Monday, 6 June 2011

Bathroom sneaky peeks

After quite some length of time living with a schizophrenic bathroom (not to mention the "part of your bathroom is nice..." comments from well meaning visitors) The DIY bug stepped in and compelled me to, at last, tackle the half finished job that constituted our smallest room.  And so ... I chose my weapons, picked me out a tester pot and set off - in high spirits and completely unaware of the perilous adventure that it would prove to be.. (ok maybe thats over-egging the pudding somewhat, but let me tell you that there was more than one point during this journey that I had cause to regret ever deciding to get involved)
first a reminder of the bathroom as it was when we took ownership of the house....  
I had chosen a lime green tester pot for the top half of the walls.  My original idea had been to keep to a strictly monochrome scheme but as much as I loved how the entryway and linen cupboard turned out...
... I felt that it would be too stark and cold and needed just a dash of colour.  I had agonised over exactly what colour for quite some time when I decided to relocate a green plant pot (that we had inherited with the house) from our bedroom to the windowsill in the bathroom.  This was purely an act of mercy towards the poor houseplant that resided within said plant pot - as I thought that it had more of a chance of getting watered in the bathroom than in the bedroom.  And there it was... my colour choice.  Yes I know - lime green??  But it seemed to make sense.  I could visualise it.  It WOULD work..

I rushed home and tried out my tester pot and this is how it looked... be afraid...
The next job was for me to break out the sugar soap... I needed to sugar soap all the tiles as it was my intention to .. Wait...Are you sitting down? .. It was my intention to paint the tiles.  
Some things I have learnt about painting tiles:
  1. the mere mention of tiles and paint within the same sentence causes hysteria
  2. tile paint strikes fear into the hearts and minds of the biggest, sturdiest and manliest of men
  3. everyone (and I mean you consult about painting tiles will try to dissuade you using the most persuasive tools that they have at their disposal
  4. The Good Lord giveth and if he could he would taketh away the tile paint
  5. Tile paint is the Devil - not the work of the Devil but the Devil himself in D.I.Y form
So... armed with all the above information - I was determined to paint the tiles.  I could see how it would pan out:- I would be the one to conquer the almighty tile paint.  I would succeed where all the experts had failed.  I would write books about it.  I would start a tile paint revolution....

Firstly - I painted the remaining (un-tiled)  top half of the walls with the green then sugar soaped the tiles.  I had bought both white and black tile paint as the plan was to paint the blue border tiles in black and the pink lower tiles (everything below the border) in white.  After deliberating the best course of action - I decided to do the black tiles first. 

Some more things I learnt about tile paint...
  1. It is viscous beyond the levels of all viscosity I had ever previously encountered
  2. just taking the lid off a tin of tile paint causes hysteria in the immediate vicinity (i.e. Me)
  3. The fumes from tile paint immediately locate and kill all brain cells connected with artistic ability and in particular - how to hold and use a paint brush
  4. It bleeds
  5. It drips for days and days and days
  6. Applying tile paint with a roller does not result in a flatter finish
At long last I finished the black tiles... By this time I never wanted to see another tin of tile paint again.  It looked bad.
The next day I touched up the grout around the painted tiles - it started to look better. 
It started to grow on me...
I asked my very talented designer husband (graphic designer not versace) to make me some decals for the wall... it all started to come together. 

I repurposed (I believe that is the 'in' word in lifestyle circles) a vintage mirror that had been hung in the kitchen (I'd never really gotten attached to it there)

and fixed a wooden 'Love' plaque that is identical to the one in my living room - my two year old son had broken it in half and I'd kept it just in case..
I just need to paint the woodwork (doorframe and bath panel) white and dye some of my towels and my work here is done...  Watch this space for the grand unveiling within the next couple of weeks.....

