Wednesday, 25 September 2013

We are ready...

Today is my deadline for finishing the dining room. Our Australian guests arrive in about half an hour.

They should spot our house easily enough...

And I got the window on the wall!

Top tip: Finish your drilling before you lay the table!

I'm so far resisting the urge to put a large pillow under it in case it falls off...

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The dining room and dresser revealed...

Sorry, I've been very slow. But at long last, here is the almost finished dining room and the dresser I've been working on...

Come on in.

The wine rack made a return. Husband couldn't part with it.
See what I mean about wanting chickenwire in here? I think it would add to the rustic-ness. But having just replaced all that glass having to hammer perilously close to it... I'm not sure I want to take it out just yet!

A little closer...

This was a technique called wet distressing.

and the before?

I had a book cull so I can display my pretties. No more using this dresser as a dumping ground! 

I have a few of these vintage glass cake stands. This one is unusual as it's square.

I found this pretty serving dish at Fridays flea market.

Moving round the room...

You can see, the room isn't huge..

and the table that took so many hours of bleaching, painting, varnishing and waxing...

All set for an imaginary dinner party. This happens a lot in blog land.

Oopsie. Left my cup of tea on the table. Bad stylist.

 As you can see, the painted window is still on the floor but my dad came for lunch today so I now know how to hang it! Just need longer screws.

I revamped a bench to match the table...

I have been working my socks off. This bench is a good for squeezing three little bottoms side by side and takes up less room than three chairs.
The before...

And the light?

My £4 boot sale lamp that was matt black before I painted it, teamed with my £4 charity shop ceiling rose. 

The black candle tubes had wax drips made from my hot glue gun and were sprayed ivory.


I'm really pleased with how it's all come together. Everything you see is second hand. Apart from hanging the window *, I need to swap the curtains for floor length ones. Not now. We have a family of four arriving from Australia on Wednesday so I have some cleaning and tidying to do.

(*The window is now wall mounted and you can see it here.)

So stop by for lunch sometime? Or take away perhaps. I've given away all my cookery books and after all that painting, I'm too tired to cook.

Hedgehog update: she is now 324g and hard to weigh as she climbs out of the bowl. That's over 3.5 times her weight when we found her two weeks ago! She's doing really well. Soon it'll be time to hand her over to the hedgehog hospital to be overwintered. I just don't fancy a rabbit hutch in my kitchen until spring and she'll soon be too big for the cat carrier. Plus she poos A LOT! So it will be a bitter sweet goodbye. But mostly sweet. Bless her.

Elizabeth and Co.
Furniture Feature Fridays

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I've been a bad girl...

...I've got no further with the dining room and I've been buying things that I have no need for.
I just love them.

 What am I going to do with this?

Vintage hymn board from a church

And where to put it? No idea. But it's so cool, I'm sure I will think of something... key holder maybe? Luckily my husband didn't ask how much I paid for it. I'd have lied. But it was still a fraction of what they sell for on eBay. So that makes it an investment rather than needless junk doesn't it?

Next up...

Stupidly small, needlepoint vintage handbag. Currently hanging on my bedroom mirror. So pretty.

And this:

A vintage European coffee grinder. I don't drink coffee. I'll have to start now. I found that at this mornings boot sale. I sooo enjoyed driving there! I'm very happy to give up the half hour walk. I smiled all the way home.

And the painting progress? Here's a sneaky peek at it:



And a hedgehog update? She's getting to be a big fat girl which is great. She's almost gained 100g.

She gets excercised every day and enjoys a good forage round the garden. Or the kitchen.

Isn't she a beauty?

Back soon with the completed cabinet. I have to finish it this week as I've got family over at the weekend. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Two new members of the family...

Let me introduce you to Twilight.
No, I did not name her!
She used to be called Spiky until we were told by a vet that sticky out parts aren't necessarily boy parts.

My seven year old daughter found her on Saturday. She finds a lot of hedgehogs. They usually turn out to be teazels or thistles. I thought this one was dead and I told her to leave it alone. Then it moved.

I know a little about hedgehogs. If they are out in daylight it's not good. If they are out in daylight and are babies it's really not good.

So I picked her up and said we were taking her home. My husband said I was bonkers.

She was very weak and wobbly. I fed her some lactose free milk that we bought on the way home and some cat food and she lapped it up. I spent the afternoon reading all about baby hedgehogs and picking fleas off her with tweezers.

Since then she's been doing okay. She's gaining weight and has perked up no end. But mostly she sleeps. She likes hot water bottles, walking in her food and sleeping in a woolly hat. It turns out she has 4 little wounds which are puncture wounds so it looks like she was taken from her nest by a dog or a fox. Her wounds have become infected and she's on a course of antibiotics. The vet isn't charging me which is very kind.

This was when we found her. Now she is much more frisky!

We also have a local hedgehog hospital and they have provided us with special milk and colostrum to add to the cat food. If she survives and gets fat enough to hibernate I'm sure they can find a good place to release her. (I can't do it here because of the road outside.) If she doesn't reach the right weight then they will keep her awake over winter and release her in the spring. They had 80 babies last winter who were too small to release as they were born too late in the year. But until then, she's staying with us for some TLC. She's a lovely little thing. Even if she has a name like a stripper. (Lucky me! My grand children are to be called Twilight, Sequin, Sparkle and Star! I am so not taking those girls to the park. At least, I hope they're girls with names like that!)
 The hedgehog lady said I don't need to feed her through the night which is the best news. Because after two nights of that, I was knackered! Yes, they are nocturnal, but at this stage her mother would be out foraging at night so she wouldn't be fed.

