Sofa Slipcover (so far)

Good Morning! I don’t know how many of you are digging out today. Here in Illinois it seems the most that anyone got was 1 or 2 inches of snow. And the sun is shining today!

I’m nearing the completion of the sofa slipcover. Must admit it started a bit daunting. I decided as usual to not rush this project even though it would mean the house be a bit upset for awhile. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to handle all of the differenet pieces. As you will see in the photos it has rounded, rolled arms.

One of my decisions is how to handle the back of the sofa. It needs to be interesting enough to be able to stand freely in the room. It has a certain roll to it as well. The second photo here shows how I used a ribbon tie to finish off the chair.
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I am actually doing alot more hand sewing on it then I thought I would be, but I think it is giving it a better fit than otherwise might have been. And I think when it comes to cleaning the slipcover it will be beneficial.

I don’t know if you remember from my previous post that I had not only washed and dried the dropcloths, but had bleached them as well. Number one because I wanted a lighter off white look, and two, I will be able to wash them when it comes time for cleaning them.

The arm ended up being three pieces put together by part machine sewing and part hand sewing. I think I’m probably going to do a little stapling as well due to the way the roll goes over the sides of the sofa.
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Basically what it takes to make a slipcover is cutting pieces of your fabric as it is layed on the sofa or chair. As you can see from this last photo I still need to find the correct hem length and do the cushions. Working on that while we speak.
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And so it is back to it. Really would like to have it completed by the weekend so I can put the house back together.
Have a great day and stay warm!

Slipcovers From Dropcloths

For the most part the chair and ottoman slipcovers are finished. I noticed this morning that I want to do a little adjustment on the ottoman corners and I want to add a ribbon to the back of the chair due to the fabric not being as form fitting as I had liked.
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For starters of course you need to find the dropcloths. I ended up ordering mine from Amazon. Great price and free shipping! There was a difference in the type of fabric from the dropcloths I had used for the draperies. At first I was dismayed, but after working with the fabric and a little more thought I am glad the fabric is different. Why? This fabric has a little bit of a nubby texture to it which I love. Also, I’m really glad it is not all matchy matchy. Here is a photo of the different types of dropcloth fabric. The one on the right is the drapery fabric. It really is a personal preference.
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I cut the dropcloths along the finished seams. Some people use these seams, I prefer not to, they seem a little clunky to me.
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Cutting them makes them more manageable and an easy fit into a home washer and dryer versus taking them to a laundromat. I bleached the pieces with 2 cups of bleach per washload. Two reasons. First, I didn’t care for the amout of the unbleached look that they had, and secondly, at some point they will need to be cleaned. By starting them off washed and bleached I know how the fabric will look with a good cleaning. Also, I washed them in hot water and dried them in a dryer to shrink them to a true size.
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I wanted the chaircover to have a more relaxed fir, therefore, the only measuring I did was for the skirt. I have made slipcovers twice before and this technique has served me well. I layed a large section of fabric over the chair and cut it to fit, starting with the back. Then I moved on to the arms of the chair.
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I played with the fabric a bit. I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to handle the arms of the chair. I wanted a soft look. I ended up simply gathering the excess fabric together and tucking it behind a front panel. I love the finished look.
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Next came the skirt of the chair. I measured all around and added an extra 5 inches for every box pleat that I wanted. I ended up with one at each front corner and two hugging the back corners, pinning and fitting as I went along.
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Here’s a tip……if you pin the pieces together while they are on the chair, remove the cover, sew the seams, press and turn the piece, you can then easily place it back on the chair.
Here is the completed chair. (or almost. Like I said earlier I decided this morning that it needs a ribbon tie back for the back of the chair.)
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Oops! Here is a before photo:
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Need a special hostess gift? Want to dress up your counter or bar? Or do you just feel like doing a fun craft project?

Can’t tell you how many of these sold at shows this holiday season. Crazy! But they are cute. And easy and fun to make. And, of course, the thought of a bunch of little elves running around the place made me smile. :)

And, they are what they say, “easy peasy”.
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You can easily make a pattern for them from looking at the picture. A long triangle and then the little piece for the beard. And you can adjust the beard piece to your liking.

