Earlier this month I was invited to do a Homebase DIY Challenge, trying some of their products for a makeover project of my choosing. I had a look around my little home and there was one piece of furniture that was crying out for some TLC - my little welsh dresser. Now I do like some pieces of furniture left dark but when you live in a little house as I do, you find you need to invite in as much light as possible. So my little welsh dresser visited the AHC beauty parlour! I'm thrilled with her transformation, and I have to say I highly recommend the Rustoleum furniture paint - because not only is it far cheaper than many other brands of chalk paint, it also has a lovely finish and you can apply it straight away, so no need for sanding or undercoat! (it's not that I'm lazy ... well OK actually yes I am.) So here is a step-by-step guide to up-cycling furniture using chalk paint, using distressing techniques and decoupaging for an antique faded floral finish.
Thursday, 25 August 2016
Thursday, 18 August 2016
I recently stumbled upon a quirky little website called myfancycraft which sells a variety of unusual gifts and handmade crafts, made by craftsmen (and women) from all over Ukraine. Each product is made by hand using eco – friendly materials.
I had a little browse, and came upon this lovely nature-inspired collection on their website which is made from slavic clay. (The wording on the website doesn't translate very well into english but don't let that put you off, their products are lovely and their customer service is great.) I treated myself to a mug and jug (as I do have a bit of a 'Jug' obsession) they also make a teapot in the same range (see below). They arrived slightly more 'glazed' than it shows to the pictures but they are lovely all the same. Would make a lovely christmas gift for a nature-lover don't you think?
Thursday, 11 August 2016
This week I had a wonderful afternoon chatting with Canal folk artist Duncan Burrett, who is owner and captain of a delightful narrowboat called 'Zendu' that is moored on the River Stort. Duncan has lived on the boat for 22 years with wife Zena. Ralphy and I often stop to admire Zendu, because not only is she the prettiest boat along the canal, but Duncan also sells a wonderful selection of old antiques and wares on the top of his boat which he paints in the famous 'Canal folk art' style. I have always loved the colourful vibrant style of Canal folk art but I didn't know anything about it until meeting Duncan. So when he invited us aboard to show us his work and give us a demonstration, I jumped at the chance.
Duncan is a self-taught artist and used to specialised in oil paints and animal portraits. But it wasn't until 20 years ago he turned his hand to creating and selling canal folk art. "It started 20 years ago when I was sat on the boat painting a teapot, a lady stopped by and asked if it was for sale, so I told her to come back in 10 minutes and it would be!" Now he even demonstrates in schools, and is often commissioned by other boat owners. Duncan decorates all sorts with this style, especially old fashioned wares such as old watering cans, tea pots, urns, and even old boots ... and he also encourages people to bring their own objects along for him to paint. I had a lovely afternoon with Duncan, we chatted about his life, about the realities of boat-living, the interesting history behind folk art and how to paint in the folk-art style. He also makes a cracking cuppa tea! Read on to hear all about it ...