Sunday, 12 April 2015

Cinderellas house...

I may have mentioned before that I'm a frustrated set designer. I can get terribly distracted whilst at the cinema by the furniture or the scenery. 

But never have I been so utterly distracted by a film set as when I watched the new Disney film Cinderella.
Oh. My. Word.

You have to go. If you don't have kids borrow someone elses. No, forget that. They'll just want a wee at the best bits.
Go alone. 

The interior decor in Cinderellas home is a decorative painters wet dream. Think Swedish Gustavian Chinoiserie Folk Art deliciousness.

I've tried hard to find pictures on the net. And I've not done too badly.
 Here's a glimpse of the stepsisters bedroom...




That's got to be hand painted right?   I love how the mirrored candle sconces become part of the floral design on the wall.






This one is scraping the bottom of the barrel but you can see a glimpse of Chinoiserie on the walls here...



 Here's a better look at the same room...




Wonderful bamboo friezes in the dining room...







But my favourite room of all was the entrance hall and staircase. It was breathtaking! And really hard to find a picture so I can show you what I mean...


 I loved the muted green base colour and the spaces between the trees. Often these designs can be quite full on with many trees close together. I liked that here they were spaced out.



The trees were painted up the entire stairwell...
 You can almost see one here behind Cate.



And again here...



I told you it was hard to find pictures of it. You'll just have to see the movie. I cannot wait until it comes out on DVD so I can watch the walls frame by frame. I just might let my husband talk me into a stupidly large telly to view it on.

 But that isn't all this film has to offer. Oh no. I'm talking Mora clocks, a folk painted armoire, a tiled Swedish stove, a dough bowl left lying around in the garden (was Cinders not aware what they sell for on eBay?) and an apothecary chest in the kitchen.


Even some chappie from Game of Thrones.


But back to the walls...
I know what you're thinking.  Where could the set designers have found their inspiration? I'm thinking that too! See how alike we are?

I think we can look no further than the exquisite interiors of Drottningholm Palace in Sweden...





Or our very own slightly more gaudy Brighton Pavillion...







Or possibly the dressing room of Estee Lauder heiress Aerin Lauder...



Oh yes. That's the one.

My daughter had expressed a desire for trees, birds and butterflies on her bedroom wall.
 I thought she meant something like this...




It's a ''No'' from me.

But it turns out she's into chinoiserie too. I could have a bash at this...

source
 
There's even a lovely little film on youtube showing how it's done. And doesn't she make it look easy?




Join me next time when I hope to have given my entire house the Swedish Chinoiserie look and we'll be finding out if you really can pull off this look in a 1960's semi.

Until then, go and see Cinderella!


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Monday, 30 March 2015

Vintage office chair makeover...

Remember this vintage office chair I found at the flea market? Yeah, it was ages ago...


The only thing it had going for it was its shape. I hated the blue metallic hammerite paint and the choice of upholstery. And I do not know whose idea it was to pair those two elements together!

I fancied stripping the metal back to the bare bones and hoped I'd find some rusty metal under that paint. I read a lot of hoo haa on the web about people having trouble stripping hammerite. Since EU regulations on paint stripper changed, several people complained it wasn't up to the job. I tried my usual Wilkos multi purpose paint stripper and it was fine. In the olden days, paint would bubble up instantly and so would your skin if you weren't careful. Well, the newer stuff does the job but it's much slower.


I had to apply it and set the kitchen timer for 30 mins, reapply and wait another 30 mins. I used wire wool to remove the paint but I didn't want to scrub too hard and lose the tarnish on the metal so I let the stripper do the work. It was a very slow process to get all the metal work stripped as I worked in small sections at a time.

But eventually it went from this...


To this...



A coat of dark wax turned it from this...


To this...


Once the metal was finished I set about dismantling the upholstered parts. I hadn't wanted to do that before I stripped the chair as I have memory problems and didn't want a big gap between dismantling and reassembly.

I took photos so I'd know how to put it back together. Then I forgot I'd done that, muddled through and found the pictures just now. Doh.





Under that red was the original green...


And lots of dust. Eew.

I realised the foam was not only a health hazard but also pretty shot so I replaced it with some 1'' foam from Dunelm. I drew round the old foam and cut it out with my electric carving knife. I stuck it onto the wooden seat and back with spray adhesive and covered it with my fabric.


My favourite vintage cabbage rose barkcloth. I stapled it on.

I decided to cover the green plastic back you can see here...


I just used a bit of spray mount and glued the fabric around the edges on the other side, holding it with clothes pegs.

I'm really glad I did that...


I think it looks so much nicer than the green plastic did.

So here's the finished chair...





I love it! The new foam makes a huge difference to the chairs comfort. I like that it's not too pretty as it lives with my desk in the living room.

I did like this version that I found on Pinterest but it's a little too girly for me and my living room...



Of course if you paint the legs there's no need to strip at all. Just re-spray...

And I loved the idea of using old tapestry pieces...




 but I had nothing the right size in my stash.

I thought about hessian grain sacks but I thought it'd be too trendy.
 
I'm happy with my choice and I think it's going to look good with my new sofa that I forgot to order today. Told you I have memory problems.


Another job is ticked off the list. I'm feeling so much guilt and anxiety at not getting on with the kitchen. I keep thinking that if I get hit by a bus, no one else will know how to finish the cupboards and my poor family will be left with half a nice kitchen, half a crap one. So no more fannying about. I need to get on with it. I can't believe it's April this week and I was planning on finishing the kitchen in the new year! Hopeless...

Back soon with more procrastination no doubt...


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Everything stops for tea...

I wanted to make something for the lady who works on the designs for the shop and decided to use this vintage tea caddie...



 It's got this nice wired up corner thing going on and is lined with metal.

  I know she's from Stafford so I googled old advertising images from Stafford. Not much I could use. Until I found this image...


Nice fonts eh?
So I tracked down the fonts and printed them out. I positioned them on the box with tape and traced round the letters. It's like graphic design for simpletons.

Instead of painting the letters, I used a Sharpie. Colouring in is very therapeutic you know. Not that I'm suggesting you need therapy.
Honest!
If you're going to try this, it's worth testing an inconspicuous area as with old dry wood, the ink can bleed over the lines.


I sanded it very lightly with fine sandpaper for a worn appearance...



I stuck a plant in it. I think white hydrangeas are my absolute favourite flowers.


Ta daa!

Now here's the freaky part.

This was her milkman growing up!

 I hope the mothers amongst you are being spoilt today and my thoughts are with those who have lost their mothers.

Connie was clearly very excited and came into bed with me at 6am with the best card ever.



The resemblance is astounding.



One to treasure. She gave me daffodils as is the Mothers Day rule in this house and a delightful butterfly necklace from Poundland. She always does her present shopping in Poundland. She's no fool.

Sorry I've had to turn on the comment verification thingy. I haven't got the time to be deleting 90 odd spam comments of a weekend. I'll try and turn it off again when the spammers have forgotten all about me. 

Back soon with a really fun secondhand score. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. 


Linking with....
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