Upcycling

cropped-20180213_204456-2.jpgChair Upholstery Lesson 2: Structure

Despite Google Maps shouting from the footwell of my car that I should have turned left 200m away, I arrived early last week and waited in my car for the upholstery queen to roll up the door to my learning.  By the time she did, our little gang was complete and eager in the car park.  When we heard the throaty screech of metal moving, we all jumped out, unpacked our homework from the boots of our cars and made our way like broken snails to the workshop.  The girl next to me smiled weakly as her pile of old chair skin fell to the ground.  She tried twice to pick it up, each time she juggled with her mid-century frame and failed.  I was concentrating too hard on my own pile to be of much help, but I did stand and wait patiently until she motioned through gritted teeth that I should carry on. Continue reading “Upcycling”

The Green Folder

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Asparagus how to store, cook and eat it

Fresh asparagus should have crisp, not bendy or soft stalks, the tips should be firm and held tightly together, walk away from anything less.  I would also urge, only eat asparagus when it is in season, for New Zealand, September – December.   Personally, lightly steamed and dripping in butter is the way to eat this stunning shoot.  It is rumored that Julius Caesar loved it this way, who knows,  it was certainly cultivated by the Romans more than 2000 years ago.

  Top tip, store your purchase standing up in a container of water, like a bunch of flowers, covered with damp kitchen towel, they start to die as soon as they are cut.  This will keep them fresher for longer

Asparagus provides vitamins A, B2, and C.  It is also a good source of potassium, iron and….calcium – surprised? Now if only I could find a way of making my children eat asparagus, all would be good in my green world.  For the rest of us here’s some asparagusy stuff.shoot (2) Continue reading “The Green Folder”

Upcycling

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Chair Upholstery Lesson 1: Pre-work

4 do’s and Don’ts for your first projects according to Antonia and her 23 years experience making mistakes.  We were all told to write down these rules.

Bla Bla Bla, if you are not interested in chair upholstery skip to the bit where I threw the hammer down.

  1. Do not try to upholster a wingback chair.  Why because it is kick ass and you need about 18 months of experience before you attempt this.  Start with a dining room chair or foot stall.  It has the elements you need to master tension, corners, measuring and cutting.  Move on up through headboards, chairs with squabs, padded chairs without arms, simple armchairs with removable wooden arms then your ultimate goal, a wingback chair.
  2. Do not use stripes or geometric patterns until you know what you are doing.  Why because you need to be able to match the pieces perfectly.
  3. Do not use any other fabric other than upholstery grade.  Why because it is stretchy enough to manipulate around corners and provides enough tension for a smooth finish. Upholstery fabric can be cut into release cuts, without it ripping further or tearing at the staple sites.  Other fabrics, even drapery will not do this.  It is false economy.
  4. Do not start on a complete re-upholstery project, i.e taking a chair down to the frame. Why because you need to build experience with the fabric first.  Choose a chair that has good bones, where you can use the existing springs and padding.

Continue reading “Upcycling”

Campfire Stories

 

cropped-frizz-4.jpgAfter the rain

I stood and looked out. The air was thick and heavy and made my hair curl and frizz about my head.

It has been ridiculously hot and humid lately, a month of record temperatures was broken with a big dump of rain recently. The sudden and violent downpour caught suburbia by surprise, it’s hot, bothered and sleep deprived citizens flooded and swore.

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Mother nature was not surprised, she had been watching and waiting, when the rain came her people were ready.  Relieved and thirsty they embraced the rain or burst through the dusty brown earth showing themselves to drink greedily.  All life here was changed temporarily by the rain. Continue reading “Campfire Stories”

Upcycling

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A Broken Orange Chair

‘Ok, we will start, we are only waiting for one more.’ our leader looks behind her at the large wall clock then down at her wrist.  ‘Yes, we will begin’  She leans forward and hits a button that illuminates the white wall behind her.  It shows a cartoon happy person with a speech bubble.  HI, MY NAME IS……..I AM FROM…………

‘You’, she points at me, ‘we will start with you.’

Continue reading “Upcycling”

Cocktails

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Fancy a Gin Fizz – Here’s a couple of winners

A Fizz is basically a base spirit – usually Gin- citrus and sugar made to fizz with a soda and sometimes an egg white to give a luxurious creamy head.   I have a complicated relationship with eggs on the whole, fried and runny NO, mayonnaise YES, soft boiled or poached NO, lemon meringue YES.  Putting egg white into my cocktails seemed disgusting and so I have always opted out, until I was introduced to Miss Sloe Gin Fizz. Her velvet pink dress and white feather boa utterly seduced me.  Sugar and egg white are, after all meringue, I argued as I shook like a pro waiting for the magic to happen.20180120_231056 (2).jpg

 Why hello Miss Fizz so very nice to drink you.  For you I will grit my teeth and put egg white into my shaker.

Continue reading “Cocktails”