February 2014: IKEA up-hack, upholstered stool

I needed a nice stool for the wee dressing table (made from 3 IKEA Lack shelves) so what better than to go for one of the super cheap IKEA ones. I like them, because they are untreated wood, have a simple but elegant shape, and can easily be painted or treated in any other way.

I spray painted the stool white, because I had some paint from Aldi flying around (I don’t usually use spray paint, far too expensive compared to normal paint) and. I must admit, I do like the smooth surface. Then I ordered some thick foam for seat cushions or upholstery, cut it to size, and added a cheapo IKEA seat pad on top to give a bit of a domes effect.

You can see in the photos how I stapled the lining to the stool, which I made from a double layer of hessian/canvas. On top of it came the pretty fabric, which is only tied on and can thus easily be taken off for washing.

And that is that. A very pretty up-cycled and up-hacked stool for the dressing table, which has the same fabric cover as the stepping step for my elderly cat (the bed is too high for the old gent to hop onto, blush, so I made him a step. Obviously!)

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January 2014: from old to new: bedding

25 years ago, as a young student, I bought bedding for my single quilt. It was cheap (I was a student! :-) ) but 100% cotton, and one of those remarkable times when you are lucky to buy something that lasts and lasts and lasts.

This is why I kept the bedding for the guest duvet, but haven’t used it, really, because my own summer (rarely used, I do live in Scotland, after all) and winter duvets are 2m x 2m. But now that I redesigned my bedroom, I suddenly remembered the bedding, which I had once loved and which was still going strong.

Single bedding cut open and chopped into a large square. Black single bedding, to be used as under-side, treated the same. I had enough of the patterned fabric left to make two pillow covers for my special pillows. Tadaa!

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December 2013/January 14 bedroom redesign

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2013/14 bedroom incarnation 4, a set on Flickr.

You might think I haven’t been creative, because I didn’t post much, but oh no, I have been very busy indeed. I completely redesigned my bedroom, and spent the three weeks of leave over the Christmas period doing nothing but DIY.

Painting the stripes on the two walls took 62 hours, for example…

I am loving it, the change is extreme from 1001 Arabian nights bedroom to Candyland.

31st May 2013: my parents’ Golden Wedding patchwork

Gosh, I can’t believe I forgot to post this. I haven’t been slack with being creative in 2013, but have been slack with posting. I blame the iPad, since I need to get to the PC to post the non-iPad (AKA much much better quality) photos. I knew I’d find something to blame. ;-)

In 2012 I had asked my dad to check for old family photos that they particularly liked, and to send me electronic versions by either scanning or photographing. I did that deliberately early so that they might have forgotten about the request by the time the Golden Wedding came around.

I then turned all photos into black/white and fiddled with each of them to enhance and correct and even out the tone for all photos, regardless how old they were. Some were over 70 years old, such as my parents as wee ones. Others 50 years, such as their wedding pictures, and then photos from the following decades, all the way to current ones, taken in 2013 of their kids and grandkids.

All photos were printed and resized and fiddled with for ages, then cut out and shuffled around until I was happy with the layout. Then they were printed on fabric, using a new inkjet printer I bought for this purpose (cheap as chips they are these days) and then sewn into place by hand. Tiny stitches with an incredibly thin thread. Then bound and finished, but not quilted, that would have interfered with the images. And there it was, a fabric hanging of their 50 years together and the whole family – there are five generations in this quilt.

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Here it is in situ in my parents’ house.

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And here are the pics in process.

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Christmas 2013: quilted tote

This is the Secret Santa gift for a colleague. It’s probably not going to be very secret, because who else would have made that bag? :-D

It’s a patchwork front with simple quilting, and the back was quilted free-hand. It was the first time I did that, that’s why it’s not that professional, but I did enjoy it, and that’s what counts, aye?

I hope she’ll like it.

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August 2013: chair cover

This was a lot more difficult than I expected. I kept pinning and re-pinning, sewing and chopping, until finally it fitted. Then I dyed it blue to go with the new blinds in the conservatory. That way I can re-dye it when I feel like it/when it fades.

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Outdoor Christmas ornament

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I made a glittery outdoor ornament for the plant pot in front of my door by taking an old, knackered garden ornament, painting the discoloured glass bauble red with glass paint, the rusted metal a gold bronze, and adding a piece of cheapo plastic gold beaded string.

Christmassy!

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Christmas workshop 2013: it’s started

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It’s the first of December and the Christmas present workshop has well and truly started with a bag for a colleague in the Secret Santa.

This is the front panel, now working on the rest.

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July 2013: patchworked bath mat

I had a big bath sheet I didn’t like anymore, so I dyed it blue, chopped it to size, then made a patchwork border from leftover I had cut for the first quilt of mine. And voilà, after adding the border I had a fancy bath mat which can be happily washed and tumble dried no problem.

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August 2013: embroidered square table runner

Phew! Better late than never, no? Lots of projects I haven’t posted yet – and two months where I didn’t do anything but work work work. Let’s forget those past months and focus on the projects instead that I can flaunt. :-)

My mum had asked me to make a wee square table runner for her marble kitchen breakfast/lunch table, and it had to be a particular fabric with machine embroidery in a particular thread. Here’s the result, some very neat corners, even if I say so myself.

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