Showing posts with label fessing up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fessing up. Show all posts

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Art of Slow Living

I don't mean the movement about slow living, taking time to be in-the-moment or to linger - which I think is admirable. Sadly I mean living too slowly.

I'm writing to confess something. I used to do lots of stuff. I always had projects on the go, and people often mentioned they were amazed how I got it all done. By projects I mean - learn to crochet, making toys, teach myself woodwork, decorate a house, set up a blog, renovate some furniture, keep a creative journal, make a rug. I looked at Pinterest for ideas and then went off and did stuff. I was one of those people who achieved. I don't really manage to do this anymore.

Back to the Art of Slow Living, in my case; I mean the way time slows down and life becomes slow. I am on maternity leave, It is great but there are some bits that are quite difficult. I don't have to do anything usually, but my days are so full. I don't seem to have any time to do anything. That is what I mean about slowing down. I do less, yet seem to have so much less time. Now I'm not surprised, I've had a baby before and I know how demanding they are and I know this time doesn't last forever but the intensity of the first year has shocked me.

Saying I don't have time to do anything is not really true, I could make time to do some things but I seem to find very few minutes to get anything done. I'm tired, so tired, and that means I do still try to sleep when my baby sleeps. I usually manage one nap a day. This is traditionally the time when all those other mothers rush around, doing things like showering, putting on make up, cleaning skirting boards and all that kind of stuff.

I don't do any of those things. Which makes me feel a bit inadequate.

I have a bath and stay clean, I usually have a bath with my baby though. I manage to eat, not as well as I should as I'm still living off things I can eat straight from the fridge. I have a cleaner thank god, so the house isn't a total write off but it's not tidy and I am a bit of a hurricane who blows through and often creates more mess. I've put on make up maybe three times in the last six weeks (Christmas, New Year and one party).

So what do I do?Aside from not much,  I've been trying to achieve one thing everyday. Something that ideally relates to either making me very happy or my woodworking hobby.

Sometimes it is as simple as that. 

Sometimes I do manage to do something productive; I make something in my scrapbook, I do a necessary or useful job (organise a boiler service, tidy a cupboard, put a picture up), but the thing is, is that I'm frustrated with myself. I want to do so much more. I could write a to do list which lasted many, many pages. But I know there is no point as I'll then feel overwhelmed and overfaced and do none of it. So instead I write two or three things and if I finish them, I delete them and write a couple more. 

I want to blog more - so doing this is a good start, I want to set up an Etsy shop to start selling my handmade shelving. I've signed up to Etsy Resolution, a free online course to guide you through setting up a shop as I don't seem to be getting very far on my own.  

I often set time-based deadlines on myself. I think I need to stop doing this. 

Gosh - could I be any further away from the principals of slow living?  

Occasionally I have good days. Above was the view of my kitchen at 9.46am. Below it's 10.06am. 

That is the one really good side of the time slowing down. I feel like I don't have any but when I'm motivated I can get so much done in twenty minutes. There are days where I look around and wonder at how I've tidied up, put two loads of washing on, done the dishwasher, got dressed, made breakfast and it's only 9am. (If you are reading this and think, well I do that every day, well done you. You are nothing like me. If you are reading this and think, yep - lucky to have had a coffee even by 9am if I'm not at work. Then I feel ya. If you are reading this and think 9am, when not at work, I've never seen such a thing - you are very very lucky.) 

When I manage a productive morning I feel better about myself. I give myself a hard time on the days I don't though. Thinking I am the only one who doesn't manage this kind of productivity every day. I'll be honest - I'm lucky if it's once or twice a week. 

I used to feel like I could achieve anything. I miss that. Now I often feel like I am the only mother not doing it all. 

Luckily I have a great supportive local Mama Tribe. It really does take a village, not to raise the child, but to keep the Mama on an even keel so she can raise the child. It helps to talk to others in the same-ish place, even if they do all iron their sheets and cook lovely meals for their families rather than embrace the ready meal. I see them regularly and it keeps me going. I always feel happier when I have left the house and been somewhere. I go to a lot of playgroups and baby classes and do walk as much as I can. That's my new years resolution to 'walk more'. It's always easier to add something in than to remove it. 

I wanted to write about this as I think it's the side of motherhood that not everyone admits to. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like this. I should be grateful for my lovely happy baby, and pleased that I get to spend all day with him, which I am. But I'm allowed to miss alone time and to pine for more time for me and my hobbies. 

