December 7, 2012

Oilcloth Doorstops

Hello, bet you didn't expect to hear from me again so soon after my last post ;)

My family and friends who read my blog won't be surprised that I haven't been able to wind down as much this week as I planned to ;)

This project came out of necessity...a necessity to create, which is constant for me, and the need to stop my doors slamming.  We are very lucky to live in a stunningly beautiful coastal village in an area with a wonderful climate that to me feels like summer almost all year round.  It does get hot in the actual summer but because we are near the beach we usually get a lovely coastal breeze that helps cool things down a bit.  I love having the doors and windows open to let the sea air in, but that means doors don't stay where they should, and often slam.  I have been using those little rubber wedges but they don't stay properly under all my doors. I was staring at my pile of pretty oilcloth offcuts the other day, thinking I wanted NEEDED to make something with them, it came to me...oilcloth doorstops.  I had seen some in this pyramid shape a few years ago and thought 'I must try those one day'. 

So here they are...
Once I had made a few for myself, I figured I'd make some to sell as well - they are cute and practical and I am sure I'm not the only one with slamming doors round here!  I think they'd make a great gift...something the recipient can use, but also something nice and pretty to look at, something a bit different.  Some of these have sold already, and one customer said to me she'd been looking for a doorstop but all she could find was a chicken, and she didn't want a chicken (don't blame her, lol!)
The doorstops are filled with sand and weigh approx 2.5kg each.  I have double stitched the seams to ensure no sand escapes.  Where I left a gap to turn them in the right way, I glued the gap shut before hand stitching it.  The base measures approx 17cm square and the height to the top of the handle is around 21cm.  This fabric is known as oilcloth but it is nothing like Mexican oilcloth which looks and feels completely different (it is basically plastic).  My oilcloth is actually pvc-coated cotton and excellent quality.  This stuff will last for years and years.
I've amassed quite a collection of prints and styles of this beautiful fabric over the years, and look forward to replenishing my stocks in the next few weeks.

I will have a selection of these with me at the Port Macquarie Foreshore Market tomorrow.  
They are $25 each.

December 1, 2012

Client Commission: French Country Hall Table

Hello!  It is a hot one here today as forecast so I have been hiding in my workshop finishing off the table that I mentioned yesterday that I had been battling with.  Here is what the 'before' looked like:
A cute enough hall table but just a bit outdated colour-wise.  And that colour was what gave me all the was covered in thick wax which proved a bit challenging to remove but I got there in the end with a trolley load of 80 grit sandpaper.  
I think I lost 2kg in sweat working on it yesterday, not that I am complaining about that ;)

I primed it with Zinsser BIN which is the best product to use on a previously waxed or oil-contaminated timbers to ensure the paint adheres properly.
The top is being left natural, the timber (I am not sure what it is) is beautiful and has lots of character on the top, it would have been a shame to cover that with paint.

I had to paint the sides and back of the drawer which isn't something I would normally do, but due to the design of this table, they are visible (you can see what I mean in the finished photos further down this post).  

The owners of the table wanted me to trim it down a bit to fit in a specific space, so I had to get over my fear of using the circular saw in a hurry!  To ensure I cut a nice straight line I measured 15mm out from the front and back outside legs of the table, then used a sliding square to draw a line up the edges and along the table top.  

I then held my circular saw on the table top and lined up where the blade would cut with the line I just drew. (The little notch on the black part of the saw marked '0' is where the cut will be).  I held a piece of scrap timber against the right hand side of the black part (don't know the technical term for it!) and clamped it in place at one end.  I then measured the distance from the edge of the scrap timber to my line (35mm), and measured the same distance at the other end to make sure my timber ran parallel to my line, then clamped that end and fired up the saw.
I am pleased to say it worked a charm...what a lot of sawdust two little cuts make though!

After one coat of primer I gave it two coats of off white, lightly distressed it and waxed it - clear wax over the paintwork and liming (white) wax on the table top.
You can see what I meant about the drawer sides being visible in this photo above.

