Feathering My Nest: a DIY Disaster

In the nearly two years we’ve been writing this blog I’ve made my share of mistakes (or, in the parlance of politicians, mistakes were made). Remember when I painted our whole living room the babiest of blues? That was bad. Do you know what’s worse?  The time (last weekend) when I tried to DIY down-wrapped couch cushions and ended up choking on a trillion feathers and my own abject failure.

It’s as if I’ve become so accustomed to the ‘oh shit’ feeling that occurs at some stage of every DIY project that I’m completely desensitized to the real fear of something going horribly awry.  For instance, seems like I should have seen the hell I was about to unleash upon my home right about here:

feather mayhem

While I might have had a premonition (and a fit of sneezing from the downy fluff that was already air born), I didn’t let it stop me.  Heck no.  I didn’t stop until my house looked like a site of carnage and I could no longer see a path forward (literally or figuratively).


This is what it sounds like when doves cry.  RIP Prince.

It was at that point I wiped the tears of frustration from my eyes, tried to look on the bright side (at least I wasn’t covered in tar), and gave Mera a DIY 9-1-1 call.

With Mera’s help a plan was hatched (*cough*), and with Cameron’s help our house no longer looks like a torpedoed aviary (though Fat Bunny just sauntered into the room looking like he’d been wrestling a chicken, so it might take a while before all remnants of this disaster are erased).  I fully expect to show you a finished couch in my next post, but because I don’t want to end on a down note in this post (omigod, I am killing it), I thought I’d share a couple projects we recently completed around here that didn’t make me cry.

When we first moved in, the well was housed in a dilapidated eyesore of a tin shed that was a popular clubhouse for neighborhood cats (and they liberally marked it as such). Here it is the autumn we moved in:

tin shed 2

And here is today’s much more unified palette:

back yard

Before (with a Tiny Tiger photo bomb):

tin shed 1

And now.  We hooked a sink up to the well as a veggie washing/canning station, and I used Ardex Feather Finish (the same stuff I used on our laundry room backsplash and the pedestal table) to coat the counters. At some point I might tile the recessed area behind the sink.

sink in pump house

Another thing that’s not making me cry is the pink room. This was the guest room until we finished the Chamber of Secrets and then it became a sort of catch-all/junk room. When we recently tackled the upstairs, we did a major purge of stuff and put in new wood floors.  For now it’s the place I go to pretend I’m Marie Kondo and marvel at the four objects that are sparking joy.

pink roompink room 2

I’m looking forward to wrapping up the couch project, and I’m excited to share it with you next time (barring further disaster).  Thanks for reading along!

9 responses on “Feathering My Nest: a DIY Disaster

  1. Carol Bryner

    Oh Katie – you’ve made my day again. I love your projects and your humor, and wish you the best for the couch. I made a down jacket and a down vest and a down snowsuit for my children when they were little. They had these little pre-packaged tubes of down to gently squeeze into the parts of the jacket that needed down. It sort of worked, but it could so easily have become a down disaster.
    But I love that little building you made in your yard. A veggie cleaning station – who would have thought!

    1. Katie Post author

      Oh man, the damage I could’ve done with all those clothing pieces! Thanks for your good couch wishes – I need ’em!

  2. Emily

    Just found your blog via a comment on Emily Henderson’s blog. Can’t wait to see how this couch turns out! Do you plan on posting the plans and how you went about sewing the cushion? I’m new to sewing and would love a better look at the process.


    1. Katie Post author

      I’m glad you found us! I’ll do my best to post details/plans about the cushions. It probably won’t be a concise how-to, but more of a ‘tips and mistakes to avoid’- it has been a big learning experience 🙂

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