Creative Things · family · Sewing · Slipcovers

Ben’s Big Boy Chair

When you think of slipcovers, you typically think of a wingback, club chair, parson chair, side chair, benches, the list goes on.   But let’s think outside the box for just a moment.

My grandson was about to turn one and I received an idea for a birthday gift for him. 

Original Chair: Before
Before: pink girls chair

His sister, Addy, had a Pottery Barn chair with her name appliqued on the back of it and my daughter thought it would nice for him to have his own chair.  But those chairs are expensive new, so I thought, what if I found a used one and redid it? It would be more personal to me, a challenge for something new to try, and the thought of making something handmade for him was appealing.  I found one for $25 on a local yard sale facebook page.   It was pink and had the name “Aberly” appliqued on the back but it had good bones (hee hee, foam inside). 

And so I began the deconstruction and transformation from a little girl’s pink  “Aberly” chair to a blue denim boy’s “Ben” chair with bright green trim.  I cut out the letters for his name out of fabric with little trucks and appliqued it to the inside back of the chair.

I trimmed the chair in a bright green piping, incorporated a back storage pocket and a coordinating handle for easy carrying.  A zipper on three sides of the bottom on the chair reveals the foam blocks tucked into their designated spaces and kept in place  by Velcro panels. The fabric was prewashed and would be easy to remove and put back together.

This was such a fun project to deconstruct and figure out and it gave me such joy to be able to give him something especially made for him. 

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Creative Things · Decorating · Organization · Sewing · Slipcovers

March Home Projects

March felt more like winter than February, but nonetheless, spring is officially here!  But with spring comes the urgency to get things done before the lazy hazy days of summer are upon us. I get motivated to clean, organize, sew, and decorate. Check out what’s been happening in my happy place.

Cushions, Pillows and Chairs….oh my!  My porch cushions were in desperate need of new cushions.  Not only were they dirty, but the fabric had started to tear.  I figured I could get a few more years out of the cushions before actually replacing them so I found a pretty cherry red fabric that would feed my soul for my red obsession.   Since I’m so willy-nilly with commitment to fabric and upholstery, I wanted a solid color so I could change it up at will with throw pillows.  I accented the chairs with lumbar pillows made with a Solarium outdoor fabric in a boat house print.

Homage to Cows      The SML area is surround by the most beautiful farmland I have seen in a while with lots of cows.  It reminds me so much of growing up on a farm (minus the hills). I wanted something fun to redo the cushion on this antique rocker I found at an estate sale so  I found this fun 100% polyester fabric in a brown cow print from Fabrics.com.  It’s unexpected and I think goes with any decor in moderation.cow chair edited

Garden Decor Sprucing Up      A few pieces of garden decor were chipped and needed a bit of a sprucing up. Nothing a little spray paint couldn’t handle.  To achieve an aged patina look, I first sprayed the little boy with a black/bronze color.  I then took a cloth sprayed with a wee bit of green paint and rubbed it on areas of the boy to give him a whole new look.   I hot glued a little butterfly on his hand and it looks good as new!  I was so happy with the results, that I started looking around for more things that might need a quick touch up.

Bippity-Bobbity-Boo       In just a few weeks I will be heading to the happiest place on earth with my daughter’s family.  I wanted to make something special for my little princess, Addy.  She loves to dress up and the colors will be beautiful with her long curly blond locks and bright blue eyes. So, while visiting my grandkids and while they were napping I whipped up this cute little sundress full of Cinderellas.

New Accent Pillows      With warmer weather coming, I lean towards lighter fabrics that look fresh, clean and natural.  I found a remnant of this pretty blue linen-like textured fabric that was just enough for two throw pillows.  A little burlap trim and it’s done.IMG_0435

Spring Cleaning & Springifying      House chores and cleaning are always a bit easier to swallow if you can break them down by season and in manageable chunks so you don’t feel like you are spending your life cleaning.  After being shut in all winter, it is so nice to open the windows and doors before the pollen and heat come. I noticed some yellow film on outside furniture already so my time is running out.  So we opened the windows, cleaned the blinds, washed the rugs, dusted, cleaned windows, switched out front door wreath, cleaned filters, changed batteries, put out my spring decor, switched out pillows and throws, uncovered the lawn furniture, planted my rosemary and sprang forward.  The list is long and some things will just have to wait until next month because it is just too dang nice outside to work all the time. Happy spring y’all.

 

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Creative Things · Decorating · family · Sewing

February Home Projects

What’s not to love about February?  It’s the reward of a short month after what seems like the longest month of the year. And right in the middle of the month is Valentine’s day which just happens to be my birthday.  So yeah, I love February.  It also gets me anxious and thinking about spring next month.  This year  it wasn’t hard to think about that because of the incredibly unseasonably warm weather.  Even with it being a short month, I managed to squeeze in a few of home projects.

