Monday, April 29, 2013

Vintage Writing Desk

It constantly amazes me what people throw or give away. This desk was a pick up from Mum and I couldn't believe my eyes when she bought it over. SO gorgeous. And here she is just before she headed off to her new home...

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Like almost everything that comes my way it had some flaws, so the stained table top I was planning just wasn't going to work out. I did want to keep some of the original wood though, so I went with original drawers instead. I think she came out looking beautiful!

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I tossed up changing over the drawer pulls, and even ordered new ones, but in the end I stuck with the original. There was just something about them that I decided suited the piece perfectly. I also used a stencil to paint a small pattern behind each knob, just another little something to make it lovely :)

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The lady that bought her is going to use the desk in her studio. I liked the sound of it; she was building a new style for the home and business and it sounded lovely. It was nice to hear how this piece would fit in in her home.

Yesterday was market day so today I'm exhausted! I had a great day, feeling very lucky to have met some lovely people, sent a few pieces off to new homes, and spent the day with my sister. So today I'm not planning any work, just lolling round and catching up on my favourite blogs. And eating a bit of cake ;)

Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at...
My Simple Home Life
Under the Table and Dreaming
Domestically Speaking 
Miss Mustard Seed 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thrifty Thursday #17 on ANZAC Day

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia - the day where we remember those men and women who fought for our country throughout history and who continue to fight today. There will be many posts from Australians across the country who will describe the day in a more eloquent way than I ever could, but I thought I would share a little glimpse of what it is for my family.

My own Father fought in WWII by forging his birth certificate, serving at the very end of the war in Darwin and Papua New Guinea (yes, he was in his late 60's when I was born... but that's a story for another day). He hardly spoke of it, nor did he ever attend a service or march to my knowledge. I was too young to understand, and then old enough to know he would share it if he could. I have his medals, and those of his Fathers, (my grandfathers, from WWI) and today I showed them to my children. They are too young to understand what it all means, but I'm grateful to have these memories to share, having lost him in 2009.

Today, like most days, I think of him.

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Lest We Forget


I picked up a few bits and pieces in the last week or so, some for Paisley Vintage and some to keep.

I love this little table, she's already had a makeover but here she is original. I love the cut out on the leg, and she is looking quite lovely now (If I do say so myself!) And of course, the ceramic owl. The owl is staying put; I loved him as soon as I saw him and now I'm just looking for the perfect spot. Unfortunately the perfect spot needs to be out of the reach of the little people, so I'm still looking. Someone else loved him too - he was hidden on the bottom shelf, right at the back, covered with a blanket. Sometimes a trip to the op shop with small people who like to hide in dark places can be quite useful!

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The wire below I thought would be great painted a bright colour and attached to a wall somewhere. I have a few windows that look out on to colour bond fencing, and a few blank brick walls, so it's another keeper. The gold frames were a bargain that will be heading out to market with me this weekend. I'm leaving them gold, but if they don't sell I might try a colour on them. The pictures are just cut out from magazines, so they'll be coming out ;)

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The last one is this ginormous coffee table. Seriously, this thing is REALLY long. But it is so cool. She's in the middle of her makeover right now and will share when she's finished. Lets just say she's not for the faint hearted :)

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Thanks for stopping by

Monday, April 22, 2013

Childrens Desk Makover

A few months ago now a friend of my Mum's found this desk on the side of the road, and thought of me. I LOVE that :)

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I've spent hours on this thing. Literally. There was more paint on this piece of furniture than I've had to deal with before; blue, white, cream and pink. I eventually went out and purchased a heat gun to help with the paint removal and didn't look back. Honestly if you don't have one and are thinking about it, don't think any more! Sure, you have to be careful not to burn your fingers, but this made it so much easier.

I had a vision in my head of what I wanted, and I think I've gotten there...

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I used a home made chalk paint in antique white on the outside, and chalk board paint on the cut out section on the desk lid. I seemed to have gotten the recipe just right with this one, it adhered beautifully and when sanded is lovely and smooth. And I have a tub of what's left over in the fridge!

On the inside I painted a pop of aqua :)

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Once I had removed all that old paint I really enjoyed this one - I can imagine it in a child's room or even in a hall or entry. It's cute but has a strong lines making it more versatile. And in my house furniture needs to be able to do a lot and work in various places or it doesn't last long.

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What I love about chalk paint is the distressing, so I couldn't not include a picture or two of the corners...

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I'd love to hear what you think!

And I wanted to say a quick that you to those who left a comment on my post about trying out Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I've chosen Provence! Will keep you posted on my progress :)

Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at...
Domestically Speaking 
Miss Mustard Seed
The Shabby Nest 
Simple Home Life 
Under the Table and Dreaming

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weekend Wanderings - The Destash Market

Today I took a little time out from sanding and painting to head to a new market in my area, the Destash Market.