You will need old sweaters, I got mine from Goodwill. Wash and shrink them. Wool ones really do work best but if you are short on wool ones like I was, then an acrylic one will work

You will also need the fur for the beard. There is an assortment of fur available at JoAnnes Crafts and Fabrics store. Small sized metallic fur balls can be found at Michaels and the little wooden plugs may be found at your local hardware store, Menards, or Home depot.
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Assembly is easy. Take a beard and center it on the straight end of the hat on the wrong side. Zigzag across the entire edge..
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Next, sew together the long sides creating a point. Now this is where I thought it might be a pain but wasn’t. You turn it inside out. I thought it might be a little difficult because it is such a small point, but I guess beacause of the stretchy material it turned quite easily.
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Using a glue gun, I attached the wooden plug right below the hat centering it on the beard. And I also used a glue gun to fasten the metallic fur ball to the point of the hat.
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Voila! You have your elf!

Ornaments and Trimming Beards

So what do ornaments and trimming beards have in common? Well, the main thing is that they are items that I am creating for a Holiday Market in Naperville put on by Room 363. Indeed it is that time of year. And, shamefully, I am one of the few people glad to see the Christmas items on display in stores. Terrible, right? You see that preparing for a holiday show does not happen overnight. And I had a few ideas in mind but it involved using some Christmas themed items that were not readily available. For instance there is a certain color green tissue paper that I wanted to use for ornaments. I looked everywhere I could think of that sold giftwrapping. Then about the time I was about to forget that particular color I went into JoAnne Fabrics. They had put out a fair amount of Christmas decor and lo and behold there was just what I was looking for! With a sigh of relief I knew then that I would indeed be able to complete what I had just begun, and with time to spare.

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The elves are what I call Wine Elves. They are a nice little touch when taking a gift of wine for the hostess of the get together that you are going to for the holidays. It just slips onto the top of the bottle. Dresses it up a little doesn’t it?

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I really enjoyed working on the ornaments. I’m including some photos of them during the process. Easy enough to do, although a little messy with the glitter and all.

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Using styrofoam balls (I used the larger ones), loosen up Elmer’s glue with a little water and “glue” on about 3″ torn sheets of a tissue paper that you want to use. I used 3 colors.

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Let dry. A good way to do this is to poke screws through foamcore and then press the balls onto the screws like in the photos.

When dry brush on a thin coat of the glue mixture and then sprinkle with crystal glitter. Let dry again. This is the messy part…..I try to brush off as much loose glitter as possible at this point.

Using about a 5/8 ribbon wrap it around the ornament twice and tie a standard bow. (This can be a little tricky depending on the ribbon you used.) Next I hot glued some little gold berries to the top. You could use acorns for a nature feeel.
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Like I said, it is a little messy, but this could make a nice little gift couldn’t it? Or maybe you would just like it to dress up your own tree.

Enjoy your day! ( I’ve been battling a really bad cold this week and looking for some relief!)

Transferring A Favorite Photo

Hello there!

In my last post on transferring images I said that I would show how to do a standard photograph. Well, I decided to do one of a favorite photo that I have and wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to display it. This is a perfect opportunity to use the transfer process.

Basically you need the same materials as for a painted image. That would be a photocopy of the photo that you want to transfer, gel medium, a preferred canvas, and a sponge.
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Apply the gel evenly to the canvas and lay the copy over it with the image side down. I chose an 8×10 canvas and simply printed a copy of the image off my home printer. If you go to a printer do get your copy, do not use photo paper for this process, use regular photocopy paper. My printer had reassured me that their photo paper was used regularly when customers wanted to transfer images. So I went ahead and used their paper for an order. Wrong. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong so I googled it. What my printer was calling transferring is very different from what I was wanting to do. What they were saying was transferring was in reality attaching a photo, face side up and it is simply “glued” on. That is not what this is about. The reason I settled on their paper was because of the size of the image my customer wanted to use. It was 20×24 and the printer can’t make copies on regular photocopy paper on something that large. Just a heads up to you. If you ever have any questions about it don’t hesitate to ask.
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I decided to crackle the sides instead of putting a standard frame on it. I based it with a medium brown (I used PPG Earthy Ochre, but any medium brown will work), used a crackle medium over this (I only needed a little so I used Martha Stewart’s Crackle Medium), and then painted it with an offwhite called French White, which is a BJM color.

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By the way this makes for great Christmas gifts. A real personal touch to gift giving.

I’m, not sure if I mentioned this in the last post, but when you transfer an image in this manner it will be a reverse of what it shows in the original photo.

