Friday, January 31, 2014

Rocking Chair Revival and Giveaway Winner

Here's a little project I finished this week.  It's for a client that I have been working with.  It needed to be re-glued and the springs needed replacing.  I was little hesitant to take this project on because of all the well re-gluing and bad springs.  If it was one of my pieces no problem if something goes wrong no worries it's just mine, but for a customer it could be bad.  She asked if I would just take a look at it and see what I thought.  Once I met with her and we discussed her vision for it I felt comfortable taking it on.  She understood what could go wrong and was okay with whatever I could do with it.  My biggest fear was with the re-gluing.  When something needs to be re-glued you need to get the glue as far into the joints onto the dowels as you can.  You do this by using a rubber mallet to gently pry (beat) the pieces apart.  You cant just squirt glue into the cracks and expect it to last.  The risk is that you might split the wood and damage it.  Once I got the glue in there I clamped it and left it for 48 hours to ensure it was good to go.  It worked great the rocker is very sturdy again.  Next we decided to remove the rusty springs and add webbing to support the new cushion.   

The rocker is made of oak and once cleaned and sanded it had a really great worn patina and feel.  I sealed it with a low sheen poly to protect it.  
She chose a blue and white ticking fabric and wanted nail head details.  I suggested using twill tape with the nail heads spaced 2" apart.  I have been wanting to use this type of trim and I think it's perfect with the ticking.  

My client had an old photo of the chair with the previous fabric and decided to repeat the design of the button tufting that was previously the back.   Perfect.

This turned out to be a fun project.  Here's a photo of it in it's new home in the nursery ;).  I love my job.

The winner of the custom sign give away is Jen Hakes!  Thanks to all who entered, I loved reading your sweet comments!
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Custom Sign Giveaway!

It's been three fabulous years of blogging for me.  I cannot believe it.  I started my blog to share my love of all things DIY and never really thought much beyond that.  I had no intention of ever making any money from it or becoming the next big thing I just wanted to play.  After three years things have shifted a bit in my life but I still think of this blog as my place to play.  (and I'm definitely not the next big thing :))  The most unexpected thing that has happened is that my blog has become a portfolio for me for my business.  A place my clients can go to see what I'm all about.  All the time I've spent on this blog ended up benefiting me.  Plus it's like therapy. 
Anyways I can not thank you enough for stopping by and visiting me these past three years, leaving comments with encouraging words.  You all have given my the juice I needed to keep going, to keep creating. 
As a thank you I wanted to host a giveaway.  I wanted it to be something I made. So about a month ago I asked on my facebook page what it should be and the overwhelming response was a custom sign. 
I do have a vinyl cutter and lots of scrap wood so this should work.  
What kind of sign you ask?  It will be a wood sign with either vinyl lettering or painted letters, whichever you prefer.  It can be up to 20" x 20" and any colors you want.   You choose the design so it can be a family rules sign, your wedding lyrics, your last name & established by date, Whatever words you want it to say.  
It could say "no eggs beyond this point"  If that's what you want it to say. (that's for my friend Heather tehe)
I wish I could give everyone something, but of course I can't so I will just have to pick one of you.
To enter leave a comment on this post.  For another chance to enter like my page on facebook and leave a comment on the giveaway post.
Giveaway will end on Friday January 31st 2014.   Can only be shipped within the United States.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Monday Funday Link Party

Hey Everyone hope you had a great weekend!  It's time again to link up all your fabulous projects.  I was feeling crafty last week and decided to decorate my new shelf with some easy DIY letterpress blocks.  Check out the tutorial here if you missed it.  
I also finally started using my Instagram account.  I've hardly figured it out yet but if you want to be one of he first to follow me there check me out @blueroofcabin.


Welcome to Monday Funday!
Monday Funday Link Party
If you're new here, when you link up to Monday Funday, you will be seen on 6 blogs each week… So one link = being seen on 6 super awesome blogs! Our weekly blogs are...
and our new guest hostess is (drum roll please)...
Mimi from Blue Roof Cabin
This week, Katie from Creatively Living will be showing features from last week's party.
face-collauge-final-resized for MF
Hi everyone! Here are 10 fantastic space makeovers and DIY projects from last week's party to inspire you!
After all, winter is getting LONG where I live and some DIY eye candy is just what I needed to break me out of the winter blahs!
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Friday, January 24, 2014

DIY Letterpress Blocks

DIY Letterpress blocks

If you've been following for awhile you probably saw this one coming when I built my shelf designed to look like a letterpress tray.  I mean how could I not.  I love the look of old letterpress printer blocks.  They are so graphic and full of character.  Weird I just realized I have never come across any in all my salvage & thrifting travels.  I wanted to make some and they were so easy to do.  Here's how I did it.

