Thursday, 23 September 2010

How far does a matchpot go?

I'm not telling you anything new here - buying matchpots as an economic way to paint smaller items.  I  wouldn't normally buy Farrow and Ball paint as it is a tad pricey but I was lucky to acquire a lot of their matchpots a while back at a knockout price. 

So just how far does a matchpot go?  This little pine cupboard is about 20" tall and 14" wide.  I painted two coats back and front and used just over half the matchpot.  Just the drawers were painted in a contrasting cream.

After painting I rubbed back some areas for a distressed look.

And added some floral motifs at the top and on the drawer knobs.

A few knick-knacks strategically placed for effect.  It's now gone to my unit in Lechlade, you might have spotted it there a couple of posts ago.

(A sunny day for painting outside is also useful!)

Monday, 20 September 2010

Lovely Linens

On Saturday I had planned a little jaunt with a friend - tea and a spot of window shopping, but an unexpected bonus came in the form of an Open Weekend & Tea Party at Beyond France in Cirencester. 

I hadn't known about this event but someone saw it in a local paper and thought of me, so of course as it was just down the road a visit was compulsory.

Beyond France is run online by Maud Lomberg who travels across to Hungary and Eastern Europe to source beautiful vintage linens and occasionally hosts open weekends at her home in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Fortunately it was a beautifully sunny day, stock was set up outside and in marquees in Maud's large garden.

Oh such temptation all around.  Not pictured are the bins full of remnants - rummage heaven!

Not just linens - handmade items and ceramics too.

These painted tin stars would be lovely for Christmas.

Tea and cakes were available to enjoy in the garden, with vintage chairs of course. 

Afterwards we popped into Cirencester town for a mooch about.  Want to see what I bought (very restrained!).

Cute terrier figurine, a couple of picture frames - especially pleased to have found the Laura Ashley fabric frame.  From Beyond France I bought a gorgeous piece of embroidered linen, it has a scalloped edge which I will make into shelf lining, the rest can be used for sachets or cushions.  Plus some red and gold striped ribbon for Christmas bows, after all it's only 96 days to go!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Jewellery Case

Since I started my unit at Lechlade, I have been intending to include jewellery in my stock.  In a large centre such as Lechlade, it is necessary to keep small or valuable items under lock and key and until recently I didn't have a suitable cabinet.

After months of searching, I finally found this display cabinet which was perfect for the job.  Originally dark brown varnish, I gave it the obligatory paint job.

I also decoupaged the frame - flowers of course, I'm not called Bloom for nothing, ha.  Luckily the case was already lined with a salmon pink moire, I added a cream lace border.

I felt it needed something more so I made these padded hearts for pinning brooches and earrings onto.  They are flat on the back so sit nicely in the case (I have secured them to the backing so that they don't  move around when items are removed).

I kept the fabrics fairly neutral, one in cream lace and the other in a muted pink/floral stripe

There is foam behind the backing fabric of the case so I can just attach items with pins, the only fixed hooks are right at the top of the case, for hanging necklaces.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Here it is in situ (can you spot it - top left quadrant).

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Ain't Complainin'

Sunday I took the opportunity to sell off some surplus possessions and to buy stock - success on both counts.  What was once play has become work, not that I'm complaining mind.  Even on those Sundays when I really don't feel like getting up early and going out, it usually turns out to be fun, more than I can say for the days when I had a stressful full-time paid job.  I still work part-time but it's one of those jobs where I can come home and forget about it until the next day.

The weather was on our side and we got a really good pitch with loads of space and we were right opposite the cafe and loos (very important that!)

Obviously when selling at a Boot Sale or anywhere else there isn't much opportunity for buying as well, apart from neighbouring stalls so I took a friend. We shared a pitch and took it in turns to pop off for a wander round.

I didn't buy a huge amount, by the time we had set up and dealt with the throng, most of the bargains had been snapped up by the other shoppers. Very frustrating to see people walking past the stall with things I would have bought.

I did get a nice varied selection though - toys, ephemera, china, textiles and sparklies. The Laura Ashley Kate fabric is a large festoon blind - loads of fabric for re-use.

