Friday, April 30, 2010

#179...monogrammed bed shams

I like to use a solid colored white quilt on my bed, so that I can change my shams and throw pillow out when I get tired of the current textile and need something new. I came across this "Arbor" print duvet cover at HomeGoods, and fell in love with the print. (I have not used the duvet fabric for anything yet, but decided to cut up the pillow cases that came with the set, and make a new center throw pillow for my bed.) I made one for me, and I put one up for sale in my etsy shop here.

Since I wanted my new pillow to be the centerpiece of my bed, I decided to make some neutral colored shams from some scraps of white printed toile linen and seersucker (back) that I had in my stash. The white printed toile linen is more traditional than my usual taste in textile prints, so I decided to embellish it with appliqued monograms for Tyler and me in khaki linen. Here is how I made the monograms.........

First, I chose a font for the letters from Word's font list. I used "agency" font and printed it at 650 point in 5% grayscale (to save ink). Then I used my scanner/copier to enlarge the letter by 200% and had to tape the oversized printout together to make my letter pattern.

Next, I used carbon paper and traced the mirror image onto the linen.
I used double-sided tape to hold my letters in place and I zig-zag stitched slowly around each letter. Normally, I use this Steam-a-Seam product to adhere my applique piece to its background, and hold it in place during stitching. It is a really awesome product, I highly recommend it....I just did not have any on hand during this project. Here are some up close shots of my zig-zag applique.

After completing the front panels for my shams, I added the zipper and back. I made standard shams that measure 19" x 26"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

#178...seating for my desk area

I wanted a seating area for my desk space that is located at the back of my family room. I found a pair of the above cane back chairs for $60. I like that they have wheels so they can be pulled closer to the desk and computer if need be.

To refurbish them, I lightly sanded all of the smooth wood surfaces with a medium grit sanding sponge. I did not sand the back caning at all, as I did not want to damage or weaken it. I covered all of the wood parts with XIM bonding primer, which paints on as a sticky mess, but is the best product for non-raw wood, and once varnished surfaces, as it will allow both latex or oil paint to stick to it. It is a little pricey as primers go, but a little quart lasts a long time. I use it all the time for any priming job I have. Here you can see how I used it to transform my brother and sister-in-law's kitchen cabinets.

To finish my chairs, I put two coats of this satin alkyd enamel by Benjamin Moore in Olive Tree and recovered the cushions and replaced the small fabric back panel. Here are the results.

Monday, April 26, 2010 brass

I bought this tarnished brass turtle at the thrift shop for $6.
I think it may have been an old ashtray.
I cleaned it up using Bar Keeper's Friend, which works wonders on brass.

I decided to put an air plant in it, since they require no planting, and are easy to care for. I got this peach Tillandsia Capitata for $6 at a local nursery.

Friday, April 23, 2010

#176...oversized sunset

While out in California, I painted a large multi-panel painting for my sister's two story dining room. She and her husband had purchased the four 48x60" canvases and hung them prior to my arrival. Here they are hanging blank waiting to be painted.
They wanted a large sunset mural for the wall, and here are the inspiration images that they sent me for their artwork.

After draping off the dining room, and getting the canvases down off of the wall, I got to work.

....and by the end of the week I had completed their sunset.

(also in this photo is their dining table that Tyler and I refinished for them last year)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 headboard art

My sister Julie had a box of leftover tulle-wrapped sand dollars that she gave out as wedding favors at her wedding years ago. Currently, I'm helping her accessorize and decorate her master bedroom, and I decided to turn the leftover sand dollars into an art piece to hang over her bed.
I started with a linen like curtain panel from Marshall's, and some stretched canvases from Michael's. I cut up the curtain panel and stapled the fabric to the canvases. I laid out the sand dollars, some collected shells Julie had, and a few store bought shells, and went to work hot gluing the shells and sand dollars to the canvases. This project was very simple and inexpensive and adds some wedding memorabilia to their room in a non-cheesy way.