I'm trying to be kind to myself. It's my own deadlines that are bothering me, no one else is putting any pressure on me. I keep trying to say it's ok if it takes three months not one week but I'm not that good at it yet. 

I'll keep trying. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

32,000 stitches

Crochet saved me.

This is how I managed to survive a pregnancy where I was really sick and nauseous for almost all of it and more difficult, had antenatal depression. Do you know, I don't want to always talk about this but it has been such a big deal over the last year and a bit. At first, it was all encompassing and even now as I feel better there is a lot of fear still there. I think talking about (well writing about) is one of the strongest ways to help so here we are. 

Time passing was the hardest. I used to wake up and think, oh no, another day to endure. Endure by the way is the right word, survive hints at something more than the shell I became. 

I'm feeling an awful lot better now, but I need to acknowledge what I've been through and how hard it was. It's almost like feeling traumatised - but I know that's too strong a word. Raw I think it better. It's like a scar that is still not healed. I read the term 'depression hangover' somewhere and that sums it up. I'm fragile, all too aware of what I have been through and every time I have a bad day I start to panic that the depression is coming back. I don't think it is. I just wish that this could be solved with a bacon buttie! 

Back to the 32,000 stitches. I crocheted my way through pregnancy. I counted stitches rather than be in my own head and I made things. It was a healthy way to deal with it and it helped me to cope. It didn't really make me feel better but it did pass the time. 

One of my projects (there were a lot) was a blanket for a king size bed. It had 32,000 stitches in it. 

It's a king sized bed size, corner to corner (often called c2c) crochet pattern which I learned from a Youtube tutorial by Bella Coco. Link here.

Strangely, I think I sound like Bella. Anyway, the pattern was very easy once I had the hang of it. What was difficult was choosing colours. Depression robbed me of my decision making skills and it seemed to take longer to decide what the next row colour should be than to crochet it. 

I made the blanket in four identical quarters, and then sewed them together. 

I used mostly Aldi wool for this project, as I was saving every penny for maternity leave. I'm really glad I did as now I'm about to go into my last three months of time off, and had I not saved, I would be going back to work now. And, I'm not ready yet. 

I'm sat on this blanket right now, to write this. It was originally intended for my bedroom and the colours match that room. However, my baby often naps in the front room and I try and catch up on sleep by snuggling under this on the sofa. I try for a Nasa nap (26 minutes, supposed to restore mental function. Not sure it's working fully, but at least I can concentrate a little!). 

I actually like it, it's a memento of a difficult time, but looking at it makes me feel stronger. I got through it. I didn't fold. Thank goodness. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Coping with antenatal depression

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time, but haven't felt able. Partly because I'm not over this yet, partly because I'm still struggling with every day life and haven't got the headspace to talk about this and partly because I don't have any good advice.

I don't like to be negative, so I'll try not to be, but I saw this on facebook today and I thought - it's time...

I usually say I had antenatal depression - as I'm British (probably need to start saying English soon - Brexit !) but however you refer to this, it's a real thing. It affects many many people and nobody is talking about it.

I wrote a blog post on here about a year ago - sharing when I was in the throes of it all and then pretty much went silent. I wasn't just silent on here, I was silent in real life. I lost the ability to enjoy the days, to speak to people, even to read books or think properly about what might help me.

I was tired, so tired, not physically tired (as I am now, with a non-sleeping newborn) but tired of existing. Tired of trying to get through the day and tired of just enduring the sickness of pregnancy and feeling hopeless.

My concentration span deserted me. I'm someone who generally gets things done, I usually have a million things on the go at once, and am always looking for what's next. I lost all this and ended up wasting hours on my phone to distract me - looking at pinterest, playing jigsaws - anything which helped pass the time.

There were two things that helped; my crochet (I'll be sharing more about this soon) and gratitude. I saw a counsellor and this was the plan we came up with. Everyday I wrote in my diary three good things that had happened, and what that meant about me as a person.

For example - the sun was shining - which meant I could appreciate nature, my husband made tea and I ate some - which means I was looking after my health and my baby, and I met up with a friend for coffee - which means I must be a nice person to have such lovely friends. They really were such small things but writing it every day helped a lot. There were days when I could only manage to think of one thing but thankfully they were rare.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do - endure such a miserable pregnancy and just hope (when hope was rather elusive) that this would pass and would not turn into postnatal depression. I was one of the lucky ones and it hasn't - I think the statistics are something very scary like 70% of those with antenatal or perinatal depression carry on to develop postnatal depression. I was in the good 30% who escaped that fate. I know I'm not depressed anymore but dealing with everything I went through, the fear of it returning on top of the enormous demands of a baby with the way it changes all the other relationships in your life is hard. I don't think I have it worse than others, in fact I feel like I have a lot of positives in my life.

