Wednesday, 28 January 2015

updating the gallery wall and milk paint

Sorry if this post is very similar to a post I posted recently, you might have a slight case of deja vu !

Some time ago CJ at Juniper & Roses sent me some samples of MMS milk paint. She has become a salesperson over here and uses the paints with great skill (just take a look at her header, I wish I owned the plan chest).

I had always wanted the two large dark frames on the gallery wall to be painted a light colour, perfect for trying out the Ironstone sample. I also realised that I could probably squeeze a few extra things in on the right because the gallery wall wasn't quite central to the sofa (and I don't need much of an excuse to put more things on the wall).

I bought the frames years ago in a flea market in Brighton and got glass cut for them and put Klimt pictures in them.

They have no varnish, so were perfect for milk paint.

The milk paint didn't mix very easily and I got a few lumps but the lumps painted out. It also did exactly what it said it would, it stuck, because the frame wasn't sealed at all, so I used a scraper to get a more distressed look.

I didn't use the rest of the paint on the other frame, I used it on something very non-porous and shiny, a plastic coated basket, just to see the difference. It flaked off really well, in fact it was hard to get the paint to stick but I did it a couple of times and varnished it once I was happy with it.
The basket became a shelf in my bathroom, with a bit of wood pushed through the bottom, and although I originally put the toothbrushes here, my brother found it all a bit precarious, so I had to find another solution.
Anyway, I digress.
I used a matchpot on the other frame and distressed it, then stuck a map of Worcestershire to the back of the glass and discarded the back of the frame because I really like the 'floating' look.

Also, I love the look of hand-tinted prints, as this is.

So, the additions.
I got a No. 9 (I felt at the time that I chose it randomly but actually my birthday is on the 9th - doh !) covered it in a map of the Middle East, but didn't like the clean look, so I touched the edges with an ink pad, then sanded the whole thing gently, and it looked much better.
I put up my little green head, the one I wrote about here, that Cheryl in Wisconsin had inspired me to fix.
Then found a frame that was the right width and left it like that for a considerable amount of time.

It needed something else but I didn't want another small thing on the wall under the gold frame, so I moved everything down a bit, added white coral to the opening in the top of the green head to fill one gap and used the top of the gold frame like a shelf and put a favourite card on it.

While looking for Christmas presents, I found a little piece to put in the frame, a little glass 'thing' with the quote 'Fashion fades, only style remains the same' Coco Chanel.

Finally, it's finished and I really need to leave this part of the room alone and go do something else.

I definitely prefer the gallery wall without the dark frames, everything seems more mellow.
I managed to paint a whole chair for work with the MMS Tricycle sample, though I had to thin it down to make it cover, but yes, if you're wondering, I would use MMS milk paint again, I'd just buy one of those mini whisks for mixing.
THANKS for my samples CJ, I told you I'd do a post one day xx

Monday, 19 January 2015

the WC before and after

Recently I had ten days off work and without the where withal (or perhaps the inclination) to go away anywhere, I chose to spend my time in the water closet, the WC, the loo, the lav, the littlest room !

Regulars here will know that I decided to decorate the hall, stairs and landing just before Christmas.
Well it's almost done, apart from the floor. In fact it was all almost done before Christmas.................apart from the floor.
I'm procrastinating.
Bending down, sitting cross-legged on the floor, all hurts, so I diverted my attention to the WC.

I'll show you part of the hall first, the chalkboard wall. The hall is so narrow that I couldn't stand back and get a better shot.

I've had blackboard envy for a considerable amount of time, and when I did this (and my friends wrote over it and the neighbours children drew all over it) I loved it so much, that I decided to paint the loo walls (and ceiling) black too.

I also took up the carpet and painted the panelling and door frame in brilliant white.
I seasoned the blackboard paint with chalk.
I've always loved this picture that I put on my Pinterest board Wall Displays, where a collection of cameras is highlighted by putting them against blackboard walls and I realised that if I had some blackboard walls of my own, I could try and replicate it a little.
I have loads of framed photos of friends and family, but they were in the ex old geezers loft, so I got them back and painted and distressed most of the frames with black and graphite, leaving a few gold ones in their original state.
I went through a massive trunk full of photos (an afternoon that was spent reminiscing) and found some more and painted yet more frames.

And now I have a blackboard photo gallery in the WC, with names of friends and dates of days gone by, memories of travels in far off places, and memories of family also gone but not forgotten.

The ceiling worked out way better than I imagined, when I found the perfect quote to wind round the light.

From quiet homes and small beginning
out to the undiscovered end
There's nothing worth the wear of winning
but laughter and the love of friends
- Hilaire Belloc
At face value it seems to fit because I wanted the words to spiral out to the ends, and I've been to the 'ends' of the earth, and also the water closet is all about friends, but I think it's a great quote with a great meaning.

As you can see I painted the floor white, but this is the only section I've done, so that it would be photo worthy.

I had no plans for putting up the pictures, I didn't lay them on the floor, I just put my favourite photos on either side at eye level and just let the gallery grow randomly.

I don't really like pictures of myself but this one I can cope with. It was 25 years ago exactly that I went on an amazing overland trip from London to Kathmandu and the best thing about visiting the Taj Mahal was that we were the first people there at 6am and we had it to ourselves at first and you have to take your shoes off, so walking on the cool white marble made it even more special.

I've been spending a lot of time in the water closet, and now you know why.
linking up with
Make it pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Show and Share @ Coastal Charm
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Silver Pennies Sundays Link Party @ Silver Pennies

Saturday, 10 January 2015

the reason for my blogging downfall.....

When I took another break from blogging last year I worked on a few small areas in the house. One thing that was really bugging me was the sofa.
The sofa is pretty new and pretty nice, but it's hard to relax at night, the back cushions make it too upright.
That's great in the daytime when I might want to sit upright and blog, but not so good at night when I want to relax, throw the laptop on the floor and watch something on tv.

I had the idea of switching the back cushions for smaller ones that would be far easier to throw around or sink into, rather than trying to lift the cumbersome original cushions onto the floor (which I did.....often.....I've mentioned before, I'm pretty lazy and I love watching films).
When I got the extra spondulies from this job, I went straight to a Next superstore and found three cushions straight away, which put me on a mission to find more.

As I'm always trying to be eclectic I went for different styles. The grey velvet (only £8), green ruched velvet (£14) and devore velvet (the most expensive at £25) were the first buys.

I couldn't resist the printed blue and white cushion and it was a steel at £6. Also from the same shop I got the duck egg blue, brown and green check cushion (14.99) and the grey felt cushion (can't remember how much that was but it was inexpensive).

The linen cushion with the green stripes came from H & M online, I think it was £7. The brown check was a £2 remnant I made into a 50cm cushion for the back row (the other three being the same size).

Then I just needed one more to tie it all together, something with green and blue and definitely a pattern and I found it online, in the US, and it looked right when I put the computer on the sofa to try it for size.

When I received it, I found the background a little yellow for my liking but I love the pattern and all the other colours, so it stayed.

And this has actually become the reason for my blogging downfall, because it's way too comfy and the laptop gets discarded early in the evening.

And in true blogging style, let me just show you the other end of the room that is in slight disarray, due to staging the sofa (I had to take the throws're guests after all)) and numerous painting projects, and of course my favourite little photo bomber is never far away.

I'm currently off work because the boss has closed the café for 10 days for essential maintenance but I still haven't finished the hall, stairs and landing because I'm slightly obsessed with the WC. That sounds weird but I had a little idea to make it more interesting and it's all coming together, more on that soon.........