Flamingo-Kitsch Telephone Table

Last year I worked non-stop making embroidered flamingo projects. I was very excited about the release of my Fabulous Flamingos design collection by Blue Hair Girl.

I ended up with 6 projects…maybe more. We can’t publish 6 projects in a single issue of the magazine. Unless it becomes the Special Flamingo Issue. I had to accept we’d feature one article every issue.

My best articles would have to wait until 2019– an eternity away. But as it turns out, time marches on and at an accelerated pace.

Before I knew it, my very best project was published. But I had forgotten the anticipation and excitement I once felt… until this week.

I received an email from a loyal contributing writer, Debbie Henry, who complimented me on my article. That shook me out of my ambivalence.  So here is the story about my Flamingo-Kitsch Telephone Table.


A couple from dance class gave me the telephone table. It was in their family but not a sentimental piece. It sat in my home as a catch-all until I had a spark of an idea. Flamingo-Kitsch.

Telephone table before undergoing flamingotization…

I used my Baby Lock Spirit to embroider the Flamingo Cameo design on particularly busy print fabric.

Next:  sanding and painting. At the time I was going to get a new floor installed in my home. With my entire home emptied of furniture, I decided to make the bold step of painting in my dining room… sans protective covering on the floor.

I’m pretty lax in my household but it felt like I was breaking all sorts of rules while I painted on my tile floor.

The next step is not logical but it was the result of improving on my original plan.  My telephone table needed a pop-up USB port.  The addition of a USB would contrast nicely with the concept of an old-school telephone table.  Old meets new.  Rotary phone meets iPhone…. (wait, rotary phone? Am I really that old to know what that is?) My new plan also meant my initial efforts of painting the table became my ‘practice session.’

My dad drilled holes in the table to install the pop-up USB port.

My mom reupholstered the seat with my embroidered flamingo fabric.  The seat wasn’t attached until after repainting the table and adding a glossy finish.

Then my friend Tore added the hot pink EL wire.  The EL wire uses the same power source as the USB port.  That’s all I can explain about the topic…

The photo shows me figuring out how to attach the EL wire to wood.  Not an easy proposition.

The piece turned out absurdly fun. I’m pretty confident there’s nothing else quite like it.

The day of the photo shoot was the most satisfying I’ve ever had at the magazine. Seeing my little project, with many hands involved, and styled so expertly, made the extra time and energy worthwhile. The project shows what you can do if you have fun doing it and pay attention to the details.  Sure there might be a few missteps.  But in this instance, I call it being FLEXIBLE!  Great things happen if you remain diligent in achieving your final goal.

Of course I wore black and white polka dots for the occasion!

Thank you, once again, Debbie Henry! You inspired me to write this little behind the scenes about my favorite embroidered project I almost forgot about!

Now for my shameless plug, all are invited to pick up their own copy of the Volume 115 March/April 2019 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery.  Or better still, add the Fabulous Flamingos collection to your embroidery stash.  Every purchase of Fabulous Flamingos makes a statement:  Blue Hair Girl products are whimsical and in demand!

2 thoughts on “Flamingo-Kitsch Telephone Table

  1. This is one of the most fabulous embroidery/makeover projects I have seen, Denise! Sometimes, the project evolves as you go and becomes even better than what you imagined. I believe this is one such project. It’s extra meaningful because so many special people had a “hand” in it’s creation, too.

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