Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm moving!

Hi Everyone,

Well, you might have noticed things have been a little quiet here on the blog... and that's because I'm moving!

You can now find me at  and my blog at Don't forget to update my details in whichever RSS reader you use!

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fathers Day

I often hear people say 'it was their time'. On a normal day I'd believe it, but on Father's Day I'm reminded how it often isn't 'their time' but it happens anyway.

In 2009 my Dad died after an 'accident' in hospital, a series of mistakes and misjudgements that meant that my sister and I had to make the drive to the hospital for one last visit before the machines were turned off and the tiny spec of Dad that remained left too.

I don't intend to mislead you. Dad was old and frail. He'd blacked out in the car one week before and drove into a power pole. He seemed vague and forgetful, and I had started to think that maybe he couldn't stay at home alone any more. He just wasn't well. Then one morning he called and said he wasn't good, and I told him to get off the phone and I'd call an ambulance. I told him I would see him at the hospital. I never saw 'him' again.

But then they didn't want me to come to the hospital until he was on a ward, hearing my baby in the back ground and saying they'd call me, he was alright. I should have forced the issue, gone anyway, but I had no idea of what was coming so I didn't. And then there was the brief phone call from an un-named nurse who said 'They've overdosed him' and it all just went to hell. If it had not been for that man, whomever he was, telling me the truth of it, I may well have bought the stories and lies they told until they were forced to tell the truth.

When they briefly got him back after the overdose he said he wanted to go home, but they didn't let him. He said he wanted me but I was never called. Instead they told him to lie down and wait, to be patient. But he didn't want to... scared, alone, angry, frightened... and when he took off his oxygen mask there was no one there to stop him or help him or explain that he wouldn't survive without it... and he didn't.

I feel a huge weight of responsibility for his death; knowing I sent him to that place. That I believed them when they said he was alright. That I didn't just go there anyway when they said to stay at home with my baby. My baby who hardly knew her Grandad before he left. Four years and I doubt it will ever leave me.

I remember he said Emma was the happiest baby he'd ever seen. He was so proud. I wish he had been here to meet Harry. To be proud again.

My little family are in bed as I'm typing, knowing I've been silent and thoughtful this afternoon as I run over it all again in my mind. Familiar thoughts that sneak in when ever I see a burgundy sedan or an old man in a flannelette shirt and trousers. When birthdays and holidays pass, or it comes round to Fathers Day again and I miss him.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Wanderings - Bargain Upholstery at Seaforth

On Friday I headed to down to Sydney for some upholstery fabric. I'd been lamenting the lack of gorgeous stuff to be found locally and Mum mentioned that she'd visited a shop in Seaforth (on the Northern Beaches) years ago that had loads of choices, and she'd find me the details. A friend of hers confirmed the name Bargain Upholstery and we headed there with fingers crossed.

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We arrived just before the doors opened and honestly I nearly jumped out of the car in excitement. There were six shops in a row, packed to the roof with rolls and rolls of upholstery fabric, and in the windows I could see that they were going to have something perfect!

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Of course I've ordered loads of fabric online, from both Australia and overseas, but nothing beats being there in person to look at and feel the fabric. There was so much to look at - loads of remnants that I could have spent the day sifting through as well as books and books of designer stuff to order from. Prices seemed to start at about $19.95 a metre, and for anything on the roll you could get as little as 20cm.

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If I was adding to the stash I would have been hard pressed to make a decision but because I had specific projects in mind I picked out these three...

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Ok, so the one on the far right isn't actually for a project, but for arguments sake lets just say I know exactly what I will be using it for and it was essential that I came home with it ;)

If you're like me then this place is difficult if you're children are prone to do this...

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Because it is six separate shops in a row the kids thought it was hilarious to run in and out of each one, hide under fabric or climb onto the rolls. Me, not so much. I was excited to see a park nearby and the plan had been to let them run it out before visiting, but it's not one aimed at their age bracket (4 and 2) and it was SO windy that we decided to just head in and try our luck. 

So I will definitely go again. Next time sans children! If you're looking for upholstery fabric in Sydney then this place is worth having a look.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thrifty Thursday!!


This week has been a crazy mix of spray paint, liquid nails and some VERY cool finds. This bit of fabulousness started it all off...

