Saturday, September 25, 2010

Judy's New House -or- My Patience is Rewarded

Dear Mom,

Let me give you a little of the back story as way of explaining what I really want to show and tell. Actually there are two stories working here, and they collide.


Back story #1.

For all the years I've had my sewing machine, Judy Jetson has had to reside on a desk in the guest room, or  in the closet, or more recently, on the dining room table. All fine, but at the same time, I've been keeping my eyes open for a sewing machine cabinet that Judy could call home. Every once in a while I'd find one and it wouldn't be the right size, or the price tag was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too high. Especially when things were working just fine the way they were and there were more important things (like yarn or fabric) to spend the money on.

Back story #2.

I recently discovered a clever mitten made with felted wool which had been recycled from old sweaters. A little internet search and tahdah! I found the pattern for the mittens. Which lead to a new obsession: finding wool sweaters at the Goodwill. Carolwhosehousegotstruckbylightening warned me. "It's almost as fun as buying yarn", she said. Now I believe her. I have laundry basket overflowing with felted sweaters waiting to be turned into mittens and hats.

Back stories 1and 2 come together.

On one of my wool sweater junkets I spotted a sewing machine table, just sitting there all dusty and sad in the furniture section of the Goodwill store. I didn't have a tape measure on hand (I know!) to measure the sewing machine opening, but in my desperation I tore a piece of paper out of my calendar and turned it into a ruler of sorts. I figured it would at least let me know if Judy and the cabinet were a close fit and I could return with more specific measurements if it all looked like it might work out.
In the mean time, I purchased my wool sweaters and at the check out was handed a bright green piece of paper advertising the 50% off sale coming up.
Hmmm.
What if?
No.
Well, maybe.....

I got distracted while going about my business and in the process of felting wool, I remembered my notepaper/ruler and compared those measurements with Judy's. It looked like things could work. And then I don't know what came over me but I decided to wait for the sale at the Goodwill. (Honestly, I do know kind of what came over me and it is called being married to an accountant and hearing the noises he makes sometimes when he pays the bills.) I know that waiting for 1/2 off of something that I'd spent years looking for that was already dirt cheap is pretty risky, and I am not a gambler, but it was kind of like a game and I was willing to let the sewing cabinet go if I had to. I didn't tell Judy.

It must be pretty obvious at this point that my gamble paid off, or I wouldn't be telling you this story.

Last Saturday I battled the crowd, had to park across the street, (I had no idea that Goodwill sale days were so popular or I might not have taken such a risk!), waited in a line that snaked through the store and came home with Judy's new house. For $20.00!!!! There was even a sewing machine in there, but it was an ugly old thing that scared me to even think about plugging in, especially since the cord was so stiff I almost had to cut it off to get the sewing machine out of the cabinet.

Adjustments needed to be made to the opening, despite my careful measurements. It never occurred to me to measure the placement of the hinges on the back of the machine. My Hero made some adjustments to the top of the cabinet and made a new custom piece for Judy. (He called her Suzy, but we forgave him. He knows better now.)

After lightly sanding the cabinet, I brushed on 3 colors of paint. I used a creamy butter color, some terra cotta and a hydrangea blue and painted the way Daddy would have told us NOT to paint, with very little paint, brush strokes in different directions and varying degrees of coverage. After the paint dried, I lightly sanded again, placing emphasis on strategic locations and then went over the whole thing with a rag soaked in stain. I am very happy with the results.

Judy is happy. Look at that clever little shelf on the inside of the cabinet door. It is a tortoise shell sort of thing perfect for holding spools of thread and scissors.


And here is the cabinet with Judy all tucked away. For now, it works best when I can do my sewing in the dining room. (Easier to keep an eye on Patsy that way, plus there are too many wool temptations to allow Patsy in the guest room.)  Someday, if I choose to relocate her back to the guest room, the cabinet will look nice there, too. For now, I see lots of happy sewing hours in my future.

Love,
Kim

5 comments:

Cecilia said...

nice! funny thing about those goodwill sweaters too - many of them are already mostly felted 'cause someone threw their wool sweater in the washer by mistake. my idea was slippers, but i am having NO success with that. mittens are a great idea!

Carol L said...

Judy looks most happy in her new home. What a find and good for you on the gamble that paid off. We are definitely fiber kind of people. Wool is wool is wool no matter what form it comes to our finger tips in. Skeins, on the needles or discards at our local Goodwill. Enjoy the hunt. Wait until you have it all folded nicely and stacked up in piles according to the color. It is a thing of beautiy.

merrilymarylee said...

It looks great! Looks quite classy with "the ladies" standing nearby.

You didn't see a good looking coffee table there, did you?

My daughter sent me pictures of a desk and a drum table she bought at Goodwill last week. :)

kit mitchel said...

You are one amazing woman Kim, I want to grow up and be just like you! LOL

pirate said...

lovely story! but .. but ... omg ... *where* did you get the small mannequin???? I have a life-size dressmakers form, such as you have, but would love to acquire the small mannequin also.

Any tips would be gratefully appreciated!

Shelley