Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - My finds lately...

A very lovely new friend asked me this week how I got started with all this furniture business and I thought I would share.

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In 2009 we moved into a new home (the one above), one that stretched the budget a little but that had all the space we'd been looking for. My husband and I had long talks about our budget, and it was pretty clear that we wouldn't be getting any cool new furniture for our new home any time soon. So of course I had to get creative. At the same time I was discovering the amazing blogging world and finding blogs like Miss Mustard Seed, Vintage Revivals and Primitive & Proper and with their amazing tutorials, instructions, and inspiration I got stuck in.

I absolutely love the hunt; walking in to an op shop and finding that amazing piece that would look beautiful with a coat of paint. Or searching facebook sites to find pieces, like this lovely piece of orangeness I picked up this week...

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And I'm a regular now at the local silent auction house, where I scored this coffee table... check out her legs!!

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And I picked up this great cane chest too.

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There are a million things I would still love to change about my home. I have an orange dining table. I have the worlds ugliest brown microfibre lounge. But I'm slowly chipping away. In the next few weeks the ugly tiles and stained carpet will leave the building, and all new bamboo flooring will be installed. Can't wait.And will definitely share.

Then hopefully I get to work on that orange dining table. :)

PS - If you're local to the Central Coast I'm having a garage sale via facebook tonight. There are some great vintage finds that I've just never gotten round to working on, or that I've just got no room for. I'd love to see you there.

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Two Tone China Cabinet Makeover

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I finished this two tone cabinet over the weekend and couldn't be happier. I used my new favourite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Duck Egg on the frame, and Pure White on the drawer and the inside of the cabinet... I've always been a bit of a fan of two tone and this just makes me do a little dance :)
The lady I bought it from originally had decided it was just too dark for her home, and I couldn't agree more. That dark style, in a darker hall way or room would mean the cabinet would just fade into the background or make a big black hole in the corner. With a paint makeover she definitely doesn't fade! Here's her 'before' shot.

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This was my first time using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White. I had asked around (Fiona from Lilyfield Life and Courts from Apprentice Extrovert) about Old White and decided that the creamy hue wasn't right for me, and went for Pure White instead. As suggested to me, it did need several coats even just for the 'rustic' kind of look that I go for. If I wanted a better coverage I would definitely need an undercoat.
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I love this for a entry or the end of a hall way. Even sitting in my lounge room I can see how she could display some lovely china, or even books (almost everything at my place has books!).

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I left the original drawer pulls on her; I like the black on her for contrast and I think it works well and picks up on the distressed edges.

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This girl is for sale, although I did put her next to my favourite chair today and started to think I should keep her. BUT given we're about to get all our floors replaced I think I'll wait and see how they turn out before I start collecting more furniture!

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Thanks for stopping by...


I'm sharing at...
Under the Table and Dreaming
Not Just a Housewife 
Domestically Speaking
Lilyfield Life 
Miss Mustard Seed
Start at Home

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thrifty Thursday Ikea Hack - the Bekvam Step Stool

With little people around step stools seem to be one of those essential pieces of furniture that just make life easier. Getting to the bathroom sink or the kitchen bench are impossible without them when your 4. Or 2, though Harry is still learning these things. So a week or so I made the trek to Ikea and picked up two for home.

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Because they come raw and un-assembled they are just perfect for painting, and a really quick and easy project. I stained the steps and then painted the frame without having to work around every tiny angle, and had them done on the kitchen bench in no time. And when I compare the $15 I spent (plus paint) to the $100+ I'd seen similar for in homewares stores, I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

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I painted one in ASCP Provence (the first picture) and one in ASCP Duck Egg (above), and I love them both. Since I'm a blue kind of person I love them in these shades, but I can see these in bright primary colours for kids rooms or play rooms too.

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They've already had a bit of a work out here - mostly from Harry who thinks it's hilarious to stand at the bench and touch all those things I had up high and out of his reach. Or to grab the popcorn and cookies we made this morning and try to sneak away with them. HILARIOUS.

On another note, with Google Reader closing down, I'm wondering what you're all doing to keep up with the blogs you follow? I've loaded up Bloglovin', and you can follow along using it via the link in my side bar, but is there anything else on offer that I should be considering? 

Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at
Miss Mustard Seed

Monday, June 17, 2013

Coffee Table to Upholstered Ottoman Conversion

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So if you've been around for a little while you will have noticed that I love ottomans. Not just any kind of ottoman, but one made out of a coffee table. And not just any coffee table either. It has to be free, or cheap. Like $5. Take this one for example..

