From Princess to Dowager Queen

December 13, 2011 - Leave a Response

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This little project has been about 6 months in the making. All the components have come together now and it has turned out lovely and better yet, the client is so pleased!
I was originally called by the client (the wife of my childhood scoutmaster) to help pull her “down-sized” bedroom together. Her husband had passed away the previous year and at 82, she wanted to switch to a double bed. Her bedroom set was beautiful but the large headboard was too big. So we began our discussions around a custom upholstered headboard. On a lark, I suggested a princess bed with a valance, a button tufted headboard and side drapes. She loved the idea! The client said she had always wanted a Princess Bed but at her age, she thought she might be more Dowager Queen.
And so the fun began!!!
We selected a lovely suite of fabrics to compliment her existing color scheme. Slate blue ultra suede, water color like linen with a damask pattern for the tie-backs, off white mate-lasse lined in cream satin for the bed throw & shams with a sweet seersucker stripe for the bed-skirt.
The fabrics were all from the Remnant Store here in Santa Barbara.
I made the button tufted headboard and I made the beautiful lattice Smocked Boudoir pillow.
Charlie Starbuck of Starbuck/Minikin fabricated and installed the beautiful valance and finished it to match the existing bedroom furniture.
As I simply do not have the room to make drapery and bedding so I had Todd Fairchild and his crew fabricate those items.
The last piece to be completed was the boudoir pillow. We had designed another pillow but it just wasn’t coming together. When visiting friends, I saw a beautiful lattice smocked pillow and it reminded me of a neck roll my Grandma Smith used to have. Right then, I knew I had to make a lattice smocked pillow for my client. The next step was to learn how to lattice smock! Fortunately, my Aunt Opie was only an email away. She told me that Lattice Smocking was a Reverse Smocking technique because the needle work is done on the back of the fabric. From there I was able to find several helpful patterns on the internet.
This project really helped me learn two different skills- Button Tufting and Smocking. Both techniques are already crossing over to my other designs. So much fun!!!


A little Pouf gets some sophistication!

November 9, 2011 - One Response

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This cheap little foam pouf came to me with the clients recently purchased “fun” fur. She liked the size but she wanted the pouf shorter. I suggested the horizontal stripes on the sides and pretty much gave her the quartered top. I also put a piece of Masonite in the base to add weight to the foam and to give me someplace tie off the button.

It turned out to be a very sophisticated little hassock.

BTW… A pouf is more rounded in nature, not unlike an older homosexual. A hassock, is constructed like more of a large floor pillow. This is by nature more of a hassock then a pouf.

Tie Dye TOMS

November 3, 2011 - 5 Responses

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Had fun dying these TOMS!!! They are to be auctioned off at the Metro Galleries in Bakersfield this Friday. They are a women’s size 6-1/2 if you are interested in bidding.
The other shoes shown are color tests I did. Fortunately, I have a husband who will gladly wear 1 green shoe and 1 brown shoe. Gotta love him!

Upholster it and they will sit…

November 3, 2011 - 4 Responses

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I am one happy upholsterer! ūüôā
The Limey Desk Chair has sold!
I have 5 of my pieces in a show at Metro Galleries in Bakersfield and I have several boutiques in Palm Springs interested in selling my chairs. It feels great to have some recognition beyond my friends who love me. I can’t wait to make more!!! I already have fabric on the rack dying!

Plain Jane cleans up well

October 20, 2011 - Leave a Response

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This little plain Jane cleaned up well. The owners of this piece had worked for years taking the finish down to the natural maple. Truly a labor of love.

Once the wood refinishing was completed they called me to make new cushions. The only thing I was able to salvage was the spring base because of mildew. I re-built the seat and back. When I pulled the back apart I could see the original back had a diamond tufted pattern that I recreated on the new back.
I love the mohair fabric the clients choose. Simple and true to the original chair design.

not far from heaven

October 7, 2011 - 2 Responses

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I love the way this chair turned out!!!

