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PROJECTS

#52PROJECTS: Project #6

PROJECT 6 of #52PROJECTS
Evolution Started in Year: 2015
Completion Year: 2024

It’s the little things . . . like thermal curtains in winter.

Finished a day late and late in posting, Project #6 was a quick resolution to the cold.

A few years after we draped the dining room exterior door with thermal curtains, we decided to also re-drape the window that shared the same wall. The existing curtains were not lined. Fast forward to 2024.

After a simple start, supposedly, my part-time handyman, full-time son determined more height, span, and hands were needed. Enter the fabulous Spiderman Handyman to take to the walls.

End result? Matching thermal curtains have been completed. Thanks, Spidey!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

#52PROJECTS: Project #5

PROJECT 5 of #52PROJECTS
Evolution Started in Year: 2014
Repurposed in Year: 2019
Completion Year: 2024

We have a cloak/coat closet!

If I ask if you have a “Fred Flintstone closet” in your house, do you know what I mean? For those of us who grew up watching The Flintstones cartoons, we likely remember Fred going into a closet and his bowling ball falling from an upper shelf onto his head. This closest was not that bad. Bowling balls and other heavy objects belong on the floor. I know that. You know that. Nevertheless, we have similar catch-all closet under the stairs. It has its challenges in that is it not climate controlled, so repurposing it has been an evolutionary process. Phase 1 is done. No paint. It will get a cedar lining instead.

Project Background

When we first moved into the Manor, we toyed with the idea of putting a WC (water closet/bathroom) beneath the stairs. It became affectionately called the Potter Room (multiple nuances intended– potty room and Harry Potter’s room). We had done the same thing in a previous home; however, the more we puzzled through the expense and building codes with brick walls and slab flooring, the more we realized we would have to have someone jackhammer the concrete to create the new facility. In my opinion, jackhammering beneath/within an old home is right out! The whole WC idea was nixed, and the closet became a working and storage space– paint cans, gardening implements . . ., then, Christmas ideas came to light.

Up until Christmas season 2019, we had been storing the Christmas tree and all the other decorations upstairs. This meant trekking up and down the stairs twice a season with multiple big and bulky holiday items. Repurposing the ‘Potter Room’ meant storage for the downstairs trees and ornaments. The paints and gardening things remained, but these items ebbed and flowed with seasonal projects.

It was about this time that we really recognized the need for a cloak/coat closet, too. It could happen with a bit of rearranging, and this became the long-term plan. Project #5 included emptying the closet, cutting back the shelves on the wall, installing a closet dowel, repacking the Christmas items, scaling down the paint cans, and hanging the coats! TAH DAH!

While the long-term is still yet to be completed, I am thrilled with Phase 1 to be Project #5 and marked ‘done’. Phase 2 will include removing the walls and insulating under the stairs. Phase 3 will be lining the walls with cedar boards. Again, not a current need, but definitely in the plans.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

#52PROJECTS: Project #4

PROJECT 4 of #52PROJECTS
Commencement Year: 2013
Last Hat Day with Mum: 2020
Completion Year: 2024

Bittersweet it is when you say, “Farewell.” Mum passed in 2020, but we revived one of her favourite pastimes for a last hurrah.

After some thought and planning, we launched one last hat project this year. On Wednesday, January 17, 2024, several seniors and other volunteers gathered at the Lincoln County Senior Center in Lincolnton to recreate hats. The completed hats were donated to Amy’s Closet, a retail store that sells to benefit Amy’s House, a battered women and families’ shelter.

While I do not have photos of the 30+ hats completed, you may visit Amy’s Closet in person and purchase them.

Project Background

I grew up wearing hats and my mother loved wearing hats. Shortly after Mum moved to North Carolina in 2013, she was dubbed ‘Lady Anne’ by those who came to know her. She almost always wore a hat. By this time in her life, her hair was thinning. Moving to a climate that afforded wearing hats year-round was a blessing for her.

