So Close But Yet So Far…

Slowly but surely I am making progress on my ongoing upholstery project. I am so close to the end that I can taste it, but at the same time I also realise that I still have a way to go. In fact it has taken so long to get to this point that I am considering roping of the chair to ensure people view it from a distance only. I mean, if its ok for the National Trust… in just the same way as the National Trust does in all of it’s historical buildings. My biggest problem is that I am only at college once a week and this just isn’t enough time to get it completed at any great speed. I have brought it home a couple of times to get extra done but unfortunately I get so far and then have to wait, take it back to college and get advice on where I should go next.

My chair so far

My chair so far

Looking at the front view it looks pretty much completed and I cannot wait to see it completely finished. I know it is going to look amazing once it is finished…I mean it has to because I can’t believe that you can spend this much time on a project and it not turn out great (I am a glass half full type of person). Unfortunately, when you look at the back it doesn’t look anywhere near complete.

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

My Not So Finished Chair Back And Outer Arm

As you can see both the back and the outer arm need to have top fabric putting on it and also the bottom (although I don’t have a photograph of that) needs platform cloth putting on to tidy it all up and hide all of the chairs insides.

Having only 9 weeks of college left, which incidentally is a total of 27 hours, it is safe to say that I am rather worried about whether I am going to get it finished. The only solution is to make sure I do much of the work needed outside college time. This worries me slightly as I cant help but think that I am going to get something key and very important wrong. Although, this worry has aided me in certain situations as it has driven me to check all measurements prior to cutting my top fabric over and over and over again…and sometimes just one or two more time to make even more certain.

Irritatingly, college is closed for the next two weeks as it’s the Easter holidays so in order to continue working on it I have brought it home in a hope that I will be able to get the arms covered in my plain blue top fabric (the same as the seat). Just bringing it home is an effort in itself. Especially if you consider the fact that I am no longer able to carry it by myself and the fact that it is wider than most door ways. This means that not only am I required to find some poor unsuspecting soul to help me move it every time I want to work on it  but every time it needs to be taken through a doorway it has to be flipped and turned in order to squeeze it though the frame. Bringing my chair home turns into an epic game of Tetris as we negotiate around various bends in the corridors, doorways and finally face the challenge of trying to fit said chair into the boot of my Vauxhall Corsa. Thankfully transport to and from the car is made much easier thanks to the fact that a very innovative and brave college tutor of the past stole an Asda shopping trolley purposely for moving such items of furniture. So I have a big THANK YOU to this person as they have saved me on many an occasion.

 

 

The Great Reveal: My Dream Dresser

Here is the before photo:

BEFORE

It looked drab, dreary and very old fashioned. It didn’t go with anything else in the house but for a while I was just too scared to even attempt to paint it…what if it went wrong? Well, it took well over a year but I eventually found my backbone and just went for it and I am so glad I did! I LOVE THE RESULT!

AFTER – ignore the random Chappie. Sometimes it is crazy difficult to get a photo without him in it!

AFTER

AFTER

I started by taking off all of the hardware and took the doors and drawers out. It just isn’t a good look to have paint splattered hinges and door handles.

Next I completely sanded down the top to the original wood. This was hard work and I have definitely discovered arm muscles that I never knew I had. After this I then lightly sanded down all sides of the dresser, the drawers and doors. This helps  the paint to stick. After this I then had to use a clean cloth and white spirits to clean off every speck of sawdust.

Thanks to my amazing husband to be’s Christmas present last year I have a brilliant paint gun, which allows me to paint (using any type of paint) at a quicker speed that with a paint brush and with a much better finish. Originally the aim was to get the flawless finish with the paint but as I started to sand down one of the coats of paint I fell in love with the the distressed look, so I decided to not put another coat on and leave it be. I completed the look of my dresser by coating the sanded down top with bees wax. I didn’t want varnish as this would give it a shiny finish which would be quickly scratched by keys. As it is sitting next to the front door it is highly likely that it will have keys on it at some point.

