At the end of December and early in January, I shared some long to-do lists for various spaces in and around our home, in lieu of posting actual resolutions. I don’t expect that we’ll finish everything ON those lists, but I do think it’s helpful to have those projects listed somewhere so that I can track our progress. And also take items off the list if they turn out to not really be what we need or want after all. Anyway, we managed to get a few small things done, and even though they are kind of small–they feel like big things!!
In my post on the dining room and entry way, I mentioned that I would like to buy or make a new table. We ended up doing both — we bought an unfinished table and then stained and poly-coated it ourselves. It really looks great and is big enough for us to have a dinner party in our house without everyone sitting on top of one another. We still need to get new chairs but here is a picture of the new table with our old table’s chairs:
We should be able to squeeze eight people around the table if necessary (our old chairs have a wide back), although I think we will keep it set up for six. Originally I had wanted a table with a leaf, but I am happier with this than I think I may have been with the leaf, and the reality is that we don’t have dinner parties all that often, so expanding even larger doesn’t really make sense. I need to figure out different centerpieces — the knick-knacks pictured worked well on our smaller table but get a little lost now.
In that same post I had listed wanting to build out our window trim so that I could eliminate curtains or drapes, since they just get dusty/cat hairy so fast and I prefer a cleaner, more streamlined look. Unfortunately we’ve determined that building out the trim in the way I had wanted is probably not possible. So I’m back to figuring out a window treatment that doesn’t involve long drapes but also doesn’t involve anything that veers into the puffy/ruffly/country look. This is harder than you might think, actually. Especially if you want to keep the expenses pretty low. I have an idea but it might take a while to actually complete. We shall see!
I also had a post of goals related to my sewing nook. This space flows directly between the dining room and the living room, so the picture you’ll see is actually very close to space pictured above. Someday when my whole house is clean (ha), maybe I will take photos of the space just to document it. One of the goals on that list was to finally finish the table top my dad made for an antique sewing table base that we inherited from my husband’s grandmother. All that needed to be done was to poly coat the top and then screw it to the base. There had been marble tops cut for the table bases, but that is so incredibly not my style, so we gave those away to a neighbor, along with the second base. My dad made the table top using scraps of wormy chestnut from a barn of my grandfather’s. My parents used the same wood for their kitchen cabinets, so it feels especially meaningful to me. I love that I am able to honor both of our families with this little table! The table is finished, although I still need to move it to its final location. Please excuse the photo-bombing cat. 🙂
One goal that I never wrote down, but is related to this sewing nook area, or at least to my quilting hobby, was to create and use a design wall. In quilting, a design wall is simply a small or large (you choose) firm background covered with flannel or batting or felt that is used to help the quilter with block construction and final layout. I have wanted one of these FOREVER, as I am generally limited to using the spare bed or the floor for layout, both fine for small or temporary quilts, but not big enough for even lap sized quilts. And quilts laid out on the floor are highly susceptible to cat disturbance. I used two 4×8 pieces of foam insulation, cut down a bit, covered with white felt to make my design wall. I am so happy with it, although I probably should have used flannel for better “stickiness.” Oh well, I have a ton of pins. These pictures show the walls right as they were finished with some blocks I’ve been making just thrown up to show how it works — not the layout I am planning on.
So, that’s it! A bit of an update on some things we’ve done around here. At some point I want to make a long list and create a separate page where I just cross things off as we either complete them or decide not to do them. Have you made any progress on your goals for this year?