Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Busy doing nothing, working the whole day through ...

The weather outside is still frightful, though I know from the lovely Instagram pics I've been drooling over lately, that lots of you ARE having glorious sunshine! Lucky you, and make hay while the sun shines ...

Last week, when the days were more clement, you could find me stripped off in the garden upcycling furniture (this is a lie ... it would frighten the horses that pass by). The upcycling furniture bit is true though ...

A friend told me that she had an old, oak cupboard, that could do with titivating, and basically that she couldn't be arsed bothered. I called round and found this little beauty! Dirty, unloved, glassless ... right up my street ...

Armed with my trusty Annie Sloan brush and tin of Country Grey, I set to. It took a whole ten minutes because I take such care with my projects ... sanding, priming, etc (I absolutely do NOT do any of these things, that is why Annie is my best friend) ... and when the paint was dry, I was ready to experiment!

I had seen somewhere in Blogland that someone had used tissues and napkins to decoupage things, so thought I'd give it a go.  I peeled the patterned sheet off the napkins, pasted (using solvite) part of the inside of the cupboard.  I started trying to put whole squares on, but it looked too contrived and the pattern didn't match anyway, so I just started tearing random strips off and plastering on, giving another coat of paste on top.  Some of it tore, but I just patched it up ... some was rumpled, but it all added to an aged, vintage looking effect.  The above pic is a close-up of the inside of the cupboard when it was finished.

This is the after picture, titivated within an inch of its life! I was going to add chicken wire but decided to just leave it as it is ... note it is complete with old key on a ribbon, but if you fancy anything inside, you can just reach in and take it ... It has been said before, on several occasions, that I am completely barking mad.

Of course, this then warranted a little change around, as the clock had to be taken down ... it's new home is 2 feet away, to the right, and it's settled in nicely, thank you.

I've been picking little posies from my garden (while I have some flowering, I am trying to be thrifty by not buying any) ...

and from my country walks lovely bouquets of blowsy, frothy wildflowers ...   never pick the roots, and always just one stem from a clump, so it's not noticeable ...

Some more rich pickings, this time from a couple of car boot sales I went to on Sunday ... I got a bootload of stuff (it's amazing what you can get in a Micra) but here are my favourites ... the above retro radio, a bit sorry for itself, but just needing a bit of a spruce-up and new batteries, just what I need for my workroom ...

and a brand new Cath Kidston flask for £2! Vintage tupperware containers (50p, a lovely Chinese biscuit barrel (£1) and a little hamper containing 2 children's tea sets (30p)

I've been following Hettie Brown's mantra 'Treading gently, Being thrifty, Living simply' by picking my own flowers, making my own jam (gorgeous strawberry, summer berries and chilli) and doing meal plans.  Like Sophie (Hettie Brown), I find planing for a week a bit daunting, so am doing it over  3 days (the real reason is I can't fit more than that on the blackboard).  I do like that I have already shopped for it and the decision is made, rather than umming and aahing about what to make each day.  It doesn't stop family members moaning though, unfortunately.

Hysteria is mounting (admittedly, mostly me) for Thursday's celebrations ... Millie's Leaver's Summer Ball! Hope the nice weather will make an appearance for an hour or two, that would be perfect ...

Until next time, my lovelies, have fun in the sun

Love, Claire xxx


  1. green with envy over that new cupboard of yours!

  2. I love the cupboard ... I am going to have to invest in some Annie Sloan me thinks ... :o) xxx

  3. I love your little cupboard - gorgeous, and the tissue on the inside is a great idea!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. Not barking mad, just wonderfully creative and talented ! LOVE what you & Annie have done to bring new life to this gorgeous piece - well done.
    It's a bit drizzly here today after days of lovely sunshine, but I'm ever hopeful and the forecast says more sun later in the week. Hope it shines beautifully for Millie's Ball.
    Happy Tuesday,

  5. I love your cupboard makeover. Have to say I love the AS paint too. No more fuss or faff!
    It can be fiddly using napkins for decoupage but once dry the effect is amazing. My two girls have mirrors done this way. They look pretty.

    What a load of lovely things you have found. Love the flask.

    Have to say we have been doing the menu planner for a year now. I do the whole week though it is a bit more of a suggestion at the weekend. But is sure beats forgetting about tea until about lunchtime then panicking about what to cook! lol which is what happened here most days before meal planning. Plus you can think about changing meals up too. Rather getting stuck in too much of a rut. But yep there is grumbles here to. But I am a meanie and say its that or nowt!

    Hope the weather improves for Thursday! I am sure you will all have a wonderful time.

