right now :: covering up

The crayon smudge was the last straw.

We were given this beautiful couch.  Not too big, not too small, in good shape with firm cushions, and beautiful yellow upholstery.  Light yellow.

I knew it wouldn’t stay pretty long in our muddy-footed home.couch cover 2

I covered it immediately with a couple of big pieces of cloth, but if you’ve ever tried that you know how it goes – the covers slip and slide and every time the children turn to look out the window, which is four hundred times in a day, the fabric turns and wrinkles and becomes a lumpy mess.

Blackberry winter provided the down-time.  The days were cold and gray.  I was busy procrastinating on some other indoor work that still needs doing, and then there was the crayon smudge.

I ignored all the other things that needed doing, served left-overs for dinner, and covered the couch.  It’s a four piece cover.  There’s a long strip that covers both arms, anchored by the cushions.  There’s a long wide piece that covers the back and drapes over the front, also anchored by the cushions. And then there are two cushion covers with seats that nearly match the curtains.  Close enough counts here.couch cover1

I measured the couch, two or three times, just to be sure.  I measured the cloth, then folded and cut and sewed.

The cushions were the biggest challenge, and I just kept breathing and let them be.  I didn’t want them too tight, and so they are a little loose.  But our dirty knees and seats won’t show on the burgundy nearly as bad as on the yellow, so I’m satisfied.

My seams aren’t always straight, and my measuring isn’t perfect, but it’s a job I’m grateful to have done.  I’d like the add some more burgundy pieces to help anchor the arms.  It will save for the next rainy day.couch cover complete

Don’t be afraid.  Have fun.  Make it yourself – make it your own.


a day well spent

It was such a beautiful sparkly day.  After four inches of rain earlier in the week, the ground wasn’t dry enough yet to start into the multitude of garden chores that await us, but there was another important job to do.  shed1We bought our little homestead about nine years ago.  The house was simple.  700 square feet of floor space – two stories – no closets.  Lulah wasn’t even a year old when we felt crowded enough to began the addition.  It more than doubled our downstairs living space and soon became our bedroom, living room, and dining room.  We put a closet in the corner.

Add another child and several more years of living, and now we’re overflowing, again. shed2We’ve been batting around the idea of a storage out-building for over a year.  We even considered buying one of the ready-made sort from the local Mennonite community, but it’s just not our nature.  My Fellow Man and I walked the property, thinking of this location and that, conjuring up ideas, images, and long-range plans, then critiquing them to pieces.  We finally found the spot.  It was a unanimous agreement, which isn’t always easy to come by.  We fetched some blocks and boards and waited for the right time.shed3This after-the-rainy-day will do, for starters.

With good help from a good friend, we worked through the details.  This meant standing out on the work site with a tape measure and some fence posts, figuring out if we could actually build the box we planned.  Tweaking the south corner back, then the front line forward a couple inches.  Measuring this line, then that one, again and again.sourwood2We wanted to save the somewhat decrepit but endearing sourwood tree, and the tall straight wild cherry tree, with its accompanying grape vine.cherry We almost talked ourselves into cutting the sourwood, but in the end we listened to our hearts and forged ahead.

It doesn’t look like much, but if you’ve ever built anything you know that no ground is as flat as it looks, and square corners are not easily won.shed5shed6The children were eager to help, or at least to play in the presence of work.  Lulah is certain that this should really be her bedroom.  shed4

shed7Good works deserve just reward.  pieThis pie was made from the last bag of cherries from the freezer.  No regrets putting it toward a good cause.  After all, look what’s coming, so soon.   strawberryAs the pie baked, I looked around the house, eye-ing the bits and pieces here and there that will be leaving for the out-building before too long.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, certainly, and progress means different things to different folks.

Today, this is what it looks like to us.  shed8It was a day well spent.