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There wasn’t a lot of rubbish in the wheelie bin a few weeks ago.  That doesn’t seem to happen very often around these parts, so when it does, R takes the opportunity to mentally sort through items in the house to decide what needs to be thrown out. He always makes sure to tell me there is space in the bin ,just in case there is an extra bag of rubbish, or something, hiding in the craft room. (Tui ad anyone?)

This time, however, as we were laying in bed about to go to sleep, he says, “What about the kids’ little rocking chair? I think it’ll fit in the bin. ”

My head snapped sideways as a shocked gasp sounded from my gaping mouth.

“What? Are you high? The kids love that chair!”

“Do they even use it?”

Blank stare. Is he serious?

“Only every single day!”

So, I offered to recover it.

*Queue insanity*

“It’s small.  It’ll be easy to re-cover.  I’ll just get some new foam and K11 can come with me and pick out some fabric, and it’ll be like new again.”

“Hmm. Well, ok.”  The hesitation and tone of R’s voice was cynical.

*Moves forward in the queue, slowly, but surely.*

So, this is what I had to work with.

Gross, isn’t it?!  Can you see that nasty stain on the left side of the seat cushion? That would be chocolate milk.  What are the other stains, you ask? Well, if you have to ask, you must not have children. Children are dirty and gross and those foul stains and marks are sincere signs of love for this chair, made by children who have sat, ate, drank chocolate milk and who knows what else during the course of its nine-year life over two countries. It has been well-loved.

It’s a far cry from this, which is how it looked when K11 received it for her 2nd birthday from my brother.

Yes, yes, it’s soooooooooooooooooo not that chair any more.

So, me in my wisdom, in an effort to put at least one less item into the city tip, began my little upholstery adventure.

Adventure is a bit of an understatement, I might add.

It began like most of my projects where I just jumped in with both feet and no life-preserver. I began to dismantle it, bit by bit. Because I was going to use the same frame, I had to remove as many staples as I could so that the news ones would be easier to install. Slowly, staple by agonizing staple, I pulled and plucked and dug and pried and groaned and cursed and screamed.

Until I got to this point, at which I placed my already sore hands onto my head and pulled my hair in frustration.

What’s wrong with it, you ask?  Well, the seat back was installed AFTER it had been covered. And it was installed with godzilla-sized furniture staples. Fifteen of them to be exact.

So, I grabbed the wine bottle, and got to work.

It didn’t help in the slightest that I was coming down with my daughter’s tummy bug and felt like the chair looked. In retrospect, it may not have been the best moment in time to tackle a job that I knew not what it entailed. But I hammered in the tip of the screwdriver and pried up the staples and pulled with pliers.  Eventually, I reduced the chair to this.

Ick. Gross. Gagfest. That was the moment, when I was pulling out decade-old pretzels, that I really began to wonder, WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING?

Determined I was going to conquer this thing, I continued on. At least now I had snack food, right?

I removed the fabric ever so carefully.  I had developed a plan at this point, you see. I would use the old fabric as a pattern for the new pieces and hopefully save myself one less bottle of wine and a few clumps of hair in the process.

And I continued on, moaning and complaining, because I could. Hubs had the brilliant idea made the mistake of suggesting I just rip the fabric off. He was met with this.

After so many years of marriage, he quickly caught my drift and shut up, just like he was turned to stone by my awesome gaze.

And then he filled my wine glass.

Eventually, six hours after I began, I ended up with this.

and this,

Now, don’t be deceived. There is foam there, but that pan is mostly filled with staples. By my calculations, over a thousand. And if you look at the top edge of the pan, you can see those previously mentioned godzilla-sized staples that stole at least two hours of my life and taught my children a few new words.

The following morning, I probably should have just stayed in bed. I was dealing full force with just trying to keep the flow of food in my body in its normal one way direction. But I know myself, and if I didn’t get crackin’ (I wanted to say Krakon there), that project would sit like that for six months.

So looking like death, K11 and I set out to get:

  • staples for the staple gun
  • foam for the padding
  • fabric to cover the chair

Is anything I do, EVER easy?

No.

I took the staple gun into Bunnings to get new staples. That was great, because the box of staples we had were from at least 1957. I do not joke.  So the nice man checked the staples and found the right size, and then asked, ” What length do you need? 6mm, 8mm, or 10mm?”

I pondered for a moment, and decided I needed the 10mm. I’m going to be stapling through foam and fabric right, so, I figured I needed the extra depth on the staple. Cool. Staples? Check.

Onto Spotlight, where K11 and I hummed and hoed over fabric. We both really loved this beautiful modern sea-foam teal print, but I am a practical person. Modern sea-foam green print doesn’t go with muted country tones, so we moved on.  Eventually, we found a great multi-toned cotton drill fabric and denim to match.

We were on a roll!  Staples? Check. Fabric? Check.

Foam? Foam? What’s that? Foam? Isn’t that easy to find?

On a Sunday, at the spur of the moment, the short answer would be NO!

I found poor quality, pre-cut foam cushions at Spotlight that would have kept their loft for maybe a month. And I found a nice fabric store in Lower Hutt that even had some quilting supplies, but no foam.  I ended up spending $30 at Plastic Box for a small foam mattress pad. UGH! Frustration!

Anyway, we found foam at least. Too much money, lots of petrol and three hours later, we at least had foam. Check.

