So Close But Yet So Far…

Slowly but surely I am making progress on my ongoing upholstery project. I am so close to the end that I can taste it, but at the same time I also realise that I still have a way to go. In fact it has taken so long to get to this point that I am considering roping of the chair to ensure people view it from a distance only. I mean, if its ok for the National Trust… in just the same way as the National Trust does in all of it’s historical buildings. My biggest problem is that I am only at college once a week and this just isn’t enough time to get it completed at any great speed. I have brought it home a couple of times to get extra done but unfortunately I get so far and then have to wait, take it back to college and get advice on where I should go next.

My chair so far

My chair so far

Looking at the front view it looks pretty much completed and I cannot wait to see it completely finished. I know it is going to look amazing once it is finished…I mean it has to because I can’t believe that you can spend this much time on a project and it not turn out great (I am a glass half full type of person). Unfortunately, when you look at the back it doesn’t look anywhere near complete.

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

As you can see both the back and the outer arm need to have top fabric putting on it and also the bottom (although I don’t have a photograph of that) needs platform cloth putting on to tidy it all up and hide all of the chairs insides.

Having only 9 weeks of college left, which incidentally is a total of 27 hours, it is safe to say that I am rather worried about whether I am going to get it finished. The only solution is to make sure I do much of the work needed outside college time. This worries me slightly as I cant help but think that I am going to get something key and very important wrong. Although, this worry has aided me in certain situations as it has driven me to check all measurements prior to cutting my top fabric over and over and over again…and sometimes just one or two more time to make even more certain.

Irritatingly, college is closed for the next two weeks as it’s the Easter holidays so in order to continue working on it I have brought it home in a hope that I will be able to get the arms covered in my plain blue top fabric (the same as the seat). Just bringing it home is an effort in itself. Especially if you consider the fact that I am no longer able to carry it by myself and the fact that it is wider than most door ways. This means that not only am I required to find some poor unsuspecting soul to help me move it every time I want to work on it  but every time it needs to be taken through a doorway it has to be flipped and turned in order to squeeze it though the frame. Bringing my chair home turns into an epic game of Tetris as we negotiate around various bends in the corridors, doorways and finally face the challenge of trying to fit said chair into the boot of my Vauxhall Corsa. Thankfully transport to and from the car is made much easier thanks to the fact that a very innovative and brave college tutor of the past stole an Asda shopping trolley purposely for moving such items of furniture. So I have a big THANK YOU to this person as they have saved me on many an occasion.

 

 

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My Upholstery Journey To Reading Chair Heaven Update

Wow, it has been a while since my last post. In the time since posting I have gotten married, been on honeymoon and settled into married life. Even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t let wedding related stuff take over my life…I did. Those last few weeks before the wedding were crazy and I can honestly say stressful. Although I didn’t turn into the stereotypical bridezilla, there were plenty of tears, tantrums and nerves. The day itself though was amazing and after the stress of wedding planning the honeymoon was just what we needed.

We have now been married for nearly 6 weeks and are starting to think about properly setting up our home. It was pretty much impossible to even consider any kind of decoration or house renovation due to putting all spare cash towards the wedding. Now that the wedding has been and gone though, we can now start to plan the house renovations (although these will be slow due to having to replenish our much depleted savings). With this in mind I thought I would share my upholstery project!

Here is a reminder of how it looked before I began reupholstering it.

Before

Before – nasty fabric, filthy and smelly.

That was how it was in September. Since then I have been spending 1 day a week at college, where I have stripped it down to its bare wood, rebuilt it up by adding the webbing, hessian, foam, and fire resistant calico. It has taken a lot of time and energy but it is looking great.

3/4 of the way through - Before any of the top fabric went on.

3/4 of the way through – Before any of the top fabric went on.

It has a slightly different shape to before but it is lovely…and so comfortable! It’s going to make a great reading chair for my living room. In this picture you cannot see the cushion that will go on top of the seat for people to sit on (just like in the first image).

I always knew that I wanted to use two different fabrics. Originally the plan was to having a plain fabric and also one that had thin stripes on it, ideally in a light blue colour. However, this soon changed when I saw my final choice in top fabric! As soon as I saw it I fell in love and due to having a great conversation with the sales assistent (who also did upholstery) managed to get it at a great price. Its thick and hardwaring and, due to the quality, will withstand wiping.

My top fabric

My top fabric

The  buttoned back and seat will be done in the top (patterned) fabric and the piping, buttons, arms and the actual behind back will be done in the other fabric (plain). Incidentally these are the colours I plan to eventually use as the colour scheme in the living and dining room.

Today being a college day I have been able to work on my chair some more and have managed to start putting the top fabric on.

