Posts Tagged ‘before & after’

Square pillows done. On to the rectangles.

About rectangular pillows: are they for your lower back? Or are they for your elbow when the chair’s armrest is just too, too hard? Or is it another design conspiracy of form over function? “You know, dahling, what this chair really needs is a rectangle. Squares are soo last week.” Stupid.

Well, regardless (not irregardless because that is just stupid), the patio set has two rectangular pillows, and you can’t break up a set, so they get a new fabric slap-up. With a surprise twist, as promised.

Here is the (ugly) pillow. The fabric feels like the stuff that store shopping bags are made of. Cheap.

And the surprise? Well, I had to figure our how to make the pillow covers removable (and therefor washable). Birds fly over the patio and have been known to poop on things. It’s easy to make a removing flap thingee on a square pillow. Not so with a (stupid) rectangular pillow.

So I sewed envelope flaps into the top of the pillows.

My intention was to close the flap with a button. But this would require a button hole, and I could not remember how to make the Bernina’s button holer work. (Must go in for a refresher as the instruction manual was written by people who use the word irregardless.)

In to rescue me steps Rope Work Man with a suggestion for Chinese button fasteners. Clever, clever Rope Work Man.

Rope Work Man

Looks a bit like an over-pass nightmare at first.

But then…

The round part is a lanyard knot.Here are the two together. One side done.

Here is the other–nifty!

And here is the rectangular cushion on our patio, looking spiffy.

And what is this? A table made out of a Canada Dry pop bottle crate? Another project done! (Thank you, Chris and Nelson.)

I think I need to start a new book. My elbow will be very comfortable in that chair.


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Have I said how much I like our patio? (I really like our patio.) Now that I have improved the view a bit, the patio is more and more like an extra room for us. A comfy place to take a load off on the cushy chairs or couch. But don’t look at the cushions. They’re ugly.

Ok, look at the cushions. Two square, two rectangular:

Ugly, right? Well, if not ugly, boring maybe. Time for a little improvement.

I found this lovely tomato red fabric at Fabricland, and because of a sale and a flaw along the selvage, I got it for a steal. Enough for four pillows and a runner for under $10.

I didn’t want to mess with piping, but I wanted the pillows to be a bit tailored so I experimented with an alternative.

It was satisfying to spend some time reacquainting myself with my Bernina.

I’ll admit, I had no idea what the piping would turn out like. Looks like a little envelope corner.

These pillows sewed up quickly and they sure look cheery on the patio.

I made the cases removable because we slop drinks and such in this family.

I think I want to go sit in the sun and lean on this pillow.

The rectangular pillows are just about done. Little surprise coming with them.

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The Wall

I keep saying how much we like our patio. It’s one of my favourite “rooms” in this house.  If this soggy July weather would pass I would spend a lot more time out there smelling the honeysuckle, listening to the birds, and admiring the wall.

This was the wall:The Wall.

It used to be the dirt-bottomed lean-to annex of the shed, but now, following Chris’s efforts last July, it’s the wall.  Very practical and a step up from the dirt-bottomed lean-to, but a bit boring. Not an eye-sore but in need of a little something.

After a bit of research and mess-making, this is the wall now:

(If you click on that image you’ll see what I mean by rain.)

Planning and Doing

I had thought of doing this, but discovered that it would be surprisingly expensive and fussy. Who knew old window frames were worth fifty bucks? Through June I kept my eyes open for a cheaper alternative.

I lucked into some wire containers at Winners–not on sale but reasonable from my point of view. And I snapped up some not-yet-scraggly bedding plants on sale. I did buy a bag of moss which was probably stupid since we have had so much rain that moss is growing on almost every outdoor surface. I got a two-for-one deal on the potting soil and had some left over landscape fabric.

I don’t have the during pictures which is probably a good thing since the whole process was a bit like making sausage. Moss first, landscape fabric next, then soil and plants. I did it in the kitchen. Messy. Much sweeping ensued. Did you know that pill bugs like sphagnum moss? They don’t move very quickly so I was able to herd them out the door without much drama.


One of the smaller baskets:

In case you are wondering….The impatiens above are Jambalaya Pink Blush.

Tuberous begonia: Non-Stop Bright Rose

I am pretty pleased with the result. The baskets get late afternoon sun and are thriving. I am thinking that even in the winter the baskets will look nice with some holly and fir branches.

Rain or not, the view is much improved.

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Our garage door is saggy. The wood is drooping across the panels and as you can see it has leaked.


We actually considered refurbishing it, but it really would have been an enormous job. If we had nothing else to do on the house, well, maybe. But the motor is shot, too. So it means Armstong handling. And that means only three out of four people in the house can open the garage door.

Not me. I am not of garage door opening stature or physique. Nelson is, though.

You can even see the gappy bits on the outside. Does give the illusion that the house is smiling.

But not in a good way.

Chris had started pricing doors at Home Depot and Slegg, and then we met the nice man from the Garage Door Doctor   (in the parking lot of Slegg, actually). We had Darrell come and take a look, and we liked what he had to say.

Essentially, replacing the door would give us a better door at less cost than repairing the door.  So yesterday he and his helper came and installed the door. And now we have a new door. With nice windows. And a new (better) motor (that works). And a key pad. And no smile.

So here is the before shot:

And here is the after:

I have learned a bit in the process of this. I think before and after is interesting, but I like the middle parts too. I wish I had taken pictures of the guys taking the door out, installing the new one and testing it. Mind you, I was at work, but everyone in this house can take a picture even if they can’t manually open a garage door.

For those of you who do this blog thing, any tips on recording the process of a project?

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