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Welcome to the Toadstool Cottage Crafts blog.

Hi I'm Pip and this is my blog about the behind the scenes goings on of my business - Toadstool Cottage Crafts. I've always loved craft and sewing but last year I thought I'd see if I could make it into a business.

This blog is a way of sharing my journey with you the ups and downs the successes and disasters (and there have been a few!). I know it will at least give you something to laugh at, but hope it will provide you with tips and inspiration for your own craft endeavours! If you have a question or something to say just leave me a comment.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Impulsive Buying!

Do you ever buy things spontaneously, on a whim, knowing they will be useful for something, somewhere, sometime? 

I do, quite often!

Now generally these things end up being put away - to be saved for just the right occasion, and what tends to happen is they get lost in my house and I completely  forget all about them.

About 2 years ago, I was walking through Ikea – you know the place you go to not wanting anything, but always managing to come out having bought something. Well, I had almost got through the entire shop without purchasing a single thing - when there it was, this adorable little wicker chair
 If you saw it in real life you too would spot its adorableness!
I just had to purchase it!
I think that I may have been wearing my new Granny hat at the time, even though he was only 6 months old!
I put my new chair away to save it for that special occasion. Luckily as it was rather an odd shape it was quite difficult to lose in my house, so it was always noticeable and therefore not easy to forget.
Many months later I was rummaging through the fabric shop’s remnant box when I came across an off cut which I knew would be just perfect for my little wicker chair. The fabric was a print of Noah’s Ark and some of the pairs of animals.
 I scanned various sections of the fabric onto my computer and cropped and manipulated and cut and pasted …

I know it makes it sound as though I know what I am doing, but trust me, I have no idea! I kept all the images the original size, (not as shown here) but I could have altered them if it had been necessary.
I have a flatbed scanner so I was able to scan the fabric without first cutting it, I didn’t want to cut it as I was going to use it later. If you look carefully at these pictures you can see the images from the folded fabric beneath, luckily the scanner didn’t pick them up. I could have placed a white sheet of paper in between the fabric folds to prevent this, but didn’t think of that at the time!
Anyway when I had all the sections that I wanted scanned into the computer I then printed each section onto tissue paper. I used the sort of tissue paper that you use for wrapping, I cut it down to A4 size and stuck it with sellotape onto a sheet of A4 paper and then fed it VERY CAREFULLY (I did manage to jam the printer quite a few times!!) through the printer.
It took a while for the ink to dry because the tissue paper was not absorbent, but when it was dry I cut around the images fairly close to the outline but not too precisely.
In the meantime I spray painted the little chair using Plasti-kote Satin Super; I chose a pale blue colour to signify sky and water. TIP Don’t spray paint in a force 10 gale!
It took several coats of paint to cover the chair, but I was being a little too perfectionist and maybe 2 coats would have been just as good, plus I wasted a lot of paint in the wind!
I held the tissue pictures up against the chair to decide where I wanted them. Then using ordinary PVA glue, I spread some onto the chair where the picture was going, pressed the tissue picture gently into place and covered it (the picture) in PVA glue.  I did this with all the pictures and then left it alone to dry. When it was dry I re-coated all the pictures with more PVA glue, paying particular attention to the edges of the tissue.

When everything was completely dry I sprayed Plasti-kote Hobby and Craft Sealer all over the  pictures and lightly over the entire chair.
I cut some 1” thick foam into the shape of the chair seat and using the fabric, which I still had, I covered the foam making a comfortable chair seat.
I found the tiniest cushion I could and made a cover for it too.  

By the time I gave it to my grandson he was 2 ½. But he loved it!
So there you have it - impulsive buying, but worth every penny!!

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