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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Letter rack makeover

Hello all, first off thanks to all my new followers, I really appreciate it, and secondly I hope you are all having a good weekend.

Some of you may remember this little fella that I picked up from the second hand shop for £9

He was a hideous shade of green but solid pine, and I loved the shape of him... So I quickly got to work, gave him and undercoat, then painted him up taupe as I had planned:

Now picture this scene: I sit on my bed and take the above photo ready to post for you lovely lot to see, then I put him on the floor and turn on the laptop. Two  minutes later: House phone rings, panic ensuses, foot caught in laptop cable, argh, quick... before it stops, trip. Stub toe. On letter rack. OUCH.... Resume panic, run down stairs, phone stops ringing, check number: Anon, no message.

Grrrrr! My poor toe.

Head back upstairs to find my not so dainty toe has dented my letter rack :(, take a closer look, oh its damaged the paint. I'll just get the flaky paint off and touch it up....

Ooops, lesson learnt, always SAND AND PRIME!

So I decided it was fate, sanded him, primed him, attatched some moulding from ebay, and painted him white. And here he is:

Let me know what you think!

Much love until next time,

Becky x

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Transformation Thursday

Friday, 15 April 2011

Decoraters, and persuasion

Hello! Hope you are all having a good week. This week we had the decoraters in to give us a quote for some work at the house. They have quoted us for:

  • Sripping the hall and stairs of the woodchip and covering the artex underneath, then painting the whole lot.
  • Sripping the dining room and relining, painting the walls and ceiling.
  • Painting 3 walls in the lounge and papering one with a feature paper.
Total quoted: £1300

My other half wants to go ahead and get them to do the lot, however that is a huge chunk from the budget and I only really wanted to get someone in for the stairs and hall because we couldn't sort the artex ourselves. I understand why he wants to go ahead as it would lighten the load on us, and the results will be near perfect.

So please please give me your opinions on this, would you pay the total price, have the lot done, save time, and have perfect results but then have a reduced budget for furnishings, carpet and appliances. OR would you have the hall and stairs only done for around £500 and live with some imperfections as a result of doing it yourself in the other rooms, but then have more budget left? HELP!

On another note I am completely in love with the idea of finding some beautiful old furniture like this:

This picture is from design*sponge, which is a great home interior blog you should check out. I just love the character in pieces like these drawers the author found.

My idea would be to get a couple of chests of drawers, a wardrobe and 2 bedsides from the same era, but not neccessarily matching, then paint them up to match. Now I think thats kinda cute and quirky (and it would save a heck of a lot of £'s). And can I just reinforce the fact that I LOVE THIS IDEA.

But last night other half said he doesn't want our house to end up "looking like a charity shop", so now I'm not sure whether he doesn't really like the things I have already restyled :(, or whether he just meant I need to find pieces that match, which is easier said than done!

And he wants to go to ikea on Sunday to pick out some brand spanking new furniture. They do have one I like called Hemnes, but I dont want white, as much as I love white I realllllllly want to get me some grey furniture for the bedroom. And I know they do a grey but online it doesn't look a very nice colour, although I may fall in love with it when I see it. But my point is that this will be a lot more expensive, and I really wanted to try upcycling some old stuff.

Ohhh rant over, please give me your opinions on whether I should go ahead with the decoraters, and if/ how I could persuade other half to let me pick out some furniture.


Much love,

Becky x

P.s Well done if you read all that

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Free stuff?

Hi my little thrify ones. I have some stuff that some of you might like, if not thats cool, if you do give me a message and I could arrange sending it to you, free!

I have got this hand embroidered picture:

It is 18x13cm and veryyyyy sweet, it is really well done and in super good condition. It came out of a charity shop frame, and I can't chuck it away so if any of you would like it message me!

I also have a big bag of fabric scraps, some are big, some are small, plain and patterned, some are very retro and there is alot of ditsy print. Heres some of the styles:

I got given these to make jam pot covers from but I have used what I wanted and have loads left. They are from the 1970's onwards, and some are really cool. Anyway if you have a use for some of it let me know (bear in mind some of the pieces are very small).

Have a good week!

Much love

Monday, 11 April 2011

Second hand mirror makeover

Hi you lovely lot, here is my mirror makeover post as promised, finally!

As a  reminder, or for those of you who didn't see the original post this is the beast as it was before:

I know what you are thinking, oooh what a gorgeous shade of gold... No?
It was pretty grim, but at £10 from my local second hand shop, I thought I would try and make her into a pretty little kitty.

First off she was a little nicotine stained so I gave her a wash, then repaired the damage to the plaster edges, using a little wood filler (never one to do things by the book!).

Then I taped round the frame and put on a base coat, I used a colour inbetween the gold and the white I wanted to finish with, to try and make it easier to cover and to make sure if the paint chipped the delightful gold wouldn't rear its ugly head.

then I applied 2 coats of white, cleaned up the glass and neatened the edges where I had put too much tape on. And here she is all pretty and finished.