My plan for this project was to buy a few pre-made letters then make some of my own.  I was going to print out some letters on the computer, transfer them onto 1/4" plywood, then cut them out with my jig saw. I ended up only having to make the big M.  M's are pretty easy so I didn't have to print it out I just drew it.  Another idea would be to use balsa wood.  You can find that at any craft store and can cut it with a razor knife.  When I went shopping for supplies I stumbled onto some clearance faux letterpress blocks at Joanns.  They were $2 but only a random selection was left.  I didn't want all of them to be the same size anyways so I just grabbed two, a D and Z.  I didn't really like the wood letters that Joann's has, they were too frilly and not the right size so I left with just the clearance blocks.  Next stop Hobby Lobby.  They had the perfect letters for this project because they were thin, simple block letters and were a little bigger than the blocks I had already found.


I picked up an E,8,X & an O.  I also found the ampersand there which I ended up spray painting Heirloom White.   Since I wanted a few different sized letters I looked through my craft stash and found the large address number 0 and the green wood M.  

The first thing I did was rummage through my pine wood scraps and cut some blocks to the size of my letters with my chop saw.  Next I hot glued the letters to the blocks.  Then I painted the base using black craft paint.  You could also stain them if you prefer but since my shelf is wood color I wanted the contrast.

Next I dry brushed the paint onto the letters then rubbed it off with a paper towel.

For the green M and the black address number I spray painted them off white first then dry brushed with the black paint.

The Letters from Hobby Lobby were beveled on the front so I decided to flip them over so they would have a more square edge.  This is perfect because the thing about letterpress blocks is that they are the mirror image of the letter, like a stamp.  It just so happens that all the letters I chose can be flipped around so they look normal but if you wanted them to look more authentic make sure to flip them over before you glue them on.

DIY Letterpress blocks

Since it's Valentines I decided to line the back of a few of the shelf's cubbies with some scrap book paper.  The script paper reminds me of love letters and the red polka dot gives me a touch of red.  It has a vintage feel to it that I love.  I used double stick tape on the back to hold it in place. 

DIY Letterpress blocks

The paper flowers I picked up at Poppy & Co where I consign my pieces.  Alison of the Modern Cottage Company makes them.  I think they're so pretty.  Have I mentioned how much I love that place? I love selling my pieces there. 

I decided to just paint the X,O and & instead of making them into blocks to change it up.  E & M are me and my hubby's initials.
  Of course I threw in a wedding picture for Valentines.  It's one of my favorites.  After we said I do and kissed my friend was supposed to start the exit music for us to walk out to but she couldn't remember how.  (In her defense it was a very fancy sound system) So after everyone was looking at us for an uncomfortable amount of time we decided to just walk off.  Half way down the aisle she figured it out and the music kicked in at an extremely high volume.  Everyone laughed including us and that's when the photographer took this shot.  It always makes me smile when I see this photo.   Now I'm feeling all mushy.  I love Love.

DIY Letterpress blocks

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Monday Funday

It's time for another fun party.  This week I shared my new sewing machine with you and started a Valentines inspired craft project that I hope to reveal later this week.  I'm been really busy working on custom pieces but my goal is to get this thing finished.  My house is so bare after the holidays I need it to liven things up around here.  

Welcome to Monday Funday!
Monday Funday Link Party
If you're new here, when you link up to Monday Funday, you will be seen on 6 blogs each week… So one link = being seen on 6 super awesome blogs! Our weekly blogs are...
and our new guest hostess is (drum roll please)...
Mimi from Blue Roof Cabin
Hi everyone! Cheryl here and I am choosing features! With Valentine’s day just around the corner I am sharing 10 Valentine’s Day projects that you will adore!
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Google+ RSS Bloglovin That's What {Che} Said... About Cheryl About Image Map
10 Valentine's Projects at
Thank you to everyone who linked up with us last week! And if you were featured today or throughout the week on our social media accounts… Please, grab a featured button!

