Monday, 29 August 2011

A Visit To Our Favourite Furniture Store....

We have had a super busy weekend!! 

H & W had a triple sleeper, we got it for them because when they had normal bunk-beds they would always end up sleeping together in the bottom bunk like a pile of puppies and as they got bigger it was such a squash got them a triple sleeper so they could at least sleep in a double bed.

Then this year they finally moved into their own beds and the triple sleeper went on eBay. So, we had to sort out their whole room as not only was the triple sold but we also picked up a new bed and wardrobes for them.

Of course this meant a big sort out, we got rid of loads of stuff and while we were at the tip we managed to pick up some bargains!! (Remember my sister tells her kids that the tip is Auntie Sarah's furniture shop?!!)

This cute little table that I am going to paint and sell:

And this was my most fabby find, I have been watching mirrors like this on eBay because I wanted one to go over our bed. The auctions have been ending on £40-£50 so way over budget.  And they had this at the tip for £8!!:

Can you believe someone just dumped this? It has a couple of chips in the frame but I used a bit of gold Rub And Buff and you can barely see them.

We also found this art deco sideboard, which I know looks a little uninspiring but you have to look past dark and dingy wood to the lines and shape of the piece:

Yesterday afternoon I put "The Sound Of Music" on the telly and painted it whilst I sang away (much to the boys disgust!!). 

Today, after waxing it, it's all finished:

This one is done in Annie Sloan's Duck Egg and Old White with clear and dark wax.

This furniture painting lark is becoming rather addictive!!

Hope you've all had nice weekends, we feel like we need another to recover!!

S x

PS I'm selling a painted sideboard on eBay, will add the link when I've done it....

Friday, 26 August 2011

More Fugly To Fabulous....

I've been keeping this one as I thought you all be tired of my furniture painting obsession!!

We have a computer hideaway that we got off eBay a few years ago for £40 (it was originally Ikea and plain pine) - I painted it cream and it looked like this:

It was looking a little worse for wear so I gave it the Annie Sloan treatment - this time using Provence with a wash of Old White ( a little paint mixed with water, paint on and immediately wipe off), lightly distressed & then clear wax. I then changed the fabric behind the glass:

I love it!! I was a little "Wooooo it's a bit bright" before the wash of white but it looks really nice now.

We've had a really busy day today sorting out H & W's room and collecting a high sleeper. Tomorrow we have wardrobes to collect for the boys room and then a sideboard in the afternoon that will go next to the computer hideaway above.

So, lots more future painting opportunities!!

Have a lovely weekend!!


S x

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Today W and I Have Been Mostly Making.....

....a paper mache rhino head!!:

We actually started him on Tuesday after watching an episode of "Art Attack" which showed you how!! It was excellent fun (if a little messy) - I'm not sure who enjoyed it the most, me or W!!
Daisy (our JRT) was hilarious and kept growling at it until we let her have a good look at it!!

H & W did some more painting of their own while the paints were out and had a good time making flicky paint pictures. However, Mr G (who works from home) was none too impressed with the mess - they did manage to get paint all over but it just wiped up with a bit of Flash so personally I was happy to see them having fun.

I must confess this is one of the only sources of tension between me and Mr G. I am a lot more relaxed and patient with the children than him (which came as a huge surprise as I am not patient with anything else, and in all other things Mr G is so laidback he's horizontal!!)

Later in the evening Jasper (one of our Tonkinese) took up his usual position (which you can see below):

Last night Mr G was shirtless and when he got up he had black kitty paw prints all over his back and shoulders!! Transpires Jasper had walked all through H's drying masterpiece and left a trial of footprints from the kitchen to Mr G's back!!

He even looks a bit naughty in this picture:

Lastly today, I want to say thank you for all the kind comments about my creations, they really do make my day, particularly as I have never really been good at anything.
I hope I do not come across as a show off. When it comes to everything I can do I believe strongly that if I can make it anyone can. Most things have been learnt from books or online tutorials, I have found I am quite good at absorbing info and copying things!! 

What I hope is that posting my makes inspire you -  like so many of you (and others in Blogland) have inspired me....


S x

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Book Wreath and Random Musings....

