August 28, 2008

August 27, 2008

Inspiration: Dwell October 08 Issue

There's a fantastic piece about the home of Blake Dollahite and the house he and his father renovated in Austin, TX. Lots of DIY, architectural salvage, and recycled/reclaimed materials, and an artists touch. I'm particularly inspired by the corrugated metal sheets attached to the ceiling in his bedroom.

I've been kicking around the idea of using the same material as some kind of room divider in my own home, but haven't quite solved the sharp edges problem - A friend and I installed a corrugated metal roof over a porch, and it can be nasty sharp.

Blake has also started a design build studio, Rural Theory, with even more envy-inducing photos of his home.

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August 25, 2008

More Savers Loot!

Yet another chair and some vintage fabric. I'm going to refinish the wood back of the chair, and possibly use the fabric for the seat, I've been dying to try the iron-on vinyl sold at JoAnn Fabric.

Other weekend news: I went to Walden Pond and swam across a portion of it! A quarter mile! I got dizzy and it probably wasn't the smartest idea - but I am proud of myself!

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August 21, 2008

Eames Lounge Reupholstery Project

More progress! I finished sanding and staining this weekend. I'm using "American Walnut" water based stain by Minwax, and the water based "Satin" polyurethane. I started with the bottom seat piece first to hide any mistakes. At first I was painting the stain on and then wiping it off immediately with a rag in patches. This caused overlap marks and was inefficient - I figured out that if I quickly painted the entire piece and then wiped from one side to the other in straight smooth motions, the stain came out dark and even. (duh!)

The polyurethane went much better - except for the edges, if I wasn't careful to pick up the excess with the brush, it would pool. I did 3 coats, and lightly sanded with 220 grit paper in between. The result is just as I'd hoped - dark, rich walnut, it's really going to look amazing with the grey/green vinyl.

Next step is to stitch rip the old vinyl to get the welting cord - since the cord is the correct length, why bother cutting it new? I also lucked out at Jo-Ann's, they were having a 50% off sale on foam - I bought three 2" thick pieces to add to the old foam. The existing foam is in fairly good shape, but could use a little extra cushion.

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August 20, 2008

Redone Desk Chair

I recovered the $5 desk chair with $10 worth of white marine vinyl! Looks great, and it was fairly painless - the existing vinyl was held in place with removable metal clips, making it easy to recover. A little scrubbing and some metal polish, and I've got myself a snazzy new desk chair.

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August 19, 2008

My comment on Shelterrific

My comment on Shelterrific regarding Zigzaggers was posted as part of the "five things we learned last week" series! (Wish I had used the title of my blog instead of my initials in there somewhere, but still happy to help!)

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August 14, 2008

Savers Loot

My newest thrift store finds - a wooden card catalog ($12) and an office chair ($5)! I'm going to clean/shine and recover the chair in new vinyl (maybe orange?) and strip and refinish the card catalog, I think it would make a pretty jewelry box - under the crappy paint are some nice dovetail joints.

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August 13, 2008

Momo in ReadyMade again

My super-talented photographer friend Momo Shinzawa has more photographs in ReadyMade. Go Mo!

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August 12, 2008

New Satchel

Here's my lovely new bag - I decided it was time to give my orla bag a break....

I drafted this pattern for my friend last fall, who made one in a grey vinyl. I like the shape, but it's maybe a tad to long, and I should've added more than three interior pockets. The key holder ring I added to the outside is great, except I forgot to factor in that I wear bags on my right shoulder - the loop should be under the other handle.

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August 11, 2008

Sewing Area Design & Install

A friend of mine had her birthday last week, and since none of us could think of what to get her, we decided to do something for her instead. We decided to make her a new sewing area where her unused desk was. Her husband got her out of the house, and we sneaked in and got to decoratin'!

The Plan:

Two small shelves, one a custom thread holder, a larger shelf, new light fixture, peg board, fabric bin on wheels, a rail/cup system and small decorative jars.

(my cute little elevation - 1/10th scale!)

This was really fun! Everything is from Ikea except the peg board and accessories. The peg board was much more manageable that I had anticipated - I bought a 2' x 4' piece and easily cut it down to size with my jigsaw. Everything else was a snap to hang with my trusty level, and it really came out really versatile and simple. Everything is white, the color comes from the vintage sewing notions she has. I also wanted it to function as a desk/office space if she decides not to sew as much.



Thread Holder: Ikea "Stripa" shelf - 3/16" diameter wood dowel, cut into 2 3/4" sections, friction fit into 17 holes spaced 3 1/2" apart, then painted! I designed it to hold the thread spool and bobbin together.

Fabric Bin:
Ikea bin with Ikea casters - I bored holes for each caster, then used my pop rivet tool to attach the casters.

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August 8, 2008

My Etsy Shop: Closed!

After 3 years, I've decided to close my Etsy shop. I'd let it lag, and it had been sitting empty for over a year and a half - so I though it was best to stop wasting space. I'm still making things, and would like to start selling again when I'm ready, but right now I'm sewing for fun and friends, not for sales.

All in all it was a success, I sold about 40 purses, made some pocket money, plus I got to make a connection with the Made Boutique in Burlington, VT and sell some bags up north. Wholesaling was tough, but satisfying.

Bye-bye Etsy, it was fun!!

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August 6, 2008

Postcard Rack

I found this great postcard rack at the Brimfield flea market for $40, I was so happy to find one after looking for so long. It was important for me to find a vintage table top size, and I like the simple style of this one. It has a nice golden patina, but I'm tempted to shine it up. It's be a great way to display small pieces of art and cards, tickets, photos, whatever!

(ugh, bad rainy day shot, I'll replace when it's sunny)

My favorite Flickr "postcard rack" search results:

sunroom at our old cottage house
Originally uploaded by It's a chimmy simmy world

Office Accessories
Originally uploaded by MrsLimestone

Originally uploaded by Kevin Steele

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August 5, 2008

Accessorizing with American Science & Surplus

The recent (hmm....classic?) trend towards industrial/laboratory furniture and accessories is right up my alley. I'm lusting after loop bulbs, laboratory stools, medical cabinets, and the like. I think I'm also drawn to these kinds of items because of their overlap into the steampunk aesthetic, which inspires me, but isn't something I could throw myself into - too much mod in me.

Anyway, thinking about all this stuff sparked my memory of the American Science & Surplus catalogs I used to get - I never actually ordered anything, but I would read each and every page. The drawing and descriptions were always clever and funny, and the selection of items bizarre. Plus it's all CHEAP!

Below are some picks from their website, there is so much fun and oddly useful stuff, I highly recommend taking a browse!

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August 4, 2008

Eames Lounge Reupholstery Project

More progress! After my initial sanding effort with medium grit sandpaper, I quickly went and bought some 80 grit, and needless to say, everything went much faster this time. My "mouse" sander has been keeping up okay, but if I do this again, I'll need a higher quality orbital sander. I have all the wood pieces ready for fine grit hand sanding, and then staining.

I also got my buttons back! They look perfect - there's no way I could have done such a nice job. The interior designer at work had them made for me at Decore Upholstery in the South End - 14 for $40. They also threw in some cord! (I love having an interior design dept. at work!!!!!)

I read online that some people use the "cover yourself buttons" from Jo-Ann's, and I've used them for sewing projects, but I don't see how they would be nearly as strong or as professional looking - even with epoxy or extra backers.

Anyway, my sewing machine tension is acting up, so off to Singer Sew & Vac tomorrow to get that fixed before I begin sewing the vinyl.

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