Hello Kimmy
April 7, 2012

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Perry and I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico for a couple of weeks. I refurbished this Hello Kitty themed child’s chair as a thank you for our dear friend, Kim, who watched over our cherished animal family while we were away.
Kim and her father bought the chair frame as a project that ended up gathering dust. Last year, she gifted it to me knowing I would do something fun with it. Little did she know it would find its way back to her.
The frame itself was in perfect condition. It even included the wood spline for the new seat. A little wood cleaner and lemon oil and the frame was as good as new.
The cane seat was my education. Fortunately, it required a Pre-woven cane instead of being woven on the chair frame. It was as easy as replacing the screen on a screen door. The only difference is the cane goes on wet. I was a little nervous that the seat might not be tight enough but as the cane dried, it tightened up quite nice.
The Hello Kitty cushions were a nod the Kim’s granddaughter, Amerie Clair. It is a child’s chair, after all and I knew this would make a nice heirloom piece for Kim to pass on to her first born granddaughter.
Kimmy – Thank you my trusted friend, for taking such good care of our little family!

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Stepping up my game!
January 27, 2012

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Introducing my 2 new work horses. The Juki DNU-1541 Walking foot sewing machine and Juki DDL-5550 Single Needle Lock stitch sewing machine.

I am in love with the lock stitch machine. It sews like a dream with power the power of a Harley. I sew like a grandma on it because it’s so fast. The dealer asked if I wanted the speed tuned down, I told him I will get used to it!

The Walking Foot machine still scares me. It’s like the butchest sewing machine I have ever seen. It sews leather, Vinyl and heavy fabric of all kinds. The needles are as think as nails.

With these 2 machines I have greatly improved my stitch quality, not to mention, the range of projects I can take on.

Dougitha Goodboy just stepped up his game!

From Princess to Dowager Queen
December 13, 2011

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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

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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.

Upholster it and they will sit…
November 3, 2011

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I am one happy upholsterer! 🙂
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!

The Blue Dream
September 20, 2011

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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

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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!

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Upholstery Lesson – The Semi-Attached Cushion
August 30, 2011

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. 🙂

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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Mademoiselle’s 5 piece sectional
August 24, 2011

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This is a custom reupholstery job for a client. The fun part of this job was shopping in the LA Garment District for the fabrics she needed to redo a sofa (by Dougitha Goodboy) and draperies ( by others). The original sectional sofa fabric was stretched and sun faded. We found a beautiful ultra-suede in the Garment district for $6.50 yd. What a deal! I had a tremendous learning curve on this project as ultra-suede is unforgiving to work with. Ultimately, Madam has a beautiful new ultra-suede sectional!

Little Miss Tuffit
August 17, 2011

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I have a big tufting project coming up next so I needed to learn how tuft. Once the top was completed, my tufting sample wasn’t very far away from becoming an ottoman. My lucky mom will now have a new ottoman for her living room.
The tufted top is built upon 3/4″ plywood attached to a 2×4 base. The fabric was a remnant from some pillows I made for my mom