Monday, September 28, 2015

Making a New Work Schedule for Fall Projects

   Now that the art studio tour is over and my mad scramble to ready my studio, clean house and get my projects completed is over, I have taken a few weeks to relax and breathe again.
   I created a new line of Swedish folk art designs for my Spoonflower shop, while waiting for my newest order from Spoonflower to arrive to complete a couple of sewing projects for 2 loyal customers, Susan and Lynda!
As soon as I stand up, my seat is taken!  Its like musical chairs around here.

   I also acquired a beautiful antique Swedish pine corner cupboard with a barrel front for my studio, where I will display and store my fabrics.  It needs a little TLC and is currently sitting upside down until I get a missing 3rd leg on the back!
   But its a marvelous piece which I will show you photos of after its all repaired and in place.
In the mean time, my kitten, Stuey, has been sneaking one of the doors open and sleeping in it.

I also added more tea towels to my ETSY shop, LilyOake on ETSY

Sweet Pea photo bombs my photo of the new tea towels as I ready them for my ETSY shop.

   I am also working on a project for myself I began a five years ago - painting and gilding my old dining room hutch.  The hutch had been a throw out because a large dog had chewed on a corner and the glass was broken, etc.  But I saw its potential and hauled it home.
It still needs the painting finished and gold leaf applied.  I also want to sand off the bit I hand painted and start over with something in softer blues and more full/romantic.
I started painting my own hutch five years ago - you know the saying about the shoemaker's children...

A detail of one of the hutch upper doors filled with part of my blue & white collection. I am pretty picky about what I collect.  (has to be Danish, German or English made!)

  I have many new projects on the way for my Christmas studio tour where I will be a guest at another artist's home!
Its the first weekend of December!  I'll be a guest in Tribal Zone Studio.  It will be so fun!!
If you are local, come see us.
December NEAT Studio Tour

(My newer projects include heart shaped pillows, Decorated cones for gift giving and a hand made table lantern!)
I am so excited to begin this new round of creating!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Custom Wallpaper, Fabric and an Art Studio Tour

   Hi Everyone!

I have been uber busy this past spring/summer, getting ready for an open-to-the-public art studio tour.
Here is the link to Arts North! Studio Tour.
I will be showcasing my fabric and wallpaper designs as my art form.

I will also be hosting 3 guest artists in my own home - hopefully they will all fit into the dining room!

I will be right next to them in my tiny, but pretty art studio room.
(more photos of that after the tour is over)

This will be my very first time participating in such an event and the first time ever having the public entering my tiny cottage!
Talk about pressure and nervousness...

I have been scrambling to not only design fabrics and make things with them (like throw pillows, chair slipcovers, sachets, tea towels, etc), but also to whip the few rooms open to the tour, into viewable shape.
Mainly, the dining room, which is the first room of the house upon entry.

The room needed to be upgraded so my sweetheart and I installed beadboard wainscoting all around the room, which I then caulked and painted.
We tried our hand at crown molding which is now caulked and painted too.  So much work!  But so worth it.  It really adds character to a room, a house.
We will do this in the family room too - a winter project!

I then repainted the walls a lighter blue and wallpapered one small wall area, to showcase my designs and how they work together to create a cohesive look in the room.
The rest of the wallpaper will get done after the tour.
I have 3 guest artists who will be hanging their framed art on the walls and the last thing I want are numerous nail holes in my newly hung wallpaper!

I designed the wallpaper to coordinate with the curtains and slipcovers on all the chairs!

I thought I'd share one small corner of this room (the rest isn't ready yet!!) as I am 10 days out from the studio tour and still have loads to get done.

Years ago I painted murals and furniture for a living and after I left that behind for a career in graphic design, I still painted pieces for my own home.
The table is a piece I did 10 years ago, or so.
Way before chalk paint!
I used acrylic latex over Kilz primer.  Several coats of paint in a soft white and a pale Swedish blue.
Protected with 3 coats of Crystalfin poly acrylic in semi-gloss.
The top was done with a fine nap roller.  
No unsightly, unprofessional brush marks anywhere!! (and I am proud of that)

I added faux nailhead from Do it Yourself Chic and gilded it with composite sheet gold leaf, as well as parts of the base.

The fabrics are all mine, sewn from my designs I feature for sale on Spoonflower.
If you are looking for fabrics and wallpaper in a Swedish cottage look, please visit my shop:  LilyOake

I adore the linen cotton canvas and have nearly all my designs printed on that fabric content, but there are 18 different fabrics available, plus 2 types wallpaper and gift wrap too!

Let me know what you think!

And if you're in Seattle on September 12th and 13th, please swing by to say hello and tour the other 11 studios with their guest artists, in the neighborhood.
A table I painted 10 years ago, pre-chalk paint.  Gilded and protected by Crystalfin, its still like new after heavy use!

The table base with Swedish blue and gilded accents....and an elegant tail model, courtesy of Tessie!

Sweet Pea models one of the linen slipcovered chairs, in "Jane's Rose Bouquet" in blueberry.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tea Towels!

I love pretty linens and have collected pieces here and there over 25 years now.
But the prettiest printed pieces are hard to find, usually expensive and not always in the colors that match my decor.

That's one of the reasons I got involved in designing my own fabrics, through Spoonflower.