China flowers, mauchlinware box and Vernon Ward print.

Sweet birdies and a charming miniature pansies teaset, incomplete and teapot missing it's lid so I'll split it up.  I have plans for the lidless teapot.

A few sparklies

Lovely Laura Ashley dress, a vintage evening bag and pink necklace.  Bought separately but they do go rather well together.

Don't you just love this doll's painted face and very Grace Kelly scarf arrangement - well I do.  She needs some attention - one shoe has split open, she could use a new skirt plus I have to deal with the big nail sticking out of her leg.  Must be a bit painful, maybe that accounts for the expression on her face!  She hasn't complained though.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Shady Lady

I was hovering about on my landing today watching the sky and deliberating whether to hang out the washing as there had been several showers in the morning and the grey clouds were still lurking.

 So as I deliberated I snapped a few shots, like you do.  I am frequently moving things about around the house, but the top of the stairs seems to have escaped my attention - not in a bad way, I like this way this corner looks and don't feel inclined to change it.  The curtains are a lovely rose design from Danish designer Lene Bjerre, I bought the fabric on Ebay some years ago - I think it's discontinued now.  I don't know its name but Kate Forman has a similar design called Roses, as do Waverly in the US - called Norfolk Rose.  I have nets at the window for modesty as our neighbour's landing window is directly opposite.

The huge mirror, a bargain charity shop find already shabbified (painted white) is draped with flowers and fairies.

It's difficult to get a good picture of a window, the lady and her canine companions are looking rather shady.

Placing a board behind does the trick.  I've managed to keep this windowsill relatively uncluttered, unlike the rest of the house.

This little pooch is very threadbare, all the more lovable for it.  I try to have a rule now that for anything I buy for myself, something else has to go, but I don't think I could ever part with this guy.

The elegant chalkware lady is another firm favourite.

In the end, the washing did get hung out, and dried nicely thank you very much.  Better weather tomorrow thankfully as I'm selling at Castle Coombe car boot sale.   Hopefully I'll get to do a bit of buying too.  With that in mind, must get off to bed - toodle pip!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

My Little Harvest

Allotments are becoming more and more popular these days.  I don't have one myself, just not that way inclined, but lucky for me my dad does and so every summer he kindly shares with us the fruits and vegetables of his labours.  For a few years my dad has been encouraging me to have part of his allotment so last year I finally agreed to take my own little patch.

And here it is, at the front of the picture.  No labour-intensive cultivating for me, I planted (well, actually Mr. Bloom did it) six tiny lavender plants.  I was quite surprised at how much they had grown in a year. 

And more surprised at how much lavender I got from them, this whole basketful.  So the sum of my efforts was one trip to the allotment this year to cut it.  That's my kind of gardening!  I might even plant another six for next year.

I had planned to tie them in bunches and hang to dry in the sunshine, but somehow didn't get around to it.  Instead a Sunday afternoon spent pulling all the buds off, I got quite a decent bowlful.  Worth the headache as I don't tolerate the scent of lavender too well.

Something else I harvested from a field full of cars - this cute bisque angel.  I think she might possibly be a religious artefact designed to hold holy water in her shell and possibly from Italy?

In any event, she has such a sweet, angelic face - possibly a bit like me?   No need to answer that :-)

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Glass Slipper

Actually, not a glass slipper, rather a china shoe, but that just didn't have the same ring about it for a blog title.

I bought a couple of souvenir china shoes, both the same though not a pair.  One was perfect, the other not so much, so one to sell and one to keep.  I didn't particularly mind the imperfection for myself,  but during a spare five minutes I thought I'd give it a little makeover.

A little ribbon and lace to cover the repair.

The same on the toe for balance.  The ribbon came from a french greeting card and graduates from green to white and perfectly matches the colours in the shoe.

I was going to fill it with flowers but decided since the shoe itself is now busy enough, one large paper flower would do.

Today I've being doing a little harvesting - more on that soon, now it's time to enjoy the last few hours of the weekend (boo-hoo!)