Saturday, 29 September 2012

The finished mannequin!

 It was Friday afternoon, almost a week since I had blogged. I had created very little. Well, homemade soup and a cake are not really blogworthy. The pressure was building. I had to actually do something.
So, I picked up the partially made cover for the boot sale mannequin and started sewing it all together. Here is how it used to look. It looks better in the picture! It was very badly done! You can just see some sellotape near the neck which held the fabric on. Nice.
I had decided on hessian as it's very cheap and I thought it might emulate the old Stockman mannequins. Good choice! You cannot see a single stitch let alone a whole row of wonky stitches! Hessian is very forgiving!
 My dear husband came in before I had done the neck and said, ''It looks like a hooded executioner from a horror film!''
He is good like that.
Hooded executioner is not the look I was going for.
 I seem to have ended up with sexy boudoir meets er, scarecrow...but I like it! I was intending on properly finishing the bottom edge by stapling it to the base but I quite like the dangly look so I left it.
And my favourite bit? The ribbon laced back!
It's not a patch on the work of the lady at Corset Laced Mannequins but it's good enough for me and cost a fraction of hers. I got myself some citrisolve from ebay and might attempt to add a small graphic from the Graphics Fairy at some point. I'll have a practise on off cuts of hessian first!

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Friday, 28 September 2012


Remember the mannequin I found at the boot sale? Yes, yes, it was a long time ago...I wanted to redo it in the style of the ones at Corset Laced Manneqins.
Well, I have FINISHED it!
And I'm rather pleased!
I promise I will be dragging her out into the garden tomorrow for a photo shoot come rain or shine!

Friday, 21 September 2012

French style furniture finds...

 Finished the chalkboard! Seasoned it too. Apparently you have to rub chalk all over it before you use it or you will never rub your writing off!
Can't hang it over the panelling where I wanted it to go as the wonkiness off the writing and the ever so slight wonkiness of the dado rail create an 'optical illusion' of total incompetence. (Sigh) And there you were, thinking I was a DIY goddess...
 Harvesting the lavender. Big job. My huge jam pans are coming in handy. At some point, when I can get to the dining table I will stitch up lavender bags and teach my daughter how to make them.
 Look at this lovely plastic 1950's lampshade I got at a boot sale for 50p. I gave the trim at the top and bottom a good soak in biological detergent and I absolutely love this.
 Look how gorgeous it is with the light on. The plastic parts have a lace effect on them.
You can just see my bedside table with a top I made from vintage china mosaic.
 This sweet bench was reduced from £45 to £15 in Wilkinsons. How could I not? I'm a total sucker for anything French looking!
 Er, like this. Another one for the painting pile.  From Ebay.
And I got this for just £5 and thought it'd look great painted in my milk paint. Funny how cats want to get in the way when ever a camera is about.
Bad Bobby is all better. The family that gave the boys to us when they emigrated to Australia just after xmas, are back in town! It didn't work out.
They can't possibly have the boys back because they are now completely and utterly spoiled and get to sleep with me at night, rather than being shut in the kitchen. They go to sleep purring every night, thinking themselves very lucky.
We did try shutting them away but we were constantly disturbed by the sound of them trying to break out of the kitchen. They also liked to break into the pantry. We put chairs in front of the pantry door and would wake to the sound of chairs being pushed around the floor. This way we all get a good nights sleep.
 I'm hoping we don't have a custody battle on our hands!

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Getting nowhere fast...

 I haven't done an awful lot to the kitchen as I've been a single parent cruelly abandoned by my husband who has been 'working' in Cannes. We've also had difficulties getting to school this week and it's all taken it's toll on my progress. I did pretty much finish one wall. I decorate one wall at a time which I think isn't the correct way to do it but it keeps the mess and dust to one area and has the added bonus of letting me see the end result faster. It's not going to be all white but I haven't decided on a colour yet...
The coving is still up! Wahey!
Found this at the boot sale this week, a little French wall mounted shopping list for 50p. I have a lot of kitchenalia and I'm actually in danger now of ruining the clean sleek look of my walls so there will have to be decisions made as to what goes up...
 A vintage enamel flour sifter by Tala. So sweet. How could I leave this behind?
 I got this a week ago and have been repainting it for my kitchen wall. The frame was red and I don't do red. The lettering was a big sticker that offended me so I had to trace it, scrape it all off and repaint it on. This is the first time I've used blackboard paint. You can see it's still wet here. I just need to dirty up the lettering with dark wax so it's not so bright.
 How can I make my bed when the boys jump in when I get up?
Poor Bad Bobby has a nasty cut on his paw pad which isn't bleeding but it's hurting him and he's limping around looking pitiful. He'll be off to the vet tomorrow to have it properly trussed up. I cleaned it and put a plaster on it but he got it off in seconds! I think he needs a lampshade collar. And I'm frightened to bandage him as I don't want to cut off his circulation...
It's always Bobby. He has cost us a fortune in vets bills and we've not even had them for a year. He's accident prone, immune to antibiotics, a fighter, mean to his brother and my daughter, jealous and generally awful. Fortunately he gives me passionate kisses in the morning and follows me around the house so he is my favourite despite his badness.
The other one, Fat Freddy, is all sweetness and light. He and my husband have a special bond and he hangs out in the office all day.