    P x

  6. What sun? Yet again, it's another dull and grey day here in London. Seriously fed up with the weather. Anyway, I love your little cupboard. You're the second blogger I've seen recently doing the napkin decoupage mallarky. It looks great and, yes, the Annie S paint is a miracle worker. Hope Millie's do goes well on Thurs and good luck with the meal planning: it's the way forward. x x

  7. That cupboard is a beauty now you've worked your magic. Love the car boot finds, too.

  8. No sun here... but must be something in the air... spent the morning stripping the kitchen table! Your Cabinet looks fab- kisses

    noodleBubble X

  9. I just love the fact you can just reach into the cupboard, so funny! You've done a great job there! :) x

  10. ~ Hello Mrs Thriftwood! My you have been busy, squireling away with such wonderful treasure! Where do you go I ask! We live in the same town and I must be going around with my eyes wide closed! hehe...YOU know I LOVE that pretty cupboard, Tis the colour pink! Makes me heart skip a beat! thinking of Millie on Thursday! she'll be just perfect! Yes when shenanigans are over with our off springs, then its the time for us! Hugs Maria x

  11. Love the makeover with the Annie Sloan paint. Just discovered a new shop in town that sells it and may have to experiment myself.

  12. Claire you are a genius and should be the 'face' of annie sloane!? email your pics to them...fabtastic...good luck to millie at the ball she will be the belle of course!!
    d x

  13. The cupboard looks lovely with the decoupaged inside - and the lovely teacup! I like that there's no chicken wire and the key on the string just ads to its charm! Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is just fab, isn't it!
    Cheerio from Switzerland, Heidi

  14. I cant believe your friend didnt want the cabinet. It has been transformed and is looking beautiful Claire. I really must try some Annie Sloan paint myself because I really do hate sanding, prepping and undercoating (in other words as my husband says doing it properly...I just cant wait to start prettifying something!). Loving the wild flowers and those from your garden.I am doing the same myself.Have a lovely week X

  15. I love your cupboard. I need to go to the car boot sales you go to, i'm lucky if I get a carrier bag full never mind a car boot full!!

  16. Nothing but beautiful happiness right here Claire. I can't believe that transformation, I bet your friend is bulling right now :) and a CK flask for £2... BARGAIN! Hazel x

  17. The cabinet looks really great! Great treasures from the car boot also.
    M x

  18. Love your reach in cupboard ... fab idea :) ... and your boot sale booty is lovely ... hope the sun shines for the ball ... Bee xx

  19. You did a great job with the cupboard! Great booty finds, love the flask. Fingers crossed for sunshine on Thursday x

  20. Brilliant cupboard and lovely post to read through. Great car booty - my last was a bit of lace, a bundle of paper bags and a pack of Pom Bears! Not so good as yours ... xxx

  21. You know I MUST get my mitts on some of that Annie paint! Sanding and prep are just too much of an inconvenience!! Your cabinet is really really lovely - proper cabinet envy here!!
    BH x

  22. Oh Claire I just love the cupboard. I think it's so wonderfully quirky that you can just pop your hand in and take out what you want. Your a dab hand with a paint brush.
    I'm also impressed with your jam making not something I dare do. I hope Millie has a wonderful time at her leavers ball. I will send lots of positive thoughts for a lovely sunny day.
    Ali x

  23. You are so clever, it's been titivated to perfection. No sunshine here in the East either, but I hear good things for the weekend. Lovely flowers and excellent car boot booty :) xx

  24. Claire your cupboard is very pretty clever and very personal to you, which makes it very special, you must be very pleased
    I love filling jugs with flowers around the house even if it is just frothy grasses..
    Well done with your jam it looks delish, I am waiting for the strawberries to be on offer then I shall make some more
    Sounds like you have some exciting times ahead with Millie...a ball!!! oh to be young again..
    Happy summer days
    Thea x

  25. Lucky you! what a fabulous car boot haul - I saw a CK flask very like yours at the weeken and it was definitely NOT £2!!! We do our menu/shopping twice weekly, so much more manageable I find.

  26. Hiya ! love your cupboard ..looked great by the time you had finished with it !! well the weather is supposed to be getting better so hopefully your girl will have the sunshine ..look forward to seeing a photo of her in that lovely vintage frock ! Gail x

  27. I have just found your beautiful post, i love the cupboard! x

  28. I love your cupboard Claire it is transformed and looks beautiful...good old annie hey..
    thanks for the mention its so nice having a friend to share with, xx

  29. Claire,
    That is an amazing transformation your friend will want her old cupboard back if she sees it! I like the way you can transform it so quickly. You had some great bargins from the car boot sales. Do you get there early to find these good buy?
    The sun is shining this evening so I hope it is the same for Millie's summer ball this evening.
    Sarah x


I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx