Thursday, 19 July 2012

Tick Tock....Teapots & A Clock.

Every once in a while you happen across something that you fall in love with...for me these things are usually broken, battered and old. I see broken things as a challenge to fix them....battered, as added charm and old without a doubt is better than new! 'Old' has a history, it has a past life....I realise I will probably never find out what that past life entailed but I do always wonder...I wonder if this particular thing was someones pride and joy and then the style went out of fashion so they just got rid of it...or if it broke and they didnt know how to fix it so threw it out.

A little off point but this might help you understand how I tick.
I honestly believe that 'things' have feelings. There. I have admitted it.

I'm the older version of a little girl who used to get attached to a stone because it was nearly perfectly spherical and when I lost the nearly perfectly spherical stone...I cried. Yep that's me. I am the teenager that got attached to the ugly stuffed toys that you won at the fair ground because I felt that if I didnt take them home and love them nobody else would.

I do love beautiful things....but if something is really truely hideous. I have to have it.

This point can be proven in my collection of teapots.
What kind of teapots I hear you ask? Perhaps Royal Doulton? Denby? No. Perhaps I just really LOVE tea? No. Dont drink the stuff.

My Ugly Teapot Collection
That's right. They are fruits and vegetables with faces and hands.
The little ones arent even big enough to make a cup of tea in. Totally pointless as well as ugly. 

Anyway...I digress.

I noticed this little guy at a car boot sale recently. He was sad, scuffed and broken....but that just added to the appeal. I didn't buy it at first. I just looked at it for a long while planning what I would have to do to it, and then left it there. As is usually the case when this happens...I went back to get it.

Before: Clock with shelves 

I got it home and removed the old broken clock mechandism which had only 1 hand. I sanded the wood down and gave it a couple coats of the same Farrow & Ball Tallow No.203 Emulsion thats my kitchen table and chairs are painted in.....there was no question I would be keeping it. It was not for sale.

After: Clock with shelves

10 green(brown) bottles sitting on a wall....

I recently came across this image. 
The colours.
The embossed jars.
The flowers.
Whats not to like?!
Image - Original Source Unknown.
A couple of days ago my husband had just finished a bottle of American Root Beer. The bottle was on the coffee table next to me. I noticed it had a cool embossed logo on it. I thought it was worth thinking about if there was anything I could do with it.

Before: Root Beer Bottle

I had just inhaled quite a bit of Annie Sloan wax (Its pretty stong smelling stuff) as I was in the midst of finishing off some other furniture peices and so my brain wasnt working properly to think of my own ideas. So, I posted this picture of the bottle on my facebook page and asked my lovely 'likers' to suggest what I could do with this cool old looking brown glass bottle.

I already had thought about using it as a vase, but there is always something more creative out there isnt there? A couple of people referenced the image of the painted jars and suggested I could paint the bottle and sand off the paint from the embossed text! I hadnt even thought of this idea despite having seen and shared the jar image only days earlier!

So I got out a pot of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Paris Grey...I had heard you can paint glass with it so lets give it a go!

When the paint had dryed I got some sandpaper and rubbed it over the embossed text parts until the brown glass underneath was revealed.

After: Root Beer Bottle
One coat is probably enough to get that rustic look..I really love the effect!
I was impatient and didnt wait for it to dry properly. Oops. I think if I had of waited they would come out even better but I get excited and have to everything straight away!

After: Root Beer Bottle

The plan is to get lots of these bottles and paint them all different colours!

I will have to stock up on bottles of Root Beer! 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Crazy for Candy Colours!

I had the overwhelming urge to get creative last week! It's been a couple weeks since ive had time to do anything! Been so busy setting up the facebook page and trying to get my head round the twitter world (@CountryITC)... so I eventually just had to do something fun!

I found a few small pieces hiding in cupboards which I spent the evenings this week painting!

You might have read my blog on the spice rack in my kitchen. Before I had that  new rack, I was using another small wood shelving unit for a spice rack. I had planned on just throwing out the old unlike me?!...but then my compultion to save everything kicked in and I decided I would give it a make over!
Spice Rack (Before)

I had, for weeks now, been chomping at the bit to try out my new paints! One of them was Dulux Willow Tree Silk Paint. Its like a gorgeous fresh minty green! I was thinking about what I could try it out on!? ....This little shelving unit popped into my mind again. I cleaned it up and gave it a quick rub over with fine sandpaper. I always lay brown paper roll under my painting projects if im painting indoors to protect the floor from drips, its cheap and since there is never enough newspaper lying around its always good to have...also I am a messy painter!!

