Saturday, 18 October 2014

DIY Gold Accessories

I've had a busy few weeks, which is why I haven’t blogged for a while. My parents came for a visit from South Africa and Honeybee arrived home from the USA after 3 ½ months away along with bags and bags of dirty laundry – my washing machine is working overtime and I think about to spin itself out of the room!  And yes, she had an AMAZING time.  With no job as yet, she has time to think about what she wants to do for her future, and how being away has shaped her spiritually and emotionally…she's been asked to go back next year, so who knows what the future holds…it’s all one big adventure!  And to top it all off, we attended her graduation ceremony yesterday at Winchester University...my feet just don't know how to cope in high heels anymore!

And talking of the dining room design, thank you for your lovely comments and welcome to new followers Jody and Stan!  

I had a lot of fun doing the entire dining room project.  Sourcing the right décor items for a particular space takes time and patience, and as I’ve mentioned before you can’t and shouldn’t source everything from the same place. It took me several months to find the right objects I was looking for.  And sometimes you don’t always find what you’re looking for, when you want it, which means you need to just step back and pause and when you do that sometimes you get an ‘Ah ha’ moment, an idea that’s so simple, so effective, it’s quite literally child’s play!


At the moment I am quite obsessed with spraying everything gold…ever since I glammed up this shelf and realised how simple it was and how something as easy as gold spray paint can change an off the shelf item into something unique.  So I started to think about other things to spray.   I wanted to inject a whimsical element in the dining room, something a little quirky and off centre, and I really love Abigail Ahern’s gold rabbit money box here but it wasn’t quite right for the tropical feel in the dining room, and so I started thinking about the dining room and palm trees, balmy weather and heat and finally stopped at South Africa, which is where I used to live.  The Big Five are what most people associate with Africa, along with thinking that we have lions roaming on the streets…but that’s a whole other story…anyhow I love elephants, they are such large graceful animals … and so I sourced an African elephant online (now you’re thinking how do I know it’s an African Elephant and not an Asian elephant yes?  It’s all in the ears darling, the ears…they are bigger on African elephants!)  He’s a mighty fine specimen if I may say so… and his role is to stand guard on the bar cart and look impressive, heavy and GOLD….













All you need is a little gold spray paint - I used RustOleums's Metallic gold Spray paint.  Give it two coats, leaving it to dry in between coats.
and this is how he looked before I got hold of him....I bought him on Amazon.




With my high heels back in the closet where they belong, I'm planning on doing absolutely nothing this weekend except walking around barefoot!

'Till next time!
Sharon
xxx

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Little Dining Room Project Reveal!

 Rome wasn’t built in a day…







And neither was this little project.  Did I mention I’m finally finished with it?  I am….sort of.  This tiny little front room was a dumping ground for everything old and ugly. It needed a SERIOUS makeover.  The carpets were no longer recognisable as such and beyond any kind of cleaning so with that in mind we opted for faux wood flooring;  there’s no comparison to real wooden floors, but as usual budget dictated the purchase.

BEFORE photos taken after tenant had moved out, but before we renovated the entire house:



A small boxy room by anyone’s standards, so we went for a grand wallpaper, creating the illusion of a much bigger space as well as creating visual interest.  I wanted over the top glamour and initially I wanted to paint the ceiling gold but that was just a bit too much for my client, so we left it as is.  Instead I glammed it up with gold elements like the chandelier,  gold framed mirror,  Gold Mirrored Shelving and a few accessories. 

The wall directly opposite the window needs a statement piece and I have my eye on this Carl Bengtsson poster but I can’t seem to find a supplier in the UK…if anyone knows please drop me a line… in the meantime I’m thinking of creating my own piece of photography, if it works it’s going up, if not it's back to the drawing board!  Except for the mirror, a pineapple painting and this lovely African Grey print, the walls have been left bare.  That’s intentional as the wallpaper is very busy and doesn’t need a lot of wall art.  The addition of a palm tree in the corner gives a real tropical feel to the room.

It’s a tiny space, but I wanted to create a little bit of Hollywood sparkle.  I kept the drapes white and sheer, the light from the window still floods the room and the Purl Window Frost has given this road facing dining space much needed privacy. The table is an antique Gate leg table given to my client by her mother. The replica Phillip Starke Ghost chairs give a modern and spacious feel to the room.  There are no children in this home, so it was easy to accessorise the gold shelving with lovely décor pieces without having to make the space child friendly.   The Bar Cart adds a touch of old Hollywood glamour and fits in nicely with the whole feel of the space. The look is young and not too serious and in good old England, where we often have more grey days than sunny skies it’s a tropical oasis guaranteed to cause a smile….so what do you think?












I’ll be sharing my resource list next time – budget style!
Take care!

Sharon
xxx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Drinks anyone?

I thought summer was over, but we’re having amazing weather for September, slightly cooler in the mornings, but our days are lovely and warm.

