Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hotel Living And Hiatus

Sounds luxurious, but it's more like living in a dorm for families and business professionals. Surprisingly Annie, our 19mth old, is doing rather well. A bit frustrated because now and then she wants to go "home," but happy the majority of the time because she's somewhere new and she can swim everyday in the indoor pool.

As you can imagine, I'm on a furniture and crafting hiatus. We're living for a month in the hotel with only 4 suitcases, and there's a very high possibility that we'll be keeping our stuff in storage for longer if we don't buy a house right away. Poor Annie misses all her toys. And poor Emily misses hers!

So hopefully you'll see some fun project posts early next year, but until then Lovely Beasts is on a break. Happy early Thanksgiving and Christmas to all! See you in the new year :).

Love The Beasts,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Big Move

Bad news? 
I won't be able to finish my wingback for another month.

Good news?
My husband was offered an amazing job in Connecticut. Yes! We're moving back to the New England area in 10 days. The funny thing is, I lived in the West Hartford for a year straight out of college and HATED it. It just wasn't a great place for a 22 year old to "find" herself. Thankfully, we'll be living in a smaller town closer to Rhode Island and it's a great area for families. Hopefully we'll be buying our first home soon. So exciting! So many DIY house projects to come!

Sorry to disappoint you all with yet another unfinished project. But look at it this way, I'll be able to finish both the wingback and my Maine chair from September. Yippee!

Love the Beasts,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wingback Progress

I'm halfway done with recovering the wingback!!! Yippee!!! I went a different route with the details on the arms, instead of using piping I chose to use upholstery tacks. Crossing my fingers it all works out and it'll be done by the end of the week. I hope I hope I hope!

Here are a few sneak peeks of my progress.

And yes I'm using canvas dropcloth again, but the back and cushion of the wingback will feature a different fabric. No sneak peek on that though. It's a surpriiiiiise!

Love the Beasts,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

De-upholstered Wingback

Ugh! Almost 2 weeks later and I've finally removed all of the purple fabric from my wingback. I would say that I removed all the staples too, but this monster has been reupholstered before and there old staples in the wood that I'm not messing with.

Here's my curbside wingback before.

Here's what she looks like right now. It's so awesome how it feels like I haven't done anything. But hopefully that changes over the next few weeks. At least I think that's how long it will take to dress her up again. I have a plan on her "after" look, I just hope I'm successful!

A beautiful sight for those that understand. And here's her original fabric. Hello 70's! Not terrible, but not my style either.

Love the Beasts,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Curtain Panel Seat Cushions

My mom received these 2 matching chairs years ago from a friend and she liked the style, but over time the canvas fabric became discolored. Bleaching a few stains made the discolorations stand out even more (it might be hard to tell in the picture below but they're there!).

I promised her I would recover them once I found fabric that she liked for a price we could both agree on (scarily enough she's even more of a bargain hunter than I am), but we couldn't find anything at Hobby Lobby or any of the other nearby fabric stores that met the criteria. Then my mom came across a curtain panel at a thrift store she thought might work. It was $10 at the time and would be 50% off the following week. We drove by the next week so I could check out the fabric and it was perfect! They were selling 2 panels but we only bought 1 and it was enough to cover the 2 chairs with about 2 yards leftover. So we got about 3 yards for $5. We could both agree it was a great deal!

The best thing about the curtain panel is that it has a foam lining underneath which makes the fabric thick and sturdy. I recovered the cushions that night and now the chairs look brand new again!

Love the Beasts!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What have I been doing?


I can't even explain what a pain in the arse it is to take the upholstery off of a wingback. I'm trying to salvage the ply-grip (metal teeth) and reuse it when I finally get to upholstering this monster, but it's getting pretty beat up by all my pulling and prying. Staple count is probably up to around 300+ now. Injury count is 2, and I'm only counting the injuries where I bled my own blood.

To sum it up, I've worked about 1 or 2 hours everyday and have only stripped the back and left side of the chair. I still have a bajillion staples waiting for me to pull out before I can even think about reupholstering my wingback. Sigh, well back to work. Lets hope it takes less than a week to get rest of the purpleness off.

Love the Beasts,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Wingback

I'm back in Houston and unfortunately I didn't finish the chair I bought up in Maine. It's painted a bright grassy green and the seat is upholstered with a great funky fabric, but the seat back still needs to be recovered. Sad, I know. It's blasphemy to leave a lovely chair like that half done! But don't worry, I'll get back to it eventually. I promise!

So what's the next big project you ask? The Wingback. This big purple monster I grabbed off the curb for free.

This is quite the reupholstery project I'm taking on. It requires a lot of tools and techniques that are completely foreign to me. But that's what this whole blog is about! Learning the trade and turning hideous beasts into gorgeous beauts. Or just pretty decent looking dames.

Here I go! Wish me luck!

Love the Beasts,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Releasing A Chair Into The Wild

Maine. Where else can you find yard/tent sales on a Monday? Today Momma, Annie, and I went to Farmington Fair and on the way we stopped at a giant yard sale on the side of the road and immediately we were greeted by this great sofa set.

