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Union Jack Ottoman


 As I shared in my other posts about my Houston trip, I met some amazing people.  One of those people was Jennifer Williams of Metamorphose Studios.  I was getting ready for the Milk Paint demo and Jennifer comes out of the back room, smiling.  “I have a present for you.”  I was slightly distracted and didn’t notice what she was holding.  She then lifted up this black garbage bag filled with something boxy and handed it to me.  My first thought, and I’m pretty sure I said it out loud, was,  how am I going to get this home?!  I pulled the garbage bag back and saw this amazing Union Jack pattern in burlap, cream and aqua.  My second thought was, I’m going to get this home no matter what.


Jennifer left the legs raw, so I could paint them.  I’ve been known to do that sort of thing and she thought I could handle it.  With the legs off, it was doable to take it home on a plane.  Amy, who is very clever and resourceful, made what we affectionately called a “redneck suitcase” to carry the ottoman in.  It was made out of a box for folding chairs and duct tape.  She even made a handle that worked like a charm.  It was so impressive, I got complimented on the construction of it when I checked it at the airport!  (There’s a picture of it on my FaceBook page HERE.)

It was a bit comical to see my husband’s face when I carried it in the house and even funnier when I told him it was an ottoman.  Yes, I checked an ottoman onto the airplane.  Proof that good furniture will make me do slightly strange things.


Jennifer does brilliant work.  She makes these ottomans entirely from scratch.  This started out as four legs, a two-by-four, tacks, foam and fabric.  Not only is it impressive that she made this, but it’s so quality.  I love it when things are hand crafted so well that it doesn’t make you think , “Wow.  You must’ve made this.”  You know what I mean?



I was a little envious of her perfectly straight stitches.  I tend to wander a bit when I’m sewing.


I haven’t decided what I’m doing to the legs, yet, but I’m leaning towards staining them.  Maybe painting them cream…


As I unwrapped my ottoman when I got home, I realized what an amazing gift this was.  She charges $450 for this ottoman and she just gave it to me.  Jennifer didn’t ask for a trade or a plug for her business or anything in return.  It was just a gift with no strings attached.  A thank you for how my blog has inspired her.  So, I’m linking to her and plugging to her because I want to, because her work is amazing.

Jennifer’s pieces are available for sale at Altar’d in LaPorte, TX and she even teaches workshops on making this ottoman…

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  1. Stunning…the colors are amazing and YAY you for finding a way to get it home! (McGyvering at its best!)

  2. maria says:

    Beautiful– what a great gift!

  3. Sarah says:

    That’s gorgeous! What a generous gift. I love the colors she chose too.
    Oh and glad you got it home!

  4. That ottoman is beautiful! She does beautiful work! When I saw the legs, I was thinking they’d look pretty stained, too!

  5. Rubylicious Bespoke says:

    Gorgeous, what a lovely gift.

  6. I can vouch for Jenniifer of Metamorphose. I have seen her work in person and I also was priviledged to take an upholstery class from her. My one day class turned into a 3 day class because we decided to try something different with my chair and went with the deconstructed look. She is just as inspirational you Miss Mustard Seed!!!

  7. SWEET! I need more practice at sewing straight also! I like the fabric and colors…..a very thoughtful gift indeed!

  8. Wow, that’s spectacular! What a wonderful and generous gift.

  9. Love the ottoman. Cracks me up that you got it home on the plane. But I think I would have done about anything to get it back home too!!!! Wonderful accent! :)

  10.! I hope she doesn’t mind if I Pin it.

  11. Lovely! The colours are perfect : o )

  12. Ruth in NZ says:

    Where are the photos of the makeshift suitcase? I am so intrigued by your description :-). What a lovely gift.

  13. ooooo! Lovely! This gives me all kinds of ideas!

  14. Oh my goodness! Love it!

  15. Thank you for the wonderful comments ladies!

    Oh Marion!! I am just tickled- absolutely tickled to see you made it home with her okay! I have tears of joy to see little ol’ me mentioned on your blog today! AND by someone I consider a true artist and inspiration to others! I am so blessed to have met you and will forever consider it a lifetime highlight! Ya’ll, MMS is even more warm, friendly and personable than you’d ever imagine in person!

    P.S. I too would love to have seen Amy’s version of “If It Fits- It Ships” concoction!

  16. Lovely – what a generous and thoughtful gift … and I’m leaning towards a pretty stain to accent the fabric colors, but what do I know? Enjoy!

  17. Beautiful!!!! I was extremely lucky to win one of
    Jennifer’s gorgeous Union Jack ottomans
    This summer. Yes, I said WIN!!! And I have to admit
    I never win anything (can’t say that anymore!).
    Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, lightning
    Struck our home, went into flames and we lost everything.
    I am so excited to see that Jennifer offers
    The ottoman making classes, as I hope to sign
    Up for one very soon to make a replacement.
    She does beautiful work!!! Enjoy!

  18. Jennifer is an amazingly talented gal with a heart of gold! I know I miss working along side of her.

  19. What a beautiful piece! And I think its story makes it even more beautiful as it is a gift from the heart. I am checking out her website today. Thanks for sharing this treasure!

