Behind My Red Door

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday - A Family Space and Working on Wool

After a holiday break from Whatcha Working On Wednesday, I have decided it helps motivate me to get things done if I have to show up on Wednesdays having accomplished something. If you also need a little kick to get going, it's a fun way to post what you are working on. Leslie, over at My Country Home is the host so go on over and check it out. You don't have to show a finished project - it can be anything you are working on - just starting, somewhere in the process or recently finished.

Once again I am working on some wool pillows. I love the hand dyed background on this one. I just need to stitch the black pieces and then assemble the pillow.

And this will ready for Valentine's Day - really all year. The red wool on this one is hand dyed. I just love working with wool.
My next project the past week has been in the process for about 15 months - I kid you not! We have a large lower level family room with a full bathroom/laundry room next to it. It has 2 good size windows on the front end that let in a lot of light as well as full patio doors on the back end - it is far from being a basement. The room is under the living room and dining room plus a bit of the kitchen so it is pretty big. It has a nice brick fireplace (at least I think it is nice - I like reclaimed brick fireplaces and the iron doors on it) a 12 foot wet bar - which is a bar with a sink - you have to remember this house was built in 1975, and those sliders to a patio we don't use any more - it's too far from the kitchen. It also has to house our small freezer, my recumbent exercise bike and the great big ugly non functioning antique piano we inherited. When we inherited it in 1975, the year we got married, it worked okay. But after 33 years, it now needs major work, parts and major tuning - in other words, a major overhaul. Because parts would have to be imported, DH doesn't want to spend the money it would take to get it in shape, but he insists we keep this 'heirloom' - you know, the heirloom that only HE knows how to play - the same one HE hasn't touched in 10 years. I would dearly love to sell or donate this behemoth, but he is so good at letting me have 'my way' most of the time, so of course, I respect his wishes.

We used this room as a family room when the kids were growing up. It was great and served us well. They could spread out games or projects on the bar. We watched movies by the roaring fire, and our very first computer was down there. We hung our stockings on the mantle and the tree was by the patio doors. But by the time Jay came home from living at college to attend a local college, we rarely used the room as a family. Jen was away at college by then and Jay came home with a dorm refrigerator, microwave, his own computer and more! So we moved him down there until he bought his own house 5 years ago when Jen had her chance to live there as her private suite. Finally, in the fall of 07 Jen moved out and we gained the room back. It still had very dark pine paneling but I was determined to make it into an inviting guest room - which I did in 07. Fast forward to the summer of 08, and we no longer had a need for a guest room so the bed went into storage. I also convinced DH that it was OK to paint the ugly 1975 paneling and so I tackled that huge job with the goal to turn it back into a gathering space for family functions. I worked on it in the summer of 08 again but I was never really satisfied with it. Then with the news that a baby would be joining the family this summer, I decided it would be a great post Holiday project. As I planned and plotted, things seemed to fall in place. I had gathered things that were meaningful to me, and that would also help prim it up a bit. The furniture is what I no longer used upstairs so it would be a challenge to pull it together. Then when my SIL gave me a pretty quilt for Christmas, it just seemed to solidify my plan. It has navy, tans, golds, rusts and barn reds - which just happen to be all the colors of the mismatched furniture and the Formica in the room. The room is divided in half by a support beam where I hang some of the Longaberger baskets I collected when I sold them many years ago. Because it has the fireplace and the best wall space, I decided to make the front end of the room into a cozy sitting area. The room is more 'country' than I decorate upstairs. The red wicker rocker was my Nany's, then my mom's and it was white with a pink and blue flowery cushion when I inherited it. I painted it barn red and added pillow ticking to the cushion.
I think the fireplace is the best feature of the room.

See below - do you like my coffee table?
It used to look like this! Yup, it was a sideboard at one time. I moved it down here back in the spring when I got a new piece for the dining room, but it never worked right at that height because of the 'shelf' that runs around the 3 outside walls of the family room. DH couldn't believe me when I asked him to help cut the legs off! LOL But when he saw it finished, he had to admit I done good! I re-purposed it and saved a lot of money.

The lamp in the middle of the picture below is made out of oak and a warm ivory/gold stained glass. My mom's brother made it in shop class in high school - about 80 years ago - so even though it is not my colonial/prim style, it is a prized possession. The prim flag peg rack was a gift from one of my teachers when I retired in 05.
The 3 small tables scattered around the room and were once in my Nany's large home and painted black they work for me.I also have some treasures made by blogging friends scattered around the room.

Colleen from And Baby Makes Five surprised me with this stitchery when I announced I was going to be a Grammy this summer. Because this is our FAMILY room, I wanted it down here. It's colors are perfect for the room and I treasure it.
Our yard is bordered on 2 sides by a brook and since we have a bar in this room, I had Kindra from 3 guys, a Girl and a Prim Place make this for the room.
I also had Kindra make this wonderful red birdhouse for me. The quilt game board hanging in the picture above my uncle's lamp was also made by the talented Kindra. And scattered around are more gifts from family and friends, truly making this a family room.
I finished the room on Friday and Saturday we put the finished room to the test. My dear friend Ina and some of her family came to visit. Ina and I have been friends for over 22 years now when we met through our kids. We each have a Jen the same age and they wanted a play date. I called Ina and we discovered we also have Jay's the same age. Our kids were friends in school and the Jay's played sports together right into college where they played football together. Ina and her DH Bill along (who she married on my 23 anniversary 10 years ago) with HER Jen's daughter Taylor, 8 years old, and HER Jay and his 14 month son Jason came for a great visit.

Taylor, Jay and Jason. That's an official NFL football - a gift from and real NFL player! They are starting Jason young. He is already a rough and tumble burly boy - just like his dad Jay and my son Jay!
Bill (with a broken shoulder), Ina, Jason and Taylor.It was fun watching little Jason try to get into things. It made me realize just what will need to be baby proofed in the room next year. I have a list started - drawer latches, gates, a bumper for the hearth and you know that coffee table that DH was hesitant to alter? It needs the sharp corners rounded down too. Shhh... don't tell Grampy just yet! We'll wait until our grand baby has him wrapped around a baby finger and then we'll tell Grampy what he has to do. Something tells me he won't hesitate a moment this time! Humm - maybe we'll need to tell him the piano is a safety hazard as well????? Sounds like a plan to me!

So what have you been working on? Grab your camera, snap a picture and show us. We LOVE pictures on your posts!!

I want to thank Kath over at The Old Weeping Cedar for INSISTING that I take this award!LOL

Thanks Kath and I pass it on to all my peeps as well! Even those of you who read but never comment - I know who you are! :-)

And while I am at it, I wanted to mention I have now added the FOLLOWERS gadget to my sidebar. I don't know what took me so long so feel free to add yourself as a follower! The more the merrier.
Later today, I'll be working on helping DH clean up the snow, sleet and ice we are getting. It started at midnight and is expected to go until midnight tonight. So much for a clean start to the New Year!
Until next time - hugs, Linda