ORC – Spring 2021 – Weeks #4 & #5 – Front Porch Reading Area

The weather is getting hot so now we are seeking those shady spots, like at the front of the house.

Last year we didn’t use this front shady area of the house because we had no furniture.

Originally we had thought of putting out a bistro set here like the prior owners had, but when I saw this outdoor wicker loveseat I changed my mind.

This was the colour the house originally was before painting it.

I tried a few different options for coffee tables and ended up using this sturdy woven basket upside-down.

Now I’m sourcing foam to make a cushion and hopefully I’ll have some fabric in my stash that I can sew into a cushion cover.

Vegetable Garden

Meanwhile in the backyard the peas are flourishing.
Cedar Planter 3 Weeks ago
Last year I tried these containers but they got too hot & dried out quickly.
Current State of the Garden

Before

Before ORC 2020 – Painted Raised Beds & Staining Hot Tub

I was going to plant this nectarine tree but after the deer ate the apple tree I’m holding off and keeping it in the vegetable area until I can figure out how to protect it.

We love seeing the deer hanging out in the shade here, I just want to have some areas where they can’t eat the plants.

To see everyone else’s projects check out the One Room Challenge.

https://www.oneroomchallenge.com/blog/orcspring2021wk5

Simple Floral Arrangements for Easter

With Easter and other celebrations going on this time of year I thought I’d share a couple of simple ways that I decorate. There are beautiful signs of spring emerging and all it takes is a couple of branches or seasonal flowers to dress up the table.

Home: Shibang Designs Photo: Heidi Lau Photography

1. Forage from the Yard & Display in Glass Jars

This is what we have in our yard right now – Hellebores, branches from our maple tree & these blossoms.

For a low effort & high impact display I use recycled jars to showcase each flower or branch. They can be spread out along the table or clustered together.

Spring Flowers & Branches from the Yard in Recycled Hot Sauce Bottles

This is from a couple of years ago in our last home, highlighting daffodils, hyacinths, serviceberry & maple branches.

2. Use a Potted Hydrangea to Clip a few Blossoms

If you don’t have a yard to clip branches and flowers from (or if you love hydrangeas), I like to cut a few blossoms from a potted plant. I only take 3 which is barely noticeable from a plant this size.

Make sure to treat the flowers to prevent them from wilting by sicking about 1 cm of the bottom of the stem in boiling water for a few seconds.

Flowers: Shibang Designs Photo: Heidi Lau Photography

Add a couple of branches found on the ground during a walk and there’s a bonus way to spread flowers around the house. Or buy a bunch of tulips and add a few found sticks to make the arrangement more interesting.

Home: Shibang Designs Photo: Heidi Lau Photography

Even though celebrations are still small this year, a couple of little details like fresh branches or flowers can make the occasion feel more special without a lot of extra effort.

Spring Florals

Floral Pillows // Shibang Designs

I started Shibang Designs as a way to create functional pieces of art, in the form of purses and accessories, each embellished with my signature wool felt applique style. After working small scale for several years, I am now shifting my focus on my textile technique by creating large scale pieces. These large textile art pieces and cushion covers are part of the new line that I will be showing next week at the Toronto One of a Kind Spring Show.

These are some process photos and pieces that I have been working on lately.
Gold // Shibang Designs Shibang Designs Spring PillowsHand Dyed Wool Drying Rack Textile Art // Shibang Designs Shibang Designs Nursery Decor

For anyone in the Toronto area who is planning to come to the show I have a few tickets that I’m giving away from my Facebook page this weekend.

One of a Kind Show

Staining a Sofa Table with Steel Wool & Vinegar

Shibang Designs Sofa Table DIY //Rogue Engineer PlansDuring the winter months it can be hard to work on furniture projects that require chemicals and make big messes if you don’t have a heated workspace. I was determined to make a new sofa table and decided to build it right in the living room.

Shibang Designs Sofa Table // Rogue Engineer Plans

I’ve had my eye on this plan by Rogue Engineer and I adjusted the dimensions to fit our couch by making the table lower and narrower. Getting the wood cut at the hardware store and using the Kreg Jig (which makes pocket holes for easy and secure joints) made it come together quickly. I am a total beginner but thanks to the great plans available by talented people it is so easy.

IMG_8960

After building the table this is what it looked like unfinished. I decided not to add the x braces in the original plan because I liked the simplicity of it like this.