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Sometimes I see things on the side of the road and I can't leave them behind. So they come home with me any way they can. Including in the passenger seat, hanging out just a little. It's all about the CRAZY in this place :)

So I've mentioned before that the best coffee tables for these ottomans are those that have a good lip to work with - you need something that will let you staple your fabric underneath, neatly, and without too much hassle. Like this...

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I also prefer those that have a shelf underneath, but that's a taste thing rather than a function thing. The more storage the better in this house! I also think the shelf balances out the bulk of the upholstered top, again, it's a taste thing more than anything else. I always paint first, here is the table all painted up and ready to go... (I've been painting inside because it's so COLD in the garage!!)

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You can see the pieces of foam ready to go on top, which are then covered with a layer of wading. You can either staple the wading to the edge of the coffee table top (if there is enough space), or the underside. I've done both and both work out just fine.

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I know some people fold their corners, and if you're not a sewer, or don't have a sewing machine, you can definitely go this way. I like to sew mine as I think it finishes them off nicely. Then it's just a matter of attaching the top; getting it tight enough but not too tight! I fold my fabric over underneath before stapling to ensure a nice finish rather than raw edges.

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So I guess this is a case of stick to what you know. And love. I think these really make a statement and for a free coffee table I think the effort is definitely worth the outcome! If you'd like to see my other ottomans, you can see them here, here or here.

Thanks for stopping by

I'm sharing at...
Under the Table and Dreaming 
Not Just a Housewife 
Domestically Speaking 
Lilyfield Life 
Miss Mustard Seed

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness on Thrifty Thursday

So a week or so ago I was feeling a little down - just a bunch of things getting to me and feeling powerless to change them (including a woman that wanted me to halve the price of a piece of furniture I was selling, and was pretty nasty about it!). So I was doing what I often do - surfing Pinterest and eating chocolate when I read a pin about Random Acts of Kindness. This particular story was about a man who overheard a mother telling her child she couldn't afford to buy him a bike and so handed her $350 and told her to go get one. We've all read a million of these things, but I decided sitting there in my pj's that to get out of my funk I'd join in.

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I didn't have a plan (as I often don't) and I also didn't have $350. But the first opportunity presented itself quickly enough. At my local Coles supermarket there is a lovely lady who works at the self serve counter who is ALWAYS smiling and chatting to customers. Every time I come through she chats to Emma and Harry, makes sure they don't run out of the store (as they are prone to) and is generally nice to be around. So as I left, I handed a little box of chocolates in at the front desk, asking the staff member to give it to her when I had left, and included a little note that wished her a great day and thanked her for her kindness.

I can't tell you how good that felt. I didn't wait for acknowledgement or thank you, but just knowing that it would make her smile made me feel on top of the world. So that was Monday. Tuesday I made some cookies and anonymously left a plate of them at Emma's Preschool for the teachers to share. This was a hard one, because people are always coming and going, and unfortunately they caught me out at the end of the day and I had to admit it was me who left the cookies. Not quite what I imagined, but nice to show them I appreciate what they do. Wednesday was a little harder because I wanted to do something again for someone that I didn't know.

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I printed off a bunch of inspirational quotes (these are free printables you can find here; extraordinary, rain , sunshine) on photo paper and stuck them in envelopes and into letter boxes. Some were people I knew, some were people I didn't. I love mail and I thought it was nice for people to open an envelope to find it wasn't a bill or marketing stuff but something to make them smile. The one friend (hello if you're reading this Sally) who I tried this out on was so curious about who left it for her that I admitted it was me. For the others, we drove round looking for houses that looked like kids lived there. Emma and Harry would be staring out their car windows and suddenly yell out 'Ball!" or 'Swings' and I would pull over and drop the envelope in their letterbox.

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Thursday we left $2 on a couple of the ride ons outside my local Kmart. I can't tell you how often I get to these, having promised Emma and Harry they could have a ride, only to find I didn't have any coins. So, I left some behind. The family that used one were riding while we had our lunch - I could hear their oldest girl saying 'This is amazing!' and 'I can't believe it's free!!!'.

And Friday we bagged up books and clothes that I'd been planning to sell on Gumtree or eBay and took them to a shelter in Gosford. Some were new things we'd never used or read, others were used but in great condition. What the shelter didn't take we took to a local op shop.

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And you know what? I felt better. Sure the things that were on my mind at the beginning of the week are still there, but I feel better. I'm not sharing for applause, I'm sharing cause it was fun and it might be something you could do to. And Emma and I had a great conversation about giving to people who don't have all the 'things' we have, and about doing things for people without needing something in return.