Bad Bobby is rather worried by her, but we think it's the cat carrier that's freaking him out. It reminds him of many stressful trips to the vets.
Fat Freddy wants to eat her and turns into a silent stalker when he sees her. Don't worry, she's living in a cat carrier for her own protection. I took her out for a little walk in the garden today. She walked around me and headed back to her woolly hat bed. Far too chilly.

She's gained 49g in five days which is great. But, I've not been able to carry on with my waxed finish stripping as it's been too wet to do it outside and I don't want to poison poor little Twilight with white spirit fumes.

The other new addition to the family is this:

We have joined the modern world and bought our first car. The seats all collapse for furniture transportation purposes and I look forward to finding out how much I can carry in it!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Dining room makeover update...

The electrician came yesterday to hang my £4 car boot sale light with my £4 chazzed ceiling rose and I'm so thrilled. I keep gazing at it and getting told off for leaving the lights on. I need to caulk around the edges and paint the ceiling rose before the big reveal. But the rose and the light were made for each other. Don't you love it when two second hand things look great together?

Anyway, I'm also not showing you because I'm working on this;

It's very big! I've finished the bottom part with a new technique and I'm working on the top. For some reason I decided not to use home made chalk paint so I'm scrubbing EVERY INCH with fine wire wool and white spirit to remove the waxed finish. It's actually quite satisfying if you don't mind the smell.

But while I work on this, the room is filled with piles of crap that normally sit inside.
I'm toying with the idea of taking out the glass and adding chicken wire instead. The only thing is, the displayed things will get dusty. I don't like cleaning.

What do you think about chicken wire? Yay or nay?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

How to write/paint on glass tutorial...the easy way

Okay, this isn't a proper tutorial. I am not an expert. In fact, this is the first time I have done a project like this in my life.

But, it did work and was far, far easier than I anticipated. So I will share what I did even though I just got lucky.

I've seen on a few American blogs, they use these machines called Silhouettes for cutting text out of plastic stickers to help you create signs.

There are three reasons I didn't go down that road.
1. They are expensive.
2. I don't know if you can get them here in the UK.
3. If I had one I wouldn't be able to work it as I'm technically challenged.

My way was simple and cheap.
Let's face it, if your window cost 20p, you don't want to have to spend hundreds on some fancy machine to make it look good.

I figured out what words I wanted on the window, and scrolled through a LOT of fonts. (Why do words look very wrong if you do this? 'Bakery' looked like it was in Russian!) I like to use several different fonts to make it more interesting.

We (okay, mostly my husband) ensured that the words would fit on the panes of glass.
If you use a program called Word Art you can make your words bend to add another dimension. However, this can distort the letters and look pants. Apparently.

I cut my word up and arranged the letters in a curve.

But before I did this, I flipped each letter/word over and traced it through to the back of the paper. This gives you a double sided word/letter. The back one being the reverse image.
You could print your text straight onto printer compatible tracing paper if you want to save yourself some time. We tried ordinary tracing paper and it made a right old mess.

You could also print out just the reverse image, BUT, it is easier to see how it's all going to look if you can actually read it. Trust me on this.

So, on the reverse of the window you have this...

Make sure those letters are securely taped to the glass on the front and you're ready to paint on the back.

And here's where it gets super easy. Because you don't need to paint at all.

I was thinking of using my blackboard paint for this as I use that for doing lettering on my crates. But I popped into the Art shop in town and asked what they had for writing on glass.

The lady showed me these pens...

They are Zig Posterman Waterproof pens. They come in many colours and nib sizes. They are just like using gold and silver pens. You give them a shake and pump the nib a few times.
What I like about them is that they are completely opaque so you need only do this once. They are waterproof when dry but you can wipe off mistakes whilst they're wet. They are designed for permanent writing on chalk boards, windows, mirrors and ceramics. You don't need to cook your window in the oven to harden the paint. Which is good. And they are only £2.99. (I used the extra fine nib.)

So where were we? Ah yes, the reverse letters on the reverse side of your window. You just go over your traced outline and colour it all in. Simple as that. The ink dries in  minutes. If you stuff it up, just wipe it with a finger or something more sensible whilst it's wet. The writing is done on the reverse of the glass to keep the front shiny and more authentic.

Told you I had man hands.
The font for 'Bakery' had an inbuilt shadow so I used a white glass pen to do this part.

Turn it over and pull off your bits of paper and admire your handiwork. If you can colour in, you can do this. Couldn't be simpler!

Funky Junk

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Writing/painting on glass...

I've finally finished my window!

Remember this window I got at the car boot sale for 20p?

completely adorable
And how I said I planned to use it on the dining room wall? As you do.

To tie in the window with the bread boards, I thought it would be cool and quirky to paint the glass of the window to make it look as though it had come out of an old bakery, perhaps via Drew Pritchard and it had cost an arm and a leg and made some damn fine telly in the process.

Also I needed a word with an even number of letters so I could centre it nicely either side of the window frame. 'Bakery' worked!

So I designed some text that fit the window.
And here's the outcome.

I still need to hang it on the wall...

It was soooo easy. Much easier than I thought. I'll be back soon with how I did this. You know, in case you want to turn your dining room into a bakery too.

{I've now spilled the beans on how I did this so you can check that out HERE.}

Knick of Time Tuesday

Elizabeth and Co.
Family Home and Life
Funky junk