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Held at the local Country Woman's Association Hall, the market gave serious craft and DIY supply hoarders (not unlike myself) the chance to 'destash', that is, reduce their hoard and sell some of their crafty bits and pieces on to other crafters. I was SO tempted to have my own table, but just didn't have time to work out what I would / could let go of, as well as get ready for my next market.

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What I loved about this market is there was a great range of stuff for every kind of crafter - I picked up some great upholstery fabric for a chair I'm working on, there was also yarn, buttons, vintage linens, ribbon, fabric (vintage and new), scrapbooking paper, stamps - well you get the idea, just everything!

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I think this kind of event really encourages a local crafting community, and it was really great to be there amongst so many skilled and talented people. Everyone was happy to talk to me about what they had, where they got it from, why they bought it and then why they didn't ever get round to using it!!

There were loads of people and the hall is small, so I was lucky that the kids were at home for the day. The atmosphere was great and everyone was in a fantastic mood, despite the horrible weather we're having. My advice if you're going to go along next time is to get there early, and leave the kids at home!

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I really wish I had bought more today, but I was on a mission to get a million things done, and a visit to an op shop in as well. I will be stalking the lady with upholstery fabric next time! If you're local to the Central Coast, the next one is scheduled for July 20. I'll definitely be there :)

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Colour Choice Challenge - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint comes to Australia!

I don't usually post on a Friday, but today I have something really exciting to share. I was recently contacted about the launch of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Australia, and offered the chance to try out some of this amazing paint for myself!!

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For the uninitiated, Chalk Paints great benefit is that you don't need to do SO much sanding and prep work. It's made to stick to almost anything, so primer isn't needed. I've made my own chalk paint at home in the past, but being able to buy ready made chalk paint in Australia is fantastic.

So I've been watching and waiting, and so excited to get the chance to try it, that I'd like to involve you guys as well. I've found what I think is the perfect piece to try out the paint, and I'd like your help in choosing a colour! Once we've chosen a colour I'll get to work and share the results back here some time soon.

First up, here's the piece I'll be working on...

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(Yes that's my Golden Retriever over on the side there! She was not moving off her bed, even for a biscuit!!)

She's in pretty good condition given the state of some of the pieces I work on, but she could definitely use an update. I've had her for a little while, and when this offer came up I knew straight away this was the perfect idea for her!

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Next up, paint colour, and this is where you guys come in. I'd love you to let me know what colour I should choose! On Monday I'll tally the votes and put in my order! Here's what we can choose from!!


I KNOW!!! SO much to choose from. I've been through it a million times in my head - do I go traditional with Old White? Or how about a lovely Paris Grey with white cereamic knobs with french script? Or a real statement piece in Emperor's Silk with black  hardware? And of course I have a soft spot for any kind of blue... check out Duck Egg Blue, or Aubusson Blue!!! I could go on, but obviously this is where I need help!!

So I'd love to hear from you to help me choose! Please leave a comment here, send me an email, message me on Facebook or tweet me your vote for colour choice and let me know what I should try out! If you'd like to get your hands on some of this paint yourself, you can find Australian stockists here.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pale Pink Ombre Drawers

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After posting about my daughters ombre drawers I had such a great response, and so many offers to buy them, that I knew I wanted try it out again when I found the right set of drawers. It seems to be such a great way to inject colour into a bedroom, and great for a little girls room who is dying to having everything pink!

So when I found this set I thought they'd be perfect! They are a great size, particularly if you're working with a small bedroom, and could even be used as a bedside table.

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I went very pale with this set; I find pink can be over powering (even though my little girl would love it), and since the set is smaller I decided to go with it. I already had the pink for the bottom drawer and worked up from there. I found it SO hard today to get good pictures, but there is a gradient there I promise!!

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If you're thinking about trying out ombre for yourself, it really is easier than I thought. I poured my pink paint into a plastic container for each drawer, so four in my case (I always keep the chinese takeaway containers or anything similar for just this purpose). For me it was then just a matter of pouring white in until I got the shade I wanted. I set them all up next to each other so I could see the graduating colour and make sure that nothing was too similar.

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Emma was convinced that as these were pink they must be for her. When I left the room during photographing them I came back to find her putting things in the drawers! But I'm getting ready for the Avoca Beachside Markets and these are going along with me. Emma will have to make do with hers for the time being :)

Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at
Sugarbee Crafts
Not Just a Housewife 
Miss Mustard Seed

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thrifty Thursday #17

Hello there! I was thinking my thrifty luck had all but run out over the last week or so, as I'd visited op shops, bid at auction and drove past junk piles and found nothing! Literally nothing. I was beginning to think I had used up all my luck on the cane pieces I found, and shared here, when I finally found this...