I know need to work out what and how to store things on it. It definitely needs some dressing up.

It also takes point number 1 off of my house related to do list, WAHOO! Onto the next project…

 

I’m Back!

Well, I have been running around like a headless chicken recently trying to keep up with college, work, wedding and general housey jobs and that has left very little time for blogging. But as of today I have decided that enough it enough and that I AM going to make more time for blogging and house related crafting/d-i-y-ing because I have missed it immensely!  So here I am!

First up I have a little recap. Can you remember me writing about my bargain lamp find in Debenhams? Well, if you need a little reminder hereis my blog post about it. Today I took a little detour to Dunelm Mill to look at their fabrics, ribbons and other craft related items and I came across a red lampshade on sale for the bargain price of £2.50! Well, my little bargain alarm in my head is beeping at me ten to the dozen and before I know what is happening it has jumped into my basket and I am speeding towards the checkout before I have a change of mind.

My Bargain Lampshade

Well, I don’t think it looks all that bad and when you consider that the base was just £4, making the total cost of the lamp only £6.50 I think it marvellous. Just ignore the side table that it is sitting on. It is a Freecycle find and is one of the many things on my never decreasing to do list. One day it will be a cute little varnished and unmarked table. Hmmmm, maybe that is something I can do at the weekend…

At the weekend I have decided to give myself a little project…well…rather large project really. Having had a really good think about what to do with dresser I have decided to not only move it into the hallway downstairs, but to also do it up somehow.

My dresser

I got it about a year and a half ago from a British Heart Foundation charity shop and it cost me £65 (and that includes the £15 to deliver it to me), which I do not think is half bad. At the time of buying I did like the dark colour but since then I have gone off it. It is just too dark and rather beaten up.

A Rather Deep Scratch

Random cup marks and more scratches

Wood stain has been worn away but the latches

Structurally it is in perfect condition and it completely stable. It just doesn’t look as nice as it could. So I am considering sanding and painting it, however, I am considering leaving the top of it so that it is natural wood. Just like the one below.

Once painted up like this it will not only match the hallway much better but will match pretty much any room in the house should we wish to move it. It will also be perfect for storing my baking equipment, giving me much more space in the kitchen.

 

 

 

Photo Frame Table Numbers

I have finally gotten around to trying out my table number idea for my wedding in January and I have to say that it has been a huge success. I love them as have the lucky few that have seen them in the flesh!

Table Number One

Side View – Table Number One

I am going to do the same thing for each table but with different papers in different patterns. I cannot wait to have a complete set…one down and 9 more to make.

 

Bargain Photo Frame Renovation

Renovated photo frames

This is just a quick post to show off my renovated photo frames (sorry about the terrible photo). I primed them, painted them and then sanded them down to create that ‘shabby chic’ look. I look forward to seeing how they look combined with my table numbers. What do you think?

I Love A Good Bargain!

It has been another week of bargain hunting for our new home and I am quite pleased with I have managed to find. Here they are:

  • My new bookends for the home office/craft room. I have a lot of books, both crafting ones and fiction, and these will be extremely effective at keeping them upright. I love that they are solid wood and also a bargain at £5!

Bookends

  • Picture frames for my wedding. These are getting painted white (along with the others) and will be used for the table numbers. These beauties were just 99p each and they amazing thing is that once the wedding is finished I will be able to make use of them. I will be filling them with our wedding photographs and making a feature with them on a wall in the living room.

Photo Frames

  • My silver bowl. At £3 I just couldn’t resist. I love the way it looks like someone has just taken silver paint and drizzled over the top of it. Even as I write this I wonder whether this effect could be re-created with some very thick paint on an old outdated bowl…hmmmm… It goes really well with the bargain lamp stand I picked up last week.

Bowl

I don’t think this is too bad for the total spend of £11.

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!!!

‘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?