Archive of ‘Tutorials’ category

Repurposed Chair–Swing

Happy B.C. Day to all my Canadian (British Columbian) friends and elsewhere! It’s a holiday here in B.C. so i almost didn’t blog today but I was so excited to “chair” this new project with you – a Repurposed Chair Swing! chair_swing_collage

Mr. G made the fatal mistake of lamenting on Saturday that he had no woodworking projects on the go. Did i hear him correctly???  I have a million ideas for him – naturally Smile. Next weekend we are celebrating my daughter Jessica’s birthday so that means the grandkids will be over!  They are too young to use my old swing so i kept pondering how we could make it safe for the little ones to use.


A quick visit to Pinterest and a search for chair swings yileded much inspiration!  All i had to do was find an old chair……….


Well wouldn’t you know it – there next to the Casbah shed stood a forlorn looking chair, peeling and rather ugly don’t you think?  It was one of my treasures from a big haul on Curbside recycling week 9 years ago Smile.  So i pulled it out and showed Mr. G and said “can you chop off these legs and make some sort of arms for this thing and attach it to the old swing please?”


I seriously don’t think this is what he had in mind when he said he didn’t have any woodworking projects but i guess he thought this would have to do in a pinch.  He chopped off the legs and then pondered about what to do for arms.


While i was away food shopping Mr. G came up with the idea of using the legs as arms and also using the leg cross struts for arms too (if you know what i mean). He screwed them in nicely and then made some circular wood disks for the top of the arms (there were big holes in the chair legs for some reason). You could alternately use wooden balls as end caps.


Because I will be doing most of the swinging around the magic cottage the swing had to fit my hips Smile. So Mr. G had me try out the swing before going any further.  My pre-gluten free hips would not have made the cut I’m afraid (those 11 extra pounds would have made it an incredibly tight squeeze).  Check out this blogpost about a journal page i created about my tummy talking to me.


After sanding the peeling chair vigorously Mr. G primed the chair with Zinsser Primer.


Mr. G had to test if this rope configuration would work or not.  It took a while to figure out where the ropes had to go in order for the swing to not tip.  Trust me – it’s not as easy as it looks. We used a tree limb that is on an angle which posed some interesting challenges.


I got the easy part – all i had to do is spray paint the chair with Rustoleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover 2 x spray paint.  The colour i chose looks sort of like my top!


I love how juicy the colour turned out.  I had some extra spray paint left and ended up spraying a wooden birdhouse i had lying around. That’s for another blogpost.


The first hole was drilled at the top of the rear upright of the chair.


The second hole was drilled in the bottom of the rear upright of the chair. As you can see Mr. G screwed the old swing base to the bottom of the chair. The nylon rope (1/2”)  was fed through the holes and then knotted as you see here. Mr. G used the existing hole in the swing to feed the front rope into (from the underside). All in all the cost of the swing was about 28 dollars counting the rope and the spray paint.  We had the primer and screws and glue already and the chair was free.


Voila!  Isn’t it cute?  I must say I’m not overly cranked about the way Mr. G wrapped the ropes around the chair but quite honestly I don’t feel the cute chairs we saw on Pinterest would hold adults.  This one is safe.  Now when the wee grandkids go on the swing all I’ll have to do is attach a belt to the front of the arms.  When Mr. G’s grandson Leium who is six years old comes to visit he won’t be needing the belt.


There – doesn’t the chair fit in perfectly with the Magic Cottage vibe? If you like this project and want to save it for future project ideas why not pin it on Pinterest? 

Thank you to all of you who submitted feedback for my website Re-evaluation.  If you haven’t submitted any of your ideas please click the link and submit in the comments section to be eligible to win some of my whimsical coasters!

Love, Violette xo

Gratitude mixed media Fabric book

Hello Creatives!  So sorry that I didn’t blog on Monday but we decided to stay an extra day in beautiful Qualicum on Vancouver Island!


Here I am with Mr. G on the deck of the lovely Captain’s Inn – such stunning views! I must say, walking on the beach barefoot really makes my spirit happy! Mr. G was happy however the sun was in his eyes in this picture Smile.


I couldn’t resist taking my power pose when Mr. G wanted to take my picture in front of the sunset.


We had to take the ferry (a two hour trip) to get to Vancouver Island so i drew this girl’s face in my composition book on the ride over and coloured her in with copic markers and pencil crayons.  We were going to visit our friends Pete and Debbie in Bowser (near Qualicum).  My friend Deb taught me how to make the quilted messy tote last year remember?  So i thought maybe if Deb was up to it we could make a quilted fabric book this time.  I was inspired by an article in Sew Somerset by Olivia Thomas of Olive Rose. She created Transfer books. Instead of using Image transfer with gel medium we (Deb) transferred my design onto pre-treated cotton muslin which had been adhered to freezer paper (inkjet printer).   Deb used one of her own faces to create her book.


