Sunday, June 23, 2013

The ottoman pouf I never want to make again

You've seen the gorgeous poufs in Pottery Barn and West Elm. You've browsed pinterest and told yourself, "That's so easy-- I can totally make that!" You haven't? Whatever, I've seen your pins. Well, with some encouragement from my friend Ajja, I did the same. She had just moved into a gorgeous little home and was very specific about her desired housewarming present. :) Here was her inspiration, from Joss and Main: 

It took me about 6 months to muster up the time materials to make it happen. I was planning to do it the same way I make baby soft blocks, except it would be an XXXL rectangular version. When I finally had a Saturday off, I went garage sale searching for some old pillows to use as the stuffing (ironically, Ajja and I work together pretty much every Saturday, which was a huge reason why I didn't get it done sooner. I needed cheap filling!) I picked up a body pillow for $2. I used some Walmart reject scraps to make an insert and filled it with the pillow stuffing and sewed it up shut.

I had some beige curtains left over from our dance studio on Kauai, which served as the top and bottom of the pouf. I've had this turquoise/brown tweed looking cotton material that I love from the Maui Quilt Shop around the corner from my house. I used that for the sides. I felt like it needed some kind of handle, so I used some thick off-white ribbon near the corner of one side.

It turned out fine. But just that... fine. It's not perfect. 
The tweed side material bunches and looks baggy when you sit on it. 

See the wrinkles up above? Well I made a layered opening on the bottom so you could take the insert out for washing, but it was sooooo hard to get in the opening! Those wrinkles are from all the tugging. 

I have no desire to make one of these again. However, I'm actually really glad Ajja asked me to make it. Now I don't have to wonder! You see, I pinned these ottoman poufs, thinking they'd be super easy to make:

 Look how simple mine is in comparison, and I had a hard time making it through to completion! 

The good thing is, Ajja is happy with her's, and I'm glad... but I'm also happier knowing that I don't want to make one of these again. In my imaginary store that I open one day, I won't be adding "Ottoman Pouf's made by Yours Truly" to the inventory. Now I can sleep at night. 

But... if we were good friends... and you asked me to make one for you... I probably would :)

Aloha, Rebecca

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Baby Blocks & Bunting for Mexico

Last month I heard that our church mission's team was going to an orphanage in Mexico. After inquiring if there was a need for any infant items, I made 5 baby soft blocks and some bunting. The leader of the team said they'd be arriving at a particular orphanage in late June that had a few infants. I was sitting in church today and they announced that the team had arrived at that orphanage! So, to celebrate that, here's a look at what arrived at its new home:

The bunting is double sided. It's made out of the same fabric as the blocks. 
I feel like bunting signifies joy and celebration. When you see it you know that something fun is happening. 

This is the other side:

The ribbons on the side coordinate with the fabrics in the blocks. I liked how I could recycle the "NA HOKU" ribbon that was on the package of the pearl earrings I got from Kit for my birthday. Anyone in Hawaii would see that and think, "Ummm... why are you reusing Na Hoku's ribbon?" I don't think they'll know what it is in Mexico... :)

I hope these little soft blocks and bunting bring joy to those little ones in the orphanage! 
Aloha, Rebecca

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Clothes Pins - Fabric Strips and Vintage Buttons

I like pretty things. Who doesn't? I don't like spending $4.99 on 'chip clips' or 'good grips' or any other overpriced gadget to keep your snack bags closed. I just use clothes pins. Chips, crackers, frozen veggies, bags of rice, cereal... in my house you'll find clothes pins sealing them shut. But not just any clothespin... a pretty clothespin.

One Sunday afternoon I got tired of the bare wood look. 
I dug out my modge podge and some fabric scraps and beautified these babies. 

Then, an unexpected package arrived from my aunt in LA. It's the same aunt who gave me the vintage train case I upcycled, (click here to see that post), and the same aunt who lives in the awesome cottage I blogged about a while back, (click here to see that post.)

Vintage buttons!

Out came the glue gun and oila!

It's the little things that make life fun and pretty. 
Do you do anything simple like this that just brings a smile to your face every time you see/use it?