Thank you for all the advice on what to go for birthday pressie-wise - I've decided to pop into town next week and try the boots on to see what they are like in the flesh - I might look like an elephant in hobnailed boots in them, but if not and I love them then I'll know to go for them. 

I've found them on eBay (from the US) for nearer £100 shipped but am slightly concerned they are fakes....

Did anyone see that documentary last night "I'm Pregnant With Someone Else's Baby"? It was about surrogacy - these woman are amazing, it brought a proper tear to my eye to watch. 

One of the ladies was screaming the place down in labour and as soon as the baby was born he was handed (on the insistence of the surrogate) to the adoptive mum (she couldn't have children as she had been having cancer treatment) and I was so overwhelmed by what an amazing, selfless thing the surrogate had done. It's something I know I would never be able to do, even if my pregnancies were straightforward. 

There was also a girl who was desperate to be 21 so she could become a surrogate (she already had a family of her own) - these women where truly amazing....

Anyway, today I to show you a book wreath I made a couple of days ago - I had seen them on Pinterest and fancied a go myself so followed this tutorial

I made it out of a copy of one of my favourite books (as I had two) "Gone With The Wind" - I wanted it to be made of a book with meaning even though it did feel very naughty to rip it up!!

It's going to hang in what we jokingly refer to as "The Library" which is really the old dining room but we need to sort out some bookshelves first.

I managed to sustain a nasty burn this time on my thumb from the blasted glue gun, it hurt for hours and started to form a blister - I suppose they do say "no gain without pain"!!....


S x

Monday, 22 August 2011

Watch The Birdie(s)...

Hello my lovely ladies, I hope you have all had a fabulous weekend?

We did nothing much, saw to the horses, had our regular Saturday movie night (Bad Teacher, Cameron Diaz is gorgeous and hilarious in it!!) and I did a bit of sewing:

I tried to find a template for the birds but couldn't so made one myself, traced it onto Bondaweb and then used some of my scrap fabric before machine embroidering around it - fortunately the scruffier the better!!

I then stretched it over an old canvas and have hung it in our room.

It's my birthday in just over a month so I have been trying to decide what to ask Mr Grumpy for. I keep coming back to these:

They are Dr Marten Triumph 1914's - look at those ribbon laces!! I would wear them with short dresses/long tunics and leggings or thick tights like Posy (which is where I first saw them).

I'm so indecisive though and a few things are putting me off - the price (£132) for one, and the fact I don't really go out that much, and the laces taking ages to do - would I not just sling my UGGs on? And my Mum has got me these for my birthday - do I need two pairs of boots?

If I didn't get them other things on my "list" are Annie Sloans Complete Furniture Painting Kit (2nd pic down)this Bush Retro Radio for my sewing room and perhaps some new earrings?

So, what would you go for - lush boots you love & couldn't afford yourself (but may not be worn that often) or multiple smaller items that you would use lots?

I'm Libran, I don't do decisions!!


S x

Saturday, 20 August 2011

More Vintage Heart Art (with Hot Glue Action!!)....

Hello, lovelies!! I hope you are all having a nice weekend?

A few weeks ago I won a lot of vintage pearly & glass buttons on eBay and due to the arrival of my hot glue gun yesterday I finally I got around to doing something with them:

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to avoid 3rd degree burns and a huge mess when using a glue gun? I've even had to pick it off my laptop!!

I also recovered my lampshade as I felt I needed something to pick out the raspberry in the wallpaper:

I love the evening light in our bedroom....

Next on the list is repainting and recovering the chair - I am going to make some hexagon patchwork fabric to cover it with I think....


S x

Thursday, 18 August 2011

W's View....

This is the view from W's tent at his campsite in Dorset. 

As you know I was fretting about him going but he has called everyday and he sounds as though he has had a whale of a time, lots and lots of swimming, campfires, toasted marshmallows and late nights. He even had a nap the other afternoon between trips to the pools!!

He comes home tomorrow at teatime, I'm planning on baking him a chocolate cake as a welcome home. I've missed him loads and can't wait for him to get back!!

I've been busy this afternoon playing with my new hot glue gun and trying to avoid third degree burns, will show you what I made soon!!


