Latest Charity Shop Haul

‘There’s one! There’s another…and another!’ This is what you often hear when out shopping with me if I stumble across a charity shop after charity shop. I just can’t help but have a look in just to see what lovely things they might have. Today was such a day and I have to say I am impressed with my finds.

Bargain finds

The jars I am planning to use in my wedding but once they are finished I am imagining using the fishbowl (£2.99) as a coffee table decoration. Possibly with some sand and a candle (unless I think of something much more interesting). After the wedding the lidded jars (£2.50 each) will have a new home in my craft room and will hold all of my lovely button and beads etc. The dark wooden home sign (£6.00) is a little scratched up so I will use the paint that I currently have stored in my garage to smarten it up and then display it on my fireplace. All in all I am happy with my purchases and I am even happier that I left the house with £15 in my purse and managed to come back with £1 in change. EPIC WIN!!!

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‘What?? I Can Make That For A Fraction Of The Price!!!’

A couple of days ago myself and my hubby-to-be were on our way to a family wedding reception in Derby when we happened across a few small boutique type shops mingled with random charity shops. To be honest it was a good job it was an evening reception otherwise I would have been tempted to have a good nosy around and in all of our wedding finery…well…lets just say it’s better they were closed. But it did mean that I was desperate to find out just what type of shops they were and whether they had any interesting bits and bobs in them.

So on Saturday we decided to take a trip back to these little shops. Unfortunately most of them were too expensive, however, it was a great source of inspiration for future projects.

We went into a lovely little cafe for some lunch. It was decorated in a very shabby chic style and I just couldn’t help but take a few inspirational photos.

Up-cycled Bucket and Syrup Jar

I took a photo of the table number container as I not only like the idea of re-using something that would ordinarily go into the bin but also as possible way of putting table numbers on my wedding tables. Maybe with a plant inside??? Just yet another thought going around my head.

The bucket was particularly lovely as all the flowers were 3d and you could see all the brushstrokes in the paint. I am not completely sure what I would use the bucket for (desk tidy maybe??) but I do love the idea.

Painted and Distressed Wall Unit

I just love the ruggedness of this shelving unit. I like the idea of first painting it an unusual colour, such as blue, before painting it white to give it an added aspect to interest once it has been sanded back.

Quirky Blackboard

I think it would be nice to have something written on a whiteboard to make people smile as they enter the kitchen.

These are just a small selection of the things they had. I would have loved to take pictures of all of it, unfortunately I thought people wouldn’t appreciate me moving and climbing over them to get to the things I want to photograph.

We also went into one of those little shops that sell the painted furniture and accessories that have already had a ‘shabby chic’ makeover and then sell them on for an absolute fortune. I always look at them and wonder who buys this stuff? Surely they can see how easy it is to create? I can’t help but go around the shop telling my partner ‘I can do that myself for a fraction of the price’ over and over again to which he always nods his head to show he’s listening all the while probably thinking ‘You have said this all before’. I still like a good look around these shops as it’s a good way of getting inspiration. Here are just a small selection of the things I liked.

Driftwood Mirror

Just seeing this makes me want to go straight to the seaside to start collecting driftwood together.

Outdoor Tealight Holders

I think I could make this by putting glass paint into jars to colour the glass and decorating wire with beads and shaped around the jar to create the handle. I do think they are really pretty and add a lovely touch to any garden party or bbq.

Multiple Photo Frames on a Wooden Stand

I think this is a brilliant idea to add an interesting detail to any shelf or window sill. It will definitely be something I will be trying once I have scoured charity shops looking for some chunky wooden photo frames.

Chopping Board

I think this is awesome and I wonder whether I would be able to make one if I found a slice of wood (if that is even possible) and sanded and varnished it up.

It would be good to hear you thoughts. How would you go about re-creating some of these things? Where do you get your inspiration from? What have you created recently?

Furniture Finds!

I love eBay! I particularly love eBay when I find an amazing piece of furniture at an amazing price just needing a little bit of care and attention. So on one of my regular eBay searches I came across these lovely gems for the price of £66.00 (that was for both chairs so only £33.00 each).