Tata for now peepholes x

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Where its at. (Because I'm "Street" dont you know)

Its a little hectic around here at the moment as I'm trying to set up my own business (in childcare), set up a sideline project (see my new blog), make things to sell (see my new blog) and look for a job in the meantime.  Then somewhere along the line I need to make time for Alex.  So I apologise for the delay in between posts. 
So you get the gist... busy, busy, busy.

Its a funny old time of year at the moment:  not quite spring but not quite summer (doing quite a convincing 'Autumn on some days!)  and thats how I feel I am at the moment - in betweeny.  I'm just desperate to get moving forward properly with my life and have a clear direction again.  Well I suppose I do have a clear direction but I feel like i'm sitting at some temporary traffic lights - you know the ones - you end up sitting looking at a red light for what feels suspiciously like an extremely long time then you convince yourself that the lights are broke especially since there hasn't been any traffic coming from the opposite direction... what if their side is stuck on red aswell... What if (oh horror of horrors) both sides have been sitting and looking at a red light all along..... Then - just as you start to try and find a contact number for the local Highways department - it changes and you feel like a tit (just slightly).  Anyway ENOUGH of the analogies!!

Here are some pictures....
we did some hand and foot painting.  This meant we had to wash up in the sink...

We ate homemade meatballs with spaghetti....

Which necessitated more cleaning up.

My Kitchen is really coming together and I'm loving it in here more and more x
Not much else to report back at the moment.. so I'll take my leave of you.  Bye for now xx

Friday, 6 May 2011

My newest makes

An ex Ikea extendable child's bed bought for 2.50 and painted with leftover paint
I saw the above in our local charity shop for 2.50 (in pounds that is - there isn;t a pound sign on my keyboard???) and I thought that there must have been some mistake.  I, of course, snapped it up and high tailed it out of there before they had chance to change their mind.  When I first bought it it looked like this:
this pic makes it look like it was in good nick but it was quite beaten up
 It had quite a few knocks and some pen scribbles.  I knew that I'd end up painting it but I wasn't sure what colour.. My husband suggested using the beige that we had left from painting the mdf panelling in the living room.  I'd kind of been thinking along the same lines with the exception of using the leftover cupboard paint from the kitchen.. Then I thought: "why not use both" and this was the result - I spent the whole day sanding it down then started with the beige.. It took 2 days and 5 coats.  I'd forgotten that I'd had a horrendous time with the beige when I'd painted the panelling!  Its only saving grace is that it dries very quickly and you can apply another coat after half an hour.  Its a Dulux woodpaint.. needless to say - I wont be buying it again.  In contrast the grey went on like a dream - as it had in the kitchen - only, it took a further 48 hours before it was touch dry (thank god for those 4 day weekends, eh?)  Anyhoo - its done now... almost... I have one or two finishing touches in mind for it and I'll post updated pics when its done... 

I've also made this dresser:
I'd been keeping an eye out for a dresser top/shelving unit that would be small enough to fit on top of the kitchen radiator cabinet.  This was one that I found on Ebay but it didn't sell so I contacted the seller after the auction ended and offered them 20 quid (a fiver less than they were asking for).  They accepted.  I suppose that I could have drove a harder bargain but they were nice people and it was the nicest shelving unit I'd seen.  I'd done a bit of a deal and they got it taken off their hands without feeling like they'd been shafted... Everyone's a winner baby! 
It was a very dark wood originally.  I confess that I was so eager to get it spray painted that I didn't take a before picture.  Here's a closer pic:
 I was really pleased with the way it turned out - I've always wanted a dresser but with the way that the kitchen is laid out we didn't really have room for one in there.

I made Alex an Easter Bunny:
Sorry about picture quality - I still havent treated myself to a new camera yet...

 But the thing I'm all about at the moment is

Bunting... Bunting made from children's books.  I've made up three sets of this so far, two of which I've given away as gifts.  The nursery rhyme one above was intended as a gift but Alex is so taken with it that I've had to reconsider.  He just loves looking at it and reciting all the different rhymes.  I've bought lots of binding tape and lots of second hand (and in some cases vintage) children's books to make more.  I'm  hoping to sell it.  Which brings me to my big news... Ive set up another blog that is purely to showcase the handmade and vintage items that I'm going to be selling.  
It's called "Savvy Chic and Folklaw" (do you like what I did there??) Its my intention to mainly sell vintage clothing and homeware with a few handmade nicknacks thrown in.  I'm really nervous about selling the handmade stuff coz I always think "Is it good enough? Is it good enough??"  But if I dont try I wont know will I?.  Anyway I hope you'll follow the new blog as well as this one... check it out.. You might see something you fancy....
Bye for now. Shellxx

Monday, 2 May 2011

Easter and May Bank holiday

Well, its been a little while since I last posted on here and this is partly down to problematicos technicales.. I still haven't found a free way to blog from my ipad and seeing as blogging (or doing anything via the mac mini) requires lots of concentration - I only really do it when Alex is taking a nap.  Getting Alex to take a nap is not an exact science nowadays - sometimes he'll have 20 minutes, sometimes 2 hours and then other times nothing at all.  My getting to sit down and blog is a bit of a lottery at the moment.  But I'm here now and that's the main thing...
These last few weeks have been glorious and I've really enjoyed being able to spend plenty of time with my husband and littlest boy over the bank holiday weekends. 
My eldest boy is currently in on holiday in Portugal and despite the fact that we hardly see him when he's 'home' I'm still missing him terribly.  It was his 18th birthday a couple of weeks back and I have no idea where the time has gone.
We have spent some of our bank holidays exploring the woodlands that surround our village.  We've set off on a couple of occasions with no particular plan - just going wherever our whimsy directs us - I love exploring this way as we seem to stumble on so many little places that we would have no idea existed if we planned out our routes more.  I must take some pictures of the ruined building that lies at the far edge of Windy Bank Wood.  There is a very interesting subterranean room in it complete with bars on the underground window(??)
This Easter has seen Alex at his most entertaining as his personality is starting to blossom evermore each day and he constantly amazes us with his little outbursts and what appears to be an uproarious sense of humour.
I've been feeling terribly creative of late and I've completed several little projects in the last couple of weeks which I'll list in a future post.  I'm thinking of getting a little stall at a craft or vintage fair and seeing if I can make a few bob.. I think it would give me a great sense of achievement and since money is too tight to mention around here at the moment - it may also provide a welcome influx of funds. 
I'll sign off for now and get some shut eye - it is a school night after all..

Night all, sleep tight and sweet dreams x

Monday, 4 April 2011

What I've been up to.. sorry about picture quality!

 Just some quick pics to show what I've been up to.  My camera has died though so these have been taken with my phone and it shows.....


We had a picnic in the garden

Alex is a big boy now and can sit at the table...

We took Charley Bear on the train to visit Grandma...

I've made a quilt for my friend, Helen...  

Bye for now... hopefully I'll have a new camera soon and can get back to blogging more frequently xx

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Spring has sprunged...

Everyone else has posted springly pictures on their blogs so I decided to hurl myself on the bandwagon..
The tulips are from my ever-so-stylish friend, Sharon, who came round and spent the afternoon with me on Monday. And what a lovely afternoon it was. The sun was shining. We had lots of tea and cake and a little explore in Windy Bank Wood.
Windy Bank is my new place to explore and its literally on my doorstep. I'll post some pics here soon....
Bye for now x

An ongoing saga... bathroom continued

Here are the results so far in the bathroom or the room off the bathroom - its a strange little configuration....
I painted the walls black. Yes folks I did say black. And when I'd just finished painting I looked at it and I thought: " have I just gone completely mad? Have I??"
I just couldn't decide if it was completely mental or total genius... I do think it will probably divide people's opinions but once I'd gotten my mirror and candle sconces on the wall I was totally in love with it..