I think this project turned out pretty good, it was simple and very cheap.

Materials used:

Mirror: £10
Undercoat: Crown non drip matt for wood and metal in toasted almond: £12.99
Topcoat: Focus quick dry satin for wood, in icing sugar: £9.19
Filler: Cuprinol wood filler: £3.59

Total: 35.77

( I already I had the paint and filler so in reality the project cost a lot less, but even if i didn't a mirror of this size and style would set you back around £80)

Let me know what you think!

Much love,

Becky x

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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Update, inspiration, new projects, and wish granted

So my current projects are going ok.
 The letter rack is painted but I am searching for something I want to finish it off, if anyone knows of any places where I can get either letter transfers or stencils I would be soooo grateful, preferably a vintage/ retro style lettering which is quite large, help!

 This is the mirror so far:

It still needs some touching up around the edge, you can see a small gap there at the bottom where I got a little over zealous with the tape before I painted, oops.
Oh and that is my necklace chilling out on the corner there, it isn't attached.

This weekend I got inspiration for two new projects, keep checking for updates, one involves candlesticks, and one photo frames. Ive got to keep you waiting for something....

And finally look what my lovely other half got me today:

It is a thomas kent 6" mantel in taupe and I loveeeee it.

I will check in tommorow with the mirror transformation post, hope you have all had a lovely weekend.

Much love,

Becky x

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Paint. Everywhere. And a Master Bedroom makeover in progress

So today I started painting my mirror and letter rack which I picked up from the second hand shop. There is now paint on my toe.

But they are looking better with just their basecoats on, yay! I will upload the transformation pics soon, probably tomorrow.

Anyway this is our master room as it was back in January:

View from the doorway:

View from the doorway looking left:

and view from the window:

  'scuse the other halfs backside!

The room, as you can see. was a single boys room with lots of fitted furniture, you can see in the first and last picture where we started taking it out. Anyway, we have totally pulled this room apart and started a fresh. The main decor is done but not much else, so I thought I would throw in a bit of a room hint (mood board) for you to see...


and here is some progress pictures:

View from the door:

View from the left hand side of the room:

The feature wall:

So as you can see it looks completely different, we repapered and painted up 3 walls in a sand type colour, and then created a feature wall with this lovely paper by Arthouse. It is beautiful, the white and grey on this picture are actually sort of metallic (in a nice way) they catch the light really nicely and make the room look luxurious. I would definately recommend this paper, it looks far more expensive than it actually was.

You can also see the lovely skirting boards my other half put in, he stained them oak and I think they look gorgeous.

Thats all for now folks, but keep the moodboard in mind, there is more to come!

Much love until next time,

Becky x

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Thrifty treasure hunt

So today I went to look for the perfect bedroom furniture at our local second hand shop (where I picked up the hall table). I failed to find it.


I couldn't leave empty handed and picked up these:

Letter rack: £9, solid wood, gorgeous... but an unfortunate shade of green, this picture makes it look a lot better than it really is, trust me! Will be cream or grey, not sure which yet...

BIG mirror: £12 its about 35x25 inches and an u-l-g-y shade of gold, but the plaster surround is gorgeous and will look fantastic in a different colour, and will probably get the white treatment. I wanted a lovely mirror to hang above the radiator in the hall but at over £100 for the ones I liked I thought I may as well give it a bash at making my own cheapo version, it will be wonderful. I swear. I hope...

Small mirror: £6 this is a small wooden mirror with heart cutout frame, its pink with white polka dots -not that you can tell because of the rubbish late in the day light, sorry!! Anyway this is going to be cream I would imagine, but I am in no hurry to decide because as of yet I have no idea where it will go. I just love mirrors and hearts so I couldnt just walk past this little beauty. Oh and I have just sussed that this is an east of india mirror retailing around £20 scorrrrre!

So in total £27

And the lady knocked £2 off. Wahhooooo.

I cannot wait to get stuck into these babies.

On another note I have just seen my Ercol tables in Ideal home, Me? Darn lucky? Yesssssss!!!!

Much love,


Monday, 4 April 2011

Dear wish fairy

Here is my wish list:

  • To stumble across some gorgeous furniture for our master bedroom, I cant find anything I like and have now got visions of some shabby furniture I can repaint in a stone grey or taupe.

  • To find a miracle cure for this:

To explain, this is our small spare room, the house we are moving into is a three bedroom house, two double size rooms and this single bedroom/ study. We thought the room would be easy as pie to redecorate because we just had to strip the old woodchip, re apply lining paper and paint. Simple, right?


We removed this:

and underneath was more wall paper, and under that was the very yellow paint which has been there since the house was built in the 1960's for my boyfriends dad. As we are covering it the colour is not an issue, but it is flaky and some of it has come off, and with the steamer some of it peeled off. However other areas are more persistant and to flake it off would take half of my lifetime, we cant leave it as it will cause the paper to sit unevenly and maybe even stop it sticking!? HELP! We have also had an issue with paint from the cieling peeling off when we removed the wallpaper in this room. Any suggestions welcome...

