Tuesday, 30 April 2013

All I want is a room somewhere ....

Oh, what a beautiful morning! Today, as I approached 'my' beach, I had one of those heart-swelling moments of happiness, that this is on my doorstep, free to enjoy whenever I like ... how lucky am I?

 I don't know about you, but I could sit for hours, sifting through pebbles, at first glance they look alike, but up close and personal, there are so many different colours, shapes and sizes ... I wish they could talk, what tales they could tell ...

There seems to be a lot of yellow around at the moment too ... a very welcome antidote to the greyness we've been experiencing lately! The gorse is in full bloom, and I spotted lots of sunny dandelions, wild daffodils and celandines too.

Something else that I always welcome, is my Country Living magazine popping through the front door! Always a lovely read, it never disappoints and provides me with lots of inspiration.

A lovely friend treated me to Molly Makes and Steve got me the new Reloved magazine, as I had been dropping hints.  It is a lovely magazine, very aesthetically pleasing, but when I sat down to read it properly was quite disappointed to find that a lot of the projects had already appeared elsewhere, so I have them in books which I have already paid good money for.  Felt a bit cheated, really! However, there are other ideas which were new, but I don't think I'll be a regular customer. What do you all think?

I couldn't resist this Pippi Longstocking book, when I spied it whilst out treasure hunting.  I devoured Pippi books as a child, and Pippi in the South Seas was a favourite.

This cheeky chap appealed to me too, I think I might keep him! Eyeing up the girls while dragging on a fag ... probably a Gauloise, as it definitely has a French feel to it ...

These ladies caught my eye too, as they looked so cheerful! Must say though that inflation has reached an all-time high, as when this was published pre-decimalisation, it was priced as 6d, which is 2.5p in new money.  I was charged a whole ten bob (50p ... for you youngsters who don't know what I'm blathering on about) ... I could have bought 20 patterns for that in the old days (correct me if I'm wrong ... Maths never was my strong point).

Remember my workroom renovations ... I'm ready for the big reveal! I found a roll of wallpaper which was just enough to cover one wall (it looks a bit much, but it's over the workbench, so only half a wall really).

It features all my favourite flowers in one go! Roses, tulips, hyacinths, primroses and lots of other UFO's (unidentified flower others)

The focal point as you entered the room was a radiator, so decided I needed a radiator cover ... the one I wanted was £75!! I wasn't paying that, being thrifty (not tight, thrifty) but on closer inspection, if I bought an identical, unpainted one, it was £24! That was more like it, as I was painting it anyway.

On my travels I found this very old, warped, broken and splintered cupboard, but I knew it would be perfect to go over the radiator ... for £10, including delivery, I couldn't not, could I?

This is a rubbish picture as the sun was so bright, but this is another cupboard which was filthy and had been there for over a year ... £20!

This is the cupboard and radiator, after painting with Annie Sloan Antoinette ...

and lined with my favourite 'vintage' London wallpaper!

The corner cupboard is painted in AS Country Grey, and again lined with the London paper. I'm very pleased with how they've turned out ...

A home for some of my craft books ....

 I had great fun 'titivating' with all my sewing bits and bobs.  I really need to learn to sew ... I can't even thread a needle, but I'm determined and hoping to start lessons soon.

Old Sylkos ... reminds me of my lovely Mam, who sat at her sewing machine ever day, making curtains for a department store ...

Packets of press studs and hooks and eyes.

My little window, with a table to sit at and gaze at the view! I'm really pleased with my workroom, especially as it has cost less than £50, because everything other than the furniture, I already had.

Need to love you and leave you now my lovelies, just going treasure hunting for a high stool to sit at my bench, and a cupboard for my fabric stash and wool! 

Whatever you do this week, have fun!

Love Claire xxx

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Reasons to be cheerful ....

Hello there! The sun's shining, the birds are singing and flying around with bits of twigs and fluff in their beaks, busy with their nest building.  Was just counting my blessings when there is so much grief and sadness in the world, and thought I'd share the things that are making me smile ...

