Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Place To Lay Her Head...

A few weeks ago we had a stretch of warm and sunny weather so I took the opportunity to prime a group of furniture pieces for the New Orleans. I had a mix of furniture with different stains and finishes for the bedroom, so painting them was necessary to create a unifying theme. The primer is dark gray but really gave me a nice foundation to paint on. In the top center of the photo is the original piece I had planned to use as the kitchen island. It turned out to be too big and so it has been put back into inventory.

While I had the sewing machine out, I decided to make a reversible bedspread using teal and gold silk fabric. My first try was just a little too short, but the second try was perfect. I was going to insert a piece of aluminum foil in between the fabrics so that I could make the fabric fall nicely, but on the test fit I decided it laid perfectly and did not need it. I left an opening in the bottom of the bedspread in case I ever change my mind and want to make a messy bed. You can't see the opening, as that part tucks behind the footboard. If you look closely at the bedspread, you can see that I used gold thread in the bobbin and teal thread on top to match the fabrics. I was tickled with myself, lol!
I also later made a set of light teal top and bottom sheets for the bed, but the pillows are all no sew.

I used the lighter teal wall color mixed with white chalk paint to make a light blue base coat on the furniture, then used glazing liquid and the darker teal color to apply a glaze coat over the top. Then I highlighted the raised detail with gold gilders paste. In the first photo below you can see the difference in the nightstand after applying the glaze.

I had a Bespaq chair with light pink upholstery for the room. I wanted to try the alcohol ink trick to make it teal. This was an epic fail, but I learned some valuable things. Alcohol ink will dissolve other dry, seemingly permanent alcohol ink. You may think it is a permanent stain on your plastic medicine cup, but the moment another alcohol ink touches it, it dissolves. So my teal ink turned slightly peacock blue. It was really pretty in the cup, so I went ahead and applied it. Big mistake. It may have passed in another setting, but it was just too dark and jarring in this room. I was trying to keep the bedroom fairly monochromatic and serene. Note to self: Clean the medicine cup with isopropyl alcohol or blending solution before using it for another color.

As usual, though, this mistake was an opportunity to have something even better. I carefully deconstructed the upholstery pieces, using heat from my blow dryer to loosen the glue. I used the pieces as patterns to make new pieces from the same gold silk fabric that I used on the bedding. I also carefully sanded the chair's wood structure, then painted and gilded it to match the other bedroom pieces. That was so much better than leaving the walnut stain and the peacock blue. I used twisted cord in teal around the seams to give it some detail. But it still needed a pillow.

I made a couple really simple bolster pillows. I didn't feel like coming back over to my desk to search for the proper way to make one, so I just made something us as I went. Maybe it will inspire or anger you enough to do it a much better way! :O)

I wanted two pillows - one for the bed and one for the chair. I cut two pieces of 3/8" dowel down to 1-1/2". I grabbed some fabric, some batting and some more twisted cord (though later I used tassels instead).

I cut pieces of fabric to cover each of the ends of the dowel. I cut them into circles, glued them on the ends. Once dry, I cut out wedges, then glued the wedges down to the sides.

I cut the batting to 1-1/2" wide x 1-5/8" long. I cut the fabric to 2-3/8" x 2-3/8".

I hemmed 1/4" of one of the long fabric ends with Tacky Glue, then cut off the corners of the top ends.

I centered the batting, then applied a 1/8" bead of glue all around the edges of the fabric, except for the first hemmed bottom edge.

Then I folded the fabric onto the batting, pressed and let dry.

I applied a 1/4" bead of glue to the hemmed bottom, then pressed the dowel into the glue and left it to dry.

I applied a layer of glue onto the rest of the dowel, then rolled it up like a burrito. I had to hold onto the seam for about 45 seconds until the glue had grabbed on it's own. If you roll too tight, the bating will want to squish out the end and you may need to cut it back a bit. If not tight enough, your fabric won't completely cover the dowel. In other words, you may have to play with it a little.

But if you want a quick bolster pillow, it's a great method! I added a gold tassel and some string to make it a little more interesting. And it's a perfect accessory to the chair I almost ruined! I added a couple more tassels to the finials, too.

