A Magazine Feature!

Turn the March/April issue of Australian Country Collections magazine to page 72 and you’ll be welcomed into what might be a familiar toile papered entryway….

Yep, it’s my little ol’ hive! A nine page spread of it! Including some little sneak peeks of spaces I haven’t even managed to blog about yet!
Here’s just a sample:

Thanks to writer and editor Kirsty McKenzie and photographer Ken Brass.

They showed up on my doorstep as arranged a few months back now, walked in and pretty much shot my house as it was. If I hadda known I would have done a bit more tizzying-up though I think the resulting article reflects the relaxed and unpretentious nature of the process which is in keeping with the honest premise of the magazine.

Australian Country Collections is a boutique bi-monthly country lifestyles publication.

The magazine itself (you know, ‘member those, they’re the things you need more than a mere finger swipe or mouse click to turn the pages of) is available in Australian newsagents.

For international readers, the digital version can be found on-line here through Zinio.

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Industrial Sconce Light Makeover

At the moment I’m helping Mum organise and re-design the little nook (parent’s retreat) off her and Dad’s master bedroom.

Whilst the complete room reveal is still a whiles away I wanted to share the finished upgrade of the wall sconces.

If you’ve read this blog more than once then you’d probably know I like the creative challenge of making the most of what’s already there, so rather than replace the lights completely (which, let’s face it, could probably have been done relatively cheaply and easily) I decided to flex some inventive muscle and see what I could come up with. That said, without my magic wand the frilly glass shades were a certain loss. Luckily, I already had an idea….

A while back I had stumbled across these plastic bulb cages.

(If you’re in the US then there are products like this everywhere – just Google ‘lamp cage’ or ‘lamp guard’ – though here down-under they are elusive so I was pretty pleased with finding them – even if $16.90 is a bit pricey if you ask me).

They are just standard lamp guards intended for industrial use (such as on building sites, in work shops etc.) though I thought they had definite adaptability potential so I tucked them somewhere in the back of my brain. Luckily, they stayed put in there, and when I was pondering a solution for Mum’s new sconce shades they jumped out from hiding.

“Hmmm, they could maybe work”, I thought to myself, and after checking some dimensions I ordered my cages.

Now, if you’re a ‘safety yellow’ kinda gal you could leave them as is though I wanted a more natural look so it was always my intention to use a paint-based disguise. The trouble, however, with painting plastic is that sometimes it can look like, well, painted plastic, so I thought I’d try this amazing metal effects paint.

(I bought mine from my local Bristol paint specialty store. See my ‘At a Glance’ quick guide at the end of the post for some helpful links).

The reactive iron paint contains real metal pigments and the rust activator generates real rust, so rather than a faux finish it is actually real (okay, so have you got my point about it being real?). This is high quality paint which sticks to just about anything and is a cinch to use. Just apply two coats of iron paint, allow to dry for at least an hour then use an atomiser to spray on the rust activator (you can go here to view a really clear and easy-to-follow manufacturer video tutorial). This paint is kinda pricey, though it’s so good only a small amount is needed to give ample coverage.

So, after just a little bit of craftin’ here’s Mum’s new sconce….

I love the instant patina this seemingly magic paint imparts.

For contrast, I only used the rust activator on the cages and simply left the sconce arms coated with the iron paint alone, which has an awesome textural graphite appearance. I swear, if it wasn’t quite so dear I might paint an entire room with it!

The clasp, which hinges the cages to allow for changing light bulbs, is incredibly tight to open and close so inevitably the paint does rub off from this small section when it is used. So, to combat the bright yellow which was peeking through I simply coloured the clasp area with a permanent brown marker – easy. The marker ink blends in seamlessly with the rusted iron and has so far stayed put so there is no longer any visible yellow plastic where the clasp pushes in and out.

To complete the look I used reproduction Edison bulbs. I contemplated painting the brass bulb capping black (to match the sconce sleeves) though I think I like the hint of tarnished gold.

For all my Aussie readers I finally found some bayonet cap Edison bulbs here in Oz – where else but on eBay of course (find the link in my ‘At a Glance’ list below). They’re not as ample or affordable as the ones in the US though I’m learning to live with it :-)

I’m happy to admit this style is not everyone’s cup of tea though I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
I reckon Mum’s lights would thank me if they could, plus it was a fun, fast, easy and cheap (about $20 per light – excluding the globes) way to burn off some creative tension and get a good DIY decorating fix!

Wouldn’t even know it was the same light, huh?

AT A GLANCE
SOURCES
Cages: Online Lighting, Amazon
Rust Effects Paint: Modern Masters, Dulux
Edison Bulbs: eBay, Amazon
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More Free Printable Labels!

