Thursday 30 June 2011

Progress :)

It's always nice to take pictures and see how things have progressed .............

I was lucky enough to find a full roll of wallpaper with a similar texture to the original wallpaper but with an added lilac box shape here and there on it, it cost £1 from the bargain basket so I wasn't going to complain about the lilac squares. I ended up using the whole roll! and this is how it looks after 3 coats of vinyl silk paint. I used half and half PVA + water rather than wallpaper pastei

you can still see some of the lower squares, but these will be behind the seating area.

after the cushions and curtains are in place there wont be much of the walls to see in this area.

to the left, cupboards above cooker / sink unit and this lovey glass shade houses a gas lantern, still working I'm told, but we don't have any of the little mantels that go in it, will have to get some to try it out. Apparently they give off great light and warmth.

This is the back section, all painted, just the cupboard door to go back on now then it will be the seats and curtains :)
Here is a sneaky peek at some beautiful vintage fabric curtains I sourced on eBay

some furnishing fabric I bought on eBay about 2 years ago which I just loved and hadn't a clue what I was going to use it for!

I just love the white blossom flowers.

Wednesday 29 June 2011

We can do this

So after much thought and weighing it all up Kevin said 'This is doable,  after working together on a big project such as the Boxoftrix Studio....we can do this, we can fix her up, turn it around'....

he removed every rotten piece of wood possible ...........

then the window had to come out (which had moss growing inside the corners) and the rubber surround. I set about giving a good clean and used some scratch and haze remover on the plastic and a lot of  'Astonish' abrasive cleaner on the metal frame.

rebuilding a new wooden frame on the inside

using wood and metal brackets, its now stronger than ever......

he coated the surrounding remaining wood with fence timber care.

the new wood is already treated.

front panel cleaned and painted and a nice clean window back on what a difference it made!

and inside..........

This was such an exciting moment to see these boards going on, double thickness for strength.

all finished with sealant.

the side window rubber surrounds were also removed to make it easier for the next job
A great job don't you think?
Now we know whats behind there and feel much better that we will be able to sleep safely in her.
3+ weeks and we have achieved so much already
There is still much to do! every day a little more painting and sewing...
... more pictures tomorrow.

A new project ...... more than we anticipated!

So I have finaly got a little bit of time to sit down and write about 'our' new project,
3 weeks ago we bought a caravan, we wanted an old one, not too big, light and easy to tow,with a simple spacious interior that we could redecorate.
We chose this

A Monza 1200s built around 1980 we think

some inside pictures ......

We were quite pleased with our purchase and once we got her home we set to work.

The exterior of the van seemed in good shape for its age with only a small dent on the front, she needed a good wash and probably re-sealing on the rails. Kevin began removing the old sticker lines from the side which were long past looking good and missing completely in places.

On the inside, with carpet curtains and cushions removed, Harry and I set to work with the paint.

looking a bit like a building site now!

Curtains back for a little while, this is the back of the van with a few coats of white eggshell paint to cover up that blurry wood effect finish, those two long white things at the bottom of the picture are the front seating benches removed and painted and siting on top of the back seating area. A bit drastic to remove these your thinking but, as we soon found out 4 days into starting out project, totally necessary......

This is what we found under the seats and carpet ......

further investigations revealed the full extent ......

running along the front...........

the other side not much better under the now crumbling wall, it was actually the worst side!
this van was advertised and sold to us described as
'There is no leaks or damp present'

 'This would make a perfect starter van and you will not be disappointed'.

Would you sleep in this?

The wood that came out of this side actually crumbled in our hands like compost!

It was at this point I felt sick!........ quite ill in fact for a few days....... I found it very difficult to eat.

This was supposed to be a happy purchase, a lick of paint, a freshen up and we would be off on holiday this summer here and there.....something a bit warmer to sleep in than the tent, which we loved, but sold that to pay towards the cost of the van.

I sent pictures and an email to the people we bought the van from, expecting at least a little money back, they claimed they knew nothing about it.  

We got an email back, but no offer of any partial refund.

We now had to decide what we could / wanted / needed to do.

Sell as is, or fix.

What would you do?.....what could you do?

Thursday 23 June 2011

Bunch of Grapes Trivet

When I was about 14 yrs old my parents took me on a 4 week trip to America to visit family in Delaware. It was a wonderful experience in so many different ways. We have a large extended family over there,  all from my Dads side. One lady I met,  a very creative person, had a chest full if things that she had made by hand. One of those things stuck in my head, I really liked the idea of it, it was simple, 100% re-cycled and a usful little item.

A trivet in the shape of a bunch of grapes!
This little project has been filed away in my head for ...dare I say it.....32 years!
In an attempt to get more things out of drawers and bags and into jars and onto shelves in my workshop I came across a tube with some saved bottle tops and I instantly remembered why they were there.
The time has come I must do it, I thought it must be the longest 'to do' ever and I knew I had some velvet jeans fabric leftover in the perfect purple for my project.

The other items you will need are 29 bottle tops,
 soft light coloured pencil,
a small jar lid, scissors, a needle and purple thread and a scrap of brown felt (for the stalk)
and some chocolate to enjoy while you stitch!
This little lid was a perfect size, but anything that has a diameter of about 5-6 cm is fine.

draw round the lid making best use of your fabric.

cut one out and size it up with bottle top,
 there should be enough to wrap and meet in the middle.

cut the rest out  

Thread your needle,
double the thread till the ends meet and knot the end,

stitch a running stitch around the edge and pull the thread to gather in the edge evenly,

fit the bottle top inside

 and pull shut and close with the couple of secure stitches.
one grape done, 28 more to go!

stitch together on the back,
sliding your needle through the fabric edges with a couple of strong tight stitches

build up the shape as you go....

here is a front view....lovely velvet grapes!

finished shape,
 I decided to keep it to 2 at the bottom but you might like to add another one in to the point
 making it 30 bottle tops.

 a simple piece of rolled felt stitched at the top
and secured on the back

To add a leaf detail draw a simple leaf outline
you will need a pencil, freezer paper, some felt fabric, a needle and hand embroidery thread
(I googled grapevine leaf images and then just copied one freehand with a pencil)

Iron the freezer paper onto the felt (my felt piece was a hand dyed scrap in muted colours of green)

cut out the leaf shape with felt and paper ironed together

try for size against your grape trivet.

 Thread your needle with a length of hand embroidery thread (I used Caron Wildflowers - shade 06)

Start at the base of the centre vein, use the pencil line as a guide and stitch a chain stitch up the centre.

then on the side veins.....

I found the freezer paper helped to keep the felt firmer

when you have completed your stitch lines, carefully peel the freezer paper away.

run a line of fabric glue along the back of the stitch lines........

......and press down onto the grapes then leave to dry

Finished trivet!
We use it every day to sit hot dishes down on and protect our table.
This is fun to make give it a try!


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