At the end of college today

At the end of college today

My deep buttoning

Deep buttoning close-up

As you can see today I have managed to get the plain blue on the bottom (which will sit beneath the seat cushion) and have started buttoning the top fabric onto the back of the seat (although this does need neatening up). I love it! I just know it is going to look stunning at the end once I have finished. Slowly but surely I am getting there.

You know you becoming a hardcore D.I.Y.er when…

…you own a drill! After a little bit of advice from my dad I set of to the d.i.y shop with a reasonable amount of confidence that I knew what I was looking for. I didn’t want a rechargeable one (I’m terrible at charging my phone so this was a definite no no for me), I wanted it to be able to go though masonry and wood so needed both sets of drill bits and it needed a little bit of power to be able to go through the stone work. Also at the moment I want it to put up pictures and mirrors so I didn’t want one that cost a fortune.

My drill

Top Ten Project List

This is a blog post I have been meaning to write for a while. I figured that I needed to be a little bit more organised so I have decided to write up a Top Ten Project List detailing the furniture projects currently on my to do list. It is something I should be able to strategically work my way through. Instead of what I am doing right now which is more bumbling my way through. So here they are:

One

My Dresser

This is the project I am currently doing. The aim is to turn this into a beautiful cream and varnished pine dresser to go into my hallway (near the kitchen) to store all of my baking ingredients. This will then give me more storage in the kitchen.

Two

The Cupboard Under The Stairs

When this house was built in the 1930’s I think this would have been a walk in pantry. At the minute it has hooks that hold coats and wonky shelves (installed by the previous owner) that can hold nothing plus I have a habit of chucking anything I dont want seen into it (e.g. the hoover, mop and bucket etc). I would love for it to be returned to being a pantry. It would allow me to buy certain kitchen items that I always use in bulk.

Three

One of the mirrors next to one of the fireplaces

I just need to get these hung up on the wall and then the fireplaces can be ‘dressed’ properly to make them into a feature rather than a ‘place to put things’. The picture only shows one of the mirrors but I also have a starburst mirror that needs putting up.

Four

My Lloyd Loom Ottoman

This is a Lloyd Loom Ottoman and it was also the first thing I ever tried to upholster (pre college course). I can’t believe I ever did anything as bad as this but alas it is true. Now I know a little bit more about upholstery I know I can upholster this to a much higher standard and turn it into something beautiful and unique. It is really handy for storing fabric in as well as becoming a seat as when the need arises.

Five

Upstairs Hallway Window

Unfortunately at the moment we can’t re-decorate that hallway due to time and money. Having spent an absolute fortune buying and moving into the house at the same time as planning and paying for a wedding we are having to take step by step and one room at a time and currently the home office/craft room is the priority. So instead I am wanting to make small changes to smarten it up a little bit. One of them being dressing the window. I want to make a nice curtain to frame it a little plus adding a vase of some sort.

Front Door

I also want to put a matching curtain downstairs in the hallway to block some of the draft from the front door. It will also add a little bit of ‘softness’ to the front door.

Six

I love the idea of having a picture display going up the stairs. I just need to get more family photos to put into frames.

Seven

Front of Side-table

Top of the Side-table

I want to clean up this oak side table and get rid of all the marks and water rings that are on the top. I am torn between painting it or stripping it down to revarnish it…decisions decisions.

Eight

Undecorated Craft Room

My home office/craft room is in need to serious re-decorating. As of yet it has not yet even been starting but if plans come together that should soon change. The aim is to make this room into a creative space that is a joy to spend time in. It will have a good sized work space with amazing storage to ensure nothing is in the way ever. I want to install shelving into the alcove and then (hopefully) fit doors to the bottam of it to ensure we have a space to hide things away in.

Nine

I think I would like to install something like this on the wall at the bottom of the stairs so that as you come into the house you can hang your coats up.

Ten

The Problem

And finally a shoe rack that makes shoes look tidier and again this is for the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of a future shoe rack because I don’t yet know which one I want.

Stop, Look and Listen: Projects Using Old Jeans!

Having lost over a stone I am now in possession of numerous pairs of jeans that no longer fit me. I cannot bring myself to throw them away as I have spent precious pounds on them and so instead I have decided to use them for a house related project. Unfortunately I am just not sure what this denim house related project will be at the moment.

I could:

Make a rather fetching carrier bag holder. At the moment I don’t really have ‘a carrier bag place’. They tend to get shoved into the drawer along with the tea towels and then eventually you end up hunting and digging around for tea towel whilst getting more and more frustrated.

Or I could combine them with other fabric to make a lovely quilt for the bed. It would be a good excuse to go fabric shopping…

A notice board would be extremely helpful for my office, especially one with pockets!

Or a draft excluder to make sure all those drafts are effectively excluded!

 

A pocket organiser would be another handy item for the office. I am also wondering what the denim would look like dyed…

 

The footstool is a good idea, but unfortunately I’m not sure where I would put it. Hmmmmm, decisions decisions!

