Sunday, 23 February 2014

Midnight Blue Chest of Drawers Transformation

This item was a slightly more tricky number than normal.
I collected it from a lady residing near Brick Lane who was uncluttering her house.  It was, of course pretty filthy as standard, however, it also needed a lot more attention that I had anticipated.  You can see on the photo that one side is quite badly damaged, so I needed to rebuild this section before commencing with the decoration.  Additionally, the chest of drawers had been cut from a dresser, but not very well so the other side needed a good few millimetres shaving off one end to straighten it out.

Now, it was ready for makeover!  I wanted to create a dark blue themed item, as I have just sold my other dark coloured bedside table.   I like to keep a mix of colours and styles in stock and I haven't made a blue item before so thought it might be a nice challenge.  I am rather pleased with the result.  The piece of furniture is actually quite tall and thin, so therefore could easily fit into a living room space, rather than just a bedroom.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Welcome to 1920's Style Upcycled Lamp

My task was to create a stylish and elegant ornamental lampshade from a disregarded plain version using a colour scheme of green and purple.

Often the tricky part of a commission is finding a suitable base unit, however I managed to locate a perfect one in an antiques shop in Sheffield. The lampshade was fabric and in good condition (a necessary requirement!), and attached to a solid white marble base.  A good start.

The lampshade recipient has a sophisticated taste and a penchant for 1920's style so I selected the fabrics and design with this in mind.  I spray painted the fringe a neutral grey to which enables an even finish.  As metallic embellishment is part of my signature, gold fragments provided the finishing touches. I think that it has a touch of Persian style to it.

I've included a picture below, however, unfortunately I forgot to take the 'before' picture until after I'd gone a bit crazy with the spray paint!

Monday, 3 February 2014

I Can Now Fix (some) of My Bike

I love a bit of DIY, but the main challenge is having the know-how in the first place.  And yes, of course there is tried and tested method of 'trial and error', but that error bit can be a bit frustrating and not to mention time consuming.

So, on a slightly different but related note, I'm a member of Economy of Hours (ECHO) which is a skills swap site in East London.  I had spotted the offer of the use of London Bike Kitchen, so decided to cash in some hours.   Having had a enough of my gears causing me grief (with all those potholes - a fully functioning bike is a necessity!), last week, my bike and I made our way down.

Incase you don't know the concept:

LBK is an a DIY workshop where you work on your own bike which has the the aim of:
 - promoting self reliance and confidence through education
 - making cycling more accessible
 - getting more people from all backgrounds on bikes

I was a little apprehensive about turning up because bike shops can be a little intimidating - maybe a man having a go at you when your bike has been stolen, or generally looking at you in disregard because you don't/do have a xxx, and not to mention the blond hair.

But, all was well, as I was welcomed by Jenny, the Director.  It was mid-afternoon before the after work rush so luckily I was provided with a stand straight away and a friendly bike expert and off I went.

I learnt:
- how to stop my gears from slipping
- how to fit the new brake pads I had at home in my cupboard
- what I need to clean and oil to keep the bike in good condition (not as obvious as you might think)
- not all bike places are scary
- empowerment!

They do a variety of courses, some gender specific which I might try out.  If you want to pop in and fix your bike you tend to pay by the hour for the space, then parts on top. Oh, and they give you tea.