Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Painted wood

We love painted wood, much more than stains and varnishes. This wardrobe was my mum’s when she was a kid and it was second-hand then so god knows how old it is.

It had a thick layer of dark brown varnish on it so I decided to strip it off. I forgot to take a before picture of the moulding at the top…


…but here’s an after picture. Isn’t it lovely? I used paint stripper and a toothbrush to scrub off all that dark varnish, and you really couldn’t tell what was there before.


I stripped the whole thing and then finished it with fine sandpaper. It looks quite patchy in the pic, but it was much cleaner than it looks.


Then mum used a small roller and pure white eggshell to finish it. She put the paint on in several thin layers because we didn’t want it to be too white, and also we didn’t want to lose the moulding but accentuate it.


It’s amazing how a little highlighting has brought out all the detail. Those triangular bits were always just triangles, but now we can see all the little leaves. We never saw the veins in the large leaves before either, or the petals on the flower.


We love it, and it will be perfect in mum’s newly decorated all-white bedroom (when we finish it!).


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

A few sunny garden moments…


Only just sunny, but it was nice to be able to appreciate the flowers that are abundantly blooming before they are unceremoniously flattened by the rain.


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Last week, our boss decided to take us on a daytrip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This is a place we normally take the students at least once a year, so it was a bit of a busman’s holiday. On the other hand, it was nice to actually get to see the sculptures rather than spending all day herding the students out of the cafe and towards the art!

It has rained non-stop for weeks now so it was a pleasant surprise to have nice weather for a change.


There are two huge galleries (showing Miro and Anish Kapoor at the moment) and the park is so big you have a choice of a trek or a shuttle bus from one gallery to the other. It’s a nice walk though with lots of huge sculptures on the way.


It’s a shame you can’t take photo’s in the galleries, but the nice staff will inform you that you can’t take photo’s in the park either (but that no-one will actually stop you!)


In case you were wondering, here’s how you clean a Miro sculpture – with a sweeping brush and a bucket of water. We normals aren’t even allowed to touch this one.


The park stretches right over to the other side of the valley.


They were erecting a life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge that morning. It’s a bouncy castle made by Jeremy Deller and titled Sacrilege but we didn’t get a go on it. Boo.


A short video of them trying to get it up *chortle*

If you find yourself anywhere near Wakefield, it’s definitely worth a visit (although give yourself four or five hours!).


Monday, 9 July 2012

Seek and Adore’s Great British Makers…

I’m very excited to be in the running to win Seek and Adore’s Great British Makers competition!

If you haven’t heard of Seek and Adore, it’s an online gallery showcasing work from many amazing British Artists and craftspeople. You can find everything droolworthy, including lots of beautiful ceramics, jewellery and textiles and best of all, it’s all handmade and all for sale.

If you’d like to vote for me, you can click here or on the picture below and search for my surname. Then click the ‘like’ button next to my name. You don’t have to be on facebook for it to work, it will still log your vote.


Since I don’t expect you to blindly vote for me, here are a few pictures of my work. If you click on any picture it will take you to my website, or you can check me out on Facebook here.


22half cm


Thank you very much guys! I really hope you like my work and decide to vote for me. I don’t expect to win, but it’s always fun to try!


Monday, 2 July 2012

A little sunny gardening…

…is a rare thing these days. We seem to be alternating between light showers and full-blown storms. And the worst thing is my gran reckons it’s going to be like this until December! She might be winding me up, but then she looked like she’d got it straight from Sian LLoyd’s mouth.

I shouldn’t complain though because (touch wood) we’ve narrowly missed being flooded and pretty everywhere within a hundred mile radius hasn’t.

It’s also forced us to use the opportunity to start bedroom decorating. Yikes! We accumulate a lot of Interesting Things rubbish.

Anyway, a couple of hours a week we get some sun and last week we used those to dig out a bigger flower bed to put some of the plants that were overflowing from the greenhouse.


It needed to be big enough to hide that ugly grate smack bang in the centre of the lawn.


The four hundred primulas we dug from the edge of the border plus some of the new plants. Are we the only ones who can’t drive past a garden centre without going in (and buying something)?


And finished, four hundred primulas in situ plus greenhouse plants. It’ll look lovely when it fills in.

Oh, it’s raining again. Back to the decorating.