Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tufting the Cane Chair

I bought this chair and (and 2 like the one peeking out behind it) roughly 4 years ago. I could see the potential for a cute cottage style chair with the cane painted and some great fabric. I had the inspiration but none of the appropriate tools or experience to feel confident taking them on.

So they sat and sat waiting to be "beautified" as my daughter calls it. I even had the fabric I'd use sitting in my sewing room. One day my husband and I decided to start tearing one apart. After about an hour of the two of us pulling staples, it was what?

So it sat some more...

I kept all the pieces I removed and used them as a pattern. It seemed easy enough to piece back together again with only minor sewing. It was the tufting I was afraid of! Lucky for me the buttons were able to be reused. Rather than having to sew them on and try to pull thread through all the layers of foam and board, the buttons have a nifty little brad-like back to secure them in place

Lots of pulling and only a few mis-shot staples later, it looked like this. You definitely need an upholstery stapler to tackle a project like this. A regular staple gun just isn't powerful enough to get through the hard wood and the tip won't allow the staples to get in the recessed area. 

After trimming off all the excess fabric I used an off white gimp to hide the rough edges. 
I had planned on sewing piping but thought this would be the easiest way to finish edges. 

I used a cream matelasse for the body and for a pop of color, a pretty gold and cream damask print on the back and the accent pillow. 

The chair is painted Old White Chalk Paint® with just a touch of distressing. 

I didn't take any photographs throughout the process since I was sort of muddling my way through. Luckily I have 2 similar chairs to recover...though not sure they will keep the tufting or I will do a smooth back. The matelasse is pretty heavy so if I were to redo the tufting I would definitely go with a bit lighter weight fabric. 

I  have a great Bergere style chair that is screaming for a makeover (3 if I count my 2 chairs that desperately need painted and new fabric). Now that I've got the hang of it I don't feel so nervous to take them on. And since we have to use a power tool and the compressor, I know my husband will be on board to help! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Painting a Kitchen with Chalk Paint®

I was super excited when a customer approached me to paint her kitchen with Chalk Paint®. She had those typical builder grade oak cabinets that were in desperate need of an update. She was on a budget so replacing them was not an option. 

She had new laminate counters installed that had soft grey and cream tones. Her flooring was a warm wood look laminate and the walls a creamy white.

We originally planned on painting the cabinets all one color. She was leaning toward French Linen, which is a warm, grey tone. There was plenty of natural light to handle the darker cabinet color. After much discussion, we decided to go for it and two-tone the cabinets. 

I think is was the right way to go. It gives the cabinets a more "custom" finish and adds character. The Old Ochre and French Linen are picked up in the counter top color as well as the black veining that lead us to choose the black hardware. 

We sprayed the cabinet doors with about 2 coats of paint and I brushed out the final coat and a half. I hand painted all the boxes (the customer was kind enough to take care of all the cleaning and masking) and applied 2 coats of Clear Soft Wax to the entire kitchen, and a third coat to higher use areas. It took about 5 days to complete the job-mostly due to dry/cure time for the paint & wax. She is thrilled with the outcome and I have to say it is a HUGE improvement! Chalk Paint® is fantastic for this type of project. Krud Kutter was used to clean the cabinets and I did a light sanding of the doors due to some flaking clear coat. That was it for prep! Oak tends to take more paint due to the grain. We allocated 2 quarts of each color and had a surprising amount of paint left. 

I finished up just in time to set the table for Easter breakfast. Now that is over I can put the drop cloth back down and get to work on some small pieces for the shop!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ready for Spring

I usually enjoy the cold weather and rainy winters in the Pacific North West. Warm sweaters, boots, and evenings spent by a fire are much more my forte than shorts and flip flops. This year I cannot wait for spring to get here. Not that the rain lets up much
...but I find myself longing for a bump up in temperature, flowers to bloom and for the trees to regain their greenery. I also really enjoy decorating for spring in the shop and at home. 

It always feels so blah after the holidays and it's such an awkward transition for the store. We don't do much specific for Valentine's Day so I often find a lack of inspiring ideas to style the shop. 

So I'm going to jump ahead and start working on some pieces that speak of spring. 

This funky little table with Le Lapin detail...

 a great occasional chair with crisp white and a pop of yellow in the details (more on that chair in the before and after series), and an some fun projects for our upcoming workshops. Only ...31 days to go!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Baking Bread & A Day Off

I had a day ACTUAL day off. I had a few errands to run in the morning and once those were out of the way I found myself with free time. Now, don't get me wrong, there are a MILLION things I should have been working on the pile of furniture that has collected in my dining room, starting on the chair upholstery that I've been successfully avoiding, or any number of things around the house. I just couldn't bring myself to do ANY of those things! I had most of the day free so I figured I'd bake some bread and finish up my book that has taken me an unusually long time to read. I put on the hot water and got started on the bread dough. 

This recipe is one my mom makes at least twice a week. 
I've made both the first step and the second step but never completed both on my own.

 It was a struggle to remember exactly what to do! I wasn't sure my mixer could handle it and my husband was using my larger bowl to marinade kimchi, but I made due. 
I made a few calls to my mom during the process but managed 2 fairly good loaves. 

They aren't perfect by any means, 
but slathered with butter and freezer jam, I cannot complain! 

I also was able to finish my book and enjoy a pot of tea while the dough was rising. I got this great blue and cream teapot tray in Germany. 

I discovered a tea shop that was ALL blue and white! 
I believe I picked up the darling little silver plate tea spoon at the same shop. 

The cup and saucer were also purchased in Germany at a sweet little gift shop in Rothenberg. 
It was so nice to take some time and unwind a bit. Unfortunately that pile of furniture is still there waiting for me...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Starting Fresh

It's a new year and a renewed outlook for the shop. After careful consideration we decided to downsize the shop into 1/2 the space! It was nerve wracking at first but after all was said and done we couldn't figure out why we hadn't made the move sooner. 

It was a bit cozy with all of the holiday decor, tree, and the abundance of product we ordered to supply all of our holiday shoppers. The scale feels right and I don't feel like I'm bouncing back and forth with an awkward layout, nor do I feel that so much space is being wasted. 

We will have to be much more thoughtful with our ordering and furniture pieces we bring in. 

I had a shipment of clocks arrive and I realized how much less wall space we have to work with. I will cram them in somewhere...or take one home if I can't quite make it work! 

It is time to start planning for spring. We are at the halfway point, winter will be slowly working it's way out and longer days and a bit warmer (and in our neck of the woods, wetter) weather is ahead. Most retail shops order spring in the fall! We are always behind the times and tend to rush things at the last minute. Sometimes it takes me that long to decide what type of items we want to bring in. Between planning our Chalk Paint® workshops, redressing the shop, and projects at home, it's difficult to think that far ahead. But it sneaks up on you and before you know it there are bunnies, chicks, and flowers abundant. Can't wait to see what the new season will bring! 

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