Thursday, April 26, 2012

Seaside Sewing

We have just returned from a very relaxing holiday in Merimbula.   We love this beachy destination.   With that in mind, I made some cushion covers  - one for each of the places where we like to spend time.

The elf and his father love to spend hours boogie boarding in the surf: 
The beach at Mitches Jetty is a great place to swim or just sit, when the wind starts to get up.

At the jetty, you can watch the pelicans gather when a boat comes in from a fishing trip, waiting for scraps
to be thrown their way. 
And the lake is full of oyster beds and bird life.    There is also the boat ramp giving access to the ocean.

 I plan to get some feather pillow inserts on my next trip to Ikea.   They make a  lovely squishy place to lay your head, after a few hours in the surf.   I used a cotton marbled fabric for the centre panel, the outer edges are some sort of  microfibre suede look fabric.   After the embroidery was done, I put some polar fleece behind the front panels and then quilted them.  The fabrics are actually closer to a turquoise colour.   I have put a zipper in the back.  It is a lapped zip, so if you choose to nap on the back of the cushion, you won't end up with zipper teeth marks on your face - so considerate, don't you think!
I am decorating a holiday house, so in keeping with the seaside theme and to make my mark a wall got painted.   The colour is turquoise blaze and I used an additive (Flotrol - 1:1 with wall paint) to give a lime wash finish.   Yes it is bright - but with some white beachy furniture, it will look beachy.   The zebra blanket was on special, I had to buy it - there will be quilt on top of it - eventually.     (It does show off  the colour of the wall though).    

I am now busy acquiring furniture - this is sooo much fun.    It needs to be either well priced or second hand and in good knick.     I went to Ikea last week and managed to pick these up in the bargin corner.

Both are from the Hemnes range and while neither are colours I wanted - with 40% off  they fell in to the "too good to pass up" range.    My parents were with me for the shopping trip, so whilst I went off to find somebody to assist, they  stood guard over the pieces!     Ikea is an amazing shopping experience, but when you get to the checkout and arrange delivery of your treasures I think this an area that could do with some improvement.    If you buy a piece already made up, there is an extra surcharge for delivery, this is fine but in my experience they could do it a little better.    Like all good cranky women of a certain age, I sent them an email, outlining my experience with  their delivery process, pointing out areas that could be improved.  It went like this:

"Yesterday I was lucky enough to find two items in the bargain area and promptly arranged for delivery today.

Now I understand that I signed a waiver with regards to the items being in the bargain area for a reason, and that all care would be taken with the items and their delivery - I also paid an extra $50 for this privilege.

The delivery truck arrived as promised - with the driver and his sidekick making the necessary calls - all was good.

I must now ask the question - is it too much for your budget or that of the carrier, to allow for some sort of suitable tape to be used on items purchased, that have already been put together and are now being professionally delivered. Both items I purchased have drawers. Lots of drawers. The pair I will now refer to as Laurel and Hardy, passed the first item down off the truck - this chest of drawers had 8 drawers - all the drawers were still in place. They are held in place by oversized sticky tape. Each drawer is stuck to the next with sticky tape, however, none of the drawers are actually stuck to the unit with any degree of security. My driveway has a slope. Downhill. The cabinet goes on the trolley with the drawers facing - yep you guessed it - downhill. They nearly made it to the destination of the garage, but alas one of the bottom drawers flies out and is now not as it was. Fortunately for the second items, again with eight drawers, they wisely decided it was probably best to carry it with the drawers facing up.

As I said, I was warned when I was filling out the paperwork yesterday that as the items were already constructed, that all care would be taken, but there were no guarantees about scratches or that the tape used wouldn't possibly take the finish off - I wasn't concerned by any surface damage as I had plans to take care of any marks, however, watching the drawer go skidding across the concrete floor - I don't know, is that care? Perhaps you could recommend that tape goes all around the piece to hold the drawers in place, keeping them attached to the main body of the item. Or, for the extra minute, perhaps the drawers should be removed?"

I got an email back telling me they had received my email, and could "I" ring them to discuss the matter.   I think it was from the store manager.   Have you rung Ikea - ring the number, get 5 options - replying to their email wasn't one of them.   Picked an option that sounded like it might do the trick, got some more options, didn't choose one quick enough, got some more options, could have been the same set, I was too busy thinking to myself, "shouldn't they be ringing me - isn't that the right way to handle a complaint?.   Finally got one of the comrades - I mean co-workers - who advised the person who sent me the email wasn't available and went off to fossick through their files to find my complaint.    After a number of platitudes on Ikea's behalf  - we finished the conversation -  no real answer to the if you are going to Ikea and you buy some ready made furniture or think you might buy some made up furniture, take your own tape or are roll of glad wrap and wrap the pieces when you take it to the delivery point.  

