Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sitting Pretty

Many years ago, as I walked home from work I happened upon furniture that had been ousted to the kerb waiting for removal by the council pick-up contractors a pavement acting as an alfresco bric-a-brac showroom. Amongst rather unremarkable once-loved items that certainly deserved to be carted off to the local tip, that place of refuse for once-loved furniture, there was a little woebegone slipper chair with a rather unremarkable cover. Sure, it had seen much better days, but I saw perhaps what the low-slung little chair could become. Besides, being small it certainly wouldn't take up much room. I am afraid my penchant for old and pre-loved chairs had surfaced yet again. Ho hum.....another tarted up chair story.......so, so sorry!!

Back in the day these little slipper chairs were often used when maids helped their mistress, the lady of the house put on her shoes or slippers, hence the name. Now......there is no lady's maid dashing into my boudoir each morning to help me get dressed or indeed, brush my hair, fashioning my locks into some fancy coiffured hairdo. Neither is there a lady's maid to help put on my shoes. I can do that myself.......just......BUT.....with the entry into my venerable years, I rather like the idea of sitting on a chair low to the ground to slip on my shoes; which could become no small feat in my feeble and decrepit condition as the years slip by.

So........I picked up the sweet little chair, swung it on my back and proceeded to walk home in a strained and laboured way, rather like a slow, slow tortoise lugging it's home on it's back. You can laugh at this juncture because to be honest I did look positively hilarious, but I will go to extraordinary lengths to re-home an antediluvian chair.

Upon moving to Tasmania, I had forgotten all about my little chair until recently when I was looking for something else in the man cave. Yikes.....the man cave.....where angels fear to tread.....but moving right along, I dusted the cobwebs away and hurried the spiders on to new homes where they could spin beautiful, silk-like gossamer, living quarters on some other antiquity waiting for a little tarting up (oh yes.....believe it or not there are more). After all I was in a hurry to prettify my little slipper chair.

I purchased this linen-like curtain fabric a while ago pretty much on a whim, thinking surely it would fit somewhere in my humble abode. I love the pretty blue background colour (blue is my hue) and rather like the water colour impression of the flowers.


Looking at the fabric and the chair I thought of appliqueing some Irises to the back just to add a little more visual interest. I wonder if a day will ever awake where I dress a chair in fabric and leave it be with no adornment, with no embellishment???? Somehow I don't think so. Seriously, there is an aberrant gene within my DNA!! I adore creative play. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, fingers crossed this time it does.


For the Irises I used a batik purple to blue fabric and a Kona fabric called Helliotrope. The stems are Kona fabrics in colours Peppercorn and Jungle. The greens I think, match quite nicely with the flower stems on the chair fabric.

I drew a couple of Irises on paper, then pinned them onto the back, adding stems to add a little more interest.


Being content with this simple arrangement I traced each pattern template onto freezer paper, ironed fabric onto the freezer paper templates and then cut out each flower/stem allowing 1/4" seam allowance, which I turned under as I ironed around all the pieces. Pulling the freezer paper out I then glued the seam allowance under. With all the flower and stem pieces ready for placing  I applied dabs of glue here and there on each flower part, then arranging and placing all onto the chair back fabric. Being satisfied with the arrangement I machine stitched around the flowers and stems onto the fabric. The thought of hand appliqueing the Irises did cross my mind for a fleeting moment but I thought better of it as this would have taken a lot longer. Besides I rather like the outline machine stitching. I then stitched some veins onto the lower petals of the Irises........not too many as I didn't want a botanically correct look. Let's face it, those of you whom are au fait with the finer, more intricate details of the 'Iridaceae'  will know that my sweet little Irises resting on my little slipper chair are certainly poor cousins to those elegant, showy flowers of the botanical world. Let's just say I have taken artistic license.




Being  happy with the Irises I then proceeded to dress the chair. With my trusty staple gun and hot glue gun on hand this didn't cause too much angst.


