Saturday, March 19, 2011

window seat project

Our house is a older log/timber home and the main rooms of the house all have at least one large window with a heavy timber windowsill.  R was forever sitting on the family room window sill, which was ok... we use the dining room window sill for extra seating sometimes, it's big enough to hold three or four people... but she never looked very comfortable, so I decided to see how hard it would be to turn the window sill into a window seat.

(This is the only "before" picture I can find... I know I have better ones, somewhere, I just don't have the time to look through all my pictures to find one!)

It turns out it wasn't hard at all.

I ordered a timber from the lumber yard... It's a 7' long, 8x4 piece of rough cut fir... it was surprising how well it matched the existing timber window sill.

I thought I was going to have to order more wood for the "legs" under the window seat but I found this awesome piece of lodge-pole pine up in the hay loft and it turned out to be perfect to cut some legs from.

I love these old lodge-pole pine fence pieces... Originally the entire front of the acreage was fenced with these long sections of lodge-pole pine that the original owners (and builders of the house) harvested from the mountains. Most of that original fencing weathered and eventually collapsed in the 30-some years since it was built, but I've found a few salvageable pieces of it, and I found this piece up in the barn. I think it must have been stored for a loooooong time... it was in beautiful shape, hardly weathered at all!

Joe cut trimmed the length of the timber and made brackets to mount it to the existing windowsill then he used huge spikes, nailed through the timber, to attach the legs.

It sat like that for a couple of weeks while I tried to mentally plan how I wanted to make the seat cushion.

I ended up just buying some thick foam, and covering it with upholstery fabric. It's not a professional job, but it will do...

I decided it needed a few pillows too and R picked kind of an old-fashioned red and white fabric. It was only after I started sewing it that I really looked at the print.  I noticed there were farm animals all through it and wondered if they'd included any donkeys in the pattern.

They had...  but the donkeys in this print are on boats. A donkey in a boat... am I the only one who thinks that's a little odd?

I can tell you there is no way I'd try to get either of our donkeys into a boat!

As long as we had two throw pillows with donkeys on them (even though they are donkeys in boats) I decided to make a third pillow out of a tea towel I had with an old style print of a donkey.

That "after thought" pillow, that I made in 10 minutes from fabric scraps and a tea towel turned out to be the one both R and I like best!

Here's the finished project... a window seat for the family room. Plenty of extra seating when we have big family get-togethers, and a nice cozy place for R to curl up and watch TV or read.

My next project is turning a dirty and weed covered corner of the backyard into a landscaped and usable space. Usually with outside projects I just get an idea of how I might want it to look and grab a shovel and start digging... but this time I actually made a plan!

The narrow part of the L shape is already done, it's my little kitchen garden... The larger area is a mess though, it's where Lili the chicken used to live, and is nothing but weeds and hard packed dirt (and one little tree). I've got most of the soil turned that needed to be (I'm planting a tree there and putting in a little rock garden) and the bed of the pickup truck is full of the wood mulch I'll need for around the tree, garden area, bench, etc. I've got a good start but there is still a lot to do.

I hope the weather holds long enough to get it done.

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