Little Princess Trust provides real hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland that have sadly lost their own hair through cancer treatment.
So having thought about cutting my hair off for some time I was looking to see if there are any charities out there that would accept my real hair in order to make a new wig for patients that need them, and when I started looking there are not very many.
I came across the Little Princess Trust and they really appealed to me. They have known the loss of losing a child to Cancer and that is how the charity came about in the first place. Children notice things and unfortunately, not having any hair makes you attract attention.
So these kind people decided to set up a charity which allowed children to have FREE wigs, while having to go through and battle this awful disease.
So, on a lighter note, having made my decision I booked an appointment with my hair dresser, Tracey and was all set for the chop!!
I must admit, on the morning of going to have it done I felt very sick and nervous, as I had never had my hair shorter than shoulder length, I am the type of person that visits the hairdresser once a year, sometimes twice if my hair is particulary bad, but I knew, that this was going to a good cause and that made it all the better and my hair would grow back.
So as usual, Tracey asks what I want and I tell her my plan for my hair, boy is she surprised, and asks me several times “are you sure??”, but two pigtails and then off it comes.
So all packaged up and in the post and my hair is all ready to be made into a beautiful wig for some well deserve child.
I even have a lovely certificate to remember what a good deed I did!!
This is the first piece of caning that I have ever done. Now to crack on with the other side.
It has taken me a long time to complete this, with having other projects and looking after the boys, but I have got there in the end.
Just to plug the holes and then I can crack on with the other side, will not stop until I have finished, now that it is fresh in my head again.
Really pleased with the outcome and so glad that I took a days course to learn the basics, with a lovely man called Brian Crossley.
(note to self, make sure next time that you don’t start upholstering a chair and then decide that you want to learn how to cane!)
Caning is such an amazing skill and I hope that it never dies out.
We have come away from these skilled industries so much that they are fobbing us off with cheap imitations that just don’t last as long, and have not had half the skill and time put into making an exquisite piece, of quality furniture.
This Chaise longue has taken me forever, but that is me not throwing myself into a project.
Usually I do a day by day blog but things were so busy during my week at The Traditonal Upholstery Workshop I did not get chance to Blog each day, so this is a recap of day one, for those of you that missed my first blog,and the remainder of the week for those that have been following my progress!
It was amazing being back at The Traditional Upholstery Workshop. There is always a bit of anticipation before I go, not being able to sleep mostly. I think I am a bit like a child who is off to Disney World.
Any way, it was good to see new faces and new pieces that people are working on and also new students not knowing what to expect from the day.
It is good for me as I get to spend all day on my upholstery, not having to worry about collecting the boys from school or daily duties around the house.
My back piece was finally getting its material, this may sound like a quick job but it took me nearly all day! I think that I am slow compared to most people that come on the course, but I get it done in the end. So a lot of measuring and checking and checking again, a lot of skewers added (although I have learnt that not all Upholsters work with these), to ensure the material is tight, and some double piping, (which I didn’t quite have time to add) an I was on my way.
(Chaise bed will be coming back with me tomorrow.)
Well I feel that I did not get much achieved today. I was hoping to finish my chaise, but I seem to be quite slow at doing pieces.
I started the morning by gluing on the double piping that I made the day before. Hoping to finish all the Chaise, apart from the cushion, I soon realised that I will have to finish the outside back at home, otherwise I would not be able to fit it back in the car. Argh!!
But there was still work to be done!
Firstly I added a few buttons to the chaise back, that was fun especially making them yourself as well. I think if I had a button making machine I would be making buttons for everything!!
Even though they weren’t deep buttoned you still need to check and check again that they are aligned and pulled in to the same depth.
This is the first time that I have ever upholstered a back on a chair.
It was definitely challenging as working with furniture upside down is quite strange, but definitely something that I am becoming accustomed to.
I also worked backwards.
Usually you work in layers and then the top cover goes on. But this piece, the top cover was measured for and attached the same time as the tarpaulin hessian. I added a piece of tack strip.( This is basically a length of strong cardboard. It allows you to get a straight line in the material and to keep it rigid.)
Again with this piece I worked slightly different, as usually you would work top to bottom and then the sides, in order to get the Hessian tight and rigid, but in order to maintain the shape I placed a few temporary tacks at the top and then slowly created the shape from the bottom sides, upwards.
Having originally not being able to decide on a piece of material for the front scroll, it was left unfinished.
So, having had it staring at me for many week at home in my bedroom and still not deciding or actually finding the right colour material, I had an odd piece and just the right size in fact, of striped fabric left over.
