18. Make Your Own Bed

Here at This Green House, we don’t provide our guests with maid service. They have to make their own bed. Literally.

Our Goddaughter, Laura, and her partner Adam came over for a last visit before heading back to London. They arrived around noon.

We have had a houseful of WWOOFers for the last three weeks, so private sleeping space is at a premium here.

In lieu of some cool outdoor adventure, I proposed to Laura and Adam that we make them a bed! In the studio! Using only materials we have on hand! No buying anything!

Being the good-natured people they are, they agreed to the challenge. Didn’t bat an eye. Those two are up for anything.

Some months ago I purchased a futon from the Sally Ann store. I neglected to get close enough to smell it, until I got home with it. The previous owner must have sprayed eau de cigarette on it. Ask me how hard it is to get cigarette smoke smell out of a futon.

First, I removed the cover, repaired a tear, sprayed it with Febreze, and machine-washed it.

Next, I sprayed the whole mattress with Febreze and hung it over an outside railing, under cover for four weeks. I replaced the cover (what a struggle to recover it all by myself – Imagine a heavy, awkward, giant floppy pillow going into a pillowcase.)

Finally, it was fit to come inside.

Now, how to make a platform for this mauve monster?

There were the dairy cases  from staining the shingles. They’re strong. They’re free.

There was a big piece and some small pieces of 5/8″ plywood. Combined with some extra fill-in plywood to make a firm, level platform (the studio floor is sloped to the drain in case of sink overflows or dye spills), Adam fashioned a platform on top of the dairy cases.

We found an abandoned piece of plywood wide enough to make a headboard. It had to be cleaned, too. Its height limited the size we could make the headboard.

Laura and I looked for a good shape (a la Moroccan window) and drew a pattern onto newsprint. Checked it on the wall.With the jigsaw, Adam cut the plywood, while Laura and I decided on the colour scheme. We’re working with an existing retro colour scheme of grey, turquoise, lime green and bubble gum pink.

We looked at scads of fabric pieces large enough to cover the headboard:

Finally, we agreed that this purple that daughter Tess brought back from Burkina Faso would work best with the existing scheme. (I know, I know, there is no purple in the retro decor.)

I found some thickish quilt batting almost exactly big enough (with a little patching). Cut it to shape, and glued it onto the plywood.

Used the pattern (plus 2″ all around) to cut out the cover. We glued (Tacky Glue is amazing stuff) and stapled the fabric onto the back of the plywood. Then found some hardware (from D’s old hose pump for sluicing out his boat motor) to hold the headboard at the right height, screwing it onto the bottom of the headboard and then into the wall. We added two screws to the back near the top, and they just hang in one of the slots of the existing slot wall.

A bed skirt covers those attractive dairy cases. Made the bed, using Tess’s winter quilt.

It looks quite inviting, doesn’t it?

If you come for a visit, we can get to work making cushion covers, privacy screen, curtains, a light fixture, and a bed drape. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Linking to:

Apron Thrift Girl Thrift Share Monday

Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Cozy Little House Tweak-it Tuesday


2. Getting Wood 101

We heat our house with a heat pump and a masonry mass fireplace.

D estimates we use 1.5 cords of firewood in a winter.  For the past two winters, we have been using construction waste to heat the house (no painted, stained, or treated wood).

Tess and I started building the wood sheds last week. Turns out she wanted to build wood sheds just so she could go out to the bush and  buck up firewood from the “dead and down” bounty here on the Sunshine Coast, then fill up the wood sheds with it. (Tess is a tough forest fire fighter, and is gearing up for her summer season.)

So, after sharpening the chain, she and I went  out to find firewood (I’m just there as a swamper (or clean-up slave) and to call 9-1-1 if Tess cuts off her leg.) It took no time at all to find some beautiful downfall, close to the road.

With a burst of energy, Tess donned D’s new  birthday “chaps” (safety leggings made of Kevlar.) She and the chainsaw made short work of one-and-a-half tree trunks, then the gas ran out. She re-mixed the gas, filled the chainsaw reservoir, and tried to go back to bucking. Husqvarna was not happy.

Bad, bad Husqvarna!

Tess took apart the chain saw, blew out the air and fuel filters, cleaned the spark plug, re-assembled,  and fired ‘er up. Still not happy. We drove into Roberts Creek for lunch at the Gumboot. Got new gas, dropped off the rounds at the famous wood sheds, and headed back. Husqvarna was not buyin’ it.

But, Tess did some lazy log-splitting in the ever-present rain:

Next morning, Husqvarna was much happier (as am I after a good night’s sleep). She purred. Unfortunately, the much-overworked pull rope resigned (shredded) and that was it for Husqi for now.

The wood sheds will get filled, just not this week. Sorry, Tess, I know you have your goals.