Friday, August 29, 2014

Hey Foxy Lady! A Barrel Cane Chair Makeover

I finally finished sprucing up the $5 chair I picked up on Craigslist back in April. Five dollars! That's the cost of a footlong sandwich! 

Below is the actual photo from the Craigslist ad of the chair before her makeover. Doesn't it just entice you to want to buy it??? No? Would you rather have a sandwich? Don't ask me how, but it beckoned me with its curved back and caning:

Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

After removing the very dirty cushion, you can better understand how the nickname Foxy Lady came to be:
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

Which reminds me of a song:

I'm so easily distracted. Let's get back to the chair...

Foxy Lady was painted a two tone pink color when I picked her up, and not very well done at that. The paint job had lots of drip marks and was peeled and scratched off in several spots with tons of brush marks. But hey, it was $5, I was tickled pink about that. I decided our Painted Lady needed a make-under to remove her garish makeup and barnyard outfit and strip her down to something a little more natural and sophisticated.

First I removed the old upholstery and the caning on the back. There were several cuts and holes in the cane in all 3 panels of the chair (it's hard to see them from the photo; one of the panels was barely attached at the bottom but it was all barely glued together with the Pepto Bismol pink paint) and since I wanted to stain this chair, it really was best to replace the cane. Also, stripping cane seems like a job from hell:
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

Then I stripped the paint off the chair using Citristrip. It worked really well on this chair and I really appreciate that it has a very light citrus smell, no unpleasant chemical smell at all! After letting the Citristrip sit on the chair for 30-40 minutes, it was all bubbled up and peeled away easily with a paint scraper.
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!
Anyone else think of The Walking Dead zombies when looking at this?

Next I sanded the chair. No pics of that step but basically I sanded the whole chair until all the remaining paint residue and stain was gone and everything was smooth.

Replacing the caning was the next step. I was going to tackle the cane myself and even bought caning to do it. Then I tried it and realized I have no patience or skill to get the caning to look straight and professional on a curved barrel shape. If it was a flat seat, maybe, but I could not get this curve right and I was getting frustrated. I knew I was going to ruin the new cane if I kept going at it myself, and luckily I found a chair repair guy who could do it for me for a good price since I had already removed it and had extra cane. I'm so glad I took it to a pro, it turned out great! Lesson learned: take things to professionals if you really don't think you can do a good job of it. Caning comes in different sizes and I decided to go with a more open weave caning than the tighter weave that was originally on the chair and I'm really happy with it.

Next, I stained the chair. Sorry I don't have pictures of those steps, I accidentally deleted those. DOH! I used Rustoleum wood stain in the Kona color, a really dark brown, like a black-brown. The stain color on the caning "takes" differently than the wood on the chair so I had to play with it a bit to get it to look the way I wanted. The Kona stain seemed too dark and one-dimensional on the caning so I sanded off some of the Kona stain and wiped on a lighter walnut stain that I had on hand over the sanded areas to give the caning a little more dimension. Then I sealed the whole thing with three coats of a wipe-on polyurethane in satin (I use one made by Watco).

The next phase of this chair project was making the seat cushion more comfy and finishing the upholstery.

I tightened the springs by re-tacking the strings tighter along the springs and frame and replaced the previous old piece of burlap with burlap webbing that I stapled tightly over the springs:
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!
This step really helped reduce the sagging and creaking of the springs.

Then I added new foam...
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

...and wrapped the foam with batting that I stapled to the frame in the groove that goes around the chair. So much comfier now!
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

Next I covered the foam with fabric and stapled it into the groove of the chair and trimmed the excess fabric away. The groove was previously hidden by the fox fabric but once I took it off, I found it and figured I'd use it for what I think was probably the original purpose. I picked up this apple green velvet-y fabric with very subtle textured stripes for $5 on clearance at Joann Fabrics.
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

Then, using my sewing machine, I covered cording with a contrasting black and white patterned fabric to make the welting (or piping) like you would for a pillow, trimmed the excess fabric from the welting, and hot glued it into the groove to make everything look finished. Want more details on how to make piping? Here's a great tutorial on it from Sew4Home. I almost went with the same green fabric for the piping but then thought it would be more interesting to add a contrasting fabric, so I used the black and white fabric I used for the pillow. I like it!
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!
black+white+green = one of my all time favorite color combinations

Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

I also made a little pillow for the chair that is reversible with two different fabrics. One side has a small geometric honeycomb black and white fabric that I got on Etsy, and the other side is a really fun tropical leaf pattern called Balmy that I got from Kate Riley Designs on Spoonflower (who is also one of my favorite bloggers, Centsational Girl!). I love a reversible pillow! Perfect for someone like me who likes to change things up sometimes.
Barrel Cane Chair Makeover. You have to see this before and after!

I spent about $95 total to makeover this chair including the cost of the chair. I love how Foxy Lady turned out and I think she's a way foxier babe than she was before. She'll look great in her new spot in the family room!

Barrel Cane Chair Makeover


Link parties!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver British Columbia
Downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park

Well it seems the theme for this summer in our house has been "procrastinate on all home projects because this is the nicest summer on record that we can recall and we can't stand to be inside working on home projects when we could be OUT THERE...". We are no closer to finishing up our family room makeover than we were a month ago so I have no updates to share with you in the DIY department...again. It'll get done (at least I'm pretty sure), but we just aren't inside the house all that much right now. I hope you'll indulge me in letting me share another one of my favorite pastimes instead - exploring this big beautiful world of ours, and amateur photography (okay, that's two favorite pastimes). I love the challenge of trying to capture a picture exactly how my eyes and mind see something. Sometimes, many times, the subject is just too beautiful to be caught adequately in a still frame. I keep trying. :)

Exploring and traveling doesn't have to be a grand or expensive trip every time you want to get away (although those grand adventures are lovely too!). With a kid in college, our travel budget is pretty tight right now. Luckily for us, some of our favorite places to explore and visit are right within driving distance of where we live! Last weekend we took advantage of that and spent a weekend in beautiful British Columbia, Canada for our anniversary. We live pretty close to the Canadian border and only a couple hours from Vancouver, BC (it's more like 3 hours total with the border wait) - just far enough to make it a fun road trip without getting weary about driving for long hours and hours on end.

Vancouver is a beautiful city. The city itself is huge and amazing, filled with urban delights, but just minutes away you can be in some of the prettiest spots that Mother Nature has to offer. We have been here several times over the years and each time we come away with wonderful memories.

Here are some of the things we did on our little weekend getaway:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A 19th Birthday & Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

Our son turned 19 this past weekend! As I'm writing this and remembering birthdays past, I realize this is the 5th blog post in as many summers that I've written about Jake's birthday (you can read 'em here for ages 15, 16, 17, and 18) . It's also my 4 year blogiversary as of last month! This blog, a life journal in many ways, has been a great creative outlet for me to share the passions and joys of my everyday life with you. If you've followed along for awhile, you've probably figured out some of the things I'm most passionate about in life - my family, friends, cooking, baking, DIY/home decorating, Hawaii, and the great outdoors. Somehow, at least 2 of those subjects get brought up in every post I write! :) Out of all the things I enjoy and love, the greatest joy in my life is our son Jake. I can't believe he is 19 now - his last year as a teenager! This past year has seen many changes in our household with him finishing his first year in college and having made the transition so well. I'm not gonna lie, it has been quite an adjustment for me having him away and not seeing him everyday, but I had no doubt that this independent kid of ours would do just fine out in the world. I love who our son has become. He makes his parents proud!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands

Orca Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands, Washington State

We've got summer fever around here! Even though we have a ton of things we could be doing around the house, like working on our family room remodel, summer time keeps beckoning us to play outdoors instead while the weather is so nice. The fireplace makeover can wait - we are taking advantage of the gorgeous summer we are having around here in the Pacific Northwest!

Last weekend, Rick and I went up to the San Juan islands again. We love it up there. This time we took Jake and his girlfriend Kelsey and went on a whale watching trip through Orcas Island Eclipse Charters. We've been on their charter trip before and it is a wonderful experience. Captain Dan and his crew are so experienced and knowledgeable that we recommend them to anyone interested in whale watching. One of the nice features about their tour is that they are located right next to the ferry terminal on Orcas Island so you don't even need to drive your car onto the ferry (we catch the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island).

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Family Room Update: The Green Wall is Dead! Plus, Furniture and Fireplace Progress

Family Room Update: The Green Wall is Dead! Plus, Furniture and Fireplace Progress
What does Maggie have to do with our family room makeover? Nothing. She just looked super cute this morning on our morning walk with the daisies behind her. Also, I felt like you should have a cute photo to look at since the rest of the photos have some form of DIY carnage in progress.

I can't believe it's been a month since I first wrote about starting our family room makeover! We've had a jam-packed month but we managed to get a few things done in our family room. To see what this room looked like before, click here. Here's what we've done so far:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy July! Summer-y Bits of Randomness

Happy July! I don't have any one big thing to talk about today, and yet I have many little things in my head so I thought I'd write a 'Bits of Randomness' post, Summer Edition. Strap on your seat belt, I'm all over the place today!


I love cherry season and it's another sign that summer is here! Can you see the heart shaped one? Now that I think about it, they all look a little heart shaped to me. Stuffing my gut with these as I type:
I love seeing hearts in things, you can see more on my Hearts Pinterest board.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Garden Tour 2014

Summer Garden Tour: Orange roses

June is the prettiest month in our garden. All the roses are in bloom and things still look fresh and green, not yet wilted from the heat of summer. I love sitting out on the patio in the mornings, sipping my coffee and enjoying a little quiet time with my dog, and I also like to putter around the garden to see what's new and growing or blooming. This year I haven't been as attentive to our garden as in years past. Even though the backyard has been a bit neglected, it's still putting on a beautiful show. Way to bring it, garden!

Would you like to take a stroll with me and check out what's blooming in the garden today? It was a bit misty this morning when I took these photos so some of the flowers have raindrops on them, but it cleared up and turned into a beautiful day.