Thursday 3 August 2023

August Show and tell post

 So I’e been very busy helping my friend with a project with my other friend! They are two of my very best friends in the world and I love them both dearly. ( Last year we had the best caravan holiday ever ! ) 

So my friend J bought this Sherlock Holmes chair off FB for £40 English  pounds. 

This was in October 2021. We finished it yesterday ! She asked my very talented diy gal H to help her do it up. She’d bought the length of fabric because she really liked the cushion she’d bought. The fabric was NOT really upholstery fabric but never mind!

H started off by dismantling the chair piece by piece

and used the original fabric as pattern pieces. She sewed the piping on the chair arms and then asked me if I could help out by doing the chair cushion. So we’ve had a few lovely days together at J’s house. H been bending over the chair at all angles stretching fabric and trying to penetrate what turned out to be the most hardest wood in the whole universe with a variety of staple guns, drills, hammer and nails. Many fingers have been compromised in this chair.

J does not possess a single plaster it was discovered and poor H had to make do with comedy first aid on more than one occasion.

I’ve been sat at the machine sewing and swearing trying to fettle the cushion together. The added stress from H about the coloured spots going the right way! J made breakfasts, lunches, cups of tea and ‘held’ things! 

Her idea was to get the fabric and drape and staple/glue in place. No, said H, we do it proper. So H did all the hard work really. The cushion took a while as when I did the top I didn’t really have the right foot. So then I just did it bit by bit. My wonderful HG took me to the local haberdashery ( love that word ) so I could buy the correct foot and I fell in love with piping! 

So I was determined to have it finished by our next planned session as a surprise that I puffed and panted and wrestled the very stiff foam cushion into the cover. Stood back. Ooed and aaahed and BLEEEEEEPED *^#}{|~>>!!!!

I’d missed catching a bit it. I considered my options. 

A). leave it - it’d not be seen. ( never an option really )

B). Hand sew it and catch it in 

C). Re wrestle it with much effort and re stitch. 

I decided to sleep on it. Next morning, I puffed and panted and tugged and with much effort, took the bleeping cushion pad out of the bleeping cover and re stitched it. I wish I’d double checked it first!! It then went back in, all the time I was praying the zip wouldn’t bust under the strain but finally it was done! At the end, I said we should do a big reveal like we were on an episode of The Repair Shop. An episode? We’d take a whole series!! I said that J should declare it amazing and cry whilst we undraped it. It was pointed out that the use of bbq skewers, bits of card out the garage, screwdrivers being used as emergency chisels because the bleeping bits of wood in the bleeping way were stopping us reattaching the legs, the omg genius R suggestion of carpet tacks being used ( successful for about 8 inches of securing fabric ), the box of nails that were spilt 5 times, the gripper metal stuff that chewed H and J’s fingers to bits, the toilet roll, sellotape,  the automatic staple gun that seemed to fire at will and was more like a deadly weapon than a diy tool and plastic gloves used as  emergency first aid, the bleeping piping on the bleeping cushion that had to be redone with much bleeping might not be BBC friendly viewing! That’s J’s dog ‘helping’. 

J covered her footstool with a little help by herself and should be rightly proud. Finally her chair is in her lounge looking gorgeous. She said she will treasure it forever. I was not allowed to take the cushion and try and wrestle it out again to sort the front edge. You should NEVER  point out your mistakes says Janet Clare ( quite famous quilty  sewing lady)   and she is correct!! But I see it, I can’t stop thinking about it and next time we go round I may just take my sewing machine and fix it!!! 

As we are all Summer born, I made a H friendly black forest gateaux as a belated birthday cake. H friendly has to be gluten, wheat AND dairy free. So my cake is totally suitable for vegans!

I did use a packet mix for ease and this one makes a genuinely can’t tell the difference chocolate cake. I used Dr Oethingy chocolate spread stuff found on baking aisle which again is very convincing and doesn’t taste as artificial as some vegan things can and the grated topping is a tasty vegan chocolate bar that Mr MnS does. The cream is Elmlea plant based stuff that is actually a very good double cream substitute- much softer though and less stable. Tastes just like dream topping if anyone remembers that! I also used black cherry jam and some glacé cherries from Mr MnS. It was the second time I’ve  made this and again it was so lovely! 

Right, Miss 29 is arriving by train later, bringing Freddie for his holidays whilst her and the beau jet off to Cyprus for a weeks holiday and attending their friend’s wedding. Tea tonight is yet to be voted on. It’ll either be a chicken tikka masala or a Mexican chilli. Either way, delicious! 
I’ve been thinking a bit about the using up what I’ve got  method - which needs to be done freezer wise really and then in the cupboard. But. Here’s my thinking. What if I eat all my emergency tins of soup for example - using up what I have - and then maybe replacing them - the cost of replacing is going to be so much more! I’ve plenty of stuff in and just had a shop delivered today but I am going to try not do another big shop now until the last week of August. I’m going to up my regular savings amount direct debit by another £28.28 
I’ve done this the last 6 months or so, and it’s not so much a huge amount I miss, but the odd little 28ps are adding up nicely to the total! I’ve decided this year, as much as I love wrapping and squirrelling little things away for teeny great nephews and neice’s, I’m not this year. I’m going to write them a card and gift them some spending money. I’m going to do this in October 1/2 term to lessen the C word angst I get thinking what to get them! So I won’t be looking in the sales for bargains. It just helps my memory out a bit and I know how short of time I seem at school as 25th Dec looms! 
My lovely friend Tracey who blogs here
does what I have done in the past, and had a Christmas box and a list and pop stuff in throughout the year and it is a good system! But this year, spending money is the way to go for me. Last year I gifted money and a careful wow gift thought out carefully ( I do love giving presents ) but due to time restrictions and other stuff and giving some via my Ma in law who with dementia a had found them and hidden them, the HG’s side didn’t get their gifts until after Christmas. ( I found them carefully tucked under her knickers and vests in the dressing table drawer !! 
Anyway that’s my plans! 

Bye everyone, 
Rachel *loving being off work* Radiostar xxx 


  1. Wow, that was quite the undertaking, but what a fabulous job you all did!! Looks great! -Jenn

  2. Absolutely fantastic. Yes, I am sure there's bits but one stops seeing them after a while and I think it is blooming amazing. Love the fabric.


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