Slipper chairs of old usually had a flounce to the floor but to give this chair a modern look I wanted the legs to be seen. I did vacillate for a long while whether to sew a flounce on or not....I went with not. This chair obviously had a flounce for a reason. The legs were made in such a fashion that not a lot of thought went into aesthetics. The legs are more to be desired but with an inclination for a more modish look I painted the legs and sanded them, scuffing them up a little. This chair will certainly not be remembered by its shapely 'pins' but not to worry, with a lick of paint they are acceptable for viewing. To add a little bit of fun I added pom pom trim and ric rac.


Do you know if I had my time over again I would love to do an in-depth upholstery course. One of those courses that takes three years to master the intricacies involved in how to dismantle each part of a chair, cover said part with fabric and then reassemble everything again. Oh, how I would love to reupholster one of those beautiful, buttoned back french chairs with the most elegant of silhouettes, sitting atop curved cabriole legs but alas, I cannot as my skills I'm afraid are not quite up to speed. I would have oodles of subjects to practice my skill on, seeing my propensity of lugging home pre-loved chairs. Come to think of it, if I had my time over again there are so many things I would love to learn the nuts-and-bolts of  as I skip down the yellow brick road of creative pursuits; instead of my usual modus operandi of winging it!





I am happy with my little slipper chair and it's pretty, new cover. So much easier on the eyes than the awful beige, faux velvet that it was draped in. Sometimes I like to sit on little chairs whilst I enjoy a little hand stitching or knitting. Being small my slipper chair doesn't take up as much visual or physical space, and I love the fact that being little it can be moved from room to room......the boudoir, my sewing room, even the family room; it will fit in perfectly wherever it sits. AND.....I can now sit low to the floor and put on my shoes!!


From this li'l upholsterer's workroom (I use the term 'upholsterer' very, very loosely) or is it an alfresco furniture showroom where tarted up chairs seem to abound.......I don't rightly know......but whatever it is, I would love to wish you all a fabulous weekend. Me thinks I might spend a little time sitting  pretty on my sweet, little slipper chair.





Until the next time................

Linking to Handmade Monday


67 comments:

  1. This is beautiful and the legs are fine. Wish I had your applique skill.

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    1. Thank you! I quite like appliqueing, though I always find it very fiddly to stitch the points of leaves etc. Me thinks I need more practice. =) As for the legs...they will do. Thank you for visiting my place; you have put a smile in my day. Kim Xx

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  2. Each one is a work of art and so special and unique! Always WELL DONE!

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    1. Thank you, Bernideen; you are very kind. I hope you enjoy a beautiful week. Kim Xx

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  3. So beautiful this is, your blog is lovely!

    Best wishes, Ida

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    1. Thank you so much! Thank you for visiting my humble little upholstery workroom. =) Your visit has delighted me. Kim Xx

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  4. I could just picture you, Kim, carrying that slipper chair home on your back! You were determined, and look how pretty your darling chair looks with your creative, magical hands. The irises blooming on the back are just so happy and wonderful! The pom pom and rick rack trim adds such a whimsy touch. All your chairs look like they're waiting for one of us to come and take a seat. I love them all, and would have to take a turn in each one. Thank you for sharing your newest Kim creation with us! xx

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  5. Love, love, love! Those irises are terrific. What fun!

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  6. Your collection of done up chairs look fabulous all together. I love your latest addition. The irises are beautifully stitched and are the perfect feature to finish off that lovely floral fabric. I also love the pom poms :)

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  7. Oh this is so sweet and your fabric choices for the applique are perfection. You have accumulated a lovely group of chairs, and all embellished so lovely. I am partial to the one to the right of your little slipper chair. Oh, maybe the crazy quilt chair is my favorite, but I LOVE that FOLDING chair!! You have a tender heart for rescuing these lovely pieces.
    xx, Carol
    Northern Indiana USA

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  8. Adorable. Never heard of a slipper chair and I loved getting the background to them. You may never have taken an upholstery class but who would know to see what you've done with your amazing collection of 'recovered' chairs. That fabric is more than amazing and your iris look perfect. Your creativity knows no bounds, I think. P.S. Sure wish there was a picture of you carting that chair back home; LOL.

