Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Leveling Up Home

So, one of the problems I discussed with my husband is that, although we are obviously together, the house doesn't quite reflect that...

I mean that it's entirely decorated with his possessions and the only place which is solely decorated with my things is my craft room.
It seems like such an insignificant thing to be unhappy about, but you'd be surprised how much one could take it for granted. A house needs to feel like home, afterall.
It took me so long to finally pinpoint it, largely because my husband and I share many decorative tastes in common, but the difference between the two was just enough that it started wearing away at something in me.
Constantly looking at things I couldn't even tell someone where it was purchased...

It's an easy enough fix, but it would cost a lot of money overall. So we're taking little bites here and there in the way of projects-- work our way to the big stuff.

The first step was getting rid of, or masking some of the hand me downs that are perpetuating the horrid beige and brown in our home.

The couch and its cushions.

This is actually a panorama of the room after some huge reorganizing we did last week. It was a ton of work, and it doesn't quite show, but the point of it was to make room for some of my paintings and posters awaiting postage down.

There isn't much we can do about the recliner couch that is wildly uncomfortable to horizontally lay on (it was given to us), so I just put a spider web lace tablecloth on it and it doesn't seem to shift much even when the recliner is set out.

I already knew I wanted to get rid of the cushions, but because they were yet another hand me down... we put off replacing them because we couldn't justify to ourselves that money should be spent on replacing them.

Then, I went to my husband a couple weeks ago with the strong intent to burn the savagely rough cushions, and we compromised by gutting them and making new comfortable cushions out of the entrails.

And so, that is when I, Madame Mortem with husband on board, justified buying fabric for new cushions.
I further enticed him by promising they'll actually reflect our gaming and movie/show tastes.
So we get not two, but 4 new cushions in total.

I came up with 2 large, and 2 medium: the large will be featuring Star Trek fabric for me, and Star Wars for him-- he's actually a Tolkienite, but we have so much LOTR weaponry, shields and maps about it, that I figured it would be nice to integrate our (by ours I mean mine) immense love of sci-fi in the mix, too (more compromise! Otherwise it would've just been something with Ray Bradbury, Issac Asimov or Douglas Adams to accompany Mr. Roddenberry's universe). The medium ones will feature the emblem of his favorite game the Witcher, and mine would be the Legend of Zelda.

Silver for him, gold for her... should've been the other way round, but gamers choice, right.

I started with the smaller ones, and chose to use batik quarters.
I printed vectors of the two and began the tedious task of tracing them onto freezer paper, cutting it out very carefully with an exacto knife, and arranging the pieces neatly onto the fabric for pressing and painting...

Definitely not for those with little patience and an unsteady hand...
My eyes ached so much after this; it didn't help I was already pretty tired.
Painting proceeded as carefully because the freezer paper kept threatening to come up with this particular design. At least my Hylian crest was easy as pie...

I was actually debating making the dark Link Hylian crest; silver, because I think it's awesome and I'm not really a gold person. But I must stay true... so.

Last minute, I decided I better use the premade piping I had stashed for so long, but little did I regard that it would not be enough for the two cushions, so I had to make the tough decision of completing just one.
And it ended up being the one I worked hardest on... the Witcher.

I scoured the house for twine big enough to match this one, but alas there wasn't any to be found... and so, until I either buy more premade pipping or buy matching twine to make my own, my cushion will go unfinished...

Sad face!
I couldn't find the right Star Trek and Star Wars fabric at Joann's so I ordered it online... I'm still awaiting their arrival to begin the gutting of the old large cushions.

Edit to add:

I finished my version of our cushions!

Stay tuned, creepy crafters!


  1. Oh my! The new cushions look stupendous! I don´t know if the stamping technique is very sifficult or not, but you made it look so easy that I actually want to try it myself. Is there any special tip I should be following?

    1. Use freezer paper and iron it onto the fabric, so that your stencils don't have any gaps that paint can bleed from, and always swipe with the edges, not against them. A piece with as many stand alone details, such as the wolf head, it's best to just dab the paint on so you don't end up accidentally lifting the stencil off the fabric.
      When cutting out the stencil take the most time, you don't want your lines to be broken or ripped because you couldn't stand to stare much longer lol. If your eyes are straining, just step away-- don't rush.

      That's about as much tips as I got, it is a fairly easy process, but it's very time consuming depending on the detail of the design.
      I hope you post what you come up with! I would really love to see.

  2. I know a bit how you feel, I was feeling very much at the end of last year that my home in no way reflects my personality. We have a few old Norman Lindsay prints on the walls from a few years ago, a (hand me down) wing chair, a candelabra jammed in a corner, and some smaller candlesticks also jammed in corners and piles of books and boots everywhere (which counts as mess, not decor), but not much else. Mostly a result of not having much money to decorate, not much room to decorate, and feeling that because we rent, the place isn't really mine to change anyway. After all, any furniture we move in will have to go back out eventually, we can't paint or paper the walls, there isn't room or money for the velvet medallion back sofas I want etc. I have ordered some wall art too.

    Sorry if this comment is already getting too long.

    I used to use an old crimson cheap velvet offcut of fabric draped over a particularly ugly sofa to cover it up. We no longer have it though. My carpet is browny too. What is with that? I guess it covers stains? Our old house had pink walls and curtains which I guess is worse?

    I can't wait to see what else you do!