My New Chairs

What are they doing outside I hear you say. Well, unfortunately at this moment in time we have not made a space for them in our new house (although they will be going into the conservatory) so they are in the garage. However, I have discovered that they make the most brilliant garden chairs. They are ever so comfy and they are lovely to sit on in the warm sunshine with a good book and a glass of something cold. It makes me wonder why I never put ‘proper’ chairs in the garden before, especially because we have space in the garage to store them. Maybe this is a future project idea…

They really are lovely chairs with a beautifully ornate dark wood frame.

I love the Dark wooden frame

Close-up of the back

Close-up of the leg and arm

I brought them for my upholstery course starting in September. This  is my second year studying upholstery and I am really looking forward to learning how to do the deep buttoning on the back of the seat. I cannot wait to get to a stage where I can start choosing fabrics. However, first things first, I need to strip down the chairs to their wooden frame so that I can clean them up and building them up at college again. This won’t be done for a while yet though because I am enjoying using them as garden chairs far too much.

I love these chairs and cannot wait to see them in the conservatory all finished and being used on a daily basis.

Dream Office/Craft Room Inspiration

So the fun and games are beginning as we are clearing out the boxes from the second bedroom to begin to turn it into our dream home office/craft room. In preparation for starting to look for decorating materials and furniture I need to decide how I actually want the room to look. The key things are I want it to be clean, organised with possibly white walls and splashes of colour. It also has to function as both a craft room and a home office, so all of my craft stuff has to have a place away from the desk to be stored.

Here is what is looks like. We have done absolutely nothing to it since moving in. Even the curtains we left from the previous owners.

Before: Alcove wall

Before: Wall to the left of the door

Before: Wall to the right of the door

Before: Window wall

Before: Ceiling

They aren’t the best photos because although the room is a decent size it is really tricky to angle the camera to make sure that you get the whole wall. But they give you an idea of what it is like at the moment.

As you can see its really drab, uninspiring and frankly boring. I really hate that there is a rectangle on the floor and wall where they must have had a wardrobe and decided to paint and carpet around it. It isn’t the best space to create the masterpieces in my head.

House To Home

I love the idea of putting shelving into the alcove to create extra storage space. I can imagine it looking lovely with a block of colour or patterned wallpaper inside the alcove to contrast with white walls.

When I saw this home office/craft room I almost drooled. It is amazing and so organised. I love how there are separate workstations for the home office area and the craft room area, with plenty of space around them for storage.

(Pottery Barn)

Whilst browsing storage solutions I came across this little beauty. All of my ribbons, buttons and all of my other paraphernalia that I have seemed to accumulate could be hidden behind lovely clean doors. Oh the possibilities.

Style At Home

Seeing this image made me instantly want to start hunting all second hand shops for a drawer unit of some kind to paint a funky monkey colour and store all of my lovely fabric in. I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

Quant Handmade

This image caught my eye because of the clean white walls and then the splashes of colour in the furniture.

House To Home

I have a lot of jars of ribbons, buttons and more and love the idea of them being close at hand on shelving. I also love the idea of having the ribbon stored on that specially made unit. Something like that would put an end to my ribbon unraveling days for good.

So there we are. Let’s just hope that with a little bit of determination, hard work and little bit of creativity the dream can become a reality.

To see more of my craft room inspiration head on over to my Pinterest  Craft Room Inspiration page.

Refreshing My Garden Furniture – Part Three

The sun is shining , the smell of BBQ is making me hungry and I have completely finished my garden table. I was going to wait until I had finished my chairs but I am simply too impatient. I am seriously impressed with the results and cannot wait to get cracking on the chairs so that I can invite people around for an impromptu BBQ, weather permitting that is.

Refer to my post ‘Refreshing My Garden Furniture – Part One‘ for a reminder of the before photos.

My fully painted garden table

I am astounded at what can be achieved with a little bit of hard work and patience. It took three light coats and it also covered all of the grey weathered wood marks that I was worried about.

As I already had the sandpaper, sander, brush and wood preserver all I needed to buy was the wood paint. As I only used a third of a tin and said tin only cost £9.99 my ‘new’ garden table only cost £3.33, plus there is plenty of paint left over to do the chairs. Who can complain at that? Not me that’s for sure.

