30 March 2012

Mosaic African Lady

I've often wondered where my mother gets her patience from when it comes to her mosaics.  I would have cut out my eye with the tile cutter in frustration after only an hour, but after about three or four months of hard slog she's finally finished this spectacular African lady (although I'm sure if you ask her she would tell that you it felt like a year)...







She has been asked by her teacher to to display it in some upcoming shows.  Hell yeah, after taking that long to do it I would be displaying it to the entire world!

It's even more beautiful up close and in person.  Even though it took a lot of time and work, the end result was well worth it don't you think?

Megs x

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23 March 2012

Bedroom Furniture for Mum

I bought a whole heap of old bedroom furniture a while back with every intention of doing something glamorous to them (e.g. black and white stripe maybe?).  But as soon as my mother laid eyes on them she told me she wanted them for her bedroom - and all in white (yawn).   But she also told me she wanted them to have the rustic look so at least I was able to do something more creative with them.

Here is the tallboy and bedside tables as they were...



These originally were an off white/cream with quite a few dings in them.  Here's what they looked like after I'd finished with them (and not what I expected mind you!)...


See the third drawer down?  It's a lot lighter than the others - FAIL!!  


This is the fabric that Mum wanted for the interior (China vases).





I thought maybe it was the light that was making that certain drawer look lighter than the others, but when we set it up in Mum's bedroom it stuck out like the proverbials.  I have now fixed it to look like the others.  I think my problem was putting the poly on too quick after the stain therefore lifting the stain off.

She also wanted a dresser in the same style and we scored this one for $30 off Gumtree:


I love the hardware!

Here she is now (minus any stuff-ups):


Same fabric as the tallboy but with white background :)





She LOVES this one especially.  I think it turned out great.  So I may have missed out on making some money, but when it comes to doing things like this for my Mum it's worth more than any money I could make.

On another note, after a very successful audition last Saturday I have been invited to join a very cool band!  Hooray!  I received this news yesterday - on my birthday mind you!  It's been about seven years since I left my last one and after focusing on family etc, I am now ready to step behind the mic again.  They seem like a great bunch of blokes and their music is right up my alley (soul/jazz).  We will mostly be doing gigs at wineries, weddings and corporate functions and about twice a month which fits in perfectly with my busy life.  Don't think I could handle fannying about on a stage twice a week that's for sure!

It's funny how things manifest themselves.  I was going through my filing cabinet the other day and came across all my folders of music from my previous band.  I was about to throw them out and then decided against it.  The next night out the blue I checked out the "music" section on Gumtree and saw the ad for the auditions.  I replied and immediately got a response that they were about to remove the ad as they'd had enough girls but that they could fit me in at the end for about 20 mins.  So I had the Friday to learn the song, went in on Saturday and did that song as well as few others and here we are!  I can't believe how quickly it happened and am absolutely over the moon.  I have a feeling it was meant to be.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody!  I will be busy practicing my warbling in the shower.  Here's a tip:  don't sing in the shower while applying face wash.  It takes forever to get the taste out of your mouth :(

Megs x

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16 March 2012

Play it Again Sam!

You may recall these two tables that my husband Mr T found by the side of the road about six months ago...



They had been sitting in the garage for ages when Mr T had an idea for both of them.  He thought PIANO KEYS!  Ummm, I wasn't so sure so I let him do only one first as I thought it would look crap not that great.

Turns out the Mrs was wrong (for once).  Check it out now!







Personally, I totally dig it!


The only problem was he was supposed to have the keys the other way round so they were facing the same was as the drawer.  Still looks great though.

Oh ok I'll admit it, I didn't really think it would look crap.  Maybe I was just worried about being upstaged!  Haha, just kidding.  I do love it when he gets in the creative mood.

What do you think?

Megs x

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15 March 2012

How to get the French/Rustic Look - A Tutorial

Woo-hoo! I've found a spare five minutes to scratch myself so I thought I'd pay some attention to my poor neglected blog.

A couple of months ago I was asked by Becca to do a guest post over at her blog From Gardners 2 Bergers, where I did my first tutorial on how to achieve the French/shabby chic finish.

Since I haven't actually done a tutorial on MY blog, I will share one with you today.  I'll begin by showing you some of my work...







Now I'll start by saying that my way might be very different to others, but you do what works for you right? Also, the descriptions of the kind of paint I use may be different to what you use in whatever country you may live.



1.  I start by sanding the table back with 120 grit sandpaper.  I normally don't go heavy handed with this, but if it looks as if the varnish or paint is coming off too easily I will go hard at it or take my heat gun to it and scrape the paint or varnish off.

2.  After sanding I obviously get rid of all the dust and give it a good clean.  Then I give the table one coat of acrylic undercoat/primer.  If I am going blue or green (like the photos above), I will normally undercoat with grey.  Just normal acrylic paint is fine.

3.  Once this is dry I will go over the whole piece with a fine tooth comb to see if there are any dings, scratches or holes that need to be filled.  I always give the piece one undercoat first as any flaws will really show up once the first coat of paint gets to it and they're much easier to find.  Then I will use painters bog or builders bog to fill it up.