I printed a rug as large as I could, so about 8" x 10-1/2". I wish I had a printer with a larger capacity for printing rugs, but it is what it is. It's a nice complement to the room's colors, and it was practically free! I also painted some pot metal frames and added art work to them. There's also a mirror above the dresser to catch and toss around the light from the chandelier.

The bedside lamp being an afterthought (facepalm), I just used a battery powered model I had floating in a drawer. No way I was going to try to run a wire through the house at this point! But the lady of the house has all she needs within reach.

If you look closely, behind the closet door, she has an Apple TV to watch. We all love our modern conveniences, even in a home adorned with old things. I think our lady will be thrilled just to finally have a dedicated place to rest her head.

I managed to make and hang some mirrors in the stairway hall. I made a table to hold one of the floral arrangements, too. For now, I am all out of ideas on what else to add to that room, so I'll let it marinate while I contemplate a runner.

I am almost finished, only the back edge trim and the landscape board, plus a few more minor details. Russ and I decided where in the house to display her, and that has spurred another home improvement project for the fall. What it means for me is that I'll get another built in shelf, three more places to display mini projects, and a newly painted living room and entry hall! I am excited about the prospect now, but ask me how I feel about it after I've spent a couple weeks on ladders painting real life walls! :O)

Hope you're all making exciting future plans, as well!

xo xo,

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Come Sit Down...

I am calling the New Orleans living room finished! My To-Do list is getting shorter and my project drawers are getting emptier! Only two more rooms and the landscape board to go! Hey, now that there will be empty drawers, does that mean I can start planning a new project?!? I know! I know! Back to Earth, Jodi! You still have the cottage to finish!!! :o)

I'll catch you up on the last two weeks... First, I got out the sewing machine to make the throw pillows for the sofa. I ended up with two passable navy ones and two passable gold ones. Don't look too close, just pay attention to the beautiful embroidered pillow by MiniArtHouse!

I also made a memory pillow for Russ from one of his Uncle Pat's shirts. Before he passed, he used to wear it in the garage to work on sand rails with Russ. It has a lot of sentimental value, and it made Russ cry happy tears when I gave it to him.

Big sewing is so much more forgiving, but I tried my mini luck again by making a reversible bed cover, too. I'll wait to show you more of that when I finish the bedroom. I am a bit more comfortable with the machine now, but lord!!! I still suck at mini pillows!

After that, I went back to something that I've had lots of practice at... Flower kits! I needed six arrangements for vases, so I made hydrangeas, gladiolas, asters, carnations and azaleas. Finding complementary colors in a predominantly teal decor was a challenge! But as always, Susan's kits were a real pleasure to work with!

Next I needed more plants. I had some kits from Mary Kinloch for a few years, and truthfully, I was intimidated by them. They stayed in a drawer, forgotten. It took a few days to work up the courage to give them a try. I ended up finding examples of the plants online and just dove in. I used alcohol inks on the leaves, and thickened up the wires on the Parlor Palm with tinted Mod Podge layers. They convey what I was after, so even if they are not completely accurate palms and ferns, I like them.

I modified a HOM table to narrow it up a bit, and added a back piece so the books had support. I added another lamp to the room which meant drilling holes and running the wire under the house. This house is just too heavy for me and caused a few panicked moments as I lifted and attempted to prop it up. From now on, if I can't lift them, I don't want to do them!

Here's the entry vase in place. I think I need to make a little basket for keys.

It was challenging to figure out what to put where, but I am satisfied with the arrangement. The lighting doesn't look so yellow in real life. I wonder if a better camera would help.

Here's the overall finished living room. My policy is that if I can't decide, do nothing! :O) That is why there is no runner behind the sofa. The lady of the house is just getting ready to enjoy a glass of white wine and a good book. I hope she doesn't mind sleeping on the sofa for a couple more weeks while I get her bedroom ready!

First photos with lights on...

And lights off...

I hope you enjoyed the tour, and find the colors, textures and patterns cohesive!

Next up, the hall of mirrors and the bedroom. Hope to be back soon!

xo xo,