Saturday, June 23, 2012

Making Things Look New Again

It's that time of year again.  The time to open up and clean up the cottages, getting things ready for a season of fun and festival.  The Chalet that we have been renting out for the past four summers is still in good shape, but there were a few things I wanted to tidy up a bit.  New sheets for the beds, new wine glasses for the kitchen, and new seat pads and chair covers for the living room.

Have you ever wanted to make your chairs look brand new again?  It really isn't that difficult or expensive. For about $150.00 I redid the seats on 6 dining chairs and recovered one Poang.  With left-overs, I recovered two throw cushions.  Bonus!

Let me show you how simple a deal it was.

Here is the "Before" picture.  Notice the faded blue cotton seating.  There was no padding under that blue and I found my bony bum didn't enjoy sitting on these chairs much.

Step #1 is to remove the seat from the chair.  Simply unscrew the four corners from underneath.

Looks easy so far, right?

Remember I mentioned how hard and unpadded these seats were?
Because I wanted as much padding as possible, I didn't remove the two pre-existing covers.
Here I am cutting three layers of polyester batting to measure about 1" wider than the seat.

Step #3
Cutting the cover fabric 1.5" wider than the batting.

Now the fun part starts!

First on one side and then on the opposite side, place your first staples using a staple gun.

Working your way around the seat, one side and the opposite, place your first staples, while stretching the cover fabric taut.

Keep rotating the seat so that you never complete one side before all the others.
This way, you will ensure that the cover of the seat will be smooth, free of wrinkles and puckers.

 Lastly, do the corners.
All done.  Now, replace the seats by re-inserting the screws in the four corners from underneath, making sure the chair seat is centred on the the chair frame.

I love how perfectly this project finished up.  Pretty and comfortable too.

Now, on to the "Poang Chair", an Ikea special.
No Before shots here.  I was too eager to get started.

I was lucky to find this remnant in the upholstery section at Mardens.
Very apropos for a cottage, don't you think?

 Here is the velcro strip I removed from the original backing and reapplied to the new.  This holds the seat cushion onto the chair frame.

Basically, all I did was make a pillow slip type cover with an over-lapped opening.

Bonus.  Two accent pillows.

Project complete.  Now on to the gardens, the painting and staining.  
So many projects, so little time.

Are you planning any home improvements soon?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Disaster Strikes

 Sometimes, when one thing goes wrong, it seems to spiral out of control, sucking everything into its swirling vortex of misery.   On the other hand, sometimes a terrible wrong magically dissolves away into a minor inconvenience.

Far from home, in another country even, alone with a fully packed, broken-down vehicle, I sat waiting on AAA for rescue.  My cell phone languished in the EBS Building Supplies office sucking up a charge while I waited outside.  In the parking lot, the bedding plants in the payload of the truck panted thirstily for attention.  The wood glue to repair a broken plant-stand, the spray paint for refurbishing a kitchen container, the stove black for the rusty Franklin stove in the cottage, the fabric to recover and re-pad the Chalet chairs all waited helplessly, like me.   All the projects back at the cottage in Cape Rosier, needing to be accomplished by this weekend, got to wait too.

Back on the home front, Hubby was “working the wood”, out of range of the phone in the house or the garage.  He was expecting me back hours before this and had no idea of my troubles.  Eventually, I imagined, he would notice my extended absence and try to reach me on the dead cell phone. 

One Big Thing was in my favour:  AAA recognized and honoured CAA.  Hurrah!  (pictures not available at this time.)

The rain held off and I was in no imminent peril.  It wasn’t really THAT bad, but truly inconvenient, AND I had to pee.  Time and money could solve these problems.  I would live to see another day. 

Yes, Jane, I made it to Maine, careening from one adventure to another.

Less than 24 hours later, we got the call from Darlings Auto Mall GMC Dealership in Ellsworth where my disabled Sierra Truck had been towed.  Mike Ellis Service Advisor, a true “darling”, called to say:

1.     Your five-year, extended warranty ran out today—one day after you brought us your truck.

2.     Your truck registers 158,388 km. and so sneaks under the 160,000 km. warranty limit.

3.     The $1500.00 repairs to your vehicle are totally covered.

4.     The charge for the rental car we gave you to get back and forth to your cottage 25 miles away is also covered.

5.     You can come pick up your truck now.

Now doesn’t that sound just like magic?  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm A Yankee Doodle Dandy, Riding the Carousel

It's officially summer.  

The reason I know this is because the Lakeside Park Carousel has opened for business.  A short walk from our house, pulling the kiddos in the wagon, finds us at the venue for childish glee and wild abandon.

The vintage Frati band organ belts out dozens of old-time favourites 

as the 68 different animals and four chariots
 and race
around in never-ending circles.

The antique Charles I.D. Looff original was carved between 1898 and 1905.  Port Dalhousie is proud to host one of the 350 hand-carved carousels still operating in North America.  

When the carousel was given to the city of St. Catharines, the stipulation was that rides never cost more than five cents.  Operating at considerable financial loss, it remains an Old Port icon and tourist draw since 1921.

Back in the day, when my kids were little, I'd give them each a quarter and then go stretch out on a beach blanket to read for twenty minutes.  A haven of rest and relaxation for me, a wild ride for the kids. Usually, #1 son got too dizzy to stay on for more than one go, but his sibs could ride forever!

Now it's my Grandkids turn!

 together with friends even!

Aren't they the most handsome smallfry?

So what speaks summer to you?
Do you have special traditions that summer brings?
Enjoy the promises to be a hot one!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Row, Row, Row Your Boat...Schoolboy Regatta

The Catch
the rower is as far up the slide as possible to make a long stroke, the oars enter the water

The Drive
the feet push against the foot stretchers, moving the boat thru the water

The Finish
the rower lays back, feathers the oars parallel to the water surface, and moves into recovery.

The Shells

The Oars

..spoons and hatches.

Port Dalhousie is my home old town.  

Designated a heritage neighbourhood, we see signs like this one on houses (circa 1875) everywhere.  Tourists like to visit, strolling through history, playing on the beach, shopping or dining in the small venues or.....
they come for the regattas.

Henley Island, in old Port, is home to ...

This weekend we hosted the CSSRA (Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association) Regatta
otherwise known in local parlance as
The Schoolboy.

The Course
High school regattas row 1500 meters.  College or Olympic courses are 2000 meters.

Because the weather was less than ideal this year, an entire Tent City mushroomed on the east end of the island, offering shelter from rain and wind for crews, coaches, and family supporters.

Crew Colours.

For a more from another post, you could visit here.

Having a home in Port, I get to live vicariously, loosing weight by watching the athletes do their training runs thru the streets, timing and photographing the crews practicing on the course in all kinds of weather and at all times of day and eating healthy snacks to power-up all the time.

Maybe it's the snacks-all-the-time part that is keeping the scales from reflecting any true weight loss....

Still, I am a native girl to the Henley Lifestyle, living in Port, cheering the racers, giving parking space on my lawn for big events and even hosting whole crews for four-day weekends on occasion.  That should count for something, if not weight loss, don't you think?