Friday, 9 February 2018

The early bird catches the worm

I have a weiro (cockatiel bird) and the only place for him in our small house is the kitchen. The problem is he makes so much mess, seed ends up everywhere. I was thinking the problem over while on the way to a dinner gathering with friends. Then it hit me....

While looking for inspiration, pictures and ideas on pintrest and my "furniture to up-cycle" photos, I had a "eureka moment". I remembered finding this cabinet on the verge...that was it! I was going to turn into a bird house! I was so excited and started rambling, trying to explain my vision to Marty (hubby). He is not a newbie to my excited ramblings and normally stays calm and generally says something like "that's good honey, I don't rely get what you are talking about but I'm sure I will when you've finish it" ahhhh I love the calmness he brings but sometimes I just want someone to say "wow that is amazing" and get as crazy excited as I do, maybe even add some crazy ideas to my vision.

Being me I could not contain my new vision and told some friends about it as soon as we arrived at the dinner (yes I'm one of those people). I got varied reactions including crazy looks and "your talking about a bird house right?", to "sounds amazing and I'm sure it
will be" and "I don't know how you will do it but I believe you will." This was from a close friend who always believes in me. We all need a friend like her.

Oops I haven't explained my idea to you yet. OK my vision was to make the cupboard into a full size bird house like the kind of bird house you find in a garden but big and with a Victorian feel (gingerbread house). It would have some shelves removed and the remaining one would have a bird staircase (twig ladder). The roof would have a attic or in bird terms similar to a bird breeding box. The cage would have two doors the bottom one would have an acrylic panel. The bird will be fed on the lower level and the aim was to have the acrylic panel stop the seed getting all over my floor. The top door would be chicken wire and both would have scroll work detail. The lower drawers (missing) will store the bird seed and a hide away dog bowl for our puppy.Oh and i'll be using this antique door as the back wall. So let's get started!!!

First sanding down the door (another road side blessing) oh and the colours were amazing; cream, 
buttermilk, brown, light grey and wood. I could not be happier, these are all tones and colours 
I'm going for in my house and love. 

I marked where the top of the cupboard came up to on the door (the door was taller than the cupboard) and then found the center on the top and drew a diagonal line joining them. This gave me the roof peek. Next I cut the waste sections off with circular saw. 

I removed the shelves not needed and part of the top of the cabinet which allowed accesses to the bird's attic. 

Next I secured the door to the back of the cupboard frame. This took some work and I added wood supports on the bottom behind the draws to lift the door to the height needed. I then screwed it all in place. I left the door hardware on so people will know it was a old door I love the uniqueness it brings. 

Next was to cut a triangular piece for the front to matching the pitch of the top at the back. Sorry for the bad lighting I was working inside the workshop and Marty was getting sick of moving it in and out for me. 

I used a light grey paint that complemented the grey showing through in the door. I used a louvre doors (another road side blessing) for the roof. This step was tricky as nothing on the cupboard, the old door or the louvres was sqaure. You get that when re-purposing. I hinged one side of the roof from the back, so we could lift it to clean inside and chose a charcoal color paint.

The doors were made from pallet wood painted white and I re-used the hardware from the original cupboard doors. 

I cut down the acrylic and added it to the bottom door, securing it with small screws.

 This is the fun bit designing the scroll work. I first do it on the computer then fine tune it when printing.

 Once I'm happy with it I cut half of it out using 3mm MDF. This becomes my template that can be used again!!

 I trace it out on MDF and flip the template to get the second half, then cut out using my scrollsaw.

I then painted it charcoal and added it to the top of one side of the roof, leaving the other side free so the louvred roof can still open up.  

 I decorated it with artificial turf (easy to remove and clean off) and a unique chain I found that makes a great ladder (if anyone knows what this chain is off can you let me know please).

Here are the drawers, I made them from scratch. My Dad gave me the handles and they are attached with cobbler's nails that belonged to my Pop who is no longer with us. I love being able to add special memories where possible to my work, it makes them all the more special & meaningful. I didn't end up making a drawer into a dog bowl, just two normal drawers. I made something else for my dogs bowl, will share that with you in another post soon.   