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Would you believe I had been sitting at my laptop wishing I could find another amazing cane piece to makeover, got up, got the kids in the car, drove down the street and picked up this girl. I can't even tell you how I got it home... another crazy driving episode that just proves my crazy obsession with furniture I suppose! I've given her a coat of primer and she is already looking better, can't wait to share the finished product!

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I've added to the collection of pieces for my Rust-Oleum spray paint project this week with this beauty! By the weekend she will be a gorgeous glossy apple red! I've still got a couple of pieces still to find for this one, so will be on the hunt over the weekend. I've finished two pieces almost three, here they are up on the shelf waiting for some finishing touches and then their big moment in September (i.e The Better Homes and Gardens Show).

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The colours are just amazing!! And speaking of colour, I've been playing with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - this time layering French Linen and Duck Egg on the shutters I picked up last week...

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Last but not least I've been busy working on a new look for my business, getting ready for a new website, logo and a little name change. I had no idea where to start by luckily a friend recommended someone to help me, and here's a little insight...

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Luckily I have another friend who is my own personal social media expert (Hi Sally if you're reading) and she's helping me with everything else! Hopefully all will be revealed in the next couple of weeks ! Thanks for stopping by...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thirfty Thursday - an easy white board project

Let's for a moment pretend that today is Thursday... do you mind? It's been one of those weeks ;) And you'll understand why at the end of the post...

A couple of nights before my last market I was looking at a sad old picture frame in my hoard and suddenly thought it was the perfect size and shape for a whiteboard. In particular, a white board to use in the kitchen for your shopping list. That first one sold quickly and I had loads of inquiries, so here I am making another, and sharing it with you too. It's SO simple to make but looks great!

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For me the key is getting the right frame. Funnily enough, this is the second Libra starsign frame I've found at an op shop, same size same shape. I guess all the Libras on the Central Coast are doing a clean out ;) I paid $10, which I thought was Ok but if you look around you could probably find something for $5.

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I simply pulled the poster from the backing board, but it really isn't necessary, you could just stick your fabric over the top. For me, the fabric is really what makes it. Something with a pattern is great, but not too fussy that you can't see what's written on the glass. Use colour, but nothing too dark unless you have a white texta (hmmm I might need to try that!).


Be careful to stick your fabric down flat, otherwise you'll see ripples through your glass. And don't forget to give your glass a good clean - I thought I was all done then when I turned the frame over there was a big black spec on the glass that would have just driven me insane!


I wanted my frame to look worn and weathered, so I gave it just one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White before waxing.

Of course you could use it as a to do list in a study or instead of a chalk board in a children's play room (who else hates the chalk dust everywhere???) Whatever you use it for, it's a cheap project and something that looks great too!

So - have you worked out why this post was late and things went wrong.... do you guess from that very first picture? Or can you see it in this last picture???

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Yep. Sums it up really. I was rushing to get it done and feeling just generally frustrated and annoyed with other events of the day, and I broke the glass. ARGH!!!!! Lucky for me I have chocolate.... and chalk board paint ;) I was going to just let the project go and then thought I'd share anyway - project fails happen to all of us right??

Hope you've had a bit more luck with your projects this week!! Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, August 12, 2013

French Linen Side Table

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When I saw this gorgeous table, along with her 'cousin', for sale on Gumtree, I knew I'd never be able to give her away. Her previous owner had named her Daisy after the relative who had passed her on, and the other table, Ruth, is still in my garage waiting for something special. The lady said she was sick of all her old, hand me down furniture and couldn't wait to go out and purchase something new. I couldn't wait to get these hand me downs home!! Here she is before...

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Her shape is beautiful but the dark stain was a little sad and sorry, and peeling in areas. She had a few dings, but don't we all?? When I bought her home I was thinking about my grandparents home, and sure they had something similar. Mum confirmed it, another reason I couldn't really let her go. Nice to have something that reminds me of them.

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I love the height she has - curvy legs are perfect on everyone aren't they!! At the moment she's displaying some favourite family photos, but eventually she'll hold a lamp and a few odds and ends. And that little shelf at the bottom? Perfect!

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Are you wondering about the 'e'?? Emma was here with me while I was trying to take photos. Her contribution was to lay all over the table and display herself. She's four. I said no. So, the compromise was an 'e' front and centre. And after the process it took just to get these photos, I decided that an 'e' on the table works just fine. 