I'm also just about to put the finishing touches on a little pine side table I bought a couple of days ago, I think it will be a keeper as I have just the spot for it on my deck, right between my wicker armchairs.

Once that is done, that will be it for me and painting projects for the year. I'm closed for commissions from now until the end of January so I can spend the next few weeks getting into the Christmas spirit in a relaxed fashion...baking Christmas treats with my kids, attending the school end of year Christmas concert and prize-giving assembly, Christmas shopping, packing for our holiday home to NZ for Christmas (which we are all VERY excited about!), then enjoying the rest of the school holidays in January before school starts again in February.  Sounds like a long time away but I bet it will all go in a flash.  Always does!

I have one more market stall for the year, The Port Macquarie Foreshore Market next Saturday 8th December.  I will be having some super special deals on the day so if you are local and have had your eye on something, here's your chance to grab a bargain!  Even better if you want to make me an offer before the can contact me here if you want to do that.  And you can see here what I have got for sale at present.

November 30, 2012

Restyled Vintage in Focus Magazine

I have some exciting news I can now share!

I was approached recently by Port Macquarie Focus Magazine who wanted to interview me along with my market buddy and good friend Suzi.  The issue has just come out today and I am still waiting to see if I am granted permission to publish it on my blog, so in the meantime, here is a link to the online version of the magazine if you are interested in reading it :)

We appear on page 39.

The interview was conducted via email and I was asked to submit a few photos.  I got a bit carried away and submitted 39, lol!  It was interesting to see which ones she picked, but I think the article looks great, I am very proud of it :)

The photo above made the cut, and below are some of the ones that didn't...

Above is the 'Duck Egg Distressed Hutch' that I talk about in the article.

Well that's it from me for now, I am going to put a coat of paint on a hall table that I have been fighting with all week.  It was previously waxed and I have been battling to strip it all off in order to be able to paint it (and more importantly, have the paint stick!)  It is lucky I am stubborn and don't give in took a lot of time, sweat and frustration (and paint stripper, thinners, and sandpaper!) but I am showing that table who's boss!

We have had some hot days here and it looks set to continue over the weekend, so for the all the Aussie dwellers reading...stay cool!

November 27, 2012

Vintage Green Sideboard

If you've been reading my blog for a while you're probably aware that I have a bit of a thing for that perfect shade of 'vintage' green. It seems I am not the only one - I get emails every week asking for the name of the green paint I use.  As a business decision I choose not to share this information, but what I tell people is to find something that is the shade you are after (fabric, vintage china, even a picture in a magazine), and take the item to your paint shop where they should be able to colour match it for you...then you have your own personalised custom paint colour in just the right shade :)

I had been using the same shade of green for quite a while, and decided that it was time for a change.  It is very different to the 'old' green when put side by side but the overall effect is the same.  Colour is a funny thing like that.  You don't need to use exactly the same shade as someone else has to get the same effect.

I found this unloved little sideboard a couple of weeks ago and or course saw the potential...
It was pretty beaten up but I loved the detail.  Once it was home I sanded it right back to bare timber (it is solid pine).
Looking better already!
It needed a good clean inside...has this been inside someone's home like this, I wonder?
Here it is, all stripped, sanded and cleaned ready to prime.
I painted the inside with white Aquanamel to freshen it up and make it easy to wipe clean.  It has a middle shelf which is also painted white.  
TIP: when painting a shelf, or a door where you won't see the top and bottom edges, hammer in a couple of nails to each end, then use them to rest on two saw horses while you are painting them.  Once you've painted one side you can flip it over using the nails as handles...makes your job twice as fast and means you don't have to rest your freshly painted side down on anything while you paint the other side :)
Here it is all finished.  I put some sweet little floral knobs on it, I think they finish it off perfectly.
I have more of these available to purchase in my online store
This sideboard is for sale, details in my online store.