D.I.Y Fridays

D.I.Y Friday; Let There Be Light

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Yay! I actually have a D.I.Y for this Friday, this one was much harder than anticipated. I’m trying to slowly add new D.I.Y pieces for our bedroom and the first on the agenda was this lamp. We purchased the lamp from The Warehouse, over a year ago when we moved into our first place. I liked it at the time, but like a lot of things for me I became a little bored of it. It’s been on my mind for a while now to update it, firstly I was going to get faux flowers and cover the whole shade, but after pondering it, I thought that this idea could end up being a little costly and time consuming. Then I was at work and one of the beautiful ladies Belinda was telling me how she’d just finished making lampshades with fabric from Bolt of Cloth (any excuse for me to go into that shop). She had made her lampshade from scratch however, to keep costs down I wanted to reuse my lampshade and just cover it with fabric. I would recommend  getting an extra pair of hands to help you with this D.I.Y as it can get very fiddly and I’m not going to lie, I had to out of frustration but it down and come back to it.

Anyway lets get started,

Here’s what you’ll need:

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An old lamp, this ones from The Warehouse here

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Glossy Spray Paint of your choice, we went for black available here at Mitre 10. Fine Sandpaper again Mitre10

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Calaveras Algeres in natural and Calaveras se mi Qeerida in natural; Bolt of Cloth Fabric here and here

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Mod Podge from spotlight, Double sided tape also from spotlight and a sewing kit, which we didn’t end up using

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You’ll also need;

Masking Tape, Scissors, an Iron, Pencil or Fabric Chalk and a Laquer Coat (optional)

*So, once you’ve got all your required items, you can get stuck in. Firstly you need to pull the lamp apart and then you sadly need to get sanding (we all know how much I love this). Thankfully not too much sanding is needed. When we popped into Mitre 10 to get the spray paint and sandpaper the guy in the Paint Department, who also helped us last time, gave us some great advice. He suggested to sand the lamp with a really fine sandpaper, and then grab a clean cloth and wipe the dust up and away from the lamp. To ensure that we weren’t rubbing it back into the lamp and creating an uneven texture. So that’s what I did.

IMG_2555IMG_2559*You then need to take some vinegar, we only had apple cider. Just to clean the lamp shade really well. This is to ensure all the dust is gone and you have an even base for your spray paint to adhere to.

IMG_2571*Next requires masking tape. Take your tape and cover any parts of the lamp you do not wish to be covered in black spray paint. I went ahead and covered the top part where the lightbulb sits, the bottom and the cord with the switch.

IMG_2580IMG_2577*Once you’re satisfied with your tape placement, the fun can begin. Grab your spray paint and spray away. Make sure to read the instructions on the can before applying, for example; at what distance you need to hold the can. I would also advise wearing gloves and either doing this outdoors or in your garage or shed if its too cold out. I got Chris to hold and turn the lamp whilst I sprayed, to ensure and even coat. The lamp needed two coats, for a glossy opaque look. We also added a lacquer coat on top to maintain the colour and protect against wear and tear. This is optional as it did take away a lot of the original gloss from the spray paint.

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*Now to move on to the lampshade. As I said, next time I do a project like this I’m going to make the lampshade from scratch. But to keep costs down I decided to go ahead and use the original shade. The only downside to this was that because the fabric I chose is so light there is a green tinge when the light is on, which I actually don’t mind too much.

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 * Once you’ve got your chosen fabric. I went for this really cool Mexican, Sugar Skull fabric, again from Bolt of Cloth. I just loved the bright colours and the birds mixed in with the skulls. You then need to measure out the amount you will need. I’d recommend getting a larger piece cut at the store, my philosophy is ‘better too much, than not enough’. You can alway use the left over fabric for other projects. The easiest way to measure this is to get someone else to roll the lampshade across the fabric, whilst you trace the line with a pencil. Make sure you have a reference point on the lampshade as to where you started tracing from.

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Just trying to figure out how to attack this. Excuse my pjs.

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*Next is pretty self explanatory, get those scissors out and start cutting away. Ensure to leave enough of a gap, so that you can fold the fabric over the lampshade, at least 1cm. Same for both ends, so you are able to make a neat fold.

IMG_2925*Once you’ve cut out your fabric, you then need to make a crisp fold at one end of the fabric. This will require a iron. The line needs to be nice and neat as it will be on show.