Potting Table     Ok, I can’t take credit for this, but it was my idea and my wonderful husband made it happen.  I love the idea of having a green thumb and I’m sure having this potting table will inspire me.   I already see evidence of the bulbs I planted in December and January well on their way to blooms.   With a lake house the focus tends to be on the back yard, the dock and the area around the water.  We have such potential in our front yard and I wanted to be sure to utilize and enjoy that as well.

Master  Bedroom Window Toppers       Even though we have faux wood blinds on all our master bedroom windows, the sun shines through on a summer morning and on rare occasions our dogs actually allow us to sleep past 5 am.  I was looking for something natural looking that didn’t look heavy or distracting.  I decided on a mounted bleached drop cloth faux roman shade.  I made my own burlap ties out of leftover burlap which saved me a ton on money.  I needed fifteen yards and at $6 a yard for store-bought I knew I had to be creative and resourceful. I added a nonfunctional covered button strictly for the detail finish.IMG_9875

Master Bathroom Window Covering     Originally we had some wicker style roll shades on our bathroom windows.   But in order to maintain privacy we had to keep them down most of the day which then led to a very dark bathroom.   I love the airy country feel of café curtains and these windows would work perfectly for that.  It would allow us to let the light and view of our front yard in on the top half of the windows while still providing the privacy needed in a bathroom.  I actually found the curtains ready-made at Homegoods, hemmed them to fit into the window casing and then folded, pressed and clipped the pleats to give me the finished look.

Pillow Bed        This was a fun project I wanted to do to give my granddaughter the option to sleep on the floor if she needed to be in the same room as my daughter when she came to visit in February.  I got a super deal on this fun animal print flannel from JoAnn’s and found the pattern on Pinterest.

Teepee     Who doesn’t love a fort?   This was such a fun project that my husband and I worked on together.  I did the sewing and he took care of the hardware. It’s lightweight, easy to assemble and to take down. You can easily store it under a bed or in a closet.  Addy slept in it a couple of nights during her visit.  I see Addy and Ben having fun with this for some time to come.IMG_9910

I’m still finishing up my patio cushions.  They are almost done but will slide the completed project into March.  Other projects on my agenda include slipcovering a wing back chair at the lake and recovering the seat on a beautiful antique rocking chair I found.

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Crafty Things · Creative Things · Decorating · Sewing · Slipcovers

Unusual Useful Upscale

I’ve slipcovered ottomans, parson chairs, loveseats, arm chairs, side chairs, wingback chairs, benches, and bar stools but never a piece like this!  This was a fun little project that included a little arts and crafts as well.

My client brought me this unique piece to recover.  She was envisioning a laundry cart or possibly a cart for towels on a boat dock.  We decided a nautical look would be a good fit.  Keeping with the repurposing theme, she brought me some salvaged duck cloth.

The arts and craft portion of this project included painting nautical stripes on the fabric.  I simply taped off the stripes and used a sponge brush to dab acrylic paint within the taped off areas. I carefully removed the tape to reveal the stripes.  After letting the paint set for at least 12 hours, I heat-set the fabric.   This process allows the piece to be washable should it need to be removed and laundered.

A side zipper for easy removal, silver grommets on each side for either fabric or rope handles and a simple hem to reveal the wood base and wheels,  finished off this unique piece.

What a transformation! This project should make you look at your old furniture pieces a little differently and imagine the possibilities.  What can I do for you?

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Crafty Things · Creative Things · Decorating · Slipcovers

January Home Projects

This year got off to a productive start.  I always start the year with a list of projects I want to complete over the course of the year.  Some items have been on that list for several years, so clearly I am over-ambitious and optimistic at the beginning of the year, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. It keeps me motivated, looking forward and creative.

These are the projects I have completed for January.

Window Treatments: This guest bedroom needed  a little something to cover the top section of the windows on the sunny side of the house. I wanted to keep the color very neutral and thought a good quality drop cloth would make inexpensive, readily available and  natural looking window treatments.  I knew I probably wouldn’t actually wash them, so I just constructed them with a fold-over panel to double up the fabric to block out the sun even more.  So that the panels would slide easily across the pole for easy closing and opening, I added drapery clips every 6″ or so.  Perfect.

Pool table cover:  One of my favorite things this past winter has been the red and black plaid that you see popping up everywhere.   I have a shirt dress with this print but I’ve seen jackets, scarves, dog wear, etc.   So when I found this print in a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth from JoAnn’s after Christmas for 70% off, I snatched it up.  I wasn’t exactly sure when or where I would use it but for a couple of dollars, I would find a use.

While taking down the Christmas decorations in our basement, I quickly pulled it out of the bag to spread out over the pool table to protect it as I packed up the Christmas crates.  Then it hit me.  This would actually make a great pool table cover. So with three tablecloths, this is what I made.  What do you think?  Can you see me?

