Sunday, 24 February 2013

Almost there!

Second coat of Liquid Gold. Foam block, calico seat cover and seat fabric in place.

Just the back and underside to do and there will be no more photos of chairs, I promise. (Until I find my next 'project' in the street!)

Blue chair then and now.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

How many?

Pause the story of the chair restoration to consider just how many pairs of vintage snake-effect shoes a person needs.

Well three and counting is fair enough, I'd say.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Cracking on!

Got a lot more done on the chair yesterday. Got all the tacks out except for the stubborn ones in the hard wood corners; sanded down the wood (my least favourite bit) and applied the Liquid Gold; cut the seat foam to size and put the wadding, the calico layer and the fabric on the front face of the chair back.

My new favourite person is the lady in the foam shop at Fiveways who advised me to put a bread knife in the freezer, have a glass of wine and then cut the foam with the bread knife. I had beer instead of wine but it still worked!

The Blue Chair in progress

On new year's day I found a decrepit chair in the street but decided that it would make a great upcycling project. The arms are really lovely and I'm sure it could be totally transformed.

It's been sitting there ever since and I've been putting off starting on it as once I start something I'll steam ahead until it's finished. Now I'm two days into taking it apart, it's much more complicated than any of the furniture I've tackle before.

Day one I began prising the old leather cover off but, typically of me, without the right tools. It was firmly held in place with lots of rusty old tacks and I was using a fish knife to prise them off! I'm sure it's no surprise to hear that I eventually had to stop as my fingers were cut to pieces and my hands bruised.

A day in between for recovery and the purchase of a proper tack removing tool, and I started again. Easier than it was, but still a tough job.

The leather of the seat and back just would not budge, I pulled it it tore and eventually the culprit popped out – this little plastic figure which had been wedged down the back of the charm between the timbers! (See how he's still gripping a piece of the seat foam in his determined hands!)

Now it's finally stripped down and the arms have had their first sanding. The next stage is a bit more sanding and them some Liquid Gold to restore the wood. Once that's dry I will be able to move on to the upholstery.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Unexpected Pleasures

Last Friday I made the journey to The Design Museum in London to see the exhibition Unexpected Pleasures, which had been recommend to me. And I was not disappointed.

I saw three exhibitions that day and this was by far the best. Although it was a jewellery exhibition, I don't think you would have to have an particular interest in jewellery to enjoy it. The pieces were experimental, playful, colourful, humorous, sculptural – in short, it was fab! I came out into the cold riverside air feeling very buoyant indeed and you can't get much better than that.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Unlike most of my upcycled furniture, this one wasn't found in the street – I did have to pay actual money for it in an actual charity shop.

The covering on the plywood top was badly-adhered and wrinkled Fablon, so off that came. But what to replace it with? Still thinking about what to use – I kid you not – a large piece of printed oilcloth actually blew along the ground towards me at the Sunday fleamarket. 'Twas meant to be, obviously.

And on that subject, we all work better to music:

Upcycled chest of drawers

Take one Ikea chest of drawers, many times repaired, and several maps. A few hours and a bucket of PVA later and – ta-daa! – transformation!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Hello stranger!

So, it's been a long time since I posted but, you know me – I'm always busy.

Where to start. Well, upcycling furniture, sewing but mainly printing, printing and more printing.

I have lots more to show you so I will be posting more over the next few days.