Refreshing My Garden Furniture – Part Two

I have sanded down my garden table! In true me style I did take on more than I bargained for and about 30 minutes in started wondering what I had gotten myself into. But I was determined to finish sanding the table the very same day. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to doing the chairs because by the time the table was done I was so dusty and achy that the only thing I could even contemplate doing was to stop, get cleaned up and have a cup of tea out in the garden while admiring my handiwork.

So here is the newly sanded garden table in all it’s glory…

Garden table after sanding

I cannot believe how much cleaner it looks but it was hard work though. The sanding paper lasted all of 10 minutes before I gave up and routed around my unpacked boxes for my sander. That worked so much better. If it hadn’t been for my sander I don’t think the table would look anywhere near as good as it does.

Here is a close up of the table top…

Close up of table top

As you can see that although I did manage to get quite a lot of the weathered grey wood off there is still quite a bit left. I have never used exterior wood paint before but I have my fingers crossed that it shouldn’t make too much difference. Has anyone else had experience painting garden furniture? Will the paint cover the grey areas?I guess I might have to just try it and see. A little bit of experimentation never hurt anyone. Now just to do the chairs but hopefully as they are smaller they will be easier…fingers crossed.

Feel free to leave any comments. Any advice would be very much welcomed also. Stay tuned for the next installment of ‘Refreshing My Garden Furniture’.

You Never Know Where You Will Find A Bargain

On Sunday we decided to go into town and have a look around before going to the cinema to watch the latest Batman film, which on a side note was brilliant and totally worth watching. One shop I love looking around is Debenhams, even though I do often pick things up, look at the price and then put them right back down again. However, I still firmly believe that looking doesn’t hurt anything. So on Sunday we were doing our usual leisurely browse when we came across the clearance corner. It’s an impulse, I can’t help but look. I start getting excited in anticipation for all the bargains that might be there. More often than not there is nothing of interest but on this occasion I struck gold!

My Bargain Lamp

Lamp Close up

Lamp Shade Close Up

I picked it up because of the stand…I love it’s sleek black colour and the tripod style. I have visions of it sitting, looking sleek and beautiful, on my desk (once we have decorated the office room and then put a desk in there that is).  Unfortunately the reason for it heavy discount is that the lampshade is very dinted. That for some people would be reason enough to put it down, but not for me. Especially considering that it was discounted from £35 to just £4!!!!! I couldn’t believe my luck. The stand is in perfect condition! It just needs a new lampshade.

Now I have a decision to make. Do I just go out and buy one? I could do this cheaply enough and the whole lamp cost will still be less than its original £35 price tag. Or do I look around for some nice fabric and combine it with the lampshade making kit I have sitting upstairs in a moving box (from a project I had in my head and never managed to complete). Decision decisons…

Stay tuned to see the finished lamp (once I’ve decided what to do with it).

Refreshing My Garden Furniture: Part One

Our previous house was rented and had absolutely no outside storage space. Unfortunately this meant that when we decided to buy a table and chair set it was stuck outside, come what may, through rain or shine. We did buy a cover for it but with the wind blowing it around and us eventually getting tired of keep replacing it the inevitable happened…we stopped replacing the furniture cover! Our wooded furniture was left to defend for itself from the elements. This resulted in our dark brown wooden furniture becoming an ugly grey colour.

BEFORE: Garden table and four chairs

BEFORE: Chairs

BEFORE: close-up of the table top

Instead of making do with the table or throwing it away I have decided to paint it blue. I think this will brighten up the garden patio area. Fingers crossed it works.

Materials

To do this I will need to use sandpaper to take the garden furniture back to its original wood. I will then clean up all the dust and coat it with a couple of coats and clear wood preserver. Hopefully this will make it more resilient to the weather. Although it will be stored in the garage, but better safe than sorry. I will then be coating it in the blue wood stain. I cannot wait to see how it turns out. I just hope it looks the same as the idea I have in my head.

Look out for Refreshing my garden furniture – part two for an update in how my garden furniture is looking.