September 24, 2008

Freddie Farkel's Fabric Warehouse: Fun!

On my way to (get frustrated and annoyed at) the Watertown Target, I stopped by Freddy Farkels fabric outlet at 88 Coolidge Avenue in Watertown. (I can't find a website, but they are open M-Sat 9:30 to 5:30, (617) 926-9900) I didn't browse for as long as I usually would, but I found this great eighties white/grey/silver/yellow cotton fabric! It has a nice weight and yes - sparkle - for upholstery or bag making, or......

(They also sometimes have Marimekko Fabric - I found this red beige and black striped print, a design from 2002 for $25 per yard.)

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September 22, 2008

Card Catalog Project - Done!

Remember that old, sad $12 card catalog I found at Savers? Well, check it out - my beautiful new jewelry box!

I pried off the damaged top portion, sanded through two layers of paint and old varnish, gave it one thin coat of walnut stain, two coats of polyurethane, and put back the original brass hardware.

During sanding I decided to leave some of the blue/grey under layer of paint and some of the beige, to bring out the character of the wood. I left the holes, scratches, and stains, the wood has so much character that I couldn't bear to try to do a "perfect" refinishing.

I'm absolutely in love with it, and am going to bid on some tall hairpin legs on ebay to make it a free standing jewelry box.

Can you believe someone painted this beautiful handmade dovetailed wood card catalog? Twice???

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September 17, 2008

Inspiration: 70's Board Game "The Inventors"

I like playing board games, a lot - but as I get older I know less and less other people who do, so I've sadly gotten rid of most of my games. However, I can't bring myself to part with "The Inventors, " which I've never actually played, but I love because of the awesome graphics!

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China Fair in Porter Square

Isn't it great when you can find something you bought at a store years ago, again? About 5 or 6 years ago, I bought 4 brightly colored plastic wall hooks from China Fair in Porter Square. Cheap, colorful, cute, and really handy! I loved them and was very sad when I broke one - so I visited China Fair (on the way home from Penzey's Spices in Arlington - spice heaven!) and bing! they had a barrel full of hooks - I happily bought six, and looked around.

Aren't these great!

Lots of simple white ceramics.

Tons of teapots.

Baking sheets/trays - huge ones - I know there's potential for a project using these.

Bamboo Blinds - cheap, but better than vinyl ones!

Mod little bud vases.

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Flor Area Rugs

I'm considering ordering some new Flor tiles for my bathroom, and found these 2 new (new to me, anyway) interesting area rugs:

"Hello Down There"

Maybe too....urban outfitters-ish for me, but I'm glad Flor is upping the ante - their earlier patterns were a little on the boring/safe side, or just plain weird.

"Stitch in Time"

I really like the pixelated folksy look of this one, since my bathroom is long and narrow, I would lay the tiles end to end. Not sure I want to spend $150 on a bathroom rug though!

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September 15, 2008

Eames Lounge Reupholstery Project

More progress on the chair over the weekend! I'm moving into the upholstery stage - The wood pieces are stained and poly-ed and beautiful!

I didn't document the small step before this post - ripping out the old welting strips and welting cord - there's wasn't much to see, and it's fairly self explanatory. You could also skip this step and buy new welting cord, but I want to reuse as much as possible, and this way I know the measurements are correct.

I ordered 3 yards of 54" inch wide vinyl which came on a card board tube. After using my seam ripper to rip out the old welting cord, I measured the length of each, and the longest piece was 94". In order to have continuous welting strips (instead of piecing together shorter pieces) I used a razor to cut through the vinyl 10 inches from the top, giving me enough width for the four 2 1/4 inch wide strips and enough length for the 94" length.

Next I used my rotary cutter and quilting ruler to cut the strips - fast and easy!

Then the welting cord sewing! I placed the cord in the center, folded the strip and pinned. Through trial and error, I discovered that If I pinned at the farthest edge, it helped control the twisting. This was a pain in the butt, and I still had some twisting - due to the thick material and feed dogs I think.

On to vinyl cutting, I took the original ottoman piece and cut a rectangle big enough to give me wiggle room. I marked the positions of the button holes.

Then I used my (frustratingly dull) leather punch on the smallest setting to punch the button holes as well as holes in 2 small pieces of vinyl to act as reinforcements, which I glued (using E6000) to the back, careful to line up the holes. The leather punch makes a perfectly round hole, making it less prone to tearing.

Foam! I rough cut the foam to the shape of the existing foam, and then used my electric knife ($4 thrift store find - cuts foam like butter!) to trim and pare down the edges. I angled the edges so the new foam would blend easily into the old and make a nice rounded shape.

Next I used my trusty tube turner (basically a long thin crochet hook from JoAnn's) to push through the old and new foam and through the holes I punched, to grab the button strings and pull them back through to the back.

I wanted to get the buttons at even depths, so once I threaded them both, I marked 12 inches back from the ends to use as guides. This doesn't work, because when I pulled, the marks were too far away from the wood to do me any good. Next round I will mark 1 inch away from the button!

This was a bit tricky - I pushed the buttons in from the good side, and then pulled and held from the back, and quickly stapled in a zig zag pattern. My new electric staple gun works well, but I have to make sure I firmly hold it to the plywood to get the staple to go in all the way - I will still have to tap most of them in with a hammer.

Buttons on! One too depp - so I'll have to re-do, but otherwise, I'm pretty impressed with myself, and I'm super eager to keep going!

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Chairs I Wish

Intrigued by this ad in the Boston Design Center magazine - I discovered new chairs to covet! JANUS et Cie has recently opened a showroom at the BDC showcasing their furnishings, accessories, textiles, and rugs. sigh.

(images below are from their website)

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September 8, 2008

Brimfield Scores!

A and I headed out to Brimfield Flea market on Saturday, and suffered one of the most horrifically humid days I have ever endured. Seriously - like land swimming.

Anyway I found a set of 4 shell chairs ($20 set) and these graduated lab things - which I'm sure have a proper name, but I'm too lazy to look it up - for $1 a piece, and 2 other items which may become gifts so I can't mention them yet!

The shell chairs were stacked when I bought them, and I didn't bother to inspect each one, when I got home I realized that 2 are cracked, and pretty much worthless. (Ah Well, still not bad for the price!) They are "Dining or desk height Sideshell Stacking base with transitional glides" made in 1957, which I learned via the CATALOGUE RAISONNE on the Eames Office website.

I also found a great explanation of how to refinish a shell chair at Chair Fag. I'll attempt refinishing next summer, maybe. I scrubbed up the two good chairs with a rag and a magic eraser, and gave them a quick polish with bowling alley wax. They came our fairly well, but will need more work at some point, some idiot spray painted the legs chrome!

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