The Stair Runner is a Doner

The stairs from our first floor to the second floor are very narrow.

Our narrow stairs.
Our narrow stairs.

I couldn’t find a long runner narrow enough to use on the steps so I bought 10 small rugs from Ikea. I’ve been working on this project for about 2 years.

The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.
The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.

I cut the fringe off by cutting at right angles to the stripes.  Look ahead of the scissors’ blades and make long cuts.

Then I sewed them together with a flat-felled seam. My plan was to use my grandmother’s sewing machine but ended up using my own.  I couldn’t adjust the tension correctly on the older machine.

Traditional 5/8" seam to start.
Traditional 5/8″ seam to start.

To flat-fell a seam you sew a traditional seam right side together.

Cut away one seam allowance.
Cut away one seam allowance.

Then trim the one of the seam allowances to about 1/4 inch.

The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so think.
The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so think.

Pull the seam flat and topstitch catching the short allowance inside the longer one. If you choose, you can topstitch again about 1/4-inch from the first topstitching.

The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.
The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.

Finally, with my new pneumatic stapler I started at top of the steps and just put staples in the middle all the way down the staircase.

The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.
The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.

After I was sure one of the seams didn’t land in the middle of a tread I added more staples on all the steps in the black area of the runner.

Tacked all the way up.
Tacked all the way up.

I’m hoping this wears well.

Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.
Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.

I might have to add a few more staples from time to time.

Check off #5 of my 101 in 1001.

Have you sewn something together recently?

A Few Accessories for the Conservatory

I’m sure Charlie doesn’t understand my desire to lighten the conservatory.

We've been using a pair of facing loveseats in the conservatory.
We’ve been using a pair of facing loveseats in the conservatory.

When I told him I bought a rattan bench he looked bewildered.

The chair fit easily in my hatchback.
The chair fit easily in my hatchback.

Then I sent him a photo of a grey wicker chair and he said, “Ok!?” Later he asked where the chair is for.

The grey chair complements the grey door.
The grey chair complements the grey door.

I purchased the wicker chair from our local model home resale store.

This chair is sturdy and comfortable.
This chair is sturdy and comfortable.

I used a flat toile pillow from the living room for a seat cushion.

Some of these pillows will end up in the conservatory when the new bench arrives.
Some of these pillows will end up in the conservatory when the new bench arrives.

I also purchased 3 velvet pillows for $5 each.  I understand velvet is “in” now.

A large blue lacquer tray.
A large blue lacquer tray.

Finally, a blue enamel tray caught my eye.

I like how the colors are coming together.
I like how the colors are coming together.

For $8 I knew I’d find a spot for it.

Do you have a favorite shopping emporium?

A Warm Day in February

We’re having an unseasonably warm day today.

The Cottage dweller is planning to spend some time in the yard on the John Deere.
The Cottage dweller is planning to spend some time in the yard on the John Deere.

Everybody’s excited to get outside and do something.

The back stairs to the conservatory.
The back stairs to the conservatory.

I have a small project for Charlie on this 67+ degree day:  Powerwash the back of the conservatory.

The stairs are dirty.
The stairs are dirty.
The porch deck especially has a combination of moss and grime.
The porch deck especially has a combination of moss and grime.

We get green scum gunk on the north side of the house that accumulates from time to time.

The window ledges are also mossy.
The window ledges are also mossy.

When spring comes there are so many other things to do we often don’t get to the small but necessary tasks.

I'm ready to put the olive trees outside.
I’m ready to put the olive trees outside.

I want to put the olive trees outside since the weather is forecast to be above freezing until next winter.

Are you making any upgrades or changes that are simply cosmetic?

Attic Steps Project

The steps to the Cottage attic are difficult to maneuver.

The ladder/stairs to the attic in the Cottage.
The ladder/stairs to the attic in the Cottage.

They’re perfectly stable when down but they’re a bear to pull down.

This permanent ladder leads to the cottage attic and tucks up near the ceiling.
This permanent ladder leads to the cottage attic and tucks up near the ceiling.

And even more difficult to put back up again.

Our pull-down steps may have to be custom made to maintain a maximum opening in the ceiling.
Our pull-down steps may have to be custom made to maintain a maximum opening in the ceiling.