IMG_2932*Now’s the time to get your double sided tape out. Is it just me or does anyone else find this stuff really frustrating?? I can never ever get my nails underneath the corners to pull the tape away. It really gets my knickers in a twist. Anyway take your tape and place it around the top and bottom edge. The tape I’d purchased was a little small so I had to go back in and put more take on the inside of the shade. You then just need to make small cuts in the tape, in order for you to fold the tape over. Repeat the process on the other end.

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IMG_2944IMG_2946*Now comes the glue. I went for this Multi Purpose glue by Modge Podge. You could also use a spray adhesive. You firstly need to glue the fold that you created earlier together. The next part needs two pairs of hands. The basic technique for this is that one person glues, whilst the other one places the fabric on top of the glue, making sure to rub out any bubbles. You do have to work quite fast with this as the glue sets quickly. Once you get to the end you just need to over lap the fabric and ensure that fold you created is visible on the outside.

 IMG_2953 IMG_2954 IMG_2956 IMG_2960 IMG_2962 IMG_2963*Now you need to fold over the fabric and tuck it under. However, before you can do this you need to trim the edges. I folded the fabric over and marked with a pencil, where I would need to cut. Trim the edges away. Next fold the fabric over onto the tape that you’d earlier placed down and push the fabric under the edge. Repeat this on the other end. I then went in with a card and push the fabric under further, just to neaten it up.

IMG_2965 IMG_2969 IMG_2972 IMG_2973*Once you’re satisfied and trimmed any stray ends, all you need to do is put everything back together, place a lightbulb in there and you’re done.

IMG_2985So there you have it. The finished product. I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. I love the black against the bright colours. I once again have to give a huge massive thank you to my right hand man and partner in the D.I.Y project Christopher, for putting up with my little frustrated strop. Also thanks to the unnamed man in the paint department at Mitre 10, you’re awesome and to lovely Belinda from work for giving me this bright idea (no pun intended). This piece has brightened up, what is quite a bland room and I can’t wait to get started with another one.

Thanks again for reading!

Bailey xox

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D.I.Y Fridays, Recipe

Heart Warming Chicken and Veggie Soup

It certainly is winter. I woke up to a mere 1 degree Celsius this morning and boy was that a shock to the system. As I am unable to provide you all with a D.I.Y this Friday because I’ve been pretty busy with my day job and life. I thought as a little consolation prize I’d post the recipe for the chicken soup featured in my What I Ate Tuesday post here. However, I have a few D.I.Y projects on the go as I type, so fingers crossed there will be something new on it’s way soon.

I must give credit to The Gracious Pantry here, for the recipe. I’ve used this original recipe as my base and tweaked it here and there to suit our personal tastes. I do love this website when I’m wanting to make something I know will be clean and will fill my body with goodness. I’ve also had a cold/virus on and off for the last month and quite frankly I’ve had enough. This soup has been my saviour for lunch time when I’m feeling poorly. As I mentioned in my last post I usually make a huge stock pot of this soup and then keep in the fridge. A big pot usually lasts the whole week and I’m told by Chris that it’s even better warmed up the next day.

I’m also not the greatest with measurements when I cook. I tend to do it Jamie Oliver Style and bish, bash, bosh it in. So I’m going to try my best to make it as accurate as possible, but like all recipes just adjust it to suit you.

So here we go,

What You’ll Need:

1 Tablespoon of your Cooking oil of choice, I prefer coconut oil

1 Large Onion Sliced

2 Cloves Garlic Minced

4 Large Carrots Peeled and Sliced

2 Large Leeks Sliced

Half a Cabbage Sliced

3 Stalks of Celery Chopped

3 Cups Frozen Sweetcorn

4 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast- Diced

3 L of Water (12 cups)

*1-2 Pouches of the Simon Gault Stock Chicken Liquid Concentrate (to taste, I usually use two as I love the added flavour it gives)

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon Marjoram

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Using a wok or a non stick pan,sauté the onions, garlic, leek, cabbage and carrot for around 6-8 mins, in the coconut oil.  Just to soften the onion,cabbage and leeks. Be careful not to over do it as I have on a few occasions, burnt garlic taste is never nice.
  2. Place the wok to one side and retrieve your stock pot. I got mine (as pictured below) here from Briscoes. Amazing value when you can pick one up in the never ending sale. Measure out the water and add your stock, My favourite stock is available here at Countdown. Its quite pricey but really worth it. *I have used the cheaper alternatives, like Maggi Stock Melts and the do work well too. Or if you’re way more skilled than me, make your own. Bring this to a slow shimmer.
  3. Once the stock is shimmering away, add in your vegetables from the wok. Don’t add in the celery or sweetcorn just yet. Also add your Garlic powder and Marjoram. Cook these for 30 mins.
  4. Then add in the diced chicken breast and your celery and cook for another 30 mins.
  5. Finally add the sweetcorn, in the very last 5 mins so that they retain their crunch and juiciness. Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.

