Friday, May 31, 2013

DIY Painting Accent Welting on my Chair

Hello and TGIT! (Thank God It's Thursday) (o; This post is my confession post about my recently reupholstered chair. Don't get me wrong, I'm still happy with the overall craftsmanship of Fabrico's work, but I realized I made a small, yet annoying mistake on my part. Nothing a little DIY couldn't fix.  Since the change may not be obvious to you as it was an eye sore to me, I enlisted the help of two very red arrows to guide you in spotting the difference below. (o:
I couldn't make a decision at the time if I wanted the lower half of the chair with piping to accent or blend with the blue. To play it safe I had the upholsterers make it all blue on blue. However, when I saw the final result I didn't like it at all. 

I got to thinking and instantly thought of... PAINT! Would it work? Only way to find it was to try.
I gathered my supplies. I picked similar colors to the Ikat. I mixed Apple Barrel- white with antique white to get the base cream color. Then I mixed  Delta- bright yellow, Folk Art- morning sun, and Folk Art- linen to get the mustard shade. Finally I used Folk Art- linen alone and also mixed a little with AB- antique white to make different shades of khaki. I didn't need blue because the original welting was blue. I tested the paint first on scrap fabric and it took just fine and dried well too. So far so good. I got the green light to go ahead.

Then I got the green tape and taped away :o))) FYI: I used frog tape which is very wide. I cut the tape in half so as not to waste my supply. 
Again, the frugalista in me didn't want to wast frog tape, so I only taped below the welting and used a plastic card above. Worked perfectly. 
I painted the cream base in blotches and then layered the remaining colors.

Left side painted right side to be continued. Do you feel the difference?

You may think I am exaggerating, but this is really a miracle. Thank you GOD! It looks identical! IDENTICAL! I LOVE IT!!!! IT'S PERFECT!!!!! I have to stop screaming. But really, this isn't one of those DIY's that looks awesome in the pic and horrible in person. You can't tell the difference at all. Even the hubster was pleasantly surprised. 

It's like a reverse mullet, but way cooler. Business in the back and party in the front lol. I love mixing fabric on chairs. For some people patterns can be too much and this is a good way to introduce it into your home without feeling too overwhelmed. 

The newly accented welting may be a small difference, but the break in the solid blue was a big change and easier on the eye.

Not too shabby staging if I do say so myself. (o:
I tiny DIY, but nonetheless a big change. When I come to think of it, mixing the welting should have been my instinct luckily I was still able to get the look. The entire chair is much more balanced now especially in the back. I tell ya, t's the small things that make the biggest statement, don't you think? Would to know what you think; make sure to leave a comment below please! Thanks again for stopping by! 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Reupholstry with Fabrico Furniture Trading

Alright folks, I've been holding my breath for a few days now and I can finally breathe. After my last experience with reupholstery I've been very weary of trying it again. I took a long break, then started searching again online. Pretty much my search went like this: google, call a number, get no answer, try again. I did this process at least 10 times before someone finally answered, but then they didn't show. Finally I got a hold of Fabrico Furniture Trading. They came the very next day after calling them. There were no reviews to guide me. It was just a matter of risking it. Again. Except this time I would make sure to speak everything clearly and confirm everything a thousand times and then warn them that I would take them to the DED if they didn't do the job well.

Off went the chair and sunk went my heart. lol

The chair came yesterday. I checked it and rechecked and couldn't find any flaws until today. A small piece of staple piercing through the fabric at a corner. I haven't told them yet, but hopefully (praying hard here) it will be an easy fix. Also, if you're a fanatic with pattern alignment, they were a hair off where the top meets the front of the cushion.  Aside from that, the stitching is straight, tight, and clean. Cushions are stuffed well and they even added stuffing to the back cushion for more height and it looks even better. Since I was using two different types of fabric I made sure they knew exactly where each fabric was going and there were no mistakes in that department either.

Left fabric was Robert Allen Persian Ikat. My first fabric purchase WIN on Ebay. Wootwoot!!
Right, solid blue, was Linen Plain Belovoir I purchased from the famous Nayef street in Dubai. 

Before and After

Their price was very reasonable.Turn around time was 4 days; surprisingly fast. They picked up on Thursday night, Friday was off, and I had the chair back by Tuesday morning. With the exception of the slightly piercing staple, and pattern alignment, every thing was perfect.

I also had them replace the cushions on the two white tub chairs for a reasonable price and now those chairs are comfy again. Overall, I would use this place again, actually I already gave them another chair, but that chair will get a new leg first, repainted and finally reupholstered. More on that later.