So in addition to the Cottage improvements I mentioned yesterday, we’re having a standard set of pull-down attic steps installed into the hole in the ceiling.

The attic is a great place to keep all sorts of great stuff.
The attic is a great place to keep all sorts of great stuff.

This should make it easier to use the attic for storage and might allow us to hang a divider in front of the bed to block it off from the front door.

Do you have a practical improvement you’d like to make in your house which would be impossible for you to DIY?

A Million Different Directions

We are trying to tie up lose ends on our projects both in the house and in the Cottage but new items keep cropping up.

Before sewing the rugs together I cut off the fringe.
Before sewing the rugs together I cut off the fringe.

I started working on the stair runner two weeks ago.  I finished about half of it before the sewing machine started giving me problems.

We'll be staying in a historic hotel.
We’ll be staying in a historic hotel.

Also we’re heading to New York City soon so I’m trying to make plans for the trip.  Thus far I have reduced our hotel bill $155 by going back to the website and calling for a better deal.  Unfortunately $155 won’t pay our parking for the weekend but it will certainly help.

I have always enjoyed a late-night cabaret.
I have always enjoyed a late-night cabaret.

I have made a short list of Broadway, off-Broadway, and cabaret shows as well as must-see restaurants for the first-time visitor. We’ll be staying near the Waldorf.  Any suggestions?

The Cottage windows are charming but drafty.
The Cottage windows are charming but drafty.

Our Cottage tenant has decided to have all the windows replaced with more efficient ones as well as a new front door and storm door.  Those items along with some interior trim should keep the Cottage “under construction” for a few weeks.

The conservatory sink will get a backsplash that matches the shower tile.
The conservatory sink will get a backsplash that matches the shower tile.

And Charlie and I are getting additional tile installation quotes since the first one was much more than we expected.

Soup is on the menu.
Soup is on the menu.

Then, when we get back from New York I’ll have to begin cooking and decorating for the “surprise party”.  I think I have worked out how it will go but I still need to contact a few bunch of friends.

I'm planning a South of the Border theme.
I’m planning a South of the Border theme.

I’m already planning a bridal shower for May which I hope my choir will actually sponsor since one of our own is getting married in June.

I'm starting in the living room.
I’m starting in the living room.

First thing on the agenda: clean the house!!!

Do you plan ahead and then realize you’re all booked up?

Little Red Chair

The Cottage tenant decided she wanted an area for reading .

A comfortable red chair.
A comfortable red chair.

She had seen and tested a chair at Ikea the last time we were there which was comfortable and RED! (For $30 extra she also purchased a white slipcover.)

It was a tight fit in the car, so much so that she had to unbox it at the store and still maneuver it into the car.

The white cabinet will conveniently fit lots of places in the Cottage.
The white cabinet will conveniently fit lots of places in the Cottage.

The cabinet that had been purchased at Ikea which was on the front wall of the Cottage was moved nearer the bed to make space for the LRC (little red chair).

The chair fits in the corner between the front door and side-wall window.
The chair fits in the corner between the front door and side-wall window.

I received a text later with a photo of the chair all set up and the glass and red metal sofa table near it. (The table is very portable so it’s now across the room.)

The pet under the window is my air compressor which my friend is temporarily storing for me.
The pet under the window is my air compressor which my friend is temporarily storing for me.

Everything is really getting Cottage cozy.

Do you like to rearrange your furniture?

A Practical Present

I’m in the habit of buying practical gifts for my favorite family members and friends.

Very few choices in thermal underwear.
Very few choices in thermal underwear.

Think underwear. I went to 5 stores and finally found thermal underwear at Target.  It was priced as clearance but only black was available.  I bought one set.

These colorful lounge pants are not Charlie's style.
These colorful lounge pants are not Charlie’s style.

Pajama pants were also on my list and I could only find one pair. So for Valentine’s Day Charlie is getting pajama pants and long johns.

I stuffed them in a bag and will surprise him today with a gift from the heart.
I stuffed them in a bag and will surprise him today with a gift from the heart.

Not romantic but necessary.

What are you giving? Getting?