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sailrite LSZ-1 Upholstery Sewing Machine Review


Recently it became obvious to me that I needed to upgrade my sewing machine.  Actually I've known it for years and I think I've mentioned it like five times on the blog.  The problems with my old hand me down machine was that it wasn't heavy duty enough to sew through several layers of upholstery fabric.  Also when sewing cushion covers the regular presser foot pulls on the top fabric and cushions can end up tweaked.  In the last year my business has shifted to mainly upholstery work and it's time to upgrade my sewing machine.   I started asking around and the one thing I heard from everyone is that at the very least I needed a machine with a walking foot.   Upholstery machines are pricey.   Even though I am using it for my business at this point I still can't justify spending several thousand dollars.  My choice was to either find a used Industrial machine, and hope I could figure out how to use it, or a new Portable Walking Foot Machine.  I tried a few local places that sell Industrial machines and once they heard my budget they didn't want to talk to me.  While doing on line research I read some reviews on different Portable machines and found some great things about the Sailrite LSZ-1 Walking foot machine.  I did a web search on them and found a video about the machine by Sailrite on you tube.  From that I could tell their machine is exactly the machine I needed.  One that could mow through thick layers of upholstery fabric and also had a walking foot that would help with the issue I was having with sewing larger cushions.!Ultrafeed-Sewing-Machine
I've had the machine now for over a month and here's my experience with the machine so far.  First thing I did when I received the machine was to pop in the set up video that came with it.  I'm usually one of those people that hates to read a manual and thinks they can just figure everything out because I'm creative.  That's why I love that they provide videos.  This time I didn't expect to just be able to plug it in and go, this is an industrial machine.  I sat back with a cup of coffee and watched.  Following along on my machine.  There is some minor set up involved when you receive it.  The first portion of the video walks you through that.  Next they walk you through all the parts on the machine and how they work.  I have been sewing since I was a teenager and I learned several new thing from that portion of the video.  Like why sometimes you get a rats nest under your bottom fabric when you start sewing and why using the right needle can save you a lot of heartache.   Their machines can sew through the thickest stack of material you can throw at them as well as just regular old fabric.  By just changing your needle and adjusting the tension you can sew any fabric you desire.  There is also a section on maintenance for the machine.  That's another thing I rarely (never) did on my old machine but I am going to really try to do better on the new one.  The machine also comes with a color brochure for quick reference later if I need it. 
There are two different models that were within my budget the LS-1 and LSZ-1.  They start at $549 which for an Industrial sewing machines is not bad.  Both are built the same, the only difference is the LS-1 only sews a straight stitch while the LSZ-1 has a zig-zag feature as well as the ability to move the needle position from left to right.   That's why I chose the LSZ-1 and I'm glad, I've already used the needle position feature several times.  I've found that when sewing cushions using thinner fabrics it works better for me to have the needle to the left instead of center.
As with anything it takes a little practice to get the feel for it so the first thing I sewed was a pillow cover with a zipper.  I easily changed to my zipper foot and had no problems.  Note: It doesn't come with a zipper foot so you will need to purchase that separate. edited to add: I have since discovered that I don't need to switch to my zipper foot when installing larger zippers I can just use the regular foot and move the needle position over.   

The next thing I sewed was a cushion cover for a chair.  This was really the reason I needed this machine.  The walking foot worked like a dream.  If you don't know what I mean by a walking foot don't worry I didn't either.  What it means is the top foot moves back and forth with the bottom foot so that it helps the two fabrics move at the same pace.  On a regular machine the top foot does not move so it tends to pull and stretch the top fabric.  That can make you cushion come out crooked or even puckered if you keep having to pull to compensate for it. 
One of the coolest things about the machine is the presser foot comes with a cut out for piping.  Once you have you cushion layers all pinned together and ready to sew you just run it through with the basic foot.  The piping runs through the channel which helps to hold it in the correct place so that you can sew tightly up against the piping. 

One thing to note is that the machine is louder than a regular sewing machine.  Not so loud you new ear plugs or anything just louder than you may be used to.  It's to be expected since it's a heavy duty machine but I just want you to be aware so you are not surprised.   If you watch the videos you will get the idea.
Just like with any new machine there is a learning curve.  I wont pretend I just jumped on it and figured everything out first try.  It will take a little practice but so far I am loving it.  In the next month or so I will be posting some projects I have done with my machine and will share more feedback as I go.  If you'd like to see the video that sold me on the machine click here.