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I'm planning to turn this into a small foot stool... can you see it? A base, foam and fabric and this will be gorgeous!

And as I was thinking about how terrible my luck has been I remembered that I hadn't shared all the chairs I picked up a week ago from a lady who lives just near me. She had plans to make them over and just hadn't gotten round to it.

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This armchair has a case of the wobbles, but she'll be worth it. I do like her in white, so will repaint her that way, but think about something geometric for the seat.

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The lady I visited even threw in the stools for free because she just wanted them gone. I mentioned on Instagram (you can find me at paisleyvintage) that I needed to find a way to hide six chairs from my husband... well I almost got away with it but of course stumbled at the last moment by responding too quickly with an offer to get something for him from the garage! He knows me too well - I was settled on the lounge with a drink, dessert and blogs and then I suddenly jumped out of my seat to find him a tape measure. Will have to work on that for next time :)

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This childs chair is so cute, but the dark colour doesn't exactly scream children to me.

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I need to keep one chair for myself, as I still don't have a chair for my sewing table and have to drag a dining chair in every time. I'm tossing up whether to take one of these to redo, or not. We'll see.

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The last one was picked up by the very same lovely friend who found the Pacific Lagoon side table I made over here. It's another one I'm considering for my sewing table because I love that big cushiony seat!

So I guess after all that I haven't really had that much bad luck after all. Loads of chairs to get stuck in to, and looking through fabric which I always love.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, April 8, 2013

What I've Been Working on - Antique Desks in Progress!

Over the weekend I got stuck in to two desks that have been sitting in the junk pile (ie my garage) for a little while now. Both were roadside finds and were in need of a bit of repair work before I could get started. So unfortunately I don't have a finished project to share, but I've got two works in progress instead...

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I spent the best part of two hours getting the paint off this baby, with my new heat gun. The gun is fantastic; there were a few close calls... sometimes I was so busy scraping that I wasn't watching how close I was holding the gun to my hand, but nothing too serious. And before you say it - yes, the instructions say you should wear gloves. I couldn't find any. Next time :)

The insert on the table top isn't in great condition so I will probably replace it before this girl gets a paint job. Undecided about colour as yet - love to hear your thoughts if you have any suggestions!

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The second desk is proving to be a bit of a challenge as the stain bleed is horrendous. There are pink streaks all over, and while some might go in for that look, I don't! I'll have to grab more stain blocker tomorrow to see if that can stop it. Cross your fingers! I've also heard shellac works, so that might get a whirl too.

At the moment I've left the two drawers original, as I'm thinking of painting the desk white and then stenciling some kind of geometric pattern across the drawer fronts. But as I said, it's a work in progress!

So that's it from me today - looks of busy work but no finished products just yet. How about you?

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Retro Cane - a Bedhead and Chair

Happy Easter! I hope you have had a lovely weekend full of family and friends, and a little bit of chocolate too :)

A little while ago I shared some roadside finds - both happened to be cane...

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I was actually on the way back from collecting Emma from pre-school. My sharp intake of breathe alerted Emma (4) to my interest - 'Did you see junk Mummy?' she asked, and I said "Yes!!!!' and almost fell out of the car! There were on the same street, just two houses between them and I couldn't believe my luck. Yes they were dirty, dusty and amongst piles of junk, but isn't the good stuff always??

The chair instantly reminded me of some I'd seen in Freedom and Ikea recently, and I knew immediately I wanted to go for a bright colour. When I stood at the paint counter I was second guessing myself and thinking about white or black, but thankfully I stuck with it. This colour is called Shampoo...

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I'm really happy with the way it turned out, but was reminded of the hassles with painting cane. I did two coats of primer and three coats of paint... getting into all the crevices was a challenge and kept me thinking about a spray gun. Now that I have a heat gun, it might be next on the list.

The bed head also had some... blemishes... but I thought she could still be beautiful. These are so popular, but at $300 - $400 for a single bedhead they would always be out of my price range (and I'm guessing for other people too) so I decided those blemishes didn't matter.

I put the call out on Facebook about colours for this one, suggesting that I thought I'd go yellow, and got lots of support so decided to jump in.

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I love yellow, it's such a happy colour and I can just see this being made up with white linen with tiny multi-coloured polka dots... or grey... or just plain white... I could go on :)

So today it's two for the price of one! I haven't had time for styled photos with the Easter weekend, but I hope the lovely colours will suffice. So, are you a fan of cane? What do you think of my bright colours?
Thanks for stopping by...

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I'm sharing at
Under the Table and Dreaming
Not Just a Housewife
Domestically Speaking 
The Shabby Nest 
Miss Mustard Seed
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