Remember I said I wrote a blog post on here. Well that is the reason I'm writing this today. I shared the scary news of antenatal or perinatal depression and people reached out to me. It was amazing. People who I knew via social media but rarely saw in life, people who were family, friends - all came forward and said, I know what you're going through, I understand, I've experienced similar and while I spoke to those people and read those messages, I felt good. It was wonderful.

I hope someone reading this feels that same glimmer of 'Ok, I can do this too'. You can and you will. Just keep going, try my mantra which I repeated endlessly 'this too shall pass'.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Feeling a bit blue

I've been quiet. You could say silent. Why?

Well the honest answer is I've been feeling blue, or more honestly pretty down in the dumps. Yet oddly this is due to something wonderful. I'm a weird one.

I'm pregnant. I have wanted a baby with my husband for a long time and couldn't be more pleased to be having a baby. The baby bit anyway. The having bit, the pregnancy, I hate it. Isn't that an awful thing to say. It's a time when you are supposed to glow and relax and wonder at the marvel of new life. For lots of people this is true, but for me (and 10% of all pregnant ladies out there) it's simply not true. There is no reason for it in my case, but I fit most of the symptoms of antenatal (or prenatal or pregnant) depression.

It has taken some time to realise this. I'm writing this at 16 weeks pregnant. At first I felt shocked and then excited. Then the nausea kicked in and the tiredness and I spent most of my time either at work or laid in bed. I stepped out of family life almost entirely and cancelled most of my social life. I kept thinking it was just the nausea that was holding me back but then I started to feel like I was loosing control of who I am.

Time slowed down. I started crying a lot, and when people asked me why, I told the truth saying I don't know why. I started laying in bed awake at night and feeling even more exhausted in the day. I was sleeping all day and all night at weekends. I would get angry and not be able to calm down. I smashed a plate in the kitchen one night in frustration at what was happening to me. I couldn't concentrate on books, or reading for more than 20 minutes at a time and reading a book (for hours) has always been my escape.

I started waking up feeling horrified that there was another day to get through. I stopped smiling, although I'm not sure at which point.

I felt ill.

If someone had offered me the chance to be put to sleep and wake up when the baby was born I would have jumped at it. I didn't want the next 6 or 7 months of daily life.

I just wasn't myself. I don't know if feeling blue is the right way to describe it, but it sounds right to me.

Everyone has good days and bad. I know this and I have my own set of coping strategies for when I feel bad. Messing around in my journal, writing a gratitide list, ticking off a diy project, making something from scratch or best of all a few glasses of wine with good friends. Sadly the last one is on hold for quite a while and a cup of herbal tea with friends isn't the same. But I lost even the smallest amount of motivation to do any of the other things. I don't know why but I just felt too tired, too lacklustre, too apathetic.

I don't think I hit rock bottom but I realised I couldn't fix this on my own. So I asked for help. And got it. Almost three weeks ago I started taking anti- depressants. They have worked wonderfully.

I still wish I was smilling more but I'm on the right track. I feel like bit by bit I am regaining myself. It's not easy as there is little to grab hold of. This isn't a tangible thing.

I'm scared that these feelings will remain for the whole 24 weeks of pregnancy I have left. It's hard to think about feeling like this for a few more days let alone months. But, I realise I am lucky. I am feeling ill for a lovely reason and I know there is an end in sight. Many don't have even those small comforts. I try and focus on things like this, but honestly, they don't make me feel any better at all.

My recent experience has shocked me. I've always been happy to describe myself as a control freak, and then I lost control of who I am, my own thoughts were beyond my reach. It was frightening and confusing.

I've heard people talk about depression before and thought I had some idea of what they meant but I was wrong. I'd been thinking about feeling down and it's very different. I can understand why it seems to be a brain issue or chemistry as it is not related to your own thinking or what is happening in your life. I'm not sure I am explaining this properly but it's really tough to put into words.

I found reading about other people who felt the same helped me a lot. That's why I decided to write this post. Partly as I thought it might be cathartic to me, and partly because it might comfort someone.

One of my favourite quotes is from Alan Bennett in The History Boys:

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”

So if you are struggling with anything I have mentioned here for whatever reason: Imagine this is my way of holding your hand. Which also means you are holding mine.