I also included one of my latest etsy purchases - a print by Katie Daisy. I just love her work, the colour is beautiful and just makes me smile when I see it. Nice to have things like these round.

Thanks for stopping by....

I'm sharing at...
The DIY Showoff
Not Just a Housewife 
Domestically Speaking 
DIY by Design 
Miss Mustard Seed

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekend Wanderings - French Folie in Concord

Last weekend I was in desperate need of some Annie Sloan clear wax (nothing else compares now!) and decided to make the mad dash down the F3 to visit French Folie in Concord. I'm SO glad I did.

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Before I saw the sign I saw the bedhead and knew I was in the right place. And the squares on either side of the door? Dead giveaway! It was all just amazing and I hardly know where to begin... I mean this upholstered chair and bedhead were in the window!

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The owners really are so knowledgeable about everything Annie Sloan and I chatted with Mike for at least an hour about colours and washes and every other thing paint. I think I stood at this amoirie staring like an idiot for ages thinking about colours and being completely indecisive. In the end though I went to get Paris Grey I came home with French Linen, Provence (my fave), Florence and clear wax. Not bad for just desperately needing some wax!

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There were a couple of things I loved about the shop. There were heaps of pieces painted in Annie Sloan paint, so you could see something painted up and in real life, without trying to guess from the paint chart. This really helped me when thinking about grey. AND I thought I would like Florence and then when I saw their counter I knew I loved it. I just wish I'd snapped a picture.

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The other great thing is that they will decant paint so you can get half a tin. Perfect if you're looking at an accent colour and not sure that you will use it again. Or if you're trying to spread your paint budget further! I ended up getting half a tin of Florence just in case I keel over when I start using it... unlikely, but you know ;)

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The store also had loads of french vintage to look at, linen, furniture, posters everything. There was a class just about to start so people were filing in with their pieces ready to try out the paint. If you're interested, they run them every two weeks on a Sunday.

In case you're wondering, I didn't even tell the guys I blogged let alone asked them for something in return for a post. I just like sharing :) 

So now if we could get Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint in Australia (and preferably somewhere I can drive to) all my paint dreams would have come true!

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - A million different things I've found

I was thinking last night that I hadn't shared my thrifty finds for some time, so today I thought I'd share all the things I've found lately...

These two tables would have to be amongst my most favourite finds. I did share them on facebook a little while ago and started on the one on the right yesterday. I'm keeping her. I think. You know how it is! I would also keep the other one, but I keep telling myself that if I ever want a studio or a shop I actually need something to sell! Funny that. The other I'll be working on next week...

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I've also been busy working on my new project... I'm working on some pieces for Rustoleum ready for The Better Homes and Gardens show in September.

I KNOW!!!!

I can't believe it myself, this is such an amazing opportunity and I'm really thrilled to get involved.... Every time I think about it I have to try not to to do a ridiculous dance and smile that goofy smile of someone who is getting to do stuff they love. Rustoleum own Zinnser who produce the undercoat I always use, so it was a no brainer when they asked me. ASKED ME! If you don't get the idea, I'm overwhelmingly stoked (yes, I'm that age in case you're wondering!!) I have cans and cans of spray paint ready to go and here are some of the pieces I'll be making over for them.

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The specific product I'm using hasn't been launched in Australia yet, but will be here later in the year. Can't wait to share more about this, but until then my lips are sealed :) Oh, except that when you think of spray paint and think of the hopelessly daggy colours you find in your local Bunnings??? This is NOT that :) If you're planning to come along to the show please let me know. I'm hoping to go along and help at the Rustoleum stand and would love to have some visitors!!

I also shared this beauty on Facebook and I think it was my most popular piece ever. She is completely beyond painting, rusted through in places and I don't know that I would let anyone sit on her, but she is completely gorgeous and has found a perfect place in my garden. I probably need to prune a little around her, but you get the idea!

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When I picked her up the girl giving her away was beside herself. She had to start clearing stuff out and this was on the list. Except she loved it. I have that feeling ALL THE TIME. I promised it was going to a very loving home.

And here are a few other goodies I've found ready to make over...