My piping was already finished, (I made this last time I was here), I set about aligning my material to match my stripes on the piping, which believe me, is not as straight forward as it sounds and they do not always match up.
You also need to ensure that your weave on the material runs the right way, which when my teachers told me that, I actually looked at them like they were mad, so when you smooth your hands down it, (which I have witnessed, is the first thing people actually do) it goes down smoothly.
Any way, again this took me all day, but it was the last thing I was able to do in the workshop, and was really wanting to make a start on a new project, so I was determined to get it finished!
The whole thing took a lot of concentration, a lot of pins and sewing by hand, (which strangely I love), but the results were worth the wait.
Yay new project and something I have been wanting to do for a while is Deep Buttoning. A simple explanation from one of my Upholstery books by a lady called Dorothy Gates is: “a buttoning technique of where buttons are secured through all the layers, making deep indents and folds between the buttons”. Simple!
I had read lots of articles and done a bit of swatting up before I went, but to be honest I really could not get my head around it.
I seem to learn more from being shown, rather than reading books, and then of course the books make more sense.
So I was given a jigsaw puzzle, it was flat packed and Liz has these made especially for her students, I did not have time to find an oldie one, but I also like the shape on these. I have recorded the process of the construction of layers in Deep Buttoning in picture form below because I think that it is easier to follow than a lot of detailed wording:
DAY FIVE AND FINAL DAY FOR ME!!
Today is always a bit of a rush day as we finish early in order to clean the workshop and get our pieces loaded back into our vehicles. So continuing with my lid I was focused and ready to go.
Well after a busy week last week with appointments and activities with the boys, it was lovely to spend the day working on my Upholstery all day.
Waking extremely early this morning, 5am, not sure if it was excitement or just the mornings getting lighter, I got up and prepared for my day down at The Traditional Upholstery Workshop, to continue with my work towards my Diploma.
So, boys fed, and dropped off at school, I headed down to start my day. It was good being back with Liz and Emily to guide me through the last few steps in my chaise. I had completed much of the back at home, but again confidence and lack of experience halted me in going any further.
So I finished attaching the calico, a few staples were needed around the very small area around the show wood, then a bit of spray glue to attach the dacron and it was ready for the all important top cover.
This bit was fun, the shape was very different to a simple square, and then the stripes in the material made it a bit more difficult as I had to ensure they were running straight. I skewered the bottom then top, as the bottom was a straight line, it allowed me to have a line to follow to ensure the stripes were kept parallel. Once I was happy that it was tight enough, and with a checkin with the teachers, I continued with the sides.
After several adjustments and addition of more skewers I was finally happy with the shape and the taughtness of the fabric so it was time to start tacking it in place. I used 10mm fine tacks, and once again started with the nice straight line at the bottom and worked my way around. I did have to use some gimp pins, which are very small type tacks, but have small heads with very long tips, and also some stapling was required as there was very little room to attach the tacks next to the show wood, by the time all the other elements have been previously added.
Next it needed some piping! I had prepared some at home, but Emily and Liz suggested “Double Piping”. Ofcourse I agreed, any chance to learn something new and I’m on board. This was fun and not what I was expecting. Most double piping that I have seen is already done for for you, two bits of piping cord already joined and you just add the fabric, but this I made out of two single pieces of very thin piping cord. I measured and cut out the fabric, with the length needed being so long I had to join two pieces together, I’ve learned, stripes are hard to match up and eyes start to go funny after a while. They were all different colours so it made it that little bit harder. But got there in the end and it looks amaxing. I have decided to make it a little bit harder for myself by trying to match up the colours on the piping to the stripes on the Fabric! Watch this space as they say. Time for bed as another busy day tomorrow.
Well another week of school run over, kids home so don’t find time to do much. Back to the sewing table next week, have missed it. Need to put some new piping around my door mats, I could buy new, but I find when you are able to sew, there is this thing that just makes you want to mend rather than throw away.
Very excited. Only two weeks till I attend another Upholstery course, fingers crossed my lovely chaise will be closer to complete.
Hopefully will be able to fit in a bit of deep buttoning too. This is a skill that I have been craving to learn for a while, and one that is very skilled, so learning on a smaller piece, is helpful. I have an ottoman box waiting for me!! Will keep you posted.
My boys room is nearly complete, I’m currently making a chalk board out of odd bits of wood and paint I have been meaning to use for a while.
Well having had to take a few days out to rest and get better, I’m finally coming to the end of my decorating. I have really enjoyed it, especially using colour, which I usually shy away from.
