Speed Is Key

Hi There Again,

I know its been a while but unfortunately I am rather a busy girl and sometimes time runs away with me, however I am here to give you a refresh of what Muppet&Mr.J has been up to .

I have been upholstering down at Bills and as the title suggests I am trying to get faster at the simple jobs as ” speed is key” when it comes to earning a living from upholstery.

The small jobs which Bill manages to turn around really fast are the ones that make a bit of money and if he can complete a couple a day then a reasonable daily wage is made!

So when these dining chairs came in a set of 4 that needed complete dismantling re-webbing and recovering I thought I would give myself a challenge to see how fast I could pull of the job!!!!

So I started with four of these chairs:IMG_4630

And to strip them all back it took 3 hours:

IMG_4634So here they are all one million staples removed!!!! and all old webbing stripped off and foam cushions removed ready for next stage.

The second stage took me two hours and in that time I re-webbed, and placed old foam cushion back on with new foam inlay over the top, and all stapled ready for stage three the remaking of the fabric covers:

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So now I have been working on them for five hours!!! The third stage involves copying patterns of old covers, cutting new ones, piping and sewing and then refitting to frames.

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Once I had cut and sewn and fitted one of the covers to make sure all measurements were accurate it was easier as all cutting and sewing was done in one go. The fitting to frame was a little time consuming but in all the sewing of covers fitting and finishing of all four chairs took approximately five hours!!

So counting up the hours it took me approximately 10 hours of work from start to finish.

I did a damn good job!!!

However if that was my only source of income with buying fabric and labour I would probably come out with 250 dollars for 10 hours work!!!!!!!!!!!

So that is why SPEED IS KEY!

So I need to be able to cut at least 3 hours of my total time. I suppose the more chairs one does the faster one gets.

Upholstery is quite challenging though as each project is different each set of chairs is different. What I have learnt though is take each job as it comes along and learn from it. There are so many different techniques that there is always something new to learn and that’s the challenge and I am loving that.

However I am also learning that the tools used in upholstery are rather sharp!!! and one can receive some nasty stab wounds if one is over zealous with there usage.

Bill Bring me a Band Aid !!!!!!!

Speak soon x

Im on Fire

Hello Peeps.

This is as close as I ever want to get to a bushfire…….

IMG_4578This is in my backyard 30 metres from my house which is wooden!

Its all good those lovely firemen and woman are burning off excess dry undergrowth in preparation for the bushfire season.

IMG_4583I can feel the heat of this relatively small fire from where I’m taking this photo puts into perspective what these guys and gals have to face.

This is all under controlled conditions and this fire caught hold and burnt really quickly.

Its so good to have block cleared of all the dry debris though much safer Thanks Guys.

Hi Fives All Round!!!!!

Speak Soon x

It’s Official!!!!!!!

Hello People out There.

Muppet&Mr.J is now an officially registered business in this small part of the world!!!

IMG_4585So that’s the easy bit done. The hard part is now getting out there are showing what its all about. Even a small business venture requires so much organising and planning .

Public Liability Insurance is in situ I’m sure Mr. J would say it was me not the products that require this insurance LOL.

I am now on a very steep learning curve in regards to getting in touch with technology!

This is obviously the way to go forward but hey, seeing as back in my day we didn’t have the luxury of computers in the home or mobile phones, (omg I sound ancient!) our entertainment came from climbing trees and making grass houses! I think I’m doing OK. No one else shares this enthusiasm but as long as I have belief and applied faith in my abilities everything will be fine and dandy.

So keep following because you ain’t  seen nothing yet. This’ere muppet is on a roll watch her go!

Very soon I’ll be getting in the IT groove and throwing down some links and hashtags like you wouldn’t believe.

But until then I’ll say speak soon x

I’m Back!!!!!!

Hello Everyone

Its good to be back in blog land and from here on in I hope to share more regular posts with you. Well what have I been doing you may well ask, truth be told its been a bit of this and a bit of that these past few weeks. This household has acquired a spanking new PC and printer with a study to house them in. I am finding it difficult to get near new PC as it has been commandeered by 10 year old gorgeous son!!!! However school holidays coming to an end and I will be in with half a chance.

Due to school holidays I have not been able to visit Bill in The Upholstery Shed but I will share a few small projects I have completed. Upholstery is definitely not all pretty chaise lounges and cute French bedroom chairs as I have found out, and the nitty gritty of a business is combined mainly of repairs and quick makeovers. These jobs look simple enough but the preparation to actually fix it can be rather daunting.

Let me give an example.

IMG_4534Just a few simple breaks in the vinyl of this recliner warranted a complete strip down of the chair, piece by piece removing all mechanisms etc.

As you will see in the following pics!!!!

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The above images show that there’s a lot of work to just preparing the piece to be repaired!!

