old wood + co.

Whenever we visit Greg’s family at the beach, his parents take us to the neatest places.  The Old Wood + Co is one of them, (not a great website, but truly a great store).  Here, crafters take wood from old barns and old homes to create old world styled furniture.  The store was actually an old milking barn from 1900, and much of the original structure is still intact.

Greg’s mom and I went googoo over a beautiful could-be crafting table.  I think the trip also inspired my husband who has an inclination and talent for restoration.  We both love restoration projects and the finished aged look of furniture once restored. We are hoping to live in an old barn some day for this very reason.  Just kidding, but maybe not.  Who knows where the good Lord will lead us.  : )

In hopes of doing some restoration ourselves, we decided to build Dhara a bookshelf to house her myriad of books — something like this, but nicer!  We salvaged some old cedar in the attic of our 1920’s rental home — so we hope to use it for a little restoration project in the next couple weeks.  Photos to come!

mom looking at a beautiful glass doored cabinet for storing fabric

DIY sewing kit.

Lately I’ve been dreaming of having my own studio space.  A place I can call my own to design and craft to my heart’s content.  A place where I can organize my piles of Anna Maria Horner and Amy Butler fabrics, sewing notions, and pattern books on neat and tidy shelves.  A place where my sewing machines and serger can have permanent residence, instead of having to be moved to and fro.

Until that beautiful day, I’ve set up shop in my parent’s basement.  I also set up a small station in our bedroom for quick sewing projects — on a small vintage table that is painted blue — we found this table on the side of the road and welcomed it into our home to stay a while, or forever.  Above the table is a cork board for the things that inspire — postcards, love letters, stamps, photos of future projects.  Under the table is an old wooden wine crate filled with fabric.  Lately I’ve been on an assembly line bib craze.  [My sweet Dhara is a drool machine.  My sister and I joke that she should have been named Julie.  Then we could nickname her ‘Drooley Julie.’  How fitting would that be?  What’s funny is that we still call her that.]

I recently began looking for something to organize my sewing tools, so that I could neatly place them on my blue table.  I was perusing Etsy one day, and came across a sewing kit I loved.  It was made of an old mason jar, and it was filled with the most simplest everyday sewing tools.  The idea looked simply delightful and easy enough to create.  So create I did.  Here are the DIY instructions for a simple vintage styled sewing kit.  Note: For a simpler version, instead of using the antique Ball mason jars with zinc lids, you can use a current Ball canning jar.  The current jars, which you can get at Walmart, have lids that come in two pieces.  This way you don’t have to cut into a zinc lid.  Although, I do love the blue glass of my antique jar. : )

restoration project #2: hundley house door.

Back in January I came across a very neat looking old door in the basement of the Hundley House — the house where we are renting an apartment.  The neat looking door was just leaning against the wall in one of the many cold and lurky basement rooms of the house.  It was narrower than most normal doors — giving it a cool factor, it was solid oak and very heavy, it had a skeleton keyhole, and it is almost about 100 years old!!!  Some of you may already know this, but the Hundley House is one of the oldest homes in Carbondale, thus making it a historic site.  The home is an old brick mansion built in 1915 by Mayor J. C. Hundley and his wife Luella.  The inside of the house is split into three apartments.  If you are interested in the history of the house, look it up, because it is QUITE interesting (murder, suspense, etc.).

I decided that I wanted the door, but I knew it wasn’t mine to take.  I told Greg about my secret desire.  Greg said that I should prayerfully ask the landlord for it.  So, I prayed and asked God that if I should have this door, let the landlord say “yes”.  But if there was to be any reason that I should not have the door, let the landlord say “no”.

The next time I saw my landlord outside the house I asked him if I could have the door in his basement.  He looked at me with a quizzical expression and asked me why I would want a door.  I tell him my reason, he gives me more of that same quizzical look and says, “ok, well whatever floats your boat.”  So I got the door!

Greg did a thorough cleaning of the door.  And now, it hangs from our living room wall.  : )


restoration project #1: kitchenette table & chairs.

Since temporarily migrating to Carbondale, Illinois, we’ve worked on several restoration projects.  To put it plainly, we love old things.  We love making old and random things usable while being creative in the process.  One of our first projects here was a small kitchenette table that would seat 2-4.

Now to give you a little history, before Greg quit his job last summer, he would bring boxes home from work for our big move from Baltimore.  One day he brought home a very large packaging tube made of very sturdy cardboard.  As soon as I saw it, my mind went racing with all the different things we could do with it.  In the end, we decided we would bring it with us to Carbondale and it would become our kitchen table there since we were SURE we wouldn’t be bringing our large farm house table for the short 10 month internship.  In order to make the table work, Greg would need to find a circular table top to place on top of the cardboard tube, and I needed to find random, but cool-looking eclectic chairs for the table.  All were accomplished within weeks of moving to Carbondale.

We found the table top at Lowe’s for pretty cheap ($24 at 50% off).  We also purchased 2 wobbly chairs from a local thrift store (4.99/piece), and 2 wobbly chairs from a local antique shop ($12/piece).  Our makeshift kitchen table and chairs were slowly coming together, but we still had lots to do to make them presentable and sustainable!  So we went to work.  We sanded the table top and stained it to the color we preferred.


71011Once the table top was completed, we worked on the chairs.  Greg, being the great restorer that he is (I think he gets it from his Father above), took apart the chairs piece by piece and put them back together with stronger nails.  Once they were pieced back together, he bound them with strong twine so that they could solidify before we used them as our dining chairs.IMGP1587IMGP1601IMGP1595IMGP1602IMGP1600

Reupholstered 2 of the chairs with neat fabrics because they were falling apart.  We also put fabric on the cardboard tubing.  The overall finished product looks like this.IMGP1564IMGP1567IMGP1568