  20. Paint them green and that piece will coordinate so well with your chair!

  21. Sharon K. says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with us!!!

  22. Brenda says:

    Marian, What a thoughtful gift! I too, would have loved to see the redneck suitcase! As a person dedicated to garage sales I thought you would have some interesting tales for getting a “find” home. I do know that a ’93 mustang will hold a wingback and three people with the top down. I’ve had many conversations with my husband as to what would fit in my car and what won’t.

  23. That is so cool! I love the straight stitching and the awesome construction too! And that was totally so sweet of her to give it to you! And since you were able to take it home on a plane that means it should be able to be shipped too!!!
    I can’t believe I’m saying this since I love everything painted but I think the legs on that ottoman would look awesome stained! You could of course always paint them later if you got tired of the stain 😉

  24. Steph says:

    Marian, what a blessing that so many wonderful people and their ideas you inspired are making your life so full…she put a lot of love into that ottoman for you, you can see it. :) Keep up the great work…love seeing your world open up so wide and welcoming!

  25. Makes me want to try an ottoman – What a lovely gift!

  26. June G. says:

    Loved the “redneck” suitcase!! Just goes to show that “where there’s a will there’s a way”! So glad you had a lovely trip with your mother….thanks for ” taking” us along!

    God bless you,

  27. I vote for stained legs too! It’d go great with all your wood pieces like your 2-tone dresser in the background

  28. Beverly Dyer says:

    Stunning, such a perfect gift and she left the legs raw, she really knows you. I love the colors. it looks right at home infront of your beautiful chair.

  29. Debbie Rejmer says:

    Awesome! Are going to be giving any workshops in Pa. anytime soon? I would love to come to one.

  30. THAT IS SO AWESOME!!!!! I could see them being sold at HomeGoods! You are a very blessed lady to have friends in so many places!

  31. What a wonderful gift! The colors go great with your chair!

  32. what a thoughtful gift!

  33. Rayna Baker says:

    That is the most beautiful ottoman I’ve ever seen!

  34. What a fabulous piece! I’m so excited since I live in the Houston area – perhaps I can take this class! *LOVE*

  35. beautiful work! :) Congrats on your new piece to love. I’m sure painting them white, or staining them would be lovely, but I think they look great just as they are too!

  36. Such a sweet gift Marian and so friendly of Jennifer to give it to you. We Texans are a friendly bunch and I hope you found that to be true. Hope you will be happy to return sometime.
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  37. that is dreamy gorgeous! so glad you enjoyed your trip to Texas. i’ve lived in Texas my whole life and toyed with the notion to live in another state when i was in my 40’s, now that my babies are grown, i couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but Texas.

    hope you get to come back soon, but next time to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area :)

  38. You should know that, unless on a ship, our UK flag is called the Union FLAG, thanks!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Oh really? I didn’t know that! Very interesting. So, it’s only called the Union Jack when flown on a ship?

  39. What a lovely gift! She’s obviously done her homework and wanted it to fit in with your decor, which makes it even more special! Your story of taking it on the plane with you made me laugh out loud! It reminded me of coming back from a visit to Alberta to visit my niece, where I found some really pretty aqua colored 1 inch tiles, the 2’x1′ long sheets of them only $1 a sheet! (local Re-store). I just had to have them. I packed 6 sheets of them in my suitcase. When I checked in at the airport, they said my bag was overweight! No! really? I asked, right before I opened the suitcase and took the tiles out, and put them in a rather large carry on I had. The ticket agent just about fell over….she said: “In 25 years doing this job, I’ve never, ever seen anyone pull tiles out of their luggage!!!! ” Let’s just say the tiles made it home unscathed, but my shoulder didn’t!!! LOL Thanks for sharing your lovely gift and the story!


  40. What a beautiful gift, it matches your decor so beautifully and made even more special, that you loved it enough to carry it through an airport! It never ceases to amaze me this wonderful community of creative, kind and giving people here in Blogland. This unsolicited gift is just one way that these beautiful souls share of themselves everyday with their ideas, tips, techniques and also their boo boos, blunders and oh, oh moments! I feel very blessed to be a part of this wonderful community!

  41. I loved this project, especially because I have a daughter who lives in England.

    But, I really got on to tell you that I ran across your book at Barnes and Noble and thought my youngest daughter would love it. So I bought it for her for Christmas. She LOVES IT.


  42. Denise T says:

    Wow! A stunning ottoman! It is a blessing to receive a gift from a friend.

  43. The ottoman is gorgeous and the story of how it got home hilarious! I’m so blown away by the creativity and craftsmanship out there — just wish I lived in Houston so I could take the class!!

  44. What a great gift! I love the construction. I could see using the same technique to make a different non-flag pattern, or other flag type semaphor patterns. Isn’t this book tour fun? Ann

  45. And Jennifer is so beautiful……I was in awe of her beauty and how nice she is! My mom and I so enjoyed meeting you Friday night and your mom is precious! I talked to her for a while and she is so nice and SO proud of you!

  46. Absolutely the coolest little ottoman! Very sweet of her, going to have to watch her tutorial! Although my sewing skills are seriously lacking!

  47. Colorado Cowgirl says:

    Fabulous! I want one! Do you know where she gets those legs?

  48. Nancy says:

    Oh my, how beautiful! What a sweet thing to do for you. INSPIRED YOU is a great title for your book because YOU INSPIRE!

  49. Teresa Wilson says:

    So cleaver. Love it & would love to have it!

  50. Oh I love it! What a beautiful gift and something to always treasure. It fits perfectly with your color at home.

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