Before (left) & After (right) of one of the two tub chairs. Looks fantastic now.

So far, I would totally recommend them for upholstery work in Dubai, but like I said before, I kept my expectations low. The more you want perfection the faster disaster comes to you. Hope this post was helpful and if  you have any questions please make sure to leave a comment below. 

Before I end this post, I have a confession to make. That confession deserves a post of its own so don't forget to check out part 2 of this post. Thanks for stopping by!!!


Two in One Sleeping Cot + Majlis Seating (aka Moroccan Seating)

Hello Debdoozlers! First off, thank you to those who continuously return and support my blog. Big virtual hug to you all! Today I am excited to share the gift I got for my big brother on my last trip home. It's hard to get things for him because I never know what's most useful for him, but this time I thought outside the box and thought more about myself. Sounds odd, I know. The thing is, I've been back home twice since moving to the UAE, and on my first trip back, spending the night at his house was rough. Five people, one bed, one couch and one inflatable mattress. I think you get the picture of discomfort. 

I decided on getting him something unique for his home that we can sleep on when we visit, but didn't actually have to store away when we left. Perfect! He doesn't have a lot of storage space so I applied my own idea to an already existing concept used a lot in the Middle East. 

The fold-away sleeping cot. 
Opened flat it's the length of a twin bed, throw some linens and a pillow and you're set!

These sleeping cots are very popular around here. I've seen them in Egypt as well, but never in the States. Usually they come in horrendous tacky fabric, but I had custom covers made in authentic Arab style fabric. This fabric, generally, is very durable and used for outdoor tents as well as majlis seatings (aka Moroccan seating). The sleeping cots themselves are made of durable and strong foam so they are comfy for sleeping and when folded down they are just as great to sit on. Typically people already have their formal majlis seating , so they don't use these sleeping cots for double duty, but I figured since they work as seats might as well keep them as is and just unfold when needed for sleeping.

Folds away in a snap! 

Beautiful Arabic corner. Just as I imagined.
Completely folded  or....

....partially folded and left with back support. Makes for even better seating. 
I just love how it looks and the practicality behind it. 

A few pillows and voila! You have your own Majlis, or "Moroccan"/Arab/ Islamic seating in an instant! He was just as happy with them as I hoped. I had two, which can work together to make a queen size bed. Like I mentioned earlier, the idea of using these for seating isn't common out here, but in the States or any place that's tight on space, it's perfect for seating and sleeping. If you have frequent guests, no storage, and lack of space for furniture, like my brother, this is perfect for you. You can pull off this look in an instant.

While I had these custom made, I don't see any difficulty (aside from being busy) in a DIY project. The  trick is having three separate pieces of foam, measure length, width, and depth of foam, mark your fabric where the folds will be and sew. I know it sounds easier said than done, but if sewing is a snap for you then this sewing job is just a matter of straight lines and sewing in the correct sections.

Hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to make your own, or at least save up some money and get a couple custom made. (o: Thanks for stopping by!



Saturday, May 25, 2013

Appreciating a Simple Garden

Growing up in America can make it difficult to appreciate the simple and little accomplishments in life. Most things are handed to Americans (me included) on a silver platter and we've been trained as a society to demand the best of the best because we "deserve it". I'll save my opinions on that for another post :o), but today I want to share my growth for appreciation. Approaching almost 2 years in Dubai has been a very humbling experience.

Living in Dubai in 2013 is nothing like it was just a mere 20 years ago and while it's hard to find drastic changes in America over the span of 20 years it's not uncommon to find drastic changes in a short amount of time out here.
The famous Shaykh Zayed road after (circa 2005) and before (late 80's) 
While massive stretches of land have been significantly transformed this image is still vary common across Dubai and the UAE. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More Surprises at More Cafe

Hello all! I have to say, these days I am pooped! I've been driving my kids all over Dubai for activities and while I swore I wouldn't be that soccer mom, here I am, being just that. My point? Well, some times I need a lovely cup of jo, like this one, with a pretty spoon too!

After dropping of my oldest at his activity for the day, I decided to stop by More Cafe. I had been there once before, had a great experience and thought I would rest there instead of the noisy location my son was at. 
More Cafe inside and out. Located at the Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai. 

To my surprise this wasn't your typical More. It had a mini library section and a large conference style table equipped with power outlets to connect your electronics. Not your droopy worn out Starbucks couches. What's even more cool is they have a program or system if you will, where you can bring in 5 of your own new or used books and trade them in for 5 of their books. Unfortunately you can't buy, a trade is a must. 

I moseyed on over and picked up one non-fiction and unexpectedly found an awesome book on tiles!! Ohhhhh, this book was sooooooooo fun! 

