Friday, 31 July 2015

Vintage on Abbey Street No.1

What a lovely week it has been! The kids are on their sunny summer holidays (minus the sun this week!), but the slightly soggy weather hasn't dampened our spirits! Although I've still been at work, I've managed to enjoy some downtime too.

We kicked our holiday off with a trip to the lovely market town of Market Harborough in Leistershire. It is not too far from home, so we set off, armed with three brollies the size of gazebos, and faced the rain! I specifically set off on our journey here to visit a new venture, 'Vintage on Abbey Street No.1'. And as a lover of all things vintage, I was not disappointed! This haven of loveliness is stocked to the brim with upcycled  furniture, lovingly painted in the most delicious colours, vintage collectibles, handmade items, and the most beautiful, quirky lampshades! Several traders sell here, and the wonderful mix of carefully sourced collectibles and beautifully crafted items create a wonderful feast for the eyes. One of my favourite traders is Nicholas and Steele, a husband and wife team who have such a good eye for vintage, and their display of treasures was a delight to see in the flesh. I can highly recommend a visit to Vintage on Abbey Street No.1! You will be greeted with a lovely warm smile too by the lovely Sue and Sarah! Do pop over and take a look at their Facebook page.

I picked up some beautiful Sanderson fabric, and I'm hoping to make some cushions for the master bedroom. My find of the day was this beautiful enamel bucket. I am still undecided as to where it is going to find a home, but I think it would look lovely with fluffy towels rolled up inside, or as a planter bursting with floral loveliness! Who knows!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Painting and pondering...

Well, the weeds have certainly grown in this little blogging patch, hasn't it? It has been a while! The summer term is always hectically busy as the school year draws to an end. The children need ferrying around from one place to the next, days are filled with school plays, sport days, work, transition days...the list goes on! Trying to find time for creative pursuits seem an impossibility! But, while the days are wrapped in warm sunlight, it seems more important to 'make hay while the sun shines'!

So, I have a rather long list of painting projects waiting to be tackled. Our master bedroom is in dire need of freshening up, as we haven't touched it since we moved in ten years ago! I am thinking drastic changes. It has always been a little 'safe' in it's decorating choices, with a theme of pale pink and pine running throughout. Now I'm leaning towards bolder, brighter colours! I have kicked things off by painting a little glass cabinet in a bright shade of  'Verdigris' by Grand Illusions Vintage Paints. It is utterly yummy! Here is the before picture...A vision of...well, dull...

And now...

I cannot recommend this paint highly enough. I have used several brands of chalk paint, and this particular brand goes on like a dream! You don't have to prepare the surface by tediously sanding it down. You just paint. Compared to other chalk paints, this one went on smoother, and had a much nicer, organic smell. I painted two coats, and then used a clear wax over the top. I don't like things too perfect, so I distressed it in places with sandpaper after waxing it. I am so pleased with the end result!

That is one tick off the re-decorating 'to-do-list'! Now, the real work begins! I am still pondering on what colours to use, and whether I will paint the bed and dressing table. At the moment it looks like this...

I am thinking of painting this wall behind the bed in a bold, dark shade of blue. Yes, I am! Watch this space...For now, I am scratching my head, planning, thinking and deciding...

I hope your summer is equally as relaxing as it is productive. But do remember to take time to smell the flowers...


Monday, 22 June 2015

A piece of cake!

Well, the summer is here and soon it will be 'Bake-Off' season. I am no Mary Berry, but I do love a bit of stirring, mixing, and cake faffing! The latter being the operative word! I have always tried to make a special effort with the childrens' birthday cakes, since the day I became mum. It's the one thing I love to do for them, because nothing beats the surprise and excitement on their little faces as they puff out those candles! My oldest turned thirteen this weekend...Bear with my while I just sit down for a bit to let that sink in....thirteen...I am the owner of a teenager...Help! Well, of course I had to make a little effort with her cake again, as it's a rather special birthday.

Now, I can't and don't do 'fancy'...My skills don't stretch that far, and smoothly perfected masterpieces is not something I even want to attempt. But I can do rustic! So, with the very popular trend of  'naked cakes' gracing wedding and celebration tables around the world, I thought I'd have a go at making one for my girl. It is a lot easier than having to drape a cake in flawless fondant icing! I merely baked four layers of sponge cake, iced them together with buttercream, and didn't even have to bother with the sides! The idea is to spread none, or just a very thin layer of icing round the sides so that all the layers are visible. Easy..a piece of cake! The fun part was dressing the top. I used fresh roses, daisies, some handpicked sweets, sprinkles, quirky flags and bon-bon toppers. Voila! A very rustic naked cake!

And she loved it...Phew!