Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I got a chance to work on some very old, very cool dining chairs in an historic house in Lafayette. The furniture in this house is beautiful and original to the family going back many, many years. You can see variations in each of the 8 chairs, evidence of manufacture by hand. Here the chairs sit in a row - the first one is bigger than the rest and the fourth one down is taller. Cecilly calls them the papa chair and the kid chair. The original owners must have been looking in to see the new upholstery! See the "orbs" of light on papa chair and kid chair? Cecilly took several photos for me and this one shows the visitors...

Here I am in my furniture delivery clothes...not "dressed" for dinner in this fancy house!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

I love my customers.

I love going into their houses, and sharing a part of thier lives. I almost always discover something interesting and fun. Like the time I delivered a set of cushions and was given a tour of the living room and the collection of tin soldiers the man had collected. In the middle of the room was a handbuilt shadowbox coffee table displaying an elaborate battle scene with the different armies of soldiers. I also upholstered a bench for a woman who plays the sitar. The walls of her home are decorated with exotic and functional instruments made of gourds and wood, and other natural materials. She let me tap on some of the drums, and showed me how to make noises on the other instruments. When friends gather in her home, they take the instruments off the walls and out of the display cases and make music together! Recently I met Paula, whose chair I'm restoring and reupholstering. It belonged to her husbands mother and has sentimental value to the family. That got us talking about Craigs hobby of gun engraving. Excited, I asked her to send me photos - wow! Look at these!

Some "hobby", huh? This led to an invitation to join them at an annual shooting competition where they get dressed up in authentic cowboy duds and shoot these authentic guns. It was a beautiful day for it, and everyone I met was very nice. It was fun to watch - and lots of interesting gear!

Another customer I've gotten to know is an artist, her medium, at present, is felt. She does some wonderful felting, and uses it to upholster simple chairs and stools. This is her work - and also her hand at upholstery.
I love this job for the satisfaction it brings, working with my hands and my creativity, and connecting with others who have their own passions.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Quick Tip #1

Occasionally you may need cushions with rounded edges. One way to do this is to to cut your foam slightly larger. Spray the edges well with adhesive.

When that gets tacky, pinch the top and bottom edge together.

New round cushions for this retro dinette set!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Here's a pretty toile slipcover I made last week. We talked about what style of skirt, but the customer really didn't want one at all.
In the past I have achieved this upholstered look by adding velcro to the underside of the frame and securing the hem to that. On this one, however, is held in place by the tightness of that bottom welt. Every sofa has it's own personality!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Jerry.

This is a trash to treasure project. Jer found this on the curb in disrepair, covered in a tattered 70's orange velour. He brought it in to the shop and fixed it up, glued it back together and sanded the rockers into shape. I surprised him by finishing the wood and upholstering in his leather. The finish is several coats of aniline dye (thank you Buck) and then 4 coats of laquer.

Turned out ok! Comfy too :)

From the website My Rocking Chairs:

Rocking chairs are the only chairs ever made that have the distinction of being known as the American Chair. In fact, the typical portrayal of an all American home in the olden times was a nice little house, a white picket fence, and a few rocking chairs on the porch or in the lawn. Even today, rocking chairs are perhaps the only types of furniture that people remember from the 18th century. And when such furniture is being talked about, gooseneck rocking chairs cannot be far behind.

Gooseneck rockers first made an appearance way back in the 18th century. Craftsman used to carve the arms and legs of the rockers in the unique shape of a goose neck, which is how the rocking chairs got their name. Such a goose-neck shape gives the arms a very nice curve that is attractive to look at and at the same time, very comfortable.

Gooseneck rocking chairs that were made in the olden days were regarded as some of the best specimens of all American furniture styles and designs. In fact, even today if you were to get an old gooseneck rocker that is in good condition, it would be more spectacular than a new one. But whichever way you choose to go (with an antique gooseneck or a new rocker), gooseneck rocker chairs are an amazing addition to any home.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

My grandson yesterday taking a drink from the garden hose. He came over for a visit and we played in the front yard for hours, splashing in his little plastic pool and blowing soap bubbles. Does it get any better than that?


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tonight I went to see Mama Mia with 2 of my daughters - probably the best movie I've EVER SEEN....
yes, even better than Armegedon, which had action, suspense, a love story AND Bruce Willis saving the world.
Total chick flick - Jerry was so right NOT to come with us...
Made me want to throw down my staple gun and dance down the streets of Greece behind Meryl Streep and the other movie extras.


Friday, July 18, 2008

My front yard this morning - it's another hot, steamy indiana summer day. I love it!


Here's a photo of student area at my church. They remodeled, bought a couple of vinyl couches and recovered the existing mission style furniture. They wanted a heavy duty fabric that could be easily cleaned...I talked them out of vinyl cushions and they opted for this nice microfibre. The back cushions were crumpled and balled up, they were filled with the standard loose dacron fiber - I replaced them with an inner core of soft foam inside an envelope of a superior loose fiber called "comforel". These should hold up to use for years.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For anyone seriously interested in reupholstering antiques, this video is the best! Check out this trailer of the instructional video: Horse Hair and Leather Basics by Kim Buckminster.


Monday, July 14, 2008

She looks sweet, doesn't she? She has her moments....
I'd like to post a picture of the 8 side chairs in apple green gingham I just delivered to Alpha Chi Omega on campus, but I still haven't figured out how to take a good photo of my furniture! The one of the slipcover. above, turned out great, but was a complete accident. Time to get out the manual. I'm delivering a matching cushion tomorrow, so if I can get a good shot then, I'll post it.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Here I am at the Rathskeller Biergarten with the rest of the slipcover ladies.....apparently really enjoying the chips and salsa!

After 2 days of immersing ourselves in classes and demonstrations, this was a nice break. I got to visit with old friends, and made many new friends. It's great to be able to network with these amazing women. The exchange of techniques, business strategies, and even war stories was great. I came home refreshed and excited to try out new things. I learned about faux tufting a slipcover, custom silkscreening the fabric, new developments in "green" fabrics, and...blogging.


Teaching methods of cushion building at the Slipcover Summit in Indy was an experience! To prepare I toured the Active Foam plant in Chicago and came back with a ton of different foam samples to share. Because of the rising petroleum costs, the cushion can be a major investment - but necessary to your "seating comfort".


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Welcome to my blog! It's a beautiful day out and I have a ton of work to do at the shop, but here I sit at the computer. I'm inspired by my recent trip to Indianapolis to participate in the "Slipcover Summit" - where I networked with some really cool women business owners. One of them shared the beginnings of her new blog, Diaries of A Slipcover Diva, and also by my friend Jerry's new facebook page.
Today as I sit here my dog, Rosa is barking at the passers-by. She's a good dog, really....but territorial. Not exactly a great shopdog yet - but I'm working on it!