Sunday, 24 August 2014

A Sunday Makeover

It is the first wet dark day we have had for ages so autumn is approaching. What better way to spend the day than painting a little piece of furniture, I only had some small chalk paint sample pots but the piece was small and people that know me will know when an idea strikes I have to go at it straight away, I won't let a little thing like not having all the supplies stop me! I also wanted to do a practice run writing with gold paint on wood. I had a cheap set of drawers that were perfect for a trial piece. Firstly as in all good makeovers I removed the knobs, then I painted it roughly with red Annie Sloan chalk paint, I had so little left in the jar that I could not cover it fully but I only needed it on the edges really. unfortunately I had this red paint on when I took the first photo so its not an exact " Before" picture.
                                                                  da dum (the drum roll)

Then I painted it with Annie Sloan graphite with some Liberon "Vegetable Black" pigment added, although after sanding it seemed more graphite than Black,  later I added the pigment again to the wax which gave me the finish I was looking for.
Here are the paints, pigment, wax and ink I used.
Now for the gold letters, I was pleased with how easy it was to use the gold ink on the wood, The first one I cut a stencil for but after that I found it easier to do it free hand, if I had chalk it would have been better I could have written it in chalk and then painted over it, but I had no chalk so I need to put it on my shopping list. I thought the gold was far too shiny and new looking for the distressed look I wanted but that could be fixed later.

In the picture above I have waxed the edges and between the drawers with clear wax that I added black pigment to..
"Bits" annoyed me as the "i" was not at the same slant angle as the other letters, this is the one I cut the stencil for, you can see as you go down the drawers my writing was improving.


 So after the wax and allot of elbow grease I have a new very distressed looking drawers. I have to get four new knobs and then its all done. I may revisit the letters again as I feel they would look better in a gloss paint, but this will do for today. Now its time to put the feet up and catch up with the Sunday papers.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Old Dublin

Saw this door the other day on a building just outside Dublin Castle, A remnant from the past.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A.L.A.W. "Place" Alphabet

At last I have finished my "Place" Alphabet. You can see the others over HERE

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


"There's something sleeping in my breast
That 'wakens only in the West
There's something in the core of Me
That needs the West to set it free"
                                                                           Oliver St John Gogarty

There is no where nicer than Connemara especially when the sun shines, I know you have heard me say this before but we all have our favorite places and mine is this rugged, westerly, on the edge of the Atlantic place where my kin are so deeply rooted we even have an area named after us "The Joyce Country". A few weeks ago I took these pictures at Dogs Bay near Roundstone. You can also find lots of nice images of Connemara both old and new over Here


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Antique Apothecary Cabinet

We have had the most beautiful weather for June, which is a novelty for us to have days on end with blue skies, sunshine and no rain. In fact we now need some rain. I have been busy in the garden and generally being out doors," make hay while the sun shines" as they say. I have made some progress on my furniture restoration project because it is so much easier to sand out of doors and the whole piece got a good airing. Here it is all sanded. I now have to bring it to a carpenter to repair and replace the missing bits. Then I will stain and varnish it.

 I am missing some of the beautiful glass drawer pulls, Have any of you any idea of where I might source replacements?

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Tulips from Amsterdam

Just sharing some of the photos I took while in Amsterdam. We had a wonderful few days there. It is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. Small enough to walk around and the shops are fantastic, so many specialized and authentic shops. Here are a list of my top five.
Posthumuswinkel, they have the best selection of stamps  I have ever seen.
Oker Gallery they had interesting, quirky some exclusive affordable art, and across the road we got an excellent lunch kerkstraat59.
Haarlemmerstraat  is well worth making the effort to visit, all the shops there are wonderful I especially liked
Sukha Restored. and top of my love list is Sixandsons which describes itself as a general store but the displays and shop fittings care like no other general store I've ever been in. I bought a Palomino black wing pencil there, its sooo cool. I only regret that I did not buy the pencil sharpener too, it sharpens the lead and wood separately, everyone should have one!
I never saw so many bicycles, and the rules of the road for cyclists are a mystery, we took our lives in our hands just trying to cross the street, and on de9straatjes you are crossing over all the time as there are so many delightful shops.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mobile Phones and Art Galleries

I had the pleasure of visiting the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam last week. I was really looking forward to it as it had been closed for many years due to refurbishing and it is home to so many iconic works of art. But my pleasure was ruined due mobile phones. When did it become acceptable to photograph works of art in Galleries? Is this a new think? I don't remember encountering it before. Why can't people just look and enjoy the moment and if they need a memory of the experience why cant they buy a postcard in the shop? It was especially annoying where the art work was small such as the Vermeer, you can see what I mean by the pictures below, now this may seem like a contradiction, me using my phone camera too, but I am taking pictures of those taking pictures, not photographing the art work which was almost impossible to see.
 The Gallery is beautiful and well laid out and easy to get around, I down loaded their app. before hand which is handy so that you know what you want to see and where it is. Their audio guide was also excellent although the que to pick it up was long and slow. There is an "Art is Therapy" exhibition running along side the main displays by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong which I very much enjoyed, as the name suggests it highlights the therapeutic effect of art, although it did not comment on the negativity of having to view it alongside snap happy art lovers.
How can I write a post about Amsterdam in April without including a photo of some tulips, These were in the garden outside the Rijksmuseum, this year they were early so we were lucky to catch the end of them.

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