(This is after one coat so you can see all the yuckies)

This isn't the actual table I'm referring too, but it's the only photo I have to give you an example.  All the holes will be more visible after the first undercoat.  Once you fill it, wait until it dries and then give it a sand with a 180 grit to give it a smooth even finish.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of filling.

I also have a look to see if there are any gaps or light cracks.  I will use a gap filler for this.  (My husband is a painter so I've been lucky to learn all the tricks).

4.  I give the whole thing a very light sand, wipe down and then give it another undercoat.

5.  Then I apply two coats of my colour choice in acrylic, with a light sand in between with 600 grit sandpaper.  This makes it feel really smooth.  Acrylic usually dries pretty quick, like about half an hour.  But I always wait overnight before I start the distressing.

6.  For the distressing, I get a 180 grit and lightly sand on the edges or "peaks".  The more you distress furniture, the better you'll become at knowing where the best places are to distress.  I was really quite messy and heavy handed to begin with.  At the end of the day, it all depends on what look you're going for.

7.  Once it is all distressed, I apply a dark English Walnut stain by brushing it on in sections.  So I will start with a leg, brush the stain on, quite sloppily I might add, and then wipe that section down with a clean lint free cloth.  Then you'll see it magically transform before your eyes!  The finish is spectacular.

8.  Once that is dry (give it a day) I apply a coat of poly, and that's pretty simple to use.  Just follow the instructions on the can!

As I said, my way might be very different to someone else's but it works for me.   I've been asked by some people whether I use a brush, roller or spray gun.  For me it depends on what the weather permits.  Normally  use a spray gun attached to my compressor.  If it is really cold or scorching hot outside I might bring a piece inside to paint with a brush.  I find using the brush can be quite relaxing and therapeutic.  I've only used the roller once and I wasn't that keen on the effect it left.  I can kind of zone out when using the brush.  On a couple of occasions I have used can spray paint for really small projects if I happen to have some sitting around.  But these are really expensive where I live so I rarely use it.

So there you have it!  I hope this inspires you to tackle that busted up dresser that's been sitting in the corner of your garage pleading with you to bring it back to life.  And so what if you balls it up - you can just try it again!

Megs x

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14 March 2012

Guest Post by Linda at It All Started With Paint

Now this is one crafty lady I'd love to meet one day!  Most of you are probably aware of her blog but to those who are missing out, let me introduce Linda from It All Started With Paint.  I LOVE her style!

Not long after my first-ever blog post I received a very sweet comment from the fabulous Meg of Meg and Mums.


And in subsequent email exchanges she let me know of her new blog link party launch.  A furniture party.  And I try to link up as much as I can …


But unlike the fabulous Meg – whom I’ve crowned the Miss Mustard Seed of Australia --  my furniture refinishing skills are, well, lacking …


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I just don’t have the wax on/wax off gene. I don’t find the joy in the stripping and the sanding and the staining and the poly-ing.


And after my staircase project

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… I’ve had enough of the stripping and the sanding and the staining and the poly-ing for a lifetime.


But when the fabulous Meg asked if I would like to contribute a guest post here.  Of course I said yes.  I’m all over Meg and Mums.


And I’m all over Australia; can’t wait to visit one day …


And I’m all over growing my Australian readership …

Smile


...  I mean, you are neck-in-neck with the U.K. ladies (and gents) for third place in all-time pageviews by region …

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… and I am motivated to help my Australian readers surpass those Brits …




… by shamelessly wow-ing you Aussies with my “I’m shamelessly proud of my” entry remodel

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And if that doesn’t win you over, maybe you’ll ooh and aah over my powder room reveal …?

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And then you can dig my killer sewing skills

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Unimpressed (you’re a tough crowd), perhaps you could swoon over the rug I painted directly onto my front porch landing …?

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Wait, wait.  Don’t abandon me yet.   There’s more good stuff to come.  Like in this post ….

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… where I share the secrets to my financial blogging success.  You will be astounded and amazed by my transparency and riches …


… McDonald’s Happy Meal here I come!


I’m just so very glad the fabulous Meg didn’t ask me to do a guest post about a furniture project.  Because, honestly, the reason I like this furniture transformation …

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… has less to do with the furniture piece and more to do with the fabric and the cushion and the pillows.


… and I’ll be checking those stats hourly to make sure you Aussies overcome the Brits …


Just saying …


Thank you so much …  the fabulous Meg!



See what I mean?  What Linda says she lacks in furniture revamping, she more than makes up for with her craftiness!  I would never have thought to paint my deck like that, but come hell or high water I'm givin' it a go!  My husband totally dug it.  And killer sewing skills indeed - my other favourite would have to be the storage bench in the entry way.  Unfortunately my sense of adventure as far as sewing and fabrics extends nowhere near Linda's.  I need a "Linda" to come help me with all my sewing projects I have lined up am too petrified to tackle.

Thanks so much for being my guest today Linda!  You are absolutely one of my favourite bloggers :D

Megs x

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