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  9. You did well, Kim! Again! In all honesty, this is very difficult for me. I had already chosen where I am going to sit when I come to tea, and now I have to rethink my decision.
    Amalia
    xo

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  10. This is just gorgeous dear Kim. I love how you have transformed the dear little slipper chair. My friend Gail has that very same fabric & it always reminds me of a watercolour. I would love to be your neighbour .... just looking out my kitchen window seeing you dragging all those gorgeous chairs outside for a photograph!!! What entertainment you would be!!! I would just wait til your back was turned & then I would whip a couple of them home to my house!!!

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    1. Your friend Gail has the most excellent of taste. =) Hehehe....I admit I provide oodles of free entertainment for our neighbours!! A lot of folk around these parts laugh at me and my good natured husband....there is never a dull moment in this house. I am always up for an interesting photo shoot! Dear Julie.....I would give you one of my pretties, if indeed you were ever to cross the channel and visit for a while. Kim Xx

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  11. You are more than a 'little' upholsterer … you are a true artist. I was blown away by the final picture. Simply amazing!

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    1. Thank you so much, lovely Angie. Yes, my tarted up lovelies do look rather lovely all sitting together and of course the 'backdrop' ain't too bad either. =) Thanks for visiting, lovely lady. Kim Xx

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  12. Oh my, this is delightful. I particularly love the appliqué and the pom pom trim. I am sure your chair thinks it has been taken to furniture heaven and resurrected as completely glorious. x

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    1. Hello Kay, I think my little chair is a lot happier now covered in pretty new fabric. So much better to be sitting in my boudoir than in a council tip. =) The pom pom trim does add a touch of whimsy, doesn't it. Thank you for your lovely visit and sweet comments, lovely Kay. Kim Xx

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  13. Love it, and love slipper chairs.
    I picked up an equally unloved slipper chair at the local thrift store for $4, it was upholstered in a dirty, stained cotton print.
    I cleaned it up, and slip-covered in a waffle-weave cotton I had dyed to match my bedroom (purple), and added a white Battenburg skirt.
    It is a handy place to sit as I slip on my 'hose'.

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    1. Hello Lainey, How lovely of you to stop by. It is lovely to 'meet' you. Your little slipper chair sounds beautiful. I love the sound of a slip cover in purple waffle-weave cotton with a Battenburg skirt! The Battenburg lace would be the perfect finishing touch.....how very clever of you. Slipper chairs are the best for slipping on one's shoes and 'hose'.....aren't they. Wishing you a fabulous, lovely Lainey. Kim Xx

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  14. Stunning! I love your slipper chair, the fabric is gorgeous and the iris's perfect. I do so enjoy reading your blog posts. xx

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  15. Your latest chair 'makeover' is magnificent, Kim! Often the people who 'wing it' are the most creative...if you aren't formally trained, you possibly don't really follow any 'rules' , so your creativity has free rein!! Wonderful!

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  16. You are amazing Kim! I love your chair and I so enjoy reading your posts. Thank you, Margie/NY

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    1. Thank you, lovely Margie, for your sweet visit. It is always delightful when you visit my humble abode. Have a gorgeous week, lovely Margie. Kim Xx

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  17. Your work is always adorable and unique. If the legs still bother you? upholster them with that fabric, or paint iris anthem. So much fun, I would love to sit on this adorable chair...!

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  18. I love the chair it is so cute and so are your other chairs. The little ball trim you put on it reminds me of my Mom. She had a story she told people about me when I was little about those balls. Good mememories.

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  19. Oh my, with each paragraph and photo, I was more amazed and saying things aloud like "this woman is amazing" and "She makes beautiful things out of nothing" while my husband was wondering what I was talking about! Your slipper chair is beyond divine as are all the others you made in the last picture. My mouth fell down to my chest when I saw that one! You have inspired me NOT to sell my little bedroom chair, but rather recover it....how, I do not have a clue right now!