S x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Vintage Feedsack Fabric Hearts....

A while back I was lucky and won a giveaway over at Sal's Snippets, Sal sent me a lovely little pack of assorted 1930's feedsack fabric:

With it I have made this picture for our bedroom:

I used a template to cut out hearts, arranged them on some white linen-like fabric and blanket stitched around them before stretching it over a canvas.

I'm really pleased with it and very taken with the lovely fabrics, would love a stack of FQ's so I can make a quilt!! Thanks so much Sal!!

I have painted more furniture (!!) but I will spare you that for today as I am sure you are all bored to tears with it by now but if not I have made a page dedicated to all the transformations - Fugly To Fabulous which will be a permanent fixture in the menu bar above.

Thanks for all your wonderful comments, I can't tell you how much they mean to me - especially as I failed art and textiles miserably and have never been very good at anything, I still believe wholeheartedly if I can do it anyone can!!


S x

PS I'll sort out a tutorial for how to Cath Kidston up (as Mr G calls it!!) knobs in the next week or so....

Monday, 15 August 2011

Drawers & Bedside Table - Makeover Time!!

If you visit my house at the moment make sure you don't stand still too long as I am liable to give you a coat of paint!! 

On Saturday I gave a chest of drawers and a bedside table a little makeover.

This was the chest of drawers before:

It was a cast off from my sister and I had painted it cream. This time I mixed my own colour using 2 x parts Annie Sloan Old White; 1/2 part AS Duck Egg and 3/4 part AS Provence. I love. love, love how it has turned out:

Please excuse the ratty carpet, we're hopefully having white boards next month....

I really love this paint, so much so I feel bad about telling you all I was a bit disappointed after painting the little shelves!! It's lovely to work with, goes on in one coat and distresses like a dream with the help of a foam sanding pad.

I redid the knobs by decoupaging them with Cath Kidston flowers. I had done them before when the drawers were cream but the cat (yep, the cat!!) had chewed the decoupaging off!!

The bedside table I am not loving quite so much, I should have painted it white first I think so when I sanded it back some of that showed as well as the pine:

I have a computer hideaway cupboard to paint today. Much of our furniture is painted so I am busy re-doing it all in Annie Sloan!!

In other news, W called this morning to say the campsite they are at is fabulous and he is having a good time - I thought he sounded a tad subdued but maybe that's just me being a neurotic Mummy?

Do you know I told my Mum I was expecting for the first time and she said "You'll never have peace of mind again" and blimey, she was right - I have worried about these boys since the second I found out I was expecting them!! 

Hope you've all had good weekends....


S x

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Tea Trolley Ta Dah!!

Hello all!!

I have spray painted the tea trolley that I got last week - it was a nightmare job, the spray paint was HOPELESS, and refused to spray for more than 20 seconds at a time and I had to keep taking the nozzle on and off until I was cursing it!!

I've also used some wallpaper samples leftover from the patchwork wall and Mod Podged them onto the trays - I'm not entirely happy with it as it has wrinkled a bit in places so I'll look out for some oil cloth I think to replace it in due course:

Apologies for pic quality, light is not good in our lounge

I've also been doing lots of painting with my Annie Sloan paint, I bought another shade on Friday - Provence and will reveal all tomorrow!!

In other news our youngest W (on the right, H is on the left):

....has gone on his holidays today with his friend R - he only left a couple of hours ago and I miss him already!! 

We really agonised over whether to let him go (they have gone camping in Dorset with R's whole family) because I knew I would worry the whole time he is away; will he be OK? Will he talk to strangers? Will he get swept away to sea?(!!) Will the parents drive carefully?

In the end I decided that I mustn't let my anxieties hold my boys back but I don't think I'll settle until he his back home in a whole weeks time!!

Things are not helped by the fact I got lost on a school camping holiday when I was his age (11yrs), my friend and I got separated from the group and we were lost all afternoon - I've since discovered that the beach we were lost on for much of it trying to find a way back was the one in Norfolk that is notorious for people being washed away!!

I must confess, I am struggling with the whole boys-growing-up thing, they seem to change before our very eyes now and I so miss them being tiny - I am feeling super broody much to Mr G's disgust!!

