Sunday, 12 January 2014

Furniture Renovation project: Outdoor Lounge - from drab to fab.

This is a project that started ages ago but I realised I never came back to post the 'After' pictures. As it was so long ago now I have included the previous posts here as well as the after photo.

This first part was posted back on 18/09/2012.
This outdoor lounge is very sturdy but was drab, faded and dated.

I painted the timber in white outdoor gloss paint. Boy typing it like that makes it sound like it was an easy quick job. Don't be fooled, those timber slats on the chairs took ages to paint. Then my darling Mum took the feral covers off and replaced them with Calico.

 I bought the calico as lining. There is special UV resistant fabric coming to cover the cushions. Those will be included in the Part 2 edition.  I have ordered the fabric from the USA and have to wait for it to arrive. But for now the calico looks much nicer than the old faded red fabric.

Then I published an update on 20/10/2012
I recently started jazzing up my outdoor lounge. I had painted it white and Mum had started recovering the cushions with calico as the lining.
I had been trying to find a suitable outer fabric that wouldn't fade from the sunlight. I couldn't find anything locally that I liked or could afford. I ended up finding this one at an online American shop, Surprisingly adding the postage costs to the price of the fabric still made this a far cheaper option than buying anything locally. From the time the order was processed to the time it arrived to my door step was less than a week.

Here is a blurb on it.
"This outdoor solarium fabric is solution dyed (solution-dye process is when the color is manufactured into and throughout the fiber, the color is part of the finished fabric). This gives the fiber consistent and durable color that stands up in tough environments, such as sustained direct sunlight. This fabric will withstand 5,000 hours sunlight and is perfect for porches, patios, deck side, pool side and boat side"

Now I just have to wait until Mum has time to sew these for me.  

Well it didn't actually take Mum long to sew them. It has just taken me about a year to show you the after photo.

 Now if you were paying attention, you would have noticed that the little table has changed colour too. I love my lounges now. They are so much nicer than the drab red. I love sitting outside and enjoying the breeze in the evening.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Craft - I heart buttons.

As a child I was fascinated by my Mum's button jar. It contained lovely old buttons. Buttons back then were far more interesting than buttons today. I remember buttons with shapes stamped into them, shell buttons, fabric covered buttons, metal buttons and different coloured buttons.

Recently I borrowed her button jar to use a few buttons for a project. Then seeing the jar was still here and tempting me I used a few extra buttons and made this heart.  I traced a heart shape onto the fabric with an erasable pen and then filled the space with different buttons.  It was a very quick and easy project. I bought the hoop from my local Spotlight store and the fabric is a scrap out of my basket.

The best thing about this project is that it is light and I have stuck it onto the wall with a tiny piece of blu-tac. This makes it easy to move around and is great for living in a rental house as there are no wall hooks required.
Now I'm off to raid the jar for interesting coloured buttons to use on another project.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Craft - Rope Swirl Tapestry Art

If you are a fan of Pinterest then you might have seen the stunning Rope Swirl Tapestry photos doing the rounds. The original photos come from HERE. If you haven't seen them then you must go look.

They were even kind enough to post instructions HERE. I think it is totally awesome of them to share the instructions. As soon as I found the instructions I rushed off to my local Spotlight store to buy wool.

It is a very fun project and easy to do. The one thing that isn't clear is that you need to skip a section in each row as you weave to keep the pattern going.

Here are my attempts so far. I haven't cut off the green twine ends yet so it looks messy. I will wait until I am ready to attach them all and then work out what needs cutting and trimming.
When I am ready to attach them I will add bright tassels and pompoms. I love the colour in the original photo and mine currently looks quite drab even though the wool is quite bright. The rope dulls the overall look so it definitely needs to be jazzed up. Don't hold your breath for the completed article, I think it will take me a few months of work.

Furniture renovation project - Mum is having fun with a can of white paint.

Here are some projects that my Mum wants to show off. Mum loves white. Recently she went crazy with a can of white paint and here are the results. Firstly she painted this old tray to fit in with her Nautical themed outdoor area.

The tray must be over 25 years old because I remember it from when I was younger. Now it looks brand new and loved again.

Next she turned an old cork board into a mood board for all her ideas.
Then after a few coats of paint it looks quite different.

Then she worked on more chairs for her outdoor area.

Then she set about doing up 4 old chairs that were given to her for free because no one else wanted them. They were sturdy but very dated, and not in a nice retro way.
Mum pulled them apart, painted the frames and recovered the cushions.
And now for the finished items.

The chairs look very fresh and modern now. It is hard to believe that they were ever destined for the tip.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Sewing/Craft - Using up fabric scraps on skirts and headbands

I love fabrics and have bought a heap over the years. These fabrics tend to sit in piles looking pretty waiting for the day when I learn to sew. Getting out to sewing classes is hard as a single mum with little kids but recently I have found a great alternative. It is an online site with craft lessons. It is called and this site has fantastic courses on sewing, quilting, cooking, gardening, etc. There are some free courses but most you pay to access. I have done quite a few courses now and they are great value for money. If you sign up to their newsletters there are often sales on different courses. I recently bought a few courses when they were on sale so over the next few months I will watch those and make new projects. You can watch each course over and over again too.

Today I wanted to share some skirts I have made from the Project Upcycle course. In the course the Instructor uses old pillow cases for her wrap skirt whereas I have used fabric scraps from my stash pile. I made a Christmas themed wrap skirt and a fun summer skirt.
 Here are all the panels. I know it needs an iron but my iron died very suddenly.
 Here is my bright summer one.

 I think these skirts will be great for the hot summer days we are having. I plan to buy some plain singlet tops to go with them. I then wanted to make some headbands with the fabric scraps. I googled for a template for headbands and then made these. I plan to make a few more of these as they are very quick to make.
Next I plan on watching the photograph course so I can improve the quality of my photos. Let's face it, my photos look very basic. I have a new camera and need to read the inch thick manual to work out what all the buttons mean as well. It is one of my goals for the year to master my camera. That is when I am not sewing, cooking, painting, cleaning, and being Supermum.