Friday, 30 September 2011

Modern Chair #1

Well, I'm slowly getting acquainted with my sewing machine I got off Tony for Christmas. It's all coming back to me...kind of!
Here's what I made with my hand painted fabric I showed you yesterday:



Yes, I sewed a lovely cushion that's sitting on this:







I've had two of these old office chairs for years and was always going to use them as outdoor chairs. (Under our covered deck!) They are so comfortable though, too good for outside. This is what I came up with. The second one is almost done, I'll show you that soon. Here is the before:




And the after again...

The fabric is designed by the very talented Holli Zollinger which I ordered from spoonflower. I'm in love with so many of her designs! This particular one also comes in coral (where this one is green) how nice would that be?!
This was my first go at upholstery which involved a sewing machine and I'm very happy with the result! Wait until you see the two together...even better! I know this is not everyone's cup of tea, but it's definately mine. What do you think?
Do you like the clean lines or are you more of a this kind of chair person? Have you done any upholstery before or would you give it a try?
Have a wonderful day!

Courts x

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Thursday, 29 September 2011

What else I've been up to...

I've been enjoying doing a lot of this lately......




Painting fabric, that is!
It's not something I've ever done before, but when I can't find what I want in local stores or online, this is what I decided to do. You may notice that it's not stripes this time! Don't get me wrong, I'm still in my stripe phase it just didn't suit this project. So, I opted for a cross!
I mixed a fabric medium into the paint (plain old flat house paint!) so that this can be washed and the design will stay intact.

I'll be sharing the finished project tomorrow, along with another chair. The first of two! I'm very happy with how they turned out so be sure to check back for a look! I will say that it's a very modern look, very me!!

On a side note, thank you to everybody who has visited my blog and especially to those who have left such lovely comments!! It really does make my day and I appreciate you all!

All is well in our world!

Courts x

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Our Pallet Project

It astounds me when browsing the blogosphere, the absolute magnitude of things you can do with the humble pallet! I love the industrial feel they can give to a room, or rustic and even modern depending on the finish you choose.

We turned to the pallet when we needed a way to display artwork and photos temporarily while we decide where they'll go on the walls. It was a joint effort, this project, I strenuously turned the pages of the magazine and found this exact project on it's pages and brought it to Tony to get started his approval! It was an issue of the Australian magazine Real Living, which showed the home of a scandinavian family, which I loved!!
In my defence, I did remove some of the boards off the pallets. Not an easy task, but you get to work out some frustrations with the hammer!!
Tone basically did all the work and I held boards in place (and supervised!) A very important job! And here's the end result, minus some photos and artworks so you could actually see the thing!




We used the nail plates that builders use to join trusses etc. (Don't know their technical name) This helped us get the industrial/rustic look we were after and joined some pieces together to get the height we wanted. We have high ceilings, plus it's a huge room so we needed something to scale.



Here's a couple of closeup's of some artwork I love. This is a pencil drawing of San Francisco by Don Davey (I think) which I got from a second-hand store. I visited this wonderful city in 2003 and this is a reminder of my time there!



And this print is of Salamanca Place in Hobart, Tasmania where very close by I was proposed to by the one and only Tony on my 30th birthday while weekending there! Another nice reminder of life's memorable moments!



If you like the little 'Come what may and Love it' art, you can print your very own here for free!! There's heaps of other cool one's too in fantastic bright colors!
How do you display your artwork and photos in your home? Do you hang them on the walls or in stand up frames? Or do you have something similar to our pallet displayer? I'd love to hear about it!

Hope you're having a wonderful day!!

Courts x


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Monday, 26 September 2011

How-To Find Project Inspiration With Your Eyes Closed

Yeah, this is another Quirky How-To where you can learn something a bit out of the ordinary!

Today's How-To is all about finding inspiration for that creative project that you haven't started yet because you're not quite sure exactly what you're going to do.
Maybe, like me, you have a piece of furniture to paint and have no idea what color to use. Maybe you have a piece of fabric that you just love but have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Or perhaps it's something else in your life where you need to be creative and have no idea where to begin.
Of course you've tried Pinterest and stalked some creative blogs but you really want to come up with something on your own. You just don't want to take someone else's idea, you want to create from the very beginning all by yourself.