So have fun with it and maybe someone you know will receive that personalized gift this holiday season.
Have a great day!

Transferring Photos Onto Canvas

A good DIY project here. Not difficult one bit. It does require some patience, or so it seems to me.

I have done these in the past of reduced photos of my floral paintings. People seem to like them so I thought I would attempt it for Halloween.

You will need:

A canvas (I would start off with a manageable size, I used 8×8 for these)
Gel medium (I recommend getting a better quality, it will be worth the extra cost)
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A paint brush to apply the gel.
A photo of what you want to transfer.
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First off, make yourself a good photocopy of the piece you want to transfer. I prefer to go to Staples and get a good quality copy from their copiers. Lay it face side down over the chosen canvas so that you can line up the picture correctly. I crease the sides a little so as to lay it on the gel easier.
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Liberally apply the gel medium to the blank canvas making sure to fill in all the little valleys. Smooth it out so that there won’t be any air pockets created. Make sure you put enough of the gel on, about 1/8 inch thick or a little more. It does make a difference.

Position the photocopy face down onto the gel, adjusting it to sit in the position that you want. You can slide it around a little with no harm done so no worries there.

Smooth it out for several minutes with your fingertips. I find that it adheres much better if I take the time to smooth it out for a few minutes. Once it is adjusted and smoothed down set it aside overnight. It needs to dry thoroughly before you move on to the next step.
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Once dry you can peel off the paper and the transfer will appear. You will need to do this step a few times. Most directions say 1-3 times. I found I had to do at least 5 times. it’s no big deal really, you just want to keep this is mind. The way to start removing the paper is to use a damp sponge and blot the moisture onto the canvas. You can tell by the picture that it will look significantly different.

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Once all of the paper is removed you can finish the canvas off. with the Halloween ones I crackled the sides with an orange and purple base and black over it. For the transfers of my paintings I gallery wrapped the image. By that I mean that I made the photocopy large enough that it wrapped around the sides.
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So what are my overall thoughts on the process?

I truly love the concept. And I will be making more of transfers of my canvases. My Halloween ones? Well, to be honest, with the amount of time that I put into thransfering the images I could have painted them on alot more quickly. A little disappointing? Yes. Will it keep me from using the process again? Not one bit. Here are pictures of my floral canvases done up as transfers. Love them.×8-painting-set-of?ref=shop_home_active_15

And I do plan on using this to transfer a photo that I would like to make look old and beat up. I will post on that as soon as I get it done. Is it worth the effort and do I recommend it? Absolutely. I do if you are wanting to transfer something as a gift, or if the original is timeconsuming , such as my oil paintings, or, like I said, if you are wanting to age and distress an old photo.

So, if you are at all crafty you can handle this one. Even if you’re not a real creative type. It would make for a great handmade Christmas gift. Very unique.

Hope you are enjoying the season!

Old Apple Cake Recipe

This is an old apple cake recipe. Not a cake made from old apples, but a recipe that I have had for a very long time. Not really sure where I got it. I think it was some time around the time that I was a member of the West Chicago Mothers’ Club. I usually make it about once a year. It is not exactly a quick recipe but is so worth the time. It doesn’t take forever, it’s just that I am not a fan of peeling and chopping apples. But it is the thought of the results that make it worthwhile.

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Apple Cake

2C flour
2tsp baking soda
2tsp cinnamon
1tsp salt
2C sugar
1C shortening…(if using oil add last)
2tsp vanilla
5C chopped apples (tart)
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1C chopped walnuts/optional

Cream sugar, shortening, & eggs (one at a time). Add rest of ingredients.
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Pour into greased and floured 9×13 pan.
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Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
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(Want a little decadence? Have a scoop of vanilla ice cream next to a warm slice of cake. Yum!)

As far as the apples go I usually buy whatever tart ones that happen to be on sale. How many make up 5cups? It varies depending on the size of the apples of course. I tend to buy a bag of them.

Sound easy enough? It really is. Just a little time consuming, chopping apples and all.
Every year at this time I get the urge to make Apple Cake.

It’s Fall again! Time for beautiful colors, cool mornings, and crisp apples.

Oh, yes, and a bit of news! My application to take part in the Morris Three French Hens Market on October 11th has been approved. Another great market to get ready for!

Have a great day everyone!