I am slowly decorating my way through my own home, sewing slip covers for furniture; pillows and curtains for every room.
I also love to make simple tea towels in delicious
florals and patterns.
I sell them through my ETSY shop, here

I will also offer them for sale during the Arts North Studio Tour
I am participating in, in September.

As a fabric and wallpaper designer, I am going to have slip covered furniture, decoupage storage boxes, throw pillows, lavender-filled sachets, fabric baskets and tea towels for sale,
in a myriad of patterns I designed.
If you live in Seattle, I'd love to meet you!

I will also be hosting 3 local artists who
are all talented painters!
And of course, the other neighborhood artists will have their studios open to the public as well.
Come see how we Seattle artists live and work in our home studios!

Back to the tea towels - they are roughly 18" x 27",
55% linen and 45% cotton.
They are SO absorbent, you will be amazed!
No lint or wipe marks left behind!
And they look so pretty hanging on your rack.
Some people use just for display!

Decoupage Storage Boxes

   Do you do the same thing I do....Dream about doing something for your own home or work space but never actually getting around to it?
Decoupaging my storage boxes is one of the things I'd love to have but only create for others.

I decided to have a selection of boxes for the Arts North Studio Tour I am part of in September.
They'd coordinate well with my blue and white upholstered pieces and other soft home furnishings.

Once done, I sit back and think "this would look great in MY bedroom or studio"!

Maybe, after the tour, if these all sell, I will finally reward myself with pretty storage boxes!

"Gingham" in blueberry and "Lake Emily Summer Roses" in blueberry on white

"Violetta" in deep blueberry and "Imma Toile" in 2-tone blueberry

"Gingham" in blueberry and "Lake Emily Summer Roses" in blueberry on white

"Seville Damask" in Delft blue, and "Delphia" in pale blueberry

"Gingham" in blueberry blue on a hat box

"Gingham" in blueberry hat box with a pale whisper soft blue interior

"Neoclassical Birds" in blueberry on white, and "Damsel Floral" in blueberry

"Neoclassical Birds" in blueberry on white, and "Damsel Floral" in blueberry

Up-cycled Chair #2

   With the Arts North Studio Tour date approaching fast, I am back working on the soft furnishings projects after taking a break for a few weeks and doing some decoupage and yard work!

    I have 8 total chairs planned for the studio tour.  They will all be for sale during the tour and hopefully they'll all sell/find new homes with fellow blue & white lovers!

   Each chair is carefully chosen for its style, condition and sturdiness.  I give them a much needed makeover with paint and gold leaf, and then reupholster the seat AND sew a washable slip cover to go over the seat!  I also coat each frame with at least 2 layers of "Crystalfin" poly acrylic, to protect the paint finish and whatever gold leaf I might have applied.

   This way, the person who buys the chair has 2 options for using their new piece of furniture - and can wash the slip cover if someone gets messy during a holiday meal!

   Chair #2 has a fairly deep seat so I also sewed a small lumbar pillow for support, out of the same slipcover fabric.

   Since all my fabrics are in the same blueberry blue color way, the different patterns coordinate well together!

 I decided, after painting the frame and reupholstering the seat, that the chair needed more detail.
Sometimes you have to stand back and give the piece a good look over, halfway through the project, to make sure its
turning out as imagined.
No big deal making a few changes here and there, as long as it turns out like you wanted, in the end!
Since the seat was so deep, I added a lumbar pillow in the same fabric as the slip cover.  Its washable linen-cotton canvas.
 I thought you'd all appreciate a "during" photo of its paint make over.  I use chalk paint as a primer now!
And since I prefer to use my own durable acrylic paints in my own colors, I then paint the rest of the chair the old fashioned way.  
The final finish is then coated with 2 coats of poly acrylic.
 Sewing wavy scallops with piping was hard - not sure
I'll do them again! ha!!

 Adding the gold leaf...really added character and
a bit of cottage bling!

 Slipcovering the seat.
I removed all old upholstery and changed out the padding to new/fresh stuff.  
I abhor stapled upholstery and only use upholstery tacks.
I then cover the bottoms with a layer of white muslin, also tacked in place, with my logo sewn into the center.

The original with seat upholstered and frame painted, before I added a white accent and gold leaf

Monday, May 25, 2015

Slipcovered Thriftshop Chairs

      As usual, I blog sporadically!  But I did want to show you both my new slipcovers in one go.
I have been quite busy sewing and planning out new projects.

      This newest slipcover I completed 2 days ago, using my pattern "Theodora" in white.
The floral pattern is a soft blueberry blue and easy on the eye.  Again, I used the linen-cotton canvas fabric available from Spoonflower.
      Here is a link to  Theodora  in my shop, Lilyoake.  Its available in 17 different fabrics, 2 types wallpaper, and gift wrap!

      I am participating in the Arts North Studio Tours in September and need to have things to sell to the public, who might be touring my studio and looking for items I design and make.
I decided slipcovered chairs were a great thing to offer and began scouring Goodwill stores for sturdy, undamaged one of a kind dining chairs which I could paint, upholster and make slipcovers for.
       Every chair I offer will come with new upholstered seat PLUS a removable/washable slipcover, giving the chair more versatility!

     The easy part was painting the frame and sewing the slipcover - the hard part will be pricing them to sell, without cheating myself out of my time, supplies and hard work.  Isn't that always the case for an artist? 

The chair with the upholstered seat, in Caroline blueberry