Tuesday, 29 June 2010

From Victorian to Modern on a budget

I think I have set myself a challenge now by trying to transform all the rooms on a budget.
Next on my to do list was the very oppressive dining room. The men who lived in the house before me really loved the Victorian colours and decorations. When they lived here the dining room was full of heavy Victorian furniture, display cabinets and frames. There were lots of pictures and prints on the walls and the doors were dressed in heavy curtains with fringes. Girl monkey thought it was fantastic! She felt she was living in Buckingham Palace she said. I had to tell her it was all going......

So my project of last week was to repaint the room in white and ivory. What was a very dark room that I avoided at all times and used as a dump is now a lovely light room where I would like to spend all my time.
However it doesn't have any furniture. The wonderful over mantle mirror was a find by BB2's lovely mum. It arrived covered in paint splashes (still is a bit) and it was dark brown wood. As I found a lot of paint in our magic cellar the costs for decorating so far are under £20. Not sure if I can manage to find furniture for around £30 but I can only try. I am doing very well so far I think.

Many friends have suggested I should sign up for a decorating programme on TV but I don't think they'd be interested in me. Last thing I heard was one of the channels was looking for couples. They were interested in their decorating skills but more so in their arguing. Reality TV at best I suppose. As a single white fairly well behaved mum I do not fit that category....

Next up I think is dressing on a budget. I am fashioning a skirt out of something at the moment. More about this to come.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

From dowdy to nautical on a budget

I think we all know what that means. No one has ever said they were doing their bathroom on a budget when it involves thousands of pounds. I could have put on a shoestring particularly since I didn't have a fixed budget. Suppose I've been reading too many make-over stories and am now using the lingo!

Anyway the bathroom in our new home was quite old fashioned, beige fleur-de-lys wall paper with a gold and blue border and a broken blind in the same pattern. The bathroom is in good condition really and although I did not like the six flower tiles scattered above the bath it would have been too much of an expense to replace those.

My friend had a stripper (why do I find that such a funny word? I keep calling it steamer!) and I got to work with that for a few days. Then off I went to B&Q for white bathroom emulsion and milky white gloss paint for the dark brown bath surround and the shelf. I replaced the brown toilet seat with a lovely tongue and groove number (reminiscent of beach huts) and found some stripy white and navy fabric from Ikea in my cupboard to sew a lovely new blind.

The tricky bit was dealing with the hideous flower tiles but Ebay came to the rescue. As it happened the only tile stickers that fit my size tiles came in a packet of six and had a nautical theme! Perfect! The monkeys then put their souvenirs from Anglesey and Holland from last year on the shelf and we had a lovely new nautical bathroom.

And the budget? Under £50. I wish I could do every room under £50. It would be a challenge but I could always try....

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Global Art Project for Peace

Every two years the Global Art Project for Peace organisation encourages people around the world to create a work of art for peace. By signing up you'll get partnered with someone from another part of the globe and the idea is that all messages of peace are being sent simultaneously at the end of April/beginning of May to create a movement of peace. I was a little late in sending mine, due to circumstances beyond my control (the former Mr B is really the cause of the havoc in my life but let's not go there), but the message was there nonetheless.

I really love the project and this year I took part for the second time. It was only about four years ago that I found out about the project, but then it was too late to register, so I got my first 'taste' in 2008.

I love the anticipation of receiving something from somewhere at some point. All that is known is that it is a message of peace. Although I had the contact details of the other party, we had not been in touch so I had absolutely no idea what I was going to get this time. I couldn't have been happier though. The parcel that arrived was beautifully wrapped and addressed. The letters of my name were individually cut out and stuck on the outside; a work of art in itself.

After that first layer of paper I found this box:

.... girl monkey was very intrigued; she had no idea what a double zipper was and looked concerned a the picture of steaks on the box. When we unwrapped what was inside, we found this beautiful collage on panel:

It is beautifully executed, with lovely messages and in my favourite colours! It is going to have pride of place in my new home.

With love and in peace I have sewn this cushion for my partner. I hope she will enjoy this token for her home.