Well, I can help.
This is a technique I've used in the past, successfully, and you can do it anywhere, anytime and it doesn't cost a cent! It is a little quirky.....but just roll with me here. I promise you have nothing to lose!

THE STEPS:

1. Go somewhere where you can be on your own. This doesn't take long, but it's best if you're not interupted.

2. Make yourself comfortable. I like to sit down at a table, something to lean on is good.

3. Close your eyes.

4. Take some deep breaths and think a little about the project your trying to get inspiration for. You don't need to think too hard, just so that it's in the forefront of your mind.

5. Now you need to apply some gentle pressure to your closed eyes. This is where I lean on the table and use the heel of each hand to press on each eye. You could also just use your fingertips to gently press on your closed eyes. Not too hard!!


Closed eyes by palms. Close up of the face of the girl.
 stock photography
image via google

6. This is the good part! Hold that position and look, eyes still closed. See whatever it is that shows up behind your eyelids! You might see patterns, colors, faces, waves, ripples, who knows! It keeps changing the longer you sit there and also if you change the pressure you're applying to your eyes.

It's fascinating and it will spark an idea to get you started on your project. Maybe it won't right away, but if your open to it, it can. You might see a color that you hadn't thought of using or a design you would have never come up with before trying this. The possibilities are endless!! And they come from within you! Can't get more inspiring than that!

So my friends, go forth and inspire yourself!
PLEASE, PLEASE let me know how you go with this, so I know that it's not just me that see's cool things when I close my eyes!
And if it does work for you, let your readers/friends know! We gotta share the good/quirky stuff around because we don't wanna be clones! We all need a little inspiration sometimes!

If you don't get this at all, that's ok too! I tried!

Stay inspired,

Courts x

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Saturday, 24 September 2011

I Was Featured!!

A quick post, just 'cause I'm excited about my first ever feature on the wonderful and talented Cassie's blog Primitive & Proper!! A huge thank you to Cassie, you made my day!
Cassie is a super blogger who, no matter what is going on in her hectic life, always finds time to visit (and comment!) all the blog posts of her readers who join in her Piece of Work Wednesday linky parties, as well as many other cool blogs! I know it is very much appreciated!
If you haven't met Cassie yet, I highly reccommend her blog..


grabtt
She featured my reverse GT-Stripes cabinet, which if you haven't seen yet, go check it out here!

Courts x

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Fast And Impatiently Furious Stripes!

Remember my little story about my current 'Fast and Furious Stripes Phase'? If not, you can read about it here, if you like.
Well this is another piece from the phase!
A lovely bedside table that had once been black and then white. I was originally going to take it back to it's natural state....until I watched Tokyo Drift and saw that mustang and ...well you know the rest!
So without further ado, I give you....






I know, I know! It's far from perfect! Reverse GT stripes. Not as easy as I thought.

I got incredibly impatient after the green bled onto the natural timber. Then even more so when the black outline bled too! I missed sanding some of the white off as well, I was so excited to get it done. Lesson learned though. I'll take my time from now on. Patience! I can learn patience. I think!





This is now Tony's bedside table, which he doesn't love but will use, just because that's what husbands do!! He does like it, he's just not in love with it!! And thats ok!



It is unique! I'd love to know what you think! Would you have this beside your bed?
When the whole room is pulled together, it'll all make sense. Hopefully!! I do get these grand idea's that usually work, but not always! So there's a reason why this piece is green, which I'll show you another day, so please come back and visit!!
If you missed my 'Quirky How-To' post on how-to unleash your inner rockstar, you can see that here it's worth a look!!

Courts x

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Sunday, 18 September 2011

How-To Unleash Your Inner Rockstar!!

