Monday, 30 January 2012

did I do it ?????

Did I do it ?
Did I finish my 'impossible' challenge ?




Thunderbirds are GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oops, what I meant to say was....................

Ten floating white shelves, instead of two 'red' ikea bookcases,
collapsing with the weight !!!

I was obviously so eager to get on, that I forgot to take a picture of
the bookcases together in one shot.
But this -

became this -

and this - (my side of the chimney breast)

became this -

MY challenge - imagining the impossible, was to use a 'hammer drill' to
put up some shelves myself.
There was method in my madness, because while I'm doing THIS, the dear
old geezer can be doing SOMETHING ELSE - to be posted another day !

I started with two shelves in the lounge, which I posted about here
then started on the dining room, which I wrote about  here

We got the wood from the wood yard, cut to size £120 for 14 pieces.
I still have two for the tops of radiator cabinets in the lounge.
It is 4cm deep and some of the pieces were a bit tight, so I had to
cut them down.
We only have a 'jigsaw', so it wasn't fast !
The jigsaw has now become the 'judder saw' - because that's what I
fe-fe-fe-feel like when I'm using it.

Anyway - handy hints -
a) don't try to chisel out wood where there is a knot, it is
TEN TIMES HARDER (lesson learnt quick).
b) when the hammer drill stops working, buy a new 'bit' -
I got through two (it'll be the bricks)
c) when chiselling out wood, you need two tools - the chisel and a hammer
NOT the chisel and your THUMB (lesson learnt quick)

NB - it's probably NOT a good idea watching Johnny Depp as
Capn' Jack Sparrow while chiselling - even though you may love
his slightly effeminate swagger and beautifully slurred cockney accent !!!

(Yes folks - I did it in the lounge, hey it's cold outside, and the whole house
is covered in fine brick dust anyway, even though I used loads of dust sheets !)

You may have noticed some extra books running above the old geezer's side.
They are actually ghastly sliding doors between the lounge and dining-room.
But we have a master plan ! We're going to remove them completely,
when the old geezer turns the garage into a den/music room/rehearsal studio !

Oops - still got to find a bit of skirting !!!

It WILL look lovely, one day, when I have a lounge-diner.

SOOOOO a BIG THANK YOU to all the ladies who inspired me to do this.
The sense of achievement is far outweighed by the feeling I get when I walk
in the room - it's bigger, it's brighter and I've loved looking at my collection again.
There are books that belonged to my parents, books on crafts, paint effects,
sewing and gardening. Travel books, historical places - I've even
culled them and managed to throw out two !!!
 And I've discovered stuff I'd forgotten about, but will share with you later on.

I'm boring you all I know - SORRY - go check out these lovely ladies
Linda did paint her amazingly high vaulted ceiling a beautiful shade of blue here
Karianne made her first loaf of amazingly tasty looking bread here
Karah made a gorgeous gallery wall with only one screw here
Kelly did an incredible job of clearing out her basement here
Andrea organised her craft room - go check out this deliciously pretty room here
and Stacey actually sewed a beautiful bag for the first time here

I will be linking up to all these blogs when the parties begin
on 31st January and the blogs on my sidebar.

first the radiator cabinets........the flooring needs to go down....the hall....panelling....wardrobes, yes, new, the wood yard......drilling.....easy peasy.....................  
Sorry, day-dreaming, I'm going now, honestly I am........................................................

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

'imagine the impossibilities' challenge

Last Friday was a bad day.
I had put up a couple of shelves in the days leading up to Friday, in the lounge. The second of which I did completely on my own, and I actually thought 'this isn't too bad'.
Friday came - the day to start my challenge in earnest !
I had taken away the books from one side, and pulled the bookcase out the night before.
I marked out the first 5 shelves with a level, and marked 6 holes on each line - 30 holes in all.

We also found out that there was a bit of skirting missing. That will have to be addressed later on !

I got out the HAMMER DRILL.
The one with the hammer action that needs a bit of handling, holding tight, holding straight, pushing with all one's might into the wall !!!

30 holes I thought - piece of cake (silly old me).
First 10 holes, easy peasy, went like a dream.
But the next 20 HOLES would't drill. I only managed to sink the next 20 holes about 1 inch. I need each one to be 3 inches deep.

After repeatedly trying, I did what all good defeatists do - I went and sat on the sofa with a cup of Earl Grey feeling very despondent !
But the same thing kept ringing in my ears -
I went back a few times, but I still couldn't get the holes any deeper.

I contacted the old geezer (he was out - probably a wise time to leave me on my own).
'It could be the drill bit' he said.

Oh, my despair was gone 'of course it's not me and my puney strength, it's the TOOLS !!!
New words were ringing in my ears -

After a new drill bit, I did manage to sink ALL the holes. The drill had a mind of it's own and made this hole too large (or was that me, unable to hold it steady ?)

Anyway, 30 holes later, 30 screws with rawl plugs, 30 notches bashed out of 5 pieces of solid wood, one layer of white paint, and a bit of caulk, and I am nearly there.

