Tag Archives: shebajoux

Blue Skies and Peaceful Vibes: Living Room Remake

I’ve been in the process of re-inventing my living room for the past few months. What I had in there was nice and fit with the style of my old condo but I wanted to personalize the decor for our townhouse living space. It took me awhile to sort out exactly what my vision for the space was, but I knew that I wanted to use blues and greens. I have a tendency to be a bit fickle when it comes to decorating in my own home, so I chose to go with these colours for the sake of longevity since both Steve and I favour them.

I have been hesitating to show pictures because it isn’t done yet. There are new lamps and side tables in the garage waiting to be beautified and a jar in my cupboard slowly filling with cash for a gorgeous glass coffee table, but these things take time (especially when said jar keeps being emptied into the hands of my sanity-saving babysitter). However, now that we have finished having our lovely new engineered hardwood installed, as well as a stunning new fireplace surround, I figured it was time to share.

First a recap of how it looked before:

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I am terrible at remembering to take before pictures but you can get the idea: beautiful pillows but builders beige walls, blonde laminate, pictures which were too small for our new 9 foot ceilings and a dirty white shag rug. I don’t have any before pictures of the other side of the room but just picture more builder’s beige and matching beige fire place surround.

And now:

Trying to be artistic with my pictures but photography isn't a strong point for me (yet. working on it).

Trying to be artistic with my pictures, but photography isn’t a strong point for me (yet. working on it). The drum shade in the foreground is in the process of being recovered with blue fabric to bring some colour into our dining space.

Custom pillows by Shebajoux (that's me!); Ikea curtains; frames from chapters; rug from Jordans; prints from Beach House Gallery on Etsy.

Custom pillows by Shebajoux (that’s me!); Ikea curtains; frames from Chapters; rug from Jordans; prints from Beach House Gallery on Etsy; engineered hardwood from Jordans; flooring installation by GL Installations; wall colour Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.

 

Green pillow from West Elm; chair slip cover from Fabricana; Ikea lamp; Fish scale travertine marble fire place surround from VanCity Tile; tile installation by GL Installations; vintage mirror

Green pillow from West Elm; chair slip cover from Fabricana; Ikea lamp; Fish scale travertine marble tile from VanCity Tile; tile installation by GL Installations; vintage mirror.

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We went with our contractor’s suggestion to forgo the hearth and I love the clean look and additional visual space added by the continuity of the flooring. This picture gives you a peek at a couple previous DIY projects: my dining room’s “wall of china” and the striped entryway.

The new colours remind me of green grass and blue skies and evoke a feeling of peacefulness. It feels sophisticated enough to entertain adults while at the same time remaining kid and cat friendly. The white slip covers can be bleached, there is nothing precious or easily broken, the rug has enough colour that it hides stains, and the cut pile does not interest the cats. Beautiful space for adults. Check. Kid friendly play space. Check.

Coming up next week on my reno “show and tell” is the revamp of this builders blah powder room. Think dark blue walls, green cabinets, and a bit of bling.

It couldn't be much more boring.

It couldn’t be much more boring, though our new tile can be seen in this picture.

 

 

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By Falling Down

Those who know me might be surprised to know that my husband and I practised martial arts for a while. If you lived next door to us during our first year of marriage you may have caught site of us in full combat gear, throwing punches and kicks at one another in the backyard, or walking down the street to the dojang carrying our bags of weaponry.

Why do I bring this up? Because my martial arts teacher had a saying, one which I can never remember correctly, but one which I think back to time and time again. It was something along the lines of “by falling down, we learn to get back up again”. I have thought about this saying during various trials in my life, both great and small. By falling (or failing) I learn to get back up again (rise above challenges) and each time I fall, it gets a bit easier to get up. Rising above does not necessarily mean I eventually succeed, though sometimes a new approach can lead to success. For me, rising above most often means letting go of the negative thoughts which failure so easily leads me to. I struggle with this. When I fail I tend to be a nasty wretch to myself. I say “you suck”, “you can’t do anything right”, “you should just give up” etc.

This is the trap I am in right now. I am writing this post as a tool to help me get back on my feet mentally. I took part in another Artisan Market and the honest truth is that in five hours I did not sell a single pillow. Right away my mind turns ugly on itself. I feel discouraged. I feel like I wasted my time and that I didn’t sell anything because my pillows are terrible. Let me claim some truth now. It was not a waste of time. I bought some gorgeous presents from other vendors. I met some really nice people and had enjoyable conversations. I got to treat myself to delicious meals that I didn’t have to lift a finger to make. I got to show off my beautiful pillows. This is the truth.

See for yourself. Here are some of my favourites that I recently made for the fair. They should be up on my etsy shop by the end of the month.

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The silk floral fabric is Armani

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This pillow is made out of left over fabric from a shower curtain I made.

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This pillow is reversible (see other side below)

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I love how unique and beautiful the “wrong” side of a fabric can be.

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Filed under DIY Projects, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, In the Royal City, Mental Health

Local Artisans Deck the Halls

I realized recently that I’m not great at following up on events I mention in blog posts. For instance, the chair I created for Chairs for Charity got auctioned off like two months ago, and it did well on the auction block.

And so, for the sake of keeping a bit more up-t0-date, I wanted to talk a bit about the Artisan Market I participated in last weekend. Due to the fact that is was the weekend following “black Friday” it wasn’t a very busy day for the vendors but it was an excellent time to meet new people and catch glimpses of students from the Vancouver Circus School flying through the air (really, there is a circus school on the second floor of the River Market. I’m totally signing Sofia up when she turns 4.)