So no real Thrifty Thursday today, just something that's been going on with me that I wanted to share. Hope it makes you smile...

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, June 10, 2013

White Chair Makeover

Recently I shared a Carver Chair makeover that was one of a bunch of chairs I'd picked up from a lady to a garage clean out. Part of the haul were two of these chairs... there is probably a professional name for them (I think they're Windsor chairs) but I call them kitchen chairs. They've sat around for a little while, but I finally got on to the first one of them a week or so ago...

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I really wanted a heavily distressed look for this chair, so I used home made chalk paint and then went crazy with the sanding. I seem to go through stages, and distressed is my stage at the moment ;) And I think it suits this style of chair, with all her curves I think the peak of wood through the paint works well.

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I went with a faded grey and white stripe for the seat which I love. I have enough of the fabric left over and am tempted to do the other one the same. We'll see  :)

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For the locals I thought I should mention that I won't be heading to Avoca Beachside Markets this month. I needed a rest from churning out enough pieces to fill my stall in the month, and decided to give my sister a rest too. Bronwyn has come to almost every market since I started, driving over an hour to get here, help me pack the two cars, listening to me get nervous and second guessing everything, spending the day, packing up at the end of it, and then driving home again. I definitely wouldn't be able to do it without her help, and I know it takes up a whole weekend for her. THANK YOU BRONWYN!!! So I'll still have pieces for sale on-line, via my For Sale page or my Facebook Page, and I'll be back again in July.

Thanks for stopping by...

I'm sharing at...
Not Just a Housewife
Domestically Speaking
DIY By Design 
Miss Mustard Seed
The Shabby Nest

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Something for Me!

I've been out and about looking for new furniture pieces over the last few days, but nothing has really caught my eye. I keep telling myself not to pick something up unless I love it, so I've come home empty handed this week in terms of furniture.

But I did pick up this ginger jar...

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Check out that orange pine!! This is the dining table I often moan about... when Emma and Harry are a little older it's outta here!

Anyway, the terracotta is not my thing, so I painted it. Bet you didn't think I'd do that right? All about changing it up here...

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Two coats of ASCP Provence and she's looking a little more my style. I love these, and have seen them in so many homewares stores, but at $100 + they aren't in the budget. Lucky me, I found this one for $8 :) I will have to find a spot for it where little hands can't touch it!

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I also picked up this cane light fitting for my entry. We've been in this house for 2 years and I just couldn't stand the metal pencil holder thing any more, and then I found this. For $2. Bargain! The entry is STILL a work in progress - the mirror and table on the right need some work (ie paint) and I think I want a new rug, but it will get there :)

Just as I've been writing this I've seen something on Gumtree and I'm going to have a look at. Cross your fingers for me...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Making Junk Look Amazing - a mirror makeover using dark wax!

Last week I shared the mirror I'd picked up from someone on Facebook. There are a few local groups for people to sell stuff they don't want any more, and I've found a few smaller items through them, though often they've not quite been what I expected. This mirror was no exception...

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The ad said it was a vintage goldy / brown mirror and I snapped it up immediately. I didn't look much at the photo as I was looking for a few smaller items for the market stall I was getting ready for. When I picked it up, well goldy / brown was actually orange pine. Oh well, lucky I can paint!

Part of the carved piece was broken so I had to do a little repair work first. As my dresser project used less than a third of the tin, I decided this girl could use a little Annie Sloan Treatment too :) I painted on two coats of paint, fairly roughly as I wanted a little texture on the rim.

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I used the dark Annie Sloan wax and I think it turned out great. I read up a little as I've never used it before, and followed instructions (for once :) ) I applied one coat of clear wax and then applied the dark. I was tentative at first, but I loved the look immediately and so went to town! I love the kind of grungy aged look it gives it, it really made something beyond ugly look great :) I'm glad I tried it out first on something small, and something with loads of crevices. I think the wax makes the curves really stand out.

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My favourite part by fair is the carved piece at the top. When I picked it the lady told me it had been hand carved, and you could tell from the shape of the groves that it had. But in orange it just looked terrible. In Provence with dark wax it looks like what I thought it was going to be - a vintage mirror.

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I had this mirror tucked away in my lounge room for all of a day before she was snapped up by a lovely lady from Facebook. I was half inclined to keep her, but kept reminding myself that  had bought her to sell, so should stick with it!

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I think we all have a little but of orange pine in our home, or in our history, I STILL have an orange dining stable and chairs (which we will be keeping while my children are small, and stabbing their fork into it when I'm not looking) and chest of drawers. One day...

Thanks for stopping by...

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