Flying the Nest part 2

Daughter and I have been busy, busy, busy bringing the old, neglected wardrobe back to life. I could almost hear it sighing with relief that finally it was going to escape its cobwebby corner in the garage and be loved again!

I was chatting to hubby earlier and we worked out that the wardrobe was a part of a set of bedroom furniture his parents bought or were given for their first home. So it is indeed old and although not at all valuable it does have a bit of sentiment attached to it.

The process of reviving it wasn’t without its problems though.

Daughter sanded and primed and we both painted and painted again and then painted again BUT a horrible brown stain kept seeping through the paint on the doors – not very attractive.

After much pondering we finally solved the problem by spraying the doors with a special sealant and then repainted – much better.

New funky crochet covered handles were attached and tassels added for extra artiness. What do you think?

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These handles were spare ceramic ones from my kitchen units – no cost spared 😉 Surprisingly they were harder to cover that the wooden handles – any ideas why?!

The shelves have been lined with the spare gorgeous wall paper from my bedroom make over.

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And finally Daughter has a wardrobe for her new home which hasn’t cost her a penny 🙂

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Now I wonder what the next furniture project will be 😉

I’m feeling a warm glow of satisfaction now, I love this sort of project. Thinking back I can remember doing my first furniture makeover when I was about 16.  I did up an old chair my Gran gave me under the guidance of my Dad who is a talented woodworker and fixer of all things 🙂

Do any of you like this sort of thing? What have you ‘done up’’?

Until next time,

Chris x

Flying the Nest

As you know my lovely daughter graduated this year (read all about it here!) and on the back of that happy event comes the bittersweet one of her setting up her own home. This will happen at the end of the month and we are busy trying to find everything she needs for her to take with her.

Some kind people have given her a couple of pieces of furniture they don’t need anymore and my daughter has been busy sanding them down and painting them up so they fit with her decorating scheme (assisted by her Mum, of course!)

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This unit was donated by a friend and was one of those orangey pine units which were so popular in the 80s. Daughter set to work and sanded it, painted it with primer and painted it with some eggshell off white paint to turn it into this…

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The original handles were little pine knobs which were going to be replaced with ceramic ones. We needed 14 handles and when we found out how much it would cost we had to do a rethink!

This is the solution – little crochet covers for each of the pine handles! So cute!

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The pattern is here although we did adapt it rather a lot. We used the left over cotton from my little crocheted giraffe – hmm wonder if this is a plan to get him to move house too?!

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The effect is quirky and artistic – just like my daughter 😉

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Slightly distressed for added shabby chic.

Now the next project, which is as yet unfinished, makes me smile. A lot.

This is a wardrobe which has been sitting in our garage for years, and I do mean years. It used to belong to my in laws who gave it to my hubby when he set up home and along the way it got demoted to storage in our garage.

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The poor wardrobe was very much worse for wear but my daughter has always liked it and when you see the little details you’ll understand why…

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Inside the wardrobe is this lovely drawer all labelled up with what to keep in it 🙂
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I suppose this was a gentleman’s wardrobe and this little ledge was for his collar studs.

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A handy mirror showing off my overgrown garden!

This is still in the process of being brought back to life – more photos when we’ve done it 🙂

The two pieces are for my daughter’s new bedroom, only a bed to get now – anyone got a bed they don’t want!

Until next time,

Chris x

Breathing New Life into Old Things

Some time ago my lovely Mum had a bit of a clear out and gave me some crafty bits and pieces I’d made many years ago.

There were these…

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and this…

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and another little embroidery of a bird (I must have had a thing about birds at the time 😉 ).

Well I really didn’t want these ending up in another drawer so I pondered about what to do with them. I can’t say I’ve been particularly innovative but this is what I decided to do.

The little cross stitch birds aren’t my cup of tea anymore. I’m not a bright colours person but I thought they’d be great as lavender bags – useful but tucked away out of sight! (Yes OK – in a drawer!). I found some bright fabrics to use as backings…

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and made these…

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they’re not lavender bags yet because I only cut the lavender last week and it’s drying in the greenhouse – but soon 🙂

The little bird embroidery had a horrible stain on it which I tried to wash out but, although it faded a bit, wouldn’t disappear. I cut away as much of it as possible and stitched a border on it to make a little mat.

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so that’s two rescues 🙂

Which takes me to the crochet dove. I can remember working out this pattern and carefully crocheting it. I was so proud of it! I framed it and it was on display in my childhood bedroom for a long time.

So this is special and I’m turning it into a wall hanging – seemed fitting some how 🙂

I’ve stitched it onto a lovely dotty fabric, it was a bit of a job teasing it out so it was as straight edged as possible, and now I shall edge the edges (!) with ribbon.

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Watch this space!

Until next time,

Chris x

Inspired by Una Stubbs

Do you have favourite books? Books that you read again and again and never tire of? I have a little collection of these special books, they cover a variety of topics, some are stories and some are factual but they all have a place on my bookcase.

Two of these ‘specials’ are by actress Una Stubbs,  they are written in a lovely chatty style and talk about her love of sewing, in particular embroidery, and her musings about life and living.

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I’m mentioning these books because yesterday I was sorting out some beautiful old linen and cotton table toppers which I inherited from my Grandmother and from my husband’s Mother.

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They are all edged with crochet,  one is hand embroidered and I think it’s fair to say that they have all definitely seen better days.

In her book Una says that she thinks that a little darn or mend in textiles can enhance an items appearance,

Una Stubbs quote

So I thought I’d have a go. One of the mats was easy to fix – it just needed the crochet lace re-stitching on, but the other two had holes in

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If I was really clever I’d be able to incorporate the mend into the design of the original embroidery but as a fairly novice embroiderer I just did my best…

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Little embroidered flowers served to darn the holes in the first mat.

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This one had a little tear in it as well as holes. I patched the holes and turned the patches into flowers. The tear was transformed into a dragonfly!

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Long live frugal sewing! And thanks Una for the idea 🙂

In honour of Wimbledon I am going to be making strawberries today

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Until next time,

Chris x

A Little Bit of This and That

That ‘all sewn out’ feeling is starting to disappear 😉

I delivered the stoles (see my last post) to my friend and I think it’s fair to say that she was very pleased with them. This same friend has just moved house so my hubby and I visited her family today and took another little hand crafted something to welcome them into their new home.

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I  made this a little while ago and had it stashed away ready for when the move happened.

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The embroidery design is a freebie by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly and can be found here. I love the designs Bronwyn creates – such a talented lady.

 

Now, what do you do when your student son comes home from university with his favourite jacket looking like this?

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I suppose I did what most Mums would do and I took him shopping for a new one but we searched high and low for a suitable summer weight jacket and struggled to find any. Why oh why do shops not stock summer jackets in summer? It is a mystery!

So I decided to do a bit of frugal stitching. I checked the sleeve length and cut off the jacket’s cuffs, then I carefully turned the raw edges in

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and stitched them together…

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and now we have a jacket which will last another season 🙂

In the meantime I must keep a look out for when shops  sell summer jackets! – any ideas?

Until next time,

Chris x