The Art of Tile by Jen Renzi
This book may be old news for most, but it's new to me and might be for you too. Since I couldn't buy this book and I didn't have 5 on hand to trade, I decided to take a few pics of my favorite tiles. With out influencing you too much, I'll let you decide what you like out of my personal favorite pics. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Having Fun With a Glass Swan Vase

Many moons ago, I want to say almost 8 years ago, my mom bought me the tiniest bouquet for mothers day that came in a simple and delicate glass swan vase. It was so cute. I hadn't seen anything like it before. I saved it and recently rediscovered it and figured, let me do something new with it.

I thought it would be so fun to fill it up completely with tinted water. No flowers, just water and food coloring. The results were so bright and gave the vase more depth and appreciation. 

DIY Resizing a Leather Belt

Hey folks. I have a really easy DIY project today. I wish I figured it out ages ago so I could have saved a few bucks, but that's life. When I got married, I noticed my husband had this really cool eagle belt. Ironically he never wore it throughout the years. I loved it and begged him to wear it, but I guess he just lost touch with the cowboy in him. ;o) I, on the other hand, was bursting with cowgirl fever and was set on resizing the belt for yours truly. I took to my trusty drill and drilled a perfect hole to my exact size. It was risky of me to use a drill, but luckily, this country tale ended happily ever after and now you cdan try it too.
The belted eagle in all his her glory.

(top view) I measured the belt around my waist and embossed a mark where I wanted the hole to be. 

Warning: I was very careful in not puncturing a hole into my finger, but I must acknowledge this isn't a safe way to drill. The hypocrite in me suggests that you either wear durable gloves or secure the belt with clamps to a table and hold the other end and then drill through. Or you can have another person hold one end while you hold your end and drill through. IN ALL CASES DRILL SLOWLY!!!
I used a small drill bit and drilled SLOWLY through the top of the belt making the initial hole. 
I had more control with the smaller drill bit. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Old Souq, Dubai

Hey friends! It's the weekend out here and I wanted to share some of the unique gifts I got for friends and family on my last trip back home. Unfortunately, I had to come back with some of these gifts as I didn't get to see everyone I intended on. :o( At least they are immortalized in blog land for the world to enjoy, well, visually enjoy lol.

Get ready for some fun touristy eye candy!!

The irony of buying money. It was definitely fun looking through this bucket, but still kind of weird to buy money. Look carefully and you'll find some American pennies. Ha! 

After a little bit of digging, I found this really old Indian coin, though not sure if it's technically a rupi. I loved it's floral shape and added it to my coin art

Leather sandals. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Resurfacing an Oak Dining Table

Hey there folks! Hope you all had a wonderful mothers day. I almost forgot about it out here in Dubai, but still got a nice dress and the best hugs and kisses from the kids. Isn't that what it's all about?

Speaking of forgetting, I had a project that has been long overdue for sharing. It was a project I did during my first trip back to the States. While staying at my mother-in-law's house, I noticed her dining table was extremely sticky, I tried scrubbing it down with soap, water and a coarse scrub, but nothing worked. I realized the 30+ year old table needed to be sanded down and stained.

Thirty years of collecting grime, dust, oils from food and what not left quite the surface for me to sand down. The before and after may not seem so shockingly different in the photos, but if you can just imagine the difference between a brand new table and sticky paper fly trap then you'll get the idea.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Flying With Emirates Airlines (with three kids) Out of DXB

Well, I've officially been back for for a week a month now and I had to share my experience flying back to Los Angeles (and flying back to Dubai in the next post). Don't you want to know what it's like to fly for 16 hours with three kids? I thought you would so here it is. 

Our adventure began bright and early in the morning middle of the night. I had the kids pick out their clothes the night before so I could wake them 15 minutes before we had to leave, dress them and put them straight in the car. Snacks were also prepped by them the night before, since there would be no time for breakfast with all the hustle and bustle.  

Not quite half way to the airport and the meeter reached AED25. Did I mention we needed 3 taxies since all the vans were taken? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ :o) 

LuGgAge!!! We had 10 pieces and luckily help arrived just in time. Checking in wasn't as smooth as I wanted, but it beats being juggled around an overbooked flight. Apparently Emmirates Airlines is notorious for overbooking and then compensating later for any inconvenience. On our last trip, despite being on time, we were bumped from our seats and by the time we were guaranteed our flight again almost an hour had passed. We were all getting  a bit restless but as a reward we were given vouchers to shop at this place...

Excuse me sir, is that Camel under 25kg? :o))
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