Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I spent the weekend working on some furniture for the shabby cottage - actually, cottage is a bit of a stretch, it's more like the shabby room!

I wanted something soft, and pretty, and after the trials and tribulations of the shabby sofa, there was no way I was going to try and make another one. So I figured, what about an old rusty garden bench, covered in cuddly cushions? How difficult can fiddling with a bit of wire be? Grrrrr! Hubby, that sweet, dear patient man, ended up having to help. Admittedly, there wasn't much I could do once I'd managed to super glue my fingers together - I HATE super glue! Actually, I think I hate florists wire as well!

Once the structure was (finally!) finished, I painted it and added a bit of rust and after a rummage through the fabric stash finished it up with a couple of cushions. I was wanting to do shades of pink and blue, but somehow these pretty greems just seemed to scream shabby garden room, so I compromised and added in some pink rose patterned scatters.

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out....I adore the fabric, it sort of looks like a toile de jouy.

Now I need to finish off the cottage, luckily there's not a lot still to do. I'm itching to make some more furniture to go in, but as it is on the small side, I'm not quite sure what will work....

I've heard that there is a South African Miniature fair on this weekend, which I may go to - I didn't even know we had such things! I really want some pretty shabby crockery to fill up the display cabinet which is going to be on the back wall of the cottage, so I might be able to get some at the fair...I've tried to make some, but I'm really not pleased with the results!

Have a lovely day futher! Thanks for following, and an especially big thank you to the 2 new followers Nuri and Lara! It's really lovely to have you on board!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Firstly, a big thank you and welcome to all my new followers! It's a great impetus to keep on blogging!

The right inside wall of the shabby house is almost completed. I still need to make a decent looking fireplace - I want something a little more whimsical than the one that I originally made. This one looks to stiff - although it may look better with a bit of paint and some embellishments - I'll have to see.......
I wanted to try and imitate pressed ceiling panels on the wall behind the fireplace, so I used some embossed scrapbooking paper, cut into thin strips. I need to age it a little with a light buff of burnt umber oil paint to make the embossing stand out a little - you can't actually see it in the photo.

Here is a close up of the fireplace - I made it out of an old window that was left over from a part works dollhouse - as I said above, I don't really like it, but it will do for now. The "tin plates" are just scrapbooking embellishments, painted with gesso and aged.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Well, work is continuing on the shabby house, and I've started on the interior.
Right side finished. I will need to strt on the left side, but I am defeated by the 3 sets of windows that I have to make!

Floor and back wall - the back of the house is a cupboard which will have some pretty pieces of china displayed - if I can ever find some! There will be a series of books shelves above.

The doors are supposed to resemble old window frames.

Rustic planked floor!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Project

While deciding what to do with the French House, I thought that I would try my hand at making something a little smaller. I wanted to create something along the lines of Mercedes little Shabby House on her blog http://www.libertybiberty.blogspot.com/

The design is loosely based on the cutest little studio created by Sandy Foster - she turned a little Catskills hunting lodge into a shabby studio. When I first discovered Sandy's blog, I was more interested in creating a copy of her shelving unit and book case, which is fabulous - I was wondering if there was a way to incorporate it into my French House.......

Anyway, below are a few "work in prgress" photo's of the basic structure - mdf carcass, with some scrap balsa wood for the siding - I've kept everything a bit wonky deliberately, as I want the wee house to look as if it has been put together using what was available.

Right side of the house.

This is the back of the house, the windows are made from layers of 1mm card, and I used old CD covers for the glass.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I thought I would show a couple of pictures of the furniture that I have been working on lately. I make all my furniture from 1mm mount board, as I do not have access to any type of wood suitable for miniature making. Cardboard is cheap and easy to use, and once painted looks great! (Well I think so anyway!!)
The lilac velvet upholstered sofa will eventually form part of the master bedroom. The gold paint will fade over a few weeks, and become a lot softer, giving a very beautiful aged effect - it looks very bright now. It's made as usual from cardboard and a couple of beads, findings and some scrapbook embellishments. The rusty white chair is copied from the Lea Frisonis Flower Shop, and I made the little round cushion to make it a little bit more comfy.

This is the dreaded sofa! It was easy enough to make a cardboard frame, which I padded out with felt. Having been lulled into a false sense of ease, I figured, how difficult could it be to make a loose fitting cover, ala Rachel Ashwell? Mmmm, after several tries, and many metres of white muslim later, I was ready to bin the darn thing. My mistake was to think that it would be easy to use a sewing machine, so after switching to hand sewing, it worked. The cover below is only the first attempt, and I guess that I could get it looking much better if I tried it again, but quite honestly, I'll probably slit my wrists if I had to try again!!

The coffe table was inspired by Carolyn http://carolynslittlekitchen.blogspot.com/. I used an old white wire chair from a part works dollhouse series I did years ago (That's a story for another time!!) made the base and legs from card and beads a dab of paint, some rust, and voila!

This is my altime favourite piece. It was inspired by a real French Country Cupboard that was been sold at my favourite shop for the budget price of R35000.00! (about $4700.00) Like a spy, a took a couple of surreptitious photo's (the sales woman was VERY intimidating) glaring at me like a vulture as I exclaimed in delight and awe! I tried to reproduce the painted panels, but this was beyond my capabilities, so just used a copy and stuck it into the panels. The door and drawer open, and are lined with a beautiful French script scrappbooking paper. I still have to find the perfect door knobs and drawer pulls - my local bead shop has nothing to offer, but I did manage to find a tiny little key that will look perfect.

The cupboard as usual is made out of card, with many layers of paint and distressing and sanding in between to give it an aged look. I love it!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Slooooooww Progress

Well, it's certainly been a while since the last post, and to be honest, not much has been happening in my abscense! What with the FIFA World Cup and school holidays on our doorstep, there hasn't been much me time in the last couple of months. I've also come to a bit of a standstill on the French House - I'm stuck and can't make up my mind how to go about doing the exterior (I actually can't even decide on WHAT type of exterior look I'm going for!) As a result, alot of the interior decorating has had to take a back seat. I have however, not been entirely idle, and have managed to complete a couple of pieces of furniture for the sitting room. I'm hoping to complete this room as soon as I have made some decisions as to the outside look - not much to look at I know, but we'll get there...eventually!

I hated every minute I spent making the shabby white couch - I was going for a Rachel Ashwell look, but I couldn't get the look and feel quite right, and I had to start from scratch a couple of times, but I am pleased with the final result even though it's not exactly as I envisioned it. The lilac velvet settee will eventually go into the master bedroom, and will be replaced with a couple of old fashioned wicker ball and claw chairs, based on the chairs that are currently gracing my sitting room.
I will try and post more often - the problem is that I end up spending most of my time drooling over everyone elses beautiful blogs, and forgetting that I actually have one of my own!