Can you paint Ikea furniture -  if it is the timber finish stuff - yes you can.   Make sure you give it a really good sand  (Husband was able to fix drawer after its skid across the concrete).....
...and use a three part undercoat.
I wanted to give the furniture a distressed/whitewash look.   So one piece was painted in turquoise blaze and then given the white wash treatment.

I am poetically calling it seaglass.  Here is one of the drawers.   When the painting part was finished - I did two coats of the turquoise colour,  and two coats of white wash - I finished with three coats of varnish.   After the white wash stage, I got to work with the sand paper and took the edges off and scratched the paintwork up a bit for the distressed look.   It was all then given a coat of beeswax.

The tallboy was decorated with seagulls.  I found some images on good ole "Google" and then made cutouts from contact paper.   Here is a tip - don't use coloured contact - Saturday night at Woolies all they has was yellow contact paper.     When you peel it off at the end, I found some of the yellow stayed behind on the very edges.   A light sand fixed it, but just know that this is what will happen.   The tallboy is painted in a colour called Oceania.   


Yellow contact on blue paint makes green seagulls.     Next I did one coat of whitewash.   
Carefully remove the cutouts.    And tahdah you have blue seagulls.
Then a second coat of white wash - just to tone things down a bit.....

Like the other piece, I finished it off with some varnish, took the edges off with sandpaper  and then a rub over with beeswax.     I used a small, good quality roller for each coat and the finish is very pleasing.    When waiting for each coat to dry, wrap the roller in cling wrap and if the tray still has paint in it,  put the tray in a plastic bag or wrap in clingwrap ready for the next coat.     As the rollers are very reasonable these days, I had one for each colour and then  just threw them out at the end, saves wasting water and time trying to get them clean. 

I have got a number of pieces that I have collected waiting for me and the paint roller over the next few weeks.

My self portrait is moving along, and should be finished this weekend - here is a glimpse.

So, that is all the creative stuff for this post.   For those of you enjoying the adventures of O'Reilly, here are some of his holiday snaps, and some other bits of Merimbula related goodness. 

This isn't O'Reilly.....this is a  Kelpie who spends many afternoons jumping off  Mitches Jetty,  swimming out to retrieve a frisbee.
O'Reilly doesn't appear to enjoy getting his feet wet, quite as much.......
Running on the "Dogs off Lead" section of the beach..

Chasing a tennis ball.....

Generally wreaking havoc...

Making new friends......
of all shapes and sizes......
 We did have one mishap with "the baby" on the beach, a kid was fishing  using chicken fillets as bait (who knew).  He had a lid for bait bucket, but it wasn't on.   O'Reilly suddenly got a whiff of chicken and raced to the bucket.    I caught up with him, just as the last piece of plastic bag was going "down the hatch" .  I had my hand at the back of his throat - too late......once I ascertained what he had actually eaten - a large chicken fillet in a plastic bag - O'Reilly had a trip to the vet - two pills in the eye to make him upchuck the chicken.   He spent the afternoon  having a little rest.   Did he learn his lesson - probably not.

Lorikeets are plentiful around Merimbula, this one is enjoying a flowering gum.   Their colours are spectacular. 

 This little fellow was hanging around the barbeque area of our holiday accommodation.   Two of us were trying to get the perfect shot, it was dark, he was probably seeing spots for a while.
See he is quite small on a large leaf. 

Sunset across the lake.
Merimbula celebrate 100 years of settlement just before Easter, we were lucky enough to be in town when "The Roulettes"  made a splash across the sky.

 And "Connie" a Lockhead Constellation aircraft was at the airport.   We took in the tour on a stormy Sunday afternoon.    We had seen her arrive on Saturday morning - she made a slow and lumbering descent into the airport across the lake and you could only be amazed at how she stayed in the air!


People lined the road when she was due to leave.    The runway is right along the main road, and after much tooing and froing as to which end of the runway she would depart, a few of us took off jogging /fast walking to get to a spot for a  good photo of the take off.     A very kind gentleman stopped me (I must have looked professional with my superdooper lens on) and offered me a spot on the back of his ute to take pictures over the fence.      So we know Connie is ready to leave, the lights go on and the engines fire up (literally)..... 
When I saw the flames coming out of the back of the engines on the way out - my fear of flying was further enhanced......

And she did a fly over..... 

From the old to the new...  
I bet the folks on "The Rex" were glad to land - quite the storm was brewing by now.

Breakfast as always was a delight.

Have a great week.   Bye for now.   Sue xxx



  1. As always, a highly entertaining post. Loved your recount of the Ikea experience; glad it had a happy ending. You are bloody clever, with that furniture, my friend - love the beachy end result. The cushions are fab, and I loved the holiday snaps.

  2. Everything you have done is so cute!!! I love your creative ideas, amazing.

  3. Your talents are wasted! You should be writing for a home decorating magazine! Or appearing on Better Homes & Gardens! Become a celebrity and (heaven forbid) neglect your friends ........


I would love to hear from you, just so I know I am not talking to myself - the cat is tired and so is the dog!