I don’t want to jinx it but we’ve had humid days and lots of sunshine with a slight breeze which is ideal for spending time on the beach.  Great weather means I still get to cycle along the beach front in t-shirt and shorts and so before the temperatures start dropping I want to show you pics of the bar cart that I found for the dining room project. 

Bar carts/drinks trolleys have been gaining popularity in recent years and there are some beautiful ones to be found on line.  Remember this post I did a few years back tea or drinks trolley Some are hugely expensive and others less so….this little number was £10 and I found it on eBay! It’s not quite up there with the uber glam models but it will do and does the job nicely until a more expensive one can be purchased.

I love how you can put everything to do with mixing drinks, slicing lemons and popping in a straw, all onto one small trolley. They provide just enough space for keeping all the paraphernalia together with the added bonus of being able to take it outside for a BBQ.  Plus they add a super glamorous look to any space.

I bought the vintage striped gold tumblers from Etsy and the wine glasses  with the gold coral motif from Zara Home.  

I dressed it up to fit in with the rest of the room, a slightly tropical sparkly feel…love it! Drinks anyone?

















I've been promising you pics of the little dining room project for weeks now, so that's up next, promise!

Take care
Sharon
xxx



Monday, 25 August 2014

Vintage finds and cushions



Thank you lovely people for your comments on my little shed...I can't wait to paint her inside too!

I was so pleased when I woke up on Saturday to find the sun shining.  I planned a day out at Antiques on the Green in Wisborough, a small market town near Petworth .  I didn't take any photos inside the huge marquee as it was so crowded.    I have so many little antiquities and vintage items that I have collected throughout the years that I don’t really need to buy more, in fact I could start my own shop, so I mostly browsed but I did come home with three pieces of vintage floral linen, a few pieces of antique lace, several beautiful cards and a linen guest towel with crocheted edging from Petworth Antiques.   I thought I would make up some cushions covers - I don’t need any more of these either, but I do love making them!

I am quite pleased with how they turned out.  At first I was just going to sew the vintage fabric together with the pieces of lace and the velvet trim, but I then had the idea of mixing a newer floral fabric with the older vintage fabric and then adding the lace and the velvet.   Can you guess where the other piece of newer fabric comes from?  I've always loved the bigger blowsy floral fabrics more than the small ditsy flower designs and although the fabrics are entirely different they are both floral which is why I think it works so well. 























Hope you are all enjoying your bank holiday Monday!

Sharon
xxx



Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Shed Chic

These early mornings are definitely much cooler don’t you think, a little dewy and a little nippy.  Almost time to replant the tulips I took out and carefully wrapped in newspaper a few months ago...let’s hope they flower next Spring…

My garden is tiny, I call it my courtyard garden because compared to what I had previously, it’s like having a garden the size of a bathroom….it’s also low maintenance (which I love!)  I have faux grass (becoming more and more popular nowadays!)  and a long narrow strip of planting beds, enough to grow cut flowers and indulge my new love of gardening.  And I have a shed.  It was a sorry looking shed, which was brown and unloved and full of spiders and forgotten boxes we have yet to unpack even after seven years….so not a place I go into often.  But all because of a tin of really cheap metal and wood paint found on the bargain shelf at B&Q, I got the urge to paint it and vintage it all up!  So armed with one litre of bargain paint costing £10 in a colour that’s not quite sage green, not quite grey, and definitely not white, we set about painting this sorry looking shed one Sunday afternoon, because that’s what you do on Sunday when you think the sun has gone on holiday for the day and then when you’re in the throes of painting it comes out again, furiously hot and shining, making you all sweaty and unpleasant!  Anyway, the one litre tin of paint was just enough to cover two sides of the shed because the shed is in the corner of my garden and that’s all it needed.

We didn’t stop there.  We unpacked the tiny shed, which was pretty much packed to ceiling height inside, taking lots of unused and unloved things to the recycling tip…leaving us with an almost empty shed and the two tired and exhausted and not to mention dirty people!

A few days later I asked hubby to vacuum out the shed and suck up all the nasties lurking in the corners in thick cobwebs.  We bought another litre of paint this time in a soft pink and another in a vintage green colour, both off the bargain shelf at B&Q and already mixed….haven’t tackled the inside yet but I want it to look bright and cheerful.  This shed is so tiny, I can’t even stretch out both arms across the width, but nevertheless, I want this tiny space to look gorgeous with vintage finds and by adding pretty things.  I also want to create a little ‘potting corner’ for the budding gardener inside of me, spurred on by my lovely green fingered friend Irene! 

So what’s the first thing you do when you move into a house?  Yes, you’re right, you start making curtains.  So here in this tiny shed, with one tiny window looking out over my miniscule garden, I hung some hand made by me floral curtains which I strung up with garden string and tied onto nails.  (the curtains are odd – I deliberately wanted the curtains to look like odd bits of fabric sewn together) I also hung some five minute bunting, which is how long it took me to make it, propped a little bottle with faux flowers and a teeny weeny watering can on the inside window ledge and the window is dressed...so now the shed window looks good from the outside too…and it’s amazing the difference it has made to the view from the house….

