Coastal Map Covered Coffee Table

For the first time in a long time we were lucky enough to get away for a few days and spent last week at my parent’s beach house in St Leonards, which is on the Bellarine Peninsula along Australia’s south-eastern coast.

I’d been looking forward to heading down there for ages. Yeah, sure, for the salty scent in the air, barefoot walks on the sand, laid-back evening BBQ’s and the general un-necessity for usual household chores, though also because I wanted to finally finish off their living room coffee table so I could blog about it.

I picked up this large coffee table from eBay for just $10.

The reason I was able to buy it so cheaply was because the glass top was severely scratched, which to most people is probably a major deterrent, though to me (and I’m sure many other crafty bloggers out there) was an excuse to get creative!

Soon enough I had an idea, and if you’re not new here you may be familiar with some of my previous projects, including this cabinet….

and this map….

….which both helped influence the direction I took with the coffee table.

To give the table extra interest and a personal touch, we (that’s Mum and I) decided on a map which incorporated St Leonards (the town their beach house is in). So, I searched the internet and eventually found an awesome zoomable historic yatching and excursions map of the area.

Using the same process I used to create my large map of Paris, I zoomed, copied and then pasted (into Photoshop) portions of the digital map to eventually create one large image big enough to fit the existing glass table top. This process can take some time (fiddling with size, colour, cropping, etc) until it’s just right. I then took it to my local printer and had it printed on medium weight paper. It cost around $35 (for a full colour print at over one meter square in size – not too bad).

The map had to be printed in two parts because it was too large for one sheet of paper.

Then, using the same process I used to affix the gift wrap to the top of my nautical cabinet, I attached the map of Port Phillip Bay to the coffee table glass.

Dad repainted the timber base white which gives it a fresh, coastal feel though it would also look great colour-matched with one of the muted sea-greens or sepia tones in the map.

I lightly distressed the edges of the base with a sanding block to soften the starkness of the pure white.

The map was treated with about eight coats of acrylic sealer so is really well protected and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth just like any surface.

The digital map I used is scanned from an original so shows signs of wear (such as fold lines and tears) which I personally really love.

And look, here’s St Leonards (on the Bay) – the town my parent’s beach house is in!

It’s really wonderful to have this map, not only for its aesthetic appeal, though also for its connection of place which makes it extra interesting and somewhat special.

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Nursery Elements

With everything seeming to take waaay longer than it should nowadays I’m pleased to announce that at least the cot (crib) is finished (and it only took me nine weeks – not too bad for 33 stints of five minutes at a time!).

So, while the nursery as a whole is still awaiting some finishing touches before the full reveal, I thought I’d at least share some of the elements so far.

I’ve already posted about my DIY basket light

Though now I’ve also got some of this on the walls…

…and these on the windows…

I’ve also used a bit of this…

…with some of these…

…to transform the existing built-in robe.

And I found this…

…on eBay (as previously mentioned), which has now been transformed thanks to some paint, elbow grease and the castors from these…

So, the room really is getting there!

Though I’m still undecided about this…

And am yet to create one of these…

Oh, and do you remember when I made-over my master bedroom I was going to use these…

…well, they ended up being a little too tall so now one of them has scored a home somewhere in the nursery – love!

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Chippy Painted Side Table

Is it too ambitious of me to hope there’s actually someone loyal enough they’re still around to read this post?

I’m now nicely settled back in at home with beautiful baby Charlotte and between putting milk in one end and cleaning it up out of the other (plus spending way too long just gazing in wonder) I have found time for some decorating, it’s just I haven’t until now found the time to blog about it!

You see, being a part-time perfectionist doesn’t easily lend itself to half-arsedness (if that is even a word) so, for me, putting together a decent blog post takes a fair bit of effort.

Anyhoo, the nursery is now nearly complete so hopefully I’ll share it soon enough though in the meantime here’s a little furniture re-do.

The day before I went into hospital I put the first coat of paint on this old round side table.

I was intending to finish it the very next day though needless to say that never happened so now, three months on, it’s finally complete!

