Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thrift Store Find

We were shopping for a piano yesterday (still haven't decided on one yet) and on a whim, I asked my lovely husband if I could stop by Goodwill. We dropped by and there was nothing there. Things are getting so expensive there! I was shocked - a mirror for $250?? I walked out, disappointed.

On the way back, there was a man standing by the side of the road with a signage that read, "NAMI Thrift Store" My dear husband said, "Wanna stop here?" The boys were in the back seat, reading. They are used to this frequent stops, I love them so much!

I was doubtful but never one to pass off and opportunity to visit any thrift stores, I said yes. Oh. I am so glad I did. They had lovely furniture for REAL thrift store prices. Okay, we live near DC where everything is expensive. I should have taken pictures. There was a pair of cane barrel chairs, just like the one I bought recently but just when I was about to pick them up, the lady at the store said to me, "Have you seen this chair?"

There she was. Lovely lines and curves. She was a lady's chair. Beautiful wood and good frame.She came with a footstool. $25.00. Of course I took her home. She is going to be mine and I am not going to sell her. There is nothing wrong with her, except for scratches and I plan to reupholster her as soon as I decide on the fabric. I think something traditional or plain would suit this chair. I am going to try to refinish the wood and not paint it, it would be a crime.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pillow Form and Sweater Pillow

I sometimes browse through online stores and see pillows that I like and I am always amazed at the prices that the stores charge. I am shocked at pillows that cost $100 and above. Anything over $30 is a lot of money because pillows are the easiest things to make! Also, things are a lot cheaper in Asia, I guess because of the conversion of the currency. Once, I went to West Elm and saw a pillow I liked and paid $30 for it. Ka-ching! That was the sound of the cashier's till. Just kidding. I went home, looked at the receipt and saw that I was only paying for the cover of the pillow. The insert, or the actual pillow itself was $15! That made the whole thing $45. Not only that, I had purchased four of them! Note to self: Must check receipt every time before leaving the car park. As West Elm is too far away, in Virginia, I decided to keep them, otherwise, I would have returned them.

Last weekend, I went to a thrift store and saw a huge pile of polyester filling. I decided to take only one because I wanted to experiment with making my own pillow form and creating a sweater pillow. The internet is full of helpful information on how to make them.

This bag was HUGE. I put an A4 paper next to it to show its comparative size. It cost me $1.50. I had lots of scrap fabric at home so I used an off-white cotton. I followed this very helpful tutorial by Today's Fabulous Finds. I only need half a bag to fill the pillow form so there is enough for another pillow. Bonus! I might go back this weekend to pick up more polyfibre fill!

I also bought a couple of sweaters from the thrift store and one of them was this. $3.50. Sorry about the poor lighting, I took this photo a little before midnight.

I washed it (even though the store said it was washed but you never know) and started working. I followed a tutorial by the Brassy Apple.

I will just let the pictures tell their own story.

I am saving the sleeves for a scarf for Matt.

I forgot to take photos of my pillow form - oops! The only picture I have of it is in the background, see how it is pinned, waiting for me to hand stitch the closing shut?

And here is my finished sweater pillow. I do like the texture of it, it was a good experiment. It seems a bit plain to me, I might add some embellishments later - not sure whose room it will go into yet. The boys might reject it if I put a pink flower on it.

Monday, February 7, 2011


You might have noticed the new look on my blog. I changed the look because I wanted a white background, so that my links could be seen. I am totally challenged in the technology area but it was easy peasy, with The Graphics Fairy, she creates free templates and making those changes were not difficult to do. Thank you Graphics Fairy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Welcome The Year Of The Rabbit

I am missing my family back in Malaysia - they have had their reunion dinner last night and this morning, even as I type this, they are heading out with the extended family, a tradition we have followed long before I was born (and that was 40 years ago) to have their first meal of the day together.

To all celebrating the Chinese New Year, here is a direct Cantonese translation, which I thought was most apt:

Wishing you all,
Bunny Arrive Work Done,
Step Step High Rise,
Year Year Got Fish - (prosperity message here!)
One Road Smooth Wind,
Out In Flat Safe,
Smile Mouth Long Open,
Hear Think Work Done,
Dragon Horse Sperm God,
Gong Xi Fatt Cai!

Designing Your Own Fabric

I have started working on my yellow chairs and boy, are those chairs a big mess inside! As I took them apart, the inside had already rotted and all the foam had turned into powder. Cough, cough! It was BAD.

Anyway, I am looking everywhere for a Union Jack fabric but cannot find one which is the right scale and size. I spent a long time online looking overseas as well, thinking that perhaps in the UK, they might sell some Union Jack inspired fabric. But no. All they have are flags, and I can't work with polyesters.

Imagine my happiness and surprise when I found this website, Spoonflower. You can design your own fabric using any sort of drawing software and they will print it for you! They have a selection of fabrics that you can choose, from quilting cottons to thicker ones used for home decor. The prices are quite good as well! I was so thrilled.

You get to see and buy other people's creations online and they get 10% from it. If someone buys your design, you will get a 10% from sales. By the way, I am not getting paid for this - it is just a useful resource for sewers and crafters when they cannot get the fabric they want.

I am off to experiment with this website! Enjoy!