However not to be daunted and under Bills guidance I fixed the problem and started to assemble it back together. At this point I realised how important it is to remember how you dismantled the piece in the first place………….. Actually if it hadn’t been for Bill and his experienced upholsterers memory I would have been stuffed!!!!! Because I didn’t remember any sequence of events in the dismantling of said chair whatsoever.

But never a quitter I eventually got it back to this…..

IMG_4550So it has been repaired broken panels unpicked and replaced (what a nightmare for a novice), and assembled back on to frame step by step.

And the final outcome after screwing together and then unscrewing!!! and re screwing all components back into place it looked like this.

IMG_4551Not a lot of difference!!

Anyway I learnt a lot from it:

1. I’m scared of Bills industrial machine its a monster.

2. I need to remember dismantling sequence as it has to be reversed.

3. Upholstery can often be a lot of work for small remuneration. Obviously the more experienced you become the quicker you can turnover these types of jobs.

Next week I shall be returning to The Upholstery Shed on a more regular basis and am looking forward to more lovely little jobs****** that Bill wants to lay off on me LOL Thanks Bill

Speak soon x

I Want This Chair!!

Hello Peeps

Well another project with Bill completed, and my first piece to work on of considerable age, older than me by quite a bit I should imagine. This chair is an antique, very pretty and I would love it.

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Here she is stripped down and all exposed!! How very dare they! Her old attire was rather sad and jaded and needed sprucing up, but the main body was all in reasonable condition so no real work to be done there.

007The work on this old girl’s body was old style upholstering. Bill has explained how it has been achieved and has promised to show me how it is done I’m really looking forward to that as I want to try and master the old ways as they are dying out in the trade now. I know it involves coconut fibre, hessian and lots of sharp needles Ouch!

Looks pretty cool though don’t you think? Or is it just me whose boat it floats?

008So this picture shows the old girl starting to get spruced up it was so awkward to cut and manipulate the new fabric around this beauty Bill did all the donkey work, Thanks Bill Again!!!

Most of the old wadding was still usable and a layer of Dacron was put over and stapled into place just to give a smoother finished look.

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The new fabric was nipped and tucked and stapled around her gorgeous little frame. It was teased and pulled ( the fabric that is not me or Bill!), until it fitted her as snug as a bug in a rug.

She certainly did scrub up well didn’t she?

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There she is all dressed and gorgeous  with new castors adorning her very shapely legs I must say.

Ready to return, to hold pride of place in her official home.

What a Beauty!! I want that one.

Speak soon with a new project to show and tell.

I’m So Excited and I Just Can’t Hide It!!!

Hello Peeps

Why am I so excited I hear you ask well they have arrived !!

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My lovely sew in labels! Thanks to Natalie of Venus Labelling I absolutely love them. I can’t wait to start sewing them in to my products. I can’t believe that it was only a few weeks ago that the name and design were merely ideas and pencil drawings scribbled roughly on a piece of paper, and now they are here in a tangible form. The name evolved between two dear friends and partners in crime, over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, on a rainy day in our favourite café, in a garden centre in Ewenny Wales.  I call him Mr. J and he calls me!  yes you’ve guessed it Muppet. We laughed so much that day but we loved it and it stayed.

The first products to have the labels sewn in are the newly hatched Owlets waiting for new homes and a name.

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These cute Owlets named by Mr. J began life as wool blankets whose use has become rather obsolete over the years due to our usage of doonas and quilts so I have given them a new lease of life. They may be a little quirky but I suppose that reflects my nature I like them, I like them a lot.

I love to use blankets and vintage fabrics in my products as some of the quality and designs are just not found in todays market and so each one I make is always unique.

I will share more of my products as I go merrily along, my mind is always full of new ideas so I am always creating something different. Bit of a worry sometimes what goes on in my mind Lol.

Speak soon x

Project Number Three Have I Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew?

Hello There Again!!!

So here we are project number three in my upholstery adventure this chair has been malingering in the corner of one room or another in my house for several years now looking sad, dejected and unloved!!! At times its almost been shown the door! but something within me kept moving it around and believe you me that wasn’t an easy feat because its bloody heavy!!!!

Well obviously the Universe knew that someday I would have a desire to uptake the learning of upholstery and that I would wish to lavish all my love and attention on said chair!!!

So my sad little wingback chair bought for a whopping $50 at a local op shop, and I actually had to fight for it too as there was a bit of secondary bidding going on there but lady!! first in best dressed!!!!!!!!! Has had a cosmetic makeover.

janettes phone 262Ok nothing special you say rather dated in its attire probably a Sanderson fabric but hey ho! that was the fashion when this little chair began its life.It even had its original cushion which according to Bill has not been in manufacture since 1960s so this chair is obviously an old girl in the Autumn of her life a bit like me Shh! Shouldn’t of said that! A bit worn and flattened in certain areas a bit like me Shh! Shouldn’t of said that!  So she had to be stripped!!!!!

