Friday, June 17, 2011

tip: do NOT give your sewing dummy arms

I thought it would be a good idea to have arms on my dummy, to make sure clothes I make fit my football player sized arms.

mistake. big mistake. We raise our arms to fit into clothes. My dummy can't. I can't put anything on it. darn. darn. darn. have to amputate :-(.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

paint a chalkboard with a sponge brush, not a regular brush

Another learn from my mistakes post: 

Recipe for creating chalkboard paint here at Martha Stewart's. 

And I guess Martha really knows her stuff, because she was right about using a roller or sponge (and not hair) paintbrush. I didn't have a sponge paintbrush around, so I used a regular brush. Mistake.

Regular brushes leave a lined texture (see picture) that is not fun to write on (real bummer: what good is a chalkboard if it isn't fun to write on? :-().

(It also might be wiser to use a darker shade of paint.)

tip: I found acrylic paint for the project to be expensive since it comes in large containers. My solution: buy a tester container. It turns out to be exactly enough for a big board.

when reupholstering - use a spray adhesive

Learn from my mistakes:
I found a vintage Cosco kitchen chair someone threw out. I thought It would be great for (short) me and my kitchen.
Turns out professional reupholstering is not cheap (and can even cost the same as a new chair), so I decide to try my own hand at it.
Collecting the materials needed is'nt easy. You don't exactly find foam and artificial leather on every street corner. And when I found out the recommended spray adhesives were really expensive, I tried to cut corners and use regular cement glue (the sprays used in upholstery are made of cement glue). Big mistake.
My chair looks like it's so hit with cellulite, it could use a lifetime Pilates membership. This happened because the foam absorbs the glue, making it impossible to spread evenly (without a spray), and the uneven glue causes the cushion to dimple.
sigh (there is no way I'm taking this chair apart. this wisdom will have to wait for the next abandoned chair. yeah, right. I probably will. and change the orange to baby blue).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Are earrings vehicles of evil?

I've wanted my ears pierced since I was a little girl. I only got around to having them pierced as a teen. And boy did they create havoc and pain. Within a few years I stopped using them and they seemed to close up.

A year ago I decided to have them repierced (is that the term?) for my birthday. This time I was super careful. I researched the subject, and had them done by a professional with a sterile kit. I kept the cleaning regulations religiously.

I still ended up with ears that are not happy to have earrings.

Last month I decided to stop being a wimp and to accustom my ears to earrings. I used 14K gold studs. I thought I was making it.

Then I came down with a flu. I suspected the earrings.

Brushing my suspicions aside, last week I tried again. I thought everything was OK.

I developed strange bite marks on my back, which of course could not be related to the earrings. I stepped into my GP to have a look at the bites (because they were in a very strange location) and turns out I contracted shingles. I'm not in the age group of people who come done with shingles, which means I somehow have a weak immune system.

I really wonder if the earrings had anything to do with it (in any case they're out for now :-().

Friday, June 4, 2010

my ironing-board top was featured on!

My ironing-board top was featured on

Thanks for choosing to feature me :-)!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

removable ironing-board top (on a cabinet)

It's not that I iron clothes, but that I need to be able to press seams when I sew. And I have a bad back, so there's no way I'm going to go and get an ironing board every time I sew a seam.

My sewing machine is in the balcony along with some cabinet pieces that belong to my landlord. Two of them piled up make a great ironing-board height, so I decided to give one of them a temporary ironing-board top.

I took on old mattress protector for batting, an old thick cotton sheet for covering and with the help of Velcro strips I put my temporary ironing-board top together - and I love the result (I keep petting it when I pass it. I better stop that))! And it's totally removable (and washable. and does not jeopardize my deposit).

Here's how I made it.

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