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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Our garden hideaway

It's been an exciting week in the Mabberley household; on Tuesday we took delivery of our new garden hideaway! 
We have quite a big garden, with magnificent views over the countryside and wanted a little place to sit in all weathers, listen to the radio and generally be very English! 
This is the patch of garden: 
So my very clever hubby has laid the base, slightly raised with posts set in concrete and all treated to make sure it doesn't rot or move! 

So the ground and foundations are all ready and the day has been spent building the structure; I'm pretty pleased with it. 

The glass isn't coloured in case you thought it was odd, tis just the protection over the plastic! Now it's time to decorate make it our own. I've been scouring Pinterest for ideas so watch this space!! 
Happy gardening! Love, Sian 💕💕

Monday, 23 June 2014

Tea for two, two for tea!

I have been looking for a tea tray to upcycle for a long time now, for breakfast in bed for my ha and and I and general shabby chic fabulousness! 
So I was chuffed to bits to find one for £8. It needed some work, and wasn't worth anything in it's current condition so was ripe for a paint job! 
So I gave it a bit of a rough sand with my good old sanding block, and applied rustoleum chalk finish paint in clotted cream. Remember my top tips for painting furniture; nice lon pg strokes, use a roller where you can and always,always go with the grain of the wood!! 

I also applied some decals I brought from eBay for silly prices (1 or 2 pounds will get you a fair few!) if you search for shabby chic transfers you should find some! They are really easy to apply with water, and the company I get them from give you a couple of extra ones to practice with! 

Here's the finished product: 

I already had the paint, so all in all this cost me less than £10! 
Now, where's my breakfast in bed?! 
Love, Sian 💕💕

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Rustoleum chalk finish paint

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I'm a massive fan of buying furniture from charity shops or car boots and making it my own. I am a bear of very little practical skills, but with the help of my wonderfully practical husband, have honed my diy skills. 

I've always used emulsion paint for my projects, but fancied giving furniture paint with a chalk finish a go. I picked up a tin of rustoleum paint from b&q for £14 a tin. 
This shade is called 'belgrave' and is a lovely rich blue. I used it to paint a wine cabinet purchased from the car boot for £5, here is the before and after...

I lightly sanded the surface using  a sanding block, I got mine from the range for £1, and then used a good quality brush to apply. My hubby's top tips are to go with the grain of the wood, and to do it I'm one long stroke so there are no brush marks. Alternatively, you could use a little roller as it goes on smoother. 

I really liked this paint, it went on well, smelled nice and is such a striking shade. I've been and brought some more colours for my next projects: 

I used a tester pot of duck egg blue to upcycle this magazine rack which I got from the carboot for £1.50. Again, went on well (although this was incredibly fiddly to paint!) and dried almost instantly! 

I thoroughly recommend rustoleum paints for your projects, affordable, available at b&q so easy to get and they have a lovely range of colours. Also you end up with a piece of bespoke furniture upcycled by your own fair hands, and safe in the knowledge that your neighbour hasn't got the same one! 
Now, what can I paint next??! Happy upcycling!! 
Love, Sian 💕💕

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

My sewing room

I am so lucky to have my very own sewing room, where i can keep all of my patterns, fabric and creations (and millions of works in progress!) in one place. It does double up as our spare room too in case friends stay over. 

It is my safe haven, where I can go to forget my troubles and worries, look at pretty things and get creative! 

So my essentials in my sewing room:

-a sturdy desk for keeping the machine on! Mine was a really boring but cheap one from ikea which I covered with a £5 piece of polka dot oilcloth and when I get bored of the design I can change it! 
-my ikea roskag trolley. These are quite expensive (£50) and I ummed and aahed for ages about getting it, but I'm so glad I did! It looks great, is really sturdy and holds all my patterns in one place.
-mannequin. I don't know how I ever managed without Ethel my mannequin. I can style outfits on her to see how they look, hem things perfectly and as she's my size can make alterations without becoming a human pin cushion! She was from eBay and was only about £25, well worth it!
-billy bookcase, another ikea buy. This was £10 and stores all of my fabric in one place. You can easily look at and select the fabric you need. 
-little pots and tins, these are just my personal must haves as I love to collect them and they're useful for storing buttons, ribbon etc. I also have some pretty shelves which I got from b&m for about a fiver to put pretty things on to keep me inspired. 

