Monday, May 20, 2013

(Not) Blown Away

Our back porch and sleeping porch are such wonderful places to enjoy.  Both are screened in, have ceiling fans, and are rarely impacted by the elements.  The architectural gods were smiling when, on a wish whim of my husband's, we added the sleeping porch to the remodel plans.  It is accessed only from our bedroom and is set up exactly like an indoor bedroom...just outside.  People are always wondering about rain, snow, wind, etc.  For some lucky reason, the position of this porch (unless there are gale force issues going on) is such that precipitation does not blow in through the screens onto the bed linens.  Situated on the back corner of the house, it is protected by the jutting out depth of the back porch and, because of where the house is on the lake, the ridge of trees of the surrounding hills/wooded acreage.  Light winds are all that blow through the screens, making sleep a pleasant event.

This is not always the case on the main back porch.  It stretches across the entire back portion of the main body of the house and fronts the lake.  We are at the back of a cove on the lake that regularly gets the brunt of winds that blow all sorts of things back to us...floating docks, boating tubes, and fun-noodles to name a few.  If you are outside, the breeze is most always welcome, unless you are trying to eat at the table.  I dislike vinyl tablecloths and plastics of most sorts and prefer to decorate the porch with natural materials.  They are all washable and take, perhaps, a bit more time for care, but the end result is so worth it.  The porch dining table is an antique farmhouse drop-leaf style table made of solid walnut.  Vintage table linens are used to dress it.  In years past, I have tried wooden clothes pins to weight the cloths, but the cats always manage to pull them off and turn them into toys.

Sunday, as I was vacuuming and dusting the porch and changing the table linens, I had an epiphany of craftiness.  So, I did.  The result being lovely shell and bead tablecloth weights.  They were super easy and could be adapted to many different combinations to suit your decor.  How does one put the beauties together?  Follow along and I will tell you:

Gather your supplies.  I chose 1) 4 staggered sizes of shell buttons that were repurposed from a knitted summer sweater made a few years ago that has long since been ripped out and remade into several different items 2) glass beads from my bead stash 3) 2 needles double threaded with quilting thread and 4) small safety pins.

Thread your needles and make a small knot in each end.  Thread the first needle through one bead and slip the tip of the needle back between the thread to secure it to the bead.  Repeat with the second needle.

Run the needles (one through each hole) through the buttonholes.  Then slip both needles through a couple of beads that wind up being stacked on the button.  Repeat this process, starting with the button, to the desired length.

For the top, I strung 5 beads and then tied securely through the bottom loop of the safety pin.  Repeat for however many weights you want.  Laying down flat on the counter, they sort of remind me of a fish skeleton.  Considering the fish theme in my home, from the hand stamped fish in the ceiling plaster to fish cabinet knobs and hand cut/carved fish in the porch staircase railing, would have to say these are keepers!  

Now all I need is a good strong wind and a curious cat, or five, to really put these to the test. 



  1. How clever. Like jewelry for your table cloth.

  2. Super neat! They really work with the existing aesthetic of the area too. You are so lucky to live near a lake (even with the winds). Also your sleeping porch sounds heavenly, I'm sure it is a great time to use it too with the warmer weather.



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