None of us have to do this alone anymore. That's the wonder of the internet.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The saga of learning to make dovetail joints

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Once upon a time, there was a woman who woodworked. She made some prototype shelves and wanted them to be better.

She spent a lot of time researching woodworking techniques and decided that dovetail joints were the way forward.

She watched some tutorials on Youtube, all by men who were experienced woodworkers. They made it look very easy to do and the finish was beautiful and just what she wanted for her handmade shelving.

The woman who woodworked bought some secondhand and new tools and put some of her school maths into action to work out the angles needed.

Then she began to practice. She soon realised that it was quite hard to do, nowhere near as easy as it looked on the tutorials.
She soon realised that she was NOT a natural when it came to being able to saw. In fact, it took her forever and she was very bad at it.
She perservered, as she wasn't a quitter.

After many, many, many failed attempts (left hand side of above photo) she finally ended up with one dovetail joint which didn't fall apart in her hands.
She was so pleased with herself she had a drink of wine to celebrate.

Then she looked closer at the joint and thought about how long it had taken, how many were needed for each shelf and at the actual size of the gaps.
She researched some more and then bought a dovetail jig and router, which do the job perfectly for her.
The end.
And, the moral of the story is, know when you are beaten and as this is destabled, when to stop flogging a dead horse.
Although that saying is actually very mean!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The struggle is real!

I have a layout conundrum. It's related to compromise and that isn't something I'm particularly good at.

Let's start with the beginning. Are you sitting comfortably?

Our living room is a beautiful space with a very large bay window but for some reason I've never managed to lay it out very well.

I showed the original couch in this post ( and mentioned I wanted to replace it.

Well I've been searching for second hand replacements and as usual I have managed to find more options than are suitable and now I need to narrow it down. I do think that shopping is one of my best skills.

Let's start with the requirements;

  1. Enough places for 4 people to sit comfortably and be able to look at each other and the TV (not necessarily at the same time).
  2. Somewhere husband can rest his head and watch the TV.
  3. The whole space needs to feel comfortable.
  4. It needs to be fairly hardwearing.

I think it is fairly obvious which requirement is mine, which is husbands and which are the ones we both agree on and need. It's 1, 2 and then 3&4 if you weren't sure.

Now let's look at the options I have found.

  1. A salmon pink two-seater Chesterfield which is very comfortable and which was given to me by my brother. I don't want to get rid of this as it's vintage and handmade and one of an exact pair (the other lives in my stable) which I have grand plans to eventually have recovered in some wonderful fabric - when-budget-allows-sadly-so-may-realistically-be-years. This is shown covered in some wonderful bright blue and turquoise blankets which I bought last year in Morocco.
  2. A brown leather chair which is comfortable and high enough for husband, but extra squeaky.
  3. A recovered and restored swivel chair which I have just finished, which is super comfy and looks gorgeous but I'm just not quite sure it works here.
  4. A well worn leather vintage two-seater Laura Ashley sofa which fits perfectly (millimetre-perfectly) into the bay window but which husband doesn't like and unfortunately the bay window is apparently THE best place to hear the surround sound. (Which accounts for the random wires around the room and the fact we need 1200 remotes-or-something).
  5. I have supplemented these with two large footstools - one in purple velvet which isn't squishy and one amazing multi coloured one which I picked up because-it-matches-the-exact-rug-plan-I-have-in-my-head-and-which-I-will-make and because sometimes, if you don't buy now - you cry later. (Vintage shopping motto).

I wasn't actually going to blog about this until I worked it all out but I thought, why not share? The struggle for placement is REAL peeps.

So here are a few quick phone snaps of the current pieces. I've put them all in because I'm a visual person and I thought I would put them in and go AHA! That's how it should look.


Not at all.

It definitely looks too busy but I was expecting that as I haven't yet decided which bits to use. (I will move all the unused to other bits of the house, or maybe sell a piece, I'm not wasteful).

I think in my head that two sofa's (they are both two seater's), one chair and one footstool is kind of ideal but I'm not certain of anything at the moment.

Here is a panoramic so you can see how it all looks together....

It was pretty sunny, but I think that shows what a lovely light filled room it is (it faces East though, not South).

And here they have stayed. I've sat in them and stared at them and just overall thought about them but inspiration has not yet struck.
It will but again, I need to have patience and take my time. Even my phone told me this as I took the panorama. Life lessons from a computer eh?
I'll get there.

