Thursday, September 13, 2012

Finished projects, in lieu of finished objects

I was reminded yesterday how much easier it is to dwell on areas where we have failed than on areas where we have succeeded, which is why today I am not going to mention (apart from this one mention) the many many sock toes I have not grafted shut or ends I have not run in.  Even though it is really bugging me that I have done all that work and then stopped short.

Instead: I'm going to show you some other stuff I did finish.

Behold, the six-hour retro car curtains that took me six weeks to pull off, owing in part to not having lining fabric before that:

Yeah, I know, it's a totally uninspiring photograph.  Even though the cottage is a really nice place to be, it's hard to capture that digitally.  Still, if you'd seen the 'before' - sensible and efficient woven polyester drapes that match the light brown exterior of the building, in situ and unblemished after 40 years of use - you would have a clearer understanding of the


in my heart looking even at this meh picture.

Another summer project was the chair I fixed up the weekend after my mum died, which felt rather urgent under the circumstances.  See, the chair had belonged to my mum's dad.  Her sister even remembers him sitting in it at the dinner table, tired after a very long day during the Depression.  (he was a carpenter.  they weren't much in demand at the time. also, he was probably beginning to be ill then - he died young, making my aunt's memory even more precious.) 

My uncle was keeping it at the cottage, summertime providing the greatest opportunity to refinish it.  Cottage life being what it is though, the chair didn't get very far along.  Here's what it looked like when I first saw it last summer:

The wood is cracked in places now, so I'm not sure there's much point in trying to make it really beautiful with fresh stain and so forth, and I also felt it should really get back into circulation fast, so I decided just to sand off the rough parts and any remaining loose paint, then rub salad bowl oil into the wood. 

When all that was dry I threw a cushion onto the seat, one I'd made for a different chair (another finished project!) but which looks pretty good here:

It's not glam, but I think it's got character, don't you?

(I'm not entirely sure about how comfortable it is, but I don't think that really matters at this point.)

Anyway my tips from these two projects are:

1/ if you can't choose between two patterned fabrics for curtains, go for the one that has a regular repeating horizontal line.  SO much easier to get right the first time than a floral that goes wild, and yes, I'm looking at you, cottage living room curtains.

2/ if you want to protect raw wood and don't feel like doing a chemically or toxic stain thing, Circa 1850 Terra Nova NaturOil is pretty awesome . Did you see how much darker the wood got there?  and it dried in no time.  Isn't even greasy.

3/ don't beat yourself up for the stuff you didn't do! focus on what you did do.  you'll feel better and maybe even have some unexpected energy.  for, you know, doing the stuff you didn't get done yet.

Have a great day guys, see you tomorrow!

1 comment:

justmeandtwo said...

Congratulations on the things you did get done. I love the curtains and have been waiting to see the finished little cars project. They look very cheery indeed! The chair is great, too! So nice to use natural oils to spruce it up.