Imitation is the best form of flattery

It’s time to start a new project and this little beauty has been sitting in the corner of my workshop for the last 6 months


I bought this at auction in all of its OAP olive glory as a practice piece for stretching my upholstery abilities, I’m hoping to transform it into something rather more appealing. I found motivation and inspiration last week when I came across an image of this handsome ‘Sartor’ Chair by Stuart Scott. While the shape is different, I got excited about renovating my chair in a similar style with a grey felt and black piping plus a deep buttoned back – the shape of my Queen Anne chair is quite feminine and I’m hoping that these elements might give it a slightly more masculine feel


I’m actually really excited to start, by that I mean adding new upholstery and not stripping away what’s there already. Quite frankly it’s a thankless task and this chair is fighting back by cutting my hands and covering me in 27 years worth of biscuit crumbs. Why do I never find money?


Stripping back has taught me a lot about how to put it back together and so far I’m not too daunted, with the exception of the arms which might see me calling for help. Still, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it eh? Watch this space…..

You’re the Boss

I’ve been busy alright?

I’m feeling a little bit of ‘blog guilt’ today, knowing that I’ve been doing lots of stuff without taking the time to sit back for a moment to reflect and chart my progress. It’s not that I feel the need to justify what I’m up to, but I suppose that when you’ve worked for someone else for so long, you kind of get in the habit of talking about how you have made the best use of your time. I guess that means I’m using you as my boss. Don’t let it go to your head. But do nominate me for Employee of the Month.

So, what have I learned in the last few weeks?

  • Buying in bulk is so much cheaper in the long run and who knew I had a bulk supplier on my doorstep? I might however need to buy a bigger house in which to store it all
  • Having the right tools for the job just makes everything easier, even though they’re not always cheap. I’ve invested in a button covering machine and an upholsterer’s staple gun which will open up the type of projects I can undertake and reduce the time it takes to do them
  • It’s time to move on to a new upholstery challenge and have a go at something I’ve not done before (more on that another day)
  • The Spring fair was even more worthwhile because I sold my tall ships chair! You’ve got to be out there showing people what you do….
  • I’ve taught myself how to make bunting! No, I don’t need it but I got caught up in the whole Jubilee spirit.

There are a couple of other things I want to tell you about but at this stage they’re top secret. I’m not however very good with secrets so I’m going to change the subject before you wheedle it out of me. What? I said no.

Here’s a nice little project I’ve just completed for my friend and talented visual artist, Chantal Powell. I jumped at the chance of updating Chantal’s piano stool to accompany her recently acquired childhood piano. This was a great project for a few reasons, firstly Chantal had a clear vision and was ready with fabric choices and decisions on style and trim which can make things a little easier, secondly the stool was already stripped and ready to go (so I can go straight to the fun part and not cut my hands to shreds on old staples!) and thirdly I was able to practice some of the new techniques that I learned during my last week at Tresithick. I’m really pleased with the results (and importantly, so is Chantal!)….