Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Chair Saga | Pearls and Butterflies

I spent a good portion of today designing and working on my chair project. Andrew had gone into the office to work on drawing for their latest deadline and I was at home by myself on a lazy Sunday. Obviously that meant I had to do some sort of crafting to fill up my time! I spent the morning sanding and refinishing the legs of the old vintage chair that I wrote about yesterday. It is coming along quite nicely. I used a dark walnut finish that turned out amazingly! I am still debating whether or not to do another coat, but I have decided that I would like a bit of sheen instead of the matte finish I had originally planned.

I have decided that the easiest parts are now finished. I am most concerned that when it comes to cutting and fitting the new upholstery fabric I am going to fail horribly. Andrew continues to tell me that the chair is going to turn out to be amazing, yet I continue to remind him that there is still plenty of time for me to royally screw up! This is my first go at reupholstering an old piece of furniture. I have no fear when it comes to woodworking aspects. After all, my father is a woodworker and luthier so I learned many tricks of the trade from him. And now that I think about it, I guess I am fairly decent behind a sewing machine so I am not sure what my worry is. I think it is just the perfectionist in me that does not want to fail when the potential outcome could be that awesome.

After I finished working on the chair for the day, I spent some time making a new set of note cards. I recently found some rather elegant satin ribbon that featured butterflies. I decided to pair the ribbon with some pearlized card stock that I had purchased. I was rather pleased with the final outcome-- a very elegant yet simple note card. The cards are vertical in orientation with the fold at the top rather than horizontal. I don't think that I would choose these cards for myself-- they're almost too girlie for me. However, I am still happy with the end result from a design standpoint. The cards remind me of pearls so I've dubbed them Pearls and Butterflies-- how lady-like!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Reupholstering an Old Find

When my sister was in high school she found an old vintage chair to use as a desk chair at a Goodwill store.  I can't imagine that she purchased it for more than several dollars if I remember correctly. After she moved to Colorado, she left the chair in my parent's house in Indiana. Each year that I visited my parents, my dad would ask if I had any interest in the chair as it sat forlornly in their spare bedroom. Knowing that my sister would not want it any longer, I decided to take it on as a project. After Andrew inspected the chair, he decided that he absolutely wanted it-- he thought it was fun in its old vintage character. So when my parents drove down to Baltimore this Christmas, they brought with them the chair.

Last weekend I went to Joann Fabric to pick up some new upholstery fabric and a few buttons. I chose out a light teal fabric with the same sort of vintage appeal of the old olive green fabric. I also picked out two dark leather buttons as accents that will match the dark walnut finish that I picked up for refinishing the legs. On Tuesday, during our latest snow day, I began sanding the legs and taking out the upholstery tacks. I have only gotten this far at this point as the current stuffing was in very bad shape. I was hoping to reuse the stuffing, but now find myself off to the fabric store again to pick up new foam for the chair.  So before I leave, I will leave you with a few photos of my project thus far.

The chair in its original state.

Post removal of the old upholstery fabric.

New fabric and buttons to be used.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Recipe Cards Come with the Territory

As I was cooking up another fabulous dinner the other night, it dawned upon me that there was something missing from my collection-- recipe cards! It seemed so obvious and I couldn't believe that I had not previously thought about designing some fun little cards to organize my recipes! Really it only seemed natural that this sort of thing should be created. So I spent a day home sick with a nasty sinus infection designing these quite stylishly modern recipe cards.

So far they have been a hit! I only listed them on my Etsy shop yesterday and I sold a set of the Avocado recipe cards and many people have expressed interest in them. They were really quite fun to design! With the avocado colored cards, I kept in mind colors of the kitchen (notably the greens and browns of the avocado). I like these the best of the two sets I created and am looking forward to designing more food color inspired recipe cards. I am thinking eggplant, butternut squash, strawberry, and other such rich and vibrant colors.


Last time I wrote about starting on a new set of wine corks. That is still in the works. It seems at times my creative juices begin flowing so much that I get caught up in new ideas. The wine corks will be made as I was happy with the original few that I made in December. It may just take a while longer than expected to get back on track with my project schedule! But in the end, I guess that is the fun of such creative endeavors-- the ability to stem from one project to the next. For now, I'll be designing more recipe cards tonight, and be using them in my kitchen tomorrow.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rainy days are for new designs

It is a rainy day in Baltimore which means it is a perfect day for designing and crafting! The weekend has arrived and I look forward to the chance to do something creative that strays from the daily grind of the classroom. This week was especially hectic at it was the first full week of school in quite some time, but I was still able to find time to do a few designs. Today has already been incredibly productive. I dropped in at the post office this morning to mail a few orders-- one from a new customer and one from an old friend from junior high! It is amazing to reconnect with people in this way and have support from friends both new and old. I also spent the morning creating a Row House 14 Facebook page while I sat sipping my coffee.

This week was equally productive. I spent some time working on personalized stationery sets for several of the teachers at my school. One of them asked for another set that I will finish designing today. The new stationery designs are all quite different in style which is what I love about them. Everyone has their own style so to create something unique that suits an individual personality is quite fun! I especially love my new Tree Branches design in which I used my original photography to create an imposed image as the focal point of the card. The other thing that I love about these cards is the rich tonal colors that I used-- the dark gray is such a winter color, but the vibrancy of the orange, dark teal, and goldenrod add warmth to the set. I must say that these have quickly become a new personal favorite! Each of the designs are also now available on my Etsy site and they have each inspired me to create even more designs that are offshoots of these.

This week I also received a new shipment of envelopes. The envelopes are all 100% recycled paper and are made using wind power. They arrived just a few days ago and I am extremely pleased with the product! The envelopes have such a smooth finish and the paper is really great quality! I even ordered a few fun colors to add to what I already have so you can expect to see some of those popping up in my new designs. I am also excited about being able to offer quality products that are also environmentally friendly. Recycling is a huge deal for me so I am glad to continue the cycle with the hopes that the person receiving the envelopes will eventually recycle them again.

In addition, to my new designs and envelopes, I also finally purchased that paper trimmer that I was lamenting about earlier this week! Yes, I have finally entered the modern era of card making and paper design! The paper trimmer is the best tiny investment that I have made in quite some time. With it being so inexpensive, I laugh at myself for not having purchased it sooner! Now I am certainly safe from chopping off fingers! So now I am off to spend a relaxing Saturday doing nothing other than crafting. On tap for today are a few new things as well-- wine stoppers and journals. And of course, I will let you know how those turn out! Happy weekend to you all!
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