Anyway, enough "whittling" (as my Mum would say!!) for now!!

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend....


S x

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I'm Convinced!!

You may remember my post last week when I told you I was a wee bit disappointed with the Annie Sloan chalk paint after using it for the first time to paint the dinky shelves my Stepdad made me?

I did say that I would reserve judgement until after I had painted a larger piece - yesterday I tackled our sideboard and I can now tell you I am a fully fledged member of the Annie Sloan Appreciation Society - I love it!!

I think the fact I wasn't blown away by it after painting the shelves was partly due to not having the right tools - I have since got some better brushes and sanding blocks - and also the shelves are a made a little rustically and so were perhaps not a good piece to form an opinion on.

The sideboard was originally (several years ago) from a charity shop for £10. All the veneer was peeling off the top so I removed it and painted it with regular emulsion.



I painted it with Duck Egg, did the top in Old White and then dry brushed some Old White on before waxing with clear wax and then distressing using foam sanding blocks - these were much, much better than the sandpaper I had previously and the distressing was much easier.

I love the colour but it's not exactly what I would call "duck egg" - not enough blue

One of my concerns over the AS paint was the price (currently around £16.95 for 1L) but when you consider I painted the above with one coat, whereas normal emulsion would probably have needed three then I think it doesn't actually work out as expensive as it may seem.

The chalk paint dries so quickly that the whole thing was done and dusted in around 3 hours too.

So, after initially feeling a tad disappointed I would now wholeheartedly recommend this paint and I shall be buying more colours for sure!!


S x

Linking up with: The Shabby Nest

Monday, 8 August 2011

Fabulous Freegle!!

Hello, my lovelies!! Did you all have a lovely weekend? 

We had our best man & usher and their wives over for dinner on Saturday, we take it in turns every 2-3 months and we did a Mexican themed meal - nachos; quesadillas; fajitas and margaritas!! Yum!!

Yesterday my sciatica was settled enough for me to re-upholster the top of my vintage dressing table with the new fabric and make the skirts. I calculated how much fabric I needed three times and still have ended up with almost half left!! How on earth did that happen? Maybe me failing maths 3 times has something to do with it - I knew I should have got my Sis to check it.

Hope to have the reveal for you soon, just trying to source a braid to trim it that I like.

I've had a couple of fab things from Freegle lately, I have been hankering after a vintage tea trolley ever since I saw one of the lovely bloggers I follow re-do one beautifully (my memory is rubbish and I can't remember who it was so do shout if it was you) and was kicking myself for not buying one I saw in Barnado's for £12.50 because the starting prices for the ones on eBay were in the region of £40!!

Imagine my delight when I saw one listed on Freegle, I emailed the owner and she picked me to have it - yay!!:

Mr G thinks I have taken leave of my senses and has banned it from the position above (under the lounge window) but so far I haven't moved it so am hoping he'll get used to it. 

The plan is to spray paint it cream and decoupage the trays in something floral before artfully arranging some knick knacks on it. Mr G doesn't see the point. I told him not everything has to have a point. So there.

I also got these today off Freegle:

I wanted to dry some hydrangea flowers but our plants are teeny and only have two flowers - so I put a wanted ad on Freegle and a lovely lady offered me some of hers. Aren't they beautiful? You can find out how to dry hydrangeas here. 

Finally, I got my swap parcel from the magic ball swap that was kindly arranged by Hookin' with Laalaa - I was partnered with Pink Poppy and she sent me some lovely things. 

A magic ball is a ball of yarn that has treats and gifts wrapped up in it - the idea being as you knit/crochet the little gifts fall out along the way:

However, I was rather naughty as I couldn't wait so I unravelled my yarn in excitement!! Look at my fab haul!!:

Thanks so much Pink Poppy!! I love all of it!!

Anyway, I must be off as I am going to paint the sideboard with my fancy Annie Sloan paint, I shall report back henceforth....


S x

ETA: It was over at Teawagon Tales I saw the beautiful madeover tea trolley!! Thanks G4C for reminding me!!

Friday, 5 August 2011

On This Day 23 Years Ago Our Story Began....