Despite by recurrent nightmare that I would not sell any pillows, I was able to sell a grand total of six (I had made like 30…a bit over-zealous). It might not seem like much but it was a very affirming experience for me to sell that many on a slow day. As well, I was invited to sell some of my pillows at the New Westminster Christmas Treasury, located in Queen’s Park, where they display and sell locally crafted items from December 1-23rd.

I had a hard time setting up my display because I had made so many. Less than half of my inventory is up on that table.

I had a hard time setting up my display because I had made so many. Less than half of my inventory is up on that table.

The pillow with the funky blue and green floral is one of my favorite new patterns from Robert Allen.

The pillow with the funky blue and green floral is one of my favorite new patterns from Robert Allen.

I was also selling a small variety of craft and sewing books.

I was also selling a small variety of craft and sewing books.

In addition to selling, the slowness of the day allowed me to do a significant amount of browsing and buying. Some old favorites from the Curious Flea were there including sketcher Won Kang who has branched out and is now selling some tote bags and funky wrapping paper with his sketches on them.

Sketch by Won Kang of Sinclair Centre in Vancouver

Sketch by Won Kang of Sinclair Centre in Vancouver

Wrapping paper by Won Kang. But who would want to rip it?

Wrapping paper by Won Kang. But who would want to rip it?

Tote bag commemorating Copps Shoes in New Westminster which recently burnt to the ground.

Tote bag commemorating Copp’s Shoes in New Westminster which recently burnt to the ground.

Some new favorite vendors I was introduced to at this Artisan Market include “Get Thee to the Nunnery” where I bought some precious and inexpensive fabric wreaths. They also sell beautiful earrings and stationary (shown below).

Christmas Stationary by artist Krista Gibbard.

Christmas Stationary by artist Krista Gibbard.

There were  also many vendors selling impressive jewelry.  I directed my mom and mother-in-law to Bead for Life for beautiful beaded jewelry, handmade by women in Africa, and to Kathy Hart’s stand where she sells stunning bracelets made from vintage silver spoons (not shown).

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Examples of some beautiful beaded necklaces.

If you are beginning to feel like you missed out, you will be happy to know that there is another artisan market being held at the River market on December 14th and 15th from 12-5pm. I will be participating on the 15th and look forward to seeing what it is like when the artisans take over both floors of the market.

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Pillow Talk

Tomorrow, weeks of hard work, messy house, and poor meals are about to come to a conclusion (and henceforth I shall be relaxed, have a pristine house, and cook five star meals. Ha. Ha. Ha.) Saturday, November 30, 2013, from 12 noon until 5pm I will be participating in my first artisan market at the New Westminster River Market. I have been sewing up a storm working with gorgeous designer fabrics to create beautiful pillows, or “couch art”, as I like to think of them, to sell at the market.

I expected to feel nervous about tomorrow: it’s in my nature to be anxious when committing to new ventures, however, I can’t wait! Whether I sell much or not (my dear mom has promised to buy a couple of pillows), I am looking forward to the experience of meeting new people, both shoppers and other artisans.

My sister is a talented photographer and was gracious enough to do a bit of a “photo shoot” with some of my pillows. This is a small sampling of what I have made but it shows you a bit of the variety:

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The pillows all come with inserts and range from $20-$40 depending on the fabric used. I also picked up some sweet DIY and sewing books to sell at my table which I will be selling for less than suggested retail value.

Whether or not you need some new pillows or other hand-crafted items, stop by and have a gander. I’d love to chat and it is a great way to show your love for local artisans, even if only with your interest. If nothing else, the cinnamon buns sold at the river market bakery will make it worth your trip!
Hope to see you there!

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Reinventing Shebajoux

Due to recent business endeavors (if you can call it a business at this early stage), certain aspects of my life have been falling to the wayside, blogging being one of them.

I have a pet project that I have been working on the last couple of weeks. I feel shy to share it with you at this early stage but here I go. I have recently been working to reinvent my Shebajoux shop on Etsy. Formerly, I made custom headboards to indulge my love of fabric.

Okay, it's beautiful fabric, but I like pattern!

Okay, it’s beautiful fabric, but I like pattern!

This turned out to be a stressful and time consuming endeavor, not to mention no one wanted fun fabric (solids, solids, solids), so I wasn’t fulfilling my desire to work with interesting material.

The premise of my blog’s name is that working with fabric is a soothing, therapeutic process for me. And so, rather than working on stressful, time consuming projects like headboards, I have decided to join the hordes of sellers on Etsy who make pillow covers. This is a great fit for me not only because it is quick and easy, but because I have so much extra fabric (not that that has stopped me from picking up more).

Beyond making simple covers I am planning on making full use of every scrap of fabric by mixing, matching, and generally making interesting pillow “art” for your couch. I have only worked on a few of these “art pieces” so far and though they are more work to sew, they are by far my favorites.

Have a gander if you’d like. I haven’t had a chance to “prettify” the look of my shop yet as I have been working hard to sew up an inventory of pillows but there are several to check out (the best are yet to come).

Recognize this fabric? It is left over from my Chairs for Charity chair. This one isn't posted on etsy yet.

Recognize this fabric? It is left over from my Chairs for Charity chair. This one isn’t posted on etsy yet.

Another reason I’ve been sewing up a storm is that I will be taking part in my first artisan market coming up in mid November. More details to come once I’ve confirmed my spot (trying not to chicken out!).

For me this whole process is both exciting and scary. Exciting, because I get to sew, working with whatever fabric I choose, and scary because I’m afraid of being a dismal failure. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not really about how many pillows I sell, or making the big bucks. There will never be “big” money in making pillow covers. Ultimately, it’s about the fabric. The process. If I allow myself to enjoy the process and not get caught up in the idea of a “business”, that’s when it is therapeutic.

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