Friday, 29 July 2011

My Grandmother's Secretaire

My grandmother had a funny little 1950's style secretaire in her house.  When I was young I remember sitting at it whenever we went to visit.  The front pulls down to become a writing desk and inside there were compartments where she kept all her writing sets and postage stamps.

When my grandmother passed away, and my mother was clearing out her house, she asked me if I wanted anything. I asked for two things. The little secretaire and a Lladro figurine that my grandmother bought on a family holiday to Norfolk Island, as these were the two things I had strong childhood memories of.

When I got the secretaire, it was painted a dusty gold colour, had angled feet with discs on the bottom and the same style of discs on the drawer handles.  I painted it white and changed the feet and knobs.

The secretaire is in my master bedroom.  I use it to store all my jewellery and bits and pieces. 

 I have lined the drawer and shelves with some pretty paper.

I like that I have pieces of furniture that have a family history and that mean something to me.  I'd like to think that Gran is happy that the desk she sat at for so many hours of her life is still being used and loved.

Sharing my family treasure at

French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
Perfectly Imperfect - All Things Furniture
My Romantic Home - Show & Tell Friday
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hiding the Telephone Plug

We have a telephone point for a wall hung phone in our kitchen.  Problem is we no longer have a wall phone.  With the new technology cordless phones you just need a power point.  The phone point has become a very ugly feature of our kitchen.  I kept thinking I'll have to get a technician to relocate it and patch the wall.  Then I found these pretty spoon hooks and was looking for a place to hang them.

Um mm - Why don't I just hang one above the phone point and then I can hide it with a picture frame?  (Moment of brilliance I know!)

I had a spare photo frame, so the only thing left to decide was what picture to put in it.  I wanted something to do with food as it is in the kitchen.  I found this image at The Graphics Fairy.

The Graphics Fairy
I added the words EAT to the bottom of the picture and attached a ribbon loop to the frame and voila - problem solved and some prettiness added to the kitchen.

So this is the ugly phone plug before

and this is after

This cute squirrel nut cracker came back with us from London - we miss the nutty squirrel that used to run across our back fence every morning.

 Enjoy your day.

Home Stories A to Z - Tutorials & Tips Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures
A Beach Cottage - Good Life Wednesday
Primp - Primp Your Stuff Wednesday
The Graphics Fairy - Brag Monday

Monday, 25 July 2011

It Happens Sometimes


then ...

Later that day I was telling my sister in Melbourne what happened, and bless her, she ran around to Maison Living and bought me another one.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sale Finds

The July sales are well underway here.  To be honest, I haven't really bothered this year but the other day I had a couple of spare hours before school pick up and I found a few things I really like.

This pitcher was from Bed Bath n' Table and was reduced to $14.95

Then I found this necklace holder.

It was also only $14.  I have seen similar for $50

Finally I found these.

This set of iron keys was $3.  What more can I say?   

Happy shopping

Sharing my finds with

French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday
My Romantic Home - Show & Tell Friday
Faded Charm Cottage - White Wednesday

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Tackling the Little Jobs

I always have a list of 'little jobs' that I need to finish which I am forever putting off.  On the weekend I decided to tackle them. 

The curtains in the guest bedroom have been hanging since September last year but I have never gotten around to hanging the tie-backs. I ordered the curtains and tie-backs from Laura Ashley whilst I was in London.  When I got them they just had these little brass rings sewn to the back that would not go over the tie-back hooks I'd bought so I needed to find a way around the problem. 

I simply cut a piece of wire, threaded the crystal beads on and wrapped the ends of the wire around the brass ring.  So now the crystal loop hangs on the curtain tie-back hook and holds the curtains in place.

I have a slight fear of electrical tools. I think I am frightened that I might drill into a water pipe or electricity wire. I normally ask my husband to do the drilling bit, but he was busy studying so I had to face my fear and use the drill to hang the tie-back hooks.

I also need to shorten and rehang the curtain poles.  That involved finding studs, the drill and a saw!

Feeling my confidence grow, I fixed the curtain poles and tie-back hooks in the master bedroom and hung a hook on the back of my en suite door.

I have had this hook sitting in my bedside drawer since December last year.  Why do I procrastinate with the little jobs?

Now I have to face an even bigger challenge.  Using this!

Oh well - at least I have these.

And I did a 'girl' thing and read the operating instructions.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Recycling a Candle Jar

My sister gave me a scented candle in a glass jar for my birthday.  When the candle was finished, I decided to turn the glass jar into a small vase or tea light holder rather than put it in the rubbish.  When I stay at my sister's house she always puts a fresh rose from her garden in a little jug beside my bed, so I thought I'd do the same for her.

This is the little glass jar.

 I bought some 'script' paper from Spotlight (craft store).  I traced around the jar.  It is slightly tapered so I needed to cut a slight curve across the top.

I applied mod podge matt to the paper and stuck it to the glass.  Once it was dry I applied two more coats of mod podge to protect the paper.

The finished vase

The script paper had a printers block design on the reverse side which you can see on the inside.

Quick and easy.

The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday

Friday, 15 July 2011

Bon Voyage

My Mum is heading off on a lovely European holiday this weekend.  I have nicknamed it her Shirley Valentine holiday as she is going with her two best friends.  Three women hitting every flea market, vintage shop and charity shop across London, Paris and rural France.  How much fun are they going to have?

I decided to make her a travel journal so that she can record all the special places she finds.  I found a simple notebook in Officeworks that was covered in a plain black textured paper.  I decorated the front with an Eiffel Tower from The Graphics Fairy.  Then to cover up the Spirax logo at the bottom, I used the old paper background from The Graphics Fairy and typed the word Travel Journal in Gungsuh font as it was the closest I had to match the Tour Eiffel writing.

Inside the front cover I used a vintage map of France from The Graphics Fairy.

Inside the back cover I used a French postcard also from The Graphics Fairy.

I made a gift tag which can be used as a bookmark from and old french billet from The Graphics Fairy stuck to the back some cardboard cut from a cereal box and thread a piece of kitchen string through the hole.

I covered two pencils and an eraser with some left over 'script' paper I had.

Just a couple of technique tips - I glued all the paper with Mod Podge matt as I didn't want any shine.  I also sprayed all the artwork I printed with 2 coats of Krystal Clear Kote matt so the ink was sealed and wouldn't run when I glued it.

Have a great trip Mum.  Looking forward to seeing all the treasures you find.

How could I not show this to Karen?
Sharing with The Graphics Fairy - Brag Monday

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Using my Tuscan Tablecloth

Last week, Sarah at A Beach Cottage showed us her beautiful gray linen tablecloth.  I commented to her that I had once paid an obscene amount of money for a beautiful woven tablecloth in San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy.  I've always believed that you should use what you have and not just save it for special occasions, so I pulled in out of the cupboard on the weekend.

We had six adults and four kids (aged 9-13) over for lunch, and we served lasagne.  How brave am I?  Not only am I going to use my tablecloth, I'm serving lasagna with tomato sauce and melted cheese!  Not to mention the red wine.

I also kept another promise to myself to buy more fresh flowers.

White roses and pretty pink tulips.

I displayed them in a mix of plain vases and old food jars.  I know the single tulip is tall but I didn't want it to look too symmetrical.

I wish I'd taken a photo of the beautiful baked cheesecake I made ... and it was covered with fresh raspberries - try getting that stain out!

Sharing with:
Sarah at A Beach Cottage - Good Life Wednesdays
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures
Between Naps On The Porch - Tablescape Thursday
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