Deconstruction Hopefully Followed by Construction

This is what our dining table and chairs look(ed) like:

The table is a hand-me-down and the chairs we bought off some friends ten years ago, when we were newly-weds. It doesn’t go with the style of our other furniture at all and needless to say, I’ve been wanting a new set for a while.

My dream wish list would look like this:

  • Oval shaped table or at least rounded corners
  • extendable
  • sinple treste style legs preferably these
  • Gorgeous Eames chairs in a few different colours

The only problem with that is, we only have one income and I don’t plan on selling one of my children or any of my vital organs to acchieve the look I’m after. So as usual, the options are to live with what we’ve got or compromise somewhere. And so this is what I’ve been up to:

I was a bit nearvous about rounding the corners myself, and they are not perfect, but after some serious sanding, I am happy with them (hopefully they will still look ok, after I paint it too…)

I was debating whether to paint it white or shiny black and had actually settled on black, but since our living room is quite small and we already have a couple of dark pieces of furniture, I’ve changed my mind. Unfortunately it means returning the cheap compromise IKEA trestles and getting the white ones, so the project will take a little longer than planned, but it’s ok, we still have the duck egg blue dining table in the kitchen we can squeze around:-)

For the chairs I have a colourful upcycling idea in mind…

Ps. after some encouragement from my dad, I’ve successfully replaced a broken tile in our kitchen floor! I can’t tell you how proud of this I am. I admire it like a work of art, everytime I walk past lol.

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Best Ever Summer Desert

Ok, so this is no design post, but baking is a sort of craft, right? In any case I just had to share this recipe / idea for a summer desert, which in our family was named the Best Ever Summer Desert because… well because that’s what we think it is!

My friend and neighbor gave me the idea of combining a meringue base with vanilla ice cream and fresh (preferably freshly picked) strawberries.

The recipe I use for the meringue is as follows:

(serves 4-5)

3 large fresh egg whites

175 g caster sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 150C or 300F

Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and start whisking. When the bowl can be turned up-side down (over one of your kids’ heads muahaha) withOUT the mixture falling out, you start adding the sugar a little bit at a time, whilst continuing to whisk. The mixture should be forming soft peaks, don’t over whisk or it might collapse.

Then spoon the mixture onto a sheet of baking parchment in a circle and place little “blobs around the edge.

Bake in the middle of the oven for one hour. We like ours a bit chewey in the centre, if you do, take it out now. (If you like it dry, leave it in the oven, but turn the oven off and take the meringue out once the oven has cooled.)

Now, just place about half a litre of sliced or scooped ice cream on top (we get the cheap kind that you slice) and then half a punnet of strawberries and scatter them on top. You may want to grate some dark chocolate over the whole thing too.

Now all that’s left, is to dig in and enjoy the taste of Summer! We find that the best thing about this desert, is that it can’t really be saved, so you just have to finish it all!

Free Fabric Swatch -Designed by You!

It’s Free Swatch Day over at Spoonflower. And that means you can upload your own design and have it printed ón an 8 x 8 inch piece of fabric and then they will send it anywhere in the world. Free. Starting aproximately now and running for the next 24 hrs. That’s what we like, right?
It’s a really cool site at any time. There are a ton og cute indie designer fabrics for sale or you Can always create your own. And they have some really fun and cute contests each month.

Inspiration

I have a folder on my desk top named “Inspiration”. In it I store images I come across on the internet that spark some idea or that I am just drawn to. My intentions were to put the images on here, as I like the idea of having my inspiration and my different projects all in one place to be able to go back to as a kind of reference.

This picture I had to have a closer look at, as I am still in the proccess of furnishing my living room and the IQ lamp is the same one we’ve got as well as the colour scheme being nearly identical.

Some of the things I really like about this interior:

  • The book case (from Hay.dk), which looks a lot like the cheap diy store ones I had as a student. The colouring of the shelves however, make them much more interesting and underlines the simplicity of the construction (why didn’t I think of just painting mine like this at the time…)
  • That rug! I love the colours and the different sections and rectangles. It would force you to play around with alternative placement of the furniture and the expression would change so much with each one. I Its straight lines brings order to an otherwise quite whimsical and seemingly casual set-up.
  • The little stacks of books on the white walls…  -So cute and simple and a nice way of making a feature of the books.                                     I have been pulling my hair out recently with all my books and agonising over where on earth to put them! We have the ugliest (read cheapest!) book cases on the planet and cannot afford new ones and we simply do not have much wall space to create nice looking displays for them. Finally we have reverted to just putting them in our bedroom where at least they won’t be seen much by anyone other than ourselves. I have seen some good ideas for putting shelving up just under the ceiling along a corridor, giving the impression of a lowered section of ceiling (I think this would look even better with some nice spot lighting underneath), but our walls aren’t strong enough for this kind of set-up (don’t get me started on the crumbly walls and the never-ending search for the perfect raw plugs!!)