This is how the roof opens.We let birdie out in the morning to have a fly around.  

What do you think?   

He looks pretty happy doesn't he?
 (crazy fact he lays eggs so he is either a clever boy or actually a she) 

Well from birdie and me goodbye for now & Enjoy! 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The grass is always greener

 so we agree my backyard needs some work.I promise it hasn't always looked this bad, when my kids were little I spent more time working on the yard but since then its pretty much just been neglected.   

   The other day I found some astro turf being chucked out. That was the find I needed to get  motivated & fix the backyard up.This time into a space for me & hubby to enjoy when the Kids come to visit.

 Astro turf would not be my first choice, I love real not fake but some times compromise is for the best.With all that we have going on in our life we don't have a lot of time to maintain a lawn. I would rather spend the time and money on planting and taking care of veggies and herbs that we can eat.

first I had to weed and get rid of a lot of rubbish,move all those slabs. I have kept them because I'm planing on using them over where the cubby house is nowturnin that area into a nice little seating area. the cubby house I would like to move to the other end of the yard and convert it into a chicken         house but for now on with the astro turf.     
so I level off the sand and layed the turf out along side it. It had been folded up so the sun will straighten the crease out of it.    

 After the sun had done its job I moved the turf into place. its looking so much better already.

My yard has a slight rise in levels & the sleeper that was defining them had rotted so I needed to replace it . I used a jarrah 4x2 I had from a patio a neighbor had pulled down. I cut it to size then painted it the same charcoal colour as the rest of the wood in my yard & nailed it in place with iron support rods that go down into the ground.     

I am so pleased we stopped to collect the astro turf  its made such a difference to this space. 
the stand hubby put together for me. we found the frame in a skip bin. Marty cut some pallet boards and placed them across it making shelf's for me to use as a  herd & veggie  garden.       

There is still a lot I want to do out here but I think this is definitely a good start.

I hope you enjoyed. Leanne x     

Monday, 8 January 2018

french provincial bedhead makeover

The bed in this room turned out better than I had dreamed it would. Don't you love it when that happens? 
 I was gifted the bedhead  by the owners of a second hand store.They were trying to clean out pieces that the previous owner had purchased but they didn't think would sell.The dresser, tall boy and mirror were the original pieces I saw and purchased.You see them in this post here  latter the owners found the bedhead and foot board in a storage shed. They kindly said I could have it if I wanted as it was part of the set. It was missing the side rails, slats and the foot board was slightly damaged but I can work around that.  

 I knew I loved the set and that painting it would give it a more updated look. I purchased the draws, talboy and mirror in 2014 and was originally doing the set up for a customer, but her circumstances changed and the sale fell through. I was disappointed because I had started working on it but part of me was kind of happy because I secretly wanted to keep it.After that it just sat around half done for years.
 Have you ever done that? put off doing something because if you are honest with yourself you are not really whole hatred about your decision? well that's what I did. I've found that I love doing things for others but find it hard to do things for myself because I feel its selfish and I don't want to be selfish. I am working on that so I decided I would keep it and turn one of my rooms into a guest room. This to me felt like middle ground It was for me but for others at the same time. Well everyone needs to start somewhere I've  been toying with the idea of doing a office/inspiration room just for me maybe i'll do that next.                 
Back to the bedhead .The wood had a glossy finish so first I gave it a light sand then painted it with Zinsser Primer for shiny surfaces then in Annie Sloan old white chalk paint last I painted it with Paris grey by Rustoleum. This was the first time I have used this brand of chalk paint I used a spray gun and it worked well. 
once it was painted I wanted to add some dimension & definition to the carving so I used a wet cloth and rubbed it back on the high spots and where I thought it needed it. This let the white show through.  

This definitely added the detail I was after. It was like seeing it come to life from drab to fab.   