    1. Yeah, our space is quite small as well... and our budget equally small lol
      I figured if I take small bites out of the decoration process it'll be better than just letting it lie stagnant.

      Our sofa is troublesome, particularly because it's one of those lazyboy recliner couches. So it has a lot of moving parts; it makes for draping fabrics hard to work with, but I've been giving serious thought to selling it and putting that money towards a nicer couch.

      I think it's because it's just a neutral color, and could potentially go with everything, I think... that's my guess anyway-- it's horrid either way.
      Pink would probably get old quicker, I imagine lol.

  3. I've done the stencil thing with contact paper and spray paint, too. You can get an interesting ghost effect with a faint misting of silver over black.

    1. Contact paper is ideal, but for some reason it's so damn hard to find around these parts. I haven't been successful in that quest.
      Oh, imagine that misting effect with glow in the dark paint... ideas!

  4. The cusions looks great!
    I know what you mean about the sofa. We have an extremely ugly pale blue sofa in our livingroom. I cover it with a large throw.
    My entire house doesn't reflect me, I keep on saying that I would like to build a tower to it and change the windows etc. There's a large empty and haunted mansion nearby that I keep telling Johan that I will buy it when I get rich :)

    1. It seems the couch is the epitome of household decorative problems... I guess it's to be expected. It's the one place everyone sits at, at least once, it's located in a centralized area, and it consumes a lot of the light and space.

      I wish I could just build my dream home, like Mrs. Insomniac!

  5. What a lovely living room! Those swords on the wall looks like a good thing to have at home in case you get visited by burglars. ;)

    1. Haha! Most people tell us our home is the place they'll come to when a zombie apocalypse breaks out. My husband is quite a fan of medieval fantasy, he's responsible for all the weaponry on the walls... though, in all fairness, I have a collection myself that has yet to be added in =P

  6. The emblems don't mean anything to me (not being much of a gaming nerd) but I whole heartedly agree with changing out the textiles of a room. It makes a huge difference with relatively small means. Why not try to find a large throw to hang over the couch, to cover the brown-ness? Many throws can be washed in the machine nowadays, so you might even be able to pick one up at a yard-sale or the like. If not, stores like IKEA have cheap ones.

    1. The couch is a lazyboy recliner couch, which is in use almost always--- it makes the idea of draping fabric over it kind of difficult, and would require a lot of effort. Not that I won't do it, I just haven't ever tackled something like that before... I need to do a little planning before I dive in lol.

  7. Awesome, I love your cushions! I also love your 'weaponry' on the wall even though I couldn't stand those in my living room. I mean...I adore fantasy weapons and replicas, but somehow, they create such a cold atmosphere. Anyway...I absolutely feel you, I was struggling with the same frustrations at our old place. Well, not for the same reason, but still...the apartment was so...lifeless and somehow strange to me. I didn't feel at home there at all. Fortunately, we have a little more freedom here, we can decorate the place however we want to...it just indeed, take too much money which we haven't earned yet...:/

    1. Yeah, I'm really pleased by how they turned out.
      I find it a source of comfort-- I've always been surrounded by fantasy weaponry, so if I didn't have any on our walls, it would most definitely not feel like home in the least lol. The current collection is all my husband's; I need to figure out the laws and regulations for sending down my own collection, which just so happens to include the master sword... I'm very eager to bring that down.

      Decorating can be overwhelming-- itty bitty steps at a time will go a long way!

  8. Also, if you're clever with draping and don't mind the haunted-house look, fabric drop cloths from the hardware store are neutral, sturdy, washable, and if you run some eyelets into them you can tie them onto your furniture with ribbon in artful ways. It's how I'm keeping the dog from trashing my little antique loveseat.

  9. Weaponry on the walls! <3 Most of our collections are in boxes because we can't affix any display mounts or cases to the walls. My other half has Japanese swords on a stand in the living-room, but those are the only ones out on display. Even my lovely antiques are hidden away :(

    1. Heheh, I'm dreading having to remove all the anchors from the walls and filling in the holes. We technically aren't supposed to do any of this either, but we promised we'd do all the work filling and painting.

      Hopefully some day soon you can display those beauties!

  10. Swoooords <3 we also have a nice collection of zombieweapons ;P

    The cushions turned out very well :D

    1. This is just my husband's collection, for now =P
      My own collection is waiting for me to do all the paper work to get it down without being confiscated at the border lol

  11. Awesome job on these! I love the idea of the painted-on graphics.

    1. I'm in love with stenciling on textiles... it all started with my endeavors into bleach art lol

  12. I really understand how you feel about a house not reflecting your personality... My boyfriend is buying half of his dad's house and we'll be living there. Originally we were going to get the mortgage together but it would have caused too much worry in the family about a share of the house being owned by an outsider. Now I'm struggling psychologically to deal with the fact that I'll never have a stake in the house, and so I feel it'll be even harder to make it feel like home (because I won't feel that I have a right to a say in the decor or anything).

    However our bedroom could be easily made to reflect both our tastes a little more with artwork on the walls and soft furnishings, so maybe I need to follow your example! It's not really to either of our tastes at the moment, but we don't have time or money for repainting and new furniture.

    I really love the cushions, you did a great job and I can't wait to see them all finished.

    1. Not feeling at home in your own home is the worst =(
      I really hope you can do something about that sooner than later, it really begins to wear away, and I can imagine it would wear away very quickly if there isn't a spec of yourself in the house.


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