Tomorrow, I will fill the holes and paint a second layer of white, then it's onto the other side.
Hopefully I will make it by the 31st January !!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

botannical prints

For my eclectic gallery wall.
Take two gorgeous prints - £4.99 each at a charity shop.

Very nicely framed in London, but just not my cup-of-tea.

Open them up and find out that they ARE book pages.

Love those uneven edges.

Wonder about finding two matching frames in a charity shop.
Wonder about putting them behind glass without a mount.

Ponder some more.
Put two and two together - ie BOTH pieces of glass.
Sandwich the prints between the two, use ONE of the frames,

Ooh, I'm liking the floating botannical prints.
And the frame, which I disliked when I bought them, is now a
perfect little border. And I haven't used any tape to keep them in place.

If they're going in the gallery wall, they will end up on the white.
Although I do like them in front of the stencilling.

Will they go with my 'block' creation, from the last post - who knows.
You'll all find out when I do !!!

Linking up with
Tuesdays Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Show me what ya got @ Not Just a Housewife
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Primp Your Stuff Wednesdays @ {Primp}
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Inspiration Friday @ At the Picket Fence
Fridays Unfolded @ Stuff and Nonsense
Vintage Inspiration Friday @ Common Ground

Monday, 23 January 2012

Wooden block creation 'thingey'

I have been getting on with my 'impossibilities' challenge, but slowly. There have been a few hiccups, and my strength (or lack of it), is holdng me back. Also, for a few hours a day we try to keep things quiet around here. Our neighbour is a milkman and so he sleeps during the afternoon ! And as we live in a terrace, drilling into a brick wall is not the quietest thing to do.

So, I have been working on other stuff. I am trying to get together pieces for an eclectic gallery wall. I have various prints, but I want to add some texture and 'pieces of junk'.

The red paintings are going (I wish the sofa would go too - although it is very comfortable, I just don't DO red sofas ! It's the old geezers) and somehow I need to mix the photos at the far end with some new pictures, and make it work around the little hatch to the kitchen.

I have been picking up pieces of wood - every time the dear old geezer saws something in the garden, I go around picking up interesting pieces (of course, that's my version of interesting). The rest is saved for the log burner.
One of the very many blogland inspirations I love, is the use of lettering. It's everywhere, on furniture, fabric, as subway signs etc. and it's always so effective, so I thought I would combine my chunks of wood and a few numerals and a bit of lettering.
These are my blocks laid out.

So far, so good. I can't be doing with all that printing malarkey. I work off a lap top, so I would have to go to the old geezer and say
                                                 'can I just .......'
                                                 'can you just show me................'
                                                 'can you please get off that computer that you are
                                                  surgically attached to'

So, I just got out a paint brush, a pencil and a few match pots, and.............................

probably should have got some tracings done, as I had to re-paint a couple.

He's thinking ' why do we have to be upstairs in this little room, when we could be in the kitchen near all the FOOD'  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, in the end, I did it all/ realised I didn't like it enough/ waited till this morning and cut it in two - now I'm happy.

Yes, it's not straight, not perfect, but I like it; and the big chunk of white wood that I cut off will become a little shelf.

 I added some (badly) cut out metal numbers, screwing them into place, and a bit of left over rusty mesh from my beach junk post and basically it didn't work with all the little blocks. So I am going to turn it sideways and use it as a shelf.

But I'm pleased with my 'block' piece. I painted letters down the sides as well. Added a few metal things I found in the 'nail and screw' tin !!!

The right side reminds me of Frankensteins monster - I got a bit slap happy with the staple gun.

My block thingy, type shelf thing-a-me-jig has versatility !!!

AND, AND ladies - my 'HOME' (from TK Maxx) has never really had a home, and now this little 'home' has found the perfect home on my creation. That was worth the hours I spent on this.

And the cost - well nothing really, as I 'found' or 'had' everything, although I did get through rather a lot of glue sticks - so maybe £2.00 (approx. $3).

Linking this with
Terrific under ten Tuesdays @ At Home With K
Take-a-look Tuesdays @ Sugar Bee crafts
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Show me what ya got @ Not Just a Housewife
Under $100 Linky Party @ Beyond The Picket Fence
Saturday Nite Special @ funky junk interiors
Pot Pourri Friday @ 2805
Debbiedoos Newbie Party @ Debbiedoos
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Friday, 20 January 2012

Awards and a game of TAG !

 Interior Designers Julie and Danni have a lovely blog
called t & g interiors where they post beautiful photos of interiors.
 This week they gave me the 'Blog on Fire' Award, but having just received one,
 I redirected them to my recent post here.
Then my dear friend Olga @ stardust decor and style passed on the
Versatile Blogger Award to me.

For this award, I need to tell you seven random facts about myself
 and pass it on to 10 other bloggers.

So seven very random facts !

a) I only learnt to copy and paste in October, when I started this blog.
b) Every single time I type I forget which button to press to get the top
or bottom row "34£%6&8)-=^"!!!
c) I write a post and then erase about half of it - I ramble too much !
d) I have no clue what the 'ctrl' button does
e) Every time I have gone for ) I get 0 - seriously I do - lol
f0 Just did it again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
g) I have never pressed anything on the top row of the keyboard.

