31 Jan 2012

Silly Billy

Now that I've finished writing my thesis, I should prepare for the oral exam that will put an end to my studies. However, instead, I was being a bit of a silly billy yesterday. I drew 4 me-s and let them travel through magazines. The results are quite cool though, hope you don't mind me sharing ;) I might use that idea to make postcards of "me" in front of the Eiffel Tower, New York taxis, palm trees, or the Big Ben. See how that works out! x

29 Jan 2012

The Desk Chair Makeover

This is one of my favourite topics because I got my desk chair when I was first sent to school in 1993 and it has never once failed to look gorgeous ever since. The original fabric is a boring blue tweed-like thing, but I asked my mum to cover it up with a cute pink cotton fabric already in its early days with me. Almost ten years later, the pink cover was exchanged for a red one and a few months ago, I changed it, yet again, to the lovely Cath Kidston Spray Flowers Cotton Duck Fabric.

You Need: desk chair, fabric, staple gun, helping hand

Almost every swivel chair can be dismantled completely. First, you simply remove every screw you can see anywhere (don't forget to put them away orderly to avoid confusion when putting it back together). Afterwards and sometimes forcibly, you take the individual pieces apart in order to reach the important hidden bits on the bottom and back. This whole process is a bit of an ordeal and you might want to ask someone to help you with it. 
With regard to the choice of fabric which will eventually cover the chair, you are totally flexible from plain to patchwork and cotton to latex, but I would opt for a rather thick, robust material in order for it to last a while. 
New fabric at hand, you cut out pieces big enough to cover the cushion and still fold around the edges of it easily so that you can later attach it to the bottom without visible remains. Then you have to tightly staple your piece of fabric onto the back of the cushions (both seat and back obviously). My chair had wooden backsides which made the stapling a very easy affair, but if yours should be made of plastic, I would do a little test run, if the staples even stay in place!! Again, ask someone to help you with this procedure because the fabric needs to be thoroughly tightened onto the cushion to avoid a bumpy a flawed finish.
Spray Flower Cotton Duck

Now you screw back the individual parts (if you can still find them) and *tataaa* your desk chair has a totally new appeal to it :) Thanks to the relatively easy procedure, I will probably never get tired of changing my chairs' looks, and, moreover, save money by not having to buy new ones every so often.

Have you ever tried the same? Let me know!! x

14 Jan 2012

January Blues?

Yaaaay!!! At last, I have finished writing my master thesis and handed it in with the dean's secretary. Great feeling (!!) and, finally, there's now also time to work on my blog. Because I realised I can't always sew new things (also because it would drive my boyfriend mad), I am now going to include such wonderful topics as literature, shopping and travel; although I will also really try and make more things fabric.

During my time writing the thesis with the title Representations of Multicultural London in Contemporary British Literature (I know, that's a bit too long to be catchy), I was often asked about my primary literature, so I figured it would be nice to review the 4 novels for you, also in an attempt to stop having to say it; they're ranked by level of enjoyability.

Originally, I didn't include this first book into my study and it only made the list after I discovered the original choice to be a bit dull. The Buddha of Suburbia is about a young British-Asian lad - Karim Amir - who is struggling on his path from adolescence to adulthood, discovering such exciting things as central London, the theatre, swinger parties and the first true love. Upshot is: hilarious, not too long read.

Zadie Smith is probably one of the most highly paid first novel authors and the book is certainly very entertaining. At times, I found myself laughing out loud on the bus, however, the book does drag you along sometimes, too. The story isn't always interesting and there's a lot of boring sections that the medium-interested reader will get very sleepy with. Nonetheless, if you're in for a loooong holiday, you could take this along and laugh at the funny bits, and snooze through the dull bits.

Brick Lane
This third novel is certainly quite interesting and offers an insight into how and why immigrants like to stay secluded within their own communities sometimes. However, I am not sure how genuine this perspective is and how serious one should take it. You don't really get funny, but the book certainly is a good read.

In the Falling Snow
Now, I have to admit that I pretty much just picked this novel for the Jamaican perspective to my paper, and that it wasn't really hugely entertaining. I have read that Caryl Phillips' earlier novels are better, but I would not particularly recommend reading this one. Hmm, if you're out of books or a real fan of Phillips, it's not bad and you get through it pretty quickly.

The best thing about buying this many books was getting bookmarks to match my thesis' topic!!
Well, I hope you're not suffering from January Blues (I'm not) and if you do, maybe read The Buddha of Suburbia to cheer you up a bit and take your mind off the grey and rainy start of 2012! x