DIY Folding Chairs To Die For

My latest DIY obsession is repurposing old chairs. A while back, we found two Scandinavian chair frames abandoned by the side of the road. Making cushions is beyond my DIY realm - I’m crafty, but sewing a hem musters up a learning curve that I’ve yet to master. Why? Because I’ve always had a lovely sewing enabler in my life. I’m lucky because my mom is my go-to seamstress/upholsterer. And I'm thrilled she’s still willing to aim her magic thimble in my direction. Mom is currently chopping away on a maxi-skirt that I snagged at my local second-hand store, Rupo. It’s a beautiful long, narrow skirt, but torturous to climb steps in. When my daughter was here last week, she whisked the skirt off to mom and asked her to put a slit up the side (probably way higher than I would wear). Bye-bye skirt. But I digress…

I saw these Overdyed Terai Chairs at Anthropologie (above) and was immediately inspired by DIY possibilities. I’m thinking an oh-so stylish bluish, vintage-vibe would give new life to my old chairs.

Here are 3 of my favorite fabric pics:

1. Madeline Weinrib - This Ikat fabric is just stunning. Ikat means 'to bind.' I'm bound by love for this hand-dyed and handwoven silk/cotton fabric.

2. Marimekko - Who doesn't love Marimekko? With its quintessential retro designs, these fabrics wink back to groovier times. This bold pattern from 1964 is almost identical to the 'flower power' wallpaper pattern of my childhood room (hence, the blue trend). In fact, I had to buy a few items with this pattern when I was at the NYC Marimekko store recently.

3. Amy Butler - I've written about Amy Butler's designs before. Not only does Amy provide organic fabrics (below, organic velvet), her business philosophy inspires me as much as her gorgeous designs: “Being generous, fair, and honest in business and in life rewards you with grace and is it’s own success. Giving back to your community is sewing what you reap (sharing the love)…Care for YOUR community and it will take care of you.”

DIY Folding Chair Instructions HERE.

Photo: Anthropologie

DIY Eco-Gifts For The Quilter on Your Holiday List

A handmade quilt is a true luxury. Quilts made from pieced together scraps of fabric that otherwise may have been wasted, make quilters the ultimate green DIYers.

It is estimated that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are discarded annually worldwide. That's more than a million per minute.

Why not give all the materials to create a DIY Eco-Quilted bag. A quilted bag made from organic fabrics or recycled materials such as: burlap bags, dishtowels, old curtains, jeans, used scarves or old clothes will help to curb plastic and paper bag waste, and can become an heirloom worthy of passing down to your children.

DIY Eco-Quilted Bag

This Quilted Bag from Quilting For Peace-Making the World A Better Place One Stitch at a Time, by Katherine Bell is an easy sewing project. Here is the pattern for the bag. Include in the bag a copy of this heartwarming book about a group of dedicated and diverse quilters who create small acts of creative kindness in their quest to make the world more peaceful.

Photo: Garnet Hill, Quilting For Peace

Solutions For Living With Wood

At the beginning of the heating season, I'm all gung-ho about heating with wood. Hauling wood is exhilarating exercise, and the oh-so-toasty radiance of a wood fire is enchanting. After the initial infatuation wears off, I start grumbling about it…mostly, about the mess.

2 Problems, 2 Solutions:

Problem: There are splintery pieces of wood that gather around the stove which makes walking barefoot treacherous (and messy).

Solution: Remodelista presented a beautiful wall-mounted log holder via Skona Hem. Not only does this wood holder look handsome, it frees up floor space. While it may be an  inspirational solution, I can't read a word of Swedish, and there are no particulars of where to purchase such an item. Has anyone found an off-the-floor solution for the in-house wood stash?

Problem: This morning I piled up a few logs into my arms, stoked the fire, then ran out to have breakfast with friends. Someone commented that my jacket made me look like a porcupine. I looked down and there were spikes of wood embedded into the fleece. Geeze.

Solution: While writing Stalking The Wood Pile, I came across this DIY wood tote on the Whipup site. It’s stylish, functional and easy to make. The creator of the project was in the process of building a house and says, “I made this firewood tote to help move all the logs to the house site. This firewood tote sews up super fast, and will make carrying wood to your fireplace, or building a house just a bit easier.” Brilliant!

Download the DIY pdf instructions and CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Photo Credits: Rais, Remodelista, Whipup