Monday, 13 July 2015

A day in the life

Would you like to know exactly how I spent my Saturday? Tbh, I'm going to tell you anyway.

I love weekends where I don't have any plans and can just work out what I feel like doing. This weekend was a particularly good one being:
  • Child free
  • In Summer
  • With very little forecast of rain (which-is-certainly-something-to-celebrate-in-my-neck-of-the-woods!)
I slept late as I'd stayed up late the night before refining my drawing of a horse. Yes really, that's how I roll on a Friday night.

I made coffee around 10.30am and wandered around my garden in my pyjamas to see how all my plants were doing.


I went back to my bedroom and laid in my bed faffing on my phone (complete with newly smashed screen covered in sellotape - safety first!) for around 40 minutes which is pretty good for me.

Then I spent a bit of time dealing with emails and working on some potential freelance projects, fingers crossed.

Around 1pm I wandered down to my stable to see if my newly painted trestle table had dried. It hadn't, which meant I needed to rethink my plans to do some sanding of shelves.

I then spent some time pottering around the garden, pruning the lilac and deadheading the roses, which is such a lovely job. It's the scent. I interspersed these jobs with nipping into the stable regularly to spray paint some of my shelves which I want to be a very bright gold and that seems to take multiple coats. I read somewhere once that the secret to successful spray painting it to recoat within 5 minutes or not for 24 hours, but I actually find, within 5 minutes or not for 1 hour to work just as well if not better. And means you can, you know, use the space!

Husband and I then tackled cutting the hedges. It takes a few hours and is quite intensive and back-achy work, which isn't a real word but should be.

I got three thorns stuck in my skin, but only one drew blood. At least three people stopped as they walked past to say what a great job we were doing too. Lovely town!

Then I jumped in the shower.

I'm pretty obsessed with my fitbit and this was the picture at 5pm. Not bad but I've been better.

Then from 5pm until 6.45pm we took a lovely walk along the Leeds Liverpool canal.

Cows paddling.

Sad results of the storms this year.

Great double arched bridge.

Then this horse let me stroke him. So lovely.
It makes rural life sound pretty amazing too. It is. I got caught in a traffic jam on Friday night as a farmer was moving his cows. Really.
We ended our walk in a newly refurbished pub where I had deep fried Potato Skins with a Blue Cheese dip, followed by Tomato and Artichoke Linguine and washed down with some rather lovely Sauvignon Blanc.
My legs were aching, cos I'm so unfit, but it was very nice to eat and drink at the end.
Then, we took a taxi home, again cos I'm so unfit, and played a game called '100 Questions; A toolkit for families'. Which was quite good, but we only managed to answer around 4 questions.
Husband wanted to switch off with some TV then and I'm not a big TV person so I left him too it and went and listened to Stephanie Hirst's new radio show, 'Nothing but the 90's'. I love Hirsty to bits and it's wonderful to have her back on the radio.
I'm not good at just doing nothing with my hands, so while I listened to that I sewed some tarpaulin together (which really hurts your hands) as I need a wet weather cover for my home made craft stall.
The show ended at midnight and so did I as then I went to bed.
It was a good day for me, with the right mix of doing useful things and fun things. Does everyone think like that or is it just me?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Recovering and Restoring Dining Room Chairs on a budget

I thought I would do a full step by step picture guide to recovering dining room chairs. It's a really cost effective way to get something which not only looks good but is comfortable too.

I warn you now though, it is very time consuming.

Here's an action shot to get started!

This is what the chairs looked like before. They cost me £16 for 6 of them from an auction. They were in pretty good condition but were really quite ugly. I liked the arch at the top because my dining room has arches in and I thought they would echo the shape and look like they belonged. They did come with a table too but as I didn't want it, I gave it away. Which is fine, but more hassle.
First of all, I removed all the seat pads, which were simply screwed in underneath. Then I sanded three of them and my husband sanded the other three. This was a great help as sanding is my least favourite job.

I used a P120 paper which is quite fine, as I really just needed a 'key' (slightly rough surface) for the paint to stick to. There weren't any lumps or bumps to smooth out.

This is a close up of how they looked after sanding.

This is my measure of time in the Stable. I have a clock but usually don't look at it as I get engrossed in what I am doing. So the sanding took one album, in this case one Ladyhawke, or about 45 minutes.

I then cleaned them with hot soapy water and began to paint. I used an angled brush as there were a lot of fiddly bits on the chairs.