I had a Vintage Fair on Sunday, it was a lovely day meeting old friends and I had a bit of a change around on my stall to try and make it look a bit fresh (pity that everyone wanted to buy the props that weren't for sale!)

 My workroom! This is just the window, the one part that is ready, but watch this space, we are getting there slowly ...

 Lovely treasure that I've stumbled upon ... I love this Boddington's ad and think it may go in my workroom, because it makes me smile!

This handsome chap came home with me, and I think he's a keeper too. Sorry about the size of my pics ... I've downloaded them from Instagram and they seem to be sized differently.  You may be able to see them differently than me, but I don't know how to enlarge them ... answers on a postcard please!

Fantastic roller skates! Lots of people looked at them at the Fair, but more to reminisce than anything else ... stories about siblings sharing the skates and wearing one each or patiently waiting until it was their turn to wear both!

Remember The Pogle's? I'd never seen anything Pogle related until I found this plate ... it's done well to survive since the 60's (bit like me) ...

Little bit of upcycling (the coffee set is absolutely beautiful, all shiny and full of lustre: I couldn't think of an adjective for lustre, lustreful?)

An upcycled cupboard, painted first in  Annie Sloan Provence, then covered in Antoinette on the outside, distressed so that the blue shows through ... Cath wallpaper lining the door (a marriage made in HEAVEN!)

Teacup trifles! So simple but effective ... I made these when the lovely Rosey Maria came for lunch last week.

Little makes for friend's birthdays ... and of course the lovely friends themselves!

This delightful cushion came to me from Dotcomgiftshop.  I don't usually advertise, apart to show you what I've bought, but they got in touch with me to ask if they could show one of my upcycled cupboards on their own blog.  I was very flattered that such a well known company had noticed me, so of course said yes.  They gave me a discount code to use in the future, (which will be handy as I do usually buy from their sales) and asked if there was anything I would like to review and they would send it to me.

 I had had my eye on this cushion for a while so asked if I could please have that.  It is really very sweet and at only £9.95, a very reasonable buy.  I didn't read the description properly (as usual!) and thought it was full sized, but it is a small cushion and would be lovely for pinning brooches on, or for a child's bed grouped with other cushions. I keep it on a shelf and it is very at home there, and receives lots of admiring comments. It is very detailed with each feature stitched on separately and further decorated with flowers and buttons.  It is backed in the same dotty fabric as the sky.  Very pretty and recommended by me!

I'd just like to say that my family are my main reason to be cheerful, but as they don't particularly want to appear here, I'll just give them a mention!

That's all for now, do you have any reasons to be cheerful that you'd like to share?

Love, Claire xxx

Monday, 22 April 2013

I got the Spring fever blues ....

Good morning, my lovelies!

I really must apologise for being a bad blogger of late, and as I had a Vintage Fair yesterday, and still haven't unpacked my car, I haven't got time to do a proper post today, but as it's that time of year again, I thought I would repeat my spring cleaning tips from last year, first published not long after I started blogging.  I use all these methods myself, and thought you might like to share them too! Sorry, my lovelies,  if you've already seen them ... if you haven't, these are the methods I use and I have passed them on to others who now swear by them!

Be brave and ditch all your chemical-laden cleaning products! Honestly, all you need to clean effectively and healthily are a few store cupboard staples and a couple of spray bottles.

The main ingredients are Bicarbonate of Soda (you can use the kind you get in the baking aisle, but if you want to be thrifty, they sell large boxes of the stuff for much less in the cleaning aisle of some stores); White Vinegar (any vinegar will do the job, but malt vinegar smells a bit at first); Lemon Juice and Olive Oil.

