A tale of an Old Sideboard and an Unwanted Armchair…


I love how things can move from old to new and so it has been with these drawers. Once, long ago, they was my Uncle Peter’s sideboard (and before that, I think, they belonged to my Granny). In those days, they were dark stained oak and had some other kind of handles, though I can’t remember what those looked like. Truth to tell, they had seen better days and were in a rather sorry state. I never for a moment doubted their potential but Mr RH was not at all impressed and threatened that, unless I had transformed them by the time he got home from work, they would be going to the dump! And off he went to his office looking very smug. Sometimes Mr RH can be such a delight!

By the time he got home, however, they was sanded, undercoated and painted the royal blue (below) and he, grudgingly, agreed that they could go in the larder. Over the years, as we moved to a succession of larder-less houses, I managed to keep them with us, albeit in humble places like under the stairs until I happily came into possession of the Makery, where they was elevated to the grand status of a fabric store. And I hoped that would, at last, be an end to the fight to keep them. So imagine this! After the floor sanding, when we had the great mixing up and putting back of furniture and we eventually came to those very blue drawers, Mr RH asked, “Do you really need those in your sewing room?” Naturally, I braced myself for another round of the battle. And I don’t know if I or the drawers were more surprised when he continued, “They’re looking a bit shabby now but if you give them another coat of paint, they’d go well in the kitchen…”


My next old-to-new is a much more recent acquisition. An armchair that belonged to my late MIL. In the short history of the Makery, there have only ever been old dining chairs. These are ideal for sewing and desk work and have been perfectly adequate for sitting to knit or crochet but I may have looked longingly at some Granny Chic armchairs on pinterest from time to time. And, when it came the question of what to do with an old unwanted armchair, I was immediately convinced that it would be the most luxurious thing to sit comfortably knitting and listening to the radio of an evening (spoiler – I was not wrong!).

Mr RH, true to form, said it was far too big for the room and an eyesore to boot. And, to be absolutely honest, even with the space made free by the blue drawers it did rather overpower the room and looked, to say the least, cumbersome.

But it is so comfortable.


So I concluded that covering it in a different fabric would surely help. But I trialled and trialled to no avail until, at last, I decided to try the matching pair to the second hand curtain I used for my favourite Dottie Angel dress. I think this is my favourite dress in the history of the world so I long resisted trialling this fabric as I have been keeping it for another dress when my current one wears out.


As soon as I saw it draped over the chair, I knew it would be perfect. This fabric somehow blends the chair into the room and, in my view, it looks like this chair and the Makery were made for each other :)


Beauty, I concede, may be in the eye of the beholder, but, it seems to me, that now I find myself with a very stylish kitchen cupboard and a most beautiful and extraordinarily comfortable armchair.

And in the (unlikely) event that, after twenty years or so, Mr RH should invite that into the kitchen, I shall most certainly decline :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

New to Me…


Happy Midsummer or Midwinter :)

It seems like forever since I wrote a ‘New to Me’ post to link up with Fiona At Celtic Thistle Stitches – it’s so long, in fact, that I felt sure it was on the 15th of the month and I’ve just realised it’s not until 25th! No matter. I do have a couple of new things to share this month.

I have been crocheting Granny Stripes (which I’ve never tried before) and I’m confident I will have a blanket finished by the next Wool on Sundays.


And I’ve re-newed my kitchen tablecloth. The photo on the left, below, was originally an upcycle from two quilts, which were too small to be very useful and I loved this quilted cloth but it had become horribly faded by the sun so I dyed it. I had to choose a colour dark enough to cover the red so I went for navy blue and found I’d quilted in dye resistant white :( But I think it’s ok with a vintage cloth on top and it definitely looks an improvement.


Apart from that, it’s been VERY hot. If you’re in Australia, I’m sure you’ll think 30+ degrees is nothing but with out humidity and lack of acclimatisation it’s been plenty hot enough! Today has been the hottest June day and this has been the hottest ‘prolonged period in June’ since 1976. It’s not quite new to me. I was ten years old in 1976 and I spent the rest of my childhood and many other rainy Summers hoping for a repeat but it is unusual and was certainly new to Poppy and Fiona.


I’m actually hoping that these clouds in the West this evening are blowing in with some cooler weather. Thunder storms (which I love) are forecast tonight and then a band of rain, which I would welcome after all the gardening I’ve been doing lately – not too much rain though! As the sun was setting tonight, the birds were much quieter than usual but there was a huge hullaballoo of cows echoing all around the hills so I don’t doubt change is coming…


In the garden, the most exciting ‘new to me’ has been a bird family that took up residence in a box nailed to the oak by people who lived here before us. I’m glad I eventually got around to taking these photos yesterday (even though the sun wasn’t in a good place) because today these noisy little birds found themselves so well fattened by the extraordinary quantity of insects and caterpillars their long suffering mother has been fetching and carrying to them for weeks, that they managed to fly away.

My other ‘new to me’s are less interesting. I have managed to get the whole vegetable garden weed-free (which, sadly won’t last long) and tried to net broccoli and kale making hoops from tensioning wire. It looks ridiculous and I don’t recommend it but everything was free and the proof will be in the eating!

And we have new-this-year courgettes and some runner beans grown, which is a new-ever to have by midsummer. Staying on the kitchen table all through April (owing to frosts) obviously didn’t do them any harm!

I hope next month I’ll have more crafty ‘new to me’s to link :)

Janine @Rainbow Hare


I’m linking this post with Fiona at Celtic Thistle for New to Me:

Celtic Thistle Stitches

Another day, another old curtain…


…another Dottie Angel Frock!

This is my third, now, and the material is a heavier cotton than the last two so it’s a bit stiff but I hope it will soften up with washing and wearing.


I really do love the pockets :) The pattern I used (with a couple of adjustments) was – Simplicity 1080. I think the blue dress will always be my favourite but I can’t wear that one every day and, all in all, for £6 in a charity shop (meaning the money will go to the charity), I think it was money well spent! I even have fabric left over for cushions or, perhaps a shopping bag…

Version 2

On the same day, I also had another lucky find. I had actually ventured into town in search of something to use as a cradle for a very special doll. Our nearest town mostly comprises charity shops, hairdressers and Estate Agents so I was hoping for a preloved basket or, perhaps, some kind of box that could be covered with fabric or papier mache but what I ended up finding was this…

…a wooden cradle that someone had made and that had been marked down to half price (and a fraction of the cost of a flimsy plastic new version). Fiona agreed that it had potential but Poppy was too busy running round the pond to take much interest. It made me smile to see in the photo that she goes so fast she actually blurs!


I think a coat of chalk paint has already brightened it up and I will share more of this project in another post.


Wishing you lucky, thrifty finds :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare