Sunday, 25 October 2015

Busy Recovering !

Well, the students all came back a couple of weeks ago and everyone has been catching the dreaded fresher's flu. I had it last weekend so didn't get any work done on my furniture. Poor Russell has it this weekend :( He is really sick today but insists he has to go in to work tomorrow as he has teaching sessions till lunchtime. 
I am feeling a lot better but still recovering so didn't get as much done as I would have liked this weekend. It didn't help that the clocks went back an hour last night and it now gets dark at 5pm!!
I did manage to get all six chairs reupholstered....Yay!!
The retro fabric I ordered was a bit uninteresting so I deceided to stick with my original choice of this nice 100% cotton fabric from the Imperial Fabric Collection called Sayuri. I removed all the old fabric and recovered carefully with the help of my trusty electric staple gun :) So, here are the tools I use to remove the staples from the old upholstery.
A sturdy pair of pliers, a staple remover, and in the centre is a sharp chisel as I find it easier to start working the staples out with this before going in with the staple remover. Any staples it can't handle I can pull out with the pliers. The staple remover slides under the staple....
The you push down to clamp it, then lever it out. They come out easily once you get a good grip on them, but it did take me ages to get them all out of 6 chair pads !!
Once they were all removed I took off the old fabric, but kept the black lining to put back on again.
If you are doing this make sure you allow around 4" of extra fabric all round the seat pad. Pull the fabric tight as you staple, and when you come to the corners make them as neat as you can.
You will end up with a lovely finish. I replaced the black liner and screwed the pads back into the chair frames.
So here we have the before and after pics, quite a transformation :) All the hard work paid off in the end and I am very happy with the end result. Now listed for sale on ebay.
Now that I have sold my own shabby chic dining set and gone for a more retro look I decided to sell my lovely shabby chic corner unit. This one is painted in Annie Sloan French Linen, and to add a bit of quirkiness I painted the inside with a custon mixed contracsting pink. I will be sorry to see it go, but I do like how my decor constantly changes and is never boring !
I am looking forward to starting a new project next week, not sure what yet, but I have plenty of choice, if not a bit too much choice, as I have lapsed back into my hoarding/buying everything I like mode. I am actually finding it hard to find space in my workshop to work!
Next weekend is also Halloween ! A night out with work colleagues on Friday night, followed by a weekend of scary movies sounds perfect to me!
 Have a great week and a fab Halloween weekend!!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

I am in love...with a TABLE !!

I am in love....with a table!!!
On Friday I sanded down the top of my new G Plan retro table. I discovered a little burn I hadn't noticed before and thought I could sand it away, but all I succeeded in doing was sanding right through the veneer :( 
Thankfully it's not too noticeable now that it has been sealed, and it is now in my dining room with my new chairs, and I think it looks amazing. Even Russell keeps saying "Wow, I love that table" :)

While I had the sander out I also made a start to the table I picked up last weekend. I thought it was solid wood, but it is actually veneer so I had to be careful sanding in case I sanded through the veneer.
A light sand removed all the marks and varnish. I decided to try something new with this one. I watered down some white chalk paint and applied with a brush all over the surface.
Then using a clean damp cloth I wiped the paint off leaving the white in the grain to give a lime washed look. It worked really well, and once dry I rubbed in some clear wax to seal. I will give it another couple of coats for protection.
I removed the seat pads from the six chairs. These will be reupholstered in a coordinating fabric. I decided to paint in Annie Sloan Versailles, and thought this John Lewis floral fabric would match.
Maybe a bit dark though, so I have ordered some nice retro fabric today from ebay, and I will decide once it arrives.
The chairs needed two coats, and after painting six chairs twice my arm was nearly falling off !!

The base and legs of the table will also be painted in Versailles. I may lightly distress.
Can't wait to see this one all finished, I think it's going to look fantastic! I should get it finished and up for sale next weekend.
The lady who bought the round dining set from me recently asked me if I could find her a plant stand, and paint in the same colour to match the table and chairs. I found this nice one last week. It needed a bit of repair, so I fixed it last weekend and clamped it up for the glue to fully set. I painted it yesterday, starting off upside down so as not to miss anywhere.

