Saturday, August 29, 2009

Touring Charleston

During my recent trip down south, I was fortunate to spend a day walking around Charleston. Although I had visited Charleston as a college student, I was eager to see the city again through a new perspective. Instead of taking a guided tour, I decided to explore on my own. I made a stop at the Calhoun Mansion (pictured below), the largest privately owned house in the city. There is a fee for entering the house, but admission is free to the fantastic gardens leading to the museum shop around back. The gift shop clerk was helpful in steering me down several alleys not typically travelled by tourists. As someone who loves details, Charleston was the perfect place for me.

Notice how the ivy has been clipped around the windows and the small door underneath this staircase.

If only I could have seen what was behind these wonderful doors!
Loved this beautiful greenhouse. I don't know any flowers who wouldn't be happy living here.
Of course, no visit to Charleston would be complete without pictures of beautiful houses.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recover a Vintage Stool

Several years ago I purchased this little vintage foot stool on Ebay. Though I loved the lines, I wasn't too crazy about the brown needlepoint cover. Last month I completed a slip cover project for a client and fell in love with the Zebra fabric she choose. As luck would have it there was a small piece of fabric left over - perfectly sized for my stool.

Recovering this stool was an easy process. Simply take off the stool cover by removing the small tacks with a hammer, pliers and a puddy knife. Use the old cover as a pattern to cut out your new cover. Since I was using upholstery tacks, I made my pattern about a 1/2 inch bigger on all sides than the original. This gave me some fabric to fold under for a nice finished edge.
Center the fabric on the stool. Place one tack in the middle of each side of the stool, folding the fabric under 1/2" and pulling tight. Work from the center out, trying to evenly space the upholstery tacks, until you reach the corners.
Fold the corners neatly and tack in place. You are done!
I love how this new fabric looks. Such a change from the old. If only I was brave enough to tackle the chair I have had for twenty years that needs upholstering!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mary Paulsen Folk Art Garden

I have just returned from a vacation down south and wanted to share the story of a remarkable woman. During my trip, I visited Mary's Gone Wild, the visionary folk art garden, doll baby village and bottle house of Mary Paulsen of Holden Beach, North Carolina. Mary creates bright colored paintings on the reverse side of old glass windows as well as other recyled goods. By purchasing Mary's art and leaving donations, visitor's to Mary's Garden have helped to feed tens of thousands of hungry children since 1996. Above is a picture of the outside of Mary's studio and below are photos of the inside, including her whimsical paintings. Notice the floor and ceiling treatments. Not a surface goes untouched.Mary recently completed the bottle house pictured below. She has saved thousands of pounds of trash from the local landfill by recycling unwanted goods into bright and happy "make you smile art."

The house is made completely out of bottles and includes her paintings for windows. The floor is painted and the inside is furnished with pieces that Mary has embellished.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Mary while she was working on her latest creation. She is deeply religious, friendly and was happy to answer all my questions. I am so glad I stopped by!
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