I will put some more pictures of the house up but I dont have a full set so I will wait to do that until I have collected up some "before" pictures, watch this space for that. Our plans for the house so far include:
  • Changing this yellow room, which was a study back to a small guest room by repapering and recarpeting, it will just be very neutral until we decide on its long term purpose.

  • Doing up our master room, it was a single bedroom with fitted furniture and we are changing it to a double with freestanding furniture, new carpet and different styling.

  • Sprucing up the hall/ stairway, it is pink and blue and we intend to make it more neutral, replace the blue carpet, and add a bannister and handrail to the stairs (at present there is a rope handrail and no bannister). There is also artex on the stairs which has been covered by woodchip, neither of which are ideal so we are unsure what to do, the woodchip is damaged and needs to come off but we arent sure whether the artex can be smoothed or covered using blown vinyl which is slightly less harsh, again your suggestions are welcome!

  • Doing up the lounge/ dining area, we have already removed a large fireplace which ran the length of the room, then we plan on repapering, recarpeting and painting, this should be fairly straighforward, fingers crossed.

  • Painting the conservatory in a neutral scheme, and I have intentions to give the current furniture a make over.
We are leaving the 3rd bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, utility and downstairs toilet until our budget will allow us to make the changes we would like. Throughout the rooms my boyfriend is fitting new tall skirtings stained in oak to replace the short white skirtings, painting the doors and changing the door handles.

Pictures soon, I promise.

Much love,


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Vintage British furniture

Now after my little baking spree, check out these beauties...

I have just been given these gorgeous pieces of furniture by a lovely lady I work with. They are a set of Ercol "pebble" tables which are still in production although these are vintage 1950's/60's and an ercol rocking chair. I love them! Ercol is a British company which makes fantastic solid wood furniture, they were super popular in the 50's and 60's and now they are having a second breakthrough, with both new and vintage items being highly sought after.

As I mentioned in my first post  me and the other half are in the process of doing up/ decorating our first house together ready for moving in over the summer. We have a conservatory and I think these would look wonderful in there, I plan on making some tie on cushions for the chair in cream so I'll keep you posted on that...

As well as baking I love crafts and making things, as I find it really satisfying to see the finished product. I decided that in our house I would like to make/ update a few old things as well as buy new items, to give our home more character. A couple of months ago I bought a table just like this:

Its a solid pine varnished hall table with a single draw. I got mine from a local second hand furniture shop it cost £28. At present the hall is a darkish baby pink with deep blue, and I really want to lighten it up, I plan on having it cream up the stairs and on two other walls, with the 3rd wall pale blue ( I will upload pictures as the project goes along). So I wanted to lighten up the table too and planned on painting it grey.
 First I sanded it and realised the wood underneath the heavy varnish was gorgeous so then I had a change of plan...

I continued to sand the top so that the whole top piece was varnish free and had no imperfections, then used a paint/ varnish stripper on the rest of the table to remove most of the very thick and shiny varnish. I then bought some wood paint in whiskey cream from Focus and some wood wax in oak, plus a plain wooden knob. I waxed the top section and the handle to match and carefully painted the rest of the table with two coats. Here is the result.


Much love,

Becky x

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Favourite bakes #1: Super Sticky Gingerbread

 Sticky gingerbread is one of my all time favourite things to bake, I have tried loads of recipes and the one I will share here is by far the best. It is my friends mum's recipe and it makes the most amazing light gingerbread cake, with the stickiest top... yum!

Heres the recipe:

1/2 lb (225g) Black treacle
1/2lb (225g) Soft Margerine
1/2lb (225g) Soft brown sugar (I use dark for an extra treacley taste)
3/4lb (340g) Plain flour
1 tblsp Ground ginger (I usually put an extra 1/2 tbsp in)
2tsp Ground Cinammon
2 Beaten Eggs
1/2 pint milk (blood heat)
2tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1. Melt the treacle, margarine, and sugar over a gentle heat in a thick bottomed pan until blended.

2. Once cooled, add the eggs to the warm (NOT HOT!!!) treacle mix and beat well until the egg is completely blended.

3. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl.

4. Pour the treacle mix into the dry ingredients and mix thouroughly, I just use a wooden spoon here but an electric mixer would be fine.

5. Add the bicarb to the milk an stir (this may froth a little so watch it doesn't spill), then add to the mix and stir well with a spoon.

6. Now pour into a well greased tin and bake for 3/4 - 1 hour in a cool oven (I put my fan assisted electric oven on about 140 degrees c).

* Here I pour into 2 silicone "tins" and bake for around 25 minutes until the top springs back or a clean cocktail stick can be inserted into the middle of the sponge and come out clean. Another option is to pour into muffin cases and bake for around 10-15 minutes until cooked as above (Caution- this will make loads of muffins!!!)

Hope you enjoy!

P.s let me know if you require any different measurements or have a recipe suggestion or request.

P.p.s I will be back with a house related update soon, watch this space..

Much love,

Becky x

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