Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A custom order.....

About a month ago now I agreed to make a friend some cushions to brighten up her her couches for an open home. It was a Friday afternoon and she needed them by lunch time the next day (no pressure :-)  I like a challenge and a deadline is always good for motivation. She had given me a clear idea as to colours (bright) and design but otherwise trusted my creative intuitions :-) I was immediately drawn to my stash of colour saturated Balinese batiks thinking they would work well with some modern contemporary designs. Two hours into cutting out, at about 5 pm, I decided to have a break and get dinner on but no sooner had I started, the power went off and didn't come back on till 10 pm so no sewing got done but I did get all the cutting out finished before it got too dark to see. 

So the next morning I worked hard to finish them in time but not to how I had originally envisioned them to look like. I made my friend promise me she would give them back to me after the open homes so I could do more work on them. They looked fine to her but I knew they could look much better. I added the hand-quilted circles to the above circle cushion along with a thin layer of batting on the underside.....
....then to these woven designs I added a line of stitching down each fabric strip to not only reduce fraying on the raw edges but to add a little texture.
Then on the back of each one I added a handmade button and loop enclosure.

To see how these handmade covered buttons are made, the tutorial can be found here on Michelle's blog.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Keeping busy.....

 A few weeks back I agreed to have a boarder stay with us over the summer months which has meant a lot of re-arranging of furniture, tidying, and getting rid of a lot of  "stuff " that we have collected over the years that is now no longer needed. Having a good clean out really does feel good plus it motivated me into giving a couple of pieces of furniture a much needed makeover. The above 'hall table' has been in my possession since my flatting days. Not sure who's it actually was originally but I happily ended up with it because I could see its potential :-) I don't have any before photos of it but lets just say it was looking a little neglected in its raw state. I had sanded it down last year so it was all ready and waiting for a new coat of paint.

For the top I decoupaged squares of Amy Butler acid free paper. It reminds me of Moroccan or Portuguese tiles and I'm really pleased with how it has turned out.

I acquired these two old wooden rulers and the school atlas from my father a couple of weeks ago. My Dad has been sick with cancer for some time now and passed away on Saturday. He had asked me to go into his office and choose anything I might want. It didn't feel right taking his stuff but these items caught my eye and he seemed happy with what I had chosen. 

This desk has been also patiently waiting for a makeover and I have been waiting for inspiration to strike as to what to do with it. It was always going to be Caitlin's, so with her slight obsession with the boy band "One Direction", inspiration came last week to paint a Union Jack design on the top. The aqua/turquoise paint I had already purchased for another project and I love the colour combo of red/aqua/white. It already had the red plastic 'feet' on it's legs so that was a nice happy coincidence. 

The Union Jack design was easy but time consuming to do but totally worth it for the end result. To get the nice clean, straight lines I used masking tape over the already white background but it bled under the tape so our new house guest Siobhan suggested using painters tape which does not bleed like masking tape. I love how this piece has turned out exactly how I had envisioned. Needless to say Caitlin is also pleased with her new desk. All this painting has inspired me to makeover more furniture so expect more :-)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Exam time.....

Stress levels are starting to creep up in our house as my oldest daughter, Amelia, prepares for her Level 2 NCEA exams. Yesterday on one of her breaks away from studying she prepared this yummy green smoothie to go with our lunch. With that vibrant green colour it has to be good for you! The 'green' layer is made up of spinach (from our garden of course :-) , green apple, lemon juice, and coconut milk, the white layer is more coconut milk, yoghurt, more green apple and mint. The recipe can be found here on "A beautiful mess"

Right at this moment Amelia is sitting her English exam and I can't help but think about her and hope the words are flowing onto the paper for her. To keep my mind occupied I have been spray painting her cane bedside table white as a wee surprise when she gets home. Hope she likes it :-)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Busy, busy

I think I started making these to cushions a couple of weeks ago maybe but had to put them aside for a custom order of 3 cushions covers for a friend so this past weekend I finally got to finish them. I love how they both turned out but I'm particularly pleased with the union jack design. 

 I've been wanting to make a union jack cushion for a while now but wasn't quite sure how to go about it but in the end I decided to just appliqué the pieces on using Visoflex and finishing them off with a machine embroidered blanket stitch. Quite quick and easy once all the cutting out was done.
And this bright floral cushion reminds of all the colourful spring flowers blooming in my garden at the moment. This one is quilted with some wavy lines that intersect each other randomly breaking up the straight piecing and giving it a modern edge. Both these cushions have an envelope backing using a strip of a print from the cushion fronts and some fun ric-rac. These cushion covers are now listed here in my etsy shop :-)
And a bit of progress has been made with my first re-upholstery project. It now has a double layer of all new foam rubber and is so much nicer to sit on now. I felt ridiculously proud of myself when I finished stapling the foam on and made sure my girls noticed what I'd done. 
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