Sunday, November 14, 2010

what's next...

I think I am finally ready to tackle this chair.  We got it for $5.  I found some fabric (lower left corner).  The fabric is a sturdy upholstery fabric, and on sale it was $17 for 5 yards.  I love the bold, graphic pattern in soft, neutral colors. 
And now for the demolition...

Ceck back soon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the table

We got this table at the beginning of the summer.  I loved the size of the table and the clean lines and solid form.  It was $60... this was a Craigslist find.  It came with scratches and watermarks on the top.  So we stripped off the old finish, sanded it down, stained and finished it with polyurethane.  The legs were in great condition, so we left them alone.
Our table just came into the house Sunday night.

And now Andy has a spot in the garage for his car.

the ottoman empire

I bought an ottoman at a yard sale.  It was clean and well-built.  It was a nice size.  And it was $10.

But the fabric was UGLY!

And then I found this diamond checked upholstery fabric at another yard sale.  It was new, unused.   I love the bold graphic pattern!  Best of all, it was $3 for about 2+ yards.

And so I started another project.  I took the ottoman apart stitch-by-stitch.  And I used the old pieces as a pattern to reupholster the ottoman.  I recovered the cushion.  I used white muslin on the bottom of the cushion because I didn't have enough of the diamond-pattern fabric.  There is velcro connecting the cushion to the ottoman base.  I reused the velcro and the zipper from the original ottoman covering.  When I finished, I had an 18 inch square of leftover fabric.

For $13 and about three hours, I am pretty pleased with the finished product.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

painted backdrop

As you may have seen in my other blog, I am doing photography professionally now.  My sister-in-law Betsy showed me how to use inexpensive shower board from Lowe's to make a white background.

So I have two sheets of 4x4 shower board... but sometimes white is just so plain.  So I painted the backside of the shower board.  I used broad strokes to blend the paint and made the edges darker. 

And now I can use the white side or the painted side as a background.  And it doesn't take up any extra space!  I love how it looks out of focus (it's nice in focus too).  The colors add a nice pop to portraits.

But a word of caution... make sure to put your paints away properly!

Bath night.
(It did come off in the tub, which is a good thing because it looks like a horrible wound!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

recycled fabric = adorable dress

I got this nifty piece of cotton fabric a while back at my favorite Chicago thrift store.  I'm not quite sure what it is supposed to be... a scarf?  a wall hanging?  I loved the primary colors and graphic design and I knew I would use it for something awesome.  Someday.

It waited patiently in a box for months and months... while we moved... and unpacked...
And then I saw it again. 
I paired it with a yellow cherry-blossom-like print, bright red pom-pom trim, and big red buttons.  The inside of the bodice is yellow gingham.

I love it. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

pillowcase dress

I had a sewing day with my friend Laura this week... actually two days. We made pillowcase dresses. I will not give instructions here. There was much trial and error for me. Just google (is it an acceptable verb yet?) "pillowcase dress tutorial" and there will be several to choose from.
My variation was adding the gathered round pockets to the front.

Overall a simple project... and Alli loves it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Here is a fun little project for a spring day. The girls had fun collecting all the supplies at a local forest preserve. It all came together in about 20 minutes... plus clean up.

glass container with lid (this beauty was $1 from the thrift store)
plants (we used moss)
small toys for decorating

Fill the bottom of the container with rocks (for drainage). Add a layer of soil. Top with moss and plants. Add little toy people or animals to live in your little world. Add a little water. Place out of direct sunlight... and enjoy.

Polly Pocket looks so happy driving through this lush landscape.

Friday, March 5, 2010

the finished horse

I bought this bisque-fired ceramic carousel horse at a thrift store in Chicago. It started out shabby... with lots of potential.

I covered the entire horse with gesso (acrylic primer) and then painted in the details with acrylic paints. I had hoped to finish it for Christmas, but let's face it, we just moved and things have been a bit busy here... so it was more of a Presidents Day gift.

The girls love watching me paint, but more than that, they like to help. I gave them each a small portion of the saddle to paint however they wanted.

I like how it turned out. Alli and Ruby and June love this horse. I often find stuffed animals on its back. Maybe the next project will be making a more sturdy base for it.

cleaning is more fun...

It's called a "Shark." And so I made it a bit more shark-ish. I glued large googly-eyes to the top. I cut a row of fierce teeth out of white adhesive vinyl.

And now sweeping is that much more fun.

You should hear the girls squeal and scream as the shark chases them around the kitchen... gobbling up bits of crumbs.