Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Patchwork bench and life

You know the old saying, "When life gives you lemons.....", well life gave me discontinued drapery fabric books, (about 40 of them), and I recover furniture with them and make gift bags.  If ever at a crossroads, turn to the 'free' section on Craigslist. There's bound to be something to use, recycle, reclaim, re-purpose, or at least laugh about. Such is today's post. Cheryl, a lady in Medina who makes draperies out of a very cool workroom on her property, has twice given me books, fabric, foam and advice, that I have spun into products.

First piece was a bare bones, stripped down, open spring, '40's wood chair curb find that blossomed into a patchwork chair that ironically, daughter Alisa snapped up. My mom and dad took some classes on re- upholstery after the couch fiasco of 1970. I was pregnant with Alisa that summer and the plumbers were on strike, so off to Maryland we went for a visit. While there, I told the folks that they needed to recover their old couch.  I explained in my no-nonsense, self-assured way that it would be cake to rip that thing apart and put it back together with new fabric. This was my first venture into a project that big, but have done some since. Sometime I will tell you about the peanut butter and jelly couch! Clueless on how to figure fabric, I said, "we need 19 yards." [On a no repeat fabric?  What are you smoking La Verne?]  Anyway, gutted the couch and started to sew when.....guess what?  The plumbers got called back to work and off to Cleveland we went. I took with me all the pieces-parts, sewed them together and mailed back a diagram of how the couch fit back together.  That was a leap of faith on their part, but that was what was so great about my parents, they trusted us to screw up-and we did.  Dad, being the whiz that he was, did a great job.

Back to the bare bones, wish I had a 'Before' picture, so you could see what magician I was, but trust me, it was a renaissance. Here is how it looks now in Alisa's living room.

Next is an interesting sort of vanity bench that had no seat.  While daughter, Bethany, went to J-Fab to get tack-stretchers, I cut a new seat and rounded the edges with a mini-skillsaw.  I had one blade for my scroll saw and broke it on my first pass. No matter, this woman has determination.

The colors of this bench are more vivid than displayed here, and for the future, I'm not really a "white furniture sort of a person".  I may just paint it black and distress it to make that fabric pop.  Yes, I think I'll do that.  Next week, you will see a transformation on this piece, unless someone claims it in the meantime.
This will be a short post today, as I have tons of painting to do, and hemming 20 pairs of pants while watching Season 5 of Doc Martin (BBC series) that I've waited 3 months to get from the library.
Tonight, is my Girl Scout meeting.  Friends, Pat and Ann, who I've known for decades through all facets of scouting, have a Girl Scout Troop at the Northeast Care Center,  It's a residential home for mentally and physically challenged adults.  Twice a month for the past 25 years they have turned these folks into scouts, teaching songs, crafts, saying the Pledge of Allegiance (when was the last time you said it that wasn't at a swearing-in ceremony?), serving snacks and singing taps.  That is true dedication.  When I had my troop years ago, there was always that instant gratification of "Thanks, Mrs. Dietz!"  Here, it may be an eye twinkle, or a hug, or a just-keep-showing-up. Me, I'm just along for the extra hand.  They are the planners, doers and persevere-rs.  Hand clapping.  Love you ladies!
Have a thankful, awesome, glad I get another day to say the Pledge of Allegiance!

As ever,
La Verne

PS  At the beginning of this post, I bragged about the great and funny things you can find on C'list, well, here is one I had to share.  This guy was selling a 7 foot Sasquatch stuffed creature that his girlfriend wanted him to get out of their living room.  Believe me, if I had a truck and two good knees, that thing would have been in MY living room.  Fortunately, I have no boyfriend to tell me it would have been a bad idea!


  1. This comment is from me, because I can't remember where Pete showed me the 'edit' button was. The person above was not 'selling' the creature, he was 'giving it away'. See why I like Craigslist?

  2. Love the site! I've seen your workshop so I know you have a lot of projects in the works to post. Can't wait to see them.