Sunday, 30 December 2012

Best of 2012...

Yes I'm jumping on the bandwagon to review my last years adventures in paint. Admittedly I only have half a year to choose from as I didn't start this until June. It may be brief...

 Before: Gold plastic picture frame



After... ( a long time after!)

and why not?

Before: Every door in the house was like this! And the walls were green too. And the carpets!

After: A little more traditional without the expense of replacing every door!


After... (but before the braid that finished it off)

Before: tangoed

After some F&B lovin'







Close up



Before: Horrendous!

Wait! Bring back the carpet!

After. Well worth the wait!

My favourite decoration

But my finest moment of 2012?

Has to be this one.


Happy New Year Folks!x

Linking with It's So Very Cheri
Setting for Four 
Three Mango Seeds 
and Cupcakes and Crinoline
for their joint linky party.
  and Funky Junk Interiors SNS

Friday, 28 December 2012

Exorcising ghosts with an Ikea hack...(moppe)

We've all done it. Bitterly regretted those Charity shop/boot sale finds that we didn't buy. A few months ago I spotted a sweet little chest of drawers at the boot sale that must have come from an old haberdashers shop. It had age, a wonderful patina that the best furniture fakers wouldn't be able to copy and it was so dinky, it would have been the perfect size for cotton reels. Lots of them.

I ummed. Where would it fit? I aahed. What would my husband say?
I walked away.

I went back again. Still there. Still not sure...
I left it again.

I walked by one more time. And a lady was buying it. Not just buying it but buying it with loud excitement and joy.

And that's when I knew I wanted it. I kicked myself all the way home. What's the point of getting up when it's dark and getting myself there first if my brain isn't switched on enough to make the right decision? Once home I looked on ebay and that broke my heart even more. I could've had it for £20 and they can sell for over £100 on ebay.

More recently, I found this.

A little Ikea moppe chest. Nothing special. But only a few quid.

But if you dye the wood walnut, turn the drawers around, wax it, add funky industrial card holder handles you might get something like this:

Oh, it's not a patch on the one I missed, but looking on the bright side, I can fit more in it!

So you see, an Ikea hack can go some way to exorcising the ghost of the one that got away. 

Proper stylin'! Oh yeah.

Credit where credit is due. I didn't invent this. I saw it here first on The Painted Hive so thanks to Kristine for sharing. She has a lovely blog. She also has a free printable with her tutorial for vintage style cards to fit inside your card holders.
There's a whole subculture of Ikea hackers out there pimping Ikea furniture with some incredible results.

I used Rustins wood dye in Walnut (2 coats), Liberon beeswax, and handles from  this guy on ebay asking him if he could swap the screws for shorter ones which he kindly did. (NB they are still too long and poke through the back of the drawers but I can live with that so long as they match!)

[It hasn't escaped me that it looks like something I would bring home with the intention of painting it!]

Linking with The Rosegarden in Malevik
and Funky Junk Interiors SNS
and Carters Cottage 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Back to normal...

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. It was just the three of us here, very quiet as no family are close by. My daughter had a huge amount of presents and her favourites were the fairies from Santa so I feel very pleased with myself. I don't mind Santa taking the credit!

The dining room couldn't stay pretty for long. The table got stripped of its cloths and pushed back to the wall on Boxing Day and I have been dragging things in from the shed to glue, paint and sand. The Christmas tunes have been replaced by Redd Kross and I have had a lovely time.

What with the dining room (my painting space) being piled high with the hall and living room furniture for weeks I haven't been able to do much apart from the crate which took up no space. I've really been dying to get stuck in...

the first thing I painted was this...

... a sort of window framey mirror I bought here back in August. Throughout the festive season I've been thinking it would look great painted up with a wreath or ice skates dangling down the front. Well, better late than never I've done it.

I used milk paint from Homestead House in Canada because I wanted a really chippy vintage feel as if it was a real old window frame. I sugar soaped the frame but didn't sand.

This was my pathetic attempt at styling. The wreath wouldn't hang right and I don't have the patience today so I gave up.

You get the idea...

This is what milk paint does if you don't add the bonding agent (pva)...

Fortunately that's the look I was hoping for. There's not much control over what happens with milk paint!

My husband is not thrilled with it but I think I'm quite in love with it.

Next up? This one!

But I'll have to save that for next time!
Linking up with From My Front Porch To Yours
and The Rosegarden in Malevik
and Funky Junk Interiors SNS
and Carters Cottage; Monday Muse

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Praise be...

Someone asked my daughter (six and a half) what she'd asked Father Christmas for the other day.
''Fairy dolls'' came the reply.
This was news to me so I had to find out what she meant. Could she show mummy in the Argos catalogue the right kind of Fairy dolls?
No she couldn't. They don't exist in the shops.
Okay, so how is Father Christmas going to get them for you if they don't sell them anywhere?
''His elves will make them!''
Silly mummy.

So I made up an enormous lie about how the elves have no imagination and basically if you can't show them a picture of the thing you want in the Argos catalogue they just don't know what to make them like. She found something that was similar. We then distracted her whilst daddy went to collect them. They weren't quite the right thing but the best we could do in Hitchin with limited time.

