Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Vintage Swing Becomes New Again By Making New Cushions

A few months back, we just needed to get away from the farm, from the heat.  So we took a ride to our favorite antiquing spot. Willows.  There are two shops there, Gathering Better Junque and Gathering Marketplace across the street.  Owners Holly Myers and Doris.
Holly happened to be working in the store so we were able to have a great chat about what is happening in the antique world; her twice a year Vintage Country Flea Market which is happening this fall, October 17th in Willows; and small time life.
As we walked into her outside garden area, we almost tripped over a very old metal frame to a hanging swing.  It is the type that looks like an old metal box spring to a single bed.  It had turned out Holly had just brought it into the shop and was figuring out how to hang it and make into a bed.  It has a back to it that is adjustable to lie flat with swing seat.  I have seen a few of these in my life in old houses.  My understanding is that during pre-air conditioning days, people used their big outside porches to sit in the evenings to stay cool as the house was too hot.  Especially Victorian two story houses.  Some houses screened in their porches and slept outside when the weather was so hot and humid in a single bed or even a swing.  I think that idea is so appealing.
So the swing ended up in our truck and into Frank's garage for a revamping of all the mechanics and a good cleaning.
I went to Joann's and found the perfect, vintage looking, stripped awning type fabric, and it happened to be made from Sunbrella which makes it weather proof too. Armed with my 40% off coupon, 10 yards was purchased.
Because there was not a scrap of fabric on the swing, I had to improvise as to what I thought it may look like.  I did cruise through Pinterest but never did find an exact photo of a swing like ours.  I remember seeing old swings that had a scalloped edging.  So I made it like a bottom sheet under the cushion.

The next step I took was to make yards and yards of welting/piping.  You cut strips diagonally, sew pieces together, then sew a cording in middle.

I sewed the scalloped edging to a flat piece.
Frank cut the foam piece to fit the bottom cushion.  Have you noticed how expensive foam rubber is?  I also purchased some soft batting that I covered the top and bottom of the foam rubber, not the sides.
The fabric is a stripe and I wanted the stripe to run up and down.  Fabric was 54", the cushion top and bottom are 74" long.  So each cushion top and bottom (x 2 sides) had to have panels MATCHED and added to each end.  That probably took the longest time of everything.
With a side 3" panel cut; the top and bottom pieces cut; I placed the welting between top and side panel, sewed it all around.  Then I sewed the bottom piece with welting to the top pieces, leaving an opening.
 Frank and I wrestled putting the foam piece into the cushion cover and finally got it fitting great.
On to the top cushion.  You notice from the photo of the foam piece, it has a curved edge that mirrors the metal frame of the swing.  I cut pieces the same as bottom, having to add pieces on each end so stripe pattern went top to bottom; added the side panels and welting; sewing all pieces together.  This time, the cushion cover went over foam rubber and batting much easier, I think because we used a 2" foam piece for the back.  The seat cushion had a 3" foam rubber made from a firmer type of foam.

Frank hung up the swing on our old, old walnut tree, with the help of Annie and Bella.  They thought because we kept looking up, we were seeing a squirrel up there, they hate squirrels!!!
The project done.  It only cost???  Well, way, way too much, would have been lots cheaper to have purchased new but we gave an old, old swing new life.
If only we had time to relax and enjoy it!!!
Come back soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fabulous CSA Produce Boxes; Flowers for Another Wedding; New Classes Coming!!

The bad news here at the farm is that the aphids have arrived in full ravenous vigor. We kept thinking it was our field, they were on a few leaves of the watermelons one day and took over the whole field in 3 days.  We sprayed with soap and water several times, but this hot dry weather just made all the leaves turn yellow, then brown. We are picking the melons as fast as we can before they burn in the heat with their leaves gone.  Since then, almost every person we have talked to mentioned aphids.  Guess they just haven't visited Windmill Farm!!!
Our regular sized CSA baskets were delivered last week.  My favorites this time were the concord grapes.  Have you ever tasted fresh concord grapes picked right from the vines?  Fabulous.
We have noticed that everything, fruits and vegetables seemed to ripen early this year, which means our season is ending early too.  These are our small sized CSA boxes, not yet finished packing.  On the bottom of the boxes are the squashs, cucumbers, peppers, then the peaches, plums, pluots, apples, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon.  The trees that start out the early season; cherries, apricots, early peaches-their leaves are showing yellow.  Our last box will probably be September 9th.
I was asked by a dear friend, Jeri, past mayor of our town of Gridley, if I could put together her wedding flowers.  
Her annoucement on the invitations said 155 years merging together.  Isn't that cute?  

Another senior citizen couple getting married.  I don't think of these people as seniors.  Jeri for sure, is not, she has more energy than anyone half her age.  

She works full time promoting events in our town as part of the Chamber of Commerce and Gridley Business District; she puts together every parade, charitable event and farmer's market that happens in Gridley and has for years.  
So it was my pleasure to grow and arrange some flowers for her big day.  She is such a busy, busy lady I am sure getting married is not going to slow these two-155 years together people. My best wishes and much love to the both of them.
Our farm has sponsored our grand daughter's soccer team this year.  Celli, our daughter took our logo and re-vamped it to fit their new jerseys.  Looks great on the blue team colors.

Bella and Annie are always nearby when I am working in the sorting shed.  Especially if I have the fan going.  Here Bella is really sound asleep.

After being a long haired German Shepard and having her coat shaved twice this year, she is starting to look like her old self again.
New Classes being worked on and scheduled soon!! 
Another chalk writing class.
AND-these absolutely darling large paper flowers used in photo shoots; kids rooms; headboards; any decorations.  
Pinterest Photo
Check back with us or Facebook me so you hear about it first.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Small Wedding Flowers; A Thank You Bouquet and WATERMELON ARE READY!!

Mostly photos today.  I was asked to put together some flowers for a wedding, a client's father who is over 70 years old with the bride being 70.  How cute is that???  The client painted her own containers to use and requested flowers to be blue, white, sunflowers and some green.  Bouquet and boutonniere.
She went on Pinterest and sent me a few example that she was thinking about but gave me full rein to do what I needed to do.  Great client!!
Cut Sunflowers, mostly Teddy Bears.  They have so much character and texture.
 Then I lined up all the jars and filled them with the colors and greenery-pre sunflowers.
The thought they looked pretty good without the sunflowers.

It always seems to me that in nature, everything matches, everything looks good together.  When I look at the flowers, it looks like they can all be blooming together in a flower bed.

The Boutonniere 
The Bouquet
Aren't they the cutest couple??? Love blooms at any age.  It was so moving to see my bouquet in this lovely picture.

The next day, I had a last minute order for 2 bouquets that were going to another client's friends
They picked them up at my self service, roadside stand out front of our house. Saved me a delivery.
And lastly, after planting, weeding, watering, weeding and weeding, the watermelon are ready!!! Crimson Sweets and Sugar Babys.  Perfect names
I hope you come back next week.  A special blog, one that is going to be live on the Field To Vase website at the same time, the flower blog that I write for quarterly.  It will be a somewhat sad one, of reflection of what is happening here in Northern California, now, of hopes and dreams of a season.
Until then.