This post is the first of my 'QUIRKY HOW-TO'S' series and I thought What is the one secret desire that we all harbour somewhere inside us?
And the obvious answer.....we all wanna be rockstars!! No? Ok, maybe it's just me?! I'm betting at some point in your life, perhaps when you were a teen you pictured yourself up on stage belting out a tune in front of a massive, adoring crowd? Or strumming the cooloest guitar riff on your Fender guitar? Or whacking those drum skins so fast that no-one can keep up with you? Ringing any bells now?

Ok, I am not a rockstar (obviously!) so how can I help you unleash your inner rockstar? Well there is something I can do that might help you score a few 'cool' points with your freinds/family.

How-To Twirl A Drum Stick!!

A little known fact about me is that I can play the drums. Nothing fancy, just the basics!
The reason it's little known is because I've never played in front of anyone. Ever. Well except my old drum teachers!

Anyway, let's get down to it! I'll do my best to explain it without video, that's a little beyond me right now!

1. Get a hold of a drum stick. You only need one. Your local music store will have them, they're not that expensive. Alternatively, pay a visit to that teenager down the road who practices the drums every single day (and yet he/she somehow doesn't seem to be improving!) and borrow one off him/her. He/She owes you, after all, you've had to listen to it for days on end!!

2. Find the centre of balance on the stick, usually just a little off centre towards the heavy end. Place the stick in-between your middle finger and pointer right down as far as you can, holding onto the stick at it's centre of balance you just found. Like this...




3. Grip the stick firmly so you won't let it go, but light enough that it can move freely.

4. Hold the stick perpendicular to your hand, like this...





5. Now you want to draw a small circle in the air, clockwise, with the tapered end of the stick.




6. And now draw a small circle with the heavy end, clockwise too. Do steps 5 and 6 a few times to really get the feel of the stick moving between your fingers.




7. Ok, now your ready to do bigger circles. With the tapered end first, draw a bigger circle in the air. You need to rotate your hand slightly (like the queens wave!) to get the stick to do a bigger circle.




8.Then quickly rotate the heavy end, pushing it down to help the rotation with your middle finger. Rock those two fingers back and forth (like they're walking) to get some momentum up.Like this..




9. The aim is to get the stick to brush along your arm and hand so it's doing the biggest possible circle rotation on each side. All the while remaining in the base of the two fingers you first placed it. Rocking those two fingers





10. Like anything you are learning, it takes practice, practice, practice!! Keep trying and you'll get the hang of it!!

Now where to show off your new-found 'quirky' skill?? Why here, of course!! I'd love to see you twirl that drum stick!! Even if you come across this post a year from now, go for it, leave me a comment, email me some photos!! I'd love to hear all about it!!

Rock On!!

Courts x

Monday, 12 September 2011

Not Another Chair?!

You've probably guessed that I have a little bit of a chair obsession going on! I'll admit it, I love chairs! I have re-spiced many a chair and have plans for plenty more.

A friend of ours who was here a couple of weeks ago said "You know you have seating for 20 people in here?"  He was referring to our Kitchen/Dining/Lounge room, which is massive, and no I had not realised that. Is that bad?! I counted them up again yesterday and I can confidently say that if 23 people swung by at the same time, they'd all have a seat and we'd all be in the same room! Probably not gonna happen very often, but I'm prepared for it!!

So, believe it or not.........this post is not about a chair!!
I finally finished a low sideboard that I've been working on for a while. It has been going on through my 'Stripes From Fast and Furious' period, which you can read about here, so it has been striped! Which is why it took me so long. The paint bled through the tape both ways so it got extra coats!

The before:



Sorry I didn't get a pic with the drawers still in, but imagine dark brown timber with two handles on each drawer, both set on an angle! Nice!! I'm thinking 80's?
Tone put a new top on for me as the old one was rotten MDF. I'm so lucky to have a tradie husband who can do anything I ask of him AND put up with all my questions while he's working!! I'm all "Why are you doing it that way?" and he's all "Because I am." Not really, most of the time he answers me and I actually learn something!

So here it is in all it's striped glory:





Yeah. It was a lot of trouble for two little stripes. But man they look good!!! I'm so Mclovin it! (That's what the 'M' stands for!!)