On the 5th August 1988 Mr G and I met for the first time - this picture above was taken on my 16th birthday 7 weeks later. Sigh, look how thin I was!! And how Mr G looked as though he belonged in a boy band!!

How times change:

Mr G and I got together using the time honoured method of "My friend fancies you" - my best friend Dawn and I used to frequent the local fairground (we lived in a seaside town that had a fair from Easter-Sept). 

Dawn and I would spend a lot of the time flirting with the boys and either getting them to take us on the beach road on their 50cc motorbikes or actually riding their bikes on our own.

It was while I was driving another boys bike that I caught sight of a motorcyclist coming along my side. He was wearing an open trials helmet and had the biggest, bluest, most beautiful eyes I have ever seen!! I thought "Oooh, I wonder if the rest of him is as gorgeous as those eyes".

It was. Swoon.

I sent Dawn (she knew him) to tell him I liked him and he took me along the beach on his bike, dropped me back at the fair and then left. 

He has since told me he was shy and terrified because I was gorgeous and a maneater (an unfounded accusation!!)!!
He had a summer job at the fair and Dawn and I went to see him the next day and arranged for him to come to my house whilst my parents were out with a bottle of cider!!

By the 10th August we were "going steady" (Dawn arranged that too!!) and the rest, as they say, is history....


S x - who still fancies Mr G as much today as I did when I first set eyes on him....

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

I've Joined The Annie Sloan Club - But I Hardly Dare Admit Something....

....*whispers* I'm yet to be convinced :-0

I hardly dare admit that as I am yet to find anyone in blogland that doesn't just love this paint. In fact it was the rave reviews of everyone that urged me to take the plunge and order some.

I have just painted one small item so far, so I am going to reserve complete judgement but so far I am a wee bit disappointed - Mr G says I fell for all the hype and it was bigged up to such an extent it never stood a chance!!

I ordered Old White, Duck Egg and a tin of clear wax. My Stepdad made me some rustic looking shelves to hold my trinkets in the bathroom and so I set about painting them.

First of all upon opening the duck egg blue I was surprised as it was very green, hardly a hint of blue at all and not like the duck egg our kitchen & conservatory are painted.

I had read reports that the paint was thick but I found it to be a nice consistency, highly pigmented and it went on really well. You can tell it's expensive paint from how it covers so nicely.

I painted the edges of the shelves with the duck egg. It dried really, really quickly to an extremely flat, velvety finish.

I then went over the whole piece in the Old White. It covered well and dried quickly.

Then came the bit I found disappointing, I had read that it was really easy to sand and distress but I must confess I found it no easier than regular emulsion - you still needed to use plenty of elbow grease and work up a sweat!! One thing I found a definite downside was the mess - as you sand it creates clouds of chalk dust which is not ideal when (due to Mr G filling the garage with his RC paraphernalia) you only have the house to paint in.

Then came the wax. Annie Sloan recommends using a wax brush, but at £29 each I settle for one rag to wipe on and one to buff - the wax did bring the finish up from a very flat one to a slight sheen but again I was just not loving it like everyone seems to. I had read reports of how smooth and professional a piece would look with wax, but again I couldn't see a whole lot of difference from regular emulsion.

Don't get me wrong, it looks nice and I am pleased with the result, but after painting lots of furniture with regular emulsion I thought the chalk paint was going to be a revelation and it's just (so far) not.

I will report back when I have painted another piece, I have a bedside table and a mirror to do as well as a couple of pieces I'd like to redo that are already painted.

Here's the finished resulted (which I love, but I think I could have achieved similar with the cheaper paint I usually use):

The new fabric for the dressing table has arrived too:

The stripes are a bit further apart than I had thought but the colour is much better, more duck egg:

I still can't do anything with it yet as although my sciatica is much improved, it still hurts a bit to sit for any length and generally aches and I am afraid of "running before I can walk" and making it worse again, despite the fact I am B-O-R-E-D-!!


S x

PS A couple of you have asked how I did my banner, it's a bit hard to answer as I did it in Photoshop - I don't really know how to use Photoshop, I just spent time playing with the photos I liked, resizing them and then copying and pasting onto a bigger "background" then added the text and border. It's a bit like saying I know how to drive to Gatwick but I couldn't direct you if you know what I mean?