I'm still waiting for my milk paint almost 6 weeks on. I have been unlucky as Jackie from 'The Barristers Horse' ordered some which came in a week. My furniture is waiting...

Happy weekend everyone.

Linking up to Ta daa Tuesday at

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Kitchen progress...

 So, I showed you the dated tiles, and what you are left with if you start pulling them off late at night when your husband is out.
What a lovely surprise he had when he got home!
Luckily I DID have a plan! I got these 'Easipanel' er, panels from the DIY store and covered the holey plaster with them. It wasn't easy. (Easipanel were clearly having a laugh when they came up with that name) They needed cutting top and bottom as the people who built this house had obviously never used a spirit level!
But it was probably easier than cutting individual planks...and these won't move like planks can so the paint shouldn't crack.
There were 4 panels needed on this wall. 

I also decided to replace my hideous 1960's short skirting boards at the same time which wasn't easily done as nowadays skirting is not only taller but much fatter too. And seeing as I didn't want to replace the door architraves too (I'd probably end up needing to re plaster!) I had to find an alternative. I chose a length of pine shiplap 16 x 125 which fits nicely with the doorframes, has a pretty profile and was £1 a metre! The timber yard cut it down for me so I could carry it home easily.
So here's the paneling with a first coat of primer apart from where the caulk is drying.
The Easipanel has a matching dado rail that sits on the top and finishes it off nicely. Obviously this will be painted too. And  the plaster hole above the dado will be filled.

Today I coved the whole room so that's going to look much nicer.
This is just the back kitchen though. There's another room which is the middle kitchen that I haven't really started on. That was the original kitchen and the back one is an extension. We think of this house as a ten year project!

So that's what I've been up to. Rather dull but it has to be tackled before the fun parts like choosing colour and curtains and decorating with my vintage kitchenalia.

My dear friend Theresa took me to the boot sale this morning and I picked up a couple of small oak kitchen cupboard doors for turning into signs or chalkboards. One more bootsale tomorrow and it's looking like another scorcher.

Happy weekend!

Linking up with although I have stuffed it up AGAIN and put it in the cookery section. I did remember not to put MY name in the name thing though this week...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Sunday booty and chazzing finds!

 I cannot bear the word 'thrifting' on UK blogs. We don't have 'thrift shops' they are 'charity shops' so it's 'chazzing!'

Sorry, needed to get that off my chest!

Time for my recent crapola...

Like most UK parents this week I was seriously stung in the Clark's shoe shop. I have therefore decided to up my game and amass a stockpile of good quality second hand footwear so I might never have to set foot in there again. Except for the measuring... All these were £1.

 Kitchenalia! Love love love it! One day these will be displayed in my Country Living worthy kitchen (more of that later...)
                                 No idea what these guys are for but I love them.
 Oh yes! My husband had to almost spoil my joy by enquiring exactly why we need a very heavy old lump of metal that we're not actually going to use for anything. Honestly! Men!
This is beautiful and reminds me of my Grandad.
 You can never have too many vintage baubles. If you do, your tree is just too small.
 This is the thing I found in Topsham in the Air Ambulance shop. It's exactly like one that belonged to my Grandmother. But as this is not a family heirloom, just a stunt double, it might well be sacrificed for a bit of experimental spray painting. I do have a bit of a mannequin fetish, I'll admit, and I am still working on the previous one. I did some work one night before I went away and I'm ready to sew the cover up. But don't hold your breath...

This is in the corner of my bedroom and I keep stubbing my toe on it.
 This is my kitchen. Sadly. It was installed in the eighties and looks its age. I can't afford a new kitchen but I'm removing some tiles, and stripping the wallpaper. For now...
 Lots of plaster came off with the tiles but that's OK as I plan to panel this area... I have painted the ceiling which has a texture like porridge. I use 'Crack Free ceilings' by polycell which is fab in terms of stain coverage and I can get away with 2 coats on seriously discoloured ceilings! I plan to cove in here too. (If I can fit it in above those cupboards!)
                                                                               Nice tiles. (not)
 And lovely textured wallpaper...
 Trouble is, it leaves the walls in a very pock marked state when the paper comes off, so there's a lot to do before the walls are worthy of a can of Farrow and Ball!
And I found this cute retro radio at the boot sale yesterday which will look lovely in my kitchen when (if) I ever finish it.

Happy Sunday!

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