Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Projects

It has been fun turning our attention to some outdoor projects this summer that make our old farmhouse appear to be "loved" by its inhabitants.

I (Joy) found these weather-worn wicker chairs at a thrift store and thought we'd make an attempt at restoring them to their former beauty.

The fabric-covered cushions were faded and torn so it wasn't surprising that Oliver asked if I had paid good money for something headed to the burn pile.

I assured him he'd be pleased with the make-over.

Harrison and Sheridan were eager to help with the project.

We bought a couple cans of white spray paint for $1 each and sprayed until the ugly disappeared.

We found blue gingham fabric for $1 a yard and made new covers for the cushions.

I've had some wrought iron deco pieces that have made the many moves over the last few years and decided to hang one in the newly created seating area under the crepe myrtles.

When we moved in a year ago, there were rusty metal awnings on some of the windows.

The bigger guys were so nice to get rid of them for me.

Once gone, the neglected kitchen side of the house looked even worse though.

So the kids helped me make a small sitting area outlined by rocks we collected.

Oliver, also know as the "Hour of Power Man" because of his willingness to cheerfully give me one hour of manpower each day to complete a variety of tasks, was so helpful in this project.

He brought in the heavy, concrete bench, hung window planters, and even found an old tree limb for displaying the birdhouse just like I requested.

Then we turned our attention to the eye-sore, gray, cinder block pump house in the back yard.

The younger guys were eager to give it a paint job.

We found the coffee table, now serving as a bench, in one of the old barns and painted it black.

The fabric cushion and pillows were all made inexpensively from thrift store sheets and pillow cases.

This was my second attempt at fencing that would keep the chickens out of the herb garden.

We even ran an electric shocking wire temporarily but the only ones trained by it were the humans.


Don't let your ankle touch the fence when entering the back porch or you'll regret it for sure!

When the chickens learned to fly over the wire, I unplugged the shocker and gave up.

My mom, who knows how to bring beauty to any yard, has kept me well stocked with foliage in planters and pots as she thinks this might actually be a way to outsmart the chickens.

So far, so good!

Having never been characterized as a "collector" during our marriage, Timmy has shown noticeable concern as I've suddenly turned into a real observer of others' trash.

Such was the case when we were on a date at Outback Steakhouse one evening and I saw they were throwing away all of their tables while remodeling.

After getting permission from the proprietor, I made arrangements to gather up all those tables and give them a new home on the farm.

Now we have an outdoor eating area when people come for a tour and picnic.

Since I use regular fabric in outdoor settings, it only lasts for a couple of seasons before it needs replacing.

This summer's porch re-do was inspired by some grandmama's afghan that I saw at a thrift store for 99 cents.

Originally I had planned on patriotic-themed colors for the porch but when I saw the afghan in perfect condition with so much time obviously invested in the intricate flowers, my heart was warmed and I just couldn't leave the granny's treasure there unappreciated in the thrift store.

In an instant I decided the afghan would be the centerpiece in this season's porch re-do.

I found blue sheets, yellow gingham pillow cases, and an organza curtain with daisies that were all recreated to make pillows, cushions, and table cloths.

I even found a couple of rugs that I thought would encourage Sammie, our farm dog, to leave my things alone by sleeping on them instead.

It didn't work - each night she pulls the cushion off the old trunk and onto the floor and sleeps on it.

"At least," I holler to Sammie each morning, "you could put the cushion back during the day so the porch will look nice!"

She thinks the porch does look nice with my trunk cushion on the floor.

The wind inspired the tea cups and saucers on this table.

I couldn't find a way to keep the tablecloth from blowing away but figured it wouldn't hurt for some of my thrift store plates and cups to live outside on the table.

The pink-edged overlay cloth was made by sewing together 4 cloth napkins.

I was so glad that I ended up driving a pick up truck instead of the little Dodge to the thrift store the day I spied this wonderful pale yellow coffee table with all the quaint drawers for less than $15.

You can see on the left corner of the table's edge evidence that Sammie's puppy, Dakota, also loved the new porch deco item.

I curbed his appetite with some unsavory spices on the now exposed wood.

Regarding the missing drawer knob, until Dakota's older, I've hidden it to discourage its use as a teething toy.

I remind myself that this is why I get things from thrift stores - it's okay if it gets broken (or bitten!).

We enjoy eating lunch on the porch most every day.

It sure makes for easy clean-up after meals.

Off to another project.....


The Pollards said...

It looks like you've had a productive summer. Your projects turned out beautifully...looks like it could be in Southern Living. Much love to you all!

Homeschool on the Croft said...

I love the whole 'feel' of what you've done. Absolutely lovely. Oh, to have the weather to have 'outdoor living'! Oh well, a woman can dream!
Love, Anne x

Rachel and Sarah said...

Oh wow! That looks lovely! I love your vision for your porch! :)

Emily N. said...

I love all of the projects you've finished! You have such a neat way of decorating. It looks like something in a Country Living magazine. Thank you for sharing, Mrs. Joy! :)

4littleladybugs said...

I love your style. So creative. You have a beautiful home. :)