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At the End of My Rope

August 9, 2011

I am not a crafty person and the domestic goddess gene skipped over me completely.  Cleaning and creating are not even on my list of favorite activities, much less anywhere near the top.  However, I have learned that when I am frustrated, anxious, or stressed about anything, those feelings fuel an urge to DO that I cannot ignore.

My latest domestic “muse” has been the frustration over closing on our new shore house.  While I am extremely excited and blessed and lucky to be purchasing a vacation cottage, I feel like banging my head against a wall over the red tape and endless delays that are keeping us from closing.  So I sit by the computer, waiting for the next request to resend another document, and find myself inspired to create.

I typically shy away from Martha Stewart projects because I know my own limitations.  Crafts need to be pretty idiot-proof for me to attempt them.  However, I found a few worth trying.  Let me know how you think I did.

1.  Rope Coasters

These are Martha’s:

She used cotton clothesline, craft glue and paint for hers.








These are mine:

I used sisal rope, a hot glue gun, and left them natural.






2.  Rope Seat Stools

Again, inspired by Martha’s:

She used nylon rope (or climbing rope) and construction adhesive on her wooden stools.









My resulting stool:

Again, I used sisal rope for a more natural feel, but did the rest per Martha’s instructions.  (And I can tell you that the construction adhesive was MUCH easier to work with than the hot glue.)








3.  Refinished Roadside Furniture Finds

My husband and I went “junkin'” in our hometown during our bulk pickup weeks.  Once a year, the town will pick up extra-large items for disposal on a scheduled week for different parts of the town.  Most households put their “junk” to the curb over the weekend, and it sits there for a few days before the trucks come around to pick it up.  However, not all of what is on the curb is junk.  So we loaded the kids in the minivan and drove around the streets looking for items we could use in the shore house.  Our finds included an Ethan Allen solid wood farmhouse table and bench, four wood half-captain’s chairs, two wicker chairs, and two wood stools (from above craft project).  The table and bench are in good shape on their own, but we did a bit of cleanup of the other pieces.  My husband re-stained the captains’ chairs and I stripped and spray painted the wicker.  Not bad for roadside freebies, right?












4  Seashell Wreath:

This one came from Woman’s Day magazine.  I haven’t attempted one yet, but I’m thinking it may be a great project to do with the kids once we’re settled in down the shore.   The kids can hunt for the best shells, we can clean and soak them in bleach to get them nice and bright, and then we can put it together. Should be doable!


5.  Martha’s Braided Doormat:

Okay, so here is where I reach my limit.  I love the look of this doormat, but I know I’d screw this one up.  It’s just too cool to not share.  If anyone attempts this one, you have to send me a pic of your finished product along with an honest description of how easy or hard the process was for you.







So those are the results of my frustration-fueled creative venture that brought me here, to the end of my rope (har-dee-har-har….groan).  I know it pales in comparison to some of the other great craft blogs out there, but for me, this is pretty huge.  If you’d like the How To sheets on any of the inspiration projects, just click the photo and it should take you right there.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. ashleyinnc permalink
    August 9, 2011 1:04 PM

    BLOWN AWAY. Seriously, girl, AMAZING!!!!!!!

  2. September 3, 2011 4:01 PM

    Excellent job! I really like the chunkier look of your projects.

    I totally want to try that doormat now, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have the skills to do it quite yet. Eventually though!

  3. May 2, 2012 9:42 AM

    Your projects came out great! Now, take some advice from an experienced crafter. Martha used coated rope to make the stools more comfortable. If/when the stools start to feel a little rough to sit on (uncoated rope can fray and get prickly-ish), ask someone at the hardware store for suggestions – maybe a little clear shellac will smooth things out.

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