T.T.T.T. (aka. The Teal Teepee Tent).

I always liked little  tents where kids can sit with their toys, play, eat their biscuits, hide and specially make a mess. My daughter got this one gifted from her uncle from Ikea, she loved it and use to spend hours on it.

With time, and seeing how much she enjoyed it I started to browse the never ending Pinterest catalogue,  and I was mesmerized how every single mum in the world has DIYed a teepee for their kiddos. How did they do it? They really knew how to sew? Why wasn’t i born with the skills?  I wanted to be like them, be part of that ‘the-perfect-mum-league’, but sadly little time and skills set the goal to be unreachable.

But I am a practical (and stubborn) person. I wanted a teepee, I was obsessed. Yes, i don’t know how to sew, but just in front of my house in Sabah al Salem in Kuwait, my dear neighbor has a small tailor booth that has helped saved me more than once. And no, even for a second i though that was cheating. This is a “co-partnered” DIY, split into “thinker” “Doer” roles… maybe I should call this a TIY (Think It Yourself). Nevermind.

I was all set, I “only” needed:

  • a design (easy, but what to choose from? there were zillions in the ciberspace)
  • sticks (uff, any carpenter available?)
  • rope to hold the sticks together (had some left from a previous project)
  • fabric (easy, but hit or miss)
  • ornaments, if any (oh yes, indeed I wanted some)
  • a tailor (checked)

So, let me go one by one.

Design:

Sketch of a teepee tent

Sticks: found in True Value.

Sticks teepee tent True Value Kuwait

Sticks teepee tent True Value Kuwait - price and dimensions

Fabric: found a last piece of this fabric in Kuwait’s fabric souq.

Teal fabric from Kuwait fabric market for teepee tent

I followed the tutorial of The Thud which is my preferred one after quite a lot of looking around. So first we draw the holes to pass the rope…

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And then I took my design, my measurements and materials and literally crossed the street to beg for help establish a collaboration with the tailor.

One week and KD 20 later, magic happened.

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All different. All the same.

The project I am sharing today took me FO-RE-VER. But it was meant to be that way. Some ideas need to be nurtured at their own time and their own pace, and if they are rushed they just don’t happen… like a baby needs 9 months to grow inside a mum’s belly or a good bread dough needs its own time to ferment.

This project started almost 2 years ago during a trip to Romania, when my husband and I were visiting a beautiful town called Sibiu and he suggested to take a detour and to walk a bit further to explore some streets on a beautiful afternoon.

This is how we met Andrei Pandea and we got to know about his cute little shop and his creative ceramic artwork.

This is how we left the shop. So, yes, we kinda loved it.

Sibiu, Romania, Andrei Pandea

And no, we did not pay overweight on our way back and all the pieces arrived to Kuwait safely (miracle). And yes, I don’t deserve this husband.

These are some of the pieces we bought:

Creepy? I know, but art should not keep you indifferent.

But my very best favorite and the focus of this post are the 10 little figurines that we also picked from Andrei’s shop. Each one of them is different, yet they are all the same, representations of human beings.

My first attempt to display them was in a glass box I bought in Zara Home. That was a “miss”. Figurines were caged in a bulky structure and it wasn’t working. Needed more maturing, more time and more thinking.

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After some time (and having return the case to Zara) I started to look into glass bells. They have no angles, a smooth curved top and are great for displaying items from any collection.

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Available in Kuwait? Nope. Delivery needed from Amazon.

I squeezed and squeezed my brain to decide if i should buy them with a ready-made base or not. But who likes easy? Nah! I then added the “fun” part (ha!) of designing the peeeeeeerfect bases and asking a carpenter in Kuwait to make them a reality.

Two kids, full time job, no fluent Arabic and a hefty price made the project took slightly longer than expected but after a while started to take place.

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But after different attempts, this was the final output…

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All different. All the same. We are all humans, and we should respect and love each other for that. But each of us is unique in our own way which makes the human race a wonderful thing, a potential source for enriching, respecting and learning from each other. Every time i go up the stairs I think about this, specially in today’s crazy world.

More respect, more understanding.

Anyways, loved how it ended looking. And you?

Crossed leg coffee table

OMG!
You should have seen me when i was one day in my dearest Friday Market and i saw what would be the catch of the month!!! Almost fainted.THOSE LEGS!Not a boring piece, yet not over done.
Simple yet with a touch of sophistication.
Subtle but with a strong personality.
Nothing ordinary.
A statement piece.Perfection.Had to be mine. Now.

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So, as expected it came back home with me.

And you know what happens when you are fall in love… we ALL tend to overlook all these obvious defects, glitches and twitches that the other person has… Specially in my case, when my speed dating with the coffee table lasted for a maximum of 30 seconds. SO, after one long hour i reached back home with the table  (and with it, a long censoring look of my husband… hehehe I dont blame him) and then is when i REALLY started getting to know the table.
Not so great. Not at all. Legs were cool, but wood was really really dry and had been exposed to water, as i could see. The top was… how can i say it nicely? Worse than in bad condition. Lets take a close look:
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And even a bit closer…
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And another one of the legs to really grasp reality…
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First, i sanded and sanded and sanded both the legs and the top… my idea was to stain the wood again with a walnut tone to have a timeless and classy coffee table. But my plan failed miserably. The sanding part worked, and staining the legs also, but that top was far too damaged and when i stained it looked all patchy and with 50 shades of brown… NOT FUN.
I will spare you the drama and the picture with the drama. In part because i didn’t even take one.
What i did next was to seal the top with a primer, and then apply layer after layer of paint… in a beige color. And here the result.
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And please, allow me for one last before and after:

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Candy stripped chair

A couple of months ago i managed to get a chair  with a very cute shape and lots of potential in Friday Market.

Lots. Of. Potential.

These are the three magic words that i repeat in my head and make me feel so much better every time I’m not even 32% convinced of what i buy, why i am buying it or when i will have the time to redo it.

Here is the one:

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After driving it home and letting it hibernate in a dark storage room for a couple of months, ok half year, i decided it was time to bring that potential out and finally reupholster it. To start with, i sprayed painted the legs in a shinny black, just to make sure that if the legs were showing, they would look a bit more decent than their current status.

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The idea that took shape in my head was to use this chair in the kids room, so I looked for a cheerful and lively fabric that could go well both for curtains and for the chair. I wanted something bold and with personality, while affordable and semi-opaque, for the window treatment. The chosen fabric was Sofia from Ikea, at KD 2.750 per meter.

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And this is the final result. As you can see below, i asked to cover the legs with a skirt and to center a red line. Also, the upholsterer added some red pipe around the lower part of the seat, which makes it look very cute 🙂

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And a last before and after:

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