Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Grey Skies and Pink Clouds

Just a sneak peek this has taken me most of today and I cant stop looking at it, as I said yesterday my favourite paint shop was not open and they have gone on holiday. I just couldn't hold back so Antoinette and Original are back on the scene. This is the end result but still needs a good wax. Will upload all of the finest details tomorrow, she really sits beautiful in the kitchen.



I am in love.

Tracy x

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The grey display cabinet

Well what a palaver I have had other the past two days, to start off with we finally ordered the kitchen it took an agonising six hours to decide on two styles of kitchen cupboards white or cream and we decided on white. Because we had wasted a whole day in B&Q we thought we would head for a late shop and quick tea at Ikea. Originally shopping for door knobs and you know the extra pillow or whatever tickled my fancy, Anson spotted this grey display cabinet. It was originally £350.00 but the Edland range has now been discounted, we dashed to the warehouse area and they had sold out, we was told to speak to customer service and ask for the one on display. They had told us there was nobody to dismantle the unit and we would have to come back in the morning, so Anson dashed over to Ikea and waited for the doors to open. He spoke to to customer services and they said come back at 2pm when the manager starts shift in order to dismantle it..... Obviously I was on edge and could not let this bargain slip so I decided to call what I thought was Ashton Ikea Customer Services.

 Anson is fairly chilled out when it comes to talking to people so chilled out that he could watch it being carted off under his nose, if I am not there being persistent then nothing will materialise a bit like labour in child birth but that's another story. So I spoke to customer services general line and asked about this unit and if there would be a chance we could take it home today or pay for it up front, to cut a long story short we got onto the conversation of the direct phone number for Ashton meanwhile Eason had woke up from his morning nap and strangely enough a huge gigantic bumble bee had flew into the front room, I had one hand on a glass preventing the bee from attacking me and the other hand on the phone I told the advisor that I was going to grab a pen that is when I heard him say out loud over the phone F***ing H*ll which dragged out for a few seconds. I was in complete shock as this was so unprofessional I cut the conversation short he would not give me any numbers so I asked him his name, he replied with his first name and asked why and I said you have been great customer service thank you for your help and hung up. 

Meanwhile Anson is battling it out with Ikea staff and they told him he had to wheel the unit off on a trolley and dismantle it himself which I know they do anyway so what was the problem in the first place. On a plus side we had it reduced to £60 this whole saga has kind of annoyed me I will be taking the customer service incident further I did call back and was fobbed off with a team leader will call once he has listened to the recorded phone call, that phone call never came.        

The Grey Edland Display Cabinet

A bit blurry but its so dark and grey I have decided to make it over.

At the bottom of the unit it has one drawer and calved legs I will upload a full shot once completed.

My favourite paint shop is closed until Friday they only really open by appointment its frustrating as they are the only stockist of Annie Sloan paint. One stockist in the whole area of Manchester I know Annie Sloan keeps her stockists very few and apart as it is such a special form of paint but buying it on demand isn't always easy. I think Louis Blue would look lovely with a hint of original I hope to update you in the week. I hope my rant didn't bore you too much I am excited as its a fresh project to start on, the other blue unit is on Gumtree as we speak.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Rattan Headboard

I picked up this free standing king size headboard a while back it has two loop hooks on the back so you can hang it on the wall. Unfortunately I have lost the before picture sad face  it was cream with gold painted detail in the carved areas. I painted it a few weeks ago but had to fix it as it had a huge crack on the left hand side, because the main feature is rattan the whole headboard had collapsed on itself.

By looking at it from a distance you can not tell where it had been damaged, it took two of us to stretch the wood and to seal with wood glue and a vice. As much as we struggled to pull it together this was the best we could do. I was surprised that it held together so well as it was thick wood.

I painted it in "Original" Annie Sloan it literally took minutes. When you see these images it looks rather patchy and uneven but in real life its perfectly covered.   

Yes..... £30 what a bargain! this is one of the reasons why I just could not let it go, its funny how we managed to drive from Leeds Home Sense to Manchester with this in the car but we couldn't fit a ladder in yesterday. 

I decided to leave the edges as they were as it had been distressed to perfection. Can I just say painting Rattan is a pain in  the arse it goes everywhere, I guess this prepares me for the Christmas tree experiment.

I am yet to fill in the edge of the crack and a good sand but once I have a new project I am at it straight away with the paintbrush. I am hoping to sell this headboard as unfortunately I have a double bed and in total love with my recent vintage headboard. Do you think its worth selling? let me know your thoughts.