I do find that when I do projects like this, I wake at stupid O’clock in the morning, with all these ideas rushing out in front of me, but they are usually pretty good and I just have to have a go. This is where my R2D2 cupboard idea came from. I’m no Van Gogh, but I am pretty pleased with the results, the only thing is, I need to do the small wardrobe as well, as it looks pretty out of place, but can’t decide which character, my thinking is C-3PO or Stormtroopers???
I can’t wait to do more now. But I’m quite pleased with myself that I have managed to recycle, rather than buy new. Apart from a cheap light shade, some new bedding and some much needed book shelves, the rest was already in the room.
Well mid week, feeling a bit tired, don’t know why mid week you always feel like you could stay in bed, after taking the boys to school, took the dog for a walk, he’s missed out the last two days, where I’ve thrown myself into the painting.
Had a fun day, but steady. Have decided to paint the cupboards. Having been studying for a diploma in traditional upholstery, I’ve dealt with some pretty beautiful, detailed wood and the thought that someone would come along and paint it, because of it being on trend, just does not sit right with me. But the cupboards that I have are not expensive, detailed wood, that someone has spent days carving and crafting, it’s simple flat packed. So rant over, I have painted them white and blue, again Star Wars colours and I must say I am quite pleased with the outcome, they look like new and have definitely lightened the room.
So time for homemade meatballs and tomato sauce, bath and bed, ready for more painting tomorrow. Night who ever is reading. day four tomorrow.
Well I am really digging this colour. I’ve always been one to shy away from big, bold colours but I am loving this. It’s got the Star Wars feel to it. And although it is a dark colour it actually offers a warm and bright vibe in the room. I am definitely a “feature wall” kinda girl. Maybe I will get more confident the more I decorate. I think painting is having a bit of a meditation effect on me, I nearly forgot to pick the boys up from school I was so engrossed. Doh.
I will be giving the furniture a bit of TlC tomorrow, so time to put food on and start doing a few drawings of what to do with them.
Well day one is coming to an end for me and the hardest part, I think is done. Sanding and repairing the walls. You certainly know that you are doing the right thing redecorating when you take the wall stickers off and it leaves behind the stencil of what was on there before!! I have been covered from head to toe in dust, it was up my nose and in my ears, but I know that it was worth the extra effort, as it makes such a big difference to the painting and final finish. You forget how big a room once was until you remove everything from it and it’s just bare walls.
I’ve got a fresh start now tomorrow so I can wipe the walls down, to get the remainder of the dust and start painting. Having an empty room also allows you to get a feel for the design that you want to create. Star Wars is the theme that my little boy has decided on with his favourite character being R2D2.
Best get ordering things as I’ve promised it will be finished in a few days, and he was very sad that he had to share with his brother.:|looking forward to day two of the decorating. X
I’ve recently been reading a book called a Spring Affair. By Milly Johnson. Sometimes when I read, something in me just clicks and you just think, I’ll give that a go. Not to give to much away, she starts to Spring clean her house after reading an article, and that is what I have started to do, but not just a Spring clean an overhaul I think is a more appropriate word. I have done a room at a time, this is a really important factor. I’ve put things back where they belong, if I haven’t used something within a year, it goes, either charity shop, boot sale(which I have book myself a table and got everything boxed and ready to go or it will just get put up in the attic never to be seen again) or recycled at the tip. I have to say I have found the whole experience exhilarating and I wake up each day feeling like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, cleaning is becoming easier and quicker, so I have more time to do what I really want to do and spend time with the family, instead of cleaning around the things, objects,that just have no part in my life.
My goal this year has always been to finish things off. And clutter clearing has definitely allowed me to have the time and see things in a new perspective around the home, and I am starting to enjoy my home again. I love getting up in the morning too, feeling refreshed and ready to start my next room. The boys are off back to school tomorrow, so a job that I’ve been meaning to do is re decorate my youngest bedroom, it’s looking a bit tired and his tastes have moved on
So he wants a Star Wars themed room. This will be my project, but my new self will keep going till it’s finished, not try and do a thousand things at once and not actually get anything finished.
Dining chairs are looking good too.
One more to do and then that will be another project I can tick off my list. I ve been trying to start my own business, but my head is just so filled with tick lists and things I need to do or finish, I simply can’t get my head and full focus on it, I’ve got amazing plans for it, and I know where I want to go with it, but these projects need to be finished in order for me to give it my all!
So Clutter clearing has been an amazing turning point in my life and has made me look at things so differently, but definitely with a clearer head. 😀