This is finished in high gloss, so it's shiny,shiny! Another current love.
Oh and did you notice the water color on the top? My Great-Aunt painted that during WW2 (early 1940's) and it was in the Australian Womens Weekly magazine back then! I also have another one she did that was on the cover of the same mag! I'd love to get a copy of it one day.

Please scroll down a little and tell me what you think, I really do appreciate your comments and the fact that you take time out of your day to read this! If you have a blog, leave your URL so I can come and visit and see what you've been up to! Oh and I'd love for you to follow me.


Courts x

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Friday, 9 September 2011

Heirlooms!

Earlier on this year, I was very lucky to be allowed to take temporary ownership of two heirloom chairs from my wonderful mother in law!

The first one belonged to Tony's (my husband!) Grandpa's mother. It's unknown how long she had it for, but his Nan remember's sitting in it in her kitchen when her and Tony's Grandpa were first married! Hope that isn't too confusing! It's pretty old anyway, which is evident by the amount of different paint colors that are on it! It was all chipped and flaky and it was love at first sight for me! My MIL looked at me silently and blinked for a second when, after she'd said how the details would come up really nice with the paint scraped off, and I responded with, "I'm not touching it, I love it just how it is!"
Here it is:




All I did was scrape off all the flaky stuff, then I sprayed it with two coats of a satin poly. Easy peasy!!



The second chair was my MIL's from when she was little. It also had been painted many times, but it's last coat was mission brown in gloss! If you're Australian , you'll have heard of mission brown. For those who aren't, it was a shade of brown (a kind of poo color!!) that was extremely popular in the late seventies, early eighties. (I think!) Everybody used it, mostly on house trims.
Needless to say, we aren't in the eighties anymore! I know some things from the eighties are being revived, just not mission brown! Hopefully it stays that way!! So, the brown had to go and I really liked what was underneath, so I just went with it.






All I did was hit it with the sander until I was happy with it, then waxed it. I love that the seat had a light mint green on it! It's a nice contrast. Speaking of contrasts, you'll  notice the dark green design on the back rest. I put that on because it was on the back of one of these chairs and to help me sleep at night after painting them white, I knew the design would be preserved on this chair. It was my first attempt at stencilling, not a complete success but I'll get better with practice. I traced it off the old chair and used spray paint to apply it to this one. The dark green was all I had at the time, now I've lived with it for a while I love it! It's something unexpected!
I misplaced the footrest at some point which is why there's two big holes on the front legs!






Have you ever received a family heirloom? If so, what was it and did you change anything about it? I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a comment!


Courts x

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    French Country Cottage                         

Friday, 2 September 2011

Color is here!!


Bright color is really big in fashion this coming season, at least in Australia anyway! Primary colors as well as orange, coral and green. Inevitably the fashion trends also filter through to homewears, decor, furniture etc. which I think is fantastic. I've always been a fan of color, so I'm happily riding this bandwagon!

Let's talk about blue and green for a sec. I find that most people are usually drawn to one or the other of these 2 colors and I definately lean towards green myself, so I found it unusual that I was asking the paint guy at my local Mitre 10 to mix me up a rich turquoise color a few weeks ago. But who am I to argue with myself?!! Change is always good.

I have some lamp bases that I wanted to paint and after doing one, I loved the color! I thought, 'I've gotta paint something else blue!' I came across an old chair that had chippy white paint, (I know, chippy white paint, why did I want to touch that? It's ok, I have another one!!) that was perfect! I worked out my plan, then out came the sander and away I went.

I really dislike sanding.

Why didn't I just paint the whole thing?! At least I didn't do stripes on this one, although I did seriously consider it, the chair design didn't really lend itself to stripes. Ok, it was just less hassle to not do stripes on this one!

Here it is:






I took all the paint off the seat, edges too and waxed it. The rest I painted (with my new sprayer) in a flat paint finish. I sealed the blue off with a couple of coats of gloss poly. I love it! Vintage, shiny and unique!

What do you think? Are you embracing the color trend this season?


Courts x
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