Friday, 28 August 2009

Sunny Seaside Sunday

We were in London last weekend to visit Mart's family when we had a lovely Sunday drive to Whitstable on the coast. Besides it being a super hot & sunny day (when everything seems so much better!), Whitstable really is an idyllic seaside town with lots of gorgeous wooden beach houses, yummy fresh seafood, a long pebbled beach & lots of very cute shops selling gorgeous things. I had been a few times before but mostly with work when I went on photo shoots to an amazing beach house - which incidently I have been trying to find photos of on the net for ages now to show you. I must try searching the meantime the bunting in the photo above has reminded me I really must finish that bunting I started so many moons ago. Here are some more sunny seaside snaps...

Thursday, 20 August 2009

mirror makeover


I bought this mirror last year on the sales when I nabbed it for a bargain
(and it isn't even one of those that makes you look short and dumpy thankfully!). Anyhow, this Roccoco or shabby chic, whatever you like to call it, style isn't top of my list but I just can't pass a decorative frill and so have hopefully taken the edge off that look with my mirror makeover...

I decided the easiest way to transform this mirror into something different that fitted in with the plans for our bedroom was to paint it. We first of all lived with some chosen test colour cards for a bit to help make that decision on colour choice. We went with a colortrend blue called St. Johns and chose a soft sheen emulsion.

Firstly, protect your work area really well with dust sheets or news papers. Marty's top tip is to make sure you double layer a sheet or even better, line underneath with plastic sheeting in case the paint soaks through onto a precious surface!

Test paint a small patch at the back of the mirror to make sure you are completely happy with your colour and paint choice. Don't forget to allow it to dry to see the true colour.

very carefully remove any staples or pins from the back of the mirror, peeling away the backing board.

Next, even more carefully remove the mirror and rest in a safe place.

Now, down to business. Scuff up the wood with a quick rough over with some sand paper. This is important to help the paint go on smoothly (great for the upper arms too!).

Using a dampened cloth, wipe the sanding dust away to give a clean surface.

You may need a paint primer first, depending on the type of surface you're painting onto - ask your paint shop for advice. Ensure your paint is well stirred up. Use a paint brush sized proportionally to the item you're painting (preferably synthetic for water based paints & natural for oil based). Brush strokes should go in one direction with (and not against) the grain for best results.

Squish and squirm (how's that for a description?!) the paint brush into awkward decorative bits to ensure the paint gets right into the groves. Use a much smaller brush for harder to reach areas if you prefer.

Leave the first coat to dry completely for several hours before giving a second coat. It's really important to give the second coat for a good finish - but at least the second coat will be quicker than the first!

Once the second coat has completely dried, then carefully turn the frame on one side - this will reveal missed or hard to reach bits at the top and particularly the bottom so give them the same care and attention. This might at this stage seem like a never ending project but it's so worth giving it time and patience.

A top tip for painting a mirror frame is to pay particular attention to the bit inside the frame that faces the mirror when the mirror glass is back in place. If you miss this bit out then you'll be disappointed to see the unpainted bit reflecting back on you once you have the mirror back in position! Don't forget to let this dry properly too.

Very carefully, return the mirror to the frame, securing it in place with the backing material. Staple gun or tack it back securely in position. Finally, the exciting reveal - turn it round to check out your creative handy work! tadaaa...


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

our new living space

Sorry I haven't been around for a while - complete laptop meltdown this time - now after a glass of water being accidently knocked into it (not mentioning any names!), it has sadly passed away...a huge scramble was on over the last week to somehow save all my files from it which I have now thankfully managed to do (& thank god for foxmarks having my thousands of bookmarks in cyber space!). Anyhow, much less stressfull surprisingly, is how our extension is flying up. It is so exciting to see our new space taking shape and overwhelming to imagine how our lives are going to be transformed with our living space. Here are some current snaps...