Whilst rummaging in the storage cupboard for the spice rack I found this old mug wall rack that I had rescued from my grandparents house a few weeks was pretty worn and the varnish was peeling off of it, but if its made of wood then I will always keep it for a rainy day painting project! Also, as it was peeling it just made it easier to give it a quick rub over with some sandpaper.
Mug Wall Rack (Before)
I had loads of little sample pots of paint in various colours and chose Marble IV by The Paint and Paper library which is a chalky emultion looked grey on the tin but was more like a dusty lilac. I gave the mug hanger a coat of this paint too and left them both to dry.
Watching paint dry can be fun!

I then caught the painting bug and so dug out this little wall shelf & a little stool ready to make them over too!
Wall Shelves (Before)

Stool (Before)

I had a new pink emulsion which I used to paint the shelves. Its Dulux Matt Emulsion Paint in Sorbet! Which looked good enough to eat!! I then decided to do the stool with the same clour as the spice rack.

Here's the results!
Spice Rack (After)
Mug Wall Rack (After)
Re-purposed into a jewellery hanger!
What do you think?

Wall Shelf (After)

Stool (After)
I hadnt planned on painting all these things in candy colours it just was where my mood took me this week....

Friday, 1 June 2012

All the books in one place...

Our collection of books has been scattered across our home for the last couple of years....we just find a place to put some of them here and a spare shelf to squash some in there and pile some up over there...So i've spent ages looking for the right bookshelf to go in our hallway to house all these books in one place. It had to be half height as it was going in the hallway and I didnt want it to be tall and looming over me everytime I walked past. It had to be wider than your average bookcase, with deep shelves...its difficult to find something when you already know exactly what you want!?! In the mean time we were using one of those cheap wooden rack shelves from Argos. It did the job, but was ugly! I had to walk past it everyday as it was in our hallway...and so it was constantly at the front of my mind that it needed replacing with something more my style!
After what felt like years of always looking out for the perfect bookshelf  ...I finally found that perfect bookshelf (and at the perfect price - £15!!) at a car boot sale about 2 months ago.

I was probably about as excited, if not more, than Dumbos mother waiting for the stork to deliver her new baby!
It finally arrived!!!
Book shelf (Before)

Its actually an old dresser top!!
It has beautiful barley twist down the sides...Barley twist is something that 10 years ago I would have gagged at the idea of having in my home. I was all about the minimal straight lines etc. Now I love my furniture to have character and for it to be interesting and beautiful and to make a statement.
This item comes with a tale...(of course!)
From start to finish getting has been a nightmare!
I snapped it up as soon as I saw it at the car boot sale....We lugged it across the car park to the car, opened the boot...and it was about 2 inches to big to fit in the opening! Eeek! This had never happened before! You would be amazed at some of the things ive fit in that car! I made some phone calls to see if I could find someone with a van to come and help joy!
After an hour of standing in the car park trying to think of way to get it home, begrudgingly, I had to admit failure and take it back to the guy I had bought it from! Luckily he could see how much I really loved it and offered to bring it back the following week for me to collect! Brilliant! I could arrange a van to collect after several failed attempts to collect the bookshelf over the course of the next 7 weeks...he eventually agreed to drop it off to my house as this had now dragged on for just shy of 2 months!

Book shelf (Before)

It was filthy so needed a good clean, and it had some holes and bumps so my husband filled those in, once the filler was dry he sanded it back flat and we gave it a couple coats of Farrow & Ball Paint to freshen it up. The paint colour I chose to use (because that was the one I had most of) was pretty much exactly the same as it was the after picture isnt that dramatic a change!  
It does look much fresher now though!
Book Shelf (After)

.....The only thing left to worry about now, was would it fit!? The space in the hallway that it was destined to go was only roughly about as wide as the shelf, I hadnet measured it so really had no idea!? If the bookshelf was wider than the space it would stick out into the doorway of our spare bedroom. I had a back up location for it incase it was too big...its always best to be prepared...usually that means having a measuring tape...but in this case it was just about mentally preparing myself that it wasnt going to go to plan.
Miraculously it fit. EXACTLY. Another centimeter and it would have been too big! How lucky!
Book Shelf (After)
You can see on the right there that it meets the edge of the doorway perfectly!
So despite all the difficulty in getting it to my house...its finally here and its even more beautiful than I remember! Most certainly was worth the wait!!
......Such a shame to have to cover it in books really!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Rescued baby blue bathroom box...