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  20. You’ve done it again! I know your newly updated little chair is quite happy with its new look! I have a smallish chair/family heirloom I use in my bedroom closet for a similar purpose. It’s wooden and my grandmother painted it numerous times. One of these days, I’m going to give it a different coat of paint and add a soft cushion. It’s always fun to see what you’ve been up to for a bit of inspiration. I love all of the colors you use! Have a wonderful week, dear Kim!

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  21. I love the irises, Kim. So artfully creative! What a lovely chair.
    What a wonderful array of beauty you’ve created. I don’t remeber seeing the second one from the left before. I love the ornate wood work, and the material...superb.
    I absolutely love the backgound beauty of the countryside, too.

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    1. Thank you, lovely Dixie. The chair, second from the left, which I call the throne, was recovered a long time ago. I have been thinking of late that it needs a new look. =) Yes, it does have wonderful, ornate wood work. There is no better background for a grouping of tarted up pretties than the beautiful countryside that surrounds my humble abode. Thank you for popping by. I hope you have a beautiful week, lovely lady. Kim Xx

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  22. I would say you do a fantastic job with your chairs even though you have not taken classes, each one is even better than the last. Your artistic flair of this is just amazing, your drawing of the Iris are terrific and your stitching is perfection!! Such a talented lady, and how wonderful that you are saving these chairs and giving them new life!!

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  23. Oh, your little slipper chair is really amazing, you don't need a course, you are a master and the slipper chair is a masterpiece!
    Have a wonderful week!♥

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    1. Thank you, lovely Loes, you are very kind....but believe you me I am just a master upholsterer's apprentice. There are so many chairs that I know not how to recover. Kim Xx

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  24. You’ve done a wonderful makeover on your little slipper chair, Kim!
    I’d never heard the history of a slipper chair, fascinating!
    Love the fabric you used. Your Iris is beautiful! And I love the ric rac and bobbles!!
    All your chairs are gorgeous. You already are quite the upholsterer. Well done!
    Hugs,
    Barbara xx

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  25. your chair is exquisite, you are very talented
    best wishes kay c

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    1. Thank you so much, Kay, for your sweet comments. You are very kind. Kim Xx

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  26. You're amazing Kim! Never did I imagine it turning out like. What a pleasant surprise to see you put your twist on it and work your magic. Sweet, sweet, sweet. I love all you do. ♥
    xx Beca

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  27. Hello dearie dear! Oh my! HOW cute! Why can't you take the course now? You should. I wish I knew how to do it, too. However, I never finish anythi
    (LOL!)

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  28. You have done it again . . . I love your chairs. You have such a unique vision . . . charming and romantic . . . perfection:)

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  29. I also have a soft spot for old chairs - sadly I don't have where to keep them so have to turn down any offers of such.
    But your chair is certainly a gem! I love, love that amazing fabric you bought and yes, the watercolor resembling flowers are beautiful against the blue hue. Appliquéing the irises is genius. Prior to seeing your pictures I wondered in a second that they would make the chair too "crowded" but you proved me wrong in thinking that because they blended spectacularly! I wish I had your skills, and I don't believe you need an upholstering course. No ma'am! As with everything you touch - this is another wondrous masterpiece!

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  30. Another delightful chair Kim, absolutely love the pretty fabric and applique work. You have chairs to be admired and not sat upon.

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  31. Good look for the chair by your work. Beautiful design and color of the thread used for the tulip flowers:)

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    1. Thank you for popping by and taking the time to leave a lovely comment. Your visit has delighted me. Kim Xx

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  32. Oh, how I love your vocabulary! Your chair is divine (I quite like the legs!); those iris' are beautiful. The stitching details are just perfect. The ric rac (one of fav things!) and the pom pom trim made me smile (I really can't imagine the chair being quite right without them). I found myself looking around for something (anything!) that I could attach some ric rac and/or pom pom trim to!!

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  33. Love your little chair ! So cute !!!!!!!!!
    Have a nice day and thanks for your visit !
    Anna

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  34. A lovely makeover, and lovely photos too, Kim! The irises are delightful. Your indoor garden made of fabric is equally wonderful as your outdoor one. You have created quite an unique collection of chairs. Enjoy!