And poor old girl ended up looking like this!!!!!

janettes phone 012There she was stripped exposed for all to see her torn under garments but I quickly repaired and redressed her embarrassment!!!!!!

janettes phone 030She was stripped right back to her undergarments and re-webbed top and bottom and slowly reassembled in the same sequence that I undressed her!!!! Sounds easy yes well let me tell you not so easy in a mind like mine too much going on so Bill had to assist!!!!

But slowly but surely over a matter of days and with a lot of patience on Bills part I managed to master the techniques of pulling and stretching!!(We are talking about the fabric not me and certainly not Bill!!) and the secret of upholstery began to yield itself to me. Please note I did say Slowly!!!

janettes phone 031And the old girl started to look a bit fine!!! if I do say so myself and with each piece of attire I attached back to her body I learnt a little bit more about upholstery I must admit I learnt quite a bit about what not to do but that’s what its all about!!!!

I learnt that one should always allow more fabric than what you have measured  twice !!!!!

janettes phone 033This old girl starting to look a bit classy after a few days!!!!!

After a few accidents with sewing machines and staple guns!!!!!!

But as Bill pointed out at least the chair is black and you cant see the blood !!!!!!!

Thanks Bill XX

janettes phone 087And look at the old girl now!!!!!!!!!

Teamed up with the matching footstool taking pride of place in the corner of my bedroom!!!!!

I Love It!!!!!!!

Thanks Bill for your guidance and your patience I have enjoyed doing her up and giving her a new lease of life!!!

Can someone do that for me now please!!!!!!!!!

High Fives All Round!!!!!!

Speak Soon x

Something Different!!!

Hello There!!

So this post is something a little different. I told you that Bill the upholsterer was an avid vintage car collector well I had the privalege of going for a spin in this little beauty last week!janettes phone 057It is an XK120 Jaguar which is apparently 63 years old and is her body amazing or what? Well I am not a car mad kind of person but I think I am in love with this little beauty there is something quite alluring about a car such as this and I can tell you I certainly enjoyed my little spin! It was a beautiful sunny day the cars engine is rather loud so  we kind of roared through the hills where I live and certainly turned a few heads. I had an insane urge to wave graciously at all the passers by beaming like a demented Cheshire cat at the same time!!!!!janettes phone 060So a great big thanks to Bill my chauffeur for the spin had a great time now I want one!!!! A bit difficult seeing as there are only a few around with a price tag starting at roughly $80,000 Oh Well one lottery win please and make it a big one!!!!!!!

Have a great day speak soon x

Project Number Two!!!!!!!!

Hello there !

At long last another post, the reason why I haven’t posted is because I have been Busy! Busy! Busy!!

I have completed project two and three and various other things in between but here is a summary of second upholstery project undertaken by moi!!

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Just a simple vintage office chair probably 1950s nice wood have no idea what type but nice little chair. The cushion left a little  to be desired faded dull pink velour . So a quick makeover was required to spruce it up a bit!!!!janettes phone 259

So here it having been stripped back re-webbed  and ready to have a new cushion attached!!

The webbing used in this project is different to that used in project one the little footstool which is something I have learnt I thought webbing was webbing but obviously not. The webbing in this chair has elastic within its fibres so has a bit more give to allow for bottoms to sit on it!!!

So after choosing a nice bright red fabric found within the mountains of Bills stock I proceeded to make the cushion. This all went very, very, well until I had to put the piping onto the cushion!! I was so careful and actually feeling quite smug at the ease at which I was managing it all when snip! snip! snip! right through my piping and the cushion fabric. Well feeling a bit of a Muppet!! I tried to cover the evidence which didn’t really work and as Bill peered over my shoulder he calmly stated

“So that look okay To you?”

So I had to confess it did not so it was a case of start again and you can believe me I certainly snipped very carefully second time around.

Anyway after a bit of muttering under my breathe I finally finished the chair and voila!janettes phone 260

Here it is nice and bright and ready to come home with me squashed in the back of my little VW Polo which I think is a transit van x

So two down and still loving it and Bill still tolerating me in his workshop cant be bad!!!!!!

Speak Soon Peeps!!

the chunky footstool project number uno!!!!!!!

Hello Peeps

So today I am going to share my first upholstery project which I completed in a day under Bills supervision.

This is a picturejanettes phone 244 of my chunky little footstool in its tired attire before its make over!!!

So I stripped it right back till its naked in fact its just a piece of wood.janettes phone 246

Next I re webbed and re sprung the stool learning how to stretch and staple the webbing and then restitch the springs into place Cool!!!! And then it got put back together again!!!janettes phone 247janettes phone 248

And then the finished stool all put back together legs painted and piping and studded to complete!!!!!!janettes phone 250 janettes phone 251

So what do you think?

I am pretty chuffed nevertheless. Bill was fantastic so patient had a few mishaps with air staplers!!!! Believe me those things are so sensitive and I was a bit trigger happy LOL.

However Bill and I survived without any serious staple incidents and I learnt how to use quite a few tools.

Pretty Awesome Thanks Bill XX