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The orange chair has a partner in the garage, but quite honestly I would have needed to move EVERYTHING to get to her, so you'll have to take my word for it. I'm thinking charcoal geometric pattern. Frames for blackboards and whiteboards, a rusty lamp that was on the side of the road (and still works), and a drop leaf table someone was using to prop up their dryer (can you believe that!!!). Lots of lovelies to get stuck in to.

What about you? Had any great finds lately?

Thanks so much for stopping by...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Retro Restyling - a Chair Makeover

I found this chair, quite literally, and was originally thinking I'd just sell it 'as is' for someone else to make over. I have SO much in my garage that it just seemed to be a good idea. Then sorting through my fabric I found a gorgeous graphic piece that I thought would be perfect and the chair suddenly worked its way to the top of the list.

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The original vinyl was covered in paint (not me I promise!) and a layer of grime, but now I think she's looking pretty good ;)

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Ok - I know you're thinking that butlers tray needs some paint. It's on the list!

For me the fabric makes all the difference... the style is gorgeous but vinyl doesn't really do it for me! This beautiful fabric was given to me by a very dear friend and her Mum - if your reading along thank you MJ and Judith!

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I tried to convince DK (my husband) that this would be perfect for his desk but he has this giant monstrosity of an office that he likes. I'm not even going to share a photo of it it's that bad. The kids have even drawn on it and he still loves it. One day when he's not looking it may just disappear...

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The chair is very Parker-esq but I'm not sure. I haven't been able to match it to anything I've seen on line, and there are no details anywhere I can see on the actual chair. Still, I don't think it needs a brand to make it beautiful, just a re-stain and new fabric!

Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at
Not Just a Housewife
DIY by Design
Domestically Speaking
Lilyfield Life 
Start at Home 
Miss Mustard Seed 
The DIY Showoff

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stripes - Grey and White Side Table

Last week I shared a duck egg blue side table that I'd painted ready for Avoca Beachside Markets. This week I have her taller, and stripier, sister.

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As I was working on her everything seemed to go wrong - I'd set up a bunch of activities for Harry (2) so I could do a final coat of white paint, but the only thing he was interested in was what I was doing! When I wasn't watching he was running his fingers across the paint, making lovely little snail trails everywhere! Then he lent on the table and had paint smudges all over his shirt. So I gave up.

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And in that moment when I walked away, while watching Harry jump on the trampoline and we played in the garden, I realised that stripes would be perfect for this little white table. So I added them during his sleep time and I couldn't be happier.

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I guess some things just need to be left for a moment! This table went home with a lovely lady I met at the markets over the weekend. She told me she loves everything french, and grey, and though this was perfect! I love it when people fall in love with something I've reworked, make the hours in the garage, the trek out to market and all the related guff worth it.

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This month's market will actually be my last one for a little while. I have a great new project to get started on (more about that soon) which will mean I can't make the August or September dates. Will keep you posted about when I'll be there again :)

Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at...
DIY by Design
Domestically Speaking
Miss Mustard Seed
Too Much Time on my Hands
Not Just a Housewife

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Side Table Love

It's not really a secret around here that I like blue. Or that I liked distressed. So this girl really is a no brainer...

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I just can't help myself. I look at all the lovely colours available, even the ones I have on my shelf, and still I go back to blue. And if I wanted shiny new looking I could get it from a shop - give me a bit of character any day!

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I picked this girl up from the auction house near me, and she's actually been sitting raw in my lounge room for a month or so. But as I'm getting ready for Avoca Beachside Markets, and also had to clear everything from the house while the bamboo floors were laid, it was finally her turn to get a makeover. As much as I like her I've decided to take her to the market.

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I'm other news I've decided only to do the market four times a year. I just can't get enough stock ready to do it every month, and while my sister never complains, asking her to come up from Sydney every month to help me is hard. We do have a lovely day, and get to meet loads of people, but it's hard going without a truck and while my children are small. And it's so cold in the garage during winter!!! Last night I got all organised, took one step into the garage and raced back inside and in front of the heater! Things may change next year when Harry is at pre-school two days a week, but for now I'm looking at two more market dates for the rest of the year. You can always find pieces for sale here, or on my Facebook page.

One day when I have a shop (just putting it out there, because you know, you never know!) I will have a studio attached that is nice and warm and I can work there and show finished pieces and have a crafty painty kind of group... and a million other things. One day.

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Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at...
Lilyfield Life
Miss Mustard Seed 
Domestically Speaking
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