge time investment to train the new dog. There will be pictures and hopefully some good descriptive visuals of that little beagle Sophie going to school. It began on the first day of class, very much like many kindergarteners, started with crying, yelling at the other ‘kids’ and hiding under the chair when the teacher called on her. Fortunately, the teacher did not kick the troublesome hound out of school, and though Sophie will always be the food sniffing, counter surfing hound after much, much work she actually passed the test and received her Canine Good Citizen certificate. It’s on my list to share with you… Somehow, I also managed to convince Bob to redo the window and door frames (still a work in progress) to Craftsman style… More pictures and yes, it is another project you can do yourself.

Those are for another day. Today I just wanted to tell you that we’re well just endlessly busy with those danged projects. I have not forgotten you.

Oh, but before I get back to that never ending list I want to tell you about what happened the other day. It all started when one of my ‘friends’ posted the scary fact that a person is never more than three feet from a spider. Then another ‘friend’ posted a picture of a GIANT centipede. Bugs were on my mind…

You know how you aren’t quite awake when you need a drink of water in the middle of the night? You leave your glasses on the night stand and walk by memory lightly touching the walls to the sink. That’s exactly what I was doing when, thanks to the light of the moon I spotted a giant black bug in the corner of the bathroom! So surprised was I that when I went to run to get my glasses (and turn on a light) I kicked over the cat food as well as knocking everything off the counter. It looked like a hurricane had passed through. But time was of the essence…I didn’t want that nasty bug wouldn’t hide on me and I ran to get my glasses then back into the room. Thankfully, lights turned on, the big black bug looked a little different:

Kill it!

Kill it!

Yes, it was the broom handle in the corner where I had left it.
Whew. I survived another crisis.
Have a great day!

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A Valuable DIY Project!

This week I made a button! And it wasn’t that hard.

Well, I didn’t actually make a button; but I made a button replacement for a recliner. Maybe you have lost a button from an overstuffed chair, you too, can repair it yourself.

I tried to get a cloth covered button made for my chair after reading that any upholsterer could/would do this for a buck or so. But, at least in my area, there was no one willing to take on this simple task. After looking at the local fabric store I decided this project was not worth the $10 plus it would cost for the cover button kit. But. I did have possible makings for such a repair in my stash of stuff.

Ingredients: 1 1inch button, stiff wire, dental floss, a piece of matching fabric twice the size of the button and assorted tools, including needles, pliers, and you might need a staple gun. (You don’t have to use dental floss, you can use a very strong thread but I happen to have plenty of packages of floss just waiting for a good use.)

Some chairs come with a small swatch of matching fabric attached to the underside of the chair. Mine did not, but there were several areas where I could cut a piece that would not be visible and that’s what I did.  Look for a piece on the underside, like at a corner, or where it there are plackets, again at the back corners. 100_1932First, I pulled the wire through the button looping it through twice and then using needle-nose pliers twisting the ends round so that it was secure and no sharp ends were sticking out. I discovered that the wire needed to stick out almost 1/4 inch because of the cloth thickness. 100_1933

Then, I sewed around the button with a simple stitch and when the circle was complete I pulled the thread tight, gathering the cloth around the button and secured it.

100_1935The gathers were thicker than I anticipated so the wire is barely visible. Still, it only has to be enough to be threaded with a needle.

If you have the original button you can just reattach it starting at this point.

This next step calls for a long needle. You could buy an upholstery needle which is like eight inches long and very wicked or you could be cheap like me and use a yarn needle that you have lying around. The needle I had is about four inches long. I don’t know where it came from but before buying ask your crafty friends if they might have one. Or your mother.

I threaded the needle with three lengths of the dental floss. Make sure you use more than enough to thread all the way through the chair and back out with enough to tie off. Don’t skimp on this length…you’ll thank me later.

100_1936Thread the button onto your thread, holding on to the end and then push it into the chair. I was able to recline the chair back and fit my hand to the back without removing the backing. You might not be so lucky and have to remove the fabric then re-staple it. If you have a second pair of hands this part would be easier. Thread it through and then back out to the front and through the button again.  Holding both ends pull the the button into the fabric, tightening it so that it’s the same depth as the other buttons. Then tie it off securely. Do not be a dummy and use a granny knot or you’ll have to repeat this step.

Do not go all the way through the back material or your project will look like a doofus did it.

I was worried that I would pull the thread all the way through but there was so much fiberfill that this does not seem to be a problem. Still, if you are worried about this you could easily add a button on the inside that would hold your thread in place.  So, thread button from top through upholstery material, add simple back button and then pass needle back to front. The back button will help hold the thread in place.

And, voila! 100_1940There you have it. The chair is good as new and does not have that obvious hole. It took less than an hour and didn’t cost anything.

Now. Time for a nap in my recliner.