It is a very rare find and I know people have issues with finding a French style headboard these days especially if they own a divan bed like myself. Tomorrow we are taking a trip to Preston I wonder what I will come back with. We have decided to opt for the white kitchen I have taken a few ideas from a friend Tracy over at Pixie blogger. As soon as I saw her white kitchen I had instantly fell in love with the idea of having a white kitchen with bright coloured plates, jugs ect which I already have. Thanks Tracy for the inspiration. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. 

Tracy x 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Junk Shop

Today I did a spot of charity shopping I came across a lovely kitchen dresser but managed to talk my way out of purchasing it, it seems that charity hops in Manchester have boomed in price they was asking £90 for a flat packed display cabinet. I don't usually give flat packed furniture a second look but it was the perfect wood finish with pristine glass doors. 

Today is an exciting day we have decided to have a new kitchen fitted so we headed to B&Q as they are having a 20% discount on kitchens this weekend, and to make things a little bit more lighter on the bill we also have a trade card so an extra 20% discounted. I am in two minds of white or cream my heart is screaming white I hate making decisions so quick its a new kitchen and we have waited so long to decorate. You all have not seen the dreaded one half of the kitchen its hanging off the wall as I type. I will keep you all updated this week on ideas that spring to mind.

So onto the bench cushion, a mile away is a junk warehouse its full to the ceiling of junk some beautiful and the odd old mattress thrown on top. I swear you need a hard helmet to enter this place most of the men are polish their and they don't speak a work of English so asking them to climb over pianos and crawl in between wardrobes is a task itself then explaining what you can see is impossible. The poor guy nearly broke his neck pulling this bench cushion out from under the junk. It was £3 and he had another but he was not even going to locate it because seriously it would of taken a week. Somebody had hand crafted this cushion it was patch worked beautifully and not a mark in sight.  

I really don't know why they threw this out, the junk shop is not charity run so its basically house clearances.

So I gave the seat cushion a lovely hot wash and it turned out lovely. For £3 its a bargain I hope to put it in the garden once we get the sunshine again.

Whilst on the way out I spoke to the owner and asked for some bizarre garden furnishings, the last time I was in there they had been donated the whole entire window display of House of Frazer, gigantic faux tree's with garden lights included. I came across this ladder he charged me £3 so I tried to fit it into the car but it would not fit so silly me said its ok I will walk home with it. So off I trotted in the rain one arm clinging to the ladder I had so many drivers looking at me I was just laughing to myself. I walked a mile and eventually got home without being mugged of a ladder.

Once the weather cheers up I will paint it up with a little distressing. 
I love my little bargains this weekend I hope to find more after the bank holiday. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.
Before I leave I just wanted to say hello to my new followers, unfortunately I am unable to locate your blogs as some of them are not linked to your member information if that makes sense. If you could leave your link in a comment below I promise to visit your blog.

Tracy x

Friday, 24 August 2012

Wu and Wu

Oh my days where have I been? I have only just stumbled across Wu and Wu Dumpling Dynasty....
I found this cute little collection whilst searching for chopsticks on eBay, you probably are all unaware that my partner is Chinese and he had a lovely stash of chopsticks tucked away in the kitchen. Well I have used them to unblock the sink, mix paint, open ketchup bottles, de fluff the tumble dryer and the use of a shoe horn. A few have snapped been coated in silicone and the odd pair slung into the bin. I came across a set of cute pink chopsticks for £6 I think I will replace them, he is screaming in my ear right now saying they are too expensive I will have to have a word with my friend in China, these days anything branded you can buy for a fraction of the price over there. Here is a link to the website Wu and Wu she has some lovely collectable vintage style tins. 

Fiona Hewitt designed this range and her inspiration came from living in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. "Our products are a labour of love. Sought-out from lesser-known parts of Asia, we strive to personalize and re-create the sweet sentiment and attention to detail found in vintage Asian packaging design," says Fiona Hewitt. This gives me any excuse to buy pretty eye catching tins they would look great in our kitchen. 

As you enter you are greeted by these super cute characters and a crazy catchy tune.

I think I will purchase this cute biscuit tin.

The baking set comes complete with a piping tube, cup cake cases and other useful baking essentials.


Anyway I thought I would share this collection as I know some of my dear followers will admire the Wu and Wu collection just like I have.

Have a great bank holiday weekend folks.
Tracy x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Charity shop lamp and the Garden

First of all I am alive...... I have been rather busy and did not have anything worth posting I hope you all forgive me. We have been enjoying the last of the summer weather and a lot of time in the park hitting the tarmac on skates so far I have managed to get out every day and embrace the sunshine. Little man is coping ok in his new bed so we are all back on form, this also means mummy creative time in the evening. We spent a few days in Scarborough this week with family and friends and not to mention some adult conversation which I miss so much. On the way home today I popped into a newly opened charity shop and found a free standing lamp. I have been searching high and low for one of these but nothing really cropped up.

