Telephone Table UpdateĀ 

It’s been nearly two years since I updated this little telephone table (see This Post )

And one naughty cat, who might or might not be called “Frodo” has done some damage to it since then.

I found some gorgeous blue and white hand blocked Paisley fabric from India on eBay that was crying out for a special project, and this was it!

First I had to decide whether to paint the drawer again, or strip it. I was feeling ambitious so I went with the stripping option.

With several layers of paint to get through I started with some paint stripper.

And that’s when I discovered why I’d always painted it before. 

Turns out the table top and front of the drawer were topped with laminate!!!!

Aargh. These things always turn out to be more complicated than you first think!

With the aid of a trusty screwdriver and a sharp knife I managed to get the laminate off. Of course doing this ripped chunks out of the top.

A heap more paint stripper was required to get the glue off, and then I set to sanding and trying to repair the gouges.

Turns out some parts were made of a pretty maple coloured wood but other bits were made from plywood. At this point I was wondering why I’d ever decided to do this project. 

But I wasn’t giving up just yet. I decided to try and stain the wood. I mixed some water based polyurethane varnish with some brown acrylic ink, and plunged in with brush and rag …

It looked great!

Until I got to the table top. šŸ˜¢

More sanding. A lot more sanding.

After several hours I gave in, and decided whatever imperfections remained would add “character” and “patina”.

“Meh” it will do. (In hindsight, I should have just bought a new piece of timber for the top, but I didn’t think of that at the time!)

Anyway, here it is in all its glory.

And with a pretty vintage lace cloth and some bits and bobs on top, I reckon it’s a success! I love the fabric!

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September Bed Post

It’s officially Spring, so florals were an obvious choice!

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African InspirationĀ 

I keep seeing images of African baskets on walls, such as these:

Source:West Elm

Source: Decoist

And these

Source: Maria Killam

I was really wanting to do a basket wall display just like this in my entry hall. I had a couple of flat baskets already, but I really loved those African designs. Time to find a way to make my own!

I was able to get some of those cheap cane woven plates that used to be used at BBQs and picnics to support paper plates. I remember them from my childhood, and picked these up in the op shop but I think you can still get them in discount stores as well.

Then I got my sketch book and watercolour paints out to play with some designs to go on them.

Once I had an idea of design, I used chalk to try and mark the cane for my designs.

Then I painted the basket with watercolour paints.

This was a lot trickier than I thought it might be!!!!!

However, I persisted and simplified the designs a bit, and here they are:

Then I hung them on the wall around the mirror with the other flat baskets I had.

VoilĆ ! African wall baskets that aren’t actually African. šŸ˜Š

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New Sofa Covers!

A recent trip to IKEA was all about getting some new grey covers for my sofas.

That naturally led to me completely rearranging my living room! Cats and dog supervised this process, generally getting in the way and making things harder than they should be!!

So here’s another room tour:

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Faux Shell ChandelierĀ 

I have always loved those beachy Capiz shell chandeliers, but haven’t been lucky enough to come across one at a good price.

In fact, they can run into the thousands!!!!! As this post on the blog More Ways to Waste Time shows:

So I decided that I should make my own!

I already had this brass ring that I bought to make a dream catcher with:

And I saved a bunch of milk cartons to make the “shells” with.

Once I’d removed the labels and cut out just the flat pieces, I used a silver sharpie to draw around one of the lids to create my shell circles.

I made 72 circles from four milk cartons.

Then I used a metal skewer heated in a candle flame to poke holes in my circles so that I could join them together with metal jump rings from my jewellery making stash.

More jump rings attached the chains of circles to the brass ring, along with three lengths of chain to hang it with.

And, Ta-daaa!!!

It’s a bit sparse, so I think I will save more milk cartons and add some more “shells” to flesh it out a bit more. I could even add a second tier and make it more of a statement piece.

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A few more op shop treasures…

My last op shopping trip was more about me picking up some trackies and tee shirts to wear when I’m painting in the studio. I’m a very messy artist!

However it’s impossible for me to go into an op shop without looking in the homewares section!

This time I found this cute tartan mohair throw.

This 70s ceramic vase.

And I also picked up a mixed bag of metal items. My op shop won’t price anything under $1.99, so little or inexpensive items they tend to bundle together in a bag and sell it as a job lot.

This collection was $2.99

As always you could barely tell what kind of metal they were made from because they were so tarnished, but an hour with some Brasso and they’re gleaming!!! I especially love the teeny copper vase. šŸ˜Š

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Bathroom VignettesĀ 

“The only constant is change”

In my house this is so very true! I’ve been rearranging in my bathroom again and thought I’d share the results.

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