The original recipe uses parsnip, although I wanted to leave this out as I following the 17 day diet and therefore wanted to keep within the plan. It also suggests to add noodles or brown rice. I substituted the noodles with cabbage to bulk it out and have also put this with cauliflower rice as another great, clean alternative. You could also go ahead at add some courgette noodles too if you’re feeling fancy.

I hope this makes some sense, as I’m not quite used to this whole recipe writing game and you all give it a try, Stay warm and toasty!

Thanks for reading,

Bailey xox

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D.I.Y Fridays

D.I.Y Friday… A Chair So I Can Sit And Do My Haiirrr

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As the title suggests, I’ve decided that Fridays are going to become the day that I post my latest D.I.Y conquests. This is the very first D.I.Y  I’ve attempted since year 12 art class (don’t ask).  I love custom furniture. However, the price tag that comes along with these one off pieces you’ll find on sites like this, don’t really fit into our ‘supposed to be saving for a house’ budget. So I thought to myself it can’t be that difficult, can it? I’d also seen my friend in real life Stace do this on her blog here. So go grab yourself a cuppa as this is a long one.

After consulting with my Mum, who had numerous D.I.Y projects on the go when I was little. She suggested that I start small and work my way up. I’m not much of a whizz with the sewing machine (unlike my amazing Grandmother) so I wanted to avoid sewing anything. I trawled through Trade Me (NZ version of Ebay) for the right chair. I managed to win this one for a mere $10 NZD and it went to Nurse Maude Hospice, a charity shop and organisation very dear to my heart, so it felt like fate.

I completed this project nearly a month ago and I hadn’t completely decided I was going to start a blog, which means I haven’t photographed the process very well (sorry). So with the photos that Chris; my other half took on my phone and some pictures I’ve managed to scrape together I’m going to try and explain how I achieved this.

First things first, Mum you were right!. This was the easiest way to start my journey into D.I.Y and upholstery. Sadly, like I said earlier, silly old me didn’t take a picture of what the chair looked like before I ripped it apart. But trust me when I say it wasn’t pretty or that interesting.

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Fabric; Bolt Of Cloth, RRP $40 NZD

I knew that I wanted a bright fabric and that I wanted the top half of the chair to be white, to match the little table Chris had made me. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate a bright colour on the legs to add a little je ne sais quoi. I headed to my local Bolt Of Cloth. I could spend all day in that shop, the fabrics and other little bits and bobs they stock make me all tingly with D.I.Y excitement. Check them out here . I found this fabric pictured above in the $40 fabric bin and knew straight away it was perfect. It’s called Birdlife in Purple and Pink by a Japanese designer called Echino, I’ve managed to find the link here to the exact fabric.

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Dulux Paint in Napier (Test Pot size) and Dulux Wash and Wear in Vivid White (Left Over from Chris’ Desk Project) Both available in store at Mitre 10

Next Step was to match the paint. That part was easy because we still had some leftover white paint from the desk Chris had made for me. I’d recommend using a low sheen acrylic paint like this, especially if you’re going to add another brighter colour on top. The Legs were a little harder. I knew I wanted to go with a colour that was already within the fabric to tie everything together. Off to the local hardware shop we went and as if by magic, I took one look at the colour sample cards and there it was. The perfect match for the hot pink in the fabric. This Dulux paint in the shade Napier. The guy in the paint department recommended just getting a test pot size and that was more than enough.