This little treasure only cost me £25 which I think was a bargain, most free standing lamps these days are either chrome or too modern looking. What also caught my eye was the fact that she was off white with a hint of pink, Basically the exact same colour of the two Annie Sloan paints which I use frequently. I was so pleased that I didn't have to touch up or transform for once. 

The lampshade is a little too small for this style of lamp but I am hoping to either create something or buy a lamp shade on Etsy. If any of my lovely followers have seen something which would look nice with the lamp let me know.

The perfect Annie Sloan match.

Check out the pop up tent...such a lovely feature to our front room.

On to the unfinished garden.

So the decking was complete and I then started on the bench, I mixed two cuprinol paints to achieve this very pale duck egg colour. Everything looked fab until the next day it rained, and the bench looked like someone had tipped Beer all over it. The only thing I think it could be is the original stain seeping through the wood. 

I put fixed trellis up against the fence and painted it Country cream, I then added lights for a bit of sparkle. The garden is beyond being completed I have so many things to find in order to make it look cheerful for example plants, shrubs and a wishing well the list goes on. 

I hope you are all well and putting your busy little minds into action I have a few things lined up for the weekend and yes it involves a paint brush!

Tracy x

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Annie Sloan vs Cuprinol on Decking

Just a quick update pictures to follow this evening, I decided to apply the chalk paint to the decking it looks rather patchy but I intend on giving it a white wash after. I painted it with Antoinette "Pink" and a Original "Off White" wash over the top. Its not adhering to the wood very scratchy and the slightest brush and its coming away. I think maybe I should of not diluted it trying to get as much stuff painted out of one tin is obviously not a good idea. Annie Sloan team emailed me advising to leave it to dry for three days in dry weather. I am too inpatient to see whether it will hold up, I looked at cuprinol shades in sweet pea but its far to pink I wanted to achieve that dusky look. I hate to think that I am wasting valuable time on something that wont work. Trial and error! it seems that I am the only person to tackle decking as there isn't anything online.

So this is the decking prior to Annie Sloan a dirty violet colour.

Sat out on the decking, beaming sunshine with Wellington boots on this is what you call style.
First layer of Original on.

And then the Antoinette Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

After sitting on the decking for over twenty minuets I decided it was not going to work.
So off we trotted to B&Q and ended up with a tin of Cuprinol which I didn't want to do but managed to get a colour mixed closest to what was on the decking and came home with Pale Thistle.
Its on and its "BRIGHT" jees you can probably see it from moon. I must of been eating too many raindrops this week because everything is screaming colour.

Pale Thistle wood paint.

I like the colour but it does not have the aged feel to it I cant sand and distress it but I guess over the next year it will start to gain some character. 

I painted the fence too in Sea grass.

I had my sofa throw covers out drying on the line I love the colours from the material next to the fence. 

Now everything is so crisp and bright everything else now seems so drab. The pavement needs a jet wash and the concrete surrounding the fence area need a paint. Something in the garden is bugging me (Purple slating) I want it all painted. I had a great idea of filling up a bucket with chalk paint and a touch of water pouring all of the stones into the bucket, swish them around and then let them dry in the bucket. It would work but I would be there all day. I now need to decide on the right plants, purchase a wheelbarrow and some other pieces for the garden. Once its all completed I will post up some pictures. 

I will leave you with a funny thought......Have you ever painted a fence and then wanted to paint all your neighbours fences the same colour because they are CLASHING with your fence? 

Have a beautiful Sunday folks.
Tracy x

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Eyes wide shut

Hey all I have to apologise for the lack of blogging usually I am posting near enough each day. One word "Tired" not a happy bunny. The little one has started to climb the cot and has attempted this 3 times over the past few days, we have tried everything but now he needs to sleep in a toddler bed. If any of you have any tips on getting a 19 month old to sleep and understand that its bed time feel free to comment I am shattered.

On a happier note I have reached my three stone target at slimming world, over the moon but still need to keep plodding on at this rate I will waste away with anxiety and stress.

I found the before picture the other night and was in shock its amazing how comfortable you feel with yourself  but then you see a photo and then realise something had to change. I had put on six stone whilst pregnant and left the hospital in a bit of a state, most of it was down to water retention but I also went into Kidney failure whilst in labour and nobody knew so for 3 days I spent bed bound in agony and nobody had a clue "I was in labour and labour is like this so you have to get on with it" I couldn't bend my legs or lift myself off the bed I was a mess. In April 2011 I joined Slimming world I managed to shift the 2 stone in fluid retention before hand, so the 3 stone is purely by following the slimming world plan. A few weeks back I started roller skating so this should help me get back to my ideal weight. Today I skated with Eason in the pushchair oh this was so much fun, you should of seen the faces people cheered me on and some people even said they wouldn't mind doing the same. I might have to look into starting a little group meet for mothers and father's who want to keep fit and socialise.   