Once dry I will very lightly distress, then seal with Annie Sloan clear wax. I really like the wavy edge on top. It's a lovely shape.
We picked up the welsh dresser yesterday. It was tight fit getting it into the back of the X5, but we made it! Just have to decide on a colour!!
Today we got up early and went to the car boot sale at Weston. Even if we don't see much to buy I always enjoy the fresh air on a Sunday morning. I saw this fantastic retro japanese camping heater.
I haven't the foggiest idea what I am going to do with it, but when the seller said I could have it for £1 how could I NOT buy it!?! I also bought this retro look clock. If it doesn't work I will use it to dress my retro furniture for sale.
The only other thing I bought was a couple of atlases, one was 50p and the other 10p! I will think of a project to use the printed maps. I feel some decoupage coming on !

Sundays are never long enough for me, and it was starting to get dark around 6pm tonight. Thank goodness I have Fridays off work now.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Natale a Venezia

So, why have I started with a photo of Venice in winter?
Because I am going there at Christmas for a 4 night break, and I am soooo excited! I have never been before and after speaking to people who have been I decided it was best to go during winter when there are 50% fewer tourists there. We leave the house on Christmas day to drive to London Heathrow, where we will stay overnight then fly out first thing on Boxing day. It will be lovely to get all wrapped up in cosy hats, scarves and gloves and go exploring round this magical city.
Do you also know that it is only 79 days to Christmas?? I think I enjoy all the pre Christmas shopping and preparation as much as the day itself. Am I mad??
Anyway, back to business............

I finished off the Charles Rennie Mackintosh high back chair. I searched the internet to try to find some info about it, but I can't find another one anywhere, and I am starting to think it may be a unique one off hand made item? I really like it and I love Mackintosh design but after trying it in every room downstairs in my house I simply have nowhere to put it, so it's listed for sale now. I did find a similar chair that may have inspired it.
This stunning painted wood high back chair was  made for the a room set designed by Charles and his wife for the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Art  in Turin in April 1902 They called their room set the "Rose Boudoir".

I also finished off the monochrome retro chest of drawers by waxing the cabinet and buffing to a soft satin sheen. Also listed for sale now.
I cleaned all the glass for the many frames I have been painting and printed off some pictures to finish them off. I will sell the Alice in Wonderland frames as a set.
And the others individually. I always worry about sending fragile items like this in the post, as the "cats in hats" frame I painted last month was totally wrecked by Royal Mail. Not only was the glass broken, the frame was also badly damaged. Such a shame after all my work :(
Here are some of the other ones I finished on Sunday .....

I will just need to pack them really well, use FRAGILE packing tape, and keep my fingers crossed!!
The blue bathroom cabinet I painted a few months ago didn't sell, and I think it was due to the bright colour, so I am going to repaint in white to see if that makes a difference. I will still use the pretty shell knob I bought as it really finishes it off and makes it unique.
The car boot sales are all stopping now for the winter, so I may have to rely on ebay and charity warehouses for things to paint. They are a bit more expensive, but I have been really lucky lately and have found a lot of really nice quality furniture. Last weekend I picked up a nice dining set, with 6 chairs from a lovely old school house in a village nearby.
The seat pads are very "used" so I will strip them down and re-cover them in a nice patterned fabric. The table top also needs sanded back to remove ring marks, scratches etc, and I will refinish it with a dark wood stain I think. It is a very sturdy set, and I can't wait to transform it!
Today I won an auction for a fab welsh dresser .....
Isn't it a beauty!! Picking it up on Saturday afternoon. I have bought quite a few pieces lately so I'd better get cracking so the workshop doesn't fill up again. I already have a glazed dresser in my lounge waiting for a revamp.
I am off work this Friday so I hope the weather is nice so I can do some sanding outside before it gets too cold.

Have a good week!!