So I need to get sewing my next project! I'm thinking a smock style dress with a floral top and a denim bottom, watch this space!! 
Love, Sian 💕💕

Sunday, 15 June 2014

One woman's trash...

My dad found this deck chair which was being thrown out, and knowing how much I enjoy upcycling furniture saved it for me! I've spent a lovely morning in my garden listening to bees buzzing and upcycling my deck chair. 

So this was it before, the frame looking worse for wear and the fabric had certainly seen better days! 
Step one was to paint the frame: 

Spot my little helper!! I used the cuprinol garden shades in willow which is a sage green colour. It goes on quite watery so I had to use two coats, but at least it'll survive a British summer!! 
While the frame was drying it was time to make the cover and replace the stripy fabric. 
Don't get rid of your old fabric, use it as a template for your new fabric. I also sewed mine inside the new fabric to make sure it was strong enough to sit on!! 

So I used the original fabric to measure out my new, using this cath kidston material. I only had a metre of his and have some left over. Cut your material to size, then pin at the sides and the top and bottom. Like I said, I actually sewed my original fabric inside the new one to give it strength and durability. 

Then sew up your pinned sides and top and bottom, remembering to leave an opening at the top and bottom to feed through the chair poles! You should then have a rectangle of fabric with a casing at the top and bottom. Simply feed it on to the newly painted frame and ta dah!!! 
Cost me less than £10 with fabric and paint so a bargain all in all! Will look fab outside our new summer house which we are collecting next Saturday! 
Happy Sunday everyone, love sian 💕💕

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Sewing tutorial; making an elastic waisted a line skirt

Sew the top of the elastic to the top of the skirt (first pic) then fold over the fabric and sew again (second pic) this creates a 'casing' for your elastic without the fiddly poking the elastic through with a knitting needle!! 
Then turn up the hem, pin and sew!! Make sure it's even and again use lots of pins!! 

Sew in as straight a line as possible! (Take your time!) 

And ta dah!!! Your skirt is done!! 

It may take a few tries, but your unpicker (seam ripper) will always be your best friend!! This fabric is a cath kidston cotton duck and I used about 3/4 of a metre, and about the same again of elastic. 
Hope this has inspired you to get sewing!! 
Love, Sian 💕💕

Sewing tutorial-making an eleasticated a line skirt

I'm a self taught sewer who has only been sewing since January this year, but have thoroughly enjoyed learning something new! So here are some instructions for making a simple a line skirt without a pattern(please know my sewing isn't perfect and I'm still learning!!) 

You'll end a sewing machine; mine is a basic brother and does the job fine!
You will need:
Scissors, pins, elastic, fabric (I use around a metre for a skirt)

1. Measure your fabric (I measure my waist and multiply by 2!) cut the width and length and pin wrong sides together at seams.

Measure the elastic so it fits snugly round your waist. Pin and then sew the ends together, I use lots of stitches here to make it secure; don't worry if it looks messy, it'll be in the waistband so won't be seen! 

Now pin the elastic to the top of your skirt. Use lots of pins and keep the elastic taught while you pin! Then sew the elastic to the fabric at the top (make sure your skirts inside out at this stage!)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Wow, I think I may have started an actual blog!! I've been inspired by so many people on Instagram who have blogs that I thought I'd start my own, eek!!!
So a bit about me. I'm a teacher, wife, mum to two dogs and a shopaholic. I'm currently enjoying transforming my 1960's detached house we brought for a steal which needed some serious tlc.
I'm also enjoying really finding myself (corny I know, but true!) through making things, learning to sew, garden and honing my diy skills with the help of my superbly talented husband.
So if you like vintage, upcycling, cath kidston, shopping and all things 'the good life' then you're in the right place!
For my first post, I'd like to show some of the things that will be coming up on Arthur's attic!