This is what my finished book looks like – i just have to add a signature of lined paper and VOILA!  I have a lovely little book to fill up with things that i am grateful for. Just to let you know the colours on the face were heightened with Tulip Fabric Markers – it made a huge difference to the vibrancy of the face and scarf.


Unfortunately I did not take step by step photos of the book making process.  Deb had me choose a few fabrics that i liked.  I wanted to create a “gypsy vibe” so picked out fabrics that looked gypsyfied.  We cut out a basic shape of the head and body from the printed muslin and layered the fabric pieces on top.  I sewed them onto the fabric.  Next is the tricky part in my book since I’m dyslexic.  You layer a back piece,, a piece of quilt batting, medium weight interfacing and the front piece and somehow magically sew them all together and turn them right side out. Don’t ask me how to do it as i had to have Deb do the stacking otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see the lovely front of the book Smile. You have to do the same to the backside only i used matching fabric and the checked plaid inside fabric. The beaded fringe was added before sewing – can you say tricky?


Next with embroidery floss I added some random stiches.


The edges were whip stitched with embroidery floss. Deb had a state of the art Bernina which scared the living daylights outta me so i had her stitch this decorative leaf pattern for me. I had to go back to her older machine as i couldn’t get used to the push button computerized model. I’m so low tech Winking smile.


Since I never quite know when to quit when making something I had to embellish my book with more things.  In the article they suggest buttons and a charm.


In my huge drawer of beads and other such things i found these lovely pieces – a mosaic cross (very gypsy no?), a camel (from my homeland Morocco), a fish (representing spirituality) and the hand of Fatima (from Morocco) -  a good luck charm. They all wanted to be a part of the project.


This little “fill” bead kept hanging around wanting to be part of the book.  I wasn’t going to add it but it just lay there staring at me – so i had to sew the sucker in!


It reminds me to fill the book with gratitude.


The project in Sew Somerset calls for twill tape or fabric for the spine but i thought an old zipper would work just fine.


So i hand stitched the zipper in as a spine.  All I need to do is fill with a signature of paper!  Hooray!

Let the gratitude begin!

Love, Violette xo

Upcycled Silverware Chandelier

FINALLY!  A video of the Upcycled Silverware Chandelier!  I hope you enjoy it! It’s a tutorial – you can make one too!

Many thanks to my friend Gina, sister Linda, my Mom and Mr. G.  We had a great time working on this communal craft project.  I hope you try a communal project while having a visit – you’ll have a good time and end up with a fun project reminding you of the great connection! This chandelier will always remind me of my sister Linda’s visit to Vancouver and all the fun we had!

Have you ever created a craft project with a group of people – if so please let me know in the comment section!

Love, Violette xo

Gelli plate printing fun!

My friend Kym came up from Bellingham to let me play with her gelli plate! She thought it would be a fun way to visit and also to learn a few techniques. Little did she know that she would be spending time with my sis and Mom Smile – triple the fun!violette_draw

I don’t have any pictures of us rolling on paint onto the gelli plate however we just squirted a couple of colours and then rolled them on with a brayer.  Here i am writing some words with the end of a paint brush.


Your truly pulling a print – i was obsessive about having a feather in the mix……at last it shows on the print – yay! It’s all about experimenting. After rolling on the paint we either put on a stencil or objects like we did here or in the pic below or did some free writing and doodling. Then we placed the freezer paper on top. We usually got two prints from one plate.


Linda pulling off a lovely print – first round!


Linda pressing the freezer paper down really well. We used freezer paper almost exclusively with the exception of the tags.


Here’s Kym peeking through the papers and my Mom smiling in the background!


Hanging the papers to dry – Linda in the background.


More hanging papers…….


Here i am hanging some papers up! You can see the cutlery chandelier in the foreground.



I just adore the look of the papers hanging on a line don’t you?


While we were at it we printed a few tags as well.  My Mom is going to use some in her scrapbooking pages! I’ll be using the pages we printed in future journal pages!

All in all we had a fabulous time – good food, lots of laughs, great people and creative fun.  What more can you ask for?  I think I’ll be buying my own gelli plate really soon!  Thanks Kym for coming out and letting us play with your supplies and gelli plate!

Happy weekend everyone!

Love, Violette xoxo

Chalkboard and Clipboard Organization

Yay – i finally have the video up!


In this video I show you how to organize yourself especially if you have ADHD and need to see your projects at a glance in order to not forget about them. I paint a chalkboard wall and then mod podge clipboards to pretty them up. Later I write on the chalkboard wall to denote the contents of the clipboard. I’m pretty jazzed at how it all has come together. The disorganized part of me is very happy to have added this new tool! I hope you enjoy it too! If you like it why not Pin it to your Organization or art board?  Thank you!

Love, Violette xo

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