After the first year, we found that many ladies coming to tea did not have hats. Mum and I both extended our collections to be able to offer the ladies a chance to wear ours. Over time, ladies began bringing hats and asking how they could refurbish them. That is really how the hat project began. Ladies also brought hats that they no longer needed or wanted so Mum to look at them and recreate something new. The recreated hats went up for ‘adoption’ with 100% of the proceeds going to charities like Wounded Warriors and Disable Veterans. There were days we would come home and a bag with a hat would be handing on the door handle. To this day, we do not know who donated a good number of them.

Mother’s and my last hat project together was in 2020. It was also our last teatime together. I hope she was smiling down on us to see the fun and creations from last Wednesday’s workshop at the Senior Center. She would have liked knowing the hats went to Amy’s Closet this time.

Unloaded and DONE! It was a success!

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

#52PROJECTS: Project #3

PROJECT 3 of #52PROJECTS
Commencement Year: 2006
Completion Year: 2024

If you read that commencement year as 2006, it is correct. I purchased two yards of this beautiful black and gold brocade that long ago with the intent of making this piece. Well, the sewing project was pushed aside more years that I planned. Last week, it was finished and on-time for my Project #3. It just took me a few extra days to make this post.

The fabric intended for a 14th Century cotehardie– period garb for my husband to wear in the SCA*– this cote/coat is now finished complete with hat. He wore it to Twelfth Night this year.

Twelfth Night, also known as the Epiphany, is traditionally celebrated twelve nights after Christmas. Some count down the 25 days until Christmas; others count the twelve days of Christmas to the Epiphany. In the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), we recreate the better parts of the Middle Ages. This is a costume for that celebration which typically occurs on a Saturday each January.

*Link to the SCA – For those who question the contrasting red belt, it signifies he is a squire. I did not have the choice to make a matching belt. 😉

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

#52PROJECTS: Project #2

PROJECT 2 of #52PROJECTS
Commencement Year: 2020
Completion Year: 2024

Someone special knew I loved rocking chairs, but thought this one unique to North Carolina. Is it an early recliner designed in a shop during the era when North Carolina was the ‘building capital of the South’? What a great thought! Probably not. Nonetheless, it is an interesting research project. We found out we have more than one piece that are likely from the same source.

Oak furniture was plentiful in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Apparently, the Larkin Soap Company incentivized buying a soap subscription to homemakers by offering a piece of furniture with the subscription– including rocker recliners. While I believe ours to be a Larkin chair, there is also an E-Bay listing that shows a “Victorian” chair with precisely the same woodworks. Fun piece of history!

Linked to ‘Victorian Rocker with Footrest’ on E-Bay

Project Background

This chair was given to me from my sister, so it is a family piece. The left arm had a piece broken off, but Sister had saved the piece which was mostly intact. Until this repair was completed, we did not risk sitting in the chair, so it held its place in a corner of our private sitting room. Now repaired to the best of my ability with the broken piece, clamps, glue, wood putty, stain, and a hefty screwdriver, the chair is tightened, sturdy, and back in use. By adding a lumbar pillow, it fits me so well, Sister is not getting it back. 🙂

Wonderfully yours,

Alice

#52PROJECTS: Project #1

PROJECT 1 of #52PROJECTS
Commencement Year: 2019
Completion Year: 2024

You may agree that projects stack up. At least in this house they do. Living in an old house provides the never-ending opportunity for new projects. It is finishing the ‘other’ projects that seems the most daunting.

My 2024 goal is to complete one project a week. I did say, “Complete.” For me, this means the project originated in a past year. This is not a lofty goal. At least, I hope not. With one project per week, even small ones, it is my goal. Reordering can happen. Not even creating a list is helpful because I am sure I will find forgotten ones along the way.

Project Background

When my mum was alive, we embarked on a silver project that included making brown silvercloth bags for each platter or tureen we had. Mum purchased a bulk roll of the needed cloth and we got started. That project lasted about a week. Other B&B needs kicked it to the curb. Fast forward to 2020 when she passed away, I pulled out the silverware, polished it, then put it back in the drawer intending to line the drawers with the anti-tarnishing cloth.

Over the next year I found some spare silver tray liners at ReStore. I added the liners to the stash of cloth. Reminded about it every day when we use the silverware. Really?!

Project #1 for 2024 was the completion of lining the drawers and anchoring the salvaged dividers. Done! Now off to Project #2.

Wonderfully yours,

Alice