We are staying close to home today. The weather is kind and I would like to resurrect the stencilled tent in our garden.
It had been shoved into an outhouse for the past two years and is badly stained by mold and chocolate (from the last party we had when the wind wreaked havoc with the chocolate fountain).
There are inner and outer walls to the tent. The inner walls went into the bath tub to soak.
Then they were scrubbed and laid out in the sun to dry.
The outer walls were smelly and very moldy. Chips and I hauled them into the bath and although the tent now smells sweet, we could not shift the stains. Chip's solution was to stencil them with leopard skin pattern. If we were unable to remove the stains, why not make a feature of them? We filled plant sprayers with dilute brown paint and some pigment glaze and sprayed drifts of colour onto the damp canvas to make a background for the leopard spot stencil. The picture shows the original tent outer years ago when it was clean. It is to show you how the tent is constructed.
When dry, I hauled the newly washed cover into position on the tent frame. I found that it had shrunk by at least two feet. It is tied on to the wood frame for now, but I will need to order waterproof, rot proof canvas and start again. I still like the leopard idea though.
Meanwhile the inner panels (also shrunken) have been staple gunned into position and I am enjoying the tent again. It is long past its glory days and despite it's stains, it is still a lovely place to be.
The stencils are all from the Ottoman Collection and I chose these colours to mimic Islamic tiles seen at The V&A Museum, London. I have an outdoor chandelier suspended from the roof support. It gives a very good light.
When the tent is remade, I am thinking of having inner panels of stencilled lupins and hollyhocks from our Garden Room collection. Rachel has bought some old canvas chairs and this setting would suit them. The beauty of the stencilled inner panels means that the interior of the tent can easily be changed. The canvas is not too expensive and the sewing is fairly simple. Another of our stencilled tent interiors is shown below. Goodness knows where I put that one.
Another project this summer will be to clear out the storerooms.
They are probably full of mislaid treasure.