Since it’s too cold to do a wood stain in the garage and I didn’t want to leave it unfinished until spring I did a steel wool and vinegar stain. It’s not an exact science and from my experience there is not a lot of control in the colour. Each board takes the treatment differently and I’ve even had some cedar turn black. To make the mixture just put steel wool and vinegar in a lidded container and wait a couple of days. Then brush it on the wood.

IMG_8977 The photo above shows the contrast of the wood that has the vinegar and steel wool and the bottom part doesn’t. Shibang designs wood detail

I learned the hard way that if you miss spots and try to go back after and fill them in it doesn’t work too well.

Sofa Table Staining With Vinegar Before Whitewash

These pine boards took the vinegar pretty well but the board used for the legs was different than the rest of the table so I did a dry brush whitewash with leftover house paint. I went pretty conservative with the white dry brush because I plan to do a proper treatment in the spring with some stain over it. If you’re hesitant to use wood stains or don’t have the proper space to work then the vinegar can work if you plan to do washes of paint over top.

How to Stain Wood with Vinegar & Steel Wool // Shibang Designs Table Plan by Rogue EngineerDoing a dry brush treatment or doing a light wash of paint over top of the wood is the way to control the finished look and conceal flaws.

Vinegar and Steel Wool Wood Finish // Shibang Designs

This is a detail of the finished product and it’s already being put to use as a prop for photographing my spring pillow collection.

Spring Pillows // Shibang Designs

Recent Work

It’s been a long time since I last did a blog post. Over the past month and a bit I’ve been making some new things are here’s a look at what I’ve been up to.

Coloured leather coin purses. Using a vibrant background colour and leather were both something I hadn’t done before.


This is a sketch I did based on a custom make up set that a customer requested, below is the finished product — a large box shaped cosmetic case and a brush roll.

The big tote is back for summer and in a light bluish-grey cotton with heavy bridle leather handles.

This was a commission I did for a bedroom in Toronto. Most people are putting the wall art in their bedrooms above the bed and this mauve colour scheme is the most popular.

I dyed some new colours of wool, mostly in shades in of soft pink which are part of the bridal collection.

And lastly, I was able to restock my supply of thick grey wool so the felt iPhone sleeves are available again (as featured in this etsy finds email below).




More Cosmetic Cases

After 3 years of making only one main cosmetic case  I decided it was time to add some more sizes and variety. Last month I drafted up some new shapes and sizes as shown below in my sketchbook and in prototype form in the solid white. 

The three new sizes shown together and below they are made in their final form.



Spring Colour





Spring is here on the west coast and I’ve been busy working with bright colours, metallic paints and larger scale. These are some photos of my current wall pieces that I’m working on in preparation for the Toronto One of a Kind Spring Show coming up at the end of this month.

I love the neon trend and have been adding electric colours to some of the wall art as a way to introduce bright colours into a room. My favourite is this neon yellow/green colour.



In addition to the neon and bright colours I’m also working with neutrals and soft colours.

Gold

Over the past week I’ve been busy and so inspired, all by adding gold to the colour palette. I’m using it on a whole line of new things for spring, including another version of the iPad sleeve. Here’s a peak inside of my studio and what I’ve been working on.

 I’m in the midst of finishing up and photographing so there will be more to come.

Shibang at Home

My new line of wall pieces is officially ready to launch. I made a few of various sizes and colours which are now stretched onto canvas and ready for the wall.

To me these wall pieces shout summer because they’re fresh and add a shot of colour that is right in season. I took some photos of the pieces unframed as well as in a white floating frame. Today when I took went looking for frames I was happy to find the perfect one that compliments the piece by keeping it contemporary.

I have plenty of other ideas of more pieces to make and how I’d like to photograph them. Once I’ve got it all ready then I’ll set up a photo shoot and commit to all of the holes I plan to put in the walls.

One more thing that I wanted to share was the piece below. This is a giclee of a photograph that I took 7 years ago when I was in my first year of college and had a passion for photography.

My interest was in flowers (big surprise) and I developed a technique using my dad’s old SLR camera to take extreme macro shots that gave the photos a painterly look. In my second year of college when I decided to start a textile arts program my intention was to make interpretations of my photos with fabric.

Now here I am, quite a few years later, going full circle and making large floral pieces for the wall. Over the weekend I’m going to look for some of the photos I have taken so that I can share them because they have definitely had an influence in my work.