Monday, 5 November 2012

I'm back

Hello again. It's taken a while but I'm back.

Well. once I'd finished painting the dining room, I decided to move the furniture back in. I planned to put the dresser on the chimney breast wall which wasn't an option before, as it was going to have a woodburner in the fireplace. Now it has  been bricked up again it was an ideal space for this dresser. I got it some time ago as old readers may remember. I brought it from my friends over the road when they cleared the Oast house out after her Dad died. I brought it to paint originally, but then it didn't happen. After I moved the first bits of furniture back in the room, I realised that more than ever I hated the honey pine colour of the dresser. I kept wondering about painting it white, but was put off by the sheer amount of hard work involved. Also I'd had a gutful of painting..especially with white paint!!  I thought on it for about a week...every time I looked at that dresser I got closer to the decision of painting it.  Finally I took the plunge. I painted the top half first after a quick sand down and removing the doors and hardware. I didn't want to buy anymore paint so I decided to use the matt emulsion that I used for the walls. Yes it took alot of coats to cover the honey pine colour...four to be exact!  Finally after a week it was done. Then the worst part...the base unit. This took another full week and by now I was hating every minute of it.  I looked online and found a tip for painting furniture, that eliminates the need for any sanding first. If you want a flat finish like you would get with chalk paint, you can add one part plaster of paris to three parts paint.  I did this for the base part and it worked brilliantly..much cheaper than buying expensive chalk paint too.  After two full weeks of painting this dresser every day to get the coverage I wanted, it was finished. Then the good part, sanding the edges to make it look distressed and old. I enjoyed this bit alot. I brought all random knobs for the dresser, all seven of them are totally different in shades of pink and blue.  Then I got some Briwaxand waxed the whole thing. I love the look its given the dresser and am definitely going to get more Briwax to wax some of my old furniture. I brought the clear one and checked first that it wouldn't change the colour of the white didn't.

This is how it looked before I painted it when I first moved it into the newly painted dining room.

Just look at that iron burn on my carpet, not to mention the white paint.....sigh! Can't afford to replace it so a bit of disguising is in order.

Here is the base of the dresser, all ready to be painted.  I was so sick of painting it that I never even thought to take any progress photos..sorry

Here's the top part all finished and just waiting for the bottom to catch up!

Yay!!! The finished dresser...just crying out for things to be put on it now...I'm still working on that one. Alot of the plates and things I want to display on it are up in the loft so I need to go through boxes up there to find them.

So glad its finished.

Disguising the carpet...I had this brainwave that I could make a large rug for the dining room floor. My first thought was a rag rug, then I thought it would be 'different' to make a rug for the floor like a quilt.  After all, I have a huge selection of fabric and had no need to buy anything as I already had everything for quilting..including the wadding for the middle of the quilt.

When I subscribed to SEW magazine they sent me a free gift of Tilda fabric squares. Quite large ones, i think they are just over 6" square. As the colours were pinks, blues, turquoise, all colours I was thinking about using in the dining room I thought these would be perfect.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this rug. Everything was basically scrap fabric, old duvet covers from the charity shop and even the complicated pin wheel squares that I made many moons ago...thinking I was going to make a king size quilt of them! Yeah right!! So they got chucked into the rug too. I'm glad they are finally being used for something as they took quite a while to make.

Here are the squares, minutes after laying them out to get the colour order right....courtesy of Jessie the cat!

...laid out again

Quilting 'in the ditch' with another cat getting involved...Millie this time!

Finished!!! Laid out on the floor for a photo. Very pleased with how colourful it all looks.

What is it with cats and quilts? Jessie again!

Finally on the floor, under the table where I wanted it to go and no paint marks or iron burns showing! Mission accomplished until I can afford to replace the carpet. I can live with this it looks feminine :o)

My boiler broke last week and we had no heating, just when it was starting to get cold too. I stocked up on coal last month so at least I had something to keep us warm with the coal fire. I ran out of wood a while back which was a bummer because burning just coal on an open fire can work out pretty expensive. After five years of living in this house I tried the immersion heater out for the first worked :o)  So we had hot water anyway.

I have applied for a grant for a new boiler hopefully from Warm Front last week. I'm still waiting to hear back from them..I wonder how long they are going to take as its pretty urgent with a child in the house.  Yesterday though, the boiler lit and stayed on all day. I tried it again this morning and it was still okay. I've switched it off now and a using the coal fire as I want to save as much on my utility bills as possible.

The toaster broke yesterday too. I am looking around for a new one, its going to be pink!! Yes really, its going to be a feminine pretty house by the time I've finished :o)

On the 27th October it was my Mum & Dads' 50th Wedding Anniversary.  They were actually away with y Dads' side of the family on the actual day, so my brother and I decided we would all get together the following week to celebrate it.

Unfortunately it was only a flying visit for us as I have the cats and hens to look after. We travelled on the train to Winchester. It took four hours! Train delays, an unexpected train termination, missing our connecting train at Brighton due to the delays was not good. It was freezing cold. But we finally got went...a lift to the station by a friend, four trains and a taxi and we were there.

We had a special present for Mum and Dad. It was being delivered to their house that morning, but we told them not to open it as we wanted them to open it at the pub we were going to for a meal. We had flowers sent to the pub for when they arrived. Unbelieveably I never took a photo of them...don't ask!'s Mum and Dad opening their present from us.

Looks like they like it......:o)

Mum looks speechless....for once!! Love you really Mum x

They can't stop looking at it..

and I just know wverybody that is reading this post is wondering what the hell they are looking at that was so good...

Here it is, our present to them and drawn by the very talented MARK CRETNEY His work is mindblowing, what a talent. Take a look at his facebook page you won't be disappointed.

Fantastic drawing, I think you'll agree. What a truly amazing talent to have and such a lovely helpful man, nothing was too much trouble for him. Mark even giftwrapped the present for me before posting it. So, if youre looking for a very special gift for somebody, maybe he's your man :o)

I apolgise for the grainy photos I took in the pub, I used my phone and kick myself now for not taking the SLR camera with me but I had so much to carry already on the train journey, that it just wasn't possible.

Hope you've enjoyed the update. I'm getting back into my sewing again slowly and am feeling alot happier now than I was in the summer. I have alot of blog reading to catch up on...I will get there eventually.


  1. Great to hear you're on the mend -
    you're doing amazingly well, keep it up
    love the dresser and the rug.

  2. What a truly wonderful surprise that gift was too. A truly talented man. It quite took our breath away, where did the 50 years go? It is going to be framed next week,so we can admire it every day.
    Your dining room looks totally different to 3 months ago, due to a lot of hard work by you.
    Love the painted unit, out with the dull, in with the new. Yes!!
    Love Mum xx

  3. That quilt really does look terrific there, a really pretty feature.

  4. What a brilliant gift.
    Love the redo on your room.