The colors are vivid and alive but the brown mutes and really helps to ground the overall effect making it feel welcoming and inviting.

The inspiration for the name came as I was rinsing the fabric, it made me think of this movie I’ld seen called “Far From Heaven“. The colors and cinematography were so lush and vivid, it reminded me of the colors I was seeing in the fabric. Just out of curiosity I watched the movie again. Not more then a minute into the opening credits, I knew I had to paint the legs of the chair green.

Today, I am driving the chair up to Metro Galleries in Bakersfield, CA. I have 6 pieces in the show for sale and I am really excited!

The ground cloth is a bleached cotton denim with fiber reactive procion dyes(Dharma Trading Company– Bright Yellow, Tangerine, Bright Green & Golden Brown). The legs are finished with acrylic paint and coated with polyurethane.

More Dyeing Fun

September 20, 2011 - One Response

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Perry and I had a busy weekend out in the desert. We had our wonderful friends Lenore and Randy out for the weekend for Perry and Lenore’s birthdays. I cooked for 30. Perry made some awesome green ware from his slip castings and I got caught up on some dyeing. I dyed a bunch of personal items like towels for desertwonderland, dish towels for SB and some cloths for myself. But the best by far was getting to do some more upholstery fabric. I have a number of chair frames that I want to recover but have none of my own fabric to upholster them in. The autumnal fabric is for a wing chair & ottoman. The blue piece and orange piece will become ottomans of my own creation. ¬†FUN, FUN, FUN…

The Blue Dream

September 20, 2011 - Leave a Response

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I call this chair The Blue Dream.This little beauty came together pretty quickly once I was able to work on it. There are several earlier posts on the fabric dyeing process. ¬†There are a number of “faces” that appear in the dye process but I decided I didn’t want to feature them because I wanted the chair to seem more etherial and less spooky. ¬†I had even considered using a wing chair frame for this fabric but I thought the general impression with that frame would had seemed more macabre… not something I reach for in my work.
I love the lines of this chair. Even recovered the frame speaks of a specific era. I am not sure what year this chair was made but I think it is late 40’s. ¬†This was a craigslist find that I picked up for free.
I love the way the fabric went on. The base fabric is a fine whale corduroy and it has a little stretch to it. That work in my favor when contouring all these curvy lines.
The funny thing about this chair is that I was working on the earlier posting and it was giving me grief… So I put away that project for the day and began working on The Blue Dream. I completely finished it in a mater of 9 hrs or so I had already refinished the legs with distressed milk paint coated with poly-acrylic. Not to mention that I completely re-tied the springs and re-built the seat and applied the seat fabric.

I am very pleased with the way this chair came out…

Rattan with an attitude

September 14, 2011 - Leave a Response

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This lovely little rattan settee and ottoman caused me a tremendous amount of grief. It turned out beautifully but boy oh boy, it did not want to be reupholstered. I reapplied on inside arm 4 times. This project taught me what a bad day of Upholstery can be like. Fortunately, I still like Upholstery!!!

I replaced the rattan wrapped at the base of the legs and stained it. The client allowed me to make some subtle detailing changes. I am very please with the results. Oh… And I learned another valuable lesson. Never work in white!


Upholstery Lesson – The Semi-Attached Cushion

August 30, 2011 - 2 Responses

I have a job coming up that has an ottoman with a semi-attached cushion. Seeing as how I ve never attempted a semi-attached cushion, I guess it’s high time I learned how. ūüôā

The original ottoman was an upholstery¬†carcass¬†that was given me months ago and I hung on to it, figuring, it would come in handy someday… It turned out to be my lesson plan for “Reupholstering The Semi-Attached Cushion”!

Both fabrics were given to me by a neighbor who was cleaning out her fabric cache. The cushion is wonky because I used the original inner spring cushion, but overall I am pleased with the results. ¬†It’s cute and peppy!

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