Quick like a bunny

Quick like a bunny

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Painting My Front Door

This happened in November of last year. When we moved in to this house a few years ago. The front door was painted black. Like chalk paint. No glossy to it and the sun sets on the front yard and door. OMG. Talk about attracting the heat. I wanted a color that would compliment the house and vise versa. I did not want white or tan. Blah. So, Clary Sage was my choice.

I chose the exact color by first looking on-line at doors with house exteriors that were similar to mine. Then went to the paint store (Home Depot for me) and took several paper color samples that might be a consideration. Then I taped those sample papers to the door and left them there for about a week. Viewing them as I came and left the house at different times of the day.

 I found just the right color and confirming with my husband, for his opinion was important too. Now it was time to clean and dry the front of the door. I sanded the front of the door, scraped edges of inside window with a straight blade. Took brown outdoor caulking and caulked the outer glass window frame. Let that dry for 24 hours. Then taped all around the inside of the window and door handles and hardware with tan paper like tape (I think masking tape is the name). I waited for a warm dry day and a day I could be home for 8-12 hours. Put down painters plastic under the door and on top of my wood floor. I had bought paint with primer in a small can. I got a satin and not gloss. Those were the choices. I asked the guy how much I needed for a door and he gave me a little can and it was plenty. It was pricey, but I wanted this door painted.

I had a paint brush that was about 4 inches wide and a very small water color paint brush for touch ups later. I painted one coat with my son. He insisted on helping. He used one of his kids thick water color paint brushes. The first coat was messy, but having my son help priceless. I told him thank you and I let that coat dry until dry to the touch. That took about 3 hours. Then I painted the second coat. Yes, even with a primer I had to do a second coat. This is usually the case for any color I have had to painting over. Though I have noticed primer helps with painting over dark colors in general. The paint brushes washed out with warm soapy water very easy. I washed out the brushes and layed them out to dry each time I finshed a coat. My brush was not perfectly dry for the second coat, but close and it worked well.

The door felt dry about 4 hours later. Not a complete dry, but enough to take off the tape. (you could use the blue painters tape it is very similar and probably stronger). Now I took my very small paint brush and did tough up around areas where the tape had been.

Finally evening came and I shut the door. I love the color with the black trim. Now I need to motivate painting the trim a better black coat. It is old and coming off. There is also sap seeping out of the wood too. I bet chalk paint was used on the trim too. I will have to get some nicer paint on that at some point.

I noticed today that there is a scratch on the door and it scraped the paint off to the black. Ug. That is what I get for painting a steel door and well this was not a professional paint job. It was a mommy has a day at home and the door is not coming off the hinges type of job. Will have to paint over that again. The worst part is that after I painted and the first freeze came, I noticed the window fogging on the inside. Just in one corner. It is an older home. I am just going to have to live with it for now because I like my green door.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Flannel Baby Blanket Hand Sew Guide

So, before my daughter gave birth far away to a baby boy. I made a flannel blanket for the baby. I made one for my daughter before she was born and one for my last/youngest son. My dad had some one make two blankets for my first son. My daughters blanket was stolen in her kindergarten class and my youngest son still sleeps with his, even though it is now to small.

I think my daughter understands the significance of the, "special blanket". It was nice to make one with out being very pregnant or like with my youngest, starting it and then giving birth. I stayed up in between feedings and no sleep, during the dark of the night to finish his.

It was my way of showing my love for my daughter and her new child. I had the time to take some photos and perhaps give some one out there some sort of guide on how I made this. I sort of wing this project. There is nothing on paper. Just an idea in my mind turned into a blanket.

To start, you want to buy about 2 yards of flannel material.They can be the same design or different.You also want some filler. The craft/stores that sell material usually sell filler in crib/baby blanket size. If not no biggy you can cut to fit. You can buy poly-filler or Cotton filler. Since poly-filler holds heat better and the baby is up north. That was my choice.

You want thread to match and a needle. buy upholstery needle (large needle with larger eye hole.) if eyes are not very good. You will also need pins and or sewing safety pins. (they are safety pins with a bend in them.) You also need a measure of some sort. A straight measure will work and or a measuring tape, but the ones that can roll into a small ball and fit in your sew kit with a pair of big scissors is just convenient.

More prep: Take your material and place it back to back. Pin all four corners. Now place the filler on one side and proceed to pin all around all the edges. Like picture below. Cut materials so that everything is the same length and width.
Now we want to thread our needle. If you are busy. take breaks and come back to project when ready again. Double your thread with about a double arm length piece.
Now tie your end in a double or triple knot. you will have to do this many times through out the hand sewing and when the thread is getting close to ending or you are done with a sewing area. Knot and trim/cut ends when done with all threading.

Start sewing about an inch from top. End to end and do it twice on each side. Remember to have one side with about 8-12 inches in the middle unpinned. You will need that hole to reverse the blanket before the finishing sew. Click on the picture to get a closer look at the sew and spacing.

Here is another pic. on the other side.You can take out your pins while sewing, as needed.

When you are done with that part. turn the blanket inside out through the un-sewn hole.

Check your work. If something does not look well sewn, you can reverse and fix before final sew.

That last estimated 8-12 inches now needs to be sewn, besides one more thing. Take the last open part and fold the material into itself and pin shut. Now you will sew it shut by loop sewing at the edges. this is the hard part of explaining how to do this. To start, push the needle through to the other side. Pull it over the top of pinned folded into itself part, back to where you started. Push needle through the material again only a few centimeters to the side of pinned opening and then you pull the needle up. pull it through the loop before it closes onto the material. Repeat. This creates a good tight seal. Do the 8 inches twice slightly overlapping the already sewn areas for complete seal. Take pins out as needed while sewing if needed.

Now lay out the blanket and place a pin in about 9-12 places of equals parts on blanket. You want to sew the spot together. Sewing the front to the back just 2-3 times then knotting and cutting (like sewing a button in place, but there is no button.) This ensures that there is no ripping or  misplacement of filler during use and washings.

Short story about my daughters giving birth. I mailed this blanket and the next week she went into labor. She was in labor for many hours and when I called her at the hospital the next morning for the first time since labor began, we talked. About 30 minutes after we talked, she gave birth. She was let out of the hospital the next day and went to the post office on the way out of the city. My blanket had just arrived in the mail. Timing can mean everything and it did in this case.

 Until next time. Hope you have zen moment in your day.