Under different circumstances I would have retained the original walnut colour though this table was destined for my living room which already had enough ‘brown’ after the injection of our new leather sofas.

I’d also already re-finished this round coffee table….

….which I heavily distressed through sanding, so to avoid a ‘matchy-matchy’ look I decided on a more chippy finish for the side table.

Soooo, instead of sandpaper I used one of these….

That’s right, a surfboard wax comb! Call me crazy though it worked brilliantly. I simply rubbed it over the table in various places – using the straight sides, rounded end and the teeth – gradually chipping the paint off until I achieved my desired effect.

The flexibility in the comb teeth caused the paint to chip in a natural, random way. I found it worked best when rubbed in a slightly circular motion.

For best results ensure your paint isn’t adhered too well to begin with (that is, just sand your item very lightly before applying paint).

I finished my table with a sealing coat of tinted furniture wax and am really loving it in my living room.

I can’t believe she’s only been in the world for eight short weeks. I can’t imagine having never had her with us.

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It’s a Girl!

Finally introducing little Charlotte Mae Franklin.

Arrived safely on the 23 June 2011 at 2.30pm weighing 2.5kg (5.5lb).

The most adorable creature I have ever seen.

Thank you to everyone for all the encouraging comments, lovely well-wishes and thoughtful enquiries leading up to the long-awaited arrival!
I’ll be in touch over the next few weeks and months as I settle back into life at home after eight weeks in hospital and work on re-decorating the house to accommodate our new little addition.

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Baby Bumps

Yes, as in plural, though no, I’m not expecting twins.

There’s the literal ‘bump’ in my belly and then there’s that unforeseen ‘bump’ in the road.

Over the past few days I’ve learned a few things; babies truly ARE unpredictable (even when they’re still in the womb) and hospital food’s not all that bad (if you’re really, really hungry).

Thirty weeks into a complication-free pregnancy the last thing I expected to hear at 4.30am on a Sunday morning in the emergency department was; “Nothing to eat or drink in case we need to go to theatre and get baby out”.

What the? Back up a second. I haven’t even finished the nursery yet, let alone blogged about it (okay, so at the time that may not have been foremost in my mind though it did perhaps register a fleeting blip :-)

Well, fortunately he/she didn’t need to come out and is still snug in my belly though the incident has thrown a reasonably big, fat spanner in the works.

At this stage I’m in lock-down on my hospital bed until bub is born – probably via early cesarean hopefully no sooner than 36 weeks gestation (though that may be out of our control).

Apparently being young, fit and healthy is no defense against placenta previa and with none of the risk factors I’ve been told I’m just plain unlucky – well, good on me!

I’m sure many women who have been through labor might think me crazy though I was cautiously enthusiastic about experiencing something so weird-wonderful and the prospect of a cesarean was initially pretty devastating for me. Whilst I’ve managed to come to terms with that aspect of things it’s now the potential of facing weeks ‘alone’ in hospital which feels most daunting. I’m quietly yearning for the constant companionship of my husband Luke more than ever – I never thought the gentle droning of his occasional midnight snores would seem so precious.

At this point it’d probably be easy to whinge and sulk and cry “why me?” though the fact is there’s nothing to be done. A few lonely weeks away from home seems a reasonable ransom for the eventual safe arrival of a healthy new baby and I’m certainly under no illusions that, whilst things could be better, they could also be much, much worse.

I’m just taking it day by day.

At least by the time I’m outta here I should have lovely nails free of paint residue and a still intact vagina.

Glass half full, hey?

I decided to write this post, not in search of sympathy, though because I believe my readers deserve an honest explanation for my absence over the next few weeks – and because so far you’ve all been on this journey with me. Perhaps some people who can relate may even find comfort in reading this post.

Baby will be going into a bassinet beside our bed for the first little while so somewhere between sleeping, feeding and cleaning up poop I’ll still find time to finish the nursery as planned.

In the meantime I’ll try to chime in with occasional posts where possible though short of redecorating maternity wing 5B (I’ve already straightened all the pictures on the walls and neatened the stacked boxes of latex gloves – yes, I’m serious) there might not be a whole heap of projects to blog about.

Please wait for me.

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