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Heavy Duty Staple gun Aprox. RRP $29.80 NZD, Mitre 10 and Rapid Staples 10mm

This item didn’t excite me that much, but boy did Chris get excited when he heard I required a staple gun for this project. We sussed out we needed a heavy duty gun in order to fasten the fabric to the wooden seat securely. This one was reasonably priced and did the trick. We also went for 10mm staples but maybe could’ve opted for something a little thicker as, a few of the staples did bend out of shape. We also purchased some more Sandpaper, which I haven’t bothered taking a picture of as we all know what that looks like. But I used a fine and medium sandpaper for this project.

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Me, Sanding the chair by hand. Please ignore our messy garage!

On to the actual process and I’ll stop bleating on. I, unscrewed the seat from the chair by using a screw driver, which was really easy. Once that was off I then took a pair of pliers and a flat headed screw driver (is that what they’re even called?) and went about taking out the existing staples. I say I but Chris was a massive help with removing and attaching the fabric. I then used the existing seat cover as a pattern for my fabric, as pictured below.

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This photo was taken after I’d finished, but you get the drift. Plus here’s a shot of the ugly green velvet.

The foam that was under the old fabric was in great condition so there was no need to replace this. The next step was much easier than I anticipated (especially as I has an extra pair of hands) the easiest way to describe this without photos is that you basically approach it as if you were wrapping a present. We took it side by side. So, I held the fabric taught as Chris stapled. When we reached the front corners of the seat, this was a little more difficult and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take pictures as an aid to show you. As the front two legs of the chair sit higher, the seat cover had indents where the seat would slot in around the legs. I’ll insert a picture below of what I’m talking about.

IMG_2070.jpgThe way to approach this one is by folding and stapling and keeping it really tight. I really do recommend getting someone to help you with this as it can get a little tricky. After that I the used the same piece of hessian type fabric that came with the chair (as pictured above) to cover the inside of the chair and make it look a little neater. This was really easy as, it was already a part of the original chair so, all I needed to do was reattach it.

IMAG0989On to the sanding, my Favourite part…NOT. I hated this part as I’m a real instant gratification kinda gal and I just wanted to get painting. I even tried to convince Chris that we needed to invest in an electric sander. Anyhow I did it. I really only sanded it back to get the top layer of varnish off. If you are going to sand by hand, I would recommend investing in an electric sander… no just kidding, I’d recommend getting one of those sanding blocks just to save your poor little hands. I used the medium paper first and then went over it with the finer one to make the base more even for the paint to be applied.

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After the second coat of white paint

My Granddad is a Painter by trade and therefore my mother, his daughter didn’t really let us touch paint when I was younger. This means that whenever I can get my hands on paint, I get super excited. This part is pretty self explanatory. Only little piece of advice I would have would be light layers and build on them, to avoid the dreaded drip of paint mark. I ended up only applying two coats of the white base. I made sure to sand lightly with a fine sandpaper in between coats.

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First coat of pink on the legs

The next part was even more fun. I couldn’t wait to get the pink on. This again is pretty self explanatory. The only little hiccup I had here was that,  Sebastian likes to follow me around and see what I’m doing, ALL THE TIME. You know the whole ‘curiosity killed the cat’ saying. Well in this case it should be ‘curiosity painted the cat pink’. Sebastian decided when I wasn’t looking to make his way into the garage and jump up on the wooden horses the chair was on and rub up against it. Which then resulted in me chucking him into the sink and dousing him in lukewarm water. He certainly learnt his lesson, especially as he had to rock pink tinged whiskers around the neighbourhood. Thankfully both the chair and Sebastian managed to survive this ordeal. Back to the chair, I was going back and forth between whether or not to take the pink right up the back of the rear legs. However, I wanted to keep the majority of the chair white and in hindsight I’m happy I did leave it. The pink paint did need two coats again as it was quite sheer.  Again I sanded (Joy) between coats of paint.

Once they were dry it was time to pop everything back together which was super easy. In terms of drying time, it was really quick each layer probably only took an hour max to dry. I decided to to put a top coat on the chair and keep it matte as I just prefer that look personally.

So, here it is the final product. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. It’s definitely given me a taste of D.I.Y and I’ve already purchased my next chair, so watch this space. I’m also thinking I’ll either attempt to make a lampshade with the left over fabric or some cushions if I can brave the sewing machine.

I hope this was helpful, I know it was probably a little long, but hey that’s my style. Let me know what you think and any suggestions or ideas or projects you’ve got on the go now!

Bailey xox

Once again Sebastian was really helpful

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Oh to be a Cat, That’s A Life That’s Good!

 

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