After I posted my DIY canister decal tutorial I had a HEAP of requests for additional labels.

Soooo, because I’m a really nice blogger (and/or just totally awesome in general :-) I decided I would create another page of some staple pantry labels for you guys (see the “At a Glance” section below to view and download).

If you happened to miss the original label post be sure to head on over there for a detailed tutorial on how I applied them.

Note: I have also now added the additional labels to the original post.

AT A GLANCE
CREDITS
Fonts: Courier New, Another Typewriter, Mrs Eaves Bold
FREE PRINTABLE!
Two sheets of dictionary definition inspired canister labels. View and download here.
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Living Room Update

Beside delegation, the key to good time management is prioritisation, right?

So, amongst caring for a seven month old, running a household, working on furniture revivals and design consultations and pretending to be a web developer, what’s another important task?
Well, teaching yourself to juggle of course (yep, you read right, my current record is 26 consecutive tosses of Charlotte’s squishy, coloured blocks).

Of course, I’m not really staying up ’til midnight chucking balls in the air, it just struck me as funny when yesterday I caught myself continuing to practise after even Charlotte had lost interest!

Anyhoo, in the spirit of prioritisation I thought I should finally make the time to share my updated living room as promised.

I originally blogged about the new distressed leather sofas several months back (I use the term ‘new’ rather loosely as we have now had them for over a year). With a dog, a baby and one, let’s just say, not un-clumsy husband they have been the BEST. I can’t count the number of times we’ve simply wiped off dirty paw prints, regurgitated milk or special spicy szechuan sauce, looked at each other and in unison said, “that’s why we bought leather couches”.

The fern pictures are free printables. I recently blogged about them here (the fern images I used are included in the original post so you can print them for yourself if you’re interested :-)

The coffee table was an eBay find I refurbished. If you missed the original makeover post you can check it out here.
Sorry about the poor ‘before’ pic. I took it straight off the eBay listing.

The card catalogue, which you can catch glimpses of in some of the following photos, was another eBay buy. You can read more about it in this previous post.

The industrial style pendant which hovers above the coffee table matches the one above our dining space.

I picked up the replica Tolix stool from eBay. It helps create a gentle link with the dining end of the space without looking too matchy-matchy.

Overall, I’m really happy with the feel of the space though I would love to break up some of the brown with a gorgeous ticking or light jute area rug. Unfortunately, the angles in the room don’t really allow for a rug though :-(
However….whilst I can’t really justify changing the perfectly fine floor at the moment there is talk that we will be replacing it (one day) which just might be the excuse I need to try painting it first (if you are my husband and you are reading this that whole last sentence was just a typo).

I know some of you will wonder why I bothered changing a perfectly nice enough room to begin with?
Well, the new (and kinda necessary) sofas were the catalyst and it was just time for something fresh (plus I have decorating ADD :-)

The only thing missing from the previous photos was this little guy….

He’s pretty much always in that exact spot – well, there, or beneath Charlotte’s highchair waiting for tasty morsels to fall from the sky (and no, I didn’t choose my dog based on his level of colour co-ordination with my interior scheme – though he does blend in nicely, doesn’t he?).

AT A GLANCE
SOURCES
Sofas (Plush Sofas $1800 for both – floor stock)
Coffee Table (eBay $25)
Card Catalogue (eBay $120)
Tolix Stool (eBay $60)
Throw Blanket (Adairs – gift)
Rectangular Canvas Pillow (IKEA $25)
Quilted Ticking Pillow (home-made from a european pillow case from Adairs $15 – on sale)
Damask, Ticking and Linen Pillows (home-made with fabrics from Spotlight)
Lamp (Sokol $110 – wholesale)
Pendant Light (Recollections $80 – on sale)
PROJECTS
Distressed Coffee Table Makeover
Fern Printables
Card Catalogue Upcycle
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Best Intentions and Beautiful Spaces

So, I was gonna share photos of my updated living room this week (truly ruly) though then this happened….

No, I wasn’t gobbled up by a giant pair of novelty teeth, although given the current circumstances it doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, because poor little miss Charlotte is miserably teething which makes for one miserable household all round.
I would have shared a photo of her actual teeth though she is guarding them with her life so I’m lucky to see them with my own eyes let alone through a camera lens.

Long story short, it’s been a tiresome, unproductive week though I promise-cross-my-heart to post about my living room next week.

In the meantime however I thought I’d share some of the gorgeous rooms I’ve Pinned lately.

Rustic Lodge Bedroom
Living Room
Neutral Cottage Living Space
Fresh Cottage Living Room
Sweet Cottage Bedroom Nook
Rustic Cottage Living Room
Sweet Bedroom
Eclectic Living Space
Cottage Living Room
Fresh Cottage Green Living Room
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