Chair cushions: My kitchen table has two chairs from a previous table that sit a little low. img_9225 My initial plan was to reconstruct them to fit and recover them.    I decided it would be easier to just make new ones but would use them as a template on how to do it. I made a template of my chair seat and used a basic drop cloth for the fabric.   I stuffed them with the batting from the purchased cushions so I would feel like I got my money’s worth.  I then tufted them just like the original and put  Velcro tabs to attach to the chair spindles instead of ties to keep it clean and simple. They turned out great! BUT….I forgot to get a picture before we left the lake, so you will have to wait a couple of weeks for an after picture.

Parson chair slipcover: I found this basic parson chair at a thrift store for $6 (you can see why below).  It would make a great desk chair in our lake basement pseudo-office/nautical themed bedroom.  I decided on a blue duck cloth with red ticking welting and a cute nautical themed lace-up tie back for easy on and off.  Since the original chair was vinyl I stapled batting onto the seat and back of the chair to prevent the slipcover from actually “slipping”.

Bed skirt: My last project for the month would be a bed skirt for the same bedroom/office in our lake basement. I used the same drop cloth I purchased for the chair cushions.  I wanted a standard skirt with box pleats at the corners and in the middle of each side, but I wanted a little more pizzazz. So I painted on a double red stripe positioned on each side of the pleat to tie in with the welting on the parson desk chair and also pull in the red from the pillow. I opted to Velcro the skirt to the box spring instead of making a fully constructed bed skirt. Cute and super easy to get on and off without having to remove the mattress.

Serging:  Since I was on a roll and was getting comfortable with my new serger, I also tackled my basket of clothes that needed mending over the last year. It’s empty!

I also decided my drop cloth slipcovered chair at the lake needed to be washed (that’s the beauty of slipcovers).  IMG_5407So I slipped it off and threw it in the washing machine.  It came out great, except I realized I never finished the seams so I had a messy inside of tangled strings. SO….I walked over to my serger and proceeded to serge all the seams. It looks so pretty and clean again.  I can’t believe my serger is celebrating its first birthday and I am only now brave enough to use it.  I LOVE it and can’t believe I got along all these years without out.  Never again. It’s my new favorite thing.

Now to set my focus on February.  I have a few projects in the works for my home and a few for some clients, but still have time for more! What can I do for you?

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Creative Things

Hidden Treasure Found

I found a treasure!   Not in the literal sense but in a literary  sense.  I found all my journals from high school. img_6698 Can I just say how much I love and truly appreciate everything my high school English teacher did for me?  That is no small thing.  I distinctly remember not particularly liking to read and write when in school.  I was a good student, (Salutatorian, thank you very much), but always loved math more.  I’m sorry to say that I dreaded going to English class, initially, but through Ms. J’s class (as we lovingly called her, Miss Janet Johnson in the proper sense), I actually started to look forward to it.

While unpacking and purging through boxes as part of my decluttering and downsizing, I discovered a taped shut box that was marked “high school memorabilia”.  I kept putting it in the back of a closet or on a shelf through the years to be opened at some later time when I had more time.  I guess that was now. So I grabbed the journals for some good reading for our  4 1/2 hour trip to and from the lake this weekend.  Boy did we have fun reminiscing. Here are some of the things I found.

  •  I found the entry of the day after I met my future husband.
  • I found listings of my favorite songs, books and movies from different years.
  • I found the entry after attending a TEC (teens encounter Christ weekend).
  • I found an entry for the weekend of prom (with all the details of where we went and what we did…much of which we had totally forgot).
  • I found some original poetry (some of them pretty darn good).
  • I found I was sleep deprived  from work, slept until noon and took naps. Hmmm.
  • I found silly classmate prophecies as a writing prompt.
  • I found insights of what I was like as a teenager in the 1970’s.
  • I discovered all the reasons I fell in love with Darryl and still do now.
  • I found snippets of my mom’s voice, like “you have a nice boyfriend, he worries about you in a storm”. (Oh, how I miss her!)
  • I found entries I wrote of hanging out with high school friends, some still with us, some not.

I loved the way Ms. J commented without judging and offered just enough advise to make you think and come up with my own solutions to life’s problems that seem so trivial now but were not back then.

I took a break from journal writing for several years after I graduated high school but took it back up in my thirty’s when I was presented with my grandpa Dostal’s published book of his journal writing. Before he died my aunt Lily took all his journals that he had kept from a young man to his later years and compiled them into a book about his life as a farmer. What a gift.

That was enough inspiration to get me started again.  At any given time I have two or three journals that I have going. I have exercise journals, garden journals, home journals, personal journals and gratitude journals, and now an online blog/creative journal. It’s a great outlet for capturing ideas, documenting goals, remembering milestones, and sorting out your fears, hopes and dreams.

If I could find that teacher today, I would say, Thank you.  Thank you. Thank you.  I can see now that there was a reason for all of that.  I believe that because of her, today I love to write and find an enormous value in writing something about me and my life, not just for me but for those I love to hopefully read some day and get some insight into who I was.  That I’m not really that different from them and that I was once a teenager just like them.  I really do know where they are coming from and what they are going through.  And just maybe, inspire them (or their children) to journal and write.

Do something creative today!

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