Category Archives: Furniture

Handmade Ottoman

We’ve been working on this ottoman for-ev-er and we finally finished it a few weeks ago. If you look closely, you can see all of its little imperfections but that’s part of why I love it so much.  We started by sketching the designs, Greg built the frame and put furniture foam on the frame. Then, Dwight helped by chewing some of the foam off, but we were determined.  After the sewing and quilting was finished, we pulled the fabric over the foam and stapled it to the bottom.  There are tiny rubber feet on the bottom to keep it just a touch elevated off the ground. Let me know which side is your favorite…I’m still deciding!


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Filed under Crafts, Furniture, Quilting, Sewing

a few new projects and the meals that fueled them

vacation has been nice. but with last month’s busy schedule and hurried move, there were several projects (new and old) that needed to get done over the two weeks. a few were required due to the move. the kitchen needed a table to hold the microwave and the craft room needed a table/shelf for the loom. these were quickly built and may not be earthquake proof. also, i had to rebuild the bonsai shelter which was more complicated than it should have been.

the microwave plug doesn't reach the outlet so don't bring us hot pockets

the bonsai deathstar is fully operational

more creative projects include a small stool for eunice in front of the vanity in the bathroom and an ottoman for the main room. these aren’t quite done, just picked up the upholstery foam this afternoon and have yet to choose fabrics for the ottoman.

on its way to becoming a stool

cube in the works

awaiting foam and fabric

in between all the creativity i have managed to dedicate my vacation to bacon, with blt’s, rasher’s, and pancetta all making an appearance and frequent encores. these last few days may have a few pimm’s cups as well.

central valley summers are great


this never happens when i have to wake up at 5 for work

irish rashers are the greatest form of bacon, discuss

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Filed under Cooking, Crafts, Dogs, Food, Furniture, Outdoors

Fabric on the Wall

we started filling the entry-way space several weeks ago with the console table we constructed.  and recently, an owl clock was added, we filled the rest of the wall with some stretched fabric over canvas that we have been holding onto for some time.

wine, fabric, canvas


stretched and stapled

on the wall

all done



Here’s a link to some of the fabrics we used…..


Filed under Crafts, Furniture

Home-made Furniture

In an effort to break free from the chains of Ikea, and to continue to promote a new way of living for both eunice and i (one with a focus on self sufficiency and golden retrievers and less so on laziness and television), we set out earlier this year to build some of our own furniture.  With no tools or skills, we partly expected to end up with a living room of picasso-esque monstrosities destined for the bonfire, however, in the end we were pleasantly suprised with our results and how truly simple it was to create multiple pieces that put Ikea to shame.
Our first project was a small end table for our living room.  We followed plans from the website formerly known as Knock-off wood, now called, that mimicked a set of furntiture from a well known retailer.  The larger pieces we had cut at home depot given their girth, but i hand-cut all the other pieces.  The assembling was quite easy, the key being to keep the piece square and level.  we made several minor errors, but these are barely noticeble; and the ones that are add character (i will use that excuse for all mistakes from here on out).  after assembling, simply sand, then distress (or just hit many times with a 7 iron like i did), then a few coats of stain, polish and you’re done!

sound technique and appropriate tools are very important

Our next project was a step up.  We used the same website for plans to construct our dining table and benches.  Despite some minor problems with keeping the project square, it again turned out great.

These were both finished relatively quickly, a week or so for the first table, and the table and benches took several weeks at most.  The last project we completed was a console table to place in the entry way of the house, basically something to throw the mail and keys on when i get home.  starting this table however coincided with the start of our intern year, and what should have been a week long project took several months of snail-like pace working to complete.  It is based off similar plans from the end table we built first, the only difference being the finish.  i decided to try my hand at some shabby-chic and was pleased with the result.  for this finish, i applied a single coat of the same finish used for the other tables, then applied 2 coats of white indoor paint.  once dry, i hand-sanded several areas for a distressed look, then used a fine grit sandpaper to finish, then varnish and done.
it is really satisfying to have furniture in the home that we constructed ourselves, and the projects themselves have been very easy.  can’t believe the prices people are paying out there when you can generally get a similar outcome for 1/4 of the price and have the fun and satisfaction of building it.  next projects will be a coffee table and tv stand, the only 2 ikea furnitures left in the entire house.


Filed under Furniture