Upholstery Class – Session 2

Attended Upholstery Class – Session 2 this Tuesday

Well! What can I say? I’d heard of Deja Vu but this was ridiculous! I went down to the shop/studio at Sweetman and White Tuesday morning, all keen to get stuck into the upholstery. I was greeted by the lovely Claire, met my fellow upholsterers, picked up where I had left off from last week, stopped, looked around and the session was finished! And guess what? I was still removing staples from out of the chair!

Upholstery III image

It turns out that the chair I am re-upholstering is built entirely out of staples! I don’t think there is any upholstery in it…

Upholstery I image

Tempus Fugit

Time just flies. That was Session 2 over! However, with this in mind it was suggested I take the chair home this week and remove 1 or 2 staples in readiness for the next session. If I hadn’t, the course would be over and I would still be taking staples out 😉

I purchased a staple taker-outer and I’ve since removed a lot more staples. I should have it licked into shape in time for next week’s session. Then, I can hopefully get onto something a bit more taxing and interesting.

Upholstery V image

Material Gain

I’ve chosen and purchased some material for a cushion that is going to take pride of place on the chair. I have an idea  for the fabric I want to cover the chair in but I’ll leave that until my next post. It can be the big reveal.

(It will make a change from staples 🙂 )

Session 2 - upholstery IV image

[Upholstery Class – Session 1]



A New Brush Sweeps Clean

They say a new brush sweeps clean but who are they? Anyway, I’m hoping these new brushes help me continue to develop my watercolour painting.

Brush - Brushes image


They’re Daler <> Rowney synthetic Aquafine watercolour brushes, three Round; a 0, a 2/0 and a 2 and one Liner; a 10/0 (it must mean something to someone 😉 )

They bristles are synthetic, so no animals were de-furred in the making of them. I hate the thought of squirrels or boars running around with parts of their ‘coat’ missing. Especially in this cold weather 🙁

The brush heads – bristles are very small, which is fine as all my work tends to be tiny – no big swathes of canvas to cover.

Brush - brushes II image

I’m currently thinking about what to paint with them and I’ll update on how I find them once I’ve had a chance to use them in earnest. I need to start something soon as I’d hate to be thought of as someone with ‘all the gear and no idea’ lol!

I found this great article about the antomy of a paintbrush at clothpapersissors.com.

I think I’ll go and update my equipment list 🤓 *


Emojipedia – Nerd Face


Upholstery Class – Session 1

I’m back from my first upholstery class!

I have signed up for an upholstery class, locally in Warminster at Sweetman and White with the lovely proprieter Claire Matthew, who is passionate about upholstery. It’s a ten week course, of ten sessions and I’m going to use it to re-upholster a chair I have.


Laura Ashley

The chair in question is a small Laura Ashley Slipper chair, bought in 1987 in Bath. It’s currently covered in a Sugar Pink/White striped fabric that’s quite jaded and so needs a new lease of life. It’s currently deeply buttoned, piped and has got a valance.


The smudges you can see on the seat are the children’s hand prints from when they were very little. They used to pull themselleves up by it and balance, eating a rusk or two. So it’s for treasured memories this chair makes it aboard the narrowboat 😉


First Steps

Today being my first session and I had to transport the chair down to the shop premises. Luckily, I can leave it there for the period of the course , so I don’t have to keep bringing it backwards and forwards (which is good, as it’s quite bulky to carry).

It’s going to be a long process, today I spent most of the time removing the staples that had been used attach the valance and hessian underneath the chair. I did however find an original ticket detailing the chair’s details.

Upholstery Class - Slipper Chair - receipt image

I’m going to add it back where I found it when I cover it in the new fabric



The chair is going to live aboard our narrowboat. It’s going to be part of the Upcycle – a re-use of things we own, re-purposed for life afloat 🙂

Upholstery Class - Slipper Chair III

I’m currently thinking about what type of material to use (it needs to be a bit thicker, more hard-wearing) and what colour it should be (the pink is too twee, I need something less bedroomy) . I’ll leave that for another update though, when I’ve made up my mind.