One last exciting thing I have to share is that Sailrite is now a sponsor here at Blue Roof Cabin.  Here's how it happened.  Once I decided to by the machine I started looking around their website.  I noticed they have tons of how-to videos available, from how to sew a box cushion cover to how to make a hammock.  They have videos to help you with any technical issue you might have with your machine. Basically they will teach you for free how to sew whether or not you even have their machine. They also have a customer service line you can call and they will walk you through whatever your issue may be on the phone.   Oh and they have a blog.  They knocked my socks off. Now I not only wanted to buy their machine, I wanted to work with this company.  So I did something totally new for me.  I contacted them and told them first, how impressed I was with them, second that I was buying their machine, and third I asked if they would like to be a sponsor on my Blog.  They said yes!  I'm pleased to introduce you to Blue Roof Cabin's newest sponsor Sailrite.   

P.S. Did you notice it's blue ;)

This post was sponsored by Sailrite but all opinions are 100% my own.
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Monday Funday

Hey it's that time again.  Hope you enjoy the party and have a great week!   Last week (ok yesterday)  I revealed the latest addition to my Studio, a rolling storage shelf, and took a bunch of photos of this chair.

If you missed it you can check it out here.  


Welcome to Monday Funday!

Monday Funday Link Party

If you're new here, when you link up to Monday Funday, you will be seen on 6 blogs each week… So one link = being seen on 6 super awesome blogs! Our weekly blogs are...
and our new guest hostess is (drum roll please)...
Mimi from Blue Roof Cabin

This week, Rachel from Lines Across is choosing the features.

Here are the features from last week's party:
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

DIY Rolling Industrial Shelving

My studio beautification project has been on hold for a few months.  With the holidays and paying projects that needed to get done I had to put it down for a bit.  This week I did a little more on it.  After working in there for awhile I realized I needed some more storage.   I also had a client scheduled to come over at the end of the week and well nothing motivates like having company right?  I decided to build a rolling storage shelf out of 2 x lumber to contain my mess.  

My inspiration came from the Restoration Hardware Rolling Storage Shelf found here.  I modified the dimensions to suit my needs.  I also found a plan on Ana White's website that I got some ideas from.  If you want to make one for yourself check out her plans here.  I know I'm not the first to do a knock off of this shelf, but who cares I love the industrial look of it.  One of best ones I've seen was this one.  She used barnwood. 

I found these awesome casters at Home Depot for less then $6 a piece.  That's the cheapest I found and by far the coolest looking.  They are vintage inspired and very beefy.   I love them. 

I stained it with a 50/50 mix of Weathered Driftwood and Dark Walnut Stain by Rustoleum.  It makes a nice weathered looking brown when used on light colored wood.  

I got the 1" rusty steel flat bar that I used in a cross design on the back from my husband.  He was kind enough to cut them to size and drill holes in the ends for me. 

I left the center of my shelves open to save on wood and also because I knew I was going to set my vintage lockers and crates on them anyways.  To assemble I built the side panels first using glue, pocket holes and screws. The top and bottom shelves are made using two 2x6's and one 2x4.  They are attached to the sides with glue and nails.  (I didn't have enough screws.)  Then I built my shelves like I did the sides and nailed them in place.  Once I stained it you don't even see the nails.  The next day I picked up some 2 1/2" lag bolts with washers to strengthen it and because they look cool.  They fit nicely right between the nails I had used. 

The lockers and crates were actually the stuff that I needed to store.  I keep them around because I love them and for staging photos but they were getting in the way.  This way they can be functional and pretty. 

It was a must to have casters on the shelving unit because my space is limited.  The wall behind it will serve double duty as a backdrop for staging furniture.  I used primed white wood trim with a rough texture to make a faux barn door.  The wall is covered in plywood so I just nailed it on. 

Do you recognize this chair?  It came with that desk I posted about a couple months ago.  Ben's desk.  The one I practically wrote a sonnet to because I loved it so much.  (to see that post click here)  I brought the desk and chair home after it sat for sale for a couple weeks.  Couldn't live without them. 

I hung the chair on the wall using a plate hanger because it's not usable as a chair.  It is art and it inspires me.  

I painted the door with chalkboard paint so it too can be used as a backdrop. 

I am almost done with the Studio, I just have a few finishing touches to do on the cabinet/window wall.  Then I will do the final reveal and be finished!  

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