    -Soma

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  35. Elizabethstreeter21@gmail.comJune 20, 2018 at 8:56 PM

    Kim i have spent the last couple of days in between knitting and spinning reading back through you blogs to the first one it was wonderful, i now know why my altered jacket never felt quite right not enough on it. I should have thought of the denim jacket i did for my daughter when she was young it had everything on it.and it was bought at an op shop at the time.her 10 year old daughter just sewed her first quilt while i was with them in queensland i live in Victoria. Your chairs are stunning and would love to sit on them. I must look for one to cover my husband was really impressed i look forward to what you create next and hope your husband is able to thow the cancer away and get better soon

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  36. i could not stop laughing at the first paragraph!!! you are too funny and have a way with words!!

    the fabric you choose for the chair is just beautiful, the appliquéd iris are the perfect finishing touch...all of your chairs are beautiful!! what talent you have and your pictures are so pretty!!!

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  37. Kim, your tarted up chairs bring me such delight! This last one is a real darling! Now I would never have looked at that fabric and thought I could add a thing. I would have thought it to be too busy. But, wow!! would I ever be so wrong! I think you wing it just fine my dear. I have wanted to take an upholstery class for some time. I have a little foot stool sitting in the garage that would be so easy. I have been going to tackle it for 3-4 years. Hasn't happened yet!
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Yes, my little slipper chair with Irises blossoming on it should be deemed to be too busy shouldn't it, but somehow it just works. =) Jann, you really, really need to take your little foot stool from out of the garage and tart it up. Thanks for popping by and thank you for your sweet comments, lovely Jann. Kim Xx

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  38. Firstly I have never heard the word slipper chair before. You should learn something new every day and that is my new for today! Secondly, what a find! And what a beautiful chair you have now. I love the water colour feel of the fabric and the irises finish it off beautifully! A job to be proud off!x

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  39. Your delicious make-overs always leave me completely unable to find the words to comment. How about OH. MY. GOODNESS. Sounds kinda lame doesn't it? Or maybe WOW! WOW! WOW! Seriously though, this is truly one gorgeous chair. Your talents simple blow me away....and LOVE the group "family" photo! :D

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  40. Another oh-so-sweet chair! And so much fun to see them photographed all together. That fabric was definitely a great find and the addition of the oversized ric rac just gave it the finishing touch.

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  41. Hi Sarah wow this chair is amazing i have just discovered your blog and i am now your newest follower,hope you will visit and follow me too.
    I have had so much fun reading your posts and all your chairs are so beautiful you are very clever my friend xx

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  42. sorry Kim i called you Sarah xx

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  43. Oh my word.... that is gorgeous! You are a talented artist!

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  44. That is simply charming. The detail in the iris is fabulous. It makes such a delightful makeover.

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  45. That chair looks so happy to be loved and joining the gang.

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  46. I smiled as I read from beginning to end and through all the comments. I always enjoy my visits to your blog Kim and leave inspired and happy. Thank you for sharing your creativity!!!

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  47. carissima sei molto creativa, ogni poltrona è un capolavoro, è la prima volta che vedo simili bellezze, se fossimo vicine ti chiederei di farne una per me!!!!

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    1. I have a feeling if you lived nearby we would be wonderful friends. Oh, and of course I would fashion a pretty little chair for you. Kim Xx

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  48. Never apologise for saving another chair! This is lovely. You know they only problem you're going to have in your twilight years will now be how you get up off your low chair once your shoes are on!!!

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  49. Es admirable tu trabajo, me gusta mucho la silla tapizada.

    BESOS

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    1. Thank you so much! Thank you for visiting my little place. Kim Xx

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  50. Oh, I love everything about your post: the project (chair + fabric + irises), the photos and your writing style; I have a feeling that I will be a regular visitor to your blog :).

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    1. Thank you so much, Teodora! It is a delight to have you visit my little place. Kim Xx

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  51. I wish the person who set that little chair out for the trash could see it now!

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