I was worried I wouldn't have enough paint and then I spilt some but actually it did not take much. I find two thinner coats is the best option. The paint is Carbon Blue from Fired Earth. It smells a little strange but it's water based, low toxic and the colours are soo-beautiful. It also gives really good coverage.

After each bit has had ten minutes to dry a little, I usually go back over with the brush carefully and very gently to make sure there are no drip marks. It took me a while but I got a bit of a system in place. Paint the front, then the side, then go back over the front, then move to the back and then go back over the side and so on and so on. Few more Ladyhawkes later...
Each chair took on average 30 minutes per coat. So that's about 6 hours worth of painting in total. I did three at a time beacuse of space constraints and waited for each coat to dry overnight.
Here is the second lot. I'm starting to love them.

Then I moved on to the seats. I've done lots of painting but have maybe only recovered about 10 items in my life so this is the hard part for me. Practice makes perfect and all, but it's not something I get to practice a lot.
The seats were pretty hard, and I want comfort. So I looked into buying foam. The cheapest option seemed to be to get a single mattress memory foam topper and then cut it up myself. Total cost £23.

Hmmm, cutting it up was actually really difficult. Maybe I should have bought some cut to size! This probably took me about two hours just to cut out 6 pieces of foam.
Then it was onto the fun bit - fabric!
I didn't decide on the blue colour until I picked the fabric and I love this world map pattern. It's fairly well patterned so should hide general wear and tear, but it means that someone gets to sit on Brazil, someone on Europe, someone on Africa. How great is that?
The fabric was £12.50 a metre and I bought 2.5 metres for £31.25. This was only just enough given the pattern. I wish I'd bought three metres to have some spare but I made it, just.

I did spend a lot of time laying out the pieces, taking to heart the old adage - measure twice, cut once.

If you are about to do this kind of project youself - It looks really crumpled here but don't worry. You'll be pulling it tight in no time so no need to iron.

Here you can see the amount of extra padding the memory foam added. It's important to measure the fabric and include for this.
It also brings it home how much better they are going to look too which is a welcome boost in the middle of a I-thought-it-would-be-much-quicker-and-easier-than-this project.

It was very nice working on the fabric though and dreaming of future vists to Indonesia, India, Mexico and all the other places I really want to visit.
So, once it was all laid out it was time to get out the staple gun. Start with the middle staple of the front, then middle of the back and then the two sides. So you have four staples and they are in an approximate cross shape.

Make sure you don't cover the holes you will use to attach them back to the chairs. I have made this mistake before.

I watched some youtube tutorials (like always) and I tried to make invisible corners. I actually tried about 6 times and had to keep unpicking the corner. My fabric was in danger of becoming so frayed it would be unusable.
I have made lovely corners in the past but I've never recovered anything this thick before. In the end (about three hours later - sad-face) I gave up and went for neatly folded corners. Like you would get on a nicely-wrapped-gift, i.e. not one wrapped by yours-truly.
Wrapping presents. It's a skill I do not have. I think it's something to do with patience.

So here they are. Not as perfect as I'd like but a massive improvement and comfortable. So far everyone who has seen them has been very complimentary and no one has noticed the corners until I have pointed them out.

I must stop doing this. Note to self: Just say thanks. Don't say, but look at these corners.

I think the fabric is fairly hardwearing but not teenage-boy-hardwearing. So I bought this fabric protector which was £10. It's called PROFAB and is a "fabric and surface protector" which creates "an invisible polymer shield against oil and water based stains". I hope it works, but the fabric still feels soft so it's ok by me. I did test it on a piece of scrap fabric before using it on my newly covered chairs. I then had to wait overnight for them to dry. I used about two-thirds of it on the 6 chairs.

And here we have the finished items.
I should mention we have added felt pads to the feet so they don't scratch the painted floor. These were about £16 but I do have some leftover. I've used the self adhesive ones in the past but they just stick to all the hair and dust too and I think it looks like you have mini dead rats on the bottom of your chairs - which isn't a good look. So these are the screw in type with zero-stickiness (strangely not advertised in this way). They've only been finished for about 5 days but so far it's promising. No miniature dead rodents in sight!

Oh I do love them. I think they come in at around £16 per chair, plus labour, which would be a lot. Still the chairs I loved, ready made, were £170 each, so that's a massive saving. It's almost a mini-European-city-break-saving. Which is my cost measurement. Time = Music, Money = Holidays. I'm not the only one right?
Also, kudos - I finished a project from my list.
But, kinda added a new one. Anyone know any good ideas for random shapes of memory foam that seem a waste to throw away?