Saturday, 17 December 2011

Upcycled offfice desk, part two

After all that sanding (still can't remember who I lent the sander to), priming, glossing, steel wool-ing, cutting, glueing and pressing, the upcycled office desk is finally finished.

The first photo shows the layer of heavy books pressing down the new blotter sheet after it had been glued into place with contact adhesive. The very strong smell of glue was still all over the house two days later, despite the windows being open (in the freezing December night).

Now I'm gearing up for the not inconsiderable task of dismantling my computer and all its peripherals, not to mention sorting out the huge stash of fabric, portfolios, wires and other stuff under my old desk and moving it all into place.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Upcycled offfice desk, part one

Last Sunday I found this office desk left out in the street.

I have been scouring the junk shops and markets for ages for something to replace my battered old Ikea table top and trestle legs and, although I wasn't looking for something that needed QUITE as much TLC, I've decided to give it a go.

The drawers are okay but the top of the desk was really badly damaged, and there was quite a sizeable chunk knocked out of one corner, so I decided to repair it and sand the desk down and paint it rather than keep the wood veneer finish and varnish it.

I've built up the damaged corner using two-part wood filler and my own patented "two plastic rulers and sticky tape" method.

Unfortunately, I've lent my sander to someone, and cannot remember who on earth it is, so I had to sand the whole thing down by hand – what a mucky chore that was.

Now it's primed and ready for its first gloss coat. After that I'm planning to replace the original blotter sheet (which has one corner mysteriously cut off) with a new piece of oilcloth.

I'm itching to get on with it but now – how irritating – I have to stop and get on with my work.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas wrapping

Very generous, as always, with her wonderful illustrated Christmas gift tags.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Let me count the ways...

Charity shops, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: no. 1 Bitossi blue ceramic Hound No. 44.

"The Rimini Blu collection of ceramics was created in the early fifties by Aldo Londi, the former art director of Bitossi ceramics."

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Juicy Fruits

Although I haven't blogged for a while, the collage machine has been busy making things for the Christmas Open Houses and my exhibition at Cafe One Ten.
Here are two new ones made with tiny "Juicy Fruits" scraps from U-Handbag.

Hope you like them!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Typographic Spring Clean

I've been searching for a particular photo for a website I'm building and have found a lot of other things along the way.

I have a habit of photographing shop signs and architectural lettering on my travels but I rarely do anything with the photos.

Here are just a few to start off. I particularly like places where they keep the original signs so that the streets display a mixture of eras and not unanimously contemporary.

Friday, 7 October 2011

We can rebuild it!

Restoring this jacket has been the most satisfying project I have undertaken for a long time.

Granted, I shouldn't have put it into the washing machine but I think the stitches must have perished over time and all that was holding it together was the dust.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

You win some, you lose some

My cavalier attitude to precious old things has backfired this time.

A 1940s satin jacket
(plus a thick layer of dust from the antique shop whence it came) went into the washing machine in one piece… and came out in 12 pieces.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Tea Time Selection

Tonight I'm getting ready to hang some of my tea and cake textile collages tomorrow in a mini-exhibition at Cafe 110, Seven Dials, Brighton.

If you happen to be a café hound yourself, you might be interested in a review posted here:

Friday, 30 September 2011

Frock Me! @ Brighton Corn Exchange this Sunday

I shall be stallholding at Frock Me! vintage fashion fair, Corn Exchange, Brighton on Sunday 11am–5pm.

Due to the time of year, I have more coats for sale than anything else, including this white leather one (shown left). So if you haven't sorted out your winter cover-up yet, pop down and pay me a visit.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

On the trail of couture

A few weeks ago I was extremely fortunate enough to happen upon a 1960s Courréges dress at one of my regular second-hand haunts. I snapped it up without even trying it on and when I got it home I couldn't believe that it fit me like a dream.

Apart from a prized piece of vintage Pucci and a Quorum dress that was only briefly mine, I have not owned many "high end" labels in a lifetime of collecting vintage and second-hand clothes.

So I've been looking into this one, trying to date the dress. I stumbled upon something similar from 1965 on a 20th century collectibles auction website and that, along with the fact that the label has a serial number stamped on it, makes me suspect that my humble market dress may actually be a piece of French couture.

The next step is to share my find with the expert members of a vintage forum and we'll see where to go from there.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Verily, the god of charity shopping hath smiled upon me this day

The sun was out and, after a month practically house-bound at the weekends with the Open House, a very fruitful Saturday began. And what a haul it was!

Firstly, a very brief dash through BHASVIC car boot fair yielded a mint-condition WW2 Utilty label cardigan and an irresistibly opulent green lurex housecoat-come-cocktail-outfit.

Next stop: the bi-annual vintage sale at Oxfam, Hove. By the time I got there I was so excited it was more than a bit daft. There was a lovely early '60s frock waiting for me though, along with a navy and white spotted swimsuit and a '50s Lucite box handbag. I actually resisted two pieces of 1950s fabric and a selection of gorgeous coffee pots, but made a return trip to the till with a pair of oversized men's green tweed trousers.

Then it was across the road to Ethel's Kitchen to calm down after all that excitement over a coffee or two with the talented painter Lara Viana, who is far more considered and restrained than me in her vintage shopping!