For about a year, Ive been looking for something to put in my bathroom to tidy away cleaning products and toilet rolls etc....Ive come across and purchased a few things that were intended for this job but never quite made the grade and either got used for something else or sold on. I knew exactly what it was that I wanted....just a simple deep wooden box with a lid but as easy as you might think it is to find one of proved to be elusive!!
Then, this weekend just gone, I was clearing out my grandparents house down in Devon....and I noticed something sitting in the bathroom. It was under the sink and I hadnt noticed it before. It was an deep wooden box with wheels on it. It was old and the paint was weathered from getting wet in the bathroom. The lid had a cork seat on top of it....which was so old it had dried out and was cracking off! The nails which held the cork seat in place were rusty.
It was going to be another little project  which I was excited about anyway, but then I realised it was exactly what I had been looking for to go in my bathroom!

It was perfect!
I pulled the cork seat off the top and removed the rusty nails. I wasnt going to replace the top with a seat, instead I wanted to paint it and probably will put some sented candles on top of it, or fold freshly laundered hand towels and pile them up.

You can see this box used to be yellow before it was blue! I imagine my grandfather must have painted it blue at some point? The chances are he even made the sure there is a story about it which I may never know!
Blue  Storage Box (Before)

The paint was peeling and whilst I liked it as it was because it had a rustic charm, it needed some work to bring it back to life and I was going to have to paint the top anyway, so decided to give the whole box a lick of paint!

The inside was still yellow! I intend to paint it all the same colour.  

The box was almost the same exact shade of blue as the stool I had painted to sit in my kitchen! I still had some of that paint left so it was decided it would get a fresh coat of that baby blue paint which will fit in with my blue and white bathroom too! It was The Paint & Paper Library in Blue Charm.
I took the handles off the sides and gave it a couple coats of the blue paint. Once it had dried I put the handles back on.
Little Blue Box (After)

Little Blue Box (After)

Finally, all the cleaning products and toilet rolls can be hidden from sight!
I like having this box in my bathroom knowing my grandparents had it in theirs for all those years..... and I think they would like it too!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Spice Rack

There is nothing I enojy more on the weekend than a good old fashioned car boot sale! Its amazing what you can pick up for a couple of pounds!

'One mans junk, is another mans treasure'

These are some of the things I picked up last weekend!

A gorgeous vintage step ladder which will go in my garden and be a new home for all my plant pots, the little pine stool, a couple of cute wooden wall hanging shelving units and a wicker basket! And probably my luckiest find....18 different coloured sample pots of Farrow & Ball paint!
One of last weekends car boot purchases was this litte shelving unit...presumably built for use as a spice rack which is what I intend to use it for! It has a cute little swag detail across the top and bottom. Sorry about the dark photo..this was done before my resoloution to take nicer better lit photos!

Spice Rack (Before)

I already had a nice wooden spice rack, but it was tall and thin and I quickly filled it up and was having to put some spices etc next to it as there was no more room. Ill probably do something with the old one havent decided what yet!

Once I have given the spice rack a few coats of Farrow & Ball Tallow No.203 Estate Emulsion paint. It was fit perfectly in the space I was thinking for it...and all my herbs and spice jars fit on it perfectly!

Spice Rack (After)

I love wood in its natural form, lots of the things in my kitchen are left as natural wood and just given a coat of beeswax...but sometimes, if you have too much wood, it just looks dull and painting things a nice shade of white or a pale green or blue can really brighten them up and make them sparkle!

Little Blue Stool....

I spent so long looking for a little stool to go in the corner of my ktichen.
I have a coal skuttle which I painted in farrow and ball off white, the same colour as my kitchen table legs, and I keep it filled with white roses. It was a bit lost on the floor next to the table, so I wanted something to elevate it so they could be appreciated more.
Finally after weeks of searching I came across this...

Stool (Before)

It was perfect because the legs didnt span too far and would fit snuggly in the space I had for it!
It was perfectly cute as it was, but on the same day I had aquired a small sample pot of The Paint & Paper Library paint in Blue Charm....which I was dying to try on something!
I sanded down the legs and top, but only painted the legs and gave the seat a couple coats of beeswax. I love the smell of beeswax so love to regularly top up my kitchen table chairs and now this little stool with a fresh coat!

Stool (After)

The blue came out much 'bluer' than I was expecting but I love it and next to my pale green and off white kitchen furniture it really pops! Its amazing what a few coats of paint can do to give a new lease of life to an otherwise unremarkable peice of furniture!
From now on I've made a vow to start doing proper photos of my little projects.....these are always just last minute shots I just take on my iphone. I need to get my photography hat on and start taking photos that do the furniture justice!