Really cute, but that really didn't matter because my in-laws didn't need anymore furniture and we had a Toyota Yaris which already had a child seat and large radio flyer wagon in the back. By some miracle however, we were able to squeeze in a chair. Yes, I bought a chair even though I live 45349504385 miles away. My mother-in-law convinced me to buy the thing and work on it over the next week, and we'd figure out what to do with it later. We now have a plan, but it's a secret plan. I'll still show you the makeover though! If I get it done in time of course.

Here are the 2 items I've purchased here in Maine. A vintage wire egg basket and a $3 chair covered in what appears to be textured pleather. Blech, the stuff feels gross.

And here I have a photo log of what happens when you release a chair into the wilderness. It explores the unfamiliar territory, tentatively collecting discarded relics, all the while making sure the photographer catches its best angles.

Yup, I'm aware how strange I am. I couldn't help but take these pictures on my in-laws' property and then we couldn't stop laughing at the pictures afterwards. We joked about releasing the furniture into its natural habitat, and if my chair were an author these would be the types of pictures he would take for his book flap. Hah!...well, I thought it was funny :).

Love the Beasts,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taking You With Me To Maine

I've been in Maine since last Wednesday with Annie visiting my in-laws. It was a surprise for my Momma (mother-in-law) who promptly cried when she walked in the door and saw Annie. They live on a beautiful 50-acre property in Maine with lush, beautiful, thick green grass. So nice to walk barefoot and not worry about fire ants or other evil Texas bugs. And it's been such amazing weather! Friday morning it was 39 degrees when I woke up. I don't even know if I'll ever feel that cold in Houston.

Some of the best antique and vintage finds are here in Maine. There are loads of retirees who've collected a lot of junk in their lifetime along with nicer junk that's been passed down to them for generations. In the first 3 days we hit up a church sale, flea market, a couple yard sales, and an antique store. Here are a couple pictures from an antique store called Wilbur's. A bit on the expensive side for me, but they have some lovely furniture. I especially love the fold-up wooden theater seats.

Look how green it is. Don't you just want to lay down and take a nap in it? Ahh...

There was a ton of stuff at this store, but I couldn't stay long to look or take pictures because Annie started getting antsy. And I didn't walk away with anything, but I did buy something at the church sale. Hopefully I'll buy a couple more things and put it all in a post later this week.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Love the Beasts,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Repurposed Bench With Faux Grainsack

Ahhhhh. I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. My repurposed coffee table bench is complete! Sorry it took a little longer than I thought. I had put all of the finishing touches on the bench and was about to post the "after" shots, then decided it needed a pleated skirt. It was my first time ever at sewing pleats, and it took forever because I had to sew about 256 inches of  fabric to fit around the bench. Not hard, but not that much fun either.

So what do you think?

I found the topless French-style coffee table abandoned on the curb a few months ago.

Then a couple weeks back my brother broke his bench.

Genius struck and a new bench was born! I painted the coffee table frame with 3 coats of Sherwin Williams Uncertain Grey and removed the upholstered seat from the broken bench. This picture was taken with 1 coat into my painting process (I dry brushed the first layer).

I liked the funky modern feel and considered keeping the dry brush look to go with the faux black leather, but I realized the coffee table frame was sticking out too much on the sides. The bench seat had to be bigger. So I did a complete 180 and reupholstered the seat by adding 2 layers of cotton quilt batting and chose painted dropcloth canvas as my fabric. Using painters tape and dark blue acrylic paint, I used a foam brush to paint 2 sets of parallel lines on each side. Now instead of faux leather, I had my faux grainsack! The fabric and batting were attached using an electric stapler and 3/8" staples.

I actually would have preferred to keep the bench this way to show off the details on the side of the table, but I had to add metal L-shaped brackets to the corners to reinforce the frame and both the wood and metal still showed a tiny bit when I put the bench seat on.

Of course that just wouldn't do! This is where the skirt came in. I decided on pleats and cut the dropcloth fabric 6" long and 256" wide and hemmed the bottom. And here's a little pleating trick of mine that hopefully you find useful in the future! Index cards! Don't know if anyone else has used them before for pleating, but I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with the idea. I chose to make 3" wide pleats and a 3"x5" index card was the perfect little guide.  I folded fabric around the card (frontwards or backwards depending on the pleat) and was able to pin each pleat the exact same width.  The picture below is of my practice ruffles so it shows pleats at different sizes.

After sewing the pleats together, I stapled them beneath the bench seat. I hand-sewed the back where the two ends meet and chose a convenient place where I was able to hide the seam beneath the fold of a pleat. Then I ironed the pleats out so they didn't look so shabby.

Now to the picture-less portion of this post (I was too involved with the process and forgot to get the camera). In order to attach the upholstered seat to the bench, my husband had to help drill holes in the coffee table. In the typical upcycle style, we used the original screws from the old bench. It took 1 larger drill bit for the screw to go in and a smaller drill bit so that the screw head wouldn't fall out. After a couple test runs he was able to successfully drill 8 perfect holes for the bench. Woohoo! No yelling or cursing from either of our mouths. A proud moment for us :).

Finally, she's ready for the big time! My first furniture repurpose project is a success! And both the table and the seat were free. Yippee!

And sorry to everyone who hasn't heard from me lately. There's always so much to do and so little personal time that blogging and everything that goes with it has been on the backburner. Don't think I've become unfriendly and distant though! It's still me :)

Love the Beasts,

Linking to: