Thursday, 12 February 2009

Pictures and chairs

I was recently asked if I would make a picture for a little girl's birthday. I was so pleased as it allowed all the fun of creating a picture, with none of the jiggery-pokery (more technical sewing) needed to then turn it into something useful or practical. I had recently bought some of the blue polka dot material shown in the background and enjoyed using it as I love the shade of blue.

Here it is framed. To mount it I used a spray adhesive that you'd usually use to baste quilt batting in place, which made the job of stretching the fabric smooth and holding it in place much easier. Her mother also wanted a memo board making for her.

I love making these - as a staple gun bares a close resemblance to a power tool. It makes me long to do an upholstery course...but a friend tells me that you need to also be skilled with woodwork (and real power tools) to do that. Years ago I found an enormous and very old Parker Knoll armchair in a skip and managed to get a passing black cab to drive us both to my office, where the flea-ridden chair sat next to me all day while I worked. Once home that evening I disposed of all the padding and coverings and spent hours sanding and polishing it (with an electric sander, because that is one that even I can use successfully) and later chose some beautiful thick upholstery-weight chenille from John Lewis, which I hammered on with antique upholstery pins. The padding was my downfall though...I didn't get it quite right and it ended up being the chair in the corner that looked lovely, but felt slightly dangerous to sit on. It moved with us to four different houses over the space of ten years. But now it is in the garage, stripped back to its wooden frame again. I'm having a big think about whether I should see if I have any better ideas for giving it spring and padding a decade later. I tried to find a picture of it, which meant going back through the photographs taken at our old house...which meant looking at lots of pictures of when the children were small and watching silent jerky videos taken on our first digital camera that didn't have any sound. I didn't find the chair, but two hours have passed and I have done nothing but think back to how lovely it was to have small ones around the house and how I wish that time would slow down...or even go backwards. Very unproductive...but that's okay as the doctor told me this morning that I have tonsillitis...which I'm thinking justifies an afternoon of bed rest and time-wasting.

15 comments:

  1. Oh poor you, Florence. Plenty of bed rest and dreaming of sewing projects sounds about right. It is quite hard looking back to when children are tiny, however much you may enjoy where you are at now. Thank heavens for cameras! xx

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  2. i know what you mean about time, my kids are growing up far too fast. lucy has now lost both of her top front teeth and it really shocked me how different it made her look, and how much she's starting to change and grow. i think you need at least 2 days in bed for tonsillitis, i had it for the first time ever last year, and oh my goodness!, it's been a long time since i felt that ill!

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  3. Hi Florence, your pictures look beautiful, I would love to learn applique, it look very precise!? I know what you mean about your children growning up, my eldest girl has just celebrated her 5th birthday, I can't beleive that much time has flown and my youngest will be 3yrs in the summer. It is so scary, particularly when i see so many newborns. I thought you were going to annouce that you were expecting! not tonsillitis, poor you. lots of rest and tlc i think.

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  4. I love the picture. Get better soon Florence.

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  5. Hi Florence, the picture and board are beautiful.
    I am dosed with the cold, but sore tonsils, euh...go to bed woman!
    I'd love to know what you think of the shelf edging on my blog. What could be done with it?

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  6. Ah, if only we didn't have to get sick in order to justify an afternoon of bed rest and time-wasting! We all need a little time to ourselves. Enjoy.

    Ange
    www.LoveAngelaHandmade.blogspot.com

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  7. A D O R A B L E

    Simply, adorable.

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  8. I love, love, love your applique. You are so talented.

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  9. Get well soon Florence! I know what you mean about time flying by, my little ones are 19 & 17 now but it only seems like yesterday that they were born.
    XX

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  10. Hope your feeling better soon. Its amazing how quick our little ones grow, I now have an almost teen! But do go on an upholstry course, a friend of mine has had so much fun (she has never mentioned lots of power tools).

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  11. Yet again you make some lovely things. Sorry to hear about tonsillitis, it really is nasty. my mum did upholstery in the 70's and I don't remember any power tools. I remember a hammer tho and plenty of webbing and tacks. She's good with her hands like you, and she did loads. I do remember her saying that her teacher was a perfectionist and would make her undo work that wasn't right and do it again. Why don't you look into finding a course nearby. Anyway I hope you feel better soon.

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  12. oh dear! hope you feel better soon - tonsilitis is horrid. I too have been feeling nostalgic for when J was little, at only 13, he is much more grown up and 'developed' than his peers, and I long for my cute little boy back as I think teenagedom is much harder to cope with as a parent! It is now that I sort of realise why it is that as one grows older, along with ones children, the need for grandchildren slowly evolves!! But i've got a long wait for that, which is a good thing. xx

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  13. Hi, i've given you an award, please check it out

    April xx

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  14. Feel better soon!

    I have often wanted to freeze dry my daughter. I think of her as being so pure and sweet and so on the cusp of morphing into a teenager....that is when we need the fast forward button!

    I find it very theraputic to look through photos of the children when they were little but also very sad.

    I loved the picture VERY much and have been thinking about making a memo board although I have many more things more important to finish in my sewing list. What a lovely gift for a little girl?

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  15. I want to make a memo board, and put on it what gardening jobs need doing. I've already made all the 'jobs cards'- the idea is to put the jobs needing doing on the board, and when they've been done put that card into a box or an envelope attached to the board somewhere.....ho hum. Maybe it will be made in time for this summer! LOL!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x