Bargain Photo Frame Renovation

Renovated photo frames

This is just a quick post to show off my renovated photo frames (sorry about the terrible photo). I primed them, painted them and then sanded them down to create that ‘shabby chic’ look. I look forward to seeing how they look combined with my table numbers. What do you think?

My Transformed HOME sign

It seems that the universe has decided that since we have had a week of sunshine back in May and a week last week that summer is over for us in England. We are back to rain again. Usually this doesn’t really bother me to be honest but yesterday I had penciled in finishing of my outside chairs to go with my table and unfortunately it has had to be postponed. It did however give me a push to finish off some of the other projects that I needed to get done. Such as the HOME sign I brought last week.

Home Sign Close-up

I love it and it cost me a fraction of what I have seen them for sale at in various shops, especially as I already had the sandpaper, primer and paint. I was contemplating getting a sample pot of paint to paint the letters various colours but that would have meant spending more more, which defeats the object of it being a cheap project. I love it regardless though. What do you think?

Latest Charity Shop Haul

‘There’s one! There’s another…and another!’ This is what you often hear when out shopping with me if I stumble across a charity shop after charity shop. I just can’t help but have a look in just to see what lovely things they might have. Today was such a day and I have to say I am impressed with my finds.

Bargain finds

The jars I am planning to use in my wedding but once they are finished I am imagining using the fishbowl (£2.99) as a coffee table decoration. Possibly with some sand and a candle (unless I think of something much more interesting). After the wedding the lidded jars (£2.50 each) will have a new home in my craft room and will hold all of my lovely button and beads etc. The dark wooden home sign (£6.00) is a little scratched up so I will use the paint that I currently have stored in my garage to smarten it up and then display it on my fireplace. All in all I am happy with my purchases and I am even happier that I left the house with £15 in my purse and managed to come back with £1 in change. EPIC WIN!!!

‘What?? I Can Make That For A Fraction Of The Price!!!’

A couple of days ago myself and my hubby-to-be were on our way to a family wedding reception in Derby when we happened across a few small boutique type shops mingled with random charity shops. To be honest it was a good job it was an evening reception otherwise I would have been tempted to have a good nosy around and in all of our wedding finery…well…lets just say it’s better they were closed. But it did mean that I was desperate to find out just what type of shops they were and whether they had any interesting bits and bobs in them.

So on Saturday we decided to take a trip back to these little shops. Unfortunately most of them were too expensive, however, it was a great source of inspiration for future projects.

We went into a lovely little cafe for some lunch. It was decorated in a very shabby chic style and I just couldn’t help but take a few inspirational photos.

Up-cycled Bucket and Syrup Jar

I took a photo of the table number container as I not only like the idea of re-using something that would ordinarily go into the bin but also as possible way of putting table numbers on my wedding tables. Maybe with a plant inside??? Just yet another thought going around my head.

The bucket was particularly lovely as all the flowers were 3d and you could see all the brushstrokes in the paint. I am not completely sure what I would use the bucket for (desk tidy maybe??) but I do love the idea.

Painted and Distressed Wall Unit

I just love the ruggedness of this shelving unit. I like the idea of first painting it an unusual colour, such as blue, before painting it white to give it an added aspect to interest once it has been sanded back.

Quirky Blackboard

I think it would be nice to have something written on a whiteboard to make people smile as they enter the kitchen.

These are just a small selection of the things they had. I would have loved to take pictures of all of it, unfortunately I thought people wouldn’t appreciate me moving and climbing over them to get to the things I want to photograph.

We also went into one of those little shops that sell the painted furniture and accessories that have already had a ‘shabby chic’ makeover and then sell them on for an absolute fortune. I always look at them and wonder who buys this stuff? Surely they can see how easy it is to create? I can’t help but go around the shop telling my partner ‘I can do that myself for a fraction of the price’ over and over again to which he always nods his head to show he’s listening all the while probably thinking ‘You have said this all before’. I still like a good look around these shops as it’s a good way of getting inspiration. Here are just a small selection of the things I liked.

Driftwood Mirror

Just seeing this makes me want to go straight to the seaside to start collecting driftwood together.

Outdoor Tealight Holders

I think I could make this by putting glass paint into jars to colour the glass and decorating wire with beads and shaped around the jar to create the handle. I do think they are really pretty and add a lovely touch to any garden party or bbq.

Multiple Photo Frames on a Wooden Stand

I think this is a brilliant idea to add an interesting detail to any shelf or window sill. It will definitely be something I will be trying once I have scoured charity shops looking for some chunky wooden photo frames.

Chopping Board

I think this is awesome and I wonder whether I would be able to make one if I found a slice of wood (if that is even possible) and sanded and varnished it up.

It would be good to hear you thoughts. How would you go about re-creating some of these things? Where do you get your inspiration from? What have you created recently?