Well, that’s all for this post but don’t forget to check back each week to follow my progress.

Now where’s that material catalogue…



Did you know that the word upholstery comes from the Middle English word; Upholder and points to a repairing of furniture rather than making from new – thank you Wikipedia



Porthole for murpworks Afloat

I’m currently working on a porthole illustration for murpworks Afloat

mu - murpworks Afloat image

My inspiration is taken from one of the portholes on the narrowboat we’re going to be living aboard, with a little bit of artistic licence thown in. I want to use the porthole as a window on the world we’ll be living in, looking out into imagination.

Porthole - Mirrlees Reflection image

murpworks Afloat Animations

My aim is to have a series of animations play in the window. I’m currently throwing ideas around and trying to come up with a list. It’s exciting to be at the start of a new project. I’m going to continue using Smith Micro‘s Anime Studio 11 for the animating bit.

I’m also updating the murpworks logo and it will also incorporate the porthole.


Sewing Patches

Sewing patches of denim together for the patchwork cushion

mu - sewing patches image

I’m actually managing to make some progress now compared with here


Ringing in the Changes

I’ve decided that the denim is going to be too heavy for a quilt (rp would end up leaping out of bed, in the middle of the night, with cramp!) so I’m probably going to make a cushion.

I reserve the right to change my mind about this sometime in the future. Tune back in later on to see how it turns out 🙂



Seeing if the Narrowboat Measures Up?

Just seeing if it measures up

Seeing if it Measures Up? image

We went up to Whilton Marina to see our narrowboat this weekend. It was very cold but I managed to do some measuring up. This is me in the Galley, I’m just checking that there will be enough space for rp to do the washing up 🙂

It Measures Up

We’ve bought a sink (see blog), it’s smaller than the one you can see here so hopefully it will give us a bit more space. We’ve got big plans but we’ll probably live with most of what we’ve got to start with. I’ve since bought a new tape measure because the one I was using wasn’t long enough and another one I had, was stuck in its shell! The minute we got back, I found other things I wished I’d measured (its always the way).

It’s important to get it right as I’m hoping to turn this into my floating studio.



New Sketchbooks Today

I bought some new sketchbooks today – Moleskine Plain Journals

New Sketchbooks Today image
Shiny and new

These will be used; one for new card ideas and the others for general sketching. They’re shiny and new – but not for long…


I’ve been tempted by other brands but I wanted to maintain a continuity. A significant amount of my other sketches are in Moleskines.

You can never have tooo many 🙂



Trying to Make Something Out of Nothing

I’m trying to make something out of nothing

RP and I are moving onto a narrowboat. We’re in the process of buying it at the moment. The waiting‘s not easy.


I’m No Square

One of the things I’m busy with at the moment is making something out of nothing. I’m taking all RP’s old (and not so old) jeans, cutting them up into squares and then i’m going to patch them together which is going to make a cover. This cover will form the basis for a visitor’s bed. Obviously it will have to have some substance so I’m also busily scouring the web for some foam that I can have cut into shape. There will be 3 pieces that will stack but ingeniously lay out into a bed when required. I also need foam for the Dinette as it needs replacing.

'Something' Denim Squares II image


Convince Me of Something

RP’s not convinced as yet, not just because I’m cutting up all his jeans (he says he needs new ones anyway), he needs to see what it will look like. Patience!

I was originally going to make a quilt cover with the denim but I think it’s going to be quite heavy so, I’ve adpated my approach 🙂



I’ve been using paper to make my squares but I need to make a more robust template; thin metal or maybe even wood. That’s the next thing on my To Do list. I can then hopefully push on and make a bit more progress.

Now, where did I put that pair of RP’s jeans?


'Something' Denim Squares - mu image
A stitch in time…


You can follow our adventures of buying a narrowboat at Tales from the Bilge