Rocker Mountain High

Yep, it’s legal here in Colorado but this isn’t a pot post, so if you’re intrigued by the title alone and thinking that the following will be about ganja crafts, you will want to find another blog to entertain you for the next 5 minutes.  This is about a chair.

There is something so comforting to me about a rocking chair in a house.  More than likely I am just inherently nostalgic as I was a rocked baby, every night to M.A.S.H. reruns.  I may not remember the exact moments, but I must remember the soothing comfort for I have long desired a rocking chair of my own.  They are a symbol of simpler times, of relaxing and whittling on the porch, of embroidery in the evenings instead of a glaring television.  They are not complicated or padded or ergonomic, they just work without a ton of engineering.

Then one lucky day we came across a rocking chair for $10 at an antique store that seemed too good to pass up.  Structurally, the chair was still sound but the wood needed a bit of attention and it was desperately in need of a new seat.  With just a few materials and a few hours, we knew we could restore the chair to its former glory.

Before

Before

After about an hour of sanding by hand as a team, “You take the left side and I’ll take the right”, we had a pretty decent chair to spiff up.   Using leftover cans of stain from our former house-dwelling existence, we put a couple of coats on to restore the wood.  Side notes:  if you are looking to refinish a small piece of furniture, go to your local re-store (such as a Habitat for Humanity) for stains and finishes as there are always partially used cans for less than a dollar.  It saves you money, you won’t have your own leftover jar and it keeps yucky stuff out of landfills.  After the stain coats dried, we sealed the whole chair with a clear coat of polyurethane.  Again, you can easily get partially used cans of this around.

To replace the seat, we decided that instead of weaving a new one, we would make ours out of plywood, foam and fabric.  We cut a small piece of plywood to fit, cut foam to fit the plywood and wrapped fabric around the top of the foam to finish.  The fabric we used came from my stash (about a half yard) and is a nice wool Pendleton plaid.  We did a simple upholstery fold and attached to the bottom of the seat with upholstery tacks.  In order to secure it then secure the seat to the chair, we created some copper fasteners that we wrapped around the frame and screwed into the seat.  Because we are always looking to create and restore with the materials we have on hand, we only had to purchase the foam; however even if you had to purchase/collect everything needed, you are still looking at an affordable piece of furniture.

And After.

And After.

And now we have a rocking chair of our own! Although I still gravitate to the cushy armchair with my leisure activities, I love to see it being used in our household every morning by my sweetheart with his mug of coffee.  We have our own rocker in the mountains.

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A Reflection on Resolutions

Farewell 2014.

Farewell 2014.

Today is the day where we as a culture are overwhelmingly optimistic and introspective.  We all start to evaluate and make promises to ourselves and others that we can (hopefully) keep.  The New Year’s Resolution is one of the trends that I find both hopeful and distasteful.  One the one hand, we make commitments to better something in our lives; on the other hand, these often involve our appearances/weight or financial gains.  I believe that we should all strive for what we desire in life, however it disheartens me to see how much of what we want is what rarely really benefits us.

Instead of dashing about trying to achieve some of my new goals at once and starting 2015 with scratched out items on a to-do list, I’ve taken the day to pause and just be.  My day has involved the following:  laying on the couch watching the snow fall and enjoying the feeling — compliments of our wall of windows — that I am in my own snow globe, wrapping myself in the warmth of my great-grandmother’s afghan, a book, a giant latte, a smattering of mini-mimosas, a 2nd book, black-eyed peas and greens,  Downton Abbey episodes and some correction of quilting mistakes, er new quilting lessons.  After a quiet evening of homemade sushi and a 9 p.m bedtime with no disturbances by revelers, I needed a whole day to start 2015 with peace, comfort and contentment.

Looking forward to this year, I do have things that I wish to achieve that will enrich my life and carry over for years to come.

1.  To knit my first sweater, preferably with the green yarn I’ve been carting around for too long.  (*See goal number 5.)

2.  To get a high-altitude bread recipe down and be the 2nd best baker in our home.

3.  To take more baths.  Not for hygienic reasons but because baths are simply awesome.

4.  To van camp more.  I love Bishop the van and need to spend more time camping in the vehicle than  driving it to and from the grocery store once a week.

5.  To downsize even more.  To really pare down to the essentials and to want even less.

It is really pretty simple that I can achieve what I want on my own terms.  There are no grandiose plans for me to run a marathon or weigh a certain amount or jump out of a plane.  I know that some believe you should aim for the stars, but that isn’t my style:  I am more of a live-r than a planner and I appreciate the simpler things in life.

In closing, I sincerely hope that 2015 brings everyone good health, peace and love.