And then, at this mornings boot sale, look what I found...

and a set of these...

a few of these...

and even some delicate furniture for the fairy garden

I swear I wasn't even looking for fairies! I think somebody up there is looking out for a very lucky lady!

And last weekend I visited my Aunt in her new care home in Fleet. She has a fantastic home and is doing really well in spite of having her leg off.
When I came out of her street heading towards the station there was a charity shop right in front of me. So I had to pop in of course. And the one next door to that and another seven or eight up the road. And I'm so glad I did!
I got some fabulous vintage Christmas decorations and this gorgeous tureen that matches my china! My dear Aunt might be getting more frequent visits in future! Fleet rocks! I was also sooo tempted by a 50's Ercol table for a tenner but I had to take it 55 miles and across London on the train...the fragile baubles and china were enough to contend with!

I've cleared the dining room (ish) and laid the table.

I am certainly looking forward to my annual Sunday lie in next week as I'm sure there's no boot sale. It isn't easy dragging myself out of bed in the dark when it's too early for the heating to have come on!

I want to thank you all for reading and following. I've just reached 10,000 page hits last week and I shall have to plan a giveaway to celebrate. I've not been blogging long but I feel blessed to be a part of a positive and caring community in blogland. I have made a friend in Rebecca (happy birthday for tomorrow!) and feel very inspired by all of you.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year! x

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas swap gifts and painting crates...

This is my first year as a blogger and I'm delighted I can take part in swaps like Lakotas Christmas Swap at Faith Hope and Charity Shopping. Thank you Lakota!

My swap partner was Julie from ShabbyChic and I received these in the post...

Squillions of pressies! All beautifully wrapped!
Now not having done this before, I wasn't sure what the protocol is regarding when you are allowed to open your pressies. So I pondered that for about ooh, sixty seconds then unwrapped them all!

And here's the stash...

I got a beautiful white wicker heart which will look great anywhere in this house! A teeny tiny hand knitted 'Frosty the snowman' for the tree (but it's since been nicked by my daughter!), a little Scottie dog filled with delicious smells, a hand crocheted corsage brooch (just gorgeous, it's even been crocheted with strips of fabric with the wool!) and a calico bag containing pretty Laura Ashley fabrics, stuffing, pot pourri, buttons and trimmings so that I can make my own creation!

A huge thank you to Julie for her kind gifts! I hope my parcel will reach her very soon, but the upheaval caused by being re floored meant I was a bit delayed in getting to the post office.

{Unfortunately I didn't photograph  the gifts I sent to Julie as I assumed she would blog about them herself. (she hasn't) I'll tell you what they were. A box filled with vintage glass baubles, a new box of glass baubles shaped like cupcakes, a hand crocheted (not by me) nativity set, some handmade soap from Hitchin Lavender and  a Cath Kidston i pod case. I think that was it...I hope she liked them...}

Today I should have been sorting out the dining room which is a total pigsty. Boring!
I did something else instead.

Remember the poinsettia in a crate that is living halfway up the stairs?
I thought the crate needed a little something...

So after extensive research and setting my poor husband to work on the computer ( I am a total technophobe and would be lost without him!) we came up with this...

 Top tip 1: If you try this use blackboard paint! I started with a black permanent marker pen and it bled  into the wood. See the splodge under the E where I tried to get it off with nail varnish remover? I found a tiny tin of blackboard paint in the garage left over from this and it was perfect, giving an authentic matt look and covering with one coat. 
The sky's the limit as far as these crates go. If like me you have lusted after groovy old Coca Cola crates on ebay but you can't afford them, you can just copy them! I'm certainly on the lookout now for plain old crates to paint!

Top tip 2: Marry a man who knows his stuff on a computer!

Linking with Family Home and Life 
and From My Front Porch To Yours
and The Rosegarden in Malevik
and Funky Junk Interiors SNS
and Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping

Sunday, 16 December 2012


...the floors are done! The furniture is back, the tree is up and there's not a pot hole in sight.

What a difference it makes! The house is so much lighter and brighter. All the skirting still needs painting but that can wait... I was in a hurry to get the decorations up. I hope you're not all Christmassed out already because there are LOTS of pictures in this post!

Our tree complete with vintage red-head fairy...

Decorations galore...

Old and new...

...but mostly old!

From special friends...

and I think this is my favourite bauble this year...

along with the fairy my daughter 'made' in playgroup...

The stockings are up...

Obviously mine is the biggest!


I found a use for the vintage print tray and had more than enough vintage Christmas tat to fill it!

 And made use of the old crate for bauble overspill...

 Decorations continue up the stairs...

And in the hallway...

and lest we forget what it's all about...

But this one is going to make you all so jealous! My creative daughter was desperate for some card which I duly provided, and she came up with this!

No we're not sure what it is either, but lucky me! I shall be expected to get this out every year! (Why didn't I give her nice white craft card??!)

And I'm yet to tackle the dining room...