Ten bloggers will be named at the bottom of this post !
 I also got tagged in a game of TAG by KL from eternalicons
and now 'I am IT' and so here are the rules.
  1. You must post the rules.
  2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
  3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  4. Tag eleven people and link them on your post
  5. Let them know you've tagged them!

So, as I have listed 7 facts already, here are 4 more.
h)  I love my dog to pieces
i)  I've had cats before, but he is my first dog.
j) I'd quite like to work in an animal sanctuary.
l) Did I mention that I love him to pieces !!!!!!!!!!!!!

He's scruffy because he's petrified of the dog parlour !

Now I have to answer 11 questions
  1. What is the number one thing on your 'bucket list'?  Learning a different language.
  2. What would you choose as your last meal?  Roast chicken with all the trimmings.
  3. What is your favourite drink (either Alcoholic or non)?A double shot latte or Earl Grey Tea.
  4. What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?  Chickens feet ! Although I didn't really eat them, I just pretended to, because I'd already refused 3 other things.
  5. What's you favourite holiday destination?  The Greek Islands
  6. What are you most proud of? Passing my test at 42 after failing at 21 and never driving in between.
  7.   Where is your favourite place to shop?  Absolutely anywhere - I love shopping, even window shopping.
  8. Do you collect anything? China and glassware.
  9.   Are you an early bird or a night owl?  Neither, I like mornings, but not too early.
  10. Have you ever been told you look like someone famous? Who?  My dear Aunt said I looked like Isabella Rosselini, but you can stop laughing now, because I know I don't !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. What is your favorite quality about yourself? Being polite.
So, now 11 questions for my taggees !!!
1. Do you have any pets ?
2. What's your style - rustic, classic, shabby chic, contemporary etc. ?
3. Do you think you are generally a messy or a tidy person ?
4. What was your first job ?
5. Do you prefer savoury or sweet things ?
6. What is your favourite musical style ?
7. Can you play any instruments ?
8. Are you a scrabble or a suduko type ?
9. Is there anyone in history you would have liked to have met ?
10. Is there a capital city you've always wanted to visit ?
11. What colour are you always drawn to, in a clothes shop ?

And, these are the nominations for The Versatile Blogger Award,
and also the blogs I'm tagging.  I will just bend the rules and list 11
people to receive the award and play a game of TAG.

11.  Please click on this post that my good friend Otter has
written. Sometimes the most inspirational thing in a blog is the person who

And if I didn't TAG you and you'd like to join in, please do!
Phew - it's a lot of work, so if you don't wish to take part -
I quite understand !

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

faux bonsai

This is a  little project that I started before Christmas,
although I had the concept about four years ago,
when I found this on the beach !

It looked like a miniature tree to me, and so I kept it on a shelf.

And there it sat, until I found this in a charity shop.

The lovely green bonsai pot with a separate base - £1 only !!!

I've always loved bonsai trees, but I think it is a real art to keep them.
I wouldn't want to have a real one and then kill it off.
So, I decided that I could make a faux bonsai.

I put tape in the base of my pot, and clingfilm, in case it all went wrong and
I wanted to get the plaster out.

I used plaster that I had. Mixed it with water, not too runny, but so that
I could poor it into the pot. Stuck the trunk in and put tape across
to hold it upright.

When it was completely dry I cut away the clingfilm ( I couldn't actually lift the
plaster out like I had hoped, but at least I would be able to chip it out,
if it all went wrong) and stuck moss on the plaster.

You can see moss on the branches as well, this was my first attempt !
I didn't like it atall (forgot to take a picture) and cut it all off.

Then I found these little branches on the beach, some bushes had been trimmed.

So this is my second attempt.

But I don't think a bonsai master would be very impressed,
and nor was I. It was just too messy. And this is how it stayed,
until today.

It's a ghastly grey day in the UK.
I have been doing some samples of 'silver' paint effects for a client,
and they haven't been going well. While they were drying, I thought
I'd have another go at the tree.

I just lightly pulled and cut the tiny branches off and
 went back to the moss I had bought in the first place.
I used it on my 'nearly white' Christmas mantle posted here
but it wasn't being used now, so I salvaged it,
and 'third time lucky' - I really like it.

This moss looks so much more like little branches.

I just used my hot glue gun, and it was done in about 20 minutes.

I'm not going to spray it green - I like this faded out colour !
The total cost of this £2, not bad when you consider that I saw a faux
bonsai in a shop once and it cost £25 !!!

linking up with
Terrific under ten Tuesdays @ At Home With K
Take-a-look Tuesdays @ Sugar Bee crafts
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Tuesdays Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Show me what ya got @ Not Just a Housewife
Winter Blues Wednesday @ DIY by Design
Primp Your Stuff Wednesdays @ {Primp}
Strutt Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Transformation Thursdays @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Whatcha Got Weekend @ lolly jane boutique