At this point, I really felt like I could see the end of the tunnel, and that tunnel ended with me in my bed, tucked in all warm and cozy, just like a sickling should be. Now that I had everything, I was ready to get started.

I gathered all the necessary bits and bobs around me and went to load the staple gun.  And guess what? 10mm staples won’t fit in my staple gun!

*Steps up to the front of the insanity queue*

A wise person would have called it quits for the day, but me? No, I was not going to be defeated, flu or not. I drove straight back out to Bunnings, mumbling unmentionables the entire way and got the 8mm staples. I must have still been of sound mind at point, because I even checked this time to be sure that length would fit.

Finally, four hours after I started the hunt for elusive foam, I was ready to get to work. Thankfully, I had taken pictures all along the way so that I would end up with something close to what I started with, only cleaner, and not decorated with old drinks and stale food.

And then I discovered why there were a thousand staples. It really does make for a nicer finish on the surface. So, I plugged along, and amid nausea and sore joints, I conquered that beast.  I cut and pulled and stapled and hammered and believe it or not, I even managed to do it with less than nine hundred staples!

I don’t think I’d do stripes next time. That was yet another UGH moment.

But I’m pleased.

It’s still colourful, but it matches the room now.

And we won’t discuss those four little upholstery tacks on the front and the hot glue gun. There were a few extra words uttered over those.

*Steps from queue and takes insanity and flu for warm snuggles in bed*

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Well, once again, I am a bit behind.  I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t late with everything.

These are the placemats and matching table runners I made my folks and DH’s Mum.  It’s a pattern out of New Noel.  This would be the first time I’ve done applique. And I have to say, that I do NOT like qpplique.  At least not on small, thin letters.

I wanted them to be traditional reds and greens since they were for parents.  The quilter in me didn’t talk loud enough, so the idiot in me did stitch and turn for the edges.  Wrong-o.  The quilter should have spoken louder.  Next time maybe.

Anyway, here they are.  The placemats, a set of four.

sewing-placemats

The matching tablerunner.  I think this is much more effective than the placemats, though if I did it again, I would do the borders in green instead of red.  Live and learn.

sewing-tablerunner

A closer picture of the snowflakes.  This is where I lost the hair on both sides of my head.  Metallic thread is so beautiful, but it SUCKS to work with.  The snowflakes alone look me h.o.u.r.s!!!!!

sewing-tablerunner-snowflake-close

And here is where I admit that I can still admire these from where I am sitting.  That is correct, I am not done with my Christmas crafting yet, so here they still sit.  At least they will be there in time for next Christmas!!

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No longer *Tea* Towels

I love coffee.  It is a staple of  my morning.  Without it, I am not a kind person.

I have one of those cool little coffee ground disposal things, which is a great idea in a cafe.  But on a countertop, where the surrounding walls are cream coloured, it’s a sucky idea.  No one tells you that when you are bashing your group handle on the disposal, that it sends droplets of coffee e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

So, my solution was to cover the whole operation with a towel.  Well great idea in theory, but now I have towels with lovely coffee stains.

So, decided I would try out my serviette podge.  I got a set of three towels and some coffee picture serviettes (napkins), and this is what I made

I know I know, they’re white.  But I wasn’t sure how the pictures would turn out on a dark towel.  The podge I used was from Eager Crafters who sell at craft shows all around NZ. It’s a bit steep at $15 a bottle, but so far so good.  Hopefully though,  I am the only one that can spot the mistakes 😀

I’ve finished up some knitting, but it has to be gifted before I can post it here.  And I’ve done some other things too, but they need to be gifted first as well.  So all I have left are some stitch markers I made, and of course, the standard dishcloth that is a good-to-do-between-projects project, knit in Cleckheaton bamboo.

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Decorating

We’ve been in Wellington now for nine months.  Can’t believe it’s that long.  And I am still unpacking and trying to decide what things I want hung and where.  I just have too many things, plain and simple.  But I have a few things I love love love, and one of them is my set of Pottery Barn Shelves.  When we sold our last house, the lady who put in the first offer tried to sweeten her deal by adding these said loved shelves, into the contract.  I said no.  Period.

But I haven’t figured out where I wanted them in this house.  They would either go in the upstairs hallway, or above the kids play area.  R pushed the issue this weekend when he got the shelves out and put them on the floor in the middle of the hallway.  A subtle hint, I reckon.

So we put them up, but they were a bit bare.  The way we arranged them, I had to reorganise what I put on them.  I decided I wanted a *V* since that is the first initial of our family name, so got a plain one on Monday and gave it a few coats of paint.  Then, clever chook that I am, decided I wanted to put a stamped print on it.  Hmm, note to self: don’t try to do stamping with paint when there is a four year old having a tantrum at your feet.  So, instead of my letter having this nice print:

Swirl Stamp

it has a double stamped version of it, in an attempt to fix the mistake when said four year old knocked into me.  It now looks like 1980’s crackle paint.  NOT the look I was after.

The Letter V

But never fear!  Thanks to the rest of the clutter on the shelves, you can’t even see the pattern.

The Wall

Oh well, at least that’s one more thing off my to-do list.

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A Sign!!!!

Oh my.  Here I am. Finally.

I knew that today had to be the day to get this blog going.  I received a sign.  A good one at that.  It told me to quit being chicken.

What was the sign you ask?  Oh, my lunch of course!  See for yourself.

A Sign

Do you see it too?

Oh good, then I really am not going nuts.

Glad to have you here with me. 😀

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