Sunday, April 18, 2010

Herb Garden Chair (Care for Cathy project #1)

Edited;  I’m resurrecting this old post from last year to link up to Gail’s Catch as Catch Can party.  With Spring and planting on my brain this weekend, I thought this project was a good one to bring back for those who didn’t see it the first time around.


Last month I made several projects to be auctioned off at a fundraiser held for a good friend of my daughter.   Erin’s friend, Cathy, has stage 3 ovarian cancer and no insurance coverage.  She’s a divorced single Mom with a 12 year old.   Cathy’s been a restaurant manager most of her life.  They (my daughter and Cathy) work together at a local restaurant.

The owner (Steve)  and the rest of the staff got together to host a benefit to help Cathy pay for some of the enormous medical expenses she has incurred during her treatment. 

Once I signed on to donate some projects for the Silent Auction, I  had to figure out what they would be.  What on earth should I make for this that someone might actually want to pay for?  I couldn’t even think of where to start!

I needed some inspiration, some kind of theme to go with as a jumping off point.  So I thought and thought and thought some more.  Nothing came to mind. 

Finally, one early morning while still 1/2 asleep, 1/4 awake, (not sure about the other 1/4) an idea popped into my head!  (I get into a lot of trouble at 4 am, let me tell you, those ‘bright” ideas always sound great in the wee hours of the morning)

You ready for this?  What can be found in a restaurant? 



Of course!  That was it.  Cathy has worked in the restaurant industry all her life, and “seating people" is a pretty darn important part of the business (besides food, and since I don’t cook at all, I wasn’t about to be making anything somebody might have to eat)!

I know,  you’re probably wondering what the heck is with all this rambling, right?  I’m just trying to give a little insight on how I think up these things.  Scary, huh?

There were plenty of curb-shopped chairs in my basement awaiting a new purpose. 

Did I say plenty?  Mike once said he counted 36 chairs down there, a gross exaggeration, I swear! ……I only got to 30 on my count……


I selected some good candidates for a make over.


This one still had cobwebs on it.   Eeewwww

I resolved to make as many things as I could get done before the benefit in the 2 1/2 weeks time I had.

Time to get to work….

Let’s start with this chair with the pretty legs.



She had definitely seen better days.  Wonder how many meals this chair had sat thru?


Some primer and white spray paint started the transformation. (after cleaning off the cobwebs, of course) 

This discarded Christmas tree stand would be put to good use…..


Some watering cans……


Terra cotta pots from 1/2 price day at the thrift store…. (and a good Maeve Binchy book for later)


A box spring found at the curb……..check out all those lovely bedsprings in there……


Looks like a can of worms, doesn’t it?


A rough piece of fence board that I forgot to get a before picture of….

Ok, I was doing great with taking photos up until this point.  Apparently I didn’t break out the camera once while putting the rest of this together.  You’ll just have to imagine this part.  Sorry!

I used a tip I had read on a blog  about making a sign without a stencil.  (Can’t remember which it was on, thought it might be Gail's, but can’t find it now! Don’t you just hate that? Edited to add; I just came back to link to the post at My Repurposed life that tells how to do the stencil transfer, Click here to see.)

I played around in Word with some fonts and sizes and came up with the right size.  I printed it out then used a pencil to color an inch around the back side of each letter really dark. 

Taped the paper onto the board in the position I wanted the words, and pressed down really hard while tracing the letters so that the pencil would leave a line for me to color in.

While doing this it occurred to me that Carbon Paper would have done this so much faster and easier.  Didn’t I have some laying around in the office? 


Oh well, too late to use it now.

I colored in the words with a red paint pen.

Sanded over the lettering to make it aged..



Starting to come together now…


A couple of hooks to hang the gardening tools from……

I should have checked on the availability of potted herbs before starting this.  All I could find this early in the season was Rosemary.  (This was back at the end of March)


Enter plan B, I went to Wal-Mart and bought some seed packets to go with the empty pots.

The bedsprings you ask?  What did I do with those?

Since the Christmas tree stand was a tight fit for the 4 pots I wanted to use, I placed one of them in a bedspring to give it a tiered effect and make more room for the other 3 pots to sit below it.

My daughter Erin donated a basil plant from her kitchen to add to the chair. 

Not a very good picture, but the sunflower painted pot towards the back is sitting up in the bedspring.


I was very excited that this chair sold for $70! 

279Normally I don’t go out and purchase anything for my projects, I try to use only what’s on hand.  However for this event I made an exception.  I wanted it to be as complete as possible since we wanted somebody to actually pay for it.

This one cost me about $8 for the rosemary plant, the seed packets,  the 2 thrifted pots (I had the other 2 in my stash already) and the thrift store watering can.

The event was a huge success and Cathy is receiving the best care possible.  We are all praying for her recovery.  

Edited to add; In case you are wondering Cathy was in remission for several months, but some more cells showed up and she is going through more treatments.  We continue to pray for the cancer to go in remission once again.

I’ll continue to post this week about the rest of the projects I made for this.  Call it “Care for Cathy” week, that’s what they named the fundraiser. 

Gotta go now, it’s trash day somewhere!

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  1. Rose... yeah I did a post about the transfer of words, but you're right carbon paper may work better! These young kids today probably don't even know what it is! hahaha
    great repurpose of the Christmas tree stand. The chair is fabulous! $70 !!! that is a great return on your money.
    Love the new look of your blog!

    ps I'm off to work on a few things. Just got back from home depot (my fav place)

  2. I love the chair. What a great cause.

  3. Love the chair so much Rose, I got so many ideas running through my head it is scary! And I agree with Veronica, that is a wonderful cause - I can't get Cathy out of my head, I will keep her and her child in my prayers... I really hope everything is ok. She is very lucky to have you all on her side during the fight. I can't wait to see more this week, its such a touching subject.

  4. What a great chair! and an excellent cause. I'm very impressed with all the things I've seen so far on your site :-) It's inspiring.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm your newest follower, if you have the chance feel free to visit anytime, or to follow me back :-) Have a great rest of your weekend.

  5. If EVER I am reduced to a piece of trash, I HOPE AND PRAY I end up on your doorstep!lol! UH-MAZING!

  6. WOW!! I'd like to think of myself as creative but this is just a whole new level!! AMAZING idea and transformation. As for Cathy, I think that's fantastic that everyone has banned together to help her. I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers and hope for a full and speedy recovery from such a horrible disease.

  7. You have been featured at Veronica's Korner. Please stop by and pick up your Featured button.

  8. Does your mind ever stop coming up with great ideas? Just gotta follow you to see what you do next.

  9. Genius I say, genius! And what a great thing you are doing helping out with your friend!

  10. hoping that cathy responds well to the treatment.
    Thanks for linking to Catch as Catch Can!



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