Monday, April 19, 2010

#174...Backpack for Baby

I made my niece Audrey this backpack for her 2nd birthday. I bought the pattern online here from Made by Rae. It was a fairly easy pattern to follow, however I would not consider it a beginning sewing project. I chose to use some more of the Japanese oilcloth yardage that I bought here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

#173...splatter paint shoes

I saw these splatter paint shoes on p.s. i made this a few weeks ago,

.....and decided to make my own.
I really love the FRYE oxfords that were used in the p.s. i made this example, but at over $150, I'm not sure that I could have brought myself to paint them. I found these oxfords at the Goodwill for $7, and went to town with my acrylic paints

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#172...vinyl covered chairs

I bought this small child's folding chair at the Goodwill for $3.50. I actually felt like I overpaid for the condition the chair was in, but it was so cute, and I have been dying to find uses for my collection of Japanese oilcloth. I spray painted it orange, and recovered the seat and top using hot glue and staples. It was super simple.

I am out in California visiting my sister this week, and today I recovered her kitchen chair seats with an upholstery fabric and a clear vinyl. Here is the chair cushion before...(it has had a rough life)
First, I stapled the decorative fabric onto the back of the cushion

Then, I stapled the vinyl over the new fabric. The vinyl was a little tricky to keep taut and smooth, as it has a lot of stretch. I started in the middle and worked toward the edges, trying not to pull the vinyl and cause ripples. It took twice as long to staple the vinyl on as the fabric, but it turned out looking nice. Here is a shot after the vinyl was stapled on.
and here is a shot of the finished product

Monday, April 12, 2010 etching cream

Recently, I framed these three little pieces of art, and then decided to embellish them by glass etching the front of the glass with clouds on the bird, bubbles on the fish, and waves on the boat. The boat, bird and fish are cut out from splatter paint on tar paper, that I bought on this trip to Fairhope, Alabama and were painted by artist Tres Taylor in collaboration with local children to benefit the recent earthquake devastation in Haiti.

To frame the art, I mounted the pieces on mat board and put them inside some thrift store frames that I spray painted white. I thought they looked a little plain, so I decided to try glass etching shapes onto the framed pieces. I put this vinyl contact paper onto the surface of the glass, applying slowly and smoothing as I went, to make sure no air bubbles were trapped.

Next, using a sharpie, I drew my design onto the vinyl paper, and carefully cut out the shape with an Exato-knife and peeled off the design, revealing the glass. I used Armour Etch cream and a small paint brush to paint the cream thickly over the areas of exposed glass.

The bottle says to wait five minutes and wash it off with water. Then you simply peel off the remaining vinyl paper and voila', your glass it etched. It was simple, and worked as easily as the instructions promised.

It is a little hard to see the etching in the photos, since it is very subtle on the glass, but I really like the effect it added to the artwork. These pieces are going to hang in a kid's bathroom in a grouping. I found this video on YouTube that is a good demonstration of how to etch glass using the above products.

Friday, April 9, 2010

#170...hilary's office nook

My client Hilary had a blank wall between her kitchen and living room that she wanted to turn into a little office for herself. Here is her blank canvas..........
and here is her new office............

Hilary's Mom found her the desk on Craigslist, and we painted it turquoise, and changed out the pulls. This is what it looked like before...

We also bought some iron shelf brackets from Lowe's and had wood cut to make the shelves. We stained it to coordinate with the other warm woods in her home. I made her the bulletin board from a thrift store frame, upholstery tacks, and leftover fabric from the desk chair slipcover.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

#169...slipcovered seat

I bought this bent plywood style chair at the Goodwill for $10.
It is similar to this chair from CB2.
I decided to attempt slipcovering the chair for my client Hilary's desk area that we have been working on. I removed the legs, and traced the shape of the chair onto craft paper, creating a pattern. After cutting my front and back fabrics, I added a layer of batting to each panel prior to sewing them together, which helps give the chair a bit of padding and also helps the fabric slipcover fit better. Here is the end result...........

The front fabric is Thomas Paul for Duralee, found here. The back fabric is from JoAnn's and is a gray rattan print that I found in shop, but unfortunately cannot find online. The yellow piping is made from Sunbrella fabric.