Ive spruced up the candle sconces - they were a gold pair that I'd had in my old house in the living room. I painted them white with an almost dry brush so that some of the gold would still come through and I nicked some of the crystal drops from the chandelier that is just visible in picture one. I used these on the sconces and the mirror. Same mirror that was black in my last post.

And finally:- the line between the old and the new... All woodwork is going to be done in brilliant white and tiles are going to be mainly brilliant white with a black border..

To be continued.....

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Bathroom Makeover - back to pimping...

I've started to tart up my bathroom... We were really spoiled in our old house as we'd been able to afford to have the bathroom completely gutted and done out and it was probably the nicest room in the house.
Now dont get me wrong - the bathroom in the cottage is perfectly serviceable
it is totally fit for purpose but... its.. well its a bit embarrassing really. We had to get the ceiling dropped and replaced in there and there are drips down the walls from where the plasterer was smoothing the plaster. Not great big lumps, mind - but dribbles. As if someone has dribbled tea down them only you cant really scrub it off. Nice yellowy brown dribbles from the ceiling.

And the tiles are mismatched. It looks as if originally- there was a layer of tiles up to the middle of the walls and then someone came along later and thought (quite rightly) that tiles up to the ceiling were in order along the side of the bath and shower. But I'll bet pound to a penny that they trotted down to the DIY place and they just couldn't find the exact same tiles as the ones that were already in situ. And I'll also bet that (just like us) money was an issue so.... they decided that they would get some tiles that were the same size and dimension as the old ones - only plain white. Because white goes with everything doesn't it?? Right? White does go with everything? Well sort of...

And another thing.. The border tiles.. theyre ok.. They're not offensive or anything but they just look kind of like they would be in a child's bathroom. If there is such a thing. Nothing wrong with that as such but - well - our bathroom in Mossley, Lancashire was gorgeous - it was boutique hotel style. Everyone commented on it. "oh what a lovely bathroom" or "Oh what a gorgeous bathroom" or "Oh I WANT your bathroom!" or (my personal favourite) "I know I've said it before but... What a lovely bathroom". There's nothing like repeat compliments.
I was proud of it. I would pour people copious beverages so that they would be forced to visit it and once they did they were always smitten. I CANT FIND ANY PHOTOS OF IT!! I know we had some but I cant trace them. Maybe its a good thing.. I'm bigging it up so much - they'd have to be pretty damn good photos wouldn't they....
Do I sound a slight bit mad? I must apologise. But I cant help it. I WANT PEOPLE TO WANT MY NEW BATHROOM!

Problem: I dont have 'Make people want your new bathroom' money. And I've been to the local library and they dont seem to stock 'How to make people want your new bathroom without 'Make people want your new bathroom' money.'
Solution: Tile paint and second hand mirrors and spray paint. Ok so these things are probably not going to make people want my new bathroom but they might help me to want it. And that's the first step so..
Phase 1: The anteroom...
I decided to spray paint the louvre doors white...
Coat number one - ooo Shabby... (I did move the towels and little chair whilst painting - I just put it back in shot for composition purposes - oo get me: all la di da!)

And here's the mirror I bought from the local charity shop which had my husband scratching his head... and making polite ''I'm sure it'll be lovely when you're done'' type noises...

Complete with those lovely yellow dribble marks...

To be continued... cue suspense music

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Dragon Rescuscitation and What happens when you fall asleep and leave your Mummy alone with Playdoh

Dragon Rescuscitation

  1. Approach victim with caution checking for any potential hazards
  2. Try to ascertain if casualty is conscious ... might I suggest flicking him once or twice...
  3. If casualty is unresponsive attempt rescuscitation commencing with 5 rescue breaths:
  4. Follow with chest compressions:
  6. "Nurse! Get this patient into ICU immediately!
Alex fell asleep whilst we played with the Playdoh... I was left alone - so I made Owls...
The moral of the story is : When dealing with playdoh - dont fall asleep on the job...