We had a spontaneous picnic today we usually do this so we headed to M&S and over indulged, hopefully the sun will be back out tomorrow I am raring to go out on my skates again. The garden is coming on nicely I still have a second coat to complete on the fence but I am debating whether to paint the decking pink. I have decided against the chalk paint as I think it will be too delicate to use as outside decking paint. Hope to update you very soon, my bed is calling. 


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Rain rain go away, Come again another day.

Since Sunday I have been busy in the garden fighting with the rain and talking to the Bee's I hate British weather it can never make its mind up. So what should of taken a day to do has taken three days and still not finished painting the fence. According to the weather man the sun will have his hat on for the next three days "Phew". In between fighting with the rain I have been struggling to get the little one to sleep all of a sudden he hates his cot and his room, so to top it all off I have been sleep deprived since Saturday the match sticks keeping  my eyes open have somewhat disappeared. Anyhow I have been doing a bit of thinking and have done a bit of research into what fun things I can add to the garden here are a few pictures.

I spotted the pink pampos on eBay and thought of candy floss straight away I am not sure how big this beauty grows or how long it preserves its pinkness for but its so pretty. I had an idea of making some stepping stones made out of shabby chic plates I am not sure which ones I will be using yet I might have to take a trip to the charity shop and see what I can find. If any of you are wondering how these are made I will make a detailed tutorial on them they are so easy and unique. 

I also saw these on eBay the vintage hanging teapots they state that they can be used indoors but I don't see any reason why they cannot be displayed outside too "cute". Also oilcloth bunting perfect for all year round and they never get wet, I wouldn't mind having a set of shabby wooden shelves outside too as I am limited with space to display plant pots. 

Yesterday I contacted Annie Sloan unfortunately it wasn't Annie herself who replied as she was too busy mixing another shade of pink up for me in the factory. I wanted to ask if I could use the chalk paint outside on wood and stone and they replied yes but it has to be left for three days in a dry condition in order for it to be permanent, she added that is will age beautifully. So now I have the go ahead I will have a play in the garden with chalk paint and report back to you all. 

Hope to be back soon with a finished result! Enjoy the rest of your week.
Tracy x

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Everything candy and the dreaded garden

Everything seems to be candy coloured in my kitchen I cant seem to make my mind up do I like the dusky rusty pinks or am I in favour of a corn flower blue. As soon as you enter the back of the house you kind of feel like your in the Cath Kidston store everything floral, candy coloured and matching and then as soon as you enter my front room it feels like someone has knocked you on the back of the head with a hammer and you have woken up in a dolls house, all distressed furniture with a French feel. I purchased this fly screen the other day I had seen it somewhere on a blog I remember playing in amongst these as a child at my grandparents house I am sure they were more hard wearing. Well instead of the old blue, yellow and red striped blinds they have come up with a candy coloured theme. I needed one of these badly as I hate leaving my door open with the odd fly coming in.

As you can see here it kind of darkens the room but still colourful.

I love how it looks from the outside a burst of colour and nobody can peek in.

So after yesterdays post on 7 things about me I mentioned I hate gardening, I am completely embarrassed about our garden its so mismatched and lacks structure. That man crouching is my partner he didn't see me take this picture he was wearing lady gardening gloves. We woke up this morning and I said lets get this garden sorted so we did, he did the weeding of course in under 15 minutes whilst I watched him from the kitchen window "Washing Up". We pulled down a grass screen in which the home owner had previously and was left with a brown fence and two Ikea mirrors!!. I have plans for this garden I will get this finished by next week, so keep your eyes peeled for the finished look.   

If you are wondering what the blue area is in the back garden its a corn flower blue painted decking area I paid a fortune for this paint as is it was custom made in the Dulax store I was hoping it to be a light wash of colour but instead it was bright and bold blue. When people ask why I just smile and reply its for those people who fly across our house everyday we wanted people to think we had our own private swimming pool! Ga Ga springs to mind. Anyway onto shades I bought this today and intend on painting the fence and gate in the garden I am not sure if its wise as it may clash with the decking but I hate the wood stain that is on the fence present.

I wanted to opt for the colours on the peg bag dusky green with a hint of white and pink, I am daring when it comes to colours and paints but something stopped me from picking up the pink everything seems to be bloody pink. So I might add a few chalk painted Antoinette pieces to the back garden when its finished.

I am tempted to paint the lock and metal work on the gate with chalk paint and wax but not sure if it will hold up in this Manchester weather.  

One minute bright sunshine and then a few hours later its tipping it down thank the angels above it had dried, tomorrow I will be painting the fence I am on a mission.

Hope you all have a smashing weekend.
Tracy x