 I’m totally into this shed, might even move in!  So pretty, what do you think?  

( At the time I didn't even think of taking photos...so I don't have any before pics, but trust me, it's a huge improvement!)







Saturday I’m going to the Antiques on the Green….if you live nearby do pop in, it promises to be vintage heaven!



Have a lovely week!
Sharon
xxx

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Nature's bounty

Thank you for your lovely comments on my previous projects, I have a few more to show you and then I might finally be able to show you the dining room!  My last post was all about taking something that cost nothing and turning it into something beautiful.  This is a similar post and ties in nicely with getting something for free.

It rained on Saturday but it didn’t last long and so early morning we went out meandering around our local antique/vintage shops I haven’t visited for a while.  An old artist, a man who I spent time with doing a painting for a friend of mine, had died and his shop had been turned into a lovely vintage looking flower shop. On the way out, in the window I spied a green vase and I fell in love with it instantly.  It has a very vintage feel to it, but I think it’s the shade of green.  Of course then I needed the flowers, the Ammi Visnaga, so beautiful and white, the Clematis, the tiny daisy like flowers (don’t know the name) mint, and some green lollipop looking flowers and I had to look them up first to tell you the name - Dianthus Barbartus!  I wanted cottage garden flowers, like I’d just picked them myself. 

We are very fortunate to live about 5 minutes from the seashore but also have green areas where in summer, hedgerows of ripe fruit are abundant as well as wild flowers.   Late afternoon we took ourselves out for a walk and I took along my gardening scissors and a container for foraging because you just never know what you might find when out walking.  Mother Nature did not disappoint…..there was enough blackberries for hundreds of bottles of delicious sweet jam or a sauce for vanilla ice cream.   The fruit proved more difficult to get to than the flowers.  Prickly and with the ripest ones high up and out of reach, I only managed to pick 500ml, but enough to have with ice cream! On the way back a neighbour was picking his apples that had fallen from his tree and placing them in bags to offer to whoever passed by. He offered us a bag to take home and said he makes puree and freezes it so instead of making a crumble I'm thinking of making an apple puree which can also be used as a sweet sauce…rich pickings for an afternoon walk!

Sometimes it’s the small things in life that gives us the most joy and walking in amongst the wild flowers, picking fruit and flowers to my left, and watching the boats bob up and down on my right, is pure contentment!












and these are the wild flowers and fruit we picked later in the day:











And last but certainly not least - welcome to my new followers, thanks for joining me!

Hope you have a wonderful week!
Sharon
xxx



Friday, 25 July 2014

Upcycling a table

These last few weeks have been a whirl wind of activity in our home.  Last prom, last time wearing a school uniform, and last school leaver’s service.  In the afternoon heat, waving the school programme in front of shiny faces, we sang, we stood, we sat,  we clapped, we sang, we stood and we sat again and then we watched a DVD compiled of school trips and days out, from their early days as little boys and girls to their last days as young men and women and I realised how quickly it’s all passed by… we shuffled out, wiped tears, sniffed, drank toasts and congratulated, hugged, patted backs and shook hands and lastly said goodbye…to lost rugby socks, forgotten lunch boxes, pens, lunch money and books,  ever thankful for lasting friendships, countless sleepovers, laughter, shared experiences and camaraderie.   So to my Son, I am immensely proud of who you are and the man you are becoming. Thank you for finishing strong.

I’ve also been having a lot of fun.  I absolutely love finding something for FREE and changing it into something useful and beautiful.   When we were doing the little house project, the house was derelict and full of rubbish, and most of it went straight to the tip.  But in the corner of one room was this old wooden table, which looked quite sturdy, and I felt not yet ready to be dumped.  I knew I could do something with it.  Initially I thought about sanding it down and giving it a coat of Annie Sloan old white …but then I started thinking of an ottoman and how good it would look covered in a deep tufting.

So this is what it looked like before the makeover:


and this is what it looks like now, ignore the clashing fabrics, it’s merely been placed here so I could take photos… it will be moving to a new lounge soon in a much calmer two toned setting of grey and off white.




I didn't want to use expensive fabric, that sort of defeats the object of finding something for free, but I wanted it to look good, so I went for a simple rose design in canvas cotton by Ikea for £6 a metre.  I used my trusted upholsterer Lesley and gave her my brief.  Whilst Lesley was busy with the top half, I got painting the framework.   I used Annie Sloan Paris Grey which I had left over from another project.  The tufting is simply beautiful, you still get to see the design and it works really well with the painted table legs. 



I've been on the beach along with a couple of hundred other people this afternoon, it's been a scorcher! And although I'm not one to complain about the weather, it’s school holidays and the last thing we want is bad weather, but a storm is approaching and with it the wind…and I am just ever so grateful for the breeze!

So have you ever done anything like this?  Do tell!

Sharon
xxx