Make up a 1 litre spray bottle with 2 teaspoons of bicarb, and fill up with water.  This invaluable spray can be used as the only oven cleaner you will ever need! Spray on a cold, dirty oven, all over, and leave until next time you use oven - it's perfectly safe.  After using your oven and it has gone cold, there will be a powdery film on the bottom of the oven.  Just wipe with a clean, damp cloth (use this cloth for your oven cleaning from now on, as will get quite stained), spray and repeat.  Do this EACH TIME you use your oven, once it has gone cold ... it literally takes seconds. Within a couple of weeks, your oven will be sparkling clean without having to resort to using poisonous sprays, and with no elbow grease required! To clean the glass, mix up a thick paste of bicarb and water, plaster on the glass and leave overnight if possible.  The grease and grime should wipe off easily.  If you follow the oven cleaning tip, you will find that the glass stays clean as the bicarb absorbs grease, so all it will need is a wipe.

This spray can also be used on the hob, just spray and leave a few minutes and burnt on marks will come off easily.  Spray on burnt on stains on oven trays and pans too.  After emptying your dishwasher, use the spray all over the inside, it will help absorb odours and clean it too. Make sure you label it, so you don't get it mixed up with the vinegar spray (about 2 inches of vinegar in 1 litre of water), but it wouldn't have disastrous consequences, even if you did!

The vinegar spray can be used on mirrors and windows - just spray on and wipe, then polish with crumpled up newspaper.  Spray on  taps (spray on unseen area to test first, if unsure) on the bath and sinks, on shower screens, down the toilet and in dishwasher.  Cuts through grease, quickly and easily. If your shower head is clogged, remove and submerge in a vinegar and water solution and the limescale will dissolve and water flow freely through the holes.

See last weeks Tuesday Tip for natural furniture polish - I don't use the Olive Oil in the photo for this, far too good, just use cheap stuff, but the can looked nicer in the picture!

(This is simply a big glug of olive oil into a bowl, to which you add the juice of a lemon and mix; apply to your furniture with a cloth and leave to soak in.  Buff to a shine ... it really feeds the wood and smells glorious too!)

Lemon juice and lemons are invaluable.  Roll a lemon around before juicing, you'll get much more juice from it.  After juicing, put the 'shells' in your dishwasher cutlery basket.  Cuts through grease, and makes glass and cutlery shine - plus smells nice! Alternatively, put the shells in a bowl with hot water and microwave for a couple of minutes.  Your microwave will clean much easier, as the steam and juice loosens dirt.  Just repeat for stubborn stains.


Friday, 12 April 2013

The times they are a changing ...

Hello my lovelies, I can't believe it's almost the middle of April and I haven't done a post this month!

I have been poorly sick and not so well for a couple of weeks, but hopefully am coming out of it now, now that the Easter holidays are almost over and time to get back to normal!

I promise that I will get my blogging mojo back soon, but as the title of this post suggests, there are a few changes going on at the Thriftwood homestead! My firstborn, Olly, has flown the nest (only round the corner, so he can still bring his washing and come for tea!)

courtesy Google
This means, ladies (and gentlemen, if there are any of you reading this) that I will soon have a workroom ... I won't have to get everything out, only to have to put it all away in the bulging cupboards when tea time beckons. No, a purpose made, workroom all of my own! There will be work surfaces, shelves, cupboards and prettiness abounding! Haha, I can't even sew! I am inspired to learn though, as it is in the genes ... don't you just love The Great British Sewing Bee?

This is the vision dancing around in my head ....

courtesy Flickr

And this is the grim reality ...

Just a little peek ...

The bare bones ...

Lots of tlc required ...

A little bit of upcycling ...

Boring preparation, but I promise I'll keep you updated. I'm wondering whether this should feature in the room, what do you think? I'm glad I saved it, but I do only have one roll, so I'll have to be really careful ...

We've a busy weekend ahead, with Olly and his girlfriend visiting, Jacob and Jules coming for the weekend from Leeds (as long as it doesn't snow ... this usually happens!) and lots of family meals, hopefully there'll be a bit of cake eating at Violet's and carbooting going on too!

I'll catch up with you all soon, and until then, have a wonderful weekend, I have to go, as my freshly laid breakfast is beckoning ....

Love, Claire xxx