Image source

Candy Coloured Furniture

As I’ve mentioned before, most of our furniture is recycled and painted. Our kitchen units too are the original units with a coat (okay about ten coats, as they were really dark and are now white!) of paint and new knobs. I wanted to have a small dinig table and a couple of chairs in the kitchen as there wasn’t the space for a large one, but I like the kids to be able to do their homework out there while I cook dinner. so I bought this set second hand and painted them with some leftover wood paint and they turned out like this. I can’t wait to accessorise my kitchen now:-) I’be been thinking bunting ever since I saw those colours together.

Star Wars Themed Boy’s Bedroom

I knew posting would be sparse over the Summer, but happily, I’ve been finishing some projects (and I was beginning to think I only ever started them…). Nothing beats the feeling of finishing something, right?

I finished my son’s wardrobe doors the other day. He needed a wardrobe and we had a really old one we’d pulled out of my daughter’s room when we moved in. We’d stored it in the garage ever since and the door was discoloured and not very nice. He wanted a Star Wars themed bedroom, so I thought I’d paint a Star Wars motif on the doors. This is how they turned out (sorry, iphone pics again…) Once we hang the doors, I’ll post a better picture and also a tutorial in case someone else wants to paint a really big picture in a kids’ bedroom or just some tips on painting furniture.

This is the main door:

-and this is the top box. I over-lapped the image, to tie the two together.  I finished off by giving both a coat of clear varnish as they are in the room of a six yeal old and are likely to take a beating…

Cropped Girl’s Waistcoat Tutorial

My daughter is going to a birthday “disco” party tonight and she asked me to make her a sequined bolero style waistcoat. I started drafting the pattern by draping fabric onto her body, then realised that the vest she was wearing had the perfect armscyes for it and decided it was easier to just draw on that and cut it up. It was so easy and we really like how it turned out, so I thought I’d try my hand at a short and easy tutorial:-)

Here goes (-sorry about the picture quality, but if I’d had to get my camera out I probably would have never taken the pictures… Hopefully they are clear enough to tell what’s going on anyway).

With a marker, draw on your design on the front of the vest (have the person you’re making it for wear the vest while you do this or use a dress stand)

Draw half the pattern on the back. It’s important that you leave in the ease you want at the sides and back or in other words; watch how close to the body the vest falls and adjust this in the side you’re drawing. When you’re happy with this, draw in the centre back line, making sure it is straight. You’ll see that mine doesn’t look straight, but that is because I wanted less ease (or that the waist coat should be a bit more fitted than the vest).

(I think her little brother was hiding, so we wouldn’t notice it was already past his bedtime…)

My daughter, at this stage thought it looked a bit like a cow girls waist coat, so kept Yeeahaw’ing when I tried taking pictures of her…

Next, you cut out your design and end up with something like this:

(Yes I know, my next project should be a new ironing board cover, it’s just a bit too boring, so here it is burn-marks and all…)

Now you need to seperate the two pieces but cutting close to the side seam and shoulder seam, which leaves you with this:

Now you can use these as your pattern pieces and you will need to cut out two front pieces in your fabric and two in lining as well as one back piece (place the centre back line against fold in fabric) in fabric and one in lining. Remember to add one cm seam allowance everywhere.

Next, you sew the lining shoulder seams and side seams as well as the fabric shoulder seams and side seams, leaving you with what looks like two rough edged waist coats (I didn’t think you would need pics of this!)

After this you attach the lining to the fabric at the armscye face to face one armscye at the time, lining up the seams.

And here comes the tricky bit (there always is one, right?!):

You now need to grab the lining and fabric at a reference point for example where there is a shoulder seam or side seam, so you can see where the two sides should line up. Now turn the fabrics in face to face, so you can see how they should meet and pin.

(As you can see, we ended up with bits of sequins EVErywhere!)

Now, you keep pinning the sides together for as far as you can. This will automatically turn the garment inside out and as you have already sewed the armscyes, there isn’t much space for that. I would sew as much as I could, trim the seam allowance to 0.5 cm, turn it back out and repeat this last step again until left with just one small hole that I could turn the waistcoat through. (If this doesn’t make sense, I think it will once you are in the middle of it!)

Now all that’s left, is to hand stitch the last little hole and press!

We also spent 5 minutes sewing this scarf… I went shopping last weekend and couldn’t justify buying lots of fabric, and so just bought a tiny bit of this cotton. I then just hemmed the four sides and added the pom-pom trim. It has got to be the quickest project I ever mad. I love quick and easy projects, lazy me!