Aloha, Rebecca
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bunting for sale on!

Normally I just make bunting when I want to give it as a gift, or when someone places a custom order. But I've been working on getting some of my bunting pre-made so I can put it in my etsy shop: Ivy In Hawaii
I'm stoked to have my first two items ready to go!

It was really fun making designs the way I want to make them, and coming up with names that I felt described the design. 
Now I just need to sell them. :) Click here to purchase. 
More to come!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Vintage Industrial Chair - Before and After

UPDATE: This chair sold on July 3!

I was about to get back in the car when out of the corner of my eye I saw this gorgeous ugly old industrial chair. I quickly grabbed it and turned it upside down to see exactly what I was about to get myself into. And boy, did I want to get into it. I yelled at sweetly asked the lady, "how much for this chair?" She said, "make me an offer." $3.00 later, the chair was loaded into the back of the car. 

I was so eager to get to work on this piece, I didn't even get a "before" pic! It was just too easy to get the back off and begin the transformation. 

I got a flathead screwdriver and a pair of pliers and started ripping the staples out and taking vinyl off. 

I'm happy to say I bought my first staple gun for this project, and I love it so much that now I just keep looking around for things I can staple. I chose the smaller "hobby" gun, which is appropriate for reupholstering, and way easier for me to pull the trigger. With the big ones, I can never squeeze the trigger! 

The vinyl pieces were used as the template for my fabric. I LOVE this diagonal striped fabric. I got it at the Maui Quilt Shop in Azeka's. Can you believe that "5-6-7-8" somehow made it into the project?!

I seriously can't believe how easy this was.
After removing the seat cushions, I sprayed the metal with a coat of Kilz primer, then 2 coats of mint/seafoam green, then a clear coat. I sprayed the screws with a coat of silver to make them look like new. The cushions just screwed back on. 

I made sure not to paint over the original brand label - Cole. It says "Made in USA" underneath it. 

I love her. 
But I'm not keeping her. 
She's for sale. 
See the craigslist listing here.
See the etsy listing here.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Owens & Co in Honolulu

Last month I had a gig in Honolulu at Hawaii Theatre, so I got to walk around Chinatown a little bit during my breaks. I ran across this little shop, which was ironically called Owens & Co! It was adorable. I knew I needed to take photos and blog about it. So I asked permission from the shop owner's sis, and got some eye candy for ya!

You walk in the store and see a tree branch chandelier, and right underneath is a myriad of useful trinkets and pretty things you tell yourself you "have to have."

Many of the products are locally made, like this display of succulents from Lanikai Pot and Plant. Aren't those anchors on the bottom left adorable?

They sell Noho (vintage Hawaiian Chic Home Decor) dish cloths. I bet if I had these, I would have an easier time wanting to dry my dishes. :) Check out Noho's etsy shop here. They have such cute stuff!

I was thisclose to buying one of these collars for Godiva, especially since she was hit by a car one week earlier and was at home recovering from serious injuries :( 

I'm just in love with the way they displayed everything!

After himming and hawing for a good 10 minutes, I finally gave in and bought those notebooks below on the right. It's a 3-pack. It's helped me get back into journaling. I also got a thin rose gold pinky ring. It fits on my ring finger, haha.

Do you remember when I blogged about tassels a year ago? Haha, I had to take a picture of these tassels hanging from the tree, just because of my post. Again, everything is displayed so nicely!! Don't you love the yellow chevron curtains?!

Just love these Mahalo and Aloha cards!
It's the perfect non-cheesy Hawaiiana product!

 Isn't this chalkboard and ladder display awesome?! Makes me want to go raid some school's old storage closet!

Jewelry display...

The clothing was a little pricey for me to try anything on, but I had to sneak a pic of this gorgeous dressing room. Made me want to change my whole home decor to greige and red with wood accents!

Oh how I wanted these catchalls...

 They had a pretty neat shop front, right on the corner with those cool lamp posts. Perfect for when they're open on 1st Fridays!

If you are in the Chinatown Art District, go stop by!

Their address is:

Owens & Co
1152 Nuuanu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 531-4300

Aloha, Rebecca
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