Here it is half rubbed back I think it makes it pop don't you agree? once done I waxed it with Annie Sloan clear wax and buffed it. 
The mattress was a great find that's probably not for everyone. There is a store near us that is closing down so they are cleaning out damaged or returned items. this mattress and base was next to the bin and was in near new condition. We brought it home then realized it was lumpy part of the inside had come lose.        

I decided to unpick the stitching and see if I could fix it.I was a little fearful but its not like it cost me anything so I relay had nothing to loose with that thought I got to investigating.  

sometimes Its good to embrace the child inside and get curious.I was surprised to see how it was constructed. It had these cells in it that were all suppose to be glued down but they has mostly come loose. I lifted them all off and used adhesive spray to glue them back in place. This was a easier fix than I thought it was going to be. 
Once they were all glued down I simply put the top back in place and reused the binding and hand stitched it back in place using strong embroidery thread. Can you believe a mattress that retails for $1,200 and was gong to end up in land fill? It only cost me a little bit of  time and work and I now not only do I have a good quality mattress but I have helped do my bit to save the planet. I can tell you that thought will give me a good night sleep.       .   

The quilt is a Morgan & Finch quilt that I found at good Sammie's for $5 I just found it online at Bed Bath N' Table for $299.95  All up not including the bedhead just the mattress,base & quilt if new have a total retail value of $1,499.95 but were now considered to be worth only $5 and landfill and the bedhead cost me a total of $30 in primer paint & wax.What can I say one mans trash + a bit of  creative thinking =  this women's blessing.

Enjoy Leanne x           

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Guest room by Christmas challenge

Last Saturday My in-laws George & Sue are arriving from Sydney to say with us for Christmas. They have stayed with us before and do not expect anything special to be done for them. But this is the first time that they have come since my Kids have moved out. So this time its just us and them and we now have a few extra rooms I ceased the opportunity to make one into a guest room for them.So I set myself a challenge 10 weeks to transform my daughters old room into a relaxing guest room.              

this is how it looked before I started working on it. It had become a bit of a dumping zone. I have been hording up all kinds of things that I would like to up-cycle so a bit of a clean out was needed. 

The room looked lovely when the girls were younger, I was so proud of the stenciled boarder I had done. As my girls shared this room at the time I painted it both there favorite colors pink & purple. but this is so dated now its definitely time for a face lift. 

I painted the bottom purple half with a light colour paint I had bought for the Kitchen & didn't like how it looked so it made a great base coat. I patched and started cutting in     

 then came the good bit roller painting 

I cant believe the difference a coat of paint can make. I also painted the ceiling as Tamara had put posters on the roof and they had left tape marks.Them the window and trim needed painting the beige was just not the look I was going for it had to be white.

over the next 10 weeks I up-cycled or made nearly everything you see in this room. The paint was the most expensive part the wall & ceiling paint I brought when Masters was closing down so I got that for next to nothing. But the paint I used for the Furniture was chalk paint and cost me $100 for for 2 one litre tins of paint. I love how it turned out George & Sue were very pleased with it & Marty & I have been enjoying them staying with us.        

the overall feel of the room is peaceful and homely with my style of vintage with a slightly quirky feel,   
to read about the bed check out the post Here

 I made this sign out of pallets and add a quote that sums up how I feel about my home.
this sign is available in my Etsy store here

My mum was throwing out these butterfly so I rescued them, & they became the inspiration for the room.I have always loved insects & butterfly's are just beautiful.

the black frames my sister was getting rid of so I added butterfly's I printed on vintage music sheet and the dragonfly's are printed on a vintage dictionary page. 

the wooden Prism is my own design you purchase from my Etsy store

the cute little lantern I was for tea light candles but I turner it into a electric bedside lamp. The side table is a log slice my husband cut and I used a stool I found on the road side for the base.  

 I Purchased this furniture from a second hand store I got all of it for only $400 and gave it a makeover myself post on that coming soon  
orchid from aliexpress & the Large glass bowl was a $2 purchase from tip shop I used oasis foam & bark chips to plant the flowers.  

I adding some personal items help to make our guests feel comfortable.
I hope you enjoy time with your loved ones this Christmas.